31 October, 2010

The news coverage on marches against the reform of pensions between lie and lie-in

News Analysis.- What is the subtle difference between mobilization and determination? About the demonstrations which took place on october 28th against the law changing the retirement age, what could explain mobilization may decrease while, at the same time, determination may stay stable? Logically, the quantitative importance of a demonstration depend on the resoluteness some persons have to demonstrate. We don't gather to march if we are not conviced of the necessity to do so.

But, according to the medias of Angers, this is possible, even if, between the marches before and during the Toussaint holidays, the number of demonstrators decrease up to 50%. This may confirm the own interest of the press to keep pressure on the social forces opposed to the law. This interest coud have two origins. First, many editors are not neutral face to the reform and their professionnal trade union didn't hide its opposition to the change. Secondly, demonstrations are always a dramatic event who can help to increase the sales of newspapers issues.

So, quite frequently, the treatment of that sort of events is guided more by corporatist reactions than concern of objectivity. A testimony published on the following day reveals the link between determination and mobilization. Interviewed about his assiduity to demonstrate on saturday, a worker of a state entreprise told he didn't come because "
From time to time, it's good to lie-in"...

30 October, 2010

The possibilities of training to english language increase

The interest to the english language is an issue that parents and children may have in common. The last initiative in Angers regarding the teen-aged training to english takes place in Saint-Serge and is due to neighbours in that district. They are helped by an english inhabitants of Angers who already teach that language to pupils of Saint-Martin primary school.

Others possibilities fof adults exist in the city. Some, designed for pupils of secondary school, may be found in Angers. They may consist in private tuitions in class or at home (Acadomia, Aladom...). Adults involved in professionnal life may have lessons at the Wall Street Institute at their own rythm (like if they were in a body building center). The english-language library in Angers is another possibility through conversation groups and especially for unemployed persons.

A lot a Angers bars relate their atmosphere to english culture The James Joyce, Matt Murphy's and the Inishmore are the most known. But these are only complementaries to the former places. A tea room will come soon. And what not a restaurant?

28 October, 2010

A new video "Meetinangers" on Facebook

Facebook host a video produced by the city of Angers and, apparently, designed to attract the business tourism and some economic activities the town is lacking in that period of slow growth.

If the movie untitled "Angers get surprised!" attemps to keep rythm and show the interest of the city to foreign companies, some sequences look a little bit has been (like the Cadre Noir, from Saumur) while others are still very influenced by the desire to ensure Angers is not so far from Paris. On the other hand, the video mixes some legends written in english (website adress : www.meetinangers.com) what denotes a wish toward more openness.

Perhaps it would be more appropriate to point out the differences the city of the Plantagnet dynasty has face to the capital, not only in the "way of life with a french touch" but also in the transition between worktime and personnal life, that one being, as many people recognize it, quite difficult in Paris and its region.

27 October, 2010

Wilkinson is not ready for an "essay", according to French

Some national radios broadcast presently an advertisement staring Jonny Wilkinson, one of the most famous rugby player in the world. This english sportsman promotes SFR, a french mobile phone operator which just launched a new fixed rate called "Illimythics" in favor of which Jonny Wilkinson explains his choice. In order to add humor to the "ad", the advertiser points out (friendly) the mistakes of the rugby player in french pronunciation when he spells the words "Illimythics", "professionnal" and "euro".

Its clear that for english locutors, some french words are difficult to pronounce because the same letters in english produce other voicing. For example the end "thycs" doesn' sound like "thé" in french, and so for "pro" and "euro". But would the french people (and almost rugby players of the South-West) be able to pronounce correctly usual words of Wilkinson's language?

French people are pround of their own language (and they are right) and this advertisment only reveals a latent feeling of superiority face to others. But they ought to improve their own abilities in english up to let Wilkinson express himself in his mother's tongue. It will be more helpful.

26 October, 2010


Once again, the Ecole supérieure des sciences économiques et commerciales d'Angers was in the spolight in the news for an evening party which, unfortunately, lead seven students at the Cholet hospital for slight injuries. The floor of the discotheque of Saint-Quentin-en-Mauges where they stayed on october 23rd was just a little wet and a few persons slipped on it...

Was it really worth to call a meeting at the prefecture of Maine-et-Loire? Did a school, whom seven students were slightly injured in a gathering of more than 1 300 persons, and for a pure accident, in a nightclub, deserve such new attacks?

In spite of the number of students, universities and high schools in Angers, only these last were called on the Prefecture. They have a point in common. They are not free institutions. So this repeated charge against the Escca could hide a critic of what it represents : business, companies, money and so... The Essca could be in Angers an easy scapegoat.

