Tag Archives: Almere Deze Week

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 20th of June 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries 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 summaries 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 summaries of 5 articles with the following titles:

  1. 10,000 diseased ash trees cut down
  2. Almere Knakwortel on supermarket shelves soon
  3. Almere is super-safe
  4. Water mayor rows Almere boat
  5. Summer exhibition opens in new Almere Haven photo gallery
  6. Cantatekoor Almere choir hunts singers
  7. New container makes separating glass waste even easier

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10,000 diseased ash trees cut down (page 9)

ALMERE – Some 10,000 ash trees will be removed – and mostly replaced – in Almere, by the end of 2019. The trees will be replaced by various other kinds of trees. The ashes are suffering from ash dieback, in which diseased branches of the ash break off and the tree eventually falls over.

Residents are being informed of the project in various ways. In many cases residents can provide input on the new trees for their street.


Photo: Almere Deze Week

Almere Knakwortel on supermarket shelves soon (Page 7)

ALMERE – Knakwortel (‘carrotwurst’) is a carrot that not only looks like a knackwurst but also tastes like one. This new product from Almere won the Albert Heijn Product Pitch last week. This means that the Knakwortel will be launched in the supermarket chain in the coming weeks.

The idea for the Knakwortel arose when Koen Kaljee and his girlfriend, Valerie Bos, went to a friend’s barbecue. They were asked to bring something. “I had been experimenting with vegetables for some time, because Valerie doesn’t like vegetables and had also decided to become vegetarian”, says Koen Kaljee. “She loved the marinated carrot, cooked sous-vide (in a vacuum) and then briefly fried in a pan or put on the barbecue. Then it goes on a bread roll, with some ketchup or mayonnaise, as if it were a hot dog. At the barbecue everyone seemed to like it”.

Bos and Kaljee, both entrepreneurs, realized that they had to do something with the idea. “When we saw how much people liked it I refined the recipe and the preparation method. In December we set up a separate company for this purpose and in February we found an external producer.”

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Almere is super-safe (page 9)

Recorded crime falls sharply

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – Recorded crimes decreased dramatically in Almere in 2017. The number of offences fell by 12 percent from 11,218 to 9,853. The relative number of offences in Almere is low compared to other large cities. This is evident from the municipality’s progress report on security.


Photo: Shutterstock

Prevention

The municipality has initiated a number of projects to tackle domestic burglaries, mugging and heists.

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Water mayor rows Almere boat  (page 15)

ALMERE – The recently-appointed water mayor, Kevin van Drumpt, experienced a baptism of fire on the IJmeer last week. He rowed to the fortified island, Pampus, with the Almere sloop rowers – in a 12-kilometer training session.

The boat-rowing foundation, Sloeproeien Almere, experienced steady growth last year and now also has a women’s team. Their sloop, Labora Stulti, sets out from the Marinahaven on the Gooi and IJmeer five times a week. This year the rowers will enter more, national sloop races than ever before. The crowning entry was the recently-completed HT-Roeirace (the 34 km. Harlingen-Terschelling crossing).


Water mayor Kevin van Drumpt rowed to Pampus with the Almere sloop rowers. (Photo: supplied)

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Summer exhibition opens in new Almere Haven photo gallery (page 23)

HAVEN CENTRUM – A number of photographers are exhibiting new work in the Anita Neve Galerie at Marktstraat 22. This includes work by new talent like Paulien Huizinga, Willem Houtsmuller, Maartje Roos and Nathalie Dekker.

Anita Neve Galerie specializes in accessible fine art photography and offers graduates of the Dutch art and photography academies and other selected talent a place to show their work and gain experience in the gallery world.

The summer exhibition opened on 14 June. The gallery is open from Thursday to Saturday and by appointment. All are welcome. Read more at www.anitanevegalerie.nl


From the photo series, ‘Muurbloem’ (‘wallflower’). (Photo: Nathalie Dekker)

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Cantatekoor Almere choir hunts singers  (page 28)

ALMERE – The Cantatekoor Almere (choir) will perform The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins on 3 February next year, in collaboration with the Almeers Jeugd Symfonie Orkest (Almere youth symphony orchestra). In order to make this concert a great success, Cantatekoor Almere is looking for around 40 new members of all voice types to join the project.

If you want to be part of a large choir performing an extremely special musical work in collaboration with a first class orchestra you can register at info@cantatekooralmere.nl or by phoning 036-5366467. Read more at www.cantatekooralmere.nl.


Choir Cantatekoor Almere. (Photo: supplied)

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New container makes separating glass waste even easier (37)

POORT – The first glass waste container for two different types of glass has been put into use. The container, with two openings, for white transparent glass and other colors, is located at the underground collection depot at the Albert Heijn supermarket at Olivier van Noortstraat 32. The new container makes it even easier for residents to separate their glass waste.

The unveiling of the new bottle bank on Wednesday, 23 May marked the start of the promotional campaign, ‘Glass in ‘t bakkie’ (‘Glass? Sorted!’).

5.5 kg glass waste per person

Almere is well on its way when it comes to separating glass, with 76 percent of its glass collection separated from other waste. This amounts to 17.7 kilos of separated glass per person, per year. However, about five and a half kilos of glass per person per year still disappears into unseparated residual waste bins in Almere. This waste is incinerated, which costs money and is bad for the environment. This is the motivation for separated glass collection, in a glass container that also sorts transparent white and colored glass.

The campaign ‘Glas in ‘t bakkie’ started on Wednesday 23 May at Albert Heijn in Almere Poort. Glass is currently only sorted into white transparent and colored glass. (Photo: supplied)

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition June 20, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 13th of June 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries 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 summaries of 5 articles with the following titles:

  1. Communal iftar meal in Turkish mosque
  2. Delays due to work at the Almere interchange
  3. Green oasis in shopping center
  4. Floriade Fietstocht: a bicycle tour of green initiatives
  5. New school building for Poort school

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Communal iftar meal in Turkish mosque (page 51)

MUZIEKWIJK – An iftar was held at the Turkish mosque at Lierstraat 9 on Sunday, 10 June.

The iftar brought Muslims and non-Muslims together to enjoy this evening meal. During Ramadan Muslims fast during the day, not eating or drinking anything between sunrise and sunset, for a month. Life is dominated by self-reflection and reflection at a spiritual level.

At sunset, family and acquaintances visit each other and eat iftar together. However, on a number of occasions during Ramadan, this custom is extended to a larger gathering where everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim, is welcome to join in the meal.

The aim is to promote informal social contact. Conversation during the dinner can be both instructive and enjoyable. All this to promote mutual contact – and tolerance, respect and understanding of each other’s cultures.

The end of Ramadan is celebrated with the Sugar Festival, this year from Thursday 14 June to Friday 15 June.

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Delays due to work at the Almere interchange (page 51)

ALMERE – Parkway6 will work on the Almere interchange during several weekends in June. The interchange will be connected to new lanes on the A6 between Almere Havendreef and  Almere Buiten-Oost. As a result, the junction will be partially closed during these weekends. Traffic should take into account diversions and delays.

New traffic situation

From Monday 2 July at 05:00 a new traffic situation will apply on the north side of the Almere interchange. Traffic from Lelystad to the A27 will have to keep to the left instead of the right. Traffic from Lelystad in the direction of Almere and Amsterdam will have to exit to the right and will bypass the junction. This traffic will be using the future, parallel lane. This is a temporary situation.


New situation at the Almere interchange. (Photo: Rijkswaterstaat)

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Green oasis in shopping center (page 55)

STAD CENTRUM – Those looking for a tranquil spot while shopping can take a seat on one of the benches in the ‘garden’ of gardener Rob Verlinden. The Rob Verlinden Plein (square), a partitioned-off area planted with green shrubs and containing two park benches, can be found on the Diagonaal. It’s a literal example of bringing green into the city.

