The religious nutters who govern us

Scott Morrison
Prime minister Scott Morrison's Pentecostalism worries many Australians because of its extreme theology

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Both the Australian and Papua New Guinean constitutions contain sections related to the separation of the state and religion.

Section 116 of the Australian constitution is very explicit. It says:

“The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.”

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Western posturing & global white privilege

Chandran Nair -
Chandran Nair - "Instead of being captive to an idealised vision of the West, the rest of the world is waking up to Western narratives, fallacies and weaknesses"

CHANDRAN NAIR
| South China Morning Post

HONG KONG - The West’s disingenuous position on Israel and its coordinated attacks on China have blown the cover of the liberal narratives it uses to hide a postcolonial, imperialist agenda.

Its hypocrisy has been further exposed by its hoarding of coronavirus vaccines and the systemic racism that prompted the Black Lives Matter protests and fuelled attacks on people of Asian descent.

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‘What words dear God / Dear God, what words’

Michael Dom -
Dr Michael Dom - "I like to meet poems one by one. Carefully. Because each one is extracted from someone else's meaning. And everyone has a shadow of madness seeping through them"

MICHAEL DOM

LAE - It's considered axiomatic that ‘words have meaning’, by that I think it is meant that words are used to express real emotion, and not just that words have definitions.

Words here also infer partial and whole sentences, phrases and dialogue.

But I don't think that's the case at all.

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What you can expect in the 2022 elections

Laveil electionMAHOLOPA LAVEIL
| Lowy Interpreter

WAIGANI - Papua New Guinea will conduct its tenth national election in 2022. A by-election last week for the Port Moresby North West electorate provides a preview of what to expect next year.

In PNG, a by-election is required when a vacancy occurs more than a year before the issue of writs for the next election.

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The times they are a’changin'

PNG-Supreme-CourtDANIEL KUMBON

FICTION - Ambassador Akali Wakane – The Old Man – had long been a respected figure in Papua New Guinea but now he had become an instant hero, a household name in every settlement in Port Moresby and throughout the country.

Talk of his Supreme Court victory in the Old Dairy Farm land appeal had travelled fast, and around the streets and villages he had become known as ‘Rabinhat’- the man who took from the rich man and gave to the poor man.

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Regarding the perfect Melanesian gentleman

The late Sir Buri and Dame Carol Kidu
The late Sir Buri Kidu, with his wife Dame Carol Kidu, is considered to have exemplified the Melanesian gentleman - ""Quiet, but confident with his profession / An honest expression and eyes that don’t lie"

MICHAEL DOM

LAE – It is my observation that true Papua New Guinean gentlemen respond with quiet confidence, not in brash retaliation.

In 2016, writing to encourage creative and intellectual contributions to the theme of 'The Perfect PNG Gentleman', I wrote:

The article was inspired by the prose poem 'Perfect Gentleman' by Dolorose Atai Wo'otong, which is good to reflect upon in the current situation relating to the University of Papua New Guinea.

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Violence: Driven by men with fragile egos

MN
Martyn Namorong

MARTYN NAMORONG
| First published in PNG Attitude, March 2011

PORT MORESBY - Apart from the ‘f’ word, what is the most common explicit used by Papua New Guineans? It is the Pidgin ‘k’ word that refers to the vagina.

Heterosexual intercourse is described in Pidgin as kilim pik [kill a pig] or pasim sua [dress a wound].

It is an everyday experience to hear these descriptive terms on the streets of this nation.

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K268 heist: lawyer Greg Sheppard charged

Gregory James Sheppard
Gregory James Sheppard - charged in relation to K52 million of missing funds of K268 million

NEWS DESK
| PNG Bulletin Online | Edited

PORT MORESBY - Members of the Special Police Forensic Criminal Investigation Team arrested prominent lawyer Gregory James Sheppard of Young & Williams Lawyers in Port Moresby last week.

Sheppard was taken to Boroko Police Station, interviewed and charged with two counts of misappropriation and another two counts of money laundering in relation to his alleged direct involvement in the transfer of funds amounting to K52 million.

