Archive June 2017

Kalogria - threat to quality tourism

Kalagria June 4th
  Eικόνες από την Μάνη που αγαπάμε!
Note: This photo was taken on June 4th 2017 - NOT high season. What will Kalagria  be like in high season?
Excessive sunbeds on Kalaogria beach are a threat to quality tourism

A rough translation of part of the following letter:-

"..........our stay this year ending today, was far from pleasant.

The beach has become a big circus with hundreds of beach chairs, umbrellas, chairs and loungers! .....and all of them have been set up to within 2 meters of the sea. The children do not even have space to play, families who previously had a place on the beach are forced to pay for the sunbeds or go away from the beach to sit."

Already, one Travel Group that has been bringing visitors to the area since 2012, is so disgusted by the current overcrowding that they are not planning to bring any more groups to the area, unless things are improved!

Below, is an open letter from the  Travel group  Chamalidis :-

Παράπονο Καλόγρια Στούπας

Αξιότιμοι κύριες και κύριοι!

Απο το 2012 μέχρι και φέτος φέρνω διαφορά γκρουπ γερμανόφωνων πελατών στην Καλόγρια Στούπας για διακοπές. Οι πελάτες μου μαθαίνουν παραδοσιακούς ελληνικούς χορούς και ενδιαφέρονται γενικότερα για τον ελληνικό πολιτισμό. Οι περισσότεροι έχουν επισκέφτηκε μαζί μου διαφορά μεροι της Ελλάδας.

Ενώ στα πρώτα χρόνια είχαμε αγαπήσει όλοι μας την όμορφη παραλία της Καλογριάς, το εκπληκτικό φαγητό στο Παλιό Μποστάνι του Δημήτρη Εξαρχουλέα και την φιλοξενία στα τριγύρω δωμάτια που έμενε ο κόσμος, η φετινή διαμονή μας που λήγει σήμερα ήταν κάθε άλλο απο ευχάριστη.

Η παραλία έχει γίνει πλέον ένα μεγάλο τσίρκο με εκατοντάδες ξαπλώστρες, ομπρέλες, πολυθρόνες και καναπέδες! Υπό τον ασταμάτητο ήχο των ρακετων ξαπλώνουν ημίγυμνες και έχουν στρωθεί όλοι τους μέχρι και 2 μέτρα απο την θάλασσα. Τα παιδιά δεν έχουν καν χώρο να παίξουν, οικογένειες που παλιά είχαν μια θέση στην παραλία είναι αναγκασμένοι η να πληρώσουν ξαπλώστρες η να πάνε μακριά απο την θάλασσα να κάτσουν.

Η κατάσταση έχει γίνει τόσο αφόρητη που ακόμα και οι πελάτες μου ενοχλήθηκαν τόσο που απο την επόμενη χρόνια θα σταματήσω πια να φέρνω γκρουπ στην Καλόγρια μέχρι να αλλάξει αισθητά το σκηνικό.

Με εκτίμηση,
Θωμάς Χαμαλίδης
Thomas & Savina Chamalidis www.chamalidis.eu

GAIA PROTEST in Kardamyli, makes TV news

Kostas Xydeas
Gaia Protest makes TV news: NET video about the Gaia and the Ag Nikolaos health Centre YouTube Νότια Ελληνική Τηλεόραση
"It is unnecessary to mention the importantance for the region in Mani & beyond, of the work and help of the GAIA volunteer team,  since every day volunteers  take part in the simplest to the most complex incident that occurs in the broader region.

And because everyday it is also involved in the services to injuries, traffic, emergencies, etc., it is the people who know first hand, that the health center of the region must be staffed and able to respond to the increased demands in the summer.

We were on the premises of the volunteer team and we recorded both the capabilities and the opinion of the team commander Kostas Xydeas on the issue of primary health care in the area and we even visited the health center together. In order to function adequately in all shifts, this health center needs to be staffed by three more doctors, two ambulance drivers and at least two nurses.
In the protest at the entrance to Kardamili, on Saturday morning(3rd) outside the high school, Gaia distributed more than 500 brochures to passers-by with their requests. And if they do not see a result in the near future, they will move on to new dynamic mobilizations ...
GAIA PROVIDES SAFETY FOR MANY......
. " (8-6-17)

June 3rd 2017: Gaia  block  the road in Kardamyli demanding the right to health
 ΜΠΛΟΚΟ ΣΤΗΝ ΚΥΚΟΦΟΡΙΑ  ΔΙΚΑΙΩΜΑ ΣΤΗΝ ΥΓΕΙΑ

protest banner
stretcher in the road
cars being stopped

More pictures on     Constantios Christina  

Last year, because of the cutbacks in medical services, and  the increasing demand for Gaia to transport sick and injured people to Ag Nikolaos Health Centre or Kalamata Hospital, Gaia launched an appeal to raise money for a rescue car  for medical emergencies, that could be used when an ambulance is not available. Even if an ambulance IS available locally, it is still over an hour's drive to the hospital!

With generous support from friends of Gaia both in Greece and abroad, € 9000 was raised, a vehicle was bought and equipped, and has been in frequent use since late last year.

Now, in order to register the rescue car as a 'private' ambulance, the Government is asking for €10,000 ! Without this status, Gaia cannot legally transport sick/injured people without a doctor on board.  As the cutbacks have already depleted the number of doctors at the Health Centre, Gaia frequently have to travel without a doctor.

The Gaia VEHICLE APPEAL 2017 has been launched, to raise the €10,000, but the Gaia volunteers, and many other people, are angry that the cutbacks are putting lives at risk.  WHAT PRICE A LIFE??


gaia logo
 

MESSAGE FROM GAIA to passing motorists
Having in mind the safety of our fellow-citizens and of the visitors to our community, we would like to inform you about the tragic situation of the Health Centre of Messinian Mani.
• Despite the exceptional efforts of the few remaining doctors and of the volunteers of Gaia, the Health Centre is unable to provide full health care to all those who need it.
• The 4 doctors of the centre together with Gaia volunteers are in the sad position of not being able to provide help for the dozens of cases of health problems and/or accidents happening normally every week and in much larger numbers during the summer season.
• We want to be granted the basic, obvious right: our health
• We want an immediate solution
• We demand that no more lives be lost
• We demand dignity 
     Gaia Ethelontesmanis

Information Summary from PsM ► JUNE◄ 2017

PsM Website news : Our new editor program is now in use, and hopefully, readers will see some improvements in presentaion, especially the nearly 50% of our readers who access the site on tablets and phones. There was a slight glitch with EVENTS when we switched over, but it was quickly fixed. However, we would very much appreciate help from our readers. If you DO notice any odd effects or have any other problems with access, please let me know by email asap  with details of what and where you found the problem. We are all learning to work with new tools! The new editorial team is gradually gaining experience, and the plan is for them to take over the website by the end of July. However, you can continue to send news , information, alerts and ideas to for the time being.

Rebuilding Paralos Beach Bar & shop, after the serious fire: On May 18th, fire destroyed the holiday shop, store room with all the seasonal goods, food and drink supplies, and the bar's coolers. The bar itself was badly damaged and is also in need of repair. This is disastrous for the owners, at the beginning odf the season, and a fund has been set up to help them get their businesses up and running again. You can see more or make a donation through gofundme

Gaia vehicle appeal 2017: Last year, the community and friends of Gaia, raised €9,000 to fund the purchase, and equiping of a vehicle for medical emergencies, which could be used when there is no official ambulance available. It has already been in use many times! Gaia had hoped that new legislation in the pipeline, would be available in time to enable them to qualify for at least partial exemption, but they have just been informed that they need to pay €10,000, as soon as possible, to register the vehicle as a private ambulance. They need this status so they can get insurance for transporting sick/injured people, without a doctor. Unfortunately, because of the doctor shortage, this is frequently necessary! VEHICLE APPEAL 2017

Burglars about : During May, We were informed about a couple of attempted burglaries in the Stoupa area, while people were out/away. Fortunately there was sufficient security to deter them this time BUT, concern has been expressed about the number of people mentioning their absence/holiday plans, on Facebook. PLEASE TO NOT INVITE BURGLARS. Don't publish your absences/holidays on Facebook. Even if you think you have a 'private' setting, your 'friends' may not be, and such publicity only help the thieves! THIEVES Also, 2016 crime statistics for the Peloponnese show a reduction in serious crime, but an increase in burglaries.    Snippets29/4 

Help with Forest Map appeals: The government has extended yet again, the deadline for submission of objections. If you are a Greek national resident in Greece then the deadline is now the 12th of June 2017. If you are a Greek national resident outside of Greece or a foreigner the deadline is now the 3rd of July 2017. In principle you can check whether your land falls into the definition of forestry land on your computer, but it is not easy. Opposite the KEP office in Kardamyli there is a new office (next to the Piraeus Bank office), it is the office of the Messinian Olive oil co-operative. Here, for a fee, they will check whether your land is defined as ‘forestry’ land or not. They can also submit an application on your behalf . Forest Maps

Rubbish problems continue: The waste processing plan for the Peloponnese Region seems mired in bureaucracy! Having previously scheduled to ratify an agreement by the end of April, local authorities have not agreed the management of the plan and have not signed the agreement. The government have committed to proceed with the plan and to have contracts signed by the end of May and if necessary the state will manage the contract. Meanwhile we understand that the W Mani Dimos has signed a contract, but the contract is only temporary(2 months) and not all routes in the area will be covered "... only 16 routes" Tharros Also we have been informed that there is a new rubbish dump near Pyrgos, and the Dimos is taking all rubbish to areas like this inside our municipality.

Activities wanting new members:
Stoupa Art Club : based at Patriko cafe/bar in Stoupa, they have weekly gatherings on Friday afternoons, and outdoor painting sessions on Wednesdays, weather permitting ArtCafe
The Allegri Choir in Kalamata: This small international choir is looking for new members, preferably with some choir experience. Currently four members are from Mani. Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings Allegri Choir

Retaurants/tavernas/bars are gradually opening for the season. These include
Pigi taverna is now open in the evening
Manitiko (between Ag Nik & Stoupa) has reopened. It is open all day, but there is a limited menu at the moment Maniatiko
• At Vesuvios in Ag Nikolaos, Asian Nights (June 8th) & Full Moon Parties (June 9th) are restarting Vesuvios
Dioskouroi in Kardamyli are offering breakfasts from early morning, and will be restarting their Friday BBQ parties in June Dioskouri

Health warning about meat products: Cases of a potentially deadly disease carried in sausages and other meat products, made with EU meat - the so-called 'Brexit virus' - are on the rise.The strain of hepatitis E (HEV) has been linked to pig farms on the Continent after the tropical virus mutated to infect livestock. Humans can catch the disease by eating undercooked pork, sausages, pork pies and bacon. Most people who come into contact with the disease contract a nasty, flu-like cold, but is can be fatal for people with weakened immune systems.This strain has been linked to pig farms in France, Holland, Germany and Denmark and is only killed in meat if people cook it for longer than usual. The Telegraph

Latest on Wind Farms in Mani : Despite petitions to try and prevent wind farms being installed in Mani, work is going ahead, but there are a number of protest groups continuing the fight. On April 27th, protestors appealed to the relevant bodies of the Ministry of Environment and Energy and made reference to filing a criminal complaint with Gythion Prosecutor, demanding the immediate cessation of projects and the punishment of those responsible, because the work was being done during the breeding season of birds March-June, which is illegal. ILLEGAL WORK. The case was ajourned until the end of June. However, the appeal has had some success. Work on the Saggia ridge has been stopped, at least until the end of June. snippets11/5

The dangers of the on-line game 'Blue Whale' : "Blue Whale" is a new dangerous "game" for children and adolescents promoted by some social media. The Computer Crime Unit of the Greek Police are warning people, especially parents, be very careful. This phenomenon can cause serious injury to participants who agree to take part in the tests. The "game" called «Blue Whale Challenge» takes place through social networking sites, where teenagers are invited to participate in a peculiar game lasting 50 days. During the game they receive instructions from an unknown person, who has been appointed "leader" in order to successfully complete a series of extremely dangerous tests (eg self-harm, monitoring horror movies, climbing tall buildings, etc.). CYBER CRIME

Animal Matters
Have you seen Toni (cat)? Vasilis lost his Toni between Kardamyli and Petrovouno LOST & FOUND
Mani Strays a voluntary group in Kardamyli Animal welfare
• MIAO/ΦΟΜ Lost & Found update - successful rehoming but many new animals needing homes! LOST & FOUND
• Help MIAO/ΦΟΜ by buy a painting from the vet in Stoupa  Small animal clinic
• Panayota has 4 pups in Proastio, needing homes MESSAGES(9/5)
Animal prosecutions to be speeded up animal welfare
• Sarah has 2 kittens needing homes MESSAGES (30/4)
Dangerous fish caught near Kiparissia April Archive

