News, opinion, essays and links for residents and friends of Mojácar, Almería.

This site, started in September 2002, is called The Entertainer Online to continue The Entertainer name, the name of a weekly newspaper started by me in 1985 which ran without interruption throughout southern Spain until 1999 when a three year option to buy was taken by staffers. They never concluded the deal, or paid me, but changed the name when the option expired in April 2002 instead. Que vamos a hacer.

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Overview of this site (Sections at bottom of page)

*Rambeau’s Diary – a blog
*Freebie-Jeebies® – Some relaxed comment on the poor quality local free-press
*Fallout – quotes from other sites
*National News Certain pieces that catch my fancy
*Local News Certain pieces that catch my fancy
*Essays: Various imput
*Links about Spain (see top of page) about 200 useful links, including my other blog Spanish Shilling
*To e-mail me - write to lenoxnapier@gmail.com. I don't always answer or open attachments.

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Business over Tapas - A Weekly News-letter now on Facebook
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Two-week Mojácar Weather Forecast
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The Entertainer: 30 years old (April 4th 2015) This site since September 2002.

Most of the following is true
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The Greek Lesson on Democracy
Tuesday 07 July 2015 - 00:56:36
Europe, a United Europe, should be a place where we who live there all have the same rights. A strong Europe is not about the trade or the money or the interest payments, it has to be about the people. All of us who live in Europe must have the same rights, including those of us Europeans who live in another part of Europe (twenty million Europeans live outside of their country of origin within the EU). Europe should be a place of freedom and unity, peopled by ‘citizens’ and not by ‘subjects’. On Sunday, Greece voted ‘no’. By which they mean, they voted ‘yes’ for Europe: not for the bankers but for the people. If this works, we may have a better and fairer and a more united Europe: which must be a good thing.

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The Manic Preoccupation with Dogs among the British Residents
Monday 06 July 2015 - 13:49:42
Each to his own and who am I to criticize (etc)? But this was a post in Facebook today:
Can I make a little appeal please? We are helping a local pensioner who runs a "refuge" for abandoned dogs in her little semi detached home. She currently has 40 dogs and cats in her care. She finds excellent homes for them and is definitely not an animal hoarder but she has had very little help to date and no financial help whatsoever. The situation is now unsustainable for her financially. As a result dogs have to live in her home with her as there is no room elsewhere and they have chewed her furniture rendering them unusable!.
Her total income is below the minimum wage and she has to pay rent from that too. She feeds the animals before feeding herself and her son...

None of the many, many answers from the local British contributors took the point that, yes, she indeed needs help, but not for her doggies.

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Say Goodbye to The Tortoise
Friday 03 July 2015 - 12:21:10
A posting on Facebook by Chicho Burgo, an expert on the local fauna, under a photograph of a tortoise:
This is likely to be the last Tortuga you will see thanks to the ecologists and the Junta de Andalucía.
With the new decree (where possession of a tortoise becomes a crime), the fate of this animal is decided.
The proliferation of wild boar in these mountains is killing them, destroying nests and eating their young. On the other hand, the wise Andalucian experts have built two centers, one in María and another in Vélez Rubio, the only problem being is that there has never been tortoises in either zone because they will not survive neither the cold nor the damp !!!
Most examples handed in to these centers have quickly died of respiratory diseases.
On the other hand there are people of goodwill who selflessly have been breeding them with much success, leaving examples in the wild when they are big enough thus allowing them to survive, but now they will be arrested for performing a job that the most wise Junta de Andalucía has failed to do, albeit at the expense of public money. So, say goodbye to the Tortuga Mora. It won't survive stupidity.

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Hotter'n Hell
Friday 03 July 2015 - 10:59:08
Phew, the Entertainer weather dingus says it's going to be even hotter! And, if you are not in the shade (like seated in my car, with no air at all unless I open the window), it'll be hotter still. Is this Global Warming or just two weeks of hell? Depends who you ask, I guess.

Talking of which, I see that 36 Nobel Prize Winners (presumably not too many of them for Literature) have signed a declaration calling for Governments to act against Climate Change... (El País here and Quartz here).

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High Unemployment for Almería City
Thursday 02 July 2015 - 12:07:05
According to La Voz de Almería, unemployment in Almería City is a whopping 38.4% - three points higher than Afghanistan (Wiki here). Anyone who watches the Spanish weather forecast always comments on how the meteorologist always stands in front of Almería on the map, whether its the national one or the one from Canal Sur. This is because no one either in Madrid or in Seville ever thinks about our unfortunate province...

