No Route For Pedestrians, Forestry At Peak, Transport Strike Off, & Other Snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Tobi … A bit of art for a change … the roof at Dolce Vita shopping centre in Funchal.

Front Page News : main source : Diário de Notícias 23/4/2009

Most of the front page was given over to the big game Wednesday night : ‘Historic Disappointment – Defeat to Paços de Ferreira (2-3) eliminates Nacional from their first final of the Portugal Cup. The manager admits that the team didn’t start well and let escape a “unique moment” ‘.

‘Centre of São José Has 8 Days to Find A Home’. Faced with eviction and working against the clock, the club of 160 members of the day centre and sports facility (amongst other things) have just one more week to find a new home. It has been evicted through the courts for non-payment of rent. The centre does receive social funding, but has the overhead of 5 staff salaries.

‘Finance Court Lets-off Regional Secretaries And Câmera’. The government departments of the Environment, Tourism, and, Natural Resources, as well as the council of Câmara de Lobos are all to escape prosecution. The offences in the reports, that date back to 2005 / 2006, include illegal practices in the awarding of contracts, diversions of funds, sins of expenses, invoicing discrepancies, and acting against the public interest, to name a few. The only reason I could find in the article for letting them off is the fact that the administrations have changed since the offences were committed.

Madeira’s chamber of auditors concluded that the institute responsible for wine, embroidery and handicrafts made a loss of €356 thousand in 2007. A shame, but boring … if it was about 2008 it might be a smidgen more interesting, but only just.

Someone eventually noticed that the ‘new’ sporting facilities at Água doesn’t have a walkway or pavement for pedestrians. Some locals point out some difficulties in getting to the sporting and leisure facility belonging to the parish council. This, I believe, is the new construction that sits under the runway of Madeira Airport. It is quite popular with the local population as well as those from outside, many of who go there on foot. For locals that involves walking along a road, and crossing a bridge and roundabout, with provisons only for cars. At the eastern entrance it can be necessary to walk in the gutter to avoid traffic. Someone else says it is no problem as long as both cars and pedestrians respect the white line on the road there for the benefit of both. Right or wrong, good or bad, I notice that ‘out of town’ supermarkets, sports centres, and other facilities assume that everyone drives to these destinations or goes by bus or taxi, rarely providing adequate conditions for pedestrians. I suppose the worst examples are the tunnels, with very narrow pavements on both sides (instead of one wide one), and in some cases pedestrians have no pavement at all, or prohibited to walk through as they are not safe.

… and some boring political story involving the social democrats.

Other News :

‘Forestry living the best moments in the history of Madeira'”. On the Day of the Earth on Wednesday, the regional secretary for the Environment and Natural Resources stressed that “the forests are living the best moments in the history of Madeira, recalling the various projects undertaken, especially those of reforestation. António Manuel Correia spoke at the inauguration of the improvement works at the Forest Park of Pico das Pedras, costing €143,495, with an 85% funding grant. Among the changes are the playground and improvements in access for people with disabilities. One sarcastic reader commented “Rabaçal … the trees are clapping their hands”, referring to the new cable car construction I presume.

Having got everyone to change their plans for today, the transport strike affecting buses, coaches, petrol stations etc. has now been called off, after the government and trade union reached agreement. The union wanted 3%, but were offered only 1%, so guess where they settled  … 2%, but they do get an enhanced lunch allowance as well.

“Less navel and more Socialist Party” said Bernardo Trindade – I couldn’t translate it on Wednesday’s blog and I still can’t, but the Secretary of State for Tourism who said it, is in trouble for saying it, especially with his own party who say it was “unpleasant”.

The possibility of an enquiry into the monstrosity being built over east, called ‘Quinta do Lorde’ is now a subject of agreement between Madeira’s opposition parties. One of the political parties presented yesterday a proposal to set up a committee of inquiry into the actions of the Government, whereas previously the majority of the social democrats has been used to squash any attempts to get to the bottom of the scandal. Under the rules of the regional assembly, a group of 10 members can demand an enquiry, but no one party was big enough to do it. Now there are 14 signatures to take this forward. Amongst other factors (if I recall correctly), the development is on ‘green belt land, and is taller and has more ground space than the plans submitted showed.

In national news : The Prime Minister announced yesterday in Parliament that the Government will submit a proposal to extend compulsory education to 12 years (duration), and introduce a program of secondary school scholarships to start next year. The measures were announced by José Sócrates in his opening speech of the fortnightly debate in the Assembly of the Republic, this time devoted to the theme of education. Currently the legal minimum time spent in school is 9 years, and this proposal will mean that in future children will stay in school, or a professional training scheme, until the age of 18. The system of scholarships will mean that no one will be excluded from the 12 years rule because of financial difficulties, and this will pay in two phases, €138 and then €105 a month to parents.


I had an embarrassing start to the day this morning, as when I went out to hang out the washing, I got locked out on my veranda, on the 4th floor, wearing just my bed clothes. Having tried everything I could to open open the patio door, I eventually managed to attract the attention of a passer by, who alerted a neighbour, who then contacted the person with a spare key. I was back inside within half an hour, with everything intact except my pride.

To the nosey neighbour who watched the show first from above and then from below, and found it highly amusing, but didn’t make any attempt to offer help. I am glad to have made your day, but I am sorry to have spoiled your fun, because now everyone knows before you had a chance to spread the gossip. Think on this dear nosey neighbour … I managed to deal with the situation, because I have friends and because I was able to explain the problem in Portuguese. When you need help you have no one, and no one will understand you when you ask. Of course I hope nothing happens to you, but perhaps next time you see someone in trouble, you might think twice about openly laughing about their plight.

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, stories, or snippets for the madeira4u blog to [email protected] – anyone can join in! Thank you!

5 thoughts on “No Route For Pedestrians, Forestry At Peak, Transport Strike Off, & Other Snippets”

  1. Sorry to hear about your 4th floor troubles Der.
    By the way, what is the Portuguese for;- "Help!!! I've locked myself out of my bl&&dy apartemento!!?
    It's a phrase I might need and I am sure its not in the phrase books.
    I don't normally wear bed 'clothes' so my embaressment in the same circumstances would have been illegal.


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