Taxi protest, Ronaldo's new hotel & resort, Animal feeding bank, Diário improvements, etc.

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Eiryl … this photo was taken late afternoon at Santa Cruz.

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 28/1/2009

The taxi drivers protest took place on Tuesday, about unfair competition, and costs and commitments, in the car park at Praia Formosa. Over 100 taxis attended, with the aim of drawing their plight to the attention of the regional secretary for tourism and transport. The statement made accuses Funchal buses, tour operators, and hotel buses of amongst other things ‘dishonesty in competition’. There must be plenty of honest taxi drivers I am sure (this is my politically correct bit in case you hadn’t noticed), but why do the words pot, black, and kettle keep popping into my mind?

Funchal Central Hospital may be losing it’s one and only neuropediatrician on Monday, as he goes on prolonged leave and then intends to take early retirement. His disappearance will also affect the department for Pediatric Cardiology. Should this happen, the hospital will have to go to outside agencies to fulfil its obligations. Neuropediatria (also called Pediatric Neurology and Child Neurology) is a speciality or sub-medical speciality devoted to diseases or disorders of the nervous system and muscular system which manifest themselves in childhood or adolescence. Up until now the unit provided around 1,000 consultations annually.

After the good news that the golden beach has returned, and that the ferry will return on Sunday, Porto Santo Island now has the news about the plans of Cristiano Ronaldo to build a 300 bed resort on the coast there. The resort will be built on a prohibited area, once the council and regional government have agreed a plan to officially ‘urbanise’ the land. CR and his partners have asked that this move be ‘fast tracked’ in order to get the project underway quickly. The hotel should rank with 7 stars once complete, and the 10 hectare development will include small houses and apartments. The government is known to be in favour of the project which will obviously create construction jobs and hopefully future prosperity. But it is a dodgy game changing building restrictions to suit one specific project, and in this case the long term objective to fill the resort with tourists or whoever is decidedly dodgy when the future tourism numbers are looking so weak. 

Aside from the usual football story, the other article is about the erection in Funchal of more of these huge panel displays, that give motorists and others current information on things they might need or want to know, about what is going on in the city.

Other News :

Banco Alimentar Animal (BAA), or in English ‘Animal Feeding Bank’, is an organisation based on the continent that uses an army of volunteers and it’s food bank to make sure stray animals are well fed. It sees the potential to set up an organisation on Madeira also. The warehouse is kept full by the BAA, often with donations from people and local companies, and volunteers go and stock up periodically and feed mainly cats and dogs who need food. To sign up go to : www.bancoalimentar-animal.blogspot.com or you can email enquiries to bancoalimentaranimal@gmail.com .

No mention of it, but I hope they can tie in with the other animal care organisations running here, as we need more resources not the same amount spread more thinly.

The Diário has a little gloat about it’s statistics, claiming that in 2008 it received nearly 2 million visitors from 155 countries, with nearly 17 million pages viewed. It also announces that in future it will no longer be necessary to be registered to use their website, which means when I reproduce a link on the blog in future you can go direct to the Diário page without having to sign in (so I might do a few more links in future, particularly to great photos). You can also comment against individual stories now too, which is good. The online Diário will also have 4 new interactive sections, and coming in the next few days you will be able to opt to receive a newsletter. Considering there is no worthwhile competition to the Diário, I have to say I find it really quite good … after all it is not their fault if the news is a bit uninteresting at times. They do lack the bulldog spirit though, and good stories often die out without completion, for example the corruption story yesterday, and perhaps the mosquito problem they could do more to help expedite progress.

Football today : Portugal cup – Valdevez vs Nacional at 3pm (I think)

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21 thoughts on “Taxi protest, Ronaldo's new hotel & resort, Animal feeding bank, Diário improvements, etc.”

  1. I hope the government stands up to footballers wanting to build in prohibited land.
    Why should a boy with skills limited to ballgames be granted permission to build what he likes?
    Just because you can kick a football around does not grant wisdom in other ways of life.
    I don't know why this land has a building prohibition, but there would have been a valid reason, which possibly remains valid.
    7 star accomodation will probably only suit Wags from Essex or drug dealers or both.
    It will lower the tone.
    Better surely to pick up on the unfinished projects and complete them.
    Or being a bit of a hero with your balls will override sensible considerations.
    Horizontal in sympathy.
    –Martin

  2. thanks Martin, wherever you got the idea from that CR was being given special treatment it wasn't from me … I wouldn't dare. Building on greenbelt, surely it couldn't happen!
    –Der

  3. Why does every person with spare cash, think they are hotelier/caterers? Another failed hotel company in the making – you read it first here!
    –Anna
    <mailto:annab22@btinternet.com>

  4. I'm sure you're right Anna.
    I read somewhere in a financial analysis that the businesss most likely to fail in it's first year was any associated with catering and hospitality.
    This due to the lack of business acumen of the owners involved.
    Hope CR is good at business.
    –Martin

  5. I'm sure you're right Anna.
    I read somewhere in a financial analysis that the businesss most likely to fail in it's first year was any associated with catering and hospitality.
    This due to the lack of business acumen of the owners involved.
    Hope CR is good at business.
    –Martin

  6. How many times has the word horizontal(ly) been used on the blog since I first used it?! There are parts of Porto Santo which are extremely beautiful and unspoilt – you can bet that the hotel is going to be plonked there.
    –Viv

  7. Good News about the Diario, will be easier for us all…

    I still think Porto Santo is a lost cause, and ronaldos money wont make any difference, or bring the Tourists.