A new garnments english style store in Sainte-Croix square

Angers inner city becomes anglicized. "Loding", a garnment store, launched a month ago at Sainte-Croix square, is the second UK inspired store to be opened since the summer holidays. Within a few weeks, an irish tea room will also welcome consumers in L'Espine street.

If "loding" has no meaning in english, the atmosphere of the store clearly shows the origin of its inspiration : furnitures with patina, learher armchair, thick green carpet. The garnments proceed of course from an english inspiration : brightly colored stripes ties. And the manager seems to arrive directly from a London upper district but is native from Angers. And Fortunately, the prices are not in english currency.

Let us hope for "Loding", many Angers inhabitants will come in and say "My tailor is rich"...

24 October, 2010

When a local media adds fuel to the flames after the demonstrations

(News analysis).- The article dedicated by an Angers media on october 23rd to the involvment of a canadian student presently in that city in the demonstrations against the reform of the pensions sytem raises questions about the role of the media in keeping pressures on the opponents to the government's project (an issue already evoked in this blog) and the absence of reserve on internal issues from foreign people living in France without paying their taxes (or any taxe) there (or anywhere).

In the article, the media quote the comments of the student regarding the damages of the demonstrations : "
For me, the view of garbage cans scattered upside down, the buses and trains stopped is beautiful" (Did he have to travel on these days?). As for the the excesses of the demonstrations, the person consider them as "not desirable but normal".

If this student has the absolute right to talk about the flaws and even the faults of France, he must not forget that (aside the medical and housing aids he gets or may get from France) in his province, the retirement age is not compulsory, the weekly work time is 40 hours and the vacations don't exceed 4 weeks per year. This young canadian student should look watchfully at his own country and demonstrate... at home.

"strAngers" in the night

Inaugurated a few days ago, and since enlighted, the profile of the Confluences bridge stands out in the night over the Maine river. Its roadway is emphasized by a kind of a ships'rail whose line is elegantly curved between the right bank and the left one in which it gives the impression of sinking.

Green lights make the bridge look like a simple dotted line in the space. Viewed from the bottom, Confluences gives the pedestrian the feeling he is under the white body of a giant plane, an idea accentuated by the absence of pillars in the bed of the river, which would fly over the Maine.

But this sensation of mass vanishes when Confluences is looked from the Haute-Chaîne bridge nearby. Then, the profile of the "harp" (the technical word is arrow-bridge), which, in reality, attaches the bridge to the banks, giving its force to the work, makes it appear like a delicate thing suspended in space.

23 October, 2010

A unexpected result of the garbage men strike

The result of the strike involving garbage men could be different in regard of what these expectated. On october 22th, some of the "mountains" of waste visible in Saint-Michel boulevard were destroyed by fire with the garbage cans provided by the city of Angers. That means the strikers will of course have much work for cleaning the streets. But these facts may have also other significations.

At best, these destroyed garbages cans and the scattered wastes all over the pavements were caused by persons who just thought it was fun to do so, or who were "just" drunk.

At worst, these incivilities may express, not only the disappointment, but also the anger of people who live nearby and, through these destructions, want to punish the strikers. These decided the pursuit of their strike. These mountains of garbage may give ideas in other places which could be damaging for the inhabitants.

21 October, 2010

Angers, after the garbage storm

After a week of strike of the garbage men in Angers, the streets are full of households and shops wastes. Tons of garbage (plastics cans, cards) are lying on the pavements and the inhabitants don't know how to limit their garbage production. So the city hall decided on october 20th to clean up the most critical places.

But the strike, and may be the strikers, point out, once again, the minor respect a lot of persons have about to the cleanliness of the city. After the demonstrations of the last tuesday, the course of the demonstrators was scattered by papers, cigarettes buts, and so. Even the green spaces are not respected. Many demonstrators walked on the greens as if the strike was giving them the right to do so. Since that day, Angers looks like devastated after a storm of wastes.

Finally, the city garbage men will a to work twice to make Angers quite clean again (what would be good because the local taxes are to be paid right now). The city estimates 800 tons will have to be collected. The sprinkler is sprinkled. (credit picture Tony)

20 October, 2010

No buses for students between down town and Belle-Beille campus after 7.00 pm in 2011

A point of the next year schedules of the Angers buses net could anger the students and drive them to demonstrate in the streets once again because the problem will occur before their retirement age... Angers Loire Métropole announced on october 13th that, from june 2011, precisely the day the trolley will run, "an express line will link Belle-Beille and its campus to down town and the railway station going through the express way every 6 minutes. The amplitude will be from 7.30 am to 7 pm".

