Madeira satellite project, Santa Cruz clean-up, 230 litres a day, & other snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Sarah … Botanical Gardens

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 22/3/2009

Main Headline : ‘Madeira & France Launch Satellite – The region invests €5 million in a project of a telecommunications group that will have a control station on Madeira’. When you get to read the article, you then find out that it is actually France launching the satellite, on 30th March, that will be monitored from Madeira. The French will spent €80 million to construct a monitoring station in the Zona Franca (Caniçal) on Madeira, because it is an ideal location for the purpose, though also influenced by the lure of tax advantages. The European Union is also co-financing the project. You may find out a bit more if you do a web search with the keywords ‘Eutelsat Madeira’. I thought Uncle Bertie would be off to inaugurate the satellite, and maybe even light the touchpaper on the rocket that transports it from the launchpad in Kazakhstan, but according to the article he has delegated that responsibility to the regional secretary for Education and Culture (yes really!).

For the third year running, Santa Cruz council has organised a environmental clean up using local volunteers and organisations. This time 150 people turned up to clean up the seafront, the sea bed, the rivers, and the mountain areas. The good news was that there was less rubbish to be collected than in previous years, but that the rubbish collected included several notices telling people to look after their environment.

A bit of recycled news about the water consumption of the good citizens of Funchal, who consume on average 230 litres of water each day. That works out, on average, that every one of the 100,000 residents and the 30,000 tourists, would be using the equivalent amount of water as a ‘normal’ shower taken every 12 minutes throughout the day. Broken down between the two groups, hotel guests use an average of 350 litres of water per day, and Funchal residents around 200. Yesterday, as we all know, was World water day, and Funchal Council proudly announced that through various initiatives it has saved 4.5 million cubic metres of water over the last 3 years. Some areas of Funchal will lose their water supply at 10.30pm tonight, through to 4am tomorrow morning, as further improvements are made to the supply network. They are : Caminho de São Martinho, Caminho das Virtudes, Caminho da Avista Navios, Rua Dr. Pita, Engenho Velho, Bairro da Ajuda, Rua da Amoreira, Rua da Levada dos Barreiros, Rua Fundação Zino, Rua da Casa Branca, Azinhaga da Nazaré, Caminho da Fé, Urbanização Kassab and Urbanização Rampa da Ajuda.

Despite a financial incentive for parents of €500 for the birth of a child, the village of Ribeira da Janela (Porto Moniz) hasn’t seen a child born for three years. The population of 200 is made up mainly of elderly residents, but very few children. The local council even increased its incentive, from €100 to €500, in order to encourage potential parents to do the deed, to combat the declining population which falls by 5 or 6 deaths every year. Youngsters grow up and leave, as they have no interest in agriculture, and the elderly who are left are unable to maintain the land, and end up leaving it abandoned. One man and his wife (86 and 82 years old) who live in Funchal travel to Ribeira da Janela every weekend on the bus (only one per day) to tend to their land, despite it giving very little in terms of crops. The local school is now used for activities of the elderly, whilst the 18 children of school age have to go to Porto Moniz for their education.

Aside from a story about Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, there is more about the breakdown of the Porto Santo ferry on Saturday, and of course massive coverage of the Sporting v Benfica Cup Final, but as I covered those yesterday I will move on from the front page.

However, in an unusual move, the referee from that controversial game has admitted to making a mistake in awarding a penalty to Benfica, that kept them in the game that they then went on to win in a penalty shoot-out. In an interview shown on RTP this morning the referee said “nobody is infallible,” but then argued that there is no need to apologize to Sporting, as it was enough to “admit the error, even with the influence over the outcome, before the fans”. The referee, Lucílio Baptista, who lives in Setubal, probably won’t be living there much longer!

Other News :

Anyone living in Santana? You won’t be pleased to know that that there has been no water quality control analysis reports submitted for two years. That’s in defiance of European regulations. Some of the other câmaras are not too good in the same area either.

The successor ship of the historic ‘Queen Elizabeth II’, the ‘MS Queen Elizabeth’ will be delivered to Cunard Line in the Autumn of next year. At a cost of approximately 390 million euros, the ship commissioned in October 2007 will be registered in the United Kingdom. In the inaugural year of the new vessel, the Cunard Line has included the port of Funchal in three cruises in 2010. The new ‘MS Queen Elizabeth’ makes its first stop in Madeira on 10 October 2010 as part of a cruise imaginatively called ‘Maiden Voyage’. That 13 night cruise will begin in Southampton, England, and will make stops in the ports of Vigo, Lisbon, Cadiz, Las Palmas, Santa Cruz in Tenerife, Santa Cruz in Las Palmas, and finally Funchal.

Places for the maiden voyage goes on sale on 2nd April, with a suite priced at a mere €16,000 euros.

Weekly pollen information bulletins are to be published from now on, and then can be accessed through the website www.rpaerobiologia.com . I had a look, and the information is only given for Funchal, which makes it about as useful as the Madeira’s weather forecasts, but I suppose even that will still be welcome for many hay-fever suffers.

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It looks like TAP are still up to their old tricks with flight prices, and still trying to stitch up the Madeirans. In their latest promotion you can fly from Lisbon to London for €59 until the end of May, yet to go from Madeira to London will cost at least €220 (both one way trips). If forced to use TAP for any reason, it would be around half the price to go to London via Lisbon, booking two separate flights.

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2 thoughts on “Madeira satellite project, Santa Cruz clean-up, 230 litres a day, & other snippets”

  1. Thanks for the heads up for the new Queen Elizabeth, so just to note thats the 10-10-2010, cool.

    Santa cruz council better have a clean up in caniço very soon , we always get left out , the weeds look disgusting all along the promenade.
    –Tobi

    Reply

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