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January 11, 2017

Artist, a renter, unwittingly finds
himself in middle of water battle  

AFTER THE SHOUTING a water truck prepares to unload at the Plaza Gourmet condo complex. (Staff Photo)

Bearing the brunt of others’ disagreements
By Staff
An incident report outlining repeated main-gate entry denials of a water truck by the Colonos Security last Wednesday tells the story of a happy artist suddenly struck by a jolt of misery for a problem not of his making. Then it almost happened again on Sunday.

SHOWING FRUSTRATION, artist Peter Terrin describes how he was drawn into somebody else’s water battle. (Staff Photo)

Peter Terrin, known for his large paintings of faces, is an affable man who rents a condo/studio where he loves to work and live with his hound dog and pet pig “Picasso” in the so-called Gourmet Plaza in Centro. “I’m a peace and love guy. But I got caught in the middle,” he said last week in his sprawling studio commanding a view of the dolphin pools.

The artist sketched a verbal design of how he came to be drawn into an apparently routine non-payment skirmish between the operator of a lounge, some unit owners and the local water concession. He explained there is only one water meter for the entire  complex.

Complex lacks an HOA

Terrin said while every unit’s water passes through that one meter, Dugan Harley, the operator of the Hoo Haa lounge, has been mostly responsible for making the payment. In an aside comment, Terrin said be believes that to be patently unfair, albeit most condos operate on the one-meter model.

Unfortunately, the complex has neither a bona-fide owners’ association nor an elected administrator, according to Colonos GM Armando Rincon. “Besides the water bill, the complex hasn’t paid the Colonos maintenance for…” he paused, “…for forever.”

Continuing to describe how he became unwittingly involved, Terrin said the lounge was closed for more than a month after an unknown person caught on tape ignited a nighttime fire there last Oct, 21. After that the lounge owner did not pay the water bill because, Terrin said he was told, the lounge did not use any water while it was closed. However, water still flowed to other tenants like Terrin, running up a bill on the common meter.

Water truck blocked at gate

Subsequently, he said, the water service was shut for non-payment. As a painter, Terrin said, water is a necessity for him. His studio is part of his living quarters. “I have to shower after I work to remove the paint from my body,” he said, in addition to normal water needs of a household. He said he had to walk the length of a football field to go to the bathroom at the  nearby Omni Hotel.

After a few days without water, Terrin said, water trucks were called in to replenish a secondary water source, a cistern. But then on Wednesday, Jan. 4, when another truck was hailed to renew the supply, guards at the main gate refused to allow it to enter the resort.

The report, submitted by Security to the Colonos, noted that Terrin called the office several times on Jan.3 pleading with the staff to let the truck in before the cistern ran out of water. His requests were denied on the premise that only the condo administrator could approve delivery. Unfortunately, there is no elected administrator, as pointed out by Colonos GM Rincon.

Other callers also refused

THE FORMER Si, Si, Si Restaurant becoming a decaying no. no. (Staff Photo)

Between 5:18  and 6:15 p.m. on the same day, others were enlisted to help. Calls asking for the truck to be allowed came from Cindy Lapkine, longtime assistant to an appointed condo administrator, Oscar Calderon, who evidently was not available. Also calling were Mrs. Elizabeth Suarez and Vera Alonzo Galvan, identified as a secretary to the Fideicomiso. All to no avail. The truck was not admitted.

The next day, on Thursday, Jan. 5, frustrated with Security’s rejection of his entreaties and those of others, Terrin, fearing another weekend without water, decided to pay the water bill himself, only to be told the office was closed for the week. “It made me feel powerless,” Terrin said.

On Sunday, Jan. 8, as only a trickle of water was left in the complex’s cistern, Terrin said,  the owner of Terrin’s rental unit, Luis Cejudo, who had been away, called a water truck for a separate address using subterfuge, he said, as the only way for the truck to be allowed through the main gate. Once it arrived, Cajudo directed the driver to the Gourmet Plaza.

As soon as it arrived, Cejudo said, it was met by Security personnel who verbally and respectfully attempted to stop delivery. Some shouting at Security personnel by frustrated  owners ensued, attracting the attention of passersby, including The Pelican Free Press.

