January 2015 News Headlines

Climate change to hit Júcar water resources

Jan 29th
A study by researchers of the Institute of Water Engineering and Environment of the Polytechnic University of Valencia warns of a possible decline of up to 20% in the water resources of the Júcar river basin over the next 30 years. The study, based on climate scenarios developed by the Spanish Met office (AEMET) - predicts extremes of weather with frequent droughts alternating with torrential rainfall, more evaporation due to elevated temperatures and less water seeping into the aquifers. Other effects would be a reduction in water quality and increase in forest fires They propose the development of appropriate water management schemes such as drip irrigation, use of recycled water for irrigation (e.g. of Golf courses), and improved management of dams. From: Iagua.es and Las Provincias print edition.

Benitatxell's Biomoscatell wine presented in Valencia

Jan 29th
Benitatxell's Biomoscatell "Moraig" was invited to be tasted at the closing of the 11thth edition of the "Tastavis" quality wine tasting course. This was the second vintage of the dry white wine produced from "ecologically grown" moscatel grapes. The project was designed to promote traditional culture and the moscatel grape as an identifier of the people as well as to stimulate the economic value of the crop. From Las Provincias: El Vino Moraig

Seven tourists before the court for forest fire in July 2013

Jan 29th
Seven tourists, all of the same Irish family are finally before the court for starting a forest fire in July 2013 through the negligent flying of a Chinese lantern. They had admitted culpability, had tried to extinguish the flames and called emergency services. All expressed remorse. From Las Provincias: Procesados..

FITUR international travel fair opens in Madrid

Jan 29th
ONE of Europe's largest tourism trade fairs kicked off in Madrid yesterday (Wednesday) for the 35th year running, bringing representatives from all over the world together to show off what their countries or regions have to offer holidaymakers.
FITUR is among the most internationally-famous, and one that few town councils in Spain are prepared to miss and tourist boards on every continent make an effort to get there, knowing that it is an investment rather than an expense – they will get the chance to meet over 9,000 tour operators and sign deals with them for package holidays, giving them a ready-cornered market. For full strory see: ThinkSpain. Ed's note: Xàbia is there promoting its off-season weekend breaks.

2013 a Record breaking year for Spanish Tourism

Jan 27th
Tourism in Spain broke records in 2013, after receiving 60.6 million international tourists, representing an increase of 5.6% over 2012. This placed Spain as the country having received the third most visitors after France and the US. Much of the success of 2013 was due to the weakness of competitors such as Egypt which lost 18.1% of its tourists due to political instability in the region. The Brits once again topped the list of foreign tourists comprising 23.6% of the total, an increase of 5.2% over 2012, and the number of Nordic and Russian visitors increased markedy. More people are travelling on their own - not using tour packages. From: El Pais

Xabia close to full implementation of e-Government

Jan 27th
Xàbia continues to advance the implementation of eGovernment, a system that will allow residents to do a lot of paperwork virtually. The necessary software training for all municipal employees is currently underway and it is estimated that the system will be up for general use by the end of March. Cesc Camprubí - councillor for IT - stressed the importance of the modernization of local administration, so that people can comply with formalities such as registration and consult their records from the comfort of their homes. Also, there will be an improvement in the efficiency of the internal function of the Council and its relationship with other government and agencies, since everything will be computerized. The mayor, José Chulvi, added that the introduction of eGovernment is provides a further step in facilitating public participation and communication. From Press Release

Xàbia residents donated nearly 100,000 kilos of old clothes for recycling

27th January
In 2014 a total of 98,870 kg of used clothes were collected in Xàbia in the Humana Poeple to People Foundation containers. This is a free service which both promotes recycling, reduces carbon emissions and supports Africa.
13%l goes to the 32 Humana thrift stores in Spain
50% is sent to Africa to be sold at low prices to local merchants.
30% is sold to textile recycling companies.
The remaining 7% is scrap and used generate Waste Derived Fuel (CDR)
From XAD:Los Vecinos

