September 2009 News Headlines

Tapas Tasting Re-Run in the Old Town

September 30th
There will be another Tapas tasting session this Saturday October 3rd (to make up for the fact that last Sunday was a washout)
This time it will be held in la Placeta del Convent (Old Man's Roundabout) As before from 12 noon until 4.00pm and six till midnight (From Press Release)

Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink


September 30th
While Xàbia was being deluged with torrential rainfall, drinking water from the taps stopped flowing. This was due to a series of problems. One of the mains pipes ruptured at 4.30 in the morning and the storm also damaged a pumping station. The town has had no water from the wells at Ocaive (Pedreguer) for two days because of generator problems there, so the desalination plant had to activate a second rack of filters. A collapse of the riverbank also damaged some 50m of mains pipe. Water supplies were restored during the afternoon. Thankfully some of the new drainage schemes worked and prevented flooding. Recent extensive cleaning of the storm drains in the Arenal area seem to have helped and this time the drain at Avenida Tamarits functioned properly. A streak of brown water issuing from its outfall near Scallops showed that it was doing its job. Also new surface water drainage in the Old Town in the Virgen de Los Angeles channeled the rain to the Puchol gulley.
From XAD Las Fuertas lluvias...., press release and personal observation.

400 years since the Expulsion of the Moors

September 25th
In November 400 years ago, the remnants of islamic descendants of the moors were forcibly expelled from the Marina Alta. For more details about the expulsion see: Expulsion of the Moors. This sad historical event is being commemorated by the CIRNE foundation and Ministry of Culture with a series of activities throughout the Valencian Community. In Xàbia these will take place in the CIRNE HQ in Calle Architect Urteaga No 1 in November and December under the title: "Moriscs a la Marina Alta: de l'expulsió to retrobament" (From XAD) La fondación Cirne...

APASA celebrates 10th anniversary.

September 25th
The APASA dog's home of Xàbia (Asociación Protectora de Animales de San Antonio) is celebrating its 10th anniversary on Saturday October 3rd with a charity party barbeque party in the Pinosol park starting at 1.00pm. Everyone is invited. This volunteer run organisation which manages the dog pound has handled over 6500 dogs, of which 3744 have been adopted in Spain and abroad. 1283 were returned to their owners. A grant from the Town Hall of 46,000 euros does not even cover the cost of the dog food, so the association depends upon donations from the public and fund-raising activities in order to function. In addition to the five people who work at the pound and the Vet Jose Luis Genoese who provides his services, there are a number of volunteers who give their time to help keep the place clean or walk the dogs. Most members and volunteers for APASA are foriegners. It is hoped that this work will become better known and appreciated by the Spanish as more people have pets. From XAD : APASA una decada....

Give us back our Church!


September 25th
With unanimous support, Xàbia Town Hall is to take legal action to regain ownership of the fortified Church of Sant Bertomeu and protect other religious buildings in the municipality from sequestration by the Archdiocese of Valencia. A specialist lawyer will be contracted. This decision was made following a public protest conducted over the internet, and by around 50 placard bearing residents who crowded into the council chambers at the plenary session on Thursday. From Las Provincias: Xàbia inicia...

Xàbia Town Hall thinking of buying the two underground car parks

September 23rd
The fact that hardly anyone is using the Old Town's two underground car parks is costing Xàbia a bomb. The contract with the constructor, ECISA gives it a 40 year concession to run the car parks, with a guaranteed occupancy of 30%. Any shortfall is made up by the Town Hall coffers. The lower car park (Portal del Clot) has an average occupancy of only 0.22%, while initial predictions were for 17%. If things carry on the way they are, the town will end up paying some 46 million Euros for something people do not even use. Buying the car parks outright will cost around 20 million Euros, though the Town Hall will also be responsible for mantenance and management. Thus both ruling coalition and opposition are getting together to see if they can come to a consensus decision about what to do. From Las Provincias: Xàbia estudia....

