Christmas appeal

Donations are still being accepted for the East Coast Counselling and Family Support Service’s 2007 Christmas Appeal. Funds are distributed in the form of vouchers to families in the Break O’Day and Bicheno areas to allow the purchase of food. All donations of $2 and over are tax deductible and can be made by phoning Thom Ryan on 1800111878 or posting to PO Box 358, St Helens, 7216.
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Student drowns on East Coast

Police seal off the scene of yesterday’s drowning at Ansons Bay, where a 25-year-old Chinese man drowned after getting into difficulty in a rip while swimming with friends near Policemans Point.br> He was swimming with his girlfriend, another female and two male companions when they were caught in a rip near Policemans Point about 12.15pm.
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Three of the swimmers were able to reach the shore, while a fourth, a female, was assisted by a member of the public.

Tasmania Police Acting Insp. Jason Elmer said that a camper heard calls for help and used a kayak to retrieve the man, before several campers and a Parks and Wildlife officer tried to resuscitate the man for about 30 minutes before ambulance officers arrived and pronounced him dead.Acting Insp. Elmer said the area could be treacherous for swimmers who were unfamiliar with the area. “It’s a dangerous area if you don’t know it,” he said.

“The water goes from shallow to deep very quickly and there are strong tidal movements.”

Fellow campers at the popular holiday spot were shocked by the drowning.

“It’s an absolute tragedy,” one said. “I can’t believe it’s happened here.”

The man’s name has not been released and police will prepare a report for the coroner.

The drowning comes just two weeks after a 51 year-old Hobart fisherman was swept off rocks and presumed drowned at Cosy Corner near Binalong Bay, about 30km south of yesterday’s incident.

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Council meeting

Glamorgan Spring Bay Council will hold its regular meeting at Bicheno, today, from 2pm, not 1pm as previously advised. The meeting will be held in the memorial hall, and will be followed by the council’s annual meeting at the Swansea Town Hall, starting at 7pm. Members of the public are invited to attend both meetings.
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Age care approval for Kogarah

KOGARAH Council has approved an application for residential care accommodation for seniors to be built next to Kogarah Town Centre.
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Urban renewal: the development at 3 Railway parade will beautify the entry into Kogarah’s business district

The building, with 98 rooms and seven self-contained units, is part of a seven-storey mixed development also containing two levels of commercial/retail space and a basement car park.

The development site is an irregular shaped block wedged between Kogarah Town Centre, Railway Parade and the railway.

and now comprises several commercial premises, including a service station and mechanical repairs shop.

Kogarah councillor Nick Katris, an architect, said seniors accommodation was ideal for Kogarah business district as it would have minimal affect on traffic and parking and the seniors would have access to all the health services nearby.

He said the council had encouraged the development of the site as part of its urban renewal.

‘‘The building itself is of an attractive design and diverse presentation and it will be an attractive entry into Kogarah’s business district,’’ Cr Katris said.

He said the site had attracted a number of proposals during the past seven or eight years but this was the first time it was assessed as a seniors development.

The development comes under State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) principles regarding housing for seniors or people with a disability.

Only those who meet certain criteria can occupy this type of accommodation: seniors or people who have a disability; people who live within the same household with seniors or people with a disability or staff employed to assist in the administration of and provision of services.

At least 10percent of the dwellings in the proposed development will be affordable places under SEPP guidelines.

A minimum of 50 off-street car parking spaces will be built.

The applicant, Galanos Bros Pty Ltd, could not be contacted.

NEW LANDSCAPE

Although technically in the Rockdale Council area, the redevelopment of the old Mecca Theatre site in Station Street (diagonally opposite 3 Railway Lands) will also alter the Kogarah landscape.

The $21 million redevelopment was approved by the NSW government Joint Regional Planning Panel on July 12.

It will contain five retail tenancies, 92 residential units and car parking.

