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Possible jail sentence for breaking speed limit

Posted by dolly diver on August 29, 2008
Posted in News about Tenerife  | Tagged With: ,

A Tenerife youth may be the first to be jailed under the new tougher traffic laws.

The 22-year-old was caught by a radar trap on a Santa Cruz dual carriageway, driving his VW Golf at 170 km/h, more than 90 km/h above the speed limit.

He was tracked on traffic cameras and arrested minutes afterwards as he parked his car near the Auditorium. Under the new law, speeds in excess of 60km/h in built-up areas and 70 km/h on main roads, including motorways, automatically entail a 3-6 month prison sentence for the offender.

ring-road

The majority of the 740 families caught up by land expropriations for the island circular road between Icod and the south of Tenerife now know the government offer for their properties
and there are few happy with the valuation.

Property owners in Santa Barbara, El Paso and Las Lajas seem satisfied with the offer although the president of the association fought for fair compensation and believes those with smaller properties should still demand better valuations.

The majority have been offered €785 per sq. metre and some are valued at €985. They feel the offer is insufficient and unjust.

Property owners are determined to fight for more cash for their houses and agricultural plots or to actually halt the construction of the ring road altogether.

Four years ago one family purchased a house with farmland and invested €200,000 on refurbishing the house, they were not told of the plans for the road at the time of purchase.

However, the governing coalition at Icod de los Vinos council issued a statement promising to meet each and every family which feels it has been hard done by with the valuations. The council will then study their cases individually and negotiate with the regional authorities, if necessary, for better terms.


siam-park

The official opening Ceremony of the long awaited Siam Park will take place on the 15th September 2008. The event will be a reception for invited guests only, hosted by the President of Loro Parque, Wolfgang Kiessling and the Director of Siam Park, Christoph Kiessling. The date of opening to the public has not yet been announced.

The event will be presided over by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn from Thailand and will take place in the grounds of the Park.

Siam Park has received 160 carp fish from Loro Parque. Their new environment is the 1,000 cubic metres of water of the Floating Market.

 	cyprinus-carpio

Known as common carp, (Cyprinus carpio), they are fresh water fish and relatives of the golden carp. They have been transported in special tanks accompanied by a biologist who took care of placing the fish in their new home in a process that took 5 hours. He will later follow up to make sure the fish have settled into the new surroundings.

Their diet is mostly aquatic plants and they can reach up to 1.2m long and 40kg in weight, although the average is generally 60-90 cm long and around 9 kg. The carp fish are thought to bring good luck and they can live to be up to 50 years old.

Floating Market carp-pondAll the buildings of the Floating Market were designed by professor Ruetai and they really are authentic as the materials have been shipped over from Thailand. The houses come from an area about an hour and a half outside of Bangkok called Ayutaya and along with them also came carpenters who worked on the materials using all of their local skills and knowledge to make the village as it is today with all of the details crafted by hand.

The Floating Market of Siam Park is the biggest representation of Siamese architecture outside of Asia and it houses the changing rooms, lockers and coffee bar, transporting its visitors to faraway lands.

More information at www.siampark.net

San Juan sand storm

Posted by dolly diver on August 22, 2008
Posted in Local News  | Tagged With:

playa-san-juanThe new beach in San Juan is attracting a record number of tourists during the main holiday season while the row over the disappearing sand from the beach continues.

Local mayor Pedro Martín, has been criticised by opponents about his ideas of replacing the sand on San Juan’s new beach. Each time the swell picks up a considerable amount of sand is washed off the beach and into the bay. With the September equinox just around the corner, which causes very high and very low tides as well as storms over the winter season, the problem will only get worse. 	san-juan-harbour

The wrong sand, which has been brought in from quarries to replenish the beach, is being dragged away by the tide and building up in the harbour. It is feared that very soon the water will be so shallow that boats will not be able to use it.

The mayor has been asked to speed up the formalities with the relevant government departments to dredge the seabed further out to obtain more appropriate sand for Playa San Juan.

