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Formentera redoubles effort to have Jaume Matas commemorative plaques removed

placa jaume matasAccording to CiF president Jaume Ferrer, the presidential cabinet office of the Formentera Council authored and sent a letter to Govern Balear president Francina Armengol earlier this morning in which the Council reiterated the content of a message approved at last November's plenary session: “Remove the name of Jaume Matas i Palou from any commemorative or inaugural plaques that might be found at locales, buildings or any other publicly-owned spaces”.

That message was expedited to the presidential office of the Govern de les Illes Balears last December, though, if the Council has seen fit to redress the petition with the new Palma president, Ferrer explained it was because “we've yet to receive any news concerning the matter and no action has been witnessed”.

On 28 November 2014, a unanimous “yes” was given to a motion presented by Gent per Formentera and PSOE. The measure called for urging the autonomous government to take down any plaque including the name of Jaume Matas, the embattled ex-president of the Balearic Islands who has been found guilty of fraud during his term in office.

Sailing school equipment gets a makeover

equips windsurfThe Formentera Council's office of sport (l'àrea d'Esport) has invested eighteen thousand euros in material for the Escola Municipal de Vela, the local sailing school. Specifically, the money was used to purchase eight competition-grade BIC Techno windsurfing rigs (combinations of a mast, boom and sail) to be used by windsurfers in the under 15 category.

The new material had been requested by Escola students. In the words of CiF sports councillor Jordi Vidal: “Windsurfing is an incredibly important sport on our island, both now and looking toward the future. And thanks to this new equipment, those who are just starting out now are in a much better position”.

Round the island on a windsurf board
Formentera windsurfers will have the chance to debut the new equipment in the 34th annual Volta a Formentera en Windsurf, scheduled for Sunday 27 September. As Jordi Vidal tells it, the gathering has become a must for windsurfers and —with more than three decade's of history under its belt— an emblematic event for the world of sports on the island.

Recently, three Formentera windsurfers —Sergi Escandell, Carlos Cardona and Mateo Sanz— have made headlines for their participation in the world cup for windsurfing currently taking place in China. The head of the sports office wished the local athletes “the best of luck in this trial, which is sure to serve as preparation for October's world championship in Oman. Here's hoping that they will continue on to become our island's very first Olympic athletes”.

Formentera reaffirms pact with Aliança Mar Blava

alianca acordEarlier today in the plenary hall of the Formentera Council, members of the local administration —President Jaume Ferrer and Councillor Daisee Aguilera, head of the environment office— gathered with a core group of Aliança Mar Blava members that included business sector representative Ángeles Nogales, NGO sector rep Sandra Benbeniste, association spokesman and public administrations rep Javier Gómez, volunteer coordinator Jordi Bichara and —the Council's delegate within the association— Diego Ojeda.

As the meeting got under way, members of Aliança went over a list of companies currently considering petroleum exploration projects in the Mediterranean Sea, among which the Spectrum company stands out. Commenting after the meeting, Councillor Aguilera explained the company's plan —now under environmental impact review— to carry out sonic explorations across an area stretching from northern Catalonia to the Balearics. As Aguilera noted, one hundred twenty-eight thousand people in the Pitiüsa Islands submitted their objections to an earlier project backed by Cairn Energy and the councillor expressed her hope that a similar grassroots movement would rally to oppose this new plan. She added that objections to the plan could be made as soon as the project is published in the BOIB (Butlletí Oficial de les Illes Balears).

Collaborative accord
Councillor Aguilera took the opportunity to announce the forthcoming signature, by the Formentera Council, of an accord —backed by a still to be determined sum of aide— aimed at assisting the Aliança Mar Blava in the group's work. Although the exact sum of the financial assistance has yet to be determined, Aguilera indicated that during 2014-2015 a similar CiF-Aliança accord earmarked an annual sum of €3,000 for the group. The councillor of environment closed by saying: “As Aliança has already done, our council will send a letter to Spectrum imploring them to desist all activity in the Mediterranean”. Aliança spokesman Javier Gómez thanked the Formentera Council for reaffirming its commitment to the association.

Signage goes up on Cultural Heritage in Formentera

senyalsThe Formentera Council, by way of the administration's office of patrimony, has overseen the installation of signage across its cultural heritage sites. The initiative —“aimed at switching out any deteriorated or outdated informational plaques in addition to creating signage for places that previously had none, as was the case with the towers of Punta Prima and Punta de la Gavina, different dry dock locations (sa Pedrera, ses Bassetes, es Banc, ses Xalanes and es Pujols) and the water wells of ses Illetes and ses Roques”— was outlined in press conference today by Susana Labrador.

A total of 18 signs were put up along the highway, 16 throughout the Parc Natural de ses Salines and 7 will be placed across town centres in the coming days. The signs themselves were purchased for 10,700 euros. Road and highway crews of the Council's office of infrastructure began positioning and fixing the signs in place 24 August.

Second phase: informational signage of special sites
As Councillor Labrador explained, “this first stage has been about labelling sites so they can be easily located. A still-to-come phase will have informational plaques affixed at the foot of the different patrimonial sites”. In this way, Labrador continued, the hope is that tourists and residents alike can come away with a deeper knowledge of Formentera's cultural heritage. The measure is part of the Pla insular de gestió del Patrimoni Cultural de Formentera, a document establishing guidelines for the treatment of local heritage sites in 2015 and 2016.

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