Thanet Star

Thanet's Water Will Be Fine. No, I'm Being Serious.

We are all familiar with the stereotypical street preacher standing in some public space haranguing every passer by with his message of doom and damnation while perhaps waving about a home made sign saying, "Repent, the end is near!"

The truth is, much like the crackpots that come out during disasters the same spirit of doom seems to have settled on us that write about Thanet, at least us independent writers without our heads in the sand anyway.

While a large slice of the grass roots media proclaim with a melancholy tone that "it's all ashes", the world goes on. Children go to school, farmers farm what's left of the farm land around here and the water continues to be largely drinkable. Despite the doom-speakers, Thanet will shake this China Gateway off like a bad cold. It has to if we are to remain an non laughable democracy.

...

» Continue Reading: Thanet's Water Will Be Fine. No, I'm Being Serious.

Have your say (there are 4 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Business · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

At the tip: Ask if you need help?

ask if you need help
Ask if you need help is what the blue sign said. This sign is located at the local waste disposal site (tip to you and I). It says to me that if you are need of help it is available but as a friend of mine discovered these things can not be taken for granted.

A friend of the family (let us call him John to protect him) often uses a stick to walk having the full use of his left arm and right leg following a road accident in which he was almost killed. John, being a decent sort of person, went along with an elderly gentleman to take some old carpets to be disposed of. The gentleman in question is less able due to the passage of time than John, needing a stick to even walk and then is limited as to how far he can go.

These two disabled guys were in a van that was just slightly too tall to fit under the barrier. John saw the blue sign and asked for help.

I would not call what happened help.

...

» Continue Reading: At the tip: Ask if you need help?

Have your say (there are 6 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Wider Topics Affecting Thanet

Generally I try to keep this blog focuses directly on issues that relate to and it's bloggers. Sometimes I do well at this and sometimes what I think might be a great story goes down in a manor not unakin to that of a lead balloon. Still other times something I write is much more interesting to people outside of Thanet.

The fact of the mater is that we live in the world and although our part of that is called Thanet it might be as well to remember the wider context. As such this offering is my way of sharing content from other locations that I have written. I hope some of it is interesting for you.

10 tips for "Battening Down the Hatches" - it will not have escaped your notice that we are facing rising costs and reduced means. This article looks at some of the things I have been doing to reduce my costs.

No More Poverty (Part One) - one of the things that matters to me a great deal is addressing and breaking the cycle of poverty. In this article I explore the history and nature of the current social and economic structure and look at those of the past. My conclusions while seeming obvious came as a surprise to even me but it was the direction that this series is going in that was the biggest joy - a possible cure for poverty.

Be Free to Eat Cake - keeping fit is something I try to do along with shedding some extra pounds. I'm not the best at it but I keep going and slowly I see the results. This article marked a significant moment in my thinking regarding such issues.

Lord Matt's Geeky Notes on Spreadsheets - in this article I look at the ins and outs of making a spread sheet to keep track of my personal financial status.

Effective Positive Personal Environmental Impact - this time I look at how we can make a difference that matters. One of the things I have come to realise is that even if the local councils arround the UK manage to force us to recycle everything the result will still be a negligable impact. So how can we make a change?

Have your say (there are ) · read more items categorised Elsewhere · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Common Blogging Grammatical Errors - Cheat Sheet #1


Image by MoreALX
If you are like me you make spelling errors and grammatical errors like it's an Olympic event. However I feel it is something we should aim to improve about ourselves. Certainly that's the case for me - I wish to raise the bar (to keep abusing the metaphor) and this cheat sheet will, I hope, help towards that.

What I've done is listed the most common errors. If you see me making these errors then please feel free to point them out. I'll make no secret of the fact that my grasp of spelling and grammar is shaky but I refuse to let that stand between me and good blogging.

I feel that bloggers have the opportunity to take the lead from the printed media and in Thanet this is especially true. To do this we need to present the best version of our work that we can. This is where this cheat sheet might be handy (especially for me). If you make any of these mistakes then congratulations you are a human being. Like me for example - were it not for one last re-read I would have left a clanger in this article - right in the example itself!

...

» Continue Reading: Common Blogging Grammatical Errors - Cheat Sheet #1

Have your say (there are 9 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Blogging · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Could Thanet have a directly elected mayor within a year?

Changes in the law could mean that Thanet has a Mayor before the end of 2009. Claiming The state should be a platform under people’s feet, not a weight holding them down a government White Paper (p.13 "Communities in Control: Real People, Real Power" (9th July 2008)) from the Secretary of State for Communities (Hazel Blears MP) calls for a number of changes including incentives for voting and consultation on ways to make it easier to have a directly elected mayor.

So does this mean that a directly elected mayor is likely within the next year?

It has already been suggested and debated that Thanet could be better off with an elected mayor rather than a cabinet "leader". The government position on the subject of elected mayors is that they are the "way forward" and despite Thanet District Council being run by the "other party" they may soon face a change. The force of this change comes from the fact that the government is very keen to see more people vote and with only about 30% of Thanet's population currently voting there are far more unknown votes around here than "known".

