Savoy To Be Dismantled ; Shipwreck At Porto Santo ; Outdoor Cinema At Forum

(11th August). Today’s main news headline : ‘Savoy (to be) Demolished Floor By Floor – The option of implosion is put on the shelf. The hotel will come down in bits with strict environmental conditions. The debris will have to be channelled to a special landfill for INERT materials to be constructed in Santa Cruz within a month’. The Regional Directorate of the Environment has dismissed the plan to demolish the disused hotel by implosion, and it will now be done top down. The owners, Group SIET, will be responsible for separating out the debris to determine and allocate the correct disposal route. The first landfill site for ‘inertes’ on Madeira, in Santa Cruz, will be licensed in time for the demolition. As well as safe materials, such as wood, cement, plastics and metals, there will also be hazardous and asbestos materials. In the information provided to Funchal Council, the Regional Directorate for the Environment has also made recommendations about the dust and noise from the demolition, although much of that will have been mitigated by the decision not to implode the building. The complete work will need to be covered, with water jets being used to ‘damp down’ dust, and vehicles leaving the site will have their wheels washed. The noise will mainly affect a residential and tourist area, so the hours of work and intensity of machinery will be planned with this in mind. The Portuguese word INERTE translates into English as INERT, which confuses matters (for me anyway, as it signifies non-reactive), but it sounds like Madeira’s first ever landfill site for INERTES may be for the less pleasant materials, but I may be wrong. I don’t think I would feel too happy about that in Santa Cruz. Firstly it is rubbish from Funchal, so why take it elsewhere. Secondly, with the mountainous terrain and sometimes heavy rainfall, I would hope the location is well placed and absolutely safe from leakage and cross contamination. No doubt our man in the area will have an opinion on the matter?

The main front page photo today shows a group of third generation men sat around a table in a public place, playing cards : ‘Estate And Rats Harmful For Residents And Tourism – Santa Maria Maior presents many complaints’. This is the Diário featured location this week. The people in Santa Maria Maior have little interest in local politics or the elections. The list of complaints from one trader is headed by rats, "as large as rabbits, which horrify the tourists" yet the council do nothing. The problem, states Manuel João Vieira, is aggravated with the smell and dirt in the drains, "The rats along there are almost like tourists" he said sarcastically. The ex-president of the parish council admits to the problem, but says it is the owners of the buildings that need to deal with the problem. The Diário spoke to five residents about what they thought about the performance of the council (below are the full responses given):
Luís Sousa – Painter – "This council leaves much to be desired … the rats and the smell are a shame for tourism and the president does not speak to anybody".
José Freitas – Retired – "There are many bad things, starting with the rats and the smell in the historic area. Then there is the garden where there are lots of drugs".
José Nóbrega – Retired – "They have done some things. It more or less performs. I think it is better to have the PSD than those who do not understand these things".
Ernesto Silva – Retired – "I see everything much the same. I think this council has not done much, but for me any party will do".
João Manuel Vieira . Trader – "The work has not been bad. What is most lacking is dealing with the rats in the historic centre, where there are rats like rabbits, and restoration of the houses".
That was pretty much it rats and more rats, although there was a second separate article that headlined more on drugs and prostitution in that area. That’s Santa Maria Maior crossed off my list of places to visit this Summer.

Savoy To Be Dismantled ; Shipwreck At Porto Santo ; Outdoor Cinema At Forum 1 ‘A Sailboat Crashed Against the Shore Yesterday Morning – The one crew member was found with fatigue and dehydrated’. The leisure boat that was shipwrecked near Ribeiro Salgado had an English flag. According to the port authority, the boat coming from Tangiers (left on 27th July) suffered damage to the mast whilst at sea, with further damage to the hull when hitting the coast at Porto Santo. The boat was taken to the beach, where it will be repaired, and will then be towed to the marina. The 53 year old Swiss citizen in command had fallen asleep with exhaustion prior to the crash, and had run out of drinking water.

‘Lethal Accident On Porto Santo’. A motorcyclist died yesterday afternoon after a collision with a jeep’. The ex-footballer aged 40 used to play in goal for local side Portossantense, and was well known locally as ‘Chico’. The accident occurred in sítio do Cabeço, and Chico was airlifted to Funchal Hospital but died later from his injuries. Police are investigating the cause of the accident.  That makes the 10th road death this year, and the second already this month.

‘Balloon Registers Record Of 3.88’. A 41 year old driver arrested in Santa Cruz on Sunday, registered a 3.88 blood-alcohol count when stopped by police, beating the previous record this year.

‘Robbery In Camacha’. A family were awoken at their home in Sítio dos Casais d’Além, in Camacha, by an intruder who was turning out the bedroom drawers. The father who worked nights was just parking his car outside, at around 5am on Sunday morning, when he heard his wife screaming, but he managed to apprehend the burglar and call the police. The individual was identified by the police, but he will only be charged with ‘invasion of property’, as had not had the opportunity to steal anything. The four year old daughter who witnessed the event was very shocked, and spent the rest of the day unable to speak, very scared and tearful. This case, for those living in Camacha, is just another example of the need for more policing and security in the area, that has long ceased to be a peaceful place.

