Volume 84

Cristina Sanchez
Saturday, 4 November 2006 - No. 103
1Casa Topical Digest of News and Views from the Andalucia Area in Spain
Gran China, Alora
Alora's new Chinese restaurant opened last Sunday 29 October.  The restaurant is situated on Avenida Pablo Ruiz Picasso and is open 7 days a week from 12 noon to 4.00 pm and 7.00 pm until late.  Early reports from diners are favourable. 
Proposed New Alora Football Ground Put Out to Tender
The work for the new Astro-turf football ground in Alora has been put out for tender and published in the Official Bulletin of the Province, interested companies can present their offers to the Town Hall.  The tender period is 26 days and it is hoped that work will begin by the end of the year.  The work is expected to take six months and will be built on the site of the old ground, Nuestra Senora de Flores, which has now been demolished. 
Cervantes Theatre Alora
The theatre company 'El Calvo Invita' presents the comedy De Bar en Peor (From Bar to Worse) next Friday 10 November starting at 9.00 pm.  On 11 November, Alora la Bien Cercada in collaboration with the Town Hall is organising the final of the 8th Copla (Folksong) Competition. 
New Airline Routes from Malaga to Newcastle and Belfast
The low cost airline, Jet2.com will introduce two new routes from next year between Malaga and Newcastle and Belfast, flying 4 times each per week.  According to information from the company, in an official statement, the route to Newcastle will begin from 25th March 2007 and the Belfast route starts up from 3rd May 2007.
In September, Jet2.com opened a ticket office in Malaga airport and also announced the launch of a new route between the city and Blackpool, which also will enter operation in March 2007.  Therefore, there will be five routes that the company operates from Malaga, including those to Manchester and Leeds that are already operating. 
Warmest Autumn in Malaga for Over 25 Years
Last Wednesday, 31 October, saw temperatures in Malaga city reach 29.9ºC when the normal seasonal high would be around 24 degrees. Figures show that so far it has been the warmest autumn since 1979.  The Andalucian Met. Office says that the high temperatures are due to warm air currents from the South, which are flowing in at a height of 600 metres and at a temperature of 22 degrees. The lack of the usual Levante wind at this time of the year is also sending temperatures higher.
Malaga Jazz Festival
The 21st Malaga Jazz festival begins next Monday 6 November until 15 November at the Teatro Cervantes in Malaga.  The singer, Cassandra Wilson will open the festival with a presentation of Thunderbird, her 7th album.  Tickets prices between 7 Euros and 26 Euros.
Malaga's New Train Station to Open Late November
The new RENFE train station in Malaga will open to the public at the end of this month on either 22 or 23 November. The station, which has been completely rebuilt over the past five years, now boasts a new commercial centre of 100 shops which, because it is part of a station, can open every day of the year, a 13 screen cinema complex, a 222 room hotel and underground parking for 1,300 cars.
Malaga Intends to Become a Wi-fi Hotspot in Five Years
The city of Malaga wants to become a technology reference point in Europe within five years according to new plans just released, which include making the entire city a wi-fi hotspot. The plans come from ‘Malaga Valley e-27’ a new high-tech forum which will now meet twice a year to try and put their plans into action. The group consists of the Mayor, Francisco de la Torre, and the Chairmen of top companies such as Nokia, Telefonica, ONO, Orange and Yahoo.
The president of new group, Javier Cremades, said the advantages in the city including the Technology Park and the large number of tourist facilities, could be redirected to make the city attractive to research and development projects.
Ikea Plans Move Forward
Malaga City Hall has announced firm plans to issue the construction licence for the new Ikea store this month. Earth moving work is already underway at the site, located next to Plaza Mayor, and building work should begin during November. Company officials say the work will have a scheduled completion time of 11 months, meaning the store would be ready by next autumn.
Torremolinos to Host Wine Fair
From 11 to 14 November, the Costa del Sol Exhibition and Conference Hall will be the venue of a new edition of the D.O. Wine Fair, gathering prominent Spanish food professionals in charge of wine-food matching lessons. The news this year is that participating wines include those coming from Chile and Argentina.
