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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image WHATS ON CENTRAL COAST BLOG Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image

Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image THE RETURN OF THE BLOG:
When Whats On first began there was a blog. It fell by the wayside with the constant spammer and back link trogs that scour the net for such items.

Well the time has come the Web chick said, to bring it back.

Welcome, once again to the Whats On Blog.

Have your say, comment on topics, or send in thoughts of your own (printable ones only, this IS a G Rated site after all).

To avoid all the spammer's and bot things I have set it up to comment and/or submit via a normal, simple email. No confusing forms, subscription requests or whatever so even the novice with only email experience can have their say too.

I have also included a sample of some Blog's from way back when; what a trip down nostalgia lane that was.

Whats On Central Coast Support Original Music image Whats On Central Coast Logo Button imageNOBODY TAKES ME SERIOUSLY :
Are you a muso serious about your career?
How serious are you?

There is a lot of dissent in the ranks regarding the 'lack of work' and I hear it often, yet I re-list so many names regularly in the gig guides... I have found over all these years there are a few pitfalls that some tend to fall into.

All well and good if you want your fan base to be your family and friends. Promotional pages such as Whats On cannot tag you to promote you if you have a personal profile only. Get a page and share it around. You will be surprised at how more accessible venues and bookers are with a name they recognise.

* When you want someone to assist in your efforts to promote you, with editorial, gig guides, demos or biography’s, don’t send them a link to a page or website and tell them to go fetch; they don’t have the time and quite often if they do decide to go that extra mile for you, you may write to them to say they chose the wrong text or image.
* Gigs; when you get the gig don’t keep it to yourself, spread the news. Local papers, magazines and website gig guides like Whats On Central Coast have gig guides for gigs and events. Ensure the correct date, times and prices are included.
* Ensure you update the people you have sent information to of any changes.
A ‘Group Contact’ in your emails will keep all these people in the one spot always… so easy.

* Spell check is a valuable tool – put it on the top shelf of your promo tool kit. Editorial is usually always checked – if there are too many corrections to be made your promo will be ‘put aside for when I have the time’. I can guarantee you that busy and worthwhile places to promote you simply don’t. Do it once and do it well.
* The most important impression you will make is the first one. If approaching venues in person dress accordingly, be prepared and remember the paperwork.

* Booking Confirmations are an item that may or may not be utilised; the fact you have one appears you know what you are doing
* Arrive and leave on time
* Don’t overdo the alcohol at any performance.
* The staff and punters at venues are the eyes and ears of those who will decide whether to have you back or not.
There are a lot more of the little things that can make or break your dreams.
If you would like some industry help please feel free to contact me.

18.08.2015 @ 0600 hours by Debbi

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via the WHATS ON CENTRAL COAST CONTACT US PAGE or send email to contact@whatsoncentralcoast.com.au with Blog Response in the subject line.

Whats On Central Coast Support Original Music image Whats On Central Coast Logo Button imageWHATS IN A NAME PART 2:
As a follow on from the first in the series (November 2012) of protecting your name; part 2 deals with the pitfalls within the industry itself to give adequate support to our original musicians nuturing their craft.

To run a household you need income; to run a business you need work to get income to keep the business going; obviously. So how can it be that original musicians have to resort to using different names or even worse NOT promoting cover gigs to fund their craft for fear of damaging their reputation – there is something really wrong with this picture!

I have been asked on many occasions to not list gigs for some of our original musicians over the past 10 years; if I do please use a different name (which I have done) and it’s a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Not for want of ‘filling’ a gig guide but simply for the damage it can actually do to the musician – that is paramount in my books.

We cannot do without cover bands, duos, and solo performers; they are what keep bums on many seats at many venues and keep the doors open for the community who benefit from the assistance our local venues give back. There will always be cover artists singing some great hits from your yesterday’s

So what can we do?

Perhaps when we go to see a cover artist and they throw in an original or 2 – LISTEN! That same person who has been doing a great job at entertaining you all night has privileged you with an insight into the ‘other side’ of their talent. If you liked what you heard ask for more or ask them where they are playing next; can you buy a CD, go on their mailing list etc.

Try and support nights like the ones at Quattro at Erina each fortnight; (Bill Chambers Singer/Songwriter nights); pop into an original music venue, Café etc and see where tomorrow’s hits and classics originate.

Most importantly; if you hear a performer and know they are doing a cover gig to get the work please understand this is NOT their music; this is an adapting of talent to suit the venue and your preferences, this is survival and growth of our local industry and of a magical craft most of us can only dream of mastering. Judge them on their talent not on their set list of covers and circumstances to nurture that talent.

08.06.2013 @ 0800 hours by Debbi

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** While this information is for the general public, it is a part of a series and other items that were planned to be in our Whats Hot Central Coast.com.au domain division; We are still waiting the response of legal action regarding the use of our domain name and other legal issues and when settled will be re-opening the service for our local musicians and industry peers.

One of the biggest problems is just to even get a foot in the door to some of the small volume of venues here on the coast, that will even have Bands.
Nothing against the musos that have had this opportunity but eg: some Clubs seem to be very closed minded to new and fresh Bands / entertainment.
There is a huge amount of talent here on the coast that deserve the opportunity to show how professional they really are.
Please Give these new young struggling Bands ago..

20th June 2013 by Kevan

Hi Deb You may have already aired this one – I thought I would make sure that it had it’s due profile anyway.
Please take a moment to support local original music! Thanks :)

19th July 2013 by Dexter

The link and item Dexter is referring to is the mandatory content for Australian Music content on our Radio Stations; Australia has the lowest expected rate globally (@ 25% if I recall - I will check and get back to you) and the petition is to have that, rightfully increased; Sigh - when will the powers that be sit up and take notice of and give credibility to our music industry...

Whats On Central Coast Logo Button imageMIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!:
Imagine working hard for years at your business and you have a great bunch of regulars and along comes some unimaginative someone who covets what you have and possibly thinks – this must be easy – look at how well they are doing.

Possibly also thinking that by leeching on the tails of all your hard work all will be fine – who will know the difference between one and the other?

The regulars will.

Sure you might get the passing trade from some of the holiday crowd but the locals know – and the locals, especially Central Coast Locals, tend to take a dislike to someone who exploits another local they have known, had wonderful service from, and supported for years.

You may have noticed the shopfronts, almost right across the road from each other – you couldn’t have missed them really; almost identical names, same product and the worst part the new one even took over the same spot when the original one moved.

Really! If you want to start a business similar to another; do your own work; use your own name and get your own customers.

What self-respecting person would think this is OK?

It was a situation the locals could hardly believe could happen.

Time was, the laws didn’t allow moral and trading ethics to be breached on such a scale. Well time and the truth caught up methinks.

We are all happy to see that the Long Jetty Charcoal Chicken is now, not only still the original and the best, but, once again, the one and only ‘Charcoal Chicken’ in Long Jetty.

Their dedicated customers spreading the word and the owners who would not give in have paid off and the good guys won. Congratulations!

For the best Charcoal Chicken up the northern end of the Coast pop in and say hi to these friendly folk who may just happen to have your lunch or dinner already prepared and waiting to go.

Long Jetty Charcoal Chicken
417 The Entrance Road, Long Jetty
Ph: 43320121

18.04.2013 @ 0800 hours by Debbi

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via the WHATS ON CENTRAL COAST CONTACT US PAGE or send email to contact@whatsoncentralcoast.com.au with Mind Your Own Business in the subject line.

image courtesy drummersdatabase.comWhats On Central Coast Logo Button image THE ORIGIN:
Where did that band, duo or solo act came from?

After working a paid job (possibly all week), squeezing in one or 2 rehearsal nights (after organising the family responsibilities), booking, confirming dates and times, organising promotion and media releases, distributing posters/flyers, organising set list to suit venue and patrons, organising break time music to keep the punters entertained but ensuring again the music doesn’t clash with their own set list or club rules, getting in the mode hours before, vocal exercises, checking and tuning instruments and amps and lighting, banners, merchandise, counting and organising change and dollar denominations for the float for the door or merch sold, loading all this gear into the car, driving to venue and unloading all that gear.

Then; setting up amps, lights fold backs, taping any leads to the floor, (all probably an hour before you are even getting ready to go out), sound checking, double checking the set list, giving their all; playing and entertaining for the next 3 – 4 hours and then the obligatory gig round up of ‘how do you think that went’ unplugging, rolling leads, re-packing instruments, mics etc, idiot check in every nook and cranny, lugging back to and re loading the car/van for the drive home, where it all gets unpacked and stored again for the next gig.

Too hyped from another excellent gig and an amazing amount of positive energy spent, there is little chance of sleep; 2 to 3am, depending on finish time is not rare. If it’s a week-day gig; yep; up and at ‘em for work in the morning – usual time thank you!

Most of us take entertainment and the entertainers at our local venue for granted; some are there for the sport on the TV and not interested, others are staunch fans, friends or family there for support, others may be drink finishers left over from the chook raffles.

If you find yourself at a venue and subconsciously you hear the music, do yourself a favour and follow those auditory capacitors to the origin of the sound – you may just discover a whole new world of reasoning to enjoy your local.

25.03.2013 @ 0800 hours by Debbi

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Copyright bomb logo imageWhats On Central Coast Logo Button image USE IT OR LOSE IT:
Preview of Part 2 of a hot new series of information for you to establish and protect yourself in the music industry coming soon to Whats On.

A few issues and questions have come to my attention regarding this very issue recently, so this preview is for all those who are unsure of their rights and indeed, their obligations with regards to Copyright.

Copyright – so much easier than you think!

Many think that copyright is a minefield of mystery; having to post every little idea and draft to yourself or someone else so as to have a date; lawyer or association registration – it’s not that hard!
Copyright is as it says – the right to copy –copyright is your property but as you can’t actually hold it, it’s intangible; It is known as ‘Intellectual Property’

Whether it be poetry or a song, a sonata penned by a composer, a book, that brilliant photo of your favourite band, even down to the humble compiling of lists such as the Gig Guides, if it is your work (you haven’t copied it from anyone else) you are the copyright owner.