Today’s football headline is the draw for the Portugal Cup football fixtures . ‘Taça de Portugal Opens With Two Local Derby Games’. The first round, to be played on 30th August, has drawn Canicense with Porto Moniz, and Santana with Porto Cruz. That should save some travelling expenses. There were 7 more Madeira teams in this stage of the draw, with the ‘big guns’ coming in later.

‘Five New Cases Of Gripe A – The laboratory in Funchal Central Hospital reported cases detected between 3rd and 9th August’. The pathology lab confirmed 5 new cases of swine flue H1N1. Four males and one female aged between 15 and 30 were infected, but none were hospitalised. The victims were from Spain and the UK, and that takes the total for Madeira to 21 cases since the start, all so far imported.

In case anyone failed to notice, July was a hotter month than usual, and was the hottest and driest place in Portugal. The Institute of Meteorology used the reference period 1971 to 2000(???) for its conclusion that on Madeira and Porto Santo the mean average air temperature was higher than normal. Besides the higher temperatures, the rates of ultraviolet radiation (UV) on Madeira have been unusually very high, and even at ‘extreme’ levels in recent weeks.

‘Agricultural products rot in fields and stores – Farmers of the West can not sell products’. Potatoes are badly hit, with the trade price down as low as 5 to 7 cêntimos per kilo. One farmer talks about losing 400 tons of crops, as he cannot cover his production costs, and may have to finish in agriculture. Leaving everything to rot in the fields is a cheaper option. Other vegetables and apples are also facing a similar ‘serious crisis’. "The supermarkets import products at the time of our crops and strangle the market for production" says a spokesman for farmers of the West. Anyway, that explains why potatoes have plummeted in price in the last few weeks. I have just read the whole article again, and there is no indication of whether this is a local or national story, but I now realise from the TV news that this is in Portugal.

‘Outdoor Cinema At Madeira Forum – Showings take place Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday in the central square’.  Starting today the open air cinema will be at  the forum, through until 6th September. Today’s offering is ‘Who wants to be billionaire’, a work by Danny Boyle that tells the story of an orphan of 18 years from the suburbs of Mumbai, India. Thursday will be ‘Milk’, a film that won Sean Penn an Oscar for best actor. The first week of outdoor movie ends with the movie ‘Marley & Me’.

5 thoughts on “Savoy To Be Dismantled ; Shipwreck At Porto Santo ; Outdoor Cinema At Forum”

  1. Yes Der, I will certainly be digging around at the Camara tomorrow trying to unearth any plans for proposed “Inert” substances (?) landfill sites and looking into any holes that may appear in Santa Cruz …… actually there IS a gaping hole opposite the market building that could be filled?!?! It was intended (7 years ago?) as an apartment block/shops/car park but yes, you’ve guessed it, it was illegal and is now a smelly water filled pit …. not to mention the OLD and illegaly built (further eyesore) of the empty apartments next to the hole! Oh and did I mention the NEW Illegal and empty apartment block behind the old one!!!!

    A massive undertaking and hugely worrying in terms of environmental damage, not just from the landfill perspective but from heavy vehicle traffic damage and pollution etc. Not really a “green” answer is it? Washing lorry wheels! What about the diesel fumes and noise in Santa Cruz?

    I’ll also be looking at the proposals for the PDM amendments and hoping that they address the aforementioned buildings as a matter of priority AND we do not need (in any event) any more apartment buildings – the amount of EMPTY (illegal) ones would solve the “social” housing shortage for the poor, destitute (?) and needy in a stroke (of sensible thinking by the present day Camara President)!

  2. You nearly wrote more than me today Jon … want a job?

    You should get the JPP party on the case, as ex socialist councellors they should love a job like this, and use the oportunity to get voters wound-up about the possible pollution.

    What a backward situation, more or less in the order of events:
    1. Savoy want to close and knock down the old hotel and build a new one
    2. Government supports the idea
    3. Hotel closed and workers sacked
    4. Government protests about workers being sacked
    5. Planning consent given
    6. Demolition and waste disposal plan approved (nearly)

    The whole project should have been dealt with in one go, what to do with the workers, the new hotel plans, and the demolition plans for the old one … what a mess

    Good publicity slogan for your campaign ‘Santa Cruz – the preferred waste disposal site for Funchal’s toxic rubbish’. Anyway hope you can clear the ‘inert’ matter up before anything else

  3. Thanks Der,

    We do know Filipe Sousa and he did introduce us to the excellent Lawyer who handled our “popular action” case against an illegal building project adjacent to us – and we won.

    Now the strange thing is… initials are JP and his party is the JPP. So, I guess that I am a natural to join the “JP PARTY” = “Pelo Povo de Gaula” – For people of Gaula – JP Pelo Povo de Gaula – os cruzeiros! Count me in team…..

    So, whilst the waste may be described as inert, the party won’t be. AND Santa Cruz will not accept Funchal’s (and Berties Buddies Bowel movements of) toxic waste!

  4. Just had to add our support to the others’, Der you never come over as
    ‘patronising’, quite the reverse and we very much enjoy your comments &

    Re the film now on at the open-air Forum (Open Forum!), ‘Who wants to be a Billionnaire’, this sounds as if it might well be ‘Slum Dog Millionnaire’.


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