Landfill for banana crop ; Gravediggers shortage ; Car sales 2009 ; Carnival news

Today’s photo – Many thanks to Rita … Steam engine on the production line of the sugar cane factory in Porto da Cruz.

madeira news blog 1002 rita Steam engine on the production line of the sugar cane factory in Porto da Cruz

Many thanks to Becky for finding some extra titbits :

Another (recent) dip into the blog of Executive Purser of P&O Arcadia.  He must have visited Madeira quite a few times, but still seems to enjoy it. "They are building a new Cruise Terminal at the Pier which should be open later this year – it appears to be all falling into place. We had 8 Shore Excursions operating along with a shuttle bus service into the town." PURSER POWER

Dolphins near Funchal, from YouTube posted on 7th February 2010.  I love the excitement they bring to the passengers on ‘Sea Pleasure’.  I’ve never been on a trip like this in all the time I’ve visited Madeira but I think I might try one after seeing this.

And also a handy tip from Pete … many thanks :

Have you thought about making your own bread? Nice soft large loaf. Something you can get your teeth into.  In Madeira the supermarkets they do an excellent flour. The Nacional Pão Caseiro flour,  most the ingredients are there, and all you add is sugar, butter, milk, and water.  Bread makers from Madeira forum are from €40, which is good value. The only problem is the loaf is soon snapped up. Now where that bread and butter.

Many thanks to Vanessa Swesnik for this complete article :

Loja do Cidadão installs number dispenser at Dolce Vita

Kiosk outside of store allows residents to manage time and handle their various responsibilities

Imagine you’re trying to run errands in or around Dolce Vita before heading to the Loja do Cidadão.  You can better plan your time management with a number dispenser on the second floor of the mall that began operating yesterday.

Upon getting a number to pay your electric or water bill, the monitor of the kiosk will tell you how long the line is so you can decide if it’s worth going to the Loja do Cidadão at that moment or if you should go later on in the estimated time until customer service.

LC’s director, João Lomelino, stated that this initiative being “pioneered in Portugal” as a compliment to the “physical and technical development” program of services offered could extend to other locations in Funchal.

He is appreciative of the receptiveness of Chamartín (Dolce Vita’s parent company) and the technological support of Portugal Telecom and MCC- Computadores; he also points out that this initiative not only contributes to the improvement of LC’s services, but also “makes peoples’ lives easier- which is really what interests us.”

Director of Dolce Vita, Timothy Broad, justified the acceptance of the offer as a way to create more “comfortable conditions for patrons” of the mall and to “eventually bring more of them.” PORTUGUESE ORIGINAL

Many thanks to Elaine once again for yesterday’s top news stories :

DIÁRIO 10/02/2010


Man dies hours after hospital discharge. A 61 year old who had emigrated to Venezuela had returned to Madeira for a holiday and was due to return on Sunday. Late on Monday in Campanário, Camilo José Almada fell down steps and hit his head. He was taken to the local health centre then to the Hospital in Funchal where he was kept overnight for observation. He was discharged after radiological examination did not detect any unusual pathology. Camilo Almada was taken to his friend’s house but complained of feeling unwell, particularly in the abdominal region. He was then found dead an hour later at his friend’s residence. He had been unhappy about being discharged as he felt weak and access to his home was via steep stairs, which is why his friend was accommodating him. There will be an autopsy then a decision taken whether an internal enquiry is needed into his hospital care.

Controversy leaves 46 families waiting for a home. Impasse between Santa Cruz Council and the Institute of Housing and Urban Renewal (IHRU). The construction of the residential block started five years ago and was only completed late 2008, after a class action stopped the works. The council  has invested 4,276,000 Euros but the IHRU say additional work is required for the completion of the building and until then, will not transfer the amount they owe to the council. These additional works have been delayed by financial difficulties and there are 46 families waiting to move in. The council have put forward a new date for completion which is this summer. In 2009, the IHRU paid only 12,000 Euros to the council but the amount owed which should have been paid between 2003 – 2006 is 1,800,000 Euros. The council is paying interest on its loan, which has already totalled 550,000 Euros and could have been used on other projects.


Carnival MadeiraShopping. Three parades held on the 13, 14 and 16 February with the Modelo mascot, Popota, present on all three dates. It is an opportunity for everyone to create, innovate and reinvent clothing, accessories, face painting and even mimic the look of their idols. Three themes for the children’s parades: 13th February at 14.00, especially for young children, "Carnaval dos Pequenitos"; 14th February at 14.00 for Valentine’s Day,"Os Modelitos de S. Valentim" and 16th February at 18.30, the day of the traditional Fun Parade (Cortejo Trapalhão), "A Moda dos Trapalhões".

Landfill will be transformed into banana plantation. The landfill area at Porto Novo will be used for banana production. The area is 20,000 square metres and should produce 70 tons of bananas per year. A similar project using land in Caniçal for experimental projects for table wine production has been successful. The land will remain publically owned but the farming and management of the land will be a private enterprise and the owner may apply for support funds. The upgrade of the landfill will also have a positive impact on the landscape. The government is developing a project for experimental banana production. This project will explore the selection of plants, irrigation systems and methods of production. Once the project has been finalized, it will be open for tenders. The Regional Government is encouraging private individuals to expand their production to land which up to now, has not been used for agricultural purposes.

