News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
In association with
Week May 8th to May 14th 2003.
GOLF COURSES WATER DEBATE
Shock report highlights that only six per cent of recycled water is used
By David Eade
WITH THE NUMBER OF GOLF COURSES STEADILY INCREASING ON THE COSTA DEL SOL, A REPORT SHOWING THE SURPRISINGLY MINIMAL AMOUNT OF RECYCLED WATER BEING USED HAS SPARKED YET MORE CONTROVERSY.
The average golf course on the Costa del Sol uses 900,000 cubic metres of water every year. That is equivalent to the amount of water required to meet the needs of a town of 15,000 people. Given there are 32 golf courses located on the western Costa del Sol it is easy to see that a huge amount of water is required to keep them irrigated; indeed enough for nearly half a million people.
The association of town halls of the western Costa del Sol has pointed out that these golf courses only use six per cent of the recycled water produced by the public water company Acosol. The recycling plants produce 50 cubic hectometres of water each year. The golf courses take only three cubic hectometres and the rest is poured into the sea.
RECYCLED WATER TOO EXPENSIVE
Of the 32 golf courses on the western coast, 20 have the necessary installations to use the recycled water. However economics is the deciding factor and it is 33 per cent cheaper to use water from the various aquifers than the recycled water produced by the association of town halls' water company. Speaking about the golf courses not using recycled water, the delegate of the association's water company, Antonio Rodríguez Leal, stated: "There is no concern being shown for the sustainability of the environment." And went on to add that one of the main problems concerning the issue was the lack of legal means to enforce the use of recycled water for golf courses.
The two public bodies with competence in this mater are the Hydrographic Confederation of the South and the regional government. The association of town halls is proposing that they should make a ruling obliging all large green zones to use recycled water as a matter of necessity.
CUDECA GIVES MAYOR TOUR OF NEW FACILITIES
New additions include seven rooms for in-patient care
By Oliver McIntyre
THE CUDECA FOUNDATION, A LOCAL NGO THAT PROVIDES CARE FOR TERMINALLY ILL CANCER PATIENTS, HOSTED BENALMÁDENA MAYOR ENRIQUE BOLÍN LAST WEEK FOR A TOUR OF THE LATEST ADDITION TO THE FOUNDATION'S ARROYO DE LA MIEL CENTRE.
The new addition includes areas for patient treatment, including seven rooms that will house 12 beds for in-patient care, as well as a kitchen for the preparation of patient meals. Cudeca staff members showed the Mayor and his team the recently completed construction work on the new facilities, explaining that the foundation now needs to raise funds to outfit the new areas with the necessary equipment and furniture. According to Cudeca's medical director, Dr Marisa Martín, the timeline for bringing the new patient-care facilities on line depends largely on how much money Cudeca can raise, and how quickly, but the group hopes to have the in-patient care unit up and running by 2004.
HARD WORK REPAID
Since 1992, when the organisation was founded by its current president, Joan Hunt, it has supported its programmes by raising money through fundraising events and direct donations from private individuals and organisations. In 2000 it opened its current centre in Arroyo de la Miel, on land donated to the foundation by Benalmádena Town Hall. At his visit last week, Mayor Bolín described the centre as 'the result of a lot of good people doing a lot of hard work', noting that he was 'very satisfied that the Town Hall has been able to help further the foundation's humanitarian efforts'.
Cudeca is currently providing in-home assistance to 135 cancer patients. The organisation has 27 staff members and hundreds of volunteers. A Cudeca spokesperson told Costa del Sol News that foreign residents - mostly British - make up around 90 per cent of the foundation's volunteer force. There are also five Britons on the organisation's staff.
SARS SCARES HIT THE COAST
Suspected cases, including a British Airways passenger, raise the alarm.
By David Eade
FEARS WERE RAISED THAT THE DEADLY SARS VIRUS HAD ARRIVED IN THE PROVINCE OF CÁDIZ AFTER AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD CHINESE GIRL AND A 28-YEAR-OLD JAPANESE WOMAN WERE RUSHED TO HOSPITAL IN JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA SHOWING SIGNS OF PNEUMONIA TYPE VIRUS.
The Chinese girl had recently arrived in Spain from the Chinese province of Guandong, which is at the centre of the Sars epidemic. The child's parents took her to a local health centre in Jerez as she was suffering from a high fever as well as breathing difficulties. On discovering the girl had just returned from China the medical authorities were alerted and she was taken to the hospital by ambulance and later transferred to the Virgen de Rocío hospital in Sevilla to undergo a series of medical tests.
