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Aug. 2014: Riviera fails to catch train

 

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HOT EVENING? Take a cool walk to Jessie Gelato in Centro and taste the relief
SECURITY CAMERAS help guard your home when you are gone. Click on Mayan Security.
FISHING SEASON HERE: Click on Capt. Rick’s for sportfishing adventure
REPAIR LEAKS IN THE RAINY SEASON, click on Definitive Solutions for help.
LIBRARY SUMMER HOURS   10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays only until August 13 then return to Mon-Fri from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. More than 15,000 English and Spanish books to choose from.
DANGER WET FLOOR? Don’t slip, don’t fall, give Innovative Floor Solutions a call. Click left.
REMEMBER Puerto Aventuras Catering for house parties, biz meetings or large weddings. Click logo at left.
ENTERTAINMENT at PA’s Latitude 20 Restaurant
WIDE SMILE – Visit our local dentist for comprehensive service. Click on the Smile logo
CHECK THIS OUT! WeRWater has a new website, pool products. Click logo at left
VILLAS AKALAN to rent close to the Riviera Maya’s prime beach at Tulum.
ALAN’S REPAIR for printers, computers, audio. Click his icon for full service list

 

Centro to face contentious

problems at annual meeting

 

By Staff
    The Centro HOA – a mixed-use complex of housing units and retail condos serving as the “downtown” of Puerto Aventuras – faces some contentious choices when it meets Aug. 2 for its annual convocation.

Aside from procedural steps, voters face the prospect of meting out punishment to several businesses accused of infractions of noise and other common-space rules. In addition, voters will have the opportunity to mull a 40 percent reduction in the salary of the HOA administrator and 10 percent reduction in the common-area rental fee. The common areas are those where restaurants set up their tables and other accessories.

There are also proposals for the association to stop using the Casandra Accounting software and another to cease spending association money for advertising, both of these, among other items, proposed by restaurateur Massimo Forlani. The latter proposal means that businesses could pool their funds to advertise, but not living-unit owners who have no need to advertise.  As to the alleged scofflaws, the vigilance committee is recommending that the HOA revoke the use of common spaces to several businesses for various infractions, the main one being amplified sound of late-night music.

On the positive side, two articles propose resurfacing common áreas in the retail section and installation of new common-area lighting along the marina contour. Site owners may register to vote Monday and Tuesday, July 28-29 between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.; apartment owners can register during the same hours on July 30, all at the HOA office.

 

Rescue of panicked snorkeler

prompts lifesaving suggestions,

…and a timely response

   A rescue attempt near the Omni Beach reef by more than a dozen people and two kayakers around June 29 has prompted one of the rescue swimmers to blog about the ordeal and to call for stationing life preservers at the beach. No sooner had she done so that a bright orange life preserver was stationed at the Omni just north of the swim-up bar.

PA bakery owner and entrepreneur Donna Carey was one of some dozen swimmers and kayakers who responded to a boy’s calls for help that his father had been snorkeling near the reef when he suddenly appeared to stop breathing.

Carey and a male began swimming toward the stricken man and soon were joined by “about 10 other swimmers” responding to the call for help. As they approached the bobbing snorkeler who had swallowed water then panicked, the two kayakers armed with life jackets arrived first and were able to handle the situation.

“Out here, the current was much stronger,” Carey blogged, “pulling us further out and rather quickly.” One man who was not a strong swimmer was helped along by Carey until they could touch bottom. All the swimmers made it back to shore safely and were met by the scene of the stricken man embracing his wife, Carey wrote.

Michelle Burkenfield, who meanwhile had scoured the beach in search of life preservers and a kayak but found none, joined Carey in suggesting that several life preservers be located at the beach and possibly a readily available board or float device.

“We agreed that Mexico is great because people actually go out of their way to help others. Almost all the people on the beach were doing something to help the panicked man,” including one of the two kayakers who had commandeered the boat to help in the effort.

Now that all these people responded to the call for help, it remains for an agency or business or both to respond to the call for sufficient, readily available basic lifesaving equipment at the beach to help in rescue attempts.

Road project at Main Gate 
could happen in September

New water concessionaire taking over 

   Residents who have been complaining about the rocky surface at the Main Gate entrance designed to slow down traffic may be getting relief this year. The Colonos reports that project is being contemplated for September if a budgeting plan can be worked out by then. Car owners have complained that the uneven surface damages cars over the long term and is difficult to navigate.

In other community business, Colonos General Manager Armando Rincon, noting that the Colonos has been informed the new water concessionaire is ready to assume control of the distribution and administration of the operation, also mentioned that condo administrators have been organizing to get a legal statement concerning the way new fees are calculated for condos.

The Pelican Free Press reported earlier this year that condo administrators in general and condo owners were agitating for reversing the new method of calculating condo water fees described as patently unfair because the current concessionaire unilaterally changed the calculation. It ended the fair practice of dividing the one access meter by the number of condos to arrive at the lowest of multiple rates charged by the concessionaire. The action ending that practice boosted condos into the most expensive rate category and much higher payments.Administrators said that essentially, the concessionaire was unfairly increasing income for the water department on the backs of condo owners only.