The fact that something is on the internet does not mean it is free for you to use

While we are working on the full instalment on this topic, for those who need ideas and assistance now please refer to the wonderful SIMPSONS SOLICITORS website for all you need to know.

Simpson’s Solicitors was founded in 1986 by Shane Simpson. It is an award winning and most highly regarded and respected company of specialised lawyers who devote their expertise to many areas of the creative arts.

Much of Shane’s extensive knowledge in his written works has been used in the Music Industry Skills courses through TAFE – an invaluable tool.

If you need assistance I cannot urge you enough to get help from the leaders in the industry.

There are also online resources for those general questions you may have

See the website for more information

Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image WHAT'S IN A NAME:
Part of a hot new series of information for you to establish yourself in the music industry coming soon to Whats On.

A name is an intangible designation, yet something many of us may hold dear whether as a matter of heritage, achievement, talent or business.

A name can have many connotations but in business and in the Music Industry (your talent IS your business) they can mean EVERYTHING!

The name you choose for your band, work, or business will be the crux of your reputation; you need to take steps to protect your name if you wish to be in it for the long term.

Having a Facebook page/profile with a specific name may be a great marketing tool but it does not necessarily grant you rights to a name if that name already has a reputation, is too similar to yours or in use by someone else already. If you do not take steps to protect your name you may have to change it; think Flowers/Icehouse back in 1981.

While these laws have changed somewhat in May 2012 it is still best for you to do some fairly simple searches to see if another band, business, or entity is already using your choice of name.
The best ones would be Google, ASIC, Trademarks, ABN and the WHOIS service through the Aus Registry.

The Business world can sometimes be rife with attempts to take a free ride from someone else’s long term efforts and reputation so check Aus Registry before you register your business name – it would be pointless registering a business name if someone already owns the domain of that name and/or has built a long term and solid reputation associated with that name.

Trademarking is a more expensive and promising way to protect your name but even a trademark may not protect you if the name you chose already had an online presence and reputation.

For me personally I have a few well-known names in my heritage and it does give one an insight and good feeling to think that in my DNA history there are people of honour, integrity, beliefs and talents.

Two of these that come to mind are a connection to the Eureka Flag and that oft used maxim “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”.
I do see a common theme of these people in the wonderful men and women who led to my being and I am very happy to continue on with these virtues with my life, my family and the massive support I have been able to give others with Whats On for so many years.

For more assistance please see the following:
TAFE NSW: and the Music Industry Skills Series of Courses
Simpsons Solicitors: Since 1986 – highly regarded as one of Australia’s foremost practices in Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law.
Whats On is honored by our long term connection to Simpsons and the assistance and information they have given for Music Industry members and holders of Intellectual Property.
Arts Law Centre of Australia: A national community legal centre for The Arts

25.11.2012 @ 0800 hours by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image ONION MAGIC:
What goes around… !
A little while ago I was at the local supermarket and I noticed an elderly lady receiving assistance from a staffer with those self-serve checkout things. The staffer was asking for assistance for the White Onions that weren’t being recognised by the all-knowing terminal computer.

To my horror I saw the 'white Onions' this lovely elderly lady was trying to purchase had big black marks on them – mould marks!
Having cared for my Mum I did know there are times when things like this can be missed by failing eyesight so I went over and pointed it out to the lady (while shooting a look to the young sales assistant that said COME ON! Really – you didn’t see this?).

The elderly lady was of Greek (possibly) descent and very hard to understand and I guess she the same with me. I resorted to hand and face signals to let the lady know her onions were damaged and did she want me to get fresh (well as fresh as they get in this supermarket chain) ones to replace them. I think she really was saying it was OK – I couldn’t force her obviously and having done the best I could I went back to my own checkout and wondered for days if there was more I could have done.

I was in the same supermarket today – in a rush as usual - with overflowing arms – as usual and one of the items dropped to the floor.

As I was started bending down to pick it up while balancing all the other things I had in my arms this friendly smiling faced person was handing me what I had dropped.

I thanked her profusely and I sensed I had seen that face before. It dawned on me later – It was the onion lady.

It was the cosmos’ way of saying it’s Ok and to stop worrying about not helping her enough last time I am sure.

21.10.2012 @ 0800 hours by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS:
And none of what is available makes sense!
You know when you read something, then read it again because it doesn’t make sense? Sometimes this is just bad writing; in this case it is illogical, senseless decisions that for some inane reason are actually real and true.

A recent story in the media of Lend Lease pulling out of the landing at Gosford deal and a follow up by Aussie tycoon John Singleton not happy at his apparent waste of $50 million has borne many awkward questions but the icing on the cake is the most recent update form the Gosford Public School Against Re-location team and the continual frustration of no or senseless responses to some very serious questions regarding our Central Coast kids and their right to fair and decent schooling.

In an extract from the media release I read things like this and wonder Why? How?
“Despite repeated requests, in writing and on radio broadcasts, Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has failed to explain how teachers will manage the shared buildings and grounds if Gosford Public School is moved to Henry Kendall High School. Contrary to popular understanding, it will be impossible to physically separate the two schools on the steep and small site.”

Minister Piccoli and Local Member for Gosford Mr Holstein have both claimed that the schools will be separate but the plans for school indicate that at least one of the buildings and the school oval must be shared by primary and high school students.
The other unexplained issue is the overcrowding; There will be 1400 students crammed into an area of only 4.64 hectare while the education department themselves stipulate in their guidelines that 9 hectares is a suitable size.

To add insult to injury regarding the frustratingly drawn out times for council approval on plans for the community the building works are already underway before the planning process is complete! What’s the rush and how can they be starting already?
The disruption to the school is obvious but year 12 kids are leading to the certificate period of their many years at school – how do you concentrate with all this going on? And what happens when, contrary to the wishes of the 10,500 signatories to a petition condemning this plan, the kids are eventually sharing this tiny and ill-located space?

It appears that there are just too many times of late when the wants of the community, the people, the VOTERS are being totally and utterly ignored by the powers that be and in such a dismissive manner while having a very negative effect on the lives of so many.

In a bitter twist of irony I write this on the day of the news that parliamentary members are to receive yet another raise to their incomes mixed with the news of so many prices skyrocketing with the start of the Carbon tax.

4.07.2012 @ 0800 hours by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image 8 YEARS AND GROWING:
And the gifts just keep on coming!
Having been around local entertainment industry folk for many years the lack of a supportive and accurate media outlet for promotion of gigs, events and tourism was extremely and frustratingly evident. This is the Central Coast after all – where else could be more beautiful, entertaining and worthy of promotion?

While the initial concept was for a magazine the thoughts that the internet was soon becoming the grim reaper of the printed format was instilled and with some great designs and ideas from Mike March and CKL Web Concepts Whats On Central Coast was born.

I took a nostalgic tour through the many wonderful testimonials and was reminded that even though I have done this while raising a family, working and caring for an ageing Mum (she was so proud and one of my biggest fans) it has become the beacon for local entertainment and tourism.

When I look back and see the gratitude from international, national and local visitors I am humbled.
I am so proud that this little pokey one woman site has been able to be a platform for new performer launching and exposure, assist many major venues find entertainers and in turn entertainers some work, reality TV talent shows find contestants, a friend of missing French national visitor keep up to date with the tragic progress of the search, accommodation for visitors from around the globe, things to keep the kids entertained in in the holidays and so much more.
I am also amazed that with the input, support and returning visits from Whats On fans Whats On has been the place where other local media visit too!

An email of thanks from Southern Cross Media for finding someone via the muso classifieds in only 2 days was awesome; The local papers, The Express Advocate and The Central Coast Sun Weekly, were and one still is a frequent visitor to muso, holiday and event information pages and our images have been used for promoting musicians via both these papers.

I am overjoyed to see that local sites with massive resources and manpower like Central Coast Tourism, The Oomah Group of ‘Suburbs Sites’ and other similar content sites on Facebook like WotsHot Central Coast (congratulations on the new website Jemma) either utilise Whats On information and or link to Whats On Central Coast. Wyong Shire Council run holiday parks, privately owned Hotels/ Motels and apartment style accommodation have started to include links to and/or Whats On sourced information onsite and on their websites. The icing on the cake is the Ugly Phil show on Star 104.5 drive home has weekly on-air rundown of events on a Friday night. All this is way beyond my initial expectations and I am indeed flattered and quite chuffed.

I send a very heartfelt thanks to the Whats On Venues, musos, and fans who have been supporting Whats On since the inception, the new visitors, venues, musos and fans who continue to visit and in many cases contribute, David Underwood for his constant promotion and support, Mary-Anne Mathews for her indefatigable updates and maintenance on Facebook and all those large and newer media concerns who flatter my efforts by utilising Whats On info to promote the Coast and lastly but nowhere near least my dear departed mum; she saw the hours and the effort and was a great support. She missed the half millionth visitor but I think she knows and I’d wager she is smiling. I am indeed honoured!

14.04.2012 @ 1715 hours by Debbi

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While my joy of being respected and trusted for my efforts with the massive information content of Whats On Central Coast, it can be a double edged sword in a few cases.
Please do NOT believe this statement or blog item is written permission to copy from this site - it obviously is not.
Please refer the Whats On Copyright in our Terms and Conditions.

Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image COPY THIS:
Re-posted as a matter of interest from July 2011

Whether we agreed with the case and verdict or not, the recent Larrikin win in court against EMI and Men At work placed the COPYRIGHT issue fair in the middle of a huge big spotlight.

Now either many folks missed the whole event, choose to ignore it or simply do not understand it all, but COPYING material from the internet is the same and can have the same consequences. Since doing WHATS ON I have battled 2 newspapers whose staff not only copied the images from the Whats On website but took the time to REMOVE the copyright assignment FROM THE IMAGES; Yes they surely would/ought to have known better - management did for sure and eventually, whether it was conscience or fear of the major retribution they can face in the legal arena they eventually stopped.

The ignorance card, in my book, can only be used by some, so much. I cannot imagine opening a bakery for example and not knowing what flour is.

