Two major sewer accidents on Sunday caused road closings and fears of water outages in northern and north western districts of Prague. Prague Water and Sewer Company is working on repairs on Evropská streets in Prague’s Dejvice district. A water pipeline burst resulting from top soil falling in in six places in a nearby field. Over 10 000 people may have to face disruption in water supply. Repairs on Evropská should be finished by midnight on Monday. Another sewer accident on Prosecká street in Prague-Libeň caused a crater, approximately five meters wide and three meters deep, to form in the middle of the road. Traffic on the road may be renewed within days, but full repairs may take up to three weeks.
The Czech Environmental Inspectorate issued a fine of 450 thousand crowns to the Šumava National Park in southern Bohemia on Monday. The national park administration is being held accountable for disturbing the nesting of the wood grouse, using biocides to exterminate bark beetles and creating clearings near a lake in the Klatovy region. The harmful actions were taken in the years 2010 and 2011, under the administration of former park directors František Krejčí and Jan Straáský. The National Park is planning to appeal the decision and fine.
Czech-American writer and illustrated Petr Sís was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen award on Saturday as an illustrator whose work has made a lasting contribution to children’s literature. The Hans Christian Andersen Award, given out by Swiss-based International Board on Books for Young People, is the highest international recognition for authors and illustrators of children's books. Mr Sís has joined the ranks of famous children’s books authors such as Astred Lindgren, Tove Jansson and three Czech illustrators who received the award in 1968, 1980 and 1992. The two of the books written and illustrated by Petr Sís that made him famous in the Czech Republic are The Three Golden Keys and The Wall, both were published in both English and Czech.
The Nusle bridge in Prague will host the works of Czech and international street artists. The 485-meter long concrete communist-era giant will get a facelift during the month of September. Grafitti and street artists from the Czech Republic, Germany, the United States, France, the Netherlands, Spain, France and Poland will leave their mark on the eight pillars of the bridge and plan to create a unique gallery along its sides. The opening will most likely be on 3 October, but organizers of the project say it will depend on the weather and the speed with which the artists will be able to work.
Prague mayor Bohuslav Svoboda has said he will propose changes to the supervisory board of Prague’s Public Transport Company. In a televised debate on Sunday the mayor said that in view of the ongoing situation he personally would favour a board of experts rather than politicians and would vote for one smaller in size. The crisis in the company’s management escalated last week when the board’s members clashed over the decision to sack company head Vladimir Lich with two Civic Democrats, five TOP 09 representatives and one independent board member supporting the move in an 8:7 vote. Three supervisory board members later quit amidst growing controversy. The former company head was sacked over alleged bad management and poor communication skills, but he himself has filed a criminal complaint against several former high ranking company officials saying that many past contracts had been concluded on highly unfavourable terms for the company.
The owner of several devastated apartment buildings on the outskirts of Ostrava has disregarded a court order for him to tear down one of the run-down apartment blocks since it presents a serious health hazard. The deadline for demolition expired on Saturday night. The owner, Oldřich Roztočil, says he will appeal the ruling since an expert assessment he commissioned says the building can still be saved. The case has attracted media attention since the other derelict houses are inhabited by a number of Romani families, who are refusing to move out despite leaking sewage pipes and no running water. They have started effecting minor repairs in the hope of being allowed to stay in their homes.
The Czech Pirate Party held a party conference in Prague over the weekend, discussing policy issues and re-electing Ivan Bartoš party chairman. Bartoš was elected by the strength of 57 votes beating his only rival Petr Bajgar hands down. Student Jakub Michálek was elected deputy chairman. The party’s old-new chairman said the Pirates wanted to be represented in politics, but had no interest in being a ruling party. The party has fielded candidates both in the regional and Senate elections due this fall. The Czech Pirate Party has 223 members and 987 registered supporters. Its Facebook page is followed by more than 30,000 users.
A thief who stole cables in the Šumperk region over the weekend disconnected some thirty telephone landlines. The man stole close to two hundred meters of cables during the night in view of selling them as scrap material. The company has estimated the damage at around 20 thousand crowns. If he is caught the culprit could face up to six years in prison.
The 2012 international festival of artistic blacksmithing is taking place at Helfštýn Castle over the weekend. This year the event attracted over 400 blacksmiths from twenty countries including the US, Canada, Great Britain and Australia. The festival was established in 1982 and has gained considerable popularity over the years. It allows blacksmiths to present their craft to the public not just exhibiting pieces they are proud of but working on new ones in the castle courtyard to show off their skills to visitors. It has also become a popular meeting place for people in the blacksmiths trade. This year’s festival attracted close to 10,000 people.
American rock band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will perform at Prague’s Synot Tip Arena football stadium on Monday August 27th. The band which is promoting its latest album I’m With You will roll out a mix of old and new hits for fans including Ethiopia, Factory of Faith, Monarchy of Roses as well as the popular Dani California, Scar Tissue, Under the Bridge or Californication.