That means after that hour, the students will have to manage on their own to come back home. the buses will not be there while a lot of them are in the campus because their courses aren't over at 7.00 pm!

The official announcement doesn't mention that fact though eight universities are there with a library, the university restaurant and, since 2010, a additional universitarian residence (how the students who live there will go to down town after their daily sessions are over?). A second trolley line will served Belle-Beille but not until 2015. In the meantime they will only have to read "A streetcar named desire"...

18 October, 2010

New in the news

"La Tribune d'Angers" is a new weekly available in that city since october 14th. Published every thursday, it will cover local issues like polical life, economy, environment, society and leisures. The newspaper may be found in almost 160 places of Angers, Beaucouzé, Les ponts de Cé and Saint-Barthélémy d'Anjou, stores, shopping malls, public places and the Saint-Laud railway station. And it's free.

This weekly newspaper was already published in two others towns of the Pays de la Loire province : Orléans and Tours. The first issue, printed at 20 000 copies, contains news about Angers itself and cities around and has its website.

This new title is added to those of the Sipa-Ouest France Groupe, the Ouest-France and Le Courrier de l'Ouest. Angers is on the web with Angers maville, Angers Mag Info and Angers Ville Actu. Recently a web tv channel appeared also in the city : Angers tv.

English is on the front page of La Tribune d'Angers because at the top and the bottom of the cover ads appear in that language : one talking about a new car described as "trendline" and the other is a well-established angers irish pub. Cheers!

17 October, 2010

Demonstrations give the Angers medias an opportunity to "communicate"

The difference between "information" and "communication" is sometimes not difficult to spot. The way the Angers newspapers deal with the issue of the french state plan of raising the retirement age is an example of the mix of these two styles which may induce the opinion of the public.

Most of the present reports about the demonstrations give the floor to local opponents to the reform, scarcely to the opponents to the demonstrations. But the Angers editors seem often themselves fierce opponents to the reform and, more or less consciously, attempt to criticize the project (The treatment of information, in France, regularly, mix the facts and the analysis of these facts by the editors what constitutes a difference with England or US edition). In the past, their professionnal trade-union was already in favor of the reduction of work time from 39 to 35 hours per week.

But for the french press, whose economic health is not brilliant nowadays, the public demonstrations are a way to increase the sales. An example of the common interest trade-unions and newspapers share was given last weekend in the columns of one of them which pictured in its issue of october 17
th the Angers demonstrators behind a ad-panel of its attractive title about the theme. Information and communication are interlinked and may sometimes distort the opinion.

A new hyphen over the Maine

Opened on october 15th to the pedestrians and the bikes, the Confluences bridge will let the Angers trolley cross the Maine river on the end of june 2011. This work [described in this blog in a former comment) hosted two demonstrations during the first hours of its public use : an official inauguration implemented by Angers city and a protest of inhabitants against the national reform of the pensions system.

By contrast with other parts of the trolley line, the bridge could have welcome safely trolleys, bikes and pedestrians if each of them would have had its own way. But the most noticeable element is the arch placed on the left part (and not in the middle) of the bridge on a slight descent toward the right bank.

Cleared out of scaffoldings, lifting equipments, cranes and warehouse, the bridge thrusts with grace and lightness over the river like a hyphen between to periods of the city : the past with the first hospital on the right bank, the future with the movies complex on the left bank. Because the road surface is made of a soft carpet, bikes and pedestrians will walk on it silently making the view toward the city and the point of Saint-Aubin island more enjoyable.

16 October, 2010

The number of demonstrators against the postponement of the retirement age decreased in Angers

If the catch phrases were more diversified, if the liveliness of the procession was more visible with music, smokes, fireworks, the crowd clearly lose ground in the Angers protest against the postponement of the legal age to retire (60 to 62) which took place on october 16th. Almost half of the persons gathered for the last demonstration planned a former week end. If, at that time, the procession almost circled down town, recently, it was far from this importance.

Of course if the main issue gathering the people was unchanged (the reform of the pension system implemented by the french government), many other claims appeared written on the placards like the housing, the living conditions of immigrants (apparently unconcerned by the age of retirement), issues quite different. That time, the energy of the demonstrators clearly came from official parties like socialist party and ecologists, giving to the event a more political tone.

As before, the demonstrators of public sector (national education, firefighters, state bank) outnumbered those of the private sector. but at the same time, in the inner city, postmen were at work delivering the mails, indicating that the reform will go on without a hitch.

15 October, 2010

"Anjou and design", in Saint-Martin collegiate church

An exhibition untitled "Anjou and design, the itinerary of a tought-out object" is welcomed from october 15th till january 11th at the Saint-Martin collegiate church to promote some local companies which choose to design and to realize objects like armchairs, lamps, handbags or paper hangings in Maine et Loire. Silversmith, ceramist, fine leather craftsman or furniture designers among others, all shows in this exhibition the birth of their objects.

