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March Issue


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#1 Dinny

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 08:42 PM

I have now enjoyed reading the March issue of the Crete Gazette. I think it has found it's right size at the 16-max-20 pages - although when I reach the end I wish there was more to read! :)

I especially like the articles with pieces of history, because they make me want to find the necessary time to discover more. I've been here on holidays 4 or 5 times and I now have lived here for 6 months, but I have not yet seen ANYTHING due to work and lack of time and - my speciality: procrastination. But I really WANT to find the time, I just have to get organised better I guess. Meanwhile I enjoy reading pieces about various places in Crete while deciding that this or that place is a must-see whenever I get to find the time.

I also like very much the "News in brief"... since I don't speak Greek yet, I find it hard to follow the news on TV and unless I soon do something very efficient about my language lessons I will find myself totally ignorant in a very short time. I do disagree, though, about the "casual" placing of the information about "Desertification of Crete".... like saying "oh, by the way, Crete will probably disappear in the sand within the forthcoming few years". I think this message should have a much higher importance, because it would be high time to think carefully about it NOW, planning remedies for the future, beginning to worry about millions of environmental issues that seem to have no immediate attention at the moment in Crete.

Thanks, Yannis - keep up the good work! :rolleyes:

#2 Ton

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 04:46 PM

Yo! I agree with u Dinny about the size of the Crete Gazette. In regards to Crete dissapearing in the sand if I may add there are more chances that it dissapears under trash. Why nobody mentions the garbage problem in the streets. It's a shame that every one waits for the spring so that the trash magically dissapear under the wild flowers. And at the end of the summer the rain surely takes them all the way to the sea. Maybe we should open a new post about the garbage problem in Crete and maybe ask Yannis if he knows any addresses where we can complain. It's a shame and paradox that we all love the island and the history of the place and yet we can't do anything about the trash in the streets, and I mean all over the island. What a pitty!!

#3 Kritsa Yvonne

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 05:40 PM

I usually read the gazette when it is “hot off the press” but here it is on 4th March and I have only just made time to sit and go through it. My husband beat me to it this time so it was very annoying when I called out to him with an interesting piece of news he was able to say “I know, I have read it!”

Yannis describes the new housing in the Apokoronas area and asks good questions without alienating people who wish to move to Crete. I bet the very things they want from a life on Crete are not to be found in a development like this.

We live part of the year in Kritsa, an old village that has an increasing English and German population and I do worry that the people who are so welcoming to us will soon become to resent us all. However, a walk around the back streets will reveal a great many dilapidated and ruined buildings so at least we are helping to restore the village population and contribute to the local economy.

When we are sat on our balcony we enjoy seeing a range of birds but the friendly sparrows often give us a smile so this was a good article to read.

Crete March 7 2036 by Vita Voreaki is very clever and amusing but read between the lines and WORRY!

As ever the Gazette is a good read and a link with real Cretan life but it now feels as if it has settled down and found a great "mixed" format.

Yvonne
Kritsa Yvonne

#4 Tim

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 01:12 AM

I found the piece about the new housing in Apokoronas disturbing and knowing Yannis and how much he cares for his country I feel for him. Call me old fashioned but this sort of 'development' represents my worst nightmare for the Crete I loved. Not the way I would have preferred the Brits to repay the great debt that we owe Crete and its people. As many foreign residents have shown, you don't have to destroy the environment in order to have a home in Crete.

