Thinker in Residence Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Pamela James-Martin’

One Week Down — Yikes!

Posted by peggyhora on March 27, 2010

Friday was another busy, busy day.  I never made it into the office. I was the keynote speaker at the South Australian Law Society conferece. It’s a 3,000 member bar association.  The meeting was kicked off by Chief Justic John Doyle who very kindly mentioned my work.  The conference title, “Smart Justice,” was taken from my residency.  My session was chaired by Justice Robyn Layton and Professor Richard Balfour spoke about the high incidence of hearing impairment in the APY Lands (the traditional Aboriginal community) and the implications for the legal system.  Certainly something I had never thought about.  I spoke about the Family Treatment Drug Court and the Chief Judge of the Youth Court, Steven McEwen, was in attendance.  Later in the afternoon I’m told he spoke and reiterated much of what I had to say.  After lunch I left to have a much-anticipated meeting with Monsignor David Cappo, Commissioner for Social Inclusion.  Our one hour meeting stretched to 90 minutes as we had much to discuss.  I think I am safe in saying our thoughts and ideas are quite compatible.  I got home to rest for one hour then met Sue King and her husband Andrew at my apartment and we walked over to the Cinema where we attended the premiere of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” a fundraiser for OXFAM.  The movie tracked the book quite well and the actress who played Lisbeth was absolutely perfect.  The scenes of the little town of horrors were spectacular and I was on the edge of my seat several times.  After the movie and not winning the raffle prizes, we repaired to the Belgian Beer Cafe Oostende for a late supper.  Andrew had a beautiful fish stew, Sue and her friend Mike had fishcakes and frittes and I had their gnocci in a pancetta sauce.  Heavenly potato pillows in a smokey light cream sauce.  Delish!  Saturday morning I was back at the Law Society conference for a public speech which went very well.  I then dashed off to the Central Market which  readers from last fall may remember as a foodie’s nirvana.  I toted home a spinach and tomato quiche; half barbeque chicken; salad fixings; some lovely cheeses; fruit, including some incredible figs; tinylamb chops and a jalapeno bagel with Danish butter for tomorrow’s breakfast.  Love that place.  I had pretty much exhaused what Pamela had laid in for me upon my arrival last week.  Seven days ago?  Oh, my.  I’m having dinner with a friend from Sydney tonight — Astrid Birgden who is the warden of the mandatory treatment jail or gaol I’m going to tour when I get up the New South Wales near the end of my visit.  Sunday will definitely be a day of rest, reflection and maybe cracking into the second book after “Tattoo” lent to me by Ingrid Haythorpe.  Before I know it it will be Monday morning again and it’s of to the races.  Week two doesn’t look any less busy than this first one.


