30 September, 2012

Berlin-Angers : a block of East from the "Wall of shame" to the "Hall of Fame"

Clink of an eye? Designed to separate in two parts of the same country, the Berlin Wall, today almost completely dismantled, and exported all over the world, is a symbol of reunification! That complete change of meaning didn't escape to Angers representatives.They used one of the pieces of the Berlin Wall the city inherited in setting it up on the left bank of the Maine, on September 20th, in front of the Gaumont Multiplex, to recall to the young generation and people coming in that place, the necessity of concord between nations. More pragmatic, the Angers mayor, Frédéric Beatse, pointed out that this piece of the "Wall of shame" suited perfectly with the "New banks" project aiming at a reunification of Angers around its river.

Credit Picture : Angers city
In front of the Multiplex, the Angers "Hall of fame", of cinema artists, the block of concrete doesn't look incongruous. Covered by tags probably drawed by people coming from the Western part of Berlin, the piece of concrete sets new challenges to Angers city. The first is material. The original tags covering its surface could easily disappear under new drawings of Angers taggers, ignorant of the historical value ot that symbol.

The second is intellectual. That piece of the Berlin Wall is also the mark of a new period for Germany which needed twenty years to swallow the economic and social difficulties triggered by the country reunification. These were solved by a budgetarian and fiscal discipline which todays gives results. Let's hope the Angers representatives, and inhabitants, thank to that piece of concrete, will remember the example Germany has shown.

29 September, 2012

The New banks of Maine project will also be durable in the city political life

Angers town hall starts a new stage in the preliminary studies regarding the "New banks" project. That scheme, consisting in the re-development of the Maine sides when it crosses the city, aims at "a reunification of the two banks, the creation of a link between Angers inhabitants and the river, and its transformation as a symbol of the quality of life in Angers, that one recently praised by the Express magazine", indicates the city website. The "New banks" project will be discussed by all next district meetings throughout the city in the month to come. 

The city has just renewed by half the group of Angers inhabitants in charge of following the project. But its mission looks vague. That group (90 persons) is entrusted to the writing, next year, of a guide which will give "a tangible translation of the main directions of the project as it was imagined, step by step, by the Grether and Phytolab teams". But, at the same time, "Everybody, companies, partners, riverside residents, Angers inhabitants, university, hospital, could acquaint themselves with the project". So, between the 90 persons group, the architects and "everybody", who is in charge of what?

Visibly, that one will play an important part in the federation of public support in the months to come till the municipal polls of 2014. The "New banks" project, which got the interest of Angers inhabitants during the exhibition of the architectural models, not only will reshape the core of the city, but will also be at the center of its political life for a long time. (Credit Pictures : Angers city)

28 September, 2012

Angers Technicolor, close to the deadline in a increasing unemployment background

The long and anxiety-producing period which leads to a decision regarding the future of the Angers factory of Technicolor is ending. The Nanterre bankcruptcy court will decide on October 11th if the factory will continue to run or must close definitely. If possible buyers have till next Monday to submit their offer, on the previous Friday, none was received... And 350 persons could loose their job...

Only two candidates have declared themselves, among them an Angers company, Eolane, but these need that Technicolor gives a additional workload to make a transition possible. And the Technicolor group said it was not able to fulfill that condition. If that dark scenario becomes true, a industrial symbol of Angers will disappear. 

That would be,alas, in the line of the trend of unemployment in Maine et Loire since the last 18 months. According to a survey of the Comité d'expansion économique of Maine-et-Loire, the number of job-seekers has increased by more than 13% while, in the Pays de la Loire région, it grew "only" by 11,5%. Since the beginning of 2012, the number of persons who registered themselves at Pôle Emploi was twice important (8%) than the number of persons dropped out of the authority. These are not good news for Angers.

27 September, 2012

A conference on Angers nocturnal life is going to see daylight

Some of the aspects of Angers inhabitants daily life will be monitored by town hall on the months to come. That's what the Angers mayor, Frédéric Béatse, said in a chat on Wednesday. While the students have just return to schools and universities or are going to do so, the problem of the nocturnal racket has just resurfaced. Along Rabelais street, some inhabitants complain about the spottings of the pavements and the damages on cars every morning after merrymakers have gone to bed... Broken bottles, food on the pavements, wing mirrors destroyed drives some residents to be fed up.

Because the problem has been noticed in other Angers districts, the mayor is going to set up a "conference on nocturnal time" in which all the communities involved in the issue will have to take part : students, schools and universities managers, residents and cafes owners. "Some tangible solutions will have to be suggested", Mr Béatse said.

