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Melbourne Express: Friday, December 8, 2017

Share your journey, news tips, interesting pictures, video and comments with other Melbourne Express readers via email, on Facebook (CraigDButt) or on Twitter @CraigDButt.

Thoughtless vandals have chopped down five century-old trees in a state park. (6.09am post) 

A Transdev bus in Lonsdale Street, which could form part of Melbourne's first rapid transit busway.
A Transdev bus in Lonsdale Street, which could form part of Melbourne's first rapid transit busway. Photo: Daniel Pockett
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I'm getting ready to wrap up the blog for the week. 

I'm writing a separate article on the senseless vandalism at Lerderderg State Park, which should be published shortly. 

Did you get today's Mystery Melbourne pic?

Where was today's Mystery Melbourne photo taken?

Where was today's Mystery Melbourne photo taken? Photo: Craig Butt

Here's the answer. Are you shocked that it wasn't taken on a moving train after all? Check out the full article about the platform

The viewing platform shaped like a train carriage at City Square, which lets passersby watch the construction of Town ...
The viewing platform shaped like a train carriage at City Square, which lets passersby watch the construction of Town Hall station.  Photo: Justin McManus
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A reader has sent in this nice pic of the sunrise this morning. 

It must be approaching our longest day soon.

It must be approaching our longest day soon. Photo: Azza

This is the best of several sunrise pics I've seen this morning. If yours didn't get featured today, don't get discouraged - there's always next time! 

Unfortunately, my callout on Captain Planet at 7.20am did not receive much of a response. I got one email from reader Emile who shared his memories of Captain Planet: "He's a hero. Gonna take pollution down to zero." 

Maybe the blog's audience are too young or old to recall the show. That, or maybe you all were watching the 5pm news on Ten or Looney Tunes cartoons on Nine whenever the show was airing on the ABC. 

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On this day in The Age

Here's what was in The Age on this day in 1980:

The front page of The Age on this day in 1980.

The front page of The Age on this day in 1980. Photo: Microfilm

The pic is captioned "Park ranger John Everleigh aims at piglets surrounding their dead mother during a culling operation at a national park in NSW." A cheerful, light-hearted pic to start the morning...

The top stories were:

  • Ansett was close to signing a deal that would let it compete with Qantas on international services.
  • Police had found the body of a third woman in bushland at Tynong North and were carrying out a search to see if more victims had been dumped there. Three more bodies would later be found, and the killings remain unsolved.
  • The 1980 Statistical Yearbook of Australia showed that about 36 per cent of adults smoked, more than one million Australians went on overseas holidays each year and the median age was 29.
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Update: Thoughtless vandals have chopped down five century-old trees in a state park. 

Parks Victoria district manager Tony English says the trees were chopped down with a chainsaw in an "amateurish" job.

"They simply went around the park chopping the largest trees they could see," he told radio station 3AW. 

Mr English said the felled trees chopped down in Lerderderg State Park were stringybarks and grey-gums, some of which were more than 100 years-old. "They were trees in a beautiful location we were hoping the public could continue to enjoy," he said.  

He said such senseless vandalism was quite rare, and whenever trees were illegally felled it was usually for firewood. 

"We see a lot of things going on in our parks, but this is a senseless act we are struggling to understand"

One of the trees that was felled at the Lerderderg State Park.

One of the trees that was felled at the Lerderderg State Park. Photo: Victoria Police

He said four to six people would have been the culprits. 

In addition to felling the trees, the vandals also pilfered a new fire pit, complete with the steel plaque that read: 'Parks Victoria Lerderderg State Park'.

He said a team of rangers had been working to get the camping ground ready for this summer.

The trees were illegally felled in Lerderderg State Park, about an hour's drive north of Melbourne, on December 3 or December 4. 

Police are urging anyone who heard or saw anything suspicious in the area during these times to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 00.

This tree was felled using a chainsaw - it's a pretty clean cut.
This tree was felled using a chainsaw - it's a pretty clean cut. Photo: Victoria Police
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Recap: A car crashed into another car, spun out and slammed into a house in Coburg last night. 

The resident of the Ohey Street address was home at the time and was uninjured. 

The driver of the vehicle was taken to hospital as a precaution, while the passenger was uninjured. 

