31 May, 2014

The Sunday rest could be still a sensitive issue in the new city council

Le travail dominical reste une question sensible. La demande de dérogation posée par un concessionnaire automobile pour le 15 juin a été retirée de l'ordre du jour du dernier conseil municipal d'Angers. 

Sunday as a no working day looks to be still a very sensitive issue in Angers city council in spite of the change of majority. On May 26th, about 114 issues were on the agenda of the assembly and the last one was a request set by a single company and for one person for an exemption of the Sunday rest. Usually, the last issue debated by a municipal assembly does not usually get the attention and the time of the decision-makers. In fact the issue got it before the session started.  The Sas Toyota France was said to sollicit that dispensation for June 15th. The question has even not be examined. It was withdrawn for the city council agenda and the last minute.  

One year ago, after a supermarket Leclerc of Saint-Jean-de-Linières, a neighbouring village of Angers, started to open its food department. That decision triggered a protest from local trade-union and after that, a debate inside the board of Angers Loire Métropole then the intervention of the Maine-et-Loire prefecture. During the electoral campaign, the former mayor, Frédéric Béatse said it was open-minded about the issue and open to pragmatism. His challenger, Christophe Béchu, now Angers mayor, was also prone to soft the local regulations about the ability for Angers retail stores to open a few Sundays every year, and especially those before Christmas.

Apparently, the new Angers decision-makers want to take time for a thorough analysis because of the political risks the Sunday stores openings are holders. On economical standpoint, the debate looks sorted. On the Feast of the Ascension, which was not a Sunday, many shops were opened in down town as well as supermarkets on the morning and apparently with customers inside. In that matter, local authorities do not have to be in late compared to the inhabitants way of life. Taking the initiative, they could also be in advance compared to the French government. 

30 May, 2014

The idea of a large western region with Angers in its centre resurfaces

Le président du Conseil général de Maine-et-Loire, Christian Gillet, a proposé de réunir les trois régions atlantiques Bretagne, Pays de la Loire et Poitou-Charentes, soit l'actuelle circonscription pour les élections européennes. Cet idée placerait Angers au centre du nouvel ensemble. Il y a quelques mois, Christophe Béchu, alors président du Conseil général, avait suggéré ce schéma qui prend encore plus d'intérêt pour lui aujourd'hui.

The new Maine-et-Loire general council president, Christian Gillet, has expressed, in his first session on May 26th as head of that authority, that he was favourable to a merger of the Pays de la Loire region with those of Brittany and Poitou-Charentes. That scheme would strengthen Angers because its location would be at the centre of the new territory. There is no doubt that Mr. Gillet will have an ally with Christophe Béchu, his predecessor, new Angers mayor.

A few weeks ago, that one stated his own opinion about the project of the French government to lower the number of the current regions in order to save money. The idea he promoted was the creation of a western region equal to the current western european constituency : Bretagne, Pays de la Loire and Poitou-Charentes. That would not dismantle the current Pays de la Loire and could go even beyond what the French government has in mind because it could only plan to merger two of those : Bretagne and Pays de la Loire.

Recently Jacques Auxiette, president of the Pays de la Loire, promoted, with the French minister of environment, Ségolène Royal, herself former president of Poitou-Charentes, the idea of a merger between those two regions which would be far less advantageous for Angers. The counter proposal of  Mr. Béchu and Gillet also comes from representatives members of the opposition to the French government. So they could find in that field a way for the side to be distinguished from the current national and regional socialist majority.

28 May, 2014

The symbol of an XIXth Angers company sold to a local XXIth century start-up

L'un des joyaux immobiliers du Conseil général de Maine-et-Loire, l'hôtel Bessonneau, a été vendu. Le nouveau propriétaire est une entreprise spécialisée dans la formation à distance des pharmaciens. L'immeuble situé boulevard Foch a été vendu à un prix bien supérieur à celui de la mise aux enchères : 1,86 million euros au lieu de 1,2 million. 

One of the most famous estates of the Maine-et-Loire general council has been sold. The Bessonneau mansion, located on Foch boulevard at Angers,  will be own by a local company whose business is the remote training of pharmacists. The estate has been sold for 1.86 million euros while the opening bid was much more lower : 1.2 million euros. The new owner of the mansion is Dmvp formation, an Angers company launched in 2007 and which is growing fast. The turnover has been doubled in 2013 at 4 millions euros. The company staff should reach 50 persons next year while 35 persons work there in 2014.

The Maine-et-Loire authority, which is involved in the erection of a new headquarter at the angle of the Foch
boulevard and the Saint-Aubin street, has decided to sell some of its properties in order to finance its project. And the Angers town hall, managed by the former president of the Maine-et-Loire general council, Christophe Béchu, should do the same in the months to come in order to get cash.

This building, erected in 1863, is considered as a jewel of the "Belle Epoque". Its architecture was influenced by parisian mansions. The front side, with an usual passage for the coach driver, refers to the Renaissance and the French XVIIth century. The interiors are splendid and raise the Bessonneau mansion as one of the most exceptional monuments of Angers. It was bought in 1883 by Julien Bessonneau, an Angers manufacturer in spinnings whose company disappeared in 1966, overwhelmed by the synthetic fibres. The company had employed until 10 000 persons in Angers. If Dmvp could do the same!

27 May, 2014

Saturday night summer

L'édition 2014 de la Fête de la musique aura lieu le 21 juin à partir de 18 h 00. Le public devrait pouvoir profiter à fond de la soirée qui prendra fin à 2 h 00 étant donné que le lendemain est un... dimanche. L'originalité de cette édition est la participation du conservatoire de musique d'Angers et la concentration des groupes place du Ralliement.

