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Municipal music school holds first traditional sing-along

Assaig cantada pagesaThe Formentera Council Office of Culture has announced plans for an activity being billed as Cantada Pagesa. The first of its kind, the “country-style sing-along” is a free-to-attend event taking place next Saturday, January 28 at 8.30pm in the municipal cinema.

The maiden recital will feature students currently enrolled in a traditional music workshop led by Xumeu Joan, teacher and musician, together with other volunteers eager to take part. The initiative is part of a broader policy at the school of protecting and promoting Formentera's traditional musical traditions.

The municipal music school —Escola Municipal de Música— serves some 350 students and provides elementary and professional music and dance instruction that is officially accredited. Certificates can be obtained on completion of the school's beginners courses in concert flute, guitar and piano.

As an authorised centre for music and dance learning, the school can offer instruction that is “regulated”, or officially-recognised,and non-regulated. Their catalogue, ranging from beginners' music courses for students aged six- and seven-year-olds and traditional music workshops to professional-grade studies, serves a diverse student body.

Given the open nature of the school, the learning opportunities there expand and change constantly based on demand and the centre's organisational possibilities.

More information is available at http://escolamusica.conselldeformentera.cat/ and the school's activities programme can be found on agendaformentera.cat at the following link http://agendaformentera.cat/evento.php?id_evento=415&id_eventosesion=3414&titulo=i-cantada-pagesa.

Formentera shows Fitur its sustainable side

fitur 2017 1Three members of the local administration –Council president Jaume Ferrer, tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer and tourism advisory board chief Carlos Bernús– can be spotted extolling Formentera's qualities this week at the Fitur travel show. As Councillor Ferrer pointed out, this year Formentera is at two stands – one representing the Balearic Islands and housed in pavilion nine, and the another, located in pavilion seven, that the island shares with Citroën E-Mehari.

Formentera will tout the sporting and cultural events that have steadily gained prominence over the years and turned the island’s pre- and post-season periods into targets for tourists. The plugging dovetails with a Balearics-wide campaign to boost wintertime travel to the region. At the Balearics’ official presentation before Fitur crowds, slated for Thursday at noon, Formentera will screen its 2017 promo video and, according to Councillor Ferrer, “unveil a new green project to safeguard posidonia seagrass”.

Sustainable mobility
Riding the wave of 2017’s promotion as Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Formentera will continue agitating for electric vehicles, already a years-long movement on the island. Councillor Ferrer explained that one upcoming line of action, fruit of the recent partnership between by the administration and Citroën, included “continuing to swap out fossil-fuel vehicles on the Council's fleet with electric ones”.

Expanded online services: OAC to offer e-certificate pick-up

Foto tràmits oacThe information technologies arm of the Formentera Council has announced that from today, Monday January 16, e-certificates from the Royal Mint of Spain can be processed through the Citizen's Information Office (OAC). Although formerly processed at the Formentera branch of the Regional tax agency, Agència Tributària de les Illes Balears, local service was suspended in January 2015 and since then islanders have been forced to travel to Eivissa to process such requests. That drove the Council's decision to accredit both OAC and the civil registry to grant e-certificates locally.

Formentera fire brigade responded in 47 fires in 2016

Foto camió bombersIn an appraisal of the local firefighting crew’s work over the previous year made public today by the Formentera Council president’s office, department head Bartomeu Escandell saluted workers on a job well done and highlighted “twelve months without big wildfires”. In 2016 firefighters put out 47 fires, a figure that represented a year-on-year increase of twelve and reflected blazes that, on the whole, occurred in forested areas. In total, the fire crew was called into duty 136 times –nine more than in 2015– to fight back flames or oversee other interventions, including preventive work.

Espalmador fire
Councillor Escandell recalled a blaze that broke out last summer on the island of Espalmador as one of the year’s most dangerous. He said that wildfire’s quick taming was “thanks to the rapid response of local firefighters, regional forest crews (Ibanat) and other volunteers”. Formentera’s fire brigade, a six-person team, has got two pick-up trucks and two water pumps on hand. Escandell also pointed out the administration’s recent acquisition of an additional rapid response vehicle aimed at promoting even swifter action and more efficient wildfire prevention.

Escandell underscored the importance of help from Ibanat, Formentera’s civil protection force, Guardia Civil and the local police in addition to assistance from volunteers and water delivery firms that made use of their equipment available to firefighters as necessary. The Formentera Council sponsors wildfire risk awareness outreach in an effort to show, in Escandell’s words, “that even little steps –not tossing cigarette ends out windows, for example– can be effective in preventing tragedies in the Balearics”.

Action plan set in motion for local roads, public car parks

brigada caminsA review of roads and public parking areas, commissioned after heavy storms drenched the island December 18 and 19 and left local roads damaged, will serve as the basis for action by the Formentera Council's Office of Infrastructure. The administration's roads crew is presently carrying out the most urgent of the improvements, with completion projected for the close of January.

According to CiF infrastructure councillor Rafael González, “work will focus on roughly fifteen of the worst-off arterials –among them the road linking Porto-salè and cala Saona, the path to Torrent de s'Alga and public car parks in Sant Francesc– all of which were battered by a combination of immoderate quantity, speed and force of rainfall.”

Nineteen complaints about the state of roads have been received by the Citizen's Information Office (OAC) in the wake of the December downpours. Once the current improvements are complete, said González, “the roads brigade will resume its routine maintenance of Formentera's dirt roads”.

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