In another development, Rincon said lights have been installed on Bahia Chemuyil, where a new sidewalk was laid out earlier this year, and along Marina Mia and Caleta Yalku.

 

Municipal population expected

to double within five years

   As Solidarity prepares for its 21st anniversary as a municipality, Mayor Mauricio Gongora  Escalante predicts Solidarity’s current population of around 159,000 could nearly double to 300,000 by 2020. The municipality includes Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras where officials there believe population could reach 30,000 between the resort, the Poblado and the Puerto Maya development. The municipality also includes Paamul but not the Calica limestone quarry and port, or the ecotourism park Xel-Ha, both of which remain in the jurisdiction of Cozumel. 

Living units, of which there are now roughly 70, and Paamul.,000 in the municipality, are predicted to reach 105,000 within the municipality’s borders. Whether the prediction came before or after the news that a proposed train terminal at Punta Venada, in the municipality, has been derailed (see story below) is unknown.

Solidarity was formed by state decree on July 28, 1993, when the mainland was split from the island  and municipality of Cozumel. On March 3, 2008, Solidarity itself was separated from Tulum when a new municipality was formed there. Solidaridad is bordered on the north by Benito Juarez-Cancun and Lazaro Cardenas, on the South by Tulum and from the Island of Cozumel by Cozumel Channel.

As of the 2010 census of housing, Solidaridad was populated by 83,468 men and 75,842 women, most of them immigrants from southern Mexico states and 12 percent of those figures representing people of foreign origin.

Yucatan dog bites increase

  The growth of dog attacks on humans in the Yucatan – seven a day reported in Merida – is being considered as an early warning by health officials there who plan to put into effect a program of rabies inoculations of some 30,000 pet dogs and cats from Aug. 1 to Nov. 30. in an effort to protect the public.
   Here in Puerto Aventuras, one writer to the Pelican says he is worried when he sees certain large dog breeds being walked by people who cannot seem to control the dogs when they get frisky. Officials here say there have not been any complaints recently of dog bites and that there is little that can be done as long as dogs are, in fact, leashed and being controlled.

Editorial-ito…

Location, location, location…

  “Location” is one of – if not the prime selling point – when it comes to real estate, and recent events indicate that public projects might do better if they heed that advice too. The local press reported last seek that proposed “cultural” areas including public  playgrounds be “located” under the elevated Highway 307 through Playa del Carmen for use by the city’s growing population. That was in 2009 when the elevated highway was proposed.

Now, five years later, the areas are abandoned because, says the local press, the municipality didn’t follow through with necessary guidelines for use of the areas and provide for safety. But a major reason could be location, just as a park and playground designed and implemented a few years ago in Puerto Aventuras by some well-intentioned volunteers on an island flanked on both sides by the major roadway failed to capture the fancy of the public for its location and lack of parking.

Contrarily, sports “domes” and pocket parks built in the Poblado and Puerto Maya close to where people live appear to be getting a lot of use because of their proximity to users and relative off-road safety. It’s a consideration to be kept in mind for future projects.

Commerce Corner…

Riviera Maya loses out

on fed transport projects

Decision seen slowing area growth

   The local press is reporting that the Riviera Maya is being ignored by the federal government in the siting of an airport in Tulum AND by a new federal decision to route the proposed trans-peninsular train to Cancun, some 65 miles away from Puerto Aventuras, instead of nearby Punta Venado, a/k/a/ Calica. The train was originally intended to link Chichen Itza, Merida and other western stops with Punta Venado to expose the Riviera Maya and western frontiers to continued tourist growth.

Riviera businesses and entrepreneurs are not happy with the latest decision to deny the Riviera Maya a share of the transportation spending that would boost area business prospects and increase tourism here. Puerto Aventuras developer Roman Rivera Torres said he checked the veracity of the press reports on July 16 only to learn they were accurate as things now stand.

Rivera Torres said he spoke with Ministry of Communications and Transport authorities and municipal officials in Cancun and learned there had been great opposition to the Punta Venada terminal from the “most influential hotel owners” who pushed hard for a Cancun terminal linking with the airport there. “The opposition thought it was a project to benefit only Calica and Xcaret, which is very narrow-minded and untrue,” he said.

“The facts that weighed in the (new) decision is that the main purpose of the train is to balance economic tourist activity to the west of the peninsula. The ministry officials concluded it would be much more effective to site the train terminal near the Cancun airport rather than Punta Venada,” he said.

“My personal point of view is that connecting the Mayan regions with the Riviera would have been more harmonious than Cancun. The winners will be Merida, Valladolid and the west,” Rivera Torres said. 

Cesar Navaro Medina, former head of the National Chamber of the Restaurant Industry and Spicy Food, partly faulted an apparent apathy of Riviera Maya businesses that did not push hard enough to maintain the Punta Venado site. He also predicted a transportation bottleneck in Cancun if the new route is actually implemented.

The train from Chichen Itza to Cancun will have about 10 stops on its 237-mile trek. Officials are considering starting out with diesel engines capable of traveling at 160 kph but cruising at 110 kph.

Progress on Phase 4 updated 

 

   Phase 4, the final major development project left in Puerto Aventuras, is moving along rapidly as the ongoing canal and marina dredging project is expected to be completed next May, a full year ahead of time, reports developer and architect Roman Rivera Torres.

