Happy Birthday Mr Resident!
They don’t make them much more Ibizan that Tony Pike. From the Wham Club Tropicana video through to Freddie Mercury and Grace Jones, tales of his escapades have taken on legendary kudos. Tony celebrated his 80th Birthday earlier this year and the irrepressible octogenarian marked the occasion in fine style this week with celebrations starting at the Pikes hotel that bares his name (we’re sure Ibiza Rocks House at Pikes will allow us license in this context). The party included a special presentation by Howard ‘Mr Nice’ Marks before moving onto Pacha to dance the night away. Not bad going for eighty. Inside we have a candid interview from page 8.
Rainbow Warrior Arrives.
Setting off this week from Valencia, the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior will campaign against the proposed oil exploration in the Mediterranean. Stopping at ports in the affected areas, the Rainbow Warrior will give out information about the environmental affects of the planned exploration and was in Ibiza this week. The message was clear that there is no totally safe way to extract fuel from the sea bed. They argue that the ecological damage of extracting, what Greenpeace believe will be a total of only 272 million barrels of fuel (half a years fuel consumption in Spain), is not acceptable.
Anyone interested in seeing the boat and getting to know what is being done will have the chance to go on board on their open doors Thursday 12th of June from 12pm to 2pm and from 4pm to 8pm, and on Friday 13th from 10am until 3pm, when the boat will get ready to leave Ibiza for Mallorca.
After costing around 1000€ to install in each taxi, the first week of the GPS taxi system in operation throughout the island has been somewhat chaotic. There have been reports of seven taxis arriving at the same hotel for the same fare, taxis already occupied receiving messages about fares rather than the ones waiting at the ranks and an hour long daily break down in the systems operation. Apparently, as taxis from all the boroughs of the island can pick up all over the island, there are too many taxis queuing for fares at the most popular ranks. Some drivers seem to fear that these are not teething problems and will get worse as the summer develops.
Native Tortoise Release.
After hibernating on the island and being tagged by the veterinary services, twenty five tortoises (tortuga mora) were released into the wild in the Ses Salinas Natural Park on Formentera. These tortoises existed on the island throughout the middle ages after arriving to the island with other invaders from North Africa and then dying out. In a previous release earlier in the year twenty other tortoises were set free and it is expected that this new group will join this small community and who are now flourishing in the wild. They can be seen by visiting the Can Marroig interpretation centre at the natural park which is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30am to 2.30pm.
A&E Under Pressure.
With an increase in residents suffering from infections or respiratory problems or heart conditions coinciding with the start of the summer season, the Emergency and Accident Department of the Can Misses Hospital cannot cope. Lacking space and not able to open the 3rd floor of the hospital for the “overspill” from the Emergency and Accident Department, patients are being treated in passage ways whilst those needing more monitoring and care are being kept in the Emergency and Accident Department cubicles.
West End Field Hospital.
Twelve bars, who are part of the thirty strong “West End Bar Association”, are going to finance a tent based Accident and Emergency unit which will be located at the end of the Calle Santa Agnes in San Antonio. Staffed by nursing professionals from midnight until 5am until the end of September and paid for by the bars, the idea is that the centre will treat all those “partying” in the famous “West End” area of the town who feel worse for wear because of any over indulgence or anybody who suffers from another type of medical problem during a night in the town.
There will be no charge to the patients and it is hoped that it will reduce the pressure on the A and E department at the state run medical centre in the town which reportedly receives around one hundred and eighty people a night in August for treatment for symptoms which the private run centre will now deal with instead. On average it is thought that only three out of every hundred patients will need to be sent to the local hospital after receiving treatment at the new centre. The facility will be well equipped and will also be able to give preliminary help to anyone who falls from the balcony of their hotels while practising the dangerous act of jumping from one balcony to another which seems to have become a new extreme craze.
With the local police, security at the bars and the 24/7 charity organisation receiving first aid training and assisting in helping potential patients to the new centre, there will be less need for ambulances to enter this crowded area.
Whilst thanking the bars for their initiative, the nursing staff at the state run medical centre in the town suggested that without a doctor also on hand, nurses alone could not administer the treatments which were needed. They also said that the tent based Accident and Emergency unit would need a constant supply of ambulances on hand and that these should also be provided by the private sector.
Building On The Increase.
Investment in private building projects in the “Pitiüses” (Ibiza and Formentera) has increased more than anywhere else in the Baleares. Compared with the 24,4 million € invested in the same period last year, this year there has been an investment of 43,7 million €. Most has been in private housing projects followed by investment in the renovation of tourist establishments but there has also been an increase in business premises which has not been seen for many years since the “crisis” started.
2,4 million € will be spent on the new Jesus village by pass of which around 167,000€ will pay for the compulsory purchase of private land to carry out the project. Only a 12m2 warehouse will have to be knocked down to make way for the new road. The focus will be on reducing the speed of the traffic using the road whilst giving the pedestrians and cyclists their own spaces. Gardens will be incorporated in the project as will parking facilities which will all help reduce congestion this growing residential village.
Named after a premature baby born with breathing difficulties on the same day as he was found floating close to death in the sea, “Theo” the five year old “Boba” Turtle was returned healthy to the sea this week. After recuperating from pneumonia and “fattened up” for two months at the Aquarium “Cap Blanc” in San Antonio by biologist Elisa Langley, Theo, the turtle, was electronically tagged and released on Sunday using the marine currents to help him make his way to freedom. The event was witnessed by school children, who have seen Theo whilst on school visits to the aquarium. They watched the release from boats accompanying the trip out to an area of sea classified as part of the coastal natural park. Funnily, it seems that “Theo” had a premonition he was getting his freedom as, all morning before his release, he could be seen swimming “fast “lengths” of the aquarium.
