30 November, 2010

The respect of laïcity in work places is not yet straightforward

News Analysis.- If the sight of young ladies more or less veiled in the streets of Angers doesn't seem to catch the attention of pedestrians, this could not be the same in working areas. A manager who hired a young woman coming from middle-east faces the comments of his workers who are not in favour of the emergence of religious clothes in their company, located in the city.

Apparently, the people wouldn't care about the religious opinions of their young colleague. They would rather criticize the fact that she is able, wearing her veil (blue with white dots), to impose the knowledge of her religious opinions to her colleagues. If, in England, it is not unusual to meet in superstores women dressed and veiled according to religious opinions, in France people seems -comprehensively - very sensitive to the respect of neutral behaviour.

In the streets, the situation looks pacified. But apparently, some women use their garments to attract the attention of the public. Agonized between their will of gaining an emancipation like others Western women and their fidelity to their faith, they seems to have found in a zealous implementation of their confessionnal dressing code a clever way to be at the center of the stage while playing, officialy, only a supporting part on it.

29 November, 2010

17th exhibition of wines and gastronomy : the products are traditional and the marketing too...

Craftmen specialized in food and wines coming from many French provinces were gathered at the exhibitions center of Angers on the last weekend of november. The wines stay highly visible in the rows of the exhibitors : Bourgogne, Bordeaux but also products from Cahors as well as Languedoc. But some producers try to innovate with, for example, a chocolate wine whose color is dark brown. Regarding the food, most known French specialities were there - cheeses, cooked meats, cakes, spices - but also jam and provincial pastries which break new grounds...

But the organization of the fair stays critically classic. No music (as in all superstores of that size), no event giving vitality to the exhibition, no speaker dedicated to attract people eager to buy products of the highest quality (even if they aren't cheap). Curiously, while in France, the gastronomy is erected to an art and is famous all over the world, the place dedicated for tasting the products is put aside whole it should be at the center of the fair!

The tickets give only the right to visit the exhibition. Would it be possible to by entrances which could allow to taste samples of a range of products? If the tradition is valuable for wine or sausages, it's not the same for the way to sell them. And in this field of activity, a lot of improvement remains to be achieved.

28 November, 2010

The real estate prices in Angers at the 1st row of a national ranking of increases

Credit pciture : Wikipedia
According to a survey published by a French economic daily newspaper "Les Echos" on november 26th, Angers is the city of France where the increase of the real estate prices of new accommodations is the highest. From the third trimester of 2009 to the third trimester of 2010, the increase exceed 10% per year and the m2 is sold 3.075 €. Marseille is a the second row of this ranking with an increase of the prices, close to Angers, of nearly 10%.

Many buildings are in works all over the city. Some districts (La Roseraie, Grand Pigeon or Belle-Beille) have been largely renovated or are planned to be redesigned (Monplaisir). Others are emerging (The Highs of Saint-Aubin or the Plateau of the Mayenne). Professionnals of private and social housing sectors are fearing difficulties to rent their buildings.
Credit picture : Angers Loire Metropole

The opening of the trolley line between Avrillé and La Roseraie may trigger an increase of the real estate values along the tracks. So investors have yet started new buildings along Victor Chatenay avenue in anticipation of the the second streetcar line. Even if that one could not be implemented before 2015 between Beaucouzé and the east of Angers. A previous edition of this blog was dedicated to that issue.

27 November, 2010

Even downsized the inauguration of the Angers streetcar will not end at Mc Do

Credit picture : Angers Loire Metropole
The protest caused by the cost of the inauguration ceremony of the streetcar led to a dramatic decrease of its budget. The mayor of Angers city, Jean-Claude Antonini, announced on november 26th that he will not withdraw the event. "The trolley needs a successful launch in order to encourage the inhabitants to use it", he said. But the money dedicated to the display will not exceed 150 000 € instead of 400 000 €.

The event will entirely managed by the city council and will associate the inhabitants, the schools and the non-profit making organizations of Angers. The local private companies have been "associated" thanks to an - illegal - increase of the local transport tax the city council will now refund thanks to a rise of taxes on households. As regards, the enterprises having worked on the project will be authorized to plan internal events in the maintenance center, but will have to pay themselves.