Among these, the Deux filles en fil company designs handbags from recycled raw materials the consumer has to make up with scratches and press-buttons. The result is elegant and clever. Curiously, Japan culture is blooming in Maine-et-Loire with the home furniture of Hiroyuki Yamakado and Miki Nakamura who, with her husband Jean-Michel Letellier, both established in Trélazé, create huge paper panels Japan styled.

The exhibition of contemporary objects fits perfectly with the historical atmosphere of Saint-Martin collegiate church giving to these crafts the hope of a resurrection or a birth. Their breathless productions which mix art and utility have a soul.

14 October, 2010

Demonstrators and consumers at the same time

A few days ago, october 12th, Angers was the scene of another demonstration against the government's project to reform the pension system. Most of the people walking in the streets were, according to the placards, civil servants or people working in the public sector (education, health, social organizations). But many of their counterparts in the private sector continued to work and the demonstrators needed them.

For the event, most of the lorries were rented by trade unions at supermarkets renting services which certainly were opened for business that day. But, because walking in the streets on that sunny morning made people hungry, after the demonstration, some of their leaders went to the restaurants in the nearby where cookers, barmaid were at work.

The logic would have been for the strikers not to go in such places in order to demonstrate their solidarity with the workers whom they said they have not the opportunity to strike. They acted like pure consumers ignorant of the constraints the workers of the private sector face.

13 October, 2010

"On the pavements : the plague..".

A walk along the trolley line in Angers down town makes notice that the pavements are already completely mudged by a plague of cigarette butts, chewing gum spits, dog excrements even if these urban equipments were laid only a few month ago. The case raises several problems whom the first is the lack of respect for the architectural design of the construction and, moreover, for the work people achieved in difficult conditions because the weight of the materials and the special postures they had all days long.

But, this fact reveals too the real insensibility the inhabitants have to ecological (and economical) necessities in spite of the stance they exclaim in the polls. How long time will nature (wind, rain, snow, ice, heat) need to erase these ugly marks ? And how much it will cost to the city to do it with men, machines and detergents?

In addition, the inhabitants seem, one by one, relatively, unconscious of the image of the city they contribute to damage. Angers is, like many french towns in comparison of others in europeans countries, quite dirty. It's probably the result of a lack of education inhabitants (as the French as a whole) have for public assets whom they will have nevertheless to finance the maintenance, among other things, in the (difficult) years to come.

The same day this article was published, the Angers medias announced the purchase by the city of a lorry dedicated to clean these pollutions.

11 October, 2010

The local wealthy households, on the focus of the medias

Once again, "the wealthies" are on sight in the local medias the day before a national protest against the reform of the pensions system (whom many editors are opposed) will take place in Angers and everywhere. One of these medias tried on october 11th to localize the most well off households of Maine et Loire. But the title "Where do the wealthy live in Maine-et-Loire?" sounds like "How do they look like?" and even "Wanted".

The local population and institutions seem more and more attracted by these christian values like poverty, partition and solidarity (a word seen daily, and in every way imaginable, in press coverages, even if solidarity doesn't make the people as rich as they would like to become). But in the same time, the same newspaper publishes, weekly, and on sunday, when people have time to read, a full page dedicated to actors, singers, top-models, all very wealthy persons...

French people claim the right to be different, in sexual inclinations, religious ideas, cultural origins except in the social area. That makes the ranking of people under the word wealthy towns a little bit discriminatory.

10 October, 2010

The confusing destruction of a bus shelter

Located boulevard Birgé (Angers city), this bus shelter has been severely damaged on the night of october 9th. Several back and side glass panels were smashed, leaving hundreds of small pieces scattered on the pavement and the street, endangering the zone fors drivers of cars and bicycles. In a visible effort to expand the breakage, the garbage can has been destroyed and its contents scattered below the shelter.

Who is going to pay for that? Probably not town hall because the company JCDecaux pays a fee to the city and will cover the costs of repairs by charging the advertisers who in turn will charge the producers and so till... the consumers. But, these are not the only damaged. The first victims are surely the users of that bus shelter who are certainly not wealthy persons.

Are they retired, workers of the factory nearby or school children? Probably they are modest households the authors of such inept act may be didn't want to punish? So why is the reason of such misconduct : drug abuses, overdrinking or simply disappointment, annoyance? The result is only damaging more citizens already in bad economic conditions. The destruction of something designed to give protection is a little bit indicative of the confusion of many people in Angers and elsewhere.

