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'Foreigner' Quim Masferrer discovers Formentera

Cartell El ForasterNext Friday, June 10 at 9.30pm, the crew of El Forester will record the second half of the TV3 comedy programme locally on Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució. After several weeks spent interviewing Formentera residents, Quim Masferrer, one of Catalunya's beloved stand-up comedians, will share his recorded material with the island. Aimed at viewers in Catalunya, the evening promises to be a light-hearted testimonial about the charms of Formentera.

TV3 will broadcast the full episode —the final instalment of the show's fourth season— in July. Formentera's tourism board offered support by providing accommodation and board valued at 5,000 euros. El Foraster, normally recorded in Catalunya and designed to showcase the towns of the region, will close out this season with four special episodes: in Madrid, Mercabarna, Vall d'Hebron and Formentera.

Quim Masferrer is “the Foreigner,” a travelling comedian known for seeking out the regular folk of the Catalan countryside, and now he's turned up on our shores. Each programme finds Masferrer in a new town talking to new people, and everywhere he goes, he's faced with the same challenge: a stand-up routine before an audience of locals. The act will be tailor-made for Formenterencs, a light-hearted salute the whole island is invited to come watch.

Music lovers get a new, reworked Formentera Jazz Festival

Foto presentacio Jazz Festival 2016Two arms of the Formentera Council —the Office of Local Holidays and the Office of Tourism— announced details today about the Formentera Jazz Festival of 2016. The music series, which turns two this year, will kick off its week-long run today at 4.00pm and push on through Sunday June 5. Councillor Susana Labrador, of the culture and holidays office, and Alejandra Ferrer, of tourism, sat for a press conference with the former Ojos de Brujo member Maxwell Wright, a Formentera native and chair of the Formentera Jazz Festival.

Festivalgoers this year get an extra day of music and activities for adults and kids alike, not to mention a full programme of films, part of a brand new initiative put together with the musical documentary fest In-Edit. But for the second year running, Formentera Jazz shines for its line-up of live jazz musicians, which includes Llessui, Jazzabell, Para Orbe, Mediando Collective, Tula Quartet, Román Filiu Quartet & The Beautiful Splendid Extra Quinteto and DJ Raver Jewish.

Things first get under way this afternoon at 4.00pm with a percussion workshop for adults in the Sant Francesc park Jardí de ses Eres. Then, at 7.00pm, the cinema will host a projection of the musical documentary Let's get lost Chet Baker. The real opening party, though, will get rolling back at the Jardí de ses Eres at 9.30pm with an evening of Jazz Lounge.

The activities pick up again Friday at 4.00pm, first with a adults workshop of contemporary dance in Jardí de ses Eres and then —at 7.00pm in the cinema— with a projection of a musical documentary entitled San Andreu Jazz Band. Starting at 9.30pm on the main stage at Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució, there will be performances by Mediant Collective, followed by Jazzbell at 11.00pm and Llessui Trío at 00.30am.

Saturday at 4.00pm, a singing and percussion workshop is scheduled for kids in Jardí de ses Eres. Later, at 7.00pm, the cinema crew will host another screening, this time of the musical documentary The three sides dream Rahssan Roland Kirk. Once again, the evening's musical performances happen on the main stage, with Tula Cuarteto at 9.30pm, Roman Filiu Quartet at 11.00, Papa Orbe y The Beautiful Splendid Extra Quinteto at 00.30am and DJ Raver Jewish closing the set with a show at 2.00am.

Closing party
The final day of the Formentera Jazz Festival, Sunday, will include an evening jam session in Blue Bar. The Formentera Council provides logistical support, musician accommodation and 10,000 euros in funding for the festival, a destination for tourists and residents alike. Tickets to documentary screenings are five euros and the rest of the festival activities are free.

Cruise liners dock at distance from posidonia prairies

Foto ocean majestySpeaking earlier today, the councillor of environment of the Formentera Council, Daisee Aguilera, reported that “all the cruise ships that have made stops so far this season in Formentera's waters have done it in an area of the port without posidonia seagrass”. The feat reflects a commitment made by the Council last summer to preserve prairies of the seagrass in the waters of la Savina.

Aguilera said she was glad that “this summer we'll be able to balance tourist cruise liners with protection of the heritage plant, posidonia,” something the councillor called “a priority issue for the Council”. She also thanked entities like the Balearic port authority and the maritime authority, who made it possible for cruise ships to anchor away from the port zone proper, and ship operators for their participation. The Star flyer made a stop in Formentera May 4 and the Ocean Majesty on May 21. Most recently, the Artania pulled into port yesterday.

In all three cases, the Council contacted the port and maritime authorities, Autoritat Portuària de Balears and Capitania Marítima, to suggest alternatives to the ships dropping anchor on the posidonia-covered floor of la Savina port zone two. According to Aguilera, the Council proposed anchorage a mile northwest of the port, in a sandy area that is 40 metres deep, to avoid damage to prairies of Formentera's signature seagrass. The APB has reported that, for the time being, no more cruise ships are scheduled to dock at the island this summer.

Council turns farming equipment over to Farmers' Co-op

Maquinaria cooperativaFormentera Council (CiF) president Jaume Ferrer and Jaume Escandell, president of the Farmers' Co-operative (Cooperativa del Camp), signed an agreement today making official the lease of farming equipment for use by the Co-op. Purchased by the administration, the farmers' group will use the stock of industrial tools and machinery to “push forward with the farmland reserve project and still other initiatives aimed at reviving Formentera's farming sector,” explained the CiF president, who said the equipment would also help boost “other efforts to improve the quality of our natural landscapes here on the island.”

Specifically, the Council will allow the Co-op use of an electric forklift, a hand pallet truck,  an electric pallet truck weigher, a tractor, a loader shovel, a seeder, a two-row super chisel, a rotavator, a reversible plow, a mower, a fertiliser, a suspended hydraulic sprayer, a trailer, a rectangular baler, a grain harvester and a cropper trailer. The lease is valid through the end of this year and can be extended. The total value of the equipment surpasses 320,000 euros.

The chair of the Farmers' Co-op, Carlos Marí, was also present at the signing of the pact. He called the Council's decision to lend the machinery “monumental for the Co-operative in terms of the autonomy it will give us”. Till now, the Co-operative has contracted out work on its farmland reserve project to third-party farmers. From today, the group will be able to take charge directly of such efforts. Marí pointed out that the Co-op could also begin using equipment like the tractor and harvester to help its own members and other interested individuals. The equipment will mainly be used to work the 150 hectares of land that comprise the local farmland reserve so far.

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