The giant feast has been cancelled but Mr Antonini warned he "cannot invite the official guests (and among them, the president of the French republic) at Mc Donald's". Above all, travelling on the trolley line will be free during the week after inauguration (june 25th). The street car free? "I'm lovin'it"!

26 November, 2010

Harry Potter in English version attracts young Angevins

Coat of arms of Hogwarts college
The first projection of the 7th edition of Harry Potter  "Harry Potter and the deathly hallows" filled two auditoriums of the Gaumont multiplexe as well as an auditorium of the 400 coups where, in that last cinema the movie was showed in English.The age of the spectators ranged from 9 years old to adults (The first volume of the story was published in 1997.

Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels about the adventures of an adolescent wizard Harry Potter and friends, all of them are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Those novels were written by the English author Joanne Rowlings.

The success without of Harry Potter in France was accompanied by another phenomena : the publication and the reading of a book in its original version. According to Wikipedia, it is more and more common to read
works in their original version what was unusual ten years ago. "Harry Potter and the Phoenix Order" was, in 2007 at the top of the sales of books in France.

25 November, 2010

The real estate activity is coming back in Angers

According to the professionnals of real estate, the young households came back in the market. They are looking for housing in town for their first purchase while, up to now, they bought their first home in the countryside. This is a change of 2009, compared to the trend of the previous years.

If Maine et Loire is still one of the 97 administrative divisions where accession to property is the highest, the professionnal notice that the indebtedness of the purchasers is increasing. Almost 90% of the price of a home is borrowed to banks. The medium price of a house in maine et Loire ranges to 160 000 € in 2009 (it was 100 000 € ten years before). And the new homes are cheaper than the existing homes.

In Angers, the building sector is slowly recovering : the new projects are concentrated in that area. These trends are due to the demography and to the divorces which make necessary to build two homes for one family. One of the stakes of the next century is to limit the consumption of natural spaces. Till now, in spite of the efforts of the public authorities, the urban  sprawling is going on.

24 November, 2010

Angers Loire Metropole is preparing a tax increase to fill the deficit 2011

For the public authorities in France, when money is scarce there is only a way : to increase taxes. In the 2011 budget of Angers Loire Metropole, the expenses will be more important than the revenues : the difference is 25 millions €, so the tax payer will have to foot the bill and to reduce his own expenses. So why Angers Metropole doesn't do the same in order to equalize its expenses and its revenues?

On the 25 millions € needed, 7 millions come from an illegal increase of a local business tax decided a few years ago by Angers Loire Metropole which has to refund to the companies during several years to come (The overall debt in this chapter could represent till 40 millions €!). And 10 millions are due to the trolley line whose costs have derailed.

In order to fill the gap, Angers Loire Metropole will have to increase the property tax, the council tax paid by Angers households. But this will not be sufficient. The local authority will have to limit its operation expenses and its investments. In times of budgetary difficulties, the cancellation of the ceremonies planned for the trolley inauguration will be a good message. "Charity begins at home".

23 November, 2010

The Beatles through the Rabeats, soon in Angers

The public of Angers will have the opportunity to breathe again the atmosphere of the sixties. "The beatles" will ressucitate on november 27th in the Angers Theater with the performance of "The rabeats", four French musicians all fans of the famous british band. This interest for a symbol of England is not the only mark of a kind of "Englishmania" in Angers.

Products reflecting the country of the Beatles were yet in vogue in Angers : umbrellas, flags, men's haircut, stores in down tow and, very soo,, the projection of the last "Harry Potter". The show on the Beatles is also an opportunity to be in touch with a period of strong economic growth which is, nowadays, no more than a distant souvenir for the elders and a period definitly belonging to history for the youngests.

The originality of the evening performance of the Rabeats is a French Band wil sing for a French public, in an Angers theater... in English! So "Come together"!

22 November, 2010

Public authorities promote tourism in Loire Valley in English

Within four days, a new website called "Angers Loire Valley" will be opened by the Angers convention bureau. Its aim is to attract the attention of the professionnals of tourism about abilities and interest to organize events in the region. Money is at stake. According to  the sponsors of the website (among them Angers city, Angers Loire Metropole, the chamber of commerce and industry of Maine et Loire), a business tourist spends 150 €, an threefold amount compared to a a classical tourist.

