Monday, 3 August 2009

Penedès News in English

From an expat perspective, this week’s most interesting local news item is that the start of August vacations has had a severe impact on the weekend traffic. Here follows a summary of local news from Sitges (comarca: Garraf) and other Penedès towns, starting with the region as a total, followed by local items, presented comarca by comarca, town by town:

Gran Penedès

The Penedès weekend traffic has been heavily impacted by the many people from the Barcelona area who have headed towards destinations along the Costa Daurada. Some of the worst congestions have taken place on the motorway AP-7, where it passes Sant Sadurní d’Anoia and Vilafranca del Penedès. (Punt)

The political parties of Vilanova i la Geltrú have unanimously decided to request for the Generalitat to create a united planning entity (ambit de planejament) for the Penedès area, in line with what has been agreed in the council of the comarca Garraf. Their equivalents of Vilafranca del Penedès went one step further and demand that all items in the territorial plans of Barcelona, Tarragona and Central Catalonia which affect the comarques of the Penedès be put on hold until the new Penedès planning entity has been created. (Punt)(Punt)

The Institute of Penedès Studies is carrying out research in how the aerodrome Santa Oliva (close to el Vendrell) – built by the republicans during the Civil War of Spain - was used. Together with those of Santa Margarida dels Monjos, Sabanell and Pacs-Vilobí it formed it made up the republican side’s aerodrome base and used to be called El Vespre (wasp’s nest) de la Gloriosa. (Punt)


July 27, the Sitges beach les Anquines was temporarily closed off for swimmers until specialists from the police could establish that concrete cylinder, which had been found, was not a bomb. (Punt)

In its recently opened design centre, Sitges has decided to create an incubator for enterprises related to design and film production. With money from the EU Regional Development Funds, the idea is that companies will benefit from sharing common resources. (Punt)

Carme Prat, Sitges councillor of tourism, wants to regularize the market of private apartments for rent. The officially registered apartments add some 1.500 beds to the town’s offer of 5.000 hotel beds, but the real figure is supposed to be much higher. (DdV)

The Festa Major poster of Sitges, designed by Hydra Media, is a picture of Sant Bartolomeu, built up with small photos of folklore activities. Interestingly enough, Vilanova and Vilafranca have used similar techniques in their posters this year. (DdV)

Sant Pere de Ribes based entrepreneur Àlvaro Gassol, manager of the picturesque country house Clos la Plana, has presented a plan for how to transform small scale Garraf wineyards into tourism assets. Above all, local authorities need to allow for accommodation facilities to be constructed in what today is classified as land for agricultural use. (DdV)

There will not be a waste collection strike in Vilanova i la Geltrú from August 3, thanks to a late agreement between the responsible company and its workers. (VD)

A Vilanova businessman who one year ago was accused of having sexually abused two underage girls in his candy story, and who has spent time in provisional prison while awaiting trial, has been acquitted of crime . The accusation seems to have been an attempt to blackmail. I fully agree with Guillem Mercader of the Diari de Vilanova that journalists must report with the assumption that accused people are innocent until the opposite has been proved and that has not been the case for this man. (DdV)

August 1, the casteller team els Bordegassos de Vilanova, managed to assemble and disassemble a torre de 7; a human tower of 7 levels with 2 people per level. They did so for the first time in several years. (EW)

Alt Penedès

The railway infrastructure authority Adif has acknowledged that vibrations and noice from the high speed train TAV/AVE’s passage through Vilafranca del Penedès are above allowed limits and will therefore assume the costs of building a covering roof over the railroad tracks throughout the town centre. (3d8)(Punt)

The Castellers de Vilafranca has launched a campaign to win more support members. Those who sign up above all help the colla (team) to take on new challenges, but are also able to deduct a part of the fee in their annual income declaration and will receive special discounts in some local stores. (PD)

Baix Penedès

July 30, the environmental department of the Generalitat presented its sustainability report related to the planned 170 ha logistic centre CIM Logis Penedès, located in between l’Arboç, Banyeres del Penedès and Sant Jaume dels Domenys. This is being interpreted as a green light for the project, which is expected to generate 5.500 work opportunities when fully operational, but against which there is an active “No fem el CIM” (Let us not build the ‘CIM’) movement. (3d8)(PD)(EW)

On Fridays during the month of August, there will be guided night time visits to the historic fortification Ciutadella Ibèrica in Calafell. (Punt)

From August 3, it will be possible to sign up as a member to the new sports complex Vilarenc Aqua of Calafell. There will be five swimming pools and a 500 square meter fitness area. (Punt)

July 26, the casteller team els Nens del Vendrell, managed to assemble and disassemble a torre de 7; a human tower of 7 levels with 2 people per level. It was the first time they did so in 2009. (PD)


The use of fertilizers in agriculture will have to be reduced in Prats del Rei and Sant Martí Sesgueioles, both in the northern part of Anoia (Alta Segarra), since they are included in a new report on nitrate vulnarability, issued by the Generalitat. (AD)

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The main sources of Penedès News in English are AnoiaDiari·cat (AD), Penedès Digital (PD), El Punt (Punt), El 3 de Vuit (3d8) and Vilanova Digital (VD) and the print version of Diari de Vilanova (DdV). All opinions expressed are my own.

The signature EW signals that I am personally the source of the information presented.

L’Extra (Xtra) is the only news service which treats the Penedès as a united entity but, unfortunately, I find it too hard to work with their new format.

A brief on the political party system of Catalonia can be found here.

Earlier editions can be found under the label Penedès News.

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Technorati tags: Anoia, Barcelona, Calafell, Castellers, Catalonia, Costa Daurada, Expat, Garraf, Human Towers, Penedès, Sant Sadurní, Sitges, el Vendrell, Vilafranca, Vilanova,


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