In short the swing vote could become the majority.

...

» Continue Reading: Could Thanet have a directly elected mayor within a year?

Have your say (there are 2 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Pause: update.

Things have become somewhat happier in my corner of the world but my time for any activity is significantly reduced. I have what I hope is a big story to share. I'll get it written as soon as I can.

Have your say (there are 2 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Blogging · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Pause.

I have recently received some bad news. I do not know how well I will be able to maintain this or any other of my blogs for the next few months. I apologise now.

Have your say (there are 5 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Blogging · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Joined Up Blogging

One of the things that we Thanet locals seem to enjoy accusing the council of is lack of joined up thinking. This is because different departments become isolated from one another and the threads of ideas that started as good ideas at some point become disjointed and bazaar at times. The same can happen in blogging.

Some readers might be aware that from the start I have tried to use Thanet Star not only to look at Thanet but to share with my fellow Thanet bloggers some of the technical experience I have picked up. I have no doubt that there is a world of difference between what any two people see as important in a blog. Nevertheless I will continue to attempt to address some common themes - in this case joined up blogging.

Blogging works on the whole not because of individual blogs (although these are important) but because of the connectivity between them. This connectivity allows readers to jump from one blog to another and follow the thread of conversation. Search engines mimic this and so treat links much like votes - where a page links to another there must be (it is reasoned) some connection in theme or topic between the pages.

By being sure that our blogging is internally and externally joined up we not only make our blog (or any other website) a better and more satisfying experience for readers but we also grant the topics we discuss more weight and impact. In this post I am going to look at this topic and the effect it has on a niche (such as ours).

...

» Continue Reading: Joined Up Blogging

Have your say (there are 6 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Blogging · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Night Clubs Closing - Have Your Say

I'm not really one for "clubbing" and so might not have noticed that Rainy's (Ramsgate) and DV8 (Margate) had closed but for the fact that I happened to glance at a copy of the Adscene.

The blame for these closures is being placed on the Credit Crunch but also on changes in smoking laws and late licenses. Admittedly these are clubs that catered to a tighter niche than one of Frank's usual venues but is this the sign of a bigger "nothing to do" that a crashing economy brings?

I'm opening the floor to all comers as I invite you to speculate on the broader impact of such events on our lives over the next few years.

...

» Continue Reading: Night Clubs Closing - Have Your Say

Have your say (there are 18 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Myths of Thanet's Poverty

This post is in largely in answer to Rick's comment's yesterday and the day before (18:08:47 and 07:38:02) on the post Will the poor pay for Thanet budget deficit? It is not an attack but a considered answer to some held-to-be-true myths about poverty in Thanet. Some of this conversation might have taken place on rick's blog had he enabled OpenID authentication.

Background: The article "Will the poor pay for Thanet budget deficit?" addresses some facts released by Cllr David Green and adds information privately reported to me. The conclusion is that the Council Tax Benefit section may be working to hard to reduce costs by removing claimants by hook or by crook. In his first comment (18:08:47) Rick brings up the common myth that the poor are actually all cheats and goes on to expose us to the even more common myth that the poor are poor through their own fault. You may wish to read these first.

Reply: Rick, the question at hand is not how well or badly the private sector spends public money nor how deserving they are of that money. I have no doubt your own investigations have been as colorful as they have been shocking to you and I appreciate that you are driven by your own passion for justice.

That is a most admirable thing and something that the world may even need more of. However we are looking at the need of those the country as a whole chooses to demonise rather than address. We that have jobs may feel bad that there are those that do not work for their money. Mrs Gates does not work for her money - her husband Bill Gates is, through a series or luck breaks, one of the richest men in the world but, unless we are quite the "hard core" communist, we do not begrudge Mr and Mrs Gates their wealth.

We do not begrudge them because we would like to be like that but we are willing to accept blindly whatever tosh is spouted about those worse off than ourselves because we feel they should be like us.

...

» Continue Reading: Myths of Thanet's Poverty

Have your say (there are 5 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Will the poor pay for Thanet budget deficit?

I have said before that the way the council currently treats benefit claiments indicates a hole in the budget and now Labour Party blogger David Green has as good as said so.

According to the national average 21% of children in the UK are from families with out of work benefits. The (link) lists 12 wards where the percentage of children on benefits is at least twice the national average and Thanet figures twice on that list! Just under half of all children in parts of Thanet are likewise considered poor. 42.4% of kids in Newington and 42.1% of kids in Dane Valley suffer hardship.

The BBC (from whence come these figures) quotes Steve Ladyman being very upbeat about the prospects of lifting all Children out of poverty. I do not share his optimism and I will try to show you what I am so worried about.

...

» Continue Reading: Will the poor pay for Thanet budget deficit?

Have your say (there are 3 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

On the Threshold of a Dream

Yesterday my sister (previous mentioned here), my daughter and I popped along to he to look at the art there. My sister needed to take in a contemporary exhibit in order to write an essay for her art course and I fancied getting out a bit more (I'm well known for being a bit shy and withdrawn in real life). The art was good the exit was not.