The 2014 edition of the Music Day, planned on June 21st should be intense. Because of its schedules, from 6.00 pm to 2.00 am, the event should rather be called the Music Night. If the weather is fine, the festival goers could listen to music until the end of those open air concerts, given the following day is...Sunday. Fifty rock bands will perform in down town streets and several danse gathering will also welcome some of the 20,000 people who every year walk around the performers. If, all musical styles have been once again invited, the 2014 Angers Music Day, for the first time, includes the Angers college of music which opens its doors to everyone.

Credit pictures : Angers college of music
On the morning, three special itineraries have been devised in order to allow youngs to discover music instruments and even to try some of them. On the afternoon, the Angers college music will, soloists, choirs or orchestras, will initiate visitors to different musical trends. The dansers, choirs and interpreters of contemporary music of the Angers college of music will also perform a public rehearsal of the next show "A night at the opera". The theatre section of the college will as for it introduce some of its young actors. The college will also display the piano Bösendorfer it recently got for its 118 piano pupils.

The Ralliement square will host numerous bands, as Angry Beards, Creamy birds, Burn School or Eagle Gift on two stages.And two local radios, Radio Campus and Radio G, will broadcast their concerts. Those two stages will be set up by UI3sons, a community gathering amateur artists and actors working in the Saint-Serge, Les Trois Mats and Lac de Maine disctrict houses. Some of the Angers dsictricts will also host animations of the Music Day.

26 May, 2014

A bilingual French-English school in Angers next September

Une école bilingue français-anglais ouvre ses portes quai des Carmes dès la rentrée prochaine. Angers la quatrième ville de France dans laquelle les Ecoles internationales bilingues sont actives.  
Ecoles interna-tionales bilingues, a group of primary schools already settled in three towns of the French Riviera, Cagnes, Nice and Pegomas, has recently announced it will open a fourth one in Angers in September 2nd or maybe even before the return of summer holidays. The Ecole internationale bilingue d'Angers will set up on Carmes quay where is currently the restaurant Le Favre d'Anne, due to close for several months from the weeks to come. The school will provide courses taught by 50% in French and by 50% in English to pupils from 2 years old.

Credit : Ecoles internationales bilingues
The school curriculum is acknow-ledged by the French ministry of education and will lead to tests. On every morning, the teacher will be French and on every afternoon pupils will work with another one native from an English speaking country. The school, managed in Angers by Nathalie Paulin, will rent part of the building of the Favre d'Anne (that one will keep its kitchens and the backyard). The fees are 462 euros.

That group is settled in France since 1982. About 600 pupils from different nationalities are registered in the three Southern schools and secondary levels have taken place in Nice. Angers had already English speaking nurseries, library, tea room, food stores and the department of a Us university.

25 May, 2014

The Technicolor plot in the vague

Le terrain de Technicolor dans le vague.- Les nouveaux dirigeants d'Angers Loire Métropole auraient découvert que contrairement à ce qu'ils pensaient, leur collectivité ne serait toujours pas propriétaire du site industriel de l'ancienne usine Technicolor. Cette situation pourrait ralentir la reconversion du lieu, par ailleurs conditionnée, à des modifications réglementaires. Les activités entrevues, dont la fabrication de compteurs intelligents, pourraient aller ailleurs.

The new Angers Loire Métropole board believed it was the owner of large industrial fallow lands and that it had, with them, a leverage capacity to get some cash, but, the most known of those deserted lands - the fields of the former Technicolor factory - is not yet an Angers property. According to the French economic daily, Les Echos, the estate, 13.6 hectares, located at 3 km of Angers down town and surrounded by urbanized districts, is still the property of the liquidator, instead of the territorial authorities.

In March 2013, it was said that Angers Loire Métropole had purchased the site for € 6.5 millions after it had bought the industrial structures built on the field with their technical equipment for € 1.8 million. In fact the 6.5 millions have been budgeted but "for undisclosed reasons" the legal document has not been signed. So the current Angers Loire Métropole decision-makers could be hampered in the implementation of their projects. The former Alm board had planned to develop electronic subcontracting with the "intelligent meter Linky" for the French public company Electricité réseau de France (Erdf). But the order (35 millions meters) motivates other companies and, in case of a waste of time, Angers could also loose the market.

Morover, the estate is at the core of a juridical imbroglio, writes Les Echos. The former Technicolor plot is classified in a area where only industrial activities are allowed. Another use - housing or services industries - is not possible. That depends on a change of the local regulations. A change was attempted in 2009 but refused by justice after ecologist communities laid a complain. Angers Loire Métropole has to devise another urban plan but it will take years. The Technicolor site will remain as a wasteland probably for a long time.

24 May, 2014

The Festival d'Anjou plans to reinvest Angers city

Le Festival d'Anjou prévoit de réinvestir la ville d'Angers.- Evénement culturel phare d'Angers et sa région, le Festival d'Anjou accueillera les amateurs de théâtre pendant presque un mois. Son directeur artistique pense aux évolutions de l'année 2015. Mais d'ores et déjà, celle de 2014 est bien partie, font valoir les organisateurs qui ne craignent pas la pluie.

Cultural flagship event of Angers, the 65th Anjou Festival has started on May 24th to sell tickets for its 29 performances from June 10 to July 5th. "That length is a little bit long", remarks Nicolas Briançon its artistic manager who would like to see more shows played in Angers.

Mr. Briançon is not wrong : only one out of 29 performances will take place in the city where, nervertheless, suitable places do not lack. The manager has in mind the Angers castle, but reminds that "there are other places for shows". In fact 17 of the shows will take place in the Plessis-Macé castle. That could change in the years to come given that the Conseil général of Maine et Loire and Angers city decision-markers are on the same political mood.

