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Sunday, August 09, 2015
Friday, July 17, 2015
|Part of the new look Vueltas village showing the newly-reopened bar La Yesca on left (Image © gomeranoticias )|
The road and pavement are both at the same level, allowing easy access even for wheelchairs. Badly needed street lighting and other urban furniture has been added and the whole area looks much more inviting.
I will post a detailed report with more pictures once I'll be there in autumn.
Monday, July 13, 2015
|Skazz in full swing at the TLC festival near Macroom|
I was at the phantastic TLC festival in Co.Cork over the weekend and unbelievably bumped into more than 20 people who all had a connection with La Gomera and whom I had met there. Add to that the atmosphere which had a 'Gomeran feel' to it and the band Skazz which has been performing regularly over the past years on La Gomera and it was like a little bit of Gomera in Ireland. If only the weather would have been Gomeran ! Skazz's current bass player is Will who is a resident of Vallehermoso on La Gomera and touring with the band here over the coming weeks. Another excellent band I met at the festival is called Heavy Billy and George, their drummer, also is a regular visitor to La Gomera. He last played there in Valle Gran Rey with another great band called Coaltraan.
|Heavy Billy gave it all during their set on another stage in a beautiful location in the woods.|
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
|Angel Piñero of Valle Gran Rey (Image: gomeranoticias.com)|
Valle Gran Rey:
Angel Piñero has been elected mayor of this municipal area on La Gomera last Saturday. His Coalicion Canaria party came out strongest in the recent local elections, winning four of the eleven seats on the local council but unable to gain a majority. However, his candidature was supported by all but the two Si Se Puede councillors and it now appears he will form a minority local government with the support of most elected councillors.
The other 5 municipal mayors on La Gomera were elected as follows:
San Sebastian de La Gomera:
Now ruled by the new socialist party ASG (6 seats) in coalition with Antonio Luis Arteaga of Nueva Canarias (1 seat) with Adasat Reyes of the ASG as mayor.
Emiliano Coello of the ASG elected mayor with absolute majority held by the ASG.
Rosa Chinea (ASG) is new mayor, also with absolute majority of the seats held by her party.
Pedro Negrín of CC (2 seats) elected mayor, forming local government in coalition with ASG (2 seats) and PSOE (1seat). Former mayor Solveida Clemente's party is now in opposition with four seats.
Manuel Ramón Plasencia of the Spanish Labour Party PSOE managed to go against the trend on La Gomera, now being the only mayor to be re-elected with his party gaining an absolute majority of the seats.
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
|©Twitter Las Palmas Police|
‘Swallowed’ by hole in road
A Las Palmas man had a lucky escape after falling into a gaping hole which opened up in a road as he was standing on the spot.
28.05.2015 - The 63-year-old required hospitalisation due to the injuries suffered when the ground below him gave way in Calle Artenara in the Las Torres industrial estate in the Gran Canaria capital. A parked car was also damaged when it plunged into the hole, crashing to the bottom and ending up on its side.
The spot is a loading bay outside a company based in the industrial estate and the mysterious subsidence led to a major operation to winch the vehicle out, once two other cars parked perilously on the edge had been removed.
An investigation has been ordered into the incident and engineers from the Roads Department and the city’s water company are examining how to rebuild the section affected.
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Today is Dia de Canarias, the Canary Islands' celebration of all things that make the Canaries so unique and different from their Spanish colonial masters.
There are many events taken place in virtually all towns and villages this weekend, so make sure to enquire locally for further information, but probably you couldn't miss the main festivities anyway.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
|Mural spotted in Vueltas on La Gomera last winter|
Recently three laws widely criticized by the opposition and human rights groups were approved in Spanish Congress. The Penal Code, the new Anti-Terror Law and the Law on Citizen Safety. The three new texts challenge freedom of expression in the streets and on the Internet. All three laws are scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2015.
Law on Citizen Safety (Gag Law)
“The gag law is revenge against social movements that emerged after 15M” – Patricia Martin, Avaaz
Under the new Citizen Safety Law or Ley Mordaza (Gag Law) as human rights defenders have renamed it, public protests, freedoms of speech and the press and documenting police abuses will become crimes punishable by heavy fines and/or jail. Some key points on the Ley Mordaza:
Photographing or recording police – 600 to 30.000€ fine.
Peaceful disobedience to authority – 600 to 30.000€ fine.
Occupying banks as means of protest – 600 to 30.000€ fine.
Not formalizing a protest – 600 to 30.000€ fine.
For carrying out assemblies or meetings in public spaces – 100 to 600€ fine.
For impeding or stopping an eviction – 600 to 30.000€ fine.
For presence at an occupied space (not only social centers but also houses occupied by evicted families) – 100 to 600€ fine.
Police black lists for protesters, activists, and alternative press have been legalized.
Meeting or gathering in front of Congress – 600 to 30.000€ fine.
Appealing the fines in court requires the payment of judicial costs, whose amount depends on the fine.
It allows random identity checks, allowing for racial profiling of immigrants and minorities.
Police can now carry out raids at their discretion, without the need for “order” to have been disrupted.
