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At CiF plenary, call to reforest s'Espalmador

ple agost 2016The Formentera Council convened its August plenary session today. The monthly gathering saw parties mobilising unanimously around a measure to right fire damage done to s'Espalmador island. CiF environment councillor Daisee Aguilera explained that under the initiative, plenary members ask the Govern Balear to dispatch a specialist team to s'Espalmador to assess the damage a recent fire inflicted on the island's plant and animal life.

Two other appeals to the Govern —one urging the drafting of a technical report on potential reforesting measures and another calling for beefed-up summertime surveillance and enforcement of rules at Ses Salines park— were also included in the measure. Aguilera pressed the Palma administration for “a rigorous evaluation of the park's ability to absorb the damage” and “an updated emergency protocol”. Lastly, council members agreed to ask both the Govern and the regional coastal authority to halt current and new permits for maritime excursions to s'Espalmador, citing the need to determine the island's absorption capacity.

More nautical surveillance

The plenary brought unanimous approval for a measure asking the Palma government's local delegation to increase funding for the Eivissa-Formentera Guardia Civil's maritime unit and add a boat —stationed on Formentera— to the force's fleet. According to Councillor Aguilera, the measure will allow for “more stringent control of for-profit recreational water activities” and “ensure that environmental and maritime laws are upheld”.

Expanded course catalogue

In another moment of unity at the plenary meeting, a motion was adopted to expand the catalogue of classes offered at Formentera's school for adults. As education councillor Susana Labrador pointed out, the request entails asking the Govern for funding to reinstate a secondary education degree programme for adults, known as ESPA, as well as preparatory courses to begin high-level technical training.

Members also unanimously adopted a document seeking approval for the dissolution of the Formentera development consortium. Under the terms of an agreement hammered out between the CiF and the Govern Balear, the change will become effective October 15, 2016.

Public health at Can Misses hospital

Another measure adopted at the plenary, although with the abstention from the socialist party, dealt with public health activity in the J building of the former Can Misses hospital. Social welfare councillor Vanessa Parellada called the initiative “an opportunity to offer very important services,” including accommodation on Eivissa for family of hospitalised Formentera residents. Parellada said she hoped a new meeting with the Balearic department of health could provide updated information about the project and signalled her intent to request the project be given priority treatment, calling it “very important for Formentera”. In her words, “this initiative will help us rectify some of the woeful inequalities in healthcare that set Formentera residents apart from their Mallorcan counterparts.”

Gratitude for firefighting efforts

With a unanimous “yes” vote from plenary members, the Formentera Council issued a declaration about the recent wildfire on s'Espalmador island, part of Ses Salines park and reserve. In the document, the Council thanks all the individuals and groups who assisted firefighting efforts early in the morning on Sunday August 15, including Ibanat, Guardia Civil, local civil protection forces, local police and the CiF's firefighting brigade. The document also extends the recognition to all volunteers, known and anonymous, who lent a hand.

Congratulations offered to Mateo Sanz

Another declaration from the CiF that received unanimous approval concerned local athlete Mateo Sanz's participation in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. In the name of the people of Formentera, the document congratulates, thanks and pledges to support Sanz for his unprecedented achievement. The document calls the Formentera native's Olympic run “particularly significant because of Sanz's effort and sportsmanship” and Sanz himself “the greatest model young local athletes could ask for”.

Fire crews get flames at Formentera house fire under control

foc casa pagesa2Formentera fire fighters have controlled a fire that broke out in a home in the es Pi des Català neighbourhood. The alert was first sounded by a neighbour at 12.30am, early in the morning on Thursday, August 25. Brigade chief Iván Marí pointed to the already advanced stage of the blaze when his men arrived on the scene as evidence that “the fire had probably been going for some time”. Though the crew was able to control the flames by 1.15am, the fire wasn't entirely extinguished until 3.40am.

Marí said the cause of the fire was not immediately clear, although he allowed for the possibility that the source was electric. He highlighted the fact the house's occupants —away from home at the time of the fire— escaped injury. The approximately 90-square-metre home was completely destroyed by the flames. The response crew was formed by three Formentera fire fighters, who had use of a firetruck, a pickup and a patrol car of Formentera local police.

Formentera rallies behind Italy after quake

The Formentera Council is expressing its solidarity with the Italian nation on the heels of an earthquake that rocked the centre of the country yesterday, Wednesday August 24. The catastrophe has for now left a body count of more than 240, in addition to numerous missing and injured.

Tomorrow, Friday August 26 at 12 noon, a minute of silence will be observed out of respect for the lives claimed by the earthquake and for the victim's families. It will take place on the front steps of the Council (Casa Consistorial) in the Sant Francesc town square.

Fresh charges brought against itinerant vendors, street-side promoters

foto venda ambulant agost 2016The Formentera Council president's office has reported on eight new charges, brought last weekend by the Formentera local police, of itinerant selling at island beaches. From Friday August 19 to Sunday August 21, agents of law and order issued three charges of illegally peddling jewellery and clothing as well as five charges for selling fruit and beverages. Officers confiscated 172 bracelets, 38 dresses, 174 refreshments and various pieces of fruit, sandwiches and salads. Charges were also brought in one alleged case of street-side promoting, also called “dynamic publicity”.

In recent months Formentera police have pursued 34 cases of itinerant vending and brought charges for eight counts of street-side promoting. The goal behind the current law enforcement push is to stem the instances of such crimes.

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premsa@conselldeformentera.cat