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Letter regarding inter-island controls

FRANCINA ARMENGOL
PRESIDENT, GOVERN DE LES ILLES BALEARS
CARRER DE LA LLOTJA, 3
07012 PALMA (ILLES BALEARS)

Madame President,

The approaching holidays will mean a marked increase in mobility, not just between the Balearic Islands and mainland Spain, but between the islands too — a situation quite similar to the one expected with the long weekend in early December.

Several days ago you proposed implementing from 20 December various controls (PCR screenings at points of departure, antigen tests at ports and airports) on visitors to the Balearics. The subject of inter-island travellers, however, was left unmentioned.

The current situation is different on each island, and we know that the smallest of actions can carry drastic consequences.

For example, many teachers on Formentera hail from assorted corners of Mallorca, a place at high risk of Covid-19 infections. Should these teachers spend the holidays with their families —a decision that would be entirely understandable and deserving of our respect— the fallout from returning Covid-19 cases that elude detection and tracing could be disastrous. Considering teachers’ contact with Formentera children, the situation could set off an avalanche of outbreaks. On a small island like ours and given the healthcare infrastructure we share with Eivissa, the effects would be difficult to gauge or contain.

The same would occur when individuals who study on Mallorca came to Formentera spend the holidays with their families, or when their families went to visit them.

These are but two examples that illustrate our current situation, and they could be extrapolated across the Balearic Islands.

So we at the Consell de Formentera wish to express our concern. In order to guarantee everyone’s right to a safe return, control measures for inter-island travellers must be identical to those applied to travellers from outside the region.

Travel within the region is envisaged under emergency orders, but high case counts on particular islands warrant a volunteer system of controls to stem inter-island spread of Covid-19.

And so, Balearic residents who stay more than 72 hours on an island with over 150 cases per hundred thousand inhabitants should be able to opt for free, scheduled screenings, the same as those offered during the long weekend earlier this month.

On Formentera we’ve always asked that measures be commensurate to our situation, and that doesn’t mean forgetting the solidarity that’s now more vital than ever. The curfew was our occasion to demonstrate just how seriously we take this cohesion. Today we are in phase one of lockdown, but the situation could change from one day to the next. Timely preventive measures are our primary means of making sure it doesn’t.

The Consell de Formentera is at your service for any collaboration we can offer.

Cordially,

Alejandra Ferrer Kirschbaum
President, Consell Insular de Formentera

Formentera showcases local talent

cartell 2020 mostra de musicsThe Formentera Culture and Education Department reports that this weekend, Musical Formentera invites islanders to get a taste of local musical talent at the Mostra de Músics in Sant Francesc’s Sa Senieta festival tent. The show starts at 6.00pm on Friday 18 December with a programme that includes Pez Sonora + PerSona, Emi Bueno, Yakari & Marie Connery Quartet and DJ Gioele + DJ Clint Zero. The second and final day of the show starts at 12 noon two days later, with performances from Bloco Colubraria, Erik Doornweerd with Óscar & Friends, Sur and Foc i Fum.

Culture and holidays councillor Susana Labrador described the aim of Mostra de Músics as “to energise the local cultural scene and support hometown musicians in particularly tough times”. “Safety protocol will be fully enforced and capacity restrictions respected at every event on the Christmas calendar”, said the councillor, who encouraged islanders to “collaborate and be responsible so that we can enjoy music and local musicians safely”.

Performances last sixty minutes. Reservations will not be taken and capacity will be limited to the first 54 attendees. Audience members must remain seated and masked, and no eating or drinking are allowed. Seats left empty may be reclaimed once they have been disinfected.

Musical Formentera

Cultural group Musical Formentera formed in 2020 with the aim of promoting musical culture, safeguarding the role of artists and technical staff and fostering cultural inter-island exchanges with support from public, private and community entities in the Balearic Islands.

Bands

Pez Sonora + PerSona
For the singer-songwriter, guitarist and multidisciplinary artist Paz Aguado, musical creation goes hand in hand with the visual arts. Aguado, Juanjo Rodríguez (guitar, bass) and Dario Fusco (drums) together form Pez Sonora, a group that intertwines intimist vital poetry with eclectic folk-rock melodies. As magic traverses the stations of paradise, Aguado’s lyrics highlight connections that make sense of things.

Pez Sonora will be accompanied by PerSona, a musical endeavour and meeting point of the multitudinous facets of multi-instrumentalist Paul Castejón. Fuelled by jazz, infused with ethnic melodies and drunk on the exotic progressions of progressive music, his début studio effort, ClaoOscuro, floats in a soundscape that is by turns organic and eclectic. The album’s admixture of instrumental pieces and polyglottal singing constitutes a dialogue about the profound rhetoric of existence. The philosophy of technological sound meets the expression of mysticism.

Emi Bueno
The Latin sounds of Emi Bueno have a habit of taking audiences to far-away places. Hometown musicians and the quartet’s subtlety and mirth are sure to go hand in hand.

Yakari & Marie Connery Quartet
When trumpeter Nuno Alvez, pianist Julien Cantonné, drummer Edgar Vilamajó and bassist Mariano Menteguiaga joined forces on Formentera this winter, rehashing spectacular moments from the annals of jazz and funk and reincarnating the genres’ godfathers (think Miles Davis, Billy Cobhan and Herbie Hancock) were all part of the plan. The group will be joined at the Mostra de Músics by Isaac Robles and Maya Porter — the former with electric guitar in tow, and the latter ready to belt out material by Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke. This made-on-Formentera outfit has got groove in spades and talent by the truckload.

