Category: Local

Second edition of "The Winter Beach" hits Orihuela Costa

Saturday saw the start of the second edition of "The Winter Beach" at La Caleta in Cabo
Roig. The beaches of Orihuela are the perfect environment for of the 23 water, sports and
family activities that have been organised by the Department for Beaches and the
Department of Youth to run through the autumn and winter season.
Luisa Boné, Councillor for Beaches said that "after the high levels of participation in the first
edition of" The Winter Beach " which was held last spring, we are running more activities
this autumn, taking advantage of the magnificent climate of our area, to be able to continue
enjoying activities in the best setting we have, our beaches. "
Every Sunday, from 10:00am, you can practice paddle boarding, canoeing, aerobic activities
– such as aerobics, yoga, body balance. And so that parents can relax and enjoy these
activities without worrying about keeping the children entertained there are children's
workshops for them during the morning.
On Saturday 22 nd September, 29 th and the 2nd October, an introduction to diving has been
organised to allow locals to experience and enjoy the marine environment of the coast.
Mar Ezcurra Councilor for Youth said: “The activities are free and will be reported every
week through the Facebook pages of the Councils of Beaches and Youth in the calendar and
the corresponding activities. These are activities that enhance leisure on weekends on the
coast of Orihuela and also aims to educate people in the conservation, respect and
protection of the environment."

HELP makes donation to Los Arcos Hospital

For many years HELP Murcia Mar Menor has provided a
hospital visiting service at Los Arcos University Hospital
visiting English speaking patients of all nationalities
providing magazines and company for those who find
themselves in hospital and do not speak Spanish. In a
further move to help their local hospital HELP recently
presented the hospital with 10 new wheel chairs as they
are always in great demand by patients.
The presentation to Director of the hospital Tomas
Salvador Fernandez Perez who was accompanied by
Manuela Muñoz Sanchez the supervisor of Safety and
Security of patients was made by Christine Baillie the
President of HELP M.M.M. with Janneke Chambers
representing HELP’s caring services. The hospital were
very pleased to receive the chairs and ensured HELP’s
president that they would be well used.
A spokesperson for HELP told the Costa Blanca People,
“This is the fourth presentation that HELP has made
during 2018 to help the people of the Murcia Region and
in this way we are able to give something back to the area
that we all enjoy living in.”

Bicycle parking

The Department for the Environment is encouraging locals and holiday-makers to get on their bikes,
with the installation of 38 new bicycle parking racks. The Councillor for the Environment, Miguel
Ángel Fernández explained that the racks will be located throughout the municipality.
"It is a need that exists in downtown Orihuela, on the coast and in the districts, and had already
been requested several times to the City Council by interested third parties," said the councillor.
The Councillor was accompanied by the director of the Official School of Languages, Sergio García,
who thanked the City Council for the installation of one of the first bike parks at the school and
wanted to add that "it is a clear commitment to the environment, mobility and trust in which
someday we have to expand this area ".
The bike racks will be installed throughout the month, with a total of 16 allocated in the districts: in
La Murada (School, the sports centre, Avda. Marqués de Lacy, the Church Square and the municipal
sports centre), in La Matanza (Barrio de los Garcías, Health and Pharmacy Centre, Church Square and
the district of the seven houses), in Virgen del Camino (in front of the School and the Health Centre),
in La Campaneta (Social Centre, Medical Office, Pharmacy and College), and in San Bartolomé (in
front of the school, sports area and animal shelter).
The Councillor told of how important the installation of bike parks were on the Coast "where we will
place eleven bike parking racks in Alameda del Mar Civic Centre, at Punta Prima Beach, Flamenca
Beach Shopping Centre, La Florida Mall, IES Playa Flamenca, Los Dolses, Mil Palmeras Beach, at the
Reading Point in C / Cipres, at Playa Flamenca Esplanade and Zeniamar Centre".
In addition, a total of eleven will be installed in Orihuela centre on Avda. Príncipe de Asturias (School
of Languages ​​and Health Center Álvarez de la Riva), in Marqués de Rafal Square (municipal library
Fernando de Loaces), Hernandiano Corner (Miguel Hernández house) ), Plaza del Carmen, Oriolet
Street, Brotherhood of the Resurrection (sports track), Mayor Vicente Escudero Street (new Health
Centre), Teodomiro Avenue (Speciality Centre), Avda. De la Estación and Plaza San Sebastián
(Auditorium of "La Lonja").
Miguel Angel Fernandez wanted to emphasise that "little by little, with small gestures like this we
continue to adapt our municipality to the use of bicycles and to support the use of non-polluting
means of transport. He took the opportunity to remember that "shortly we will present the activities
of the European Mobility Week, where cycling is also part of the planned actions".