Another issue, the dirtiness of down town (recently pointed out by stores owners when they demonstrated against the increase of car parks fares) has prompted a reaction of the mayor who recognized "Some points of watchfulness" existed in down town. Mr Beatse clearly considers "some inhabitants or users of down town" don't have a responsible behaviour. Consequently "important resources" are necessary to maintain the cleanliness of streets and pavements. But the mayor warned he will not hesitate "to punish" some inappropriate gestures. (The picture on the left was shot after a strike of Angers garbage men in October 2010)

26 September, 2012

Unemployment, incomes, cash-flow, rain of economic worrying news for Angers

Like the first rains in autumn after the sunny weather of August, bad news have beaten down on Angers on Thursday in the local medias. These affect both households and companies. Regarding households, according to indicators displayed during the last meeting of the municipal council, their average income is under the national average income (1 413 € per month in Angers and 1 530 € nation wide). And the increase of unemployment during the last twelve months has been rather dramatic : the number of persons who have never worked was 9 000 on June 2012, that's 10% more than the previous year. 

On the same day, the new manager of Strego, a chartered accountants office, said that the private companies are, one more time, hit by a crisis (the former was in 2009) : "The order books are shrinking and the cash flow problems are growing. They pay later, so they cash later. It's the infernal spiral". Today, he said, the crisis is hitting the building sector where the number of building permits are lowering. On the same day, the chairman of the local building federation warned about the consequences of the low level of sales in the city. "It's in the private real-estate development that there is a problem" pointing out "Without new fiscal aids, breakage is ahead".

At the lowest level of the scale, the communities helping homeless complain they have no more blankets. Fifty persons are found daily in Angers streets in desperate need of help. And the winter has not yet arrived... (Credit Pictures : Angers Développement, Angers CCAS)

25 September, 2012

Angers Loire Télévision, officialy candidate for a channel

After the late Angers 7, the local tv channel which closed in May 2010, Angers city has introduced a successor : Angers Loire Television. The project of that new channel, of which the Angers town hall council spoke a few months ago, has been sent on Tuesday to the Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel. An audience is scheduled at the Csa next month. If the step is successful, Angers Loire Television should broadcast from the beginning of 2013.

The idea has appealed to private investors what should be a guarantee of the independance of the station. Some private companies, two of them from Angers, have agreed to invest money in the project : Le Grenier à Pains, a chain of bakeries, and La Boucherie, a chain of restaurants as well as a Super U and the Hemisphère store. Some medias are also associated. The Maine-et-Loire Chamber of commerce and industry gave its support to that idea but, apparently, will not be one of the shareholders. Several public regional and local authorities are involved on the scheme : the Pays de la Loire regional council, Angers Loire Métropole and Angers city. On his side, the Maine et Loire general council had said no.

The work to be done now is to give Angers Loire Télévision a content. The presence of private shareholders, and among them professionnals of the medias sector, should prevent the channel become too indentured to public authorities. The electoral campaign for municipal polls will be a good test.

24 September, 2012

"Angers knows how to welcome its new students", even if they are noisy

Angers caddles its new students. This is right and clever. They were about 32 000 in 2009 on 147 000 inhabitants in 2009. One inhabitant out of five is student and students spend money in town : housing, transportations, food, books and... fun. And not always for the calmness of streets in the centre during nights. That aspect doesn't appear in the page the town hall website dedicated to the welcome of the news Angevins.

"Students jobs, culture and sports activities, assistance from the Centre communal d'action sociale, carte A'Tout in order to gain acces to municipal facilities, sorting and of wastes... all these issues will be expounded to allow students to discover and fully take benefit of their new lifestyle", next Thursday says the Angers website. If the city is concerned by lifestyle in down town of inhabitants, it does't demonstrate it. It would have been maybe appropriate to remind them their duties in down town during nights before inviting them to a free evening at Le Chabada, where silence is not the main caracteristic... 

Within a few monts, or maybe weeks, Angers medias will report about the inconveniences of noisy evenings, the city will organize talks with students, it will have to send night correspondants to prevent disturbances and sometimes send police to warn hecklers. "Angers knows how to welcome  me", declares the website. The students will surely remember it!

