Thanet Star

Screening will show how much Thanet has lost

A film screening about Thanet, it's claimed, will expose the shocking truth about how much has been lost of the isle's attractions as a holiday area.

The screening, called "Thanet On Film" shows footage of the area from the 1920s to the present day and shows Thanet at the peak of its popularity.

The film-maker behind the screening, Christine Tongue, said: "We will be showing Thanet in the days when tourists were literally pouring onto its beaches and thronging its attractions. , and were all packed with visitors."

Christine said that the footage provides vivid evidence of the mismanagement of Thanet. "When people see these pictures they will say, how could this have happened? How could our politicians have got it so wrong?"

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» Continue Reading: Screening will show how much Thanet has lost

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Raise your glasses and some funds for Kent Air Ambulance

This Saturday get yourself down to the Oldest Pub in Margate and help raise money for Kent Air Ambulance. If you get there by about 2pm you should be nice and snug somewhere by the time KMFM's Johnny Lewis shows up. I understand that Jonny boy will be drawing the raffle and helping to announce who has won the £80 bottle of drink (it's big) by guessing how much cash was in the other bottle.

I poped in there earlier this week which is how I learned that sponsored events have been going on already and the owners are hoping to raise more then ever before. They are not so very far off doing it too. Sadly I have commitments that will be keeping me very far from most things all weekends so have a pint for me and tell them I sent you.

The pub, as if you needed telling, is the Northen Belle which is tucked away opposite what may one day be the Turner Centre. The Northen Belle has been listed in the Good Beer Guide for many years running so you know that its going to be good inside.

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Are BNP a credible threat to Thanet?

Given that Yahoo news has announced that over one fifth of the population (22%) would consider voting for the racist BNP party in the next election Thanet needs to be on it's guard. (YouGov Poll for the Daily Telegraph)

Prime BNP targets include areas that traditionally vote Labour but have elected Conservatives - such as Dane valley Ward. Right now we have a ward that has become so thoroughly offended by the party that should be traditionally caring for it that it has voted for the other side only to have them bog off to be Mayor of Margate or to do some business halfway across the globe.

Let's face it Dane valley will have had 8 years of total disinterest by the next full elections. 4 years from a choice of two Labour oldies looking for an easy ride to retirement and a conservative whom no one was ever able to reach. 4 years after that of total disinterest from Conservatives.

When turn out has fallen below 30% as the general population of Dane valley realises that there is no point voting because both parties couldn't give a toss who are Dane Valley going to turn to?

Labour have failed, conservative have failed and the Liberal Democrats have failed to get any attention at all.

Keep reading after the light hearted video to find out why all parties are failing so hard and what might be needed to turn the tide.

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» Continue Reading: Are BNP a credible threat to Thanet?

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All the right things

This blog post is written today with the single aim of reminding Thanet's bloggers - you are doing it right*.

Conventional blogging wisdom says that there are a bunch of things that a successful blogger does and I can assure you that our bloggers are doing them. Well done you lot.

For reference this is a list of most of the things the pro-bloggers will advise you about.

Strong headlines
Smart writing techniques
Call to action / question to end with
Celebrity gossip
Political gossip
Breaking news
Telling stories
Uncovering facts
Being funny - making readers laugh
Stategic use of controversy
Reviews of the latest event/technology/news headline/political action
Linking to similar stories (by other bloggers)

* For given values of right

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National Novel Writing Month

Could you write 50,000 words in just 30 days? That's the challenge that people all over the world will be taking on this November

The month of November is (inter)national novel writing month (often dubbed NaNoWriMo) and the challenge is to average 1,666 words (about three pages of typed A4) every day. At the end of the month participants would have the rough draft of roughly two thirds of a novel and the reward of having written it.

I have taken part on this event for the past five years and despite mid month doubts have completed a word count of over 50,000 words (this is my profile). While I have no manuscripts ready for the publisher I have had the experience of producing a lot of work under a tight time schedule (often in somewhat adverse conditions).

It can be done and I challenge all of Thanet's bloggers to have a go.

You have about a week or so to sign up.

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Lumpy walls trump flat ones apparently

I have been looking at planning applications on the very badly made planning application website. One particular one got my interest planning application F/TH/09/0518 which is due to be considered. It interested me because it was both mundane and simple and a reapplication. Last year the church group that owns the property applied to extend the wall a little to make the hall a little larger. (F/TH/08/1139).