External bodily searches are also now allowed at police discretion.
The government can prohibit any protest at will, if it feels “order” will be disrupted.
Any ill-defined “critical infrastructure” is now considered a forbidden zone for public gatherings if it might affect their functioning.
There are also fines for people who climb buildings and monuments without permission. (This has been a common method of protest from organizations like Greenpeace.)
The Gag Law will also affect internet freedoms as tweets calling for demonstrations or protests may be subject to penalties and fines for organizers. While an individual user may not be considered “an organizer” it could also be construed to include anyone who disseminates a call to protest through any media, including social media.
“This is the worst cut of rights and freedoms since the Franco regime,” – Virginia Pérez Alonso, PDLI
Above article was posted recently by Queenie on queeniesdailysnippets
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
|Casimiro Curbelo (image: islandconnections.eu)|
The new party of Casimiro Curbelo, the long-time president of La Gomera's government, has won just over 50% of the votes cast in the local elections 2015. Curbelo had started the new party called ASG, which stands for 'Gomera Socialist Group', after he failed to be selected as the candidate by the PSOE (Span. equivalent to the Labour Party) of which he had been a staunch supporter and member for many years. The formation of the new political entity proved very divisive and many of his former party colleagues switched allegiances and joined the new party. Labour gained only three seats in the election while the new ASG won ten seats and a very comfortable absolute majority in the cabildo, the island's governing body, which has 17 seats.
Curbelo has weathered many a political storm unscathed and was involved in many controversies which he all survived, but not many had expected him to do that well in last Sunday's poll. His position now is stronger than ever and his ASG party not only has control over the island's government, but won many seats in all the municipal elections on La Gomera, as well as winning three of the four seats La Gomera has in the Canarian central parliament and as there was no clear winner there the ASG's support may even be needed to form the new Canarian government.
Many commentators have called last Sunday's landslide win by the ASG ''Curbelo's revenge''. In a press conference yesterday he himself stated that '' a new political period inspired by consensus, dialogue and citizens' participation has begun on La Gomera''.
Below are the detailed results of Sunday's poll, which had a very respectable turnout of nearly 77% :
Monday, May 25, 2015
|Click above to enlarge (Source: Gobierno de Canarias)|
Above are the results of the elections to the Canary Islands parliament (2015 poll on left, 2011 results on the right). The outcome means that no party will be able to form a government on its own and soundings to produce a coalition government have already begun.
The biggest loser in Sunday's poll were Spanish prime minister Rajoy's Partido Popular and the biggest winners were the Podemos movement who didn't even exist when voters went to cast their votes in the last local elections. They did well all across Spain and now won 15% of the votes in the Canaries. Also new in the Canary Islands' parliament is the party of long-time Gomeran president Casimiro Curbelo, who after failing to win a nomination from his former PSOE party, quickly founded a new one called ASG (Gomera Socialist Group) and won 3 of the 4 seats that will represent La Gomera in the Canarian parliament, and these three seats his former PSOE would have needed now.
More about the ASG and their landslide victory in La Gomera soon...
All votes for the local government of Valle Gran Rey have now been counted and as you can see from the results below there was a major shift in voting patterns, but none of the elected parties will have a majority and forming a new local government will not be easy.
More election results soon !
|Votes counted:||100 %|
|Total of Councillors elected:||11|
|Spoiled votes:||44||2.06 %|
|Blank votes:||14||0.67 %|
|CCa-PNC (Can. Moderate Nationalist Pact)||4||609||29.06 %|
|ASG (New Party of former PSOE member and Gomera President C. Curbelo)||3||484||23.09 %|
|PSOE (Span. Labour Party)||2||404||19.27 %|
|SSP (New party literally 'Yes We Can')||2||341||16.27 %|
|PP (Party of present Spanish Government/Rajoy,|
Won 4 seats in last Local elections)
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Today voters are asked to cast their votes in the local and council elections in Spain and the Canary Islands. Politics in mainland Spain have changed a lot and politics in the Canary Islands even more so. However, the political upheaval on La Gomera in recent times was an especially thorny issue full of surprises and it couldn't have been more complicated.
The 'political landscape' has changed completely on the island and this blog was at times lost for words and at other times wise enough to shut up. The times in between we filled with issues that avoided the party-political debate and the biased news, just to stay sane and independent.
Local politics are all too complicated on La Gomera to explain even in a 300-page book and by the time this would be published it would be ages out of date - such is the rate of political turmoil on the island. Suffice to say that there are several new and 'ex-old' political entities and sub-parties standing for election, changes of affiliation, new formations, parties that don't see themselves as parties, local political veterans re-inventing themselves and others not wanting to run for office again. Add to that all the fantastic promises and the exposure of newly-found, long existing problems - mostly denounced without proposing a solution. Just gimme your vote now !
Today those who have any opinion at all - and that includes a lot of people from abroad who are resident and have registered their vote - can and should have their say and influence in what promises to be a landmark election with a greater variety of contenders than ever before in Spanish local and colonial history.
Count me out, as I'm not a permanent resident anymore !
However, I'm keeping a close eye on the results on La Gomera and will post the outcome in detail here once reliably available...