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September 25th 2008

The citizens of Fuerteventura can enjoy, during December, discounts in shops, restaurants and hotels on the island in an initiative of the Chamber of Commerce, announced the Insular Town hall today. They will be able to obtain discounts of between 3% and 15% or to spend one night in an hotel on the island for only 25 Euros a night. It is hoped that this will encourage residents to become tourists for the day on their own island, allowing them to get to know the different establishments of Fuerteventura, explained the promoters. Altogether 69 hotels, 89 apartments, 90 shops and 159 restaurants in different areas of the island have joined the program.

A Wheelchair burst into flames, minutes after it was unloaded from the hold of an aircraft coming from Fuerteventura. The incident took place shortly after a holiday jet landed at Manchester Airport, with more than 200 passengers on board. It triggered a warning from the Civil Aviation Authority about the dangers of carrying electrical goods on an aircraft. The plane, a First Choice Boeing 757, had landed at the airport after a flight from Fureteventura. Ground staff at Manchester airport were removing luggage from the hold when they saw sparks coming from the wheelchair. The wheelchair was placed on a ground vehicle and within seconds had burst into flames. "It was a real inferno," one industry source said. "Thankfully no-one was injured as a result of the Manchester incident," said Geoff Leach, manager of the dangerous goods office at the Civil Aviation Authority. "The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, but it does highlight the need for passengers to be extremely vigilant when taking items on board aircraft. "Passengers need to be aware that some items, which are relatively innocuous in everyday use, are capable of posing a serious risk to the occupants of an aircraft, no matter where they are carried on-board and therefore need to be carefully checked." The incident with the wheelchair has highlighted the dangers of carrying electrical items, especially those which are powered by battery. According to the CAA, battery terminals should be covered. If not a piece of metal could, if it touches both terminals, create a circuit heightening the risk of a fire. "Passengers frequently travel with electronic gadgets or other battery powered items and, although the batteries in these rarely pose a safety problem, if they are loose or the equipment is inadvertently activated there is a danger of fire," Mr Leach added. [The Telegraph]

A man is planning to take legal action against a holiday airline claiming he and his partner were treated as the “Family from Hell” and escorted off a plane. Simon Howley, a TV film producer, and his family had an altercation with Thomas Cook flight attendant after his two-year-old daughter Maisie became distraught on a flight to Fuerteventura. Maisie had become upset during the outgoing flight, but the flight attendant said the plane would not land unless she sat in her own seat. Despite this, the plane landed safely with Maisie on her mother’s lap, and the family claim they apologised when they left. When he and his partner Natasha Back returned to Fuerteventura Airport for the flight back to Gatwick however, they were asked to sign a form before they boarded. Thomas Cook have confirmed that this was an "additional conditions of carriage" form. Mr Howley, 41, claims that the names Howley/Back had been put on A4 sheets of paper at the check-in desks. A Thomas Cook representative said they had been expecting "the family from Hell" but admitted the description did not fit the family. Upon boarding the plane, they met the flight attendant Mr Howley had dealt with the week before. He asked for her name because he planned to complain when he returned to the UK and she allegedly replied: "That's fine darlin". Within minutes of settling into their seats, the cabin manager told the family to disembark because they had allegedly been behaving in "a threatening manner". Not wishing to cause a scene, they left the plane, despite mother and daughter in tears. After already spending £3,000 on the holiday, Mr Howley's family then spent a further £500 for a later flight home, after being refused back on. Mr Howley said: "As a frequent business flyer I have never had the ignominy of being escorted from a passenger jet." He has now complained to Thomas Cook and consulted a lawyer. He said: "It was bad enough being called 'darlin' by the stewardess but then being asked to sign what was in reality a good behaviour form and being labelled the family from hell was just too much. "Other passengers were very supportive of us and couldn't see what we had done wrong."It was a charter flight but I am not some kind of lager lout. My job takes me on flights around the world and nothing like this has ever happened to me before." Thomas Cook said they were investigating the complaint. [The Telegraph]
Omar Konaty, died while soccer training in the football ground of Risco Negro, in Puerto Rosario. Born in Mali, he came to Fuerteventura in August 2006. Until turning 18 he lived in an immigrant center which he left in February 2008 to travel to Valencia, until returning to Puerto Rosario. Although he had been treated for a year for pericarditis his death still came as a shock. In spite of the disease, he began to train with the team. He used to travel to the football ground on a bicycle. So far, the diagnosis is the one of accidental death.