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Getting home

Posted by peggyhora on September 29, 2009

Lewis Carroll said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”  I knew I was going home and that it would be long and tiring and worth it when I left Australia on Monday.  Pamela picked me up at my apartment a little before 7:30 and I got to Adeliade airport early.  I checked in only to find that they would not check my bags through to San Francisco.  Evidently Virgin Blue is a codeshare with United but not a partner(?).  The trip to Sydney was about 1 1/2 hours and uneventful except for the fact that water would have cost me $2.50.  Tea was $3.00.  Good grief.  I was too cheap to drink.  In Sydney I fetched my two very large bags, wrestled them onto a cart with my carry on overnighter and purse and tote and spent the next 45 minutes going up and down elevators getting poor information and poor directions to the connecting transportation to the international terminal which is a good 1/2 hour away.  I finally found the bus and some very nice young man helped me wrestle the three suitcases onto it.   I was pretty frustrated when I checked in again with United only to be told Virgin Blue could have checked my bags through to San Francisco.  I consoled myself in the Air New Zealand (a United partner) lounge and waiting for the boarding call.  I settled into my business class seat 6 1/2 hours after leaving my apartment and hunkered down for the 12-hour flight.  There was no one next to me so I didn’t have to worry about the down side of an aisle seat — people needing to use the loo.  I got a few hours sleep, read my Kindle, read the paper, watched TV reruns, couldn’t find a move I wanted to see, couldn’t figure out how to play Bejeweled on the entertainment center, did poorly at Trivia and finally landed at SFO a half hour early.  My BFF Gloria picked me up and we talked like crazy all the way back to my place.  She was house sitting and picking up mail and generally taking care of business for me while  was gone.  She is such a good friend.  She stocked the fridge so I wouldn’t have to go out and even had fresh flowers in the living room.  What a pal!  There’s been lots of drama about my home owners’ association election so I got caught up on my building gossip with my neighbor Don.  We went downstairs to The Counter for a hamburger after he got home from work about 6:30.  I had dozed in my chair during the afternoon so was able to put a sentence or two together at dinner.  I forced myself to stay up until 10:00 and gave up trying to stay in bed after 3:00 a.m. I’ll pay for that later in the day.  I have a call into my hairdresser and manicurist.  Hair like a yak and nails like a komodo dragon.   I have lots of mail to go through and unpackingto do so I’m not exactly wasting time.  Now that I’m home I won’t be blogging as often but do check back every now and again to see the status of my “thinking.”

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Posted by peggyhora on September 27, 2009

Rodin's Le Penseur

Rodin's Le Penseur

I left SFO on August 10, almost 50 days ago, to come to Adelaide, a city I’d never seen, to participate in a program which details were not known to me and to live in a rented apartment for the first time in my life (except for two months when I was 17 but that’s another story).  I had two acquaintances but no friends here in South Australia.  I leave with 500 acquaintances and many, many friends.  I had high hopes and lots of ideas about change.  “People say that time changes everything but you really have to change yourself.”  Compliments of that great philosopher, Andy Warhol.  I leave having  given 18 different addresses (okay I used some of the same Power Points), met some of the state’s legal icons, had 365 hits on my website, wrote more than 40 blog entries and had as many as 100 readers on some days, gave away 250 business  cards (no one has ever needed a second box before), made two out-of-state trips, have met with the Premier, both the state and Commonwealth’s Attorney General, two cabinet ministers, and lord knows how many departments.  My barista in the Thinkers office building knows my order — flat, white decaf — and I’ve filled two “frequent flyer” cards and received my free cups of coffee.   The drivers of the cars who pick me up and schlep me around all know me now and pretty much know exactly where I’m going. One said the other day, “They didn’t tell me I was picking up Peggy Sue.”   I’ve been invited into homes for dinner and taken to must see tourist sites.  I’ve met husbands, wives, children and partners of my office mates and judicial colleagues.  I’ve managed to amuse the staff and myself on many occasions and have spent the week saying goodbye.  Early in my residency, Pamela said the Thinkers always come back (I’ve met two while here) and I can see why.  Not only do you want to see how your various recommendations are doing but you want to see the people with whom you’ve labored.  I’m so glad Sue King, my Project Catalyst, is able to stay on for the next 12 weeks to advance my work (and I should say “our work” because her thoughts, organization and insight have been invaluable) until my return on March 21.  I’m not sad and I don’t think I’ll cry when I get on the plane but it is with a tinge of something that I leave Adelaide and the Thinkers in Residence program this time.  But, as both General Mac Arthur and Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “I’ll be back.”  Ta ta for now.