23 September, 2012

The Angers new real estate market notes the interest of households

Credit Picture Le Val de Loire
According to real estate operators gathered at the Salon de l'habitat et de l'immobilier d'Angers, the market looks to be divided in two parts : the existing real-estate and the new one. Regarding the first, ir would exist an over-offer presently. Some products, mostly flats or student rooms, do not provide sufficient comfort to be rent quicky. Morevover, the investors, a little bit dazzled with fiscal advantages, have often over paid their property and want to rent them at a price local households cannot pay. So that would explain why there are so numerous empty appartments "to rent" on the city.

Credit Picture : Cipa Civ
The real estate would be in a different situation. After a severe cooling following years of boom, promotors have started to adapt their prices and to choose, for their new programs, locations well connected to transports. Because, the Angers households would look carefully to the cost of energy for their cars. A more important demand on Angers city and cities of the first crown is noticed. Some promotors having stands at the Salon didn't complained about the pace of sales of their appartments in these locations. 

Credit Picture : Pierre Abraham
It is widely said that the interest rates are low and that the present fiscal measures could change next year. Those different elements should lead the Angevins to come back on the real-estate market next years. If no negative economic event doesn't surge in the months to come...

22 September, 2012

Angers down town streets as fields of games

 It was like a giant monopoly. All Saturday afternoon, several pedestrian streets of Angers down town were, temporarily, properties of city game board associations. These places - Bodinier, Saint-Laud, Poëliers streets and Pilori, Romain and even Railliement squares, were the fields of games of "Deux jours en jeux", an event organized by these associations of enthusiasts. About a hundred games had their rules explained. Onlookers, adults as well as children, beginners or experienced players, had nothing to do but play.

For its thirteenth edition, "Deux jours en jeux" had choosen the games of chance : dice, cards among others.  "By chance", it didn't rained that afternoon and numerous people came and discovered new ways to have fun after decades of tv stalling. Several Angers stores as La Luciole and Sortilèges, two old Angers shops dedicated to game boards, had set up stands for those who may decide to buy something.

That brought through streets a very lively atmosphere which had  disappeared when those were invaded by cars instead of pedestrians. The festival will continue on Sunday in Thiers-Boisnet hall till 6.30 pm.

21 September, 2012

Angers car park fares increase : the store owners don't want to foot the bill

The Angers store owners don't disarm. After a demonstration a few days ago in the middle of Ralliement square against the increase of parking lots fares, they reiterated their opposition by demonstrating on Friday at the bottom of the Angers mayor's office. About 80 persons said once again their business couldn't support a supplementary handicap.

"We have already endured the works of the tramway line in down town, we are now facing the competition with Atoll (a new commercial park opened a few month ago in the suburbs of Angers wher the parking is free), now the prospect of an increase of parking lots fares is the final straw", said their spokesman. They firmly denied the veracity of the position of town hall saying the parking lot fares had not been increased since 1998. "This is not true", they said adding to town hall :"You can't just milk us like cows!"

The demonstators demanded "one hour of free parking, an effort on the cleanliness of the city and the collection of garbages, and the opening of the stores the Sundays before Christmas". At the end of their gathering, they went a moment at the entrance of the car park dedicated to Angers representatives built under town hall asking why that one was free... (Video Credit : You Tube)

20 September, 2012

20 000 visitors waited at the Angers real-estate exhibition as from Friday

While analysis diverge about the present situation ot the real-estage sector in Angers, all the local and outside actors apparently agree about the interest of the Salon de l'habitat which opens tomorrow in the exhibition park. For some professionnals (most of them real estate agents), there are too numerous homes for sale or for rent in the city. For others (most of them real-estate developpers) point out that what is built is sold. Meanwhile, Angers inhabitants who are taking their time in the field of real-estate investment should be interested by the Salon de l'habitat.

If that exhibition is divided in two parts, home and real-estate, the first is the most visual : simple passer-by may in a coupe of hours get a glimpse about what is new in the field. Exhibitions (about the design of furnitures, self-building), guided tours, workshops, conferences, desmonstrations of buildings technics are available all day long from Friday to Monday. About 350 exhibitor have set up kiosks in the fair and among them, the presenter of a programme about real-estate on M6 channel.

Traditionnaly, the most interesting part of the exhibition is dedicated to gardens : how to develop them in order to get a real widening of the home. The event is also an opportunity to atract young people toward manual work which all have an artistic part. (Credit Pictures : Angers Expo Congrès, Salon de l'habitat)

19 September, 2012

Sports : Angers puts its cards on the table

The offer should seduce Angers people and, among them young inhabitants. Angers town hall has recently extended the services available through the "Carte A'tout". While it gave already access to public transports (bus, trolley, VéloCité+ and AutoCité+), municipal libraries, its bearers will henceforth get access to numerous sports facilities of Angers : swimming pools, skating rink, badminton, the Montaîgne gymnasium and the tennis table hall of La Baumette.

