Writers & artists exhibit united ; Mosquito control tips ; Police operation in Funchal

Today’s photo – Many thanks to Rita … Banana wash production line at the co-operative in Madalena do Mar.

madeira news blog 1002 rita Banana wash production line at the co-operative in Madalena do Mar

"I had always heard of Madeira as an island that was out there off the African coast but only old people went there and the weather might be dodgy. But I got the opportunity to visit it at the end of January this year and how wrong was my perception. It is a beautiful island with varied and magnificent scenery – mountains, valleys, tropical gardens, golf courses, wind surfing. There is plenty to do even at night time with a huge selection of restaurants and plenty of bars with music and night clubs. So I found out that it is not just for the over 70s". MORE

I have no idea where this photo was taken, it was on a website unrelated to Madeira, but the tug boat is called ‘Funchal’. Is it here, or can anyone shed any light on the vessel?

Many thanks to Pete who emailed me with this creative and very sensible suggestion :

Mosquitoes in your garden? Try planting these! Marigolds, Ageratum, Catnip, Rosemary, Geraniums, Basil, Lemon Balm, Garlic and onion. I have also seen on eBay Mosquito Dunks that you drop in water.  I personally like to try plants rather than chemicals because they are safer for pets and the environment. You can also help by emptying water containers regularly that plants stand in, including anything that stores water.  You can find other plants and ways of getting rid of Mosquitoes by searching the internet. If they fail, you still have a colourful garden, which everyone can admire.

Also many thanks to Elaine (out West) … from yesterday’s Diário de Notícias :

Exhibition unites painting, literature and music – The works of six artists and the texts of six writers, inspired by various musical pieces, are part of ‘Third Bank’, an exhibition opened yesterday which will be open to the public until February 26 at the Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias. Sofia Moniz Alves is the coordinator for the ‘Third Bank’, which includes contributions by Ana Luísa Amaral, Pedro Proenca, Teresa Gonçalves Lobo, Fernando Pinto Amaral, Nuno Júdice, Regina Chula, Avelino Rocha, Helga Moreira, Isabel Mendes Ferreira, Agostinho Santos, Lucia David and Porfirio Al Brandão. "The objective was to unite the art of bisexuality. Each writer was paired with each of the artists, making writing, visual art and music one work," Sofia Moniz Alves explained. To this end, next to each table is a text and an MP3 player with music that inspired the works. Also available to the public until 26 February is a catalogue of CDs, whose content is the basis of the exhibition. Entry is 7 Euros.

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

For any nautical bloggers, RTP is following the Sagres Portuguese Navy training ship: SAGRES. The Portuguese Navy site has an English version

Diário online poll : How do you rate the debt of the region?

Alarming 79% ; Normal 8% ; Understandable 10% ; Negligible 3% ;


Lagoa do Santo wastes two thirds of water captured. Built in the early 1980s with the purpose of irrigating Santo da Serra golf course and providing water for the municipality of Santa Cruz, the Lagoa do Santo da Serra has never been fully operational. This reservoir has a capacity of 1 million cubic metres of water but takes no more than a third of this amount. It was the first artificial lake in the region, costing the equivalent of 4 million Euros. The problem is the asphalt lining the reservoir so it was drained in mid-2009 but found to be in a worse state than expected. The reservoir has been redesigned and work will begin in May and is expected to be finished by mid-2011, when it should have a capacity of 700,000 cubic metres of water. Originally, the reservoir took water only from the Levada da Serra Faial which is currently being restored. New work means that it should be able to receive water from other sources, water from Ribeira de Boaventura via the Lagoa das Águas Mansas. To help irrigation of agricultural land in the area and provide water for the municipalities of Machico and Santa Cruz, there will be two additional new reservoirs: Lagoa da Portela and Lagoa da Ponta do Pargo.


Ten places for foreigners. If approved in Lisbon, Madeiran employers will be able to hire only 10 workers from outside the EU this year. This proposal is by the Regional Executive. Last year, they wanted a quota of 20 and despite the Portuguese Government raising it to 58, only 22 were employed. Extra bureaucracy is needed and employment opportunities are dwindling as unemployment presently stands at 13,000. The large public works are over and there are no new investments. This is a national trend as last year only 25% of the quota for immigrants was used, filled by Venezuelans, Brazilians, Africans and Ukrainians.