    The wind is HOWLING tonight, if it continues like this, its gonna be a sleepless night.
    –Tobi

  8. Good Grief Martin, Why knock a Madeiran boy like C. Ronaldo for putting money into Porto Santo irrespective how many WAGS or tongue in cheek "Drug Dealers" it delivers when it provides work for the inhabitants of Porto Santo. Sod the permission or special treatment that ball players have surely the economic situation should thank any investment in Madeira/Porto Santo.Obviously you are are person with wise decisions by moving to Madeira- Why not build a 5 6 7 star hotel yourself and help the local economy or just critisise someone with the "Balls" and the money to do it
    –Don

  9. Ok Don will do.
    Because of the current depression I will take the opportunity to build right on the beach.
    I will forget the future for the now.
    And when I've finished building, what will the workers have to build next to avoid unemployment?
    Porto Santo will look quite nice covered end to end in buildings and car parks.
    Mr Ronaldo and what's left of his money will have moved to somwhere prettier long before it's finished.
    –Martin

  10. There has been far too much overdevelopement and (allegedly) illegal building work carried out on Madeira, this NOT to the benefit of the local community and also detremental to tourism….many visitors will not now return.
    Why should people with money be allowed to corrupt the landscape by building in preserved areas? Seperate rules, brown envelopes……I thought that (until Quinta Lorde) Madeira had started to stamp out corruption (allegedly) and heaven forebid it should spread to Porto Santo…golden balls should not be allowed to help break the golden eggs of Madeira/Porto Santo.
    –Jon

  11. Does anyone do any market research before they build yet another hotel? Being cheeky, I awarded myself a tour of the Vine whilst in Madeira last week. They practically jumped on me – no evidence of guests. A couple on the plane back yesterday said that they had been staying at the Savoy and in three weeks the total number of guests did not go over 14. He said that there was a rumour that Reids was doing even worse and for a key week in December they had the princely total of 8 guests (4 rooms occupied). Will they cover the whole of Madeira in concrete and then suddenly realise that people can go to concrete jungles anywhere and probably live in one themselves at home? No need to travel to the middle of the Atlantic to see yet another one. Wake up, politicians and planners – you are ruining a beautiful place.
    –Viv

  12. Whether a tourist or foreign resident, the only people who can make this stop is the Madeiran people themselves. They cannot sit by and let this happen.
    –Viv

  13. The problem is that the Madeiran residents cannot stop this because as in many other countries, money talks. It was said that any planes submitted after 2006 would not be passed, but hey here we are with at least 4 new hotels, with more in the pipeline. As for Porto Santo, CR must be getting very poor advice, firstly there is a serious downturn on the island , there are few if any direct flights feom UK, the Italians have ceased their flights (170,000 visitors less per year) and who will want a 7* hotel on 'protected' land. This week in Madeira hotel occupancy stands at 17% and falling, contracts are not being renewed, visitors are spending less so CR would be better building a hospital in P.S. to save the residents having to be flown to Madeira for treatment.
    –Joanne

  14. Joanne, or anyone else, do you know how many more hotels are to be built and in the pipeline? I don't know how many 'beds' Madeira has at present but it would be interesting the know the figure and how many more bed are going to be made with the new hotels.

  15. All post is delivered to the players by writing to Manchester United FC. Whether or not a reply would follow would no doubt be left to his advisors, that he obviously pays a fortune to, or to listen to a disgruntled ex-pat or maybe his Mum , sister etc that still live in Madeira. Your guess!
    –Don

  16. This year Madeira will have around 35,000 hotel beds available. Of the 55 units classified as hotels, 10 are 5 star rated and have nearly 5,500 beds available. Around a third are 4 star, and have over 8,000 beds available.
    –Der

  17. to be honest, writing to CR is a waste of time, a visitor to Madeira was so impressed with a concert from the Madeira Mandolin Orchestra, he knew they were looking for sponsorship to tour UK and he informed their musical director that he had written to CR, hoping that the orchestra, being Madeiran, would be of interest, reply??, not a whisper, I would think he never gets to know half of what is sent to him, complete waste of time.
    –Joanne

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