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

Maná from Heaven
Here on Tenerife we love to speculate about the next big international name to perform at Costa Adeje Golf. The reality is that when they are announced it is often a bit of a disappointment as the ‘big star’ is usually someone past their sell by date. Subsequently attendances are not what they could be. The Spanish music scene on Tenerife reveals a very different approach and picture. How many British visitors and ex-pat residents have heard of Maná? Yet these rockers are the Spanish music world’s equivalent of U2 and are in the middle of their Drama y Luz World Tour. Having performed at sell-out concerts in the US, they arrive in the Canary Islands this month to perform at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on the 23rd and Santa Cruz on the 24th. People occasionally ask why some major concerts are held in Tenerife’s capital and not where most of the tourists are. The answer is quite simple. Michael Bolton’s concert in Costa Adeje this year attracted an audience of around 4000, Maná have already sold 15000 tickets for their Santa Cruz concert and there are still over two weeks to go before the gig.

Good walking in Granadilla & Icod de los Vinos
The council in Granadilla de Abona in cooperation with Tenerife’s Government are in the process of tarting up and restoring a network of trails around the municipality. Trails will link up with paths from other municipalities, opening up tens of kilometres of new hiking opportunities for walkers. The plan is that there will also be guided tours in a variety of languages to open up this beautiful area above the south coast to more visitors and residents. In Icod de los Vinos in the north of Tenerife, the local council have employed 37 people to help restore paths as part of a project to encourage more rural activities in the area.

Titsa Ends Summer Timetables
Tenerife’s public bus company, Titsa, ended its summer timetable from Saturday 3rd September. The winter scheduling shouldn’t have much of an effect on tourist areas but it’s worth either picking up a new timetable or checking the website (www.titsa.com) just in case. Try not to smile when asking for a “Winter timetable’ when the temperature is 30C+.

Canary Islands Second in Public Health Services
Unfortunately they come second in Spain for having the poorest public health services with only Valencia being worse. They’re in good company though, Madrid is third. The findings were announced in a report by the Spanish Federación de Asociaciones en Defensa de la Sanidad Pública (FADSP) which judged public health services in The Canary Islands to be ‘deficient”. The areas with the most efficient public health service were Navarra, Asturias, Castilla y Leon. Having been in Asturias recently, it seems that their claims that they are more efficient than the ‘southern” part of the country might have some justification. The reaction from some in the Canaries was to blame Spain. Of course it was – even though the statistics were released in the same week as a report from the European Parliament warning of a reduction in European funding because of mismanagement of agricultural projects by the Canarian Government.

Top of the Class Again
But once again not in an area to be proud of. Despite Tenerife being home to the NAP Data Centre for global telecommunications, The Canary Islands are at the bottom of Spain’s table for residents having broadband (64.1% as opposed to a national average of 90.6%). When it comes to education, the picture is not much brighter. The Canary Islands are 5th from bottom in terms of the ratio of computers to pupils and have registered the least improvement in Spain when it comes to reducing that ratio. The picture in private industry isn’t much brighter with businesses in the Canary Islands being way below the national average in terms of the employee/PC ratio. Funnily enough it shares the dubious honour of poor PC/pupil ratio with Valencia and Madrid (see above). The overall summary was that the Canary Islands were making slow progress when it came to internet usage but hey, tourism figures are up, so no need to change anything.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to…Tenerife’s Road Planners
It’s just too easy to award the TIT of the week to Tenerife’s authorities week after week. They simply provide too much material. This week it was announced that roadworks to improve the TF2, which links the southern TF1 and northern TF5 motorways, would be completed by the end of the year (by applying Tenerife’s más o menos formula that means the queues caused by the roadworks should have disappeared by spring 2012). Nothing particularly unusual in that until you read the small print to see what the ‘improvements” include. One is to create a more absorbent surface to help avoid the all too common occurrence of cars losing control on the steep slope after rain makes surfaces slippery. Of course if drivers weren’t careening down the TF2 at lunatic speeds they wouldn’t lose control in the first place; a bit more tuition on how to drive safely might do the trick as well.

But the main reason we’ve chosen this for the TIT of the week is that one of the ‘improvements” is to remove the pavement that runs alongside the TF2 because…it will create more space for drivers to stop if their car experiences problems. Forget the needs of the pedestrians who used it to get to Ikea, Leroy Merlin and Al Campo etc. When it comes to road planners” vision, pedestrians simply don’t figure. It’s exactly the same at the La Villa shopping centre in La Orotava ““ absolutely no access for pedestrians who have to risk life and limb to negotiate busy roundabouts to try to get there.

Is there no-one amongst Tenerife’s road planners who ever actually walks anywhere?