The garden was created to mark the fact that Verlinden, known from the SBS6 program ‘Robs Grote Tuinverbouwing’, has been in the business for more than thirty years. At the end of last month he received a medal of honor from Mayor Franc Weerwind for his work, during the recording of the anniversary broadcast of Robs Grote Tuinverbouwing,

Rob Verlinden is a textbook example of someone with many years of commitment as an ambassador for Almere. He has used the impact and reach of his television programs to put Almere on the map in a positive light – as a special, green city. Rob Verlinden has lived in Almere since 1995.

Floriade festival

The Rob Verlinden Plein will remain until after the Floriade Festival, which is held in the center of the city on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 June. The theme of this festival is ‘Food’, which is also one of the themes for the Floriade Almere 2022. There will be special things to see, discover and, of course, taste at various locations on the Floriade grounds. The event is a perfect day out for young and old.


Taking a break from shopping – at Rob Verlinden Plein. (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

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Floriade Fietstocht: a bicycle tour of green initiatives (page 55)

ALMERE – On Saturday 16 June FRTC Almere will hold a new cycling event, the Floriade Fietstocht (cycling tour), together with the municipal Floriade organization.

The Floriade Fietstocht consists of three routes. Recreational cyclists on city bikes or e-bikes can choose between a 7 kilometer route (‘Rondje Weerwater’) or a 25 kilometer route (with stops at various green initiatives in the city). For the sporting cyclist there is an attractive 100 kilometer route, with surprising stops in Amsterdam Zuidoost and in the Gooi and Vecht region. At these stops there will be more information about the future of food and about surprising, local green areas. The tour, for racing bikes, starts between 09:00 and 10:00 from the Floriade pavilion on the Sturmeyweg. The Floriade pavilion also marks the end of the route.

Sign up via the Fiets, Race & Toer Club Almere Facebook page. Participation is free!

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New school building for Poort school, part of Het Baken school foundation (page 5)

POORT – The first pile has been driven for the new school building for Poort, a school for junior (‘mavo’) and senior (‘havo’) general secondary education and part of Het Baken schools group.  This festive event took place in the presence of the councilor for Education, the architect, the construction company as well as the director, various employees, a parent and a pupil of Het Baken.

The event was festively presented and the formalities were performed by a parent, a pupil and school staff member. This symbolized the collaboration between parents, pupils and employees of the school and is also reflected in the triangular shape of the new school building.

The new building is located immediately next to the Topsportcentrum in the Olympiakwartier in Almere Poort and can accommodate around eight hundred students. Poort is a school for junior and senior general secondary education. Pupils are taught at senior level as most of them will go to universities for applied sciences. This school for junior and senior general secondary education is characterized by its small scale. Together with Stad College, Park Lyceum, Trinitas Gymnasium and Almere International School, it forms part of school group foundation, Het Baken Almere. At the moment the Poort school is located at Slowakijehof in Almere Poort.

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition June 13, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 6th of June 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries 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 summaries of 5 articles with the following titles:

  1. Big terrace for restaurant Loetje
  2. Almere low on culture index list
  3. An Almere museum with international allure?
  4. Almere DIT WEEKEND, in your post box this September
  5. Collecting to save insects

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Big terrace for restaurant Loetje at Martineztoren – opening this year (page 7)

By Marcel Beijer

The news that restaurant Loetje is opening in Almere is the best-read article on the websites of Almere DEZE WEEK and Almere Zaken in the year to date. The famous establishment will be located on the ground floor of the Martineztoren, which is currently being renovated. The doors will open at the end of October/beginning of November.

Restaurant Loetje will occupy 840 square meters in the seven-meter-high former office lobby, which will be fitted with a mezzanine floor as part of the re-development. Outside will be a partly-covered terrace of 250 square meters. The entrance to the Martineztoren itself will be on the WTC side, as will be the lobby of the Plaza Best Western. This four-star hotel will have 220 rooms. “The first fifty rooms will be completed by the end of October”, says managing director Hugo van Woerden, asset manager and developer of the DutchRE project. “The rest of the hotel rooms and the restaurant will be completed in November. Delivery of the 142 short-stay rooms is scheduled for January 2019. These will be hotel rooms with a kitchenette, for people staying in Almere for a few weeks to a few months.”

The Martineztoren (originally developed as an office complex) will house a hotel and restaurant Loetje. (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

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Almere low on culture index list (page 5)
By Hestia Ruben and Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – After Nissewaard, Almere scores worst of the fifty largest municipalities in the Netherlands in terms of culture. Last Wednesday, the 2018 Atlas for municipalities was published, with culture as its theme. Almere is not doing very well in this area, ranking 49th among fifty large cities.

Nissewaard, a municipality in Zuid-Holland with less than half the population of Almere (which is over 85,000), is at the bottom of the list in 50th place. Almere, at 49, is below Lelystad (48). Amsterdam tops the cultural index, followed by Maastricht (2), Leeuwarden (3), Utrecht (4) and Delft (5).

Art organizations: ‘Almere is definitely on the cultural map’.

On 21 April of this year Corrosia, BonteHond, Suburbia, Vis à Vis and KAF met with the coalition parties to discuss what needs to be done from a political point of view in order to promote culture in Almere. The organizations want more money and also asked for a multi-year municipal plan for culture. And they want a Head of Culture at the town hall.

Nevertheless, Almere’s cultural organizations felt that Almere’s culture was not in too bad a state. According to a statement made at the meeting: “Almere is a national pioneer in cultural education. Culturally it is the most progressive city in the Netherlands. We set an example at national level – and Almere is also on the international cultural map. This is recognized outside Almere, but not from within.”

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Old masters and other art treasures (page 1) 

An Almere museum with international allure?

By Marcel Beijer

An idea presented last year to establish a ‘museum of museums’ in Almere will be resubmitted after consultation with officials of the municipality of Almere. The museum should become the focus of a now multifunctional project to be erected on the so-called Majestic site, behind Almere Centrum Station, adjacent to the WTC and the Martineztoren.

Tower

Following the official consultation, in which it was stated that the municipality would like to focus on creating employment in developing the station area, the plan for the site now includes a tower with commercial space on the ground and first floors and residential units from the 2nd floor up. The tower will be pierced, at a height of approximately 25 meters, by a rectangular ‘shoe box’ in which the museum will be housed. “We are thinking of a museum containing the work of well-known artists, now stored in the archives of eight large museums”, says Hugo van Woerden of DutchRE. “Museums such as the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk and Van Gogh have numerous works archived. These cannot be seen by the public, simply because there is no room to display them. The intention is to get these works out of the cellars and give them a place in Almere. So you get a ‘museum of museums’.”

‘Best of’ museum

The ‘shoebox’ in the residential tower has an area of 3,500 square meters. Van Woerden: “This will be a extremely interesting museum, because the collection will actually be a ‘best of’. From old masters to modern art – and the Film Museum. Anything but boring. It’s also a formula that fits a young city like Almere well. In addition, the architectural concept of the building is internationally unique. We expect a lot of visitors for this reason alone.”

An artist’s impression of the tower, with the ‘shoebox’ museum. (Photo: supplied)

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Almere DIT WEEKEND, in your post box this September  (page 1)

ALMERE – As of September the city will have a second newspaper: Almere DIT WEEKEND. The first three letters, ADW, are not coincidental. Almere DEZE WEEK will publish this second paper, every Friday.

The Tuesday newspaper, Almere DEZE WEEK, remains unchanged as the paper for news, with background stories, interviews, homes, sports and politics.