“The second nine holes of the golf course are on their way,” he said. “It will be a high course that will benefit from the breeze and a view above the tree tops.” He said that while landscaping and urban decoration of main areas has yet to begin, the project infrastructure is well advanced save for the final electrical service. Provisional energy is already available.

Meanwhile, the Colonos reports it has registered four construction permits in Phase 4. As residents may recall, those construction permit fees are to be used to fund the proposed beach replenishment project in Fatime Bay.

 

Mayakoba breaks ground

on new PA-like community

The Spanish firm OHL Development has reportedly broken ground on a 409 acre community project that includes a new 18-hole golf course, an upscale housing  park, a housing area for employees and Mayakoba Village, an urban business center.

It is reported the group plans an investment of $1 billion over a 30-year period, about the same time that Puerto Aventuras took to develop its four phases, the last of which is now under development.

Infrastructure work to open up house lots for sale is expected to be ready in late next year, 2015. Developers there would do well to think twice about mixed-use development that, often as not, has the potential to cause future disharmony between business and condo/apartment residents.

BMW plans Mexican plant,

as does Nissan-Daimler group

   German automaker BMW has announced its plan to construct a $1 billion manufacturing plant in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi capable of producing 150,000 units a year.

The announcement closely follows plans by Nissan-Renault-Daimler (Mercedes) to build a $1.4 billion complex in Aguascalientes. A workforce of 5,700 is expected to produce 300,000 units of Infinity and Mercedes cars a year there.

Production of the high-end BMW line is expected to begin in 2019 with a work force of 1,500, said Harald Kruger, BMW’s director. He said thousands of peripheral jobs will be created.

Mexico joins BMW’s production line of 28 factories in 13 countries including one in Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA, that’s been in operation for 20 years.

Meanwhile, Honda has begun production of its 2015 model Fit line in Celaya, Mexico, after two years of plant construction. Honda plans to add production of a new line “Vezel” cross-over model next year for North American sales under a possibly different name. Mexico is now the world’s eighth-largest auto producer.

 

AUGUST PROMOTION: Mayan Security (see logo in sponsor column) is having an August Promotion: Buy a security camera system for your home, business or condo and the ACTIVATION FEE OF $99 IS FREE along with a free month of monitoring or camera hosting. Check the company website at left by clicking on the logo. 

 

Billionaire Carlos Slim proposes

3-day work week to create jobs

  

   Speaking at an economic forum in Paraguay, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim proposed a 3-day work week of 11 hours a day in the entertainment and service sectors to create more jobs and give workers four days off.

“A radical change in the way of work” is inevitable, he said, explaining that “…people are no longer going to retire at 50 or 60 years as stipulated by collective bargaining. In the future people will have to work longer, to 70 or 75, but only three days a week.”

Again Richest man

If you want to know why Slim is smiling, he earned $5.1 billion dollars in just 11 days as stocks in his America Movil telephony empire surged on news Slim is offering the company assets for sale in the wake of the national Mexican government’s legislation to open the telephony and internet market to competition.

The sudden spike in Movil’s stock price propelled Slim’s fortune to $79.6 billion to Bill Gate’s number two standing with $79.1 billion. Slim had dropped to Number 2 when shares of Movil plummeted on news of Mexico’s adoption of anti-trust legislation.

Slim says he is hoping to sell to a company that has experience in the field and is interested in investing for improvements to the Mexican system.

 

Biz Buzz...
  

HOTELS in the Riviera Maya report an increase of 4 percent occupancy for the first six months of this year over last year…MEXICAN STEELMAKER Altos Hornos de Mexico is building an $83 million steel production plant to service the oil industry using much of the technology and processes of German giant Siemens VAI for the production of high-ensile steel used by the oil industry and pipelines. The plant will begin production next year and will be capable of producing 2 million metric tons of liquid steel a year. Alto Hornos employs about 19,000 workers…NEW TELECOMMUNICATION LAWS intended to increase competition and favor the consumer continued to advance amid contentious political debate in July…YOUNG WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES modeled clothing designed with their particular disabilities in mind during a fashion show in Guadalajara, including one in a wheelchair…THE STATE OF JALISCO is being left to its own decision to decriminalize marijuana in specific cases and self-production of weed for medicinal purposes, following a trend in the United States…MOST POPULAR DESTINATION of tourists according to Trip Advisor is Playa del Carmen in the “Traveler’s Choice” survey for 2014. The beach at Tulum was #7 while the most popular area beaches chosen by travelers were Akumal, North Beach in Isla Mujeres, Playa Delfines in Cancun and Paradise Beach in Cozumel…THE NUMBER OF HOTELS in Playa del Carmen has expanded from 51 in 1995 to 384 this year…STATE OWNED PEMEX posted a net loss of $6.77 billion for the first half of 2014 due to reduced production and higher taxes compared to the same period last year. Deputies endorse an opinion to reduce Pemex taxes… MEXICO AND JAPAN ink trans-Pacific partnership agreement…OFFICIALS REPORT that 50 percent of area car accidents involve drunk driving…

Pena Nieto notes decline

in homicides nationally

   While Honduras is now perceived as the “danger” capital of the world, in part responsible from the migration increase north, Mexico’s President Pena Nieto last week declared that Mexico’s capital crimes were on a downward trend, noting a 27 percent drop in the homicide rate including those linked to cartel crimes over the 2012 figure.

