Category: Local

Three months of diversions for Guardamar town centre

The Policia Local has announced that road works have begun to upgrade the Avenida del País
Valenciano in the centre of Guardamar del Segura. The thrre-month project will specifically
affect the area between Calle Ingeniero Mira and the Plaza Pescadores.
Vehicles heading south to reach Plaza Constitución now need to turn left onto Calle Ingeniero
Mira in order to get there and vehicles heading north must turn left when they reach Calle
Mediodía. Vehicles travelling down Calle San Eugenio will no longer be able to turn left
towards the Plaza Constitución.

Ready for the ‘October’ Fair

 
It was sadly missed in May but now it looks as though the May Fair will still
take place, if a little late in October. The inaugural event, the offering of
flowers, took place on Sunday 24 th September, 15 days before the festival
itself will begin.
Dozens of people dressed in traditional sevillanas clothes took part in the
ceremony which includes the offering of flowers to the Virgen del Inmaculada
in the calles Ramón and Cajal. This was just a prequel to the flamboyant Feria
de Sevillanas that we can now expect to take place from the 10 th to 15 th
Octoberin the port area of the town.
The delay in holding the fair was due to difficulty in issuing the correct
contracts in time. These are now in place for a total of €106,552 and this
popular event can now go ahead. The possibility of holding the fair during the
summer months was discussed. However, the decision was taken to wait until
Octoberdue to the heat and number of visitors that Torrevieja plays host to
during July and August. Instead it was agreed to wait until the quieter month
of October.
The delay did not put people off on Sunday. There was plenty of evidence of
the usual May Fair excitement with a good turn out and plenty of flamenco
dancing opposite the statue of the Purísima Concepción which is situated
close to playa del Cura. Those taking part were dressed in their traditional
suits and flamenco dresses and there was even a carriage to take some
participants to the monument.
People placed garlands of flowers at the statue and there were several horse
riders too to bring some extra glamour to the event. The crowd then went to
the parish of the Sagrado Corazón de Jesús where an official mass took
place, this time in honour of the Feria de Sevillanas rather than the Feria de
Mayo.
Later in the afternoon the candidates for the Sevillanas Queen were
presented. This is organised by the town hall in conjunction with the
Andalucian house ‘Rafael Alberti’. The May fair attracts people from all over
Spain but in particular from Andalucia which is the centre of the tradition.
It is perhaps Torrevieja’s most well known festivity and attracts visitors from all
over the world. It was sadly missed in May and for some, who book flights to
coincide with the dates, it will not be possible to celebrate it this year. As the
event is being held in October it will, however, coincide with the bank holiday
of the Virgen del Pilar. It is intended that the fair returns to its usual slot in May
in 2018.

Pilar bike registration scheme

Pilar de la Horadada has joined the national network of 500 bicycle friendly towns, know as Red de
Ciudades por la Bicicleta. To mark the occasion more than 100 cyclists of all ages took part in a bike
ride around Pilar de la Horadada, which was organised by the Town Hall.
Those taking part rode from the church square to the watchtower (Reloc) and back again, which is one
of the big network of cycle routes in the municipality, and one that the town hall intends to extend
even further in coming months.
The bike ride was just one of a number of various cycling-related activities organised for the day,
including road safety talks from the Local Police and maintenance workshops at local bike shops. The
slogan for the day was “One bike more, one car less”.
As part of the initiative, the municipality has also joined the Biciregistro bicycle registration scheme,
which makes it easier to identify bikes that are lost or stolen. In order to encourage people to register,
there will be a raffle held on 15 th October to win one of three vouchers for €100 of sporting goods
from local bicycle shops. To participate locals need to register their bicycle on the website
www.biciregistro.es and visit the Tourism Office in Pilar before the date of the draw.

Open day for the animal shelter

On the 30 th September it will be your chance to take a look at the animals
currently housed in Torrevieja’s animal shelter. The shelter is constantly in
demand for animals abandoned or dumped by their owners or found to have
been abused and in need of a new home. The open day will run from 11am to
1pm.
Although those running the shelter do their very best to ensure that the
animals are as comfortable as possible, this is not a home. Volunteers walk
the dogs but for many of these animals who have been used to being the
family pet, the stay in the shelter is a traumatic one.
The Albergue’s aim is to match dogs and cats as quickly as possible with a
potential home. Councillor Carmen Morate is responsible for the shelter. ‘It’s
been a long hard summer for the abandoned animals,’ she explained. ‘And
there’s been a lot of work to do for the volunteers who have been trying to find
homes for them all.’
The shelter is located on calle Nenúfares and the shelter or Albergue is at the
end. Those coming to the open day will have chance to look around and see
the dogs and cats who are hoping to be homed. There will also be a workshop
for children and adults, an information table about volunteering at the shelter
and also about the association that supports the animals there; ‘Asociación
Animalista de Torrevieja’.
‘At the moment we have 35 dogs,’ says Councillor Morate. ‘They will be out
on parade on this day. There will also be a stand with vegan food and those
who come can also see the cattery where there are 30 cats who are waiting
for adoption.’
If you are not able to attend on the day but are interested in adopting a dog or
a cat then you can also visit the ‘Asociación Animalista de Torrevieja’
Facebook page where new arrivals are posted and people are kept informed
about those needing adoption.