It ended when Cejudo told Security to talk to him and not his employee (the water truck driver who he was paying), after which he stood on the truck’s running board and ordered the driver to deliver the water. The driver did so as Security stood by reporting the events by phone.

Unintended consequences

Terrin repeated on several occasions during the interview that it is not legal to deprive people of water in Mexico. GM Rincon concurred. “But water can be shut down 99 percent – to a trickle that won’t even allow a shower.”

As a result of Sunday’s delivery over the objections of Security personnel who were acting at the behest of the water company, the delivery company involved has been temporarily banned from entering the resort, Rincon said on Monday.

He said the Plaza Gourmet complex has never been accorded an owners’ association and that owners have not paid condo dues or Colonos maintenance fees. He indicated the development is embroiled in litigation between some owners who also complain of the building’s increasing deterioration.


Paamul charity Garage Sale is Sunday

The Paamul Services to Others Committee (PSOC) is announcing the Annual Garage Sale to be held at David’s Store at the entrance to Paamul on Sunday, Jan. 15.  This event is one of the charity functions held each year by the PSOC to raise funds to help with the necessities of life and further the education of the residents in some of our villages, currently Chumpon in Quintana Roo and Santa Clara and Kulunche in Yucatan state.The sale will begin at 8 a.m. and continue until mid-afternoon.  Come have fun shopping and at the same time know that you are helping provide some more needs of residents in our villages.If you have items to donate or any questions about our charities, please refer to the Facebook page for “Paamul Services to Others Committee” and send a message…

Spanish language classes taught with expertise and humor by Maestra and certified translator Gloria Contreras, who has been teaching informal groups here for quite a few years, will resume on Thursday, January 12, at the Latitude 20 Restaurant on the shore of the Lagoon of Dreams. Beginners class from 9 to 10 a.m. and advanced class from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cost per one hour class is 130 pesos7 ($6.29 USD). The maestra asks that 10 classes be paid in advance to incentivize attendance and learning. Contact her at gloriatraducciones@hotmail.com or call cel 984-108-3517 for more information…

Bingo will be played at Latitude 20 Restaurant at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15. Proceeds help fund assistance to the children in the poblado through the Transformar Educando Civic Association…

Register for race until Jan. 21

The annual road race is scheduled for January 22. Register at the Colonos office. The event is being sponsored by Dolphin Discovery. There were nearly 500 runners at last year’s race…

Charity curry night moves to Latitude 20

A homespun charity night of curry as you like it hosted by Bet, Amy and John Hughes  has been part of the Puerto Aventuras scene for quite a few years. Now its popularity has outgrown the Hughes home and will he held instead at the Latitude 20 Restaurant at 6;30 P.M., Friday, Jan. 20.

Ticket price of 200 pesos is donated to the community center in the poblado, home of Transformar Educando and Friends of Puerto Aventuras (FOPA). They offer basic education and skills classes to adults and children and a host of social services. Tickets now available at Latitude 20. Choose between four types of curry.

The menu includes medium hot, and hot turkey curry with mixed vegetables and spices, Caribbean vegan and Caribbean fish curry.

 


Commerce Corner…

Enjoying a visit to the Divot. (Divot Photos)

Swing by the Divot Restaurant
to relax and score good food

By Staff
Some people relish a seascape with their salad.  Others like their potatoes peppered with pastoral peace. Some like viewing a busy boardwalk with their burger while many favor breakfast with a birdy song.

The Divot restaurant, nestled as it is in a cradle of quietude on the fringes of the bucolic golf course, has been offering diners – from breakfast to dinner – the option of a restive repast for the past year.

Laura Pohlenz, Divot owner, welcomes patrons with a smile. (Staff Photo)

The idea of adding a restaurant to the golf course emerged quite naturally from conversations between owner/manager Laura Pohlenz and her husband, Jose Luis Ortega, who is the golf and racquet club pro and manager.

It began with the idea of offering a light breakfast and lunch menu to accommodate golfers and the public. A dinner menu was added later along with special events such as wine tastings to nearly full houses.

The location, easily accessible yet comfortably private, is a natural for hosting private parties as well for up to 45 people. The Divot has had success with children’s birthday parties too, providing ample room for games, entertainment and other fun in the foliage.