Spain's Answer to Unemployment: Go Greener

September 23rd
As world leaders converge in Pittsburgh for a major economic summit this week, one of the biggest questions they face is this: How do you begin to replace the millions of jobs destroyed by the Great Recession, now that the worst of the crisis has potentially passed? Here on the sun-drenched and windy Iberian Peninsula, Spain thinks it has an answer: create new jobs and save the Earth at the same time. For full article see: The Washington Post: - Spain's answer....

MABS launches new website to promote growth to inland areas


September 15th
"By launching, we aim to attract more support, more volunteers and, most importantly, more of those who need our help" announced Nik Nickerson of MABS Cancer Support Group. "The new web site has opened in English but soon will be available in Spanish. For more in English see: MABS launches...

Spanish workers go illegal as recession kills jobs

September 23rd
The number of workers in Spain's black economy is growing fast as the recession destroys legal jobs, a business official said on Tuesday, while the government admitted concern about the resulting loss of tax revenue. The number of labourers paid under the table has almost tripled in the past five years and the illicit cash economy has taken off as Spain languishes in a deep recession, said the head of the National Association of Autonomous Workers (ATA), Lorenzo Amor. For More See Reuters: Spanish workers go illegal...

EU drops demand for ban on commercial bluefin tuna fishing

September 23rd
Attempts to save the bluefin tuna from extinction suffered a serious setback yesterday when the European Union dropped its demand for commercial fishing of the species to be banned. A rearguard action by Mediterranean fishing nations, including Spain, Italy and France, blocked moves to get the European Union to support a worldwide ban. For more from the Independent see: EU drops demand....

Tapas Tasting in the Old Town


September 23rd
Xàbia Old Town will be hosting the Third Tapas tasting in the Church Square this weekend. On Saturday 26th September, food and drink from over 20 participating establishments will be available from 12 noon to 4.00pm and 6pm to midnight. On Sunday 27th September from 12.noon till 4.00pm. All Tapas 1 Euro. There will be music and displays of dancing; workshops and activities for the children and a prize draw (for a ham). On Saturday the usual antiques Fair will move to behind the covered market. From Las Provincias and XAD.

Row over ownership of Xàbia Old Town Church


September 22nd
The Archdiocese of Valencia has taken a first step to gain ownership of the church of Sant Bertomeu de Xàbia. The priest of Sant Bertomeu, Vicent Gilabert, was requested on 16 June to record that the archdiocese would be listed as full owner of the building. The petition calls on Article 206 of the Mortgage Law, It also invokes the religious use that the archbishopric has made of Xàbia church. However documents from the 1920's list the church as a municipal heritage property, sparking controversy. For English version of the full story from Levante see: Ownership of Sant Bertomeu

Second Hottest Summer since 1971

September 22nd.
This year the average temperature in the Comunidad Valenciana has been 1.8 C above the "norm" for the period 1971-2000. It was particularly hot in June and July and the autumn temperatures are set to be higher than normal. Particularly high temperatures were recorded on July 23rd , reaching 44.5 C in Orihuela. Levante: El Verano mas calido....

Alzheimers Patients to get Priority SIP card

September 22nd
Patients with Alzheimers will have a distinctive AA on their SIP cards to give them priority when attending outpatients. This will shorten their waiting times and reduce the disorientation and anxiety they experience in unfamiliar surroundings. This will also assist their carers. There are an estimated 40,000 sufferers of dementia in the Comunidad Valenciana. From Levante: Los enfermos de Alzheimer....

