Category: Local

Missing British man in the Torrevieja area – help find him!

Mr Kenneth Dallas McPHERSON, who is 62 years old, went missing on the morning of Saturday 23 November at Torrevieja Marina. He was last known to be kayaking in the marina and has not been seen since.
He is 5ft 11inches (180cm), medium build, with a white goatee beard and very short white/grey hair. The family is concerned that he may have been carried out to sea and/or picked up by a boat on its way elsewhere.
His family have reported him missing to the police in Pilar de la Horadada, who are looking for him. They would be grateful for information from anyone who may have seen Mr McPherson or his kayak.
Alexandra Mitchell, Mr McPherson’s wife, said: “Any information, no matter how little, would be greatly appreciated. The police are working very hard, but as of yet we have little to go by. We just want Kenny home safe and sound and miss him greatly.”
If anyone has any information relating to his whereabouts, they should call the Guardia Civil on 112 or the British Consulate on +34 965 216 022.

Municipal Theatre reopens

Torrevieja’s Municipal Theatre has reopened after a closure of over four years. The reopening was marked by the coronation of the Queen of Salt in advance of the town’s Patronal Fiestas (more information about the fiestas on page 8).
The reopening of the theatre was high on Mayor Eduardo Dolón’s list of election promises. The theatre had been closed down by the previous administration because of licencing issues but Dolón had always claimed that it could have remained open while the paperwork was regularised as it had been open for nine years previously.
Eduardo Dolón explained that the theatre was opened based on the provisions of article 10 of Law 14/2010 of public shows, recreational activities and public establishments. Specifically, the accreditation issued by the Administrative Certification Body (OCA), which is sufficient for the completion of the file and the opening of the venue. Throughout the closure of the theatre, the PP had always maintained that the Municipal Theatre did not require an opening license, and that certification issued by the OCA is a substitute for the license and allows activity to commence.
The mayor said that this opening procedure is fully compatible with the September 2015 communication from the Ministry of the Interior, since the theatre has never been formally closed. The final paperwork required to open the theatre was issued on November 19th.
In the meantime, the green party took legal action to try to prevent the reopening of the theatre.
€150,000 is being spent on repairs to the building including electrical work, plumbing, carpentry, lighting, maintenance and air conditioning.

Police shoot at stolen car in Torrevieja

Police officers were forced to shoot out the wheels of a car in Torrevieja as it attempted to escape a routine checkpoint. The dramatic incident took place on Monday last when Policia Local resorted to shooting the car’s tyres after the driver tried to run over an officer while escaping a checkpoint.
The woman behind the wheel was eventually arrested for an attack on a police officer – although she could be accused of attempted homicide, driving without a license, without insurance and in an allegedly stolen vehicle.
The Judicial Police of the Guardia Civil is investigating the events that occurred at the checkpoint on Avenida Desiderio Rodríguez. The checkpoint was manned by the GRO (Operational Reinforcement Group) of the local police. GRO officers are authorised by the General Directorate of Traffic to carry out routine checks of ITV validity and vehicle insurance details. A car driven by a middle-aged woman, and in which another woman was travelling in the front seat, stopped about a hundred meters from the control, which aroused suspicion. Two armed officers of the Local Police approached her and asked him why she had stopped. Without a word, she turned the car and tried to run over one of the officers who then shot at the wheel of the car in an apparent attempt to avoid being run over. The attempt to stop the car was unsuccessful.
The vehicle continued and a chase ensued with Local Police and Guardia Civil in pursuit. Two GRO vehicles intercepted the car just as the driver was about to join the N-332. An officer once again approached the car but the driver, again tried to run him over and drive away. Another officer took aim and this time successfully shot out the car’s tyre and forced the vehicle to stop so that the driver could be arrested.
The use of firearms by law enforcement officials is very restricted by Spanish legislation and first investigations indicate that the officers in question were correct in the manner in which they discharged their weapons.

