31 May, 2010

Man on the Maine : first pace conquest

The first edition of "All Angers is moving" seems to have worked. This initiative of town hall designed to make the public aware of the interest of the reconquest of the Maine banks has gathered about 1 000 athletes and as many of spectators on may the 30th.

A urban trail winded inside the oldest districts of Angers among the sinuous and cobblestoned streets of the Doutre and the Cité linked by Beaurepaire bridge. The runners had to go through several monuments of Angers like the city hall, museums and even the theater.

Walking, running or cycling on a speedway usually overcrowded by cars, but this sunday in a quiet atmosphere was unusual, and even strange. Regarding the density of the traffic all day long on this road considered by many Angers as a scarface, the pedestrian felt a little bit unsecure and distrusful.

But the initiators of the project may have reached their goal : convincing Angers that the delivrance of the banks for cars (But where will they go?) is valid.

(Credit picture : Tony)

29 May, 2010

The minister of culture pays respect to du Bellay

Visiting Angers on may the 28th, the minister of culture, Frédéric Mitterrand expressed an original opinion as a member of the government entrusted, moreover, with the protection of french language. Questionned about the drifts of french toward its anglicization, Mr. Mitterrand answered : " English words do not upset me so much. In Proust's books, there are a lot of anglicisms".

In fact, many ads visible in town contain english words, and the Angers people, apparently, are not infuriated with. These words are also visible in ads originally from city hall like the recent "Artaq Awards" mentioned in a coverage in this website.

Nevertheless, the visit left place to several compliments to the french poet Joachim du Bellay with the famous "Happy like Ulysses" read by the minister himself, both symbolizing "the wealthiest moment of french litterature"(1) may be (Dubellay and Mitterand) both impressed by Rome (a city where the poet travelled and minister lived). Such an experience "is not so different of the one we live today with globalization", said Mr Mitterrand, "The french language is and must be stay and openness".

(1) quoted by Le Courrier de L'Ouest;credit photo Liré castle : ministry of culture

4 000 demonstrators against the planned pensions reform

About 4 000 demonstrators marched in Angers on may the 27th against the planned pensions reform. The demonstrators demanded the withdrawal of several measures, one of them consisting in a rise of the retirement age (60).

Demonstrators asked to the government to pay the pensions with financial sources "We don't ask to the financial world to make an effort", said a teacher. For one of her colleagues, the manifestation was an opportunity to express political ideas like : "We give all to the managers and nothing to the people". Others promoted the employment of young people "in order to pay our pensions". Others claims were linked to the protection of buying power or the defense of public services.

The cortege gathered on the morning General Leclerc square then went through down town till the highway banks (closed to cars) and came back. According to observers, the mobilization wasn't intense [picture credit : www.angers.villactu.fr].

27 May, 2010

Artaq yes tags no, in Angers city

Artaq, the first street art festival of Angers is in town for three days since may the 27th. Born in New York city in the 70s', the street art has, for a long time, been conceived as something minor art at best, as vandalism acts at worst. At the beginning, it was only repetitive signatures spray-painted on walls.

But now, street art is everywhere : in exhibitions, museums and even at home. So what is the reason of such a festival in Angers "where anti-tags squads track down and erase them in short time. Because creation has nothing to do with deterioration ", says Jean-Claude Antonini in the city hall website. "Expression surfaces like the wall of the Chabada or graphic design on voltage transformers are testimonies of that".

Some of the pieces of the festival can be seen at the Ralliement theater, the Ronceray abbay and in the parking lot of town hall and in others places till the end of september. [For more informations : http://www.angers.fr/index.php?id=53955]

26 May, 2010

Town hall starts the Maine banks reconquest on the ground

Next sunday the banks of the Maine will be free of cars from 6 am to 6 pm. The town hall want to dedicate the place to sport all day long. The initiative has been called "All Angers is moving". "We want to get the people out of their homes so that they may discover the banks again", says Michel Houdbine, deputy mayor entrusted with sports.

