31 July, 2012

England at the heart of the Angers Accroche-Coeurs

The 2012 edition of Les Accroche-Coeurs, a carnival which will take place on September 7, 8 and 9 all over Angers, is dedicated that year to the people of the North, The Anglo-Saxon touch is official : "Companies coming from Normandy, England, Ireland and Iceland" will head the field. England and its culture are one of the most visible caracteristics of the festival and are a little bit teased by Les Accroche-Coeurs. A dress-code has been edicted : every person taking part to the event will have to wear clothes refering to UK. 

Credit picture Angers city
Inhabitants are invited to the Queen Elizabeth tea party, a gathering for a "nice cup of tea" on the lawns of the Ligny bank where everybody is invited to demonstrate his "sense of British humour". Another attraction should depict Her Majesty "without the appointment" of the British monarch. Numerous myths of England culture are "invited" too : Big Ben and Jack the ripper... Of course Les Accroche-Coeurs will give a large place to the Plantagenet Petition and the terrible fate of Edward Plantagenet.

If the Accroche-Coeurs is a mix of jokes about British, these are also a little bit admired for the preservation of their culture which reflects ancient French culture. So it would be desirable England and English citizens should not be systematically denigrated because every people, even French and Angers inhabitants, have their quirks. It's true that a good dose of British humour is necessary to admit it.

30 July, 2012

The Angers library brings back a book of the 16th century which remained for 300 years in England

The links between Angers and England could be on the forestage in the weeks to come. Their importance could seem exagerated in the eyes of many people. Nevertheless, a fact had just given to the links between Angers and England an additional and disconcerting lighting. 

The municipal library of Angers will celebrate, on September 14th, the official entry in the local collections of the original and illuminated manuscript of a book written by a man called Nicolas de Houssemaine, doctor of the medecine university of Angers. The book was bought by Angers and other national and regional authorities to... England where it remainded for 300 years! The price of the acquisition has not been disclosed.That acquisition is the most important of the municipal library since 1977.

The book tells the chivalry romance of the Dammartin, a famous France family and her links with the French monarchs who ruled the country till 1789. The picture which illustrates the event is beautiful but cruel : a man with a sword hold the head of its victim. In 1499, Edward Plantagenet was beheaded on order of Henry and the book bought was written in 1500. The departure of the book for England during the 17th century is unclear but the value of that manuscript is mentionned on many websites from England and even from USA

The presence of the book (which will be displayed to the public during the next Heritage Days on September 15 during period of 30 mn max) looks like an involuntary allusion to the death of the last heir of the Plantagenet.

29 July, 2012

Coming soon Claveau street, "Le dix-septième" : from music high notes to bistronomy low bills

The Angers town hall should benefit in the weeks to come of a new restaurant "Le dix septieme", in Claveau street. That commercial establishment will be located in a former town house probably erected during the 17th century. Formerly a school of piano was there and numerous boys and girls of the Angers society have spending their own time on pianos benches. Instead of the notes of music, the place will be filled with the noises of plates and cutlery.

"Le dix septième" will be a "restaurant bistro-nomique" (lets' us hope that the prices will not be astro-nomical), a concept born in the 90's, allying low prices, small teams, humbler, convivial places and inventive cuisine cooked from simple and good products. The place is presently in work but could be soon, with plants, the babbling of the water flowing from a fountain, a intimate place, very different from stuffy atmospheres of top-class Michelin outfits.

That new place should increase the attractivity of that "islet" of Angers down town which attracts people found of art house films. After the pianos Steinway or Erard for pianists, pianos for chefs will take possession of the place.

28 July, 2012

A series of technological assets announced in Angers

A series of technological breakthroughs was reported recently by Angers medias which all will stimulate the development of the information economy. The most important is the arrival of the fiber optic even if it will not occur in town before 2016. If, for the households, the main result is an important increase of their high-speed (from 20 to 100 megas), the most important consequence could regard the business sector which could possibily develop the homeworking and, thus, open new opporunities for them.

The second event was the re-launch of a new Angers tv channel. Angers 7, which disappeared from screens in May 2012, could possible have an heir. Angers Loire Television, a public company constituted by Angers city and Angers Loire Métropole, is going to answer to an appeal of applications published by a national authority. A least, one hour in the daily programs must be dedicated to local news. But the main obstacle to overcome is the financial profitability of the scheme.