I have had many other incidences of copyright and naming infringements, some private and some, sadly, publically noted. It has left myself and the website, open to all kinds of comments, threats and verbal abuse, simply because those throwing the comments and threats had no idea, were misled, not corrected, or totally unaware of what the issue was or the rules, nay LAWS that apply to protect copyrighted material on the internet.

This issue has raised its ugly head again with another couple of incidents that I am about to have to deal with but for the education, awareness and protection of your own original material I would love to share a link to an invaluable piece from the COPYRIGHT AGENCY LIMITED

If you want to place images and content on Facebook be aware - they ARE very stringent with adherence to COPYRIGHT law. They are not silly.
If you want to run a website - LEARN THIS STUFF; If not for the protection of others who work hard but for yourself and your own content.

07.03.2012 @ 1415 hours by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image IT'LL DRIVE YOU 'ROUND THE BEND:
Brush up on the rules that they don't notify you of!

Literally millions of road users were driving around as per usual a few years ago and then Bingo - this weird round thing stuck in the middle of the road where an intersection used to be – the infamous Roundabout.

Scratching heads while endeavouring to manoeuver around this thing was the beginning of the end of following the road rules for many.

While the fact that millions of us were NOT notified how to use these things is not the point of this blog; it needs be said and/or asked “Why don’t they send out updates of the rules with our registration”? Too easy really –EVERYONE that has a car gets a registration renewal.

Like many others I have looked into the rules for roundabouts and have lost count of just how many times I have almost been wiped out by someone roaring through from the right thinking they have the right of way! So to save lives what do you do? – you conform with the majority – you sit there and wait, and wait, and wait while those coming from the right don’t even slow down let alone stop to give way TO THOSE ALREADY ON THE ROUNDABOUT.

The actual concept of roundabouts works really well by all reports from overseas. Slow down and enter when you can and keep the continual flow flowing – why don’t we get it?

A great start to fix this problem might be a mandatory speed limit or at least signage for maximum/recommended safe usage. If all uses slowed down on approach (as they are legally bound to do) we would find they worked a lot better and there would be far less accidents.

07.03.2012 @ 1415 hours by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image AN AUSSIE CHRISTMAS TALE:
What we buy now will pave the way for our kids and their future...

I recently popped a little blurb on Facebook regarding getting a gift of a brilliant detailing job for a different Christmas Gift. The Car detailers - Coastal Car Detailing, are Aussie and even better - born and bred local!

Further to that I also had a recent conversation with an interesting and ‘very well versed in the events of the world’ Sign writer regarding the incredible loss of Aussie employment, trade and small businesses due to the incredibly cheap goods and services spewing out of the big red financial dragon that China has become.
With so many businesses closing down he raised the very valid point of what jobs will be available for our kids in another 10 – 15 years if it keeps up at this pace?; the answer is simple – NOT MANY!!!!

So it was with even more cosmic interest that I read an email sent me from the lovely Kerrie Garside (I am unsure whether she is the author - if so my apologies for the changes and shortening) that goes like this; And I have added some of my own too with links to local businesses that can cater for some of these ideas!

Christmas 2012 -- Birth of a New Tradition:
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Australians with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods - merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Australian labour.
This year will be different. This year Australians will give the gift of genuine concern for other Australians.

There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by Australian hands. Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people;

Here are just SOME of the suggestions for a unique Aussie gift and plenty of these are covered by local businesses…

• Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?
• Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, locally owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate!
• Does someone you love, or like enough to give a gift to, have a pet? This is a brilliant idea; SHARON STOKES PHOTOGRAPHY (Sharon shoots people too - in a good way!) or SHOOT YA POOCH pet photography. On site or at another location. Check out some of the wonderful images on the websites.
• Perhaps a grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, lawn mown, or games at the local golf course, Central Coast Mariners Tickets or membership (even Squash Centre's, Touch Footy, and Swimming Centre's).
• There are many owner-run restaurants, ask about a gift certificate- not the fancy eatery sort?, What about a breakfast/s? Give Macca’s the flick for a day and head down to your local Café for real food – they are all around the Coast!
•How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or bike, done by a reliable, local mechanic?
• Mum would probably LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
• My computer recently needed an upgrade – There are many Tech’s struggling to get his/her repair business up and running. Or even a website for a local friend or family member in Business – you could foot the hosting for a few months.
• OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts, like jewellery (even make your own!), pottery and beautiful wooden boxes, visit your local markets.
• Plan your holiday time at local, owner operated restaurants, theme parks, Cinemas, going out to see a play or ballet at your local live theatre.
• Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands. Buy an original CD from a local muso – if your intended enjoys shows like the X factor etc. – you will LOVE our local musos – many of them are so more talented than the winners of these reality TV shows; or how about a session at a local recording studio, a new or repair to an instrument? You can even help develop someone's artistic gift by some local tuition!
• Is someone you know into Art? - there are many galleries around the Coast boasting some of the finest art this land has to offer!
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining Australian pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging Australian small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Australians, we care about our communities and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

THIS is the new Australian and CENTRAL COAST Christmas tradition.

27.11.2011 @ 1300 by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image FAMILIARITY BREEDS... SALES?:
Are we all McPavlov's Dogs?

I was leaving a local shopping centre recently and the traffic entering the centre's car park was bumper to bumper almost back to the main road - no one was injured it was just too many people sitting in a line up to get to the waiting lane where you again sat in your car and lined up to wait to get to eat fast food - real quick. I felt for the poor folks who needed to get to the shops - they had buckley's! If the line uppers had gone in and parked, WALKED to the store, ordered and left they surely would have been served quicker.
So what is the thought patterns of customers to these outlets? Is it because the car is inching forward in the line that the mind feels they are still getting something 'fast'? Why do we feel that buying food from a moving car is fast in times like this?
Dr Karl has some eye opening information for you...

My kids probably really resented me not falling for the Maccas advertising and getting them hooked when they were kids - there was one day only each year they had the misfortune to eat this mass produced crap with me and that was the day Maccas gave to a charity - I got to the point where the old body rejected and protested whatever it was I was eating and so I just donated the equal dollar amount without purchasing the 'burger'.

As the years went on of course they were able to make their own decisions and while I know they aren't hooked in by the advertising, 'fast food' is a part of their busy lives. I have even been to a store or two with them and inevitably and amazingly there is always SOMETHING that goes wrong - wrong order, cold food, no syrup in the drink, wrong coffee etc.

The Chicken chain of fast food changing to using acronyms of their original names was hilarious - as if not saying the word FRIED in the name would make potential targets believe it wasn't? Come on!

So it was with great interest that I read a recent chat by Australia's favourite Science guru Dr Karl on the topic of fast food companies and neuroscience - yes they WILL go to great lengths to keep you coming back and making their profits soar.
My babbling to my kids all those years ago regarding the over the top advertising DID have some credence.

A couple of the TRICKS that Dr Karl says are used are;...
"They used both the fact that sugar can be addictive as well as the fact that repeated exposure can overcome your natural impulse control.
I also talked about how they never keep you waiting. After all, to set up an addiction you want the time between the stimulus and the reward (or the time between walking into the shop and scoffing the food) as short as possible."

The other piece of information from Dr Karl really grabbed my attention;...
"The sixth trick from the land of neuroscience goes all the way back to the Nobel Prize-winning Russian scientist, Ivan Pavlov, and his slobbering dogs.
Just before he fed his dogs, he rang a little bell. After some time of doing this, he rang the little bell, but didn't offer them food.
But, once conditioned to the prospect of dinner time, his dogs still slobbered and salivated mightily. They had been conditioned to link salivation, food and the little bell.

In the same way, the fast-food chains successfully condition you. They go out of their way to give you the exact same experience every time.
The inside of the shop is the same, the menu is the same, and employees in the same uniform recite the same scripted greeting to you.
The last time this experience happened, you bought some fast food. So this time, you'll probably buy some fast food again."

Many of us have forgotten what the original hamburger (you know bun, chicken, fish or meat, salad etc) tastes like and many younger kids wouldn't know what they were if it wasn't from Maccas.

I think back now to those days of being 'anal' and realise I have probably allowed my kids a few extra years of health and free choice. The rise of childhood disease and obesity is staggeringly mortifying to me and yet, anywhere in the world at any given time there is always a mum or dad at maccas giving in to the demands of a conditioned little mind and craving body to manipulative advertising, addictive ingredients and slowly but surely poisoning that little bod with unhealthy ingredients. I am not saying that every sick child is so because of this food but it is a big contributor to obesity and illness on top of the already government sanctioned poisoning of our bodies with chemicals in our cosmetics and toothpastes, medications, pesticides etc. What hope do our kids have?

If the addition of 'healthy' alternatives was from the genuine care for it's customers and not a lure just to get hesitant parents in the door I would probably be more sympathetic to these fast food chains. But a con is a con and I'm not too thrilled with con artists either.

Perhaps tough love is the way to go and we ought to all re-learn the simple word of NO.
My kids still love me, they aren't suffering any neurosis related to not being allowed to eat it and they don't feel they missed out on anything drastic by not eating this stuff regularly - they are here, are very much aware of the art of manipulation and relatively healthy.
I'm Lovin' it!

Also on this topic from Dr Karl is
Fast food addiction an inconvenient truth

11.09.2011 @ 0930 by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image DON'T BET ON IT:
A few years ago Tim Freedman/The Whitlams penned the song "Blow Up The Pokies” and most musicians, punters and families of gambling addicts totally agreed.

Gambling has been a bane of many lives for many years so it is odd that all these years on and many families losing homes and each other, that I can safely say, it would be quicker for me to name things you CANNOT bet on (if anything these days) than what you can.

While I haven't had a change of heart I am utterly bewildered at the Government's new focus on our local Clubs having to bankroll a new idea to regulate people playing the pokies in our local clubs.

Now most of us possibly think, well that’s great, as did I, but think about it - why the Clubs?

Do a Google search on online gambling - I did a Google AU search and had a result of 24,500,000. That’s 24 MILLION, 500 thousand results where you can gamble to your hearts content online.
This is not to mention popping into your local Newsagency in any shopping centre and gambling on Lotto, Oz Lotto, Lottery, Powerball etc - all run BY THE GOVERNMENT, then there's the racetracks, Keno, Texas Holdem poker, which is fast becoming the New entertainment instead of music. There are sports betting, footy, and even betting on interest rates... the list is immeasurable but the local clubs must pay a small fortune to regulate the small percentage of gamblers who utilise the poker machine at an 'unhealthy' rate - do they think we are all stupid?