2014 - a black year for agriculture in the Comunidad Valenciana

Jan 26th
The worst drought in 150 years, an incessant wave of thefts and the Russian embargo on EU agricultural produce create losses of more than 500 million Euros in the Valencian countryside. The Association of Valencian Agriculturalists have described 2014 as their "aunnus horribilis". Most of the losses were due to drought, (estimated €350 million) with citrus, grapes olive, being most affected. The costs of additional irrigation, damage due to pests, and damage from hail storms have added to the problems. People are abandoning agriculture, the only bright note being the expansion in the cultivation of caqui (persimmon). From Las Provincias Sunday print edition)

Xàbia takes formal steps against hotel proposal for San Antonio lighthouse

Jan 25th
Xàbia town council unanimously agreed to submit proposals to stop the private project to convert to San Antonio lighthouse into a hotel by asking the Ministry of Development for use of the area for use as an environmental interpretation centre, pointing out that the hotel proposal contravenes several urban development laws. Mayor Chulvi also issued a mayoral resolution demanding the immediate suspension of unlicensed works (which are being carried out by the private developer) that are taking place in the building adjacent to the lighthouse. This building is the property of Post and Telegraph Authority. For full statement from mayor Chulvi's Facebook see: San Antonio Lighthouse

Xàbia promotes themed, off season short break holidays

Jan 25th
A new tourism campaign called "XÀBIA: MEMORIA DEL MEDITERRÁNEO" has been launched by the Department of Tourism to promote the town as an off-season short-stay holiday destination. To be promoted at tourism fairs like the forthcoming FITUR in Madrid, the campaign offers not only the image of Jávea but also activities and services for tourists thanks to a collaboration with the business sector of the municipality as well as hotels, restaurants and companies in the leisure sector, especially those specialising in water activities. For full story see: Javeamigos

Repsol scraps controversial oil exploration off Canary Islands

Jan 19th
Energy giant Repsol abandoned its controversial search for oil and gas off Spain’s Canary Islands​, delighting locals and environmentalists but dashing Madrid’s hopes that the project would ease its energy dependency…After two months of exploration two kilometres (1.2 miles) below the sea bed some 50 kilometres from the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, Repsol said in a statement it only found small deposits that were not worth drilling. For full story see: The Guardian

Flu epidemic to worsen this week

Jan 18th
The factor which has truly given the health authority cause for concern is that 63% of the most serious cases have affected patients who are eligible for a free 'flu jab and have not had one. Everyone aged 65 or over should have an annual influenza vaccination, and the health ministry starts its awareness campaign and orders the required number of doses in September. The aim is not necessarily to reduce the number of cases or prevent those vaccinated from catching the 'flu, but to ensure that if they do contract the virus, it is far less serious and life-threatening. For full story see: ThinkSpain

Unemployment down in the Marina Alta

Jan 18th
This year saw a slight fall in the number of unemployed in the Marina Alta with 15,406 people on the dole, as compared to 16,431 a year ago. In Javea there were 202 fewer unemployed in December. Most new jobs were in the Service sector and unions point out that many of these jobs are temporary. Also one needs to take into account emigration from the area. From XAD: Xàbia cierra...

Pre-Election Musical Chairs (part 2)

Jan 18th
A new left-leaning political grouping has been formed in Xàbia to fight the municipal elections. It is called "Reiniciem Javea" (Reset Xàbia) - and is formed by members of Compromis, EUPV and the new national party, Podemos (we can) (From Press Release) . Meanwhile the PP has been courting Oscar Anton (currently leader of Xabia Democratica). At the last elections the PP had difficulty in finding a suitable candidate to lead the local campaign and ended with one parachuted in by Valencia. Anton admits that he is continually receiving overtures from the PP, but says it's not the right time to join them. From XAD: El PP busca.... (Ed's note: See November headlines for Part 1 )