Almere DIT WEEKEND will offer lighter reading and focus mainly on the weekend.

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Collecting to save insects (page 5)

ALMERE – Thousands of volunteers from Natuurmonumenten (the natural heritage organization) will be collecting donations as of Monday, 11 June. This year the theme of the collection drive is insects.

The number of insects is decreasing dramatically. This is serious, as insects are crucial in almost every ecosystem. Natuurmonumenten is calling on everyone in the Netherlands to join the fight for insects. Natuurmonumenten is also taking further measures to improve the insects’ environment. Examples of this are a greater diversity of flowers in natural areas, more variety in the landscape and insect-friendly mowing management.

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition June 6, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 30 Mei 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries 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 summaries of 4 articles with the following titles:

  1. Formulating new coalition a major task
  2. ‘Lelystad Airport Businesspark a boost for Almere’
  3. Used clothing market for East Romania
  4. Kevin van Drumpt is the water mayor of Almere

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Formulating new coalition a major task (page 1)

By Robert Mienstra

Coalition has been achieved in the municipal council. The councilors are from the VVD, PvdA, D66, GroenLinks and Christian Union political parties. The agreement is almost complete. It took a long time, “But it was also a big job”, says Hilde van Garderen, the VVD negotiator.


A satisfied Hilde van Garderen re-reads the coalition agreement. (Photo: Almere Deze Week)

She looks back on the preceding period and, above all, at the coming period. “We were easily able to agree on the principles of collegiality in the council and on more involvement of the city itself in the management process.

“Maintenance is in arrears, which is why we are now investing ten million in maintenance on an incidental basis, followed by 1.6 million a year on a structural basis. Because we live in a green city, the city is also expensive to maintain. However, once we have the city in order, it will also become more attractive for residents and entrepreneurs. Fortunately, because things are now improving financially, we are able to invest in this. And we’re going to ask residents and businesses what they regard as important in their neighborhood.”

Culture is expressly mentioned in the coalition agreement. “Culture must, above all, connect residents”, says Van Garderen. “We need to be at the forefront, both regionally and nationally. Suburbia, Vis-a-Vis and the Bonte Hond must be supported in this. We will draw up a multi-year cultural plan which connects with Almere City Marketing, residents and the economy. Culture must be given a more prominent place in our city.”


The new municipal board is committed to a collegial approach.  L. to r. Jan Hoek (GroenLinks), Jerzy Soetekouw (PvdA), Jaap Lodders (VVD), Maaike Veeningen (D66), Aldrik Dijkstra (Christian Union), Hilde van Garderen (VVD) and Tjeerd Herrema (PvdA). (Photo: Almere Deze Week)

The agreement does not deal with education as much as before. “Education is primarily the responsibility of the school boards; the municipality is party to the discussion. The education system is sounding the alarm regarding the shortage of teachers. Together with the schools, we want to draw up an action plan to facilitate accommodation, develop schemes for lateral entrants and for local teachers’ study bursaries. Much investment in education has been on impulse in the recent period. And that’s not money we’ll be getting back.”

Sustainability

There is a long paragraph on this subject in the coalition agreement. “Sustainability is part of all councilor portfolios”, explains Van Garderen. “We need to be energy-neutral and gas-free; the city needs to be climate-proof and waste-free. There will be a sustainability agenda for this. And a new office will be set up where residents can obtain information about how they can address and finance sustainable measures. A climate fund will be set up, so that new investments can be made in the city using the proceeds of sustainability, and a Climate Knowledge Centre will be set up.”

Ambitious

The coalition agreement looks ambitious. It will bring the council closer to the city, as stated in the agreement, and the city closer to city hall. “We are going to experiment with co-decision-making, neighborhood conferences, youth councils and residents’ platforms”, says Van Garderen. “We want a different management and organizational structure, one that is more collegial and collaborative.

“I hope to be able to walk through Almere in four years’ time and actually see the results of our policy. I want to have the feeling of, ‘Wow, that’s what we managed to do, together, in Almere.”

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Amsterdam – Almere – Lelystad: a prime location area for logistics companies

‘Lelystad Airport Businesspark a boost for Almere’ (page 7)

by Robert Mienstra

The dramatic development of Lelystad Airport Businesspark (LAB) is having a major impact on Almere. “And certainly also for the entire region of Amsterdam – Almere – Lelystad – Zeewolde”, says Rob Verhoeff, Director of the airport development company, Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij Airport Lelystad Almere (OMALA). “The establishment of the massive distribution center for fashion giant Inditex at Lelystad Airport Businesspark, will boost employment in the region and certainly also in Almere.”


Rob Verhoeff (photo: Almere Deze Week)

Employment

Many Almere residents will also soon be able to find work at Inditex. “The company will open in spring 2019 and there will then be a demand for more than 400 employees. Furthermore, the international development of Lelystad Airport Businesspark will have a major impact on the region. The location of Inditex in this business park is already being mentioned by Almere in its marketing to recruit new businesses to the city. I expect that more logistics companies will soon locate on our sites as well as in the rest of the polder, and certainly in Almere. Elsewhere in the Netherlands there’s no space any more, nor any staff. Here in Flevoland we have all that on offer.
Lelystad Airport from above (photo Almere Deze Week)

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 Used clothing market for East Romania (page 25)

INDISCHE BUURT – A large clothing fair will be held on Saturday 2 June from 12:00 to 16:00 in the De Wegwijzer building at Makassarweg 80. Hundreds of unused and hardly used garments will be sold for bargain prices.

In addition to clothing there will also be accessories, such as belts, shoes and handbags. The proceeds are for charity work among children in East Romania. Payment can be made by bank debit card. Everyone is welcome and admission is free. For more information contact Paul Wolters, tel. 06-21967610, or visit www.missiegura.nl.

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Kevin van Drumpt is the water mayor of Almere (page 40)

ALMERE – Almere’s very first water mayor was elected last week. Kevin van Drumpt, 31, will be this year’s ambassador for Almere’s waters.

Van Drumpt runs three businesses on or near the water. He was chosen by the jury because of his plans as water mayor – and because he managed to win almost a third of the public vote.


Kevin van Drumpt (Photo: Sven Kraaijenbrink)

“Sailing in Almere is both dream and a secret. Almere is still a long way from being discovered. And I would like to take on this task, as water mayor”, says Van Drumpt.

In cooperation with initiators of the Almere Economic Development Board, he plans to organize events and meetings to involve citizens, entrepreneurs and the municipality more closely with each other – on the subject of water.

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition May 30, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 23 Mei 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries 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 summaries of 7 articles with the following titles:

  1. Almere business substantially more positive about the business climate (page 3)
  2. Businesses offer help in response to Almeerse Uitdaging(page 7)
  3. Expats discover Almere (page 19)
  4. Iftar for all – in Almere (page 27)
  5. Regional water authorityZuiderzeeland seeks best solution for water-logged gardens (page 32)
  6. Voluntary work at VLA (page 37)
  7. Discover Almere by bicycle! (page 43)

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Almere business substantially more positive about the business climate (page 3)

In recent years Almere’s entrepreneurs have become considerably more positive about the business climate in the city. The average rating in 2018 was 7, while in 2016 it was 5.9. This from the municipality’s second Business Survey.

Service Provision

The score for services provided by the municipality also improved. The majority of respondents (60%) rated the municipality between 7 and 9. Of these services, entrepreneurs especially valuedOndernemersplein(help for entrepreneurs) and the accessibility and empathy of account managers as positive, with a score of 6.9 (in 2016 this was 6.6).

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Businesses offer help in response to Almeerse Uitdaging (page 7)

The Almeerse Uitdaging (Almere challenge) has been in operation for a number of months and is achieving its first successes. The Almere Challenge is a business network that challenges businesses to be socially involved.