Casino controversy continues

The casino in Torrevieja is currently at the centre of an argument between its members. The disagreement is over when there will be elections to select its board of directors. The lack of consensus has now erupted into accusations by a member of the casino association during a presentation by its vice president.
The vice president, Rosario Soler, was the target of the verbal attack whilst presenting the programme of cultural activities for the coming year on 10th September. A member of the audience got to his feet and accused her of lying. The presentation had followed the normal course of such an event until the end when Rosario asked if anyone had any questions.
At this point, a member of the audience, got to his feet and asked ‘When will there be a general meeting to choose a new president?’. The vice president then explained that an election had been suspended due to a leak of data which could leave them vulnerable to crimes under the protection of personal data legislation. Until this was addressed, no election could take place.
The aggrieved member, Alfonso Esteve, then accused Soler of lying, following which the press conference was suspended and Esteve asked to leave the building. The subject of the press conference, the casino diary for the coming year, was overshadowed by the outburst.
It has been suggested that some of the disagreement about the election comes from deep-rooted sexism and the wish to prevent a women taking the presidency for the first time. The casino is over a 100 years old and an iconic landmark that is closely guarded by those who are members there. It also hosts a number of cultural events and talks, which the press release had been intended to promote.
Although the building is open to the public and many tourists it is also considered to be a haven for its members who have privileged seats and other benefits. Presiding over the building is now being hotly contested and there doesn’t seem to be any agreement in sight.

Waste plant could destroy lake

Opposition is growing to plans to build a waste treatment plant between San Miguel de Salinas and Torrevieja. The plant, is planned on the La Finca Lo Timur which is to the North West of the salt lake and between San Miguel de Salinas and Torrevieja. This location is only 900 metres from the wetland surrounding the salt lake which is considered to be an area of natural beauty.
The Grupo Salins who run the salt works linked to the lake are one of the organisations coming out most strongly against the plans. They are concerned that building this plant so close to the lake could contaminate the water in there. Both a deluge of rain or gradual seepage could mean that the lake carries impurities that would impede the creation of salt and harm the wildlife and fauna that live in the area.
The plant is not a landfill site but is for treatment of waste only and it would mean a large number of refuse lorries would be entering and leaving the site. The quantity of traffic would be increased because the proposed site is more of a sorting centre with lorries taking rubbish away for either landfill or recycling elsewhere.
The finca, which is the proposed location for the site, is only 900 metres from the shore of the Torrevieja lake and 600 from the edge of the natural park. This is an area that not only plays host to the successful salt mining industry but is also a recognised bird sanctuary. The only barrier between the finca and the reserve is the CV-943 road.
The business responsible for the treatment plant, OHL, is applying to the town hall of San Miguel but they must also have agreement from environmental departments located in Valencia. However, access for lorries will be on land in Torrevieja and Los Montesinos. The value of the plant is estimated to be more than 40 million euros and it would be responsible for treating around 120,000 tons of solid urban waste a year.