The director general of public health, María Antigua Escalera, later announced that the tests showed that the child did not have Sars but was suffering from a very bad cold. Nonetheless, as she had recently returned from a high-risk area the girl would be kept under observation through the incubation period as a precautionary measure.
A few days later a Japanese woman from Osaka now living in Arcos de la Frontera was rushed to the same hospital in Jerez after she too displayed all the symptoms of the Sars virus. Chaos ensued in the hospital waiting area after a security guard took it upon himself to order its evacuation due to her presence causing a stampede amongst waiting patients. However after undergoing tests she too was given the all clear.
MÁLAGA AIRPORT FALSE ALARM
On Sunday, a planeload of 140 people arriving at Málaga Airport on a British Airways flight from London had to wait over an hour inside the plane while airport officials assessed the health of one of the passengers, who had exhibited potential SARS symptoms.
Per protocol, the pilot of the plane notified the destination airport of the presence of a passenger showing suspicious symptoms, and the airport's official doctor examined the passenger after the plane's arrival. The doctor quickly established that the passenger was not, in fact, suffering from the SARS virus, and the rest of the travellers were allowed off the plane.
TRANSPLANT CO-ORDINATORS MEET IN MÁLAGA
Conference boosted by more success at Carlos haya
By Dave Jamieson
More than 100 experts in human organ transplant are meeting in Málaga this week. The 23rd National Meeting of Transplant Co-ordinators which began yesterday, continues until tomorrow and is being attended by doctors and nurses from across Spain. They are debating questions of quality and security of organ donations from those known to have suffered tumours or infections, how to increase donor numbers, and the transplant of pancreas "islands", a technique being pioneered at Málaga's Carlos Haya Hospital. The tiny islands are vital to the production of insulin, opening the possibility for diabetics to reduce the number of injections required. Ahead of the conference, there was encouragement for delegates with the news that 37 year old Domingo Calabuig Ortuño from Melilla, who recently became the first patient at Carlos Haya and in Spain to have the transplant operation, now does not need to inject insulin at all. The development followed his second transplant at the Málaga hospital on Palm Sunday which gave his body the ability to produce all the insulin it requires.
GOVERNMENT BANS BLOCKING OF N-340
New underpass protest moved to May 15
By David Eade
THE NEXT PROTEST BY THE FEDERATION OF RESIDENTS OF SAN PEDRO AND NUEVA ANDALUCÍA AGAINST THE LACK OF GOVERNMENT ACTION IN BUILDING THE N-340 UNDERPASS WAS SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE ON MAY 14.
However, the government's sub-delegate in Málaga, Carlos Rubio, has refused to give the protestors permission to block the road and insists they must use only one lane of the dual carriageway.
The spokesman for the 'pro-underpass' group made up of political parties, unions and residents associations, Juan Antonio García, has said that Sr Rubio's demands are impossible to meet. He claimed it would be impossible to prevent people from not going into both lanes. He added that the protestors had to date held six protests and this was the first time the government had refused permission.
Sr García pointed out that the only difference between the next protest and the previous six is that this one has been timed to coincide with the local elections campaign. His group has refused to back down and has written again to Sr Rubio announcing that the protest will now be delayed by 24 hours to 18.00 on May 15 and again asking for permission to cut the traffic flow.
FULL SPEED AHEAD IN SABINILLAS
The works to build an N-340 underpass through Sabinillas are making good progress after the Ministry of Public Works ordered round-the-clock working to ensure the project was completed before the summer rush.
The N-340 dual carriageway will pass below ground level through the centre of Sabinillas. A ground level roundabout will be retained allowing traffic to and from Manilva to pass freely and slip roads will give access to the N-340.
The 3 to 6 million euros project was started in December and the contractors say the work will be completed in June. The Mayor of Manilva, Emilio López, has acknowledged the nuisance being caused to residents but also points out that the eventual benefits will last for 25 years.
SPORTS STADIUM FOUNDATION STONE CEREMONY CANCELLED
By Dave Jamieson
An embarrassing error of protocol has led to the late cancellation of the ceremony to lay a foundation stone for Nerja's new covered sports stadium and heated swimming pool. All was ready for the event last week when it was discovered that invitations had not been sent out to local councillors or relevant members of the Junta de Andalucía, which is co-financing the project. No date has been set for the rearranged event, but it is thought that construction work will proceed despite its postponement. The covered pavilion will have a hall 45 by 29 metres for sports including handball, indoor soccer, basketball and volleyball with an initial capacity for 600 spectators. The swimming pool will measure 12.5 by 25 metres, with a depth of up to 2.2 metres, with space for 180 spectators.
