Another road death, SPAD despair, Flu hits elderly, Excessive Xmas dinking, & other snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Tobi … especially for those doubting Thomas’s outside Madeira that don’t believe we were suffering severe weather conditions over Xmas … this was taken after Saturday night.

Front Page News : source Diário de Notícias 29/12/2008

Another road death, this time a 19 year old man riding a motorbike on Sunday afternoon in Ponta do Sol. He was overtaking another vehicle on the Estrada Regional dos Canhas when he lost control of the motorbike. He had only had his driving licence one year. That’s 27 road deaths this year.

The president of SPAD (Society for the Protection of Domestic Animals) says that animal adoptions during 2008 were down 7%, while the total number of abandoned animals they handled amounted to 5,500 over a two year period, with 2008 being 25% up on 2007. After all it’s hard work “SPAD is in despair” and to make matters worse it has financial problems, though these should ease in 2009 when the councils (câmaras) of Madeira start making their agreed contributions. After the law for dog registration came in, coupled with an extensive sterilisation campaign during 2008, I can understand the disappointment they must be feeling to see all their efforts thwarted by those who have no respect or responsibility for animals, probably fueled by the poor economic situation. However, as painful as it might be to think about it, if you add the situation for the rest of Madeira, where SPAD don’t have much involvement, then the true abandonment figures must be far worse than those given.

The 6km ‘São Silvestre’ race(s) in Funchal on Sunday evening was won by a man from Keyna and a woman from Portugal. In total 1,129 athletes took part, almost a new record. Madeira’s best runner achieved 11th place.

It’s been on the national news as well as here, but flu is hitting the population according to the clinical director at Funchal Central Hospital, and is hitting the ‘at risk’ groups. Old people and those with deficiencies in their immune systems were flocking to the ‘urgencies’ department at FCH over Xmas, as there were no other medical facilities open. Many of the ‘at risk’ groups are offered free vaccinations, but those who took advantage are still getting affected but with much lighter symptoms than those not vaccinated.

In another article, the same clinical director warns that the Xmas festivities is not just about drinking, after over 20 people were admitted to FCH in alcoholic comas over the period. “People should start to think that the festa is not about alcohol, more alcohol, and yet more alcohol”, adding that alcoholic consumption on Madeira is normally very elevated, but gets even worse at Christmas.

The other front page story was about the situation in Gaza.

Other News :

Madeira invests 70% more (per bed) in the promotion of tourism than the average for Portugal, and receives more assistance from Portugal in this respect than any other part of the country … fortunately with positive results.

In Calheta, the road between Lombo do Salão and  Rabaçal is in such a bad state that many tourists think they have got lost and are on the wrong road, and some even turn around and go back rather than risk the many large potholes. That is the claim of one dweller along that road, who says for many years now promises have been made to resolve the situation, but the politicians who make them never keep their word. A politician telling lies, whatever next! Still if that is the route to reach the new cable car at Rabaçal then no doubt something is in the pipeline, and enquiries by the Diário to the authorities reveal that in 2009 something is planned (again).

A thin paper again today, and I managed to whiz through every story, but not much of general interest.

Sounds like the rough weather is back, with rain and very strong winds forecast today.


One thing I have noticed regularly is people going into bars and snack bars, ordering something, and afterwards saying they don’t have any money to pay for what they had. You would be surprised how much it happens over my way, and is probably an increasing phenomenon in the current financial climate, and I often hear a barman asking a customer first if they have the money to pay. As an owner of such an establishment, what can you do … probably not worth calling the police for a few Euros, so you have no option that to accept the ‘customers’ promise that he will come and pay in a few days. Imagine going into Pingo Doce and eating a few cakes, and then going to the checkout and confessing your act but saying you can’t pay (anyone tried that?). Anyway I just thought I would mention it because I saw a barmaid deal very competently with such a situation on Sunday. The customer came in and ordered a beer, and she said that he hadn’t paid his account from his last visit (about €7), and wouldn’t serve him unless he was going to pay that, which he agreed to do. She gave him his beer, and waited for payment of the total amount, only to be told by the customer that ‘he had no money’. She then made him hand over his wallet, emptied the contents on the bar, and took €3, as that was all that he had. She then refused to return his wallet unless he promised to come back the following night and pay the rest. He promised, but whether he went back or not I don’t know. Pretty impressive for a barmaid I thought, but there again she had told me a long time ago that her boss deducted any unpaid accounts from her wages.

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4 thoughts on “Another road death, SPAD despair, Flu hits elderly, Excessive Xmas dinking, & other snippets”

  1. Unfortunately the road from Calheta to Rabacal is not necessary for the cable car. The new road is already built from Arco da Calheta up to the Paul da Serra near Pico da Urze (Jungle Rain).

    Happy New Year

  2. Yes i have noticed the shops have been packed in funchal the last few days , and the car parks.

    Looks like the weather will be ok for tomorrow night.

    i know a few people in bed with FLU at the moment , it could become a big problem on the island, i know its bad in the Uk, anyone who thinks they have it please stay away from me lol lol


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