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Last Sunday in Adelaide

Posted by peggyhora on September 27, 2009

I spent the morning packing, tidying up and getting ready to leave.  Pamela picks me up at 7:30 Mon. morning to go to the airport so I won’t have much time then.  Around 11:00 I strolled to the next block, site of the Rundle Street Market every Sunday. Someone told me it wasn’t worth attending but they were wrong.  I was actually on my way to breakfast around the corner but stopped at a booth selling poffertjes, a small Dutch pancake.  You get about 8 little fellers (about 2″ across) sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon and served with slagroom (whipped cream).  Yummy in the tummy.  The woman in the booth was playing “In the Mood,” a Glenn Miller tune from the ’40’s.  Quite pleasant.  There was also an organic farmers’ booth and a lovely infused salt booth (lavendar, lime and Mediterranean herbs) that also had pyramid-shaped salt.  I would have bought some but am down to my last Australian $10 and don’t want to hit the ATM again.  Maybe next time.  At the end of the street was a Kettle Korn booth and it tasted just like ours.  There was also jewelry and clothing and other things of no interest to me.  I found a free taxi (actually it was far from free!) for the 45 minute ride to Aldinga for lunch at The Orchard, a lovely restaurant owned by Thinkers’ director Gabe Kelly and her husband Kerry Flannigan.  We settled in for a long lunch of a couple of glasses of wine made by Kerry and a nice lamb dish with philo dough and gravy with a balsamic vinaigrette salad on the side.  We were joined by Kerry’s 16-year-old son Louis who is quite a charming young man.  He reminded me of my 17-year-old grandson Dillon.  We took a drive along the ocean and enjoyed the green hills of the Southern Vale on the way home. Tonight it’s take it easy.  It was a nice end to an incredible six weeks.

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The last of the meetings and press

Posted by peggyhora on September 26, 2009

There was a glitch in the car service so I got to stand in the rain for 20 minutes and be late for my first morning meeting with the senior prosecutors.  They, like everyone else, are concerned about court delay.  These barristers only prosecute indictable crimes (what we would call felonies) and the lesser crimes (misdemeanors) are prosecuted by the police.  It’s a very different system and, get this, there is no right to a speedy trial.  I’ve heard someone can be in custody for up to two years before trial.  They also have an acquittal rate of up to 50% and dismissal at the commitment stage (preliminary hearing) of almost 50% as well.  I am hoping to help reverse these numbers with some recommendations on trial delay reduction, case management, and streamlining.  After breakfast, I came into the office with a storage bin so I won’t have to wag things back and forth across the Pacific and launched into a second meeting with the Department of Families and Communities, AG, and others on the Family Treatment Court concept which may be funded by the Commonwealth.  Next came the debrief of the residency with the entire Thinker team and that rolled into lunch.  I took Sue and Pamela to a thank you lunch at Chesser Cellars, the site of the lamb and Shiraz gravy pie which I had again.  Dang good.  Not to mention the sticky pudding with caramel, clotted cream and ice cream.  We had a wonderful time and were lingering over our coffees when the phone rang to remind us I had a farewell interview with The Advertiser.  Yikes!  I had completely forgotten.  We dashed back to the office, I had my interview, turned on the “Out of Office Assistant,” cleaned up my emails and Kerryl transferred all my files and email to my jump drive.  Now if I can just figure out how to transfer that data when I get home.  I may have to call my neighbor, Al Hudock, who helped me get all my Outlook data on my travel computer.  low his wife Marge and I have our book group on Thursday.  It’s a little weird to think of the usual things at home.  Kerryl’s boyfriend Ian whom I call Morgan (as in Freeman) and who calls me Ms. Daisy, gave me a ride home and I started to pack the two large suitcases that could hold refrigerators.  I finally gave up and flopped on the couch to nestle in for the news of the football game in Melbourne that is the equivalent of the Super Bowl.  Not that I give two hoots about it but, except for the PBS-like ABC, it was on every channel and that’s the pre-game.  I don’t think I’ll be going out tomorrow night because the footy playoffs + lots of alcohol = stay off the streets.  Watching 19-year-olds being rowdy and puking on the sidewalk fits right in with the third circle of hell. Saturday I will try to catch up with Thinker #16 Laura Lee who is in town for her second residency but if she’s not available, my treat for finishing most of the packing tomorrow is to sneak in my first movie since I’ve been here.  Otherwise I expect a quiet day.