Most of the authors issues of the 2014 edition are French but the English speaking culture is part of the event with William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet) or Oscar Wilde (The importance of being earnest) as well as Cromwell (Victor Hugo) or Zelda and Scott (Renaud Meyer). According to previous editions, about 50 and 60% of the seats should be sold as soon as the first day of sale. People gathered in a 100 m waiting line were along the tourism committee on Kennedy square on Saturday and some of them arrived at 2.00 am! According to the organizers, that predicts a good 2014 edition and "the weather is fine since half an hour"!

22 May, 2014

Christophe Béchu : savings as first resources for Angers economic development

Christophe Béchu : les économies, premier moyen du développement économique.- Dans sa première intervention au magazine municipal, le maire, Christophe Béchu, réaffirme que le développement économique de la ville est sa priorité. Il annonce une restructuration des services de l'agglomération ainsi qu'un programmes d'économies indispensables au financement de ses projets car il réaffirme qu'il n'augmentera pas les impôts. 

Credit Angers Développement
In his first interview as mayor to the city council monthly magazine Vivre à Angers, Christophe Béchu reminds that "the economic development is our priority" and discloses some of his first decisions in that field. The policy he describes will be based on the search of savings and efficiency. Regarding the economic development, Mr. Béchu considers that "if it is possible to be happy and hidden, it is complicated to grow being hidden than visible. We must have that obsession to exist on France map" and, in that purpose, he states that "we are going to use all the possible leverages". One of those are the "ambassadors of the territory, today sleeping partners because they have not been awaken". The mayor details that "an association under constitution" will federate all these people who live in Paris or abroad, and will use them as "representatives of what going on in our territory".

Credit Angers mairie
The mayor confirms that savings are a top priority. Given Christophe Béchu repeats he will not raise taxes during his term, he has no other choice but "to take the necessary measures of savings to finance our priorities". A first example of that line is "an internal reorganization" between the departments of Angers Loire Métropole and the Alm economic agency in order to get "efficiency and visibility" for the private sector. Another one is the allocation to the reconditionning of the public roads of a part of the budget (36 millions €) formally dedicated to new settlement of the Maine banks.

Credirt : Angers mairie
Regarding the projects Mr. Béchu wants to implement, the transfor-mation of the current prison in a museum about contempo-rary arts is something he considers as very important. The recent verdict against the French state which followed a complain of a former inmate about the terrible conditions of the place couldn't come at a better time. The mayor who had, for a long time, blamed the material situation of the building, will surely use that element to push forward for its transfer to Trélazé. That would, in return, make possible a redevelopment of a district including the future museum, the congress centre (itself updated during the term) and the botanical garden, "all dedicated to the attractiveness of the territory".

21 May, 2014

The future "Centre d'activités Foch" of the general council will be working at the end of 2015

Le futur Centre d'activités Foch du conseil général sera opérationnel à la fin de 2015. - Le Conseil général de Maine-et-Loire a indiqué que son futur siège, situé en plein centre-ville d'Angers, serait opérationnel à la fin de l'année prochaine.  Il convient donc de ne pas perdre de temps. 

Maine&Loire, the monthly magazine of the general council has stated, in its May 2014 issue, that the "Centre d'activités Foch", the future headquarter of the Maine-et-Loire authority, and several of its departments until now scattered over the city, as well as some of its subsidiaries and the Deposits and Consignments Fund (Caisse des dépôts et consignations), will be working "at the end of 2015". That architectural scheme, the most important of the former general council president, Christophe Béchu, represents 7 700 square meters on five floors. The ground floor will host a commercial gallery "in order to help to make more dynamic that strategic location [at the angle of the Foch boulevard and the Saint-Aubin street] of [Angers] downtown" where the Maine-et-Loire assembly has its offices since 1796.

According to the promoters of the idea, it became essential that the route of the tramway does not going along a wall of 100 meters.

The scheme is led by the Angers architect Frédéric Rolland. "On the model of the Loire landscapes, the building is characterized by an fluid architectural design evocative of feelings given by the Loire river scenes where water and vegetable dialog in a endless movement", says M. Rolland. The start of the works was planned for the
beginning of the current year. So there is no time to waste for a completion within less than 20 months. To finance the project, the territorial institution has sold or is selling several real estate properties which didn't match anymore its competences. And those sales would moreover help the general council to lower its debt. The new president of the institution, Christian Gillet, who has followed Christophe Béchu in that office, has also disclosed, that he "wished to emphasize the mutualisation of structures and actvities with other territorial authorities in economy, social, housing and tourism". Something the new Angers mayor, Mr. Béchu, recently suggested in a savings program for Angers city.

20 May, 2014

The farewell to Camille : face to faith

L'adieu à Camille Lepage : face à la foi. - Les obsèques de Camille Lepage, la jeune photo reporter tuée il y a quelques jours en République centrafricaine, ont réuni de nombreuses connaissances familiales et professionnelles. Après les hommages professionnels, le service religieux a insisté sur les qualités personnelles dont Camille avait fait preuve dans son métier, qui était pour elle beaucoup plus qu'un métier. 

Intimates, relatives and neighbours of Camille Lepage parents and brother were gathered in Saint-Maurice cathedral on May 20th to says googbye and thank you to the young Angers born photoreporter killed in an ambush between militias the 12th before in Centrafican republic. Even the weather was gloomy after the sunny days the city experienced the previous week, as if the sky was also sad to lost a friend. The professional tribute paid by fellow journalists from France and abroad had left room for a religious service full of emotion and grief. 