Orihuela Patron celebrations

It’s fiesta time in Orihuela as the municipality prepares to honour its patron saint, the Virgin of Monserrate. The celebrations include a full schedule of entertainment featuring a variety of fun performances and musical concerts.
The Councillor for Festivities, Mariola Rocamora, has detailed the entire programming lined up for the traditional festivities which will run from Thursday 6th to Sunday 16th September. Whilst announcing the programme of events, the Councillor was accompanied by Paco Serna, vice president of the Archconfraternity of the Virgin of Monserrate, who was in charge of ensuring the liturgical and religious events are at the centre of the celebrations.
The event began on Thursday with a mass at 8pm, which has been celebrated by the residents of the Rabaloche for the last 10 years, this was followed by the transfer of the icon from its Sanctuary to the Cathedral of El Salvador and an evening serenade concert. The events continued over the weekend and this week, on Wednesday the 12th, the programme resumes with the representation of the children’s musical concert “La bruja Eloise”, which will take place in the Ramón Sijé square starting at 9:30pm, with an evening of fun theatre and music for the whole family.
On Thursday 13th September at 9:30pm, also in the Ramón Sijé square, a concert will be given by the Orihuela-based “Troupers Swing Band” combining their own songs with versions of swing and rockabilly.
On Saturday, 15th September, there will be the traditional ‘besamanto’ of the Virgin of Monserrate, taking place from 10am to 2pm and from 6pm, “where the Association of Agronomist Engineers of Orihuela will celebrate the Virgin from 12.00 noon.
The celebrations will finish with a spectacular fireworks display which marks the Virgin Monserrate’s transfer back to her sanctuary on Sunday 16th September at 8pm just after the final mass of the fiesta, which starts at 7pm which will be presided over by Jesús Murgui, Bishop of the Diocese of Orihuela-Alicante.
All residents from across the municipality and beyond are invited to celebrate this fiesta of honour, as Orihuela´s patron is once more given the tribute she deserves, before resting for another year.
The Virgin of Montserrat, popularly known as La Moreneta, is also the patron saint of Catalonia. Our Lady of Montserrat or the Virgin of Montserrat is a Marian title associated with a venerated statue of the Madonna and Child venerated at the Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery on the Montserrat Mountain in Catalonia, Spain.
The famed image once bore the inscription ”Negra Sum Sed Formosa” which translates from Latin as: I am Black, but Beautiful.
Pope Leo XIII granted the image a Canonical coronation on 11 September 1881. The image is one of the Black Madonnas of Europe, hence its familiar Catalan name, La Moreneta (“the little dark-skinned one” or “the little dark one”). Believed by some to have been carved in Jerusalem in the early days of the Church. However, it is more likely a Romanesque sculpture in wood from the late 12th century.
An 18th century polychromed statue of the same image is also displayed in Saint Peter’s basilica, previously stored in the Vatican Museums which was gifted by the President of Brazil, Joao Goulart on the Papal election of Pope Paul VI in 1963. The image has been on display for Papal masses since the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.

Symphony orchestra programme 2018-2019

Symphony orchestra programme 2018-2019
Torrevieja Symphony Orchestra (OST) presented their annual programme for the year 2018-19 to the press. This year will be the 10th anniversary of the orchestra and will include six concerts with European artists and four concerts of Chamber Music. A book has also been produced that summarises the history of the past decade for the orchestra and will be presented on the 24th October to the public.
The classic performances will begin with the music of Tchaikovsky and Dvorak on 27th October. On 2nd December there will be a soloist flute performance by Jordi López who will play an interpretation of Mozart and Schubert. There will be two concerts to celebrate the new year and the Christmas Kings on 5th and 6th January. This will include waltzes, polkas and Spanish music. On 2nd March a concert will be held in honour of the Nordic audience with the music of Grieg.
In the spring, the OST has prepared a concert of popular movie sound tracks such as Out of Africa, Jurassic Park, Gladiator and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The spring programme will conclude with Spanish music on 11th May.
Director, José Francisco Sánchez, took time to thank the board of directors who have helped the orchestra to grow from a chamber group to the orchestra it is now. ‘I always had the goal of filling the International Auditorium,’ he explained. ‘That dream has been fulfilled with more than 20 concerts being held this year.’
The OST’s performances at the International Auditorium have proved to be particularly popular with residents from many different countries including Germany, Belgium, Norway and Sweden as well as amongst those resident torrevejenses who are now taking up the opportunity to make the most of the auditorium on the hill.
Along with the OST programme there will also be four concerts of Chamber Music that will be held in the Auditorium chamber room. This room has 420 seats altogether. The cost of this is reasonable at only eight euros entry for the general public and seven euros for those who are members.
The violinist, Stanislav Tkach outlined the dates for the four Chamber Music concerts and said that throughout his travels to 22 different countries he had never met such a welcoming audience. The performances will begin on 15th September at 8pm and the first one will include a selection of Beethoven and Shostakovich.
The second concert includes compositions by Mozart and will take place on 26th January. The third is scheduled for 20th April and will celebrate Holy Week with the music of Handel, Vivaldi and Bach. The last concert will be on 8th June and will include interpretations of Mozart and Haydn.
The president also pointed out that this year there will be a bus service up to the auditorium with pick up from the Eras de la Sal, the Hotel Fontana and the BP petrol station in town. A service that’s believed to be particularly useful for pensioners and those who live further away.Anyone wishing to buy tickets for the concerts can do so between 10am and 1pm and from 5pm and 7pm at calle Vicente Blasco Ibáñez number 23.