The most visible change (but is it the most important?) is the set-up in several places of Angers of digital screens by the street furniture provider A.Decaux. In the weeks to come 14 giant screens will display ads in town.  The inhabitants could be better connected to what is new next to or far from their town.

27 July, 2012

Angers gardens in exhibition

A recent petition on Facebook recalls to Angers inhabitants their links, or at least their connection with England history. If the Plantagenet petition is an epiphenomenon, the interest of Angevins for gardening is confirmed by recent initiatives of town hall as well as projets "gardens of expression" due to be implemented next year. During 2012, the city displays its how-know in plants. The Plants garden and above all the splendid Arboretum garden will demonstrate gardening is not only a leisure in Angers but, as in England, a form of art.

Credit Picture Angers city
An exhibition of cucurbits takes place in the Plants Garden. Those are displayed like pictures in a art exhibition. The fact the items are not set up vertically as in an art gallery but horizontaly is the only difference because all the components of a painting are gathered : the frames, the backgrounds and the foregrounds. 

In the Arboretum garden, the technic of landscaping a garden is explained : how to design them, how to choose their flowers according to shapes and colors... The only regret has to see with the number of conferences : apparently only two during the summer season. It's a little bit few...

26 July, 2012

Angers swimming pools : questionable closures during summer

July 26th was probably the hottest day of the year. At 19:00, the official thermoter of Météo France indicated 31°, a record for 2012. What could be the most appreciated leisure of Angers inhabitants that day? Of course, to take a good bath in the town swimming pools! Great! Let's go to André Bertin! Gosh! It has been closed from July 14th to August 19th! Let's go to Jean Bouin! Damned! The simming pool is closed from June 25th to September 2nd! The greatest swimming poll of the city is closed for 70 days, all the summer long!

What could be the reason of such closure? Apparently, the technic is not involved because when a swimming pool is closed for technical reasons, it's indicated on the leaflet Angers published about the summer schedules of the equipments. The most incoherent details is on those leaflets which indicate the way to go to swimming pools... which are closed!

Hopefully, the city is going to build a new aqualudic complex on the Saint-Aubin district in order to allow the Angers families who don't leave the city during the summer to benefit of leisures, sports and fun. It's desirable the Aquaviva swimming pool be opened during summer!

25 July, 2012

An international pianist, Nikolaï Luganski, will perform in Angers on November 20th at Le Grand Théâtre

Credit Nicolaï Luganski website
One of the most famous pianists in the world should perform in Angers at the beginning of the 2012-2013 season of the Angevine Société des concerts populaires. Nicolaï Louganski, is a Russian pianist, endowed with an exceptional technic, a nimble and subtle playing, wordly praised by musical critics and audiences. On November 20th, in the main red hall of the Grand Théâtre d'Angers, he will interpret pieces of Janacek, Schubert and Rachmaninov. The Société des concerts populaires considered quite rightly the evening was a exceptional concert of the season. 

Rachmaninov is precisely the composer he loves most even if his repertoire includes Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Lizt, Prokofiev, Schuman, Scriabine, Chopin or Tchaikowski. He performs regularly with his fellow citizens, Boris Berezowsky or Vadim Repin. In addition, Lugansky has collaborated with conductors such as Ricardo Chailly, Christoph Eschenbach or Kurt Masur. "At the age of five, before he had even started to learn the piano, he astonished his parents when he sat down at the piano and played a Beethoven sonata by ear, which he had just heard a relative play", recalls Wikipedia. Of course, he won an impressive list of competition prizes. 

Credit Angers city
The Société des concerts populaires d'Angers, was founded in 1846, by Jules Bordier, pianist composer and conductor. It is presided by Janine Fumet, whose husband, Joseph Fumet was musical critic at Le Courrier de l'Ouest and himself son and grand son of Raphaël Fumet and Dynam-Victor Fumet both composers for organ.

24 July, 2012

Letter from the editor

Dear Jinny. Thank you for your kind support. I was sure I had a reader in UK! Edgar.

Letter from the editor

Dear Mr Launay, Thank you for your comment. I wouldn't say you are wrong but the likelihood for Angers to rule Britannia is slimmer than the opposite. Edgar

A Palestinian violonist trained in Angers on Arte tv channel

Angers will be the background of a documentary the tv channel Arte broadcasts on Thursday about Ramzy Abu Redwan, a Palestian violonist trained in the city conservatoire of music between 1998 and 200. 