The people will find displays of fitness, roller, triathlon and archery as well as american football. Sportsmen will be able to compete for a urban trail of 8 km long using all the reliefs of the city like the Saint-Maurice uphill. About 2 000 to 3 000 runners are waited.

But what the city could wat above all is the support of the people to a major urbanistic project which consists in the restitution on the long range of the place to pedestrians. And Mr Houdbine doesn't hide it : "All Angers is moving" is in fact "the first step of the Maine banks reconquest".

25 May, 2010

Businessmen and disabled workers agree about the meaning of work in their lives

Two press coverages published on may the 25th in Le Courrier de l'Ouest shows unuasual, but quite similar, points of views regarding the part of work in lives of some very different people of Angers : those of businessmen and the one of a disabled worker. All of them talked about their experiences.

The two first had to leave companies in which they were employees even if they were quite well paid and choose to become employers regardless of the desadvantages of the adventure. "To create or take over a company demand a 200% dedication and the renunciation of the seek of an employee job", they said face to an audience of potential businessmen gathered for the annual meetings of companies transfers.

Much emotive regarding the importance of work in her life is the testimony of Rachel Chevalier, a disabled worker at Arceau Anjou Insertion, an association dedicated to the assistance of brain injured persons. "I prefer go for work than staying home doing nothing", she says.

23 May, 2010

30 years old, Landrau still grows up

A company familiar to many Angevins has celebrated on may the 20th its 30 anniversary. Created in 1980 by Marc Landrau, 54 years old, the company is a group divided in seven business units, all managed by the family of Mr Landrau.

The SAS Landrau is highly visible because its instruments are jacking-up machines. The company owns today more 350 devices. One of them can lift 250 tons till 100 m high. Most of thes cranes has bee used on the city public works like the trolley, the new park Terra Botanica and will be at the future commercial center Atoll. The know-how of the SAS Landrau has also been used for the inauguration of the theater le Quai and for the exhibition Les Accroches-Coeurs.

The company is considered as one of the 15th more important of this profession nation wide. Its turnover is about 10 million € and it employs 90 persons.

22 May, 2010

The Secours populaire must close its permanence of Angers

"In the absence of sufficient means, the Secours populaire must close its permanence for an undeterminate time". That is what the needy persons will read next thuesday, written in four languages (french, english, russian and arabic) at the Secours populaire of Angers, 20 Maine Street.

The decision was voted in by the board of directors. "It was difficult to take it. But the demand is soaring", say the general secretary of the mouvement for the Maine et Loire, Stéphane Lepage.

During the first four month of 2010, the distribution of products has trebled. "In the past we helped 1 700 families, now we must help 5 000. That must stop". According to Mr Lepage, the gap comes from the asylum seekers who represent about 70% of the public the Secours populaire has in charge.

Last friday, the volonteers had welcomed more than 100 persons but had to turn back others. "And it's like that every day. We have to distribute tickets in order prior the opening time but nevertheless we miss narrowly the quarrel. And it's true that the asylum seekers, often youngmen, are stronger that a mother with a pushchair", remarks the general secretary who fears acts of racism.

Moreover, the stocks are empty. "170 tons are due to be delivered by the European Union. But we don't know when this aid will come", say the volonteers, who, exhausted will not come next tuesday.

21 May, 2010

The SCO looks for cash

In order to balance its 2010 budget, 6,8 million €, the soccer club SCO of Angers knocks to the door of the town hall and the Maine et Loire council. The financial gap for 2010 is of about 1 million € and must be make up before the next audition of the club by the financial management of the French Federation of Football (FFF).

The doesn't ask more money but money right now. "We just beg an advance like a breath of air" pleads Willy Bernard, chairman of the Sco. The town hall looks ok for that. "It's an emergency measure to attend the audition of the FFF", answers Michel Houdbine, deputy mayor in charge of sports who points out "the contribution of the town can't go beyond what has been planned : 1,2 million €". The town will vote next may 31th and the Maine et Loire council could stand in the same way.

"We have no reproach regarding the management of the club", says Mr Houdbine who thinks the difficulties come from the economic crisis : "loss of sponsoring and less tickets sold". If the budget is not balanced, "I shall pay the difference with my own money", promises Mr Bernard.