Funchal to double the number of gravediggers. The Council of Funchal need 10 more ‘cemetery assistants’ for their four cemeteries. This need was highlighted yesterday at the cemetery at São Gonçalo where the family had to wait in the mortuary chapel for half an hour after the Mass for four gravediggers to arrive. This increased the natural distraught felt by the family. The problem is enhanced by the council’s commitment to burial.

Injured Paraglider in Intensive Care.  A Swiss paraglider was injured yesterday afternoon after falling into the sea about 100 metres from the shore at Madalena do Mar. He was assisted by his friends, the Navy and SANAS. He was found unconscious, presumably from the ingestion of sea water, resuscitated by the EMIR team then taken by ambulance to the Hospital Dr. Nélio Mendonça in Funchal. He is presently in Intensive Care. The cause of the accident is unknown. Madalena do Mar is very popular with paragliders who often use the promenade as a landing site.


Ford car sales led in 2009. Ford was the best brand for vehicles sold in the region last year, due to the new Ford Fiesta and Ford KA. There were 26.5% more Ford vehicles sold last year than in 2008 although overall, vehicle sales fell 23.8%.


Two cheques transferred four days before the new leadership at São Jorge Two cheques for 22,500 euros were signed during the week of the inauguration of the new president of the Parish Council of São Jorge. Teófilo Cunha was elected for the  CDS/PP and said he was surprised to find the parish council had no money when he took office. The previous party was the PSD with João Reis as president. This "embezzlement" accusation is for a cheque for 2,500 euros to the Clube Desportivo e Recreativo de São Jorge and one for 20,000 euros to the local Casa do Povo. These two organizations during previous years had received ridiculous amounts from a parish council that was short of funds. These two large grants were given in the days after the votes had been counted. The former president replies he has a "clear conscience". At first he said the cheques were dated before the election but later he said they were dated in the week before the inauguration of Cunha. He admits there was a two month delay in the transfer of funds after the decision was made in August and September, but cannot explain why. A lawyer is examining the accounts and transactions.


Carnival parade at Santa Cruz. On Sunday 14 February at 16.30. Organized by the Casa do Povo de Santa Cruz, local Junta de Freguesia and Santa Cruz Council.  Route: Rua do Bom Jesus, Rua Irmã Wilson, Rua 17 de Junho, S. Fernando, Rua da Praia e do Ribeirinho, Ponte Nova to the Praça Dr. João Abel de Freitas. Caniço Carnival Parade on Tuesday 16 February at 17.30. It starts near the C.T.T. Information on this SITE

Machico has a year of intense cultural activity. Gastronómica de Machico celebrates 25 years and brings Mariza to Madeira on August 4th. The main attractions planned by Machico Council this year are: V Festival of ‘Live Dancing’ on April 24th at 21.00 at the Pavilion of Caniçal; V Market Fair between 4 – 6 at the centre of Machico and the 25th Gastronomy Week from July 30th to August 8th in the central square next to Forum Machico. The top act will be the fado singer Mariza on 4th August. September 5 – 6, the Grape and Agricultural Festival is held at Porto da Cruz.



Madeira betting on the market in Estonia. The market in Estonia is recognized by the Tourism Department as having a great potential. Representatives are at the Tourest fair in Tallinn between the 12 – 15 February and the Region is advertised throughout Estonia. The first direct flights to Estonia started between September and October 2008 and there is now another operator on this route. Top Tours begin flying on Friday using the airline Smartlynx with aircraft with 173 seats. These weekly flights are until 23rd April then begin again in September. Horizontal Travel fly weekly from March 11 to 29 April, using aircraft with 189 seats. Flights then begin again from 3 September to 18 November. This means some weeks there will be 362 seats available from Madeira to Estonia.


Rota da Cal promotes free visits. The residents of  São Vicente can visit the Núcleo Museológico – Rota da Cal (The Lime Route and Museum Centre) for free. This is to promote the second anniversary of the centre and the campaign runs until December. There will also be guided tours for groups of 5 – 25 people, which will take an hour and need to be booked beforehand. Residents will be able learn about the rural heritage, production and use of lime. The two limestone quarries contain fossils which are over 5 million years old. There is also a lime kiln house which is the only working one left in the archipelago.

Fura Samba in Brazil. The anthem of Fura Samba with music and lyrics by Nuno Bastos is very fashionable in Brazil. The song is a tribute to the Portuguese fado singer Amalia Rodrigues and will accompany the Fura Samba troupe at the Carnival Parade on Saturday night in Funchal.

