Petrol Price Rise & Trouble for Taxis in Tenerife News of the Week

Taxi Rank, Tenerife South Airport

Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

Don’t step on the gas
In a move that seems to have taken just about everyone by surprise, the Tenerife Government have announced a levy on motor fuel on the island of up to 0.02 cents per litre. The tax increase which doesn’t affect other Canary Islands, is effective immediately. Unsubstantiated reports say that the tax has been put in place to help pay towards the maintenance of the island’s roads, presumably to try to counter the cuts in budget from the state. Apparently there’s no truth in rumours that Hollywood film-makers currently shooting scenes on the island have decided, after filling up their army of vehicles at local petrol stations, to change the name of their movie to the Ripped-off and the Furious.

Not exactly a case of love thy neighbour
Expecting councils to work together to benefit Tenerife is a bit of a pipe dream when you consider a decision taken by Granadilla de Abona Council this week. The council voted to lobby the Tenerife Government to prevent taxi drivers from neighbouring municipality San Miguel de Abona being able to work at Tenerife Sur Airport even though San Miguel taxis have been working the airport for the last 27 years. A spokesperson for Granadilla quoted technicalities in the Canary Islands Transport Act to defend the decision. But they can interpret legislation how they like until the cows come home, it’s simply just not neighbourly and comes across more like another example of the airport taxi mafia trying to have things all their own greedy way.

It’s quackers
Looks like it’s the end of the road for the duck pond outside of La Laguna’s permanently under repair cathedral. The local council have decided that the ducks pose a health threat and so the little pond will be replaced by a children’s playground. Although a children’s playground doesn’t quite have the same attraction as a quaint little duck pond, in truth it’s a good deal for the waddlers who will be relocated from their small enclosure to the green wide open spaces and much bigger pools at Parque de la Vega.

Well done Adeje
Adeje is the latest Tenerife council to make it possible for residents to be able to apply for certificados de viajes (the document required for residents to be able to travel at discounted prices) online and at no charge. More and more Tenerife councils are trying to make life a bit easier for their constituents by utilising the internet in this way, whereas some other councils are still asking “What’s the internet?’ However, this being Tenerife, making official documents available online doesn’t always make life easier for the consumer. See our TIT of the week below.

And finally the TIT (This is Tenerife) of the week award goes to… a total lack of co-ordination.
It’s hard to say who’s at fault with this week’s TIT of the week as it seems to involve heavy lashings of a few Tenerife quirks. A group of travellers from La Laguna found that their certificado de viajes downloaded from La Laguna Council’s website was dismissed as not being valid by check-in staff working for Air Europa. To be able to board their flight to Madrid, the Laguneros had to cough up the full amount of the air fair.

La Laguna Council insists that the document is legal and in their defence, plenty of other Laguneros have travelled using it without experiencing any problems on Iberian and Binter so it appears that Air Europa may be the ones who have got it wrong.

However, that’s of no real consolation to the people who lost money because of the mix up. Shouldn’t what is and what isn’t considered valid have been agreed between the Tenerife Government, local authorities and airline companies in advance? Maybe we’re asking too much to expect that sort of level of planning, organisation and communication.

Share

Mickey Mouse Disney Show

Title: Mickey Mouse Disney Show
Location: Pabellon Santiago Martin, La Laguna
Description: Everyone loves Micky Mouse. La Magia de Mickey is a huge stage musical based on the rascal rodent and friends. Fun for all the family from 26 to 30 September. Tickets from 9 euros at www.elcorteingles.es/entradas or www.cajacanarias.es
Start Date: 2012-09-26
End Date: 2012-09-30

Share

Sell Gomera to the Germans & Spain’s Most Popular Park in Tenerife News of the Week

Mount Teide National Park, Tenerife

Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

The Most Popular National Park in Spain is…
…Mount Teide National Park which was visited by 2,731,484 visitors in 2011. It feels appropriate that Spain’s highest mountain sits at the top of a list of its most popular National Parks. In second place is the stunning Picos de Europa in Northern Spain whilst Lanzarote’s Timanfaya bubbled under in the hot third position. Although the figures are impressive, they’re usually compiled by statistics taken at visitor centres so the actual figures of numbers of visitors to these incredible parks are probably much higher. Anyone who’s not a Teide statistic is denying themselves the pleasure of seeing one of the true natural wonders of the world.