A bilingual meetings planner's guide has been created. Others, related to incoming and incentives as well as sustainable tourism will follow. A few weeks ago, a video dedicated to the promotion of the Loire Valley had been created (and was commented in this blog).

But if a bilingual website is a progress, many websites of public authorities are only in french : this is the case of Angers, Angers Loire Métropole, and more surpringly of th Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Maine et Loire even the Loire Electronic Applications Valley page is in french). And Angers Expo Congrès has only a digest version in english. The Conseil général de Maine et Loire website has an english (among others) version as well as the Office de tourisme d'Angers (eight languages versions).

21 November, 2010

Critics increase against the celebration of the opening of Angers streetcar line

The official opening of the streetcar line of Angers, planned for june 25th, is in the spot of critics. After Jean-Claude Antonini, the mayor of the city, announced, on june 10th, the cost of a party - 400 000 € - designed to celebrate the start of the running of the line, complains surged from his counterparts in the board of Angers Loire Metropole authority, from the Angers medias and from inhabitants about the excess of such an amount in a period of economical difficulties.

 ALM, which had already approached a Paris communication agency to conceive the event, planned to organize, among others things, a party celebrating the end of the scheme (for 1 500 guests) and an official dinner for 200 "Very important persons".

This "happy end" is at least "in line" with the "derailment" of the costs of the project which dropped from 244 to 344 millions €. Before it was started, Alm had already raised at its maximum the rate (from 1,05% to 1,80%) of the transport tax due by all companies employing more than 9 persons in Angers and surroundings (a money which will not go in the pockets of these). And recently, the Alm authority announced a  new tax enforceable to al the Alm households. Is the celebration of the trolley line works appropriate?

20 November, 2010

The Angevins, between kindness and a kind of pride

At the occasion of the second national day about kindness, an Angers newspaper asked, in its issue dated november 13th, to newcomers if the inhabitants of the city have such quality. While the results are quite positive for them, they are based on a comparison with the experience these persons lived in other places : there is no more or no less kindness in Angers than elsewhere.

More enlightening are the results of a national enquiry excerpt from "Psychologie Magazine" and quoted by the newspaper : kindness is frequently assimilated to weakness and it's within the world of labour that kindness is most needed.

If France and Angers populations are afraid of kindness, they could be, at least, polite, saying, for exemple "Bonjour Monsieur/Madame" instead of an unpersonnal "Bonjour" who express almost a kind of disinterest to the person they are talking with and which is, moreover, totally foreign to the customary way French used to Speak to somebody. Such a distance reveals almost a kind of condescension which goes along with the decline of the country and the increase of its self-pride.

19 November, 2010

The garden of the mall in works

The path of the ponies without trees

The garden of the mall was is works on november 18th. On its low part, near the Marechal Leclerc square, the trees which have saw generations of children riding ponies were brought down. Two trenches are opened and workers are burying pipes. From the Resistance and Deportation boulevard, the garden looks like a person who should have lost his hair.

A few years ago, a lot of trees in the back of the garden have been removed (because of disease) and were replaced by younger species planted in straight rows. On the website of the city of Angers, nothing is said about such transformation. So it is not impossible that a regeneration is implemented once again.

The garden of the mall finds its origin from a game the "Jeu de Mail" who was played there till the  XVIIth century. A fountain within a large pond are the point where paths are converging. In 1859, the garden is redesigned "à la Française". Today, its straps of greeness ans beds of flowers are a place which cannot be ignored for inhabitants and tourists.

18 November, 2010

Speed controls with fixed and mobile radars are reinforced in Angers

As the revenues of the French state are decreasing, the administration is seeking new ways to collect money. One of them is the speed controls. In Angers, one of the first radars (on the motorway after the castle of the King of Poland) has just been removed and replaced by a new one but others are planned in Angers. For example, a radar near a traffic light is in use at the bottom of Pasteur avenue since a few weeks and an another one is planned at a few hundreds meters further on Victor Chatenay avenue.