The president concurred however that despite the reduction in homicide cases in the first six months of this year, or 8,101 homicides, there were 808 abductions reported by the National Public Security System, an increase of 17.4 percent over the same period in 2012.

Incidents of of extortion were reported down 15 percent, from 4,046 events in the first half of 2013 to 3,419 in the first half of 2014, and down 2 percent from the same period in 2012. Official figures state that from 2006 to 2012, there were 100,000 homicides with 70,000 of those attributed to the drug trade.     

Briefly Noted…

PUERTO AVENTURAS RETAILERS in the villages are asking for police surveillance at night because of a rash of more than 10 recent thefts. One retailer said he’s been robbed three times in a month and is tired of working for thieves…ARTISTS ARE INVITED to inquire and show their work at free public weekly events being planned at the Information Center Art Gallery in Puerto Aventuras on Tuesdays. For more information, call Gladis Perez at 984-802-8305…AN ATLANTIC STORM was possibly forming near Africa as of this writing 5,000 kms south-southeast of Chetumal. It has a 50 percent chance of developing into a hurricane as it heads for rhe Lesser Antilles…AN IMPORTED VIRUS called “chicungunya” similar to dengue and spread by the same mosquito that carries dengue fever has been detected for the first time in Mexico. It was imported by a traveler returning from a sports even in Antigua. Symptoms include muscle pain, fever and general fatigue. And if we thought it was some kind of exotic new curse, four cases showed up in Boston, in the USA. Meanwhile, a new vaccine is said to reduce the risk of dengue fever by 56 percent. Ask your doctor…MEXICO SAYS it has neutralized 88 of 122 identified organized crime targets

listed by the Pena Nieto administration…VIDEO CAMS like those in Puerto Aventuras helped a 5th Avenue sun-glass store in Playa del Carmen identify two tourists who allegedly stole $20K in merchandise. Oddly, employees didn’t know the theft took place until the camera recordings were reviewed. Check Mayan Security logo in left column if you are interested in installing video protection for your home or business…CIRQUE DU SOLEIL will open a theater at Kilometer 58 on Highway 307 between Cancun and Playa del Carmen on Nov. 8 with a show reflecting Mexican history. Ticket prices run from 858 pesos to 2,970 pesos for VIP show, dinner and champagne…MEXICAN GOVERNMENT is taking steps to prevent thousands of illegal migrants passing through the country on a Tabasco train known as “The Beast” in order to eliminate injury and exposure to extortionists…THE RIVIERA HOTEL ASSOCIATION will conduct an internship program this winter for the 140 member hotels to train students in the many facets of the service industry. A similar program was offered two years ago when 350 interns and teachers were paid modest sums to participate…CHOLERA OUTBREAKS in other parts of the country have not affected Solidarity Beaches, reports the head of the state health ministry, because continued testing of local waters by the ministry shows no bacteria contamination… 300 ELDERLY volunteers have taken to the streets of Playa del Carmen to direct traffic outside grade schools for the safety of the young students…RETAILERS in the tourist area of 10th Avenue and Juarez in Playa are agitating for a solution to the problem of sewage overflow when it rains excessively…SOLIDARITY BEACHES accumulated about 60 tons of garbage left by tourists and locals, leading to an appeal by overworked beach cleaners (called “seagulls” in the U.S.) for people to take their garbage with them when they leave the beach and deposit it in containers … A MAGTNITUDE 5 EARTHQUAKE was recorded July 21 in the state of Chiapas in Southeastern Mexico and a 6.4 magnitude quake near Vera Cruz earlier this week. No injuries were reported…THE MEXICAN SENATE began debating secondary legislation on energy reform that will impact oil. electricity, mining and geothermal energy that will set the country on a new course to improve energy competition and production among other changes…DOMESTIC TOURISTS flooded Playa del Carmen beaches in the first week of the domestic high season, promising a profitable summer…A LESBIAN TEACHER dismissed as the result of parental complaints was reinstated in Cuernavaca following a state investigation. “This whole thing was very difficult,” she said. “I hope it ends here.” … BEACH CONTAMINATION was reported last week in the 12th Street area of Playa del Carmen, launching an investigation to determine if the discoloration and putrid odor of the water is a natural phenomenon or possible drainage discharge. A similar event occurred in 2021, say officials…FOUR NEW FIRE TRUCKS have been added to Solidarity’s fire department along with training for some 200 fire fighters…CONSUMER OFFICIALS  have sanctioned a Playa del Carmen gasoline station for operating a fuel pump that was shortchanging customers. It was discover3d as part of an inspection program…  

 

The Mail Bag…

Ferry service taking survey

Dear Editor:

I am forwarding an update from Bruce Nierenberg with regard to the proposed ferry service.  Please respond to his question at BNIERENBERG@aol.com.  A Yes or No answer will suffice..You may forward this email to friends and family who are interested in or would use the ferry service. Please advise me if you no longer wish to be on the ferry update mailing list.Thank you for your participation.