It was a top-evening at Vis à Vis (photo: Anna van Kooij)

More than a hundred of the four hundred entry tickets offered by Vis à Vis to their performance, with dinner (produced by Voiceworks), have already been used. They were distributed via the VoedselLoket Almere (VLA), the Salvation Army and Kwintes. More than a hundred people who would not otherwise have been able to do so, have now been able to enjoy a great evening.

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Expats discover Almere (page 19)

 ALMERE – Expats, who mostly work in and around Amsterdam, are increasingly discovering Almere. They consider the city pleasant and safe. Which is why they increasingly feel the need to settle in Almere.

Expat Mortgages, a mortgage consultancy firm with 35 employees that works especially for expats and originated in Amsterdam, has designated Almere as a promising growth area.


Henk Jansen in conversation with potential new residents of Almere. (Photo: supplied)

In addition to those for The Hague, Haarlem/Hoofddorp, Utrecht and Eindhoven, the company appointed an advisor specifically for the Almere area in 2018. Expat Mortgages is characterized by the fact that all its communication is in English. Mortgage quotations are translated, reports and calculations are made in English and all clients are accompanied when visiting a notary (in Almere often PVM or Heldoorn Eggels).

Busier

Well-educated international employees, often with a good positions in large companies, spend a large part of their money and leisure time in the local environment. As a result shops sell more, cafes and restaurants are fuller and sports and cultural facilities are more visited and used. The original, local residents also get the opportunity to become acquainted with interesting cultures, like those of Asia, Latin America and Australia.

Expat Mortgages always seeks cooperation with local parties. Real estate agents, notaries, interpreters, valuers, builders and home decorators who are prepared to communicate with clients in English can count on a profitable collaboration with Expat Mortgages. Expat Mortgages has also concluded a sponsorship agreement with International Almere (www.internationalalmere.com).

Challenge

“Because Expats often have little or no command of the Dutch language, we do everything in English”, says Henk Jansen from Expat Mortgages. “It’s not that expats can’t speak Dutch, many of our clients are taking Dutch language and culture courses, but for important documents such as contracts and quotations it is convenient to use English.

This is perhaps the challenge for the local entrepreneur in Almere. If one is prepared to adapt to these new customers, one will probably benefit from the many opportunities they bring. For more information please go to www.expatmortgages.nl

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Iftar for all – in Almere (page 27)

INDISCHE BUURT – This year Zahide Gürbüz Uçurum will again organize Iftar for Almere residents. On Friday 25 May from 20.00 to 23.00 hours the fast will be broken in mixed company as invitees enjoy a buffet.


Iftar will be in the form of a buffet. (Photo: supplied)

During the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan the fast is broken at Iftar every day, after sunset. This is a shared meal, with which Muslims all over the world break their fast, together with family and friends. The Almere Iftar will take place at TMG Partycentrum at Sumatraweg 22 in Almere Buiten.

Uçurum’s aim is to bring together everyone, regardless of background, origin, religion or culture.

For more information visit Facebook.com/SamenFijn

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Regional water authorityZuiderzeeland seeks best solution for water-logged gardens (page 32)

ALMERE – Waterschap (water authority) Zuiderzeeland is hunting the best plan to prevent flooding in domestic gardens after extreme rainfall. It has organized a competition for this purpose. The person with the best solution will win an Intratuin gift voucher worth 500 euros in order to implement the winning plan.

Ideas for combating excessive water in private gardens can be submitted before 31 May via the entry form available at www.zuiderzeeland.nl/formulierprijsvraag

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Voluntary work at VLA (page 37)

VLA (Voedsel Loket Almere – ‘the food counter’) is grateful for its volunteers. Otherwise there would be no VLA! People volunteer to work for VLA for many reasons. Often to contribute to the community and support the fight against poverty.

It has recently also been increasingly possible to find a suitable place in the organization for (former) clients. This helps them to return to normal life, while helping the VLA to help new customers who are still in the pipeline.

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Discover Almere by bicycle! (page 43)

May is the best month for cycling. Get on your bike and discover the nicest parts of Almere!

The ultimate cycling guide! The new ultimate cycling guide (Ultieme Fietsgids Almere) is all the inspiration you’ll need. More information: www.vvvalmere.nl/fietsen

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition May 23, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 16 Mei 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries 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 summaries of 7 articles with the following titles:

  1. Almere City FC makes play-off final (page 1 and 34)
  2. Four-year project delivers key to reducing loneliness (page 5)
  3. Join the Almere City Run for the Kanjer Wens foundation (page 9)
  4. City center shops open on Whit Monday (page 23)
  5. Spectacular events at the fifth national safety day (page 17)
  6. Whitsunday Outdoor Event at SEC Survivals (page 29)
  7. Construction started on second part of Buitenhoutviaduct (page 45)

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Almere City FC makes play-off final

This week Almere City FC will compete in the play-off final for a place in the Dutch premier division. Their opponent is De Graafschap.

Almere City will compete next week (Thursday 17 May and Sunday 20 May) with De Graafschap for a position in the premier division.

(note from International Almere: the result of Thursday 17 May was 1-1.)

(Photo: Ron Baltus)

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Four-year project delivers key to reducing loneliness.

ALMERE – A four year project, Eensaamheid Samenwerking (working together on loneliness), has come to an end. It has shown that there is an increase in the number of lonely people in Flevoland. And that one of the solutions is more collaboration.

“In the beginning little was known about loneliness”, says Flevoland deputy, Harold Hofstra. “But we’ve learned a lot from each other in the last four years. There is more insight, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Collaboration turns out to be the key to reducing loneliness. And loneliness is now on the agenda of municipalities and central government. It is time to get down to work – together. To investigate, together with partners and professionals, how we can make our society more robust.”

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Join the Almere City Run for the Kanjer Wens foundation

STAD CENTRUM – De Almere City Run will take place on Sunday, 10 June. It’s a unique run, through the center of Almere. And with five different distances, there’s a course and distance to suit all runners. The Kids run is 1.8 km and there are also distances of 5 km, 10 km, 15 km and 21 km.

By participating in the Almere City Run runners can set up their own sponsorships to raise money for Stichting Kanjer Wens. This young, non-profit organization is involved in fulfilling the wishes of (seriously) ill children. The Kanjer Wish Days help the children escape their illness for a day, which they can enjoy with their families.

For more information visit kanjerwens.nl/over-almere-city-run/

(photo: Almere Deze Week)

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City center shops open on Whit Monday

STAD CENTRUM – The shops in the center of Almere Stad are open on Whit Monday. Shoppers are welcome on Monday 21 May, between 12.00 and 17.00. Children can be photographed with Cartoon Network stars Tweety and Bugs Bunny at the Forum.

“Following the successful opening on Easter Monday, all shops in the center are now also open on Whit Monday”, says Martin Ort, director of the Almere Centrum Business Association. “We noticed that more and more people came to visit the center on Whit Monday and that more businesses were opening on that day. Which is why the entire shopping area will be open this year, for the first time. It’s a service that’s in line with the ‘Best Inner City’, a title we can use for the coming two years.”

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Spectacular events at the fifth national safety day  

STAD CENTRUM – The national safety day (Landelijke Veiligheidsdag) will be held in Almere for the fifth time. On Saturday, May 26, various emergency services will be demonstrating what their work is all about. Visitors will not only find out what the emergency services do, but will also receive tips on what they themselves should do in emergencies, and how to prevent them happening.

The national safety day will take place between 10.00 and 17.00 hours. At 13.00 hours the official opening will take place, with a sensational display by the joint emergency services on the Weerwater. This will be a thrilling, re-enacted scenario in which a drug boat explodes and two criminals try to escape, the public will get a good impression of the challenging work of emergency services.

