126 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 23.4.2022

Apr 25, 2022 at 9:11 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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we met in the Gallery again, and attacked the topic of crypto currencies and blockchain. We watched 2 videos:

What is Bitcoin? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um63OQz3bjo  o

and Nicolas Cary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdCCYVnxtW4

Crypto currencies are based on the open-source Blockchain software. Blockchain is a solid ledger, no information gets lost and the stored information cannot be eliminated or forged. It is “mined”, generated by writing into the blockchain, but only by people with very good computing power.

 It is good for land registry and other information systems, it can have a good impact, especially in Third World countries. It could also be used to track the complete work of an artist. But it is mainly used for Crypto currencies.

There are several crypto currencies; Bitcoin is the oldest and the biggest. In theory, Bitcoin is limited to a finite number of Blocks but it can be extended.

The technology needs a lot of electricity. Newer crypto versions are trying to limit the number of checks of a transaction so that the energy consumption is lower. Also, they can try to use surplus energy at night.

Bitcoin does not reach in any way the number of transactions processed by the banks for payments systems. Crypto is very volatile. There is no protection for the trader. If the trader loses his encryption key, he can never recuperate the Bitcoins. Inheritance is impossible without the key There is not control of the system. If we pay banks fees part of it is also for the security the system offers.

In some cases, the FBI etc got the keys from criminals and managed to get the Bitcoin for the State.

Bitcoin etc can also be forbidden in a country (China).

Bitcoin is used by the Mafia etc, and in the Darknet, for drug buys and child pornography payments etc

Crypto is not taxed in Portugal, this is why traders move here to avoid taxation so far. Taxation could only take place if Bitcoin is exchanged into a “real” currency.

Bitcoin is a virtual value, it has no value in itself on the exchange, like metals, food and other products. Credit default Swaps (without a real counter-value) brought on the Financial Crisis of 2008 – 1014.

Government and banks cannot regulate Crypto it but in the future, they will certainly try to get a grip on it.

K. also found two other links to explain 2 issues.

How we could buy Bitcoin in Portugal: https://paxful.com/buy/bitcoin/portugal

What happens if the trader dies: https://www.analyticsinsight.net/what-happens-to-your-cryptocurrency-when-you-die/

123 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 27.11.2021

Nov 29, 2021 at 9:25 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We watched this talk:

https://www.ted.com/talks/david_katz_the_surprising_solution_to_ocean_plastic/up-next#t-546346   (The website is here: https://plasticbank.com/)

In poor countries, the Plastic Bank receives litter from poor people and gives them credit in form of useful items for their daily lives. The Social Plastic collected is given to the big plastic “consumers” like Shell, BP and they re-introduce it  into the production of plastic bottles for shampoo etc.
Also regarding this topic: a documentary Karen found about the actual ocean clean-up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNk7wO9DUeM

Another outfit is Litterati:

https://litterati.org/

The members pick up litter piece by piece and document it in an App. An amazing amount of litter is this removed, and the app users feel a sense of accomplishment.

This means that plastic waste is redefined not as rubbish but as primary source of product. Western countries used to send their excess waste to China and other countries, officially for recycling but really for dumping. China has already started to refuse such shipments. Now western countries have to find other ways to re-use their rubbish. Burring it may produce electrify (as in Madeira) but it also releases CO2. This gas could be captured in the burning process and compacted, to be turned into tiles and similar products. Still a step that needs to be done. It will cost money and that is where public knowledge needs to increase. Rubbish recycling is essential but we will have to pay for it

Our Supremo Shop in Funchal is going from plastic packaging to bulk storage for dried fruits, and selling the products un-packaged. Customers will have to bring their own containers.

There is already such a shop in the Old Mercado in Ribeira Brave “Unverpackt Laden”

We have doubts that Shell and BP will really go through with it and reintroduce Social Plastic in the production; on their side, this may be gimmick publicity. With big business, corruption may be strong, undermining any good intentions.

Like these big players, non-profits managers may have hefty salaries but they have to be paid well to work the non-profits at all.

Crowd-funding also had a noble goal in the beginning and is turning more and more into a business with profits.

Anything with the label “nature” or “bio” may be false, because these words cannot be protected as a brand (and they shouldn’t be gobbled up by just one company).