Orihuela to go bike friendly

The Councillor for the Environment, Dámaso Aparicio and the Councillor for Urban Transportation, José Galiano, has presented the Action Plan for “Orihuela the 100% cyclable City”. The project is part of the Urban Development Strategy Sustainable Integrated (EDUSI), co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Operational Program for Sustainable Growth, 2014-2020.
This strategy is based on promoting a low carbon economy in the area, so its objectives are mainly to promote sustainable urban mobility – such as cycling – and make parts of the city a CO2 free space, so that it becomes a reference for the rest of the municipality” said the Councillor Environment.
The Councillor was joined by the technical editor of the strategy, Carlos Martín, who explained that the lines of action regarding the cycling infrastructure will consist of “expanding and consolidating the segregated and continuous bike lane network; ensure good maintenance and cleaning of the local cycling network; continue to increase the parking offer and promote the creation of a network of services aimed at facilitating bicycle maintenance”.
The Councillor of Environment also said that the department intended to present in the coming days a more concrete project on the use of the bicycle in the urban area.”
As pointed out by the technical editor of this strategy, Carlos Martín, the bicycle is “a tool for the transformation of urban space and also for social transformation that has repercussions in other areas of the city”. Consequently, he stressed the importance of continuing to promote citizen mobility campaigns that encourage the use of this means of transport and more specifically, in Orihuela, known for its tourist attractions and favourable climate.
From the Department of Urban Transportation, Councillor Galiano has stressed the intention of “creating a transport plan that is more sustainable and in which you can provide alternative transport in the city. Making Orihuela 100 percent cycle friendly will improve the environment and ensure that people have more transport alternatives”.

New rubbish and recycling bins

The Councillor for Street Cleaning, Dámaso Aparicio, announced on Friday that the City Council of Orihuela has acquired around 1,000 containers for the collection of solid waste and selective collection of paper and cardboard, which are destined for the coast, the city and the districts of Orihuela.
The councillor explained that “after the awarding of the two contracts, we need to ensure that there are enough rubbish containers. We especially need new containers after the numerous losses we had during the recent floods when many were damages or lost.” Councillor Aparicio added that these new purchases mean the renewal of almost one third of the stock of containers that the council has. Since 2008, this is the first time that a contract which includes the provision of new rubbish bins has been awarded.
Over the coming weeks the department will place 112 ´lateral load’ containers on the streets of the coast. These have a capacity of 3,200 litres and also have improved accessibility. A further 576 containers with rear-load design are destined for the city, districts and coast. Thirty-two containers for the selective collection of paper and cardboard will also be placed in the city and districts and 20 containers for the collection for paper and cardboard are destined for the coast. This contract is divided into four different lots, so that the award for the first 112 containers has been made for 99,074 euros, the second (20 containers) for 16,353 euros, the third (32 containers) for 17,351 euros and the fourth (576 containers ) for 67,256 euros.
In total, the Department of Road Cleaning will have 740 new containers “with which we will significantly improve the daily collection service we provide to our resident”.
The Councillor also gave details about the contract that has already been awarded for the supply of 189 new 50 litre bins for an amount of 15,996 euros.

Farewell David & Lorraine

Thursday 8th November was a sad day for David and Lorraine Whitney when they left Reach Out Shop 2, in Calle Dona Sinforosa, Torrevieja, for the last time, as voluntary managers. The couple have been volunteers for nine years, three spent managing Shop 1 in Calle Bella Antonia and a further six years managing Shop 2.
The success of Shop 2 can be attributed to their hard work and dedication and the support of their team of volunteers. David´s artistic talent was not lost on the carefully designed window displays and the many floral arrangements within the shop. He would even put on an impromptu puppet show for the children. The clothes, all displayed in colour coordination, prompted Spanish customers to call the shop, “La Pequeña Boutique”
Apart from managing the Reach Out shop, they have raised large sums of money for the charity with some unique events as well as Christmas Fairs and regular Fashion Shows, always getting great support from Rita and Dave Monaghan of the Marina Bar at Calle de las Rosas, Torreta 2 and their staff. David and Lorraine wish to give thanks to their loyal supporters for their generosity in donating monies and various items for all their events.
David was asked about their plans for the future, he replied, “Our charity work will not stop as we will still be fund raising for the AFA Alzheimers Torrevieja, a cause close to our hearts. So, as one door closes, another opens. We fear the poor and homeless will always be a problem worldwide but we just hope that we have gone some way in helping the problems here in the Torrevieja area”
They have indeed gone a long way and I´m sure will continue to do so for their chosen charity. Thank you David and Lorraine – you are inspirational!