Thank you.

Signed/Tamara Magnusson.

The email:

“We are making good progress on getting a start date for the service.

I expect to have that in the next month. We are targeting to start by April 2015. More info will come to you shortly and you all as our first customers will know before anyone else all the details. Now I have a logistical question for you: If we brought the ship departure point closer to where you are driving from so you did not have to drive to Florida, would that be okay with you and in fact be preferred?

Example: If we left from a port on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. for the trip to the Yucatan that could reduce your driving time up to 10 hours by not having to go to Tampa and still provide all the services you need, would that be okay? 

(A yes or no answer will suffice I don’t need a specific port mentioned as I’m just trying to find out if users would be okay with a port closer to where they left from, like in Gulfport, Mississippi for example.  That could eliminate about 8 to 10 hours off the drive to the ship for them.  I also have found that the gulf states ports are very interested in showing our passengers a lot of appreciation.Thank you for your participation.)

.

Signed: Bruce Nierenberg,Chairman, CEO
United Caribbean Lines,
1369 Lexington Ave.
Davenport (Orlando) Fl. 33837; (321) 427-0332

Liking Omni beach again

Dear Editor:

Went to the beach this week and was very pleasantly surprised. Our beach is returning on the other side of the barriers. Standing in front of the Omni you can now see numerous people standing outside the barriers in a replenished beach. I walked out several hundred feet in a sand covered bottom. It was amazing and I hope it continues to improve. This is the first time in two years I can say I really liked our beach!

Signed/Victor Cabral

JULY 2014; Robber routed from town

WIDE SMILE – Visit our local dentist before heading north. Click on the Smile logo
CHECK THIS OUT! WeRWater has a new website, pool products. Click logo at left
VILLAS AKALAN to rent close to the Riviera Maya’s prime beach at Tulum.
REPAIR LEAKS BEFORE THE RAINY SEASON, click on Definitive Solutions for help.
LIBRARY HOURS   Mon-Fri from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. More than 15,000 English and Spanish books to choose from.
ENTERTAINMENT at PA’s Latitude 20 Restaurant
DANGER WET FLOOR? Don’t slip, don’t fall, give Innovative Floor Solutions a call. Click left.
SECURITY CAMERAS help guard your home when you are gone. Click on Mayan Security.
FISHING SEASON HERE: Click on Capt. Rick’s for sportfishing adventure
REMEMBER Puerto Aventuras Catering for house parties, biz meetings or large weddings. Click logo at left.
HOT EVENING? Take a cool walk to Jessie Gelato in Centro and taste the relief

 

Puerto Maya building boom continues

By Staff
The Pelican’s recent “State of the Town” series would not be complete if it did not mention the growth occurring on the other side of the highway in the Puerto Maya development. Unscientific census taking generally pegs population there as high as 20,000, including the Poblado, while the number of living units usually are not worked into the mix.

The Pelican made a brief fly-over last month with Puerto Maya resident manager Yolanda Porqit, who pegged current population of that development at 9,498. They arrive at that figure by assuming an average of three persons per living unit, of which there are currently 3,166.

However, additional housing construction is going on in two more Puerto Maya tracts, one with a proposed 799 units and the other with 356, or a total of 1,155. Add that to the 3,166 units already occupied and you have a total of 4,321 units when they are all sold by next year. At three persons per unit, projected population is 12,963, rounded out at 13,000, not including the Poblado.

Population projections from the Puerto Aventuras resort developer now entering the last phase of construction there has estimated an eventual PA population of around 30,000 including Puerto Maya, the resort and the Poblado.

Helping to get the Puerto Maya units sold and giving labor the hope of improved domestic accommodation, the government is offering subsidies of 64,000 pesos to qualified individuals and families on a basic unit that sells for 295,500 pesos, the manager said.

A tour of the development shows certain amenities lacking in the Poblado. For one, it has a surprisingly well-designed park and playground for children. It slopes down from the wide main street that connects the residential area to the Chedraui retail complex by the highway. The park slopes downward via tree- and shrub-lined paths to a well-equipped children’s playground tucked away in a gully to dampen street noise and add to privacy and solitude.

Conagua provides water from tanks that provide distribution pressure to the units. The streets are exceptionally wide and bordered with generous cement sidewalks and green strips. The development thus far also has two schools, from K through high school; a police sub-station, convenience store outlets and other retail establishments. There are also two sports domes that appear to be well used by the community for various events and casual play. There is seamless integration with the adjacent Poblado community.

The manager said Puerto Maya is a project of the private Grupo Vivo Inmobiliario, which determines the number of units it will build. While the more advanced refer to the type of construction offered as “cookie cutter” housing, the company goal and type of construction is intended to lift lower-wage labor into better housing than it has at prices it can afford, particularly with the subsidy.

The company has nine developments ongoing in the coastal region here and Tabasco. They are: El Encanto, Chetumal, 1,041 units; Paraiso Maya, Cancun, 5,958 units; La Venta in Tabasco, 2,734; Maya Real (homes), Chetumal, 585; El Encanto, Tabasco, 760 (Homes); La Fluerta, Tabasco, 1023; The Guadalupe, Cancun (homes), 1,120; Mundo Habitat (homes), Playa de Carmen, 215.

