February 2016 News Headlines

Xabia and Benitatxell clash over boundaries

Feb 27th
Benitatxell's new General Town Plan has created a conflict of boundaries with Xàbia, boundaries which were established in 1899, and which abut 39% of the Xàbia municipal boundary. In addition there is a conflict of land use. Benitatxell has a number of urban developments right on the edge of Xàbia's protected area of Granadella, while on the other hand Xàbia has almost fully developed the Cansalades-Umbria area, while it is designated as a protected zone in Benitatxell. The Xàbia town council has also sent Benitatxell a proposal of the Environment and urban development consultative committee, that a roundabout should be built at the intersection of Camí Cansalades and the CV-740, an infrastructure which does not appear in Benitatxell's General Town Plan. From: La Marina Plaza

No more "Bous embolats" - bulls with flames on their horns- in Xàbia fiestas

Feb 25th
The controversial use of bulls running in the streets with fire on their horns (embolats), or bulls let out of small boxes (encaixonats) will no longer take place in Xàbia. This is because of security concerns for people and animals, as well as public concerns regarding the maltreatment of animals. The regular bull running and bulls in the sea (bous a la mar) will take place as usual. From Press Release
(Ed's note: If you want to get an idea of what "bous encaixonats" is all about take a look at the You Tube clip: https://youtu.be/M2qiP8suvgY)

Portal del Clot Council building to open at last

Feb 23rd
The municipal building near the Helpdesk Citizen's Advice Office and underground car park at Xàbia's Portal del Clot will finally open after six years of sitting empty and unused on Monday February 29th. It will house the local police, Works and Urban development department and Services and the Environment. 1000 square metres of the underground car park will be modified for storage of the municipal archive. The personnel will gradually move in over the following days. From: La Marina Plaza

Only 16.6% of Marina Alta garbage is recycled

Feb 23rd
The Marina Alta region is above the average in the amount of waste generated per capita (1.49kg per day, as oppose to 1.40kg for the Comunidad as a whole), and less than 20% is separated for recycling. The MARE Consortium (http://www.consorcimare.es/) is pushing for better public awareness and use of recycling points and the completion of a network of municipal ecoparcs and improving municipal facilities: "More than 427,000 inhabitants; 52 municipalities; we treat more than 215,000 tons of garbage every year" (Las Marinas and Campello) From: La Marina Plaza

Meeting to elect Agenda 21 Representatives on Consultative Committees

Feb 23rd
The department of Citizen Participation announced that on Wednesday 2 March there will be a meeting to elect new representatives of the Local Agenda 21 in the three Consultative Committees /Councils : Culture, Economic Development and Tourism and Planning and the Environment. The meeting, scheduled at 19.30 pm in the Casa de la Cultura, is open to all people with concerns and who want to actively participate in discussion forums and advise the Town Hall. Note: The Consultative Committee meetings are public, so anyone can attend as a listener if you are interested in the subject matter. From Xàbia al Dia

More CO2 emissions in Spain 2015

Feb 21st
The Observatory of Sustainability (Observatorio de Sostenibilidad an independent and non-profit orgnisation made up of ecologists, engineers, economists, geographers and sociologists, issued a report on climate change in Spain for 2015. The study indicates that Spain has continued to increase emissions of greenhouse gases over the last year, while all neighboring countries have had marked reductions in their emissions. This increase is ascribed to the increase in coal for electricity generation, which has grown nearly 20%, consumption of petroleum products, around 2% , and the stagnation of consumption of natural gas. From: Ecoticias

Xàbia Police catch two fish poachers

Feb 17th
Xàbia police surprised two poachers who had 30 kilos of fish between them in the area of Cala Blanca at 8.00am last Thursday. The Poachers, in diving gear had flashlights and spear fishing harpoons, but the fish were not injured and it is suspected that they had been stolen from some trammel nets set by professional fishermen some 200m from the coast. The divers had no fishing licenses, they gear has been confiscated and legal proceedings initiated. In accordance with the law, the fish has been handed to a non-profit making organisation, namely the Red Cross, which distibuted the fish to seven needy families in the area. From: LaMarinaPlaza