Credit Angers city
In spite of the fact that nothing predisposed Mr Abu Redwan to play violin (he threw stones on the Israeli soldiers during the first Intifada of 1987 and recalls he was several times wounded and jailed for such actions), he watched by chance a music audition in Jordania and, with a French scholarship, came to Angers and got a gold medal in its school of music. 

Wishing to save his young fellow citizens living in the Palestinian refugees camps outside the spiral of violence, he founded in that town an association whose name doesn't sound very Angevin : "Al Kamandjâti" (which means the violonist in Arab). The aim of that association set up in 2020 is to promote the musical culture in Palestine where it started to create schools of music since 2003 "in a universe full of violence", points out Arte.

"Al Kamandjäti" didn't broke its links with its mother land. Three years ago, three young Palestinans travelled towards Angers to follow the example of their elder.

23 July, 2012

Angers-London flights : a comforting start

Credit Bruichladdich
About a little month after it has opened, the activity of the new line between Angers and London city is comforting. Each flight linking the two town is half full. It means that about forty persons would travel in both directions between Angers and London. About 700 persons went to or came from London. An element brings a little bit more confidence for the aerial link : the customers travel more for business than tourism and yet the tourism finishes at the end of the summer; while the business could go on...
According to the Angers Loire Aéroport, "the British love Anjou : some of them have second home here and businessmen do not loose time because the plane lands at the core of London". But, the Angers Loire Airport's manager adds that the most difficult is not to open a line but to keep it opened. At the end of the season Bristish Airways will examine is the link is worth to continue.

The current affairs seems to plead for the continuation. Recently the most famous company of Angers, Cointreau (now Remi Cointreau), made the acquisition of the Bruichladdich Distillery Company Ltd, located in Scotland. And of course, Angers city wants the British crown jewels back. Here are issues which hel the flight to last. Moreover, if the jewels come back to Angers, a daily Airbus A 380 will not be sufficient to lead the British people see them in the city of the Plantagenet!

22 July, 2012

Angers triathlon : inside the pack

For most of the onlookers of the Angers triathlon which took place along the river Maine on July 22nd, it was a nice day. The sky was, that day, empty of clouds. There was no wind. The temperature was in keeping with the seasonal average. People were relax on that Sunday and ready to enjoy a day near the coolness brought by the Maine and the shade of the giant plane-trees of the La Rochefoucauld square. Inside the competition, it was not so cool.

Just after the departure, swimmers were surprised by the good temperature of the water. Not cold at all. But the pace was instantaneously quick. Because of the invisible line choosen by the competitors to reach the yellow beacon near the Haute Chaïne bridge, the swimmers gave themselves involuntary knocks with their arms and legs. The way back was easier because the pack left spaces and the swimmers had to go with the current. 

The bike race was terribly demanding for competitors who had tourism or, worst, cross country bikes. With bikes suited to the competition, their challengers looked like dards over the streets. Some referees even complained about the presence of the rearview mirror set up to the handlebars of the bikes. The final running was hard for those which were alone. Thanks to the loops, the latecomers were able to measure the distance with the front runners. For 24 €, the pleasure of the end was great, even if the supplies had already disappeared!

21 July, 2012

Thanks to the Plantagenet petition, the Angers town hall website now speaks English

The surprising success in Angers and abroad of the Plantagenet petition launched on that town hall website on May 28th has started to trigger an unforeseen consequence. Angers city, which set up more than a year ago an englicized brand Angers Loire Valley, got suddenly, thanks to the petition (originally linked to the Accroche-Coeurs event due to take place in the city after the summer holidays), an international fame. 

In order to enhance the effect of the petition, the city website is now led to speak English! "1,800 people have already signed [the petition], our objective 800,000" write its responsibles before reminding, in the same language, the historical origin of The Plantagenet Petition (the murder of the last heir of the Plantagenet dynasty). The website takes an unusual tone : "More than 500 Facebook fans on our pages and you?". Legitimately proud of the success, its editors list all the websites, daily newspapers and magazines which recounted the event with a bilingual title "What does the press say about it?" quoting several medias (among them Angers Daily News!).

It's not sure the petition will get the return to Angers of the Queen Elizabeth II jewels crown but the attempt looks to have triggered the realization of the historical links of Angers with UK what could help the city to call attention on itself. This will maybe the most important result of the petition : the "jewels" Angers was looking for since a long time in its attempt to get a larger fame in France and abroad is its English touch.