Every week the local press publish the places were mobile radars are going to spot the drivers in a hurry. And policemen are waiting at strategic points the cars which are going to ignore the traffic lights. If the dangerous ways of driving must be punished, the method used by the French state is sometimes ambiguous. If there is nothing to say regarding the radars which are pointed out by a board ("Caution, speed controls for your safety") because they compel the drivers to slow, it's different with the mobile radars installed, with the police officers, behind a tree, as it is the case on La Romanerie boulevard whic have not effect on the speed, "only" on the wallet...

The car manufacturers should provide their new models with a sound alarm. The drivers would not have no choice but to slow and the state would be compell to slow its expenses. (Credit picture : radars-auto)

17 November, 2010

In the Angers newspapers : when commemoration exempts from reflection

News analysis. - The anniversary of General de Gaulle's death gave birth during the first days of november to commentaries about the former statute of France in the world 40 years ago and its present condition. Many readers of local press complain, and impute to the politicians who followed the De Gaulle's mandate, the responsability of what they consider as a downgrading of their country. 

What is astonishing is these regrets come from young people who still believe in the power of a providential statesman, who, like De Gaulle or Jeanne d'Arc, would deliver France of its troubles. These readers reproach to the present French leaders their lack of integrity. If the destiny of a country would rely - only - on the probity of its politicians, that would be very worrying. Hopefully, the solutions not only come from statesmen, but mainly from institutions.

France is heavily put into debt simply because during almost 40 years the state and its subsidaries spent money more than they earned. Was it forbidden par the fifth republic constitution? No, so the successive governments used their right to have more expenses than receipts. Is it cautious to rely only on the will of a statesmen to balance the budget? Of course not. So the problem come more from institutions than policitans. The politicians are a product of institutions. If the habits of politicians have to be changed, the institutions have to be changed first.

16 November, 2010

The raise of the local taxes is "on the tracks" in Angers city

A debate in the Council of the mayors of Angers Loire Metropole (Alm) on november 10th regarding the amount of an expense for the inauguration of the first trolley line revealed the change in the financial situation for that authority. Alm is looking for 25 millions € in 2011. Ten millions are due to the trolley line, 8 millions for building new housing and 7 millions because Alm increased illegaly the rate of the local business taxe, and was, for that, sentenced by the justice.

The expense (400 000 €) was publicly criticized by a part of the mayors. But, on the other hand, few spoke about the project of Alm to raise local taxes by 10% in order to fill the hole in times of harsh economic conditions for the inhabitants. The problem was pointed out by all the Angers medias.

The receipts of the local authorities in Angers (and everywhere) are decreasing because of the crisis appeared three years ago. So the logic would consist in downsizing the expenses and, above all, not creating a new one. The idea of such a budget regarding an equipment (which cost has already inflated) was a mistake. The mayor of Angers worsened it saying the city of Grenoble had expended 700 000 € for the inauguration of the third line of his trolley. But can we correct a mistake by doing another one?

15 November, 2010

"Fit-up", an additional garments store in Angers

"Fit up" is the registered company name of a new garments store open since mid-october in Aiguillerie street, in the inner city of Angers. The word means in French : "it's exactly what you need". The store is selling suits and shirts made-to-measure.
Fit-up, in Aiguillerie Street, Angers
With "Fit-up", the stores in Angers are a little more anglicized (a few days ago, another store "Loading" opened in Sainte-Croix square), and apparently, the owners of these places, not only do not fear the difficulty of Angers consumers for understanding english words but are confident in the power of English vocabulary to attract new visitors.

More generally, that may also illustrate the attraction the Wasp (White anglo-saxon protestant) world has on Angers, as well as France, people. Up to now, that attraction doesn't go beyond the words and the way of life. French still express a distrust regarding the economic values of Usa or Uk and even a contempt toward the knowledge of English language and - almost - Us or Uk food (while they eat at Mc Donald's, Quick or Subway). But, could the next path for these stores consist in hiring English speaking employees or employees speaking French with an English accent?

13 November, 2010

Angers on Segway

Mobilboard Angers, a company dedicated to the rent of Segway, a two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicle, opened a point at the top of Chevreul street, near the Ralliement square, in Angers, since the beginning of november. The store offers to the public a new way for visiting the city. Three options are available which differ by their length (60, 90 or 120 mn) and so the content of the discovery of Angers.

About 30 agencies like Mobilboard Angers yet exist in France and are aimed at the rent of Segway to individuals and companies, for fun or for work. An introduction to the handling of the machine is needed but only takes 15 mn.