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Flinders and chestnut foam

Posted by peggyhora on September 17, 2009

I began the day with a phone discussion with Aboriginal Legal Rights about some issues up on the  Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara(APY) Lands located in the remote north west of Southern Australia.  About 2,500 indigenous people live there in very severe conditions.  Both the police and the courts want me to visit “The Lands” during my next stay in SA.  There are several justice issues with which to grapple, not the least of which is a lack of interpreters available when the judges ride circuit.  I moved on to a two-hour debriefing with Sue and Pam as it had been more than a week since we went over notes and made cards of issues for me to think about.  The treasury department representatives were next and they were extremely helpful with financial analysis of some of the issues I want to address.  They will do the cost/benefit analyses of my recommendations which will help sell the ideas.  Very good meeting.   I grabbed a piece of quiche for lunch from the little cafe downstairs where I get my coffee every morning.  From day one my barista remembered my order and I’m due for my second cup of free flat white decaf during my next visit.  Sue and I dashed off to Adelaide Pavillion on the Park where Flinders University School of Law was sponsoring a seminar “Working in Problem-Solving Courts” expertly organized by Professor Kathy Mack, a San Francisco lawyer who has lived here almost 30 years.  They expected 20, then 30, then 40 people and we ended up with an audience of about 125.  People from all parts of the justice system were interested from sheriffs (read bailiffs if you’re USA-based), community corrections, attorneys, service providers, NGOs, treatment personnel and others.  I gave the keynote and the wrap up and in between we had a panel consisting of Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Cannon, Danielle Misell (who called me “the mother of drug courts”), a barrister in the Adelaide drug court, Sgt. Liz Corbett from South Australia Police who works in the mental health diversion court, and Cornelia Steinhausser from community corrections who works with men who batter.  After tea we broke up into groups for discussion questions, did the usual reports back and I summed up. David Bamford, the dean of the law school, did a nice job of hosting the event and there was a “booze and schmooz” after with hot hors d’oeuvres and wine or beer.  I dashed home for a short rest and to check email if the truth be known and was picked up by Kathy Mack and Rod Watkins, my hosts in Goolwa a couple of weekends ago.  We went to Adelaide’s Best Restaurant of 2009, Auge.  It has a white Vespa parked in front and a lovely water feature down the middle of the restaurant now protected by glass panels because, I am told, more than one guest fell into the pond after the sommelier’s recommendations were followed at dinner.  The menu was eclectic and exciting with a selection of hand cured salumis which we shared, lovely choices for first plates and mains and two pages of cheeses from which to choose for dessert.  I had the rabbit tortellini with a chestnut foam and asparagus with a nice beurre blanc and ribbons of basil.  I topped off the meal with an affogato (literarly drowned) — homemade vanilla bean gelatto with shots of espresso and Fra Angelica to pour over the top.  I mushed up the ice cream to make a sort of affogato smoothie and it was divine.  Three tiny dark chocolate truffles came along with the check.  Kathy is off to China for a law conference tomorrow so I won’t be seeing her and Rod until the next visit unless they get to San Francisco before then.  It was another exciting, stimulating and productive day and I can’t believe I have just a little over a week before I return home.  Friday is a thinking day but I think I’ll sneak into the office for a little paper work before going to the Central Market for the last time.