20 July, 2012

Night train to nightmare

Was the weather the same over Angers 70 years ago? Had it the same pale colors, a mix of blue and grey, an association of unobstructed sky and, further, a gate of grey clouds? Had the "travellers" leaving Angers the same vision of the quiet atmosphere of the city only troubled by shouts of birds? What those travellers had in mind watching through little holes of the wagons ordinary scenes of a summer evening when their train left the quiet midwestern town? 

Seventy years ago, on July 20th of 1942, at about 08.35 pm, a convoy n° 8 of 824 persons, men, women and children, all aged from 13 to about 90 years old left the Saint-Laud railway station en route to Drancy. All the "passengers" were Jews. They started from there a long and horrible journey of three never ceasing days in livestock wagons till Auschwitz where for most of them the travel through life would take end... 

The atmosphere was normal at Saint-laud on that special day, at that special hour in a normal year. The plaforms were empty, no train was due to leave. Silence wrapped the tracks and the plaforms from time to time. Leaving the rememberance for these martyrs taking possession of the place. Seventy years, is the souvenir of the "travellers" who left and never came back still alive?

19 July, 2012

The Angers tourism activity is to free from weather conditions

The intentions of Angers town hall to increase the number of tourists in the city has room to apply. The loca professionnals are worry about the low level of the frequentation of tourists in Angers. The explaination is obvious : the gloomy weather over the city since the beginning of July is the origin of this lack of interest. Consecuently, one of the aims of a new policy in tourism would be to free that activity from the meteorological evolution.

But such a move would need to devise a policy which could be implemented all year long. But that cannot be improvised. A few weeks ago, when the first visitors arrived from London to Marcé with the inaugural flight it was noticed that no bus service had been planned between the airport and down town... At the same time, the bikes for rent located in front of the Angers railway station have difficulties to find customers.

 So the city and its tourism bureau should work on a project to attract tourists for short stayings all year long. That relies on the combination of points of interest. Within a few weeks, Angers will display the 2012 edition of Les Accroches-Coeurs which relies on the widening petiton for the return to Angers of the UK crown jewels. At the same time, the royal home of a part of the Plantagenet dynasty. For a first try, professionnals and officials could devise weekends for people interested by the English part of French history.

18 July, 2012

The Angers stoneheart

Designed to be at the core of the city life, the Ralliement square, even enlivened with trees in pots, is nothing more, at a time of the day propicious to gatherings and at a period of the year auspicious for long evenings, than a geometrical figure with a flat surface soiled by cigarettes buts, marks of gums and wrapping papers... 

The disappointment of a part of inhabitants is moreover emphasized by the mobile kiosk set up in the middle of the site inviting people to take advantage of down town and putting forward that "Angers becomes lively in Ralliement square". That one is far from being overcrowed. 

Outside the cafes, customers look quite lonely and do not pay attention to the pedestrians to the contrary of most of those sitting at terraces. The architecture of the place is not to discover few by few. A single glance and one or two seconds are sufficient to notice the coolness of that anonymous place. One of the trees is collapsing and the boards indicating flats are "for sale" add a note of dreariness. 

The babbling of the water flowing from the fountains has not for the cafes customers the charm that such places engender when flowers and greenery are set up. As cows in the field, these can only watch the trolley go.

17 July, 2012

Throught the local tv channel and the South express way, the political setting of the next Angers polls takes shape

The mayors of Angers Loire Métropole (credit ALM)
Before the summer holidays, the temperature in Angers has suddently climbed... in the political field. In quick succession, the chairman of the General Council of Maine-et-Loire, Christohe Béchu, has tackled the mayor of Angers Frédéric Béatse about issues which could resurface during the next municipal elections in 2014 : the South by-pass of Angers and the local tv project. On the two questions, Angers city needs or has sought the support of the General Council.

The former Angers tv channel (Wiki)
Regarding the South express way, Angers city, which recently cancelled the project in favor a second trolley line, is now freezed in the implementation of its scheme on Maine banks. The express way along the Maine depends on the General Council as long as the South ring way is not carried out. Regarding the planned Angers tv station, the same General Council has rejected the offer to be part of it for financial and probably political reasons without denying it could be good for the fame of the city.