If two officicials were there, Christophe Béchu for the city and François Burdeyron, prefect, for the country, most of the attendants were people who met Camille at school or at work or his relatives. Among those, many young people were there, former students mates of the Saint-Martin institution or unversities as well as persons soon gathered by a wedding to which Camille was due to take part. The funeral service pointed out that for Camille her photo reporter job was much more than a job for her : a passion and even a moral duty which cost her the life. 

Just after the end of the religious service, a farewell line came to bow her coffin girded with the three colors of the France banner and, on the coffin a very symbolic souvenir : a simple photo shot in the Saint-Laud railway station with Camille waiting the train for an unknown destination. The girl has luggages at her feet. She is smiling. The picture sums up her carreer, her character, her fate and her faith face to an unknown future. Then, after the songs, the testimonies, the prayers, the reading and the homily, Camille's coffin was left in a hearse which slowly wen away under the rain, leaving the attendants alone with a big vacuum in their heart. 

A survey about Angers finances is about to start

Une étude sur les finances d'Angers est sur le point de commencer. - Les élus municipaux prendront connaissance d'ici fin juin des résultats de l'audit financier que le nouveau maire, Christophe Béchu, a lancé conformément à ses engagements au cours de la campagne électorale. L'enjeu est d'abord de réaliser des économies.

The results of the analysis about the Angers city
resources and expenses will be displayed at the town council due to meet on June 30th. That audit was a promise of Christophe Béchu as candidate to mayor office. According to that one, the economic crisis makes necessary a reappraisal of the schemes the previous municipal Angers council planned for the years to come. Among those, there are the second line of the trolley and the design of the Maine banks. During the previous term, the project of a new congress centre had been cancelled and the new swimming pool had also been criticized by some of the most prominent town councillors, among them former deputy-mayors.

After a call for bids, an accounting firm would have been chosen and could start his investigations in the next days. The survey of the financial situation of the city and of his subsidiaries would last a fortnight. Some of the most important isses are the recent evolution of running expenses as well as those of capital expenses and their trends, and the financial ways to finance them (given that the candidate had excluded an increase of taxes) and the debt (but the Angers debt could be relatively low what could not be the case of the Angers Loire Métropole debt). The specialists should also express some advices and unveil some possible rooms for maneuvre. One of those could be some mergers between Angers (and Angers Loire Métropole or even Maine-et-loire) authorities.

The new mayor made it clear : "The conclusions of the audit will guide the original [2015] budget and the several-years capital budget and the savings". The results of the analysis will be disclosed to the leaders of the lists involved in the first round of the municipal elections, then to the city council.

19 May, 2014

Camille at the top of the page

De nombreux Angevins et des responsables politiques se sont rassemblés le 19 mai promenade du Bout du monde pour rendre hommage à Camille Lepage, photo reporter angevine qui, a récemment perdu la vie en République centrafricaine et ont écouté sa mère parler d'elle.

Hundreds of Angers inhabitants paid tribute on May 19th in the Bout du monde walk to Camille Lepage, the city born photo journalist killed in a fight between guerillas in Centrafrican republic a few days ago. All, and among them several Angers and surroundings representatives, like the mayor, Christophe Béchu, listened to Camille's mother, Maryvonne Lepage, to talk them about her daughter. "Camille was a sparkling girl. She loved to laugh with friends whatever be the location. She loved life", said Mrs Lepage who also disclosed a much more serious quality of her daughter : "her involvement, her will to go in places where medias are not very present".

This is maybe one of the reasons Angers people were eager to show solidarity with Mrs Lepage and her family because the young Camille (she was 26 years old) choose to display as it is said in an American movie, "Harrison's flower", the "vileness and idiocy of human behaviour" and the division of people between "those who closely experienced a war and the others, who didn't". A minute of applause followed Mrs Lepage's statements and the numerous attendants wrote a message in a book set up under a picture of Camille. After the French president came to bow in front Camille Lepage's body, a religious service will take place at Saint-Maurice cathedral on May 20th at 10.00 am. 

Andrew Painter's in weightlessness at the Copernic Space

Andrew Painter en apesanteur à l'Espace Copernic.- L'exposition des oeuvres du peintre britannique Andrew Painter, établi à Angers, a été un succès. La plupart de ses étaient vendues le soir même du vernissage. Andrew Painter met en scène des personnages à la fois drôles et fragiles. Le mouvement qui s'en empare les arrache de la réalité. Cette apesanteur a quelque chose de reposant et d'optimiste. 

Andrew Painter, an English artist settled in Angers, exhibited his works dedicated to theatrical and musical sceneries on May 16th within the Copernic space inside the JF Cesbron company headquarter just at the outside of Angers. Vivid colors and excentric characters are the marks of the artist's universe which attracted, with the help of one of his friends, Marie Fichard, a lot of Angers amateurs. The paintings are faithful to Mr. Painter himself : tall and slim, with little glasses and white hair, the English artist relies on his instinct and on his mood to depict scenes inspired by the persons he met or the places he stayed.

The whole gives modern and original pictures where characters are in the same time delicate and innocent. Their lightness looks to be physical (the wind picks some of them in the air) and spiritual at the same time. Andrew Painters' paintings reflect different ages symbolized with the colors he uses. After grey and blue, the most recent are blue and rend. While, previously the artist depicted nude characters, he now displays men and women purely dressed with ties flapping in the air.

Those works have convinced of a lot of people and most of the paintings displayed on that day were sold the same day! There is in Andrew Painter's works, the reminder of the French Follon's characters, a artist very popular at the end of the seventies. Maybe, Andrew Painter is his heir and maybe there is the reason of the success of his works, full of the nostalgia of a time full of hope.

