Monthly Archives: April 2018

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 25 April 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. Long articles have been summarised. All articles have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to thank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the articles into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find 7 articles with the following titles:

  1. ‘Economic recovery continues’ (page 3)
  2. Hindu temple inaugurated with special ceremony (page 5)
  3. Big Loetje restaurant for Almere (page 23)
  4. Holiday feeling on Almere beaches (page 33)
  5. King’s Day in Almere (page 35)
  6. Modderrun (mudrun) 2018 registration started (page 36)
  7. Roman era at the Natuurbelevingcentrum de Oostvaarders (page 45)

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‘Economic recovery continues’ (Page 3)

By Kirsten Thuis-Woudenberg

ALMERE – The financial statements of the Municipality of 2017 show a positive result of 11.9 million euros. Alderman Mark Pol of economic affairs presented the annual financial report to the municipal council on Thursday. “The annual accounts show that the economic recovery is continuing,” said Pol positively.

Over the past year Grondbedrijf, in particular, generated significant revenue. The sale of building land raised 32.7 million euros. In the crisis years, less construction took place and Almere’s financial position was severely affected. But things have changed, says Pol. “The results are so positive that our reserves have been replenished to the level of 2013, when this council board started.”


Alderman Mark Pol during the presentation of the 2018 budget. (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

The housing market in Almere picked up sharply in 2017. “Land was sold for 1,656 homes”, according to Pol. “That is much more than in recent years. In addition, the number of companies grew by 500. Interest in industrial sites is growing and the vacancy rate of offices has decreased. “The efforts to transform vacant offices into homes or hotels, such as the Strawberry building, are contributing to this.”

Pol expects even more positive figures for land issue next year. “Land issue continues to increase rapidly and land prices are rising. It is already going faster than it was in December of last year. We have to work hard to meet the demand. However, we must remain cautious. In the past we invested in land development even if we didn’t have a direct prospect of selling it. For the future, we should only invest in land issue and in preparing the land if we are certain that we can sell it.”

A less positive result in the accounts was the Youth deficit of 1 million euros. There was also a negative result on waste disposal and processing. “The quantity of residual waste has not fallen as expected, which means that the costs are higher. On the other hand, a smaller proportion of the plastic, metal and drinks cartons collected appears to be recyclable, thus reducing the remuneration for these materials.

A reserve of 4 million euros was released in the accounts, but Pol wants to encourage the new board to keep saving. “In previous years, money had to be added, constantly. The task now is to replenish the reserves. Make hay while the sun shines.”

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Hindu temple inaugurated with special ceremony (page 5)

By Kirsten Thuis-Woudenberg

INDISCHE BUURT – It was a striking scene on Friday 20 April. 108 women dressed in yellow saries formed a procession around The Golden Temple of Shri Vishnu as part of the blessing of the temple. Following performance of various ceremonies and rituals, the Hindu temple at Tempo Doeloestraat 250 was officially inaugurated.

It was six years before the temple was ready. According to spokesman Krish Bahoran, the temple is very special. “This is the first Hindu temple in Flevoland”, says Bahoran. “It is intended that a service will be provided here every Sunday and that special Hindu holidays will be celebrated here.”

According to priest Bramhdath, each of the ten statues of the different gods will be blessed in the next three days. “The images are blessed with mantras. This takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. After that, different rituals are done. The god Ganesh and mother earth are worshipped. After that the 108 women enter the temple. They carry jars on their heads and are dressed in yellow, the favorite color of the god Vishnu. The number 108 stands for the 108 names of all gods. A service is then performed by the priests in the temple.”

The Hindu temple will hold open days from 11.00 to 18.00 on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 April. As part of the opening ceremony, a fortnightly Shri Vishnu ‘puran katha’ will be held from 30 April. This is an Indian religious story-telling custom. It starts at 6 p.m. daily and there is also a daily pooja, the ritual by which Hindus venerate a deity, Parvachan and Aarti, and high-placed priests. There is an opportunity for everyone to offer persaad and daan. For more information, please visit www.shrivishnumandir.nl or call 036-5217600.

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Big Loetje restaurant for Almere (page 23)

STAD – The famous steak restaurant, Loetje, will have a restaurant in Almere. This was reported on the website Vastgoedmarkt.nl last Monday. The restaurant will be located in the currently empty Martinez tower, which is currently being converted into a leisure building. It will also house the new Hotel Plaza.

Trinity Vastgoed I has entered into a lease agreement with Loetje Groep for 840 square metres of restaurant space and 265 square metres of partly covered outdoor terrace in the Martinez building at Mandelaplein 1. The property has an area of 20,000 square meter and is 80 meters high. An immediate neighbor of the NS Station at Almere Center, it is being redeveloped into a multifunctional building housing a 222 room hotel, 141 short-stay apartments, a fitness club, business lounge and a limited number of office suites.

The hotel and the short-stay apartments have already been rented out to the Plaza Hotel group in Heilbronn Germany. Completion is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2018.

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Holiday feeling on Almere beaches (page 33)

ALMERE – Almere has a coastline of 42 kilometers and the largest catamaran beach in Europe. A long coastline means lots of pleasant beaches where everyone can play, relax and swim. Many beaches are equipped with a welcoming restaurant or cafe. An ice cream vendor regularly passes, offering refreshing ice creams. Most of the beaches in Almere are equipped with toilets and showers.

The ten Almere beaches are free of charge for young and old.

Haven surf beach

The surfing beach at Haven is located next to the Haven beach, which offers views over the Gooimeer and towards Huizen. Haven surf beach is very suitable for watersport activities. The beach has parking facilities.

Duin beach baths

The Duin beach bath is on the south side of the yacht marina. Here children can romp, run and swim. The beach can be reached via the ferry or a walkway. Near the beach is a playground with a tree stump route through the reeds, a panna field (soccer), swim rafts and a water playground. Children can also play with the super-mikado. The beach has a large fireplace with benches around it and admission to the beach is free.

Noorderplassenstrand

The Noorderplassenstrand is located behind the Hogering on the edge of Waterwijk. It has toilet facilities.

Atlantis beach

Atlantis beach is located at the Archerpad on Weerwater. The lawn at Atlantis beach offers a beautiful view of the skyline of Almere. The beach is suitable for various water sports.

‘t Hoofstrand

This beach is located on the Noorderplassen. It has toilet facilities. The beach is very suitable for water sports.

Almere Haven Beach

The beach at Almere Haven is a sandy beach, located on the outskirts of Almere Haven. It is adjacent to the Strandweg and the Sluiskade. The beach offers views over the Gooimeer where, on a good day, many windsurfers are to be seen. There is ample parking at the beach as well as toilets and outdoor showers. The beach is suitable for families and children. Strandbrasserie  De Jutter is located on this beach.

Almeerderstrand

Situated on the IJmeer, this is a large beach. Visitors can choose to sit on the sand or on grass. Strandpaviljoen Poort Dok, Marina Muiderzand and HarbourHouse restaurant are all located here.

