TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Pirex … The Santa Catarina boat
Front Page News : source Diário de Notícias 21/11/2008
I suppose the headline of the day is that there is no football on the front page, but there is a small front page piece on the less popular sport of futsal.
A planning application for an 8 storey building in Estreita de Câmara de Lobos has been approved, subject to a few adjustments. It is to be built in a mainly rural area, and when complete it will be the tallest building in the Câmara de Lobos district. The councillors had no alternative but to approve it as a licence was originally granted in 2004, and despite changes in thinking since then, it cannot be revoked. The new building will house 23 T2 and T3 apartments. I can’t believe nothing can be done to stop such a huge monstrosity spoiling the landscape in a higher area on Madeira. Perhaps this is a special job for President Bertie, as he has a well proven track record in ploughing through democracy.
The judicial arm of Funchal police are carrying out extensive investigations into ‘goings-on’ in CMF (Funchal Council), causing some nervousness within the organisation. Several members of staff have been interviewed about the management of the council, although the lid has been kept on so far as to the exact nature of the investigations, though the words ‘crooked deals’ do get a mention in the article.
I didn’t realise this until today but you can actually watch ‘live’ the sessions that take place in the Madeira assembly, well, at least you used to be able to. Somebody has now introduced a 5 minute delay in the online transmission, seemingly to prevent the showing of embarrassing scenes such as happened earlier this month, helping to preserve the unblemished image of the social democrat (PSD) ruling party … sorry no, it actually says ‘to protect the dignity of the assembly’. The decision was taken by the presidency of the ALM, and has surprised opposition parties. A spokesman guarantees that “there is not any kind of censorship”, and the transmission will only be cut when the works are interrupted. The new system has already been in operation for over 2 weeks, and has already been used once, and it was then that the transmission delay was spotted by a member of an opposition party. Well, well, well … another sneaky move in our democratic government to ensure we don’t get exposed to the x-rated material. How thoughtful, as I would be most embarrassed to see the unveiling of a Nazi swastika, or the expulsion of a rowdy politician, or the image of a PSD vice president making a right clown of himself. I wonder who has charge of the video remote control (obviously a man, as we always do). If you fancy a peak go to http://www.alram.pt and then ‘Plenário On-Line’.
In an interview with the President of the Association of Portuguese Banks, João Salgueiro believes that Madeira is in a good position to escape the worst of the financial crisis, the secret being in good tourist utilisation (he definitely says ‘tourist’ and not ‘tourism’). He elaborates by saying that the opportunity is there to retain and capture new business as long distance tourism becomes more unaffordable. A slight flaw in your logic there sir, as if the financial crisis is worldwide, then surely the Japanese will holiday close to Japan, the Americans close to America etc. etc?
Other news :
An attempt by the trade union representing shop workers to drastically cut Funchal shop opening hours over Christmas has failed. The union had appealed to CMF to enforce shop closing at 8pm, saying that there were insufficient customers to justify working after that time. CMF have now authorised extended shop opening hours between 1st and 23rd December, and 29th to 31st. In the first week in December opening can be until 7pm, in the second week 8pm, and the third week until 9pm. Shops who want to open outside of these hours (up until midnight) can apply to CMF for a licence.
The rate of death due to pneumonia on Madeira is 2.8 times higher than the national average, and Madeira is one of the regions of Portugal with the worst death rates due to respiratory diseases. The reason is mainly down to a genetic mutation that is present in much of the native population.
Police are still on the hunt for levada muggers, particularly in the areas of Palheiro Ferreiro and Vale Paraíso. An operation on Wednesday led to the arrest of three men equipped with an air pistol that looked like a real gun. Property stolen from tourists was also recovered, and the police believe that they have now put an end to recent attacks.
The Portuguese airline TAP has lowered its prices by introducing tax benefits that are already enjoyed in the Azores, and through a new promotion that brings prices down to start at €65 (taxes included) on the routes between Madeira and Lisbon / Porto. Also many European flights are reduced for flights between 15th January and 31st May 2009, starting at €59.
This weekend’s football fixtures: Today Marítimo v Braga, SportTV at 6.15pm; Tomorrow Nacional v Trofense 4pm (the only weekend game not on TV).
A message from Sarah: Nice to see my pics on the blog, but I also enjoy viewing the other pics too, some very good photographers around. Der you might know the answer for this one, or be able to advise. Friends of mine here (they can’t access the forum it won’t allow them to log on), have asked me if I know of where one can hire bikes (push bikes) in Funchal and has anyone hired them. Where is the best place to hire, cost, etc. I didn’t know whether to put something on the blog, although I know its not blog material – but as you have a lot of visitors thought someone might be able to help. Best wishes Sarah.
According to the 2003 Rough Guide you can try Eurofun in the Centro Comercial Olimpo (291 228 638) or Joyride (291 234 906) in the same location Sarah, but that was 5 years ago. Maybe someone else has a better idea?
Have a good weekend! I am off to a local festa this afternoon/night, so if the blog is a little late tomorrow I already have my excuse.
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