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The truth about Thanet Gazette's smokers and pregnancy claims

One in Five (20%) Thanet mums smoke during pregnancy claims the Thanet Gazette with these numbers coming, apparently, from "new research" although what this might be seems to be a closely guarded secret.

So I dug a little deeper and found that according to this research about one in seven (13.2%) of women smoked in pregancy nationally. The reason why this is a big deal is that smoking in pregnancy, poverty, maternal obesity and failure to initiate breastfeeding are the leading causes of infant mortality.

I was able to find some publsihed figures here that suggested that 20% (that's one in five) of younger women in the area smoked but that would have to mean that 100% of the women of that age range had babies. Now I know that some folk hold a dim view of the people of the area but that's a bit harsh do you not think?

One would expect that smoking has little impact on fertility so that the number of smokers and non smokers of any age range that become pregnant would be entirely proportional to the total number of smokers and nonsmokers. Without access to the giving up rates it's hard to say much more but even if those rates are low then either no effort has been made to help these ladies or the Thanet Gazette clean on made this headline up.

The short story is that I have my doubts about this report's accuracy. Let alone that I want to know how close "about" approximates the figures to 20% (the area average for younger women, it's lower as the age bracket climes) but where this report is that I cannot find.

Tom Barnes of Thanet Gazette if you would be so kind as to contact Thanet Star and direct us to the study you claim implies this we would be most grateful and a ton more inclined to believe your report. Thank you.

Does anyone else know where this "study" is supposed to have been published?

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Making a non-person of trolls and spammers

A short while ago I promised readers relief from the rather pointless drivel that sometimes gets posted here.

hamster
Leading the charge of arrogance and rudeness is one we call Hamster Boy - a fellow known only for his repetitive and rude comments that are designed (we imagine) to offend but are actually just a more insidious form of spam.

In short these folk are abusing the site's hospitality and that just will not do.

In order to keep this junk from you, the good readers of Thanet Star, I have made some more of the changes that I talked about. The most obvious of these changes is that comments with a score of -1 or lower (as voted for by Editors, writers and signed up members) will no longer appear in the list of recent comments. The code for this change will be pushed on github for those that are interested.

So as well as having to double click just to see the junk (assuming that it did not have the vowels ripped out of it with a sharp knife) the trolls, spammers and other rude abusers of our hospitality will further be treated as non persons on-site and their comments not even recognized as having ever existed.

In addition to that spammer, troll and rude comments have no been marked for non inclusion in search indexes for Google.

If you are rude, mean, spiteful and borderline illegal it will be like you never existed.

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Is Thanet going to become fascist?

UKIP, which holds all but one of Thanet's KCC seats has voted to ban Anti-Fascist group "Hope Not Hate".

...Hope...
The Huffington Post reports that Members brought a motion to last weekend's UKIP national conference to proscribe HOPE not hate. Ukip also proscribe the British National Party. Which means that UKIP members are banned from joining or being a part of Hope Not Hate.

This raises the very real specter of fascism in Thanet. For the next four years this is the only party that represents our needs in Kent Council and if this is the beginning of a bigger lurch to the right taking us into extremism what will those four years look like?

Prominent supporters of "Hope not hate" include Sir Alan Sugar, TV presenter Fiona Phillips, chef Simon Rimmer, songwriter Billy Bragg, presenter Dermot O'Leary, Baroness Glenys Kinnock, comedian Eddie Izzard and the Daily Mail. While UKIP has an equally impressive number of supporters and members from BNP and far right organisations.

How then can Thanet refrain from becoming a racist sinkhole?

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Ramsgate bomb scare ends with safe explosion

Earlier today a Second World War explosive was found causing Ramsgate station to be closed off by police.

We reported this on Facebook and twitter at the time it was happening.

As did others

The device discovered was later taken to Joss Bay where a safe and controlled explosion was carried out at 7.45pm this evening Kent police have confirmed.


So all's well that ends well.

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Kayjaiz Gaming Lounge Sneak Peak

Thanet Star got an advanced preview of Margate's new gaming venue, here is our verdict so far.

KayJaiz Gaming Lounge

Recently we posted about the launch of a new leisure venue in Margate, and yesterday, we had a chance to look at how it is progressing prior to its official opening this Saturday.

As soon as we entered, we were greeted by an impressive sight. Twenty televisions, each with a comfortable "gaming chair", console and Turtle Beach surround sound headsets, and walls covered in beautiful artist renditions of games characters from various genres and decades.