Bullying and harassment in the police force

This is the third time that that the local police force in Torrevieja has been investigated for the possibility of bullying at work. This time the court number 1 in Elche has criticised the previous administration at the town hall for its involvement.
The bullying and harassment of a Local Police officer is thought to have been going on for years. Now, the victim has been awarded €95,816 in damages for psychological difficulties resulting from the continued behaviour of his colleagues.
The court accused the town hall of not intervening in the bullying at any time during its jurisdiction. It is claimed that councillors were aware of the situation due to the number of denuncias that had been made about it.
The police officer began working in 2010 and recognised that there were irregularities in the control of cash that was being collected from fines. He also realised that there were frequent inspections of some leisure facilities whilst others remained unchecked even though there were bad reports about them.
The police officer, along with two colleagues, reported the incidents and following this his persecution began. It included changing shifts without warning, being denied holidays, having to carry out numerous shifts without a break and word being spread to the traffic division that he should no longer drive.
The officer was denied extra pay, received humiliating correspondence and was subjected to degrading situations. He was insulted on almost a daily basis and in front of everyone but no one did anything. The investigating magistrate said that those complicit with the crime, including councillors and inspectors, tried to justify their approach but statements were contradictory to the evidence given by others.
The two police chiefs accused of this crime have already been convicted for workplace harassment twice before. In these cases compensation had to paid out of €48,500 and €23,450.

British men seriously injured in stabbing

Two British men were left seriously injured after an attack in Torrevieja. The two men were stabbed during a fight which happened early Thursday morning. The fight took place in the San Luis/ El Chaparral urbanisation when the English confronted some individuals of Romanian nationality. The injured were taken to Torrevieja hospital for surgery.
It is believed that the origin of the dispute began at 1am in a bar on calle Rodrigo. For reasons unknown, a fight started and punches were thrown. Later the Romanians are believed to have returned to the area this time with knives.
During the attack two British men were stabbed, one of around 60 years old was stabbed in the back and in the thorax and the other of around 30 years old received a stab wound in the left armpit near his heart. The wounds led to the loss of a great amount of blood as could be seen in the street where the stabbing took place.
The incident was attended by the Local Police and the Guardia Civil as well as two SAMU units and an ambulance. The men were treated at the spot and then transferred to the hospital. News from the hospital confirmed that the men were operated on after being admitted into A & E. It is believed that they are now out of danger and are stable but will remain in hospital due to the severity of their injuries.
It is believed that one of the attackers lost his mobile during the incident and this has now been retrieved by the police who have been able to identify him. The man is now being sought by the Guardia Civil who are leading the investigation.