Stedenwijkstrand

The Stedenwijkstrand beach is located in Almere city near Hengelostraat/Oeverpromenade. The beach offers views over the Weerwater. The center of Almere is a 5 minute  walk from here. Toilet facilities are available.

Lumiérestrand

Lumiérestrand is located in Filmwijk between the Lumiérepad and the Fellinilaan.

Fantasiestrand

Fantasiestrand is located behind Oorweg/Bergsmapad, on Weerwater. The beach offers a beautiful view of the skyline of Almere. The beach is suitable for a variety of water sports.

For more information, please visit www.vvvalmere.nl

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King’s Day in Almere (page 35)

ALMERE – The King’s Day Holiday Festival in Almere starts on Thursday evening, 26 April, and continues until Friday evening on 27 April. There are free markets and musical activities in many places.

Anyone can sell items at the free markets in a number of streets and squares in the centers of Almere City, Buiten, Haven and Poort. The free market starts in Almere City and Almere Buiten on Thursday evening 26 April at 17.00 and lasts until Friday 27 April at 17.00. In Almere Poort (Cascade Park near Het Klokhuis), Lumière Park in Filmwijk and Almere Haven, the free markets will take place on King’s Day itself.

It is not permitted to reserve spots for stalls with tape or paint. It is allowed to set up in front of a shop, if it is not open during King’s Day. Shops that are open can be recognized by the posters. An overview of the free market areas can be found on almere.nl/koningsdag.

Come by public transport, or by bike

The city centers are easily accessible by public transport. Bicycles can be parked in the covered bicycle parking facilities within walking distance of the free market. Cars can be parked in parking garages and car parks in the centers of Almere. Please note that cars parked in the free market zones and access roads will be towed away. In Almere Buiten stopping and parking on the Equator is not allowed.

Music

Amplified music is only allowed in the area of the commercial market. It may not be played louder than 70 decibels. In the free market area un-amplified music is permitted. No music or noise is allowed at night between 00:00 and 07:00.

Food and drink sales

For food safety reasons, no (homemade) food or drink may be sold on the free market. The use or sale of gas cylinders is also not permitted on the free market. Retailers are allowed to sell food and drink if they normally also sell these products in their shop. Only the hotel and catering industry are allowed to sell alcoholic beverages, on their own terrace or in their premises. The sale and serving of alcohol is prohibited in the free market areas.

Commercial market

There is a commercial market on the Stadhuisplein in Almere Centrum.

Cleaning and enforcement

Didn’t sell all your stuff? Then take it home again, donate it to the recycling shop or take it to the recycling platform. The recycling platforms are open from 09.00 to 17.00 on Saturday 28 April. The platforms can be found at Vlotbrugweg 36 (Almere Buiten), Argonweg 81 (Almere Poort) and De Steiger 113 (Almere Haven). Locations of recycling shops are listed on recycling platform.nl/kringloopwinkels-flevoland. Empty packaging and other waste can be placed in the containers at the free markets.

More information: almere.nl /koningsdag.

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Modderrun (mudrun) 2018 registration started (page 36)  

ALMERE – Young families, sports enthusiasts and disabled athletes can once again compete with each other and the elements during the weekend of 5, 6 and 7 October in the Modderrun (mudrun) 2018. Early bird registration started last week.

The obstacle course of 3, 6, 9 or 12 kilometers leads through the forests of Stadslandgoed de Kemphaan. The participants have to overcome 14 to 28 obstacles on the course. Such obstacle-runs have become very popular, worldwide, in recent years. And now the first annual mud-run in Almere is also on the agenda.

“Obstacles can include high walls to climb over, mud basins to crawl through and ditches to wade through”, says Ed Bergman, the designer and builder of the obstacles.


Young families do the mudrun together. (Photo: supplied)

On Saturday the course will host participants from 12-16 years and 16+ years. With courses of 6, 9 and 12 kilometers, this is a big challenge for even the most fanatical athletes. On Sunday the course is for young children with their parents and it’s a family day. Especially for this target group, a shorter track of 3 kilometers will be constructed. Sunday morning is an important day for the organizers, with the first starting group being for intellectually challenged athletes.

Early Bird registrations have started. After 1 June the entrance tickets will be increased in price. For more information, please visit www.modderrun.nl .

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Roman era at the Natuurbelevingcentrum de Oostvaarders (page 45)

(Oostvaarders nature center)

OOSTVAARDERSPLASSEN – Roman history will be the central theme throughout the country during the National Roman Week, from Saturday 28 April to Sunday 6 May,  Both young and old can also get to know the Roman history of the Netherlands in a creative way, in Flevoland.

In Natuurbelevingcentrum de Oostvaarders, at Oostvaardersbosplaats 1, there will be objects from the Roman era on display. For children up to 12 years there is a treasure hunt map  on sale for 1 euro.

The theme of Roman Week is ‘Mobility’. The Roman presence in the Low Countries brought four centuries of peace and stability. As a result, there was plenty of movement along and across the limes, the border of the Roman Empire. For the first time, a large number of travelers were able to cover large distances safely, via roads, rivers and the sea. Traders, civil servants, soldiers were all on the road. In order to make a profit, to exercise their office or to reach their place of military occupation. From North African commanders to Frisian traders, from emperors to Batavian relief forces, the Low Countries were a meeting place for people of all kinds. Moreover, there was not only a lot of physical movement. Some provincials also went a long way in amassing a great deal of wealth.

About National Roman Week

Together with dozens of museums and archaeological and historical organizations, RomeinenNU puts this special period in our history at the heart of the National Roman Week every year.

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Note: All of the above articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition April 25, 2018. They were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.n

http://www.internationalalmere.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Logo-Courtesie.png

 

Special Dutch Days – King’s Day, Dodenherdenking and Bevrijdingsdag

At the end of April and the beginning of May three typical Dutch events take place every year. I noticed that these events often raise questions to internationals living in the Netherlands. If properly explained, internationals can more easily relate to the Dutch behavior during these days. Understanding the customs and rituals also helps to emotionally connect with the Dutch during these days and take part in the celebrations. I therefore will try to bring some clarity on the meaning of these events to the Dutch and  explain some of the customs, habits and rituals that can be seen during these events.

Continue reading Special Dutch Days – King’s Day, Dodenherdenking and Bevrijdingsdag

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 18 April 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. Long articles have been summarised. All articles have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to thank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the articles into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl . The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find 10 articles with the following titles:

  1. Beautiful Regenboogbuurt cherry blossoms attract tourists (page 3)
  2. Plan to ‘roof’ A6 with solar panels (page 5)
  3. Another place for LGBT youth in Almere (page 7)
  4. Oostvaardersplassen sets political market agenda (page 7)
  5. ‘The sum of minorities is a majority: that is democracy.’ (page 9)
  6. Electric city buses fit green and healthy city (page 12)
  7. Help fight giant hogweed (page 23)
  8. Almere Kaylee (15) in The Voice Kids final (page 27)
  9. Bright ideas hub’ will generate interest in science and technology. (page 29)
  10. Aeres University of Applied Sciences signs collaboration with Chinese university (page 33)

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Beautiful Regenboogbuurt cherry blossoms attract tourists (page 3)

REGENBOOGBUURT – The blossoming Japanese cherry trees along the Spectrumdreef are proving to be particularly photogenic at the moment. Last week countless (amateur) photographers seized the opportunity to shoot pictures along the seven hundred meter long footpath under the trees.