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Epic years in march to nationhood unveiled

John Gorton -
Australian prime minister John Gorton Gorton decided to proceed to self-government in PNG despite the economic implications for Australia"

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Documents on Australian Foreign Policy: Australia and Papua New Guinea: The Transition to Self-Government 1970-1972, Bruce Hunt and Stephen Henningham (eds.), Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, UNSW Press, 2020, 932 pp, eBook (ISBN: 9781742249681), AU$55.51, hardback (ISBN: 9781742237176) AU$89.99, available from New South Books

TUMBY BAY - This impressive volume is the second in a series of three. The first volume published in 2006 covered the period 1966-1969*. The third volume, covering the period 1973-1975, is scheduled for publication in 2022.

The three volumes will no doubt become an important primary source for historians and other professionals but should also be of interest to the readers of PNG Attitude who wish to understand what happened in those formative years.

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Do good men still live at UPNG?

Safe UPNGMICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI - Drunkard students sexually assaulted a female student at the University of Papua New Guinea and on Monday 7 June the female students protested against sexual harassment, which is an ongoing issue.

They hosted a forum at the UPNG Forum Square to address the issue. The media present to cover the story were attacked and chased by the male students who didn’t want them to cover the meeting, ironically stating that it would portray a bad image of the institution.

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Toroama on strategy, independence & challenge

Ishmael toroama portrait
Ishmael Toroama - “Corruption or perceptions of corruption continue to be a major stumbling block to the government"

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama this week briefed the autonomous province’s House of Representatives on the “important work of independence readiness” on which his administration has embarked.

He said the program is based on the 97.7% referendum vote for Bougainville independence and comprises three key strategies.

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The PNG disease: Capitalism doesn’t care

CapitalismARTHUR WILLIAMS

CARDIFF, UK – I would suggest that the disgraceful eviction of 2,000 people from the ATS settlement is merely the symptom of a Papua New Guinea 'disease'.

Namely, that over the last 100 years, hundreds of businesses have fastened onto the money-making teat that a capital city, in this case Port Moresby, always engenders.

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How poetry helps us express feelings

MARIA TAKOLANDER
| The Conversation

MELBOURNE - Poetry has made something of a comeback in popular culture, thanks to America’s Amanda Gorman, who read her performance poems at a presidential inauguration and this year’s Super Bowl. Gorman has been described as bringing poetry to the masses.

However, when it comes to the mainstream, poetry has long been hiding in plain sight. Gorman’s spoken-word performances, which have been compared to hip hop, drew attention to poetry in music lyrics. But poetry is also visible in movies and on TV.

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Male students turn nasty at UPNG protest

UPNG female students protest
UPNG female students protest against sexual harassment on campus (Charlie Dumavi - PNG Bulletin)

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY – A mob of angry male students has disrupted a protest and threatened women objecting to sexual harassment at the University of Papua New Guinea.

The male mob also physically harassed and abused media workers covering the event.

For many years, female students have experienced persistent sexual harassment on UPNG’s Waigani campus.

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A history of the Western Highlands

Landscape around Mt Hagen (Gudmundur Fridriksson)
Landscape around Mt Hagen (Gudmundur Fridriksson)

JOE KETAN
| Facebook

MOUNT HAGEN - I am pleased to report that we are about to complete the first phase of research on the history of the Western Highlands (including Enga and Jiwaka provinces).

The first phase involves library research, much of which is coming from the archives of the Archdiocese of Mount Hagen.

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After the rebellion, sweet peace - & Uluru

UluruDANIEL KUMBON

FICTION – As the crowd dispersed, The Old Man met with Fredric Farapo and his people in the middle of Independence Drive and Simon Kerowa drove the Governor Bird back to his accommodation at the Ela Beach Hotel.

The Old Man, Kerowa, Farapo and some compatriots who had planned the peaceful outcome would join him for dinner that evening.

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ATS & the complexity of land titles

The Port-Moresby-Hills
The hills of Port Moresby - waiting to be fought over

AG SATORI

PORT MORESBY – Two thousand people from Portion 695 of the ATS settlement are seeing their homes and gardens destroyed even as lawyers seek to determine whether further legal action may be possible.

It is not clear if the Papua New Guinea courts will allow an inquiry into how the ATS settlement titles were obtained in the first place.

