River pollution, New cruise pick-up, Alan's blog rescue appeal … & other snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Jon … a wonderful Madeiran sunrise.

It’s a bit of a long blog today, so perhaps you might want to go and make a cup of coffee and make yourself comfortable before starting. 

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 13/3/2009

The main headline of the day is yet another story about the pollution of a river (though it is more dirtied than nasty pollution). This time it is in the Ribeira do Porco in Boaventura, and the authorities talk of how the dumper can do this legally without obtaining permission for a landfill site, by classifying the action as an agricultural landfill. The environmental agency criticises the offender for circumventing the bureaucracy and turning the area into something unrecognizable. The dumping consists of the output of tunnel making on the new road to São Vicente. The Diário reckons there are millions of cubic meters of dumped material along the river side there. Quite appropriate that the river names translates as river of the ‘pig’ (referring to the polluter of course) don’t you think?

It doesn’t normally make the headlines these days if it is a man, but a 22 year old woman was stabbed with a knife five times in Caniço on Thursday night. Emergency services attended to help the woman, but there is no current news on her condition. The incident took place inside at edificio ‘Quintas 5’, Estrada do Garajau, so maybe it was a domestic matter? (without wishing to tone-down the severity of course).

A short article about the Sunday market at Santo da Serra highlights the boost it gives to the local economy. One shopper says “it is especially the prices of clothes that are the main reason for the attendance of so many people on Sunday. It’s cheaper than going to a shop,” says Anthony. “I go there with five euros and buy a coat or a shirt.” The conditions of the location are again criticised, with the suggestion that if they were improved even more people would attend.

Marítimo football club are unhappy about the delays affecting the redevelopment of their stadium.

Following on from the warning about fake emails from PT (Portugal Telephone) containing a nasty computer virus, there is another warning about emails from Vodafone, that contain a ‘trojan horse’ programme that installs itself and gives the sender access to private data on personal computers. The source email address used is ‘informativo@vodafone.pt’.

José Manuel Coelho (aka The Rabbit) gets back in the news after a long absence. The PND (New democrats) politician that switched to the PS (socialists) has walked away from his position as leader of the socialist party in Ponta do Sol. In truth I didn’t even know he had switched parties and gone to Ponta do Sol … I must be slipping!

Other News :

A teenage pregnancy has landed a hospital in trouble, after they failed to notify the police. The law obliges hospitals to inform the police when a minor of 14 or below becomes pregnant, in order that they might start a criminal investigation. In this case the girl was 13 years old.

The regional government and the 11 câmaras met on Thursday to sign contracts worth €48 million, of which €39 million is to be spent this year. The money will enable the implementation of 96 investment projects in all 11 areas, but there is no indication of what sort of projects they are. Anyway that doesn’t matter, the important thing is that we will have 96 more inaugurations to keep Uncle Bertie busy.

Our two teams play in the long awaited local derby on Monday evening at 7.45pm … it is on SportTV1. This match gives Nacional home advantage, after a bit of a thrashing (4 – 2) by Marítimo in the first meeting, with 8 yellow cards dished out.

Golfing tourism is taking a hit during the recession, with our 3 courses at Santo da Serra, Palheiro Golf, and Porto Santo, all recording declines in revenues, essentially due to lower numbers of foreign clients or visitors, but also a reducing numbers of Madeirans. Losses to date are estimated at €20 million. That is not just in green fees, as you may be tempted to think if you have played golf here, but all the revenue associated with the golfing trips.

If you fancy a cruise but can’t be bothered to travel to pick up the ship, there is good news for this Summer, with weekly pick-ups on Friday’s at Funchal between April and October by the ‘Atlantic Star’. Stop-offs are at Lisbon, Gibraltar, Casablanca, Agadir, and Lanzarote. I have always fancied doing a cruise blog … if anyone want’s to fund it, I am prepared to give my own time for nothing.