25 tourist reps from Puerto Rosario have had a crash course of English and German to welcome the passengers of the first cruise ship that will arrive this season at Fuerteventura in their own language. The “Beautiful Aída”, a luxury boat will inaugurate the season and the facilities of the new wharf for cruiser ships to the capital. In order to facilitate this during the upcoming season, a translator and interpreter will give two classes a week in English and German, although this week there will be three classes. If this initiative goes well, this experience could be repeated. The first classes that have been programmed will concentrate on introducing the students to the most basic aspects of both languages, so that they are able to greet, give a welcome, and to ask what their trip is like or to invite the tourists to dance.

43.6% of minors between 13 and 17 years that surf the Internet have received a sexual proposal through the network, according to data gathered by agents of the Judicial Police. They have analyzed the risks, threats and opportunities that the Internet offers to minors and have confirmed that the Internet is not bad but a door to the world that the minors must use being conscious of the risks.

Majoreros have again demonstrated their devotion to their patroness, la Virgen de La Pena. Some 25,000 people gathered during Friday and Saturday in the small town of Vega de Rio Palma, in the municipality of Betancuria, which houses the shrine that has the most venerated image of Fuerteventura. The first rains that heralded the arrival of autumn were not an impediment to hundreds of pilgrims yesterday on their journey to the sanctuary of the Vega de Rio Palmas to venerate the patron saint of majoreros: Nuestra Senora de la Pena. From early morning, the roads were populated by pilgrims to comply with tradition. Most of the worshippers gathered in Antigua and then climbed to the village of El Cortijo de la Hoya. Others chose different routes, but all had the same destination: the chapel of La Vega. The Cabildo of Fuerteventura, through consulting emergency services, expected this level of participation and launched a comprehensive safety campaign, with the cooperation of law enforcement and state security forces and local police officers.  A solemn Mass was held, chaired by the Bishop of the Canary Islands, Francisco Cases, as well as the traditional procession of the image and offering to the Virgin.

Over 70 people participated this summer in courses to introduce people boating that was initiated by the Council of Sports of the Town hall of Fuerteventura. The past weekend saw the last one of the courses in Corralejo. The program, that started in July, also had courses in Great Tarajal, Morro Jable, el Castillo and Puerto Rosario. Port of the Rosary

Four people were denounced by the Civil Guard the past Wednesday after being surprised in the Natural Park of Jandía by watchmen of Environment camping illegally. The collaboration between the watchmen of Environment of the Town hall of Fuerteventura and the Civil Guard (Seprona), allowed them to locate, identify and denounce four people who camped illegally in the zone of El Roque del Morro, in the natural park of Jandía, municipal term of Pájara. The Civil Guard whose agents approached the campers at 19,00 hours on Wednesday, right at the moment at which four people returned with 8 kilos of mussels. After identifing them, the people were cahrged with camping illegally and the illegal shellfishing of protected species. The finess for each of them could be about 3,000 Euros.

September 19th 2008

Britons are defying the credit crunch to catch some European sunshine, according to travel retailer
The fastest-selling destination is Dalaman in Turkey, which saw sales of holiday breaks up 260 per cent compared to the same time last year.
Turkey is outside the euro zone but more traditional holiday favourites such as the Spanish islands and the Costas continue to see strong growth thanks to their ease of access and familiarity.
Other favourite holiday destinations for summer sun include Madeira, which has seen sales rise by 83 per cent, and Fuerteventura with a 74 per cent increase in bookings. managing director Paul Fumer said that long-haul destinations such as India, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Mexico and Jamaica are all seeing exceptional growth from small sales volumes last year. He blamed the poor weather experienced during the current British summer for the rise in holiday sales to sunshine destinations. []

One person was injured in a traffic accident in Caleta de Fuste this week. Three vehicles were involved in the incident that left two cars virtually destroyed.

A man aged 28 has been seriously injured after a fall from an empty apartment complex in Costa Calma. The incident took place at one in the morning last week and the man was transferred in a helicopter to the Emergency Department in Gran Canaria.

