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Newly formed crew of metre attendants patrols Formentera streets

img 1433-1-Formentera Council chief Jaume Ferrer and mobility secretary Rafael González introduced the team of individuals charged with overseeing metred parking in la Savina, Sant Francesc, Sant Ferran and es Pujols. The brigade —previously a three-person crew which, aside from a coordinator, recently took on eight new agents— will be stationed in la Mola on market days (Wednesday and Sunday evenings) and serve as a point of contact concerning rule changes in effect in es Cap de Barbaria.

The incoming attendants will spend the week in four separate training programmes —on interpersonal communication; municipal parking ordinances approved in last Friday's June plenary; the complexities of local law enforcement and the mechanics of the island's crane lorry; and the functioning of parking metres in designated “blue zones”.

Expanded metred parking system
Crews, who began installing new parking metres in Sant Ferran today, will proceed with similar operations in Sant Francesc and es Pujols. Secretary González said the equipment would be up and running in the first half of July.

When installation of the new metres is complete, drivers can park free of charge for up to 24 hours in the blue zones of Sant Francesc, Sant Ferran and es Pujols. Whether motorists are residents on the island or just visiting, they must obtain a ticket every day they park in one of the new metred areas. The pay-to-park system will start in August, with exceptions for residents and exempt vehicles (these drivers must still get a day ticket in order to park).

Mobility department welcomes incoming deputy director
The secretary seized the opportunity to welcome his department's newest deputy director, Jesús Villar, whom he explained would provide support for key initiatives within the mobility office such as limits on vehicles entering the island, Formentera's first-ever sustainable mobility strategy and tender of public transport contracts.

Music, sport and culture on display at Formentera's yearly patron saint bash

ballada pagesa santjaume redux3The Formentera Council's office of culture and festivities announce the Sant Jaume activities programme. Commemorations for the island's patron saint, or sant, go from July 10-28. Susana Labrador, head of culture, education and patrimony, touted a “dizzying array of music-, culture- and sport-steeped activities” promising “something for everyone”. Labrador called on the whole island to “turn out in force for Formentera's patron saint festivities”.

Cultural activities
All of Sant Francesc is gearing up for a diverse spread of happenings and events. The programme kicks off Tuesday July 10 with the opening of Gilbert Herrayns' exhibition “Entre la terra i el cel” at sa Tanca Vella. (The show remains on view until September 1.) The following Tuesday July 17, in celebration of Melba Levick's fiftieth year on Formentera, crowds at the municipal gallery will watch as the artist shares an anthropological collection of photos entitled “Formentera per sempre”. (The show will be on display at the Sala d'Exposicions in Sant Francesc until August 4.) That same Tuesday, as part of the outdoor film series Cinema a la Fresca at the jardí de ses Eres, film fans can catch for a projection of Truffaut's Nouvelle Vague classic, “Jules et Jim”.

July 24 ceremony
To mark the holiday known alternately as Diada de Formentera (“Formentera Day”), honorary distinctions will be handed out July 24 from 8.30pm in a ceremony at the municipal cinema.  

Kids activities
On Tuesday, July 24, the island welcomes a fun-filled performance of  “Donem-li una volta al món”, by Xiula. With a title that translates roughly as “Let's circle the world”, the production features a blend of music and humour guaranteed to please young and old.

The kids' workshop “Prepara't per la Flower” (“Get ready for the Flower”) at Marià Villangómez library in the afternoon of Thursday July 19 (and again Saturday July 21 at jardí de ses Eres) is just one part of a broad spectrum of youth-friendly programming including creative workshops, fitness programmes and a face-painting session in preparation for the island's “Flower” bash.

Then, on the evening of Sunday the 22nd, the island's younger music-buffs have Festivart to look forward to. Headquartered at Sant Francesc's central plaza, the event will feature the fusion sounds of Vandoleras, the rap-infused street dance of Imma and Juan Vidal, acrobatics by Grup Pachamama and the hip-hop tunes of Indee Styla. Local youngsters took to the island's youth council to petition for Festivart.

Sport occupies an important place in the island's patron saint celebrations, too. Take for instance the tennis and padel tournaments on the municipal pitch from July 26 to 29, or a demonstration, by participants in the island's synchronised swim camp, before spectators at the Poliesportiu Antoni Blanc pool on Saturday the 28th.