Through that new product, Angers city intends to make easier for inhabitants to get access to its facilities and to eliminate uncessary documents. The card works with a quantity of points every one may buy in proportions to its needs. In accordance to the a principle of solidarity, the price of the point depends on the income of the user. But, says the city on its website, even the price of entrances paid by the highest incomes of Angers will cost less than paid by them one by one.

It is possible to top up its credit in from 20 to 600 points for a year. Logically, AquaVita, the new water complex of Angers should be included in the facilities next year. It is not said if the car parks are included in the offer (Credit Picture : Angers city).

18 September, 2012

Angers, at the top of human scale cities where life quality is the best

According the a special edition of the L'Express, a national French news magazine, Angers is at the top of the ranking of French cities where quality of life is the best. "This is a real  recognition for human scale cities and for France Western regions", pointed out the mayor of Angers, Frédéric Béatse. If Angers is frequently well graded in similar rankings, it's the first time, for years, that the town has been on the top.

Moreover, Angers was classified in the big towns category, between 200 000 to 300 000 inhabitants where competition is harsh and financial resources the most important. The city is first, regarding the balance between jobs offer and real estate prices (what is, in comparison, with other places rather good, but a clue of a slow activity). Several aspects were examined : transports, family, health, culture, weather, employment, real estate, and safety.

But the medal has its lopside. At the same time, Technicolor, the symbol of the industrialization after WW II was endangered. The figures of unemployment have deteriorated during the last year. The building sector, after buoyant years, experiments now a decreasing activity. Even the university, symbole of the city (formerly called) "the Western Athens" is in the red. The municipal polls due to take place within 2014 will surely open fierce debates on economy. Because economy is always part of life quality.

17 September, 2012

Time for wine in Angers "hypers"

One of the Angers, and national, passions is visible in departments of superstores : the wine. Some of them have already sent to their customers all the advertising about the wine fairs and others are planning to do so in the weeks to come. 

For many persons who are not specialists in wines, their history, their culture, their tastes (and their prices), it'a a scheming and entertaining moment to see connoisseurs to choose their bottles. They look their color, their weight, their labels and the crates on which the chateau they come from is written. Bottles are held as if they were women choosen to spend an unforgettable evening.

Some hypermarkets put the wine on stage. Glasses, wine litterature, cooling stores, barrels and crates are the elements of the setting. Wines coming from Bordeaux look to be the most numerous. They are wines at all prices but the cheapest are probably nothing compared to "grands crus".

For a person, ignorant of wine but fascinated by French language, the advertising documents dropped in letter box are sometimes a piece of litterature. In a few words, the products are described in a very poetic and flowery style. Unfortunately, the reader quicky sobers up because with the wines catalogues come the tax documents... These last are really junk mails!

16 September, 2012

With the Angers Gare +, the city jumps in the train of economic competition with others "major cities"

In the competition between towns to attract companies and jobs, Angers is going to set up "a business district which will match up those of others major cities" : the Gare + project. This district will take place near the Angers Saint-Laud railway station. At the South of the railways, the construction of a first building of 5 300 m2 has already begun. It will host offices and stores at the ground floor. On the North side (formerly filled by Sernam), the laying out is on the verge of starting.

The field will de divided in four parts : a three stars hotel with a services residence on the first, the three others being dedicated to office buildings of 15 000 m2. At the southernmost of the site a car park will be erected. Things could go fast : the two first elements should be delivered at the end of next year. It is higly desirable that Angers will stay connected to Paris and, throuhg that town, to major European cities with an high speed railway, an element that had been neglected twenty years ago when a project of a new railway line between Angers and Le Mans was on the table.

These programs, in addition to the fact they give work the the construction sector and to sub - contractors (some of them Angers companies), are part of the recent plan the Angers Loire Métropole Authority has recently voted for the years 2013-2017. These are good things but Angers city as well as Angers Loire Métropole must consider that everything useful to lower the cost of labor is key for the sucess of such policies : limited fiscal pressure for companies and households can't be ignored.

The slow speeds extends at full speed in Angers

Credit Picture : Angers city
The decrease of car traffic in Angers city is under way. The city council, which had in 2011 thought about the details of that policy, has now started to implement it in the Saint-Serge-Ney-Chalouère district. Since the end of summer holidays, the maximum speed in that one has been reduced to 30 km/h. Another one, Justices-Madeleine-Saint-Léonard will follow in the months to come.