A tidy Santiago del Teide

Posted by dolly diver on August 22, 2008
Posted in Local News  | Tagged With: ,

foto-clausura-del-campo-de-trabajoThanks to a group of young people from all around Spain the countryside of Santiago del Teide has received a face lift.

The youth department of the local council invited 20 youngsters from all over the country to join the latest campaign, The Study, Recuperation and Improvement of Rural Areas and Walks of Santiago del Teide. The group of 18 to 30 year old volunteers joined the cleaning and clearing operation during the first two weeks of August. A large proportion of their work concentrated on the areas affected by last year’s fire.

A number of activities were also available for the visitors, including traditional sports, music and dances and visits to El Teide and Teno Rural Park

Bumper grape harvest for Tenerife

Posted by dolly diver on August 19, 2008
Posted in News about Tenerife  | Tagged With: , ,

grapesDespite gloomy predictions only a few months ago the Tenerife grape harvest is expected to improve by two million kilos of grapes this year.

According to the Cabildo the bumper 2008 crop will widely exceed the 3.34 million kilos that was harvested last year. The areas of Tacoronte and La Orotava Valley represent the biggest recoveries of up to 100%.

The Tenerife wine growers will collect an estimated 5.4 million kilos of grapes this year, according to preliminary estimates of the Cabildo.

Fury over car sales in street

Posted by dolly diver on August 19, 2008
Posted in News about Tenerife  | Tagged With: ,

venta-cocheTwo major car organisations have joined forces to make a formal protest about the sale of vehicles in the street. It has become a common sight in Tenerife to see “For Sale” signs on the windscreens of cars parked in a variety of locations. Sometimes it is just a one-off by a private individual but in other cases, there can be as many as ten or even more cars illegally on sale.

Now, urgent action is being called for to get rid of them once and for all. The campaign is being led by La Asociación de Empresarios de Compra-venta de Automóviles Nuevos y de Ocasión de Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Asate) and la Federación Regional Canaria de Empresarios Importadores y Concesionarios de Automóviles (Fredica).

They have approached all the mayors of the island for support, saying the sales are not only illegal but “disloyal competition.”

Asate president José Manuel Martin has asked Fredica to open talks with those involved. They say the cars are parked in all sorts of places, including side streets and public car parks.

Sr. Martin says it is a “serious risk” to the consumer as no guarantee accompanies the sale.
He points out that a recent investigation showed that 58 per cent of the cars sold had defects that affected the safety of the vehicles and more than half were serious, such as the tyres. “These problems are avoided if you buy or sell a car through a professional, independent or concessionary salesman because all the vehicles have a guarantee,” he said.

They have also warned about an internet fiddle involving fake web pages showing cars for sale and say consumers must be confident about where they buy a car from.

Source: Tenerife News

Teenagers cool off in the new lake – Santa Cruz

Posted by dolly diver on August 19, 2008
Posted in News about Tenerife  | Tagged With: , ,

new-lake-santa-cruz

The popular new artificial lake, the centrepiece of the recently-inaugurated Plaza de España in the centre of Santa Cruz, has brought huge headaches for the local authorities. The lake, which fills with seawater every six hours when the tide comes in, has been used as an improvised swimming pool by hundreds of youngsters escaping the summer heat.

Police were met with stiff opposition when they tried to evict them, and ended up with a direct challenge on their hands when they were asked to produce the legislation banning swimming in the lake.
It only took a few days for the Cabildo, which is located just yards away, to announce that swimming was not allowed in the lake.

The corporation’s president Ricardo Melchior is adamant that the new attraction should not be used as a pool, although he does acknowledge that the occasional dipping of feet to cool off is acceptable. “I have never seen in European cities like Vienna locals donning their swimsuits to swim in a big fountain. The lake here was built for a different purpose, not swimming,” he insisted, although stressing that responsibility for ensuring it is used properly lies with the city council.

