July 2010 News Headlines

No action yet on the landslide at the Port


July 31st
Nearly seven months after the cliff behind the Club Nautico collapsed, destroying the end of the calle Caleta, imperiling houses on top and blocking access to Xàbia harbour wall, nothing has been done to make the area safe. Initially there was paralysis because of disagreement as to which authority was responsible for the works. Finally, at the end of January the regional Minister for infrastructure and transport said they would undertake the urgent repair works, estimated at over 2 million Euros (for background see: Caleta Landslide. Since then the Town hall has sent a letter with a preliminary draft of the job, emphasising that Xàbia would not be funding it, since the landslip was not their responsibility, but nothing has happened. The Autumn rains are not far away and the Town Hall says it knows nothing more. This inaction has enraged the householders affected, especially since one of the residents of Calle Caleta is PP leader Juan Moragues, and when an earlier landslide affected his property, the Conselleria acted very quickly. From XAD: Los vecinos... Las Provincias implies that the Town Hall and Conselleria are still arguing over who pays. Consolidar el talud...

Cleanup Squad for Granadella all summer

July 31st
A squad of five has been set up to keep Granadella clean until the end of September. Their main tasks will be clearing undergrowth and dead branches from roadside areas and waterways to prevent fires and generally maintaining the natural park. This squad has been funded by a grant from Servef, (Fundación de Servicio Valenciano de Empleo http://www.sve.es/) and the jobs have been given to people who have been out of a job for a long time, or who have problems getting work. From XAD Un brigada limpia....

Weekend Fair in the Port until September
July 31st
The Retailers Association of Xàbia Port is organising a trade fair every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7.00pm until 1.00am in Avda Jaume 1. Traders will take turns to display their wares and the fair will add atmosphere to visitors' evening visits to the Part. The fair will continue until September. From XAD: Una fería...

Disco on the Montgó organises free bus service

July 27th
The "Discoteca Hacienda" has organised a free bus service to and from Xàbia for its clients. This night club, located on La Plana on the edge of the Montgó Natural Park has come under criticism because of the massive influx of people and cars, particularly during the summer season. Added to this are piles of rubbish which create a fire hazard, and danger created by tipsy drivers. The 20 seater bus shuttles between the Night Club and the Arenal every 45 minutes each Saturday (to be extended in August to Fridays, possibly Thursdays too and a 50 seater bus). So far the initiative has been worth the cost. For timetable see: Poster. From XAD: La Discoteca...

Two small earthquakes give Xàbia a shake-up

July 26th
Two small earthquakes shook Xàbia today. The epicentre of the first, at 5.25 am was 9 km off the Cabo de la Nao. This was 2.4 on the Richter scale. The second, at 18.12, was even smaller, at 1.6. Both passed without notice. Small earthquakes are frequent in this area. Check National Geographical Institute for up to date information on eathquakes hereabout. From XAD: Dos pequeños temblores....

Underground parking company claims €22,000,000 compensation from Xàbia


July 23rd
Xàbia's undergound car parks are a bottomless pit of nasty surprises. Earlier we had been given to believe that the town had to pay around 1 million a year to compensate ECIS (the company which built the car parks, and which has a concession to run them for 40 years) for under use. So, come the end of the second year, the Town Hall had figured on having to have to cough up some 1.8 million Euros. However, ECIS has presented a bill for 22 million, broken down as follows: 12 million for under use of the car parks, a sum which results from a re-interpretation of what "85% full" is; 3.5 million because expectations in the business plan have not been met and 6.7 million because the Town Hall has created, or allowed to be created, new, free, above ground parking places in the catchment area of the car parks. (Note: all free parking near the car park area was supposed to have been removed, however this has not been done. Also, in a move to stop parking on the pavement in the Virgen de Los Angeles, the Town Hall recently created a free parking area in Calle Ribes Angel Mestre, about 450 metres away from the underground car park in the Plaza de la Constitución See June story From Las Provincias: La Empresa.... Fror shaggy dog story of the Car Parks see: Underground car Park ECIS is currently under investigation by the Anti Corruption police. (Información.es

Town hall looks for someone to run a bar in Cansalades (Pinosol) Park

July 23rd
The Town Hall is tendering for someone to run a bar in Cansalades Park for one year. The cost of the concession will be €1,160 per year. The catch is that the concessionaire will have to open and close the park, refurbish the existing kiosk, keep the facilities clean (including the toilets, though they don't have to supply toilet paper and soap). More and more social events take place in PinoSol park, so a bar would be a useful service and could even be economically viable . However it has been noted that this arrangement allows the town hall to employ a Park "concierge" on the cheap. From XAD: El Ayuntamiento buscar...

