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Solemn processions take place tonight (Thursday) from midnight in Torrevieja from the Plaza del Calvario with the ‘Nuestra Señora de la Piedad’ float.

 

The route will follow from Plaza del Calvario along Calle’s Santísima Trinidad, San Jose, Maria Parodi, Caballero de Rodas and Plaza de la Constitucion.

Tomorrow (Good Friday) sees the city’s Holy Burial Procession take place at 8pm from the Inmaculada Concepción Church.

The floats will travel along the Plaza de la Constitución and streets Caballero de Rodas, Patricio Pérez, Ramón Gallud, Zoa, Ulpiano, Moriones and Caballero de Rodas.

Saturday sees the ‘Great Drum Roll’ procession leave from the Virgen del Carmen cultural centre at 10.30pm and finishing in the Plaza de la Constitucion.

On Easter Sunday the Procession del Encuentro leaves the Inmaculada Concepcion Church at 8am.

Floats will be carried in different directions before meeting at the crossroads between Calle Roads and Azorin.

 

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Orihuela's Easter processions and celebrations continue tomorrow (Friday) with the transfer of the images of the Blessed by the Monastry of San Juan de la Penitencia and the Santa Iglesia Cathedral at 12.30pm.

 

This is followed by the Celebration of Passion and Death at St Anton church at 4pm, Holy Cathedral Church at 5pm and Santa Ana church at 6pm. The general passion procession takes place at 6.30pm.

The procession of the Holy Burial of Christ takes place at 5pm on Saturday and the Solemn Vigil and Papal Blessing takes place at 11pm at the Cathedral, Church of Santiago and Church of San Vicente.

The Town Hall is organising a bus from the Orihuela Costa to the Good Friday procession tomorrow (Friday) in Orihuela.

Return tickets cost €5.30 leaving at 6pm. Call 966 760 000 Ext. 32/24 to reserve.

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Owing to months of drought, the Alicante Diputacion fire-fighting helicopter is now in service.

 

Last year the helicopter was expected to be in use from May onwards although legal issues delayed this until July.

The Alicante countryside and wooded areas are so dry and the fire-risk is so high that this year the Diputacion has brought forward the date to Easter.

The helicopter, which is based at the San Vicente fire station and will be used for fire extinction and rescue purposes, is costing the provincial authorities €770,000 for the six months it is in use.

The Diputacion did not underestimate the early fire risk, as 65 hectares of land were recently lost to forest fire near the village of Benifato, on the northern foothills of the Aitana mountain range.

Owing to the steep and rocky terrain, five fire-fighting aircraft had to assist firemen on the ground.

Fire brigades and four aircraft were required that same day near the Beniarres reservoir in the inland area of El Comtat.

Approximately 11 hectares of woodland and scrub were destroyed but firemen were assisted by unexpected but persistent drizzle, they said later.

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Pedreguer’s Cova del Comte cave has prehistoric art and hints of cannibalism amongst its earliest inhabitants.

 

But 20,000 years after it was first inhabited there is insufficient local money to uncover more of its secrets.

Pedreguer town hall and the Cirne Foundation, which hopes to lead excavations at the cave, decided to turn to crowd-funding to fund the project.

As recently reported in the Euro Weekly News, the first archaeological soundings in the cave revealed sketched outlines of horses and goats and the bone of a human adolescent.

Score-marks suggested that the flesh was deliberately removed by humans using primitive tools.

There is still much to discover, archaeologists said, but excavations will cost around €18,000 according to Cirne Foundation estimates.

Pedreguer town hall is allocating €8,000 but another €10,000 must be found from somewhere.

This is where crowd-funding comes in, with the public asked to make  contributions, however small.

The town hall has set up a current account to this end and anyone interested in assisting can donate to ES37 2038 6280 3560 0001 1331.

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Most over-65s have seen an Olympiad or two in their time and now they can participate, too.

 

Denia council, in conjunction with the CEMA sports consortium and local Physical Education students, is holding the first Marina Alta Third Age Olympics.

The project entitled Olimpic – a “first” for Spain – is the creation of sports expert Emilio Monfort.

It will be held on May 25 at Denia’s municipal sports centre and swimming pool.

Monfort’s venture is singled out by the way he has adapted sports activities to the abilities of the not-so-young, the organisers said.