They had specified that they would rebuild in such a way as to reuse the original materials and retain the characteristics of the building. There was only one objection that was worried that there might be more noise and more cars and so parking off street might be an issue. Kent highways felt this was unlikely and it was noted that the building had been a school and light industrial in its time so this would be no real change.

So all objects settled it all looked good for the application but someone decided that the flush wall all along would not look as good as an irregular shaped wall and so they said no.

Given some of the ugly things TDC have said yes to this seems a little hypocritical. Any way we'll soon find out if this church gets a bigger hall and a new fire exit and if not what the excuse is this time.

I can't link to the applications due to the unusual nature of the planning website which requires you to enter the planning number every time.

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Crushing blow for UKIP may have been due to a TDC (mal)administration

UKIP is being forced to surrender £363,697 to the treasury and it might just be down to a TDC blunder.

The money in question was donated to UKIP by retired bookmaker Alan Bown between Dec 2004 and Jan 2006. The problem is that he was not on the electrol register during this time. The reason appears to be a mistake in administration. Administration taken care of by Thanet District Council if I am not mistaken.

The BBC says Mr Bown had been on the electoral register in Thanet, Kent, but was removed apparently by mistake without his knowledge in December 2004. Which to me is a nice way of saying that someone cocked up and it cost someone else £363,697.

What Thanet tax payers should now be worried about is if the wheels of justice, or at the very least a bright solicitor, should come looking for the money in the coffers of Thanet District Council.

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Hollywould - Kent TV - Facts and Myths

The launch of Hollywould took place with a "premier" and sneak peak at the first six episodes. The video on Kent TVs website (which I found eventually) is full of praise for this innovation. But what is so innovative about an am-dram film that comes in at under an hour? People have been making those for ages.

Myth Kent TV Claims: This is the first ever drama to be souly on the Internet.

Unless you have been living under a rock somewhere you will be aware that YouTube and countless other sites like it have been home to dramas, animations and film releases created exclusively for the Internet. this has been going on for some time now.

Myth Hollywould is interactive.

No mater how many times you say it does not make it true. A DVD player is interactive by those standards. The only interactivity ist hat it is responsive to input. However Interactive drama allows the audience to interact with the drama. It's not rocket scince here. A common way to have a drama be interactive is to have the outcomes chosen by audience vote.

Myth Hollywould is special and better because it is on demand.

Big deal. The Internet is on demand. With normal TV a decent computer and a copy of MythTV and normal TV is on demand too.

Myth This is the model of how local authorities should communicate with young people. Kent TV claim that With young people using sites like youtube and facebook we need to be using the same sorts of tools.

That statment demonstrates the fallacy that separates the dinosaur age mentality that created Kent TV and the reality of modern marketing. If you want to communicate with a group you do not create a new silo and try and get them to visit it. You go and be where your target audience is and present them with something that meets their needs. The world of "I talk you listen" is dead folks so get with the program.

Myth All the young people in Kent are going to watch Hollywould and learn stuff.

According to Alexa Kent TV get's about a quater of the traffic that Thanet Star does and most people in the real world have never heard of Thanet Star. What hope has the slef congratuary Kent TV got? Put that content on Youtube and watch as the traffic count shoots up... oh but wait, then they couldn't justify the expensive website.

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What the hell is that supposed to be, Kent TV?

Get ready to watch the most utterly diabolic five minuets of film work you are likely to see.

After the brow beating that Tony Flaig gave the announcement that Kent TV were going to sink a pile of money into making a "soap" for the YouTube generation and then the dismissive negativity that Luke Edwards handed it I really wanted to find a way to praise this film just to be different. It just was not possible.

From the moment the film opened you could see where the budget had gone - the title sequence. Which right there shows us that Kent TV understand the Youtube generation about as well as your average conservative councillor understands what life on an estate is like.

The problem was that the title sequence was good. Too good.

What followed was a limp peace that can best be described as an advert for Canturbury wherein the script writer(s) blandly tell us what can be found there. This is backed up by a series of lifeless mid distance shots. What was called for with that script were images that counterpoint the claims of the character with a little irony but sadly this civic work could not break out of it's County Council funding to lampoon the capital of Kent.

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» Continue Reading: What the hell is that supposed to be, Kent TV?

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We are all in the fashion business

Thanet right now is competing in a world wide fashion show and guess what - we're loosing.