Few by few, the setting of the next Angers polls is taking shape. Beyond the roads and the traffic, beyond the local tv channel, the attractiveness of the city appears as one of the possible fields for debates and choices betwen these two contenders.

16 July, 2012

The Plantagenet petition becomes the "Beatse Crown Affair"

Elizabeth II (Wikipedia)
The Angers petition demanding the return to that city of the English crown jewels looks to gain in popularity. While a few weeks ago, the idea didn't gathered more than fifty signatures, the website dedicated to collect supports registered more than the double on Monday. Besides that widening echo, the most unforeseen (?) effect of the move is the interest it got recently in English speaking newspapers, and not only in UK.

Famous tabloids and their websites have very recently covered the demand of Angers city. Even if its satisfaction is highly unlikely, 800 000 signatures are aimed. The canadian Globe and Mail, the Banglore Mirror (India), The Sun, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail (from UK) are among the medias that the petition surprised.  Even some articles have been published in Turkey or Vietnam. 
The Sun, famous for its "clear-cut" coverages, recalls "Angers... home of the House of Plantagenet ruled England from 1154 to 1485 providing some of the greatest monarchs in British history. Now, city chiefs want the royal sparklers from the Queen, in lieu of 513 years' compensation. The Queen will be sent the petition in September. An Angers city spokesman admitted it had 'little chance of success'".

In fact such a demand "would amount to billions in today's currency, but Angers is prepared to accept the jewels to cover it all", writes The Telegraph which details "The current crown jewels dated back only to the coronation of Charles II - long after Edward, the Plantagent pretender, was killed". 

The Daily Mail " makes fun of the Plantagenet kings who ruled England "were more French than English. Richard I, the iconic Lionheart barely spoke a word of English" and encourage the petition to Her Majesty Elizabeth II "who speaks good French". It is not said the Angers mayor, Frédéric Béatse, will send an invitation to Les Accroches-Coeurs to the Queen or if this one will sign the petition.

15 July, 2012

An Angers delegation visits the English twinned city of Wigan

Trencherfield Mill (Credit Wiki)
 Wigan, the English city Angers is twinned with, receives till Monday, the mayor, Frédéric Béatse, has indicated to Angers Daily News the Wigan ambassador in Angers. Mr Béatse is accompanied by a delegation of his town. Wigan is member of the Greater Manchester, the equivalent of Angers Loire Métropole, even if the size of Angers (283 000 inhabitants) is about ten times smaller than the GM (2,6 millions inhabitants).

Wigan Parish Church
That disproportion indicates Angers would have more to get from the twinning than Wigan. So it would be interesting for Angers representatives to find out new benefits from the relationship with Wigan. Such a try would be in line with the policy Angers is implementing since more than a year with the brand Angers Loire Valley. One of the most obvious interests would the development of linguistic exchanges between the cities and not only for youngs. The interest of Angers inhabitants for learning English doesn't flag : the municipal institute and other authorities are full of candidates.

While Angers has recently announced it would launch a new tv station, that one could be a tool to promote Wigan and the use of English on the local programs. Maybe others lessons could be taken in Wigan regarding local policies affected all over Europe by the economic conjuncture. And even in soccer, Angers may learn from Manchester!

14 July, 2012

On National Day, Angers inhabitants parade in superstores

On July 14th, the Angevins have paraded... in stores. Swift to denounce the work during no working days, inhabitants made purchases in Carrefour or Geant superstores opened on National Day as Atoll, the new "commercial park" opened since April. The open air market on Leclerc square welcomed pedestrians and the crowd barriers set up the previous day for the military parade in Angers had already been removed. In town, some store keepers had opened their shops and it was not only for food purchases. Visibly, the official position of the stores owners syndicate and town hall against the opening of stores on no working days is not fully followed.

These facts point out, one more time, the hypocrisy of people (not only in Angers) regarding the opening of stores on no working days. It would be more appropriate to recognize the right of customers to dedicate their free time to do what they want instead of weeping over the others things the same could do. At the same time, because the trade activity in Angers down town is not presently at its best, it would be wise for the local authorities to let employees and stores owners to earn the money they need. The collective economic interest and the changes of people regarding consumption demand a change of analysis by local authorities.

A fireworks of rains over Angers on the eve of National Day

On the eve of National Day, it was a fireworks of... heavy rains. All Friday long Angers inhabitants were sentenced to raincoats, umbrellas and even boots while, a year ago, the Angers fireworks took place under a rather sunny weather. The most intriguing thing was, in spite of the weather, hundreds of persons gathered to admire the illuminated Angers skies.