In any case, we do have honest people in the “bio” business, also on the island.  But subsidies also corrupt the agriculture; farmers are being paid just to keep their land fallow. At some point, the EU may become dependent on other countries to supply enough food.

COP26 has shown that youngsters are starting to take part in politics. There is an European initiative that they should be able to vote as of the age of 16. They can then exert more pressure to avoid the climate catastrophe.

122 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 23.10.2021

Oct 24, 2021 at 3:12 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We met in the Gallery as usual and watched this talk:

The Talk is about the fact that we define Nature too narrowly as a system that hasn’t been touched by humans. Nature can include reforested and replanted areas; new ecosystems develop in such areas as well. Weed is not necessarily bad.

C. said that Cistercian and Franciscan monks in the middle age, who farmed large spaces of land for the church, were instructed to leave a third of the land “wild”

In Germany, the farmers are instructed to leave the side-lines of their fields untamed so that wild plants can grow there and provide at least a small space for insects and other wildlife to settle there.

Rewilding:

Here is a link with more information:

https://rewildingeurope.com

In Portugal, a space on Vale do Côa is supposed to be re-wilded

https://rewilding-portugal.com/pt/oeste-iberico/

It makes no sense to cut trees into shapes, just because we find it better. Trees should grow unhindered in the shape they need to be in.

Apple trees should be used to grow apples for juice, if they cannot be eaten. This potential should not go to wasted even if the product is a bit more expensive.

The other issue the speaker has is that children like to have wild nature to touch it and be in it. They have a right to find such spaces, not to be confined to State parks where they cannot interact with nature because it has to be protected. If humans interact with nature, they do so as a part of nature.

The Plumbago at the entrance of the Gallery is such a “wild space”.

There used to be many partridges on the island as well as rabbits and ferrets. They used to be hunted. Now, rabbits were re-introduced in the forest, only in order to be fodder for hunting…

Invasive species can be bad (the eucalyptus seeds are bad, and the trees grab too much water) but they also may very well turn out to become a blessing later (medicinal plants, protection for trees against specific insect threats etc).

Climate Change:

The 2021 COP – United Nations Climate Change Conference – will take place on Oct 31 in Glasgow. Avaaz will certainly ask for signatures or donations to pressure World Leaders to do something useful about the problem (I will forward the Avaaz message to you when it comes around, Ursula)

Russia and China didn’t get the message yet but more and more industry leaders are talking about strategies that respect nature and include it in their development of new products.

It will come down that we’ll have to curtail our personal footprint as much as possible. Medium distance flights within a country, for example, will have to be forbidden.

Other stuff:

Portugal got some refugees from Afghanistan, the female musicians from Zohra orchestra. There is a link to one of their concerts:

119 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 26.62021

Jun 27, 2021 at 12:20 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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The topic was Dumpster Diving.

We watched a talk by a youngster who learned of dumpster diving in the USA and then started it in Kopenhagen:

Additional info is here:

https://grist.org/food/food-waste-climate-change-too-good-to-go-dumpster-diving/?fbclid=IwAR2qxdbKLujrg0FSXaTW0oUDugDKQ6h8kpiigGBN8Z4U_LxXym1V-5f9R1M

and here

https://life.dn.pt/comida-lixo-desperdicio-alimentar/comportamento/350232/.

“Too good to go” also has a website in Portuguese, and we have some restaurants who participate, to avoid leftovers going to the dumpster here

https://toogoodtogo.pt/pt

The intention of the participating restaurants is to attract more business during normal hours, by showing the clients what they have after hours.

We talked about the food rubbish situation in Europe.

In some countries, it is forbidden; in others, it is in a grey zone.

France has a law that forbids supermarkets with more than 400m2 to dump food into containers, they have to donate it to charities or to companies who produce animal feed from it.

In our supermarkets, it seems that the problem of dumpster diving does not arise because the rubbish containers are in the supermarket back area, and outsiders do not have access to it.

Foodstuffs close to the expiry date are offered in Pingo Doce with an orange label for sale at reduced prices, this reduces waste (provided the buyers then eat it all).

Food waste in landfills produce a hight amount of Methane

Cl. said that the problem arises because we produce too much food for the demand. The supermarkets price in a loss of around 20% of foodstuffs due to expiry dates and freshness. Then they don’t mind that they have to throw food away. The consumer would have to accept that food is only produced in the quantity that will be needed (based on experience and sales numbers) And the food prices should be higher, to give an incentive to the consumer to buy only what he needs. But the consumer would not like to have less of a choice and would to go other shops.

