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October 2014: Managing the monkeys

 

NOTICE: The Pelican Free Press will resume weekly publication in November for the duration of the high season. We invite readers planning a vacation to check our sponsors in the left column for rentals or services they might be looking for.

HAPPENING: Latitude 20 Restaurant will hold its annual Halloween Party Friday, October 31, from 7pm -10:30. There will be live music with Errol( The Entertainer ) Richards from Jamaica, and Theresa Lopez, plus a surprise performance. Peter, Danny and Isabel say all are welcome, young and old, costume or no costume. Be ready to dance and tap your feet to our Caribbean and Rock and Roll beat.

The opening of an historic photograph exhibition at the University of Quintana Roo, Playa del Carmen, depicting the city’s humble beginnings and life in the 40s will be held Sept. 30. All are invited to view the 400 photos in the university’s auditorium.

 


Move on to save monkeys
inhabiting peninsula, PA

                     

Agencies to conduct monkey census  

Researchers have come up with a hypothesis that the state of Quintana Roo has one of the highest populations of wild primates, a few of which have inhabited

the Puerto Aventuras resort over the past few years to the delight of residents there.

But, the hypothesis continues, there has been a 77 percent decline in the number of howler and spider-monkey species in the past 30 years placing them near the line of endangered species. Locals say spider families disappeared from the resort for several years following the 2005 hurricane and have only recently returned.

Now, two organizations, Maya Mono and the National Commission for knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (Conabio) say they will launch a coordinated effort to conduct a census locating the monkey species in this area of the nation in hopes of implementing programs for species recovery.

Rapid development of the coastal lands along the Caribbean is faulted for destroying much of the habitat and ecosystem. The monkeys live in trees that are destroyed in the name of progress, but, according to the organizations, poaching and illegal trade of the monkeys as pets are the biggest current threats. The census effort is expected to begin later this year.

On another front, it is being reported that of some 20 animal species in Central America, nine are on the endangered species list and others are considered “threatened”. Among those are the jaguar, tapir, toucan, macaw, manatee and queen conch, among others displaced by human trespass and development within the animal ecosystem, say authorities monitoring the situation.    

Mexico daylight saving
time Ends 10-26-2014

When:: 
Sunday, October 26, 2014, 2:00:00 AM clocks are turned backward 1 hour to Sunday, October 26, 2014, 1:00:00 AM local standard time instead. Sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour earlier on Oct 26, 2014 than the day before. There will be more light in the morning.

Security adds direct line
to reach chief’s office

Paving projects under way

   Another phone number –984-802-9078 – for direct access to Security Chief Jesus Galdeano from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. has been added to the two regular numbers that are in operation 24/7. Those are 984-873-5128 and 984-873-5173.

In other Colonos news, the community’s road paving project continued during September and all work is expected to be completed by October 10, in time for the beginning of the high season. Paving took place from the main entrance gate to the skate park and the first 60 meters of the entrance lane of Bahia Yanten. The main gate paving, deemed the most complicated, was to be done with fast-drying concrete to accommodate the busy traffic there. Each section of paving was to be closed for three days drying time and was expected to take 15 days to completion.

The other projects were to require about 30 days each to completion using normal-drying concrete and were slated to end the road paving projects for this year.

Library planned for PA
Poblado by municipality

   Solidarity officials plan to build a library in the Puerto Aventuras delegation (Poblado) to be opened in 2015 and is asking for donations of books once the physical plant is ready to be occupied.

The National Council for Culture and the Arts is being asked to furnish the required furniture and equipment. An official said the task of finding a location for the venture is already under way with the help of Solidarity Mayor Mauricio Gongora Escalante and PA delegate Olivia Zamudio Escobar.

This will be the third such library in Solidaridad, adding to two existing libraries in Playa del Carmen, the seat of Solidaridad’s government. The facility will have electricity, bathrooms, water and air conditioning for the comfort and safety of library patrons.

Playa del Carmen’s name
on international police pact

   An international police pledge bearing Playa del Carmen’s name has been agreed to by the 22-nation conclave of Interpol, the world’s international police cooperative, meeting in September at the Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen.