17 May, 2014

Camille Lepage, at home in Le Bout du Monde

Camille Lepage, chez elle au Bout du monde. - Beaucoup de choses ont été écrites sur Camille Lepage, la jeune photo reporter qui vient de perdre la vie sur une route de Centrafrique. Mais qui était-elle? Sa page Facebook révèle une personnalité courageuse, fidèle et discrète.

Who was Camille Lepage, the young photo reporter killed during an ambush, probably on May 12th, somewhere in Centrafrican republic? Camille had two locations on the web. One, camille-lepage.photoshelter.com in which many of her fantastic professionnal pictures are displayed : powerful and intense. Another one (Camille Lep) in which she depicts her life throughout the world. One day in a remote place in South Sudan. Another day in the core of New York.

Camille Lepage, 2nd row, 4th from the right
Camille indicates Juba, South Sudan as her permanent adress. She reported the birth of that new state which emerged after a long and crual civil war with Sudan. Most of her pictures are about Africa. Only one was shot in New York during a walk in the streets. People are in front of her in the middle of smoke as if they were travelling in an urban jungle. In other pictures, Camille is portrayed, in the dark at the end of the day or in the middle of a room, only lighted by a candle as if she didn't want to be the character of the picture.

In spite of the dangers around her, Camille thought to her friends in Europe. A few days ago, she took time to advice her Paris followers to visit a pictures exhibition. Many tributes have been written in that page which still be, for a long time, still in love with the photos of Camille. A tribute will be paid next Monday at 12.00 am on the Bout du monde walk.

16 May, 2014

Skirt day

La journée de la jupe.- Dans plusieurs lycées publics et privé d'Angers, des élèves masculins ont le 16 mai arboré une jupe afin de sensibiliser leurs condisciples, et au-delà, au sexisme ambiant. Le port de la jupe n'a apparemment pas déclenché les foudres des ennemis de la théorie du genre ni l'enthousiasme des jeunes gens. 

Students of several Angers senior high schools wore skirts on May 16th as part of a national initiative dedicated to awake their fellow students to the problems of sexism. The event, supported by the Nantes academy and the French ministry of education, "What does the skirt raise?", was implemented by 22 senior hig schools out of 220 in the Pays de la Loire. In Angers, the David d'Angers, Emmanuel Mounier, Sainte-Agnès, Joachim du Bellay "lycées" were part of the movement.

The arrival in the schools of male students wearing skirts was reported by the daily Le Figaro didn't trigger (until now) any protest from local communities involved in the fight against the opening of the wedding to male and female couples. But the idea didn't anymore gathered a lot of participants, while in some senior high schools, the initiative was officialy endorsed by teachers in order to stimulate a reflection about to favour the awareness and to change the representations of everyone. Many students choose to wear stickers rather than skirts.

Maybe kilts would have been more appropriate? And some of the persons who wear it are symbol of masculinity.

15 May, 2014

The fate of the New Banks of Maine scheme burns the bridges between city council majority and opposition

Le sort du projet Angers Rives Nouvelles coupe les ponts entre majorité et opposition municipales. - Après une sorte de trêve des hostilités entre nouvelles majorité et minorité municipales depuis la fin de la campagne électorale et l'installation des nouveaux élus, les choses commencent à revenir à la normale. Les critiques de l'opposition surgissent à propos de l'abandon du projet Nouvelles berges de Maine ce qui vaut aux tenants de l'abandon de réagir à celles-ci. Entre les deux camps, les relations ne sont plus "un long fleuve tranquille". 

After a kind of break between the new and the former majorities of the Angers town council since the end of municipal elections, things could return to normal now or, in other words, to... arguments. The mayor, Christophe Béchu, who, in his platform, spoke in favour of a less ambitious project regarding the Maine banks reconquest, has recently met the architect selected by the previous city council to implement the urban scheme. Angers, which is involved with that architect until June 2015, has already let him know that a € 6 millions per year for thirty years did't match anymore the resources of the town. So the closure of the company set up by the previous city council to implement the project could be on the agenda.

A minority town councillor, Sylvia Camara-Tombini, blames Mr. Béchu's decision form and substance. "The mayor has met François Grether [the architect] in secret to evoke the future of the Angers New Banks schme. What a difference with the way Frédéric Béatse proceeded...What's going on with the dialog,  the inputs of hundreds of Angevins? Clearly all that is swept away with the back of the hand by Christophe Béchu in a place safe from inhabitants' look", says Mrs Camara-Tombini. This one bluntly advices to the new municipal team to "have the knowledge of the files, to lead surveys and to listen to Angevins before snap decisions. The issue deserves more than a coffee with an architect".

Logically, the deputy-mayor in charge of the theme, Roch Brancour, replied that "the project of the new city council was known by everybody and the city council minority looks to forget that the Angevins have decided, that has to be reminded, by 54% in favour of Christophe Béchu' idea. The Angevins consultation about the settlement of the Maine banks indeed took place and with the universal suffrage". Yes things indeed return to normal...

14 May, 2014

Death in Centrafrica of an Angers born photoreporter "worthy of the name"

Mort en Centrafrique d'une photoreporter "digne de ce nom".- Une photoreporter angevine, Camille Lepage, a trouvé la mort en Centrafrique, où elle couvrait la guerre civile entre Catholiques et Musulmans de ce pays. Peu connue dans sa ville natale, ses clichés avaient été pourtant publiés par les plus grands titres de la presse française et étrangère. 

Camille Lepage
An Angers born photo reporter, Camille Lepage, 26 years old, has been killed in the Centrafrican Republic where she covered the civil war between Catholic and Muslim inhabitants. The French republic president, François Hollande, announced that the body of Mrs Lepage has been found by French militaries during a security check on a vehicle driven by elements of a self-defense militia, the "anti-bakala", hostile to Muslims populations. Camille Lepage was working in a territory where fights between "anti-bakala" and "ex-selekas" guerilla, a Muslim militia, are continuous. Ten persons were in the vehicle, where the French militaries discovered the bodies of four villagers and of Mrs. Lepage.