There were posing photo models, children in tiny bridal dresses and even many horse riders, posing with their horses under the blossoms. According to local residents, the blossom path was used as a location by countless horse photographers last week. A photographer from Delft said that news of the blossom path communicates through the equestrian world like wildfire. Photographers even come to Almere from across the national borders. The cherry blossom path also gains popularity from being so easily visible. Japanese cherry trees are also located elsewhere Almere, such as along the Strawinskypad in Muziekwijk. Those wanting to be immortalized among the cherry trees on film must be quick however, as the blossoms are already starting to fall.

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Plan to ‘roof’ A6 with solar panels (page 5)

Double-layer open-grade asphalt coming

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – “A plan has been submitted to partially cover the A6 with solar panels”, said Remko Schnieders, Municipal Floriade Program Director, during last Thursday’s Political Market. “There is a limitation – it must not become a tunnel.”

The political parties were considering a proposal from the council to install the double-layer asphalt (ZOAB) on part of the A6 near the Floriade and Filmwijk districts. The ZOAB must be ordered before May 1st, otherwise it will only be laid in 2025.

The ZOAB must be installed, otherwise there will be too much noise from the A6 in the Floriade district and Filmwijk. There are also plans to raise the land along the A6 before the noise barrier is erected. “The market party that will build the district is already in sight’, said Schnieders.

Research

The idea of a soundproofing system using solar panels was well received by the council. Schnieders briefly showed a picture of the project,  “But that’s not how it will be, because a tunnel is not an option”. Meanwhile, this newspaper has been able to trace other photos of the project. “There are too many regulations and safety aspects attached to a tunnel”, says Schnieders. D66, the VVD and GroenLinks were charmed by the solar panel plan. “It certainly deserves further investigation.”

Diffractors

It seems that the council will agree to make EUR 3.4 million available from the double-layer ZOAB budget. Consideration is also being given to installing diffractors along the A6 motorway. “They will reflect the sound. This will benefit the Floriade, Filmwijk and Haven districts”, says Schnieders. It is not yet known what the cost of the noise protection measure will be. Here too, market players will have to get financially involved. The council will further discuss noise protection measures for the A6 motorway at the coming Political Market.

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Another place for LGBT youth in Almere (page 7)

By Hestia Ruben

ALMERE –  The Diversity group for Lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT) and ‘open minded’ young people has been open for a month. This weekly, walk-in evening organized by the youth support organization of the De Schoor foundation is for young people aged 12 to 27 who want to talk about their sexual orientation and ‘getting out of the closet’, in a relaxed environment.

In the lead-up to setting up these evenings, youth workers Suleika El Mhassani and Linda de Vries had discussions with many organizations and schools. Is there a need for it? Is there already something similar in Almere for young LGBT people? Suleika: “There wasn’t. We now have a WhatsApp group of about eighteen young people coming to the Diversity Walk-in. We want young people in Almere to develop and thrive, and if we can facilitate that we will do so.”

A safe place

“From our work among the youth , we noticed that young people need a ‘diversity walk-in’ like this. A place where they can be themselves, meet others and exchange experiences. A safe place”, says Suleika. But it’s also a place to do fun things together. Says Linda, “What they want to do on these evenings is something they decide for themselves. Where necessary, we facilitate. In any case, there is always one of us present and we participate in whatever the young people choose to do. We’ve already had a karaoke evening and a dance evening, but also a meeting where we’ve exchanged stories in a circle. Whether the young people want to say something about their feelings or orientation is up to them, it is very open.”

If young people have specific questions about transition Linda and Suleika refer them to a partner organization. “Many organizations in Almere recognize the importance of this and want to work together. They may then visit us, to tell us more about a particular subject. We may also link young people together. Someone who has just started going into transition can benefit a lot from the experiences of someone who has already made more progress in this area. Young people actually work best among each other. If they need other questions or support, we are there for them.”

The walk-in evening for open minded and LGBT youth is every Wednesday from 19:00 to 21:00. The location is only known to youngsters who register in advance with Suleika El Mhassani (elmhassani@deschoor.nl/06-43106797) or Linda de Vries (devries@deschoor.nl/06-34213097).

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Oostvaardersplassen sets political market agenda (page 7)

By Marcel Beijer

ALMERE – The first real Political Market of the new municipal council was to a large extent dominated by the issue of the Oostvaardersplassen. Plans to transform this nature reserve into the Nieuw Land National Park were discussed, though the issue of malnutrition among the large herbivores was also raised.

Most attention went, indeed, to the agenda item placed by the PVV (freedom) political party. The party wants the municipal council to urge the province and Bosbeheer (national parks) to prevent further animal suffering in the Oostvaardersplassen. Six contributors, also from outside Almere, seized the opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with the situation in the Oostvaardersplassen. Alderman Frits Huis said he was concerned about the suffering of the animals, but could not satisfy the concerns of the PVV or the speakers from the floor.  “The responsibility for the Oostvaardersplassen lies with the province and Staatsbosbeheer. Almere has no say in this matter. You might just as well have spoken to the municipalities of Aalsmeer, or Maarssen.

The Partij voor de Dieren (animals), ChristenUnie and PvdA (labor) accused the PVV of wanting to score political points on the issue of Oostvaardersplassen  “A few years ago we had the opportunity to connect the area with other nature reserves in the country”, said Leonie Vestering (PvdD) and Leida Höhle (PvdA), but then the PVV voted against that. Is the PVV prepared to remove the fences around the Oostvaardersplassen?

“Those fences can stay”, PVV council member Chris Jansen responded. You can also stabilize the number of large herbivores at 1000 animals, for example. We simply want Almere to give its opinion on this matter. The PVV will put the motion to the vote next week. It does not look like the motion will get a majority. Most parties would like to await the report of the Van Geel Commission. On 25 April this commission will issue an opinion on the future management of the Oostvaardersplassen.

National Park

Earlier in the evening there was talk of the transformation of the Oostvaardersplassen into Nieuw Land National Park. The area must be made more attractive so as to attract between 250 000 and 500 000 tourists each year. In Almere an attractive entrance to the area near the Grote Vaartweg, which now has the working name ‘Almeerse Poort’, must then be created. However, this name will probably fall away. Councilor Mark de Kuster (VVD) indicated that it could lead to confusion with the Almere Poort district among tourists. Alderman Frits Huis agreed. “Maybe we should organize a competition for a better name”, he suggested. Most of the parties seemed to agree with the development of the area. Leonie Vestering (Partij voor de Dieren) did, however, express her dissatisfaction with the fact that the nature reserve is being commercialized. “Why is it necessary to make money from vulnerable nature. We should rather focus on the welfare of the animals before we start commercializing the park.”