Sell La Gomera to the Germans
Last week saw a right juicy political bust up in Spanish politics when Pedro Muñoz, the Mayor of Toreno, called Spain’s Minister for Industry, José Manuel Soria a ‘tonto del culo’ (a foolish ass) during a radio interview about the state of coal mining in his region. Not happy with simply insulting the minister, he turned his wrath against the Canary Islands saying that there was nothing more expensive or insular in Spain than the Canary Islands before going on to suggest that giving the Canary Islands back to the Moors or selling La Gomera or El Hierro to the Germans might help Spain’s economic state.
Unsurprisingly his statements caused outrage. After he’d calmed down and thought about what he’d said, Muñoz apologized… to José Manuel Soria. Looks like he’s standing by his views on the Islas Canarias.

Sales, Sales, Sales
The summer sales period started in Tenerife this week with not very high expectations from retailers who hope that they can at least manage to match last year’s disappointing figures. The sales kicked off with a high feelgood factor thanks to Spain being the only team in Europe with any depth of talent at the moment. But the pre-crisis crazy first day of the sales is a thing of the past with retail organisations reporting a decently busy start rather than a manic shopping battlefield. Traditionally the most frenzied sales period lasts for about two weeks and then it completely tails off prompting some to call for the period to be shortened from its September end date.
Hopefully companies moaning about lack of sales will this year cotton on to the fact that you need to actually drop your prices by a decent amount for them to be really competitive.

A Poor Quality of Life in Santa Cruz
A recent survey carried out by the Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios (OCU) of 126 cities, thirty of them Spanish, revealed that Santa Cruz de Tenerife was considered to be one of the cities where people had the worst quality of life… and that was in the onion of people who actually lived there. Santa Cruz was 6th worst on the list, whereas the city at number 1 for having the worst quality of life was Las Palmas de Gran Canaria ““ the Canary Islands didn’t come out of this well at all. Parking, housing, unemployment, health, politics and cultural activities were all factors in how residents judged the quality of life in their city.
Incidentally, the place with the happiest residents in Spain was Pamplona, mainly due to people being satisfied with health services and education in their city.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Santa Cruz as it was one of the cities where residents felt the safest ““ personally I’d take that any day over having plenty of places to park the car.

Send Your Postcards in the Morning
Summer’s here and that means early closing for Tenerife’s post offices (Correos). From 1st July until the end of September, the Correos will close at 14.30 during weekdays and 13.00 on Saturdays.

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dill
Next month sees the inauguration of the ‘Garden of Ashes” at the cemetery of San Luis in La Laguna. The cemetery which is the first of its kind in the Canary Islands will have aromatic herb gardens where people can scatter the ashes of deceased loved ones in an attractively leafy and tranquil environment. Apparently the garden’s creation is to encourage people to stop scattering ashes in Tenerife’s hills and in the sea which, believe it or not, is illegal. It would be interesting to know how many people have been ‘done’ for illegally spreading ashes.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦ Arona’s Mayor
It seems that hardly a week goes by without one of Tenerife’s mayors being held to account for ‘irregular’ activities. This week it’s the turn of Arona’s José Alberto González Reverón of the Coalición Canaria party. Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s Provincial Court has ruled that he should be disqualified from holding public office for a period of four and a half years for basically putting two people in good jobs in the town hall whilst completely ignoring the legal selection process.
The mayor will appeal against the decision on the grounds that he doesn’t believe he has done anything wrong. And therein lies the frightening aspect to Tenerife’s politics. These guys honestly do not believe they are breaking any rules which means they have no understanding or grasp of the laws and code of ethics that come with being part of the European Union and that the more savvy European nations adhere to.

Share

Strange Lights in the Sky & The Ghostly Museum in Tenerife News of the Week

Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

Strange Lights in Tenerife’s Sky
According to scientific reports, a recent experiment conducted between the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos on La Palma and the Observatorio del Teide here on Tenerife may have looked to onlookers as though the two Canary Islands were involved in an epic Jedi battle. Over the course of two weeks, luminescent green lasers were beamed across the 144 kilometres between the two islands as part of an experiment into using ultra-modern technology to track greenhouse gasses in order to better understand the Earth’s atmosphere.
The two observatories were chosen by scientists from Graz in Austria, York and Manchester because there are very few places on Earth where there are two peaks of sufficient height with the necessary facilities and with no obstructions in between.

Reports suggest the green lasers in the sky looked like scenes from Star Wars. However, despite having clear views of the sky between Tenerife and La Palma, the experiment went…well, you could say over our heads.