The Divot will present its third wine and food pairing at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, showcasing select wines from the El Cielo winery in Baja California and new items from our dinner menu. Seating limited to 30. Reserve with Laura at 984-802-8939 or 998-156-5900 or at the Divot before Friday.


  

“This was all new to me,” said Mrs. Pohlenz, who left a career as a university language teacher (English and German) in Cancun and at the Puerto Aventuras Colegio to engage a new challenge. “I’m finding it very interesting and enjoyable meeting so many great people,” she said.

The restaurant, with its expansive, sloping palapa roof and choice furnishings is literally steps above the norm. It sits just off the main road across from Centro, has ample parking, is on the second level that places it almost even with the surrounding verdant canopy of trees.

Assisting in the move to a dinner menu was longtime PA restaurateur Peter Metric who has just taken leave to care for a health condition. Stephanie Hammond de Boboli will be night manager and is working with Mrs.  Pohlenz in continuing to offer a varied dinner menu and showcasing wines and craft beers.

The Divot has received its share of favorable reviews, including one from Jen Dunlop-Jones who described the Divot experience in part as “…an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of Playa del Carmen…serene and refreshing…great for group events.”

Anne Brown said she had a “…wonderful breakfast there with friends…delicious food…it’s the perfect place, quiet, calm and relaxing,” to which a smiling Mrs. Pohlenz quips more simply “I have breakfast here every morning, And I like it too.”

(See more about the Divot by clicking on the logo in the sponsor column to reach the Facebook Page.)


 The Roundup…

The Riviera Maya must be doing well despite the Mexican gloom and doom being forecast by the USA’s incoming administration. Stores were jammed last Thursday when Chedraui’s across the highway ran out of packaged bread, onions and other basic foodstuffs. Soriana’s in Centro Maya was crammed with shoppers. Incoming shoppers were told to go back to the parking lot and look for a carriage. Several customers were observed going back out into the lot, getting into their cars, and going elsewhere to shop.

But there evidently was a reason for what looked like clumsy management, with one of the entrances shuttered and a few more uniformed security personnel. Some markets were setting up shutters in response to vandalism last week to a number of gasoline stations by vandals purportedly protesting price increases. Their actions spooked other businesses such as the supermarkets, some smaller firms even closing early to avoid problems…

Panicked shoppers fled the Las Americas Mall in Playa del Carmen at about 5:30 p.m. last Saturday after four vandals believed to be minors ran through the mall with calamitous shouting and setting off alarms to create panic then plunder items from stores. The plan didn’t work though because multiple police patrols arrived quickly, calmed the crowd and patrolled the area the rest of the evening…

Speaking of Chedraui’s, it appeared last week that work was finally being done to replace the ATM in the plaza area that provides a service for many poblado and Puerto Maya residents. The guts of the ATM were removed and stolen in a brazen nighttime heist last November in which a guard was bound and gagged…

Gasoline woes brought on a night of vandalism of Pemex stations in Playa del Carmen last week in response to price increases and delivery issues that caused some stations to deny magna at the pumps for fear of running out. Gangs vandalized a number of stations for 10 hours before the police put a stop to it…Meanwhile, Cancun braced for a blockade of gasoline stations by the taxi union in protest to the implementation of market-based price increases… These actions have caused supermarkets to be on the alert and small businesses to close early… Gasoline prices could jump more come February, say some reports…

A 30 percent hike in tortilla prices is also a cause for unrest in the domestic population which depends on tortillas as an inexpensive dietary staple. The price increase from 15 to 30 pesos for a kilo on average was reportedly caused by a hike in propane gas prices…

Beachgoers in Playa del Carmen have been alerted to the number of indigents using beaches as rest rooms and “dedicating” themselves to stealing from careless tourists who leave their belongings on the beach unguarded…Word to the wise….

OH! OH! – Traces of sargassum washed up on the shore of Fatima Bay last week reviving memories of the gruesome invasion that plagued the Riviera Maya last year. Workers at the Omni Hotel, however, quickly dispatched the minor deposits and the beach was sparkling clean for bathers.  Observers blamed a change in the wind direction for the deposits…

Home break-ins in Puerto Aventuras were down considerably in December and so far this month compared to last year, reports the Colonos. The possible reason is that changes in shifts were made and more roving guards employed at night…

The Mail Bag…

Wary of moto-trikes

Dear Editor:
If the little taxis get permits to work inside the resort, there can be a problem in the future. The “moto-trikes” do not have any insurance and avoid safety regulations. I do not believe they even have a driver’s license.  They may create problems vs. the benefits.