The municipality will invest  9 million euros in the new access area, with 4.1 million euros coming from Staatsbosbeheer.  The municipal council will shortly be discussing this in further detail.

Quiet protest

The roughly 200 activists who once again demonstrated on Sunday afternoon against the management of the Oostvaardersplassen remained peaceful. Initially, there was a threat to remove a number of animals from the area with trailers, but that did not happen.

A cross was placed at the provincial council’s offices in Lelystad, in memory of the animals who had died in the area. A number of demonstrators managed to place white crosses and a coffin in the area. These were immediately removed by Staatsbosbeheer (national parks). There was no need for the police to take action. However, motorcycle police did provide assistance when a funeral procession of cars drove slowly along the A6 motorway. Roadblocks had been placed around the area to prevent the demonstrators from actually driving trailers into the area.

Six speakers, some from outside Almere, seized the opportunity to address a meeting on Thursday to express their dissatisfaction with the situation in the Oostvaardersplassen.

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Jan Dirk Pruim, Almere Municipal Clerk

‘The sum of minorities is a majority: that is democracy.’ (page 9)

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – During council meetings Jan Dirk Pruim always sits next to the chair, mayor Franc Weerwind. This makes him visible. Furthermore, he often acts behind the scenes in the town hall. “I make sure that the ballroom is in order, that the music and the dance cards are arranged, so that the dancing can take place,” says Pruim, explaining the nature of his role. In other words, thanks to his work as the clerk, the board and the municipal council can do a good job.

“Perhaps that’s stating it a bit strongly”, the modest clerk shakes his head. “But it is true that I try to streamline everything for the town council as much as possible.” The members of the Council regard Pruim almost as a confidant. “They do often come to me when they need advice, or someone to talk to. They elaborate on things, want to know if they have written a motion properly. I can see whether everything is according to the rules, but I can also provide them with information they have not yet thought of. I often bring them into contact with civil society organizations, from which they can learn a lot.”

Since taking up his duties in 2002, the Almere town clerk has been able to give his own interpretation of his profession. In other cities, the clerk merely produces meeting minutes. In Almere, the clerk is much more than a secretary to a meeting. He is also mentor and mainstay.

Tanker

Now that the new municipal council has been installed, a busy time faces the clerk. “New councilors must learn how to write and submit a motion. Which is where I can help them. They need to get to know the road in town hall and then do a good job.” A pitfall for the new councilors is that they sometimes think ‘now we are going to do everything completely differently’. That’s fine”, Plum says, “but it’s indeed a pitfall. Council members do politics alongside their work and family life. There are limits to this. The municipality (politics) is actually a supertanker that you can only turn gradually. You can’t suddenly do a u-turn with a tanker. I point this out to the councilors. And I also remind myself that I work for people who do this part time”.

Listening

The clerk believes strongly in democracy. “But democracy is never perfect. It is an organic process. A perfect democracy would be a dictatorship of democracy.” Pruim emphasizes the importance of listening carefully to each other. “The essence is that a majority is always the sum of minorities. This means that we have to govern the city together. You should never be steered by a minority. I cannot emphasize this enough. There must be cooperation between the parties.”

Writer

The Dutch word ‘griffier’ (clerk) is derived from the Greek word ‘graphein’ which means ‘writing’. Pruim is also literally a writer. He has published a book titled ‘Hoe en wat voor de raadslid’ (a how-to for councilors). “I wrote this in practice for interested citizens, for starting members of councils, but also for experienced ones. It’s a book to be used in political work, but also a book to be used in discussions about the future of (local) democracy,” says Pruim. In 2010 the first edition appeared, and in 2018 the second, revised, edition.

Pruim is also known in politics in the Netherlands for his blog www.pruimpraat.nl. “I do indeed like to write” says Pruim. “I publish observations and thoughts about the current state of local politics in my blog.”.

Jan Dirk Pruim is also known as the conscience of local democracy. “Well,” he reacts shaking his head, “that’s saying a lot”. After a little thought he adds, “Well, maybe it’s a little bit like that”.

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Electric city buses fit green and healthy city (page 12)

ALMERE – The City of Almere has recently taken a trip in allGo’s 100 percent electric city bus. Alderman Tjeerd Herrema: “We are pleased that electric city buses are now also being used here, because it fits in with our ambition to be a green and healthy city. And this special Growing Green Cities bus is a fun element in the run-up to the Floriade in 2022.”

The Growing Green Cities bus is used on line M7. This bus carries a mobile message for Almere and its visitors: the Floriade is coming – and we are going to live increasingly sustainable lives. “This mobile advertising is extremely suitable for reaching people in Almere and helps them think about and work on the development of Almere as a green and healthy city. The bus focuses attention on greener thinking and on the important themes surrounding the coming Floriade”, says allGo.

Unusual design

One of the seven electric buses in Almere looks different. The municipality gave permission for a bus with a different design. The city of Almere took care of the design, while Keolis Nederland implemented it. The idea for a bus with a sustainable theme stems from an offer made by Keolis Nederland (which provides bus transport in Almere under the allGo brand) during the public tender.

Help fight giant hogweed

VROEGE VOGELBOS – Sheep are being used to combat giant hogweed In the Vroege Vogelbos. But where sheep cannot go, help is needed. So volunteers will join the battle on Thursday  April 19th, from 6pm to 9pm.

The City & Nature sheep herd loves giant hogweed. If the sheep eat the leaves and stems before the plant has blossomed, this limits the weed’s proliferation.

The objective is to cut down each giant hogweed two to three times throughout the Vroege Vogelbos, to prevent it from blossoming. Here and there the plant is removed with its roots. This requires many helping hands, so your neighbors and family are also welcome!

Volunteers are asked to register via the website of Stad & Natuur, to ensure enough equipment is available. The giant hogweed battle is fought on Thursday evenings, on 19 April, 17 May, 21 June and 19 July, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.  The evenings will be supervised by ‘Landschapsbeheer Flevoland’, commissioned by Stad & Natuur. Guidance, equipment, gloves, coffee and tea will be provided.

To register and for more information: www.stadennatuur.nl.

Almere Kaylee (15) in The Voice Kids final (page 27)

ALMERE – Next Friday Almere’s Kaylee Landegent (15) will be featured in the final of The Voice Kids, the talent contest for children aged 8 to 15 that is held every Friday evening at 8.30 pm on RTL 4.

Kaylee attends the Arte College (class 4, vmbo) and is very interested in news. She regularly helps out this newspaper. But the young Almere girl also has a golden voice – without a doubt! It’s been a process for Kaylee on her way to the final. The show consists of several phases: a production audition and the all-important ‘blind auditions’, where four jury members (Marco Borsato, Ilse deLange, Douwe Bob and Ali B) form teams on the basis of the voices they hear. Kaylee sang Faith Hill’s song ‘There you’ll be’ and won over all the jury members. She chose Douwe Bob’s team.

Battles

During the ‘battles’, each coach links three talents who have to battle against each other by singing a song chosen by their coach. Only one talented singer can survive each battle. The coach decides who that will be. In the battle broadcast on 30 March Kaylee won the sing-off, singing Sam Smith’s song, ‘Too good at Goodbyes’.