It should be possible to have more of an in-time-delivery system for foodstuff as in the automotive industry, to avoid that food gets too old to be sold.

It will help that the state, in order to get more money, will add higher taxes on processed food which contain too much sugar, salt and fat.

The cost of transport is another waste-of-energy factor.

Farmer get subsidies in Germany if they leave a filed unfarmed, in order to curb overproduction in the country. Cl. said that farmers should even have to plant forests on the land, in order to offset the CO2 problem.

Quinta B doesn’t have a buffet, they serve the breakfast to order. Fruit that is not consumed gets turned inti delicious marmalade.

The Buffet in Quinta do Furão (the “leftover” from the Hotel guests) is offered to local guests at a reduced price, in order to avoid waste. The client do not get to serve themselves; the staff hands out the food and cooks eggs to order, so that what ends up on the plate, gets consumed.

Plates in general, should be smaller.

The homeless used to get “leftover” food from hotel buffets until this had to be cancelled due to Covid. Now a simple meal is offered in “CASA” at night, and “Sopa Cardoso” offers soups at lunchtime, and food bags which people can pick up. CASA and Caritas collect food in the supermarkets and pack baskets for needy families (these families have to register to be included)

Other stuff:

Freshbio (with happy chickens laying happy eggs) is at

http://www.freshbio.pt/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=19 .They deliver of baskets to your home and if somebody has a composter, they also collect fruit peels etc for composting.

93 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 18.11. 2017

Nov 19, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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Due to closed roads leading to Monte, (tree cutting) we all arrived late.

After a nice tea, we viewed a documentary from the BBC Horizon series about intermittent fasting, very informative!  The journalist in question interviewed several scientists, tried some options and decided for intermittent fasting. His blood work improved considerably, with it his health, lowering the risk of serious diseases, and increasing life expectancy.

Two members are practicing intermittent fasting with good success.

Other short clips and a great website in regards to Keto Fasting:

Diet doctor website https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto

Jason fasting  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIhhrYjVhOk                   5.17 min

Valter Longo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVArDzYynYc                   19.0 min

How to do https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNSbL8p3_RU                      4.45 min

Afterwards, we went to “Pátio das Babosas” again for a nice evening meal.

D. invited the group for a Thanksgiving Turkey Lunch, but, next Thursday being a difficult date for many, we decided to transpose it to Thursday, December 14, and combine the turkey with Father Christmas, let’s see how they get along!

The next meeting will be in 2018. We shall continue with the topic of consciousness, probably also with a video clip

83 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 17.9.2016

Sep 18, 2016 at 11:11 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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The Bread Project:

V gave E. a “plastic” bag, to store bread and keep it fresh. The bag, produced in Austria, is not made with oil but of plant material, and decomposes easily; it can be re-used several times. The bag can be printed on. The producer is www.naku.at.We discussed the  logo and design for linen bags for sale along with the bread.

We also spoke about the support we want to give the Escola de S..

We shall propose to their Team to create a blog for them, based on the text that we developed after the July meeting with them. U is going to send the approved content to Do. to look at. E.has photos; we need those for a blog. U will ask Ma. for their bank details so we can perhaps also add a PayPal donation button.

We also spoke about fundraising and how to go about it

Do. said the most important issue for fundraising is to answer the questions on what the project is and what they need. The fundraisers also need to propose adequate gifts as thank you for the donations received, e.g.

  • a postcard with children’s paintings for a donation of 5€,
  • for 10€ a donor would get a mug,
  • and for 25€ he would get a yearbook,
  • for higher amounts he would receive a mention of his name as sponsor on a (movable) plaque in the school.

An ongoing fundraising effort would be better that an occasional action, with the receipt of money from time to time.

“Teaching” support

There we have many options. S.used to go to her children’s school and read a poem which would inspire the children to make a drawing/painting about the topic, S. then gave assisted them in this. Such visits can lead to the composition of a yearbook, also as Thank You to donors.

Rui A.could do physics experiments with them, and so on…

Additional info.

