TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to SPAD, the domestic animal protection society … the picture we don’t want to see, but sorry we can’t have beautiful scenery everyday, and this really happened, as Sheila tells us:
Cruelty beyond belief…
This stray dog was living on the streets of Câmara de Lobos when he had sulphuric acid thrown over him from a window. Firemen wrapped him in a blanket and took him to SPAD. He was in such agony that he was put to sleep. Witnesses saw the attack but at first thought that hot water had been poured over the dog. A court case is pending.
Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 12/9/2008
While Easyjet, from next month, offers by far the cheapest way to travel to the continent (Lisbon), a new ‘low cost’ option is to do the same thing between Madeira and Porto (Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport). This time it is the French airline Transavia making the move, with 4 weekly flights planned to start in the winter, and the possibility of daily flights in 2009. The route to Porto currently operated by TAP, the Portuguese airline, at present is likely to cost around €300 if booking, but even so it seems to attract a high occupancy rate. The planes likely to be used are the latest generation Boeing 737/800’s with a capacity for 186 passengers.
Madeira leads the way in Portugal when it comes to hotel accommodation occupancy. July’s receipts were up nearly 1% compared to last year, even though occupancy decreased by 1.4%. Whilst Portugal achieved an average occupancy rate of 54% during July, Madeira achieved 68%. The average stay here is 5.7 nights, while on the mainland the average is just 3.3 nights. The growth is mainly thanks to the British tourism market through the introduction of low cost flights. The Brits now represent 32.6% of the tourism intake.
Today saw the presentation of the prestigious footballing award, the ‘Golden Boot’. The award of course goes to Madeira’s very own Cristiano Ronaldo, the top goal scorer in European football during the 2007 – 2008 season. CR has opted to receive the award on the island of his birth, and that has been interpreted as a huge action to boost publicity for Madeira as a tourist destination. Funnily enough, the article is not really about CR and the award, it is about the fact that President Jardim has opted to attend another commitment (purpose unknown) rather than use such a huge opportunity to further enhance the presentation event. Not like you AJJ to miss a such a golden chance for publicity, I just hope she’s worth it!
The last article is about the workplace death rate on Madeira being higher than the national average. Most of the deaths have occurred in the construction industry, 77 of the last 100, but that is over a period of 9 years. New laws covering safety and welfare are reducing the workplace fatality rate here over the last few years. No great surprise really, just look at the landscape here and there is one good reason straight away, but watching construction work here it is not hard to see workers working in very precarious situations.
Other news :
The old man who was due to have his property demolished and taken over this week in order to make way for the new road (Funchal East Exit) stood his ground and locked himself in. Machines turned up, but after negotiations lasting 4 hours, it was agreed that the engineers would go away and look to see if a diversion was possible to save the house, but with little hope of a better solution, and certainly no guarantees. Sadly, public interest will win for sure, I really can’t see a bottleneck being purposely incorporated into a new road.
Efforts are underway to raise funds to provide Funchal Hospital with a Digital Mammography Machine, to improve the detection rate and early diagnosis of breast cancer in women. Already such campaigns have been run successfully in Porto, Coimbra, and Lisbon on the continent, and the Foundation responsible is now turning it’s sights on Madeira. The machine costs €400,000. The campaign uses fundraising events and sales of ‘Avon’ products to raise the funding it needs. Surely that’s not ‘ding-dong Avon calling’ is it (that’s a American and British cosmetic company in case you didn’t know)?
The three dates for the necessary elections on Madeira during 2009 have been published … well sort of. The first election, for the European Parliament, is penciled in for the 13th June (the same date across Europe), but the 14th is also a possibility. The local elections (autárquicas) will take place between 22nd September and 14th October, (suggested date 11th October) and although it is possible to hold the national (legislative) elections the same day, this is very unlikely to happen, with the window for the latter being between the 14th September and 14th October, favouring 20th September as the ideal date. They could save €4 million if they held both elections on the same day, but I expect that politics and tactics prevent this possibility. I am registered to vote, and hope to do so this year in both the local and European elections (the national one I cannot vote on), but I hate election time. With all the junk mail, street posters that seem to stay up for years, and all the racket that goes on, quite aside from dominating the media for months, there is little to relish … however, as usual I am sure the PSD-M with all their money will inaugurate Madeira to death, and hopefully also provide some ‘top name’ entertainment to the masses in order to bribe their way through to yet more landslide victories.
Noticed an influx of Americans on Madeira? 360 arrived on Thursday, all staying at the Hotel Pestana Casino Park, courtesy of a promotion of an insurance company. Several more batches are due, totalling 2,000 in all.
And finally the bit I know everyone is waiting for … this weekend’s top football fixtures … hang on, no sorry there aren’t any due to international games this week. That keeps Madeira’s Nacional at the top of the table for yet another week.
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