Ghostly La Laguna & the British Mediums
English speaking mediums seem to be in vogue in Spain at the moment. The bizarre Spanish TV programme Más Allá de la Vida features British medium Anne Germain conveying messages on air from the dead to members of their family. She does this in English which is translated into Spanish by the presenter. Presumably English is not only the business language of the world but also the universal language of the dead as well.

A British medium on Tenerife, Angie Freeland caused a bit of a stir this week by describing in detail the death of Catalina Justiniani at the Casa Lercaro Museum of History and Anthropology in La Laguna. In the 16th century, the young Catalina took her own life after being forced to marry against her will. Because she committed suicide, the Church refused her a burial and she was placed in a well inside the house where her unhappy ghostly figure still wanders the corridors. Allegedly without prior knowledge, Tenerife’s medium Angie Freeland described not only how Catalina died, but also where her body was laid to rest. The first you can easily find out by ‘Googling’, the second is only known to a few people ““ spooky.

Getting Back to Nature
Nice to hear that in the last year 1200 Cory’s Shearwaters were nursed back to health and returned to the wild thanks to the efforts of the Tenerife Government’s La Tahinilla wildlife recovery centre near La Esperanza. Anyone who spots injured birds on their travels around Tenerife should call 922 445 777 or even 112.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦The Case of the Tres Reyes
You can put postal prices up and tell the people that prices have gone down, you can even ban smoking in bars and the result might be a few grumbles before subservience is resumed…but what you can’t do is mess with the Tres Reyes (the Three Kings) on Tenerife.

This week the Tenerife Government announced that due to the economic crisis, the Tres Reyes would not be arriving, as has been the tradition for years, at CD Tenerife’s Heliodoro football stadium in Santa Cruz. They might as well have lit the blue touch paper and stood back.

Outrage and uproar ensued in the capital and even the promise that some of the money saved (around €40,000) would be put to a new Christmas event, a lavish parade full of surprises, was not enough to quell the discontent.

What followed was a few days of emergency meetings before it was announced on Monday that the necessary financial support had been found and the children (whatever their age) of Santa Cruz would not be denied their traditional Christmas treat.

They won’t arrive by helicopter and it’s unclear whether the entrance fee will still be 1 Euro but the chicharreros can worry about that closer to the time ““ all that’s important for now is that the Tres Reyes gig at the Heliodoro is back on. Christmas in the capital has not been cancelled.

Share

José Abad, 400 Works Of Art In Santa Cruz and La Laguna

In their faces and demanding a reaction, the street sculptures of José Abad took their place in the shopping heart of Santa Cruz. Bargain hunters stood and scratched their heads, children prodded and poked them and even dogs were wary of offering them an impromptu shower. This was just the advance party for an invasion of 400 works of art by a La Laguna artist who at 69 years old has unleashed his intricate genius on his own doorstep.

Eros, Formas Y Azar (sexual behaviour, form and change) is the provocative title of a lifetime’s collection being displayed until 28 January at two galleries in Santa Cruz and one in La Laguna. At first glance the sculptures in front of Plaza del Principe look like they have been there for years, the iron used in Josés’s work gives it that stark weather beaten look making it more approachable than a bright shiny new addition. The sexual symbolism in one of the more striking pieces caused people to do a double take, all part of the intended effect.

Intrigued I made the short move into the Espacio Cultural Caja Canarias, the bank’s Obra Social division are supporting the season as they do with many arts projects. The smaller works were no less impressive, and spread over the two floors of the display area the sheer scale of the artists work became apparent. Roughly split into subject zones, the work ranges from building designs through animal studies like Gatos Enfrentados (below) and even a few traditional portraits. Unlike previous exhibitions this one overflows into the downstairs large high ceiling display room where African and baroque works are big, bold and carved in wood in painstaking detail like Retablo de San Blas.

Back upstairs a video room shows an interview with the artist unlocking some of his inspirations. José Abad embraced all the arts including poetry, theatre, and painting but it was sculpture that captured his imagination and led him to study in Perugia, Italy and Madrid before exhibiting his work across mainland Spain. José pioneered outdoor sculpture in Santa Cruz, Las Palmas, Malaga and Cadiz and there are several trails of work in the Tenerife capital.

Suitably impressed by the first indoor display I thought I would see what the Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes could add to the mix. The pink rooms of the gallery behind Plaza Principe made a contrasting backdrop to the smaller close up earlier works from the mid 1960’s. José’s eye for detail and the odd surprising twist were again in evidence but base materials like wood and metal were once again his starting point for expression.The Sala de Arte Juan Cas in La Laguna completes the gallery based collection and wasn’t joining in the exhibition until a week later but it contains the most up to date works, much of it untitled, and a selection of written charts.

