São Vicente golf course, PS priorities, Sand extraction side effects, Apple-less?, etc.

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Peter … Campanário beach … you can’t get to it on foot or by car, so this may be the best view you are likely to see.

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 26/8/2008

A local economist and deputy of the PS (Socialist Party) has identified 3 major issues that need to be the priorities in 2009. The 9,000 unemployed, the 22% of the population that live beneath the poverty threshold, and drug addiction. I wouldn’t argue with most of that, but we are still in 2008 so why are we waiting until next year?   

I did mention it on this blog last year, but São Vicente is to have it’s own golf course built. The President of the council (câmara) there says there are several investors interested in a partnership. In the original article it said that the new course would be completed in 2011.

The controversy about the illegal extraction of sand and inert materials from the river and banks in Ribeira dos Socorridos rumbles on, as do the trucks that are carting the materials away. However Funchal Council (CMF) have now put a new focus on the matter, saying that the removal of the materials is creating a potentially dangerous environment for when heavy or prolonged rain next comes. The spokesman believes that the materials already removed need to be replaced, hoping that it happens before October, and adding that the source of 65% of Madeira’s electrical needs is under threat.

Other news :

In Caminho das Voltas (high up, overlooking Funchal) a lady whose two dogs went missing went looking for them was mortified to find them ‘hung’ by the neck in a nearby hen house. The local man believed to be responsible for the killings has a track record of poisoning and cruelty to animals. The owner will make a formal complaint through SPAD (Society for the Protection of Domestic Animals), who will then a make a formal complaint to the authorities. The culprit will be fined in accordance with the laws covering aggression against animals. I was pretty disgusted by this and I wasn’t intending to cover the story, but 1). It does show that there is a law and a route for dealing with such matters, and 2). The Diário has started an online debate on the matter, asking whether there is problem with the culture here, with plenty of angry responses from the public already. Although what happened is the responsibility of a sick and evil individual, recognising and debating an issue like this has to be step forward.

The poor lady who lost her 8 year old son after a wasp attack, and couldn’t afford to pay the funeral expenses, is to receive help from the Social Security to pay them.

The apple orchards in the high zones of Camacha are under threat from a cancerous type of fungus that attacks the the tree trunks and branches. Trees are dying and this years crop is seriously affected. The farmers also blame water shortages and fruit flies for dwindling crops. Well, if there are 42,000,000 more of them swarming around every week, I am not really surprised. Infertile they may be, but their other habits are probably much the same.

Madeira’s 130 beekeepers own between them 2,720 beehives, and this year they have been receiving government assistance with pest control. As a result honey production this year has hit 40 tons, which at the selling price of €8 per kilo works out at €320,000 annually. Looks like our poncha is safe for 2009 then!

The new Hiper Sã store in Santana has cost local businesses dearly, with sales plummeting staff are going to have to be fired. At first the novelty of the new supermarket attracted the people, and now they find they can buy everything they need there. One misguided trader of 32 years in business thinks the older businesses have some advantages to help resist the crisis “I can call a taxi, help customers carry the purchases, or advise in the purchase of products”. Nice sentiments, but not the reality … welcome to the real world of supermarket domination, where price is king.

During the winter, TAP (the Portuguese airline), is to offer 3 weekly flights between Madeira and Venezuela (Caracas). It will do so by making a quick pick-up / drop-off on Madeira on it’s flights between Lisbon and Venezuela.


After the Monday on-line edition of the Diário newspaper failed to function properly, I did manage to get a very quick flick through the paper edition, which had an article on ‘Murder Dinners’, about which I am going to say no more. I am hoping that Mr A. who is a member of Madeira Amateur Dramatic Society will do it for me, and get the event some much needed publicity.

There was a short discussion about jellyfish here a few days ago, and on the national news Monday night there was a story about two children in Portugal that got badly stung by jellyfish and were taken to hospital. As part of the story they showed some mobile phone video footage of a man who had a jellyfish attached to his head like one of those swimming caps, and it was one hell of a job to get it off, and he was in a pretty bad state once it was off. Anyway, in case anyone has the jitters I haven’t seen a jellyfish here for well over two years, and I go for a walk down to the beach every single day.


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