The agreement is being called the “Declaration of Playa del Carmen” and among other points, supports creation of a new international profiling office with chemical acumen; a better system to monitor pharmaceuticals so they can’t be used to manufacture illegal drugs; improve international information exchange and in general to support national laws to combat organized crime.

No Terrorist Presence

In line with the Interpol parley, Q. Roo Gov. Roberto Borge Angulo denied press reports of terror personnel transiting the state from Belize on their way to the United States.

He said security has been tightened on major roads and in tourist areas in a cooperative effort by police and military units. He added that information exchange has been implemented by the peninsula states – Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Campeche – closing ranks against crime.

Municipal mobile medical unit
begins Puerto Aventuras service

  A mobile medical unit offering free dental and general consultation services, nursing, nutrition and medicine was launched in September by the municipal administration of Mayor Mauricio Gongora Escalante.

The mayor said the mobile unit is equipped with cutting-edge medical equipment and is targeting residents of the Poblado and Puerto Maya who have limited access to local medical care. The Red Cross also maintains a small clinic and ambulance service in the Poblado.

“My administration’s priority is to fulfill its commitment to the people by providing health care to all the inhabitants of Puerto Aventuras without exception,” the mayor noted.

Calica fuel depot plan
awaits authority ruling

Puerto Morelos rejects project 3 times  

   Plans for a major fuel depot that were thrice rejected by Puerto Morelos in Benito Juarez (Cancun) are being advanced at Calica (Punta Venado) just a few miles north of Puerto Aventuras and a few miles south of Playa del Carmen.

Ships would use the existing docking facilities to unload liquid fuels, construct storage tanks and pipelines and also use trucks to haul the fuels elsewhere, such as jet fuel for the Cancun Airport. Ironically, Punta Venad0 lost a bid to Cancun to host the trans-peninsular train service terminal but is now being eyed by an industry Benito Juarez does not want, according to press reports.

While the train terminal had the potential to embellish the tourism industry on the Riviera Maya, the fuel depot harbors the prospect of an environmental disaster that could negatively affect tourism, according to a spokesman for CEMDA, the Centro Mexicana de Derecho Ambiental (Mexican Environmental Law Center).

Gerardo Valades Victorio of CEMDA said the proposed fuel depot’s environmental impact statement mandated by SEMARNAT, the nation’s environmental agency, was received by the federal agency on August 13. He said CEMDA, which is non-profit and non-governmental, is awaiting expert opinion on whether the project would pose an environmental threat to the tourist-dependent area before issuing a statement.

Reportedly, various types of fuel would be delivered there, stored in separate tanks and shipped by 40-inch pipelines four miles inland, then over the road to various points in the Yucatan.

On-again-off-again train
back on for Punta Venado

   The latest news on the trans-peninsular train plans is that federal officials are no longer considering an either-or terminal at Cancun or Punta Venado, but incorporating both places as terminals linking up with each other and Merida, Valladolid, Chichen Itza and inland points.

From the perspective of Playa del Carmen and Puerto Aventuras, this makes more sense for better transporting traveling tourists safely and comfortably around the pensinsula and particularly in view of the possible petrol terminal being planned for the port of Punta Venado.

Without having all the pertinent facts at hand, it seems on the surface to make more sense to haul petrol by rail than by multiple trucks along public roads as matters of safety and savings. Both these issues are developing and could change, so will continue to be reported as developments occur.

Like the lucha libre wrestlers of Mexico, there has evidently been a political battle going on between Cancun business interests and Riviera Maya to host the train terminal and, if the new thinking holds true, there will be no losers, only winners.

 

Mexico will lead the way
on pioneer dengue vaccine      

   Federal news welcomed by all populations of Mexico including snowbirds is the announcement of a vaccine to guard against dengue fever carried by the same mosquito that infects humans with the newer threat of “chikungunya.” The news comes as the Puerto Aventuras area increases its battle against mosquitoes until November when the puddle-forming rains and the threat subsides.

Federal health authorities have announced the vaccine will be available for use in Mexico in 2015, the first nation to use it. Mikel Arriola, director of the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks called this “a watershed” in the history of epidemiology (a branch of medicine dealing with broad issues of disease control).

He said Mexico’s position in the fight against dengue may elevate its standing in the World Health Organization and open the door to the organization’s $6 billion revolving fund because Mexico’s federal health commission is already a “functional authority” in the development and manufacture of vaccine.