English is the official language in the air

A European Union rule that requires English to be the official language between pilots and
air-traffic controllers has come into force – and, curiously, even applies where both parties
share a native tongue that is not English.
The rule only affects airports with over 50,000 international flights operating per year,
meaning Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez-Barajas and Barcelona’s El Prat will become ‘English-
only’, but many others, such as those in the Canary and Balearic Islands, will still be able to
choose the language they wish to speak in.
Aiming to streamline communications for maximum security, pilots and air-traffic
controllers having to speak English is not a problem, since being able to do so fluently is a
basic requirement of their job.
But pilot unions in Spain SEPLA and USCA say it is ‘ludicrous’ to require this when both
pilot and air-traffic controller are native Spanish-speakers. Captains on board Iberia, Vueling
and AirEuropa – all three being Spanish carriers and typically staffed with natives – will
have to talk to the control towers in Barcelona and Madrid, also staffed with natives, in
English.
USCA and SEPLA criticise the fact that the move ‘has not taken into account’ the criteria of
the professionals involved, and that using a language which is a foreign tongue to both rather
than the native one they share ‘is unlikely to bring about any potential air safety
improvements’.
Also, the unions say previous research by the State Air Safety Agency (AESA) has shown
that in a crisis situation where fast thinking and action is vital, it is better for the people
involved to use their mother tongue to communicate in order to avoid misunderstandings or
split-second delays that could ‘compromise security in delicate circumstances’.
USCA and SEPLA also point out the irony of a situation which means pilots from Spain can
speak Spanish to air-traffic controllers anywhere in Latin America, given that natives share
the same language, but cannot use it when speaking to each other in Spain.
“For effective communication the best solution is, without doubt, for air-traffic controllers
and pilots to use the native language they have in common,” say the unions.

Cheap train tickets up for grabs

Once again, national rail company RENFE is about to put 25,000 tickets for high-speed
AVE train links up for sale for just €25 each. This is a promotion it is running on the 25 th of
every month to celebrate its 25 th anniversary year. So if you miss out this month, make sure
you put next month’s sale date in your diary.
The first AVE was launched in Sevilla in 1992, and the fast connection can cover distances
such as from Valencia to Madrid – around 350 kilometres – in an hour and a half.
Cut-price tickets went go on sale at exactly one second after midnight yesterday, Monday,
25 th September, and are valid for journeys on the AVE taken between 1 st October and 30th
November to any of its destinations.
With up to 55,000 people excepted to view the offer online every minute and peaks of
1,000 tickets sold per second, RENFE has had to upgrade its server at least once to cope
with the sheer volume of potential passenger traffic during these promotions. The rail
company has had to double its band width, increase the number of servers, block intrusive
IP addresses, and reinforce information and customer service channels.
On more than one occasion, hundreds of travellers bought the same ticket at exactly the
same second, meaning RENFE had to increase the offer to 35,000 or more to accommodate
everyone.
Finding the reduced-price tickets online can be a minefield when up against the clock to get
your hands on one before they are sold out, so buyers are advised to look out for the 25 th
anniversary symbol.
Anyone who misses out will be able to try again from midnight on Wednesday, 25 th
October.

All Monarch airlines flights cancelled as airline ceases trading

CAA launches flying programme to bring 110,000 customers back to UK in response to Monarch Airlines administration

Monarch Airlines has ceased trading with immediate effect, leaving 110,000 customers overseas and in the region of 300,000 future bookings cancelled
Government has asked CAA to charter more than 30 aircraft to bring back to the UK Monarch Airlines customers currently overseas
Monarch customers in the UK and yet to travel: don’t go to the airport.  There will be no more Monarch flights
Monarch customers abroad: everyone due to fly in the next fortnight will be brought back to the UK at no cost to them. There is no need to cut short your stay
All affected customers should check new website monarch.caa.co.uk for more information