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SUDOKU

(1/2) (2/2)
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INSTRUCTIONS:

To solve a Sudoku puzzle, every number from 1 to 9 must appear in:

•Each of the nine columns

•Each of the nine rows •Each of the nine 3 x 3 blocks

Today’s solution and a new puzzle will appear tomorrow.

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Carols By The Sea

Carols by the sea at Greens Beach will be held at the Greens Beach Golf Club, on Saturday, December 22, at 7pm. Bring your own chair and sing along to your favourite Christmas carols led by The West Tamar Municipal Band and the Tresca Singers. Admission is by gold coin donation and supper will be available after the carols. For more information phone Gay on 63839152 or Gerry on 63839044.
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Facebook sneaks in fees to promote posts

Dazzle Strands has found its views on Facebook have dropped from 800-1000 to 90 per post. It’s not just an impost on brands – Facebook also charges for promoting personal posts to friends.
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Brands have to pay just to promote their posts to the people who “like” their page.

Facebook is being accused of an underhanded bait and switch, with brands and even personal users now forced to pay for “promoted posts” to reach all of their “likers” and friends.

Evidence suggests that the algorithm that determines which posts appear in your News Feed, called EdgeRank, has been tweaked so that posts are visible for under 15 per cent of your connections unless you pay.

For individuals the cost to promote a status update is $US7.20 ($A6.95) and for brands the cost depends on how many fans or “likers” they have, but is around $US20 ($A19.30) per post to reach 3000 fans and $US200 ($A193) to reach 50,000 fans.

Catherine Cincotta, 33, from Melbourne, runs hair accessory firm Dazzle Strands, which has about 4000 likes on Facebook.

“I was getting at least 800 to 1000 post views and then July hit and then all of a sudden it started going progressively down so I was starting to see 300, 200 and now it’s at about 90 on average,” she said.

“I find this to be underhanded … all of a sudden the posts are being suppressed and you’re getting bombarded with requests to advertise with them.”

Lisa Dale, 32, runs an online gift hamper business, Signed Sealed Delivered, and Facebook is one of her main avenues for promotion. She also has about 3000 fans and has noticed her post views have likewise trailed off significantly, despite her fan base growing.

“They’ve sucked me in. I’ve worked so hard to build up this great page and now the only way I can maintain it now is to pay. If they were going to do it, they probably should’ve done it at the start,” said Dale.

Mashable journalist Matt Silvermanwrotein a recent column that Facebook’s EdgeRank was creating artificial scarcity by “rigging the game and then asking users to pay to level the playing field”. TheNew York Observerwrotethat “Facebook is broke, on purpose, in order to extract more money from users”.

Last week blogDangerous Mindswrote a post titled “Facebook: I want my friends back”, accusing the company of turning down the volume on users’ Facebook reach. To reach the blog’s entire 50,000 fan base Facebook charges $US200 per post.

“We post seven days a week, that would be about $14,000 per week, $56,000 per month … a grand total of $672,000 for what we got for free before Facebook started turning the traffic spigot down in Spring of this year — wouldn’t you know it — right around the time of their badly managed IPO.”

Earlier this week Simon Dell, director of Brisbane-based marketing firm TwoCents Group, said for his firm’s page the average “reach” over the past 10 posts was 195 or 16 per cent, but at times it dropped to just 94 views.

One of Dell’s clients had an average reach of just 12 per cent of their 5400 fans and another was 19 per cent.

“Facebook isn’t seeing fans as a community anymore, they’re seeing them as numbers,” hewroteon MarketingMag南京夜网.au. “Being able to reach just 15 per cent of your brand advocates who have opted in to receive your communication isn’t a great ROI for your time and effort.”

Facebook has been under significant pressure to turn its huge user numbers into revenue and the company is now worth a bit over half as much as it was when the company went public. Its shares are worth

$US21.94 ($A21.18) down from the offer price of $US38 ($A36).

In a recentblog postFacebook ads engineer Philip Zigoris wrote that any changes Facebook makes to its news feed algorithm were more to do with offering users more relevant posts than making money.