In this 7th edition, the D.O. Wine Fair will have a full programme of professional and academic activities that have been praised by the Spanish Association of Sommeliers, including winemaking seminars and lectures, an introductory course in wine tasting, blind tasting rooms, the 6th Eastern Andalusia Sommeliers’ Competition (Union of Spanish Associations of Sommeliers/ International Sommelier Guild –qualifying for the Spanish national competition), and the 6th edition of the Palacio Awards, given to the best wines in each of 10 categories.  This year, it will have its own website and a mini-CD will be available to visitors interested in learning more about this event or seeing its best pictures.
Costa del Sol Tourist Board Moves to New Headquarters
The Costa del Sol Tourist board is preparing to move to its new headquarters, the first in its 30 year history, which is its own property.  The move will take place during December to a building situated in the centre of Malaga in La Plaza del Siglo. 
Crimestoppers Costas Hotline
Police from Britain and Spain, struggling to track down expatriate fugitives and break into a web of foreign traffickers and fraudsters, have asked charity Crimestoppers to set up a tip-off hotline on the Costa del Sol.  Both countries hope Crimestoppers Costas, launched last week, will become a key intelligence source from the 350,000 expatriates living around the southern city of Malaga.  UK authorities hope that Operación Captura will help to disrupt criminal networks that they fear are becoming entrenched in the area around Málaga.  The Serious Organised Crime Agency has identified the area as an important base for British criminals directing international drug-trafficking networks.
A series of adverts in local papers and on the Crimestoppers website: www.crimestoppers-uk.org/wanted/spainwanted/ aims to hunt down criminals wanted in Britain for a range of crimes including fraud, trafficking, kidnap and murder.  Crimestoppers' anonymous free phone number - 900 555 111 - will route calls directly to its London call centre and information will then be passed to Spanish police.
New Law Will Link New Buildings with Availability of Water
The future new law of Integrated Management of Ambient Quality, began its progress through the Andalucian parliament this week.  The new law will link the authorisation of all urban projects with the availability of sustainable water resources.  This law means that any urban planning project promoted in Andalucia will have to submit itself to a process of evaluation by the Environment Department. 
After Drought, Taxes Applied if You Use Too Much Water
Spain is considering taxing those who use more than 60 litres of water per day, the minister of environment, Cristina Narbona, said it was among a series of taxes being considered to encourage the better use of water.
Some councils in Spain have already imposed taxes to provide incentives for better water usage, however Narbona suggested this should be a national principle.  According to the Spanish National Statistics Institute, in 2003 in the average household, water use was 167 litres per person per day. Another measure considered is to be the creation of a singular Council for Water Use, made up of professional organisations, economists, unions, business leaders and ecological groups, this body could meet next month to debate possible changes to the law.
Home Owners AND Illegal Builders Equally Guilty Says Environmental Attorney General
In a tough new campaign, owners of illegally built homes are to be considered as guilty as the builders who violated property laws, newly appointed environmental attorney general Antonio Vercher said buyers of these homes, many of whom are Ex-Pats from northern Europe are to be considered guilty of playing their part in the process.
In an effort to stop the property speculation which has resulted in an estimated 100,000 illegal homes across the country, Vercher says he will knockdown these homes, however, the home owners will be paid some compensation for losing their properties.
Until now, property owners who discovered their properties had been built without licences, could hope their homes would escape the bulldozers.  The property developer who had managed to circumvent normal procedures to build homes without licences, would be punished, but now Vercher has said he does not believe the buyers are innocent parties in the rampant property speculation throughout Spain and they too would be penalised.
Golf Couses Could Diminish Water Supply for Human Use
Professor Antonia Reyes Requena has issued a warning that wasting water on the upkeep of golf courses could diminish the supply for human use. The claim comes as a report shows the two golf clubs in the province of Granada used a combined total of over 1 million cubic metres of water in the maintenance of their greens last year. The 18-hole Los Moriscos course in Motril consumed 700,000 cubic metres (m3) in 2005 while Las Gabias near the city of Granada needed 350,000 m3, according to Golf and the Environment in Andalucía - a report jointly prepared by the Golf Federation of Andalucía and bank Caja Mar.