School year dates released

The dates for the Alicante province have now been released for the new
school year. Hopefully students should already know that:
 Primary schools in Alicante city begin on 7 th September
 All other schools in Alicante Province begin on 10 th September
If you have a child in a school in Torrevieja or Orihuela and surrounding towns
then they should have their bags and equipment ready for Monday 10 th
September. For children starting at primary schools, classes will only be from
9am until 1pm for the month of September. The full school day resumes from
October until May. June again reverts to a 1pm closing.
Public holidays in Alicante Province mean that the terms will be:
First term (Autumn term)
Monday 10 th September until Friday 21 st December (inclusive)
Schools will be closed for bank holidays:
 9 th October (Valencia Day)
 12 th October (Spain Day)
 1 st November (All Saints Day)
 6 th December (Day of the Constitution)
Second term (Spring term)
Monday 7 th January until Wednesday17 th April (inclusive)
Schools will be closed for bank holidays:
 19 th March (San José Day, Father’s Day)
Third term (Summer term)
Primary schools: Tuesday 30 th April until Thursday 20 th June (inclusive)
Secondary schools: Tuesday 30 th April until Tuesday 18 th June (inclusive)
Schools will be closed for bank holidays:
 1 st May (Workers Day)
Although these dates are the ones currently released for the Alicante Province
be aware that there will be some additional ones to follow that are determined
locally. At least though parents across the province can start planning their

Does the Eras de la Sal need a licence too?

The subject of opening and activity licences in Torrevieja continues. Now it’s
the Eras de la Sal that’s in the spotlight. The Eras de la Sal is the old part of
town where many concerts and outdoor events take place, including the
international Habaneras choral competition.
There now seems to be uncertainty as to whether the area has the necessary
activity licence to host the events that it currently does. The use of the Eras de
la Sal has become particularly important as the previous location for many
events, the Municipal Theatre, remains closed.
According to a report from the town planning department, a license is
necessary and currently is not in place. The activity licence guarantees that a
public show has the minimum safety and evacuation measures along with the
correct insurance, medical cover and private security. This applies whoever
the show is organised by, whether it is a private company or a town hall
The delay in the performance of La Unión and the cancellation of the Luz
Casal concerts are believed to have been linked to this controversy. With
more concerts to come, including that of Kiko Veneno and Los Secretos on
Friday, it is hoped that the confusion is rectified soon.

Agamed and the town hall working together

Monday 27 th August saw representatives from the town hall and Agamed, the
local water board, coming together, to look at the ways in which they can work
for the improvement of the town. Present at the meeting was the Councillor for
the environment, Fanny Serrano, the managing director of Agamed, José
Manuel Nadal and biologists Jesús Sánchez and Juan Antonio Pujol.
The meeting began with a review of the projects that have been developed
and carried out in previous years. Consideration was given to existing
programmes and how they might be continued and developed. This has been
a beneficial collaboration that is entering a more formal phase.
One area where it is agreed that more work should be done is in that of
education. ‘We need to carry out more environmental education activities,’
explained Councillor Serrano. ‘This is an area for development particularly
when it comes to work in schools. The youngest in our community need to
learn how to use water in a sustainable way.’
In July a campaign had been carried out to advertise the fact that you can
drink the water locally. Tasting sessions were held in La Mata weekly market
and in the Avenida de Los Marineros close to the tourist information point.
The idea was to encourage people to taste the water and see that it need not
taste of chlorine. This is an environmentally friendly project as the use of
plastic bottles in drinking water production is a major source of concern.
‘We will organise new tasting to continue informing the public of the quality of
the drinking water,’ José Manuel Nadal said at the meeting. Other planned
activities include an environmental and tourism event in the natural parks.
‘Music in the Park’ will take place featuring members of the Torrevieja
Symphony Orchestra by the end of September.
Other plans include the re-vegetation of the area around the water mill and
the replanting and preservation of rare species around the natural park. There
have already been a number of activities involving the removal of invasive
species and these are set to continue.
‘We have been collaborating on environmental matters since our local
government was formed,’ said Councillor Serrano. ‘We have now entered into
a formal agreement that will underpin our joint efforts in preserving and
improving the environment.’