“Regardless of whether you’re paying to promote a story or just posting one to your Page, the news feed will always optimise for stories that generate high levels of user engagement and filter out ones that don’t,” he wrote.

The response from readers was mostly negative with most complaining that they shouldn’t have to pay in order for their posts to be visible by their friends.

“So tell me, how are people meant to engage with the content if they’re not being shown the content in the first place?” wrote one.

Another said: “I have to tell you the vast majority of my friends really hate this, find it very frustrating, and the only thing that keeps them from leaving Facebook is all their friends are here and there is no real option … yet.”

Facebook declined to comment for this story.

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Beatles tribute concert

Beaconsfield Primary School will present A Tribute To The Beatles at the Senior Citizens Hall on Wednesday, December 12, at 7pm. Admission is a gold coin donation and all money raised will go to the school’s sponsor child, Mehujael, from Peru. Parents are invited to a barbecue at the school from 5.30pm. Sausages $1.50 and cordial $1.50.
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Fire closes gas plant

SYDNEY – A fire at Beharra Springs gas plant in Western Australia, which is majority owned by Origin Energy Ltd, has caused the plant to be shut down since Monday. Origin said the plant only accounted for about 3 per cent of its total gas production. It said the fire started in the gas condensate separator and was extinguished shortly afterwards without any personnel being injured.
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Worthy horses to carry top weight at Devonport

CAULFIELD trainer Peter Moody will give his Tasmanian Derby winner Currigee one more chance to prove he is up to a start in the $120,000 Devonport Cup. Currigee is the topweight in the Woodford Gold Cup at Warrnambool tomorrow and will need to run well to convince Moody to run in the Devonport Cup on January 9.
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“He needs to find some form and would have to win well at Warrnambool,” stable manager Geoff O’Connor said.

He said Currigee had been struggling to recover the form that won him the Tasmanian Derby in February this year and his preparation had been hampered by wet tracks.

He had been due to run over 1800m at Sandown last Saturday but was a scratching because of the state of the track.

Currigee has 57kg in the Woodford Gold Cup (1700m) tomorrow and is to be ridden by Ben Melham who was the winning jockey on Royal Lakes in the 2007 Devonport Cup.

Moody also had recent Moonee Valley winner Moonloushe entered for the Devonport Cup but the four-year-old had been sent to the paddock after his last-start failure.

Cranbourne trainer Robbie Griffiths remains undecided if lightly weighted Danzylum will make the trip to Spreyton.

Danzylum appeared to have every chance when third behind Barwon Express over 1400m at Caulfield on Boxing Day.

“I’m just not sure how effective he is past 1400m,” Griffiths said.

Griffiths said he had been attracted to the Devonport Cup by the lucrative prizemoney and would wait until after Danzylum runs at Sandown next Saturday before making a firm decision.

“At this stage he is probably doubtful,” he said.

In-form galloper Conquering, who ran third in the 2007 Devonport Cup with 56kg, will carry top weight of 58.5kg.

Conquering has won his past two starts at Mowbray including the weight-for-age Tasmanian Stakes on Boxing Day when he beat his arch rival Stuyvesant.

Stuyvesant has been given 58kg, 4kg more than he carried into second place 12 months ago.

The final acceptances for the Devonport Cup will be taken at 9am on Friday when the field will be reduced from 28 to 14 with four emergencies.

The barrier draw and calcutta will be held next Saturday afternoon at the Birdcage Tavern.

Devonport Cup weights:Conquering 58.5; Stuyvesant 58; Currigee,Bay Ritz 55.5; Lundardi, Moonloushe 54.5; Browneyed Boy54; Lord Danzero, Zeva Royale 53.5;All Geared Up, Alva, Daneland, Danzylum, Cuckoos Nest,Hotshoe, I’Paddy, Jennifer, Kanchanaburi,Maha Chakri, Makevina, Mijabelle, National Trust, One Way Traffic, Rhumb Line, Saval Prince, Stormy Youth, Triabunna, Undervalued 53.

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