Signed/ Lic. Stanley Durell 

Beach access obligation

Dear Editor:
As foreigners in this country we have an obligation to blend in with the local population and do our best to respect their traditions and rights. It is disturbing to read articles like the one about the beach access for the poblado residents.

To me, it is impossible to argue with their right to access local beaches. It frustrates me that it is hard for people who live here in Puerto Aventuras to get to the beach, so I am sure it seriously upsets all the poblado residents and not just those who are raising the issue. To me, issues like this are extremely divisive and add to the ‘haves and have-nots’ feelings that separate people. Even if the local government does not take action on this issue, we as a community should.

Signed/ Ron Hughes

Tai Chi anyone? Or Mexican Train?

Dear Editor:

My name is Bernard. I am a 70-year-old Englishman who lives in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada.  I am in Puerto Aventuras with my retired Canadian teacher wife, Diane, until late April 2017.  I am an experienced Tai Chi instructor who would like to start a class on the beach. I run a 10-week course or less and charge  $5 USD or $8 CA  an  hour.

I do a short warm-up breathing exercise of Chi Gung, which is free.  I taught on the beach in Ecuador where I had thirty people at one point.  I have also taught around the world.  I would also like to start some games on the beach for anybody who is interested, such as Mexican Train or Dominoes game once a week.  Please e-mail me if you are interested.  From the small amount of money I take, at the end of the 10 weeks, I make a donation to the local pueblo school, usually around $200 Depending on class size. Contact me at bernard.longman@outlook.com if you’re interested.

Signed/ Bernard Longman


PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our weekly high-season schedule is 10 a.m. on Tuesdays. Thank you. Disclaimer: The Pelican Free Press is not responsible for content and/or claims made on sponsor web sites or social media links.

The end – Previous edition below


 

 

 

January 4, 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR? – A cautious but curious Miguel, 10 months, who helps mom sell Mexican handicrafts at the Omni Hotel Beach Club, hasn’t even finished his first old year yet. He’ll be 1 in February. What is in store for his future and that of Puerto Aventuras? (Staff Photo)

Entering 2017: Part 1…

Fee discord looms between
marina owner, boatmen
By Staff
When developers are done developing the basics, what do they do? They re-develop and/or rearrange. Puerto Aventuras will be no different in 2017 as the local movers and shakers shift course to satisfy the needs, including their own, of as many people as they can on both sides of the highway.

But there may be trouble along the way as marine services companies using the Puerto Aventuras marina slips are reportedly planning to push back on a bid by marina ownership – the Fideicomiso (Trust) – to increase levies by margins that the services consider unjustified.

Whether compromise is in the wind here remains to be  seen. Generally and universally, difficult agreements require multiple skills and navigation through the complicated political maze which, according to conventional wisdom, has a distinctive leaning toward questionable transactions.

Most organized communities have redevelopment authorities and planning boards mandated to keep pace with physical and demographic changes. This often includes unpopular financial burdens authorities say are required to accommodate growth and maintain infrastructure.

Developer Roman Rivera Torres continues nurturing the vision for 2017.

In Puerto Aventuras, the job mainly falls on developer Roman Rivera Torres, supported in part by voters through the property owners’ association, or Colonos as it is known. His visions after 30 years continue to shape this community’s future.

In an interview last week, he said residents and businesses in 2017 can look for the community’s  seamless transition to an “operating” model as distinct from the developmental mindset.

The transition steps, mostly affecting business, will become self-evident as they are implemented with public improvements paid for by new or modified funding strategies. “I consider this our first priority for 2017,” Rivera Torres said.

All about money 

He also cited the community’s efforts to be elevated from a municipal delegation to a mayoralty as the second priority for 2017. But, for the moment at least, money is getting in the way.

Municipal President Cristina Torres. Is she reluctant to act on PA mayoral issue because of fiscal concerns?

The previous city council approved the promotion but current Municipal Pres. Cristina Torres is reluctant to let go of the 220 million pesos Puerto Aventuras generates annually in property and other taxes for the municipality.