Work on re-developing pavements and parking in Avda Jaume I re-starts

Jan 18th
Work has restarted on the redevelopment of Avenida Jaume I in the port, the first phase of which was completed just before Christmas. The project, budgeted at 110,000 euros, has been widening the pavements, renewing street lighting and reorganizing parking along the main access route into the port area to provide a more aesthetically-pleasing first impression as well as improve pedestrian movement. Work is also beginning to finish the interior of the municipal building in Portal del Clot which has been unfinished for some years. The building will be made ready with the installation of service networks and the adaption of facilities for use by the offices of Urban Planning, Works and the local branch of the CREAMA employment initiative as well as a squad of the Policía Local. There will also be a space allocated for the municipal administrative archive. For full story see: Javeamigos

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Environmental protection initiatives spreading

Jan 18th
Last weekend saw the latest census on marine wildlife conducted along the Valencia coastline, with ornithologists from across the region coming together to monitor and report their findings on a day that presented calm conditions and good visibility. The complete data is now being collated and will be released once complete, but Elías Gomis from the Amigos de los Humedales del Sur de Alicante reporting that the Balearic shearwater, or Puffinus mauretanicus, was particularly intense in the first two hours. The high atmospheric pressure had caused the lowering of sea levels and the appearance of small islands, many of which effectively tripled the surface area, much to the delight of the endangered Audouin's gulls who frequent the area, although one took even more advantage of the extra land by catching and eating a small squid, according to the report from the spotter at Cabo de las Huertas. In total, the data reveals that there were at least 16 marine species spotted during the census, a total of more than 10,000 birds, and at least two of the watch points also had the pleasure of observing bottlenose dolphins, perhaps curious of the activity taking place. For full story see The leader.es

2014 warmest since at least 1950 in the Comunidad

Jan 18th
2014 was the warmest since at least the 1950 in the Comunidad Valenciana with an average temperature of 16.3 % and 30% less rainfall than average. The areas which usually record the most rainfall (Marina Alta, Safor and Ribera) have been the hardest hot with the Marina Alta receiving only 36% of its annual rainfall accumulating a deficit of 64% From: EuropaPress: El Año 2014...

Alicante Ports Authority states Xàbia's stance "relevant"

Jan 18th
Xàbia's Mayor Chulvi met with the President of the Alicante Ports authority on Wednesday, who stated that the stance taken by Xàbia concerning the development of the San Antonio lighthouse was "relevant" to the assessment of the project to build an hotel there. This give hope that the project may be stopped. From Las Provincias: Puertos garantizar...

Xàbia Town Hall reports that building a hotel on the site of the Cap de Sant Antoni lighthouse clashes with five planning regulations.

Jan 14th
The council is preparing urban, environmental and safety reports to substantiate the rejection of this project. For Mayor Chulvi's facebook statement in English see: San Antonio Lighthouse

Time to set up personalised Municipal payments plan extended

Jan 11th
Taxpayers in Jávea will have longer to set up a customised tax payment plan after mayor José Chulvi signed a resolution to extend the deadline for doing so to Friday 16th January. This pioneering tool launched by the local tax collection service allows residents to spread their tax obligations across the year to suit their own financial schedule as well as offering up to 4% discount for those who settled their balances before January 16th (note that there is no penalty for those who pay later in the year) For full story see: Javeamigos

Is Recreational fishing in the Mediterranean harming the environment?

Jan 11th
Up to 10% of adults living in developed countries fish for food and recreation, they are not commercial fishermen. In the Mediterranean Sea that could be up to 10% of the total production of fisheries. Commercial fishing gets a lot of attention because it is a well-monitored and well-managed industry but a new study says recreational fishing and the authors are demanding greater control. The researchers used the results of 24 studies carried out in 15 marine areas in Spain (Tabarca and three areas of the Cap de Creus), France, Italy and Turkey and compared the different practices, such as the use of exotic bait and bottom fishing, as well as the environmental impact of the different types of recreational fishing: from a boat, from the shore and underwater…The main effect described by researchers is that in the Mediterranean, unlike other places in the world, the practice of catch and release (not resulting in fish death) is not "at all popular among fishers," points out the researcher, who explains that the release of certain catches are usually linked to unwanted species or catches that are too small and considered discards. For full story see: Science Codex

Our very own Sitcom - "Wintersun"

