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This Sunday, Formentera celebrates Carnaval 2017

Foto carnaval 2016 premsaEarlier today the Formentera Council's Office of Culture and Local Holidays unveiled details of Carnaval 2017 festivities, which are scheduled to take place Sunday February 26 in Sant Francesc. Participants are called upon to gather in the Sa Senieta car park at 11.00am to sign up for the day's contest. Setting off at 12 noon, the procession will wind down main streets of Sant Francesc, helped along by the music of Voice & Senses.

The parade route will have participants walking up avinguda Pla del Rei to carrer d'Eivissa and then onto plaça de la Constitució. From there, they'll descend carrer Jaume I, turn first onto carrer Marc Ferrer and then carrer Santa Maria before finally returning to the town square. Anyone in fancy dress can take part in the day's contest and will be eligible for numerous cash prizes.

Adult (individual)
First place €200
Second place €150

Kids (individual)
First place €100
Second place €60

First place €300
Second place €200

First place €300
Second place €200

Small groups [three to ten people]
First place €400
Second place €250

Large groups [ten plus]
First place €500
Second place €350

Floats [with vehicle]
First place €950
Second place €650

As culture and holidays councillor Susana Labrador pointed out, post-parade tunes will be provided by DJ Pharma, who will do his best to get both young and old dancing. “It's a day when everyone in fancy dress is a star,” said the councillor.

Lunch starts at 2.00pm, with a community meal organised by parents of six year students and the parents' association of Mestre Lluís Andreu. Proceeds will go to fund students' year-end trip. Anyone in fancy dress eats free. In the words of Councillor Labrador, who underscored the excitement and effort involved in making Carnaval a success, “Here's hoping everyone who wants to will have a ball”.

Debris cleared from local gully

posidonia acumuladaIn an announcement today, the Formentera Council's Office of Environment detailed recent work by the department to clear a gully called “torrent de s'Alga” located on the Migjorn coastline, of accumulated sediment and seaweed. According to environment councillor Daisee Aguilera, heavy rains in December and January led to a large build up of sediment at the mouth of the torrent, or gully. “There was a risk,” she said, “the pile-up of rocks would prevent fishermen from getting their boats on the water.”

Faced with that possibility, fishermen petitioned for the debris to be removed and a deal was struck between the Council and the coastal authority to that effect. The administration brought in an outside company to carry out the week-long task, which entailed ridding the gully of 350 cubic metres of material — 250m3 of rocks and 100m3 of posidònia seagrass. Similar circumstances came to pass some twenty years ago, when accumulated sediment ultimately obstructed exiting fishermen. In that case, crews worked in the water to remove the debris, a task Aguilera described as “much more laborious”.

Experts study restoration of can Ramon

foto estudi can ramonAccording to an announcement from the Office of Patrimony of the Formentera Council, this week a restoration team from Universitat Politècnica de València specially trained in historical heritage sites will begin mapping and studying potential obstacles at the can Ramon building site. According to office head Councillor Susana Labrador, the present studies will lay the groundwork for future upgrades of the building.

The team of ten specialists is led by Dr Fernando Vegas, senior lecturer at Universitat Politècnica and member of the drafting committee of Spain's national plan for traditional architecture. The group's work is expected to conclude in four months and cost €21,659.

Historical context of can Ramon
At the same time, archaeologist Glenda Graziani is heading up another historical study on past building efforts at can Ramon, thus complying with Formentera's subsidiary regulations on architecture as established in the local catalogue of cultural heritage sites. Graziani's project carries a cost of €6,625.

Future ethnographic museum
The current work, which began only after building studies and other preparations had been completed, must precede the building's actual restoration. Can Ramon, including the house and historical well found on the property, was acquired by the Formentera Council on the premise that the restored building be used to house “Formentera's store of public and privately-held museographic collections on ethnography”.

Precise chronological records for the house have yet to be defined. More modern estimates put its construction in the mid to late 1800s, though certain features of the property could come from the eighteenth century. Can Ramon is given protection level C on Formentera's catalogue of cultural heritage sites. It is a traditional rural home, albeit with larger than normal dimensions, where farming and livestock operations were very nearly industrial in scale. Today, the catalogue details how can Ramon's operators even made wine on site. Given its traditional architecture, the adjacent well is also included on the catalogue. It possesses protection level A.

Formentera joins Amnesty International's push for state commitment on refugees

foto reunio amnistia internacionalFormentera Council president Jaume Ferrer, vice-president Susana Labrador and social welfare councillor Vanessa Parellada met today with Amnesty International's coordinator in the Balearics, Francisco Palacios, and another member of the group, Miguel Angel Romero. The Council took the occasion to show its support for the NGO's campaign urging Spanish state action on refugees.

According to an announcement from Councillor Parellada, at the administration's Friday, February 24 plenary session Gent per Formentera and the socialist party intend to present a statement making the case for facilitating the arrival of refugees and registering their deep concern for the situations of Syrians fleeing war in their country. In the document, the groups are expected to urge the Spanish government to remove obstacles facing asylum applicants and guarantee expedited response to their applications. Broadly, the declaration will call for measures which ensure proper resettlement conditions and émigrés' right to asylum are respected.

Formentera amb Siria
Parellada highlighted the events calendar for the upcoming “Formentera amb Siria” (“Formentera with Syria”) programme. The keynote event, a fundraising community paella, is scheduled to take place in sa Senieta car park in Sant Francesc. All money raised will go to support refugees through the non-profit group Progreso y Desarrollo Humano.

Going back to March 2015, the Formentera Council adopted a rejection of the UE-Turkey refugee deal on the grounds that, in the social welfare councillor's words, the agreement constitutes “an enormous breach of the legislation protecting refugees” and “a deterioration of the humanitarian crisis in course”. The aim of that declaration, said Parellada, was to urge the Spanish administration to take an active role within the European Commission in defence of international law and in protection of refugees.

Formentera pupils get lesson in recycling and composting

visita deixalleria premsaThe Formentera Council's Office of Environment has reported today that in every classroom of every school on the island students will now find an "ecology spot" — a station where rubbish and recyclable material can be binned. Department head Daisee Aguilera explained the measure and pointed out new high volume bins installed on school playgrounds by the Ecoembes company.

Calling it an effort to give kids “first-hand experience recycling" and a "good reminder of recycling's environmental importance", Aguilera says starting with young learners is "an investment in a more sustainable future". Now in its second year, the project gives children a chance to visit the island's rubbish tip (Deixalleria) and transfer station. As the councillor points out, the experience provides a close-up look at what happens to the things we throw away on the island.

Composting workshops
Last week composting classes began across the island. All told, Formentera's three primary schools will see ten composting workshops tailored for students' practical use on school vegetable patches. The lessons are funded by the Formentera Council and the Govern's ministry of environment. "Our hope," said Aguilera, "is that we can get children in the habit of recycling early and make sure they take an active role in sustainable waste management."

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