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Notary watches as spots drawn for runners in Formentera's half marathon and 8K races

Foto sorteig mitja marato1The Formentera Council's Office of Sport reports that at 12 noon today, a drawing was held to determine eligible runners for Formentera's half marathon and 8K runs. The drawing was conducted in the presence of notary public Javier González Granado.

According to secretary of sport Jordi Vidal, the 2017 Mitja Marató (“Half Marathon”) on Saturday, May 12, is special because it marks the event's tenth year. “The race's growing popularity is the reason we need drawings like this one,” said Vidal, who called it “the fairest way we've found to ensure anyone and everyone keen to take part can do just that”.

Room for 3,000
A total of 3,323 runners signed up to fill 2,000 spots in the Mitja Marató; another 1,820 vied for the chance to run the 8K course, for which capacity was limited to 1,000. A computer programme generated random figures for each competition, based on those numbers, an order was established by which the 3,000 spots were filled.

For the Mitja Marató the programme summoned the number 164, so everyone from the 164th person to sign up to the 2,163rd got a spot. The figure generated for the 8K circuit was 1,600, meaning the chosen athletes were those whose registration order came between 1,600 and 1820, or 1 and 779.

Runners have from December 14 to January 8 to confirm attendance. After January 8, new winners will be chosen from among the next names on the list. For more information, visit the Mitja Marató website.

Formentera offers six agriculture and livestock courses

Foto grup curs agriculturaThe Formentera Council's Office of Agriculture reports that this Friday, December 15, enrolment will begin for continuing education courses in produce and livestock farming for 2018. Classes begin January 15 with a supplemental course for professionals on the rudiments of pesticide. A total of six courses are available as part of this year's lifelong learning catalogue.

Department chair Bartomeu Escandell laid out his office's goal: “Assure a wide variety of courses and training opportunities, open to the public, for the island's farming and livestock sectors”. Such courses aim to meet the need for “specialised training in agriculture, livestock rearing and agrofood,” said Escandell.

This time around, with the focus trained on providing examples of success stories among enterprising individuals in rural communities, the Council hopes to offer inspiration for like-minded farmers. One course about “agrarian entrepreneurialism” is positioned as experience sharing about reclaiming and adapting the countryside. It will take place over three full-day sessions during which figures from big-name agricultural initiatives will share their experiences with participants.


1. Basic pesticides for professionals – Complentary (7 hours) January 15 and 16
2. Basic pesticides for professionals (25 hours) January 22 to 26
3. Managing large harvests. Alternatives in improving production and soil fertility. (10 hours) January 30 and 31
4. Agrarian entrepreneurialism: Experiences reclaiming and readapting the countryside (15 hours) February 9, 16 and 17
5. Earth-smart horticulture (10 hours) February 22 and 23
6. Detection and control of Xylella fastidiosa (5 hours) March 9

The classes, which are free and combine both theory and its practical application, last between 5 and 25 hours and will take place in Council buildings.

Part of the 2014-2020 rural development programme of the Balearic Islands, the continuing education initiative receives funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Spain's general public administrative service (AGE) and the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands (CAIB).

Anyone interested in signing up should visit the Citizen's Information Office in person from 9.00am to 2.00pm, do it online via OVAC, request info through the Formentera Council's Office of Agriculture by calling 971.32.10.87 extensions 3166 and 3165, or contact agricultura@conselldeformentera.cat.

Enrolment will remain open as long as there is space available to ensure proper instruction.

Formentera invites Cris Juanico and the Ai Ai Ai for Christmas concert

Foto cris juanicoThe Formentera Council's Office of Culture and Festivities wishes to announce an evening of Minorcan music and Catalan rumba, this Saturday, December 16, at the hands of Cris Juanico and the Ai Ai Ai. The free concerts will take place in the Sant Ferran festival tent from 11.00pm.

Cris Juanico presents 13, his latest effort and first ever compilation
Tretze cançons desordenades + Tretze peces retrobades is the Cris Juanico's first and only compilation to date. The name (tretze means “thirteen” in Catalan) is at once a nod to the artist's ledger of solo work and the occasion to assemble the crowd-pleasers, deep cuts and rarities. Transcending the standard limitations of a collection, the album is a monument of the artist's research and toil as he worked to breathe new life into his own solo work, collaborations and life experiences.


Thirteen years have passed since 2004's Memòria,  Juanico's first release as a solo artist. It's a number that allowed him to arrive at a personal, altogether unique selection of career milestones, all part of a two-disc set that also features thirteen assorted rarities and collaborations.

With its faithful account of Juanico's career in music, likely the only thing unfamiliar in this collage of songs —anecdotes and experiences, lyrics and melodies— is the track listing. In undertaking the project, the singer cast his gaze to the past in order to move forward and create something new.

The first of two CDs rests on thirteen tracks that span Cris Juanico's musical catalogue, and contains jewels from Ja T'Ho Diré, Menaix a Truà, Tabaluga, Original Jazz Orquestra and the artist's own handiwork.