20 May, 2010

Town council : the opposition starts public meetings

The members of the minority in the town council want to meet the people of Angers. "We don't want to wait the polls of 2014 to get out the city hall. If we can't act in the town council, we can do it on the ground", says Marie-Claude Cogné, town councillor.

The opposition to the mayor, Jean-Claude Antonini, meets the population in the different precincts of Angers, and has already started with the inner city. Inhabitants, shop owners or every active person of a district life are invited. The minority group of town councillors are looking the feedback and the propositions regarding the inner city life.

According to Mrs Cogné, "The mayor waste the past and everything which was initiated by Jean Monnier [mayor of Angers before Mr Antonini]. Within ten years, twenty of thirty years of management have been threw out. Look at the Ralliement square and the debate regarding the banks of the Maine". What is most worrying for Mrs Cogné is "the gap of ambition" for the city.

18 May, 2010

Upsurge of thefts in the inner city

Since a few weeks, the police notes an increase of thefts in parked cars. Forgotten bags on the back seats, personal computers or cameras visible from outside of the cars may disappear, by night or day, warn the police.

The minimum care consists in hiding personal objects from viewers and to close the doors. In many times, there is even no breaking and entring. That was the cas of an inhabitant of down town who did not lock the door of his house : the robber did not have to break down something and had only to take the keys of the car and run away with it!

There is more. A few days ago, the membres of a family, at home, surprised a man collecting their own clothes and putting them in bags in the room nearby. So the police invite the habitants of Angers to be cautious.

17 May, 2010

Tremplin travail Anjou face a difficult year due to the crisis

For Tremplin Travail Anjou (Tta), an association in charge of the reinsertion of jobless, 2009 was also synonymous of crisis. Tta, who got 60 000 hours of work in 2008, recorded only 50 000 last year and consecuently suffered a loss of 28 000 €.

Hopefully, the association limited the damages thanks to exceptionnal public subsidies, but those could not be the same this year. The national state, the Maine et Loire council and Angers Loire métropole announced restrictions of their financial aids from 100 000 € to 60 000 €. These are losses Tta will have to compensate.

Tremplin travail Anjou (located 50 Lionnaise street, Angers) go with 160 persons per year during periods ranging from 18 to 24 months. "A third find again a job or a training course", says the manager of Tta, Philippe Bliguet, mostly in houseworks or gardening.

16 May, 2010

Terra Botanica "takes root" pretty good

Terra Botanica, the vegetable park open to public a month ago, welcome 1 200 persons daily and is ready to go further, the board said. In less than a month 27 000 visitors have been recorded as well as groups : associations, company social committees, classes. From now to june, 18 500 tickets would have been already sold "and the figures increase each day".

The success would be would be clear with schools : all the guides for school have already booked their jobtime till summer holidays. The business center is another issue of satisfaction : companies, local communities coming beyond the Pays de la Loire region yet used its services.

Of course, some elements need to be improved. That is the case of roadsigns and markings for cars coming from the south and the nord of Angers. Regarding the fares, 17,50 € per person, there are some remarks but the polls after the way out indicate that satisfaction is there.

15 May, 2010

A giant drink project under pressure

The project of an giant drink has been planned on Facebook for June the 18th in Angers and the prefecture does not agree with that. The state representation ordered the shutdown of a forum of 4 500 internet users discovered on the web a few days ago.

Apparently, the tactic of intimidation of the organizers of the meeting worked : the initiative has diasppeared from the the web site. But, a few days later, another group of more than 500 persons surfaced, claiming to the web users "Ready to demonstrate to the prefecture and its lapgogs that we shall be there on june the 18 to have a drink all together?".

A few weeks ago the town hall of Angers has tried to block such a gathering and reminded that this may get out of hand. Recent fact could make it right : this week at Nantes, a similar initiative ended with the death of a young man.

The theater Le Quai attempts to catch a new audience with festival "Strange days"

The theater "Le Quai" hosts till sunday a festival called "Strange days". The objective is " to cross styles, esthetics and different sorts throughout lagged shows", explained the manager of Le Quai. The program is made of short spectacles of about 12 minutes, concerts or plays and the spectators are free to choice within it.