A Segway is not considered by the French law as a vehicle, so the drivers have to use the pavements and the pedestrian crossings but to wear an helmet is compulsory. Segways perform best in areas with adequate sidewalks, curb cuts at intersections, and ramps. These machines are used in some theme parks by visitors as well as employees. During the 2008 summer olympics games in Peking, the special police forces used the Segway whose range is 40 kms max.
(picture credit Mobilboard Angers)

11 November, 2010

Angers medias still believe in the division of labour

Between the words of a question, it is sometimes possible to understand the vision of the Angers medias about economic issues. In a copy published on november 10th, a former high civil servant, recently retired, who chose to become barrister, was asked by an editor if his second career would lead him to take a job available to a younger person...

If such an idea was true, the new lawyer should not be criticized because he made his former job available to a young graduated. Many people in France consider, wrongly, that work can be shared out, like Jesus-Christ who did it with bread. Work can be shared out, it can only be created what was demonstrated by an old economic theory, formulated by the french protestant Jean-Baptiste Say (who was also editor) "Supply creates its own demand".

So, the involvement in the Bar of a former civil servant specialized in public finances will generate a demand of advice from companies working with the state. The dividing of something, a very honourable and nice idea (once more promoted by the demonstrations in Angers against the reform of the pensions system) doesn't nevertheless create nothing more, nothing new. The more the people work, the more they create jobs and wealth, and vice-versa.

Consumption or commemoration : the time of the choice

The General Leclerc square, in Angers, like many other places in France, hosted on november 11th an official tribute to french soldiers died during the first world war. In spite of a rainy weather, about 300 civilians and just as much servicemen were gathered on the morning of that legal holiday for a part of the population.

Only a part, because, at the same time, supermarkets of Angers were opened to consumers eager to go shopping. So if these people consider they are entitled to impose a working day to salaried employees, why don't they go to work themselves, because they could be useful to other consumers? So, it would be fair, and consistent with the general behaviour, to suppress the legal holiday of november 11th. Moreover, a supplementary working day would be useful to fuel growth and jobs desperatly needed in France.

The last french soldier, contemporary to the first world war, died two years ago. He was 110 years old. With his death, the armistice of november 11th now belongs to history that the later generation has to remember and to teach. But this cannot interfere with the duty of the contemporary generation to look forward and work for the next as the previous did for it.

10 November, 2010

The main reconquest of the Maine

It's a huge board set in the hall of the Saint-Laud railway station. Untitled "Banks of Maine, new watersides", the panel covers all the wall of the commercial gallery of the station and, because ot its dimensions, is impossible to be seen within the hall. The work can only be viewed from outside what is a pity because the landscape is quite attractive. How can the passer-by be opposed to such a scheme the city want obviously to promote (the architects competition has been already been launched)?

The ugly motorway has vanished to the advantage of large ways with lawns, flowers and trees. Between the buildings (presently polluted by the exhaust fumes and closed because the noise of the traffic) and the river, the project has created walk for pedestrians and bikes. Then, the watersides plunge in the Maine. The colors of the river have changed. From black and grey, they are now green and blue. On the right bank of the Maine, the cobbled embankment has also disappeared restoring a natural cohesion with the high plane-trees of the La Rochefoucauld square.

Thanks to the reconquest of its banks, the city of Angers will not be ruined anymore but reunified by and around the river (which was formerly a way of communications). But, an element is missing on the board. An element forgotten a long time ago by the inhabitants of Angers. An element which nertheless symbolizes nature and life : the babling of the water. The Maine will again talk to the city.

09 November, 2010

The two female traffic wardens will not be prosecuted

After several weeks of study by the prosecutor of the republic, the two female traffic wardens accused of no assistance to an endangered person, who collapsed after she and a husband were ordered to leave at once the place where they parked their car, have finaly been considered not guilty. The justice pointed out that the firebrigade was already warned by a pedestrian who watched the scene and noticed the husband of the victim was a former doctor and able to give assistance to his wife.

The emotion created by this case - emotion criticized sometimes with crual words by some readers of the local medias - was due to the fact the two representatives of the city left the scene of this drama (where a person is dead) suppressing, in that way, for a couple of elder citizens in despair, the possibility of an immediate and greater assistance of the city.