Tourist Sector suffers major August slump

September 22nd
The Spanish tourist industry had its worst August in close to a decade as the sharp downturn in the economies of Germany and Britain pushed down the number of visitors from the sector’s main markets. According to figures released Monday by the Industry, Tourism and Trade Ministry, the number of overseas visitors last month fell 8.1 percent from a year earlier to 6.7 million. That was the biggest fall in the month since 2000. For more from El pais (in English) See: Tourist Sector Slump

Spain proposes strict fisheries sustainable management rules

September 17th
Spanish Minister of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM), Elena Espinosa reiterated her government’s commitment to ensure the sustainability of marine resources and deemed it “crucial” to forge “rules of the game” that ensure “a sustainable management” in the international arena. For more in English see: Merco Press

A bad July rescued by a reasonable August

September 19th
According to figures released by the Xabia Tourist offices, British tourists comprised only 42.5% of summer tourists, while the number of French was up at 39.5%. July hotel occupation in Xabia was down 13 points, but in August it was pretty similar to last year. Camping in late August was right down- some 70% less than in 2008. Overall, July was bad, but August better and in general pretty similar to last year. Most people who went to the Tourist Offices did so to find out about cultural activities, entertainment and fiestas. The Hiking trails and theatrical guided tours of the Old Town were also popular. There were also a lot of enquiries about transport. Figures to be calculated which include water consumption and garbage collection will give a better figure of overall occupancy. From Las Provincias Agosto y Septiembre salvan.... and XAD Menos Ingleses...

Tornado trashes Cafe Wien - injuring three.


September 17th
On Thursday afternoon a small tornado formed in Javea bay and made landfall near the old Arenal marsh. It rapidly moved along the alley formed by the streets which lead to the sea. After knocking over a couple of roadworks barricades and lifting a garage door it slammed into the seaward side of Cafe Wien causing panic among the more than 50 diners. The wind smashed a door made of 4mm thick double glass and brought down roof panels and the awning. Lucklily only three were injured. For a You Tube video of the event (taken with a security camera) see: Arenal Tornado. From Xàbia al Día Un tornado causa... Photo Ingalind Maintzer.

Rain delays the asphalting of the Virgen de Los Angeles

September 17th
School children going by car to the Maria Inmaculada School for the new school year had to go via the Ronda Norte because asphalting of the Virgen de los Angeles had been delayed by the heavy rains.

Table of Contents

Valencia Government blocks off public slipway in the Port


September 17th
The Regional Ministry of Infrastructure (Conselleria de infraestructuras) has blocked the public slipway in the Port with concrete blocks. Sources say this is for two reasons: 1. To control the boats which anchor in the Port area without permission and 2: To control this area with a view to making new management concessions. Until recently the slipway was managed by a company which rented out sailing dinghies, but their contract has lapsed. Since then people have taken advantage of the lack of control to use it as a public slipway for small boats, some of which are not registered. The Conselleria says that this is not anything to do with collecting taxes, merely response to a need to regulate and manage the area. Currently there are no other dry mooring except in the Club nautico. From Xabia al Día : Conselleria bloquear.....

Agenda21 kicks off again 29th September

September 17th
The next meeting of the Forum of Agenda21 of Xàbia will be on: Tuesday 29th September at 8.00pm in the Csas de Cultura
Topics discussed will be the Photographic competition, Jute Bag project, leisure equipment for the Arenal and huertos ecológicos (allotments)
From press release

Campaign for prevention of Glaucoma and Blindness

September 16th
Once again (for the fifth year) free eye tests (including eye pressure tests for glaucoma) will be available on 25th, 28th and 29th September from 10.00 until 3.00pm. On Friday 25th the mobile eye testing unit will be in Avenida Jaume I in the Port. On the other two days it will be on the Plaza de la Constitución. For those over 65 years of age, more in-depth tests will be available in the Health Centre in the Port (on 25th), and on 28th and 29th in the Old Town Social Centre. This campaign is being organised by Xàbia Town Hall and Fundación Jorge Alió. (From Press Release)

Support for colostomised patients.

September 16th
On Monday September 28th there will be a bi-lingual round table meeting at 7.30 pm in the Casa de Cultura to raise awareness about the life and death surgical procedure of colostomy carried out on patients with colon cancer and similar conditions. This is being organised by the the "Asociación Ostomizados Extranjeros de España" (Expatriates Association for colostomised persons of Spain) with the cooperation of the Xàbia Town Hall. Of the ten Colostomy associations in Spain, this one is based in Xàbia. World Colostomy day is October 3rd. From Press Release.