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The big yellow excavator

Buk Bilong Pikinini students
Students from the Buk Bilong Pikinini School worried that their home has been removed by the developer.

BETTY WAKIA
| Ples Singsing | Edited

I interviewed some of the students who went to Buk Bilong Pikinini School on the ATS hillside. This is one of their stories. The girl’s name has been changed - BW

PORT MORESBY - It was a bright sunny day and Mekeme was reading a book at the Buk Bilong Pikinini School on the hillside of the ATS settlement.

As she sat on the school veranda, she saw a big yellow excavator come slowly down the hill towards her house.

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Polye's dramatic evidence to UBS inquiry

Don-Polye
Don Polye - about to spill the beans on the K4.2 billion UBS loan

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Former finance minister Don Polye has provided a stunning statement of evidence to the UBS Commission of Inquiry, now in its third year.

Led by former chief justice Sir Salamo Injia, the inquiry is investigating whether there was any corruption or impropriety in the PNG government obtaining a $1.2 billion (K4.2 billion) loan from the Union Bank of Switzerland in 2014.

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The disgrace of the ATS settler eviction

ATS destruction
The destruction of ATS Portion 695 (@nayahamui)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – A stark report has revealed a humanitarian crisis developing at the ATS settlement in Port Moresby as long-standing residents are evicted.

A Twitter string from from Nayahamui Supowes (@nayahamui) estimates that 2,000 people have been displaced from Portion 695 of the settlement.

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Lombrum contract awarded to Australian company

Lombrum
Artist's impression of the site of the upgrade works at Lombrum naval base - more boomerang aid

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The Australian government says that Australia and Papua New Guinea’s security partnership has reached an important milestone with a contract for the redevelopment of Lombrum Naval Base awarded to Clough Australia.

According to Australia’s defence department, the contract will strengthen the PNG Defence Force capability to “protect PNG’s borders and maritime resources”.

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Captain Happ & his New Guinea memento

Len Happ (R) of Park Ridge with local villager next to his fighter plane  Little Joe.
Captain Len Happ (right) with a fellow aviator and local villager alongside his fighter plane,  Little Joe, at Gusap

STAFF WRITER
| Chicago Daily Herald

CHICAGO - In the early phases of the Pacific War, Captain and operations officer Len Happ was based at Gusap Air Base, just south of Lae.

From the war zone in 1943, Happ sent a rare native tribal bow set with several arrows to his home in Park Ridge, Illinois.

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Why our national integrity is suffering

Integrity
James Marape centre stage at the Transparency International integrity summit

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE - The head of the Papua New Guinea’s National Fraud and Anti-Corruption (NFAC) Directorate, Mathew Damaru, didn’t mince words.

Last week he told a Transparency International summit that his directorate had been starved of funding.

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China. First Daru. Then Queensland?

FlagsCHIPS MACKELLAR

WARWICK - The expansion of China’s influence into the Solomons, Vanuatu, Samoa and Kiribati is of increasing concern to us in Australia.

But it is as nothing compared to the mischief to happen if the Chinese move into Daru.

This is because Daru - together with its mud and mangrove neighbour, Bristow - is the only island in the Torres Strait which is part of Papua New Guinea.

Every other island is Australian territory.

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Norm Oliver dies at 87: A great friend of PNG

PNG landscape
The breathtaking landscape of PNG. In a nation where land is embedded in the soul, Norm Oliver spent his working life managing the volatile balance between its spiritual and economic values

ED BRUMBY

MELBOURNE – It is with enormous sadness that I heard the news of the passing of Norm Oliver – former Land Titles Commissioner in Papua New Guinea, basketball stalwart and a friend to so many people throughout the country.

A native of Tempe in Sydney, Norm was a draughtsman at the Sydney Water Board before joining the PNG Land Titles Commission in the early 1960s.

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US warns Pacific about Chinese ‘coercion’

Antony Blinken
Antony Blinken - “Economic coercion across the region is on the rise”

KATE LYONS
| The Guardian | Edited extracts

Link here to the full article

SYDNEY - The US secretary of state Antony Blinken has warned leaders of Pacific countries about “threats to the rules-based international order” and “economic coercion”, in what appears to be a veiled swipe at China’s growing influence in the region.