The problem is, said Rivera Torres, that only 16 million is returned to the PA community by way of municipal services such as rubbish collection, which  is not always dependable. He said with a mayoralty model, the entire 220 million would be earmarked for Puerto Aventuras to spend on its own priorities and needs, such as purchasing packer trucks to assure timely rubbish collection.

But it seems for now, the municipal administration needs Puerto Aventuras’ money to spend on myriad larger problems in Playa del Carmen with its more than 150,000 inhabitants, many of them treading on the edge of the poverty line.

Two surprises for 2017

More room on way to navigate the aisles at Chedraui?

Shoppers at the Chedraui market here who are having difficulty navigating shopping carts along the tightly packed and stacked aisles will reportedly get some relief in 2017 as the market plans an expansion, probably by extending the rear of the building.

And the timing of the public park development to replace the golf course expansion has been advanced, Rivera Torres said, by the unexpected immediate municipal approval of 83 house lots ringing the park. Sales of the lots will help fund the park development.

It was thought at the annual Assembly the process could take as long as a year. “Of course I’m surprised I received the permit so soon. I thought it would take six or seven months,” Rivera Torres said last week. It means, he said, sales of lots can begin sooner along with park development.

Possibility of moto-taxis

TRIKE TRANSPORT might come to the resort if traditional taxi drivers agree. (Staff Photo)

Rivera Torres said he is prepared to sign a contract to have five moto-taxis somewhat like those servicing the poblado and Puerto Maya to operate in the resort, but only under the condition the initiative comes with the approval of the traditional taxi drivers. “I want to avert the potential for difficulties,” he said.

He cautioned resort residents there is no guarantee yet, but did note a 20-peso fare is envisioned for moto-taxis operating on three colored routes – like city subways – all around the resort.

While the moto-taxis cannot cross the highway, Rivera Torres said people wanting to shop at Chedraui could take the resort moto-taxi to the main gate and hop on another one waiting on the poblado side, for one fare. More detailed information on routes and pricing will be released if and when the contract proceeds.

Phase 4 update

CONCEPTUAL DESIGN of what the first condo/hotel and yacht club in Phase 4 might look like. (Staff Photo)

The new year will also see the first condo development begin to rise at Bliss Point just inside the entrance gate to Phase 4. Steady progress is expected on the roughly 40-month project that will also include the Venturas condo/hotel and Marina (photo above.)

The condos will occupy four buildings. Units are being offered at pre-construction prices below $299,000 USD.

To date, Rivera Torres said, 70 of the 130 single-family lots in Phase 4 have been sold as have seven of the 11 condo and hotel lots. He said he is optimistic most of the newly added  83 lots along the proposed community park can be sold within two years, meaning development  of he park can proceed that much faster.

Other 2017 expectations

The main gate reconfiguration and lane additions are already funded via the Dec. 10 Assembly vote for a special assessment. That project is expected to begin in May and take several months to complete before the next winter high season.

Rivera Torres said he also expects some progress to be made on the installation of fiber optic cable through a contract with the C&W Co. of Miami. The company operates independent high-speed systems in various Caribbean locations.

Likewise, beach expansion in Fatima Bay will continue to hopefully add another 30 meters of sandy beach, he said. Don’t be surprised if a few small commercial plazas begin to pop up in unexpected places. What will Miguel see when he is 10?

Entertainment: Yes? No? Maybe?
Colonos board president Jorge Kaufer made particular mention in the annual report of whether resort residents are interested in special entertainment events after last winter’s movie showings at the cultural center and several concerts did not attract enough residents. 

Several years ago, Colonos Cultural Board Chairman Daniele Gracis produced a number of concerts that were well received by average crowds of 300 or more. More recent concerts, after Gracis became too busy with international youth sailing activities, have not achieved that number.

While the Colonos still plans to have its food festival, concerts and/or other community entertainment projects will depend on volunteers willing to help and a palpable signal from the public that it is – or is not – interested.


More on a regional scale of the 2017 outlook in our next issue on January 11.


