Tag Archives: International Almere

English translations of local news of Almere


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. These articles were publishe is edition 12th and 19th of September 2018. 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. New PostNL sorting center good for 400 jobs
  2. Guest writer Redmond O’Hanlon presents book
  3. Former mayor Jorritsma appointed Floriade Commissioner-General
  4. Windsurfing girls wanted for Almere Centraal competition team
  5. Organizations join forces against human trafficking and exploitation
  6. Pieter Baan Centrum definitely coming to Almere
  7. 2018 house rentals increase outstrips 2017

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New PostNL sorting center good for 400 jobs (edition 19thof September, page 3)

STICHTSEKANT – PostNL is constructing a parcel sorting center at Stichtsekant business park in Almere, alongside Waterlandseweg. It is expected that this facility will create approximately 400 new jobs. Alderman Maaike Veeningen of Economic and Spatial Development drove the first pile for the new building, on Wednesday.

Sustainability

PostNL says it takes sustainability seriously. The parcel sorting center will, for example, incorporate the highest possible level of sustainability (i.e. BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification). And, in coming years, the fleet will increasingly switch to electric trucks and vans. The roof of the new distribution center will have solar panels and the building will have LED lighting and be completely gas-free.


Driving the first pile together. (Photo: Feenstra Photography)

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Guest writer Redmond O’Hanlon presents book, ‘De Groene Stad’ (edition 19thof September, page 5)

 ‘I first detested Almere, then I embraced it’

By Petra Onderwater

ALMERE – On first acquaintance with Almere he detested its grey concrete, but during his three-year stay here, writer Redmond O’Hanlon came to increasingly appreciate the city. “I missed Almere even before I left it, when my job as guest writer was done”, says O’Hanlon. On Thursday evening he presented his book ‘De Groene Stad’ – the result of his discovery of Almere, at Schouwburg Almere.


Redmond O’Hanlon was interviewed during the book presentation by Emile Brugman of Uitgeverij Atlas Contact. (Photo: Studio Fred Rotgans/Beau de Bruijn)

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Former mayor Jorritsma appointed Floriade Commissioner-General (edition 12thof September, page 7)

 ALMERE – Minister Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) has decided to appoint Annemarie Jorritsma-Lebbink, former mayor of Almere, as Commissioner General of Floriade Almere 2022.


Annemarie Jorritsma. (Archive photo: Fred Rotgans)

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Windsurfing girls wanted for Almere Centraal competition team (edition 12thof September, page 9)

ALMERE – Windsurfvereniging Almere Centraal is looking for female windsurfers, to form a new competition team. The windsurfing association aims to give enthusiastic windsurfers extensive experience in slalom and course racing competitions in the Netherlands, under professional supervision.

Girls between 11 and 16 years old are welcome to contact Windsurfvereniging Almere Centraal.

For more information visit http://www.almerecentraal.nl/wedstrijdsurfen/wedstrijdteam.
World champion Lilian de Geus sets the perfect example for new windsurfing talent. (Photo: Teunis van der Poel)

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Organizations join forces against human trafficking and exploitation (edition 12thof September, page 21)

ALMERE – Involved organizations are joining forces to combat human trafficking and exploitation in Almere and Flevoland. Veiligheidshuis Almere, Veilig Thuis, Terwille verslavingszorg, JGZ Almere, Scharlaken, GGD Flevoland, RIEC, Salvation Army, Blijf Groep, Zorggroep Almere and the municipality of Almere signed a declaration of intent to this end, last week.

Exhibition

In addition to signing the declaration of intent, a photographic  exhibition, ‘Open je ogen’ (Open your Eyes’), was held at the Grote Markt, to increase awareness that human trafficking occurs much more often than is apparent. CoMensha, the national coordination center against human trafficking, together with the Open Mind foundation and photographer Ernst Coppejans, have found thirty people willing to tell the stories that haunt their eyes. Stories about severe forms of violence and threat, about rapes resulting in pregnancy and about not wanting to carry on. In order to guarantee security and privacy, the photographs are presented in such a way that they cannot be traced back to the individual subjects.  The portraits will be displayed at the Grote Markt until Thursday, 27 September.


Photographic exhibition ‘Open je ogen’, at the Grote Markt. (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

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Pieter Baan Centrum definitely coming to Almere (edition 12thof September, page 25)

STRIPHELDENBUURT – The Pieter Baan Centrum is definitely coming to Almere. The psychiatric observation clinic will be located next to De Oostvaarders forensic psychiatric center in the Stripheldenbuurt.

The Pieter Baan Centrum is regularly in news covering major incidents involving an offender. The center then observes the person concerned, in order to analyze his behavior. Talk that the center would move to the clinic in the Stripheldenbuurt has been going on for some time, but the move was repeatedly postponed. The center has been located in Utrecht, for almost 70 years. Over the years, the building it was in became very outdated. It was decided to move to partly newly-constructed premises in Almere, rather than carry out major maintenance on the old building. The move to Almere is scheduled for 10 September. The new, freestanding PBC building is located at Carl Barksweg 3, immediately next door to FPC de Oostvaarders. The new building will be officially opened on 8 October by Minister Dekker of Rechtsbescherming (Legal Protection).

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2018 house rentals increase outstrips 2017 (edition 12thof September, page 39)

ALMERE – House rental payments were on average 2.3 percent up in July 2018, compared to a year ago. In July 2017 the year-on-year rental increase was 1.6 percent. The rental increase for social housing provided by housing corporations was relatively low at 1.7 percent.

Other social housing providers raised their rentals by 3.3 percent. Rentals for houses in the private sector rose by 3.0 percent. This was reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of new statistics.

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition 12thand 19thof September 2018. The summaries were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

A 2 minute video about Courtesie you can watch here:

 

English translations of local news of Almere

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 5th of September 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. New traffic situation on A6 at ‘t Oor
2. Orientation week at MBO college Almere is mainly hard work
3. Benefit concert for earthquake victims
4. Soapbox race from Forum to Esplanade
5. Almere Centrum presents specialty shops booklet
6. Almere triathlon participants ready to start
7. Housing prices up 6.5 percent on average in 2018

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New traffic situation on A6 at ‘t Oor (page 3)

ALMERE – New A6 traffic lanes, on-ramps and exits are ready for use. A temporary overpass has also been opened for cyclists, cars and buses. This temporary overpass replaces the Noorderdreef underpass. Road-users will clearly need to adapt to the new situation.
Measures taken
Rijkswaterstaat is monitoring whether there are bottlenecks and, if so, where they are and how to best deal with the affected traffic flow. Traffic controllers and sign trailers were deployed at various locations, extra yellow signboards have been placed and the public have been alerted to the new situation repeatedly via social media. Road surface markings have also been changed.
‘t Oor
The situation at ‘t Oor is temporary and will continue until the end of the first quarter of 2019. The ‘t Oor overpass at McDonald’s will then be put into operation and the temporary overpass will be demolished. Again, road-users will have to adapt to this situation as it unfolds.


Temporary traffic situation at ‘t Oor will last until end of first quarter, 2019. (Photo: Rijkswaterstaat)

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Orientation week at MBO college Almere is mainly hard work (page 5)

ALMERE – Students of MBO College Almere have started the first week of the new academic year with introductory activities and sports days. The MBO College has registered about 20 percent more first-year students than in the previous year. Media and Design students were immediately hard at work, in a week focused on an exhibition and book presentation.

Exhibition
“The standard of first-year students has never been this high”, says Frank Maas, Media and Design and ICT education manager. Students were tasked with creating a work of art on the first day of the orientation week. Using printing techniques, photoshop and a generous dose of creativity, students were surprised both their teachers and senior students. “You can see that the students already have a lot of experience and have already developed themselves considerably”, reacted Daniël, a third-year student. The work was exhibited at MBO College Almere at the end of last week.