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The Other NFL

Posted by peggyhora on August 30, 2009

On   I went to my first “footy” game.  (The Australians have a fondness for diminutives — “footy,” “lolly,” “pokie,” etc.)  A juvenile crime prevention/mentoring program for Aboriginal boys and girls couples academic benchmarks with playing football.  The program, called the Aboriginal Power Cup, is in its second year and has already had an effect on high school drop out rates.  Stars from the National Football League show up to encourage the kids as well.  The rules of the game include kicking goals but no passing.  They must hit the leather football with their fist rather like playing volleyball.  And they wear no padding.  Evidently being injured is just part of the game.  They do, thankfully, wear mouthpieces for protection.  The kids design their own “guernseys” (jerseys) and there is fierce competition to have yours chosen for the first prize.  The Attorney General Department is a major sponsor and the AG himself was a referee referred to as a “White Maggot.”  They had great fun trying to explain that one to me.  As they say in the travel itineraries, the rest of my day was at leisure and doing household chores.  Sunday I’m off to the Rundle Mall and am going to dinner with Pamela, my project officer, and her husband and son who is a law student.

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Melbourne whirlwind…literally

Posted by peggyhora on August 25, 2009

Dr. Michael King, Monash University School of Law

Dr. Michael King, Monash University School of Law

First, I made it home to Adelaide. Winds were 60-75 mph, 100-120 kph, so my flight was delayed and when it did get off the ground, it was very bumpy. I passed on a beverage in flight because I didn’t want to be wearing it. There was a bulletin issued earlier in the day urging employers to let their staff go early so they could get home before the storm. My lecture to the law students was reduced from 90 minutes to one hour. They were attentive and asked good questions and they seemed to enjoy it but with “kids” that age, who knows. I did get two very nice compiments from two young women with whom I shared the rest room afterwards. My adventure started on Mon. when Ingrid Haythorpe (whose photo you saw on one of my first posts) from the SA Atorney General’s Office and I flew to Melbourne and went straight to the Neighborhood Justice Center in the suburg of Yarra. It is a one-stop shopping service center for members of a troubled community. It is in its third year and offers about everything you can imagine from victim services to job seeking. The meeting rooms may be used by community members irrespective of whether they have business at the court. The Magistrate who presides over the court, David Fanning, is terrific and we definitely spoke the same language. I thought of my old bailiff, David You, when I went into the courtroom and saw it was surrounded by glass. My first thought: Is it bullet proof? Answer, no. It is also built with a glass wall from the corridor so the concept of transparency is certainly carried out. After leaving the Centre, I checked into my hotel which was very nice (the Monash University School of Law had booked me a modern suite), freshened up and dashed off the the book launch of “Non-Adversarily Justice” by Michael King, former magistrate of the Perth Drug Court whom I met during my trip here in 2006, Arie Freiberg, Law School Dean, and Lecturers Becky Batagol and Ross Hyams. I’ve only just started the book but it apprears to be excelent. David Wexler wrote the Forward. The Chief Magistrate, Ian Gray, did the formal launch then I presented a 30 minute talk on “American Drug Courts: A Personal Journey.” It was quite well received and I was pleased. A number of us proceeded to Sycamore, a small plates restaurant, where we feasted on squid, octopus, olives, and other delicacies. Off to bed then a 9:00 am meeting with the Dept. of Justice. Victoria (the state) has a very progressive Attorney General who has initiated a number of programs of interest to me. He even has a section on innovation. I was able to meet with about 13 people running programs I may want to recommend and it was very helpful. Ingrid went back to the airport to make an afternoon meeting and I went out to the large Monash University campus about 40 minutes from down town. I met up with Michael and we went to the Faculty Club for lunch with 6 of his colleagues. It was just lovely, very tradition but with great food (chicken on a bed of beans and chirizo). I then did a presentation for the law faculty on drug courts and why they work (thanks Doug Marlowe and Carolyn Hardin for some of the slides I used), had about 40 minutes to check email and then to the student lecture. I’m not going to the office until a little after 10:00 when Pamela (Project Coordinator), Sue (Prokect Accelerator) and I debrief and make notes from the past few days. I’m meeting with Adelaide University Law School’s Dean and others for a briefing at noon and then with the Legal Services Commission later in the day. This evening I’m presenting a program for local judges, both state and federal, in the swanky and very modern new Federal Building.