For information on the activities at the Forum, Grote Markt, Schipperplein, Stationsplein and Brouwerstraat, please visit www.veiligheidsdag.nl.

Last year, emergency services gave a joint demonstration at the Stadhuisplein, showing how they react in the event of an accident.  (Archive photo: Fred Rotgans)

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Whitsunday Outdoor Event at SEC Survivals

ALMERE – There will be a Whitsun (Pinkster) Outdoor Event On Whitsunday (Sunday 20 May) at Outdoorpark SEC Survivals, Verlaatweg 2, near the Waterlandsebos. This is a celebration full of outdoor activities for young and old, with delicious food and drink and with entertainment and tastings adding to the fun.

The wide range of activities includes archery, canoeing, water trampoline, a laser game, crossbow and air gun shooting (over 18 years), farmers’ miniature golf, twister, rafting, walking on water in a transparent ball, a bungee run, an obstacle run, shooting with a giant catapult and much more. Children can also learn how to make a fire and how to make their own bow.

Lots to eat

All terraces will be open and the extensive lawns can also be used to relax. The kitchen will be open all day, but you can also bring your own picnic basket. From around 17.00 hours the barbecue fires will be burning. These are free to use for preparing your own food. Or you can select from the food prepared by one of the chefs.

Free activities

Entrance is 7,50 euros per person, after which visitors can participate in as many activities as they wish. The activities are available all day long, at no cost. Entry for children up to 3 years old is free of charge.

The event is open from 12.30 to 19.30 hours. For more information and to make a reservation, please visit www.sec-survivals.nl/pinksteren.

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Construction started on second part of Buitenhoutviaduct

Following demolition of the Buitenhoutviaduct (a viaduct over the Tussenring) at the end of April the contractor, Parkway6, started construction of the second new section last week. The construction requires pile-driving and vibratory sheet piling. This may cause inconvenience.

Work will be carried out at night, between 20.00 and 05.00 hours, with the exception of weekends and public holidays. Since work is being carried out close to the A6 motorway, it will be necessary to close a lane to ensure the safety of employees and road users. In order to limit traffic disruption as much as possible, the lane will only be closed at night. The aim is to work as safely as possible, with minimum traffic disruption and noise. Unfortunately, this is not always possible.

(photo: Almere Deze Week)

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition May 16, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 9 Mei 2018


Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find an interview with one of our International Almere members, Luciana Fonseca, and summaries of 3 articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. They have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries 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.

This week we present you the following titles:

  1. Luciana Fonseca – a professional expat in Almere
  2. Productive work behind bars
  3. A free meal for the less fortunate, with Buitengewoon Almere
  4. Almere’s Rebecca Belmer unveils new Solar Boat 2018

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Luciana Fonseca – a professional expat in Almere

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – Luciana and her family have lived in Almere for six months. She is getting used to her new life in the Netherlands. She already reads Dutch well. And is also learning to speak the language. After a lengthy period of international wandering, Luciana Fonseca exchanged Brazil for Almere. “Here we do not, at all, have the feeling of insecurity which we had in São Paulo.” Luciana Fonseca continues, “My experience as an expat was very useful in Almere”.


Luciana Fonseca: “My experience as an expat was very useful in Almere.”
(Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

Professional expats

Fonseca calls her family ‘professional expats’. “We have lived and worked in Brazil, America, Australia, Spain and England, where I met my husband. And now we’re in the Netherlands, in Almere. My husband works for an international group in Amsterdam. The most important thing is to learn the language immediately, in order to be able to integrate properly. I am now taking language lessons at the ROC in Muziekwijk. And our daughter of thirteen is at the International School in Poort. The school was the reason that we came to Almere. The schools in Amsterdam were expensive, and full. So for us, Utrecht and Almere remained as places to live. The choice fell on Almere, because houses here are simply cheaper and because our daughter could seamlessly continue her studies at the International School.

Safety

For Fonseca, the big difference between São Paulo and Almere is, above all, the feeling of security. “In Brazil, everyone is just busy surviving, and that includes surviving robberies and crime. We lived in constant fear that our daughter would be kidnapped. It is so different in Almere. She can go to school by bike, or to the center, or go out with friends – without us having to worry.” Fonseca likes Almere very much. “The space, the nice houses, the architecture, the friendly people, the short distance to Amsterdam – it all makes this a pleasant place to live.” And a couple of other things really strike Fonseca as different, “The district heating – it’s good for the environment. And… the water! It tastes so good here. We haven’t experienced this anywhere else.”

Library

Fonseca’s experience as an expat came in handy. “When I decided to learn the language, I went straight to the library. Wherever I have lived, that’s always the place to get good information. And that goes for Almere too. Via the library I ended up at the ROC.” She also benefits greatly from her membership of the International Almere association. “I go to the Friday Night Drinks in Café op 2, where we talk English to each other. And in the Dutch Language Café at International Almere we only speak Dutch to each other. If I want information it’s easy to get via the International Almere website and Facebook page. My daughter wanted to join a choir… we found one via International Almere.”

Humor

Fonseca still wants to say more about the people of Almere. “They are very nice and very open people, but not as easy to understand as I thought. I often don’t understand the humor here – it’s usually black humor. When someone falls here, they laugh first, and only then do they help. In Australia, it’s exactly the other way around. But don’t misunderstand me, I know that this has to do with culture and also with language. I still have to learn to understand it.”

Fonseca was originally a photographic designer. “And in Australia I taught English. Now I am setting up my own, online business. So if we move to another country again, I can take my online company with me. But that is not yet the case. It suits us well here. First of all, my daughter must get her diploma. The International School was the reason to come and live here. She likes it very much, and so do we.”

Luciana can be followed online on YouTube, Facebook and blog. Search term: Lugoesdutch. Association for Expats in Almere: www.internationalalmere.com

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Productive work behind bars

By Marcel Beijer

DE VAART – There’s work going on at the Almere penitentiary. During their stay, the 300 or so detainees can choose to work in one of nine work rooms. Everything is aimed at ensuring that detainees’ return to society is optimized, via a reintegration process. This is based on the five areas in which many problems are experienced – identity, housing, income, healthcare and debt. If these are identified, targeted help can be offered and the chance that the problems will repeat is much smaller.

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A free meal for the less fortunate, with Buitengewoon Almere

By Hestia Ruben

ALMERE – Food surpluses are being processed into healthy meals and distributed to the less privileged – people on a low income. Buitengewoon Almere, which started with an alliance of five partners, served its first meal at the Salvation Army in Almere Buiten in September, 2017. In the meantime, 35 coalition partners have joined the project and it is also active in Stad and Haven.


Millicent Schepman at work in the kitchen of “Hand in Hand 4all” in “de Bloemenbuurt”. (Photo: Fred Rotgans)

Almere has around 12,000, registered, minimum-income households. These are people with such a low income that they find it difficult to put a healthy meal on the table every day.

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Almere’s Rebecca Belmer unveils new Solar Boat 2018

ALMERE – On Thursday, 5 April, the TU Delft Solar Boat Team unveiled its latest solar-powered hydrofoil, at its partner, Bayards. Almere student Rebecca Belmer unveiled the boat.

