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Formentera reactivates lifeguard service

As of yesterday, the Formentera Council's lifeguard and rescue services are once again present on the island's beaches. The announcement came earlier today from the CiF president's office, with an indication from department head Bartomeu Escandell that service would run from May 1 through October 31 of this year. Eight lifeguards and one supervisor took to their stations on Sunday and the service's ranks will gradually fill out until the height of the season, when 15 lifeguards, three waterside supervisors, one area supervisor and one project coordinator make up the complete lifeguard and rescue crew.

Adapted beaches

Councillor Escandell reminded residents that the beaches of Arenals and es Pujols are both equipped to allow swimming for individuals with reduced mobility. The Council recommends calling ahead of time to request the service, which is available from 12 noon to 5.00pm (green flag hours) and can be reached by calling 609.76.85.06.

It is also worth noting that Arenals, Illetes and Llevant beaches are all equipped with watchtowers and a first-aid station to provide improved care to accident victims. The first-aid stations were acquired last summer, constituting an important improvement to the Formentera safety service. Watchtowers can also be found at beaches in es Pujols, es Pas des Trucadors, Hotel RIU la Mola and the restaurant Tanga.

Everywhere lifeguard services are available there is also a complete first-aid kit, oxygen therapy system, state-of-the-art, semi-automatic defibrillator and floating spine board. A rescue watercraft is also available at ses Illetes beach as well as a Jet Ski at es Pas des Trucadors, Llevant and Arenals. Lifeguard service at Arenals beach extends to the area in front of Hotel RIU la Mola and and the Llevant service covers the beach near the restaurant Tanga.

Lifeguard and rescue staff complete yearly refresher courses both in first-aid and handling techniques for accident victims in marine environments. The fact that the CiF is the only town council officially recognised as providing a municipal safe beaches service means lower costs of operation are possible. Those savings are then reinvested to ensure a better service can be provided, Escandell said.

Furthermore, Escandell highlighted collaboration between the Council, the regional directorate general of fishing and the Institut Mediterrani d'Estudis Avançats, a research institution, to compile information about jellyfish at Formentera beaches. Three times a day and at every beach with lifeguard service, data on jellyfish —numbers, species, number of stings reported— are collected on a rolling basis and analysed.

For information about sea conditions, jellyfish and other beach-related news, daily updates are posted to www.platgesdebalears.com

BEACH
PERIOD
HOURS

Ses Illetes
May 1 to June 15, September 16 to October 31
11.00am – 5.00pm

June 16 to September 15
11.00am – 7.00pm

Es Pas des Trucadors
June 1 to 15
12 noon – 4.00pm

June 16 to September 15
12 noon – 6.00pm

September 16 to 30
12 noon – 4.00pm

Platja de Llevant
May 1 to June 15,
September 16 to October 31
11.00am – 5.00pm

June 16 to September 15
11.00am – 7.00pm

Platja des Arenals
May 1 to June 15,
September 16 to October 31
11.00am – 5.00pm

June 16 to September 15
11.00am – 7.00pm

Es Pujols
June 1 to 15
11.00am – 5.00pm

June 16 to September 15
12 noon – 6.00pm

Formentera's got culture on the agenda

palabras-de-miguelThe Formentera Council's Office of Culture unveiled today its spring calendar of musicals and stage productions. According to department head Susana Labrador, it's a programme with “something for everybody”. “From opera to theatre and kids productions to musicals, the variety of styles and formats on this season's cultural agenda points to one thing: culture is back at centre stage on Formentera”.

May

Formentera viu l'Òpera picks up again this May with one of the world's most beloved ballets: Giselle. With music from Adolphe Adam and choreography from Yuri Grigorovich, Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre brings this evening of dance to the Formentera cinema (Sala de Cultura) at 8.00pm, Saturday May 7.

The Formentera viu l'Òpera series was borne of a desire to bring this magnificent art form to Formentera audiences. Organisers have compiled a well-known selection of operatic productions for HD projection at the CiF cultural hall.

Another event that shouldn't be missed is Palabras de Miguel, a production of Nona Teatro. Scheduled for 9.00pm, Saturday May 14 at Centre Tur Gabrielet, this free show combines the acting of José Manuel Garzón with music from pianist José Galiana in a heartfelt rendering of the lifelong correspondence between poet Miguel Hernández and wife Josefina Manresa. First, we see the couple's relationship in its earliest stages, during a season spent by the artist in Madrid. Then, with the onset of the Spanish Civil War, Hernández eventually finds himself on the front lines of combat. Later, he is arrested and held in Spanish prisons until, in Alicante, he ultimately passes away. Through a series of letters, the audience is presented a rarely seen side of Hernández, as a father and husband. Palabras de Miguel combines texts and poems with the accompaniment of a piano.

For the kids

Kids will have a time with Safrà i Serafí, a puppet show by the Catalan company Txo Titelles about the strength and value of friendship. Safrà and Serafí, two field mice, are next-door neighbours with consummately different interests in life. Their story is a reflection of the power of diversity to enrich us and a reminder that friendship and cooperation make us whole.

