Canberra Confidential: Get the Dam spelling right

BOW-tied ArtsACT chief David Whitney must tremble every time a plaque is unveiled around the town.

The “temporary”, now departed plaque, featuring the “Palmer” Dam.

The “temporary”, now departed plaque, featuring the “Palmer” Dam.

There was the one that famously misspelt Arts Minister Joy Burch as “Birch”, then last week there was the grand unveiling of the Uruguayan sculpture at the Latin American Plaza.

The piece, by Hugo Morales, is constructed from discarded steel from the 1982 construction of Uruguay’s Palmar Dam.

Sharp-eyed “CityNews” arts editor Helen Musa looked closely at the rather smart, unveiled plaque and discovered the Palmar Dam, was spelt “Palmer”, as in Clive.

She cross-checked it then emailed Whitney, whose department manages public art around the town, who calmly replied: “The plaque was a temporary one and the real bronze is to be cast in the near future so all can be fully rectified.”

Needless to say, the temporary plaque had been winkled off by the following day.

Famous five sent packing 

CC wonders if the awfully famous Jamie Oliver would have got a seat at his own restaurant had he turned up the same night last week as celebrity weather man Steve Jacobs from WIN’s “Today Show”.

CC’s Civic snout was dining at Wagamama and saw Jacobs heading into Jamie’s Italian.

“We joked about how funny it would be if he was told he needed a booking, and lo, about a minute later he and his crew of four walked out looking lost,” she reports.

“He walks past again and wanders into Sammy’s where, of course, he’s rushed straight to a table.”

Steve was here for a live cross the next morning from the “Gold and the Incas” exhibition at the NGA.

Parking heaven

photoHOW we will miss these old ways as the rapacious Treasurer Andrew Barr inflicts new technology into the act of parking. As we go to press, this week-old Manuka, short-term parking voucher is still yet to expire. Fabulous value for $1, it appears valid until 2.48pm on April 11. Which raises the question, if one can be fined for parking beyond the voucher’s time limit, is it possible to be fined for parking before the voucher had you parking at 2.08pm?

Shame on you, Shane

A TROUBLED Macgregor resident wrote a letter (in an envelope) of complaint to TAMS Minister Shane Rattenbury’s office. After a decent period of having received neither reply nor acknowledgement, he followed up with an enquiring email to be told that they don’t acknowledge letters, only emails to the Minister. CC thinks this is an uncharacteristic arrogance from the Minister for Ageing, given senior ratepayers are most likely to be the letter writers.

Large art, Small artist

Artist James Small on the job… appears to share the same colour preferences as his subject.

Artist James Small on the job… appears to share the same colour preferences as his subject.

PROUD sister Melinda Gonczarek emailed to identify the street artist responsible for the gigantic caricature of Ron Burgundy, the lead character in the “Anchorman” comedy movies, to be seen under the Ginninderra Drive Bridge, over Lake Ginninderra, featured in CC on March 6.

“I am extremely biased… it’s my 19-year-old brother, James Small,” she purrs. “Biased or not, it can’t be denied he is a brilliant artist and for 19, perhaps Canberra’s ‘Banksy’.”

Stevie wrong

WHEN Bon Scott died in 1980, AC/DC had only one name to replace him, the former Easybeats front man Stevie Wright. The band set up at a Sydney pub one afternoon for an audition, but Wright – who has had issues with self-abuse for decades – didn’t turn up and AC/DC moved on to conquer the world.

This was one of the many rock ‘n’ roll insights that veteran singer Russell Morris chattily shared with an intimate crowd of the curious faithful gathered to listen to the CD of his impending new album “Van Diemen’s Land” at the Southern Cross Club the other night. Morris, affable, articulate and authoritative, made some admissions himself, one of which was a love of reading science and history books.


“DEMAND for property in Ngunnawal has soared with the inner city suburb taking the title of this quarter’s hottest sellers’ suburb in the ACT.” Inner city suburb? Ngunnawal? You’d think would know better.

DEVELOPMENT of the controversial Tralee housing estate has begun and amid the marketing blah-blah is this gem: “These first 30 family homes offered in stage 1 are located just a short walking distance from Tralee’s many proposed facilities.” For now, that means close to nothing.

BEAR uncaged… local, award-winning, media production house Bearcage has merged with a Sydney and Brisbane company and is now called Wildbear.

DRIVER goes through traffic management zone past two trained traffic controllers at a building site in Leichhardt Street, Kingston: First controller has to stop her while the second controller finishes texting on his mobile. On a second visit, the first controller again holds the driver back while the former texter this time finishes a conversation with a truck driver, his sign upside down as she passes by. She set out to alert the authorities before an accident occurred, but pretty well gave up after explanations to four indifferent Government departments.

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