On the national TV news this morning, President Jardim was raving at his political rally in Machico about the failure of PM Sócrates to foresee the coming of this financial recession. Well said Bertie, seriously. Let’s add him to the other 300 presidents and prime ministers in all the other countries, and sack the lot! Everyone knew it was coming long before the official milestones were passed, and then when it becomes official, everyone jumps around like headless chickens chucking billion of €uros or whatever around trying to fix something that is practically unfixable without divine intervention.

A law is to be passed to cut the amount of salt used in making bread in Portugal. I make my own bread quite often, and I often don’t use salt at all, and I don’t notice the difference … apart from the fact that my bread has the density of a brick, and I am not sure that has anything to with salt. Seriously, I am afraid to feed the local ducks with it in case I hit one on the head, or if one of them should break a tooth I would be most upset!

Have a great weekend folks, if this fantastic weather lasts you have no excuse … unless of course you live in one of those cold places we hear so much about!


Alan asked me to post this on the main blog:

From alanflowerman

Hi everyone

First I would like to say a very big thank you to all of you for your kind and generous offers of help. You know who you are. Thank you, thank you thank you. And, well, I bring good news and bad news. The bad news is. I have not managed to persuade enough readers to sponsor the blog. Aghhhh! The good news is that I have not given up yet.

So OK we have had some very kind offers from some very nice people and I will contact you all individually over the next few days.

Everyone else, Der has said that he is uncomfortable asking for €€€. I have no such problem. You don’t know me I’m Alan Flowerman and I would like to ask you to PLEASE consider pledging any amount to the blog, no amount is too small. This is a good cause. No sorry ,that’s wrong. This is our local newspaper, written every day by a nice chap and we are about to watch him walk away to work shelf stacking in a supermarket. Think back, when did you start reading this blog? how many have you read?  can YOU help?

If we can save the blog it will stay open access, so why pay if you don’t have to? Well IF is a big word and we haven’t saved the blog. Most, but not all pledges so far have been for 1 euro per day, if you can’t or won’t pledge that amount it’s no problem. 1 euro per day, 1 euro per week, 1 euro per month, even 1 euro a year are all good. Please do what you can and what you are comfortable with. DON”T send any €€€ now!!!

We can only go forward once we know that we can keep Der out of that supermarket All you need to do at the moment is contact me at alanflowerman@mac.com with
your pledge.

Thank you for reading and thank you in advance for any pledge.

Cheers. Alan f

Alan is right, I wouldn’t dream of asking for money.  If I could continue the blog I would be delighted, and I am only stating that in case anyone thought that I would prefer not to. The amount of support I have seen to continue the blog has bowled me over … even the British Consulate has been involved! One thing is now quite clear, that my idea about sharing the workload to keep the blog going will not work. There were very few offers of contributory help (1), and certainly nothing of sufficient frequency to make it viable, but thanks for that offer, and I will be in touch.

This is the direct link for the blog about this blog’s future. I will keep this direct link on for a while, so you can click here and read, or respond if you can help or have any good ideas. I will be checking it for new responses daily : www.madeira4u.com/blog.html/3508


Aside from your valued blog responses (you can reply direct using the form at the bottom of each blog comments page), please send any unreported Madeira news, topical photos, events information, or snippets for the madeira4u blog to blog@madeira4u.com – anyone can join in! Thank you!

3 thoughts on “River pollution, New cruise pick-up, Alan's blog rescue appeal … & other snippets”

  1. Der you saying about bread, I got some bread rolls the other day from Penha d'aquia (sp), they looked nice, but they were tough! So for me its a case of the other bakery where I live for rolls, Penha d'aquia when I want a nice cake and Pingo Doce for nice donuts….

  2. Hi Der, Have alerted SPAD to the criticism of them re the Carnival, which appeared under "comments" in your Blog this week. Earlier I spoke to SPAD's Veterinary Doctor Sofia Vasconcelos, who confirmed that it is a breach of Portugal's laws on animal welfare to subject any animal to stress. She suggests that your correspondents should telephone the Regional Division of Agriculture (Animal Welfare) section on 291201790.



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