On average the Aquarium treats 7/8 of these protected turtles a year as it one of the few centres classed as a “Centro de Recuperación de Especies Marinas (CREM)” (Marine creature recuperation centre) in Spain. This low figure doesn’t mean turtles are not being injured but it is because the turtle population is declining rapidly and under threat from changes in their natural environment. Theo will have to survive for twenty more years before he can mate for the first time and this slow reproductive rate is not helpful in stabilising the population of turtles.
Rubbish From The Sea.
The Figueretes beach diving centre “Somni Blau” organised a cleaning day of the inshore waters at the beach in the resort with the help of volunteers. 600 kilos of debris was removed and included tyres, slabs of concrete as well as plastics and rubbish discarded by people using the beach.
It is believed that at around midnight, whilst his room mate was asleep in the same room, a 30 year old British tourist fell from the second floor balcony of his hotel as he was sitting on the balcony rail. Suffering a broken elbow and ankle that could need surgical intervention, the man apparently discharged himself after 48 hours to return home to the UK for treatment. Hospital sources suggest that the man was possibly inebriated at the time of the accident.
New Electricity Connection.
Ibiza and Formentera will shortly be connected by an additional electricity cable to help guarantee supply to our smaller sister island as the existing cables are over 30 years old.
Music System Sealed.
After complaints from neighbours and inspections showing that the bar didn’t have the right licenses, this week the local police in San Antonio sealed the music equipment of a bar in the Ses Variades “sunset strip” area of the town. This means that the music equipment cannot be used until the bar in question gets the correct licenses and modifies the music system installation to fit with the law.
High Cost Of Madrid Flights.
Even though there are more connections than ever, press reports suggest that, when booking a ticket fifteen days in advance, flying to and from Madrid this summer is more expensive than ever. Trying to book tickets for the 1st July to 6th July, a local paper reported prices ranging from just under 150- 300€.
Airport Passenger Increase.
The number of passengers using Ibiza airport in May has increased 10,4% on last year. For the first time ever over 600,000 passengers used the terminal at the start of the summer season. All types of passengers increased in number but the best news was that 418,181 were international travellers.
8 police restrain Drug Brit.
On June 1st, the staff at the health centre of San Antonio had to deal with the first episode of violence within the facilities. A drunken tourist, who had probably consumed a trendy new drug – ‘Cannibal’, which pushes consumers to binge-bite compulsively – came to the health centre in a “tremendously aggressive” state. Even though he had been handcuffed to the stretcher and several policemen were keeping him face down, he squirmed and tried to pounce on the nurse. “The police pulled him to the ground and the drunkard managed to bite an officer in the hand, though fortunately he was wearing gloves and it only caused a haematoma” the nurse who witnessed these events, Matilde Fernández, tells us. “They had to call in reinforcements and eventually there were eight officers of the local police,” all engaged on this drunk-drugged tourist’s case.
That same night, a little later, “two others were brought in”. The drunkest of these two had a cut on his forehead. “When I was going to heal him, he gave me a slap and started screaming not to help him. He was super aggressive. He left with an open wound”, added this professional, who fears for the development of this season as it is only starting.
Last year was the first time the health centre staff had security guards to protect them, but “only during the months of July, August and mid-September,” which is why they are asking for surveillance during more months of the year.
Fernández explained that during a normal summer, they get six or seven injured who have been assaulted by young drunken British tourists.
Bad PR for Drug Dealer.
Posing as a PR for a club, a 23 year old man was detained by Police this week on the Arenal Beach in San Antonio for allegedly dealing drugs to tourists. He was caught in possession of sixty two pills and small quantities of other drugs as well as a quantity of self sealing bags supposedly used to distribute drugs. In the same police action other people were detained for minor drug offences and for breaking municipal by laws.
In a police operation called “Open II”, police in Ibiza town apprehended one hundred and thirty one people for drug consumption between the 30th May and the 6th June. The idea of the campaign is to try to prevent the proliferation of small scale drug selling in the town. In the same operation the police detained eight people for drug dealing. One had 200gms of cocaine in his possession and was allegedly selling to people in the port area of Ibiza.
Following our recent report of the Barcelona Cannabis Clubs (Issue 736), it seems the concept has taken root in Ibiza with several clubs now operating on the island under the grey area of legislation. Our inside source said “yeah man, far out, have a toke on this number baby”. No they didn’t, but we thought it would be slightly humorous if we said they did. What they did tell us, in perfectly lucid clarity was that the clubs all require you to join as a member first—you can’t just walk in off the street. They went on to say “On the inside you top up an account with euros which is then later deducted after you receive your ‘gift’. This means that no cash transaction takes place between vender and customer meaning that no ‘deal’ has been made and this is where the technicality of the laws comes into place. I don’t want to say where they are, but for those that want to know it is not difficult to find them. One had 100 members from day one and each pay €30 per month solely for membership. It seems a very lucrative business even before any marijuana is exchanged.”
Our source then invited us to listen to a Pink Floyd album before popping out to the shop for biscuit supplies.
No he didn’t.