Book presentation
Teacher Ruben de Haas wanted to leave his students with something special when he left to take another step in his career. He ended his teaching time with a project in which 48 students were each asked to design one page. Said Jari, a third year student, “My design tries to reflect the commotion going on in my head. This is represented by many different shapes and lines, but forms a whole”. The individual pages are collected in a book, ‘Made you look’. Said De Haas, “I wanted to give free rein to the students’ creativity. This resulted in a book with a different creation on every page. Each page is unique and different, just like the participating students”.


Media and Design students pose proudly with The Book (l to r): Rohit, Jari, Daniël, Wies. (Photo: Thalita Blöte)

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Benefit concert for earthquake victims (page 7)

Almere residents campaign for Lombok

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – Almere residents Tress Mataram and Richard Sitanala are taking action for the victims of the earthquake disaster on Lombok. On 13 October they will present a gala benefit performance. The proceeds will go to the victims on Lombok.
Entertainment donated
The gala will take place on Saturday, 13 October 2018, in Dorpshuis Hanswijk, Hanswijk 1, 1934 CP, in Egmond a/d Hoef, from 16.00 to 23.00. Tickets are 10 euros. Children under 12 years will be admitted free of charge. And there is plenty of free parking. Indonesian dishes will be catered by the Rasa Lombok restaurant. Dancers Tabita Lestari and Eddy Sugianto will donate their performance, as will dance group Nuansa Seni Indonesia, singers Diana Monoarfa, Theresia, Dewi Mass, Melanie Foeh, Grace Natalia, Dewi ten Cate, Vivi Subono, Asti Dewi and special guest from Ambon, Roy Tuhumury. The gala event is presented by Betty and Richard Sitanala.


Singer Theresia draws attention to Lombok at the Pasar Malam in Almere. (Photo: Fred Rotgans)

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Soapbox race from Forum to Esplanade (page 9)

Two age groups: 7 – 9 years and 10 – 12 years.

STAD – Following enormous success in 2017, the soapbox cart event will again take place at Almere City Esplanade on 6 October. A ‘professional’ circuit will be constructed from the Forum to the Esplanade with a start ramp, challenging obstacles, safety hay bales, grid girls and a steep, downhill route to the finish.

Up to the challenge? Registration is available for two age groups, 7 to 9 years and 10 to 12 years, but for a limited number of entries. Registration of race entries closes on September 22nd. A single soapbox cart may participate once in both categories. So, for instance, an 8 year-old and his/her 10 year old friend will only have to build one soapbox for both to participate. Registration fee is 7.50 euros per child.
To register email joost@oerz.nl

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Almere Centrum presents specialty shops booklet (page 15)

STAD CENTRUM – Almere Centrum is now home to more than 400 shops. In addition to the major retail chains there are also many specialty shops, which adds to the fun of visiting the center. The stories behind these unique, small businesses are now bundled in the booklet ‘036 winkeltjes’ (036 shops).
For more information go to www.almerecentrum.nl
The booklet ‘036 winkeltjes’ is a collection of the stories behind the center’s specialty shops. (Photo: Erik Frings)

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Almere triathlon participants ready to start (page 29)

ALMERE – Triathlon fever will grip Almere this weekend. Challenge Almere-Amsterdam is on the agenda. At least 3,500 athletes will be at the start, including an extremely strong professional contingent.


Almere participants are ready for the triathlon. (Photo: Fred Rotgans)

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Housing prices up 6.5 percent on average in 2018 (page 35)

ALMERE – The average municipal valuation of homes rose in 2018 for the third, consecutive year. On 1 January 2018 the average valuation was 230,000 euros per home, 6.5 percent more than in the previous year. This is according to the latest figures from CBS (Statistics Netherlands). Valuations in Almere rose by five to eight percent.

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition 5th of September. The summaries were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

A 2 minute video about Courtesie you can watch here:

 

 

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” editions 22nd and 29th of August 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 12 articles with the following titles:

  1. Construction of Waterhout campsite on Schateiland started
  2. Almere student second in world solar boat race championship
  3. Urgent call to witnesses to come forward!
  4. Almere developing into an international attraction
  5. Almere Haven Festival will be spectacular
  6. Rabobank: housing prices increase by 8.7 percent in 2018
  7. More than sixty Burendag activities in Almere
  8. Oldest scale model of Haven is located in Lelystad
  9. 10,000 senior citizens at Forever Young Festival
  10. Brass event on the town hall square in Almere City
  11. Heritage Day on 8 and 9 September
  12. Poortdreef below A6 closed from 10 September

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Construction of Waterhout campsite on Schateiland started (edition 22ndof august, page 3)

By Robert Mienstra

NOORDERPLASSEN – The construction of the Waterhout campsite on Schateiland in the Noorderplassen started last week. Jeanine and Sander Fokkens marked the start by cutting a ribbon. More than forty regular guests of Waterhout were offered a tour around the island on the Almere Veertje (ferry).


Jeanine and Sander Fokkens: “Construction of the Waterhout campsite on Schateiland is hereby  started.” (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

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Almere student second in world solar boat race championship (edition 22ndof august, page 3)

ALMERE – Rebecca Belmer from Almere participated as a full-time Hull & Body Engineer in this year’s TU Delft Solar Boat Team. She looks back with great pride on a year in which she achieved a great deal with the team and took on many challenges. “It was great to round off this year successfully with the team. I can look back on an experience that will benefit me throughout my life”, said Belmer.

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Urgent call to witnesses to come forward! (edition 22ndof August, page 7)

Mayor Weerwind returns from holiday to deal with violent incidents

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – Mayor Weerwind is deeply concerned about the citywide increase in the number of violent incidents involving firearms and stabbings. “I’m watching the situation carefully, which is why I came back from holiday to work with the police and the public prosecutor’s office, so that the perpetrators can be caught quickly”, said the mayor last week.


Mayor Weerwind: “If you know or suspect something… report it!” (Photo: supplied)

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Almere developing into an international attraction (edition 22ndof august, page 9)

From ‘ugliest place’ to best city center

By Dominique Voss

ALMERE – The hotels and campsites are full, the cycle paths are busy and people are enjoying a drink on the many terraces. Tourism in Almere is doing better than ever. And that’s just as well says Almere City Marketing Director, Nik Smit.


Two VVV Almere staff on Segways help tourists on their way through the center.


Almere City Marketing Director Nik Smit in front of a table full of recent publications on Almere. (Photos: Dominique Voss)

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Almere Haven Festival will be spectacular (edition 22ndof august, page 15)

HAVEN – Almere Haven is the setting for the eighteenth Almere Haven Festival. From Friday, August 31 through Sunday, September 2 the festival will delight lovers of botters (classic Dutch boats), classical music, culture and art.

Attractions include special performances by famous orchestras and choirs. On Saturday, during the Havenkom Concert, the Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra and the Toonkunstkoor Amsterdam will perform various excerpts from famous operas. This free concert takes place in the charming harbor area of Almere Haven, which can accommodate at least 5,000 spectators. Various orchestras and performances can also be enjoyed on Friday and Saturday.

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Rabobank: housing prices increase by 8.7 percent in 2018 (edition 22ndof august, page 27)

ALMERE – Houses in the Netherlands were on average 8.9 percent more expensive in the first half of 2018 than a year ago. This is higher than expected, partly because house buyers are now far more likely to offer above the asking price.

House prices are expected to rise by an average of 8.7% over the whole of 2018, as reported by Rabobank economists in their Kwartaalbericht Woningmarkt (housing market quarterly report). Earlier this year they had assumed a price increase of 8.0 percent. Houses are, on the other hand, selling more slowly.