Cost of the construction, which take 18 months to complete, is estimated at over 2.9 million euros, shared equally between Nerja's Town Hall and the regional Tourism and Sports department. Frigiliana sports stadium inaugurated
Meantime, Frigiliana's new covered sports stadium was inaugurated. The Mayor, Javier López Ruiz, presided at last week's ceremony following completion of the project which had been repeatedly delayed over many years. The three storey building covering 2,500 square metres has cost more than 1.5 million euros.
DANGEROUS DOG REGISTRATIONS UP 125 PER CENT
Benalmádena's vigorous enforcement shows results
By Oliver McIntyre
BETWEEN 2001 AND 2002, THE NUMBER OF 'POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS' DOGS REGISTERED WITH BENALMÁDENA TOWN HALL JUMPED FROM 44 TO 99, AN INCREASE OF 125 PERCENT.
The huge leap (the city of Málaga has barely over a hundred registered dogs) is the result of Benalmádena's vigorous enforcement of Real Decreto 287/2002, Spain's 2002 law mandating the registration of dogs considered to be potentially dangerous.
The law specifically identifies eight breeds as 'potentially dangerous': Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Tosa Inu, and Akita Inu. However, it also states that any dog fitting the physical characteristics common to many of these breeds (such as head shape, neck size, overall size and build, etc.) may be considered potentially dangerous.
PIT BULLS TAKE THE LEAD
Benalmádena's Health councillor, Enrique Moya, estimates that about 35 per cent of the town's 'potentially dangerous' dogs are currently registered with the Town Hall. According to municipal records, the most common are Pit Bulls, of which there are nearly 50 on record.
TAX SEASON OPENS; DEADLINE JUNE 30
The period for filing 2002 Spanish tax declarations (also known as 'Renta' or IRPF) began last Friday, and the deadline for submitting declarations without penalties is June 30. According to information obtained by Costa del Sol News from Invertia - the economics and finance arm of Spanish Web portal Terra.es - there are few changes this year in the process of filing declarations.
One minor difference this year is that it is no longer necessary to attach personal identification stickers to the declaration forms, as long as the forms are completed via the software programme available on the Agencia Tributaria Web site at www.aeat.es. The Web site can also be used to obtain financial information necessary to prepare the declaration, as well as to make an appointment with the Agencia Tributaria for personal assistance. In addition, the site has a special section with information for non-residents, which can be viewed in English and a variety of other languages.
POPULATION BOOM IN ALHAURÍN
NEWS Staff Reporter
Reflecting the rapid increase in the town's overall population, the number of registered voters in Alhaurín de la Torre has jumped 24 per cent since the 1999 municipal elections. And in the eight years since the 1995 elections, the number of registered voters has surged from 11,000 to 19,157 - a remarkable 74 per cent increase. According to the Town Hall, foreign residents make up 781 of the eligible voters for the upcoming May 25 municipal elections. With a total population that has swelled to over 25,000, Alhaurín finds itself in a different official size category than it was in just four years ago, at the time of the 1999 elections. It now falls into the category of towns with populations of between 20,001 and 50,000 people, and as such sees its Town Hall representation jump from 17 councillors to 21 councillors.
Globetrotters To Play In Malaga
NEWS Staff Reporter
For the first time since the 1980s, and just the second time ever, America's favourite clowns of the court, the Harlem Globetrotters, are coming to Málaga. The star-spangled hoopsters and their perennial hard-luck foe, the New York Nationals, will take to the court at Málaga's Martín Carpena stadium on Saturday, May 17.
Initially conceived as an act to draw patrons to a Chicago dance hall, the Globetrotters played their first game in January 1927, in front of a crowd of 300 in Hinkley, Illinois. The total take for the event was $75. Since then, the team has gone to win over 20,000 games and entertain millions of fans all over the world, and is currently the United States' top-earning sports concern, following golfer Tiger Woods.
Tickets for the Globetrotters' Málaga appearance are available at Servi Caixa, El Corte Inglés and at the Martín Carpena stadium. Prices for the game vary from 15 to 20 euros.