Sing-off

During the sing off on 13 April, all candidates had to sing a song from the audition. Only one act is chosen, per team, to go to the finals. Kaylee competed against the other three battle winners in Team Douwe Bob and the young Almere girl was again the best. Douwe Bob chose Kaylee to represent his team at The Voice Kids Live Finale next Friday.

In the final the talents sing songs chosen in consultation with their coach. The winner of The Voice Kids 2018 will be elected by the home TV audience, using televoting.

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Bright ideas hub’ will generate interest in science and technology. (page 29)

ALMERE – Shell and Stad&Natuur Almere are joining forces to introduce primary school pupils from the region to science and technology in a fun way. The official opening of the ‘bright ideas hub’ took place last Wednesday

From 2020 onwards, science and technology will become compulsory subjects in Dutch primary school education. To support schools in this, Shell and its partners have worked with teachers and students to develop the Bright Ideas Challenge. This will challenge students to find solutions to global challenges in the fields of energy, water and food.

By participating in the challenge, which consists of an online teaching package and a class visit to the hub, young people will come into contact with science and technology in an interactive and investigative way. This will help them discover that they can come up with all kinds of smart ideas themselves – ideas that could make a positive contribution to their own – and everyone’s – future.

Schools from all over the Netherlands can participate until the end of April. Then a jury of experts will select the three best ideas nationally and will award the prize at the Generation Discover Festival in The Hague, in October.

Visitors welcome

Up to 20 April nearly 700 primary school pupils from the region will visit the hub and Het Klokhuis. Curious about this futuristic dome? During school hours the hub is reserved for school classes, but outside these times all visitors are welcome.

Register via brightideas.generationdiscover.nl.

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Aeres University of Applied Sciences signs collaboration with Chinese university   (page 33)

CITY CENTER- Aeres University of Applied Sciences will collaborate with the Chinese Zhongkai University in the field of research and education. Both universities have committed to this in a letter of intent, signed in Guangzhou last week. This happened during a trade mission organized by the Dutch government.

Zhongkai University and Aeres University of Applied Sciences are both knowledge institutions with a strong specialization in green education. Both universities also have a wide range of collaborative topics in mind, which they will now explore and further develop. The schools will exchange students and staff and implement joint educational programs.

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Note: All of the above articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition April 18, 2018. They were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 11 April 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. Long articles have been summarised. All articles have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to thank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the articles into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl . The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find 8 articles with the following titles:

  1. Flights to Lelystad Airport not over Almere (page 3)
  2. Poort Residents erect Poort Platform (page 7)
  3. Open days at new Hindu temple (page 19)
  4. Three venues for a musical King’s Day (and King’s Day eve) (page 23)
  5. Flevoland sees strong growth in tourism (page 29)
  6. ‘Premier league’ sailing (Eredivisie Zeilen) (page 35)
  7. Living Water lab (page 35)
  8. Blue parking zones around center extended (page 41)

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Flights to Lelystad Airport not over Almere (page 3)

by Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – “None of the departure or landing routes from Lelystad Airport lie above Almere”, says Jurgen van Avermaete of Air Traffic Control Netherlands (LVNL) at Schiphol Airport. This negates statements made by ‘aviation journalist’ John Assman in this newspaper last week. The published map is also definitely not correct, according to Van Avermaete. “The routes shown just aren’t right”.

Van Avermaete indicates maps showing the correct routes. “The local flight routes, the so-called B+ route, and the final route design from the connecting routes to higher-altitude airspace can be seen. Almere just doesn’t appear here.

“Landing traffic flies to one of the starting points of the local approach routes. These starting points are located near Steenwijk or Lemelerveld. The aircraft then follows the local flight route, the continuous, blue line on the map”, Avermaete explains. “When landing in a north-easterly direction, the aircraft descends in a south-westerly direction until it passes Zeewolde and then turns towards the airport. The planes therefore turn before they reach the A27. The motorway forms the border of Almere. So the planes do fly over the Zeewolde part of Oosterwold, but not over Almere.”

Number of flights

“Lelystad Airport will grow by up to 10,000 aircraft movements per year until 2023, which is an average of 28 movements per day”, says Avermaete, “14 aircraft taking off and 14 aircraft landings. The latter approach Almere, but turn before the A27. The departing aircraft depart in a north-easterly direction from Lelystad. So they are far from Almere. Departing planes make more noise than those descending. So aircraft taking off will not cause any disturbance at all in Almere.”

Altitudes

Flights above Knardijk take place at an altitude of 900 meters. The descent to the A27 is to 500 meters. Then the planes turn towards Lelystad. “Incidentally, the landing route from Almere is used approximately 40 percent of the time, depending on the direction of the wind”, says Van Avermaete.

The aircraft fly beneath the air traffic to and from Schiphol Airport.

(Netherlands Air Traffic Control schematic depiction of landing and take-off routes at Lelystad Airport. Photo: LVNL – Netherlands Air Traffic Control)

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Poort Residents erect Poort Platform (page 7)

By Dominique Voss

POORT – Residents of Poort want to contribute ideas about the future of their neighborhood. Which is why some twenty Poort residents went from door to door in November to collect signatures for the establishment of a citizens’ platform. The kick-off was last Tuesday, at a walk-in meeting in Sterrenschool De Ruimte. “Together we’ll make Poort a better neighborhood”, said one of the initiators, Ernest van der Linden.

The Platform will meet a few times per year to discuss a number of general themes, such as safety, green and facilities. “You can come up with your own proposals and ideas, but you don’t have to. You are also not obliged to show up every time”, says Van der Linden. During the walk-in meeting residents were able to indicate per theme which topics they considered important. At the end of the evening the board was filled with post-it notes and stickers. Residents could also register to become members of the platform. This was done by more than sixty Poort residents. “Really great”, said Van der Linden, “The more people, the better”.

This is not the first time that residents of Poort have taken action. For example, a number of them founded Friends of CascadePark in 2012. Some, therefore, had doubts about the platform. “We’ve talked to the municipality so many times and every time it turned out to be a disappointment for us. I don’t really believe in it anymore”, one resident explained. He is glad that residents of Poort continue to be involved though. “I want to see progress first, then perhaps I’ll join”.

Municipal elections

Voter turnout at the municipal elections was at its lowest in Poort and this confirms the view that many Poort residents do not feel that their voices are being heard. “It is precisely for this reason that the PoortPlatform is desperately needed”, Van der Linden emphasized. “By working well together, we can find solutions.”

Alderman Tjeerd Herrema said on Tuesday evening that the municipality has a great interest in the establishment of the PoortPlatform. “We would be crazy not to do anything with this. Poort is still developing robustly, but there are also already quite a lot of people living there. A good idea on paper is not necessarily a good idea for the neighborhood. That calls for a different approach.”

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Three venues for a musical King’s Day (and King’s Day eve) (page 23)

CITY CENTRE – The musical program on King’s Day eve (and King’s Day) has been greatly expanded this year. There will be three stages in the Almere city center: at the Grote Markt, the Stadhuisplein and the Belfort restaurant square.