The refurbishment project of the commercial area of Puerto del Rosario, on the streets of Leon Castillo and Virgen de La Pena, has begun to arouse suspicion and criticism from traders, who complained of the disappearance of some 200 car parking spaces, the problems of loading and unloading of goods and the slow pace of works with the consequent economic loss.
The proposed project, which has been running for several months by the company Moreno Perez, has a budget of EUR 843433.43 and affects the streets Romero, Soralla, El Greco, Velazquez, Murillo, Rocinante, La Venta, Toboso, Cipriano Gutierrez and Molinos. They cross the roads that connect the two commercial arteries of the capital: Leon Castillo and Virgen de La Peña.
The project aims to repave and retarmac the roads, install and provide furniture to the streets above, as well as provide a greater area of sidewalks, lighting, landscaping, signs and vegetation. Another purpose is to reduce the traffic within the shopping area.
The manager of Coleyca, the business association that brings together many of the merchants in the area, Eduardo Paz, showed their dissatisfaction "with the development of the works and modifications to the project." He also added that "the delay in construction planning with several streets closed at once, is causing much damage to the shop keepers trading."
Since Coleyca "called for the resignation of the then councillor of Commerce of Puerto del Rosario, Carmen Delia Gutierrez, we were not consulted enough and when asked, we received no replies from the council. "Works are always good if there is consensus."
The businessman Miguel Ángel Rodríguez believes that a free trade parking zone  "does not work. Not only for traders, but also for residents." Moreover, he says that "my street has been closed for two and a half months and in August it has not been worked on. The association of entrepreneurs in this area has complained. The furniture leaves much to be desired, for its aesthetic void."

The Canary Islands are to get more stations to help measure the quality of air.
Permission has been given for a 223,250 euro project in Tenerife, together with further stations on Gran Canaria (190,000 euros) and Fuerteventura (164,920 euros).
This will make seven in all for Santa Cruz, four of which monitor the emissions coming from the Cepsa refinery. It will bring the total of air monitoring stations on Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Fuerte-ventura to 34.
The stations monitor the quality of air and evaluate its contents, such as the levels of lead, ozone and carbon monoxide to make sure they adhere to the regulations for people’s health and the environment. [Tenerife News]

An Air Mediterranee Airbus A321-100, registration F-GYAN performing flight DR2504 from Paris Charles de Gaulle (France) to Fuerteventura,CI (Spain), had just landed in Fuerteventura and was taxiing off the runway, when smoke started the emanate from the left hand main gear. Fire engines immediately activated, but needed around 10 minutes to stop the wheel fire, which was helped by a hydraulics leak. The passengers disembarked normally after fire fighters brought the fire under control. [Aviation Herald]

The prison of Fuerteventura will begin to be constructed next year and could be operative before the 2011, according to the president of the State Society of Infrastructures and Equipamientos Penitenciarios (SIEP), Juan Jose Azcona.
Azcona met this week with the municipal corporation of Port of the Rosary to inform them of the terms and conditions of the new prison that the Department of the Interior intends to construct in Fuerteventura.
This complex will be located near the Environmental Complex of Zurita and the locality of Tesjuate.
All altogether 100,000 meters squared of the 300,000 meters that the property owns will be used. The State has agreed to pay six times the initial value of the chosen ground.
According to the mayor of the city, the initial appraisal was for 170,000 Euros and the SIEP now offers 600,000 Euros.
“We want this prison, besides serving the society, it supports the economy in Puerto del Rosario”, said Morals.

PuertoCalle 2008 approaches. Starting on Monday 22nd it has a total of 23 musical spectacles, of humour, acrobatic and circus acts that comprise the program of the second edition of this festival of scenic arts in the street.
Altogether, seventeen groups of artists will perform in the streets of Puerto del  Rosario. During the five days that the festival lasts, artists of the world will coexist with majoreros artists.
The mayor of Puerto del Rosario indicated the true sense of the event: “To make our streets places for the benefit of the family and to get to know neighbours and people through culture”.
The highlight of this year is the Argentian group “Voalá! ”, who have a spectacle of aerial dance accompanied by music on Thursday. Also they will support all the acrobatics of “Circus in the air”, a circus spectacle performed by Canarians, Catalan and Brazilian artistson on the Friday night.
On the other hand, Mario the queen of the circus and Navarrese Álex are the two performers of comic humour for the next week. But there will be pop music with the performances of Alcogida and Tabajoste. Children will be able to enjoy of a whole programme especially for them during the afternoons from the 22 to the 26 of September.