Open letter from a Danish Newspaper to Mark Zuckerberg: http://www.aftenposten.no/meninger/kommentar/Dear-Mark-I-am-writing-this-to-inform-you-that-I-shall-not-comply-with-your-requirement-to-remove-this-picture-604156b.html

We have a recycling shop behind the Forum, “Mundo Sustentavel”, They accept used goods for household, decoration & more and resell them; the proceeds are split between the seller and the shop: Tel 291619768,  info@mundo-sustentavel.com

Frente Mar has some shops out for public tender for rent in/near the Lido Swimming pools, several artists are working there.

The list of 10 vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Funchal :

http://frommadeiratomars.com/pt/10-vegetarian-friendly-restaurants-in-madeira/

D & S like “Olive” in Oudinot best, the restaurant needs business so we should all go there and recommend it.

Also very good: “Tipografia” in the Castanheiro Boutique Hotel. “Mania de Cozinha” in S. Pedro is closed due to fire damage.

Our next meeting will be in mid-October,

73 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 16.9. 2015

Sep 21, 2015 at 8:35 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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73 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 16.9. 2015

The Bread Project: The new semester has started, and E. has to focus on the university job at this time; however, since last time, we had a few more suggestions for a good Name.

In any case, E.will need a good business partner; an artist usually isn’t very good at managing his own Project.

U.gave him a contact, Sr. José also bakes only with sourdough. The new “Goji” shop in Rua Queimada de Cima would be a good outlet for bread sales. They sell dried fruit, spices and other goodies.

Sa.said that IKEA has some cool packaging which might be nice for E.’s bread, she will let us have a photo of it.

Reforestation on Porto Santo:

Gr. and Sa. are in contact with each other about an urgently needed reforestation project for Porto Santo. A Portuguese scientist has written a good book about it. We as a group should try to promote such an event with actions.

The Porto Santo residents do not seem to be interested to reforest their island, which is basically a pile of sand, and they don’t even recycle. The water table is sinking and the water is poisoned by the lawn fertilizers used on the Golf course. With the planting of trees, the water table will improve.

U. mentioned that the Government is not very good at organizing tree-planting with the unemployed, they had such an event once in Madeira, They have to combine place, date, time, people, tree seedlings, bus transport, lunch, gloves etc and something will inevitably go wrong. Then the Madeirans have the tendency to give up, instead of trying to improve the system for the next time.

U. thinks tree planting could be handed to the Jeep Safari tours organized by travel agencies on Porto Santo: give them the seedlings and encourage the tourists to plant a few trees in designated areas, afterwards cared of by the Government gardeners. The Ferry could show the respective info during the trip and encourage the tourists to help planting. This should work well!

Here is the link again to a video with a nice story about a man who planted trees: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_7yEPNUXsU

U. thinks that we should place advertisements in the Diario with our ideas. If they don’t get out, nothing will happen but if they do, one or the other can trigger a good response, even from the Government. U. will work on such ads, to better illustrate the idea.

We also spoke about the potential the refugee wave means for Portugal in terms of population numbers. Portugal needs these people to avert a collapse of a viable state a few decades from now. These immigrants will be happy to plant trees; they would not feel themselves to be above it.

The Government issued a sensible information about the coming migrants, to quieten the fears of the Population

The word of the day: “Privilege is invisible to those who have it” from a TED talk.

71 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 16.7.2015

Jul 19, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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71 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 16.7.2015

 

Visit to the Marine Biology Station:

We visited the Marine Biology Station on Praia das Gaivotas, E’s place of work. The Ocean observatory is housed there, and Gr., although she is not officially back to work, also helps out there.

AL, one of the scientists, graciously showed us around. On appointment, she offers guided tours in English and Portuguese on a regular schedule. This would also be an interesting for tourists walks – nobody knows about it!

The station has an extensive library; the oceanographer Luiz Saldanha donated many unique books to the Station. The content is already available in digital format under www.cm-funchal.pt -> Ciencia ->Publicacoes. The Summer University students (Leicester) study here with E. One scientist is currently studying the impact plastic residue has on the marine animal world.

The station, dedicated to the study of the ocean and its species, is fifteen years old. It was supposed to be a part of a bigger complex; due to monetary restraints, the rest will not be built. The station has six floors and houses several, dedicated laboratories. The technical equipment (long lines of multiple tubes on the ceilings, big microscopes, lab bottles – empty as well as filled with something – is quite good. A rolling archive houses thousands of animal species in formaldehyde and alcohol.