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More than sixty Burendag activities in Almere (edition 22nd of august, page 27)

ALMERE – Sixty-three activities have already been notified for Burendag (neighbors’ day) – to take place on 22 September in Almere. Neighbor day activities are organized in 97% of Dutch municipalities. Only 11 municipalities have not yet notified any activities. Douwe Egberts and the Oranjefonds organize Burendag annually on the fourth Saturday of September – which falls on 22 September this year.


Happy times in the Eilandenbuurt at an earlier neighbors’ day. (Photo: supplied)

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Oldest scale model of Haven is located in Lelystad (edition 29thof august, page 5)

By Robert Mienstra

HAVEN – The oldest known model of Almere Haven is in a storage facility in Lelystad. The study model dates from 1975 and is made of thin strips of cork. The model clearly shows the current contours of the Port.


This oldest, known model of Almere Haven is in storage in Leystad. (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

How Almere Haven looks today. The contours and coastline of the oldest harbour model are still clearly visible. (Photo: Google maps)

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10,000 senior citizens at Forever Young Festival (edition 29thof august, page 7)

STAD – The Esplanade in Stad was packed last week, with 10,000 seniors visiting the Forever Young Festival. The festival was open to people over 65 free of charge. Seniors could be accompanied by a companion or carer.

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Brass event on the town hall square in Almere City (edition 29thof august, page 24)

STAD – Another Caribbean Brass Event will be held in the city center of Almere on Sunday, 2 September. Three Caribbean brass bands will compete for the title of best brass band

Tribute

The Originals Brassband from Almere won the Battle of Drum in Rotterdam, during their recent, annual carnival. The Stichting Multiculturele Organisatie (multicultural organization foundation) will pay tribute to the band for their exceptional performance. Alderman Jerzy Soetekouw will officiate.

For more information, please visit info@smoa.nl

(Photo: supplied)

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Heritage Day on 8 and 9 September (edition 29thof august, page 33)

ALMERE – Alderman Hilde van Garderen will open Heritage Day 2018 (Open Monumentendag) on Friday, 7 September at 17:00 at the Almere Erfgoedhuis. Jan Frans de Hartog, one of Almere’s founding fathers, will give a lecture on what Almere has learned from the New Towns in France and England, and what appealed to representatives of these towns when they visited Almere.

Volunteers at each location will inform visitors on its history. For more information and the full program, please visit www.almere.nl/openmonumentendag.


A self-built house crowned with battlements and surrounded by a moat (Photo: Martin Kuijper)

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Poortdreef below A6 closed from 10 September (edition 29thof august, page 33)

POORT – Poortdreef will be closed in both directions between the Almere Poort exit (coming from Amsterdam) and the Elementendreef junction from Monday, 10 September to Thursday, 1 November.


(Photo: Rijkswaterstaat)

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, editions 22ndand 29thof August 2018. The summaries were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

A 2 minute video about Courtesie you can watch here:

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 15th of August 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 6 articles with the following titles:

  1. KAF results heavily disappointing
  2. Almere DIT WEEKEND – in your mailbox on Friday, 7th September
  3. Number of wasp reports increasing
  4. Water police contribute to safety in water-rich Almere
  5. Almere residents provide free holidays in Italy for fellow citizens
  6. Join Almere’s 30 km run on 30 September

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KAF results heavily disappointing (page 1)

By Marcel Beijer

STAD CENTRUM – KAF (Kunstlinie Almere Flevoland) failed, by a big margin, to achieve last year’s budgeted results. Although there were more visitors to the premises, the number of paying entrants to the theatre, expo, academy and Citylounge (catering) was heavily disappointing. This is evident in KAF’s 2017 annual report.

Signals

Due to the political recess, Alderman Hilde van Garderen (VVD) has not yet seen the annual report. “But of course I have already received some signals. I am not going to say anything about it yet. There will be a management meeting with the KAF after the recess and I think it’s fair that this will give KAF ample opportunity to clarify the figures.” Van Garderen also points to the cultural plan that is currently being drawn up, which naturally includes KAF. “It’s clear to me that we need to be able to do more with this beautiful, iconic building. The future redesign of the Esplanade will bring the KAF ‘closer’ to the center.”


KAF draws far fewer paying visitors than expected. (Archive photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

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New: Almere DIT WEEKEND – in your mailbox on Friday, 7th September (page 1)

ALMERE – Almere Stad and Poort will get a second newspaper as from Friday, 7 September – Almere DIT WEEKEND (Almere This Weekend). The initials ‘ADW’ are no coincidence.  As Almere DEZE WEEK (Almere This Week) will publish this second, Friday edition.

The Tuesday newspaper, Almere DEZE WEEK, will remain the source for news and background stories, interviews, articles and sections on homes, going out, sport and politics. Almere DIT WEEKEND will offer ‘lighter’ content, focusing on Saturday and Sunday, with fun reader promotions, recreation and entertainment tips, weekend news and weekend columns.

For more information, also for advertisers, phone 036-5300765 or email info@almereditweekend.

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Municipality acts on threat to public, Number of wasp reports increasing (page 5)

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – The wasp nuisance in Almere is increasing rapidly. “Years ago, we received fewer than ten reports per year”, says Rob Bulsing, ‘Schoon’ supervisor at the municipality. “Two years ago we had 20 reports. Today we have already passed that number for 2018.”

Tips
“If a wasp stings you, remain alert. When it stings, a substance is released that alerts other wasps to danger. So they can also attack”, says Bulsing. “The same applies if you kill a wasp. The same substance is released and other wasps are triggered to go on the attack. Always remove a dead wasp and then clean the surface well to remove this substance. And never strike a wasp. Blowing it away is safest. The wasp experiences that as wind.”


Wasp nests can occur anywhere. And they are useful creatures. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

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Water police contribute to safety in water-rich Almere (page 7)

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – The disturbance on the Weerwater lasted only a few minutes. The Almere water police had spotted a red speedboat behaving strangely, opposite Lumièrestrand beach.

This week Almere DEZE WEEK went on patrol, spending an afternoon on the police boat.

Warm welcome
It’s striking that most skippers warmly welcome the police officers; that their presence is appreciated. There is almost always a greeting or a short chat. Children ashore wave and dance when their boat passes. “The public value our presence, they are very positive”, the officers say. Then add, laughing, “Well, not always”.


From left: Hans Jansen, Andries Sloterwijk and Ro Teunissen wait for the lock in De Kromme Wetering. “We’re there to promote safety on the water.” (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

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Almere residents provide free holidays in Italy for fellow citizens (page 9)

ALMERE – Whether it’s a week in the Veluwe, camping in France or a trek through Canada, most children and young people will go on holiday this summer. Those who cannot go on vacation are often those with the biggest need to do so. Hans Wendel and Berbara van Doorne of the Il Rifugio foundation want precisely this group to enjoy a week of vacation. And they have done something about it. Last week their first guests flew from Almere to Italy.

Almere residents Hans and Berbara have bought Il Rifugio, in the Italian region of Tuscany. Two habitable houses, a fruit orchard and a large meadow. It’s no coincidence that the first families that have been offered a week’s holiday at Il Rifugio also come from Almere. “We focus on families and children whom we know will benefit from a week of relaxation in a new environment”, says Berbara. “As a result of our volunteer work, these are mainly Almere families and children from children’s homes in Poland.” The first Almere guests are enthusiastic: “I don’t have to worry about anything. All I have to do is enjoy it here.”

Donations
The Il Rifugio foundation survives on donations. The organization has ANBI status, which means donations are tax-deductible, even if the contribution is in kind. For more information visit https://www.ilrifugio.nl


Time to enjoy a holiday in Tuscan Italy. (Photo: supplied)

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Join Almere’s 30 km run on 30 September (page 19)

POORT – ‘De 30 van Almere’ (the Almere 30) will be run on Sunday, 30 September. Last year more than six hundred runners participated and fast times were set.