The consultation of inhabitants has already begun in others districts. All transportation in Angers downtown will not be operated above 30 km/h maybe next year. And all Angers city will be concerned by the new regulations before the end of 2014. The policy offers several advantages. First the decrease of pollution, danger and consumption of gas. That way of decreasing the traffic would not be costly : no specific equipments are necessary.

But the city would be inspired to reconsider the regulations of parking cars. Many inhabitants complain it's difficult in down town to park theirs own cars. These should be the only persons authorized to park their cars in the streets where they are living. On another side, the limit of speed to 30 km/h will not eliminate all the risks of accidents. Many bikers go now well above 30 km/h...

15 September, 2012

Angers and surroundings economy : no jobs for employees without employers

The decision of Angers Loire Métropole to launch a plan aiming at 10 000 jobs creations within the five next years coincides with an alarming increase of unemployment within the limits of that territorial authority. There are 22 000 unemployed persons in Alm and, according to local medias, the rate of job seekers continuously increases since the middle of 2011. The level of unemployment is close to the France average.

So there was not better opporunitty for Alm to react. All the repre-sentatives of the territorial authority voted on Thursday a budget of 150 millions € declined in 40 policies which should lead to 1 800 new jobs per year between 2013 and 2017 within Alm limits. The efforts will concentrate in four directions : to strenghen the attractiveness of the territory and its economic identity, to bet on new leverages of growth, to favour the development of companies generators of jobs, and to sustain the acquisition and development of skills among inhabitants. 

For that reason, the title of the policiy (offensive for job) is maybe inadequate. If jobs creation is highly desirable, the way to achieve that goal goes through companies creations. And its may that such a spirit is insufficiently promoted in the region.

14 September, 2012

In Angers, one fiscal household out of two does not pay income tax

While Angers households have received or/and will receive soon the tax rolls about their incomes and their homes, the French ministry of finances has published a survey regarding the Angers place in a national ranking in terms of income tax as well as property tax. Regarding the income tax, the ministry took census of 80 953 households for tax purposes. On this total, 41 197 are liable to tax, i.e. 51%. One Angers households out of two does not pay income tax. And the others 49% pay an average of 2 000 € per year.

That amount follows moreover a regular decreasing trend. In 2006, the average amount paid was 2 437 €, five years later, that sum has decreased by 17%, what indicates a impoverishment of Angers population on medium-term. If, at the other end of the scale, the most wealthiest persons (they were 1 282 in 2010 ) paid in two years ago 4 361 €, i.e. 2% more than in 2009, the rank of Angers in the national scale decrease what demonstrates too an impoverishment of Angers city.

For real-estate taxes, the rate of the property tax (paid by owners of a house or a flat) ranks Angers at the 566th town according to fiscal pressure. Regarding the council tax (only paid by tenants), the fiscal pressure is much more lower : Angers is ranked on the  1 758th place. The rate of the property tax (31%) is the double of the council tax (17%). That should trigger a policy to increase to number of riches and decrease the number of poors.

13 September, 2012

An "education city" which looks more to an "education center" opened in a new district of Angers

It looks like a jail. It has the name of a man whose world fame came from the number of years he was imprisoned. The Angers new "education city" Nelson Mandela, located in the new Saint-Aubin district has the appearance of an education center for persons facing a jail sentence. 

The height of the walls, the little size of the windows do not precisely give to the facility the face of something which inspires or stimulates mind openess to culture and neighbours. The surroundings burnt by the heat of August without trees and lawns give the pedestrians walking along the nearby road more fear than confidence.

It's not sure Nelson Mandela, the first post-apartheid South-African president, would have liked this unvoluntary tribute and it is not written teachers and pupils gathered in that school will not be able to contradict that first glimpse. The Nelson Mandela education city did its first "return to school" that month.About 15 classes till primary degree and a library, a school restaurant plus a "maternal leisures center" (?) and a day-nursery will be there. The building cost about 13 millions €.

Swept away by the mayor, the pavement tax makes way for a new "motto"

After he swept away the project of pavement tax which infuriated the Angers down town store owners since June, the mayor, Frédéric Beatse, announced on Thursday he had just met these. That change of "motto" will be accompanied with a study about "the necessary conditions" allowing Angers down town to develop as a place for life and for trade.

That new way will deal, from october, with the trends of the customers' behavior in down town and all the aspects regarding the access, the parking and the material conditions for shopping in that place. "We must have a global and consistent vision about down town", said Jacques Motteau, deputy mayor in charge of trade. But "Nothing practical stands out from that meeting", said one of the persons having taken part in it.