The 9th edition of Triptyque about contemporary art exhibits designers

The 9th edition of Triptyque was inaugurated on october 8th in three places of Angers city. This event, dedicated to contemporary art gathers more than 80 artists and 400 works. The design is, this time, focused by town hall as testifies the exhibition of modern furnishing. But the locations which host these collections, the parking lot of town hall, Angers theater and Saint-Aubin tower, also show paintings, photos and sculptures coming from twelve art galleries.

The Saint-Aubin tower emphasize the research on light of Philippe Daney whose the works (videos, mirrors, neon light) point out the indoor architecture of the monument. The theater welcomes Michel Jouët whose paintings, made of geometrical lines, call up the works of the spanish painter Joan Miro who, on the contrary, loves the curved lines. The parking lot of the town hall shows pieces of two designers coming from Quimper and the Granville Gallery.

About 27 000 visitors are waited in these three places till november 21st. In order to make esear the understanding of contemporary art, guided tours are planned. The entrance is free.

03 October, 2010

The social housing in Angers, an exhibition at Chemelier hall

Under the title "Home, it's life, an history of social housing in Angers", the Angers'town hall organizes, on october 15th, in Chemelier hall, an exhibition dedicated to this specific locative status and, quite often, architecture. Social housing is, since a long time (almost 80 years), present in Angers. Public and also private initiatives took part in the interest granted to the housing conditions of the workers. The inheritance of these two origins is visible in the coexistence of public and private organizations : in Angers, Angers Habitat, on one side and societies like Le toit Angevin and Le Val de Loire, on the other.

At the very beginning, it seems that the cottages was the most frequent residence dedicated to the workers. Some of them still exist in Angers but were outnumbered, ath the beginning of the 60's by buildings in which (according to the accounts of the new inhabitants of those flats) people were hapy to come in. During the 70's the trend reversed toward individuals homes. More than 35 000 social homes are counted in Angers.

If, since a recent period, the social organizations of Angers implemented important schemes of urban renewal, they are nevertheless weakened by the empoverishement ot the families they house, themselves affected by unemployment, a problem which makes the collective life in buildings, much more complicated. These organizations face a new challenge due the state financial difficulties : the necessity to sold a part of their properties to finance their projects. These could lead to an acceleration of the turnover of their inhabitants.

02 October, 2010

The young Angevins demonstrate against the reform of the pension system

Thousands of persons demonstrated once again in Angers against the government's projet to reform the pension system. If the circuit choosen by the demonstrators was quite identical to the former gatherings, this time, two new originalities emerged on october 2nd : the lenght of the cortege and the rejuvenation of the participants

The choice to demonstrate on saturday certainly attracted persons who, during working days, can't leave their jobs. When the last demonstrators turned right from Foch boulevard to King René boulevard, the first participants, a few minutes later, reached Plants garden junction. The cortege quite circled down down.

The other significant data is the presence of young and this is probably the most worrying of these two caracteristics because they would be the first victims of a statu quo. The main argument of the leaders is simple, but wrong : more the elder leave their jobs sooner, more the young have chance to enter active life quickly. Unfortunately the issue is financial. If the seniors leave their jobs, they will need pensions. More numerous they are, more the amount of the pensions is high.

But as the french society is becoming older, or the pensions decrease, or the contributions increase, or we share these two ways. That's the choice of the project : the delayed retirement age involve the employed as well as the retired. That's a maths issue, not a polical one.

Two female traffic wardens accused of denying assistance to an endangered senior

Two female traffic wardens of Angers city are accused of no assistance to an endangered person. On september 27th, a couple of senior people, a retired doctor, 80 years old and his wife, 78, stopped their car at the bottom of their home, in Chevreul street, Angers, just for unloading their suitcases. Because they stopped the car on a parking place reserved for ambulances, the two female traffic wardens ordered them go to another place. After her husband had parked the car, the lady got off, but stumbled and collapsed.

The husband, telling he is doctor, gives assistance to his wife, in front of the two traffic wardens who don't move. "They just looked at the scene, without doing nothing", remembers a witness. Another pedestrian, among others, saw all the scene : "The man tried to resuscitate his wife. I call the firefighters. The traffic wardens seeing the lady on the ground, said they were not responsible. When I just came back with a blanket, they had vanished". City hall confirmed that.

The town councillor of Angers in charge of the issue tried to defend the two traffic wardens, arguing they didn't have mobile phone, meanwhile the police station is located less than 50 m in the street. It was even written that the case was just "a storm in a tea-cup" (meanwhile a person is dead). Finally, the two traffic wardens got a psychological assistance from town hall. Not the husband...