Topsporthal
Topsporthal will be the epicenter of the 30 of Almere for the third consecutive time. This is a convenient venue for picking up your race number, changing clothes, having a rest or a massage, or just sitting down for a chat.
Kids Runs (of 1 and 2 kilometers) and a 5 kilometer run will again be available. So there’s something for every runner, whether you are preparing for an autumn marathon or just want to participate in a fun, social run.


Last year more than six hundred runners participated in Almere’s 30. (Archive photo: Fred Rotgans)

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition 15thof August. The summaries were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

A 2 minute video about Courtesie you can watch here:

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” editions 25th of July and 1st of August 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 10 articles with the following titles:

  1. Will there be enough teachers for all school classes after the summer holidays?
  2. Hogweed successfully combated – by sheep and volunteers
  3. Almere residents choose Captain Fantastic for outdoor screening
  4. WitchWorld not shocked by Park Eden Holland plans
  5. City board proposes SPFA as local broadcaster
  6. Agreements for Oostvaardersplassen management
  7. Sail-Today summer camp in demand
  8. De Kemphaan resembles a castle
  9. Chess talent conquers Scotland
  10. Housing market especially overheated in Randstad

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Will there be enough teachers for all school classes after the summer holidays?
(page 1, edition 30)

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – There were 68 vacancies in the Almere education sector at the end of last week. The summer holidays have started and on 27 August the schools will open again. It seems impossible that the school boards of Almere will be able to find enough teachers for all classes.


It remains to be seen whether all classes will have teachers after the summer holidays. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Nationwide problem

The shortage of teachers in Almere illustrates a national problem. “Primary education is in danger of entering the new school year with a shortage of some 1,300 teachers”, writes the PO (primary education) council, “and tens of thousands of pupils across the country are going to be affected. Whereas in previous years teacher vacancies were filled, albeit at the end of the summer holiday period, school boards will not be able to fill their vacancies this year. At present, more than half of the boards still have permanent and temporary vacancies. Nearly a quarter don’t expect to be able to fill their vacancies at this stage and therefore have no teachers for some groups.

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Hogweed successfully combated – by sheep and volunteers (page 17, edition 30)

ALMERE – With the help of volunteers and sheep from Stad en Natuur (City & Nature), the giant hogweed has been prevented from dispersing its seed. So this year the giant hogweed in this part of the countryside is under control, and the volunteer group had a good reason to enjoy a celebratory cake last week.

The giant hogweed in the Vroege Vogelbos was combated using sheep. The Stad & Natuur flock loves hogweed! And proliferation is contained if sheep eat the leaves and stems before the weed blossoms. Help is needed from volunteers, however, in places inaccessible to sheep.


Volunteers prevent further spread of hogweed. (Photo: supplied)

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Almere residents choose Captain Fantastic for outdoor screening (page 18, edition 30)

HAVEN – Almere residents voted last month to select the film to be screened outdoors on Friday, 24 August at the Markt square, in Haven. The Sundance Film Festival hit, Captain Fantastic, came out as the public’s favorite.

he preliminary program starts at 18.30 hrs. The film will start at 21.30.

The number of available seats is limited, so visitors are advised to bring their own seat in order to be assured of a place. Don’t forget to pack a warm sweater. The film will definitely be screened. In the event of bad weather it will move to the theatre hall in the Corrosia Theatre, Expo & Film. Admission is free.

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WitchWorld not shocked by Park Eden Holland plans (page 1, edition 31)

By Marcel Beijer

ALMERE – Director Ton Theunis of WitchWorld is not shocked that space will be reserved for another tourist initiative, the botanical Park Eden Holland, next to the grounds of the castle where his fantasy park is to be built. “We welcome all tourism initiatives for Almere. We can support and strengthen each other”, says Theunis. Whether Eden Holland will be implemented will become clear in the middle of next year.

Eden Holland aims to create an educational botanical park with a spectacular greenhouse, on the grounds to the west of Kasteel Almere. Plans already exist for the WitchWorld fantasy park on the grounds of the castle.

Next steps

The plans for Park Eden Holland will be worked out in more detail in the coming period and will include synergy and cooperation between Floriade and Eden Holland, at this location near the Floriade.


An artist’s impression of Park Eden Holland, showing the spectacular greenhouse. (Photo: supplied)

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City board proposes SPFA as local broadcaster (page 5, edition 31)

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – The Municipal Board recommends that the Council nominates Stichting Productie Fabriek Almere (SPFA ) to the Dutch Media Authority as the new, local broadcaster for Almere.

The Municipal Council will consider the advice of the Board after the recess.

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Agreements for Oostvaardersplassen management (page 7, edition 31)

ALMERE – Flevoland provincial deputy Harold Hofstra and Sylvo Thijsen, managing director of Staatsbosbeheer, signed an agreement last week to strengthen cooperation in the management of the Oostvaardersplassen.

Staatsbosbeheer will draw up a new management plan for the longer term. Development of Nationaal Park Nieuw Land will be accompanied by a drive for quality and improvement of access, recreation and facilities in the Oostvaardersplassen area. There will be a long-term maximum limit of 1,500 large herbivores.


Konik horses in the Oostvaardersplassen. (Archive photo: supplied)

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Sail-Today summer camp in demand (page 9, edition 31)

POORT – The annual Sail-Today summer camp weeks are once again in demand this year. Children from 7 to 14 years can enjoy sailing, surfing and stand-up paddling at the beach on the IJmeerdijk, near Muiderzand, until 31 August.

Still a number of places available (www.sail-today.nl).

Note: International Almere recently made a 1,5 minute film about Sail-Today, that includes some footage of the summer camp:

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De Kemphaan resembles a castle (page 15, edition 31)

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – The main building of De Kemphaan resembles a modern variant of a partially open water castle. This turned out to be the case when Kemphaan employees did research on De Kemphaan urban estate. This is also reported in the Almere architecture guide. De Kemphaan has now published the story – with a nod to the past.

The story of De Kemphaan water castle can be read at: www.waterkasteeldekemphaan.nl


The main building of Stadslandgoed De Kemphaan. (Photo: Florian Reumer)

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Chess talent conquers Scotland (page 19, edition 31)

ALMERE – Top Almere chess players, Daniel Kutchoukov (13) and Roger Labruyère (11), won the Robinson Cup and the Stokes Cup at the Glorney Gilbert Tournament in Scotland. The girls of the Dutch Youth Chess Team won the Gilbert Cup.


Roger Labruyère with the cup. (Photo: Ernst Labruyère)

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Housing market especially overheated in Randstad (page 23, edition 23)

ALMERE – The housing market is becoming increasingly overheated, with a shortage of houses for sale, particularly in the Randstad. Chairman of the NVM (Dutch real estate agents’ association), Ger Jaarsma, reported this to Real Estate Market magazine.


In Filmwijk, terraced houses are being converted into apartments in several streets, such as here on the Pasolinistraat. (Archive photo: Fred Rotgans)

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition 30 and 31 (July 25 and August 1, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

A 2 minute video about Courtesie you can watch here:

 

 

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 18th of July 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. Water weeds make sailing almost impossible
  2. Many MBO College graduates already have a job
  3. Rabobank Almere extends sponsorship of Almere Haven Festival
  4. Treasure hunts in Almere
  5. ANWB AutoMaatje launched in Almere
  6. Almere Heritage Day needs volunteers
  7. Fun for kids at Lumierepark in Almere

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Water weeds make sailing almost impossible (page 1)

By Kirsten Thuis-Woudenberg

HAVEN – Almere resident Jan van der Klooster fears that sailing will soon become impossible if pondweed continues to grow in Almere’s waters at the current rate. “You can hardly sail through the rampant pondweed which, even when it grows at a depth of 3 meters, will reach the water’s surface. A wing keel, in particular, drags masses of pondweed along with the boat”, says Jan van der Klooster. “You also can’t use the engine, because the weed winds itself around the propeller shaft like lianas.”


