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Council puts money behind diving courses

Foto ajudes cursos busseigSports councillor Jordi Vidal reported today on a partnership agreement between Vellmarí diving school and the administration to fund diving instruction for Formentera residents. Vidal used a morning press conference, attended by school director Manu Sán Felix and CiF environment councillor, as the forum for the announcement.

Councillor Vidal laid out the Council's plan to foot 50 per cent —up to 7,000 euros— of residents' diving course costs. Residents under 17 will not only qualify for the Council's 50-per cent subsidy, they will have the opportunity to benefit from an additional 25 per cent reduction thanks to Vellmarí. In all, locals above 17 will pay 100 euros and younger students will pay 75. The aim, as Vidal pointed out, is to encourage diving among locals.

The partnership has been in place between Vellmarí and the Council for more than a decade. Thanks to the initiative, more than 650 Formentera locals have been introduced to the world of diving. According to Sán Felix, an additional 50 to 80 will be able to discover diving thanks to this year's reduced fees. The councillor of environment underscored the importance of “educating and instructing Formentera residents about the vast wealth contained in our underwater world and the nearby posidonia seagrass prairies”.

Formentera Council pulls back curtain on new digital agenda

presentacio agendaThe president of the Formentera Council, Jaume Ferrer, unveiled today in press conference the administration's new online agenda, www.agendaformentera.cat. The site hosts a comprehensive directory of activities —organised by the Council or which have benefitted from its support— that are open to the public. The president said the new portal would“bring together all the activities and events the CiF puts on,” encompassing culture, sports, tourism and “programming sponsored by any of the Council's other departments for Formentera residents and visitors.”

Devised to be responsive, the website is also perfectly adapted for smart phones — a use President Ferrer says the Council hopes will catch on. The site constitutes a cross-cutting tool for the Council, whose offices will each contribute information to the agenda and in turn use it for internal operations. Culture councillor Susana Labrador, tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer and sports councillor Jordi Vidal, who were also at this morning's press conference, painted the offices they head as the site's driving forces.

IT councillor Rafael González was on hand to explain the practical aspects of the agenda. He described the break-down of events by daytime, nighttime, health and sports, kids, weekends and general categories. He also hailed the possibility of accessing the agenda via mobile with an app, called Llançador. The app, noted González, allows for easy sharing of events across social media sites and is equipped with an “intuitive calendar” that promises effortless use.

The programming for the new site was handled by Existalia, an Eivissa firm directed by Juan Carlos Flórez. Flórez was in attendance this morning as well, and Councillor González took the opportunity to thank him for Existalia's work on the initiative. The project had a total cost of 3,000 euros. The councillor of the president's office, Bartomeu Escandell, social welfare councillor Vanessa Parellada and environment councillor Daisee Aguilera, as well as Isidor Torres, the CiF's director, Ana Mateos, the head of PIMEF, the island's association of small businesses, and other CiF staff were also at the launch.

Formentera lends hand to local livestock farmers feeling drought's burn

Ajudes ramadersBartomeu Escandell, councillor of the Formentera Council's Office of Rural Affairs, has announced that his department will give out 936 forty-kilo feedsacks to the island's stockbreeders “to offset the effects of the drought that has afflicted Formentera this year”.

The assistance will go to the 102 livestock farmers that compose the Formentera Stockbreeders' Association and have obtained their renewed 2016 trade cards. Distribution of the packs began last week. The process is overseen by the Formentera Farmers' Co-operative, which is contacting recipients to schedule drop-offs.

Formentera farmers have registered a total of 1,048 animals, for a total that includes goats, sheep and 115 pigs. This is the third time the Formentera Council distributes the aid — a bid to help farmers deal with the drought that has beset the island in recent years.

Formentera beats drum about island's first Yoga Day

Presentacio Yoga DayThe CiF councillor of sport, Jordi Vidal, met today with local Yoga Day organiser Flor Mauger to unveil the activities programme on a week-long event that kicks off tomorrow, Friday June 17, and doesn't finish until International Yoga Day, next Tuesday. Mauger is joined by five of the island's resident yoga instructors —Suzanne Laier, Claudio Valdiserri, Irina Zadek, Olga Dargel and Eva Oller— in organising a programme packed with free, open-to-the-public activities for kids and adults.

Marking the start of the programme, tomorrow at 8.30pm, will be a photo exhibit by Guillermo Ferrer Torres titled Viu feliç al teu ecosistema (Living happily in your ecosystem). The exhibit will be displayed at Centre Antoni Tur “Gabrielet” and will conclude with a video screening. Back at Gabrielet on Saturday and Monday, June 18 and 20, the crew of yoga instructors will be on hand through early afternoon until two and then again in the evening with information about the manifold variants of yoga that exist. The evening programme on these days also includes video screenings.

Yoga Day
Tuesday, June 21, is finally the big day. From nine in the morning till ten at night, activities for both children and adults will be hosted in Jardí de Ses Eres (behind the Sant Francesc church) and at Centre Gabrielet. During the day events range from practice-based classes to yoga-themed talks, with, in between, snack times stacked with naturally-prepared treats and musical performances. All the activities are free, but all donations received will go to assisting the people of Nepal.

Yoga Day has also had the support of the Formentera Council, which provided logistical assistance in addition to help designing brochures and posters and paying for T-shirts given to Yoga Day participants. The total cost was roughly 3,500 euros.

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