We should be getting access to cheaper and a wider range of broadband services. The unique underwater cable system between the Península and the Canary Islands is the one that Telefonica rents to alternative operators who serve broadband. Up until now the prices of the rent of this cable were not regulated by the CMT. The Commission has now imposed a reduction of the 30.38 percent in all the capacities of the transmission available. Costs for the alternative operators will be lower and better supplies will be able to be made for broadband.
In addition, the new fixed prices will leave sufficient margin so that a company that wants to compete in infrastructures and tender an underwater cable system between the Península and the Canary Islands can recover their investment.
With the aim of giving an boost to the broadband sector in the Canaries, the CMT has considered the promotion of the competition, as well as facilitating to the citizens access to an ample supply of suppliers and prices, as happens in the peninsula.
Telefonica owns 76.3 percent of the market in broadband in the Canaries, almost 20 points superior to the average in Spain, according to the data of the Report of Penetration 2007 of the CMT. In the Canary Islands, ONO is the unique cable operator, with 13.3 percent of the market.

Magdalena Alvarez, minister of Promotion of the Spanish Government, confirmed that next weekend she will visit the canary airports to supervise the Canary execution of the Plan 2020. At the moment “we are in the middle of the execution” of this initiative that affects all the airports of the Islands.
The primary target of this Plan supposes an advance to prepare the airports and to improve their capacity to face future demands. The Spanish Government has calculated the capacity that will be demanded of airport infrastructures in 2020 and has designed a Plan that it tries to fulfill those expectations.
Against this background, Alvarez will supervise the execution of the runways, the terminals, the control towers, parking, the management and security systems of the airports.
The minister recognized that the airports are “the base of mobility in the Islands” and the national Executive is aiming to ensure that the terms are fulfilled and the infrastructures are put in.
Alvarez emphasized the security systems that will have the most modern facilities with “an exhaustive and intensive control”. She also emphasized the enhanced luggage management system destined for Fuerteventura.

News of the Weird
Italian and U.K. legal authorities have recently discarded rule interpretations based on embarrassingly anachronistic stereotypes of women. In July, Italy's Court of Cassation reversed a 1999 ruling creating a legal presumption that a woman wearing tight jeans could not be the victim of rape because such jeans would be impossible to remove without her assistance. [Daily Telegraph (London), 7-23-08]
Jonathan Williams, 33, was convicted of cocaine possession in England's Guildford Crown Court in July, as jurors rejected his explanation that the pants he had on (containing the cocaine) were not his. [The Guardian, 7-9-08]
That explanation also failed in August in Naples, Fla., for Richard Obdyke, 19, when police found a stolen debit card in his pants. (In both cases, the men said they had no idea whose pants they were wearing.) [Naples Daily News, 8-27-08]
According to police in Bethlehem, Pa., four kids (ages 9 to 14) grabbed a donation box in August at RiverPlace park (contributions to an organization that maintains the park's portable toilets) and ran for nearby woods, with several police officers in pursuit. Three boys were caught, but the other made it a little ways into the woods before falling into a manure pit built by homeless people at their encampment. [The Morning Call (Allentown), 8-5-08]


September 11th 2008

Spanish firm, Futura International Airways had their operating licence suspended on Sunday night by Spain's aviation authority, and the future of the airline is in jeopardy. Yesterday, they said they had come up with a rescue plan which would see half their staff sacked and half their planes axed in a bid to avoid bankruptcy. Futura have flown holidaymakers from Glasgow and Edinburgh airports to destinations including Palma, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Mahon and Tenerife. News of the airline's problems comes just days after the collapse of airline Zoom - who also operated out of Glasgow. It was unclear how many Scots holidaymakers would be affected by Futura's woes. Futura usually sell flights through operators such as Thomas Cook. Thomas Cook said they were working yesterday to get alternative flights for passengers affected by Futura's problems. The Spanish government have now lifted the flight ban. Futura's woes came after rising fuel prices. []