Almere Haven. (Photo: Fred Rotgans)

Complaint

Sailors complained to the municipality. As a result, the berths were mowed this week. “It’s good that the moorings are now being mowed, but the municipality has waited far too long. Rijkswaterstaat planted the pondweed years ago in order to clarify the water and thus combat blue-green algae. But the cure is now worse than the disease. The municipality will have to find a way to eradicate this problem completely. Despite the fact that the harbor is now being properly dealt with, Gooimeer, Markermeer and IJmeer are still filling up with pondweed. Next to nothing is being done about this and it is still not clear how the weed will be removed.

Cancellations

According to Van der Klooster, the fact that only the navigation channels are mowed means that yachtsmen can no longer sail on the lakes. “To be able to sail, you have to be able to tack – to sail a zig-zag course to windward. The mowed channels are not wide enough for this. I’ve spoken to sailors who have cancelled their berths in Gooimeer, Markermeer and IJmeer, because you can’t sail in these areas anymore. They’ve moved their boats to Friesland. But won’t it be a disaster if we can no longer sail in the vicinity of Almere?”

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Many MBO College graduates already have a job (page 5)

Students at the MBO College Almere have graduated cum laude and received scholarships.

ALMERE – More than 900 students from the MBO College Almere and MBO College Poort received their MBO (secondary vocational education) diplomas last week. A few students received diplomas cum laude, having shown excellent command of theory, obtained good passes in the practical exams and received excellent work experience employer feedback. A large proportion of the students will continue their studies at the Flevoland ROC or move on to a university of applied sciences program. Many students will look for a job or already have one.


Five out of the eight cum laude students. (Photo: supplied)

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Rabobank Almere extends sponsorship of Almere Haven Festival (page 17)

ALMERE – This year, for the fifth consecutive year, Rabobank Almere will be the main sponsor of the Rabobank Almere Haven Festival. The bank will also again sponsor the Rabobank Havenkom Proeverij.

Nik Smit, director of Almere City Marketing and organizer of the event, presented the Almere Harbor Festival announcement poster to Ferry Huurman, board chair of Rabobank Almere, in the harbor on board the Almere botter, AM1.

(Photo: Roxanne Overdijk)

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Treasure hunts in Almere (page 17)

ALMERE – Stad & Natuur has arranged no less than four treasure hunts at attractive locations in Almere this summer.

Entrance to the treasure hunts can be purchased via the website www.stadennatuur.nl (click on ‘winkel’) or at the locations themselves.

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ANWB AutoMaatje launched in Almere (page 17)

ALMERE – ANWB AutoMaatje (‘auto-mate’) has now also been launched in Almere, thanks to the collaboration of the ANWB with VMCA, De Schoor and Welzijn (social welfare) in Almere. ANWB AutoMaatje is a national network of service points which enable volunteers from local organizations to use their own cars to transport less mobile fellow citizens, at their request.

Interested parties can register as volunteers at the VMCA. Participants pay a travel expense contribution of € 0.30 per kilometer calculated from the home address of the driver directly to the volunteer, plus any parking costs. The contribution must be paid in cash.

More information: www.vmca.nl/vrijwilligers

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Almere Heritage Day needs volunteers (page 19)

ALMERE – More than four thousand magnificent monuments in the Netherlands are open free of charge to the public on the weekends of 8 and 9 September. Almere will also be taking part in this year’s Heritage Day. The organization is looking for volunteers.

The Heritage Day organization is looking for volunteers who are interested in architecture and in the history of Almere, and who will enjoy welcoming and informing visitors on Heritage Day. For more information and volunteer registration please visit  www.almere.nl/openmonumentendag.

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Fun for kids at Lumierepark in Almere (page 19)

FILMWIJK – Stichting Multiculturele Organisatie Almere is organizing a children’s village in Lumierepark on 5 August, with a free market for children.

There will be several bouncy castles and a variety of performances. Whether singing, making music, dancing or doing acrobatics, young artists in the making will be able to make their first stage appearance on the day. Children can sell toys they’re tired of and clothes they’ve outgrown at the free market. And, of course, the money made can be spent on the spot – on new toys or sweets!

The stage performances will be a mix of shows put on by new talent and entertainment by established names. The children’s village will also observe Millennium Development Goals and children will have the opportunity to get to know each other. This year’s theme is, “We are Family”. The children’s village event will also focus on cultural diversity and will reflect the Almere community in its performances, workshops and market.

The children’s village will have an information stand staffed by volunteers, to provide information on children’s activities in Almere. There will also be an information table with leaflets on education and nutrition and samples of various products.

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

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” editions 4th and 11th of July 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. Municipal ecologist investigates plant disease in Almere (edition 11thof July, page 1)
  2. Slavery remembered during the Keti-Koti memorial (edition 4thof July, page 7)
  3. Almere’s Aeres University of Applied Sciences scores high (edition 4thof July, page 9)
  4. Municipality imposes fines for illegal bike parking (edition 4thof July, page 15)
  5. Almere hairdresser fights IS hatred – and finds love (edition 4thof July, page 9)
  6. Asylum seekers’ tent and caravan camp will remain in Oosterwold for the time being (edition 11thof July, page 1)
  7. More than 20,000 Almere children interact with nature (edition 11thof July, page 23)

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Municipal ecologist investigates plant disease in Almere

How we can give nature a helping hand

By Dominique Voss

ALMERE – At the moment Almere has to deal with a number of persistent plant diseases and pests such as ash dieback, boxwood moth and oak processionary moth. Is something wrong with Almere’s natural environment? Municipal ecologist Ton Eggenhuizen sheds some light on the issue.

“If we want to enjoy nature for a long time to come, we have to let nature go its own way”, says Eggenhuizen. Before our interview begins he empties a bread bag full of leaves onto the table. “This is what I found this morning, on my way to work”, says the municipal ecologist. “Look, there is still a larva on this leaf. This is not a problem, at all. You can just ignore them.” According to Eggenhuizen we often resort to pesticides too easily when come across what we think is an irregularity, but this is not a good thing.

“In a normal situation, the organisms that cause the diseases and the plants or trees in which these organisms settle should simply be able to live side by side”, explains Eggenhuizen. “If you prune the trees or use poison, you only make things worse.”

Different approach

The current situation calls for a different approach. Eggenhuizen says that the municipality has learned a lot in this area and hopes that others will also benefit from the knowledge. “If we want to enjoy nature for a long time to come, we must also continue to take good care of it. It is not our needs but those of nature that must be central.”


Ton Eggenhuizen: “Pruning and the use of poisons only make things worse.”
(Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK/Dominique Voss)

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Slavery remembered during the Keti-Koti memorial.

STAD CENTRUM – Sunday, July 1, marked the 155th anniversary of the official end of slavery in the Antilles. Almere celebrated this last Saturday, 30 June – because the national commemoration at the monument in the Oosterpark in Amsterdam took place on the Sunday.

The commemoration was held in the city hall’s civic hall. The opening ceremony was followed by a speech by Mayor Franc Weerwind. This, in turn, was followed by a parade through the city, in which the participants wore traditional clothing.


(Photo: Studio Rotgans/Beau de Bruijn)

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Almere’s Aeres University of Applied Sciences scores high

STAD CENTRUM  – Almere’s Aeres University of Applied Sciences scored well in the national student survey (Nationale Studenten Enquête, NSE), presented last week. The NSE surveys students’ opinions on their studies at Dutch universities and applied science universities.

The satisfaction levels among students at Aeres University of Applied Sciences in Almere have increased since last year. The three main dimensions – students’ opinions of their courses, their assessment of the atmosphere and whether they would recommend the course – all scored well above average. Students are very satisfied with the courses’ alignment with current developments and with their stimulating content. The university also scored high – above the national average – on the two new items added last year, namely challenging education and internationalization.