You can see we are loosing because the shops are closing, the economy is drying up and the local council is spending ever more money painting the windows and telling us the train is still moving.

The answer, so they tell us, is to build a big art gallery. Art is safe, people like art. That, however, is the problem.

Safe is risky. Safe is failure. Safe is not safe any-more.

People are not going to travel from Hong Kong, New York, Tokyo and Paris to look at art in Thanet Kent. They are not going to travel that far because they have art galleries in those cities already and they are not all that interesting anyway.

People are not obsessed with art and art galleries. How many people left Thanet in 2008 for the express purpose of seeing the inside of an art gallery?

Do you know of anyone who wakes up one morning and says let's get the kids in the car and drive up to London to look at some art today? It's not a very common thing to say.

What is a lot more common is people say I'm going to be in London for a few days maybe I'll pop into the Tate if I find myself at a loose end and guess what a lot of them do not pop into the Tate because they are busy with whatever brought them to London.

It's nice that we might one day have a big concrete box to put works of art in. Given the choice between us having it and some place in Essex having it I'd choose us but let's not imagin that this is the answer to anything.

The building is a safe design, the art is safe art and the location is safe. You can't blame TDC and KCC for wetting their pants over the dfesign of the building given the failure of the first few designs. Admittedly those failures were due to people thinking that they could ignore history but even so - the councils wanted safe. They got safe and as such it changes nothing.

Why do people go to the Tate Modern? Why do we talk about the Louvre?

Because they are remarkable. The Tate Modern houses collections of unlikely junk that then get outlandish price tags. So much so that the real art appears to be in getting people to pay six or seven figures for a chopped up sheep or an unmade bed. However shocking, however devoid of artistic merit these works may or may not be they attract attention because they are not safe.

The truth of the mater is that as a district Thanet is in the fashion business and is approaching the cat walk in sideways pressed flannel trousers, a grey nylon shirt and a large water proof rain coat.

Meanwhile we are coming last behind the towns that are sporting the equivalent of the latest collection from Emporio Armani, the cities sponsored by Gucci and the regions that have managed a Burberry item or two.

In the conceptual night club Thanet is the scruffy kid in the corner that can't dance and didn't remeber to shower. Putting on an over priced pair of sensible shoes doesn't realy change much.

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Sandy Ezekiel out and about and missing the point again

If Sandy Ezekiel wants to run a One-man mission to tackle Thanet's rubbish then he should stop harassing the people who need their rubbish collected and start on the ones his council is paying to take the rubbish away.

Maybe it's time to have a word with the collectors to see that if we are taking the time to separate rubbish that they respect our efforts and not put it all to be sent to land fill.

Make no mistake this is purely an issue of respect and the likes of Cllr Ezekiel should start showing the people some.

According to This Is Kent Cllr Ezekiel was explaining to people that while some people had two wheelie bins for recycling that may or may not actually happen that there was no money for wheelie bins for the foreseeable future so apparently those that did not win the wheelie bin lottery must buy black bins. Not good enough Cllr Ezekiel - it's your "leadership" (or lack thereof) that has gotten us here don't now expect other people to pay for your cock ups!

Your not in council to sell carpets, Sandy. You are there to solve problems like this. Do your job man.

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Burlesque dancing for breast cancer

Burlesque dancing for breast cancer

The burlesque seems to have captured the imagination of locals this year and if it has captured your imagination then you might be interested in a burlesque breast cancer fundraise in Broadstairs.

So if you want to get in touch with your inner burlesque queen the place to be is Miss Maybe's workshop in Broadstairs on Sunday 25th October.

Burlesque performer Miss Maybe promises to teach her students moves that will increase their confidence and inspire them to unleash their inner minx.

Miss Maybe said: Burlesque celebrates every shape and size. There is no ideal shape. It celebrates who you are. I've been amazed at the confidence and feeling of elation just learning a few simple moves can give you.

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» Continue Reading: Burlesque dancing for breast cancer

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TDC financial services MIA?

Not even Thanet District Council knows where their financial services can be reached - that or they desperately don't want us talking to them.

TDC financial services MIA?

This screen shot was taken a few days ago on the TDC website. It seems the simple task of publishing a few phone numbers is still eluding them. Not much hope, then, that they might ever understand anything more complicated I guess.

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How to cheaply make Thanet the British centre for technology

With just £70,000 Thanet could become the British Centre for invention and problem solving.