Now a King’s Day eve tradition, the annual ‘Tweak Kingsnight Dance’ is a big dance party, with DJs presenting the best dance hits at the Grote Markt from 19.00 to 24.00. DJs Kai and Antonio Loren will once again have the whole square up and dancing.

New this year on King’s Day eve is the ‘Orange Podium’ at Stadhuisplein. Under the direction of DJ Jeroen Hamer several singers will perform the greatest Dutch hits. There will be performances by Mart Hoogkamer, Danny Lit, Mario Broerse and Vince Collet. The program runs from 18.00 to 24.00.

The Belfort restaurant square will have live music on the terrace from 13.00 to 20.00 with the band Winnetoe doing covers of Nederpop hits (including Doe Maar numbers), Lisa Imhoff & Sander Hoek and guitar/singer duo G’wine On Stage.

The Orange Stage at Stadhuisplein will host continuous entertainment from 12.00 to 18.00 from live bands such as the Karaoke Live Band (yes, you can sing!), Mr. Mudd (jazz/blues/funk) and a number of great cover bands.

The Grote Markt hosts the main stage, with many famous artists. From 13.00 to 16.00 there will be the traditional ‘Grote Markt Loves A’dam’ program, featuring a performance by Peter Beense, the Netherlands’ most frequently booked Amsterdam singer. DJ Franky B. (Cooldown Café) will be running the musical program and presenting a fine selection of Amsterdam/Almere talents. At 16.00 ‘The Big Orange Hitfest’ will start here, with the biggest hits of the past decades being performed by DJs and, mainly, artists – non-stop until 22.00. There will be performances by Def Rhymz (‘Doekoe’, ‘De Bom’), K-Liber (‘Viben’), DJ Galaga (‘What do we say to the DJ?’) and the OJKB DJ team. The 6-person mash-up band, Popgunnn, will also be presenting a stunning hit show.

For more information see the Koningsdag Almere Facebook page and www.koningsdaginalmere.nl.

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Open days at new Hindu temple (page 19)

INDISCHE BUURT – The Hindu temple, Shri Vishnu Mandir – at Tempo Doeloestraat 250 in Almere Buiten, will host open days on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 April, from 11.00 to 18.00. Everyone is welcome to visit the temple.

As part of the opening ceremony, a fourteen-day Shri Vishnu ‘puran katha’ will be held from 30 April, which is an Indian way of telling a religious story. It starts at 18.00 and there will be a pooja every day, a ritual in which Hindus venerate a deity, Parvachan and Aarti and high priests. There will be an opportunity for everyone to offer persaad and daan.

For more information visit www.shrivishnumandir.nl or call 036-5217600.

Friday 20 April is the official inauguration of the temple. This will not be open to the public.

Almere is at last witnessing the opening of the Golden Temple of Shri Vishnu. The temple was previously planned to open in November 2015.

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Flevoland sees strong growth in tourism (page 29)

FLEVOLAND – The number of guests staying in Dutch overnight accommodation grew considerably last year, according to the latest figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS). This growth is also reflected in the figures for Flevoland. Flevoland is increasingly becoming a destination for both Dutch and international overnight visitors.

Overnighting, international tourists are the biggest growth category in Flevoland. The total increase in the number of guests was 24% in 2017 as compared to 2016.  Guests from neighboring Belgium and Germany are in the majority, followed by Asia. Germany is the leader with, in 2017, a 22% growth in the number of guests as compared to 2016. German visitors typically prefer bungalow parks and hotels and locations near water.

Tulip campaign

In addition to local promotion, Tourism Flevoland also focuses to a large extent on German visitors. For example, a promotional campaign is currently being run in cooperation with NBTC Holland Marketing for the coming Flevoland tulip period. In addition to campaigns, Tourism Flevoland focuses on press & PR. Next spring, various journalists and bloggers will tour Flevoland. “In this way, and in collaboration with the tourism industry, we can let them personally experience the most beautiful places and stories of Flevoland”, says Rinkje Tromp, marketing manager at Tourism Flevoland.

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‘Premier league’ sailing (Eredivisie Zeilen) (page 35)

Eredivisie Sailing (a top-level regatta) will be held on the Weerwater in Almere Centrum from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 April. Eredivisie Sailing is competitive sailing at the highest level. The Esplanade, in the heart of Almere Centrum, will offer the best view of the eighteen teams of Dutch sailing associations that will compete for the coveted title. These will be short races, close to shore, between the best Dutch sailors and boats. There will also be interesting explanations, digital animations and fun activities for children. In short, sailing at the highest level! The Eredivisie Sailing event in Almere Centrum is free of charge.

For more information visit www.eredivisiezeilen.nl

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Living Water Lab (page 35)

Do you love technology and do you want to explore physics, chemistry and biology in a fun way? The Living Water Lab will be set up on the Esplanade during Eredivisie Sailing (the top sailing event in Almere Centrum). The lab is a mobile laboratory, where you can do all kinds of fun, scientific experiments using everyday materials. Put on a real laboratory coat and get to know about water awareness, spatial adaptation, climate change, litter and much more – in a fun way. The environment is also addressed. In this way you’ll learn how important water is, and that clean tap water is not something you can take for granted. What happens, for example, when the weather is very dry, or when it rains a lot, and for a very long time? There are brief worksheets for all experiments, including step-by-step descriptions. Admission is free. Be early to ensure your place!

Friday 13 April, from 15.00 to 17.30.

Saturday 14 April, from 10.15 to 17.30

Sunday 15 April, from 10.15 to 16.00

For more information go to www.almerecentrum.nl

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Blue parking zones around center extended (page 41)

STAD CENTRUM – The ‘blue parking zones’ in the city center (Stad) were extended from the start of this month. This took place after research by the parking authority (Parkeerbedrijf) showed that a number of streets in Stedenwijk and Filmwijk were subject to significant parking problems.

Parkeerbedrijf received complaints from residents in various residential areas around the city center concerning parking problems and therefore carried out research. A survey was conducted in the relevant street. Residents could indicate whether they were experiencing parking over-demand in their street. In addition, residents’ evenings were organized and parking demand was measured at different times of the day. The study revealed that a number of streets in Stedenwijk and Filmwijk are subject to significant parking problems and these affect residents.

In the Filmwijk the blue zone has been extended on Cinemareef, Hollywoodlaan and Marty Feldmanstraat. In Stedenwijk the blue zone has been extended on Dokkumlaan, Harlingensingel, Makkumstraat, Staverenstraat, Workumstraat, Lemmerstraat and Drachtenstraat.

The blue zones in Stedenwijk and Filmwijk will be further extended.

