TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Sarah … são Lorenço. Does anyone know why some male saints are ‘São’ and others are ‘Santo’? Someone gave me an explanation the other day, but it wasn’t very convincing.
Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 19/2/2009
Main headline : ‘Italians return to Porto Santo’. The details are still unclear, but some agreement has been reached with the Italian charter operator to continue travelling to Porto Santo Island. The first flight is due in on Sunday with around 100 passengers, after flights were discontinued last month. This time though the flight is not direct from Milan, stopping at Malaga (Spain) on both legs of the journey. It seems that the change of heart has not come through negotiation with our government, who allegedly wouldn’t even discuss the matter, but is more likely due to the increased number of travellers possible through the Malaga stopover. Details and facts are still sketchy, and it seems the continuation is only guaranteed until the end of March, but it sounds like good and potentially great news for the good people of PSI.
Three decades after the air disaster at Santa Catarina, the Diário talks to one of the 33 survivors, that they found living in Arco de São Jorge, this particular man having rescued a child on that night. For anyone not familiar with the story, I found this on Wikipedia (modified for reproduction here):
TAP Air Portugal Flight 425, was a Boeing 727 aircraft named Sacadura Cabral en route from Belgium to Funchal Airport, Portugal, with an scheduled stop in Lisbon, Portugal on November 19, 1977. Shortly before 9:48pm on that Saturday evening, after 13 hours and 15 minutes of service time, the tired crew was trying to land the airplane on the difficult Madeira airport runway, which at the time was 1600 meters long. After two unsuccessful attempts to land, the Captain and Co-pilot decided to make one last try to land the plane, before they would have to make the decision to divert to the Canary Islands. While on final approach in heavy rain, strong winds and poor visibility, the aircraft touched down 600 metres past the touchdown threshold, and started hydroplaning. With just about 900 metes of runway left, the crew tried desperately to stop, applying maximum reverse thrust and brakes, but the aircraft slid off the runway with a ground speed of approximately 43 knots and plunged over a 60 metre feet steep bank hitting a nearby bridge and crashing on the beach. The plane split into two pieces and burst into flames. Of the 164 people aboard (156 passengers and 8 crew), 131 were killed, making it the worst ever airplane accident in Portugal at that time. After the accident occurred, TAP stopped flying the Boeing 727-200 to Madeira, and started flying only the 727-100, which was six metres shorter and took 60 fewer passengers. The crash prompted officials to explore ways of extending the short runway. Because of the height of the runway relative to the beach below, an extension was very difficult and too expensive to build, but between 1982 and 1986 a 200 meter extension was eventually built. Fourteen years later the runway was again extended. Following the 2000 extension, the runway measured 2781 meters long and was capable of handling wide body commercial jets like the Boeing 747 or the Airbus A340.
The municipal market of ‘Penteada’ in São Roque was robbed very early on Wednesday morning, with the thief(s) doing the round of the shops there and getting away with €750 and probably other stuff too. The market is fitted with alarm sensors, has security cameras, and employs a security company for vigilance, but it all went unnoticed, and it seems like even the cameras have no footage of the crime.
A few days ago it was reported that two new multi-storey buildings are to be constructed on Rua 5 de Outubro in Funchal (Santa Luzia), and there is now an artists impression, a floor plan, and more details available. There will be over 1,000 new parking spaces available in total. The north building will cost €16 million, and will include 32 apartments. There will be ‘green area’ public square of over 3,000 square metres.
In a dig at the holidays of politicians, the Diário points out that the last gathering of the legislative assembly of Madeira was on the 11th of February, with the next one scheduled for the 3rd March … in other words, a 3 week holiday break for carnival. Will we notice too much, I don’t think so! I really still don’t understand what they do of any value for their 20 x minimum salaries. Hardworking students like me and my classmates just get next week off school … life just isn’t fair!
Other News :
The police are running a four month campaign aimed at telling older school children that leisure time is not for drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, and that violence, crime, and petty theft are not socially acceptable or ways to fill time outside of school. The campaign started this week and runs until the end of June (just in time for the Summer holidays perhaps?).
The appeal for potential bone marrow donors has brought in two thousand people in just two weeks.
Midnight last night signified the start of a national nurses strike, although it is promised that ‘Urgencias’ (Accident & Emergency) would not be affected. Although it is called a national strike I have not read anything in the local press to say what, if any, effect it would have on Madeira.
Where is president Bertie? I haven’t had any juicy news about him for ages. Could it be that the Diário has been censored, or threatened? Without Bertie’s antics the news seems drab. Could this be the calm before the storm (election year)?
I would like to thank Trevor who emailed me to say that : “You talk of an item being ‘fairly unique’. Something is either unique or it isn’t. If it’s unique there is only one of it, if there’s more than one of it it isn’t fairly unique, rather unique, very unique or any other kind of unique.” Thank you Trevor for the free lesson, I don’t recall saying it, but it’s my blog and if I wish to express myself using the flexibility the English language gives me then I will. I can imagine a conversation with you being fairly uninteresting. To prove the point when I can I will use more frequently expressions like those you mention and include ‘commonly unique’, ‘as unique as toenails’, and ‘uniquely mass produced’, just because I can.
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