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Aguilera meets with specialists from Mission Blue

Reunio mission blueAt noon yesterday, Daisee Aguilera, chief of the Formentera Council's Office of Environment, along with staffer Javier Asensió and IMEDEA researcher Núria Marbà, gathered in the administration's hall of ceremonies to meet with biologist Manu San Félix and a team of expert marine biologists specialising in ocean conservation. In the coming days, the group, called Mission Blue, will make a series of recordings in the waters of Formentera. The aim, they explained at yesterday's encounter, is to raise awareness about the importance of protections for posidonia seagrass and conservation measures to ensure fishing resources.

As they to hit their mark creating 100 so-called “Hope Spots” around the world, Mission Blue are dropping in at several islands of the Balearics. They will gather data about potential candidates for new protected areas of the sea, a measure they say can drive growth of fish populations.

Formentera regulates access to es Cap de Barbaria lighthouse

Foto regulacio es capThe Formentera Council's mobility office has announced that this Saturday July 1, 2017, will see the start of a pilot programme to regulate access by cars, scooters and other motor vehicles to es Cap de Barbaria's lighthouse. Department head Rafael González says the move is aimed at “stemming bottlenecks along the road and protecting this natural space located on the swath of public land known as Sa Tanca d'allà dins”.

From July 1 to September 15 a barrier will be positioned at Km 6.5 of the road to es Cap de Barbaria. A parking area has been created near the roadside with capacity for 60 cars and 100 motor scooters so that visitors can leave their vehicles and proceed on foot or by bicycle to the lighthouse.

Access for people with reduced mobility
During peak visiting hours, 11.00am to 1.00pm and 6.00pm to 10.00pm, an attendant beside the barrier will allow access to people with reduced mobility and provide visitors with information about the new measures.

The current trial period will lay the groundwork for the path forward in the coming year. The new system, said González, seeks to preserve the landscape and promote sustainable mobility. The goal, González finished by saying, is for people to see excursions to the es Cap lighthouse or the es Garroveret defence tower as “not to be missed, while remaining mindful of our targets in terms of landscape preservation and tranquil tourism”.

Jam-packed programme for Formentera's tribute to patron saint Jaume

Ballada pagesa santjaume2016 02 elena marcoThe Formentera Council's Office of Culture announced today its bill of activities to celebrate the island's patron saint, Sant Jaume. Commemoration runs July 18 to 29, with an assorted activities programme which culture, education and patrimony councillor Susana Labrador expects will “put locals and tourists in touch with traditional culture”. Referring to the day by its name in Catalan, Labrador highlighted “numerous performances to make sure absolutely everybody has a very happy Diada de Formentera”.

Cultural programming
Sant Francesc will slip on a festive veneer for the festivities. The programme kicks off Tuesday, June 18 with the opening of «Els pelegrins», an exhibition from Michel Mouffé at the municipal gallery and sa Tanca Vella. Later, in Jardí de ses Eres, the César-winning film Mañana/Demain will be shown as part of Cinema a la Fresca, an outdoor film series.

On Thursday, June 20, comes the final stage production of Espai_F's «Nautae». The show débuted June 3 as the final instalment of a trilogy that produced, in 2012, «Cap de Tortuga» followed by 2016's «Perdius».

Official ceremony
As in years past, the administration's official Diada celebration includes a salute to the evening's honourees. This year's is scheduled for July 24 at 8.30pm in the municipal cinema. For Councillor Labrador, “this year's ceremony is even more special” because it overlaps with the ten-year anniversary of the Formentera Council's constitution.

Activities for children and teens
On Monday afternoon, July 24, musical group The Penguins will put on a family-friendly show they're calling «Reggae per a xics» (Reggae for tots), channeling island influences as they rework old classics.

Children are invited to an afternoon of arts, crafts and fun with flowers called «Prepara’t per la Flower», on Wednesday, June 19, in the Marià Villangómez library. Then, on Saturday the 22nd, Jardí de ses Eres plays host to an ample array of activities tuned for children and teens. They'll feature creative, hands-on workshops, fitness activities and costume and make-up prep for the big Flower bash.

This year, young music fans have got something brand new to look forward to as Rap Culture presents Nit de Rap, an evening of hip-hop in Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució. Dual Tod, Fabian, d'Versus and Juan Vidal perform.

Speaking about this year's Sant Jaume commemorations, Labrador underscored the role of input from young people at the youth council's most recent plenary session.

Sports activities
It wouldn't be a patron saint celebration without sports on the bill, which is why from July 21 to 23, Formentera will host a tennis and paddle tennis tournament and, later that week, a demo from children in the island's summer synchronised swimming programme.

Music and concerts (July 22-25)
Every year Sant Jaume celebrations get their dose of music and this year's are no different. Labrador beamed about a special Sunday night edition of Jazz in the Square, encouraging concertgoers to “start getting excited about guitarist Josep Munar and singer/saxophonist Eva Fernández”. The latter is an up-and-comer on the Catalan jazz scene recognised for her work in multi-instrumentalist Joan Chamorro's Sant Andreu Jazz Band. Saturday, July 22, is time for the talked-about Flower Formentera. Crowds on Monday will enjoy the strings and brass arrangements of the symphonic Brossa Quartet layered over Mallorca-bred Maika Makowski's magnetic vocals. Old champions of alternative and psychedelic pop, Sidonie,come next, followed by the Jamaican-inflected rhythms of The Penguins Band.

For the commemoration's centrepiece, la Nit (“the eve”) of Sant Jaume, tourists and residents will be treated to the hometown sounds of Pityusic neighbours Ressonadors, the project of Eivissa-natives Joan Barbé and Omar Gisbert. Then, back on stage to celebrate 25 years making music, it's the Formentera pop-rock outfit Spioks. Wrapping things up are Blues Mafia i es Saligardos, whose sound draws on the influences of the Blues Brothers Band.

Councillor Labrador thanked sponsors Trasmapi for supporting the Sant Jaume festivities as a launchpad for local cultural programming. This year, the company is offering festivalgoers discounts on trips to the island. Riders should indicate their plans to attend Sant Jaume events when purchasing their ferry tickets.

Organising the Sant Jaume festivities costs €50,000.

Palma hopes construction of Formentera museum under way before end of legislative session

Reunio museuFormentera Council chairman Jaume Ferrer and culture councillor Susana Labrador, plus regional cultural minister Fanny Tur and representatives of Fundació Sa Nostra, met today in the conference call of the CiF Office of Culture for a gathering of the top members of a foundation that seeks to create a museum and cultural centre on the island.

After the event, Chairman Ferrer expressed his satisfaction that the board was renewing its efforts. The aim, he said, is to make the Formentera museum a reality. According to Ferrer, meeting attendees were united behind the goal of “reactivating the museum project”.

Sa Nostra handed over the lot that sits opposite Sant Francesc's old cemetery to the museum's foundation; the land must now be registered on behalf of the group. Early plans have already been drafted, said Ferrer, but are awaiting tweaks to align the project with the island's urban land use guidelines.

Ferrer, who said he was “happy” to see so much political will to cooperate on the Palma administration's side, voiced hopes that “the Govern's upcoming budgets include funding for the project”.

Museu de Formentera is a commitment the Govern must take responsibility for,” said the regional minister, referring to the project's name in Catalan, “and that's exactly what we are doing”. She hopes the project will “gain enough momentum during the current legislative session that we have no choice but to follow it through to completion”.

In the coming weeks another meeting of board members will be convened to ensure work on the project continues. Founded in April 2007, the museum foundation's board had met only once before today, in February 2008.

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