Secondary schools open with 950 students

September 16th
Xàbia has three secondary schools. This year IES Antoni Llidó has 372 pupils, and María Inmaculada 116. The largest secondary school, IES Number 1 (in the Avenida Augusta) started the year with 462 students. (From press release)

Photographic competition - "The spirit of sustainability"

September 16th
Members of the Tourism group of Xàbia's local Agenda21 are organising a photography competition with the help of the Fotoclub Gata. The theme will be people: Xàbia people's relationship with each other, nature, culture, business, traditions and customs. To participate, any time before October 2nd you can sign up by e-mail to gro.aibaxja|anadaduic.noicapicitrap#gro.aibaxja|anadaduic.noicapicitrap. Or do it in person on October 3rd in the Museum Soler Blasco between 11. 00 am and 1.00pm. Entry fee 10 Euros. Then, on Saturday 24th October entries should be submitted on CD at the Museum between 11 am and 1.00pm. Top prize will be the total sum of the entry fees. Then prizes for the two best collections of photos will be 300 and 200 Euros with a prize of 100 Euros for the best photo. There will be an exhibition of the best photos. (from Press release). To download Competition rules (in three languages) see: Photographic competition

Spain moves upmarket to attract more tourists

September 16th
Instead of overcrowded beaches in concrete jungles, tourist authorities want to put Spain's lesser known attractions, including its strong home-grown gastronomic traditions, firmly on the tourist map, targeting in particular the upper end of the market. For more see: AFP: - Spain moves upmarket...

Spain a winner in National Geographic's Geotourism Challenge

September 16th
Director of National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations, said, “The winners are outstanding examples of geotourism practices that extend to good destination stewardship. They are committed to conserving and enhancing the quality of their locales while benefiting local people and providing visitors with authentic experiences. Spanish winner was: Wikiloc Community Maps. See: Three Winners Named ....

Xàbia Parador achieves 95.7% occupancy

September 8th
The occupancy of the Paradors of the Comunidad Valenciana increased slightly as compared to the previous year having an average index of 87.5%. Xàbia was top of the pile with an occupancy index of 95.7% Las Provincias: Ocupación del 96%...

Works block access to half of Xàbia's schools

September 8th
Infrastructure works being carried out using State funds were supposed to have been finished by the beginning of term. Instead parents and pupils have found access to the half of the schools impeded by trenches and incomplete road works.
From Las provincias. Las obras publicas dificultan....

Spain's Solar-Power Collapse Dims Subsidy Model

September 3rd
Spain's hopes of becoming a world leader in solar power have collapsed since the Spanish government slammed the brakes on generous subsidies. The sudden change has rippled across the global solar industry, in a warning of the problems that Government-supported renewable-energy programs can encounter. For more see: Wall Street Journal

Dead "Bull in the Sea"

September 3rd
One of the bulls taking part in the Virgen de Loreto fiesta died a few minutes after having his horns lit with fire. The 600 kilo bull fell into the sea in Xàbia Port and could not be rescued before it drowned. Another replacement bull was used as a "bou embolat". This event sparked off some heated on-line discussion on tradition vs cruelty to animals. See (in Castellano and Valenciano) Las Provincias: Muere tras caer al agua....

Many young Spaniards neither work nor study

September 3rd
Spain is one of the developed countries with the highest levels of young people who neither work nor study, according to a report published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In a study of 19 countries from the European Union and the United States, 14 percent of the population in Spain aged between 16 and 24 is neither employed nor studying, ranking it fourth from last, ahead only of Italy, Slovakia and the United Kingdom (!). “Spain is one of the European countries included in the study where the problem is more apparent,” says the OECD economist Glenda Quintini, one f the authors of the report. “The report shows that five percent of those who stop studying after compulsory education end up rapped in inactivity while the other 20 percent end up unemployed.” (El pais , International Edition)