Paamul sets charity Garage Sale

The Paamul Services to Others Committee (PSOC) is announcing the Annual Garage Sale to be held at David’s Store at the entrance to Paamul on Sunday, Jan. 15.  This event is one of the charity function held each year by the PSOC to raise funds to help with the necessities of life and further the education of the residents in some of our villages, currently Chumpon in Quintana Roo and Santa Clara and Kulunche in Yucatan state.The sale will begin at 8 a.m. and continue until mid-afternoon.  Come have fun shopping and at the same time know that you are helping provide some more needs of residents in our villages.If you have items to donate or any questions about our charities, please refer to the Facebook page for “Paamul Services to Others Committee” and send a message…

Spanish language classes taught with expertise and humor by Maestra and certified translator Gloria Contreras, who has been teaching informal groups here for quite a few years, will resume on Thursday, January 12, at the Latitude 20 Restaurant on the shore of the Lagoon of Dreams. Beginners class from 9 to 10 a.m. and advanced class from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cost per one hour class is 130 pesos ($6.29 USD). The maestra asks that 10 classes be paid in advance to incentivize attendance and learning. Contact her at gloriatraducciones@hotmail.com or call cel 984-108-3517 for more information…

Doubling down on recycling will occur in 2017 as the Colonos adds another recycling day per month. The next collection is Friday, Jan. 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the skate park…

Trivial pursuits will be played at Latitude 20 Restaurant at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8 and Bingo at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15. Proceeds help fund assistance to the children in the poblado through the Transformar Educando Civic Association… The annual road race is scheduled for January 22. Register at the Colonos office. The event is being sponsored by Dolphin Discovery. There were nearly 500 runners at last year’s race…

Converging Assembly issues prompt
concerns over unfettered growth
By Staff

New Dawn of a new year  breaks in peaceful Puerto Aventuras. (Staff Photo)

By Staff
The unexpected creation of 83 more house lots encircling a public park that would replace a golf course extension (see Dec. 14 archives report on assembly) merged with an alleged zoning violation by a Colonos board member that is spurring discussion on enforcing general building codes in the PA community.

As recorded in the minutes of the Dec. 10 General Assembly, resident Octavio del Rio has alleged for several years that Colonos board Pres. Jorge Kaufer is complicit in a zoning violation for adding a second living unit in a single family zoned house on Bahia Chemuyil.

Oddly, the previous municipal administration found last year that Kaufer did not violate zoning, according to the minutes. However, at the Dec. 10 assembly, del Rio produced a letter from the current municipal administration saying it is a violation.

A local response to del Rio’s claim will be considered when a copy of the letter from the current municipal administration in Playa del Carmen is received, say the minutes.

Linked to enforcement

Del Rio’s remarks at the Assembly were linked to the favorable assembly’s majority consensus supporting the public park proposal and  the 83 new lots, although some objection to the lots were expressed. The notion of expansion without zoning enforcement in the broad sense prompted a cautionary a comment from resident Eduardo Said  concerning growth’s effects on traffic, parking, infrastructure and other potential problems that can accompany unenforced laws and regulation.

Said noted that if existing zoning regulations are allowed to be ignored with impunity, some of the 83 lots could add to existing infractions and incur the unintended consequence of a population surplus overwhelming the infrastructure and security.

This and other alleged zoning infractions in the community are expected to energize a discussion at next week’s Colonos board meeting to enforce zoning regulations or perhaps risk negative consequences.

City took action

It was recently reported, as example, that of 60 infractions of building regulations in one section of Playa del Carmen during a previous  administration, 25 have received heavy fines and their tax burden adjusted to match the “construction surplus.”

The fines and tax adjustments were described in the local press as a “bad agreement” but better than work stoppages that would impair the city’s image and extended trials against, in some cases, teams of corporate lawyers.

Crusade for PA beach access
resumes with city hall protest

By Staff
A group of Puerto Aventuras residents from the poblado led by local activist Orlando Cox Tun resumed their appeals to the municipal government the day after Christmas to provide the population on the west side of the highway with beach access. Almost all access to the federal beach zone in the area is through restricted  private property.

The rhetoric, provoked by years of promises by succeeding municipal governments but no action, was sharp as the group claimed their right to the national treasure that is the seashore. They claim rich and poor are segregated by highway 307.