In photos below, a mother collects her child from the school, in background, and begins walking home. At center right is the police sub-station and new construction of more units, and, below, Oxxo convenience store and a sports dome.

 

Suspected thief leaves town
as another caught red-handed

By Staff
The Colonos reports that a person suspected in a string of robberies and attempted robberies has left town under pressure from local Security. (Meanwhile, in a late-breaking development, one of two men attempting to break into an apartment across from the San Marino Condos on Privada Xel Ha was caught by Colonos Security who held the suspect for municipal police. More on this in the next edition.)

Colonos GM Armando Rincon said that after six events were reported to security, the Colonos distributed a letter containing a description of the person that was given to the Colonos by the first person who had a confrontation with the suspect.

“Immediately, three other residents approached us with information and description of the suspect who we tracked to a condo unit on Bahia Yalku. We placed a guard outside the condo 24/7 and as a result all incidents ceased,” Rincon said.

He said he approached the condo owner and showed him a newspaper clipping that accused the suspect of stealing 20,000 pesos in Isla Mujeres in 2013. The owner advised the suspect and he subsequently left town, Rincon said.

The Colonos reminds residents that the community’s video surveillance program coupled with pro-active residents are greatly helping to keep minor crimes at a minimum. (For more information on the first suspect and his female partner, click on the Colonos site in the right hand column.)

Public’s tips underscored

   The public’s activism and help led to the ouster of a suspected thief was also attributed to the Mexican Marines’ rescue of 18 kidnapped Central American migrants, including children, in the state of Tamaulipas, which shares a roughly 142-mile border with the state of Texas.

Media reports there of the discovery of victims and subsequent arrest of two suspects noted the rescue operation by the Marines was made possible by tips from an aware public. That awareness plus quick response by lawmen is a major tool in the battle against crime. say enforcement officials.

 

‘Hole in Wall’ gang steals

$8K of bathroom fixtures

under nose of filtro police

Compiled by Staff
Thieves broke into the back wall of a plumbing supply business located just a few hundred feet from a police filtro outside Playa del Carmen in early June and made off with an estimated 80,000 pesos of bathroom fixtures.

The intruders broke an opening in the wall of from 1.50 to 1.60 meters to gain access to the loot. The business was not immediately identified for obvious reasons.

For those who might muse “only in Mexico,” there was a story out of Rhode Island in the U.S. a few years ago when a brazen thief walked into a gasoline station across a roadway from the fire station, picked up the cash register while the owner was busy in the mechanic’s bay, put it in the trunk of his car and drove away in plain sight of firefighters who watched the entire proceedings from across the way.

“We thought he was a cash register repair man,” the embarrassed firefighters later told the press.

 

 

Survey: Public servants seen ‘corrupt’

Mexico’s 2013 National Survey of Government Quality and Impact found 88.3 percent of Mexicans feel public servants engage in corrupt practices in dealing with the public. Survey results were announced by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).

Forty-eight percent of respondents said corrupt practices are very frequent among public employees with 40 percent saying corruption is “frequent”. Respondents, 88 percent of them, said corruption is either “very frequent” or “frequent” when dealing with the police.

Respondents also said they found corrupt practices in dealing with political parties, 84.4 %, and public prosecutors, 78.4 %. Nonetheless, corruption was only the number 3 problem cited by respondents. They placed crime first, 70.4 %, and unemployment as the nation’s second biggest problem. The survey included 1,000 households in cities with 100,000 population.

Neighbor state site gets UNESCO nod

The state of Campeche on Quintana Roo’s western border has received a designation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO, with the naming of ancient Maya city and tropical forest of Calakmul as World Heritage sites, both of which are in driving distance from Puerto Aventuras. It is the first “mixed site” added to UNESCO’s list.

“The city played a key role in the history of this region for more than 12 centuries and is characterized by well-preserved structures providing a vivid picture of life in an ancient Mayan capital,” the agency said.

The site added to the World Heritage list is in the southern part of Calakmul Biosphere Reserve and is reportedly the second largest area of tropical forest in the Americas as well as the best protected, covering 1.78 million acres.

 

 

 

Commerce Corner…Compiled by Staff

Pemex gears for competition,

faults filters for ‘bad gas’ rap

   Pemex is preparing to modernize its 10,900 service stations nationwide to position itself against expected private competition beginning in 2018. The government is debating legislation to allow competition for the first time since Pemex was nationalized in 1938.

Pemex, which alone services the nation’s 25 million cars, says it will launch the Pemex brand, improve the image of customer service, bring new products to market and forge partnerships with leading companies.

It has also launched a training program that will eventually reach all of its 26,000 managers, supervisors and sales staff. It was not clear whether Pemex would move into the self-serve market and/or equip pumps with credit/debit card capability, the company said at the inaugural of the annual petroleum retailers convention in Playa del Carmen.

Meanwhile, Pemex rejected blogged complaints of ‘bad gas’ in some Yucatan areas by noting the problem with gunked-up fuel pumps was the fault of independently manufactured gas filters carried by independent station operators.

