Today’s photo – Many thanks to Bird … "A nightmare alligator-giraffe hybrid monster machine is devouring the Savoy Hotel!"
Thanks a lot to Paul for the following contributions :
Portugal: global clean-tech leader! The country has a population of 10 million people and covers a land area of 92,345 sq km. As the sunniest spot in Europe, with a long coastline and abundant wind, the country intends to take advantage of what nature has given it, and establish itself as a global clean-tech leader.
Strategy: Portugal expects to generate 31 per cent of all its energy from clean sources by 2020. The country already exceeds its 2010 renewable energy targets. Portugal’s renewable energy plans include the world’s largest wind, wave and solar energy facilities.
The world’s first commercial wave farm became operational in 2008. This facility will provide only a modest amount of electricity to the grid, but, Portugal has set an ambitious generation target of 550MW by 2020. Backed by significant government incentives, the wave energy sector in Portugal is poised to take off.
World’s largest solar power farm in Portugal? The solar sector also benefits from similar support. The world’s largest photovoltaic solar power farm is currently being built in eastern Portugal. The facility, capable of generating enough power for 30 000 homes, represents a play by the country to become a global leader in solar technology.
Photo : Solar power plant (Serpa, Portugal)
The article includes:
-measures taken to stimulate the uptake of renewable energy sources
-Transport Sector targets and measures
-Residential and Services sectors targets and measures
-Industry targets and measures
-Public sector targets and measures:
-Information and communication measures:
-Financial measures and incentives:
As part of the Action Plan, in September 2008 the Portuguese government began distributing 5 free high-efficiency light bulbs to each of the poorest 13 per cent of households in the country. Link to full article with other links
PUPILS of St John’s Primary School have unveiled a lasting tribute to a fellow pupil who died in a tragic shooting accident while on holiday last year. João Calaça-Sousa (8) died from massive blood loss last November after accidentally shooting himself while playing at his aunt’s house in Venezuela. JERSEY PRESS
Many thanks to Elaine for these two links :
Portugal shows the way on high seas protected areas. Madeira – WWF today praised Portuguese authorities for announcing the establishment of four marine protected areas on the extended continental shelves of the Azores as well as mainland Portugal. ARTICLE HERE AND MORE DETAILS
Storming weekend for MML Sports cars. This weekend saw a pair of excellent results for drivers at the wheel of MML Sports Mitsubishi rally cars. António Nunes narrowly missed out on the Group N class victory on Rally Porto Santo Line, the first round of the Madeira Rally Championship while David Westenbrink claimed fifth in his first outing in the Lancer WRCar on the Tank-S rally, round two of the Dutch series. HERE
Shalk, who lives in South Africa, dropped me a line to say : "A lesson in how to get around in Madeira! You have to go up to go down and you have to go down to go up! You have to go right to go left; you have to go left to go right. You have to go around to go straight and you have to go straight to go around. You have to drive right to be right, but if you drive left you wrong. You have to forward to go backwards and you have to go backwards to go forward". Thanks Shalk, I think I will take the weekend to digest that one. Der.
Many thanks to Elaine once again for yesterday’s top news stories :
FRONT PAGE NEWS
5.4% increase in crime. Nationally, there was 1.2% less crime in 2009 than 2008 but in Madeira, it increased by 5.4%. There are 30 – 40 reported crimes per 1,000 inhabitants. The ratio of violent and serious crimes was 1 – 2 per 1,000 inhabitants, or 294. This put Madeira in the top ten of the eighteen administrative districts, the most violent area being Lisbon with a ratio of 4 crimes per 1,000 residents. In the category of crimes against the person, which includes bodily harm, threat or coercion, Madeira was above the national average with an increase of 34.43% compared to 23.32% nationally. Crimes against life in society, including driving under the influence of alcohol, forgery and passing counterfeit currency, 16.41% increase versus a national average of 12.54%. Changes in the prevalence of some other crimes were below the national average. Domestic violence increased by 8.4% compared to 10% on the mainland.
"We are forgotten for hours." On the National Day of the User of the Health Service, Diário questioned the quality of the service. Patients complained of delays and lack of vacancies for consultations. There is a shortage of family doctors in Madeira and sometimes patients go at 7 am to get an appointment. There were no complaints about health care professionals, who were said to be attentive and sympathetic. The Regional Council of the Medical Association received only six complaints that merited an investigation in 2009, showing that the health care services have improved significantly. Doctors and nurses said patients rights do not leave the drawing board. For example, people have the right to a family doctor and nurse but many do not. After receiving treatment in hospital, there is not always continuity in care. There is a right to privacy but the wards are too overcrowded for this to happen. The President of the Order of Nurses said that people do not look after their own health enough and the emphasis is on treatment rather than health promotion. Nurses are on strike on March 31st over a proposed salary scale.