Shortly before we left a small gang of youths entered and were clearly both interested and baffled by the exhibit and the tiny staff failed to engage with the boys in a way that opened the art up to them and they left. My little girl (4 years old), my sister and me were treated to a peppering of stones by the lads who clearly recognised us from seeing us in the exhibit.

On reflection this was simply a reaction to cover the embarrassment of a cultural blockage that divides so many from the world of art. Were it not for some early and fanciful A level choices in my life I too might have found this exhibit incomprehensible. This review, therefore, is written in the hope that it will open things up for those of us in Thanet that might not otherwise understand or be able to get something out of contemporary art.

...

» Continue Reading: On the Threshold of a Dream

Have your say (there are 9 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Thanet · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

Getting Readers to Your Thanet Blog

Recently a number of people have brought up the topic of getting people to read their Thanet blog. Some have wondered why no one reads their blog and others have wondered why everyone reads certain blogs but not others. That's a huge topic and I am only going to scratch the surface today.

Most readers of Thanet blogs read those blogs because they discovered and liked them. The majority of traffic to Thanet based blogs is from regular readers - readers that come back time and again. Before you can have a fan base of even one or two people you need to have been found.

People will find your blog in one of four basic ways: Search, Recommendation, Social Discovery, Random Discovery.

...

» Continue Reading: Getting Readers to Your Thanet Blog

Have your say (there are 4 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Blogging · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here

China Gateway - Now Then, Now Then...

As if in answer to our own question "China Gateway - What Now? it seems that the council have postponed the rushed through meeting to deside the future of the project. so far it has been postponed until October.


View Larger Map
Despite this a meeting has been called by Christine Tongue who, some of you may recall, is the film maker responsible for the documentary "Thanet Under Threat". The meeting, to raise awareness of the implications of the China Gateway project, will take place at at half past seven on Tuesday the 9th of September at the Red Hall in Grosvenor Road (Broadstairs).

If you talk to your average taxi driver you may find that eight out of ten cats have no idea what the China Gateway is and just as many don't actually care. Possibly this is because the average Thanet Cat (to keep abusing the same metaphor) has things like making ends meet to worry about. But just because no one is talking about it does not make it important.

...

» Continue Reading: China Gateway - Now Then, Now Then...

Have your say (there are 4 Public Comments) · read more items categorised Blogging · Don't miss a thing: Subscribe Today · Help: what's a feed? · This site is operated on set principles of policy and disclosure read them here
Byte Sized

Local Art

Local Artist, John Wooster-Brown has a new website.

Blogs
Byte Sized

Like to write?

If you love to write then the Thanet Creative Writers blog might be the ideal place to connect with your nearest writer group.

Blogs
Byte Sized

Hyper-localism

For those interested in blogging local news in and arround the UK this BBC article from last year is sure to be of interest.

General
Byte Sized

Did you know?

Margate was the first seaside resort to introduce deck chairs way back in 1898.

Facts
Byte Sized

Did you know

MP Roger Gail (Thanet North) wanted to increase VAT

Facts
Byte Sized

Did you know

MP Roger Gale (Thanet North) has never voted on measures to reduce tax avoidance

Facts
 
 
 

Recent Comments

Richard commented on UKIP's vile legacy in Thanet
Was the fake war hero ever a Kent Adventure Training Corps adult instructor ? You were...
[17-07-2017 23:42:37]

Matt B commented on Racist attacks children in M...
She was very brave. I'm sorry that such a nasty thing happened to her.
[14-07-2017 14:53:08]

Ayaan Bulale commented on Racist attacks children in M...
Thank you for sharing this! The 14 year old who filmed this and who was the victim of...
[22-06-2017 13:19:15]

Matt B commented on 2017 KCC election results an...
Good catch. I had given the 2013 result and not the 2017 result. Thank you for being a...
[08-05-2017 12:20:19]

half a physici... commented on 2017 KCC election results an...
"There were 81 seats available and 45 of those went to the Conservatives"...
[06-05-2017 23:31:41]

Matt B commented on Stopping live exports from R...
Yes, that is right. The Lib Dems feel that working with the EU is a better way to do...
[13-04-2017 18:15:33]

Dave commented on Stopping live exports from R...
Once we are out of the EU then the law that prevents a ban being put in place can be...
[08-04-2017 15:54:32]

Dave commented on Who can we trust on Manston?
Thanet Moll you are behind the times. Riveroak have sold out their interest in Manston...
[05-04-2017 19:24:45]

Thanet Moll commented on Who can we trust on Manston?
Manston Airport WILL reopen as a freight hub because it is a Nationally Significant...
[05-04-2017 13:13:28]

Jacqui Ansell commented on Who can we trust on Manston?
Wrong geograpical location for either a spaceport or a profitable airport therefore...
[05-04-2017 13:12:29]

Get the latest comments by feed

Thanet Finder

Thanet Finder is Thanet's search engine created by people like me and you.

Contact Us


Talk to us on Google+.

Connect with Thanet Star on twitter as @thanetstar

Thanet Star on Facebook

You can also leave a message