Two Wigan children triggered a daring rescue in the Canaries – while looking for chipmunks! Kayleigh Peach, 11, and her eight-year-old brother David bought bags of peanuts to feed the cute creatures and were scrambling over rocks on Fuerteventura. But as they did so, the young holidaymakers noticed two fishermen stranded on a rocky outcrop, with the Atlantic Ocean thundering all around. They alerted their dad, a Billinge GP, and within minutes the family set a life-saving operation in motion which left hundreds of fellow holidaymakers on the beach open-mouthed as the drama unfolded. Mum Kathryn Peach shouted to the desperate sea anglers that help was on its way, while her husband Ian and his nephew Andrew raced back along the coast to raise the alert with the Canary Islands' coastguard. Rescue frogmen in wet suits summoned by the Peach's SOS made attempts to attach 'bosun's winch' type lines to the rock. But they failed because they were being repeatedly driven back by the heavy surf. Then, minutes later, a Spanish civil defence rescue helicopter arrived, and the two men, one in his late 20s and the other in his mid-teens and both dressed in shorts, were hoisted up into the air to safety. The successful rescue was completed with only seconds to spare. There were gasps of horror from the watching holidaymakers when, moments earlier, the fishermen disappeared completely from view as a huge wave crashed over them, threatening to wash them into the ocean and dash them against the sharp rocks. Dr Peach, 41, and his family, who live in Standish and were part of a 10-strong party including his three children, his mum and other relations, were later told that although shocked, the pair escaped injury in their ordeal. A GP at Billinge Medical Centre in Recreation Drive, Dr Peach said: "The coast is very rocky and we went down a path near to the sea looking for some chipmunks, which are a bit of local attraction and they live down by the rocks. "On the way back we saw a couple of rod and line fishermen on some rocks out in the sea in front of us.
"They kept trying to climb down, as if they wanted to get off, and then when the waves came crashing in, they were chased back up again.
"We thought to ourselves, they are not going to get off this rock and we knew we had better get help. We went into a bar and used the phone to raise the alarm. "There was quite a sizeable gap between this rock and the headland and the tide seems to have taken them by surprise. It had started off OK, but it had ended up as an island." "The local scuba diver service immediately sent a boat out, but they couldn't get close enough because the waves were too fierce.
"Then the police and ambulance services arrived. Lines were successfully fired across to the fishermen on the island, but they were broken by the strong swell."
The helicopter arrived and the men were winched to safety. Modest Dr Peach added: "All we did was found some people in trouble and went to get help – it was all anybody would have done. The Spanish rescue people should be praised for how quickly they responded." [Wigan News]

Cofete beach has become the incubator for 800 eggs of the loggerhead turtle for the 3rd consecutive year. The eggs come from Cape Verde with the objective of repopulating the archipelago with this endangered species. The eggs were distributed in 12 nests, in a perimeter of 100 square metres. This area is constantly moniored during the 2 months the eggs take to hatch. Once the turtles are hatched they are moved to a farm in Morro Jable before being released into the sea. The 1st year was a great success, but last year storms at sea caused major loses.

Paulino Rivero, the president of the Canary Islands, has said that the location for the new power plant on Fuerteventura must be made before the end of September. The recent power cuts have shown the urgency of the situation, and no further delays will be tolerated. He said he will all the powers that the Canary Islands have over the island to ensure that this happens. He is also supporting the appropriation of land to complete the north south road and the regeneration of La Oliva and Jandia to make them more attractive as tourist destinations.

A sewage leak ahs caused the closure of a beach in Puerto del Rosario. Fuentes beach near the port had to be shut off when the waters near the coast were found to be contaminated. The little beach next to it was also closed for hygiene reasons. The leak was due to technical problems at the pumping station. The water will be tested again beforee the beaches are reopened.

The president of the Government, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has announced today who the minimum pensions will increase by 6 percent in 2009, This is to help the elderly through the tough economic times.

Officials are investigating the sale of parcels of municipal land in La Lajita. Apparently these appear to have been sold at under their appraised price and there is some suspicion that bribery of the council was involved. The mayor of Pajara, Rafael Perdomo, insists that the sales were all above board and that the accusations are completely groundless.

La Caldereta is to be home to the largest drinking water reservoir on Fuerteventura, which will be responsible for supplying the centre and south of the island. It will be several times larger than any existing deposits and it is anticipated that it will meet the demands of the island for the next three decades. The reservoir will be virtually buried, to reduce the environmental impact, the first construction being done on the island with this characteristic. The project will also include a new network of large-diameter pipeline, which will allow the system to provide greater flow. The joint investment will amount to 2.2 billion euros, which is being partly financed by CAAF. The new reservoir will have a capacity of 16,500 cubic meters, with exterior dimensions of 74.05 wide by 43 meters deep and maximum height of 6 metres.

A new road link between Corralejo and Puerto Rosario is being built to keep traffic off the road through the dunes. With the aim or recovering and preserving the dynamic dunes and native vegetation. The road that is there now will either be removed or left to be covered by the movement of the sand. A study is looking into the possibility of creating 2 car parks tto allow access to the beaches. One in the vicinity of Moro beach and the other near the Hotels. There will be a 5 mile stretch of access for pedestrians and cyclists.

