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Indiana Jones star honoured at Almeria International Film Festival

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STAR of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Alison Doody took centre stage at the Almeria International Film Festival this week.

The Irish actress, who played lead female character Elsa in the movie, received the Almeria, Land of Cinema Homage Award. She also now has a star on the Almeria city Walk of Fame, which sits alongside those honouring an illustrious list of big names from the world of cinema, among them Omar Sharif, Ridley Scott, Max van Sydow, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Joseph Fiennes, Terry Gilliam, Catherine Deneuve, Brian de Palma and Sophia Loren.

The Alison Doody award coincides with the 30th anniversary of the third saga of the Steven Spielberg-directed blockbuster. Also starring Harrison Ford and Sean Connery, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was partly filmed in the Tabernas desert and Monsul beach in the Cabo de Gata Natural Park, local residents appearing as extras.

The actress, who was just 21 when she appeared in Indiana Jones, said filming in Almeria had been “a magical experience”, describing the province as “a wonderful place.”

She said making the film was “an experience I will never forget, as it is a film which is shown over and over on televisions around the world.”

This Sunday the festival spotlight will be on actress Bo Derek, who first shot to fame in the late 1970s in the comedy romance 10 starring Dudley Moore. Derek is returning to Almeria 18 years after shooting an episode of the TV series Queen of Swords in locations including Texas Hollywood in Tabernas, San Jose in Nijar and the Alcazaba fortification in the provincial capital. She will also be honoured with the Almeria, Land of Cinema Homage Award and her own star on the Walk of Fame.

Emergency services investments in Almeria

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ALMERIA city council announced it will be investing just short of €33,000 euros in 52 bullet and punch-proof vests for its Local Police force.

Economy Councillor Maria Vazquez described the vests as “a basic element of police protection”, saying that added to the approximately 130 vests already supplied to officers there should be a sufficient number to cover the city force’s needs.

Vazquez also said the council would also be investing €310,000 in a new light urban fire engine for the Fire Extinction and Safety Service.

Black Friday fun in Almeria

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ALMERIA council has organized a number of activities to coincide with today’s Black Friday in the city.

City Promotion Councillor Carolina Lafita said to complement the day of discounts and promotions in many of the city’s shops the council aimed to create “an attractive and fun atmosphere”, aimed at encouraging residents to get out and about.

There will be a 1980s-style procession in the city centre at 5pm with a live performance from the VHS Street Band adding to the 80s vibe with music from TV series popular in the decade.

In Plaza Manuel Perez the attraction will be ‘The Great Storm’, a giant inflatable dome, in which a turbine creates a grand storm of colours, and in Plaza del Ecuador there will be a Photocall, where members of the public can have their photo taken.

There will also be various activities in the El Alquián, Nueva Andalucía and La Cañada parts of the city, with bands and minstrels offering music in the streets.

Bird fanciers come together

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CUEVAS del Almanzora was the place to be for bird fanciers last week, hosting the 23rd Andalucia Ornithology Championship.

Organised by the Valle del Almanzora Ornithology Association with the collaboration of the municipal council, the event ran from November 9 to 18, and attracted hundreds of bird enthusiasts from all over the area.

Cuevas Mayor Antonio Fernandez Liria, along with the Andalucia regional government Tourism and Culture delegate Alfredo Valdivia, Sports councillor Miriam Quintana and Valle del Almanzora Ornithology Association President Antonio Sánchez, were among the first to visit the event.

The Mayor praised the association for its “great work and the effort it has been making for years to protect and show the great variety of species which exist.”

Antonio Sanchez commented that the association had been particularly looking forward to this edition of the event, describing it as a “complete success”.

Fun of the Fayre

THE Anglican Church of Costa Almeria and Costa Calida is holdings its Autumn Fayre on Saturday November 24 in Mojacar Playa.

All the fun takes place in the large parking area in front of the seafront promenade, starting at 9.30am.

There will be a whole bunch of stalls, so this is a great opportunity to pick up all sorts of bits and pieces, and even get in some early Christmas shopping.  Entrance is free.

PAWS-PATAS shelter appeal

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PAWS-PATAS is appealing for donations to renovate the charity’s animal shelter after last weekend’s violent storms left it badly damaged.

The charity’s on-site volunteers and other regulars made a stoic and brave attempt at trying to keep the dogs out of the water as the storm raged, moving them into other kennels which were not perfect but at least dry. Meanwhile the road to the shelter was ripped apart and completely disappeared, and the charity says major works will be needed to repair it.

PAWS-PATAS says it now desperately needs money to renovate the shelter, saying even concreting some of the kennels would make a difference.

For more information regarding the shelter and how to donations see www.paws-patas.org/donate.

ILLEGAL ARMS: Man arrested for possessing an unlicenced weapon

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GUARDIA Civil arrested a man on charges of possessing a gun without a licence.

Officers detained the 36-year old in a rural area near to Tabernas after hearing shots.

When they went to investigate where the shots were coming from a vehicle drew up. The driver appeared nervous, and when the Guardia searched the car they found the rifle in the back, along with a cartridge belt with slugs and bullets. The rifle registration number had been scratched out.