 

TV diversification set back

Meanwhile, the government’s effort to bring competition in the TV industry where Carlos Slim’s America Movil and the duopoly of Televisa and TV Azteca, by introducing and auctioning off two new national networks to competition has been postponed to September 2-3. It was to be held in June.

The auction for 20-year concessions of the country’s first television frequencies is aimed at diversifying content, among other goals. The deadline had to be postponed to bolster legal certainty since secondary legislation has not yet been approved.

Restaurants up prices

   A spokesman for area restaurants reports  says prices are going up for menu items by 3 to 5 percent as the result of higher gasoline and wholesale food costs, particularly meat and dairy. He said what cost 90 pesos just weeks ago now costs 135 to 140 pesos, about a 35 percent increase. If nothing changes in the summer tourist season, snowbirds from the north might be looking at higher prices come winter.

One’s music, another’s noise

as Centro issue erupts again

The universal but unintended consequences of mixed-use zoning are raising more dust in the Centro retail area In Puerto Aventuras over music being played louder and longer than the limits set by the Centro homeowners’ association.

In a letter to HOA members – this includes business owners and living unit owners above the businesses – the Vigilance and Supervisory Committee has identified three restaurants targeted by their neighbors as breaking Rule 81 of Mexican law and the HOA’s by-laws as regards music, also known as noise when it disrupts neighbors trying to sleep or enjoy the peace.

The letter identifies Cafe Ole, Joel’s Restaurant and Paul Wedge’s Pub as disturbing neighbors with nighttime music exceeding the 68 decibel rule for noise.The law states music should be kept inside the establishments or line of business and not exceed 69 decibels. Exacerbating the problem is the fact that none of the buildings are soundproofed, as are many in the north countries.

The letter states, “We understand that…having music is part of their business…but we must respect neighbors who have the challenge of living in a mixed-use environment.” The letter also notes that an effort to bring businesses into compliance on other matters as well has led to verbal and physical abuse of some Vigilance Committee members. The association is calling for harmony and an August 2 meeting to discuss all of the above and to present views and possible solutions that are fair to all.


Centro Maya called ‘ghost town’

 

   The Centro Maya shopping plaza on the outskirts of Playa Del Carmen’s south end, a banking, movie theater and shopping place for Puerto Aventurans, is being called a “ghost square” by some retailers there hungering for enough business to remain open.

While some retailers have already closed shop, others hanging on say their sales have dropped from about 80 percent four years ago to 30 percent this year. Several retailers said the plaza has failed to market itself property and fight for more public transportation from the rest of the city and its suburban communities.

They said they now have to compete with Plaza Americas in the city’s north end, which is serviced by more public transportation. The complaints did not differentiate between summer and winter sales, when more snowbirds are present.

 

BIZ BUZZ…

 

MUSICAL CHAIRS has been on the Centro menu as Gaylita and Gary have resumed the operation of the Cafe Ole while Bill and Ally Belair, who operated Café Ole for a brief period, have moved to Hippo’s…DONNA’S BAKERY in Centro is adding a home delivery program of organic vegetables to her usual baked goods offerings…SOLAR ENERGY companies are moving into the Mayan Riviera, an area that, according to a recent energy forum in Cancun, is the highest catchment region in the country at 5.8 kilowatt hours per square meter per day. A spokesman for the hotel association said at the forum that hotels are not taking advantage of this sustainable energy source because of high up-front costs. Several solar panel manufacturers have moved sales representatives to this area including eSun whose site can be visited by clicking on its logo in the sponsor column…ANOTHER DOLPHIN DISCOVERY has opened at the Grand Sirenis Hotel in Akumal, the eighth one in Quintana Roo…TAXI AND PRIVATE DRIVERS complained of higher gasoline prices due to tax increases on the product. The latest 12-peso hike upped the tax to 77 pesos per liter to yield prices of 12.77 pesos for magna, 13.45 for premium and 13.28 for diesel…SOME AREA HOTELS are using hawks to keep other birds away from hotel restaurants in the tourist areas…  REALLY ROLLING! Mexico auto exports reached record heights in the first quarter rising 8.7 percent from the same period in 2013. Companies in Mexico made 1.02 million units in that period of which 82.9 percent headed for foreign markets…THE DIRECTOR GENERAL of Civic Aviation and the International Air Transport Association have declared that Cancun International Airport has reached saturation point, yet no progress on a proposed terminal in Tulum…FARMERS NEED HELP to stay on the job in southern Q. Roo, says a farmers’ association group seeking help from the government. The group says farmers are leaving the field for work in the tourist areas for lack of assistance from government and private sources. They say it’s a shame because the land is the most productive in the region…TEQUILA IN CHINA is growing at such a pace that China is on the verge of becoming the second largest importer of Mexican tequila…BEACH LOSS in Cancun is reported as 60 percent over 40 years…PUERTO AVENTURAS AIRPORT – Land clearing has begun in the western jungles of Puerto Aventuras for the Playa del Carmen Aerodrome which will be moved as soon as the new facility is ready. No word yet as to what will happen to the prime land currently hosting the aerodrome…HOME DEPOT building advancing in Playa del Carmen. Can Costco be far behind?