Jan 11th
A crowd-funded ten part situation comedy located in (and promoting) the Marina Alta will be released on the internet from January 26th. Each part is 10 minutes long and the story features Susan, a thirty something rather wild Londoner whose previous experience of the area are the delights of Benidorm and its kin. She finds she is mentioned in her Aunt's will in some rural village in the Marina Alta, and turns up with just enough money for 24 hours. She meets Cathy, who shared the house with Susan's aunt - and then her adventures begin. The first series is set in Xàbia, Dénia, Teulada-Moraira, Calp, Benissa, Pego, Ondara and Parcent - dialogue in English, Castellano and Valenciano. The Crowdfunding site is : Here - Verakami . The project website is: Wintersun - you can view a teaser of the series there, or take a look and share via Youtube : http://youtu.be/ajho1gHieP8
Here's the trailer:

Ed's note: …Hey, Susan you can get WiFi out in the sticks !

Dolphins spotted in Xàbia Bay

Jan 11th
There are some nice pix of dolphins near kayaks and paddle boarders in the bay, caught on ohoto a few days ago:

Crafts stalls and workshops every Saturday morning

Jan 11th
Xàbia is organising a small Craft Fair in the Marina Alta plaza (near the Post Office). It's a joint initiative between the Town Hall, Old Town business Association and Amata . The market kicks off on Saturday 17th January at 10.00 am (till 2.00pm), with 15 stalls and a focus on the making of Turrón. About forty craftsmen are involved in this project, although they set up their stalls in shifts to ensure that every Saturday there will be between ten and fifteen varied stalls including ceramics, wrought iron, leather, wooden toys, silverware and crochet as well as agricultural products. It is envisaged that the artisans offer participatory workshops in which children and adults can make their own piece of craftsmanship, paying a nominal fee for materials. From XAD: Sabados...

Flexi-time working increases productivity

Jan 5th
In 2008 Iberdrola, introduced compressed working hours for its 9,000-strong workforce. The day begins at 7.15am and ends at 2.50pm, with a 45-minute flexi-time option. Six years on from the initiative the facts speak for themselves: “We have improved productivity and increased our working hours by more than half-a-million per year. We have reduced absenteeism by 20 percent, while accidents in the workplace have fallen by 15 percent.” But despite the evidence, Iberdrola is alone among Spanish private-sector employers in moving toward more rational working hours, although Barcelona-based brewery Damm is about to follow suit. for full story see: El País in English

Xàbia fights hotel plan for lighthouse

Jan 5th
Xàbia Mayor Chulvi is expected to travel to the Ministry of Development to argue the case that the San Antonio Lighthouse should be an environmental and tourism centre, in keeping with its location on the edge of the Marine Reserve and Montgó Natural Park, rather than a luxury hotel, as proposed by Denia empresario, David Morera. The hotel proposal has already been agreed by the Alicante Ports Authority, without consulting Xàbia or any of the other bodies concerned, such as the Montgó Park Governing body. The law governing the management of the Park (PORN) 2002, stated that it expected the lighthouse to be dedicated to raise awareness about the management of the park's coastline. From La Marina Plaza

Marina Alta "loses" 23,000 people

Jan 5th
The clearing out the Padrón records required by the Institute of National statistics, has left the Marina Alta with a population back to what it was before the housing bubble, i.e. a reduction of 23,000 inhabitants down to a total of less than 180,000: Xàbia slips from 33,149 to 29,067. The biggest fall was seen in Calpe. This fall represents a big financial hit to municipal coffers, which rely on a subvention from the state for each person on the Padrón. See: La Marina Plaza for a table detailing population figures in the various municipalities since 1996.

"Bad Bank" properties on sale from this month

Jan 5th
A total of 14.031 properties of the "Sociedad de Gestión de Activos Procedentes de la Reestructuración Bancaria" (Company managing assets proceeding from bank Restructuring (SAREB)) in the Comunidad will be marketed from this week by three real estate companies. These are properties awarded by the 'bad bank' to Altamira, Servihabitat and Solvia under the Ibero project. This represents the largest package of assets whose management the entity has divested to date. From Las provincias: Mas de....

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