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Municipality imposes fines for illegal bike parking

ALMERE – Bicycles not parked in designated racks and parking facilities are at risk of removal as from Monday, 16 July. From that date on the municipality will strictly enforce its bicycle parking policy in the center of Almere Stad and Buiten and in the vicinity of all stations from Poort to Oostvaarders.

Incorrectly parked bicycles and scooters, abandoned and wrecked bicycles will be removed by the municipality to the bicycle depot on the Esplanade. The bicycles will be stored there for thirteen weeks. Owners can reclaim an impounded bike for 25 euros on presentation of an identity document and the bike key.

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Almere hairdresser fights IS hatred – and finds love

“Enough is enough! I’m going to Kurdistan!”

ALMERE – Shilan Hamid was 25 when she felt she could no longer stay at home and decided to go to the front to fight IS. She told her very special story to the editorial staff of Avanti, the social work organization.

Shilan Hamid resigned from her job as a hairdresser in Almere, said goodbye to her family and left for Kurdistan. This was a few years ago. In the meantime her story has taken a special twist. Once there, in circumstances of misery and sadness, she found love.

Read more about how she risked death to find the love of her life at https://avanti-almere.nl/liefde-in-tijden-van-oorlog/


Almere hairdresser Shilan went to the front, to fight IS. (Photo: supplied)

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Asylum seekers’ tent and caravan camp will remain in Oosterwold for the time being

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – Formally undocumented asylum seekers currently staying in tents and caravans on the grounds of Inspiration INC in Oosterwold can remain there for the time being. This was evidenced last Thursday at the Political Market from the answers given by Alderman Jerzy Soetekouw (PvdA) to written questions from the CDA and PVV .


The tent and caravan camp in Oosterwold (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

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More than 20,000 Almere children interact with nature

ALMERE – Stad en Natuur is working hard to reverse the growing trend of children not playing outside. With success! In the 2017-2018 school year no fewer than 20,586 Almere children participated in a Stad & Natuur green activities.

The activities ranged from a visit to the petting farm to a ‘cloud excursion’ and a practical course on empoldering at the Markermeer.

City & Nature is satisfied with the great interest shown in the lessons, excursions and courses. “We, too, realize that fewer and fewer children come into contact with nature and that the computer and phone are increasingly replacing traditional and instructive outdoor playtime”, says Willemijn Huizenga, programming staff member at Stad & Natuur. “By offering a lot of fun, educational and challenging lessons, excursions and courses, especially for children, we are raising their interest in playing outside. It’s great to see how children are completely absorbed in the activities and lessons. All the phones are switched off and off they go – very happy to be outside together!”


Dukdalf pupils take part in the autumn class at Kemphaan. (Photo: Jorn van Eck)

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, editions 4thand 11thof July, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Yoga lessons in English

Ganesha Almere is offering from September 2018 Yoga lessons in English to International Almere members for very attractive prices.

You have two possibilities:

a ticket strip of 5 lessons (€ 50,–) to be used in 8 lesson weeks, so that you can be absent a few times without costs.

a discount of 15% in the usual monthly cost (€ 34,– per month instead of € 40,–)

The yoga lessons last 1,5 hour.

Ganesha Almere is also offering a free try lesson to International Almere members:

Thursday, August 30 th at 18.30 hours. This try out will last until ± 20.45 hrs.

Frans Zwagemakers (1957) is an experienced yoga teacher, who started his teachings 16 years ago. Since then he has taught more than 5.000 yoga lessons and has visited India, the native country of yoga, 6 times.

 

You can reach Ganesha Almere at info@ganesha-almere.nl or call +31 (0)6 53744367

Adress: Rodinweg 59a 1328 PX Almere. www.ganesha-yoga.nl

Enjoy the experience and later share with us how it was and if you liked it!

More info: Sandra da Silva, secretary of International Almere. secretary@internationalalmere.com 

 

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 27th 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 7 articles with the following titles:

  1. Hotel and cinema in Buiten center
  2. Weerwind: prison closing ‘a serious loss’
  3. The battle against street litter
  4. Volunteers wanted for children’s camp
  5. Ageing unemployment benefits group
  6. Big flea market at Almere animal shelter
  7. New Lumièrepark path open from 5 October

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Hotel and cinema in Buiten center (page 1)

BUITEN CENTRUM – In Almere Buiten the way has been paved for the construction of a hotel and a cinema. The hotel will be on the vacant lot directly opposite the station; the cinema will be on the parking lot opposite the shopping complex housing, among others, the Action store.

The vacant lot opposite the station will be developed as a complex in which the hotel, with its 5,000 square meter floor area, will stand out. The complex will also accommodate approximately 900 m2 of shops and restaurants. This will extend the Noordeinde’s role as a shopping street. Next to the station a square will house restaurants and sun terraces. Sixteen, small, social housing units will probably also be built. The aim is to open the hotel by the end of 2019 or, at the latest, early in 2020.

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Weerwind: prison closing ‘a serious loss’ (page 1)

ALMERE – Mayor Franc Weerwind regrets the Cabinet’s decision to close the penitentiary institution (PI) in Almere. The PI is a prison in full operation, with 360 prisoners and 250 employees. “Closure is a serious loss, for Almere and for the province”, said the mayor. “In terms of both regional employment and the service level offered.”

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The battle against street litter (page 7)

By Dominique Voss
BUITEN – It is seven o’clock in the morning. Paulien and her dog walk their daily route through the neighborhood. In Paulien’s left hand there is a litter grabber, in her right hand a plastic bag. “Two birds with one stone”, she says.

City without waste

Almere aims 0to be a city without waste by 2020, but has not yet found the right formula to achieve this. “In Almere, there are currently about 8,000 ‘clean supporters’. They are committed to keeping Almere clean,” says Rob Ravensbergen of Stadsreiniging (city cleaning). “It is, of course, a great pity that she has to do this, but we are very happy with the help of people like Paulien.”

Behavior

Paulien thinks that people’s behavior sets a bad example. She is therefore making an appeal: “Lead by example, don’t be too easy on yourself – hang on to your litter. Let’s keep the world clean, together.” Residents who, like Paulien, want to keep their own neighborhood free of litter can order free litter grabbers and refuse bags from the municipality.


Paulien cleans up the litter in her neighborhood. (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK/Dominique Voss)

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Volunteers wanted for children’s camp (page 23)

DE WIERDEN – The De Wierden/De Laren residents’ committee will hold a children’s camp from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 July, for children who cannot go on holiday. The organization is still looking for volunteers to help with the activities.

There is room for twenty children aged 7 to 12 years. Tents will be erected on the field next to the Meerveldplein. The children’s camp will offer a varied program with sports, games and time to relax. Participation is free of charge. The Kinderkamp is an initiative of Bewonerscommissie De Wierden/De Laren. Volunteers who wish to help with the activities can register at weijde@tip.nl.

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Ageing unemployment benefits group (page 27)

ALMERE – In May the proportion of people over 50 on unemployment benefits in Flevoland increased, reflecting the increasing average age of job-seekers. It is important both for employers and for jobseekers over 50 to look at motivation, interest and competencies.

At the same time, the total number on unemployment benefits has fallen slightly. 217 fewer WW benefits were paid in Flevoland in May, as compared to the end of April. The biggest decreases were visible in the sectors of Construction (-5.7%), Transport and Storage (-4.6%) and Education (-4.6%). In May, the number of WW benefits paid in Flevoland fell slightly, by 217 (-2.5%). This decrease is less pronounced than the national decrease of -4.2% in the month of May. At the end of May 2018, 8,425 unemployment benefits payments were made in Flevoland. The national decline of -22% in unemployment benefits over the past year exceeds the decrease of -18.9% in Flevoland. The Flevoland unemployment benefits percentage (which is the number of benefits recipients as a percentage of  the working population) in May 2018 was 3.8%, slightly higher than the national unemployment percentage of 3.3%. A year ago, the percentage for Flevoland was significantly higher, at 4.8%.