 

P-plater crashes car into Coburg home

A 20-year-old P-Plater crashed a 4WD into the side of a house in Melbourne's North. Vision courtesy: Seven News.

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In yesterday's blog I shared a photo from the Royal Melbourne Hospital showing ambulances parked outside the building in the 1950s.

The tweet reached Ambulance Victoria chief executive Tony Walker, who tweeted out an additional photo that shows just how much ambulances have changed over the past century.

It turns out there's an Ambulance Victoria museum that showcases plenty of old model ambulances that would once have been seen zipping urgently through city streets.

Ambulances from the past.

Ambulances from the past. Photo: Craig Butt

Interestingly, these vintage ambulances lack one feature that modern ambulances require - they likely would not have been equipped to carry obese passengers. Since 2007, Ambulance Victoria has had 11 "complex patient ambulance vehicles" in its fleet to transport overweight or obese patients, but paramedics say these are rarely available.

And I reported in 2015 how paramedics were using new technologies such as hydraulic stretchers to help transfer certain patients into ambulances because paramedics had sustained back injuries doing the heavy lifting themselves. 

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It was ABC Breakfast host Red Symons' last show this morning. 

I rather like the advice he received from a life coach: 

Melbourne Express icons nature environment

Recap: Thoughtless vandals have chopped down five century-old trees in a state park. 

The trees were illegally felled in Lerderderg State Park, about an hour's drive north of Melbourne, on December 3 or December 4. 

As you can see from the photos Victoria Police released this morning, the trees seemed to have been chopped down for no apparent reason.

One of the trees that was felled at the Lerderderg State Park.

One of the trees that was felled at the Lerderderg State Park. Photo: Victoria Police

It looks like this tree was felled using a chainsaw - it's a pretty clean cut.

It looks like this tree was felled using a chainsaw - it's a pretty clean cut. Photo: Victoria Police

The trees were at the lower camping area at Lerderderg Camp Ground on Upper Chadwick Track.

A new fireplace, which has 'Parks Victoria Lerderderg State Park' etched into the steel, was also taken from the area.

Police are urging anyone who heard or saw anything suspicious in the area during these times to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 00.

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On this day

On this day in 1980, John Lennon was shot dead in New York.

Here is how The Age reported his death in its December 10 edition:

How The Age reported John Lennon's death

How The Age reported John Lennon's death Photo: Microfilm

"Former Beatle John Lennon, 40, who led a revolution in popular music that captured the imagination of an entire generation, was shot dead last night outside his exclusive Manhattan apartment house."

"He was rushed to hospital, just a few kilometres from the Dakota, the apartment where he lived with his wife Yoko Ono. Doctors pronounced him dead on arrival."

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A car crashed into another car, spun out and slammed into a house in Coburg last night. 

The resident of the Ohey Street address was home at the time and was uninjured. 

The driver of the vehicle was taken to hospital as a precaution, while the passenger was uninjured. 

Photographer Justin McManus went out to the house this morning, and you can see some of the damage to the front of the building from the impact. 

The house in Coburg that a car crashed into last night.
The house in Coburg that a car crashed into last night. Photo: Justin McManus
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There's been a fair amount of reminiscing about the animated series 'Captain Planet' among the Gen Y members of The Age's morning team this morning (the Gen Xers don't know what we're referencing).

The reverie has been brought on by this morning's top story - that some mindless vandals chopped down six trees in the Lerderderg National Park earlier this week (see 6.09am post). Such wanton environmental destruction fits the MO of the show's eco-villains. From memory, the plot for most episodes could be summed up as: "Hoggish Greedly is cutting down trees in a rainforest. Go stop him Planeteers". 

What can you remember of Captain Planet? Let me know. 

Anna Prytz says the episode she best remembers is one which involved two of the main characters getting married 20 years in the future and having lots of kids. The moral of the episode was "don't have too many kids", which she recalls was a curious message for a kid's show. 

My favourite episode was the one when the Planeteers went to the planet Venus and when they got there they were told Earth would end up the same way if global warming continued apace. 

melbourne express icons - camera

We see some unusual things out the windows of The Age building. Because the building looks out across the train lines, we're usually first with the story if there's ever a disruption at Southern Cross. 