Live music and concerts (July 21 and 23-25)
As ever, the heart of Sant Jaume celebrations is the music. “Music and live performances are the centrepieces of Sant Jaume programming”, quipped the secretary, saying the evening's “handpicked, world-class acts have something for everyone”.

The much-anticipated Flower Formentera takes over Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució as the sun goes down on Saturday July 21. Then on the 23rd, it's a special, Monday-night edition of Jazz a la plaça to welcome saxophonist and Eivissa-native  Pere Navarro's quintet. Navarro is a leading light on the Balearic scene and a frontrunner for success at both the national and international levels.

Get ready for the singer-songwriting magic of Catalan-Irish Nuria Graham, the unmistakeable sound of Catalan indie-folk outfit La Iaia's latest effort “Tornar a ser u”, and, to cap the evening, the immensely dance-able soul- rock- and techno-inflected pop of Maico.

Sant Jaume's true headliners come through the Nit (“evening”) of the holiday. Gossos is a band that, in 2018, boasts 25 years playing live before crowds. The group has succeeded in reinventing themselves and staying in lock-step with the times. And of course, new sounds are nothing new for La Pegatina, who will dish out material from their latest disc, “Ahora o Nunca”, plus entertainment, adrenaline and good music. La Pegatina have already delivered over a thousand concerts in more than 24 countries.

Secretary Labrador thanked Trasmapi for the transport company's support of festivities and local culture. This year, Trasmapi offers discounted passages for all those looking to join in the celebrations on July 24 and 25. Sant Jaume revellers should refer to the code 2018SANTJAUME when purchasing ferry tickets.

Organisation of the Festes de Sant Jaume programme cost €50,000.

More than 400 turn out for Formentera's summer offer of sports camps and day programmes

foto escola estiu 2018 4The Formentera Council's youth services department announces the start of the island's 2018 summer school today, a programme scheduled to continue through the month of August at three local schools—Mestre Lluís Andreu, and in Sant Ferran and la Mola. One hundred forty children are signed up to take part in this year's programme, which is overseen by a 21-member team of professional youth workers and a programme director.

Activities are geared towards children aged three to twelve born between 2006 and 2014, and run weekdays from 9.00am to 2.00pm (8.00am early start is available). Kids can choose from a range of activities during the two-month programme, including arts and crafts, fitness, games, music, dance, theatre and cooking. Outings to the beach are also organised, as well as an additional swimming unit.

In the words of social welfare chief Vanessa Parellada, the programme is about “offering a fun, educational space for young children in summer where they can learn to use their free time wisely and engage in 'smart play'”. She said the schools were conceived as a leg-up for islanders juggling both work and a family, and daycare needs as one factor of the island's high rate of employment.

Sports camps
The Council's sports office has taken the lead in coordinating two sports camps as well, part of a bid to offer families a diverse array of summertime options. The synchronised swimming camp is aimed at children aged five to fifteen. This year 87 local kids have signed up to join in an assortment of activities ranging from acrosport and motor skills-boosting play to dance, theatre and swimming (both traditional and synchronised). The programme, which ends just before the normal academic year starts, is staffed by eight youth workers and a volunteer aide.

The Council also organises an athletics camp, and fifty children between the ages of three and six are set to get in on the fun. They will take part in a multitude of activities, including arts and crafts, recreational swim, healthy lifestyles, plastic arts and play that is specially-tuned to foment motor skills. Winding down in late August, the programme is managed by four youth workers and one lifeguard.

A number of the island's sports clubs will put on summer programmes, too, with additional support provided by the Council. The team at this summer's basketball camp propose activities to 54 kids aged four to twelve, and tennis and padel camps (with enrolment at 35 and 12, respectively) exist for kids from five to 16.

New this year is a football camp, in which forty youngsters (ages six to 16) have signed up to take part.

Formentera publishes test-prep material for would-be firefighters

foto-bombers-20181The Formentera Council has posted a list of subjects likely to appear on the theory-based exams faced by aspirants to the Formentera fire brigade's reserve workforce.

The reserve gives the Formentera Council a guaranteed pool of trained individuals in case of emergency.

Conditions of the offer are expected to be approved in the first week of July and posted on the Balearic Islands official bulletin, the BOIB. After posting, candidates are free to begin preparing for the selection process.

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