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Note: All of the above articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition April 11, 2018. They were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 4 April 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. Long articles have been summarised. All articles have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to thank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the articles into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl . The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find 8 articles with the following titles:
1. ‘Almere won’t escape aircraft noise’
2. Expats feel at home in Almere
3. A flock of sheep as a lawnmower
4. Experience the basics of golf, at the Open Golf Day
5. Registration for the WTC Trappenloop (Stair Run)
6. Almeersepoort to become gateway to Oostvaardersplassen
7. Twenty-somethings head for Almere
8. Living in a Tiny House

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‘Almere won’t escape aircraft noise’ (page 1)

by Hestia Ruben

ALMERE – When Lelystad Airport becomes operational Almere will not escape aircraft noise, particularly from landing aircraft. Almere aviation journalist, John Assmann, says, “In order to align themselves for landing, aircraft will fly at relatively low altitudes over parts of Almere – and most residents will hear them.”

There are still many uncertainties surrounding the official opening of the Flevoland airport, but it is certain that residents will have to deal with noise from aircraft destined for Lelystad airport. Assmann: “This is because of the location from which  Boeing and Airbus planes will be directed to start their landing approach. They will use runway 05, named after the compass bearing of the runway, i.e. 50°, or northeast.”

There is a point near Almere Buiten, on the southeast side of the A6 (the red dot on the map). This is 6 miles (11.12 km) from the beginning of the runway and the aircraft must be at 2,000 feet (608 meters) at this point, to start the last part of the landing phase. This approach cannot be altered and must be followed by any aircraft wishing to land on Runway 05.

Straight line

“Air traffic control will direct the aircraft to fly as directly as possible to the descent point at Almere Buiten and this will give Almere Haven, Almere Hout, Kathedralenbos and Cirkelbos full exposure to aircraft noise.

Almere Poort will also not be spared, with planes flying over the Hollandse Brug. Aircraft from the north, west and east will first fly parallel to the runway (green line on the map) in the direction of Almere Haven and then turn in to the point of the final landing phase.

When all this will happen is still unclear because there is still a lot to be done, including the division of the airspace above and near Flevoland airport. But Almere will certainly suffer when future holidaymakers fly from Lelystad Airport on their way to the sun.

Airspace review

Within the current airspace structure, the number of aircraft movements at Lelystad Airport should not exceed 10,000 until the revision of airspace in 2023. This is stated in the Environmental Impact Report (EIA). Lelystad Airport ultimately wants to expand to 45,000 aircraft movements. The revision will redesign Dutch airspace in order to reduce consequences such as noise in surrounding areas. The connection routes for Lelystad Airport will then be at higher altitudes.

The aircraft must be at an altitude of 608 meters at the red dot in order to commence the final part of the landing phase. Aircraft from the north, west and east will first fly parallel to the runway (green line) in the direction of Almere Haven.

I.L.S.

An I.L.S. approach (Instrument Landings System) can be made on runway 05 at Lelystad Airport. This enables the pilot to fly the approach and land exactly on the runway, without any view of the ground. Only when the underside of the cloud cover is at an altitude of below 60 meters and the horizontal view of the runway is less than 550 meters must the pilot abort the landing and divert to another airport.

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Expats feel at home in Almere (Page 9)

by Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – Almere is home to no less than 4,000 expats. “Our association calls them internationals,” says Michel Daenen, chair of the International Almere association. “Expats are temporary residents in the Netherlands, who have been sent from abroad by international companies to work here. This group lives mainly in Amsterdam South and on the canals of central Amsterdam. But there are also many internationals who come to the Netherlands for other reasons.

Often they are highly educated knowledge workers, who come to the Netherlands with their partner or whole family, to work and live here. You can see this group growing in Amsterdam, but also in Almere. “The Facebook group, International Almere, already has more than 1,200 active members and continues to grow”, says Daenen. Almere is attractive for this group. “Important reasons for this are the green character of the city, its location close to Amsterdam, Almere’s great public transport system, the space, affordable housing and also, certainly, the city center. Many internationals describe the center as something very special.

Practical questions

Life for an international in Almere is not without its challenges. “An international who settles in Almere immediately faces the question, ‘how do I build a life here’? All kinds of practical questions arise. ‘Where can I find information?’ ‘What about a family doctor – and a dentist?’ ‘How do I find friends?’ ‘How do I learn the language?’”, says Daenen. “And, very importantly, ‘what about education in Almere?’”

International School

For expats in particular, the presence of an international school, such as the International School in Almere Poort, is of great importance. Daenen is convinced of this. “A school like this is a very important argument for foreign companies to establish themselves in Almere. Expats who live here temporarily want their children to go to an English-language school.”

Activities

The International Almere association serves its target group in Almere via numerous activities. “We have the Dutch language café. Where we practice speaking Dutch. The Dutch are quickly inclined to speak to foreigners in English. That doesn’t help if you want to learn the language. At the café only Dutch is spoken. That’s the quickest way to learn the language”, explains Daenen. “Furthermore we have First Friday Night Drinks, in Café on 2. Here internationals can meet and make friends. And, again, learn the language. Then there is Quiz Night, a pub quiz on many subjects, with English as the main language.”

Almere DEZE WEEK in English

The association is now increasingly focusing on supporting its members. “For example, if you have a letter from the municipality and you can’t yet read Dutch very well, we’ll explain it”, says Daenen.

“Another new feature is that articles from Almere DEZE WEEK are translated into English by the Almere translation agency, Courtesie, and published on the website www.internationalalmere.com. Internationals really want to know what’s going on in Almere. Through this service they get the news and information about all kinds of activities in the city. Which makes internationals feel more at home in Almere.”

Satisfied

The internationals are very satisfied with Almere. “As previously said, they appreciate the nature, the city center and Almere’s location close to Amsterdam. And they really feel safe, here in the city. The latter is often mentioned in the satisfaction survey that we carried out.”

The internationals praise Almere as a family city. “There are many activities here for them, especially for the children. I often hear them say that Almere has a comforting atmosphere and that it’s really a peaceful place. And yes, the location is close to Amsterdam. For many internationals, this is a small distance. These are people accustomed to much longer distances. Compare traveling right across London, from the east to the west side, for instance!”

For more information, please visit www.internationalalmere.com and info@internationalalmere.com. This site also carries articles from Almere DEZE WEEK, in English.

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A flock of sheep as a lawnmower (page 11)

DE MEENTEN – The lawnmowers can go! Almere’s sheep herd will once more be trimming the grass in various locations in Almere over the coming period. Councilor Frits Huis welcomed the sheep herd last Wednesday.

In a number of places in Almere, the grass is no longer mowed by a lawnmower, but by Schoonebeeker sheep. This special herd of sheep, with its shepherd and sheepdog, graze their way from Almere Haven, via the Hoge Vaart to the Noorderplassen, and back again. The sheep herd will commence their grazing at De Grienden, in Almere Haven.

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Experience the basics of golf, at the Open Golf Day (page 17)

HOUT – From 12 noon on Saturday 21 April, everyone can get to know the vibrant Almeerderhout Golf Club association and its golf course – and learn the basics of golf in a relaxed atmosphere.

The hostesses and hosts are ready to teach visitors the golf swing, how to putt and how to get out of a bunker. For the youngest of the potential golfers a fun and exciting golf course has been set up. The experienced golfer can play 9 holes, free of charge, on one of the challenging courses. The fully-fledged PAR 3 course can also be played at no charge.