Given that the reported overspend by TDC last year was £3,000,000 and litigation with Turner Centre designers alone has run to £619,000 an investment of £40 thousand is a something the council should be able to find whenever they liked.

So how could £70k turn around Thanet's ailing economy?

In the USA MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms created an outreach program they called Fab Labs. In the video below Neil Gershenfeld talks about the huge potential for invention and innovation through access to fabrication (not to mention where we've come from and where we are going). click here for the short version

Fab labs have spread from inner-city Boston to rural India, from South Africa to the North of Norway. says the MIT website. Activities in fab labs range from technological empowerment to peer-to-peer project-based technical training to local problem-solving to small-scale high-tech business incubation to grass-roots research. Projects being developed and produced in fab labs include solar and wind-powered turbines, thin-client computers and wireless data networks, analytical instrumentation for agriculture and healthcare, custom housing, and rapid-prototyping of rapid-prototyping machines.

Neil Gershenfeld describes the surprising result of setting up these fab labs: in turn business started to grow he says (12:41) then he says that as scientists we're learning more from them than we're giving them

If that's not enough to knock your socks of at 13:01 he says there's now three students at MIT doing their thesis on scaling the work of eight year old children because they had better designs.

That could be happening this year right here in Thanet but for a small sum of money and a building to house a few basic tools.

Programmable Matter: Claytronics or Gershenfeld on singularityhub.com looks at micro fabrication including Neil Gershenfeld's fab lab project. They write Children, and adults, were designing chips, tools, and many other inventions to solve local problems. By providing the means, local solutions arose from local inventors.

The cost of this US$40,000 per lab.

What do these labs contain? just basic tools like a laser cutter, milling machines, a sign cutter and programming instruments. Now stop and imagine if we could build two of these in Thanet. Say one in Margate and one in Ramsgate.

Put them on the estates where traditionally people have a little more time on their hands then stand back and watch as human ingenuity transforms Thanet from a sleepy backwater to the centre for technology in the UK.

Now I'm going to head a few nay-sayers off at the pass on this one. No doubt some simpleton is going to suggest that Millmead and Newington are the worst possible places to build these labs and they would be (a) slightly right and (b) utterly incorrect.

These are not great places. There is poverty and crime and all those other issues that a housing estate suffers from. There are also a lot of people facing problems daily and thinking wouldn't it be good if we could just...

If an 8 year old in Africa can do in an afternoon what high tech companies require multiple sites and many workers to do then I think the people of Millmead and the people of Newgton are more than able to perform similar feats.

All I'm asking for is seventy thousand pounds and we could change the face of Thanet in a way that a big over priced art gallery can never do.

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Caught red handed: TDC send recycling to landfill.

After the effort that Thanet District Council has made a to force households to sort their own rubbish video footage has proven it all goes to landfill anyway.

So apparently we in Thanet recycle for nothing. Meanwhile KCC is under pressure for not meeting recycling targets.

This video filmed this morning and posted of facebook.com shows TDC bin men putting recycling bags in with the regular rubbish.

The video was shot by facebook user Micheal who says: I caught the binmen loading recycling bags into their dustcart on video this morning, I have grown tired of all the councils promises and their extra spying policies, so this is me spying them doing the dirty on everyone who has seperated and cleaned their recycling just to be thrown into landfill. he goes on to add towards the end you see the actual recycling guys in their truck just sitting there while the blue bags are poured into the dustcart IN FRONT OF THEM.

According to comments Micheal says that he has told the rubbish collection agency that he has seen them doing this in the past. I told them and they ignored me last time till i said i had some photos then the manager and his large monkey came to intimidate me and wanted the photo. he says. Michael had been hoping this would be enough to get them to change their ways its not like they haven't had a break coz everyone deserves a break to show they are capable of change and it seems all they are capable of is destroying my hopes and trust!

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10 More Thanet Heretics You Should Bookmark

Thanet needs heretics that the status quo and give it a damn good thrashing. Those disruptive souls that are not content to tow the party line but are bold enough to challenge things.

These change bringers through whose actions fresh ideas come both by reaction against and by inspirational leadership. "10 Thanet Heretics You Should Bookmark" listed some of Thanet's heretics. Here are ten more. As before they are in no particular order and I know I've had to leave people out.