“Hi Sheila”, It was Councillor Steve Gerald’s voice on the phone, “Coastal clean up on Sat 9th Aug, can you put it on your news, we need volunteers………………and you’re taking part too – aren’t you”?

“Oh er um – yes, I think I’m free”. It was a 9am start – hate getting up that early on a Saturday but it was a worthwhile cause and it’s always a good story for this news blog, so a note was made in the diary.

A few days before the event I received another call. “Can you help out at the dive centre we’re busy and could do with an extra pair of hand for a few days”?

I was there in a shot, any excuse to get me out of the office and go diving for a while. DaRKeTaMiN, losgigantes.com webmaster, volunteered to answer the phones and keep things ticking over for a few days.

Now there was a problem how could I take part in the clean up as well as take people diving. Talking it through with instructor Andy we came up with a brilliant idea – we would all take part in the clean up. There was a beach we passed regularly which was covered in rubbish, it didn’t look nice, and there was also one of our popular dive sites which needed a good tidy up too. How to get volunteers? – you offer them a free dive. In a few minutes we had a full boat of volunteers. So it was a call to Steve to let him know.

pedaloSo on the day it was the usual 9.30 kit up for a 10am start. Our 1st job was to clean beach at Octopus Cove (called Echo bay by tourist boats) the rubbish included the top half of a pedalo, which had been washed up there about 2 years ago. The sea had been very flat and calm for the past few days but on this particular morning wave action made it difficult to get on and off beach and it was also difficult for the dive boat to stay in close. Rubbish consisted of shoes, fish boxes, the pedalo, and a huge length of rope easily 3 inches in diameter (very heavy), many bottle, cans and cartons, which filled 4 large bin liners.pedalo-on-board

Next stop was to drop of rubbish of in Puerto Santiago. This proved difficult as wave action prevented us from going against the harbour wall and everything had to be swum to the steps. The local firemen were taking part in the clean up too and were waiting for us. swimming-rubbish-ashore-in-puerto-santiago We did get some odd looks from them as we pulled in with the pedalo balanced on top of dive gear. At this point the harbour crane developed electrical difficulties but after much twiddling and banging they eventually got it working and lifted the pedalo from the water. Our next planned destination was dive site Punta Barbero – the rocky point off Playa Arena beach – a lovely dive site, but spoilt by rubbish. It has been cleaned up by us in the past so the opportunity for another clean up was taken.

 	andy-lifting-rubbish

Divers spent approximately 45 minutes in the water and once more many bottles, cans and cartons, as well as an old tyre were collected. A large item we wanted to move was a supermarket trolley which was tangled up in an old fish trap. It was sent to the surface on a lifting bag but was too heavy to safely bring on board, it had very sharp, rusty edges. It was decided that it was too risky to try to tow it back to Puerto Santiago harbour in the swell, so we towed it further out to sea and cut it loose. How a supermarket trolley got there in the first place is beyond me!

customers-and-staff-of-los-gigantes-diving-centreThe decision was then made not to go back into Puerto Santiago because of the swell so we went back to Los Gigantes marina and disposed of the rubbish in the bins provided by the marina.

Thirty other volunteers including the Surf Club Punta Blanca and the volunteer Firemen took part in the beach cleanup of Crab Island and the beaches at Puerto de Santiago and Playa Arena. A total of almost 500kg was collected.

The event ended with paella at Puerto Santiago square for the volunteers, sadly Andy and I had to miss out because we had to get back to work!

A good day was had by all.

Spanair cuts announced

Posted by dolly diver on August 14, 2008
Posted in News about Tenerife  | Tagged With: , ,

SpanairSeveral hundred jobs are to be cut by Spain’s second biggest airline in an attempt to streamline operations in the Canaries due to the economic crisis.

In the coming months Spanair is to shut down several bases outside Madrid and Barcelona. Tenerife and Gran Canaria are included on the cuts list.

Up to 350 jobs may be affected but unions believe the figure may be as high as 490 direct posts and over one thousand indirect ones. An official request for the redundancies has been filed with the Department of Employment by the airline.