Honeysuckle cafe Empire Coffee Co strikes it rich

Cash Found: This money was left in a toilet at The Empire Coffee Co at Honeysuckle.
Cash Found: This money was left in a toilet at The Empire Coffee Co at Honeysuckle.

Has anyone lost $1 million?

Glen Fredericks, of The Empire Coffee Co at Honeysuckle, was closing up when he found the cash in a toilet cubicle.

“If the rightful owner wishes to claim it, they can pick it up from the cafe,” Glen said.

Glen went public with his find because he believes in “paying it forward” and that “honesty is the best policy”.

He’s also hoping his good deed wins him some good karma.

“I could do with a bit of luck right now,” he said.

Honeysuckle businesses have been struggling with parking and traffic issues, linked to the light rail construction and the Lee Wharf car park closure in April [this car park was next to Honeysuckle businesses].

Glen said Honeysuckle businesses had been suffering a 30 per cent drop in trade – some even more.

“If the trend continues, I can’t see my business making next month’s rent,” he said.

Despite his troubles, Glen has managed to retain his sense of humour.

“In all seriousness, thank you to the prankster who left it [the $1 million Ned Kelly-themed note],” Glen said.

“Immediately after the instant jubilation – and sudden disappointment – of thinking I had found a $100 tip, I did find it funny.”

Glen’s find was a bit of a coincidence because, last Tuesday, Topics reported that Hunter Development Corporation was giving away $1 million in cash.

The money is for community projects that create “economic and social benefits around our harbour”.

This includes Honeysuckle.

Topics has an idea, which has ironic logic.

Perhaps the development corporation could give some of the money to the businesses at Honeysuckle to help them pay their rent.

Why not? It would fit under their definition of “economic and social benefits around our harbour”.

It could fit under the “community project” requirement, couldn’t it?

If not, the development corporation might consider Glen’s wish for free parking on weekends in another nearby parking area – the 188-space Wright Lane car park.

Lover’s Lane

What's in a Name: Lovers Lane at Cooks Hill isn't what it seems.

What's in a Name: Lovers Lane at Cooks Hill isn't what it seems.

Topics wrote on Saturday that we came across Lovers Lane, while recently strolling through Cooks Hill.

We were so taken by the romantic name, we failed to notice that the “G” had been whited out. Hilarious!

Ed Tonks pointed out to Topics that it was actually Glovers Lane.

Ed said Glovers Lane was part of an old coal railway from Glenrock.

Topics had also wondered why Lovers Lane, or Glovers Lane, had no apostrophe.

Ed Matzenik, of Maitland, told us that place names don’t have apostrophes because “most places in England were named before the introduction of the apostrophe”.

Kerry Power said the missing apostrophe was common practice in Australia and elsewhere.

The NSW Geographical Names Board place-naming policy states: “An apostrophe mark shall not be included in geographical names written with a final ‘s’, and the possessive ‘s’ shall not be included. [For example] Georges River not George’s River,” the policy states.

We’re surprised a republican group hasn’t pushed for a change.

Portland v Newcastle

The US city of Portland will be compared to Newcastle on Wednesday night.

The Newcastle Institute’s June forum will host a panel of urban experts. They’ll be having a chat about whether Newcastle’s urban planning is up to scratch.

A decent amount of development has been happening in Newcastle and pockets of the Lower Hunter.

Some of these developments have divided people. But does it have to be this way? Can division be avoided? [Ahh, no].

The panel will consider this question, while contrasting Newcastle with Portland.

The institute’s blurb for the event said Portland was “renowned for its urban plan, which has guided planning decisions in the area for 40 years” [cue applause].

A key characteristic of this plan is that principles, rather than politics, guide decision-making [surely not].

This plan has apparently featured “a shared vision across council boundaries” with plenty of public engagement. [Can we just stop you there. This idea about councils sharing a vision could never happen in the Hunter, could it?] 

Portland’s celebrated plan recognised “the importance of neighbourhoods” and had a “focus on street level rather than skyline”. [What, no skyscrapers? But we like the view from our penthouse].

Portland’s plan is also big on the environment. This is probably why the city has more than 10,000 acres of public parks and natural areas with walking and hiking paths, along with more than 300 miles of “greenways and bike boulevards” [sounds like paradise].

It’s argued that cities become better places for people to live and get around when the focus is on “communities rather than on economic benefits”. Is this true? And how does light rail fit into all this? Find out at Wednesday’s forum, which starts at 6pm at Souths Leagues Club, Merewether.