Obviously, the Angers city council want to calm down the debate. But the store owners can't stay on an unique critical approach. The mayor is looking for results and possible tests at the end of the year. "A new plan for the down town future must emerge from that work", Mr Beatse said.

12 September, 2012

The remains of the last Plantagenêt king of England could have been discovered

A skeleton with apparents battle wounds and curvature of the spine has been discovered on Wedenesday in the buried ruins of the Greyfriars church in Leicester city. The archeologists team of the university of that town announced there is strong circumstancial evidence that these human remains could be Richard III, the last Plantagenêt king of England. Experts will compare samples taken on the remains with a DNA sample from the king’s 17th-generation nephew. The remains (a fully articulated skeleton), which have been carefully exhumeed and are now in a secret location, appears to be of an adult male. The skeleton was found in what is believed to be the choir of the church, the area reported in the historical record as the burial place of King Richard III.
 That discovery takes place two days after Angers city ended a cultural event, Les Accroche-coeurs, dedicated to claim to England a compensation (the return to Angers of the jewels crown) for the execution of Edward Plantagenêt, the last pretender to England's throne after the death of his uncle Richard III, in 1485 during the Bosworth battle. That discovery was reported today by about 500 medias all over the world demonstrating that 500 hundred years after its end, the Plantagenêt dynasty attractivenes was still alive. In Angers, the city the Plantagenêt came from, no news was published on the issue.

The Angers pavement tax project on the way out by mayor's decision

The Angers mayor has decided on Wednesday to withdraw the project of pavement tax enforceable to storekeepers as soon as their customers were occupying the public domain, even for a while, for their purchases. That project, which was made public last june, infuriated Angers down town shop owners, already worried by the rise of car parks fares. Their anger lead them to riot in the middle of the tramway line in Ralliement square that morning.

"That issue deserves a more compre-hensive debate with the store keepers. I shall suggest to withdraw that deliberation during the next municipal council meeting", said the mayor, Frédéric Beatse. On shop retailers side, they complained that morning that "the Angers customers had to run away from down town because the costs to park were to high" and about the "illegality of the pavement tax on which [justice] has already came to a decision".

The case is clearly a bad point for Jacques Motteau, deputy mayor in charge of commerce openly criticized by the traders. It's the same for his project, that Mr Beatse officialy postponed and, possibly, cancelled. The storekeepers wish now to get the right to open their shops on the three last Sundays of each year. (Credit picture : Wikipedia)

11 September, 2012

An Leicester team of archeolgists 'tantalisingly close" of the remains of the last Plantagenêt king of England

The Plantagenêt saga has vanished in Angevins' minds with the end of the Accroche-coeurs 2012 edition. But it is on the verge to revive in Leicester (Uk) where archeologists announced they were "tantalisingly close" to find out last England Plantagenêt king's grave. Searches took place on August 22 in a car park of that town where historians had located the buried ruins of a church. It was said that Richard III had been buried there after he lost live at the Bosworth battle in 1485. Over time the whereabouts of the church were lost.
The remaining basis of the walls of the churd have been discovered as well as its immediate surroundings : a cloister walk, a chapter house and a garden. These give a better picture of where the tomb could be. "We are tantalisingly close and will investigate the choir where Richard is presumed to be buried", said the head of the University of Leicester team of archeologists.

The diggings will be extended one week more after htey have been opened to public last weekend which showed "a huge level of interest", with 1 500 visitors. Even if it is not sure the royal grave will be discovered, the excavations have been filmed and will be aired on Uk tv this year.

Schedules of some Angers public facilities should enlarge

If the period of return to school or work is propicious to new resolutions or changes in use, it seems that it is not the case for schedules of some Angers facilities dedicated designed for public use. In Angers, two examples illustrate that changes would be welcomed. In swimming-pools, where adults would like to go in order to continue the pratice of swimmig, there are classes. But, these are already full till the end of the year and these classes start at 5.30 pm. How can adults follow such classes if they are still at work?

Angers is proud to host thousand of students who fuel money and life (sometime too much) in down town. Thse need to eat all week long. But how? All university restaurants of the city are closed on Saturdays and Sundays (except one on Saturday morning). Will the students fast?

The private sector looks a little timorous. While some of them complain about the decline of activity because of the opening of giant trade centers outside the city, because the increase of car park fares or the shrinking purchasing power of Angers consumers, few initiatives appears in order to stimulate activity.