Camara de Lobos in focus ; Tunnel trial continues ; Live-amo army exercise

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to ???? … Fish market. Really sorry that in one of my absent minded moments I forgot to make a note of who sent it in, but if you can email me I will be sure to correct the situation with the rightful credit.

madeira news blog 0909 anon fish marketMaybe this was taken in the days when the espada fish was plentiful? On that subject, I don’t know if anyone remembers a couple of years ago, there was a big rumpus when the European Union tried to impose fishing quotas for the black espada fish, purely as a conservation precaution. Fishermen and politicians were most perturbed by the suggestion, and after a lot of wrangling eventually the EU dropped the proposal, making a special case for Madeira, where we insisted that the espada population was alive and well and plentiful. How exactly did we know that the espada population was alive and well and plentiful I hear you asking, the bl**dy thing lives about two thousand fathomythings below sea-level? I don’t think we did know for sure, and fed up with growing straight bananas we BS’d the EU, and now perhaps we have been found out?

"The island is a veritable mixing plant ’subtropical zone where the spread banana, cane sugar, warm temperate Mediterranean-type, which has encouraged the cultivation of the vine area of primeval forest (forest gold), unique relic of the Tertiary Era before the great period of glaciation". Interesting writing style if nothing else! I GOT MY WORDS MIXED UP

Photo-0008 I had a rare foray into Funchal yesterday, thanks to a letter I got from those good people at Radio Popular, telling me that there is 10% off everything I could carry (or in this case have delivered FOC). Saved me a pretty centythingy. Santa Catarina park was interesting, with the university students out in force, as part of their initiation week. The name of the game was to throw a water-filled balloon in the air over a group of novices, and hope that they would catch it without it bursting. The punishment for failure was a large number of press-ups, or a dying-fly impersonation lasting several minutes. Nice, and yet not one student appeared drunk … how is that possible. Saw the ship National Geographic Explorer in harbour. Aside from that I was glad to get home from our hot, sweaty and polluted mother city. No shortage of tourists from what I could see.


A very quick looks at today’s Diário headlines :

Lobo Case : ‘Cheque for campaign’ mix up. A cheque for €10,000 created confusion between building contractor and politicians. The judgement started yesterday with António Lobo silent. Elaine already has most of the story covered, but Lobo is saying nothing in court. I haven’t looked at the article yet, I will do so tonight, but I can see already from this headline how this innocent misunderstanding occurred, and I think if someone suddenly gave me a €10,000 cheque I would be also be inclined to be confused.

Super-Shop upsets trade in Machico – The Chinese enterprise with various businesses obliges local traders to put into perspective the closure of their shops. ACIM (a sort of chamber of commerce) strongly threatens to obtain a court injunction. What a horror, I can’t even begin to imagine what a Chinese version of a Madeiran minimum wage must look like, but that aside, once again the locals clash with the Chinese over competition.

Homeless of Funchal lose their ‘street beds’. The shop owners of Rua do Carmo are arranging to cover up the recesses in their shop fronts. Meanwhile an anti-poverty plan is on the way. According to this morning’s TV news, 18% of the population of Portugal is now living within the definition of poverty.

Counting of rifles in the PS-M. The race for the leadership of the Socialist Party of Madeira between Serrão and Victor proceeds with much ‘hidden play’. They are going to appear supportive of each other, but only on ‘drip-feed’ rate.

Nacional wants to avoid surprise in the cup. Varzim, club of the Madeiran Gonçalo, is the opponent today.

Thanks again to Elaine in Garajau for the news from yesterday : 

The Lime Route Museum, ‘Rota da Cal’ has a free cultural event on Saturday 17 October. Begins at 10.00 am in Lameiros near São Vicente. Rethatching event to renew expertise. At 15.00 a group from Boaventura will perform using traditional instruments. —–To celebrate International Day of Older Persons and International Day of Music.

Cavaco summons Diniz. Main headline about Cavaco Silva, the President of the Republic, calling Monteiro Diniz, the Representative of Madeira, to Lisbon to talk about the ‘cases’ of campaign events during the elections. Diniz just seems to give an account of the issues and that they had not influenced the results.

Embroiderers (bordadeiras) criticize passitivity of IVBAM. The Syndicate of Embroiderers accuses the Government body, the Institute for Wine, Embroidery and Handicrafts (IVBAM) for passitivity. According to Maria Gananca, there are difficulties due to competition from the Asian market and lack of quality training. Innovation is important, for example, jeans, handbags, watches and wedding dresses but tradition must be preserved. Tapestry is in even more crisis as market demand is low and there are only two companies and the few embroiderers are older.

School children visit the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The statue has been visited by a large number of  locals as well as organized school visits. The photo shows the children offering flowers, and they also had hymn singing and a recitation of the rosary. The statue will be in the Se Cathedral until Sunday.









Court in awe with negligence in the tunnel. The continuing trial about the explosion during the construction of the tunnel in Nun’s Valley in 2003 when four workers died. A security expert gave evidence that the detonators were not appropriate given the weather conditions (water running down the walls and into the prepared holes for the explosives) and the ‘Jumbo’ drilling machine was running on electric rather than diesel power. The training of the operator of the explosives was weak and the explosives were detonated during the lunch hour. The trial resumes on the 5th November.