Are they going to stop selling their lottery tickets or close down Casinos, Sports betting or any of the online gambling sites? Of course not. Do they REALLY have a genuine concern for gambling? If they did would they not also be targeting MILIIONS of other avenues - it would appear not.

While we may not like the pokies they do provide a major income for our local clubs. These funds go to the club, it's members, the local community, sub clubs etc - they GIVE BACK an amount to the locals - where do the Government and privately funded gambling business funds go? - not to the local War vets or kids school that’s for sure.

Are we prepared to let our local clubs shut down on a whim of one Polly who has a thorn in an uncomfortable place on his anatomy - I sure as hell am not.

If it's good enough for the clubs then put your morals where your new regulations are. This is too obvious a soap box revenge attack on all communities than a genuine care for gambling addiction.

If we play our cards right we may have a club that still can't afford a decent big band each week but a club at least to escape to.

13.08.2011 @ 1530 by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image HAVE THINGS CHANGED THAT MUCH?:
The age old question of 'WHAT IS ATTRACTIVE" between the sexes is alive and kicking!

Dave writes...
Can anyone explain to me how guys think that walking around in boardies with 3 inches of their crack showing is attractive?
Teenage boys may have an excuse - they are just inexperienced!!! and we are used to that; but my visual cortex took a beating today when I had the misfortune to see an older bloke doing it - and I AM a bloke!

Surely the girls must find it repugnant?
Are the times and visual senses of our species changing by spiralling downwards? I surely hope not.

If anyone is willing to have a crack (pardon the pun) at giving Dave some answers or tips please send in a reply via the CONTACT US PAGE.

03.04.2011 @ 0800 by Dave

Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image LITTLE HOUSE OF BIG HORRORS:
Have you ever heard the news or read an article and had to read it again as you were so certain that it was too absurd to be real that you must have heard or read it wrong?

This was my reaction to the most recent application approval dished out by, what can only be an ostrich or a member of Parliament House who has been in a cave for the past year to BP; the corporation responsible for the loss of 11 lives from the Deepwater Horizon and the almost obliteration of the Gulf of Mexico, its wildlife and the livelihood and health of many residents in the region.

I shudder when I hear corporate names like Exxon and BP. The horrific and irreparable damage they have caused and in BP's case through sheer greed and incompetence, is a smear on all our lives that our grandchildren's children will possibly still be dealing with in decades to come.

My initial fear was they perhaps were granted a hand in the PEP 11 off the Central Coast which would have been terrifying enough but to find these political leaders of ours have granted these grubs open slather with 4 permits to drill in the Great Australian Bight, over one marine park and areas under assessment for more, is beyond belief!
Not only the position but, as in the story below, the depth!

The Gulf of Mexico's continual oil spew out was due to them being unable to cap the blowout as it was at a depth of around 1.5 kilometres. One of these permits is for 4 kilometres deep! And we are NOT talking lake like seas here - these waters can be treacherous!

These quotes are from the Australian Governments own website on the Environment and the Great Australian Bight Marine Park;
* "The waters are treacherous and the region experiences some of the world's highest and most persistent waves"
* "The Great Australian Bight region is an area of great conservation significance"
* "The marine park is in relatively pristine condition due to the low levels of human utilisation, which arises from its isolation and difficult coastal access. Such sites can provide important reference areas for scientific studies and long-term environmental monitoring"

The minister says we need the money and perhaps we do. But to risk our Ocean, our coast, our people and planet for it?... He also assures us the Government will have 'Strict guidelines' in place. What? He thinks the all powerful USA didn't have strict guidelines too?

More insulting is the use of the wording 'to prevent a similar accident' ACCIDENT! That is when you spill coffee on a cranky grandmothers best white linen tablecloth. Chernobyl and the Exxon Valdez were also accidents were they not?

But BP hasn't stopped there - they also have a contract, nay, alliance to set up exploratory offshore oil drilling operations in the Arctic with a company called Rosneft (Russian state owned) for oil deposits in the Kara Sea, north of Siberia.

These are also, as you can imagine, home to some of the most perilous weather conditions on the planet! It is an extremely remote location and the environmental and overall hazards are plentiful

BP’s new CEO, Robert Dudley "simply wants breathing room to prove that BP is capable of recovering without help. He’s likely to get it: Any would-be buyer now has two companies to tangle with, one of them closely tied to the Russian state" reports Edward Tan from the Wall Street Journals 'The Source'.

Edward goes on to say "It was also convenient that Rosneft had a billion treasury shares on hand, acquired through its absorption of Yukos Oil Company. These shares were swapped with BP as part of the deal"

It is felt that BP (trading 25% below levels now) is trying to fend off merger/acquisition scenarios in its very vulnerable state.
Edward Tan says"A BP spokesman denied that the swap with Rosneft was motivated by a desire to repel suitors".

It has been less than a year since BP's gulf 'accident' in which they have been named responsible for the tragic loss of 11 lives and the worst oil spill in America's history.

If they have developed some new miracle device guaranteed to prevent blowouts at depth and failing that a way to ensure not a drop of oil is spilled while they explore, then why don't they just sell the patent for it to boost their share prices and fill their endless pockets with the cash and a much clearer conscience?

Granting BP these permits and contracts, to me, is like trusting Jack the Ripper on crack to remove a splinter with a very, very big chain saw.

20.01.2011 @ 0800 by Debb

Paul Cleary From The Australian, January 29, 2011 12:00AM reports;..
BP was the only oil company willing to take the risk and bid for exploration blocks in the challenging waters of the Great Australian Bight, Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has revealed.
"The Montara report finds that the regulatory regime is effective and unambiguously attributes the cause of the blowout to the failure of the company and the failure of the regulator to properly adhere to the regime's requirements," he (Mr Ferguson) said.
The award of four exploration permits to BP has sparked furious debate. There has been surprise that Australia could hand these rights to BP just months after its massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
But Mr Ferguson's decision to make the award indicates that he thinks the potential rewards are worth the risk.

When face to face with another human most of us can stand toe to toe but what if that other human is shadowed by a multi billion dollar international corporation that can possibly have some effects on the resource expolitation of country who employs you.
Mr. Ferguson, how strong is your will to stand up and ensure BP at least sticks to or goes beyond the expectations of the "further regulatory and environmental approval, including under the EPBC Act"?
How did all these regulations help with the 2009 Montara oil spill?

The ensuing BOTHWICK REPORT on the Montara Spill cites comments such as...
• That the 'widespread and systemic' shortcomings in PTTEP AA's procedures were a direct cause of the loss of well control.
• Well control practices approved by the regulator would have been sufficient to prevent the loss of well control however PTTEP AA did not adhere to these practices or its own well construction standards.
• That the Northern Territory Department of Resources was not a diligent regulator and its minimalist approach to its regulatory responsibilities gave it little chance of discovering these poor practices.

21.02.2011 @ 0800 by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image PUT UP A PARKIN' LOT:
WOW! A media release received from Gosford Council recently had me thinking "Where did those days go? What Happened"

Back in the early eighties my then employers in the Imperial Centre's record bar were to open a brilliant new store in the new jewel in Gosford known as MARKETOWN. With street parades and entertainment for the grand opening it really was a gala event!

Marketown Records! We were the new hub for music on the Central Coast - between us we had many years in music sales and experience and were the best place to go to find 'that tune I heard on the radio - I can't remember the name' or with our Record company gurus, that hard to find release.

The Centre was bright shiny and new and packed on most days. I eventually had to leave to be a full time mum and was horrified when Central Coast Fair (now called Erina fair) opened and my beloved musical beginnings were fading into a nightmarish ghost town.

The media release saying that the shopping Centre was to become a car park was a tad sad and nostalgic for me and I am guessing many other locals who enjoyed, what was then, the state of the art centre and facilities.

While a shopping centre is in no way a paradise when you are young and building a brilliant network of professional industry peers and life long friends through the same it did bring to mind that song - "I can't remember the name but it goes..."

17.01.2011 @ 1230 by Debbi

Town Centre car park reopens;
600 car parking spaces will become available within the Gosford City Centre on Monday 28 February 2011, when Town Centre car park opens its doors to the Gosford City community.

Since finalising purchase of the Centre on 31 January 2011, Gosford City Council has undertaken the required works to provide 400 car parking spaces for Gosford commuters, along with approximately 200 parking spaces for visitors to the City Centre."

26.02.2011 @ 1230 by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image READ ALL ABOUT IT!:
What is life in the fast lane, literally, like?
Unless you have been to a V8 or F1 race it is hard to comprehend the speed the athletes behind the wheel are pushing.
We see it on TV and the cars are 'just going past' the camera - at the track they are coming down and then blink - they are gone!

What prompts someone to take up this dangerous, thrilling sport? What is inside the mind of these drivers? Who are they really?

I can't answer for all of them but I know Mark quite well, since he was a baby.

Our families have this thing for motors! Whether it be large, fast, small whatever the toys for the boys have always been motorised.

You can find out so much more about Mark with the release of his new book "Life in the Fast Lane" by Mark and Andrew Clarke from any great bookstore.

For Coasties we can see more into the life of this most gracious and generous man and his family and for the rev heads - well - put the book on your Christmas wish list - it is a gift worth giving or receiving!

27.11.2010 @ 1230 by Debbi

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Mark Skaife and Craig Lowndes image courtesy Skaife RacingWhats On Central Coast Logo Button image P'd OFF:
I found myself yet again sitting in a slower than usual line of traffic. The reason, as it often is, the speeding P Plater in front of me.
Now you may ask how a SPEEDING P Plater can slow traffic down. It is quite simple really.

Unless you are an equally inexperienced kindred spirit ready to risk all the other road users and drag one another you are more than likely to react the same as many of us and slow down to give the young Turk trying to park their bonnet in your boot the subtle yet oft ignored high sign to slow down and back off by slowing down yourself.