Kayjaiz Gaming Lounge
Matthew and I both tried the gaming chairs and headsets. I found the seating to be a very odd experience at first, but once I was accustomed to it, it was very comfortable and I can see it being a far more enjoyable experience than I would have at home. He however struggled with the seating due to his physical disability, but we were told that alternative seating will be available for those that do not wish to, or cannot, use the specialist chairs. Both of us were greatly impressed with the sound quality provided by the famous "Turtle Beach" brand, which truly has to be experienced to be believed.

Owners Roxanne "Boss Lady" Williams and Hefain Bygrave are both very evident geeks, admitting that getting the launch ready on time has been tasking, given the recent release of the much-anticipated Grand Theft Auto title, which will of course be available to play for their customers. This fact bodes well for the potential of this project, knowing that something so “geeky” is run by geeks, as opposed to someone who simply wants to make money from them. Their passion for gaming is very prominent and they are genuinely lovely people; speaking with them about Kayjaiz was an absolute pleasure.

Kayjaiz Gaming Lounge
Consoles currently available are Playstation 3s, Xbox 360s, and the crowd-funded "designed by gamers, for gamers" Ouya console. There are future plans for Gaming PCs, Wii(/Wii-U), Xbox One and Playstation 3 to also be available.

The main room is currently divided into an "Over 18s" area and a general, family-friendly area. Identification will be required to game in the restricted area. A separate room is currently being prepared so that the over 18s can have a space entirely unique and separate for them, but it will not be ready for opening day.

Prices will be on a per-hour basis, actual cost TBC, and there are plans to offer a loyalty scheme for regulars, though no confirmation of that as yet.

More information, photographs and video to follow in the coming weeks.

Thanet Star shall be in attendance at the official launch which is tomorrow, Saturday September 21st, from 10am onwards. We hope to see you there!

Kayjaiz Gaming Lounge Over 18s area

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KCC in denial over Kerswell payout?

Are Kent County Council in the history denial business? Ask local residents.

Former Kent County Council chief Katherine Kerswell caused some upset when she was given a £420,000 pay-off last year after just 20 months in the job. She then went on to work for the Coalition to ‘reform’ the civil service on a salary which was just £500 a year shy of the prime minister's at £142,000. The Daily F(M)ail had a good moan about this but it was also covered by Kent news and The Telegraph.

The interesting part of this story was uncovered by Paul Francis who tweets as @PaulOnPolitics when he discovered the depth of Kent County Council's embarrassment over the massive pay cheque and subsequent payout. It would appear that they have scrubbed all mention of her from the public site - historic or otherwise.


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New Ferry Service Sought for Ramsgate

Despite cut back Thanet District Council is spending money on consultants who they hope will find Ramsgate a new ferry company.

According to Kent Online this has produced the usual mixed reaction. Are the local council throwing good money after bad or is this something that the area desperately needs?

On the one hand if successful this might help improve future budgets and could be seen as investment. On the other hand this could lead us to cost without reward. Are these risks worth the potential benefit?

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Kayjaiz: Something new comes to Thanet

An innovative social and leisure venue opening in Margate is causing something of a stir among the younger people in Thanet.

With one in three people now describing themselves as "gamers" interactive entertainment is more popular than ever before. With games being played by people of all ages at home, online and on mobile phones gaming is a large part of our social and leisure time. Games cover a range of genres and styles including from casual games and social games to Massively Multiplayer and highly immersive titles.

Kayjaiz plans to encourage people to take part in health enhancing activities using modern gaming consoles and the fitness games and programmes that are commercially available. We will promote exercise & healthy lifestyle options. They told us We will also promote and encourage the educational benefits and career opportunities available through the gaming industry by working closely with local education providers, local authority and some of the games industry providers. Rewards schemes will also be in place to encourage users.

Offering a social online gaming venue providing the latest interactive gaming and networking software Kayjaiz hopes to be something entirely new. They have available Xbox & Xbox Kinect, PS3, Ouya and Wii Consoles (with "Next Generation" consoles to be added as they are released) ready to be played and all with online accessibility available.

Kayjaiz Gaming Lounge, the first of it's kind in Thanet, officially opens Saturday 21st September at 10am.

More infomation on Facebook and Twitter.

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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
 
 
 

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