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Guitar fest promises plenty of weekend fun

presentacio festivalToday at half past noon in the courtyard of Formentera's artistic centre, organisers unveiled details behind Guitarres de Formentera, a homegrown festival dedicated to all things guitars that turns eight this September. On hand at the Centre Gabrielet for the press conference were Ekkehard “Eki” Hoffman, chair of the event, Damian Soto, who sits on the festival's organising board, and Susana Labrador, the administration's councillor in charge of culture.

Guitarres de Formentera is a festival of blues, jazz and rock music that will take place this weekend in Sant Ferran. The event has become a mainstay on the island's musical calendar, and is put on by the association that Hoffman, himself a musician, founded and continues to front.

The event's 2016 programme of music-themed activities will unfold over two evenings, September 16-17, 10.00pm to 4.00am in the Sant Ferran square. Crowds will see performances from Blues Màfia i es Saligardos, Matthias Baumgarth Band, Kelly&The Jam Factory, Ras Smaïla, Chimichurri, Litus, Sirjo Cocchi Songbook and The Frigolos. Then, from 6.00 to 9.00pm on Sunday, September 18, the Sant Ferran restaurant Sa Panxa will be the scene of a special closing performance by Els Perillosos Gentlemen. Jam sessions will crown the programme all three days.

A first: free year-long tutoring for struggling pupils

foto taller reforcAccording to an announcement from the Formentera Council's Office of Social Welfare, tomorrow marks the start of the enrolment period in free tutoring for year five and six primary school pupils. Office chair Vanessa Parellada portrayed the academic assistance as "geared toward students with learning difficulties and at perennial risk of falling behind, with a particular focus on pupils who are struggling with academic integration and deficiencies in language and maths.”

This year is the first time the tutoring will run the entire academic year, from September 26 to the end of the course, and will be free. The classes, which cost the Council 13,000 euros, have benefitted 112 students over the last five years. Parellada credited the decision to continue the initiative with the positive feedback it has customarily received.

It is expected that some twenty students will attend the Monday-Friday, afternoon tutoring sessions, for which an exact timetable has yet to be set. The schools must help the contracted instructor, Maribel Jiménez, select which pupils will require the extra help. Parents of interested students have from September 15 to 22 to hand in enrolment applications at the Office of Social Welfare.

The tutoring will centre on boosting pupils' scholastic abilities using motivation-based tactics and by favouring a daily-work ethic. The students' school work will serve as a yardstick for additional help in English, Castilian Spanish, Catalan, environmental studies and maths. Furthermore, since learning will be organised in group sessions, social integration and teamwork will also be promoted.

Council invests nearly €8.5k in school upgrades ahead of 2016-2017 year

escoleta newThe education office of the Formentera Council announces the start of a new academic term from September 15 at the island's two early-learning centres. One hundred twenty-two children aged zero to three will begin classes tomorrow at Formentera's two escoletes, Sa Miranda and Camí Vell, in nine groups overseen by 17 instructors and an aide.

Education secretary Susana Labrador said the schools had kept their doors closed for the first two weeks in September while teaching staff, service workers, Council employees and outside contractors worked to get things up and running ahead of another year. Labrador put the total cost of the undertaking at €8,475.

Both schools got a fresh coat of paint, something Labrador said only cost the administration €400 since in-house staff could be brought in for the work. Carpenters were called in to change and varnish wood floors at Sa Miranda. Light work was performed on the doors at the two schools, and both centres received needed new shelving. The price tag for the diverse upgrades was roughly €5,200. A storage unit for educational material was mounted at Cami Vell for €875, and a gas tank for Sa Miranda's on-site heating system cost €2,000.


The Formentera Council wishes to express its deepest sorrow following the death at noon today of a woman on a beach between Es Ministre restaurant and Es Pas des Trucadors. At approximately 1.00pm lifeguard and rescue services were notified that a woman, 61 years old and Austrian, was unconscious on a beach. According to witnesses at the scene, the woman was in an area where the water was calm and swimming was authorised when she suffered a sudden attack.

A number of beachgoers performed cardiac resuscitation until lifeguards arrived, at which point the latter carried on with the task. The victim was then transported by rescue service watercraft to the Es Ministre beach where an ambulance sat ready to take her to the hospital. None of emergency services' efforts were successful, however, at saving the woman's life. The victim had come to Formentera as part of a group day trip from Eivissa.

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