Correction - Xàbia ecopark ready before year's end and garden refuse not so expensive to dispose of


September 2nd
Well, you cannot believe what you read in newspapers (or on the Web!) these days. Councillor for Services, Doris Courcelles, has explained that Xàbia does have an Ecopark - or to be more accurate, it will soon have one which is currently under construction between the APASA dog pound and the Sewerage works. The Park is being built (see photo) with State development funds at a cost of € 205,835.74. It will consist of walled bays to receive items such as white goods, window glass, glass, cardboard, plastics and packaging, hazardous waste (batteries, fluorescent tubes etc.) and small amounts of household DIY rubbish. There is not enough space there for garden refuse which will continue to be dealt with by the "Green Ramblars" company. This company macerates the waste and tries to sell it for compost-making. However in this regard, supply is greater than demand. A formal contract cannot be made because there is no provision for this type of thing under State contract law. The cost of this service in 2007 and 2008 was about 390,000 Euros (not 480,000 as previously claimed) and in 2009 high winds caused fallen tres which had to be removed inflating the bill somewhat. From XAD: Xàbia sí tendra ecoparque

More on water incident: Provisional water supply for Cabo de la Nao

September 2nd
While the repair works continue, Amjasa has set up a temporary connection to serve the Balcon al Mar water header tank. The company is concerned about the repairs however, since the old pipe is some 40 years old and having been depressurised for some days could have air inside and be susceptible to more blow outs. From las provincias

Amanda Dean - initiator of Agenda21 in Xàbia steps down as Councillor


September 2nd
Councillor Amanda Dean has regretfully stepped down from Xàbia Council because she has decided to return to the UK and pursue an educational project in York. Amanda lived here for some eleven years and served on the Town Council for the past six. By her own admission the highlight of her time as councillor was success in setting up Agenda 21 under difficult circumstances when serving in a previous PP administration; and the lowest point was when she, Vasbinder and Cabban broke with the ruling coalition to form an independant group. Amanda worked energetically for environmental protection and cultural integration. She also taught at Xàbia International College, starred in a number of local productions of musicals including Evita and served as President of the Municipal Music Centre. Juan Planelles, new elected president of the Business Association, will take over her place as Nueva Javea Councillor. From XAD: Amanda Dean Presenta.... (Heartfelt thanks and best wishes for the future to Amanda from all of us involved with Xàbia's Agenda21. Ed. )

Will Renewable Energy be enough?

September 1st
Back-up may always be required, but analysts disagree over what it should be. August 3 of this year would have been a major problem in Spain. At 2pm that day, when electricity consumption was close to 35,000 megawatts, the country’s wind turbines were only producing 1.7 percent of the total required, even though the installed generation capacity is 17percent. This is typical on the hottest or coldest of Iberian days; when the atmosphere is very stable, the wind doesn’t blow. To make up for the drop in wind production that day, it was necessary to rely on electric power plants that use natural gas. At the peak hour of demand, they supplied more than 45 percent of all electricity being produced. For the full El Pais International Edition article (in English see: Will renewable electricity be enough?

We are working on it - more on the water incident


September 1st
See items below and Burst water main. To make up for the lack of water mains, Amjasa has installed a pump at Balcon Al Mar to lift water from the Portitxol water tank to Balcon al Mar. However, it is not possible to guarantee supplies since water consumption from households in this area exceeds the capacity of the water tank and without the mains, there is insufficient flow to fill it. More than 1500 houses are without running water. Residents groups such as Hispanófila de Balcón al Mar have complained about the lack of information about what is going on, and absence of emergency protocol. As regards the cause of the blow-out. It looks as though the weight of a private garage crushed the pipe. The Councillor for urbanisation is checking up on the situation, but it looks as though the garage was built without permission. The repair will be complicated necessitating the replacement of 350 metres of 30cm diameter pipe. from XAD El Cabo la nao... and Las Provincias: Mas de 1500 chalés....

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