Xàbia Radio Taxis

Sixteen of Xàbia's twenty taxis have signed up to the "Centralita del Centro de Formación y Servicios del Taxi de la Comunidad Valenciana" - A 24 hour switchboard which is located in La Nucia. The system uses use GPS and GPRS technology. Clients phone 902 199 777 and are attended to in various different languages. When they order a taxi, one which is nearby comes to pick them up. The taxi in turn receives a text message detailing the client's destination and route. Each taxi is equipped with a security camera and a panic button. The service covers various other towns in the marina Alta such as Denia, Benissa, Ondara, La Vila Joiosa, Alfaz del Pi, La Nucía, Teulada-Moraira, Callosa d'En Sarrià, Altea and Alcoi. Fom XAD: Los taxis de Xàbia.....

Old Town Businesses make a push for Tourists


July 21st
The Old Town Business Association has launched an information campaign at the Arenal to tell visitors about the Historic Centre, its attractions, food, shopping and leisure. A striking video created by Gravimedia is being shown on a mobile video display and two multilingual girls are on hand to charm and inform people about what is going on in the Old Town. A new plan of the Old Town has been prepared and some 4000 hours of free parking will be given away. There will also be a free summer cinema in the Plaza Pintor Sorolla (opposite the Municipal Market) with films such as "Up", "Mash", "Pirates of the Caribbean", "Sideways" and four more films yet to be determined. The Old Town will soon have an 11 seat electric bus to carry people from the car park to main points of the Old Town. From XAD: Original campaña....

Town Hall fells 30 trees to build a Sports ground


July 19th
The Town Hall is felling 30 Melia (China Roseberry) trees to make way for the building of a sports ground in Mezquida (near the secondary School IE1). A grant of 260,000 Euros from the National stimulus plan E will be used to build one seven-a-side and two five-a-side football pitches equipped with artificial turf. The Petanc zone will also be improved and there will be a small perimeter track for athletics and cycling. The area is already used as for football and the Melia trees provide splendid shade for spectators, but the mess caused by their fallen fruits (toxic to humans) and twigs meant that they are considered incompatible with the new artificial turf. There has been some controversy over the lack of consultation in the destruction of so many trees, which are considered "not of great value" From XAD: El Ayuntamiento.... (Ed's Note: It is said that if there is a good songbird population about, then the problem of fallen seeds causing a mess goes away. The commercial potential of this tree, which belongs to the Mahogany family "remains largely unexplored" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melia_azedarach. The Agro Forestry Tree Database describes many uses for this tree and its products.)

Silver Jubilee of - l' Estiu Music - International Student's Music concerts

July 18th
The annual series of Classical music concerts given by music students, tutors and professional musicians will take place in Xàbia from 20 to 25 July. The concerts will be held at 10.30 pm at the plaza outside the new Xàbia Music Conservatory, beside the Plaza de la Constitución. This year wil feature 82 students from 13 different nationalities. (From press relaese)

Draft General Town Plan available for public inspection

July 18th
The Consultative Document of the new General Town Plan will be on public display until August 31st from 10.00 am until 1.00pm in the Santa Anna Chapel (next to the Technical Office in the Old Town). This document has been passed by a Council plenary meeting and has been submitted to the Department of the Environment for approval and further recommendations, thus the proposals are not necessarily final. The next phase includes a plan of "Citizen's Participation" in which the detailed classification of each zone ( i.e. the use to which each area will be put) will be decided. The plan sees continued growth to a population of 53,000 inhabitants in 10 years. It maps some 10 million metres2 of buildable land divided between 4.3 million classed as urbanisable; 2.5 million urbanisable for which a buliding plan has already been received and 3.2 million m2 of building plots available in urban areas. From Press Release.

Fire forces evacuation of 300 from El Naranjal Camping


July 13th
A fire which started on Tuesday afternoon, consumed some 40,000 square metres of abandoned orange groves and scrub, just to the back of the Arenal. Luckily no-one was hurt, though a car was burned out and 300 campers were evacuated from Naranjal Camping while Javea Paintball was threatened. Folk from houses in the area also left their homes to safety. High winds made this a difficult fire to control and smoke and cinders even affected the Old Town. However the fire was controlled by six pm. Although there is no evidence of arson, this is the fourth time there has been a fire in the area this month, and an investigation will be made. It has been noted that this area is due to be protected from urbanisation under the new General Town Plan. From Las Provincias: Un incendio rural....

Xàbia is rich (well, floristically speaking)

July 13th
On 12th July, two biologists charged with with mapping the habitats, plant communities and landscapes of the Comunidad Valenciana, described the results they had obtained for Xàbia. The work of Mr Soler and Dr Fabregat is part of building up the Natura 2000 database in Spain. The aim is to catalogue and identify the different plant habitats so that rational conservation programmes can be developed. Thier methodology involves the use of the "CORINE" system for classifying land cover (an EU Standard, also used in other Spanish regions), 1:10,000 scale maps and studies of minimum areas of half a hectare. They discovered at least 48 species of wild plant which were listed as endangered in the Valencian catalogue. This represents 13% of the endangered plant species in the Community, all surviving in Xàbia Municipality, an area which comprises only 0.5% of the Comunidad. Nine of the plants species were in danger of world wide extinction and had their best known populations in Xàbia. This floristic richness is a result of the geological history of the area, and its current varied topography, with the mountains reaching down into the sea. At least 13 different plant habitats of special Community Interest were identified in Xàbia municipality. These were considered to be part of the town's natural heritage. (CB-J)

Xàbia's new Town Plan - reprieve for the Saladar ?

July 13th
The Town Council held a special meeting on Monday to approve the consultative document on the new General Town Plan (PGOU). The choices were to leave things as determined by the 1990 plan - which implied unsustainable growth, or implement a new plan based on the sustainability threshold, set by law to 20%. Basically this involves de-classifying 2.270.000m of urbanisable land to non-urbanisable, creating ecological corridoors to connect the major protected zones and ensuring green zones on the borders of the municipality. More land in urban areas will also be reserved for green areas and public facilities. This would be in line with the "Estrategia Territorial de la Comunidad Valenciana" - Land strategy for the Comunidad Valenciana, which is still being drafted. In a surprise amendment, the ruling BLOC party proposed that the Saladar should be classified as Non-urbanisable land with special protection , since it comprese the "green lung" of the Arenal. They also proposed deleting the calle Cristo del Mar (in the Port, where the Cinema is) from the main road network. By this simple act, any Port expansion scheme would be effectively scuppered, since this road was earmarked as a major access to any new Marina/Port. The motions were passed with votes against or absentions from the opposition. From Press Release and XAD: El PGOU propone.... For Background on the General Plan see: General Plan. For more on how they voted see: General Plan - Stance of the parties

It's all happening on July 17th

Music Festival at the Arenal and Moros y Cristianos followed by Bogamari Rock in the Port

July 12
The Town hall is organising a music festival in collaboration with local businesses for Saturday July 17th. The festival marries different types of music: house, progressive, dance, rap, hip-hop and electronic. The Festival, called "On the Beach" will take place in the parking area south of the Arenal beach, starting at 4.00pm and going on until the wee small hours of Sunday morning, admission free. It coincides with the Saturday "Moors and Christians" grand parade in the Port….and clashes with the Bogamari Rock concert in the Port which starts at 12 midnight From: Las Provincias El Arenal vive....

Short term work for six unemployed

July 8th
Xàbia Town Hall has been able to provide short term, summer contracts for six for unemployed through a government grant. The jobs also reinforce some of the Town Hall departments. The posts are: Admin Assitant for the the consumer information office (OMIC) so people's complaints are more quickly dealt with; an archivist to help sort out municipal records, and for the museum an artefact restorer, an archaeologist , an officer and a construction labourer. The contracts will last for between three and four months. From Press Release.

Teulada-Moraira launches Transport on Demand service

July 9th
Once again, Teulada has demonstrated that it is forward-looking and innovative. Today, it launched a municipal transport service which connects the two urban centres and the beaches with two bus routes and a Transport on Demand (TAD) system. Anyone who holds the recently launched Citizen's identity card, can telephone between 9.00am and 6.00pm to make a pick-up appointment for the next day. A nine seater minibus then collects them from their home to drop them off at central Moraira where they can link up with any of the regular bus lines. These, in turn are designed to link up with the railway station, from which trains leave for Denia and Alicante at pretty much the same time. Bus tickets are €1.50 and TAD tickets, €2.50. From XAD: Teulada pone en marcha...

Xàbia waters host archaeology students


July 7th
Anyone strolling near the Port last month may have seen large groups of SCUBA divers getting ready to enter the sea. These were archaeology students from the University of Valencia, who, over a period of six days, carried out exercises on a fictional "wreck" near the Cabo de San Antonio. The archaeological richness and beauty of the seabed of the coast of Javea is the main attraction for this type of practice. In fact, last summer the town hosted a diving course in underwater archeology. From Press Release.

Public use of the Montgó natural park under debate


July 4th
The Montgó natural Park receives around 365,000 visitors each year and the authorities are in the process of developing a plan for the public use of the Park so that the necessity for conservation of natural areas can be reconciled with recreational use by the public. For this reason, the park management is soliciting inputs from users, authorities and the general public . The forum of the Agenda21 met with a representative from the park to be briefed on the questionnaires, and to provide inputs. The meeting identified the following weaknesses: The presence of a nightclub on la Plana which resulted in large numbers of vehicles, noise and garbage in the summer, constituting a fire hazard. The presence of hunters and two shooting ranges within the Park environs (though these are regulated by other bodies); the absence of an information point on the Cabo de San Antonio (which receives 80% of the visits) and at the Windmills of La Plana; the fact that the toilets at the picnic area were always closed. From XAD: La A21 debate sobre....

The Church belongs to the Church


July 4th
Legal advice has determined that the Town Hall has no hope of regaining ownership of Sant Bertomeu fortified church in the Old Town. Past records are very confused and the building has been used by the Archdiocese of Valencia for over 50 years without any moves being made by the municipality to challenge ownership. For background to this story see: Row over ownership of San Bertomeu and earlier story, Sept 2009 and and Oct 2009

Xàbia defies Zapatero and blocks 5% reduction in Civil Servants' salaries

July 1st
In a curious round of voting, Xàbia Town Hall has not approved the national decree that Civil Servants should have a 5% cut in salary. This National salary cut is part of Spain's strategy to reduce the public deficit. Over the past two weeks, politicians and representatives of municipal employees have had five meetings on how to apply the cut fairly, some workers being asked to cut more, the lower paid, less. The provisional result of this was to have been tabled at the Council plenary session. But when it came to the vote, the ruling BLOC party abstained, together with the CJP and Grupo Mixto. Nueva Javea and PP voted against the salary cut (the PP had to have a 5 minute time out to brief their leader, Juan Moragues, who arrived late since "he had to drive around the town because he could not find parking"). Socialist spokesman, Jose Chulvi considered the action totally irresponsible and warned of serious legal problems if this Royal Decree was not adhered to. Xàbia's annual cost of salaries is 13.8 million Euros, or one third of the total budget. There are 365 employees. Controversially there is €482,000 in productivity payments ( a dozen senior officials netted between €5,000 and €9,500 each for this extra) and some 158,000 Euros was spent on bonuses or overtime. Municipal employees also receive health benefits such as visits to the dentist or optician (€120,000 per annum earmarked) and medicines (€200,000). From Las Provincias: Xàbia desafía.... Note: The Councillors did, however agree to cut their own salaries by 5%. (XAD: El pleno de Xàbia...

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