While it takes less IQ than that of a dead goldfish to realise more space equals more speed the young Turk either just wont get it or is hell bent on just annoying you.

So what is it? Are they just in a hurry - permanently? Are they just doing it as the ‘mortality’ ideal has not reached the starting line in their brain yet? Are they just oblivious to the dangers of reckless driving and don’t give a toss? It could be any or all of these reasons.

It is with great joy I read of a local legend still on the battlefront with the powers that be “to change its current stance on Road Safety and help introduce ways to fund better driver education, safer roads and to get the next generation of drivers into safer cars from the get go”.

It is a rare day and driver that has not been annoyed by one of these newbies and in some cases the reactions they extract, while some may say justified are just as dangerous. While we would love to slap them sillier, they are someone’s child and a human being.

Maybe teaching them is the go, who knows but it is worth a try to save their young lives and prevent the many accidents that are caused by these actions to other road users.

Thanks for your efforts Mark – we will all be happier drivers if something can change.

Oh and congrats on a great win with Craig – what a buzz after all these years.

01.11.2010 @ 1130 by Debbi

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Agents Unplugged logo imageWhats On Central Coast Logo Button image AGENTS UNPLUGGED:
I was recently involved in an urgent campaign to make Musicians and Venues aware they were under attack from an ill-informed and sorely lacking governing body.
The removal of some industry licences
, in an already shark infested industry, was an unbelievably drastic move. Incorporate this with the fact that some of the people this affected – Musicians and the Agents themselves WERE NOT EVEN NOTIFIED and a recipe for disaster were set into motion.

Despite the few submissions we were able to round up and other submissions (including the AHA) quite overwhelmingly saying NO the powers that be decided that it was time to remove the licensing system anyway.

This was last year and we have been searching and enquiring for many months to see what has been happening with this issue.

Imagine my absolute surprise, confusion and delight to discover recently a new website that is just what the doctor ordered.
I include the word confused as the decision and upgrade of the music industry still has not gone through Parliament BUT – this website had a list from Industrial Relations who it would appear have finally released a list of LICENSED agents!!! I know – confusing, but I can only presume this is to assist musos, venues and honest agents while we float in the black hole of indecision and inaction from the government.

While this is a great start I am hoping to see what improvements they can come up with to deal with the disreputable ones hiding behind some of those licenses

This website also has a list of FAQ’s, some brilliant information regarding Musicians and Venues rights to fair trade within the industry and so much more. I am looking forward to the forum too. Finally a platform to find out, discuss and discover how to deal with the disreputable people so keen to leech out a living from your blood, sweat and efforts.
Somebody really knows their eggs. I am presuming this is a new site as a few links are still inactive but the information online so far is enough to help out any muso or venue who feels they are being ripped off by a shonky agent.

The new site is AGENTS UNPLUGGED (so love the logo) and I am keen to see the completed site online ASAP.

If you have any issues or are just curious as to what rights you have in the music industry, I cannot strongly enough suggest you check it out. It can only add to your knowledge of your own business and it can also save you plenty of dollars and bucket loads of frustration.

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT :
It’s an odd feeling – you go to sleep and short of an invasion from Mars or a foreign country you expect that the world as it was before you set the alarm and dreamed many a dream, will be the same when you wake up to decipher those dreams.

During the day, if you are one of the lucky ones, you discover there has been a theft – you have been robbed. All your possessions are still where they ought to be but the list of freedoms that we have taken for granted (because many of our forbears have given their lives for them) has been chipped away without our knowledge and permission by the same people we give our trust (well our votes, well in some cases) to guard our constitution including our rights and freedoms. What happened? When did we lose the right to have a say?

The arts are a major part of our economy. The music industry (one of the largest industries in the country) or performing and visual arts have an occasion, participant and or admirer in almost every town in this beautiful country of ours.

The removal of some music industry licences (they also had lift mechanic and some Real Estate licences on the block too – I shuddered every time I stepped into an elevator) DIRECTLY effected two most important groups of people – Musicians and Musicians Agents.
Guess who weren’t notified of these changes? Yep – Musicians agents and musos. The results of this change would turn our musos to shark fodder. An invitation to open season for unlicensed Agents being able to charge as much commission as they see fit and an influx from out of state agents that have been free to do this for many years.

Despite the majority of the submissions being toward KEEPING the licensing scheme in place but with changes to make the shonk’s accountable; the decision was made to can the licencing. Mind you, those Agents (remember the ones whose living depends on this issue and were NOT notified) who do the right thing are still expected to pay another annual licence fee until the final outcome of this is resolved.

The recently publicised battle with the 'commercial photographic members' who now have to pay ridiculously high costs for permits (which could take up to 14 days) and the ‘midnight passed’ legislation is another example of the disdain shown the members of a community of passionate people who write, sing and photograph this beautiful nation and her iconic landmarks.

Spontaneity is a major part of photography; that perfect capture of that classic moment – how do you ‘plan’ being there when the sun hits the bridge or Uluru in a certain way – I mean if photographers could predict these events they would more than likely be all our best friends dishing out the winning lotto numbers each week.

If not for the songs and images of Australia penned and shot by some of our most famous and some not so well know Aussies, would Australia be as well depicted internationally as she is?

Rather than penalise these passionate people I suggest we thank them.

Oh - and if you like the odd sip of ale, vino or other be on guard.

With statistics now showing that alcohol is responsible for more, car accidents, violence, death, injuries, child and domestic abuse etc than the humble ‘self harming cigarette’ you may find yourself on an almost daily roller coaster ride of inane changes and almost leper like, borderline criminal treatment afforded smokers over the past few years by the powers that be.

They wouldn't dare - would they?

01.09.2010 @ 1130 by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image IT'S A GAS, GAS, GAS:
While we were all being media bashed by the pollies for the upcoming election, the world still turned and the events already in play continued.

We heard the, more open than the Simpson Desert, response from Ms Gillard regarding the offshore drilling proposal “no drilling permit has been issued” and her local representatives Deb O’Neill and Craig Thompson saying that drilling was not going to occur.

Are the multi million dollar players in this issue silly enough to commit to and pour millions of their own and stakeholders dollars into a non event? Not at all likely one would think.

I could find no information to the contrary that this event is well on the way to being a done deal...
* Advent Energy has entered into an agreement with Apache Energy and Diamond Offshore Drilling, who own the drilling rig Ocean Patriot, which has been contracted to drill the PEP11 (with joint venture partner Bounty Oil and Gas). The PEP 11 permit covers an area of 8,200 sq km from Sydney to Newcastle.

* An exact date for drilling is yet to be determined, although oft reported estimations say it to be within the third quarter of 2010, around September/October so far. The Ocean Patriot is currently in an operation that was planned for mid August. The approximate cost for the Ocean Patriot is around $380,000 to $420,000 per day.

* The estimated cost of the first well is $20 million.

* Advent Energy Executive Director, David Breeze has said "This project with be the first drilling rig to explore for natural gas off the coast of NSW, and represents a major step for the company and its shareholders".

* The gas has been identified by oil and gas seeps and naturally occurring oil slicks along the coast from Long Reef to Catherine Hill Bay, especially in the Cape Three points, Terrigal area.

* Greens candidate for Paterson, Jan Davis is concerned that this will be the first step in the dangerous offshore exploration saga that ended so tragically in the Gulf of Mexico a little while ago but still is and possibly will for decades be affecting the marine and coastal environment.
“Both State and Federal Governments should have said no to this new venture. Communities will want answers, for instance, what is the scale of drilling ultimately envisaged?
How close will drilling platforms be to the shore?
Where would the gasification processing be done? How will the end product be transferred, by ship, by pipeline?
“History shows that in NSW an exploration licence is merely the first step in the full-blown mining operation. There has only been a rejection on one coal mine on environmental grounds, and that was one of the smallest Australian owned proposals.
“Once the multi-nationals are involved in exploration, governments of both Federal and State origins find it hard to say no. The argument that it is cleaner is spurious when it is coal that is being used first of all, but drilling into the ocean seabed so close to our coastline is not sustainable. We need an exploration exclusion zone around the coast,” Jan concluded.

* A supply base in Newcastle has already been established by Advent and contracts awarded so far include: Mud logging, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV), Fishing and P&A, Liner Hanger, Cementation Products, Drilling Tools, Casing and Tubing Running, Rig positioning and Vessels and Helicopters.

All indicators say that this is going ahead lest someone upsets a very big, powerful and rich apple cart by saying NO.

So what will this mean for our most precious Central Coast home? With the horrific images of the Gulf/BP unusually deep sub sea rupture disaster (blamed on faulty BOP - Blow Out Preventors - and back up systems failure) still fresh we may be a little apprehensive.

In Australia, government approval must be obtained before a well can be drilled and then must conform to statutory conditions and are covered by industry Codes of Practice

Bounty Oil claims in a media release that “Any commercial scale gas discovery will have the potential to generate jobs, economic growth and investment in the Newcastle/Central Coast region as well as deliver a much needed new source of clean energy for the State of New South Wales.

Commercial development of a gas discovery would also have the potential to make a contribution to Australia meeting its Kyoto protocol objectives through the supply of gas for a new generation of low carbon emission gas fired power stations in New South Wales.”

* Bounty and Advent have said they will ensure that they fully comply with all environmental and regulatory requirements in connection with the proposed off-shore drilling program in PEP11.