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition May 9, 2018. They were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 2 Mei 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries 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 summaries of 7 articles with the following titles:

  1. Remembrance Day in Almere, 4 May
  2. Memorial for Children, on 4 May from 18.00 hrs
  3. This year: sixteen Royal Decorations
  4. Almere residents feel increasingly safer
  5. Nine out of ten Almere residents enjoy living in their own neighborhood
  6. New ‘dog map’ for Almeerderhout issued by Staatsbosbeheer
  7. Liberation Day Festival in Almere

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The inheritance of freedom: Remembrance Day in Almere, 4 May (page 5)

ALMERE – On May 4, in Almere, the victims of the Second World War are commemorated at the Dolphin monument in Haven. All those who fell during the Second World War, and during other wars around the world, are remembered. We contemplate living in freedom and reflect on all those who, to this day, are restricted in their freedom, for whatever reason. The central focus is on how to pass on the inheritance of freedom.

(Photo: Almere Deze Week)

Livestream

The commemoration can be followed via livestream at the Grote Markt and also in your living room. A link can be found at www.4en5meialmere.nl

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Memorial for Children, on 4 May from 18.00 hrs, Het Bos der Onverzettelijken renewed (page 7)

 By Robert Mienstra

VERZETSWIJK – Jeugdland Stad and the Bos der Onverzettelijken organizations are holding this commemoration of child victims for the twenty-fifth time on May 4th. From 18.00 to 19.00 there will be an informative tour. At 19.30 hrs the commemoration will be performed by and for the Children. The commemoration takes place at the sculpture, ‘Het Tandwiel’ (the gear), at the edge of the Bos der Onverzettelijken next to Vrijheidsdreef, at Verzetswijk.

The Anne Frank tree – at the center of the Herdenkingsveld (memorial field).

(Photo: Almere Deze Week)

Het Tandwiel shows parts of the history of the Second World War on a monthly basis. (Photo: Almere Deze Week)

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This year: sixteen Royal Decorations (page 7)

 By Robert Mienstra

STAD CENTRUM – Mayor Franc Weerwind presented no less than sixteen royal decorations last Thursday at the Kunstlinie Almere Flevoland. Most of those decorated had been brought the hall under false pretenses, to make the surprise even bigger.

The mayor presented sixteen Royal Decorations – twelve Members, three Knights and one Officer of the Order of Orange Nassau. In total, 2,912 Royal Decorations were awarded in the Netherlands.

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Almere residents feel increasingly safer (page 9)

ALMERE – In comparison with four years ago, any feelings of insecurity among the inhabitants of Almere have diminished. The report shows that residents rate the livability and safety of the neighborhood higher. Various forms of nuisance have been reduced, as has the number of victims of crime. Social cohesion in the neighborhood remains stable. This is a selection of the results of Veiligheidsmonitor-Wijkpeiling 2017 (security monitor district survey 2017), in which more than 8000 Almere residents participated.

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Nine out of ten Almere residents enjoy living in their own neighborhood (page 19)

 ALMERE – Almere’s residents rate the livability of their neighborhoods at 7.2. They experience fewer traffic and social nuisance than inhabitants of other large municipalities. This is evident from the large survey of residents on safety and quality of life in the neighborhood, carried out in the autumn of 2017. All the information – by district, neighborhood and topic – can be found at www.wijkmonitoralmere.nl. Nearly 26,000 Almere residents aged 15 and over were invited to fill in the questionnaire and 8,029 responded.

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New ‘dog map’ for Almeerderhout issued by Staatsbosbeheer (page 31)

HOUT – As of this week a new ‘dog map’ is available for the Staatsbosbeheer (national parks board) areas in Almere. The map shows where dogs are allowed to run loose, have to be on a leash or are totally prohibited.

The leaflet can be downloaded from www.staatsbosbeheer.nl/hondenalmere

The rules that apply to the areas can also be read on the entrance signs.

 (Photo: Almere Deze Week)

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Liberation Day Festival in Almere (page 33)

ALMERE – As is the case every year on Liberation Day, there will be a number of spectacular performances throughout the city center. There will be performances throughout the day on the stage at the Esplanade, by big names like Ronnie Flex, Douwe Bob and Coen & Sander. The Grote Markt and Restaurantplein Belfort will also host live artists.

Visit www.almerecentrum.nl  for a complete overview of performances and activities on 4th and 5th May.

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Widened Waterlandseweg opened (page 41)

 ALMERE – The widened Waterlandseweg (N305) was opened on Tuesday 24 April by Flevoland deputy, Jaap Lodders. The Waterlandseweg has been widened from two to four lanes in order to keep Almere accessible as the city grows.

The doubled road width will ensure that traffic will continue to flow smoothly and safely in the future.

The wide central reservation with trees preserves the forested character of the Waterlandseweg.

(Photo: Almere Deze Week)

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition May 2, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

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 28 March 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. The undermining of society… also in Almere. Mayor Weerwind: ‘We’re on top of it’.
2.  Almere 7th biggest city in the Netherlands
3.  Council handles major election task easily
4.  FARE foundation’s jumble sale on Easter Monday
5.  A quiet walk towards the light of Easter morning
6.  Outdoor activities for the whole family
7.  Almere Centrum: shops open on Easter Monday
8.  Environmentally-friendly shores for Noorderplassen and Weerwater
9.  Almere volunteers in action for refugees
10. Making an Easter Nest – at the library

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1. The undermining of society… also in Almere. (page 3)
Mayor Weerwind: ‘We’re on top of it’.
By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – The intertwining of the underworld with the normal world is also underway in Almere. “A serious matter”, says Mayor Franc Weerwind. “The inhabitants often do not see it, but undermining also takes place in Almere … As a municipality we are on top of it.

“Organized crime in Almere is close to normal life and close to the ordinary inhabitants”, explains Weerwind. “There are many ways in which subversion can take place. Drug money laundering, unauthorized use of subsidies, license fraud, ghost companies, hemp plantations, ‘fencing’ stolen goods, underground banking. Everything happens in Almere. Society is undermined when criminal financial flows are channeled into mainstream society.”

Marijuana plantations
“We close about 170 per year…One in four medium-sized house fires in the Netherlands are caused by marijuana cultivation…”, says Weerwind.

Hospitality industry
This is a vulnerable branch of business where permits are strictly controlled by the municipality. Occasionally on the Grote Markt one can see members of motorbike gangs sitting on the terraces. Weerwind continues, “…We make every effort to ensure that outlaw biker gangs do not get a foothold in Almere”.

Collaboration
There is a considerable national deficit in the fight against subversion. There is little or no cooperation between public authorities. “Here in Almere, we do work well together”, explains Weerwind. Consulting with Police, the public prosecutor’s office, tax authorities and housing cooperatives works, he learnt in Ijmuiden.

Weerwind took these experiences with him to Almere, so the cooperation is good. “Where we need chain partners and bureaucrats, let’s connect with them. That works. The Regional Information and Expertise Centre (RIEC) means a lot to us.

Effective”
Weerwind states that the closer one looks the more subversion one sees. So Almere watches everything – hospitality, industrial areas, licenses. Personnel has been made available to do this and the topic is firmly on the agenda at the council.

Politics
There is national interest in the undermining of politics and the municipality. There are political parties, particularly in Brabant and Limburg, that had people with a criminal background on their list of candidates. “It is up to the political parties to monitor this properly,” says Weerwind. “We have firm agreements in Almere when it comes to the integrity of the council…”

Report crime anonymously

“I call on the residents of our city to be alert,” says Mayor Franc Weerwind. “If you suspect any subversion or organized crime, the way to report it is via Meld Misdaad Anoniem (report crime anonymously): www.meldmisdaadanoniem.nl/

“If a car buyer pays 70,000 euros in cash, the car dealer should be aware of possible issues. If a pupil walks around at school with a lot of cash, then the school has to get to work on that and perhaps inform us.

“The residents are the eyes and ears of the city. Safety is a matter for all of us.”

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2. Almere 7th biggest city in the Netherlands (page 7)

ALMERE – Almere has surpassed Groningen in terms of population and is now the seventh largest city in the Netherlands. The next city to be passed is Tilburg (214,000).