#5 alexandros

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 07:49 PM

Regarding the Apokoronas development, unfortunately this type of indiscriminate development is happening all over. I would like to make a few points. As was said many homes built by local people are far for in keeping with the traditions of the area and are often a blot on the landscape. Unfortunately be it the UK or wherever, local people will sell their land or property, so the process will continue. The village in which I live has offical traditional village status, but the person responsible for that decision working for the Greek government is now proceeding to exploit and ruin the village. We have a population of around 100 - that person now owns 12 properties which are being developed in a non traditional style by this specialist architect as her complex. A number of her clients are also developing in the village. One, also from Athens is building 12 stone built villas, for British people, because they have lots of money. They have been under construction for many months now and we are yet to see stone being used. Keeping the traditional theme going, signs to the holiday properties are red and in English! The locals either through fear or lethargy just shrug ti kanome. So, someone who should no better is doing their best to ruin what we all dream about - as most of the estate agents adverts would say. My final comment - an upmarket kafenion and a swimming pool, for the complex, are regarded as traditional and at the risk of more controversy these are not aimed at the foreign visitors who prefer the village kefenion, they are for the Greek tourists. Its still great however, they will not spoil the mountains, the flowers and birds we see every day, but what a pity.

#6 Ton

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 01:39 PM

There is no common building policy in the island of Crete of a certain style of properties can be built except the ones close to archeological grounds. Crete is not that small island like Santorini. People have the freedom to buy or built their choise of houses with their choise of colours and type of windows and doors, but all structures need to conform to Greek building codes and standards which are among the strictest in Europe in terms of stability and resistance to earthquakes.
I am not worried about the new houses which are being built in Apokoronas as much as the illegal houses which are being built without a building permit and style.

#7 Wim

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 05:12 PM

Hello Alexandros,

How I agree with you and of course with Yannis' article in the Greek Gazette.
My first visit to Crete was in the late 70th and you could say that I have seen it change since than.

The development of Crete and hence the possibility for the people to prosper by it should be the ideal proposition. Regrettably every development will also have it's negative elements.
And in this case it's the building/holiday developments that the landscape of Crete has to pay it's toll to.
A lot of money is involved and to be earned in this activities which logically evolves a "lust" for more, without thinking of the impact all this has for the future of Crete.

Part of the problem's solution could be if a "governmental architectural commission", consisting of architects, artists, and committed civilians, would be installed that criticise all building plans that influence the landscape.
I remember an artist (Cesar Manrique) who lived on Lanzarote and, on his own, established a builiding culture on his island that would not compromise the natural charm of it.

This has nothing to do with builiding codes etc. which are a logical tool to build contructively safe houses, but with preserving the landscape that Crete is famous for.

I'm curiousB)

Wim
True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."

#8 Loutrakis

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 04:35 PM

Hello Alexandros,

How I agree with you and of course with Yannis' article in the Greek Gazette.
My first visit to Crete was in the late 70th and you could say that I have seen it change since than.

The development of Crete and hence the possibility for the people to prosper by it should be the ideal proposition. Regrettably every development will also have it's negative elements.
And in this case it's the building/holiday developments that the landscape of Crete has to pay it's toll to.
A lot of money is involved and to be earned in this activities which logically evolves a "lust" for more, without thinking of the impact all this has for the future of Crete.

Part of the problem's solution could be if a "governmental architectural commission", consisting of architects, artists, and committed civilians, would be installed that criticise all building plans that influence the landscape.
I remember an artist (Cesar Manrique) who lived on Lanzarote and, on his own, established a builiding culture on his island that would not compromise the natural charm of it.

This has nothing to do with builiding codes etc. which are a logical tool to build contructively safe houses, but with preserving the landscape that Crete is famous for.

I'm curiousB)

Wim

I found out a lot about Cesar Manrique while staying in Lanzarote too, a remarkable man; artist, politician and visionary. It would serve Crete well to have such a unifying force between the demands of providing living space and aesthetic harmony. An article on the subject of building on Crete needs to take many things into account. I thoroughly enjoyed Yannis' passionate message.
Agree also with Dinny; the 'desertification' of the island, and elsewhere, is a pressing issue. The problem may be hard to contain and the reversal of this process a minefield of conflicting opinions and interests, but a serious article should be written in the pages of the Gazette. At least we might understand better the nature of these changes and do our bit to counteract some of the effects.
Both the above subjects are difficult to summarise, but are both important issues for the Gazette and I hope its readers.
Louis