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This Saturday, Formentera kids can cut loose

apneef 230415This morning the APNEEF association (whose acronym in Catalan stands for 'people with special needs in Eivissa and Formentera') announced details regarding a celebration the group will put on this Saturday afternoon at 4:30pm in the Jardí de ses Eres of Sant Francesc.

The hoopla will continue till late, stopping only momentarily at 6pm so residents can head to the municipal theatre to take in a very special performance of The grasshopper and the ant by the Xip Xap theatre group.

Dolores Fernández Tamargo, councillor of social welfare, Cintia Llaquet, psychologist at the Creix centre and APNEEF representatives Ana Galindo and Rosa Tur explained that Saturday's party would be an opportunity to fundraise, get the word out about APNEEF's work and gauge the possibility of extending these services.

Fun and games will start at half past four with a range of different workshops: facepainting, pet rocks, recycling, gardening, inflatable bouncy toys and capoeira. There will be a short break at six for any partygoers interested in taking in that day's theatre production, after which the festivities will continue with magician acts, a refreshments bar and the music of DJ Pharma.

APNEEF provides services in physical therapy, academic tutoring, psychomotricity, psychology and speech therapy to 17 families. The group receives €14,000 in annual funding from the Formentera Council. The representatives of the association expressed their desire to broaden their member base and, in so doing, expand their base of available services to include cognitive stimulation, hydrotherapy, hippotherapy and volunteer training courses.

Saturday afternoon, part of yet-another fundraising effort, this time organised with the collaboration of the Formentera Council office of trade, APNEEF will use space at the Centre Gabrielet to exhibit for sale a selection of artist-donated works.

Formentera 2.0 gives up October spot in favour of May

formentera20 230415The Formentera Council's office of tourism unveiled details this morning regarding Formentera 2.0, a training programme in online marketing communication slated to take place 7-10 May.

Leading things at the presentation were Carles Bernús, head of the local tourism board (El Patronat de Turisme), together with Rosa Castells, the coordinator of the Formentera 2.0 training programme. Tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer has been in Mallorca today for a day-long conference organised by the Balearic Port Authority on quality tourism and was thus unable to attend this morning's event in Formentera.

Formentera 2.0 organisers have announced that 30 interested individuals – owners of small businesses, entrepreneurs, creative minds and journalists from points across the Spanish peninsula – have already signed up for the programme this year. According to Bernús: “These day-long events are not only an excellent chance to learn; they are an incredible resource for networking and meeting professionals in the field”.

Carles Bernús commended Formentera 2.0's organisers on the promise of the posters printed to announce the upcoming event. Looking ahead to the training programme, which, after discounting all collected enrolment dues had a cost of €12,000 (met by the Formentera Council), Bernús boasted: “It will be a treat to see such capable speakers against the relaxed backdrop that our island puts up”.

For her part, Rosa Cartells added: “To anyone attending, this course will provide tools to ensure Internet visibility for their business. Moreover, participants will have the added benefit of learning directly from the experience of professionals like Ana Fernández, Franc Carreras, Folch Studio and Xavier Agulló”. Space is still available for those interested and signup can be done on the website formentera20.com.

120 turn out for info session on tourist-use rentals

informativa vivendesThe office of tourism, trade and transport of the Formentera Council has organised an informational session with an end toward delineating the new set of regulations concerning rental of private dwellings to tourists and its effect on taxes.

One hundred twenty individuals came out for the event, of which some were private citizens and others professionals in the field. The large number of attendees was behind organisers' last minute decision to relocate from the previously-announced multipurpose room (which only has capacity for 60) to the town cinema.

On hand were Alejandra Ferrer, CiF councillor of tourism; Josep Costa, Council staff specialist; and Vicente Arbona, administrative staff of the Agència Tributària d'Eivissa i Formentera. Ferrer and Costa went over the different in detail while Arbona used his time at the event to explain how to declare income earned from tourist rentals.

Councillor Ferrer asserted: “This was an informational event aimed at providing clear explanations on how to proceed – the Council's goal here is to assist the local population with the change. Renting a home for holiday stays is neither prohibited nor should it be a clandestine activity; if homeowners declare their intention to rent and pay the necessary taxes, they have absolutely nothing to worry about.

“The Govern Balear is letting Formentera turn into Eivissa's dance floor”

Silvia Tur partyboats210415Silvia Tur, representing the Formentera Council as the administration's environmental councillor, expressed her “disappointment” at the news that “the Govern Balear's proposed solution to the problem of 'party boats' is nothing more than an article – 12 lines long – within a decree on the classification of tourism-industry businesses”.

Tur reminded those in the crowd at a Tuesday morning press conference that “these parties – in boats and with loud music – are a serious disturbance to Formentera's coastline and beaches. They are a threat to the vision we are striving to obtain for Formentera”.

In the words of the councillor of the environment, the issue is so crucial that “all of our political parties, unanimously, in the most recent debate on the state of the island, came together and voted to prohibited such practices”.

Councillor Tur bemoaned the fact that “on a question so important – at the root of so many disputes last summer and the driving force behind so many meetings and working groups – Bauzà has chosen to govern by means of a decree that is amnesic with respect to the actual will of Formentera...What's worse, the decree is an open call to use the Formentera coastline as a continuation of Eivissa dance floors”.

According to the environmental councillor, “article 147, which is being marketed by the Govern as the party boat regulation, includes neither punitive measures, infractions, nor any sort of restriction vis-à-vis these protected areas of our coastline”.

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