 

 

The Mail Bag…

Letters

Dear Editor,

I want to say thank you for the great publication, I look forward every week to my newsletter and miss you when you move to monthly! As I’m hoping to become a resident in the near future I am an avid fan! I just wondered if you could help me- I’d love to know if there are any Brits living in PA who might be willing to give some advice on the practicalities of a move from the UK.

Many thanks,

Signed/Sharon Watkin

Dear Editor:
I saw your article on fuel pump failure in the Pelican Free Press. I had to replace my fuel pump a month ago and the dealership attributed it to bad Magna fuel from Pemex. While we were there at the Toyota Dealer in Playa we saw another Van pull up and had the same problem. Pemex.
(Ed. Note: See comments above on filter problem)

Signed/ Carolyn and Nina Kumar 

 

 

An a-maize-ing bike

in  Puerto Morelos

When sailing yacht owners on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, USA, decide to make a transatlantic trip, some of them use a stationary bicycle hooked up to a generator to produce electricity and get exercise. There are no bike paths in the Atlantic.

An appetizing version of this idea has cropped up in Puerto Morelos. It is called a “bicimolinos” – a hand-built stationary bike that provides the ladies with exercise while simultaneously producing masa dough as a by-product of the pedaling energy. It’s a classic example of killing two birds with one stone, as they say.

The idea is popular in Central America countries like Guatemala and El Salvador and appears to be making its initial appearance on the Yucatan peninsula in Puerto Morelos via a project called “Maize Value.”

Reportedly, there are five people in that town involved. One of them, Viviana Diaz Velez Sofia, says the bike will help support a family’s economy by the sale of the corn tortillas as well as improve the health of the persons pedaling the machines. The project is scheduled to be in full swing next year.

 

Briefly Noted…

CHECK THE COLONOS SITE for information to confirm your resident and gate passes as a security measure…PLAYA MOVIE HOUSES are reportedly doing rather well with an average of 12,000 fans showing up weekly…GULF HURRICANE BORIS dropped a lot of rain in Riviera Maya, hurting tourist retail and water-related businesses. But it wasn’t as bad as the downpours in the southern state of Guerrero where torrential rain caused evacuation of thousands of residents to safer ground …BEACH DUNE RECOVERY of about 20 percent is reported in Playa del Carmen area because of a planting program undertaken by the environmental protection agency Zofemat, which says the project is being helped by abundant rain…THE OVERPASS REPAIR project in Playa will be discontinued for the summer and resume in the fall…CULTURAL EXCHANGE program has been signed by Mexico-UK where each country will bring a series of events to the other country…SOME RESTRICTIONS on commercial travel from Belize to Chetumal have been lifted following a meeting on transportation issues…HURRICANE INSURANCE costs leave some 95 percent of small businesses without coverage, says a spokesman from the Association of Bars and Clubs in Playa’s tourist zone…CUT FERRY PRICE to Cozumel for all people of Solidarity by 50 percent is a movement under way to give all residents of Solidarity the same price break that islanders get for traveling to Solidarity on the ferry…A U.N RAPPORTEUR (one who compiles and presents reports) has suggested the Mexican government remove military units from the streets to reduce homicides brought on by clashes of drug-related shootouts…RED CROSS says it collected 75 percent of its goal as of mid-June…SHRIMP FLAKES have the potential to help sufferers of osteoarthritis, say researchers from the University of Veracruz, by helping repair cartilage/bone tissue. One in five Q. Roo females suffer from the ailment…HIGHWAY SHOOTING was fatal to a young taxi driver on Highway 307 near Paamul in mid-June. A second driver was shot four times and died in Playa del Carmen on the same day…GASTROINTESTINAL cases rose 5 percent since the heat and rain have arrived, says the General Hospital. Dust, dirty water and food gone bad are the likely culprits, say the doctors…DUST THOU ART – The red sunsets seen from the Yucatan in June stem from Saharan dust particles, an annual event, though the particles were not as dense this year…SOLiDARITY’S COMPTROLLER reports the state of Quintana Roo ranks fifth in the nation in corruption incidents and asks the public to report any attempts by public employees to extort favors during the performance of their duties…A MUNICIPAL CENSUS and survey began this week in Puerto Aventuras, reports the Colonos. Uniformed agents with identification are visiting homes and residents are asked to respond to this effort at achieving a population count, although responses are not obligatory, says the Colonos…A U.S. TOURIST drowned in waters off Sandos Playacar this week (June 25). Paramedics attempted to save her but the 53-year-old woman died from swallowing too much sea water, the medics said…AND STILL GROWING is the federal election District 1 comprising Solidarity, Tulum, Cozumel, Lazaro Cardenas and Benito Juarez (Cancun) that has an estimated 500,000 voters for next year’s federal election compared to 400,000 in 2012…

END THIS POST: Please refer to the Colonos site for church and al-anon services and other pertinent housekeeping information. Click on the Colonos icon in the top right column.

Pelican Free Press Newsletter

For emergency phone numbers, church services, “resident” and “gate” card forms and processes; rules for golf carts and motorcycles, pets, construction by-laws, recycling schedule and other pertinent community information and services, please click on the Puerto Aventuras Colonos icon below. Thank you

PA Colonos Information

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