Orihuela commemorates World No Alcohol Day

The Councillor for Health, José Galiano, has outlined a campaign in collaboration with the Community Prevention Unit in Addictive Behaviors (UPCCA), with the objective of raising awareness about the physical and psychological risks of alcohol consumption. The campaign coincides with World No Alcohol Day, which was marked on 15th November.
Last week information points were placed in the Ramón Campoamor Civic Centre in Orihuela Costa and in the lobby of the María Moliner Municipal Library, bringing the information provided by UPCCA to locals and wider population in general.
The Community Prevention Unit for Addictive Behaviours (UPCCA) of Orihuela warned that the consumption of alcoholic beverages is ‘very normalised’ despite posing a huge health risk. Alcohol is responsible for the death of 3-and-a-half million people a year worldwide, often due to traffic accidents. This is because it is a central nervous system suppressant drug that decreases reflexes and the visual field. This means that people who have been drinking underestimate risk and it increases their reaction times. ”
The Councillor for Health concluded that “alcohol can cause numerous health problems such as vomiting, gastritis, digestive tumours, liver cirrhosis, impotence and pancreatitis.”

Two arrests at archaeological site

Guardia Civil have arrested two people caught scavenging an important archaeological site at Guardamar Castle.
Both people have been issued with €6000 fines due to their obvious intention to find and steal objects from the site of the Castle of Guardamar del Segura. Important archaeological research work is being carried out at the site so the complaint was sent to the Ministry of Culture, the agency which handles disciplinary proceedings.
The Councillor for Historical Heritage, Pilar Gay, revealed that the event actually occurred a few months ago and that the two people were apprehended with several pieces of pottery, “although it is unknown if they were from Guardamar or another site.”
It was a resident who alerted police to the presence of both individuals inside the archaeological site of the castle “on a Saturday afternoon, even though there were signs prohibiting entry.”
Councillor Gay stressed that the action of these “poachers of historical pieces cause serious damage to the sites.” For this reason, the council has requested citizen collaboration to prevent the future plunder of archaeological areas – visitors and residents are asked to inform the police if they notice suspicious activity in or around the archaeological site.

Shakira, the original and the best

Shakira Indian Restaurant boasts more than 19 years of creating delightful dishes here in the southern Costa Blanca. It has three ever-popular restaurants serving the Villamartin, Cabo Roig and Playa Flamenca areas.
Shakira Indian Restaurant takes pride in ensuring the most authentic taste in its Indian food and serves dishes to suit all tastes from mild korma and butter dishes through to Vindaloos and phals for those who prefer hot and spicy.
Shakira, Cabo Roig, is ranked number 1 on Trip Advisor, head and shoulders above its competitors. Taste, service and value are all key points emphasised in the official feedback from diners and its it these opinions that have culminated in the top positioning. However, all three Shakira restaurants are run on the same principals by the same family and so the tantalising tastes, excellent service and value for money are forefront of all three restaurants. All have an excellent reputation, built on word-of-mouth and many customers have been dining at Shakira since the first restaurant opened its doors.
The culinary teams have many years’ experience in professional kitchens, and this coupled with the support of the conscientious front of house team, ensures that all customers have a memorable dining experience. The chefs at Shakira pride themselves in using the most fresh and flavoursome ingredients so that the dishes created are always full of flavour and delicious.
The menu offers an array of dishes, with something for everyone. There is an extensive vegetarian selection and the option of vegan friendly dishes too. Each restaurant offers early bird specials and set meals for those looking for a bargain.
Bookings are now being taken for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, which includes a full firework display, open bar and DJ/Karaoke – which has become a tradition for Shakira in Cabo Roig – and all for just 30e. Be sure to book your table in advance to avoid disappointment! Call 965 322 811 or 679 007 199.