Or they were fanatic patriots, or they had nothing to do that night, or they were inspired by their own inner sun. Adults, children, families, even sometimes with baby carriages sheltered under ponchos decided to watch music and lights. On the same day it was written on a mobile kiosk in Ralliement square "This summer, I take benefit from down town". Few persons have probably read the catch phrase because at the end of the afternoon, the most crowded place of Angers was empty.

Maybe it could be wise to townhall council to ask if the maintaining of such events is appropriate. When times are difficult (as well from the economic and the meteorological sides), maybe the taxes collected on the inhabitants could be better used than in the air...

12 July, 2012

The summer internet talk between mayor and inhabitants points out these are worried on daily inconveniences

A few weeks before the summer break, Frédéric Beatse, the Angers mayor, spoke by internet with the inhabitants about issues which, most of the time, were connected to the quality of life, a caracteristic previous and present town councils put ahead. Noises (in town center and districts), difficulties to park car and filthness of Ralliement square are one of the topics of interest for inhabitants.

Regarding the present noises coming from the works for the new distric near the Angers Saint-Laud station, Mr. Beatse admits the existence of inconveniences during next months but is sure the noises due to the train traffic will disappear once the programm will be completed. Face to the nightly noises in Bressigny street due to students, Mr Beatse disclosed that measures were examined in order to make life more easy for neighbours.

Questionned about the filthness of Ralliement square, the mayor, apparently, has no answers pointing out that events will, as previously, organized in the place, but these are not really new (Accroches-Coeurs, Soleils d'hiver, etc). A disappointment is visible from stores owners who crticize the fact that the "clearance day" gives more importance to mobile retailers than to permanent store keepers. The inhabitants living in Angers down town will not be satisfied with charged parking lots for bikes while these are free in the districts around.

On the field of the promotion of Angers in France and abroad, the mayor bets on the green sector. Trying to enlarge the talking to the future, he disclosed that "
The city works on an event around expressive gardens due to take place in 2013".

11 July, 2012

Short term leisure or long term facilities projects collide at Angers

Some choices of investments in Angers and around could trigger questions from the neighbouring cities and above all inhabitants even if the authorities in charge of these investments are not the same. On Thursday, the mayors members of the council of Angers Loire Métropole will have to vote in favor or against a proposal of postponement of the Angers South ring road, suggested by Jean-Claude Antonini, chairman of Alm and previous mayor of Angers.  

Credit Picture Angers city
Given the financial position of Angers Loire Métropole, in which Angers is the most important city, the investments must be focused on fast buses lines and a second tramway line instead of the South ring road. But, at the same time, Angers chooses to launch the construction of a swimming pool complex in the Les Hauts de Saint-Aubin district whose cost is about 30 millions €.

The connection of these two investments could demonstrate that che city gives priority to short term and of leisure for inhabitants instead of long-term and facilities investments which could attract companies, fuel growth and jobs. in local medias, it is said that such a choice could be twice as good for the present Angers mayor. The swimming pool will open a few months before municipal elections and the postponement of the ring road could please the ecologists. 

10 July, 2012

National races of triathlons in Angers on July 21 and 22

Angers will host on July the 21st and 22nd a series of triathlons, a discipline very demanding because it associates swimming, running and cycling. These two days will see two kinds of competitions. The Saturday, events are dedicated to experienced sportsmen and women. At 5 pm and at 7 pm, women then men members of clubs in third division will compete on 750 m of swimming, 20 km in cycling and 5 km running.

The following day is more dedicated to various publics. A 9.30 am, Sunday begins with a discovery formula : 250 m of swimming, 8 km in of cycling and 2 km of running for no members of clubs. It seems that the run will welcome paratriathletes. Then, it will be the hour of young competitors born between 1996 and 2006 (these lasts will swim 50 m, cycle 2 km and run 400 m). 

The event is due to the Asptt Angers. Although the  course of the races has not been published yet, it is said that, from the La Rochefoucauld square, the competitors will have to go up to the Belle-Beille and to go around that district twice. That will be the fifth edition of the Angers triathlon which, this year, will include the semi-finals of France championship!