All future Monarch Airlines bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled following a decision by the company’s board to stop trading.  This is the UK’s largest ever airline to enter administration.
As all of Monarch’s flights due to depart from the UK have now been cancelled, customers should not go to their UK airport.  Affected customers still in the UK should check monarch.caa.co.uk for further information.
Due to the unprecedented number of UK consumers currently overseas who are affected by this airline administration, the CAA and Government are securing a fleet of more than 30 aircraft, flying to more than 30 airports, to bring 110,000 people back to the UK at no cost to them. This is the equivalent of operating, at very short notice, one of the UK’s largest airlines.
The CAA has a dedicated website monarch.caa.co.uk, which is the best source of advice and information for affected customers, and a 24 hour helpline (0300 303 2800 from in the UK and Ireland, and +44 1753 330330 from overseas) to provide additional assistance.
Customers currently overseas should check monarch.caa.co.uk for confirmation of their new flight details which will be available a minimum of 48 hours in advance of their original departure time.  This website will be frequently updated with the latest information. Customers currently overseas shouldn’t go to the airport unless their flight back to the UK has been confirmed on monarch.caa.co.uk
Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of the CAA, said:
“We know that Monarch’s decision to stop trading will be very distressing for all of its customers and employees.
“This is the biggest UK airline ever to cease trading, so the Government has asked the CAA to support Monarch customers currently abroad to get back to the UK at the end of their holiday at no extra cost to them.
“We are putting together, at very short notice and for a period of two weeks, what is effectively one of the UK’s largest airlines to manage this task.  The scale and challenge of this operation means that some disruption is inevitable. We ask customers to bear with us as we work around the clock to bring everyone home.
“We urge people affected by the company’s collapse to check our dedicated website monarch.caa.co.uk for advice and information on flights back to the UK.  It also gives information to those passengers that have future bookings with Monarch but are yet to leave the UK.”
The CAA will be providing regular updates.

Giant mollusc in danger

 
The fan mussel (pinna nobilis) is a giant mollusc that is native to the
Mediterranean. This sea creature has a shell that can grow up to 1.2 metres
long. However, its future is looking insecure as they have been dying out in
large numbers due to an infectious disease. Such is the extent of the concern
that a meeting was held by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and
Environment (MAPAMA) and other organisations such as the Spanish
Institute of Oceanography and the Marine Research Centre.
MAPAMA have explained that recent months have seen the death of large
numbers of the mussel in Almeria, Murcia, Torrevieja, Ibiza and Formentera.
Many of the molluscs have been affected along the coastlines of Anadalucía,
Región de Murcia, Comunidad Valenciana and the Ballearic Isles.
Samples of the dead molluscs have been taken for analysis to find out what is
causing the problem. It is believed to be a virus that has caused the rise in the
mortality rate. At the emergency meeting it was agreed to begin removing
those healthy molluscs off the Catalan coast which have not yet been
affected. These will then be taken to special centres where a programme of
captive breeding will take place.
Genetic studies will also be carried out on the mussel and the areas of
shoreline where the virus has been spreading. It is hoped to get more
information and possible solutions from those mussels that appear to have
been resistant to infection. On a positive note, this particular breed was
selected at the end of 2016 as ‘Mollusc of the Year 2017’ in order to raise
awareness.

Proper Use of Seatbelts

Seatbelts are designed for one purpose only, to save lives. Statistics show that by wearing a seatbelt
the probability of death when involved in a collision is halved, whereas according to the data from
the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT) and the Instituto Universitario de Tráfico y Seguridad Vial
(INTRAS), the risk of death is cut by a staggering 77% in an overturned vehicle.
However, in order for the seatbelt to be effective, it must be worn correctly, in order for it to fulfil
the function it is designed for fully.
The correct way to wear the seatbelt is for it to go across the torso diagonally, and across the waist,
firmly secured in these positions. The top part must be on the hard part of the collarbone, halfway
between the shoulder and the neck. The lower end sits against the hardness of the pelvis.
The three-point seatbelt, which is fitted as standard to most modern vehicles, has an upper
(thoracic) and a lower band (pelvic). Both must be snugly fitting against the body. For the seatbelt to
offer maximum protection it must be on the hard parts of the body, leaning against the collarbone,
halfway between the shoulder and neck at the top, and the iliac crest of the pelvis, never on the
abdomen.
Accessories such as cushions or other additions should not be used. Once you have pulled the
seatbelt across your body and secured the strap in the locked position, make sure that the seatbelt is
not twisted at any point. If it is, undo the seatbelt and remove the twists. Once secure, pull the
seatbelt so that it fits snugly against the body, with any slack being taken back at the top.
If the seatbelt is not worn correctly, it can cause further problems in the event of a collision. For
example, if the upper band is taken off the shoulder, it can cause a head impact with the
windscreen, dashboard or seat in front. It can also produce cervical lesions.
If the belt is not firm around the body it can cause the vehicle to slide under the belt, casing lower
body and spinal injuries. This is often referred to as the “submarine effect”. To prevent
“submarining”, the vehicle occupants must also sit in a proper position when riding in the vehicle,
with the seatbelt securely fastened as mentioned, and without having any additions such as pillows
or cushions which may contribute to the reduction of effectiveness of the seatbelt.
It is also important to remember the one seatbelt – one seat rule. All vehicle occupants are obliges
to wear a seatbelt, both in the front and the back seats. Some vehicles only have two seatbelts in the
back for example, and so that vehicle can only carry two passengers on that seat.
There are other rules regarding children in cars. Primarily, children under 1.35 metres in height are
not allowed to travel in the front seats and they most use an appropriate restraining system for their
height and weight, but we will look at that in more detail in another article.

