News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
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Hi-tech system improves ambulance response times
Onboard computer gives instant location as well as patient medical history
By Oliver McIntyre
All of the 061 ambulances in Málaga province have been outfitted with a new computerised system that will improve response times and provide medics with more complete patient information when they are attending a call.
The GPS-enabled system allows the exact location of each ambulance to be pinpointed at all times and monitored on a computer screen at the central dispatch centre. It means the entire fleet can be reviewed at a glance and an emergency call forwarded to the ambulance nearest the scene. Further, the system provides the ambulance drivers with the fastest route to reach the destination.
In addition to improving response times, the onboard computer system provides the ambulance team with information from the patient's medical history, which is sent directly from the dispatch centre. Previously, basic information was provided to the ambulance team verbally, but the new system is faster and allows for the provision of more complete and detailed data.
Los Merinos pays another 866,000 euros
Developers say scheme will continue when the current financial crisis ends
By David Eade
The controversial Los Merinos golf, residential and hotel development in Ronda may currently be standing idle because of the economic crisis but that has not stopped the developers honouring its payments to the town hall.
Last week they handed over another 866,250 euros to the town hall's coffers. This was the ninth scheduled payment bringing the total paid by Copisa to 9,837,548.
The administration says the money will be used for public investments in Ronda that will benefit all the local people.
The payment comes at a timely moment because municipal coffers have been badly affected by the lack of construction projects in 2009 and the subsequent reduction of monies earned from licences and agreements.
Copisa insists that this latest instalment shows that it is still intent on proceeding with the scheme once the financial crisis has eased.
It says 100 million euros has been set aside for the project that will see two golf courses, 800 homes and three luxury hotels created on the site some 20 kilometres from Ronda town centre.
The payment coincided with Izquierda Unida announcing that it had forwarded to Ronda's No 1 court more evidence in its case against Mayor Marín.
The left wing party alleges that Antonio Marín has perverted the course of justice and broken planning and environmental laws by giving the go-ahead to the development by his own decree.
Women's clothing sizes all wrong, says study
Measurements don't match sizes on labels, and neither match women's bodies
By Oliver McIntyre
THAT many women complain of difficulties in finding clothes that fit them properly should come as no surprise, according to a new study. Spain's Consumers and Users Organisation (OCU) says that comparing clothes of different brands, it found differences of up to 10 centimetres in garments that were supposedly the same size.
The study looked at 66 women's garments - consisting of shirts, skirts and jeans - from 11 different brands, all in sizes 40 (M) and 42 (L). In some cases, it says, a size 40 in one brand had the same measurements as a size 42 in another, while only three of the 11 size 42 shirts had measurements corresponding with that size, based on standardised European sizing guidelines. The majority of the size 42 shirts had the chest measurement of a size 44.
None of the skirts passed the test of the tape; not a single one had measurements that corresponded with the size on the label. The majority of the pants failed too, mostly in the waist measurement.
In addition to bringing the actual measurements of garments into line with the size listed on the label, the OCU calls on the industry to "change the system of sizes." It cites a study carried out in 2008 by the Health and Consumers Ministry which identified three basic body shapes among women: hour-glass, bell-shaped and cylindrical. Based on this, says the OCU, each garment of clothing should be labelled with three sizes, one for each of the different body types.
Puerto Marina at centre of noise dispute
Residents file 145 complaints but town hall rejects their claims
By Oliver McIntyre
The Platform Against Noise at Puerto Marina, which represents residents of several urbanisations adjacent to the popular nightlife zone at the Benalmádena port, last week lodged 145 complaints with the town hall. The group says there have been no improvements in noise levels since August, when platform representatives met with the mayor, Enrique Moya, who promised them action would be taken to enforce noise and closing-hour regulations.
The new complaints were backed up by decibel-level readings taken by a sound engineer the previous weekend at several of the affected apartments, which showed 45 decibels inside the homes, with the doors and windows closed. That is way above the legal limit of 30 decibels, said the platform's president, Francisco Ruiz. He said noise level was so loud that "the floor shakes."
Sr Ruiz said that local police are not taking appropriate action against the bars and clubs even when residents call to report excessive noise levels. On one single day police were called 26 times, with no satisfactory results, he said.
The town hall denies that it has been lax in dealing with the noise and accuses Sr Ruiz of misrepresenting the situation and "acting in bad faith." The mayor, Enrique Moya, stated that the 145 complaints were in fact from just three people - and 135 of them were from Sr Ruiz himself, who between April 1 and December 15 also made 97 calls to the local police. The mayor said the local police have in fact drawn up a report on Sr Ruiz which will be submitted to National Police authorities.