Elaine also kindly provided me with this web snippet …

"Bemocked and minimized in importance for years – it is now time to give Tinta Negra Mole some credit. Not only for the fact it can provide great varietal wines but also for in some extent rescuing Madeira against the hybrid invasion that invaded the island after the Phylloxera. Tinta Negra Mole (TNM), a cross between Grenache and Pinot Noir, was recently upgraded to a noble grape cultivated on the island of Madeira. However, that doesn’t change the consumer’s view over night and for many TNM is still the grape that is disguised as a Sercial, Verdelho, Boal….well, you get it. Its chameleon character has been both its trademark and weakness". Tinta Negra Mole – Give the grape a break!

Today’s news headlines from the front page of the Diário de Notícias :

‘Vice’ leads events for 25 years in the European Union – The Regional Government chose Cunha e Silva to coordinate the 25 year celebrations of the integration of Madeira  in the European Union in 2011. Madeira let the 20th anniversary go by, but the Silver Jubilee is to be marked with a programme built by João Cunha e Silva [just one person] who is a vice president in Madeira’s government.  2011 also just happens to be an election year for the position of President of Madeira, as the Diário points out. That’s a laugh if I ever heard one! Nobody has yet integrated in the European Union, yet alone Madeira! That great concept of ‘lets all get together and make life better’, but with all those member states with secret agendas that all read along the same lines [it´ll be good for us and those suckers, whilst we also continue to do our own thing]. As for Madeira’s participation in the EU, it takes us to a new level of cherry picking and fleecing the EU for every cêntimo possible, whilst doing an absolute minimum to interface to the favour of it’s European ‘partners’. It seems to me that there is more will to interface with South America, than with Europe. It’s not fair to blame Madeira of course, so let’s blame the Madeiran Government to be more precise. I wonder if there will be any political ‘overlap’ between the events and celebrations of the 25th anniversary and the election of Uncle Bertie’s new lap dog.

Today’s main news headline :  Parents more negligent – Last week, a desperate child crying in a car while the parents enjoyed themselves. It is one of 132 cases of the parental negligence phenomenon on the rise on Madeira.

Chávez frightens – The order of expropriation of businesses in the Plaza Bolivia generates concern amongst Madeirans.

Peoples action defeated – The court judged  unfounded the injunction proceedings brought by Gil Canha against ‘Quinta do Lorde’. Yet another attempt to right the wrongs of the costal development in Machico was buried by the courts.

Airport indicators in fall – the number of passengers and movements fell in the first month of 2010. Traffic statistics from Madeira Airport fell back once again according to ANAM, the airport operators. Compared to January 2009 there was a fall in movements of 2.4%, and 1.8% in the number of passengers to 158,322. Cargo also fell by 1.8% to 456 tons.

The main sport / football headline today : Refusals to the Region – The national teams of Portugal and the United States thank for the contact, but they are not coming here to prepare. The Portuguese Football Federation has ruled out Madeira as a preparation venue for the 2010 Football World Cup, saying that it was looking for ‘parameters’ specified by the technical team, led by Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz. Without saying where the chosen training venue would be, Gilberto Madaíl said that Madeira would be considered for a future opportunity though, and if possible, even a game. Other countries contacted to offer this preparation opportunity include  Australia, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. The approaches have been made through the embassies of those countries, based in Portugal.

If anyone else can oblige with the translation of any of the ‘blank’ or sparsely filled headlines, or other news stories, here is the link. All contributions much appreciated. 

If you can, please contribute something Madeira related. A funny story or good or bad experience, a news item, or a story from a Madeira newspaper, a photo or video, a teaser, news of a bargain flight or item in a supermarket. Please help keep this blog going … without user contributions it won’t survive. Please don’t send in automatic translations (like Google translator) without checking them through and correcting them first, thanks.

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7 thoughts on “Landfill for banana crop ; Gravediggers shortage ; Car sales 2009 ; Carnival news”

  1. I thought that the trip we took on Sea Pleasure in 2006 could in no way match the amazing amazing experience we had of actually swimming with dolphins in Mexico a few years before, but how wrong we were. There is just something so special about these creatures that brings both excitement and also a sort of peace to you, it is no wonder that so many trips are sought after for sick children to intergrate with them. We have now been out on the catamaran several times and never tired of it, in addition just the trip itself is exhilerating and we look forward to doing it many times over.
    This video brought it all back to me.

  2. Tobi – thanks for the infor about the bike shop – it is on the doorstep! just shows how blind you can be when you are looking for something specifically. Have not been in yet as the kids do not arrive until May – but many thanks for info.

    Still looking for someone to repair my clock?

  3. Not sure if this is appropriate place to comment but as an annual January visitor to Madeira I wanted to thank you for this fantastic blog about our ‘Shangri La’ which I discovered at Christmas.
    I also wondered if anyone can answer a question for me:
    What is the origination of using ‘Chinesa’ for a white coffee exclusively in Madeira as it is not recognised on the mainland where using it caused consternation at my request for ‘A Chinese girl’ in a cafe?
    Regards and thank you again

  4. Hi Sue, your welcome. you could take your clock to a jewelers the one upstairs in the Forum is very good , and the lady in there speaks some English. if they cant fix it she may be able to suggest somewhere, if you go to the top floor and head towards the Cinema its just on your right.


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