Cox Tun’s statements at the protest included a charge that the municipal government is in collusion with “…those voracious and foreign entrepreneurs who have…taken over the national wealth… and marginalized us,” he said.

Pledges continued protest

He said the people would not allow it to continue and will agitate for redress “until  we are heard and the issue is resolved.”

Unlike Akumal, access to the beach through private land has not been open to question since the PA master plan was legalized by the government and access legitimately controlled, said a source close to the issue.

Private land owners in Akumal long ago allowed poblado residents right of way over private land to the beach there, which is why land owners and poblado residents are currently feuding,  the  latter claiming right of way by historical use.

The Round-up…

Jammed delivery trucks in the Centro parking lot illustrate the need for golf carts to park in newly assigned spaces nearby. (Staff Photo)

The effort to get cooperation from golf cart drivers to park in designated spaces around Centro has not fully caught on yet. The Colonos has created several new parking areas for carts to make much needed room for cars and delivery trucks. It took two Security guards to untangle episodes of gridlock over the holidays.

…The good news is the angled parking system begun near the boat ramp on Bahia Xcacel. It has widened road space and greatly improved safety. Note the bike path width (left) that drew complaints at the recent Assembly for being too narrow. (Staff Photos)

A helicopter swooped over the Puerto Aventuras resort early last Thursday, ironically on the same day that news was released of a heliport being set to open in 2017 on the roof of the maritime terminal in Playa del Carmen where the ferries to Cozumel are located. The Aerocopter Co. is expected to deliver goods and people on routes to Cancun, Tulum, Chichen Itza, Cozumel and Chetumal perhaps as early as May. Most destinations are a 15-minute flight…

The cost of subsidized housing as exemplified by the row houses in Puerto Maya, will rise by 30,000 to 35,000 pesos in 2017 because of increases in fuel and cement prices…

Land in Akumal that is being used as a parking lot by the Ecological Center is reportedly under investigation by the municipality of Tulum as to ownership. The inquiry hopes to determine if the land in fact belongs to the municipality by virtue of right of way and should be turned over to the community. It is said the land is used now to derive a profit from visitor parking, according to reports…

Another pyrotechnic problem  in the wake of the one in Tultepec, Mexico, that killed more than 30 people several weeks ago occurred in Playa del Carmen last week when fireworks kept for sale in a retail outlet unintentionally exploded in the tourist sector, starting a fire, causing minor injuries and scaring the bejesus out of some nearby tourists who scattered for safety. Allowing  sales and storage of those products in the future is being evaluated by authorities.. The magnifying effect of sun through glass evidently ignited the powder in fireworks…

Isla Mujeres  ran out  of gasoline the day after Christmas but the mayor assured citizens that all public vehicles such as rubbish collection had sufficient gasoline to perform their duties. He said the problem of gasoline deliveries had been felt in other areas as well. Supplies were resumed the following day…

A cheap-gas app will be made available by the Energy Regulatory Commission and Consumer Protection Agency in mid-January that will direct drivers to the nearest gasoline stations and also tell them what prices those stations have posted. This is an attempt to discourage price gouging at the pump and forging discipline in the market. The app will also allow consumers to report gouging on their phone by sending a photo and complaint to Profeco…

Inflation rose faster than expected in Mexico last month reaching its highest level in two years. The 12-month hike through mid-December was 3.48 percent. The weak peso has helped raise borrowing costs The inflation rate is higher than the 3.42 percent predicted by a Reuters survey, which would have been up from 3.29 percent in early November of 2016…

A slight increase in admission fees for various archeological sites such as in Tulum will occur in 2017. In Tulum the cost will rise from 65 to 75 pesos. However, various constituencies will be excluded from the increase, including people with a “residente” visa, according to a report…

The Mail Bag…

Time marches on

Dear Editor:
I remember reading awhile aback about a watch/clock repair place in Playa Del Carmen. Could you help me out with the address? Thanks so much and Happy New Year!

Signed/Steve Switzer

Ed. Note: The story appeared in our Dec. 23 issue of 2015. If your watch needs a battery or service and you don’t know to where to go, try Gina on 30th Avenue between 26th and 28th Streets and look on the west side for the “Relojeria” sign on a blue field. Good work at a more than reasonable price. Can’t guarantee the place is still there, but take a look. You’re welcome!


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