Mosquito action, Public buildings unused, Funchal's 'new' beggars, Hot, hot, hot …

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Eiryl … Monte Tropical Garden. Sort of Peter Panish, but very pretty. Anyone know what it is exactly?

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 13/8/2008

Following on from recent reports about growing problems with the invaded mosquito “Aedes aegypti” in just a few areas, the government is to start a new campaign of chemical desinfestation in October, as when the rain comes the egg laying will intensify. The work will go out to tender. The “Aedes aegypti” exists throughout Europe, except mainland Portugal and the UK, and can be a carrier of dengue or yellow fever, though there have been no reported cases (that I have heard of) yet on Madeira.

A new construction site has sprung up in the centre of Estrela in Calheta (definitely doesn’t say Estreito), and nobody knows what it is for. It is causing some controversy, because aside from the noise and disruption, there are no safety precautions in place to protect cars and pedestrians from falling stones. It is a wonder  that no one has been hurt so far. Complaints have been made to the Câmara Municipal of Calheta (council), and as yet no one has been able to say what the works are for … owing to the fact that the president of the council is on holiday. It can only happen on Madeira!

Over recent years Madeira and Porto Santo Island have seen the construction of many public facilities, many of which we probably shouldn’t ask where the funding came from. The Diário debates the millions of Euros spent on numerous civic centres, auditoriums, forums, and other cultural and public facilities built … because they hardly ever get used. I often wondered about this … is this just the way things work on Madeira, or is this strange. I think the Government built these things just because it could, and more than likely because someone else was paying … Europe you have been well and truly conned and fleeced … and now this Government is spending millions on building a museum dedicated to the whaling trade in Canaçal. Had it spent the money somewhat more wisely on bolstering the economic infrastructure of Madeira instead of white elephants and publicity stunts, maybe there would be less unemployed, less poor, and the recession here wouldn’t be biting so hard … shame on you Jardim! There, that´s my rant of the week out of the way.

There is a ‘new wave’ of beggars on the streets of Funchal, bringing the numbers well up above those we are accustomed to. The usual faces are still there displaying their disabilities in exchange for small change (not my words, honest!). However there are suspicions that some the of new faces are not in fact begging to survive, they are begging as a business. Some of them are immigrants from ‘The East’, some are alcoholics, and some are drug addicts. The hard-line advice given for those who want to give donations is to direct those ‘beggars’ to the institutions that are responsible for providing social support, such as the ‘Protective Association of the Poor’ and the Social Security. Hmm … if that was the solution wouldn’t they already be going there … one assumes that ‘authentic’  begging occurs because they can’t get any or sufficient social assistance in the first place?

Porto Santo beach once again in the news, and with President Jardim on holiday there it’s not so surprising. This time it is about the zones of the beach which are seemingly being allocated to hotels, with the possibility of the general public being kept out. But, Jardim says no, and that the beach zones are only allocated to hotels for management purposes, including giving assistance and cleaning. Ho ho! I wonder if these hotels have contracts or licences, and who they paid, and how much, and do they have receipts. You can imagine all the publicity printed for 5* private beach hotels, only to find they have to foot the bill for cleaning and managing a public beach instead. I think this one may roll on for a while longer.

Other News :

Natural beauty is the attraction when it comes to the beaches of Porto da Cruz, and beach goers happily exchange the south for the north to go there … according to the Diário. The green of the mountain range contrasts with the blue sky, and for most people that beauty offsets recent problems with water quality. Recent works and facilities include swimming pools on the beach of Maiata, and make the location more attractive for tourists. There seems to be a debate going on locally about whether the town should have a hotel or not. Funny that, I have yet to come across a beach on Madeira where “the green of the mountain range contrasting with the blue sky” is not a feature. I must admit though the location does look nice from the pictures in the newspaper.

On the flip side of beach beauty, Ponto do Sol beach has lost it’s ‘Blue Flag’ water cleanliness status due to two ‘barely acceptable’ water analysis results.  No direct cause has been firmly identified, but the ‘Residual Waters Handling Station’ gets a mention. If it should fail a third analysis, Ponto do Sol will be stripped of it’s Blue Flag status and will be unable to apply again for two years (I think that’s what it is saying, but I am not 100% sure).

Temperatures yesterday were forecast to swing between 28 and 34ºc. I don’t know yet if they were or not, but Tuesday night according to my room thermometer was over 28ºc, the hottest night of the year so far in my neck of the woods.  As for 34ºc, I don’t think I can ever remember such high readings since I first came here over 5 years ago. Needless to say that we are on ‘yellow alert’ for level 9 UV readings.

Don’t forget tomorrow is a public holiday. Bus times change, some places may be closed, and there are some festivals going on too.

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3 thoughts on “Mosquito action, Public buildings unused, Funchal's 'new' beggars, Hot, hot, hot …”

  1. We get plenty of those little "Aedes aegypti" buggers in the Ribeira Brava areas also. They make a hell of a noise when buzzing in to bite during the night!

  2. I think over this side we just get the usual ones. The "Aedes aegypti" hasn't spread outside of Funchal as far as I know, but maybe just a matter of time unless the exterminators do a 100% job.


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