09 July, 2012

A series of violent agressions erupted in Angers town center last weekend

Angers has known during the last days a series of violent attacks which cast doubt on the calmness of the city. On Friday morning, just after he left a nightclub, a man was mugged and has had his wallet stolen. The two individuals responsible of the agression have been arrested. During the following night, at 04.00 am, three persons were insulted by individuals from a balcony. After an explanation, one of the pedestrians was severely wounded with a knife.

On Saturday night, in Angers downtown, after a brawl betewen several persons, a man was badly hit with an iron bar. Wounded at the head he was cleared to the hospital. On Sunday morning (02.00 am), two policemen were severly wounded while they had to deal with a group of alcoholized persons. After these individuals insulted the French "bobbies", they resisted to their arrest punching and kicking the policemen who were due to be cleared to the hospital.

In all these offenses, alcohol seems the origin of the troubles. Such insecurity should lead Angers city to takes measures against store owners who sell wines and spirits to customers without any care for the safety of these and of the inhabitants. Angers down town will hardly recover attractiveness if these problems are not solved.

08 July, 2012

The debate between Angers townhall and retailers evolves from dynamiting to dynamising down town

Obviously, Angers townhall is thinking about the opportunity to restore better understanding with the store owners of down town and to overcome what could be a stumble of Jacques Motteau. The deputy-mayor in charge of commerce in the city announced a few days ago a pavement tax was planned on retail store keepers whose customers were, momentarily, occupying the public domain for their purchases.

Stores closing down in Roë street
Already weakened by three years of works for the trolley, the increase of parking fares, the competition of Atoll, the store owners demonstrated their anxiety state a few days ago on Ralliement square and, more recently, through their professionnal syndicate which met the mayor. "I hope that the atmosphere will calm down", said Frédéric Beatse after the meeting, adding "to make Angers down town more dynamic was a top priority for all the Anges representatives". Many store owners, and inhabitants questioned themselves about the usefulness of a pavement tax which could in fact dynamite the core of the city

So Mr Beatse opened on Thursday a completly different way and took charge of the debate himself asking his deputy-mayor to open a consultation with the professionals after the summer holidays. A few months ago, another deputy-mayor, Bernadette Caillard-Humeau was dismissed by the previous mayor after she announced the parking in La Rochefoucauld square would not stay free.

07 July, 2012

The 2012 Angers clearance day got half satisfying results

Introduced as the most important commercial event of down town, the clearance day made come a less important number of shoppers. This loss of crowd was maybe due to the discount operations already launched by the Angers retailers, the difficulty to set up important open air markets when the tramway is running or the weather which turned rainy at the end of the morning. In the places overcrowded last year, it was easy to walk around on that Saturday.

Regarding the offer, the good deals had already been done : the items displayd by store owners in the more numerous streets than last year were clearly of lower interest. And what to say about the items sold by mobile retailers? Just junk most of the time. Moreover, the use of down town locations was sometimes wrong. Instead of using Ralliement square only for the shoppers, a large part was dedicated to park cars of the owners of the stalls! 
Some of them even hided the front sides of the Angers stores. What a pity! On the Loding frontage (that store located at Sainte-Croix square sells men accessories), the "penny-loafer" custom was explained. It consists in slipping a penny inside the strap ot the shoe to bring luck. This amusing clink of an eye was unfortunately not very visible. But the middle of the day, justice was done. Heavy showers stormed over Angers and the clearance day had to clear off.   

06 July, 2012

Angers classified in the 20th most dynamic French cities

According to the French economic magazine Challenges, Angers is in the first twenty most dynamic cities of the country. That trend is checked through the arrival of new inhabitants during the last five years; the good level in education and... the creation of companies because only 14% have less than five years of existence (a period most of young companies do not exceed). Unfortunately, the creation of jobs doesn't follow, has noticed Challenges with datas previous to the present financial and economic crisis...

Exhibition of Vegepolys in St-Laud station (Credit Angers)
The news is published by Angers city in its website. The officials consider that, little by little, Angers is leaving its image of lovely sleepy city. According to the website, such a result is due to the marketing positionning Angers took about two years ago with the brand Angers Loire Valley.

If, at a national level, Toulouse and Montpellier, are at the top of the ranking, the cities of Western France like Nantes, Rennes and Angers get out while the going is good because of the quality of the life there.For the magazine, the cities of the Atlantic bow are looking to reorientate their economies towards new fields intsead of industry. It could be nevertheless hazardous for Angers to have its back to industry. Toulouse has an important aeronautical industry.