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The Foreigners are Important, Yeah
Wednesday 01 July 2015 - 05:17:55
An old article from the Sur in English lists some of the towns which have a 'foreigners department' on the Costa del Sol. These useful departments, run by multi-lingual foreigners employed by the town hall, help residents who don't speak Spanish to obtain the municipal paperwork or services they need. These include Mijas, Fuengirola, Benalmádena, Estepona, Marbella, San Pedro, Las Chapas, Nueva Andalucía, Torremolinos, Coín, Nerja, Benahavís and Manilva.
But, we live in Mojácar. Despite a sixty per cent or better foreign population - of which at least half speaks no discernible Spanish at all - there has never been any particular interest in the foreigners here. Get a translator. In the past, one of the two hundred odd people working in the Town Hall was British. Leslie was employed by Juan García back in the mid nineties. Later mayors moved her sideways into first the Medical Centre (which also needs translators) and later into the 'municipal art gallery' thingy at the Fuente. Leslie is currently 'de baja'. Then, they had a woman from Barcelona who spoke English who was, apparently, let go after the elections, but before the taking of office (and who did you vote for?) Luckily, a foreign department, or at least 'a department for 'relaciones extranjeras', has been opened, run by Mariluisa Pérez, who speaks English and is available by phone.
Not quite up there with the Costa del Sol.

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Rounding out the Night with a Visit to the Disco
Tuesday 30 June 2015 - 03:14:19
It's very hot this week: too hot to go outside. I'm listening to The Doors (here) and remembering Mojácar's first discos, the Pimiento in the village (Marvin Holmes: Ride that Mule) run by Philippe, and the magnificent Congo on the beach. This place was built by American ex-pat André del Amo and friends and was a number of giant round stone thatched huts erected on a sandy piece of the playa. There was a large bar, a dance floor, a disk-jockey's room (with two record players), a couple of huts with seating. All open to the outside and in all, a magic place for a young 'un like me. Soul had just arrived in Spain, and there's no better music to dance to.
These days, we have any number of discos. Perhaps the kids can tell me what they're like.

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We're All Doomed
Friday 26 June 2015 - 01:57:46
The tiny fly that swarms in its trillions in Almería comes from the blight on the chumbos, the prickly pear. This is the cochineal fly, which has infected over 60% of the province's chumbos (and 80% in the Almanzora area). We have been ordered by the Delegación Territorial de Agricultura to be 'ever vigilant, to detect and act quickly'. (How much do we pay these people?). Apparently, you can brush your cactus and wash it with soapy water, or cut it down and bury it. In extended areas, you can poison the plants. Useful info from Almería Hoy here.
What with the infection just reaching the Cabo de Gata - where they have enormous plantations of prickly pear ('an invasive plant from Mexico', says the Medio Ambiente without much interest) - together with our newest beach sensation, the man-eating plankton on Cuevas beach (see below), it's best to just stay home and watch movies about zombies...

Later: There's a suggestion that the plankton is merely a cover-up for an industrial spill by the reclusive Deretil company, which is located on the beach beyond Villaricos. See David Jackson (who also claims 65 people have so far sought medical help) here.

Later: The list of bathers and walkers with respiratory problems has now risen to seventy, says Almería Hoy on Friday, and the story of a possible involvement by the chemical company Deretil is explored (a spill, an employee's death...) here.

Later: By Friday 3rd July, only one beach in Palomares was still closed to the public (according to a headline in Ideal here).

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The Senate Listens to Reason
Thursday 25 June 2015 - 00:08:57
Helen and Len Prior, British retirees whose property in Vera, Almería was demolished without compensation in 2008 on the orders of the Administrative Court when planning permission for their property was revoked and, consequently, have been living in their former garage for over seven years whilst seeking compensation for the loss of their home, lent their support to a group of associations from across Spain, including AMA from Cantabria, AUAN from Almería and SOHA from Málaga, who together represent thousands of homeowners who spent their life savings on their homes only to find themselves facing the prospect of demolition as a result of planning disputes not of their making.
The associations had asked for a change to Spanish Administrative Law to guarantee prior compensation to purchasers in good faith if their home must be demolished. The change, to be approved by the Senate on 25th June, is in line with recent changes to the Criminal Code which was amended in March of this year after a long campaign by homeowners groups. (updated from AUAN press release). A telephone call from the Priors yesterday told of their success in helping push the changes through after an audience on Wednesday morning in the Senate. Later: La Voz de Almería confirms the story here.

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Bathing Prohibited in Cuevas.
Wednesday 24 June 2015 - 00:23:28
Tourism may be Spain's biggest money-maker, but it is a fickle business. A few bombs or a really good plague and the next... Did somebody say 'plague'? A local radio posts an item from La Voz de Almería using 'Google Translate': 'A plague forces the councils to prohibit bathing on the beaches of Vera and Cuevas. Since yesterday is prohibited bathing in three kilometers of beaches of Vera and Cuevas del Almanzora...'. The cause of the panic comes from a kind of plankton called dinoflagelates which can have bathers running for the bathroom (those that are considerate enough to not just stay where they are...). In the scheme of things, it's a small hazard which, like our occasional jellyfish scares, will no doubt dissipate in a day or two.
Otherwise, the tourists would vote with their feet (or flippers) and go somewhere else.

The radio later suggested 'infestation' as being a better word.

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