Four robbers arrested by PSP. They are responsible for crimes committed in Funchal. A 34 year old Mozambican national was sentenced to nine months in prison. He was in possession of several items including computer equipment and perfumes, and was responsible for a dozen thefts from cars parked in public car parks. The police caught him in the act while he was inside a car after having forced open the door. Three suspects from Nazaré were arrested, aged between 18 and 27 years. They had violently robbed an 80 year old woman and most of the stolen item have been recovered.

PSP threaten Carnival floats. Eight days before the Carnival parade, the Regional Commander of the Police has met with the Regional Secretariat of Tourism and Transport concerning security arrangements. One of the changes brought forward is that floats are obliged to be covered by liability insurance in case of accidents which cause damage to third parties; spectators and those taking part. In a previous event a float slid for a few metres down the Avenida Zarco, causing a scare. There is confusion about whether the safety standards will be identical to last year or if additional checks will have to be made to the floats, which could mean significant changes to the bodywork and mechanics.


13 February, Saturday
Festivities in the Lower Town

10:00 – 13:30 – Carnival Party Band
10:00 – 15:00 – Marching Band
15:00 – 20:00 – Marching Band
19:30 – 23:00 – Puppet Theatre Group on the route of the Float Parade
20:50 – 21:00 – Fireworks
21:00 – Carnival Float Parade

Route: Departing from Praça da Autonomia (south side), Avenida do Mar e das Comunidades Madeirenses (southbound lane), crossing to the northbound lane (opposite the Marina Shopping Centre) and going up Rua Dias Leite, Infante Roundabout, Avenida Arriaga (northbound lane – as far as Banco de Portugal), Avenida Zarco (northbound lane), Rua Câmara Pestana and Praça do Município.

Themes of the groups taking part in the Float Parade

– "Treasure Island" – Veteranos da Folia
– "Divinities of the Sea" – Os Cariocas Samba School
"Nymph Fantasies" – Associação de Animação Geringonça
– "The Portuguese Sea" – Associação Fura Samba
– "The Sea and Piracy" – Caneca Furada Samba School
"The Revelry of the Ocean" – Turma do Funil
– "The Delights of the Sea" – João Egídio Andrade Rodrigues
– "Secrets of the Sea" – Fábrica de Sonhos

22:00 – Carnival Music Show, at Praça do Município


Blue Merlin fishing tournament. The third edition of Madeira Blue Merlin competition is to be held during the 11 – 13 June in the sea around Calheta. Last year, there were 15 teams and this year, 25 will take part. They arise from Madeira, Azores, Portugal, United Kingdom, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, the Canary Islands, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and the USA. Caught fish have to be released alive back to the sea. The winner will represent Portugal in the Hawaiian International Tournament in 2011. Teams consist of three to six members with another one to film for validation purposes. Registration fee is 600 Euros per boat. This tournament is intended to honour the surgeon António Ribeiro who at 96 years old was probably the oldest participant for this type of fishing.


FRONT PAGE HEADLINES – Finance Law passed.  Finance Law must be met.

Diário highlights a constitutional challenge but Jornal da Madeira have only one paragraph about this possibility. Two long articles about the battle, giving their reasons and financial figures for the law since they say the public are confused. (Not surprising!) According to the Diário, there are eight days for the PS socialists to ask the Constitutional Court to judge the law and the Court has up to 25 days to rule, by which date it is too late to enact the law in time to focus on the State Budget of 2010. If unconstitutional, Cavaco Silva has the difficult decision to pass the law (political instability) or veto it and face the consequences of turning against Jardim. If he vetoes the law, it must return to Parliament and be approved by two thirds of the deputies. Later today in Diário, it was reported that Jardim said that the law is "not unconstitutional" but the PS request for a constitutional challenge is a "serious threat". He said the passing of the law shows the possibility of a "historic compromise" and might "liberate" Portugal from a "party that has no ideology or value". Jardim also says a coalition should be formed to govern Portugal.

Alcohol prevention. There will be a proactive prevention of substance misuse in a joint initiative by the police, Regional Service of Drug Prevention and the Alcoholics Association, Mão Amiga. It will last from 0.00 to 03.00 on Sunday morning in the main centres of nightlife in Funchal. Information leaflets on the harmful consequences of drug and alcohol abuse and other substances will be handed out by the police. Those interested will be allowed to try the ‘test balloon’, independently of whether they intend to drive, to allow them to determine their fitness to be behind a wheel. The drug prevention, rehabilitation and therapy teams will be available. This is to be followed by a police surveillance operation on the main roads of Funchal from 03.00 to 08.00, focusing on driving under the influence of alcohol. The representative from Mão Amiga says they want to inform young people on how to enjoy themselves without having to consume harmful substances. They are there to educate, provide information, answer questions, so people can meet them and see they are helpful and friendly, and to help those with an alcohol problem. It is more appropriate for young people to go out and meet real friends than ‘virtual friends’ through computers. The first harmful substance imbibed tends to be alcohol before some graduate onto drugs which are more difficult to abandon.