Sculptures with a subdued industrial look hardly sound exciting but José Abad adds plenty of mischief and humour to his work and they are all visually stimulating. Maybe taking them all in at once could lead to artistic indigestion but they are here for a few months so dip in and learn a bit more about a home grown Tenerife talent.

FACT FILE

José Abad ““ Eros, Formas Y Azar 17 October to 28 January 2012

Espacio Cultural Caja Canarias, Plaza del Patriotismo, Santa Cruz

Monday to Wednesday 11 to 1 pm, and 5 to 9pm

Thursday and Friday 11 to 1pm, and 5 to 8pm

Saturday 11 to 2pm, and 5 to 8pm

Entry Caja Canarias clients free, residents 2 euros, others 5 euros

Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes, Calle Jose Murphy, Santa Cruz

Tuesday to Friday 10 to 8 pm

Saturday & Sundays 10 to 3 pm

Closed Mondays

Entry Free

Sala de Arte Juan Cas

Plaza de la Concepcion, La Laguna

Monday to Friday 11 to 1pm and 5 to 9pm

Saturday 11 to 2pm and 5 to 8pm

Entry Free

 

Share

Reaching Out To The Stars From La Laguna

Who says scientists don’t have a sense of humour? The headquarters of the Canarian Institute of Astrophysics shines bright with 400 of the sharpest minds but their chosen address, Milky Way Road (Calle Via Lactea), had me chuckling. Once inside though it’s cutting edge technology all the way to drive their aim of pure research into the mysteries of the universe.

The glamorous face of the IAC (Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias) can be found at the observatories in Izaña, Tenerife and Roque de Los Muchachos in La Palma but Head Of Research Professor Johan Knapen prefers to push scientific boundaries from the La Laguna HQ. Within a few minutes of starting our tour I was staring up at Quijote, a telescope equipped with a microwave frequency receiver to be added to the Teide observatory next year. Rotating on its axis every four seconds puts immense strain on the mechanism, just one of many practical problems overcome by the mechanics and engineering staff.

Many working satellites and deep space probes owe their smooth running to the IAC. Model duplicates help to check fitting and compatibility of intricate attachments before they are added in space, there’s no popping back for spares such a long way from home. Other working problems include extremely low pressure and temperatures down to minus 253 celsius, the instruments are assembled in special clean rooms, more sterile than any hospital could imagine.

GTC (Gran Telescopio Canarias) 2,400 metres up in La Palma is the most famous of the IAC telescopes, with the biggest (10.4m diameter) primary mirror in the world. It went live two years ago. The Canary Islands clear sky played a big part in the founding of the IAC here 30 years ago and the 1988 Canarian Law of the Sky limited artificial glare from industrial and street lighting safeguarding the future for the Grantecan and other star gazers.

Professor Johan from the Netherlands has been at the IAC for five years after studying and working around the world, including a spell at the University of Hertfordshire. After completing his PHD in Tenerife he was drawn to the pure research discipline of La Laguna whose library displays thick volumes of formulae and equations produced monthly. The 400 scientific papers produced a year at the IAC are gratefully devoured by the leading world journals and science magazines

So what does Johan rate as the biggest leaps in recent years?

“The discovery of 600 exo planets circling other stars is very exciting and takes us closer to finding life out there. La Palma or the COROT satellite pick up potential new exoplanets and the Teide observatory then tests and confirms their status.Scientists are just starting to measure their chemical signatures, and finding signs of oxygen and water is an important future goal.”

Dark energy is another discovery that has stood science on its head. “The universe is expanding faster and faster. We always expected it to slow down like a stone thrown in the air reaching its limit before dropping. Dark energy is the force that defies that theory so we are now trying to understand it.”

The IAC is constantly expanding its own reach and the European Solar Telescope is the next big piece of kit they are working on. It should be ready in 10 years time. The IAC has just ben recognised by the Spanish government as one of the eight best research institutes across all areas of science in Spain. Next time you marvel at the clear night sky above Tenerife, be assured that the truth really is out there and the IAC have all the tools and dedication to unlock the oldest mysteries.

Share

Duo Ebano

Title: Duo Ebano
Location: Paraninfo, University of La Laguna
Link out: Click here
Description: Piano and clarinet come together in this musical evening. Starts at 8.30pm, all tickets 5 euros. Tickets from Cafeteria in the central building of ULL, Mon to Fri 8am to 8pm or box office in the central building from 6pm on day of concert.
Start Time: 20.30
Date: 2011-10-19

Share