The behaviour ot the traffic wardens, and the comments heard at the moment of the incident (were the "we are not responsible of that" appropriate while the lady was already laying on the pavement?) is at the core of the surprise and, for someone, the bitterness after this demonstration of indifference. If the women were not guilty, nor responsible of the death of an elder person coming back from holidays, the function they represent was nevertheless concerned by this case. If officials do not give assistance, who is going to do it?

08 November, 2010

The real estate in Angers between conflicting trends

The worsening of the real estate market could be en route in Angers because the local offer doesn't always meet a demand. While the prices of houses and flats, whether old or new, lost value between july 2009 and june 2010 in Angers (- 15% in older properties - 4% in the new, according to a recent survey of the Maine et Loire solicitors), town hall plans to built 2 500 accommodations per year during 10 years.

Presently, many private owners of real estate complain about the difficulties to rent their properties in Angers, and, the phenomena is also visible in local social housing institutions with growing difficulties to rent. Every pedestrian walking in town may see the numerous notice boards "to rent" or "for sale" as well as the number of buildings under construction in every district of Angers (and recently for students). And the construction of the first streetcar line didn't, to date, engender a rise of prices, even if the interest rates have never been so low in France since 60 years.

The good news is all these works give job to people and ensure orders for building companies and journeymen and will not be "offshored" like factories or companies of the service sector. But what has been built for renting or for sale costs if there is no building holder or buyer.

07 November, 2010

Winter climate comes after winter time

As the inhabitants of Angers who passed from the summer time for the winter time on october 31st, the weather change a week later from mild to cold temperatures. It is not yet winter but the climate in Angers passed to the autumn atmosphere during the last weekend. While temperatures ranged from 15 to 18° on the last afternoons, on sunday they hardly exceeded 10°.

Moreover, after dry months of september and october, november started wiht heavy rains on saturday and even hail on sunday making for exemple the Bodinier street, presently in works, a true marsh impossible to cross otherwise by using big floorboards laying on the surface. Such a weather could make easier the new green carefully unrolled on the streetcar line along Foch boulevard to take roots.

The trees of course took their autumnal colors unrolling a yellow and red carpet along the streets. While people were drinking at the open air terraces of the cafés in Foch boulevard and Saint-Laud street till the end of october, the consumers were scarce on sunday afternoon. Pedestrians who nevertheless took fresh air were this time wraped up warmly. "Summer will not last forever"...

06 November, 2010

Death in loneliness in the silence of the summer

News analysis.- A local media announced on november 6th the discovery of a woman died six months ago in her flat at Saint-Georges street, in the down town of Angers. Any neighbour noticed the disappearance of the person, 66 years old. The syndic, who manage the building, intrigued by the silence of the inhabitant warned the authorities. So a distress has probably been discovered on the occasion of a professional (it means unpersonal) issue.

This tragic news item illustrates, once again, the loneliness of many persons. If, this phenomena becomes common in our society, the men as well as the women, the poor household is concerned as well as the wealthy, and the young as well as the elder, it is nevertheless more acute for the last category as the surge of death among seniors in France showed it during the scorching summer of 2003 (the death of that inhabitant of Angers occured precisely in july when many persons are gone for holidays).

But this sad news illustrates the gap between the "solidarity" the "modern" society promotes (or tries to convince itself of being like that) and its actual behaviour. We are able to communicate with many people at the same time, wherever they are, but we don't pay attention to what is next to us. The world of communications acting like a screen between us and the others.

05 November, 2010

Blake and the mother

The works of british draughtsman will soon decorate the hall of the new maternity hospital in the CHU of Angers. The drawings of this artist, Quentin Blake, 78, who lives in London, are already exhibited in others hospital and, among them, the Trousseau hospital (Paris).

Quentin Blake works since a year to this project. About fifty works in large size will be posted on the front side of the maternity and, later, will be set in all the hall of the building even in those dedicated to the deliveries or the wake up rooms. His pictures consist in blue forms drawn with blue ink stood out from watercours. They show on a poetic mood the moment of the delivery in order to make the parturient more comfortable.