Camille Lepage Facebook page
That one, born in Angers, had studied at Southampton Solent University in England then in Hoger-school Utrecht, in Nedelands. After an internship in Rue 89, a French news website, Camille Lepage then worked for a news pictures agency and covered the Sudan secession war, the Centrafican conflict. She lived since July 2012 in Juba, the South Sudan capital. Many tributes have been paid to Mrs Lepage who neverhteless was largely unknown his home town. Some of her pictures had been exhibited at the Bouchemaine abbey in September 2013 while famous French and foreign newspapers had published her work like Le Monde or The Times.

Mrs Lepage's mother described her daugher as a "willful person. She was body and soul involved in her projects. The photojournalism was her life. On May 6th, she told me that she would prolong her staying in Centrafrica but she would be back in Angers next Thursday. I always asked her to be cautious and she answered me 'Don't worry Mum, I'm going away to give evidences, not to get a bullet in the head'. But she was alone those last days".

On behalf the city council, the Angers mayor, Christophe Béchu deplore "that the very energetic woman was murdered in a country in the grip of a violent civil war". Mrs. Lepage choose to be a freeelance reporter "because it is, according to me, the only one worthy of the name", she wrote in a covering letter for an internship. Last December, an Angers born military, Antoine Le Quinio, was killed in the Centrafica capital, Bangui. In May 2010, another young Angers inhabitant, herself student in journalism, Emilie Poucan, was killed in plane crash in Libya.

13 May, 2014

The English Language Library in Angers starts its third decade with optimism

La Bibliothèque anglophone d'Angers commence sa 3ème décennie avec optimisme.- La Bibliothèque anglophone d'Angers aborde avec optimisme sa troisième décennie d'existence. Tous les indicateurs, le nombre d'adhérents, le volume d'acquisitions et le résultat financier étaient positifs à la fin de 2013. La structure, unique dans l'Ouest, prévoit d'accueillir de façon permanente un auteur anglophone à partir de 2014 et d'avoir une vitrine plus visible rue Boisnet.

2013, which marked the 20th anniversary of the English Language Library in Angers (Ellia), was a "very positive" year, in spite of that event which required "an important investment" between September and the end of the year. In the last days of the previous year, the Ellia observed, for the first time, that the number of members exceeded the treshold of 2,000, an increase of around 10% versus 2012. In 2013, the Fench speaking members, many of them students, have developed by 37%, "a considerable increase" due to "partnerships with the others libraries of the Maine-et-Loire", notices Marie-France Roland, who followed John Cassini, at the presidency of the library.

Credit pictures : Ellia
The collection of the library has also increased last year with more than 27% of new documents. the animations of Ellia are successful and meet an enlarged public. The majority of the 300 events planned for adults and youngs took place outside of the library in 2013. With 2014, the English Language Library in Angers starts a new decade "with optimism" : the financial accounts are positive, in part "because of the reorganization of the work implemented in September with the staff and the volunteers". Among the projects of the library for 2014, there are the opening of a residence for an English speaking author and strenghtening the visibility of the Ellia. Proof of its partners'confidence, the lease agreement of its offices on Boisnet street has been renewed for ten years.

12 May, 2014

The Essca receives the most world valuable accreditation

L'Essca reçoit l'accréditation la plus recherchée au monde.- L'Essca, Ecole supérieure des sciences commerciales d'Angers, vient d'obtenir la plus recherchée des accréditations internationales : celle de l'Aacsb, une association américaine qui distingue, depuis 1919, les universités et écoles de commerce qu'elle estime les meilleures. 

The Ecole supérieure des sciences commerciales d'Angers has got on May 9th one of the most valuable international accreditation. The Essca is now member of the Association to advance collegiate schools of business (Aacsb), an authority founded in 1916 to give accreditations to American and foreign higher education institutions. Around 711 schools from 45 countries, only 5% of the business schools in the world, are holders of such a distinction widely regarded as the benchmark for business school quality among the academic community.

The Essca, which had already got the seal European quality improvement system from the European foundation pour management development (Efmd) among 118 schools world wide. "With that accreditation, the Essca is going to pursue its international development through supplementary double diplomas in Asia, Northern and Southern America, with the opening of a cursus in Brazil on the Shanghaï model. We will also continue to attract more students from the whole world. All the Essca staff was focused for that achievement which makes us very proud", says Catherine Leblanc, dean of the school.

Catherine Leblanc (Credit pictures : Essca)
In a statement about the accreditation of the Essca, Robert D. Reid executive deputy president of the Aacsb, pointed out the "resolution" of the Angers school in the several years long process which noticed the "fulfillment of the Aacsb standards" and its will to deliver a high quality education to students. The Essca was founded in 1909 (seven years before the Aacsb) and is present, in Angers, Paris, Budapest and Shanghaï. It teaches management to 3,000 students each year and has around 12,000 graduates all over the world.

11 May, 2014

Angers likers have their website

En quelques semaines, un site internet intitulé "Tu sais que t'es d'Angers quand..." est passé du stade de la petite communauté d'internautes ayant Angers au nombre de leurs centres d'intérêt à celui d'un forum fort de quelque 8,000 membres. Les photos historiques témoignent de la rapide évolution de la ville depuis 1945. Mais également des paysages qu'elle a préservés. 