On 1 January 2018, Almere had 204,031 inhabitants. Groningen has 202,747. At fifth place is Eindhoven with more than 227,000. The four largest cities are Utrecht, The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

According to a spokesman for the Municipality of Groningen, it is quite possible that it will once again overtake Almere this year.

The table shows the growth of the city, as well as the forecast of growth for the coming years. (Infographic: Research & Statistics/Municipality of Almere)

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3. Council handles major election task easily (page 17)

Theresa Versteegt-Vermaak, together with her colleagues Inge and Jacqueline, was at the town hall early. They ensured that the municipal elections went well, for 24 hours. The first four polling stations opened at 6 a.m. and the rest at 8.30 p.m. There were 98 full-time polling stations in Almere.

No fewer than 1,200 people, volunteers and civil servants were involved in the organization of the elections last week. In addition, another 400 reserve members were on standby. Per polling station there were four civilian members in the first part of the day. The second part was staffed by two citizens, two officials and four additional counters. In addition, around 125 people worked at the town hall on logistics and around ten more on communication and ICT. The election team of Theresa, Inge and Jacqueline spent six months’ full time, preparing and following up the elections.

Jaap Meindersma from the municipality followed the whole day closely, and Bart Buijs from www.dagalmere.nl recorded the election evening in text and photographs. Almere DEZE WEEK and Omroep Flevoland provided a live blog.

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4. FARE foundation’s jumble sale on Easter Monday (page 21)

FARE, an Almere foundation that works for people living near the poverty line in Almere, is organizing a jumble sale on Easter Monday. It’s from 12.00 to 16.00 hours, at FARE, at Hofmark 271, in the former school – De Dubbeldekker. For the children there are activities such as coloring in, shuffleboard and being made up.

The foundation will use the proceeds of the sale to help their clients and members.

In Almere, there is more poverty than you might think. Through their closed Facebook group, which has more than 750 members, FARE helps hundreds of people in Almere.

If you would like to help the foundation with food sponsorship, a financial contribution and/or in other ways, please contact the FARE Almere Foundation by telephone on 06-58822163 or email info@fare-almere.nl.

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5. A quiet walk towards the light of Easter morning (page 21)

CASCADEPARK – In the Cascade Park in Almere Poort, a meditation garden has been created in the shape of a labyrinth, inspired by the Labyrinth of Chartres. It was laid out by De Schone Poort church.

The church calls the labyrinth ‘a symbol of our path of life. Walking silently through a labyrinth, one can meditate on one’s way of life’.

Walking meditation

From Monday 26 to Saturday 31 March there is a ‘walking meditation’ at the labyrinth, every evening at 20.00 hrs. On Easter morning, Sunday 1 April, the start is at 06:30, in the dark, at the parking lot of the cemetery in Kruidenwijk. Interested parties will walk in silence to ‘the Light’. This is followed by an Easter breakfast in the De Ruimte neighborhood center at Nimfenplein 1.

More information: www.deschonepoort.nl. Register for participation via info@deschonepoort.nl

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6. Outdoor activities for the whole family (page 21)

HOUT – On Monday, April 2 Staatsbosbeheer will organize, for the 23rd time, a ‘Doe- & Kijkdag’ (open day) at the outdoor center Almeerderhout, on Stadslandgoed de Kemphaan. From 10.30 to 16.00 there will be various (outdoor) activities for the whole family.

A small fee is charged for some of the activities. Parking costs 5 euros. Admission is free.

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7. Almere Centrum: shops open on Easter Monday (page 23)

Be photographed with the Easter Bunny!

STAD – On Easter Sunday the shops in Almere Center will be open from 12:00 – 17:00. After shopping eat out somewhere, to complete your Easter long weekend.

Be photographed with the Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny will be around all day to hand out eggs. Find him – and be photographed with him.

Easter Market

On Good Friday and Easter Monday the Easter market will be at the Stadhuisplein.

Travel at a discount

On Easter Monday you can travel all day throughout Almere with Allgo buses – for just 1 euro per person.

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8. Environmentally-friendly shores for Noorderplassen and Weerwater (page 77)

ALMERE – The municipality of Almere, the province of Flevoland and the Zuiderzeeland Water Board will work together to improve water quality in the Noorderplassen and Weerwater. This will be done by, among other things, constructing environmentally-friendly shorelines.

Noorderplassen and Weerwater do not currently meet the water quality objectives of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). In order for the lakes to function properly from an ecological point of view, it is necessary to construct environmentally-friendly shores. Alderman Frits Huis: “For example, the enviromentally-friendly shores of Lumière Park can be combined with the municipality’s intention to create an attractive natural playground in the context of the Rondje Weerwater project.

The shorelines will be built in the period 2018-2020.

Water Framework Directive

Under the European Water Framework Directive (WFD), designated waters such as Weerwater and Noorderplassen will have to meet the chemical and ecological quality requirements by 2027. Thanks to measures such as the construction of sustainable and nature-friendly banks, Flevoland can comply with the WFD.

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9. Almere volunteers in action for refugees (page 73)

ALMERE – In the week of 26 – 31 March, Almere volunteers will collect for the ZOA foundation. Using the theme ‘Think about refugees worldwide’, the aid organization will be drawing attention to the more than 65 million people who are currently fleeing from wars and natural disasters.

In addition to the traditional collection box, a new digital collection box will also be used in Almere.

Helprich ten Heuw is involved in the collection – as the ZOA area coordinator. “A disaster happens to one – like a conflict, for instance… The ZOA employees receive the refugees on the spot or in a neighboring country and help them there with the most needed supplies…”

Digital collection box

Throughout the country, 15,000 people will take to the streets. Some of them will set off with the digital collection box. With this ZOA wants to give everyone the chance to donate, even those people who do not have small change at home. The ZOA collectors can be recognized by their IDs.

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10. Making an Easter Nest – at the library (page 73)

CITY CENTER – Atelier Zoo Creative will, on Monday 2 April, Easter Monday, work with children from 4 years of age to create their own Easter nest. At 15.00 hours there will be a theatre performance for children of 3 years and older. Both events are in the library at the Stadhuisplein.

Participation costs 2.50 euros and the event will take place from 13.30 to 14.30 hours.

At 15.00 there will be a youth theatre performance, ‘Nest’ (3+), in the new hall. The birds Ooi and Vaar have been working for years, providing an animal care service. Until one day an animal ends up with them that they have never seen before. They build a warm nest for their new acquisition. But then the real parents come forward. Where is their child?

Tickets cost 6 euros for members, 8 euros for non-members.

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Note: All of the above articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition March 28, 2018. They were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 21 March 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.

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Councilor Herrema: ‘Stopping Floriade is irresponsible’
By Robert Meinstra

Almere – Last week the PVV (a Dutch political party) published the research done by agency Rebel, from which the party concluded that stopping Floriade would be less costly than proceeding with the world horticultural exhibition. Councilor Tjeerd Herrema (PvdA) called this conclusion irresponsible.
 He said that stopping would cost 24 to 74 million euros, so stopping was not an option for his party. In fact, stopping would be irresponsible.
He also said that Rebel had based the hotel bookings on the current number of beds available, while various hotel initiatives are being considered which would double the number of beds in Almere. And that there were other benefits.
He said Rebel had concluded that there was a risk that stopping would create higher costs and produce no income. The central question in the report was whether a proper risk analysis had taken place and the answer to that was yes and that it was precisely in line with his party’s conclusion to continue with Floriade.

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Half of 45+ residents employed, thanks to Almere reintegration method
By Robert Mienstra

Almere – “Two years ago the municipality, together with the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), started an employment program for citizens over 45 with social or unemployment benefits. Of the 295 participants 154 (52%) found paid employment. In 2015, however, only 15% of this group had been successful in this regard. Though it’s a big mistake to think that this improvement came from economic growth”, says councilor Froukje de Jonge (from the Dutch political party, CDA).
 She explained that despite the feeling that there were many work opportunities, the 45+ group were discriminated against and the number of them on benefits was growing, nationally. Almere’s approach solved this problem.
The council and UWV devoted time to discovering and correcting the social, self-worth and financial issues of the 45+ age group, enabling them to re-train and to find jobs again – a significant number of which were technical.

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No coffee shop for Meridiaanpark
By Marcel Beijer

Buiten Centrum – The decision that there will definitely be no coffee shop in the Meridiaanpark in (Almere) Buiten was made by a majority of the municipal council on Thursday. An alternative location is not currently to be found.
The executive board of the council saw this as the only location for a coffee shop in Buiten and had earlier decided that legal marijuana outlets should be situated in every district of Almere. This resolution was discontinued due to energetic local protest, subsequently supported by parties ChristenUnie and PVV who tried unsuccessfully to block any further consideration of a fourth coffee shop.
It was decided to suspend the decision until a suitable location in Buiten presented itself.

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Oostvaardersplassen protestors charged

Oostvaardersplassen – Protestors looked on as park wardens shot a weakened red deer in the Oostvaardersplassen on Saturday, 17 March. This resulted in a riot, following which police arrested three people.  
Wardens had issued warnings to onlookers after which some left. It took three shots to kill the animal according to protestors. According to the wardens the animal was dead after a single shot.
Issues had previously arisen about supplementary winter feeding for the animals with little feed being available, illegal feeding taking place from unknown sources and Flevoland province calling in the help of vets to advise on and supervise feeding.
The Van Geel Commission is currently working on a new policy framework (report due end March 2018) for the area, on behalf of the province, with Bosbeheer pointing to the need for careful integration of objectives regarding nature, public access and the welfare of the large grazing animals.

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Almere keeps getting greener

Almere is a green city. Statistics published on groenmonitor.nl provided by Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra) indicate that we are actually the greenest city in the Netherlands. Almere’s typical green-blue combination of forest, lakes, parks and wetlands is seen as one of the city’s key characteristics, making it distinctive in the region and offering an attractive, healthy environment for living and business.       
We aim to improve this, making the city greener and even more attractive for residents, visitors and fauna by investing in the green-blue context of Almere, together with national and provincial government, Staatsbosbeheer, Stichting Flevo-landschap, local organizations and residents. To further our green aims, an annual program of activities and projects, Groenblauw, is drawn up and submitted to the city council.
This shows, via 2017 results and 2018 plans, that tangible results are being achieved.

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What happens to your vote

The voting locations will close on 21 March at 21.00 hours, after which election night continues at the city hall. Many politicians and involved residents will meet to hear the first results – and it’s an especially exciting night for the candidates. Did your party make it to the municipal council – and will you make it, personally? How many party members will there be to share the future workload? Who will be elected from among the opposing parties? And yet the elections are just the beginning . . .

Counting
There are 115 voting locations in Almere, which count and deliver their results to a central voting office at the city hall.

Division of seats
There are 45 council seats in Almere. These are divided among the various parties. You are welcome to attend election night at the city hall to see the parties’ representation on the council unfold.

Who sits on the council?
Once the allocation of seats to parties is known, the selection of individual representatives can start. These are not necessarily the people at the top of the election lists, but those who will gain the most preferential votes.

Appointment
Council members are appointed once all voting and preferential voting is complete and after confirmation of their credentials by the outgoing council.

Swearing in
The outgoing council retires, in full, on Tuesday 27 March. All new councilors who have approved credentials are sworn in on Thursday 29 March.

Forming the council’s executive board
The new executive board is formed from the newly elected council and the formation process is mostly led by the winning party in the election.

Executive board appointment
Once party negotiations to form an executive board agreement are finalized the members of the executive are named.

To work!
Now the real council work begins – to which the councilors are committed for four years.                       

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Welcome to the Greenhouse – on Saturday 7 April

Buitenvaart – Kom in de Kas (Welcome to the Greenhouse) will give Almere’s residents an opportunity to get to know the surprising world concealed under greenhouse glass. Ten Almere-Buiten businesses will take part, opening their doors from 10.00 to 16.00 to let people experience the beauty of greenhouse horticulture.    
A wide variety of food and decorative products are grown under glass in Almere-Buitenvaart. This is the Netherlands’ largest, urban, horticultural area and increasingly focuses on the connection between city and horticulture. Not to be missed is Onze Volkstuin, in which residents have joined their efforts and formed a unique kind of family business that feeds their passions for both gardening and organic vegetables.
A clown, gardening and horticultural info, sweets and an interactive detective game guarantee fun for children. Download the Kom in de Kas app to start the treasure hunt now.
Read more at www.buitenvaart.nl

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20 Almere organizations join to combat overweight and obesity

City Centre – The organizations together with councilor Rene Peeters signed the Almere Healthy Weight Pact on Friday, 16 March and will act jointly to combat (potential) childhood overweight and obesity.
This was the second signing of the pact and added 12 parties to the original 8. These public, private and voluntary organizations give priority to fighting childhood obesity as well as establishing a closed chain of detection, support and long-term care.

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Visit Lambs’ Day at the Vroege Vogelbos

Vroege Vogelbos – After the cold winter months everyone’s looking forward to the Spring – and to celebrate it Stad & Natuur has invited everyone to Lambs’ Day on Sunday, 25 March.
From 12.00 to 16.00 visitors can enjoy a variety of workshops, demonstrations, theatre and, of course, lambs! The various activities are also supported by the Almeerse Wolunie (wool union) and ‘Kunstbus’.

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Staatsbosbeheer is organizing the 23rd Open Day at the Buitencentrum in Almeerderhout on 2 April.
There will be fun activities and demonstrations for the whole family.
Read more at:
www.kemphaan.nl

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Almere’s waste to become green concrete 

Almere – Almere council and the recycling company, De Vijfhoek, have agreed the implementation of the winning plan from the Upcycle City competition held last year. This means that De Vijfhoek will start to implement the ‘Almere circular economic area development’ plan.
De Vijfhoek will invest in application research, in processing gas digestate waste and in technology to make ‘green concrete’. An important aspect of the plan is the collaboration between De Vijfhoek, Theo Pouw BV, Millvision, and Groen Gas Almere in order to utilize Almere’s waste streams, each other’s waste (gas digestate), mutually exchange heat and make green CO2 available to local gardeners.

Sustainable concrete plant    
De Vijfhoek’s investment in the plant is key to the project. The plant will make construction concrete consisting of 30 to 50% (and rising in coming years to 80%) recycled material. Non-construction concrete will ultimately consist of 100% recycled material.

Agreement
This involves co-financing of 2,410,830 euros for three years by the Fonds Verstedelijking Almere, with the condition that three times that amount is invested by the consortium. The investment covers all aspects of the development and construction of the large-scale, green concrete plant.

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Swap a paving tile for a plant

Almere – Between 24 March and 24 June residents of Almere will get a free plant in exchange for one of their own garden paving tiles. The city council hopes that residents will plant more green in their gardens, as a result. 
 Greener (front) gardens benefit bees and insects, reduce urban heat retention and help rainwater to enter the ground. Tiles can be exchanged for a flower voucher (valid at local garden centers) at the two recycling stations in Almere Buiten and Almere Poort or at the Upcyclecentrum in Almere Haven.
More information: www.growinggreencities.nl

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Note: Alle of the above articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition March 21, 2018. They were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl