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This Friday, Formentera stages sports gala

Friday, September 29 at 8.30pm, Formentera will welcome the island's Gala de l'Esport 2016/2017 to the cinema. Jordi Vidal, head of sports at the Council, says the gala was “conceived to honour people, associations, sports clubs and private entities that devote efforts to fitness and sport”.

Distinctions will be given for:
- Best sportsperson of 2016/2017
- Best sponsor/partner
- Best sports group
- Most work in support of sport, nominations
- Two panel-selected “honorary mentions”

The panel, composed of 15 spokespeople from the different groups on the CiF plenary and chaired by Secretary Vidal and honorary chairperson (and sitting CiF president) Jaume Ferrer, met on July 17 in the administration's hall of ceremonies to choose the honorees.

In addition to an appearance from Balearic sports secretary Fanny Tur, Vidal encouraged the whole island to come pay tribute to the island's leading lights in sport.

Pine processionary info session

Foto lluita processionaria premsaThis Thursday, September 28 in the Formentera Council's hall of ceremonies (sala d'Actes), a 7.30pm info session will be held on the pine processionary caterpillar on the island. Sandra Closa, head of the Palma government's healthy forests service, will tell crowds about the ins and outs of the CiF/Govern balear's control efforts this October.

The first plague of the pine processionary on the island was detected in 2007 and efforts to stem its spread have been afoot since then. One method involving pheromone traps began afresh in mid-July, when crews took to the island's wooded areas to install 1,102 traps. In mid-September, a tally of captured caterpillars indicated a upturn since 2016: 4,280 in 2017 compared to 2,125 one year earlier.

In an attempt to control the pest, officials have determined to resort to additional methods, including aerial treatment with a biological phytosanitary product.

The aerial treatment involves dusting pine trees from a helicopter equipped with differential GPS, a technology that allows operators full control of dosage and affected areas. The process uses extremely low quantities of bacillus thuringiensis/kurstaki, a bacterium which exists naturally on the soil and on plants. The product, which quickly degrades under UV rays, disappears from leaves within days, does not effect bees and is used to control pests like mosquitos.

From October 2 some 1,500 hectares of land on the island will be submitted to a double dusting. Meteorological conditions like temperature, wind, relative humidity and rainfall and the caterpillars' particular stage of development will affect the nature of treatment.

It is worth noting that in 2014 a planned dusting using the chemical agent diflubenzuron was rejected by the people of Formentera. The current treatment has been rubber-stamped by the Consell d'Entitats' land and environment committee, which received input from island beekeepers and hunters, and the Formentera Council plenary.

Other treatments
Crews will also push forward with a second kind of treatment, which targets the caterpillars' nests. The pine processionary protects itself from the winter cold by building itself nests. Since 2010, with help from the Balearic nature institute and forest service staff, the regional department of environment and the Formentera Council have embarked on nest removal campaigns.

Another method entails using predators of the caterpillar. Crews have already set up some shelters for bats and approximately forty more will be installed next month.

Leaflets to educate residents about the pine processionary, printed by the Formentera Council and the Govern balear, will be handed out at the talk and in other places.

Continuing education course on using lime in historical restorations

Foto ca na francisca castellona 027The Formentera Council's local heritage office has partnered with the Museo de la Cal, or “Lime Museum,” of Morón de la Frontera, Sevilla, and the island's small and medium-sized business association (PIMEF), to schedule a training course October 16-19 on lime and how to use it to restore historical structures.

The CiF's heritage secretary called it “hands-on learning with a bit of theory thrown in the mix” on the uses and application of lime (calç in Catalan) in historical restorations. The classes are intended especially for professionals with jobs in construction, architecture and restoration.

Instructor Luís Prieto is a craftsman employed by the Museo's training programme. Participants in Prieto's course get 16 hours of instruction afternoons from 4.00pm to 8.00pm. Registration is free and can be done through the PIMEF or the CiF culture and local heritage offices.

“Incorrect production and application of lime mortar is one of the leading problems affecting Formentera's heritage sites. The cultural heritage branch of the Council has pressed for training programmes for field professionals because, ultimately, they are the ones enlisted in efforts to restore structures of noted historical importance,” explained the secretary.

Training residents to use traditional architectural techniques and material is discussed in Formentera's 2017-2019 directive on cultural heritage. It has been in effect since its adoption by the Council in plenary.

Taking stock of effort to regulate access to Es Cap de Barbaria

Foto rp balancMobility secretary Rafael González has today offered his review of the pilot test regulating the access of motor vehicles, cars and motorcycles, to the Cap de Barbaria lighthouse that was carried out for the first time this summer. Rafael González beamed about the implementation of a test that has achieved the two main objectives, "first, avoid traffic jams, and then, preserve this natural place and the tranquility that surrounds us".

On average, as they have been counted from the Office of Mobility, more than 500 people have visited daily. In the moments of maximum influx, there has been an average visit of 280 people simultaneously, although there have been peaks in which up to 400 people have taken a walk at the same time for this place. The preferred time for tourists has been the days of sunshine during sunset, and the cloudy days during the morning.

In this regard, the director pointed out that the influx of visitors has been similar to that of recent years. Hence, González explained, in addition to achieving the initial objectives, “we have moved the feeling that the measure has had a good acceptance among residents and tourists who have understood perfectly that this regulation became necessary in this emblematic place of Formentera".

Upcoming performances
Looking ahead, the secretary has said that given the positive results, the measure will be applied again next season. Once the period of regulation has been finalized, some of the requests that have been made will be studied, such as the possibility of extending the application period or offering some services such as a supply area or a bicycle dispenser.

We recall readers that the pilot test for access regulation to Es Cap de Barbaria was made between July 1 and September 15, when a barrier located at km 6.5 of the road from Cap de Barbaria. In its contours, a car park with capacity for 60 cars and 100 motorcycles was enabled to allow visitors to leave vehicles, and from there on foot or by bicycle to the lighthouse.

Secretary González has taken the opportunity to present this stock-taking on 22 September, as World No Car Day is being held, included in the European Week of Sustainable Mobility.

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