Conference on reducing consumption of energy in water distribution

Feb 17th
The Xàbia municipal water company Amjasa and the Water Technology Institute (ITA) of the Polytechnic University of Valencia will hold a conference on the morning of Friday 11 March "The link between water and energy in the urban water cycle. Discussion will cover energy consumption (electricity or gas) needed to produce and distribute water. The conference will address the challenges facing the sector, such as meeting the demand of the millions of tourists who visit Spain, desalination, transport, distribution, drainage, purification and restoration of the the natural environment. Also, the need to reduce energy consumption to combat climate change and the greenhouse effect, as well as improving the competitiveness of the sector. The conference will be held at the Parador and registration is required (from Press Release)

The workshop, which will last all morning, we will analyze all the costs related to the different stages of urban water in search of energy and water efficiency, and promote the

Funding for Xàbia Swimming pool earmarked

Feb 17th
This from José Chulvi's Facebook stream: "Yesterday I met with Ximo Puig, President of the Generalitat Valenciano, a person who does meet his commitments, including what others have so often promised and never fulfilled. In the Generalitat's budget for 2017 provision has been made for the financing of the covered swimming pool for Xàbia. Vamos!!!" (Eds note: Agenda21 has been banging on about this since at least 2008)

Marina Alta's miniscule Industrial sector shrinks

Feb 16th
Setting aside the two big local companies , the supermarket Mas y Mas and Baleària (shipping), which weathered the economic crisis well, the region's small industrial sector has collapsed, shedding 42% of jobs between 2008 and 2013 when its 1,716 workers represented only 0.54% of the workforce employed in the region. From: La Marina Plaza

The Drones are coming !

Feb 16th
Impressive video of Calpe's Peñon de Ifach taken from a drone - a great tool for promoting the region's landscape for tourism:

Weather extremes and their consequences

Feb 16th
At the end of last week, minimum night time temperatures were to 18.9ºC in Benidorm, and 18.7ºC in Pego …temperatures more reminiscent of late Spring than February ((From ABC) Las Provincias weekend edition included a piece about plans to use controlled burning to mitigate against massive forest fires, given the dry conditions in this area. Meanwhile, severe wind, rain and snow swept across the northern regions of Spain causing loss of life (See El Pais in English), and winds lifted a kitesurfer in Denia off the sea, swept him inland, over the top of a 5 storey building and dumped him on a roof. He survived, but was badly injured. (From: La Marina Plaza

"Vuelta a España" Grand Tour cycle race time trial stage to start in Xàbia Port

Feb 13th
On 9th of September, Xàbia Port will be inundated with international media and spectators when it hosts the start of the last time trial stage of Spain's answer to the Tour de France, the Vuelta a España. This stage may well decide the winner of the two week race. The route will go from Xàbia to Calpe, and the first few km will pass by the Bahia de Jávea - giving great exposure of the landscape on international TV. From Press Release.

Spain beats records for foreign visitors

Feb 11
As the world's third tourism destination after France and the United States, Spain has already beaten records in the number of foreign visitors for three years in a row, and 2016 is expected to follow the same trend. Some 68.1 million foreign travellers visited in 2015, nearly five percent more than the previous year. And apart from the classic urban destinations of Barcelona and Madrid, tourist zones along Spain's sunny coasts are also doing well, particularly the Canary Islands off northwest Africa and the Balearic islands in the Mediterranean. For full story see: The Local

Protests over the Ebro River delta

Feb 10th
Environmentalists say one of Europe's most important wetland areas is under threat as Spain and Catalonia argue about the future of the Ebro river. Campaigners say Spanish government plans to restrict water flow could destroy the fragile landscape. Also, they are worried that ultimately these waters could be transferred to other, drier regions of Spain. Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Amposta in Catalonia on Sunday to protest against the plans. For full story see: BBC - Spanish water rights (Ed's note: 12 years ago there was an ambitious water transfer scheme to bring water from the Ebro down to this area. It was ditched in 2004 on environmental grounds (See: BBC: Spain ditches Ebro river project. The Ebro Hydrological plan can be found on: CHEbro