The station works with in conjunction with UMa and the Municipal Aquarium in Rua da Mouraria. It is part of an international network of Marine Biology stations. Some preserved species from the Aquarium, are now housed in tanks in the Station, including the head of a once five-m long shark in formaldehyde. Some of the species stored may already be extinct by now.

The station has dedicated laboratories and teaching spaces; Gr was working in one of them. It also affords living space for visiting scientist. On the ground floor, above the beach, are two tanks which can accommodate turtles. One of the scientists is tracing them. Local fishermen also cooperate with the station; when they catch unusual species, they contact the scientists to collect them at the auction and take them to the station to be studied. The station is also a point of reference for scientists worldwide who want to compare species to ascertain of they found a new sub-species in our Waters.

Discussion:

We then started off by talking about the Redistribution of Wealth text.

The rich are not the problem; they can be a part of the solution. It’s a fact that the Portuguese have no culture of giving, they only think of themselves, their family and their friends. Since the times of Salazar, they are used to doing what they are told, they have no revolutionary traits – maybe something in that vein is starting now on the Algarve islets, due to the mass eviction of poor people (from illegal homes, endangered by rising water levels). They are also keen on subsidies which stop them from growing foodstuff for their own use and local sales. They also duly follow the seduction by advertising and throw away and replace instead of recycling, re-using and repairing products.

The Greeks import every lemon, now they will have to create an internal, local economy and start growing their own food. Where there is demand, supply will follow.

Wealth does not need to be measured by money, we can consider ourselves rich when we have a satisfying life.

Money is empowerment; it should not be kept under the mattress, it needs to circulate.

Ce would like to forbid the money flowing into sports in order to redirect the funds to social projects. Subsidies should be abolished.

  1. Education is the cornerstone to get the population to come away from the “Taker” model (Ishmael) and get them to fight for a more meaningful life.
  2. A good example is needed to create the right motivation. A good example is Sebastian Salgados “A Salt of the Earth” approach; Wim Wenders made the film (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_salt_of_the_earth/ ). Salgado photographed a lot of wars and bad events, and then decided to dedicate himself to do good by reforesting a vast area of land in Brazil. (http://www.institutoterra.org/eng/conteudosLinks.php?id=22&tl=QWJvdXQgdXM=&sb=NQ==#.VauBqfmP_KB )
  3. People need to start to question things and they need to stop using subsidies, they can use crowdfunding to start up a business (kickstarter, indiegogo, for Portugal www http://ppl.com.pt ). A site comparing crowdfunding sites: http://www.crowdfunding.com/ it is mportant to choose well because the platforms charge at least a 5% fee for the campaigns.
  4. Transparency: everything needs to and will be disclosed on the internet in the future. The “traditional” administrator who thinks that he can do what he wants, without benign controlled, will be a thing of the past.

Crowdfunding is a new form of financing, open to all, not just the rich. D invested a bit of money in an apparatus, invented but yet to be developed and marketed, which replaces the cumbersome Sleep Apnoe masks many persons need to use.

 

Then E read us a text of his, with the story of how he came to like and bake bread of the highest quality. With this meeting, we came to the following conclusion:

We decided that it would be a good project for the group to promote E’s dream of a bakery and bread shop (no Café) to produce and sell his bread, based on old strains of grains (Spelt, Emmer, Einkorn. Kamut). We would help him get the funding through a crowdfunding site, and Ri could take good photos and produce a video for the site. We have to choose the best platform http://www.crowdfunding.com/ to reach the maximum national and international support. As incentive for the backers, E can offer bread subscriptions.

E’s bread can also be exported, he already had requests in this regard.

This would set a good example for the population of self-help to produce a local, Madeira-made product, with grains from Madeira Island, milled on site. A healthy, not genetically modified and not poisoned bread.

This group goal will also be in line with Ri’s idea that the group should focus and work on a meaningful concept

Our next meeting will be on WEDNESDAY 19.8.2015

Visit to the Municipal Fire Station in Funchal

Dec 19, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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The group went to visit the local Municipal Fire Station in Funchal to the North of Dolce Vita.

