TODAY’S PHOTO : One last photo from the festa of São Pedro last weekend, and it looks like this espetada stall is catching fire (one of the benefits of a low quality phone camera). The lights were switched off on Monday, and everything is coming down again after all that preparation.
Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 1/7/2008
The Diário reflects on the 9 day absence of President Jardim, who is in Venezuela visiting Madeiran emigrants, whilst the celebrations for ‘Madeira Day’ were being held. The main celebrations were held in Santana, as it seems to move to a different town every year. No Jardim for 9 days … no wonder good news stories seem to be in short supply!
An organisation called AMRAM (Associação de Municípios da Madeira) is the association that each Câmara (council) is a member of, and one of it’s purposes is to look at common issues that affect one or more of its members with a view to finding common solutions to suit the whole island. For example, domestic water supplies are one of the areas currently under discussion. A meeting has been convened for the 15th July to discuss the problem with abandoned dogs (and presumably other animals). Recognising that at present that the Câmaras to not meet the legislation in this respect, and they have been asked to come up with proposals to rectify the matter. Its seems that tourism is influencing this long overdue action as the president of AMRAM said on the matter that the situation has countless times painted a poor image of Madeira, tarnishing it for tourism. I am not going to cheer yet, as I think the câmaras have already gone around this process before, but I live in hope (just).
Porto Santo Island is already planning to have it’s own kennels, that will home between 120 and 150 animals, and will cost in the region of €500,000. The project is going out to tender this month, and the project should be complete by September 2009.
The front page of the Diário refers to a guide : ‘List of 50 places for Picnics’. I can’t find it in the online edition, so maybe you needed to buy the newspaper to get this?
Other News :
Did you know that Funchal is ‘twinned’ with the town of Marrickville in Australia? Around 10,000 Madeirans live there, and they even have two ‘soccer’ teams. The ex major of Marrickville was yesterday given an official welcome in Funchal.
Any cats and dogs born on or after 1st July are legally obliged to be ‘microchipped’, or face a fine of between €10 and €3,740. Anyone speak cat or dog so we can let the strays know? And if they fail to comply, how will they pay the fines? Will they have birth certificates to prove whether they were born before or after the deadline? I suppose it’s a step in the right direction, but with the main vets in Funchal, and the cost of microchipping, I can’t really see folks from the extremes of this island catching the bus into town to get this done.
All dogs need to be registered and have a licence (renewable annually), or again there are fines for non-compliance. If a dog disappears or dies, there is a period of 5 days to report this, and with a change of address or owner, 30 days. Police, security and military dogs are the only exemptions, (presumably in case they need to work undercover?).
Trouble at the airport on Monday when the police were called as a result of private vehicles being used to transport arriving tourists, depriving the licenced taxi drivers of their livelihood. The president of the taxi association described the situation as ‘grave’, as the illegal competition increases. You have to feel sorry for them I suppose, as I can’t image how they will make up for the loss of income (yeah, right!)
The Diário contacted a number of businesses to see if they would pass on the 1% reduction in the rate of IVA / VAT that came in yesterday. Apart from Modelo, and the telephone companies TMN, Vodafone and Optimus, it drew a blank with ‘no responses’ or ‘no change’. As water and electricity utility bills are unchanged (at the lower rate of 4%), then it seems that us consumers are not really going to notice much difference, and that businesses will pocket most of the benefits.
You may remember that on 20th June we had a bit of a chat about the ‘Moganga’, a type of pumpkin grown on Madeira. Well, a kindly blog reader popped by with a jar of Moganga Jam on Monday (gifts not normally recommended as it raises my expectations!). I tried some on a bit of toast yesterday, and it’s just like a watery but quite sweet jam. Nothing like trying the real thing to ensure I don’t forget this fine vegetable in future … and many thanks for thinking of me.
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