Coastal News99 14-03-2008

‘Double discrimination’ against gay Brits
BRITS and the gay community in Dénia have expressed their outrage after judge Laura Alabau refused to marry yet another homosexual couple.
Despite the law having permitted same-sex weddings since early 2005, Alabau has persistently declined to carry out these nuptials.
Disciplinary action was taken against her after she rejected an application for marriage between two women in the town in 2006, and later between two British male couples.
She was fined 305 euros at the time.
Expatriates branded the decision ‘a double discrimination’.
Turning down the first marriage request, Alabau maintained it was ‘unconstitutional’.
In the case of the British men, the judge refused to perform the vows since same-sex marriage in the full sense is not recognised under UK law.
And in light of her latest decision, gay society Alicante Entiende has called for Alabau to resign. They say it is a case of ‘clear institutional homophobia’ and qualified it as ‘pitiful’ and ‘sad’. This is the fifth application for a same-sex marriage turned down by Alabau.

 


 

Residents call for ‘Green tunnel’ over Oliva bypass
RESIDENTS whose view could be spoiled by the planned Oliva bypass have called for the new road to be tunnelled with a garden on top.

Homeowners on the San Antoni, Tossal Gros and Bellavista urbanisations in Oliva and La Font d’en Carròs have appealed to the ministry of public works.

They want to see a false tunnel over the part of the A-38 that will run past their developments, and a green area with plants over the top of it.

One affected resident says if they do not, the noise will become unbearable when combined with the nearby AP-7 motorway.


 


The Fallas explained
ALL will become clear for expats who are baffled by the Fallas thanks to an exciting new initiative by Dénia’s tourist office.

Guided tours of the brightly-coloured monuments will be given in English and Spanish.

Tour guides will take people round each of the fallas, explaining the history of the festival.

They will also explain what the monuments mean, and decipher the verses in valenciano pinned to them.

These monuments, which are set fire to on the night of March 19 – Saint Joseph’s Day and Fathers’ Day in Spain – are a humorous exposé of current affairs.

Each statue, or falla, portrays a controversial subject, usually a send-up of topical issues in the news at the time.

Verses in the vernacular attached to the fallas give a warts-and-all insight into Valencian people’s views on everything from bird ‘flu to baby cheques, royalty to river-diversions and global warming to genetic engineering.

If you would like to join in this fascinating excursion, head for Dénia tourist office on March 17 and 18 at 11am.

Fire threatens homes

A FOREST fire has wiped out a hectare of countryside close to a residential area.

Witnesses say they saw helicopters soaring above L’Atzúvia, near Pego, in the early hours of Thursday morning as flames billowed out of a pine-forest just metres from the village. It took fire-fighters three hours to put out the blaze, the cause of which is as yet unknown.Emergency services have not ruled out arson.

Web fraudsters arrested over five-figure scams

CUSTOMERS who purchased television sets over the internet and never received them have discovered they were victims of a scam.

Police say they have detained a Spaniard from Aspe who allegedly swindled 1,655 euros out of would-be purchasers.

On the same day, officers in the province arrested a 22-year-old from San Vicente del Raspeig who is accused of defrauding 19,000 euros from a bank using fake car purchase documentation, and a Russian national who lured investors into parting with large sums of cash. Via the website www.perlmasterbank.com, he is said to have sold high-interest instant-access savings accounts – but when customers attempted to withdraw their money, they discovered the accounts did not exist.

Birdnapping investigated

A PIGEON-RACING fan is facing near-ruin thanks to thieves and a German Shepherd dog. José Martínez Mateos, of Bacarot (Alicante) told reporters this week that a bizarre burglary last month at his farm led to the loss of 10,000 euros’ worth of birds.

Around 21 pigeons were taken and have never been recovered.

Martínez Mateos says this is the last straw – in December, a German Shepherd broke into his yard and ate pigeons and ducks valued at more than 3,500 euros.

Police are investigating whether the stolen birds may be in the Cartagena (Murcia) area, with the help of the Pigeon-Racing Associations of Murcia and Alicante.

Competition pigeons are recorded on a central register and a successful prize winning bird can reach up to 300 euros in value.

Pigeon-racing is a popular and long-standing sport in the Comunidad Valenciana, particularly in the province of Valencia.

Expatriates take over Dénia

A SURPRISING two in three residents in Dénia was not born in the town – and more than 20 per cent are foreign. New figures from the National Institute of Statistics show that the influx of expats is growing steadily every year.

