VOLUNTEERS started in various different Marina Alta towns and villages last Sunday on a well planned rubbish collection trip

 Organised by #Mojate, which arranged similar collection on the beaches, Orba, Benidoleig, Sanet i Negrals, Benimeli, Rafol and Tormos were the bases as they covered fields, roads and paths. However there was so much rubbish scattered around that the group were unable to complete all the proposed route. In the end over half a ton of waste was collected in four hours which was then sorted for recycling where possible. An organiser said that we all play a part “The majority of this rubbish has come from ordinary homes and householders”.

THE l’Alfas del Pi clay pigeon shooting club had a competition last weekend which included a night shoot for the first time

 The event, which was supported by the Sports Department, was held in the Barranc de Devesa and saw 120 people taking part. Winners of the Saturday night run were Gregorio, Miguel and Gelu with the overall award going to Pepe Casiano. Winners on Sunday were once again Miguel and Pepe alongside Emilio.  Clay pigeon shooting involves shooting at flying targets known as “the bird” and, despite the terminology, is not a bloodsport and is also an Olympic discipline

AN accumulation of rubbish and an unpleasant odour are the background for sunbathers on Denia’s Playa Punta del Raset, usually the busiest beach in the town over the summer months

The offending area is a water channel that local residents think has been contaminated by a leaking septic tank.

The area in and around the channel is also full of rubbish with even a shopping trolley lying abandoned in the grass next to the ditch. Thankfully the channel does not run to the sands but the situation is far from ideal at peak season on Denia’s busiest beach. Environment Councillor Maite Perez has said the matter is under investigation.

THE “Weekender” obtained an exclusive interview with staff at an Albir bar on Camino Viejo de Altea who witnessed a serious stabbing incident in the premises last Friday involving two British men.

Editor in Chief Marco Baiardo spoke to Marianne and her aunt who were both working in the establishment at the time of the incident, about 10.30 in the morning.

The incident began when there was a group of six young British men who had been eating breakfast and drinking when there was a dispute about the bill. At this time the 46-year-old suspect, a British expatriate who Marianne described as a regular and never any trouble before, became involved. The argument quickly escalated and the victim, aged 20, was stabbed with a knife and fell to the floor. he was taken by an emergency crew to Marina Baxia Hospital and later transferred to Alicante General Hospital in a critical condition.

Marianne and her aunt spoke of their horror at the attack and how the bar was turned into a crime scene for around an hour and a half. Both women expressed their extreme shock at witnessing the incident and said they were unable to sleep that night, constantly running the event over in their minds. The 46-year-old British national was later arrested the same day by Guardia Civil at his home address in Albir and is remanded in custody awaiting trial.

THE Kaktus Hotel on Playa Albir was the venue for the inaugural International Chess Open which ended last Sunday after running for a week.

Alfaz del Pi was a fitting setting for the event with the town having several notable teams, some of the strongest in the region. The Open had a number of activities and competitions including lightning, simultaneous and triangular versions as well as classic chess.

World renowned grandmasters such as Tigran Petrosian from Armenia and Romanian Mihail Suba, who now lives in Alfaz, attended and took part. There was plenty of activities for younger players and the town’s Sports Department collaborated in the event with the Valencian Chess Federation.

ONGOING police investigations stemming from the seizure of a six ton haul of cocaine on the Costa del Sol in 2018 has led them to a major weapons armoury in Malaga.

They found an AK-47 assault rifle, five Skorpion assault rifles, two semi-automatic pistols, a revolver, four grenades, three silencers and “a lot” of ammunition, all ready for use. These were found in the boot of a car parked in a garage that was linked to one of the gang members.

16 members of the major criminal organisation, which has Dutch connections, were arrested at the time of the original drugs haul and a further four have been charged since, two in Holland, one in Austria and one in Costa Rica, showing the size and reach of the gang. Several million euros worth of property, 1.5 million euros in cash and a fleet of 35 performance cars have also been seized since the huge operation commenced. The cars had been modified to hide drugs and transfer them throughout Europe, say police.

AN increasing number of Spanish youngsters, many with degrees or even masters degrees, are opting to do voluntary work for the European Union rather than enter the job market.

Many are from this part of Spain where youth unemployment is over 20% and what jobs there are out there are often poorly paid, seasonal, or both. They are preferring to sign on to the European Voluntary Service (EVS) which pays for your accommodation, travel costs and expenses in return for your time. There is also a monthly stipend of €200 per month.

The scheme is open to youths aged between 18 and 30 and includes all EU states as well as some non EU countries such as Russia. The work can range from cleaning up the oceans to helping victims of people trafficking. The obvious downside is while many find the work rewarding there is no salary. However many volunteers are hoping that the Spanish economy will continue to recover and, when they finish their volountary work, the job market will have improved.

DENIA and Valencia were two of the eight Spanish cities participating in the first World Tapas Day in Brussels last week.

Denia Tourism helped organise the presence of two top local chefs, Fernando Gonzalez and  Jose Bañuls from El Raset, joined by Mara Baño from the Les Freses bodega. There were cooking displays focusing on tapas, with the El Raset team preparing an octopus salad with pickled fennel, sweet potato and a salsa ronyoses.

The event was well attended by tourist delegations, visitors and journalists and was organised by the Spanish Gastronomic Destinations association of which Denia is a member. Belgium is an important country for tourism to this part of the world, with many Belgians enjoying Spanish food and drink while having a high average spend when on holiday.

FERRY company Balearia has promised to review its routes after numerous complaints from bathers in Denia about the effect of the boat’s wash on the beach area.

 They say that the ferry is coming in closer to the coast than before and the backwash is clouding the water for around 20 minutes, making it unpleasant to bathe in.

The firm have said that they are complying with regulations concerning speed and distance from the shore, although they have altered the ferries course this summer. The worst affected beach is the popular Les Rotes in the south of the Marina Alta town.

A 52 year old man who raped a young Venezuelan woman, saying she could not report him for the attack as she was an illegal immigrant, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison by an Alicante court.

 The prosecution said how the man posted an advert looking for a barmaid in an establishment he was opening in Alicante City. He interviewed the 27 year old woman and told her, after a brief interview, that she could have the job. He then asked her to help him with cleaning the bar. When she returned from buying products for this the man locked the doors and closed the shutters, telling the woman that was required as “the bar did not yet have a licence”.

Bizarrely he then offered to marry the woman, saying it would make her legally resident. When she refused he first told her how his wife had left him and then started inquiring about her own private life. The attack took place after the defendant grabbed the victim by the neck then raped and sexually abused her. The defendant said that he had a knife and would kill her if she screamed, then later made his statement about her rights as an immigrant. Despite the threats she chose to tell the police who arrested the man leading to this weeks trial and conviction. The court also revealed after sentencing that the man had four previous convictions for sexual assault, including a sentence of seven years. He also has a history of violent robbery.