Visitors can also relax in Grand Café ‘t Hout, where a special ‘Open Day menu’ is available.

Interested? Information will also be provided on the various forms of membership, which will be offered at special rates at the open day. For registration and information visit www.almeerderhout.nl or call 036-5219130. The Almeerderhout Golf Club is located at Watersnipweg 19-21.

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Registration for the WTC Trappenloop (Stair Run) (page 35)

CITY CENTER – Yes, it’s 32 floors, straight up. That’s over 600 punishing steps. So if you want to participate in the WTC Stair Run on Wednesday 25 April – limber up those calf muscles!

In just under two months it will again be time for perhaps the most unique running event in Almere: the WTC Stair Run. And it’s of course planned for precisely 25 April – ‘No Elevators Day’. The WTC will then once again open its doors in the City Center (‘Stad’), to welcome the hundreds of runners who compete in this extraordinary and exhausting battle of the stairs. Participants will ascend 32 floors via more than 600 steps. At the top, once they have overcome the lactic acid buildup, the runners will be able to enjoy spectacular views over the whole of Almere and the surrounding area.

This year there will again, of course, be a competition for individual runners, but there will also be a Business Run and the Firefighters series. And there’s something for the children, who can participate in the regular Kids Run or the Football Kids Run. Full information on this special run on Wednesday 25 April can be found on our website.

Register soon!

Because the WTC Stair Run is such a unique event, registrations are always numerous and start early. It is advisable not to wait too long before registering. It’s also particularly advantageous to register before 1 April, to take advantage of the lower, early-registration rates.

18.15 Start, Kids (Football) Run (200 steps)

18:25 Start, Business Run

18.40 Start, Firefighters series

18.45 Prize giving, Kids Run

19.15 Start, Individual series

20.30 Prize giving – Individual runners, Firefighters Series & Business Run

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Almeersepoort to become gateway to Oostvaardersplassen (page 39)

ALMERE – The municipality has plans to develop Almeersepoort as the entrance zone to the Oostvaarderplassen, which will become part of the Nieuw Land National Park.

Almeersepoort is being developed in order to make the National Park easier to find and access, and also to distribute visitor traffic. The gateway will offer both access to and an experience of the Oostvaardersplassen. The Almeersepoort will get new landscape features that will offer a real Oostvaardersplassen experience.

Visitors

National Park Nieuw Land is a tourist and recreational development by the province of Flevoland and is aimed at generating an increase in visitor numbers. The core areas of the National Park are Oostvaardersplassen, Marker Wadden, Lepelaarplassen and Markermeer.

The area is easily accessible, due to its convenient location on the borders of Almere. The Almeersepoort will offer a beautiful view over the extensive plains and lakes, where various wild animals can be seen. The area will invite one to discover nature with family and friends. The vastness and diversity of the area mean that everybody can experience it in his or her own way. There are excursions and various activities all year round.

Floriade 2022

One of Almeersepoort’s ambitions is to double the number of visitors in the next ten years. Natuurbelevingcentrum De Oostvaarders (Oostvaarders nature experience center) plays an important role in this and will therefore also be the location for Staatsbosbeheer’s (national parks) hosting, programming, management, workshops and storage facilities, on the Almere side of the Oostvaardersplassen. The challenge is to further develop the building to become a location that complements the ambitions of the next ten years. The completion of the Almeersepoort project will take place in the year preceding the start of the Floriade, and in this way will make a contribution to the Growing Green Cities movement, in which Almere aims to play a significant role.

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Twenty-somethings head for Almere (page 45)

ALMERE – Almere is part of one of the fastest growing regions in the Netherlands and occupies a very special position in this respect. The housing market, even in a growth region, is not immune to the economic climate. However, now that the crisis is over, the flow of new residents is picking up again. And twenty-somethings, in particular, are rediscovering Almere.

Affordable family homes (both for sale and rental) form an important attraction in this respect. The area generates strong interest in the Amsterdam, Lelystad and the Gooi and Vecht regions, while the effect on Utrecht is less marked.

For the time being, spatial planning will continue to dominate the housing market. Almere is one of the few municipalities in the Amsterdam Metropole Region where it is possible to build without too many spatial restrictions, and this includes low density developments. Family homes with a purchase price of between € 150,000 and € 200,000 are very much in demand among (potential) young families.

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Living in a Tiny House (page 47)

‘I feel privileged to be able to live here’

by Kirsten Thuis-Woudenberg

HOMERUSKWARTIER – Hennie Tibben is the first occupier of a Tiny House. For the past six months, this brand new Almere resident has been living in a so-called ‘Wikkelhouse’, made of corrugated cardboard. The mini-house has 50 square meters of gross floor area and stands on the showgrounds of Bouwexpo Tiny Housing on the Nimpfenplein. The Tiny House creates a very special ‘home feeling’ for Tibben. “It’s not an everyday house and it was difficult to get to live here”, says Tibben. “I therefore feel privileged to be allowed to live here. The house feels very nice and secure. The inside is made of wood and that creates a warm atmosphere.”

Tibben did not find the transition from large to small a problem. “Before this I lived in a three-floor family home of about 100m2. I wanted a simpler life in which one is less involved with possessions. In the run-up to the move to this house I was already busy getting rid of things, as my old house was already sold. I have a separate storage location, for the things I don’t need. And my new home is really uncluttered, and that feels good. I find the feeling of simplicity very soothing.”

According to Tibben, the house doesn’t feel small. “The ceiling is high, which makes it feel spacious. I didn’t want to do without furniture. I wanted a spacious kitchen – but not with a folding table. So I have a large table for entertaining dinner guests. I also work at this table and it’s a nice place to be.”

According to Tibben, living in this location sometimes feels like living in a showroom. “The Manifestatie Tiny Housing (the tiny house expo) drew 5,000 people to the grounds. A quarter of them came into my house. It’s sometimes difficult dealing with the rudeness of some people. They just look into all your drawers. It sometimes feels as if you’re a kind of attraction. But I really live here! And I work here too.”

Almere was unknown to Tibben before she moved into her Tiny House. “I am getting to know Almere better and better by participating in all kinds of activities. I took part in the cycle tour, ‘Dwars door Poort’ (through the Poort district), and Gluren bij de Buren’ (how the neighbors live). I then even had a band performing in my living room! I have lunch once a week in the neighborhood center to get to know people. I’ve noticed that there is a lot of opportunity for initiative in this city. For me, that started with this house. I’ve also attracted clients from the city, for my marketing business, because they see that I’m sticking out my neck.”

Clean-up operation

Tibben started a clean-up operation because she was disturbed by the litter in the neighborhood. “Collecting litter is the ultimate way of getting rid of clutter in your life. Working with ‘Almere Poort Schoon’ (clean up Almere) I organize litter collection operations together with other residents. On Sunday 8 April we are going to do another clean-up, from 10.00 to 12.00. Anyone can participate. The group meets in Espressobar Take a Brake. More information can be found on the Almere Poort Schoon Facebook

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Note: All of the above articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition April 4, 2018. They were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl