On the Dot...
Portes des Bombes (picture) made grime-free only months ago, is already black at its lower end with the pollution from cars passing through the arches and from the mud they splash when it rains. Is there nothing that can be done about this?
Out of Step
The Santa Maria Addolorata Cemetery, over the years, has had to expand to meet the inevitable demand; but health and safety measures have not kept step with the number of new sections being apportioned for burial. Therefore, as new graves are dug, safety considerations literally fall by the wayside; there are no guards at the edges of drops and some stairways do not have railings. This is especially dangerous where, because of the damp, lichen and moss make the steps slippery.
Three months or so ago, we were being told that a sum in the region of Lm6 million, spread over five years, was being earmarked towards the strategic plan for the implementation of the new curriculum. Now we are being told that a new grading system is envisaged, with proficiency being gained by students as they progress in school, according to benchmarks broadly set now but to be established properly later, after assessment of students' work is carried out. One hopes the one will not interfere with the other.
It is taken for granted that university students reading psychology would have, to a certain extent, bettered the doctor-to-patient ratio in the community as well as in the specialist hospital. The current crisis in this course, however, looks set to make the problem worse, rather than alleviate it, if those in the medical profession reaching pensionable age are not replaced by new graduates.
Despite several complaints, verbally and in the press, the mortuary attached to St Luke's Hospital remains in a terrible state, with mourners being subjected to pitiful sights when they call to pay their last visit to the deceased family member or friend. It is not the first time that mourners have been able to see other corpses through the gaps where curtains do not meet properly, or through doorways that are left open.
The Drama Unit of the Education Department gave a wonderful puppet show, verging on the metaphysical, with the expansive title Il-Wirt tas-Sigra ta' l-Gharghar (The Heritage of the Sandarac Gum Tree). However, it is sad to note that the theatre in which it was held has access only through a narrow stairway - highly dangerous in case of a fire or other panic-causing accident and practically impossible to access if a person uses a wheelchair. Perhaps it could be considered to present the next play at the theatre of the Junior Lyceum practically next door to the Mikelang Borg Drama Centre, the next time round.
Mail to Attard is being sorted at a new office in Balzan, an office that apparently has only one telephone number, which is gladly given by the staff at Attard. However, since the number is also connected to a fax machine, clients wanting to find out what happened to mail they ought to have received a long time before often fail to get through, wasting pulses in the process. The security guard at the Maltapost head office says that this branch, being new, is not obtainable through the PBX system.
Two dampers for customers' use at Rabat post office on Thursday were both bone dry, so that members of the public posting letters there had to resort to licking the stamps to affix them.
The Nationalist opposition was, quite rightly, very strong and loud in its opposition to Dom Mintoff when, in government, he started blasting a quarry for marble in the vicinity of the neolithic temples. Their idea today of an engineered landfill in the same area is just as objectionable.
When narrow Gorg Borg Olivier Street, in Rabat was reverted to two-way traffic, the promise to the residents was that the only heavy vehicles which would be allowed would be public transport buses. The idea was to minimise traffic jams. Why does the council not send a warden or two every now and then to book offenders, such as the milk truck and other heavy vehicles which regularly flout the traffic signs?
The argument that a golf course should not be considered because it would need huge quantities of expensive water to maintain is a non-starter. The water's expense should not be a consideration - the tourism traffic the course would generate would more than make up for the cost of producing the water.