On questioning the driver and the passenger who was in the car with him it became clear he did not have a licence to own the gun.

No training required

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THERE are some occupations which are shunned because they are poorly paid or are commission based.

I am sure that some jobs are avoided because of the stigma attached to them. Some occupations are sought after because of the opportunity to boost the meagre salary with tips.

This may be the case for some but not all waiting staff in eateries.

Sub-tropical Spain is host to the most restaurant-minded people in the world. Dining out is a major draw and boost to local economies. Why then is this noble trade downgraded to steerage-class status in terms of service.

Waiting on tables is one of the most physically demanding jobs imaginable. The work calls on a need for tolerance, diplomacy, people skills, stamina, and patience whilst under fire – and at the same time having expertise and product knowledge.

Why then isn’t this type of employment better respected, not just by customers but by those employed in the industry? Self-worth is one of the most rewarding aspects of any job, as is respect. Both face famine conditions in the dining out trades.

Having achieved much as a business doctor, an occupation I held for twenty years, I think the buck for poor standards stops at the boss’s desk. Is it because it is difficult to hire and fire incompetent, rude and even insolent staff that dumb waiters are so common, a word which rings true in more than one sense.

The problem of discourteous waiting on staff has not reached epidemic proportions. However, it is a major fault line that can spoil an expensive evening for many who dine out.

We all know how difficult it can be to attract the attention of staff otherwise who are busy doing things that could wait. None are as blind as those who will not see, as my mother used to say.

On several occasions, having finally attracted a waiter´s attention, the requested bill, without ceremony or word of thanks, has been curtly slapped on the table in front of us.

In truth, we the customers, must take some of the blame. Tips are not and are never presumed to be an unavoidable part of the settlement. Tips should only be given when the service is clearly over and above the call of duty, which unfortunately it rarely is.

I strongly advocate what is known as mystery shopping; I used to be a mystery shopper. Most department stores and auto main dealers profit immensely from engaging mystery shoppers.

Mystery shoppers, or fake customers, complete a carefully pre-thought questionnaire as to their shopping or dining experience afterwards. This ploy enables the employer to see their business through their customer’s eyes. In too many cases, his eyes will widen with horror. A friend in need is a friend indeed; invite associates to shop at your business.

Cracking on with garden plan

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ADRA council is cracking on with its plan to smarten up the municipality’s green areas.

Embellishments and improvements will be carried out in plazas and gardens throughout the municipality, the council said, having started with tree pruning in the Avenida del Mediterraneo and works on the La Alqueria road. There are specific plans for the Puente del Rio and La Curva areas.

Adra Mayor Manuel Cortes took time last week to see how some of the works were progessing, accompanied by the Environment and Treasury councillors Cesar Arroniz y Alicia Heras. According to the mayor the plan represents “a new advance in the process of reinforcing the basic services we are carrying out for the benefit of citizens”, and is aimed at “responding to the needs which present themselves in our municipality.”

The local authority has invested more than €115,000 euros in the plan, taking on five people and acquiring new machinery. The works are expected to last for eight months.

BOWLS: Handicap Triples competition surprises

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THE busy season is well under way at Indalo Bowling Club.

The latest competition, the Drawn Handicap Triples, attracted 22 teams to enter this popular annual event.

In the earlier rounds some of the experienced teams suffered on the shots they had to give the less experienced lower handicap teams. The heavy rain on one of the day’s play also took its toll, with slippery bowls, drenched players and a sodden rink.

After all the keenly fought matches the first semi-final was played by Christine Iwin and her team of Lol Mounteney and Dave Bridges, who were up against the surprise team of newer bowlers Janice Laine and Kay and Henk Van der Veen. It was a very hard fought match and Janice’s team were ahead. But experience came through, and Christine’s team made up a big shot difference in the last few ends and came through the winners. A very exciting match!

The second semi-final was a more even playing field with Alan and Angie Atkinson and Andy Cooper winning a very competitive match against long-time members Tom and Maureen Whithouse and Pam Carter.

The final was a great match with the lead being contested on every end. After some great bowling by both teams, Alan, Angie and Andy showed their resolve and took the match 16 shots to 13 against Dave, Christine and Lol.

Everyone agreed it had been a great competition and thanks went to John Colquhoun, Indalo’s Competition Secretary, for all his hard work.

www.indalobowlingclub.org

HOUSE SIT MATCH: “One of the best businesses I have ever dealt with”

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“FOLLOWING your recent article on Housesitmatch, I contacted them after seeing an article in your paper and I signed up.

My wife and I wanted our sick cat looked after for two months this summer while we were in Scotland on business.

A lovely Welsh couple contacted us via the Housesitmatch web site and they came with great references.

They looked after our house and our cat perfectly while we were away.

I sent a review into Trustpilot where you will find that Housesitmatch is a truly great business run with traditional values by its owner Lamia.

This is one of the best businesses I have ever dealt with and they greatly deserve your newspaper’s support.”

Jim Mackie

New life for Almeria’s fire engines

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VINTAGE fire engines look set to have a new life as a visitor attraction thanks to an agreement between Almeria city council and the Almeria Vintage Vehicles Club.