Ageing group

Since the start of 2016 the number of unemployment benefits paid to jobseekers aged 50 and over has steadily decreased in Flevoland, as a result of economic growth and a shrinking labor market. At the end of May this year, a total of 3,860 payments were made to people aged 50+ in Flevoland. As the total number of unemployment benefits decreases, the proportion of people aged 50+ who are receiving benefits is increasing, as is the proportion of older job-seekers in the labor market. The decline in the number of people aged over 50 is less pronounced than the decline in the total number of people entitled to unemployment benefits.  This is due to the fact that people over 50 are less likely to return to work.

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Big flea market at Almere animal shelter (page 27)

BEDRIJVENTERREIN DE VAART – Dierenasiel Almere, the animal shelter at Groene Kadeweg 24, is once again organizing a big flea market.

On Saturday 30 June you’ll find a wide variety of treasures at the market: books, records, household items, toys, tools and clothing. Everything has been donated to the Dierenasiel and is often still new, in its original packaging. There will also be live music and a snack terrace. The proceeds will be used for the accommodation and care of animals at the shelter.

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New Lumièrepark path open from 5 October (page 37)

FILMWIJK – This week the municipality started construction of the new path in the Lumièrepark, as part of the Rondje Weerwater route. From 5 October onwards, the section within the Lumière Park will be ready for public use.

The sand used for pre-loading will be removed and reused at the end of the Lumières beach, for construction of the next part of the path. This will be the future bridge over the Weerwater. In the park a start will be made on the installation of the concrete edging, the blue asphalt of the track and the furniture. New paving will then be laid on the Hospitaalbrug. The track will be used for the triathlon, in September, after which the final work will be carried out.

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition June 27, 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

International Almere welcomes Expat Mortgages

PRESS RELEASE

International Almere welcomes Expat Mortgages as a new sponsor

Expat Mortgages is an independent company devoted entirely to providing expats (internationals) with mortgage advice in a language they understand (English).

They aim to give expats the same opportunities as Dutch citizens when it comes to financing a home in the Netherlands. And because they are independent mortgage brokers they can deal with any bank or mortgage provider in the Netherlands, that has a proposition for expats.

For more than 10 years Expat Mortgages has been helping expats realize a big dream, buying a house in the Netherlands, and they worked with thousands of expats from different countries.

As of May 2018, Expat Mortgages has become an official sponsor of International Almere. The collaboration between the two comes very naturally, since the two organizations share similar values and goals. Coincidentally Expat Mortgages has the same vision as International Almere organization – to make the non-Dutch residents feel at home.

The two partners believe that by sharing knowledge and experience they have better chances in achieving this mutual goal. They are planning to organize different events and seminars, publish informative articles and many other activities to equip the internationals with enough knowledge about the Dutch housing market.

www.expatmortgages.nl
www.internationalalmere.com

 

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 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 4 April 2018

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

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

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

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

by Hestia Ruben

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

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

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

Straight line

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

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

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

Airspace review

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

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

I.L.S.

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

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Expats feel at home in Almere (Page 9)

by Robert Mienstra

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

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

Practical questions

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

International School

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

Activities

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

Almere DEZE WEEK in English

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

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

Satisfied

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

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

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

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A flock of sheep as a lawnmower (page 11)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Register soon!

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

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

18:25 Start, Business Run

18.40 Start, Firefighters series

18.45 Prize giving, Kids Run

19.15 Start, Individual series

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

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Almeersepoort to become gateway to Oostvaardersplassen (page 39)

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

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

Visitors

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

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

Floriade 2022

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

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Twenty-somethings head for Almere (page 45)

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

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

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

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Living in a Tiny House (page 47)

‘I feel privileged to be able to live here’

by Kirsten Thuis-Woudenberg

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

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

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

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

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

Clean-up operation

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

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

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

Workshop about housing in the Amsterdam Area

IN Amsterdam (formerly Expat Center Amsterdam) wants to improve the availability of  English information on housing and daily life in the Amsterdam Area through various channels. They also want to broaden the focus of internationals from the city center of Amsterdam to the Amsterdam Area as a whole. Almere is part of that broader Amsterdam Area, the so called Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

In that context International Almere was invited to participate in an informal workshop to give feedback on behalf of the internationals in Almere. The meeting took place on Monday 19th of March at the Central Station in Amsterdam and was organised by IN Amsterdam in cooperation with Amsterdam Marketing.

International Almere was represented by 3 members of the board of our community: Michel Daenen (Director), Sandra da Silva (Secretary),  Alexandra Crisan (Social Media & Marketing). We were feeling proud as always for representing International Almere and we had the opportunity to highlight the qualities of our young and beautiful city Almere.

It was nice to meet representatives of other international communities in the region, such as Expatfriendlylocals.com, represented by Sally Baldrick, and Bridging the Gap Foundation, represented by Ritika Mehra. The opportunity for face to face networking with internationals and internationally-minded people is as important as all the insights shared during this event.

The individual and group exercises revealed interesting results regarding Almere. For the sake of an exercise, the Amsterdam area was divided into regions, where our city was labeled as “New Amsterdam”. Among the other communities present at the workshop Almere turned out to be known for “affordable housing”, “space”,  “a good international school” and “good public transport”.

Obviously on top of that we mentioned the cultural diversity that makes Almere so special and the active international community of International Almere. A nice bonus to the evening is that we gained a new member for International Almere! Mona promised that she will join us at our events, maybe at Quiz Night or at Dutch Language Café.

Alexandra Crisan
marketing@internationalalmere.com

P.S.: If you’re still struggling to find a house in Almere or if you want to rent our or sell your house, we have the solution for you – our Facebook group Housing in Almere. This group is designed to help people find housing that suits their needs in the Almere area. You can also find useful information about Almere on our main group – International Almere Group. The language of our groups is English. We would also like to hear about your housing experience!

2018 Municipal Council Election

Tomorrow,  Wednesday, 21 March 2018, the municipal elections take place in the Netherlands. 

Hong Reijnders explains below what it’s all about. 

What is a municipal council election?
The Netherlands is a democracy. Local residents choose who will represent them on the municipal council. These elections take place once every 4 years in the Netherlands. The largest municipal councils (of municipalities with more than 200,000 residents) have 45 members, the smallest councils (of municipalities with fewer than 3,000 residents) have 9 members.

Who may vote?
〇 Dutch citizens of 18 years and older
〇 EU citizens
〇 Non EU citizens who have legally resided in the Netherlands for at least 5 years

Where and when can you vote?
The municipal elections take place on Wednesday, 21 March 2018. There are 98 voting locations in Almere. Residents of Almere may vote in any of them. On this day nearly all the voting locations are open from 07.00 to 21.00 hours.

What must you take with you?
Your poll card, of course, as well as the required proof of identity (passport, driver’s license, ID card). The proof of identity may not have expired for more than five years.

About the Almere municipal elections
There are 16 parties contesting the 2018 election in Almere. They are the PVV, D66, PvdA, VVD, Leefbaar Almere, SP, GroenLinks, CDA, ChristenUnie, AP/OPA, Wij staan voor (WSTAV), Respect Almere, Almere Anders ’18 , GLP, Wonen Ondernemen Werken (WOW), Partij voor de Dieren(PvdD).
WATAV , WOW, GLP and PvdD are standing for the first time in Almere.
Almere’s population is 204,599 (as at 1 March 2018). The municipal council of Almere will therefore be extended from 39 to 45 councilors after the election.
Each party has its own ideas about the future of Almere. The most important issues are reflected in the overview below.