On Friday a Spanair plane from Fuerteventura to Barcelona was forced to abort take off after trouble with its engines. After several attempts at take off and 30 minutes later the captain informed the 120 passengers of a fault and asked them to disembark. A lot of the passengers demanded another flight, as there was at least a nine hour delay because the mechanics had to flown in from Gran Canaria, detect and fix the fault. Another reason for demanding another flight was that the passengers were scared to get back on the plane as it was the same type that had crashed on take off in Madrid.

News of the Weird

Octopuses have been given Rubiks cube to find out if they have a favourite tentacle.
Are they octidextrous, or do they have assigned tentades for different things (eating, flirting etc.)? If we knew, we could reduce he poor things stress levels, explained England's Sea Life Centre.

Last words of Texas trucker.
About to unload his hau of heavy pipes and starting to loosen safety straps, his collegue said "Better wait for the crane to do that", the trucker replied "Don't worry, I've got it" Then a 4 ton pipe rolled off the truck and killed him.


September 4th 2008

The Canaries registered 176,339 unemployed in August, representing an increase of 238 persons.

Ryanair continues to cancel reservations made through the web if not on their own site. The European Commission has issued a warning to Ryanair about cancelling the tickets of passengers who have brought flights through screenscraper websites. It has highlighted European regulations  which outline how passengers must be compensated and assisted in cases of cancellations.
"We have told Ryanair that it is free to determine its own sales policy, but if passengers have bought tickets in good faith, the regulations apply," said an EC spokesman. After receiving the letter of warning from the EC, Ryanair issued a statement. In it, Ryanair’s director of legal and regulatory affairs, Jim Callaghan, said: “Ryanair is disappointed that yet again the European Commission is failing to protect consumers from the unlawful, misleading and anti-consumer practices of screenscraper websites, who are illegally accessing Ryanair’s website and imposing hidden mark-ups of up to 300% on Ryanair fares.
“Ryanair has provided specific examples of these unlawful practices to the Commission and yet the Commission again fails to take any action on behalf of consumers against these illegal ticket-tout websites. “Ryanair will continue to fight these screenscrapers to protect consumers from these unlawful and abusive practices, while the European Commission again fails consumers.”
Ryanair had claimed that it has suffered “dramatic slowdowns" to the website due to the activities of screenscraping sites which it has tried to ban.

Divers and volunteers recovered numerous tyres, pieces of iron and metal and 4 bathtubs from Puerto Rosario harbour. The total weight exceeed a ton. Among the volunteers were the young people of Tamaragua 2008 as reported on last week. The Councillor for the Environment says that their intention is to continue working in these type of campaigns and educate the sectors related to the sea, like fishermen, owners of boats and citizens living in the vicinity.

The Mayor of Pajara has reproached the Government of the Canaries because of the delay to the improvements to the harbour of Morro Jable. It was to be finished before the beginning of the summer season. Because of the delay Fuerteventura has lost a big chunk of the tourist market, as the cruise liners cannot dock there.

August saw the disabled of the Canaries enjoy their annual holiday in Puerto Rosario. Adapted vans, buses, amphibious wheelchairs and inflatables helped make their stay here enjoyable. Much laughter and new friendships were apparent, with personnel from the Red Cross helping out at the beaches and the waterpark.

The cattle of the Canary Islands (approx 20,500) emit 45,245 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.

The fire brigade of Puerto Rosario does not fulfill the ratios established by the EU, that is to say one fireman for every 1,000 citizens. The existing number of men is 13 for Puerto Rosario Antigua and Betincuria, when it should be 70. Also most of the vehicles used by the firemen are not up to EU standard, some are without communication systems and one does not have an ITV (MOT).

At least one business a week closes down in Rosario. At least 100 businesses have closed down in the last year, mainly being small and medium sized. Even the sales season, which usually breathes new life into businesses, has not been as good as expected.

People in Antigua are being asked to vote for their favourite project, on view in the town hall until the 8th September. There are 6 proposals for the upgrading of the square in Antigua. The foundations of the projects were: lighting, paving, landscaping, rest areas and the removal of architectural barriers. The winner will receive a prize of €2000.

The Ministry of Health will launch a programme for the early detection of deafness in newborns, the goal is to detect hearing defects before 3 months old. The aim is to test all children before being discharged from hospital.

12 denunciations have been handed out this summer for illegal shellfishing. Since 2005 it has been against the law, but both locals and tourists seem to be ignoring the rules. Between July and August 10 kilos of shellfish were confiscated and resulted in the above denunciations, which is actually lower than last summer. The problem is worse on the west coast of the island.


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