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Cinema a la fresca makes the trek to La Mola

cinema fresca 2015The Formentera Island Council –by way of the administration's office of culture– has wrapped up organising efforts for a new season of the outdoor cinema series “Cinema a la fresca”, a programme that in 2015 turns ten.

Councillor of culture Susana Labrador and staff specialist Anna Costa took charge of presentation duties, outlining details of an event that this year has included the artistic direction of Veronique Landy. The series proposes film projections –from the classic to the contemporary– every Tuesday and Thursday in Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran. This year, cinephiles have something new to look forward to: Every other Friday, thanks to the efforts of Espai Frumentaria, the projections of “Cinema a la fresca” will make their way up the hill to La Mola.

“Cinema a la fresca” projections always begin at ten p.m. The summer 2015 series kicks off next Tuesday, 30 June and doesn't stop until 24 September – 27 films later. First on the line-up are All About Eve (1950) directed by JL Mankiewicz (Tuesday 30 June, 10 p.m. in Sant Francesc's Jardí de ses Eres), Black Coal (2014) by Chinese director Diao Yinan (Thursday 2 July, 10 p.m. at the Sant Ferran town square) and the John Ford-directed The Searchers (1956).

All films will be projected in their original language and subtitled in Catalan. For all of Formentera's movie-lovers in the making, this year's programme also includes two animated children's films. As every year after projection, films will be made available for lending at the Marià Villangómez library so they can be appreciated all year long by the culture mavens of the island. Logistical organisation for the 2015 series as well as a new projection screen and the films themselves had a combined total cost of €3,000.

Sewer drainage pipe overflow “a tremendous threat to Formentera's brand of tourism”

bartomeu escandel 240615Acting as spokesman to the Formentera Council cabinet, Bartomeu Escandell appeared before the public this morning to explain details behind the effluent overflows that took place Tuesday on the Formentera coastline. According to Escandell, the spillage—currently believed to have originated at the drainage pipe of the island's water treatment plant and provoked by the Stad Amsterdam watercraft—represents a “great threat to our way of life here on Formentera; a founding principle of tourism here is our crystalline waters”.

Escandell asserted: “Our demand that the Govern Balear accept responsibility for ensuring the proper functioning of both the treatment plant and drainage pipe in a way that takes into account the particular circumstances of the island” dates back “to well before our administration took office eight years ago; this is a demand first cast by preceding administrations”. The CiF spokesman affirmed that the issue would be at the top of the Council's list of priorities once the cabinet of the 2015 legislature is formed.

According to Escandell, Abaqua—the company contracted to manage the sewage treatment plant—has promised to send technicians to the island in the coming days to evaluate conditions at the facility.

Desalination plant resumes operations

Another question taken up this morning by Councillor Escandell was the proper working order of the Formentera desalination plant: “Two issues made waves on the island yesterday. One was the sewage pipe spillage and the other stemmed from failures at the seawater desalination facility, which have meant we've produced much less water than what we're consuming”.

On the heels of a meeting with desalination plant technicians from the Cadagua company and environmental councillor Daisee Aguilera, Escandell asserted: “The issue has been resolved. The equipment failures are being dealt with and between today and tomorrow the plant will regain its normal levels of output”.

The CiF spokesman asked the entire population of the island “to make a serious effort to reduce water consumption”, reminding residents that “this year, as in the two years past, we are in the middle of a severe dry spell which is effecting shortages in both the rural and urban zones of Formentera”.

CiF aims to cut scooter spills this summer with anti-skid asphalt

rotondes 230615The Council of Formentera has overseen the application of a layer of anti-slip asphalt at six of the seven local roundabouts—the two in Es Pujols, two in Sant Ferran and the two new roundabouts in Sant Francesc Xavier.

Coatings of slurry—the technical appellation of the substance—, while already applied across the principal segments of the main highway, are still missing from portions of road affected by the most recent projects to construct roundabouts.

For this reason “and faced with the imminent spectre of the summer high-season months, during which time vehicle traffic in general (and scooter traffic in particular) experiences a surge, the Council has decided to apply this anti-slip material”, explained Rafael González, councillor of infrastructure and transport of the Formentera Council.

“The goal of the action”, explained the councillor, “is to minimise the risk that scooter drivers fall at roundabouts”. Application of the road safety measure at the six island roundabouts cost the Council 50,000 euros.

Rafael González added that the end of June had been chosen for the road coating project because “temperatures at this time allow for the optimal transport of this material to Formentera” and apologised to any drivers inconvenienced by the activity.

Jaume Ferrer introduces new coalition cabinet

politics 2015This Monday morning in the plenary hall of the Formentera Council, Jaume Ferrer put before the public the component members of his administration. Ferrer spoke of his satisfaction “with the talent, strong work ethic and mix of experience and new blood that marks this government”.

CiF president Ferrer named Susana Labrador Manchado councillor of culture, education and patrimony. Ferrer referred to Labrador's undergraduate degree in chemistry, graduate studies in early-childhood education and “the kind of familiarity that comes with years of work in Formentera's different nursery schools ('escoletes') and parent teacher associations”.

President Ferrer designated Bartomeu Escandell Tur councillor of the presidential cabinet, tax office and rural areas. With a degree in business administration and management, Escandell was lauded for what Ferrer called “a crucial role over the last two legislative sessions”. Ferrer called upon Councillor Escandell to provide “the same sharp judgement that the councillor had demonstated until present”.

Next, President Ferrer introduced Alejandra Ferrer Kirschbaum as his government's councillor of territory and tourism. In the words of the Council president, Ferrer Kirschbaum—herself a member of the island's community of business owners—“is doted with a strong work ethic and razor-sharp clarity of ideas”.

The incoming councillor of infrastructure and transport: Rafael González Ribas, civil and public works engineer. Ferrer underscored the “great talent and knowledge” of a person he described as “young and full of energy”. According to Ferrer, González's appointment is one of several that “represents this ideal of change spoken about during the campaign. We want the public works projects on the island to strengthen every part of Formentera that sets us apart”.

Vanessa Perellada Torres, a graduate in psychology, was announced as the newest appointment to the position of councillor of social welfare and human resources. Ferrer referred to Perellada's commitment to assuring “not a single person is left behind” as well as his conviction regarding Perellada's expert command of an office where she herself worked.

The latest appointment to the position of environmental councillor: graduate in marine biology Daisee Aguilera Fletcher. According to President Ferrer: “Daisee has shown herself to be committed to the environment in general and a devout supporter of Formentera's natural spaces in particular”. The president added that the incoming councillor “demonstrates a thorough knowledge of issues related to the sea and notably our local treasure, posidònia seaweed”.

The Council head went on to introduce Jordi Vidal Marí as the island's newest councillor of sport. A graduate in physical therapy, osteopath and “a person versed in the field because—whether as a member of the Societat Esportiva Formentera ('el Espalmador'), the local judo club or our celebrated surf group, el Club de Surf Formentera—he himself has formed an integral part of it”.

The CiF president named Sònia Cardona Ferrer councillor of community involvement. In the words of President Ferrer, “Sònia Cardona has got a charisma and experience that make her the ideal person to lead a field we hope gains momentum during this legislature”.

Ferrer explained that the work of the different offices would be coordinated by three separate vice-presidential positions. The first of the three divisions is 'Serveis a les Persones' (known previously as social services) and will be headed by Susana Labrador. The second division, overseen by Bartomeu Escandell and initially comprising centralised services, the tax office, rural areas and community involvement, will also englobe local safety and emergency services. Finally, the third division—territory—comes under the authority of Alejandra Ferrer.

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