At present, 8,771 people living in the town are EU citizens born outside Spain.

Of these, just over a third are German and a fifth are British.

The total expatriate headcount is 13,660.

Almost a quarter of Dénia’s foreigners are Latin American – a total of 3,123 - with Ecuadorians making up the biggest group, followed by Colombians and Argentineans.

Since 1996, the town has seen a demographic boom with over 15,000 new residents on the census. But the British headcount in Dénia nowadays – 1,509 in total – is proportionally lower than a hundred years ago.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Dénia was the home of Spain’s famous raisin trade. Raisins from the moscatel grape were mainly exported to the UK, meaning numerous Brits involved in the business set up home in the town.

Now, they are more attracted by its cosmopolitan nature, buzzing nightlife, lively fiestas, sun-drenched beaches and vast array of international restaurants.

Javea Players’ Easter Parade.

Members and Friends of Javea Players are planning to tuck their hair up under spectacular, possibly outrageous Easter bonnets and enjoy an Easter Parade on bank holiday Monday (March 24). There will be a well stocked bar (of course), live music to dance the afternoon away to, prizes for the best hats – ladies and gents. Things get underway at 2 pm, who knows when they will end. It is at Benimallunt but you will never find your way there without directions which are available from Jennifer Kellow-Ward on 96 648 20 60 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Walter ''Wally'' Bussey, Costa Blanca jazz musician dies


Wally played in the Colin Fraser Quintet at the Presidente Bar in Jávea on the night before he died on Friday 22nd February and, as usual, put his whole heart and soul into the many tunes he interpreted that night.  People have come to love his varied dance and jazz repertoire, played on tenor, alto or soprano saxophones, or on clarinet or flute, not to mention his Louis Armstrong-type singing.   He has been gigging in this area for well over 20 years, even before he came to live in Parcent  in 1987, and has a loyal following of fans of all nationalities.

Over 200 people gathered at the Denia Crematorium on 29th February to celebrate his life and achievements.  His family and friends paid tribute to his multi-facetted life.  He was born in London in 1931 and attended Strand School, but failed to gain his School Certificate and left at 16.  By then he was learning clarinet and his teacher later told him that he had other pupils who wanted to run before they could walk ''but you wanted to fly!''.  He had discovered Charlie Parker and wanted to play like him.  After National Service, he spent time studying in New York with Lennie Tristano, the blind jazz pianist, before returning to London to play in bands and sit in at jazz clubs with the best players of the day (when they'd let him!)

In 1958 he visited Spain for the first time and fell in love with the country, the people and its language, which he started to study when he was working in Barcelona the following year.  As the Beatles started to kill off the old dance band scene, Wally turned his mind to an alternative career and, given the opportunity to teach Spanish to an adult class, found that he really enjoyed it.  He quickly acquired the necessary qualifications to go to Birkbeck College at London University in 1966 and achieved a 2nd class honours BA degree in Spanish in 1969.  He then moved to Gravesend in Kent and taught at a grammar school in Northfleet for the next 15 years.  In 1975 he presented his thesis on the Spanish theatre and was awarded a PhD by London University. 

Because of falling school rolls, he was offered early retirement and moved to Spain with his wife Jenny a few years later.  He has continued his many enthusiasms ever since – music, teaching, learning languages – including Valenciano – and travelling. 

Wally never did anything by halves – he threw himself completely into whatever caught his interest.  In his playing and his teaching (which he continued here in Spain, helping other ex-pats to master the language) he expected others to share his enthusiasm and dedication – often a bit hard for them to live up to – but he inspired many to reach heights that they did not realise they could before.   His death was unexpected and will leave a gap that it will be difficult to fill, but he would be the first to say ''the show must go on!'' 

Jenny wishes to thank Colin Fraser and all the other musicians who came to play at the Casino Bar in Parcent on the night of his funeral.  They gave him a great send-off!  Also to thank all those who donated so generously to a collection in lieu of flowers, which will go to the Birkbeck College Alumni Fund that helps students with their degree courses as necessary – his three years there as a mature student changed his life completely and he wanted to help others achieve the same sort of benefit.  About 500 euros has been received so far.  Jenny and their twin children, James and Louisa, also wholeheartedly thank everyone who has phoned, emailed or written to support them at this time of their sudden loss – it has been a great consolation to know how well-loved and respected he was.

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