The most important issues
Political party > Most important issues for the coming four years (2018-2022):
Reference used: http://gemeenteraad.almere.nl/

PVV > Stop Floriade!, De-Islamizing Almere, lower rates and taxes.
D66 > Floriade supporter. Good work, good education and a good city atmosphere.
PvdA  >  Affordable living, right to work, right to good (health) care. Floriade supporter.
VVD > Security. At home, on the streets, and in public transport. Financially healthy, stimulating local business.
Leefbaar Almere > Careful use of funds, housing construction for vulnerable groups, improving green areas.
SP > Improved social housing, poverty reduction, community-controlled (health) care.
GroenLinks > A social, green, open Almere.
CDA > At home in Almere, combating neighbourhood disturbances, improving local (health) care.
ChristenUnie > Sustainability, future expectations for the youth, improving Almere’s livability.
AP/OPA > Equal treatment of senior citizens and youth, poverty reduction.
WSTAV, Wij Staan Voor Rijkdom in KLEUR > Equal treatment and opportunity for all, investing in youth and training.
Respect Almere > Tax reduction, Floriade stops, dog tax is discontinued.
Almere Anders ’18 > Wants to stop Floriade , additional housing construction.
GLP > Floriade , Health(care) & Welfare, Security. Satisfied if Floriade is stopped.
Wonen Ondernemen Werken > Accelerate council reorganization, housing construction, stimulate local job opportunities.
Partij voor de Dieren > Focus on people, fauna and flora. Stop deforestation. Make Almere really green.

The council chamber of Almere
(Photo: Gemeente Almere)

Local politics have a major effect on our daily lives. Do you like Almere? Are you always complaining about Almere? Do you want to play a role in decisions on Almere’s future?

Then vote!

Hong Reijnders
Citizen of Almere and member of International Almere
www.internationalalmere.com

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Note: this article was originally written in Dutch by Hong Reijnders. It was translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs – www.courtesie.nl

Getting to Know Us: Gerard Danks

Meet Gerard, the first bloke in our Getting to Know Us series.  Born in arguably the most beautiful of all English counties, Gez (as we lovingly like to call him) like many of us here at International Almere moved to Almere for love. Together with his lovely girlfriend and fellow team mates in the Upsidedowners, Gez is famous for reigning supreme at the hugely popular International Almere Friday Night Quiz.

More about Gez:

Where were you born?
A hospital in Truro, Cornwall, UK.

 

Where have you lived?
All over the UK, nearly! Mevagissey, St Austell, Exeter, Swansea, York, Warrington, Bristol, Blackwood, Maes-Y-Cwmmer, Oostzaan and now Almere!

Where can we find you online?
Realistically, only Facebook. I have a Twitter account (@cmdrstarion) which I might look at once a week.

 

What brought you to Almere?
Prior to Almere, Irma (my girlfriend) and myself were in a rented flat in Oostzaan. I’d been living over here for nearly two years at the time and we needed a bigger place to live. We ended up looking in Almere for houses, as they were reasonably priced for the size, it’s relatively central for visiting Irma’s family, and we’re handily not far from a train station with a direct link to Schiphol.

 

Almere is an interesting and unique city to live in, describe your favourite part of living here.
I like how, as a new city, there’s been a lot of thought put into the infrastructure. For example, the bus lanes and cycle paths being separate from the normal roads, plenty of green places (even the rooftop lawns in the middle of town!), and ease of connection to the rest of the country. Though a direct road to Harderwijk wouldn’t go amiss, instead of having to drive up to Lelystad first!

 

How have you best been made to feel at home since you arrived?
I wouldn’t say I’ve been ‘made’ to feel at home, rather, I just feel at home here. The pace of life and the city is very similar to what I grew up with in Exeter. I couldn’t see myself living in Amsterdam (certainly not downtown Amsterdam!) – too hectic and full of klote toeristen and their bloody trolley cases!

 

Where is your favourite place to go out or eat out in the city?
Can’t go wrong with Rhodos, in my opinion. It’s the Greek just opposite Almere Centrum station. The first time I came over to The Netherlands to visit Irma, we tried to go to a tex-mex place in Zaandam, but it was fully booked. As a back-up, we managed to get into a Greek, about 10 minutes walk from where she lived. I’d never had Greek food before, and wasn’t even sure what it entailed. But Irma assured me I’d like it, as it was mainly grilled meats. I found out that night that I liked Greek food, and ever since I’ve always had to go “one more time, just to make sure”. Rhodos is nice and handy too. Being right by the rail station, it’s only a few stops from us so we can both have a drink and not worry about who’s driving home.

 

Would you define yourself as an expat, an international, or something entirely different?
I’d most likely say expat. Though ‘european’ comes to mind as well. I wouldn’t go so far as international though, having never been outside of Europe.

 

How long do you plan on living here for?
For good! Or possibly till Irma kicks me out. (Love you really!)

 

Tell us how you found International Almere?
Kind of through the quiz nights. Irma had seen the IA website, and about the quizzes from there. We’d initially read that there was an email sign-up for the quiz, then Irma saw via Twitter that it was “just turn up”. So, last April, we did. And you’ve not been able to get rid of us since!

 

Have you been to any International Almere events?  Which was your favourite?
I think I’ve been to every quiz night since April, even being score-master once and quiz-master once! I’ve also been to a few Friday Night Drinks, and the Christmas Meal just gone.

 

What advice would you offer to others who are thinking of taking the plunge and moving to Almere?
Just do it and take the plunge!

 

What has been your biggest challenge since arriving in Almere?
That’d have to be finding work. I’ve not got any decent qualifications to speak of, and being nearly 38 most shops would rather some spotty college kid that only gets paid half of what it’d cost to hire me. I did work for 18 months in the Staples warehouse as an order picker, but the work dropped off, and there was no budget to keep any of the temp staff that started at the same time as me. After the required 6 month break, it hadn’t picked up enough to warrant taking me back on, either.

 

If you had to leave tomorrow and could take only one thing – anything – from Almere, what would it be?
Ooohh, toughie. Um, IA? Can I take IA with me?

 

What is your favourite Dutch tradition, and how do you celebrate?  Do you still celebrate holidays and traditions from your home country?
Hmm. I’d say birthdays. Yes, the (in)famous “Dutch Circle Party” (don’t use that when speaking to Dutch people though – they won’t have a clue what you’re talking about!). I had the same birthday as my maternal grandmother, and it was generally during or near a school holiday. So either my parents and I would be staying up there, or they’d come to our house. Dutch birthdays are pretty much the same (though less cake + candles), so I actually enjoy them!

What do you miss from your homeland?
Waterfalls. Sounds a little silly, but I kinda like them. And The Netherlands is somewhat lacking in the vertical landscape necessary for them. Mother’s cooking is another, but I guess I’d miss that even if I was back in the UK in a place of my own. What I have found though, is I think I’d miss more from here if I ever needed to move back to the UK (or elsewhere). Little things, like bittergarnituur. Go to a pub in the UK, and you can generally get snacks like crisps and nuts, or a full blown meal. But sometimes you’re out, and you want something to eat that’s somewhere between those two extremes, and bittergarnituur fits that bill! Bitterballen, vlaametjes, leverworst, all those small nibbles that you can get. The Netherlands scores big points in my book for those!

 

More in the Getting to Know Us series:

Getting to Know Us: Stephanie Ernst-Milner

Getting to Know Us: Nicole Peetsma-Epker

Getting to Know Us: Carly Bridgeman

Getting to Know Us: Becky Riddle

 

[box style=”rounded”]Would you like to take part in the Getting to Know Us series? We would love to hear from you!

Drop us a line by filling out the form below and we will be in touch with all the details:

 

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