Petrol station on Porto Santo closes at Easter. The main petrol station on Porto Santo will close when the contract with Galp ends on April 1st. There is no attempt by either parties to renew the contract with complaints on both sides, as previously reported. If the petrol station closes on Wednesday, the only one left is a small one that shuts on holidays and Sundays. Porto Santo Council want a petrol station installed immediately in the Industrial Park. The other option is the possibility of having a filling station on land where a camp site is planned.
Census of the Galinhola attracts 52 volunteers. Next week, there will be the first regional census of this bird, the Woodcock. 35 volunteers are coming from different parts of the country, Spain, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands to help. This is a partnership between SPEA and the Natural Park of Madeira to assess the impact of power lines on vulnerable birds and to identify key locations. This species, Scolopax rusticola, has a ‘vulnerable’ status and is one of the least known birds on the island. The population count will take place between 28 March and 2 April during one hour before sunset and one hour after, at 100 observation posts.
Jaquine said : The Galinhola bird pictured translates as our fairly common woodcock (or snipe). I think it’s a young woodcock as the markings look right. It’s still common in the British Isles, in fact they’re still regarded as fair game in a shoot, although they move very fast & don’t get caught often.
Nine million Euros for repairing irrigation channels. The Regional Government has embarked on an emergency plan to repair agricultural irrigation channels damaged on February 20th. Eight contracts have been signed at a cost of nine million Euros to minimize the effects on agriculture and regional economy. The funding will come from the EU and the Regional Budget. 100 channels with a total length of over 600 kilometres need repairing, which should take 250 workers 90 days.
250 lorry loads removed from the pond. Progress report on the clean up of the lagoa do Lugar de Baixo. This is the only tidal lagoon in the region, rich in biodiversity and of great ornithological interest. Over the past fortnight, inert materials and sludge deposited by the storm have been cleared out and the project is ongoing. The Regional Directorate of the Environment and the ponta-solense council are funding the operation and hope to improve the area, making it more visibly attractive than previously. Care is taken not to disturb two reed beds where migratory birds are nesting. After the heavy dredging, which should finish next week, Sanas boats will be used for more delicate cleaning.
Police are promoting destination Madeira. The Public Security Police (PSP) today are ‘selling’ Madeira as a "safe and enjoyable" tourist destination. The action is intended to strengthen the trust and confidence of the foreign and local communities, especially in tourist areas. This is in relation to events of 20.02.2010. The operation between 09.00 and 21.00 in the main hotel district and tourist areas in Funchal, is in cooperation with Regional Tourism, Cultural Affairs, Madeiran Executive, Funchal Council and the Folklore Group of Boa Nova. Leaflets will be distributed in English: ‘PSP: Portugal, Safer Place – Madeira Islands: Welcome to the Atlantic’s safest paradise’. A study in 2007 showed that 99% of tourists classified Madeira as a safe and tranquil destination and the police want to build on this. Crimes related to tourists are "isolated", mostly petty theft.
Ryanair based in the Algarve rather than Madeira. Due to the inertia of the Madeiran authorities, Ryanair will not be flying to Madeira. Ryanair had wanted incentives available through the Fund for New Routes to bear the cost of certification of its pilots. The regional authorities considered this proposal unacceptable because this incentive has not been granted to any other company. Ryanair has made an agreement with ANA-Airports of Portugal (1.2 million Euros), Turismo de Portugal (1.2 million Euros) and Algarve hoteliers (600,000 Euros). This announcement stunned Bernardo Trindade, the Secretary of State for Tourism, who did not even know about this proposal and wants to know what is going on. Ryanair will fly to Faro this summer which will boost tourism and the economy, denied to Madeira, as the low-cost carrier offers competitive rates.
JORNAL DA MADEIRA
Cocktail competition on March 31st. The Madeira Bartenders Association will hold this event at the Porto Mare Hotel from 14.00 – 18.00. The winners will represent Madeira at the national competition in May which will be held in Madeira. 30 bartenders will demonstrate their creations and the art of making cocktails.
Nuno Teixeira wants compensation for banana producers. He wants support for banana producers in Madeira and the Canary Islands. The EU and Latin America have reached an agreement to reduce the import tariff. This will adversely affect Madeira and the Canary Islands due to the physical characteristics of the islands and the small sizes of plantations. There are 2,800 producers in the region and this agricultural sector covers 600 hectares. 14,000 tonnes of fruit were produced last year.
Today’s news headlines from the front page of the Diário de Notícias :
Old bridges should remain [stay as footbridges] – Cidrão and D. Manuel : The council tries to avoid demolition, despite of the damage. Other already came down. Quite agree, keep them than as footbridges rather than demolish or reopen to traffic. I wish that was what we had done in Ribeira Brava, with one side of our now totally demolished 100+ year old bridge, being perfectly OK for pedestrians. But the council knocked it down, and what we now have is a shiny brand new metal footbridge in its place.
Today’s main news headline : Support contradicts criticisms of businesses – Since February 20, 136.7 million Euros were allocated to companies affected by the storm. The numbers diminish the complaints from business associations. Around 800 traders have already been included.
Clocks go forward tonight.
Theatre commemorates its day without guarantees – The theatrical activity will only survive if the participants were to have other jobs. One actor, for example, is a policeman.
The main sport / football headline today : Carvalhal came bringing European hope – Marítimo beat Sporting by 3 – 2 and returned to a league ranking close to the access to the Europa League.
Today is the day of Benfica – Sporting Braga. Paiva (ex-Benfica) and Fernando Luís (ex-Braga) give the motto for the game for the title.
Passos Coelho is the new leader of the national Social Democrat Party – Paulo Rangel wins comfortably on Madeira, but stays in second place. I watched this last night as the results came in, and this has now created quite an interesting situation. Sweet Manuela Ferreira Leite has now gone, and bless her for trying, but she was just no match for the smoothie statesman José Sócrates. Pedro Passos Coelho managed to get 61% of the vote nationally, with Rangel taking just 34%, and forget the other two candidates. But in polls released just a couple of days ago, Rangel had a decent lead over Coelho when punters were asked the question "who would be the best party leader?". In responding to the question "who would make the best prime minister?" however, the punters went for Coelho. That analysis fits perfectly with my own assessment, and I have no personal knowledge about these two men or their abilities, except to say one is probably a stout and whippet man, and the other a G&T and ex second hand car salesman type. So last night’s results tell us that the PSD membership at large has opted for ‘prime ministerial potential’ over party leadership and stability, no surprise really, with the current Socialist Government just itching to be toppled.
Anyway, what does that mean for Madeira? The fact that President Jardim had told his followers on Madeira that they could vote as they liked, maybe indicated that perhaps he already knew that he was backing a loser … but they voted for Rangel anyway. The fact that Uncle Bertie said he didn’t care who won as the party would still amble in ‘mindless disarray’, confirms that he knew that he was on for a hiding. As I have said before, Jardim hates Passos Coelho with a vengeance, and had made no secret of the fact up until a week or so again when the two men tried just slightly to publically paper over the cracks. Coelho probably won’t want to go near Jardim, and Jardim wouldn’t stoop to Coelho even in the name of party unity, and it just remains to be seen if he takes a softly softly approach (which would probably last just a few weeks) or adopts immediately the open-air sniper strategy. There is one other possibility not to be ruled out, that Jardim may try and establish a breakaway party, but I believe this was tried once before and failed. I shall be watching with interest …
If anyone else can oblige with the translation of any of the ‘blank’ or sparsely filled headlines, or other news stories, here is the link. All contributions much appreciated.
Many thanks to Jaquine for this article from yesterday’s Diário :
Pestana Hotels Turn Out the Lights. All the hotels of the Pestana Group situated in the archipelago of Madeira will be in candle-light in their exterior areas and some communal rooms tomorrow (i.e. Saturday 27th), between 20.30 and 21.30. The reason is the enrolment of the hotel group in the Hour of the Planet, a major worldwide initiative in the fight against climate change by WWF, the global conservation organisation. ‘It is increasingly important that firms, governments and citizens fight against climate change in
defence of the planet. Through joining this initiative, the Pestana Group intends not just to contribute to the preservation of the planet but to take part in the greater voluntary platform of citizens against climate change’ says a note distributed yesterday by the biggest national hotel group.
The Hour of the Planet started in 2007, in the Australian city of Sidney, where two million people turned out their lights. In 2008, more than 50 million people in the whole World participated in the Hour of the Planet. Portugal joined this movement in 2009, and for the second consecutive year the results have been beyond expectations, with the strong support of various cities and towns of the country. ‘The Pestana Group cannot stop helping this campaign in which it aims to stand out and make a difference and start a real change in behaviour’ added the communication.
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