DJ Gioele
Gioele Brizio has been DJ’ing at clubs like Pineta, Alter Ego, Café del Mar Ibiza, El Club Ibiza and Hotel Pacha Ibiza since 1993. His name appeared alongside Moba Sound’s on remixes of the likes of Milesart Orchestra (Look at you), Mystic Diversions (Energy Production), Oscar P (Media Services Nyc), DNA (Cool:Division) and Dom Scott (Perception Music). After past stints at Big Sur Life, today he is the resident DJ at ChezzGerdi Formentera.

DJ Clint Zero
The speakers at this New York-born and Formentera-based DJ’s sessions emanate a blend of sounds that can only be described as eclectic.

Bloco Colubraria
The batucada drum beats of Bloco Colubraria may be Brazilian in style, but they come with a touch of insanity that is characteristic of the Balearics. The group have played an endless list of events since they began performing two years ago, and all signs point to a long and lively road ahead.

Erik Doornweerd with Óscar & Friends
Indonesia-born, Netherlands-raised and Formentera-based Erik Doornweerd hasn’t just played aboard the Joven Dolores, for 25 years he brought together musicians, storytellers, jugglers, magicians, dancers and more on the open stage of La Mola’s craft market. Doornweerd will draw from a repertoire that spans rock, folk, country and blues as he alternates between guitar, pedal steel, harmonicas and a five-string banjo in the company of Óscar and his African percussion group.

Sur
Formentera-based Sur play “power acoustic” and their repertoire includes original material and covers. The line-up? Dani Alcoba (vocals, guitar), Manu Velázquez (drums), Gustavo Moraes (lead guitar) and Maxi Rattoni (bass).

Foc i Fum
Rock and roll band Foc i Fum is Joan Garciolo Torres on bass, Fabian Mayans on drums, Maya Porter on vocals and Isaac Robles on guitar. They cover songs by Audioslave, Queens of the Stone Age and Muse. Their on-stage energy, classic rock catalogue and soul-shaking female vocals make their shows experiences to remember.

14 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Winners of 14th Christmas Window Dressing Contest get prizes

foto 2020 concurs aparadorisme 3The Consell de Formentera and Chamber of Commerce handed out prizes today to winners of the 14th Christmas Window Dressing Contest. Launched in a bid to foment and encourage the Christmas spirit at hometown businesses, this year’s competition logged a record-breaking twenty participants.

After touring window displays, the panel of judges —OCB’s Savina Majoral, painter Álvaro Mendoza and Amalia Mora and José Manuel Alcaraz of the Formentera Commerce Department— saluted the originality, creativity and imagination on display at the following businesses:

1. Pinturas Cabezuelo, Sant Ferran.
2. Sol Courrèges Boné, La Savina.
3. Be Formentera, Sant Francesc.

This year, judges praised the window dressings at two additional businesses —Pescadería Nuestra Señora del Carmen and Floristeria Formentera— “for creativity and outstanding craftsmanship”.

Deputy premiere and commerce councillor Ana Juan applauded the winners and everyone who participated for “sprucing up window displays and proving that, when the going gets tough, local shops stay lively and dynamic”. Juan said the Consell would continue working with business groups on the island to build capacities and strengthen a unique identity.

Simplicity —a single Christmas tree consisting of a ladder and paint cans— was the name of the game with the display at Pinturas Cabezuelo, a paint store with nearly a quarter century of history serving Sant Ferran. Sol Courrèges Boné repurposed materials for her original window decoration, while Be Formentera’s Christmas display is personalised with products from the shop’s own inventory.

Prizes were delivered to the retailers by Councillor Juan and Lina Tur, of the Chamber of Commerce. Winners took home commemorative plaques and cash prizes of €225 (first place), €150 (second) and €75 (third).

11 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera’s desalination plant registers 20% increase in productive capacity

foto 2020 dessalinitzadora 2Alejandra Ferrer, Miquel Mir and Antonio J. Sanz visited the island’s seawater desalination plant earlier today to take stock of the remodel currently under way of the plant’s third production line. Formentera’s premiere, the Balearic environment and land minister and the local environment chief were also joined by Guillem Rosselló, managing director of the Balearic Water Agency (ABA), and secretary general Juan Calvo.

The €330,570 remodel, financed with money from the Sustainable Tourism Levy (ITS) and on track for completion in six months, will take the plant’s daily output from 2,000m3 to 2,500m3 — a 20% increase.

Installation of a 2,500m3-capacity reverse osmosis support frame and substitution of a 37.2-square-metre membrane with a 40.1-sq.m. replacement will mean that equipment in place since a 2017 remodel can acheive optimal operation, marking an improvement for energy efficiency at the facility.

President Ferrer called the additional line of production “exciting news for the island”, and stressed that the work, together with earlier optimisation of the plant’s storage capacity, would help the island respond to rising summertime demand. “It’s worth noting that the desalination plant is Formentera’s one and only source of potable fresh water”, Ferrer added.

Minister Mir, for his part, cast the upgrade as “synonymous with an increasingly secure local supply of fresh water”, and tied it to the Balearic environment and land ministry’s goal of fortifying public services in support of the water cycle.

Councillor Sanz reminded islanders that keeping chemicals, oils and hygiene-related refuse out of the sewage network was crucial to a healthy water cycle and assuring proper levels of cleanliness when water arrives at the treatment plant.

Formentera gets its drinking water from the desalination plant courtesy of ABA. The plant’s three lines of production provide desalinated water for urban areas and alleviate pressure on the island’s aquifer, which is currently overused and registering abnormally high salt levels.

Also in the offing are structural reforms of the desalination tank. ABA recently issued a €80,159 contract (VAT not included) for preparation of the plans.

Built in 2002, the €17,500m3-capacity tank holds desalinated water and supplies it to the island. Refurbishments have not been carried out since that time, and various parts of the structure have displayed signs of wear in recent months.

11 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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