Blinken was addressing leaders and their delegates from 11 Pacific countries and territories including Fiji, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, Palau and Marshall Islands as part of the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders, which is held in Hawaii.

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‘We’ll learn from you,’ PNG tells China

Soroi Eoe and Wang Yi
Foreign ministers Soroi Eoe (PNG) and Wang Yi (China) meet in Guiyang, capital of southwest China's Guizhou Province (Xinhua/Yang Wenbin)

NEWS DESK
| Xinhua

GUIYANG – China’s State councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi has held talks with Soroi Eoe, Papua New Guinea’s minister of foreign affairs and international trade.

The meeting, held in Guiyang, capital of southwest China's Guizhou Province, marked the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

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How colonial radio came to PNG

Nellie Exon (Lawrence)
Radio Rabaul's Nellie Exon, the first Tolai woman broadcaster

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The first government broadcasting station in Papua New Guinea, Radio Rabaul, was opened in a hurry in October 1961.

There were no adequate production, transmission and office facilities – a demonstration that there had been little planning behind the bold decision of the colonial Administration to enter the broadcasting field.

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The threat to language & biological knowledge in PNG

Tree fern savanna in the Cromwell Mountains (RBG Kew)
Tree fern savanna in the Cromwell Mountains

ALFRED KIK et al
| US National Academy of Sciences

Edited extracts from ‘Language and ethnobiological skills decline precipitously in Papua New Guinea, the world’s most linguistically diverse nation’. Link here to the complete research article

WASHINGTON DC - When evaluated against a common set of extinction-risk criteria, the world’s 7,000 or so extant languages are even more threatened than its biological diversity.

Orally transmitted cultural knowledge may be threatened by similar forces. The majority of languages have relatively few speakers and nearly half of the world’s languages are considered endangered.

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China in the Pacific: We must do better

China 1JEFFREY WALL
| Online Opinion

BRISBANE - I am increasingly of the view that the plans by a Chinese state owned fishing company to build a port and ‘fisheries factory’ on Daru is part of a strategic plan by China to expand its Pacific presence, and influence.

Of course it is designed to irritate Australia, and undermine our influence in Papua New Guinea something China has most certainly given more focus as our relations with the Peoples Republic of China has deteriorated.

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The Old Man comes to the rescue

Daniel Kumbon and grandson Clinton  Kundiawa  2021
Daniel Kumbon and grandson Clinton.  Kundiawa,  2021

DANIEL KUMBON

FICTION - For millennia, land has been the lifeblood and spiritual amalgam of the Melanesian people.

Land. Much more than a possession to be traded. An ancestral bequest to the people, uniting the past with the future.

Brutal tribal wars were fought over the ownership of land. Countless numbers of people – both warriors and the innocent – lost their lives over land.

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Mama Tang (Mother Tongue)

Clothes1MICHAEL DOM

Mama tang
The hook
Long hangamapim
Your items of bilas
Is not missed
Until it's not there
At the pool showers
Na your bilas
Emi silip long floa 
And gets trod on
By other swimmers
Disregarded, made to look
Olsem pipia. Ragged.
Go ahead
Have your swim
When you're done
Bai yu painim 
Narapela trasis 
Long karamapim ass
Bilong yu na sem
Olsem na
In what language 
Will you excuse yourself
And the sem pipia
Taim kastam emi lus


More churches come out against casino

SlotQUINETH WANGORO
| Kalang FM

PORT MORESBY - Church members of the Body of Christ have joined the Catholic and other churches in expressing great concern about the government’s intention to build a casino in Papua New Guinea.

An agreement was signed last Friday by the National Gaming Control Board and Paga Hill Development for the construction of a casino at the Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby.

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PNG just can't handle high-end gambling

CasinoSCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE - Opening a large casino in Port Moresby is a dangerous and destructive move. The harm it will cause will be greater on our country will be more than the good it will supposedly bring.

We don’t need that kind of development. There is a time for it, but now is not that time.