Calpe Flamingos hang around because of the warm winter

Feb 10th
Normally the 115 flamingos seen in the Calpe salt marsh migrate from the French Camarge, stop over in Calpe and winter in Garaa Ezzemoul in Algeria. But this year they have decided to stay in Calpe, probably because of the warm temperatures being experienced this winter. The birds have been ringed, and the oldest one is now 17 years old. From: La Marina Plaza

San Antonio Lighthouse definitely not going to be a hotel

Xabia asks the Ports authority to turn it into a Visitor's centre

Feb 10th
A proposal to turn the San Antonio Lighthouse into a hotel has been turned down for good. The activist group "Que no pare la llum del far de Xàbia" which has been fighting the idea since 2014 says it has received a letter from the ombudsman stating that the dossier for the concession had been finally rejected. (From: La Marina Plaza At the same time, Xàbia Town Hall has proposed to the Ports authority that the lighthouse should be converted into a visitor's centre, something like the Albir lighthouse. The Xàbia centre would be tied up with the Montgó Natural Park and Marine Reserve (from Press Release)

Enthusiasts fight ban on Rock Climbing on the Mongtó

Feb 7th
A group of climbers and mountain enthusiasts in the Marina Alta have expressed their disappointment after learning that the management of the Parque Natural del Montgó has decided to remove all fixed equipment that allows climbing in the Cova Ampla, the cavity that is often referred to as the 'eye of Montgó'. …they insist that climbing (both classical and sport) is considered an environmentally-friendly activity and is permitted is most protected natural spaces in Spain…they are willing to discuss the issue with the management of the natural park and work together to establish regulatory measures that rather than exclusively prohibit climbing, aims to combine the sport with the protection of the environment. For full story see: Javeamigos

Xàbia to honour former mayor, artist and founder of Municipal Museum

Feb 7th
Xàbia Town Hall is planning to honour artist and former mayor of the town Juan Bautista Soler Blasco in 2017 with a special exhibition, a tour of places where he painted murals such as the Augustine Convent and the chapel of Pópul and a special celebration book with articles by local writers and historians. J.B. Soler Blasco (1920-1984), a native of Gandía, dedicated his life to his passion of painting. After several years of developing his talent, he discovered that Xàbia had the tranquility that he needed to paint and teach. He became an important figure in local history, residing as mayor of the town between 1974 and 1979 as well as being deeply involved in cultural projects such as the creation of the municipal museum which nows bears his name and the municipal public library. For full story see: Javeamigos

Three University students in protest march from Valencia to Xàbia

Feb 3rd
Three Xàbia students, studying in Valencia have walked the 100km from Valencia to Xàbia to highlight the poor communications borne by the Marina Alta. The closest railway station for Xàbia passengers wishing to go by train to Valencia is Gandia, about 42 km away. from: La Marina Plaza

Xàbia's Museum receives 2500 more visitors

Feb 3rd
Xàba's Municipaly ethnographic and archaeological Museum received 2500 more visitors last year as compared to the previous year, maintaining its level of around 20,000 visitors each year. 31% of the visits were by groups, mainly of pensioners, but also school-children. The efforts the Amixs del Museu de Xàbia (AMUX) association in translating both texts and videos into English has helped to broaden the appeal of the Museum to foreign tourists. From La Marina Plaza: El Museu de Xàbia

Special unit for Xàbia Police

Feb 3rd
The Xàbia Local Police, is improving its internal organization with the creation of a Special Tasks Unit (UCE). The Unit's main functions are to monitor and protect the security in the urbanizations, environmental issues in agricultural zones or coastal areas. Also to operate during events to control large groups of people in the streets or in municipal buildings, apart from the protection of local authorities if the situation requires it. The unit of five officers will have more flexible shifts to fit operational needs. From XAD: La Policia Local

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