* A Submission on Proposed Asset Energy Ltd PEP 11 Exploration Drilling Program (dated 22/07/2010) airs a few concerns…
- that the adverse impacts offshore mining can have on the environment will not only lead to environmental degradation but also to negative social and economical impacts on the Region as the natural beauty of the coastline is integrally linked with tourism and is one of the major factors for residents moving to or already living in the Shire.
- The lack of definitive information on the response measures to be employed during potential emergency situations such as a sub sea rupture. As demonstrated by recent international events, a rupture of this kind has the potential to cause widespread environmental, social and economic damage and as such response measures should be determined prior to any disruption of the seabed.
- Council’s main areas of concern include, but are not limited to.
: Lack of information on response to emergency situations, such as a sub sea rupture
: Release of hydrocarbons from either the sea bed or pipes into the marine and shoreline environment.
: Toxicology from disposal of 408.99m3 of cuttings into the marine environment.
: Water, air, noise and beach pollution.
: Impacts on rare and threatened species listed under Federal and State legislation, and/or identified locally.
: Acoustic affects of seismic testing.
: Disruption of whale migration due to seismic testing, drilling and presence of semi-permanent vessels and associated infrastructure.
: Changes in pelagic fish ecology and congregation due to the presence of semi-permanent vessels and associated infrastructure.
: Physical damage to the sea floor and important habitats.
: Visual impacts of surface infrastructure and activities.
: Exclusion of recreational vessels from exploration zones.
: Facilitation of noxious or invasive species invasion due to the presence of semi-permanent vessels and associated infrastructure.

Another idea regarding the opposition of offshore drilling is that the companies are then forced to drill further from the coastline with massive depth increases making it potentially dangerous should a deep sub sea rupture occur. They are apparently easier to contain and fix in shallower waters. This from the RESILIENT EARTH website.
“The sort of occurrence that we've seen on the Deepwater Horizon is clearly unprecedented,” BP spokesman David Nicholas told the Associated Press. “It's something that we have not experienced before ... a blowout at this depth.”

There is much more relative information regarding this out there. I am perched on a fence at this time. While I am not an environmental extremist, I do have concern for what state the earth will be in for my grandchildren’s children; But - The Central Coast depends in a large part on its tourism industry. To keep the visibility of an offshore rig to a minimum or negligible, the rig would have to be out further in deeper waters increasing the potential risks if there was a blowout or problem.

It sure is a thinker – What do you think?

22.08. 2010 @ 1750 by Debbi

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Mitch - I was at a meeting today Deb and we were told the drilling was never off the table, just delayed because of the rig's current job!
Debbi - I was going to give you a call and do an interview on the effects to the local fishos with the exclusion zone that would be in effect when it all began.
I was stunned when I heard Gillard's response and then the 2 local labor candidates saying that they had stopped it.
Mitch - Yep, all lies Deb...

23/08/2010 @ 0800

January 6 2011
The major find of much information instead of hydrocarbon indicators from the Seaclem-1 well was not enough to keep investors happy. Shares in one associated company plummeted more than 50% with the zero discoveries from this, the first ($20 million) well.

The Ocean Patriot will be handed over to its new operator around Friday 7th January 2011.
The well was on schedule and incident free.

The deep Fish and Baleen prospects (off the CENTRAL COAST) have been estimated to have multi-trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Seismic data interpretation and discovery will continue.
Statements from Advent Energy reconfirm plans to drill a second well, which would require new government approval.

January 2 2011

Disappointing results for Advent Energy from its first exploratory drill although they are confident they will find gas off the Coast.

This in from ABC News...
Executive Director, David Breeze says while he's disappointed no gas has been found, information gained from the test is encouraging.
"At the target drilling depth we've identified a potential reservoir of 40-metres of sandstone with 30-percent porosity," he said.
"So we know that in the area now that we have potentially the right sort of reservoir."

Mr Breeze says further data gathered over the next few days will be beneficial for the second test well.
"We'll look at the results of what we've got we'll compare that with the seismic and then it's highly likely that we'll do a further set of seismic.
"It will take through until at least until the full period of the next year before we're able to actually get around to the next phase of drilling."

Despite initial concerns, the drilling has had little impact on commercial fishing operations but Newcastle trawler operator, Murray Ham says he will check the area to make sure the rig has not done any damage.
"We had our concerns as you can imagine but they did absolutely assure us that the bottom would be left in pristine condition," he said.
"Well we'll be going up to check as soon as they're gone, absolutely."

December 31 2010
The Baleen South Lead (one of their major targets) is located about 30 km south-southeast of Newcastle and 20 km offshore.
Periodic oil slick occurrences, especially in the Cape Three Points, Terrigal area support the belief that there is an active petroleum system present in the Sydney Basin.
Seaclem 1 is only the first well to be drilled.

December 30 2010
At 6am on Wednesday the 29th December 2010 the well was drilled to a depth of 581 metres and as yet the presence of hydrocarbons was not found.
David Breeze is confident the data obtained from this well will assist further explorative drilling in numerous deeper structural targets within the PEP 11 permit area.
"... an offshore well could be operated without issue to the local community on the Central Coast of NSW' says Mr Breeze.

December 16 2010

The Seaclem-1 well was spudded 2 days ahead of schedule on Tuesday 14th December 2010.
Operators are preparing to extend the size of the drilling hole for the important installation of the Blowout Preventors.
It is anticipated they will reach the primary objective target zone between the 25th and 26th of December 2010.
David Winning from Dow Jones has been quoted in the WALL STREET JOURNAL that this is "...the world's latest prospect for offshore natural gas".
He also goes on to say "Success could also encourage a rush of new drilling in the area after a recovery in energy prices has spurred small explorers to restart wildcat drilling, after two years of striving to conserve cash when the financial crisis shuttered credit markets."

December 13 2010
The Ocean Patriot has arrived and has been fixed with eight anchors and had ballasted down.

December 8 2010

The towing of the Diamond Offshore semi-submersible Drill Rig starts today, December 8 2010. It is estimated it will take 4 days for the rig to reach the desired destination.

December 9 2010
The initiation of drilling operations is anticipated between Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th December, 2010

The operational handover of Diamond Offshore's "Ocean Patriot" semi-submersible rig is reported to be taking place around the 10th of December after its current contract has expired

It is estimated that the rig will take approximately 6 days to travel and position to the very first exploration well site, New Seaclem 1, to drill offshore of the Coast of New South Wales in the PEP 11 licence area.

The first exploration well site, New Seaclem 1, will be positioned approximately 55 kilometers East of Newcastle in Commonwealth Waters in what they call the Great White and Marlin stratigraphic prospects.

Pre existing and existing exploration permits have effects on local fishing, diving and maritime activities with set exclusion zones.

Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image THE POLITICAL 'POPULATION GROWTH' BALL:
There is nothing like being ripped from your safety cocoon of ‘normality’ to the influx of almost alien thought patterns and the 21st century of change.

We all dread to say ‘back in my day’ and heaven knows my Mum, understandably at over 80 years of age, said it often enough but my kids have pulled me up a few times of late doing the same thing. I have also heard it from long time local friends and residents and thoughts of moving are being bandied about quite regularly. Accept and move on or move out.

My kids are more accepting of these changes as they grew in to and up with many of them and I myself was witness to them during that time too. They only know the world that did and does surround them – not what it was like. They will only see the societal changes of their own and the next generations. Peaceful; There seems to be so little folks feeling it these days – there is an air of tension surrounding any part of mother earth that has a large conglomeration of modern society.

If your kids were bullied you dealt with it, the police were allowed to stop hoons and vandals and god forbid you were stupid enough to treat them with disrespect. We could play under the hose and sleep with the windows and doors open in the hot weather, play outside, ride our bikes and have an outdoor life without fear of harm, it is as alien to the new generation as today is to mine.

Gone are the days when I could take my family to the doctor and see him in an acceptable wait time. Now it’s must call first and a two week wait. The local hospital – a two year wait for urgent surgery.
My grandmother and her friend’s baked cakes and lamingtons and held many fundraisers over a few years to raise funds to get Gosford hospital built.

When you consider the taking and destruction of homes, full of family memories, the trees – much needed for our NOT overrated oxygen - to cater for the traffic and fluctuating but almost permanent water restrictions and one has to wonder how on this earth can anyone consider let alone state publically with an apparent air of conviction there is room for an immigration injected population growth, not just here on our Coast but in the country, without the life sustaining amenities and improvements BEFORE that growth occurs.

To hear politicians stating there is plenty of room on our Coast for an increase in population makes me shudder. Arguing with each other the ‘over the top’ numbers of acceptable immigration one would think these folks also forget that many of the people already here are going to increase the population with families of their own.

To hear Dick Smith echoing my thoughts of dramatically reducing the immigration intake figures made me feel less like a territorial bigot and more like one who has seen the changes and recognises the idiocy, dangers and changes of too many more real families being crammed into a diminishingly small space with less effective amenities to service them for the freedom and half way decent life their families fought and continue to fight for.

21.08. 2010 @ 0950 by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image SHE DID A LOT FOR ME:

ELAINE PEARL - 1925 - 2010

There are zillions of thoughts that constantly cross through the mind on the passing of probably the most important. constant and supportive person in your life - your Mum.

Mums just are and they just do - they are so much that you never knew and you want so much more of, when those kind, tender, supporting but hard worked hands are no longer there to hold.

While being Mums carer for many years has been exhausting, worrisome and often frustrating I would not trade a second of being there.

We shared a bond we two that much could have unraveled but the bond held tight.

Mums are the sculptor of your morals, the leaders of your way, the discipline for your learning, the forgers of your strength, the coach of your manners and the absolute unconditional love in your life.

There will only ever be that one that deserves the true meaning of Mum. She gave up so much of her life and did so much for us as well as many other people that I was so proud to hear the many comments on how grateful people were to have met her. That's my mum.

Sleep well and the sweetest of dreams Mum. You so deserve the peace you now have and we will carry on doing the good deeds you showed by example.

Love you more!

17.04. 2010 @ 1610 by Debbi

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In 1996 three very special people came into my life and changed me much for the better. Debbi and her daughters Kelli and Cindi are like my family and i am blessed to be a part of their journeys through this lesson that is called life I then soon after got to meet a fourth wonderful lady, Deb's mother and the girls grandmother, Elaine Pearl Rae. A tough feisty (like her daughter) gentle, generous and honourable lady who was devoted to her family, Elaine always had a sparkle even when her physical condition became bad in the last few years. She was more then ready to give me a friendly verbal clip around the ear if i strayed out of line! My fondest recollections are of Christmas lunch at her little green house at Erina with all her family around-lots of pressie’s, food and lots more love-and i was always made welcome and to feel a part of it all. I got to know a little of the family history and how her first and second husbands put their lives on the line for Australia in WWII. I would have loved to have known them. Her work with the Red Cross said volumes of the caring nature of this extraordinary lady who raised, loved and nurtured five children and was blessed with grand and great grandchildren.
Elaine, you were a lady of old world values who gave so much to the new world. Til we all meet you again, we will love and miss you.
Journey well, fly high..... You have earned the stars.