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First meeting as The Thinker

Posted by peggyhora on August 13, 2009

Ingrid Haythorpe, Exec. Dir. Policy, Planning & Legislation Div. AG
Ingrid Haythorpe, Exec. Dir. Policy, Planning & Legislation Div. AG

This is Ingrid Haythorpe and me at lunch with Gary Thompson, Court Administrator and Pamela James-Martin from the Thinkers’ office. As you can see, ware thinking,   Georges did not have their “signature dish” that was promised on their website and the waitress had never heard of it.  Sigh.  Instead I had the blue crab with polenta and a poached egg(?) that was delicious.  The meal was topped off with a rocket (arugula), parmesean and pear salad.  Delicious.  My morning started at 6:30 after sleeping in two-hour stints.  Maybe tomorrow the jet lag will be gone.  Pamela and I walked back to the office and to meet the full staff.  Very welcoming and nice people.  My office has a window and all the necessities.  I go in on Monday.  Strolling back from the office we went through the mall so I could pick up some essentials like a make up mirror and salami.  Well, okay, they are probably not really essentials but I wanted them.  One nice surprise of the day was finding out my apartment comes with a cleaning service every Tuesday.  Linen is changed, floor is vacuumed, etc.  Funny thing was I was going to ask Pamela what day the maid came never dreaming there really was one.  Tomorrow Sue King, my “project accelerator,” will accompany me on the free bus that circles the city and we’ll visit  The Market (more about that tomorrow).  I’ll lunch with Magistrate Andrew Cannon whom I met at the International Therapeutic Jurisprudence conference in Perth in 2006.  I look forward to seeing him again.

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I’m here!!!

Posted by peggyhora on August 12, 2009

After 20 months from invitation to apply to actual arrival in Adelaide, it feels a bit of a dream to actually be here. The flights were uneventful and on time (just the way we like them) and business class on a 747-400 with its flat bed seats is a treat. I was able to sleep about 7 hours in two shifts. While I was on layover in Sydney, I started reading “Tall Man,” a book about the death of an Aboriginal man in custody in Queensland in 2004. It’s a nice overview on native culture (and, for that matter, police culture). Imagine my surprise when I got off the plane in Adelaide and there were Pamela (administrator from the Thinkers’ office) and Sue (drug court coordinator and “project accellerator) waving at me. In the US only passengers can get past security so no one meets anyone at the gate any more. They escorted me to my apartment in the E. Rundel neighborhood and it’s great. I’ts roomy and had a beautiful view of trees and foliage from both the bedroom and the living room. Quite a large balcomy with table and chairs.  (I hid the ashtray). I bet it’s similar square footage to my condo so I feel right at home. Waiting for me at the flat was a gourmet food basket and basic supplies already stocked in the cupboards and fridge. I think I’m going to like this place and Pamela is not only very pleasant but quite efficient! We took a stroll around the neighborhood and had lunch at a little restaurant called “etc,” which turned out a very yummy chicken pot pie. There are two theaters showing indie films within a block or two and tons of restaurants, wine bars, cafes, etc. I tried to stay awake as long as I could last night and slept in two-hour shifts until 6:30 this morning.  This morning I’m meeting with a photographer because they’re going to hang a banner (hopefully not in effigy) with my photo when I make my opening speech to the public.  Then I’m having lunch with Ingrid Haythorpe from the Attorney General’s office and Gary Thompson, court administrator (for Californians, think Bill Vicary) at a trattoria named Georges.  Their signature dish is house-made linguine with blue swimmer crab, tomato, chilli and olio santo.  Get out the bib!  I’m just going to love Adelaide and am even more awed with the honor now that I’m here. Keep those emails coming.  I loved arriving having already heard from some of you.  Also, download Skype now!  I wagged the camera all the way across the Pacific.  It is 3:37 pm in California and 8:07 am here.  You can find my time at  I’ll let you know how the lunch went but I’m rethinking silk with that tomato sauce.

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