Almeria Mayor Ramon Fernandez-Pacheco said the two fire trucks, one dating back to the 1940s and the other to the 1960s, were part of the city’s heritage and should be for everyone to enjoy.

Under the agreement the club will restore the two vehicles with a view to them being brought out at various kinds of public events for the public to see.

The two fire engines are currently kept at the Almeria city fire station.

Boogie in Blue

THE 6th annual Boogie in Blue for MACS Cancer Support Group will take place on Saturday November 24.

Join a crazy fitness class to help raise awareness about prostate cancer, and lots of money for MACS.

This year’s theme is Divas & Legends”, and people taking part are invited to dress up as a favourite rock star or just wear something blue.

It’s not necessary to be fit or to be a good dancer: the idea is to dip in and out, or just watch the fun.

The event will be held at Oasis Tropical Hotel in Mojacar Playa from 11.30am. There will be a one-hour long class with some fabulous guest instructors joining, and a great raffle. This event is sponsored by IBEX Insurance.

Tickets are available from Alison getfitmojacar@gmail.com and are 8€, which all goes to MACS.

Night of Eurovision

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THE sounds of Eurovision had hundreds tapping their feet in Adra last weekend.

The Cultural Centre was packed out for the Eurovision Symphonic, a musical tour through the most memorable hits from what is the longest running musical competition in history.

As well as stunning vocal performances, the Ortiz de Villajos Band directed by Francisco Manuel Castilla also made it a night to remember.

Marathon success

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SIX hundred runners took part in the 5th Mojacar Half Marathon and seven-kilometre run held last Sunday, 200 more than last year.

Organized by Mojacar Town Hall in collaboration with the Huercal-Overa Nogalte Athletics Club, this year’s event had a couple of new categories: Joilette adapted wheelchair and rollerblades.

The event attracted runners of various nationalities, with a strong British turn out: there were around 140 rollerbladers from Madrid, Toledo and the Valencian Community, as well as Andalucia.

With Local Police keeping the way clear for the rollerbladers, they zipped round the routes. Alicia Garcia Estevez was first across the finishing line on the seven kilometre course, with a time of 16 minutes, 15 seconds. Edgar Saulinskas was the fastest on rollerblades in the half marathon, with a time of 39 minutes and 57 seconds.

In the Joilette wheelchair section seven kilometres the winner was Angel Murcia García, with an amazing time of 40 minutes.

Pedro Antonio Lopez de Haro from the Nogalte club won the half marathon, covering 21 kilometres in one hour, 11 minutes and 41 seconds, followed by Juan Jose Foulquie Padilla. The best classified local was Pedro Jesus Valdivia Lopez, followed by Ozanne Colin.

In the clubs classification for time, Sur Este, Athletics Club cameo out top followed by Eliocroca Sports Club.

In the seven-kilometre race Roberto Castellon Ortiz from the Tader Molina Sports Club came first with a time of 23 minutes, 35 seconds, followed by Luis Miguel Torroglosa Gonzalez from Puertas Lorca Athletics Club.

Mario VizcaIno Garcia, Laszlo Somogyi and Amalia GonzAlez García were the best classified among the local runners.

Mojacar Sports Councillor Ana Garcia was there throughout all the races to check in person that the whole event went off smoothly and to keep a check on participating numbers.  Afterwards she presented the prizes at the awards ceremony, taking the opportunity to thank all the runners taking part, and the family and friends who has supported them and come to Mojacar for the weekend, with special thanks for the Nogalte Athletics Club, and in particular club Technical Director Juanfra Carrillo.

Travel, cinema and music to empower women

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ADRA council has organized a programme of events aimed at raising awareness about the importance of gender equality to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women on November 23.

Presenting details of the progamme earlier this week accompanied by councillor for Women Elisa Fernandez, Adra Mayor Manuel Cortes, commented, “At Adra council we are aware that gender-based violence is a scourge which we have to fight with education and awareness-raising.”

He said the emphasis this year was on “cultural activities which implicitly carry this message”, adding, “We want to send the message to all Adra men and women, of all ages, that their involvement is necessary when it comes to helping women who are victims of gender-based violence to get out of that drama.”

The Mayor stressed the need to report any incident of abuse against women, stressing, “The administrations have to give protection to victims with guarantees”, in order that they can “take the step of reporting their situation in complete safety.”

He also said that in his opinion “administrations have to continue taking steps to expand the mechanisms of prevention and protection.”

Events to coincide with mark the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women start next Tuesday November 20 with a trip for women to the wine cellars of Ronda in Malaga and Setenil in Cadiz. On the night of Saturday 24 there is a Sole Gimenez concert at the Cultural Centre as part of the jazz singer’s All The Sensitive Men tour, and on Sunday the centre will be screening the film Millenium 4: The Girl in the Spider’s Web starring Claire Foy as a vigilante hacker who proves she can break into the world’s top security systems.

On the day itself there will be several official acts in the town’s Puerta del Mar Plaza, inculdign the reading out of a manifesto against gender-based violence.

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