05 July, 2012

After the Castle of Angers, the CNDC will also be managed by an American citizen

Credit Cndc
After an native american took, about two years ago, the management of the Angers castle, the city sees the arrival of a second american to an important function in the cultural field of Angers. Robert  Swinston will succeed, at the beginning of 2013 to Emmanuelle Huyinh at the head of the Centre national de danse contemporaine. Mays be he will know his counterpart, the curator of the Castle, Patricia Corbett. Mr Swinston inherits of a school funded in 1978 by a fellow citizen, Alwin Nikolais.

The presence of two native american is maybe a chance but nevertheless, it could help the city to gain more recognition in the country of these two officials. A few months ago, a twinnning agreement was signed with the Us city of Austin and the Université catholique de l'Ouest hosts a deparment of Saint Edward University, located in Texas.

Credit Wikipedia
The attempt to reinforce links between Angers and English speaking countries could at the same time go through the existing twinning between Angers and Wigan, a town located near Manchester. An aerial line was opened a few weeks ago between Angers and London but, apparently, there is no touristic offer about what to do in the region for UK passengers. When these arrived on the inaugural flight, it was discovered that nos buses were planned to drive them to Angers.

04 July, 2012

The 2012 clearance day on July 7th clear for take off

For its 2012 edition, the clearance day of Angers could focus on its very purpose : to allow passers-by to do good deals. After several years of breathlessness then two difficult years due to the works on the tramway line, and even a cancellation in 2010, the clearance day is taking off again. While 300 retailers were in the streets of down town last year, they will be 400 on July 7th along 10 kms. No animation for children have been planned this year, the event want to fulfill the aim of the retailers and customers : to do business.

The 2011 Angers clearance day
The clearance day will take place from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm. The traffic in down town will be stopped from 7.00 am to 9.00 pm and the Ralliement parking lot will be closed so the best way to go there could be the walk or the tram.

The core of Angers "needs federative events to strenghten its position of first commercial center of the city", points out Jacques Motteau who launched a fex days ago an idea which infuriated some store owners (a tax enforceable to retailers whose customers stay on the pavement the time of a purchase...). Is a new tax auspicious to the attractiveness pf a sector Mr Motteau is in charge?

03 July, 2012

The Angers city should open itself to inhabitants ideas to save money instead of implementing first new taxes and increases

As many households in Angers and elsewhere, Angers city council is presently thinking on the way it could manage, and may be overcome, financial difficulties while receipts are fading. The last ideas which emerged in that field were the increase of parking fares and the implementation of a new tax for store owners who use a part of public domain : the pavements. The creativity o Angers representatives is less visible in the decrease of expenses.

On that issue, it could be useful for the city council to set up in its website a new page where inhabitants (who are taxpayers too) could feed with ideas about the expenses to limit or to cancel. The Angers city, which is (rightly) proud of the way it implemented for a better participation of inhabitants in public debates, could extend such a policy in that useful field.

A first opportunity to lower expenses, and wastes, could consist in charging every person asking for an administrative document. Irigo, the company running, on behalf Angers city, distribute daily hundreds of leaflets detailing the schedules of buses. It could be appropriate to charge, even at a symbolic level (0,10 euro?), every person asking such document. It would be a big change to save money first.

The Conseil general tears down a wall on in order to open a political boulevard for 2014

Invisible in Angers downtown while it hosts the Mainet-et-Loire prefecture, the Conseil general of that department could be more in sight in the years to come. It announced on Tuesday that it will start next year important works. These works consist in the construction of new buildings for services presently set up here and there in Angers.

Little detail, this project will be visible by passers-by on Foch boulevard not only because offices of the authority will be accessible from that point but, above all, because private stores will be integrated in the scheme. For the authority, the point is not only architectural, even if the wall surrounding the institution made, till now, impossible for the pedestrians to have a view on the gardens located inside. The project has also a political meaning.

If the works start next year, they could be completed, or close to be finished, on 2014, which is a municipal elections' year. And the city is probably still an important asset to catch in the political trajectory of the Conseil general chairman, Christophe Béchu. The implementation of such a project will surely be used as a political argument illustrating modernism and openness against his future competitor who, probably, will come from the present majority at own hall.

On a daily basis, the Angers inhabitants will benefit of such a change. A new debate could be fueled by the costs of the projects the same inhabitants will have to pay...