This was a very interesting visit. Chief Samuel, one of the shift leaders with many years of experience, showed us the station and the cars and gave us honest answers to a lot of prickly questions.

The highlights:

The team has 137 staff (it should have 140)

26 persons are always on call on 12 hour shifts.

The response time is very quick, especially if you do not call 112 (officially what you have to do) but directly to them (291 200930).

The city is divided into two parts:

West: Municipal Bombeiros,

East: Voluntary Bombeiros, but if there is a fire in the Zone Velha or around the Cathedral, both units always respond.

The staff have a gym, a canteen (most bring their own food) , a multi-purpose room with internet and sleeping quarters.

A regular fireman/woman earns around 600-700€ month, a Chief around 1100€ (they say, brut, less taxes…)

Nothing much may happen in a shift but they have to be alert. Tension is palpable in the building and the courtyard.

The equipment:

There is never enough money around to have the best equipment and maintenance but this is a complaint every Fire Station in the world voices. The FNC Volunteers have worse equipment, though.

A lot of equipment is bought from Germany. The base of the cars may be coming from Mercedes but the top is built by a Portuguese company, Jacinto. They are very good at custom building fire equipment and sell their fire engines all over Europe. (Land Rovers are not the favourite Fireman car, they are being replaced over time.)

There are smaller cars to check out a situation – the Fire Chief has always to be there first.

They have one car to free people trapped in cars – this is the worst job they have to do

Ladder cars:

We have the biggest ladder in Portugal (55m) this is the second biggest ladder in Europe. Think of hotels like Pestana Carlton…

There are regular Fire Trainings in the hotels for the firemen by the Fire Departments. These trainings serve also to check the pipes and hydrants. All hotels have to have an internal “first response” Fire Team.

Water tanks:

All cars have water tanks of various sizes, the biggest contains 32000 l water (all hydrant water is fresh water)

They also come with foam which is very effective but expensive. The Station has a tank of 1000 l foam.

The pipes are surprisingly slim; water pumps can be taken out by hand to be placed where they can be connected to external water supplies.

The Station also has a training tower to train for high-rise fires. The staff has lot of training sessions to keep them in shape and respond to new situations or regulation.

Ambulances:

They have ambulances just for emergencies; the Volunteers and other services (Red Cross) take care of non-urgent transports. In the time we were there, the ambulances moved out twice. – no fire alarms.

 

E., with his dire experience in Monte last year, spoke about the shortcomings during the situation (hydrants blocked, lagoon water not used, no help from the fire department) Chief Samuel acknowledged this.

Chief Samuel confirmed that there was an order to save the Monte Church – nowadays; such an order could not be imposed on the Firemen anymore.

On February 20, 2010, contrary to the rumours, only 42 persons died, and nobody drowned in the underground parking garages.

The Fire Department has its own water gauge in the mountains so that they know when a flood can be expected downtown.

In Dolce Vita, the order was to evacuate the parking, and people tried to take out their cars but the “guards” wouldn’t open the gates without payment so more cars were rendered unusable

We gave Chief Samuel our Fire Manual.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

65 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 16.10.2014

Oct 17, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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A few of us had a very nice meeting last night. The weather was not favourable and we couldn`t visit V`s garden, so we went right into the discussion of just everything, including political parties and the current state of Portugal.

D said that there is a new party being created by Antonio Marinho Pinto, a man he says seems to be respectable and honest (ex-“Partido da Terra” member, ex boss of the Ordem dos Advogados). Here is a link to some info about the new party PDR: http://portocanal.sapo.pt/noticia/38771/

We also spoke about the TED talk about remittances which shows that foreign aid could be cut down if we allowed refugees to work in the country of choice. They are sending as much money as possible home to their families and support their community much more effectively. Here is the link:

http://www.ted.com/talks/dilip_ratha_the_hidden_force_in_global_economics_sending_money_home

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who worked with Edward Snowdon, makes the case for privacy for individuals – to be protected – and openness of Government documents – to avoid shady dealings.:

http://www.ted.com/talks/glenn_greenwald_why_privacy_matters

Remember the “Marriage in Madeira” discussion – EU foreigners can easily marry in Madeira and this would be a good product for the island`s tour operators? A bridegroom found the Piece U wrote and will now arrange his nuptials with the German consulate in Funchal, a small success!

 

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