Proof of the interest current, or former, inhabitants have for Angers, an internet website opened a fortnight ago and titled "Tu sais que t'es d'Angers quand..." ("You know you're native from Angers when...") has gathered more than 8,000 members who all share anecdotes, nice moments around Angers, favorite or cult places and preferred events. The users publish pictures about the city and ask to internauts their reaction.

Even the Courrier de l'Ouest has posted a contribution on the website by the publication of famous or ordinary pictures about the city. One of them show the Molière square completely flooded with a windsurfer in the middle of it! Other pictures are accounts of what the city was formerly. Some of them shows an evolution which is not always favourable. The Saint-Laud railway station was of course smaller formerly but its parking lots were wider... Many other pictures illustrate how much the town has changed.

But the historical pictures are not the unique approach of the website members. Many of them, through their pictures, express their interest, and even their attachment for the city even if, until now, the central theme of the site is not clear and other French cities have similar websites.

10 May, 2014

The chef Pascal Favre d'Anne hates TripAdvisor

Le chef Pascal Favre d'Anne déteste TripAdvisor.- Le chef angevin Pascal Favre d'Anne a peu gouté le commentaire publié, à propos de son équipe, par le site américain TripAdvisor qui publie des avis de consommateurs sur tous types d'établissements touristiques. Mr. Favre d'Anne blâme le site de ne pas modérer les commentaires de ses internautes et de ne pas exiger d'eux la preuve de leur passage dans les établissements. 

The angevin chef, Pascal Favre d'Anne, is angry against TripAdvisor.com, an american travel website providing directory information and reviews of travel-related content. TripAdvisor has published on March 30th an anonymous comment about the eponym restaurant of Mr. Favre d'Anne. If the opinion of the customer is favourable about what he ate, it has been judged disagreeable to the staff of the Favre d'Anne and especially, for its first member, his wife Mathilde Favre d'Anne.

"We request the prohibition to judge, to write defamatory comment, subjective judgements about persons or every member of the staff of our restaurants", writes Pascal Favre d'Anne in his Facebook page where he lauches a petition "against the offensive opinions towards restaurateurs" in websites like TripAdvisor which "do not moderate the comments of their users and do not demand from them a proof of their venue in our restaurants". The appeal looks to have met an favourable welcome by Mr. Favre d'Anne's colleagues and customers.

Credit Pictures : https://www.facebook.com/pascal.favredanne
Founded in 2000, most of the contents of Trip-Advi-sor are provided by its users most of the content. The website has already been criticized for allowing unsubstantiated anonymous comments posted about hotels, or restaurants. Nervertheless 80% of the opinions recorded by TripAdvisor are positive and even laudatory for Mr. Favre d'Anne. Only one was (partially) negative and Mr. Favre d'Anne, who is about to close temporarily his Angers restaurant because of a cuisine dedicated tour in Asia in the months to come, makes a meal of that.

09 May, 2014

The conservative leaders of the Pays de la Loire region favor a big western region with Brittany

Le Conseil régional des Pays de la Loire se réunit le 13 mai en session extraordinaire pour discuter de son avenir. Ses membres de droite viennent de se rencontrer et veulent préserver l'intégrité de la région. Ils demandent l'organisation d'un référendum à propos du projet gouvernemental de redécoupage régional. 

The conservative decision-makers of the Pays de la Loire region do not want to see that one be dismantled by the reform of territorial authorities the French socialist government announced a few weeks ago. That hypothesis, not unlikely, which will be debated on May 13th by the members of the Conseil régional. The conservative members of that authority, and among them Christophe Béchu, Angers mayor, share the same opinion of the president of the region, the socialist Jacques Auxiette who absolutly rejects the dismemberment of the Pays de la Loire.

The conser-vative regio-nal leaders consider the government is implemen-ting a pure political operation but they nevertheless admit that the setting up of a big western region is "an option to examine very seriously" and suggest that they would prefer a merger with Brittany. But, the political representatives sets two conditions : the five departments constituting the Pays de la Loire region must stay together and the future of that authority has to be submitted, through a referendum, to its inhabitants.

The conservative leaders of those five departments demanded a clear distribution of competences between the future regional authority and the current Conseils généraux they want to be maintained. But it is not sure the preference of the conservative representatives for an union between Pays de la Loire and Brittany comes up with the wishes of the Pays de la Loire inhabitants. If some of them in Loire-Atlantique may prefer a merger with Brittany, others, like those of Sarthe or Maine-et-Loire, may prefer to go towards the Centre region but the Mayenne leaders are against that perspective. The Vendée leaders do not want to go in Poitou-Charentes.

08 May, 2014

Angers between winners and "twinners"

Angers a, ce 8 mai 2014, célébré, devant un public plus clairsemé que celui du 11 novembre, "la capitulation de l'Allemagne". Mais 2014 sera aussi, le 3 septembre, le cinquantième anniversaire du jumelage entre Angers et la ville allemande d'Osnabruck. Si la ville commémore la journée clôturant une tragédie, elle pourrait également saluer dans quelques mois une journée qui lui ouvrît une nouvelle ère.

Apparently, the comme-moration of the end of the second world war didn't attract a lot of people on Leclerc square in spite of the fact that, in comparison with the Nov 11th 1918 anniversary, many of the contemporaries, combatants or civilians, are still alive. After a young secondary school pupil read a message from the former combatants and victims of war, another official reminded that on May 8th 1945 was the day of Germany surrender just before a "Marseillaise" was sung by a scholar choir.

While that day is not a not a public holiday in Great-Britain, which also paid a heavy price to the victory, such a comme-moration paralyses a little bit more Angers which, as many other French cities, needs, on the contrary, economic activity on more numerous days. Many inhabitants (and not specifically the youngests) acknowledge that fact by going that day in the supermarkets for ordinary purchases.