The second disc, thirteen uncovered tracks plus a handful of special collaborations with premier musicians and close friends —Toni Xuclà, Joan Valent, Gossos, Projecte Mut, the Simfònica de Cobla i Corda de Catalunya, Àngel Gómez, Van de Kul, Nina da Lúa and Sa Fàbrica de Músics gospel choir among them—handling vocals, songwriting and production. There are also three never-before released tracks: one features Benejam, another was written for the Balearic ornithological society's SOS Menorca and a third represents Juanico's contribution to «La mar i en Pop,» an exhibition.

Celebrating 25 years of Catalan rumba, Ai Ai Ai prepares to share new material with Formentera
Following the passing of one of Catalan rumba's leading lights, Gato Pérez, in 1990, two of Pérez's musicians, “Rafalitu” Salazar and Pep Lladó formed Ai Ai Ai. Their mission, to keep the genre alive and use Catalan in more than a passing fashion, may appear today natural, but it was once profoundly transgressive. Henceforth, the Ai Ai Ai have stubbornly cultivated and brought to the genre their own special touch. Today, with rumba's position in the Catalan catalogue of cultural heritage widely accepted, the group's mission has become to see the form gain recognition from Unesco as a feature of intangible world heritage.

The musical winds have shifted over the years. There was the Olympic explosion of Los Manolos and el Peret. The rise of Catalan rock. The arrival on the scene of the fusion styles of Dusminguet and Manu Chao. The success of Manel and their brethren in new pop. Through it all, the Ai Ai Ai have remained true to their particular take on music. Now, with twenty-five years, five commercial releases and hundreds of concert performances under their belts, the group is ready and raring as ever. With a forthcoming commemorative effort to include not only new material and reboots of old songs, but also “Que no, que no” a previously unreleased composition by el Gato revisited with help from Joan Garriga and Marià Roch of Troba Kung-Fú. They'll have a seven-man band in tow when the group arrives on the island December 16, including cherished Catalan gypsy “Rafalitu” Salazar and Jordi Gas of Jarabe de Palo and Salseta del Poble Sec i Sau fame. Backed by new hits or old classics, the group's mission is still to get crowds dancing the Catalan rumba, whether with fan favourites like Sota la palmera, Bar la rumba, Carrer cavallers or the legendary Maquinolandera, with its verse for Formentera: "Cap a Formentera / Que tu no tens espera / Agafen de la meva / Vigila la cartera / Ohoh, ohoh Ohoh, ohoh".

Taking stock of disinterment at Sant Ferran cemetery

Foto conclusions politicsFormentera Council president Jaume Ferrer, Balearic culture minister Fanny Tur and Luís Ruiz, chief of the Eivissa-Formentera memory forum, gathered today in the administration's former plenary hall to present the conclusions of the effort afoot since November 29 to exhume remains at the Sant Ferran cemetery.

The disinterment was paid for with a €16,780 Govern grant for the Fòrum per la Memòria d'Eivissa i Formentera and a €4,000 contribution from the Formentera Council. Work was overseen by forensic archaeologist and anthropologist Almudena García-Rubio and a crew formed by Juanjo Marí Casanova, Glenda Graziani, Paqui Carmona, Pau Sureda, Sergi Moreno and Nicholas Márquez-Grant.

The impulse behind the undertaking was to unearth the remains of five individuals —Jaume Ferrer Ferrer (Jaume de na Morna), Josep Ribas Marí (Pep de Baix), Joan Tur Mayans (Joan de can Pep Damià), Jaume Serra Juan (Jaume de can Mariano d'en Corda) and Vicent Cardona Colomar (Vicent de can Fumeral)— executed on March 1, 1937 in the Sant Ferran cemetery.

As part of the undertaking, crews performed various targeted digs on and adjacent to the 125-square-metre lot (six and five, respectively) which has been used as a burial ground since 1903. Inspections inside the cemetery followed conventional wisdom about where the interred remains might lie: beside the cemetery entrance, underneath headstones built in 1956 and 1984, below another gravesite and in a portion of the cemetery without grave markers.

Popular memory again directed the probes outside the cemetery walls, conducted with the help of excavating machinery. Patches of cement found on the southeast wall served to confirm the hypothesis that holes were pocked into the walls by executioners' bullets. Four bullets were detected as well; one wedged into the wall was uncovered with the help of a metal detector.

The major discoveries emerged thanks to investigation of skeletal remains, which suggested the bodies of the five executed were at some point transported to the ossuary to make room in the cemetery for new burials, then a common practice with ageing remains.

Crews unearthed a piece of a humerus bone and two fragmented skulls bearing firearm damage not unlike others found in Civil War burial sites. According to specialists on the crew, the marks are clearly the result of injuries sustained close in time to the victims' death, rather than damages inflicted during the remains' keeping in the ossuary.

The crew of specialists are carrying out two checks to confirm the skeletons belonged to the individuals in question. The first is a review of the civil registry. At present, workers have checked entries from 1991 to 1994 and confirmed the absence among the 156 deaths catalogued of any caused by impact of a projectile, which would indicate that the three bone fragments might indeed correspond to one of the five victims.

The second test involves DNA cross-checking of the remains and living relatives of the victims. All five families have agreed to participate in the examination, which could produce results in as soon as two to four months.

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