Fire in Levada dos Moinhos, Viveiros, Funchal. A fire broke out early Friday morning and the firemen were in attendance from 00.45 to 1.20 am.

Suspect accused of corruption in Ponta do Sol financed the election campaign in 2004. Continuation of the case involving the former mayor António Lobo. The industrial construction businessman, Jose Angel Giestas, wrote a cheque for 10,000 Euros to finance the ‘campaign’ for a block of 29 apartments and 10,000 Euros for the Sports Association of Ponta do Sol. According to the prosecutors, the money went into the personal account of Antonio Lobo. The trial begins today with Lobo and 4 others in the dock for serious fraud and bribery.

Psychotropic drug use in Portugal has increased 36.6% in five years. Anxiolytics, hypnotics, sedatives and antidepressants. The High Commissioner for Health says it is important to know why so many psychiatric drugs are consumed. It is above the European average. Antidepressant use increased 26.4%. The President of the Portuguese Society of Biological Psychiatry explained, "Although there is a real increase in use of antidepressants in Portugal, Europe and around the world, there is no scientific evidence that this increase is due to bad clinical practice." "Growth in consumption is not related to the number of depressed patients as the use of antidepressants is a common practice in other medical specialities than psychiatry."

Links with another article. According to a Portuguese psychiatrist, one in five patients in general practice has depression. It is under diagnosed and undertreated, mainly because it manifests as physical symptoms and family doctors do not have enough time to talk to patients.

In another article, the President of the Misericordias in Portugal says there are more people who are ashamed to be in poverty, due to the economic crisis. This needs to be met with discreet support. ——Saturday is the International Day of the Eradication of Poverty ——-Saturday is European Day of Depression !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Highest percentage of pressure ulcers in the region occur in Madeira. Due to lack of training to caregivers, usually family members.

Army tests with real ammunition. As previously warned, the exercise in Ponta do Pargo. It occurred near the lighthouse and involved two anti-aircraft guns from 1981 but the military assures that they have up to date technology. The Association of Aeromodelists of Madeira participated with a remote controlled helicopter which simulated a landing approach by an enemy. The target for the guns were two sets of balloons (as shown). As well as spectators banned from the area, there was a liaison officer at the airport and one in a patrol vessel to ensure that vessels would not be in the area. —–Dad’s Army (?)

Genetics may define diet. In accordance with Der’s article about poor eating habits. There is evidence that the genetic profile of an individual can help in developing a proper diet although we are a long way from personalized ‘gene-diets’. A diet may have different responses in different individuals, e.g. a low-sodium diet might reduce blood pressure in some but not others, so they have to be as accurate as possible to avoid some diseases. The article then goes on to castigate us all for poor diet and thus destroying the environment. ——Today is World Food Day

Arun sails within the next 19 days. Two new support vessels for assistance at sea. There will be one boat for Santa Cruz and one for Porto Santo.

Linked to another article. The Commander of the Maritime Zone of Madeira, Coelho Candido, has just had a leaving presentation. He said that the Maritime Police are not yet ready for rescue at sea and that the navy will still assist.

Brussels proposes a 15% reduction in the catch of mackerel in Madeira and Azores. This will begin in 2010 but will not affect Madeira as the catches are already below the quota.

Leacock invests €14 million in a hotel in the Algarve. New five star hotel to be built in Lagos, similar to the Quinta Jardins do Largo and Quinta do Casa Branca in Madeira.

Câmara de Lobos feature. 174th anniversary of the municipality. In recognition, J. Madeira had an interview with the mayor, Arlindo Gomes. He attacked ‘dirty politics’ against him during the election campaign. The council want to create more social housing and day care centres. They will also help small and medium enterprises in the economic crisis. The council also want to see the night life returning, especially at weekends, the ‘câmaralobenses nights’. The President of the Municipality said, "The nights were well attended by people  from both inside and outside the municipality, which ended peacefully." "It’s hard to go downtown on a Saturday night and see almost no one in those cafes and bars which were once bursting at the seams." The many festivals are popular, for example, the Feast of the Black Scabbard Fish , Cherry Festival, Wine Festival and Chestnut Festival. Religious festivals are also important, e.g. patron saints of the nine parishes in the municipality. There have been many physical and social activities and summer activities for children. 45% of the population is under 25 years old. It  is also a tourist area, famous for scenery, espetada (beef on laurel skewers) and poncha.

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5 thoughts on “Camara de Lobos in focus ; Tunnel trial continues ; Live-amo army exercise”

  1. You should see some slightly better quality photos from me in future, as I had to buy a new mobile phone, and it has a better camera. The pictures above aren’t great as they were taken from distance and cropped, so you are only seeing a small bit of the photo, expanded greatly.

    Technology is not my thing it seems, as my new mobile is supposed to transfer photos across to my computer through something called ‘Bluetooth’. I thought I was doing OK until the computer asked “do you have bluetooth?”. Strange question I thought, as I strolled into the bathroom and looked in the mirror … and sure enough they were still green. Had to resort to the long winded way in the end, but will have another go at resolving this at the weekend.


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