Unions cut off Health Administration ; Dumping causes destruction in Machico ; Carnival news

Today’s photo – Many thanks to Pete … Good morning Madeira! The Carnival Time flower

madeira news blog 1002 pete carnival time flower good morning Madeira

I am sure many will be off to see the Carnival parade tonight in Funchal, and no doubt it will be as wonderful as ever, but don’t forget to send in your best photos. As a bonus for us over the west, there is a ‘Trapalhão’ parade starting tomorrow at 4.30 pm in the streets of Ribeira Brava. That means it’s a free-for-all, so come along and watch, or even better, get yer Carnival togs on and join in the fun … and don’t forget to spend some money, the town needs it. See you there!

The last one from Becky, many thanks … anymore anyone?

Captions please:

I’ll start, with… "Does anyone know where I can get some Toranja Poncha?"

(But you can keep yer hands off mine Bertie. Der)

Thanks a lot to Tobi for this link, that gives access to a brochure called ‘Active Tourism Madeira’. Use the ‘Fullscreen’ button to read the text. NATURE BROCHURE

This weekend’s football : Both our teams play tomorrow, Valentine’s Day of course. Nacional host Rio Ave at 4 pm, and Marítimo go to almost top-of-the-table Braga. The second match is on SportTV1 at 6 pm.

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

DIÁRIO 12/02/2010


Dumping controversy.  Seven months ago, Diário denounced the illegal mining at the site of Landeiros and dumping of the earth. The local population called in the Forestry Police and they have seized a truck and bulldozer. During the stormy weather on February 2nd, earth dumped by the side of the stream at Lajes caused it to overflow, resulting in a trail of destruction. The local population want Machico Council to build retaining walls around the stream to prevent any further damage. The Regional Director of Forestry and the Regional Director of the Environment do not know if the company is working legally or not. The council said they have authorized the work to repair storm damage in this area and the Forestry Police have no jurisdiction. The Regional Government has the responsibility for the construction of any stone walls.


Santa Cruz Carnival Parade has less troupes due to lack of financial support. There will be three troupes and 200 participants, fewer than in previous years, due to a lack of financial support from the local Casa do Povo. Two of the three missing troupes are ‘Malta do Furor’ and ‘Amoreiras’. The director of Malta do Furor explained that they will participate at Gaula but the costumes and floats are expensive to make. Santa Cruz Council indirectly supports the Carnival Parade by financing the Caso do Povo who always organize it. The Caso do Povo have financial limitations but still provide six buses and a meal after the parade. There will still be 500 participants on Sunday.

Unions representing doctors cut relations with SESARAM. The two unions representing doctors in the region have suspended relationships with the Health Service Management Board. They complain that SESARAM promotes a climate of permanent tension and that professionals are despised and held in contempt. The unions are ignored and union delegates persecuted. They never hear a word of encouragement and the management is only interested in numbers, indices, percentages and productivity. Careers for Medical Professionals no longer exist in Madeira, so they cannot progress, and their careers are not recognized on the Continent. One union is taking their concerns to Alberto Jardim and are waiting to hear what the Secretary for Social Affairs has to say about the tense climate that exists.

Woman threatening to camp outside the Town Hall in Funchal. A 42 year old woman is threatening to pitch a tent outside the front door of the City Hall in Funchal until the council find her a home. She has been sleeping at the Temporary Shelter for the Homeless during the last month and the length of permanent stay is a maximum of 15 days, which ends today. The woman has had talks with several people from the council with no result. She receives 330 Euros from Social Security which she says is not enough to pay for accommodation. Unemployed, divorced for five years with two children; one son is married and lives in his own house and the other is living temporarily with a friend.


Porto Santo Line keeps prices the same.  Porto Santo Line run the maritime ferry, ‘Lobo Marinho’, between Madeira and Porto Santo. They will not increase prices this year, in a bid to attract customers. Turnover (cargo) fell 14% last year although the number of passengers increased by 3% to reach 361,275. The drop in business meant a loss of 1 million Euros in turnover. In four years, the cost of travel to Porto Santo has increased a little over 2% and the price for residents is kept uniform throughout the year. The winter season (October to March) is 19.9% cheaper and 40% of passengers travel then. Resident rates are 38.3% below the average ticket price but they are not publicly subsidized, unlike in the Azores. Porto Santo Line are exempt from port charges to compensate for the reduction for residents. A fuel surcharge was not added last year following a drop in fuel prices. Porto Santo Line promotes packages – travel plus hotel, groups of two or four passengers in a car – which can drop the ticket price by 20 – 50% during the winter season, and summer discounts are smaller, 3 – 10%.


