GESA building
Dear Sir,
Although I appreciate modern design, I can see absolutely no architecturally redeeming features in the truly ugly GESA building.
As Prince Charles might say, “A monstrous carbuncle on the face of Palma.”
Yours sincerely
Peter Bannatyne
Puerto Pollensa

Cyclists
Dear Sir,
I agree with some of the comments re inconsiderate cyclists.
Where there is a road, cycle path and pedestrian walk many of them think they can use whichever suits, meandering from one to the other with scant regard to other users.
The coastal walk from Can Pastilla to Palma used to be a relaxing jaunt but now you need to have your wits about you because of inconsiderate cyclists.
Name withheld

Dear Sir,
With reference to the letters to the Editor about inconsiderate cyclists, I understand that a significant number of hotels stayed open during the winter, thanks to groups of cyclists from northern Europe.
I suspect that the people who have been complaining about cyclists are people whose livelihoods have never depended on local tourism.
They are probably the same people who objected to hotels being built on the coast in the 60s and 70s and to the Soller tunnel and motorways in the 80s and 90s.
Now they are happy that the local government wants to forgo the prosperity that oil and gas prospecting could bring.
Drivers who think cyclists are a nuisance should try getting on a bike themselves, thereby reducing the number of inconsiderate drivers that cyclists have to put up with.
They might feel healthier and happier, leaving their cars at home, once in a while.
Yours faithfully
George Tunnell
C’as Catala

Decline of Real Mallorca
Dear Sir,
As a football fan and regular visitor to the island, I would always make a point of going to the Son Moix to catch a game. Hard to believe that the two sides that graced the grass on Sunday were fighting out the Copa del Rey final just over a decade ago with the scoreline reversed ! Sad to see the decline in the team and although they had a good first half, I thought the First Assistant would have needed to check under his car before the journey home, he did us no favours at all. Seriously though I do hope they avoid the Segunda B abyss and hope that next season will bring better fortunes.
Peter Thompson. Bangor.
N. Ireland

Understanding Ukraine
Dear Sir,
I do not think the world really understands the present Ukrainian situation. If you put West Galicia Ukraine” into Google, and read about it’s history and people, you might appreciate the real problems there.
My grandfather left the province of West Galicia in 1860 because of excessive taxes and the total failure of the agricultural policy had resulted in widespread poverty and death by starvation. Many fled to America but a few sought a better life in France like my grandfather. He prospered and bought a house in London as well.. It was the fashion for successful Parisians at the time. Although he educated his son in Paris, he insisted that he read engineering at Trinity College Cambridge. My father then decided he preferred England and settled in London for the rest of his life.
The West Galicians were 70% Poles and had lived under Austrian and then Polish rule very happily. Their Western way of thinking was in direct contrast to the East Galicians who were almost totally all Russian speaking and Russian thinking. The two provinces were like chalk and cheese! I cannot understand why they were both lumped together and called the Ukraine in 1918.
I suppose it was a repetition of us insisting that three provinces: Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia were joined together to create Czechoslovakia. When I asked an angry student why he was protesting at a riot in the streets of Prague many years ago, he hissed: “ You meddling English - We Bohemians and Moravians get on well together but we hate the Slovakians as they have a completely different mentality and culture to us. They’re bloody Hungarians!”
Come to think of it, a collection of Celts, Picts, Anglo Saxons, Vikings and Normans all lived side by side calling themselves four different provinces until the name Great Britain amalgamated them all, but look how strong the nationalistic feelings are still today.
The reason why there are a few East Galicians protesting against mother Russia taking them over is that they have seen the economic advantages of Western thinking and these people should be given asylum by the West. Let Russia have their East Galicians.
To me, being British signifies freedom of thought and freedom of speech under Magna Carta, so in future please could we refrain from trying to organise and meddle with everyone and concentrate on keeping our own fractious island together.
Shiela Peczenik
 
Unprepared for the season
Dear Sir,
To add another example to the disgraceful attitude towards preparation for the summer season.
Our lovely local beach bar has been operated by a delightful Vietnamese family for more years than I care to remember. They are fastidious in the extreme, maintaining not just the bar, but the furniture, loos, bins and beach immaculate at all times.
Holidaymakers arriving for the start of the season, and most unusually the beach remains bare, unprepared and  uncleaned since the end of the summer. The family have been told they must tender for the beach bar and there are other interested parties.
Sad, but fair (unless other interested parties turns out to be a close relative of an elevated Council official - which we have seen before in a similar case at another beach).
However, the tenders are not due to be opened until the end of the month, the successful applicant will have to be advised, then the beach cleaned, the bar constructed and stocked, and the furniture delivered.
Clearly it is unlikely to be operational in any satisfactory way until well after the season is underway. Why could the tendering process not have been opened at the end of the last summer season, with a closing date of the end of the year giving the successful applicant plenty of time to have everything in place in time for the beginning of the season?
Each year  the same Ayuntamiento arranges for a raft to be anchored in the bay - last year it arrived in the middle of July, and was removed in early September, at the same time as the lifeguard station was dismantled.
Words fail me.
Sallie Woodford

The same old story
Sir,
In Saturday’s Viewpoint Ray Fleming rightly bemoans the 8 years of inaction over the old GESA building close by the more recent white Elephant the Conference Center. He should hold onto his copy. In my experience he may be writing exactly the same again in 4 years’ time.
Near where I live we had an excellent tennis club patronised by our earlier star Carlos Moya. As well as half a dozen courts and changing rooms with showers there was a bar and dining area indoors and out plus a fair sized swimming pool. This was run by a couple of ex-Wimbledon Russians and downstairs a separate fully equipped gymnasium run by a Majorcan couple.
Things went swimmingly until 2002 when the Town Hall did some sort of deal reputedly exchanging these facilities for building permissions on some other land. It is rumoured locally that some jiggery pokery was involved but as a freedom of information act hasn’t arrived here yet a rumour it remains.
On taking over, the council for some reason, separated and took over the courts and pool from the club house removing its “raison d’etre”. It soon closed and fell into visible disrepair causing many clients to abandon the gym and for it to close shortly after.
Both were left vacant but nature and drug addicts abhor a vacuum so both moved in. Like the GESA building the degradation continued with squatters inside and graffiti out.
I also hold onto my copy and here I have simply reprinted the gist of a previous “Letter to the Editor”. On 6 July  I’ll celebrate its 10th anniversary!
However in pursuit of accountability, transparency and other buzz words I’ve forgotten I must express a personal interest. Since that epoch I’ve offered to take this obvious burden off their hands and help reduce the local debt which I believe still exceeds 100 million euros. Without success but patience is a virtue.
Mike Lillico
Playa de Palma

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