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

Martins Júnior is a beloved priest – He has been suspended since 1977, but continues to celebrate in Ribeira Seca. There are those faithful in the community, some with 50 years, waiting for the bishop, the confirmation and a canonical solution to the priest that they held in such high regard. "The crime of Padre Amado". Suspended nearly 33 years, Martins Júnior continues faithful to the community of Ribeira Seca. In July 1997 the then Bishop of Funchal suspended Martins from his post, and performing any acts associated with his former role. The charge was disobedience, and the first element of that was political activity, still in the aftermath of the Carnation Revolution in 1974. It’s a long story, full of religious terminology that I don’t understand in any language, and I now wish that I hadn’t chosen this story at all. But anyway, Martins, now aged 72, never accepted the suspension order (or be tried by ecclesiastical court) and continued his priestlike activity until the present, undertaking Mass, baptisms and funeral duties in the parish of Ribeira Seca. The current Bishop of Funchal, D. António Carrilho, has said that he is hopeful of resolving the situation (but that was back in 2007).

In politics : Law of Finances agitates the Socialist Party – Bernardo Trindade and Miguel França deny conflict.  Carlos César [Azores] doesn’t believe in the presidential veto. The socialists are now looking for the resignation of President Albert João Jardim following the episode with the Regional Finance Law. Madeira’s representative in the Lisbon assembly, Bernardo Trindade, says that Jardim is now a problem for Madeira now that he doesn’t have a weapon against Lisbon. The socialists of Madeira do admit that the new law is fairer for Madeira than the one passed in 2007, as it has reduced the ‘positive discrimination’ that favoured the Azores. França was the only socialist MP to vote against the government, but any talk of a rift as a result in local politics is being played down.

Diabetes costs a packet – The costs have risen. On Madeira there is expenditure of €4 million per year on medicines. That cost is just for the regular medicine, the more expensive stuff is not included in that figure. There are around 26,000 diabetics on Madeira, and estimates suggest that there are another 50,000 that may already be pre-diabetic. The responsible director in Hospital Central do Funchal said that the cost in the last year had escalated around half a million Euros. This was in part down to the use of more effective medicines, that were more expensive.

Today’s main news headline : Societies ask for €100 million more – The loan aims to avoid bankruptcy of the Development Societies and of Madeira Parks. The loss is €98.5 million, and the businesses pay just 18% of the costs.

The main sport / football headline today : Expectations boosted – With the defeat of Sporting, Marítimo and Nacional have a new incentive in the fight for a European placing. Huge surprise to know that Sporting lost at home against Académica last night. The action with our local teams starts at 3 pm, but only on the radio TSF-M / RTP.

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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5 thoughts on “Writers & artists exhibit united ; Mosquito control tips ; Police operation in Funchal”

  1. The way I understand the politics of Madeira and the mainland, leaves A J Jardin having to support the Socialists in the Portuguese parliament if he is to continue to receive and spend huge amounts of public money.
    If he supports the right wing, his natural inclination, he has to accept massive budget cuts.
    Must be tying him in knots.
    Is my understanding of the situationanywhere near correct Der?

  2. Who knows how his brain works Martin, he is certainly only focused on Madeira and the rest of the Portuguese don’t enter into the equation. He has long since blown his bridges with the Socialist government in Lisbon, and his allies now temporarily appear to be all the small-stream national parties, including the communists, who are often the target of Bertie redicule.

    His pre-election ‘deal’ with the PSD nationally through Ferreira Leite has now been fulfilled through the Regional Finance Law amendments, and if he continues to act the Maverick, a fall out there is inevitable, as it is with all the opposition parties both nationally and locally that he hasn’t already p***d off. Just since the election ‘clean slate’, that is.

    His next target I think will be to try to secure state funding for a new hospital, but given the state of the economy and finances, he can only achieve any success there through scarce private investment and keeping the national PSD and opposition parties on his side (who have now tasted blood in a huge government defeat). I reckon another election will happen before then.

    Just my humble opinion …


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