Yesterday, video journalist Rachael Dexter noticed something out the window and shot this short video. As she writes in her tweet, this is something you don't see every day. 

melbourne express icons - rain

More than 25 millimetres of rain fell in Melbourne overnight (see 6.28am post), with the highest rainfall concentrated in the eastern suburbs. 

In Scoresby, for example, there was 40 millimetres. 

We cheekily asked the weather bureau this morning what they rated last nightfall out of 10, but they politely declined. 

But while the weather bureau did cop rather a lot of flak over their "10/10" rains comment last week, the storms did pretty much play out as they predicted. And while Melbourne escaped the worst of it, the north-east of the state received a deluge. 

We'll have a more in depth story about last night's rain soon. 

Melbourne Express icons nature environment

Recapping our top story from earlier, thoughtless vandals have chopped down five century-old trees in a state park. 

Here's some audio of Victoria Police's Alistair Parsons giving Ross and John some more details on the vandalism. 

Alistair calls the felling outrageous and Ross says it was disgraceful, and I'm inclined to agree.

The only sort of people I can think of who'd engage in such environmental vandalism for no discernable reason are the fictional eco-villains from the 90s era kids cartoon 'Captain Planet'.

I've narrowed it down to one of these six people. It was most likely Greedly.

I've narrowed it down to one of these six people. It was probably Greedly.

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Two credit card thieves have gone on a $1200 shopping spree in the Werribee area, splashing out on cigarettes and lottery tickets. 

It's believed the men came across a lost card in a shopping centre on the corner of Derrimut and Heaths roads in Werribee and then used it to go on a one-day shopping spree on November 16. 

Police believe the men used the stolen card at a number of businesses in the Footscray, Kensington, Flemington and Yarra City areas. 

They have released CCTV images of two men they believe could assist with their inquiries. They are urging anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers. 

The men police would like to talk to.
The men police would like to talk to.  Photo: Victoria Police
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It definitely rained last night - in Melbourne exactly 25.2 millimetres of rainfall was recorded. 

That's more rainfall than there was last Friday, when we rebranded the Melbourne Express the 'Melbourne Weather Express' in expectation of a Friday afternoon deluge. 

It's also, I believe, more than the forecast for yesterday. From memory, the weather bureau was expecting up to 15 millimetres of rain in the city yesterday. 

It's probably going to rain today, most likely in the morning, but we shouldn't end up with more than two millimetres of rainfall being added to the monthly totals. 

If you're beginning to tire of the mild and rainy weather from this week, take heart from the fact we have a few warm and sunny days in store starting Sunday: 

 

melbourne express icons - police

Thoughtless vandals have chopped down five century-old trees in a state park. 

The trees were illegally felled in Lerderderg State Park, about an hour's drive north of Melbourne, on December 3 or December 4. 

As you can see from the photos Victoria Police released this morning, the trees seemed to have been chopped down for no apparent reason.

One of the trees that was felled at the Lerderderg State Park.

One of the trees that was felled at the Lerderderg State Park. Photo: Victoria Police

It looks like this tree was felled using a chainsaw - it's a pretty clean cut.

It looks like this tree was felled using a chainsaw - it's a pretty clean cut. Photo: Victoria Police

The trees were at the lower camping area at Lerderderg Camp Ground on Upper Chadwick Track.

A new fireplace, which has 'Parks Victoria Lerderderg State Park' etched into the steel, was also taken from the area.

Police are urging anyone who heard or saw anything suspicious in the area during these times to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 00.

melbourne express icons - opening and closing strap

Happy Friday and welcome to today's Melbourne Express blog. 

It practically rained through the night last night, didn't it? I checked the bureau's figures, and they reckon about 20 millimetres of rain fell in Melbourne from 7pm last night. I mention this because the rain kept me awake last night, and I'm using this as my pre-emptive excuse in case any typos work their way into the blog. 

As always, I'll be keeping track of the news until 9am. Send me an email or a tweet if you've got something to share, or use the form below.

To kick off your morning, can you guess where today's Mystery Melbourne photo was taken? As you can see, I clearly snapped it out of the window of a train carriage as I was passing through somewhere. 

Where was today's Mystery Melbourne photo taken?
Where was today's Mystery Melbourne photo taken? Photo: Craig Butt