Judge Blocks Accounts of Bank and Insurer
High court judge Baltasar Garzon has blocked accounts containing an estimated 2.2 billion Euros after officers raided offices of Banco Espirito Santo, BNP Paribas, investment fund Cartera Meridional and insurer Cahispa. Officers from The Guardia Civil and its inland revenue service raided the offices of the four institutions after irregularities were detected in their funds.
It is not clear whether the funds are related to money laundering or tax evasion, but the money has been frozen in order to ascertain the origin and the movements of the capital blocked. It is also under investigation whether the institutions affected have created financial instruments to promote tax evasion or money laundering or whether the crime was committed by the clients themselves.
Beluga Whale Born in Valencia Zoo
The Valencia Zoo has announced that Yulka, a Beluga whale, has given birth to the first Beluga born in captivity in Europe.  After a six-month pregnancy and an eight-hour labour, Yulka, gave birth to the grey blue calf last Thursday at the zoo in eastern Spain.  The baby whale weighed 90 kilos (198 lbs) and measured 1.20 metres (3 ft 11.24 in). A team of experts will attend to the young mammal to give it the best chance of survival as the mortality rate for newborn Belugas was high.  It will be at least a month before the public is allowed to see the zoo's new arrival.
Passengers Had to Sleep on Diverted Plane
Passengers on a low cost Air Madrid flight from Madrid to Mallorca had to sleep on the plane after a two hour flight turned into a 21 hour flight last week. The plane made it’s planned stop-over in Menorca and then headed towards Palma, but mist at the airport meant it could not land and so it was diverted to Valencia.  As all the hotels in Valencia were fully booked because of the motorcycle GP, this meant that the passenger had to stay overnight on the plane.  Finally the following morning the flight set off, but this time back to Madrid to refuel. The flight finally arrived in Mallorca 21 hours after first setting off.
The Dama de Elche Enters the Guinness Book of Records
The Dama de Elche has entered the Guinness Book of Records, after 40 youngsters worked for hours on their knees in the Martínez Valero stadium in Elche last week, joining together 60,828 photographs of her image to form the largest photo collage in the world. More than 20,000 of them were taken by local people who had visited the six month-long exhibition of the Iberian bust at her home town of Elche.
Movie Director Victor Garcia of Spain Shoots Warner Bros. Film in Bulgaria
The shooting of the horror movie "Return To The House On Haunted Hill" will start on October 31 at 8 am sharp and is planned to finish at 5.00 pm the same day, the location is at the quay between the Central and the North Beach's of Burgas in Bulgaria. 38 people from the Bulgarian Unified Film Organization (BUFO), will take three trucks of state-of-the-art technology for the occasion.
Seville European Film Festival
The Seville European Film Festival takes place between 6 and 13 November and will see 160 films throughout the course of the event including The Magic Flute by Kenneth Branagh, which is set in the second world war. 
Downloading Music from Net Not Illegal in Spain
A Spanish judge has ruled that it is not illegal to download music for free from the Internet in Spain if it's done for personal use and not to make money.  Prosecutors were demanding a two year prison sentence and a €7,200 fine for a 48-year-old man they had accused of downloading and sharing music online, however, Judge Paz Aldecoa dismissed the case against the defendant
Malaga 0 - Valladolid 1
Malaga lost against Valladolid last weekend and the defeat and disgraceful performance cost trainer, Marcos Alonso, his job.  Marbella coach Juan Ramon Lopez Muniz has taken charge until the end of the season. 
This weekend Malaga play Lorca on Saturday 4 November, kick off at 6.30 pm.  The game will be televised on Canal 2 Andalucia.  Next week Malaga play Ponferradina from the North West of Spain at home.
Fernando Alonso
Two time world champion, Fernando Alonso returned to his home town of Oviedo, Asturias this week to celebrate his victory.  ‘I have the best fans in the world’ he said as the streets of the city were taken over with celebrations. Alonso joins McLaren next season and is confident he will have a competitive car. 
Volvo Masters
Jeev Milkha Singh took the title in the Volvo Masters at Valderama on his very first appearance at the course, after local favourite Sergio García lost his cool at the end of the last round. 
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Copyright © 2006 1Casa Affordable Homes, all rights reserved ( but feel free to copy it, post it, think about it and  send it to friends.)
Cristina Sanchez 
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