"Invasion" of Madalena do Mar stopped. The dispute centres on the emergency exit routes of the tunnel to Calheta going through the access to a parking lot of a condominium. On Wednesday, in the Legislative Assembly, the Left Bloc denounced the "invasion" of private land by the construction firm. On Wednesday, the residents were verbally told that the excavators would be going onto their land but found they were already there. The Left Bloc said this was a way to prevent the owners from triggering any legal mechanism to prevent the invasion of their land. Legally, they should have been given written warning of compulsory purchase of their land by the Regional Government. Today, the construction company was prevented from entering the private property. The residents denied the company access and the police were called. This is a tug-of-war between the residents, Regional Government and the construction company. The residents have had a subpoena filed in court to protect their rights and liberties.



Working group for the recuperation of the Marina and Avenida do Mar. The Municipality of Funchal and APRAM (Ports Authority) have formed a working group to develop a master plan for the recovery of the Marina of Funchal and the third phase of the renovation of the Avenida do Mar. The third phase is from the Verdinho bar to Ribeira de São João. The aim is an integration of the terraces of the Marina and the Avenida do Mar, an area that is little used and unappealing. The council want more green areas and need to consider how to move the palm trees, which were imported from the Canary Islands in the 1980s, to other gardens. The monuments must be preserved and integrated into the new design which must align with works on the North Pier and on the west side. The council also want to know if the central reservation of grass and trees is justified.


Debt of Madeira Palace is 7.5 million. The Hilton and Sheraton hotel chains are in discussion about the management of the construction of the Madeira Palace hotel. The work stopped for several months last year. The construction company has 50 employees on the site but is having a problem due to the developer owing them 7.5 million Euros. The construction company cannot carry out any more work and the licenses expire in March, but should be easily renewable.

Fábrica dos Sonhos  and Geringonça in Machico. Geringonça has been invited to open the Carnival Parade in Machico on Sunday at 15.00. Fábrica dos Sonhos (Factory of Dreams) will be the final act. This will be the tenth time Geringonça has taken part in Machico Carnival. Local schools and youth organizations will participate along with the Municipal Band of Machico.


‘Ritual’ in the cemetery of Câmara de Lobos. A most unusual situation was found in the cemetery on Tuesday morning. Gravediggers found on the stairs near the chapel, in a corner, a ‘table’ on which there were three bottles of aguadente (rum), three bottles of champagne, various glasses, a 2 kilo piece of beef, cigarettes and a fire near the wall. Since this is not a place for parties, the conclusion is that it is part of a ritual by either ‘healers’ or ‘masters of magic’ to invoke the dead for various reasons. 

Also, many thanks to Elaine for these web snippets :

A Texan family from a cruise ship visit and are initially harassed but still enjoyed the visit. Lots of good photos.

"I know, I know…I’m very slow! This is the last port day that I have to share with you and in my opinion it was the prettiest. I would love to be able to go back some day and spend more time in Portugal.

Once again we got off the ship with no real plans. We dined with a family that had visited Madeira before and they told us is was unnecessary to buy the bus ticket into town, which were 4.00 each way. So, we took out walking…and we walked…and we walked…and we walked. We were beginning to second guess the decision to walk to town when a gentleman approached us and told us he could take us all over the island and be our personal tour guide for the day. He was a pretty aggressive salesman and I could tell the girls were rather nervous. After Brent dickering with him about the price, the final price was 130 Euro. Brent hemmed and hawed and told the man he would have to pass" TEXAN TALE

Discovering Portugal’s Madeira Wine. Three page article in the January/February edition of Virtuoso Life Magazine.