The british artist, who confess, he is not a husband nor a father, had illustrated more than 250 books and, among them, the famous Charlie and the chocolate factory, received several prizes. The initiative of this exhibition was sponsorized by multinational companies like Danone and Nestlé as well as public institutions like Mécène et Loire and the city of Angers. An exhibition of the Blake's drawings could be hosted next year in the Toussaint Library.

04 November, 2010

The pedestrians of Angers deserve better ways for moving

Town hall which promotes walk as a mode of displacement throughout Angers for years should reconsider carefully the condition of the pavements. Many of them, in spite of the fact they have not been affected by the works of the street car, should be entirely resurfaced.

Over the years, their surfaces are just a patchwork of tars, cobblestones, concrete, rocks, soil often dented by the roots of the trees, when they are not obstructed by garbage cans, cars parked outside the spaces dedicated, or made dirty by the shit of dogs...

But this is not the worse. Sometimes the pavements are absolutely impassable because they are too sloping and/or lower than the street. At times, in the zone of construction of the trolley line, they disappear entirely then reappears according a new trail with, all along, pipes, sacks of cement, fences displaced or turned upside down.

Initiatives of town hall regarding the promotion of cycling in Angers are not always happy. The ways for cycles and pedestrians are frequently arranged side by side what can be dangerous for the lasts.
These are the conditions of displacement for no disabled persons or people familiar to the city. How can the blinds, disabled persons or simply seniors to move throughout Angers?

03 November, 2010

The incomprehensible lifelessness of Angers on sundays and legal days

In many stores, supermarkets or restaurants of Angers which open on the weekends, or during short holidays like those of mid autumn, it is frequently difficult to be served in short times. In some places, the majority of the cash desks are closed so the clients have to queue; in others, when several customers want to lunch together, they can't do so because the meals are served one after the other because there is no enough staff...

Such circumstances are difficult to understand because, at the same time, there are a lot of customers available and eager to consume and a lot of the numerous students Angers counts who would be happy to work during the weekends to get money (without even mentionning the fact that many shops are closed on sundays what makes the city quite sad and the economic situation would deserve more freedom for the people to work if they want to).

Many foreign students living in Angers for short periods are astonished in front of the difference of the city during the week (alive and young) and on sundays and legal holidays (empty and even gloomy). During the last All Soul's Day, some stores were opened in down town and consumers were in at the end of the day. They looked like "candles in the night".

Parents want their children to call the teacher by her christian name

A young female teacher in a primary school in the surroundings of Angers has recently been criticized by the parents of her pupils because she had prohibited the children to talk her otherwise than by using the title "Mrs". The families of the pupils complained about this teacher, recently appointed in that school, because she changed a use which, previously, authorized the children to call the teacher by her christian name.

The collegues of this teacher choose, years ago, to be called in their classrooms by their christian names (even if the children didn't ask this right). The young teacher refused to toe the line as her collegues hoped she would do so, arguing that she needed a distance to teach and that the children have to practise the two ways, familiar and unfamiliar, to talk to anybody in daily life.

Formerly, in private as well as public schools in France, it was compulsory for pupils to adress to their teachers using "Mr", "Miss" or "Mrs". Moreover, in France, when a person come in a store, a bank, or a public service, familiar words are never used. Why would the children have a right the adults have not? This evolution toward more direct relationships between teachers and pupils backfired very often since years in France, a situation whom the teachers suffer. So, who is to blame?

02 November, 2010

New stores with english sounding names will operate soon in Angers down town

"Green is better", "City Bike" and "Eatalie" are the names or the catch-phrases new stores choose for their next opening in Angers down town. "Green is better" is the slogan of a new vegetables restaurant which will take place in Botanique street up from mid november.

Not far, and up from november 2nd, "City Bikes" will welcome bikers who need a quick repair. Moreover, the store will rent electric bikes. These will be necessary to climb the Roe street where, apparently, no way for cycles has beee planned. "Eatalie" is (truly) an italian restaurant located on the place of the former "Kfé du jour", Bodinier street.

These businesses which clearly refer to english language join others recently ("Loding", Sainte-Croix square) or soon ("My favourite place", L'Espine street) operated in down town. It is in the owners'best interest to warn consumers, on their front doors, that "Here, french spoken" and "euro accepted".