The 100 and 400 metre races are now marches, as is the relay. Similarly, the swimming relay and the 25 and 50 metre races will be free-style.

In volleyball the usual ball has been substituted for one that is made of foam rubber and competitors are allowed to touch the ball with the entire hand.

Olimpic is open to all aged between 65 and 75, with a maximum of 30 participants from each Marina Alta town.

Those aged between 60 and 64 may also take part but without being placed.

The pre-registration period ends on April 21 and confirmations should be in by May 12.

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The Casa Forestal in Denia will open to the public today (Thursday) and tomorrow.

 

The Aula de Natura field study centre can also be visited on April 28, feast day of San Vicente Ferrer.

The Casa Forestal is 300 metres from the Pare Pere chapel on the Cami Pou de la Muntanya, the principal path up to Montgo.

Visitors are advised to park in the area adjoining the chapel and continue on foot to the Aula de Natura.

At a time of the year when the Spanish traditionally go on outings to the countryside Denia town hall wants residents and visitors to be able to visit the centre.

It is set in 5,000 square metres of pinewoods and is accessible to those with mobility problems.

Picnic tables and benches have been made available by APAD, Denia’s animal protection association.

Information panels in the grounds also give details of routes, walks and excursions in and around Denia and the Montgo National Park.

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Hundreds of supporters of the Eurasier Dream Kennels in Los Montesinos have signed an online petition protesting against its closure.

 

The kennels were closed by police earlier this month, devastating owner Lynne Cooper who says she has become a victim of the local bureaucracy and red tape.

Problems arose after Lynne and her partner brought the kennels and moved over from England to ‘live the dream’ “which has now become a nightmare” said Lynne.

The couple tried to transfer the license for the business in to their names but were met with a range of obstructions from the Town Hall and invested further money in carrying out a range of checks and getting licenses at the request of the Town Hall:

“We have done everything they asked and even paid €420 for a fence license to since be told no such thing exists.”

The issues have resulted in the breakdown of Lynne’s relationship and feels her and her daughter are now trapped in Spain: “The amount of people and our customers we are letting down is heartbreaking.”

Lynne is seeking legal advice on the situation.

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Altea recently appeared in Hola magazine’s travel supplement, “Hola Viajes.”

 

There was particular satisfaction at the town hall because it was one of the magazine’s principal recommendations for the Mediterranean area between Gerona and Malaga.

The resort appeared in the “50 weekend excursions for the most beautiful and least known Spain” section.

The popular magazine that inspired the UK version, Hello, depicted Altea as emblematic of the Costa Blanca, calling it “A watchtower above the sea.”

The Hola article described at length the walled old quarter and town’s history as well as its beaches and the little island off the La Olla beach.

Thanks to the efforts of the town hall and local businesses, the feature was further proof of the success of the “VisitAltea” strategy, said Tourism councillor Vigela Lloret.  

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Marina Alta mayors are as determined as ever to prevent oil explorations in the Gulf of Valencia.

 

When the Xarxa d’Alcaldes – a network of Marina Alta mayors – met recently, the prospections were the sole subject on their agenda.

The objective of the meeting was to join forces and thrash out a plan of action to ensure that the Cairns Energy explorations never take place.

“Our industries – tourism, fishing and the restaurant trade – will be seriously and immediately affected,” warned Javea mayor, Jose Chulvi.

The 16 Xarxa members have created a four-member committee to speak for them in talks due to take place shortly with the regional and national governments.  

Each of the area’s four principal parties – the PP, PSOE, Bloc-Compromis and Independientes - are represented on the committee by Ana Kringle (Denia), Jose Chulvi (Javea), Joan Miquel Garces (Jalon) and Juan Alejandro Mut (Sanet y Els Negrals).

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Policia Local fines in San Vicente del Raspeig fell by 29% last year.

 

A total of 2,192 drivers were booked, compared with 3,086 in 2012. Offences detected by radar traps dropped by half, said town hall sources.

The municipal tow away truck also did 36% less business, falling from 1,455 in 2012 to just 930 last year even though officers served 13% more shifts.

“Drivers are increasingly aware of the need to respect traffic regulations,” said San Vicente’s councillor for Public Safety, Victor Lopez.

It was also possible that the economic situation had a bearing on the lower figures, Lopez admitted, as people were using their vehicles less often and took greater care to avoid fines. 

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