Dave Underwood
25/07/2010 @ 1100

Di Morrissy portrait by David Andrews image courtesy Di MorrisseyWhats On Central Coast Logo Button image WHAT PRICE PROGRESS:
While I sat at the monstrosity that is the Terrigal Drive & The Entrance Road traffic lights recently I realised just how much change locals and recent new residents have endured on what used to be this most peaceful laid back Central Coast.

Sitting atop that man altered hill (it was raised to accommodate whatever they needed to do with the roadwork's) I remembered the War Memorial that used to sit where the left turn lane now is, I remember walking to school and topping the much smaller hill to see a service station, a post office, peoples homes and trees. My grandson found this hard to believe, sitting in the car with me and seeing the view in front of him.

I feel empathy for those living along the current roadwork's at Erina Heights near the school (well those that still have their homes of course) and those yet to be subjected to the nightmarish time that is progress, having endured the same for almost 2 years when they did the changes around Hubbards Creek. The dust, the noise, the simple fact of having access to your home or even just putting the bins out on garbage night, the noise, did I mention the noise? Workcover would shut down residential roadwork areas I am sure, if the residents were employees or at least issue them ear plugs.

But even all that paled as I saw the total destruction of the trees near Matcham Road and then the nursery, the Raymondale Art School and that beautiful home behind it.

Those who knew local icon David Andrews and frequented the art studio for either classes or to visit a friend will know what has just been destroyed. Beautiful oregon beams, hand made lead light windows, Archibald entry art pieces hanging on the beautiful mud brick walls and a home away from home for friends, students and even the odd music stars (sorry Scott-E I mean that in the nicest way).
It was the place where famous people like Di Morrissey, Madame Lash and others sat for portraits, Peter Pan sailed a ship, the mythical head of John the Baptist sat on the platter, the muses watched over you, a wonderland of interest, history and fun adventure. It was a place of warmth on cold nights, tofu dinners, scary DVD nights, a myriad of books, so many books, first editions, art, mythology, astrology, homeopathy so much to see, learn and do or just a place to have a great wine and chat with wonderful friends.

The home built not so long ago behind the studio was gorgeous. It could easily have been in a home magazine but it had ambience as well. The observatory at the top was also a glorious addition.

There was no option for a public sale of the house, (who would buy it anyway with a road at your front door) and land as per the acquisition of land by the RTA. We take it and you lose it' basically is the option this home owner (and others no doubt) have faced. It's all gone now, bulldozed away, and for what? A few extra feet of bitumen?

For many years the population has grown. The roads, not to mention our natural resources, hospitals, doctors etc have become so overloaded that they are all at breaking point.

So, what will an extra lane in each direction really accomplish? An extra 5 minutes off the trip to and from work or school? There are still bumper to bumper waits along the way and even with the finalisations of the roadwork's there will be too.

Am I a whinging local who detests this amount of progress? Absolutely! But ask any of the hundreds of thousands of visitors and holiday makers who have moved up here to escape the city or city suburban life, 'the rat race', how they feel. The same life they tried to escape by moving here is shadowing swiftly. How do we balance these changes and still keep the reason millions of people visit here time after time? What will become of our famous holiday area? When, where and how will it end are the questions I would like answered.

28.02.2010 @ 1255 by Debbi

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There are some teachers that have significant impact upon our lives as kids. They can be good or bad impacts but the one that I relate to is a good one – Mrs. Margaret McGowan.

Back in the days of a more free childhood there were fewer restrictions, political correctness issues and more common sense (well most of the time). Police were allowed to police so you toed the line and being a kid didn’t mean how sexy you could look at 12 years old. None of us even wanted to look at a Dolly magazine after some intellectual insight and spot on predictions regarding the effects this may have on our kids from this wonderful lady. It was puddles and mud pies in a downpour of rain; Being a kid and having fun.

Mrs. McGowan was cool. She was sophisticated and down to earth and she instilled in us self respect and awareness. Our favourite topic was advertising and how to read between the lines… What was said had to be basically true so the word twist started and is still in fine form today.

* Clinically proven or clinical studies MUST have been tested in a clinic – veterinary, dental didn’t matter – a great con by advertising companies.
* An ad I heard for a mass burger chain advertising breakfast with a freshly CRACKED egg – not a fresh egg. What? did they think we are concerned about when the egg was cracked? I would be more concerned about how long ago the egg was laid. Eeeew, if you could, wouldn’t saying the eggs were fresh be a better pitch?
* A recent pizza chain advertising ‘now with quality fresh ingredients’ what the hell were they feeding you before then I dared to ask?
* A shampoo company (allegedly with major amounts of silicone) giving you healthy or healthier ‘looking’ hair.
* Supermarket chains – Take a good look at how they advertise their produce and compare it to the signage in a market or fruit and veggie shop that DOES get and sell fresh produce. They often use the word 'fresh' but listen to the before and after's. Do they EVER say our produce IS fresh and from local farms?

There are many ploys to get your hard earned dollar. We all need or want ‘stuff’ so one company has to stand out above the rest to be the favourite but when they resort to these tactics, well it’s nothing short of insulting.

Listen to what they are NOT saying and read between the lines before you buy. If a product is what it claims to be they can say it. You choose and our choices will weed out the wheat from the chaff.

My pick of the bunch; a cola company splashing the words 'making the impossible possible' on the TV screen. They're not saying they CAN actually do that but I instantly think how about granting all of us a second natural Mum to give the first one a break.
I'd Like to see them do that...
16/10/2009 @ 1305 pm by Debbi

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What a wonderful world it is away from the media, the pressures to buy the latest and you beaut gizmo, social demands placed on children and teenagers. Taking part in local cultural and artistic activities. Calling on your neighbour for a chat and a cuppa. Giving quality time to your children and grandchildren, helping a mate in need and finally showing gratitude for the things that enrich our lives.
Live to love and love to live, embrace happiness and find inner peace.

Jim Heywood

21/10/2009 @ 1800

Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image WHAT KIND OF PERSON WOULD DO THAT?:
In this 21st century there are a zillion protections in place for those who work.
Zero tolerance on abuse, sexual harassment, gender discrimination etc...

So what do you do when a sitting judge says "That's your line of work, it is to be expected, deal with the assault"
You suck it up of course and get on with the job. There is more to this job than that - there is being abused, attacked, spat on, seeing the most horrific side of the human nature, seeing the results first hand and real of the carnage of a speeding P plater or a drunk driver and perhaps even being killed yourself.

What kind of person, gets up every day to go to a job that sounds as bad as this? A Police Officer. Why? Because they believe they are helping folks like you and me and ensuring that the world turns as we and communities expect it to.

Tuesday the 29th of September is Police Remembrance day. You don't have to do anything about it really but if you happen to be near a service, pop in and show the gratitude or even just spare a few minutes thought and thanks to the mums, dads, and families of those who have died in the line of duty protecting the way we expect to live.

Our expectations do come at a price - a lot of us don't realise just how much.

26/09/2009 @ 1505 pm by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image SO NOW WE WAIT:
It was days and hours of research, writing, tweaking and stressing to make the deadline, but it is done.

Now we wait to see the fate of our beloved NSW Music Industry.

While many were unaware there are changes coming and couldn't submit to voice their opinions, many did know and perhaps didn't bother while those that know the drastic changes that may come from this ill informed review (hopefully) saved those collective butts by taking the time.

While many of NSW's performers are opposed to booking agents they are a part of the industry.

A venue operator and others are too busy to vet the hundreds of applications for entertainers they receive while this is what the booking agent does.

Its a sign of these busy times that agents are widely utilised by the venues and other employers who will grant you a gig.
if you look at this objectively it raises the standards for performers in the industry.

Gone will be the days of performers going into popular venues undercutting rates just to show their talents. Gone are the days of lack of professionalism. An agent won't book a performer who is not a professional as their own rep is on the line.

While it does become frustrating for those who used to, quite successfully, book themselves agents (the honest ones) can and probably will improve the local industry.

Good luck to you all and my sincere appreciation to those who took the time to submit, your peers owe you much!

03/08/2009 @ 11.30 pm by Debbi

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Yes those of us who are concerned, wait in anticipation and live in hope that we don't take a backward step As the industry has come a long way since the dark ages of the 60s and 70s performers have been educated in the awareness of their workplace conditions and award entitlements.
The working relationship between artist and a majority of booking agents and managers has been a healthy one over the past 3 decades.
The industry has had the power to curb the progress of some unscrupulous operators who continue to trade (fortunately on a small scale under the present legislation).
Of course this present scenario could change if planned amendments to the act are successful.

Many young musicians and students are currently enrolled in accredited courses in this State on the important elements of dealing with entertainment representatives ethically and professionally.Will these graduates encounter a climate of uncertainty as they deal with unlicensed representatives?.Are the educators aware of these planned amendments to the act and should course curriculum's be more fashioned towards dealing with situations of ambiguity when dealing with an unlicensed representative.

I think the more we analyse this subject matter the more anomalies the POWERS THAT BE will discover in time and hopefully reconsider a legislation befitting a healthy and prosperous entertainment industry in the 21st century.

Jim Heywood
07/08/2009 @ 10.00 pm

Yawn! oops i think i caught the apathy virus i've been waiting with baited breath for more input on the entertainment act amendments it looks like there is just 2 concerned people on the coast but you know good people the dust has settled and we live in the real world .Watch the panic when the mud sticks,dazzle at the charlatans as they pay you not peanuts but the crumbs at the bottom of the bag.
Jim Heywood
05/09/2009 @ 1730

Thanks Jim
We have contacted all the Shadow ministers who will help us in the cause. It was to be discussed on the 2nd of September but now will be the 8th. I will let you know how it went when I know.