Some of them are very eccentric ("Stop the world" mix circus, theater, music and animals, "Outside the back number harass" puts the audience in the middle of excessiv debt), others are more classical ("Stabat mater", of Dvorak, by the the Angers Nantes Opera Chorus, or songs of fado byt Katia Guerreiro).

The theater attempts to attract a new audience who is invited to talk about what has been seen during the former day and to visit with its kids the backstages of the festival. The tickets of the spectacles range from 2 to 14 €.

13 May, 2010

A young woman native of Angers among the victims of a plane crash in Libya

A 32 years old woman native of Angers, Emilie Poucan, was killed in the crash, in Tripoli (Libya), of an Airbus A 330 arriving from Johannesburg (South Africa). The crash took place at the moment of the landing : for unexplained reasons, the plane of Al Afriqiyah caught fire then dislocated. 103 persons are dead.

The family of the victim is well known in Angers and still lives there. Her grandparents owned a shop of hi-fi products, at the Pilori square. In that city, Emilie did her studies : Saint-Agnès school, then La Madeleine college, then Saint-Martin lycee. Having just graduated, she went to US where she studied a year in an american university and, back in France, at the Practical Institute of Journalism. She worked since for the French Federation ot Athletism, then in the Amaury Sports Organisation.

Her friends remember that "She loved travelling" as well as sports. Emilie was found of athletisme and especially of long jump. In that discipline in 1995, she broke a regional record she still has. Emilie died the day of her 32 birthday.

12 May, 2010

Angers 7 says farewell

For Angers 7, the local tv channel, it is definitively over. The tribunal of commerce pronounced on may the 12th the closing down of the company. An offer of buyout was reviewed and qualified of "fanciful" by the judges who rejected it.
The employees are bitter. "This is a fine mess, 22 years of local tv are stopping abruptly. I hope we shall see a political will for the rebirth of something and that the people of Angers will not stay a long time without a local tv".
His colleages have presented a cooperative project the city of Angers and Angers Loire Metropole rejected. "This is really disdainful", claimed the lawyer of the employees who wrote a message of farewell to their audience on the website of Angers 7.

11 May, 2010

Members of the city council buy oneselves a poll

The members of the majority of the city council of Angers have ordered a poll about the opinion of the inhabitants regarding their action. According to one of them, that poll was paid to Tns Sofres with their own money.

Some questions are quite general ("Are the taxes well used in Angers?" or "Do you think the city is more or less dynamic than before?"). Some are more specific ("What do you think about the commercial center Fleur d'eau in the inner city?", or"How is the urban renewal of Belle-Beille or La Roseraie?"). But others are more personal : "How would you qualifiy Jean-Claude Antonini (the mayor)?" and even more political "Do you think Mr or Mrs so and so would be a good mayor?".

Such surveys would be realized at the first two years of each office since 1983. "We want to measure the feeling of the people about the policy we are implenting", says a deputy mayor. The issue of the succession of the present mayor is also mentioned even if Jean-Claude Antonini points out that this is not at stake today. "It's important to see the perspective drawn up".

10 May, 2010

The destiny of local tv channel at stake on wednesday

Angers 7, the local tv channel, will know wednesday, from the tribunal of commerce of Angers, if it will continue or close. Offers of revival will be introduced that day but the city of Angers and Angers Loire Metropole have announced that they will not sustain such offers. "I could have a look at it within a month but not at once. That would be unfair", said the mayor of Angers.
According to the city, the business model of Angers 7 leads to a deficit of 1.5 million euros per year, an amount "well above our financial power", said the mayor.
The employees are disappointed : "You the politicians were happy with the local tv channel during the polls", critized a former editor who attempted to disrupt the first test of the trolley on may the 7th. An association of viewers has been created to sustain the employees who claim they will fight "till the end". The website of the channel is not optimistic refering since last week : "Angers 7 it's over".