Luke Edwards. The new boy on the block and already slated by the likes of me to rise to great things. His blog has started strong and there is no reason why it should not continue to be so. Not frightened of causing a little mild offence this is possibly a new "A list" Thanet blogger to look out for.

Tim Garbutt. A potential Green Party MP for South Thanet. This heritic has little to gain by keeping up the current status quo and everything to gain by challenging it. Right or wrong, agree or disagree - this is a heretic worth paying attention to if only for an alternative point of view.

Mark Nottingham. A blogger not frightened to stire things up, to push the limits and to make a stand where he sees fit. He might not be the best face for Labour to score votes but when it comes to shaking up the status quo this blogger has what it takes. What the result of this blogger's actions and words might be remains to be seen but we can say this ignoring him is not an option.

Keep reading to discover more heretics of Thanet

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» Continue Reading: 10 More Thanet Heretics You Should Bookmark

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The true cost of a high rate of Council Tax increase

The last rate of increase in Thanet's Council Tax was 3.99% (says Mark Nottingham). If we assume that this has has always been the case and will always be the case then in 18 years time the total money demanded in Council Tax would be more than the total Council Tax ever charged in Thanet in all of history up to this point.

The doubling time of 3.99% per year is 17.54 years. So an 18 year old today facing a £950 Council Tax bill (a realistic if low figure) will at the age of 88 will be looking at paying £15,040 a year to our council.

It will have doubled 4 times.

Keep reading and we will take a look at a terrifying future.

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» Continue Reading: The true cost of a high rate of Council Tax increase

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Top 10 all time most popular posts

The Thanet Star Webfeed alone has, according to feedburner, so far produced 10,990 clicks back to the site for over 150 items. That is an average of 73 (and a bit) clicks.

However those clicks were not distributed evenly. Some posts were more popular than others.

These are the all time most popular Thanet Star posts to date as organically voted for by feed users.

10. Ready for the election battle?

9. Hazel Blears gets special attention from police.

8. Pictures from the "Big Event"

7. Finding work with less jobs

6. 5 minuets of fame for you

Keep reading to find out why some people are going to be full on offended by what came out as most popular.

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» Continue Reading: Top 10 all time most popular posts

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Best Blogger in Thanet

Thanet's top blogs can now be voted for in an online poll. You can also vote for the most disliked personality in Thanet and politician must deserving a handshake.

So how about popping over there and giving Thanet Star a few up votes along with any other bloggers you fancy?

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Should Mark Nottingham Stop Blogging?

Labour might be well advised to be very worried to have Mark Nottingham as a spokesperson. In fact sometimes I wonder if Mark is secretly a conservative but for his hate of a certain conservative blogger from Thanet.

Take for example two of his most recent posts one in which he says: Several Christians have suggested to me that it is inappropriate for Council premises to be used for events with links to the occult and Satanism. He goes on to add bluntly: I do not share their concerns. suggesting a scant disregard for the opinion of thousands of voters.

Yet just two days later Mark is talking about getting on the good side of the Chinese community (whose home nation are investing heavily in Thanet via the China Gateway project). Mark suggests that Labour need to chat up just 273 whose votes, it seems, matter more to him than 1,400 or more other people whose views Mark does not approve of.

Keep reading to learn why this could really hurt Labour

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» Continue Reading: Should Mark Nottingham Stop Blogging?

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Byte Sized

Did you know?

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

Facts
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Did you know

MP Roger Gail (thanet North) wanted to increase VAT

Facts
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Did you know

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

Facts
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Too popular

On Wednesday 28th May the article The staggering truth about Gloag's Manston deal was so popular that it was briefly unreachable as the server could not supply pages fast enough.

Facts
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Did Labour Lie?

Who actually believes TDCs Health and Safety line? Comment now on Thanet Star.

Questions
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MRP Minutes

All of the Margate Renewal Partnership Board Meeting Minutes (Via FOI)

General
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Manston Airport

Two weeks to find Manston Airport buyer says North Thanet MP (via BBC)

General
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CCG to review

Thanet CCG told by High Court judge that policy on assistive reproduction technique is “unlawful”. [link]

General
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Good comments

Generally longer, more in depth, comments get flagged as spam less often.

Blogs
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Spam stopping

Matt has spent some time retraining the spam filter to avoid false positives and catch more spam. If your comment gets flagged as spam let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Blogs
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Did you know?

People traveled from as far as Boston USA to come to GEEK 2014.

Facts
 
 

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