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One People: A vision for unity in diversity

Artist's mpression of the Baha'i house of worship now under construction in Port Moresby
Artist's impression of the Baha'i house of worship now under construction in Port Moresby

THE BAHA’I FAITH IN PNG
Office of External Affairs | Edited extracts

Edited extracts from a submission to the Constitutional Law Reform Commission in response to the public inquiry into declaring Papua New Guinea a Christian country. Link here to read the full submission

PORT MORESBY - From the outset, the Baha’i Faith upholds and affirms our oneness as a people and we acknowledge that a vital component of our collective identity is our diversity.

Indeed, our country is a paradigm of diverse peoples, myriads of cultures and languages accompanied by respective beliefs, intricately woven together to form a complete whole.

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On the verge of destruction

RebelsDANIEL KUMBON

An extract from Daniel’s forthcoming book, The Old Man’s Dilemma, a novel about modern Papua New Guinea, its issues, its stresses and its journey to a place unknown

FICTION – A cold tremor like an electrical current shot down The Old Man’s spine. The reports he was receiving about an insurrection were ominous.

He feared that Papua New Guinea was heading for a period of extreme violence and instability.

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The cost to the Pacific of plundered resources

Plunder (Ben Sanders)
Plunder (Ben Sanders)

PACIFIC PROJECT TEAM
| The Guardian | Edited extracts

Link here to view the entire article together
with interactive maps and data sets

SYDNEY - Millions of tonnes of minerals, fish and timber are extracted from Pacific island nations each year, generating massive profits for foreign multinationals.

Continue reading "The cost to the Pacific of plundered resources" »


Australia’s first people had farming savvy

Ancientbananacultivationsite
Archaeologists at an ancient banana farm, cultivated over 2,000 years ago on Mabuyag Island in the southern Torres Strait 

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - There’s been a curious debate going on for several years among academics about whether Aboriginal people in Australia engaged in agriculture and therefore lived sedentary lives.

The debate was given impetus in 2014 when author Bruce Pascoe published a book, Dark Emu.

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Death of distinguished academic Dr Ruth Latukefu

Ruth Fink Latukefu
Ruth Fink Latukefu - Turned the tables on the kiaps in the case of Herr Dr CJ Blunge

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The esteemed anthropologist and academic Dr Ruth Annette (Fink) Latukefu (1931-2021) has died at her home in Newport Beach, Sydney, aged 89.

Ruth was born in 1931 in Frankfurt am Maine, Germany, arriving in Australia in 1939 with her parents, German Jewish refugees.

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The Catholic bishops have got it right

Archbishop Anton Bal
Archbishop Anton Bal - "The democratic system of government established by the founding fathers is not to be renounced in favour of a theocratic one"

GABRIEL KUMAN
| Lecturer, Divine Word University

“We believe that the democratic system of government established by the founding fathers of the nation is not to be renounced in favour of a theocratic one embodied in a confessional state. Instead the government could opt for a public declaration of renewed Christian commitment to promote cooperation between the churches and parliament” - Anton Bal, Archbishop of Madang, Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea

MADANG - Thank you Catholic Bishops Conference for speaking on behalf of more than one million Catholics and other citizens of Papua New Guinea as a whole.

Those so-called pastors of other Christian churches - that hid behind the scenes and advised the prime minister and other politicians to amend the Constitution - had ulterior motives.

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No casino - we have enough problems

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

PokiesIt is an absolutely disgusting move by the National Gaming and Control Board - Papua New Guinea’s gaming regulator - to sign off papers giving the OK for a new casino to be built in Port Moresby. It is even more disgusting that the Board sees fit to announce itself as a partner in the gambling business

LAE - Here’s are some questions for the National Gaming and Control Board.

How will the Board – the regulator – regulate itself as a partner and the investor in the event that there are offences committed against the law?

Continue reading "No casino - we have enough problems" »


Dismantling Frieda, one wheel at a time

Beautiful Mama AvisakANALOGY BY THE AVISAK N'GEGOS

The chiefs of 49 villages along the Avisak [Sepik River] together with Save the Sepik have organised 408 clans and 51 n’gegos [haus tambaran] into a united nation working to reject the proposed PanAust Frieda River mine

SEPIK RIVER - The Frieda River gold and copper mine can be likened to a vehicle.

When it first started, and was in the exploration stage, we the people of Avisak would see helicopters buzzing and whooshing across the sky almost every day, back and forth across the project site.

Continue reading "Dismantling Frieda, one wheel at a time" »