Sunday, 24 May 2009

Penedès News in English

Local news from Vilanova i la Geltrú, Sitges and the rest of the Gran Penedès.

Gran Penedès

The Institut d’Estudis Pendesencs has celebrated its Festa de la Cultura with official acknowledgements to individuals and organizations for contributing to local culture. This year prizes were given to the Plataforma de la Vegueria Pròpia (cultural promotion), the Sitges Folk Dance association (track record and commitment), the historian Joan Santacana (research) and paint artist María Assumpció Raventós (arts).

On May 18, restaurant owner Oriol Llavina was elected the new embassador of the Xató route (la Ruta del Xató). During the 2009 season (now over) 13.900 portions of this fish sallad have been served at seven xatonades populars and to promote the tradition – shared by the comarques of the Penedès - to tourists, a new web-page has been created.

Enoturisme Penedès, a consortium which puts together theme programs for those who want to explore the Denominació d’Origen Penedès, will start to collect data on how important wine related tourism is to this area.

The radio program “Toc d’Hoquei” by Sergi Sabaté and Marc Pijuan, and with the collaboration of Guillem Carol, has been awarded the innovation prize by 'Radio Associació'. This program on the Catalan dominated sport roller hockey started in the Penedès area but nowadays collaborates with and is being broadcast by 15 radio stations throughout Catalonia and Valencia.


From June 1, the authorities will start to fine those who exceed the variable speed limits on the highways C-31 and C-32, the two roads connecting Garraf with Barcelona. The objective of the variable speed limits is to reduce pollution by evening out the traffic flow.

After 14 months, the road works on C-31 (la carretera de les Costes de Garraf, between Sitges and Castelldefels) have been completed. This curvy road is now safer and has been equipped with several rest points, some of them at scenic locations. However, since you are not any longer allowed to overtake, daily commuters complain that they need more time to reach work in the metropolitan area.

Sant Camil in Ribes, the main hospital of the comarca Garraf, sees a sharp increase of people in its emergency unit due to a growing and ageing population. The average waiting time before a patients sees a doctor is now 45 minutes. To avoid a collapse, from July 1, 15 beds until now reserved for long-term stays will be taken over by the emergency service.

Vilanoví actor Sergi López competed in the International Film Festival of Cannes this year. He plays a wine shop owner in the thriller Mapa dels sons de Tòquio by the Catalan director Isabel Coixet.

Vilanoví Enric Duran has achieved a € 50.000 bail and will be able to leave prison while awaiting his trial. Last year this young man gained international fame for having managed to fake guarantees and take loans of in total € 492.000 in 39 banks and then give all the money to charity.

The renovation works of the façade of the Victor Balaguer Museum in Vilanova will start in July and are planned to be finished in November.

The Festa Major committee (pabordes) of Vilanova has presented its official web-page, designed by Joan Ignasi Gómez.

Actor and director Jordi Picó will be the artistic director of the Teatre Principal of Vilanova, when it re-opens the coming autumn.

The Mossos d’Esquadra have caught a 31 year old foreign citizen in the act during a break-in into a villa. He is suspected to have committed another six burglaries in Sant Pere de Ribes and Olivella during the last three months, since they all follow the same modus operandi.

Recently, there have been many protests against the effects the mobile phone antennas in Roquetes might have on public health and the ajuntament of Ribes has therefore decided to make a plan for their re-location.

The ajuntament of Sitges reassures all citizens that there are not any health risks related to the new crematorium, to be completed in July, and underlines that it is modern installation which meets all environmental standards.

Sitgetana journalist Isabel Gemio has received the Doctor Benaprès prize for the work her foundation does in medical research of muscular dystrophy and other uncommon diseases.

The number of families which receive charity packages from Caritas in Sitges has doubled to 120 in the last few months and its food bank is now below minimum levels. Support from more well-off inhabitants is highly welcome.

Alt Penedès

Through the public company GISA, the Generalitat has opened the tender process for the construction of a new fire station in Vilafranca del Penedès. When the move can take place, the current building will be transformed into Vilafranca’s second public library and a community centre (centre civic).

The Falcons of Vilafranca celebrate their 50th anniversary this year and during the Fires de Maig they organised a well visited ‘Falconcert’, where the traditional falcon music played on gralla was mixed with other instruments and modern arrangements.

Casa Torner Güell has opened as the first five-star hotel of Vilafranca. It has 17 rooms, all uniquely decorated, and belongs to the chain Mercer Hotels. As a tribute to the region, it will only hold produce from the D.O. Penedès in its wine cellar.

Baix Penedès

The ajuntament of Calafell has obtained the € 3 million credit needed in 2009 to renovate the historical town centre and to support the construction of the 2nd phase of the local business park (parc empresarial).

With 300 participants already signed up, la Bisbal has had to cancel a major paint ball fight. There has been a huge political opposition to closing off the town centre and faking a coup d’etat on June 7 since that would coincide with the elections to the European Parliament.

L’Arboç is governed by a nacionalista coalition and on June 13 – as of plan - the title as mayor will be passed over from Joan Plana (CiU) to Carles Ribé (ERC).


The musical puppet theatre ‘En Joan Sense Por’ by the group Egos Petits received the prize as the best performance of La Mostra 2009, Igualada, according to votes of the audience.

To make the hospital of Igualada a calmer place, visit hours will be limited to 13:00-21:00 and there will be a restriction on the number of visitors allowed per room.

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Penedès News in English is a personal compilation of facts from the digital news services Vilanova Digital and Penedès Digital, the pdf-version of l’Extra plus the print versions of the Diari de Vilanova and 7 Dies. All opinions expressed are my own.

Earlier editions can be found under the label Penedès News.

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Technorati tags: Barcelona, Calafell, Catalonia, Festa Major, Garraf, Igualada, Penedès, Sitges,Vilafranca, Vilanova

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