New head of Guardia Civil

 
The new Commander-in- Chief of the Guardia Civil in Torrevieja, Antonio José
Leal Bernabéu met the mayor of Torrevieja, José Manuel Dolón, in the town
hall on the 13 th September. The Commander leads around 200 officers and in
his new capacity the mayor discussed security issues for the town.
The meeting lasted for more than an hour and centred around the threat of
terrorism and what can be done to protect citizens. They also discussed the
relationship between the local police and the Guardia Civil and other
organisations such as the Civil Protection. Other topics under discussion
included environmental issues, animal protection and housing occupancy.
The mayor and the Commander agreed that they would maintain effective
communication and have regular meetings to ensure the smooth running of
the service. The mayor presented the Commander with a traditional salt boat.

N332 to be widened at last?

 
It is hard to see through all the claims and counter claims as to who is really
responsible for the bottleneck on the N332 as it passes through Torrevieja.
However, it does seem as though we might be moving towards a resolution of
the debate surrounding this controversial road.
The mayor of Torrevieja, José Manuel Dolón, has reported that the Ministry of
Development has once more taken up the issue and is prepared to set the
project in motion again. The mayor has received a letter from the Minister,
Inigo de la Serna, which indicates that the General Directorate of Highways
has decided to order the drafting and construction of the N332 through
Torrevieja.
The mayor displayed to the press on the 12 th September the number of letters
and other forms of communication that have been made by the present local
government. The expressed aim is to secure the reopening of the issue and a
commitment from the Spanish government to solving the problem once and
for all.
There has been debate over a period of years as to where exactly the
responsibility for the modifications to the N332 lie. Finally it would seem that
the national government is prepared to take responsibility and move ahead
with the much-needed changes. The citizens of Torrevieja and surrounding
areas will now wait anxiously to see if this commitment is acted on any time
soon.

Free tests for early detection of prostate cancer

The test is aimed for men over 45 years of age or from 40 years of age if there is family history.
The Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja, has launched a free campaign for the early detection of
prostate cancer. This initiative consists of a free PSA analysis followed by an appointment for a
consultation with urology.
Available to men living in the Vega Baja area of Alicante (Nationals and non nationals) from 45
years of age, if there is a family history, from 40 years of age. The campaign runs until 22nd
September  if you are interested you can obtain further information by telephone: 966 92 57
70, or by email prevencion.trv@quironsalud.es  or through the webpage
http://www.quironsalud.es/torrevieja/es .
A prior appointment is essential to avail of the free test and it is not necessary to come on an
empty stomach. The tests will be held in Torrevieja Quirónsalud Hospital and medical
centres in Quirónsalud Orihuela and Santa Pola .
The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about the importance of prevention and early
detection for a good prognosis of this disease. The intention is to “inform and raise public
awareness about prostate cancer as then there is a low risk of suffering with it. The aim is to
inform citizens of the effective prevention for prostate cancer in men aged 45 years and over.
A common barrier to prevention of this disease is the lack of information; therefore, we want
to familiarize society that with a simple blood test prostate cancer cure is possible if detected
in time, “explains Dr. Sven Petry, head of the Urology Unit Quirónsalud Torrevieja.
90% of these cases can be cured
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the world and the first in
Europe. Each year about 25,000 new cases are detected in Spain, of which between 20% to
30% of patients diagnosed have relapsed in the disease because they have become resistant to
hormonal treatments. However, when detected early, 90% of these tumours can be cured,
said Dr. Petry.
The PSA test
PSA is a molecule known to be a marker for prostate cancer. When a tumour appears in the
prostate PSA production is uncontrolled and increases its concentration in blood. It is
considered a risk when PSA if greater than 10 ng / mL. When the PSA is between 4 and 10 ng /
mL studies are recommended to investigate why it is high, without suspecting prostate cancer.
The PSA test is also used to detect other prostate diseases such as benign prostatic hyperplasia
or prostate infection (prostatitis).
The PSA analysis test is easy to perform and non-invasive, it is a simple blood analysis. The results
should be interpreted with caution. To receive a negative test result "indicates that it is highly
unlikely that a person has prostate cancer, although the reliability is not 100%. Therefore, it is
recommended.

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