Coppola Hills

Coppola Hills restaurant is a family-run business and is making a statement in the Benimar and Rojales area with their home-made Italian cuisine. They have been open since April. The Coppola chain has received eight awards to date, three in Guardamar, three in Benimar and two in Ireland for the Best Italian Restaurant. Titles which they can add to their long list of success stories all the way down from Italy to Ireland then onto Spain.
Coppola Hills is run by father and son, Tony and Cristian. Both have a vast extensive knowledge due to running a number of culinary businesses since 1995.
It is plain to see why the Number 1 Italian Restaurant business on trip advisor over the last two years has received much acclaim.
The recipes for the traditional Naples style cuisine that were passed down by Grandma Antoinette Coppola to her daughter-in-law Catherine Coppola and then to her sons and daughter over the years have been combined with the expertise of Sicilian chefs to bring together incredible flavours from Sicily to Napoli. Customers have referred to Coppola cuisine as “impeccable”, the service “first class” and the portions “generous”.
Tony, Catherine and their children, Roberto, Cristian and Deborah have brought Italy to the Costa Blanca. Their children are now distinguished chefs too thanks to their Mother, who will make sure that the Coppola style continues to reincarnate itself through the years.
The menu offers a wide selection of home-made pizzas delicately forged in a stone oven and tagliatelle with lobster. There is a variety of meat and fish on offer that is cooked to perfection on the grill. The menu de la noche is a three-course meal that Tony highly recommends on the first visit to get an idea of the vibrant mix of flavours available.
The restaurant is located at the top of the tranquil hill which is the perfect setting to enjoy some Italian delicacies. Higher up than the bustling restaurant chains, the view from the top of the hill is quite enchanting.
Inside the restaurant there is a cosy two-storey open plan set-up whilst recreating an authentic Italian atmosphere. Outside there is a wonderful chill-out area to enjoy a cocktail or two. The Coppola family have grand plans for the future.
Find Coppola Hills on Facebook and Instagram with the handle @coppolahills to read more glimmering reviews or call them on 865524458 to book. They can be found at Calle Agata 2, Benimar II, Rojales

Breast Cancer Awareness Day

October is World Breast Cancer Month and local charity Maria and The Pink Ladies marked the event with an awareness campaign on Sunday 27th October at Zenia Bouevard. The event began around 12.30pm with a host of local performers taking to the stage to entertain the crowds: this included Keiley Page, Shannon Campbell, Lorna Michelle, ABBA Girls, No Limit, Chloe Leigh’s Cher tribute, David John Williams’ Rod Stewart tribute, Totally Dance Studio, Raquel Pena Flamenco Dance School, La Sal de Torrevieja. The event was hosted by Stevie Spit and supported by Sunshine FM.
Over the years this event has become well-known locally for its impressive balloon release. However, it was decided that due to the impact on the environment there would be no balloons released this year. Instead, in addition to private donations, visitors to the event were given the option to buy a rose for €2 which was then added to a mural wall on display at the event. The mural of roses formed the pink bow that is the global symbol of breast cancer awareness.
The proceeds from the event will be donated directly to Spanish anti-cancer charity the AECC and although donations were still being counted at the time of going to press, it is hoped the event will beat last year’s total of 2,632 euros.
Every minute a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer so don’t hesitate to self check, or go for a medical check-up, it might save your life.
Early signs of breast cancer can be a lump in a breast, a painful breast or armpit, or a discharge from the nipple. A doctor will most likely perform a manual exam and send you for a mammogram. A mammogram examination is painless and only takes about ten minutes.
If any of these symptoms do present themselves there’s no need to panic. Often, pain or a lump in a breast is perfectly harmless. The pain can be a sign of a cyst or the lump can be benign.
The money donated by Maria and the Pink Ladies is used by the AECC to fund its Early Detection Programme which provides subsidised tests for breast, cervical, ovarian, prostate, skin and bowel cancer. Appointments can be booked on the day or at the AECC office on the ground floor of Playa Flamenca Commercial Centre.

Help us help flood victims

Costa Blanca People is proud to present a fundraising afternoon in aid of local people affected by the recent flooding in the area as a result of the Gota Fria. The extravaganza event will take place at Villamartin Plaza this Sunday, 22nd September, and we would like to invite all of our readers and members of the local community to join us for a fabulous afternoon of fun and fundraising.
The event will be hosted by Stevie Spit and there will be a grand prize raffle and an auction to help raise money for those in need. The event will also provide a collection point for those wishing to donate clothes, dry or tinned food stuffs, bottled water, school materials or toiletries. As well as the fundraising there will also be lots of fun; with bars and restaurants serving food and drinks. There will be performances by some of the southern Costa Blanca’s leading entertainers taking the afternoon into the evening, including the fabulous Jersey Boys, Abba Elite, Jay Markwick, Paul Allen, Stuart Sinclair and Footwork Dance Studio.
All monies raised and goods collected will be used to help people in the local community and for this reason we have chosen to work with Help Vega Baja which will co-ordinate the distribution of the items where they are needed most and will present individual cases to its Crisis Committee who will allocate help as and where it is needed most.
If you can help with any of the above please contact Claire Richards on 607 03 11 13. We are particularly in need of raffle and auction prizes if anyone can help. For further information on Help Vega Baja or to apply for help or support contact 966 723 733.

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