Telecross caller Elaine and great grandson - whatsoncentralcoast imageWhats On Central Coast Logo Button image END OF AN ERA:
All around us, up close or strangers, there walk those quite, unassuming, selfless heroes we call volunteers.

These folk selflessly do charitable deeds that may or may not affect us personally but do help many in our community.

One such lady is Elaine (Pearl) Rae.

Elaine has been doing the
RED CROSS TELECROSS SERVICE since 1984 and on many an occasion calling more than one person per month to help meet the extreme demand of those in need and so few volunteers.

Elaine continued doing her Telecross Call through the death of her husband and her sister, through a fall or two that left her almost bedridden and through many of life's general illnesses, sad times and mayhem. The only time Elaine took off was when hospitalised and an actual holiday away for a few days.

While there are many, many Telecross callers out there, perhaps some even calling one of your grand parents, Elaine is a very special case; She celebrated her 84th birthday in early July, yes, her 84th birthday.

While this birthday is a definite celebration and the milestone of hitting 25 years with the Red Cross was a long time dream, Elaine has sadly, regrettably had to pull the plug early.

She has realised that her own health issues make it difficult to assist those in need, as best they need, so 4 months short of the 25 years she has had to leave her long time sentinels post.

This has broken her generous heart and no end of reassurance of the legendary job done and the few lives known for sure she has saved have been able to alleviate the sense of letting down those in need.

Don't sweat it Mum you have done a brilliant and remarkable job and we are all extremely proud of you!


12/06/2009 @ 4.30 pm by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image CROOKED KIWI'S GET A FEW TONGUES WAGGING:
I was watching a show called Underbelly the other night.

In between snoozing (I’m not a big TV fan) I realised that if I was a New Zealander I would be feeling a tad paranoid about now.

It was interesting to hear my thoughts also reflected by some local radio jocks as well.

Australia (according to this show) appeared to be inundated with crooked Kiwis coming over here to rip us off before they bumped us off, not only taking over a variety of local ‘industries’ but also ‘conning’ the local Aussie population from the streets to the Airports (no – that didn’t go down well at all). I thought it a tad unbelievable and over the top at first only to discover this is apparently based on true events and while the period and crimes were big news way back when I wondered how much had changed.

There were Royal Commissions with a few rolling heads resulting if I recall but I guess the lesson learned was vigilance.

Modern technology and sniffer dogs etc probably do curb a lot of this these days but where the big bucks were concerned, well, ‘where there was a will there was a way’.

I will be looking forward to catching an episode where the Aussie's finally show crooked ‘newbies’ that we are not a nation of idiots, the good triumphs over the evil, and eventually they will be caught out - Again.

Hello to all my Kiwi friends and I wonder how you feel about the show so far …

18/02/2009 @ 4.30 pm by Debbi

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Hey Bro er Deb eh,
Sorry sometimes it just rubs off on you being around our Maori and Pakeha cousins from across the pond. The thing that mostly occupies our minds in all seriousness is Rugby Union. The annual meeting of the two nations, who will take home the coveted Bledsiloe Cup, The Wallabies, or The Allblacks.
We all talk it up and speculate but the great leveler is on the rugby field where many a fine tournament is decided, win,lose or draw.
The only crooked thing about a kiwi is the way they walk off the field after being convincingly defeated by THE WALLABIES, go home and lick their wounds, and come back with hunger in their hearts for another lesson in art of playing rugby.
May the green and gold prevail in 2009.

22/02/2009 @ 11.50pm by James A Heywood

Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image PRINGLES: JUST NOT THE REAL THING:
I know they have been around for a while and appear to be popular, but WHY? I ask you.

When something is popular and you don't like it you can sometimes feel a little alienated and paranoid about having an opinion.

In a simple conversation recently regarding other ways to peel potatoes someone else also mentioned that they weren't on their favourites list either. I thought I was alone, I was labeled old fashioned by my kids, it was a just a simple preference thing.

I remember the days, way back when, where trust was the flavour of the day. Our bread and even ice creams, like the humble paddle pop, came in open packets.
Unheard of in this 21st century.

Many consumables are tainted with something that is bound to make you sick these days. Even at the humble fruit shop!
If we all paid credence to the one million and one study results we are bombarded with almost daily, we possibly wouldn't venture out the front door or clean our teeth.

The humble potato was first dehydrated, initially for convenience, many years ago. It's not that I'm a big fan - I just remember it was the era of silly nick names and mine of course was 'mashed potato'.

So how do they get dried potato (which appears to go 'flaky' when all the moisture is removed), to cook to the point of being crisp?
And whats with the shape? Are they stamped or moulded while cooking or after cooking and still a glug?

Now the good ole Smiths Chip (or crisp as they are called) may not be at the top of the nutritional value list either but are great for that salt hit craving that sometimes attacks.
You know it was a real whole potato sliced and cooked. It even looks like a potato slice.

Maybe my dislike can be linked to one of those old studies on food appearance/mind acceptance test results I learned in advertising awareness classes in school.

Ahh - its the little things that tweak the imagination.

03/02/2009 @ 9.40am by Debbi

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I prefer to make my own and bypass the middle man/woman nothing like the homemade chip slice it to your required thickness and certain types of potatoes make an ideal tasty morsel and don't forget to drain off excess oil before you serve.
Most of my friends have tried Pringle's and like myself always choose the homemade variety .I CALL UPON ALL HONEST CENTRAL COAST CHIP LOVERS PEEL,SLICE,THEN GENTLY FRY. A GOOD HOMEMADE CHIP WILL STAND OUT ABOVE ALL OTHERS.

10/02/2009 @ 5.40pm by James A Heywood

Hi Deb
I’m with you on this one; I never could understand the fascination with those ‘chips’ that seemed to invade our shores from foreign lands, and became the “IN” thing at the time, screaming “I’M AN IMPORT, TRY ME” as you wandered past it in the aisle with a severe case of the munchies.
Sadly however, most who tried them were very disappointed – me included.

Maybe the Companies plan for longevity in the marketplace was always going to be partaking in aggressive marketing ploys and undercut other, more well-known and respected brands, just to survive. I mean really, the chips are so thin that you can pretty much see through them!

The question begs to be asked though (at least in my mind); how much fat is each wafer-thin chip lined with? How many can you really eat before you’re ready to be sick?

I must confess, I’ve done half a long tube of them, and have never gone back – and I’m thankful. I know a lot of others who have done the same thing; and the results are the same; sick to the back teeth.

The REAL deal (Smith’s in case you’re wondering) have been around for as long as I can remember, and despite their being more air in the packs nowadays, quality shines through, and that’s what I’m after – a munchie that actually LOOKS like a potato, TASTES like a potato and IS a potato! (I neglected to mention that I’m a potato fan didn’t I?)

Do you think Gen Y will be reminiscing in 20 years time saying… “Hey, do you remember those Pringle's chip things, I wonder what happened to them?” Gen X of course is still in memory lane about the Paddle Pop competition and I for one, can’t believe that I used to be able to consume an entire box and still never win a prize.***
Smith’s (I don’t care if they are imports) for me is the way to go. I love my spuds, and have had a few potato-orientated nicknames that relate too, but they’ve stood the test of time, and like all true products, they’re worthy of attention.

A Spud Nut!

04/02/2009 @ 10.40 by Spud Nut
Whats On logo button WHATS ON CENTRAL COAST BLOG ARCHIVES Whats On logo button
Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image Now This Is HELP:
There are times when we are out of tune with the signals and times when every little thing becomes a sign.

I discovered tonight an old newsletter from June 2001 and it appeared from nowhere. I remember getting it but I cannot remember where, when, who, how or why....

This is one of the stories in it; perhaps the answer does lie within...

At close to midnight on a stormy rain drenched Alabama highway back in the 1960's, an elderly African American lady stood near her broken car with a broken spirit. Surprisingly a young white male stopped to assist her. he dropped her somewhere safe, organised help for the car and then popped her in a cab. In those troubled times this was a big deal.

She was in a hurry but took the time to thank him and write down the young mans address.

About a week later the young man received a delivery to his home of a huge console colour TV. There was a note attached, it read...

"Thank you for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but my spirits as well. Then you came along. Because of you I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others. Sincerely Mrs Nat King Cole."

We never really know what happens or is happening in other people’s shoes.

Quite often a few of us never even seem to care.

The joy this simple act gave to this woman and her husband is a joy no one else but the young man and the couple will know. Don't give up though; we could all keep trying to find out.

11/03/05 @ 11:55:39 pm by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image Mixed Bag:
Is life really like a box of chocolates or more like a bag of mixed lollies?
Life and living so often get compared to all sorts of things and these comparisons may seem relevant at the time.

But life is change. Without change life and those who live it would stagnate.

Now change and a mixed bag of lollies may seem worlds apart but - if you don't like those awful black jelly babies you then choose not to have them. The same as life. If you do not agree to one's perception or grasp on life, you choose not to have them in your life.

The fun part is discovering what lies deep inside. We all know that chocolate éclair lolly has that chocolate (or other) flavoured goo on the inside. We really can't go around biting people to see what they have inside, so, we endure the all day sucker confection.

In a bag of life you will possibly get a few nuts as well.

In both bags you can get sweet or sour, hard or soft, hot or bland, colourful or plain and sticky, chewy or crunchy. The choice is there and the choice is ours.

Know your lolly!

It won't guarantee you disappointment but its such fun searching through the bag.

07/05/05 @ 05:34:32 pm by Debbi

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Whats On Central Coast
is run by a true local, born in Gosford and is very proudly Central Coast & Australian owned and operated.

An extensive knowledge and a love of the area plus a genuine interest to promote all it has to offer is what sets Whats On Central Coast apart from the others.

So if you are looking for holiday, temporary or permanent Central Coast accommodation, a spot of Central Coast shopping, some brilliant Central Coast entertainment, a surf report before a dip in one of the many pristine Central Coast Beaches or a round of Golf followed by some fish and chips or maybe 5 star cuisine from one of the many Central Coast restaurants or take-away's you have definitely arrived at the right place..

We also have the resources to help with your wedding plans too!

Check the links above and also to the left and find all you'll need to enjoy a night out on the town or a whole holiday!
Welcome to my home town.