Safrà i Serafí, for audiences two and up, will be held Saturday May 21 at 6.00pm in the cinema (Sala de Cultura). Tickets are five euros and one adult per family can enter for free.

Formentera, at centre stage

As this summer winds down the island will just be warming up. Performances of two productions are scheduled on Formentera as part of the regional ministry of culture's programme Platea. In October, the company Titziana Teatro will present islanders with their most recent show: Distancia siete minutos, a touching mixture of acting and dramatic writing by Pako Merino and Diego Lorca. Hailed by critics, this production will be in the cinema October 1.

Marcel Gros, one of the most loved and recognised clowns on the Catalan stage, will bring his most recent production to Formentera just in time for November's World Children's Day. Having honed the craft now for more than thirty years, Gros is thrilled to be back presenting audiences with La gran A... ventura [història d'un Pallasso]. Gros's ability to get entire audiences smiling is certifiable. Come to the cinema, Saturday November 12 at 5.30pm, and watch as he “combines multi-comic and mini-media” for a production that is “absolutely, exclusively for everyone”.

Lastly, Circuit Talent IB, the jointly run initiative by Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics and the Govern Balear's ministry of culture, will soon be back for a new round of musical and performing arts productions. According to Councillor Labrador, next season's programme will be published this June.

Formentera to issue remarks re: tax on tourist rentals

Foto votacio pleThe Formentera Council convened its April plenary session today. Members of the plenary unanimously passed a measure to share comments with the Govern Balear on a proposed change to the law regulating the tourist accommodation tax law and various measures concerning sustainable tourism. Land management councillor Alejandra Ferrer explained that the law, in its current form, “doesn't yet include all of the Council's remarks.”

Ferrer indicated that the comments adopted today in plenary reflect a desire for the local island councils to play a more important role in sustainable tourism committees. The task of the committees is to pick which projects will move ahead and receive funding. If no changes are made, she said, the law will give local councils only minimal representation. Though the law purports to give members of “regional” groups a say in the process, there is no guarantee of representation on an island-by-island basis. Ferrer says she supports the tax, but insists it must be adapted to the needs and particulars of Formentera. Nevertheless, Ferrer did point out that some improvements had been secured during parliamentary review of the measure thanks to the intervention of Formentera's representative in parliament, Diputada Sílvia Tur.

Tougher fines

Plenary members also gave unanimous support for an initial proposal to modify a municipal ordinance on waste collection and street cleaning. Environment councillor Daisee Aguilera reported that “infractions and antisocial behaviour by companies and private citizens” were behind a decision to assign heavier fines. As it stands, the ordinance establishes fines of €1-€750 for minor offences, €751-€1,500 for serious ones and €1,501-€3,000 for infractions considered very serious. The newly adopted text not only creates a new class of even more serious infractions, it also establishes stiffer fines for the infractions already on the books: €150-€900, €900-45,000 and €45,000-€1,750,000, respectively.

“We hope that the changes serve to discourage offenders,” said the councillor. A proposed municipal inspection team would be tasked with enforcing the ordinance. What is more, the decision has been made to hire an outreach person to raise local awareness this summer and “help keep the island clean,” added Aguilera.

Members also voted “yes” on a proposal to seek exemption from the central government's royal decree (known as the “sun tax”) regulating 0km energy. As for one trade-related measure, plenary members unanimously supported a campaign to boost business activity in the winter.

Social welfare and human resources councillor gives account of department activity

Vanessa Parellada, CiF councillor of social welfare and human resources, gave plenary attendees an account of her offices' recent work, highlighting first and foremost what she called an underlying guiding principle: “striving to provide the people of Formentera with fair access to healthcare resources”. She also emphasised the importance of a high level of quality of life for those members of island's population with disabilities and the elderly. Finally, she identified residents with mental disabilities as the latest on the list of priorities for caregiving at the Formentera Day Centre.

One of the tasks to be dealt with, proclaimed the councillor, is increasing the day centre's capacity. Eventually, Parellada's goal is for the centre to provide Formentera seniors with care that is truly comprehensive. She also homed in on protecting youth from risky behaviour as a prime concern.

The need to improve the situation of youth was an overarching theme in Parellada's presentation, though in terms of human resources she also underscored the importance of securing equality and guaranteeing the full integration of all residents. The councillor closed by thanking the employees of her department for their hard work and continued efforts.

Fire ban starts on Sunday May 1

The president's office of the Formentera Council has issued a reminder concerning the impending start of a summer fire ban. The ban, which starts this Sunday May 1 and extends through October 15, is aimed at reducing the risk of forest fires during the high risk summer period. In a cautionary note sounded by department head Bartomeu Escandell, an especially dry winter was pointed to as the motive for the ban. “This is a time when every possible precautionary measure should be taken,” he said.

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971 32 10 87 - Ext: 3181
premsa@conselldeformentera.cat