Change in PsM policy about advertising animals for re-homing: Apart from the legal issue of animals over 6 months needing to be micro-chipped, before being advertised, we do not want to detract from the animals MIAO/ ΦOM is trying to re-home LOST & FOUND. We feel that MIAO animals should take priority as they will have had health checks and been spayed. As MIAO is being burdened with an increasing numbers of unwanted puppies and kittens, and we have been getting more private requests for re-homing, we have decided to ask for a €10 contribution, for 'private' adverts. This money will go to MIAO's spaying fund.

Improved facilities for elderly or disabled visitors: Last year, Kalamata started offering 'Medical tourism for the 3rd age'. The PAPADOPOULION centre, North of Kalamata, offers full care for 3rd Age guests, who are a mix of those capable of independent living and people who are not. Now, the new Seatrac installation on W Kalamata beach, will enable people with limited mobility to bathe in the sea - and a second Seatrac is to be installed at the other end of Kalamata by the Filoxenia hotel. SEATRAC While there has been concern about water quality especially after the storms last September 7th, according to recent tests all along the Kalamata beach area, the water quality is 'excellent.' snippets 21/5 .

Tackling the problem of ocean plastic: There are two items of good news this month. The first is about 'Ocean Cleanup'. This innovative new method being developed to clear existing plastic from the oceans, is a step closer to having a full scale operation. They estimate they will be able to remove half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just 5 years! snippets13/5. The other, is a historic summit to get global commitments to cleaning up the oceans.To add impetus, AVAAZ has launched a petition to world leaders to phase out single-use plastics within the next 5 years. SAVE OUR OCEANS PETITION

Gluten, Zea and the ancient Greeks: There are many health issues believed to be associated with gluten, and there is a growing trend in buying gluten-free products. But there are grains that do not have gluten in them. Zea is one of them and is a grain that was grown by the ancient Greeks. (The ancient Egyptians are said to have fed wheat to their cattle, while only Zea was considered good enough for human consumption.) Zea was widely used in Greece until the 1930s, when cheaper grains pushed Zea off the market. However, since the 1980's and concern about gluten, Zea has been making a comeback. And the good news is, that at least some Zea products can be obtained even in the Mani. Zea > Gluten free But a word of caution, a recent study warns that “The promotion of gluten-free diets among people without coeliac disease should not be encouraged.” as they are often associated with low intake of whole grains. telegraph science

What else is new?
INSIDE THE MANI 2017 now available as a free PDF download   INSIDE THE MANI
• The successful RED BIN scheme, that recycles clothes & shoes in K'mata is getting new bins Red Bin Scheme
• The Zorbas weathercam is back in action, and you can access data from their private weather station on line WEATHER STATION
• The distinctive traditional Greek beer, draft MAMOS is now available at Patriko in Stoupa
• At last, there is a new tarmac road up to Spirit of Life and Orato Village SoL Yoga
• Now you can play darts as well as Cribbage on Mondays LOCAL EVENTS
New Coronary angiography unit now open in Kalamata snippets(6/5)
• There is a new Tourist Office in Kalamata snippets15/5
• A new book by local author Katerina Nikolas 'Goat In The Meze: A farcical look at Greek life '
• A new film about Kazantzakis Nikos author of 'Zorba the Greek' Kazantzakis
Super fast broad band is being piloted in Kalamata - speeds up to 250Mbps being planned snippets29/5

FOLLOW UP

Kardamyli Jazz Festival : With many venues, and a week of concerts, jam sessions and parades, this increasingly well known and popular event, was a happy, lively event.. To get an idea of the atmoshere, there are lots of pictures in the Kalamata journal report. This year there was also a Junior contribution for the first time . MayArchive

Fund raising for Gaia
The Quiz at Greggs on May 1st raised €156 for Gaia
Sheila Chamberlain raised €72 at her Chasamba classes in April/May


- - - - - See local weather on the live WEBCAM at Asteria Apartments in Ag Dimitrios - - - - -