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

Children shrug-off the Carnival rain – Even with limitations, the kids shook the city.  Well of course they did, the kids are born waterproof these days … when was the last time you saw a kid carrying an umbrella? Anyway there is a nice photo on the front page, and probably more inside. But just blowing the blog trumpet a little, you didn’t have to wait until the next day to see carnival pictures on this website.

Serrão gives paid place to the decisive supporter – The leader of the Socialist Party of Machico will be the local government coordinator.

Race on in the national Social Democrat Party : The ‘oranges’ from here are disturbed with the order of Jardim.

National Council of PSD – Jardim quarrels with Passos Coelho. The leader of the Social Democrats of Madeira said that Passos should no longer be making policy in the PSD.  Alberto João Jardim was involved in a lively battle with the candidate for the leadership of the PSD, Pedro Passos Coelho. In a speech appealing for party unity, one of the first of the PSD National Council, the Madeiran leader criticised Coelho for his stance with the Regional Finance Law. In a face to face confrontation, Jardim told Coelho, ex leader of the Youth PSD, that if it was up to him he would be making any more party policy. Coelho responded that "it is just as well that the party doesn’t depend on you".

Today’s main news headline :  Earth from the landslides invades rivers of Faial – After the storms, it is needed to clear the roads. Rivers pay the price. Justification : in times of emergency, one forgives  the bad with the good that it does. Yes I know, that last bit doesn’t make total sense, but I get the drift of the message. The gist of this is that in Ribeira Seca the muck and rubble from the mudslides is being cleared from the roads and then being dumped into the river to be taken out to sea. There are proper sites where this debris can be deposited, but the president of Santana, Rui Moisés, says that in the time of war it is no time to be cleaning weapons, and that restoring normality is the priority. Environmentalist say that that is the exact reason why rivers cause landslides, because the river beds are fouled. As always, I am with the ‘play it safe’ environmentalists when there is any element of uncertainty in such an action, but with the rainy season just around the corner, we will soon find out who was right and who was wrong. That’s a bit scary isn’t it, after what we have already seen this Winter, to think that the rainy season hasn’t even arrived yet.

People power stops advance of the machines – Yesterday morning was one of tension in Madalena [do Mar]. Despite of the police presence, the exit construction works from the tunnel didn’t get started. There is a thought provoking picture of an elderly lady, armed with an umbrella, ‘getting booked’ by the village bobby.  Both Elaine and I have both given this story plenty of coverage, so not much more to add really.

The main sport / football headline today : 100 – "I have already had to cut-off unpleasant conversations". The referee Elmano Santos will tomorrow complete his 100th game in the top flight.

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.

You can email [email protected] with any large contributions and photos / videos.


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The headline news & other snippets reviewed here on the blog are mainly from the Diário de Notícias of Madeira, although news from any source is used and welcome.

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18 thoughts on “Unions cut off Health Administration ; Dumping causes destruction in Machico ; Carnival news”

  1. I liked the Texan blog. Incredible that they managed to get a day out in a taxi for €50, just shows how tough it is for the taxi drivers, althought the initial price quoted was well over the top.

  2. Frabrica dos Sonhos will be the final act in the Machico carival parade.
    Tobi is making ‘sonhos’
    Tobi is making ‘dreams’
    They look rather yummy and can’t be fattening?

  3. Is that a caption that only older people would understand Martin?

    UB is obviously either lying or grovelling in that pic. I know that ‘cos I have been watching that new TV series ‘Lie To Me’, and because I have been married, so I will go for:

    “Honest officer, that brown envelope wasn’t in my pocket when I went out to work this morning … “

  4. It’s a wonderful car, one lady owner, never raced or rallied, never been written off in an accident, always serviced on time, low kilometerage, bargain–to you—only—!!!

  5. “Would I lie to you, I promise on my mother’s grave-God rest her! I’m an honest person just trying to earn a living! You won’t find a better price!”

    I can see some little pink piglets flying out on the horizon! 🙂

  6. The story about the Ritual in the cemetery of Câmara de Lobos, is a bit scary , i know this thing goes on up in the mountains, and have seen photos of stuff left behind, like beef, and bottles, and dolls hanging in trees, i would be terrified if i came across this though.

    Going to send Der the recipe for Sonhos for tomorrows blog.

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