Angers, which is twinned with Osnabruck (and Haarlem, Netherlands) since September 3rd 1964, could remind to the Angers inhabitants that a new era has begun with that city, and this country, fifty years ago... If some of the bad memories have to be commemorated, the good ones must be celebrated too.

07 May, 2014

For their anniversaries, the Angers museums make a gift

Pour leurs anniversaires, les musées d'Angers offrent un cadeau. - Pour leurs 30ème et 10ème anniversaires, les musées d'Angers vont sortir de leurs murs. les oeuvres vont s'égayer dans les parcs et magasins de la ville. Quant aux collections qui resteront sur place, elles pourront être vues dans le cadre de jeux. Bien sûr, tout est gratuit.

For the 30th and 10th anniversaries of their openings, on May 17th and 18th, the David d'Angers gallery and the Fines Arts museum are going outside. Painted and sculpted characters will go for a walk and will act their part in open air. A the same time, others works of those museums will be displayed in front windows of more than twenty stores located in streets of Angers down town. On Sunday, a giant picnic in the Fine Arts museum gardens will take place.

On Saturday, the two facilities will stay opened until midnight because of the European Night of Museums. That event, which generally attracts strollers and families, teenagers and adults looking for education and leisures, whill be enriched, in 2014, through screw eyes and games practicable alone or with family. And that special anniversary, the Fine Arts and Jean Lurçat museum will sell  catalog from two euros.

And the access to the facilities is free during those two days.

06 May, 2014

Angers public and private initiatives in favour of local growth and innovation

Alors qu'Angers a pendant longtemps consacré des efforts à l'adoucissement des conséquences de la crise économique pour ses habitants, des initiatives, les unes nouvelles, les autres moins, certaines initiées par le secteur public, d'autres par le privé, se font jour pour stimuler l'activité.

If many initiatives take place in order to smooth for Angers inhabitants the consequences of the tough economic crisis, some of them choose to favour what may stimulate the economic growth in Angers and around. Some of those supports come from the public sector while others have their origins in the private sector. But all aim the stimulate the innovation propicious to growth and jobs.

Angers Loire Métropole, the territorial authority gathering Angers city and towns or villages around, has just launched a new appeal for business projects until the beginning of June. Those must be implemented in the Angers Loire Métropole area, to be of general interest and to favour the independence of people or the development of employment. Coming from the same public sector, Angers Technopole regularly collects innovating business projects.  Another initiative has recently appeared from a private company recently awarded.

The Mca finance, an Angers  company settled in the city since twenty years, and specialist of portfolio management, has recently launched a share savings plan called "Mca Entreprendre Pme" which is used to collect the savings of households and to invest it in dynamic French Western companies already rated in the stock exchange . "Our goal is to develop the regional activity", points out Patrick Creuzé, the founder of Mca Finances. 

05 May, 2014

Monuments harmed

Monuments blessés. - Depuis quelques mois, les habitants d'Angers constatent que des monuments ou équipements publics sont vandalisés.  Après les locaux de la faculté de droit, l'arbre de la laïcité place Lorraine, c'est récemment la statue du guerrier massaï, près de la station de tramway Les Gares qui a été vandalisée. 

After the secularism tree, planted Lorraine square, and several times beheaded by unknown individuals, another artistic monument, the Massaï warrior set up near the Gares tramway station has also been damaged by anonymous. The lance held by the warrior has been curved several times what should lead town hall to reinforce it with an iron bar. But since three years, the statue is regularly vandalized.

If that work of Ousmane Sow, a Senegalese sculptor, will be transferred in a more visible point, in the middle of the Anquetil square, in front of the Saint-Laud railway station, the deteriorations of monuments  (additional to those against bus stops or cars parked along the streets) are becoming frequent. The securalism tree located Lorraine square was monitored by cameras set up by the former town council and apparently, that was not sufficient to protect it.

A few months ago, the walls of the Angers law university were covered of racist messages.  Recently, in Angers teenagers had been arrested after deteriorations they made in the Belle-Beille district. Those behaviours are particularly worrying about the lack of respect for public belongings and amazing about the costs of repairs, financed by town hall, i.e. Angers inhabitants.

04 May, 2014

The complain of an Angers lawyer against Bob Dylan, dismissed

La plainte d'un avocat angevin contre Bob Dylan, classée. - La plainte déposée par un avocat angevin agissant pour le compte des Croates de France contre Bob Dylan ne vaudra pas à celui-ci de comparaître devant la justice française. L'artiste américain a en effet pu prouver que les propos qu'il avait tenus au magazine américain Rolling Stones, à propos des Croates, comparés par lui à des Nazis, avaient été reproduits par la version française de ce même titre sans son accord.

Prosecuted by an Angers lawyer (Angers Daily News Dec. 4 2013), the American singer, Bob Dylan, will not appear in front of a French court after the statements he made about the Croatia people in the Rolling Stones magazine.  Bob Dylan was, in the end of last year, the subject of a complain of Mr, Ivan Jurasinovic, after he said that the Croatian people were comparable to Nazis.

The case, entrusted to a Paris examining magistrate, was abandoned because Bob Dylan was able to prove that his interview, granted to the Us version of the Rolling Stones magazine, had been published by the French version of that same title without his consent. Bob Dylan had said to the French bimestrial : "If you have Ku Klux Klan in your blood, Black people may feel it, even today. As the Jews feel nazi blood and Serbs Croatian blood".

But the manager of the French edition will be sued in front of a Paris criminal court, specialized in medias offenses. Mr, Juranisovic has said that he was satisfied by that outcome. He acted on behalf the France Croatian community which includes more than 30,000 persons. Bob Dylan was distinguished by France in November 2013 which awarded him the Légion d'honneur.