08 May, 2010

First run of the trolley

The trolley of Angers run yesterday for the first time out off its maintenance center near Angers on one km. Hundreds of persons saw this event and, among them, a 86 years old woman who drove the ancestor of the new trolley on lines from Angers toward Murs-Erigné and Trélazé, suburban cities, between 1942 and 1946.
Each trolley train will be composed of three units plus two powered at the ends. It will transport about 200 travellers. If the maximum speed is 70 km per hour, the trolley will run at about 20 km per hour. The train will be open to disabled persons.
However, the inaugural travel was disrupted by former employees of Angers 7 the local tv channel who decided to lie down the line in order to express their disapointment due to the closure of their company.

A new model of trash container, good for planet, good for wallet

A new model of trash containers will be usable in Angers at the end of the month. Distributed yet to the inhabitants, it will be dedicated to collect all materials recyclabe. Till now, the people had at their disposal plastic bags.
The trash containers will receive all packaging made of plastic, card or metal like bottles, cans or boxes. Others garbages from food or dirty packaging will be still throw away in the usual container.
The rythm of the collect will be changed too. From june, the trash containers of recyclable materials will be collected only once a week and one week out of two.
According to the specialists, the selection of household trash is good for economy and ecology. About 230 kilos of uncollected trash are annually produced per habitant of Angers in 2008.

06 May, 2010

The remains of a roman temple discovered near the railway station

The remains of a former temple dedicated to a roman divinity Mithra has been discovered during the first works of the building of a future parking lots and 180 flats on the area of the Saint-Louis clinic near the railway station. The archeologists think that the temple was built during the IIIrd century after JC.
If the form of the temple is still visible, its walls were totally destroyed. The stones will be removed but the archelogist want to record the site and, may be, take a cast of it. It will be possible to show it later in a museum.
This temple is probably the testimony of a former roman district of the city divided by two ways edged by homes. A memorial stone will may be remember the existence of the temple of Mithra, a cult brought roman soldiers from the middle east.

05 May, 2010

Arriving at Ralliement

The tramline is arriving at the Ralliement square. The elements of two lines will be soldered, linking Roe street and Alsace street. In that area of the tramline the trolley will be powered from lines in the ground and not in the air.
"We don't want to ruin the square along theses streets and the main square of the inner city", said the project manager. Recently, the parking lots under the Ralliement were re-opened and, in the days to come, new stairs in granite will be assembled in front of the theater.
The building of the tramline (12 kilometers from Avrillé to La Roseraie) is approaching from its end : only two kilometers are not assembled yet and the first test of the trolley is scheduled for may the 7th.

04 May, 2010

Policewoman and firefighter agressed : one year in jail

The man accused of agression against a policewoman and a firefighter was sentenced monday to 12 months of jail. The prosecutor exxpressed the idea that such an agression was "above the limits" and the society itself was damaged.
The firefighter and the policewoman called for assistance to a woman agressed by her boyfriend was theselves assailed by the man sentenced on monday. The firefighter had two fingers broken and the policewoman is badly wounded at the leg because she was severaly bitten.
The man was drunk at the time of the agression and was already sentenced for drugs consumption.

03 May, 2010

The gold nugget case still goes on

The widow of the former chairman of the L'Oreal group, Geneviève Dalle, pointed out she was decided to finance a survey about the origin of the golden nugget presently displayed at the natural history museum of Angers and discovered ten years ago in a field near that town.
This person claimed that the stone was stolen at her mather's home in Angers. The official version is the nugget was discovered by chance a geologist during a walk. The expert of Nantes Materials Institute thinks it is quite impossible to demonstrate the african or local origin of the nugget. Mrs Dalle claims that the nugget comes from Guinea, a former french colony in Africa.

01 May, 2010


Around five hundreds of persons gathered to demonstrate on May 1st in the streets of Angers. The demonstration strated in front of the city hall and later in down town. The defense of the retirement system and the critic of capitalism were among the slogans as the survival of Angers 7 the local tv channel and the support to asylum seekers.
A few meters farther, on Leclerc Square, the market place was busy. Much more people were buying vegetables on flowers as this business was the only one active on that famous no working day.