President Pena Nieto calls
corruption ‘cultural weakness’        

   Snowbirds often speak of minor extortion incidents by police who stop them for speeding and “suggest” a payment in lieu of a ticket and court appearance. Others have talked of being cheated at Pemex gasoline stations and other similar incidents defined as “corruption.”

Well, President Enrique Pena Nieto has now called these practices, many of which reach in high places, a “weakness of cultural order” that is not exclusively Mexican. He wants to battle corrupt practices and policies by strengthening institutions to advance an ethical culture in Mexico.

He feels the private and public sectors need to join hands in assuming a “new attitude” and values in an effort to shape a new ethic.

Schools are an important venue in shaping a respect for ethics in the young, but, unfortunately, a recently released study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows Mexico at the top of the 34 member nations whose children spend less time at school and more time working. It puts them at high risk of disassociation with education and the labor market, notes the study. Sixty-three percent of Mexicans have only attained an education level lower than high school, the study said.

In other matters, Pena Nieto also inferred strained relations with the Texas government, calling Gov. Rick Perry’s use of the National Guard to patrol the border with Mexico “unpleasant” and “reprehensible.”

 

Briefly noted…

PETER METRICK of Latitude 20 Restaurant here in PA likes to tell folks that Mexico offers healthier living than the more northern climates. Proving his point was the news in September that the oldest person who ever lived is 127-year-old Leandra Baccera Lumbreras of Tamaulipas, Mexico… HURRICANE ABSENCE in the Riviera Maya is a blessing so far this year, but the Baja Peninsula in the west was battered by hurricane Odile to such a degree that it is requiring help from the federal government. In addition, PEMEX  is donating 2.5 million liters of petrol to keep machinery running for the clean-up and rebuilding process… THE ANNUAL JAZZ FESTIVAL in Playa del Carmen will be held Nov. 27-29…TWO TO THREE PROSTITUTES per day among 30 who are checked at the general hospital in Playa del Carmen show positive for syphilis or AIDS, reports the director of the disease control card program… 200 ADDED POLICE JOBS are open in Playa del Carmen where recruiting booths have been set up until Sept. 20 to give information to potential candidates who will be paid 5000 pesos every two weeks and get three months of training…ONE OF FOUR cases of familial neglect of the elderly in Solidaridad was in Puerto Aventuras, notes the municipal administration on the occasion of the “Day of the Elderly” held in August. It was noted that because of physical impairment, many overqualified older workers are relegated to packing bags in supermarkets…CALIFORNIA WAS PRAISED by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto for the state’s showing of respect to legal and illegal immigrants and hoped the same could be true of other states as well…TULUM LOBSTER FISHERMEN are having a hard time of it, saying this season has been the worst in three decades because the catch is dwindling as well as the tourist market that can afford lobster…MAYAKOBA FAIRMONT hotel recently became the first company in Quintana Roo to receive the federal government’s Safe Industry Certification, complying with the federal government’s 41 official standards on employee safety and health…$32 MILLION IN COCAINE was seized by the U.S. Coast Guard off a tanker plying Caribbean waters…AN UNIDENTIFIED suspected drug dealer was found murdered on a street in Puerto Morelos Sept. 15. Police theorize a gun jammed, since shells were found, so the victim was bludgeoned to death…

SEVERAL MAJOR DRUG CARTELS are reportedly discussing an alliance to create a “cartel of cartels” operating out of 12 states that do not include Quintana Roo or Yucatan…ABOUT 500 VENDORS operating without permits around the Avenue 5 area have been caught this year and their products confiscated because they are hurting legitimate businesses by not paying their sales taxes… MEXICAN BARBIE DOLL  is on the way, says manufacturer Mattel. She’ll be wearing the traditional mariachi costume and wide-brimmed sombrero as she joins Mattel’s Dolls of the World…THREE ZETAS KILLED and 33 were wounded when Army and State Police entered a Los Zetas cartel weapons training camp in the Veracruz mountains of eastern Mexico in September and were met by a hail of bullets…THE TULUM AIRPORT isn’t happening and part of the reason may be that a $9 billion expansion of the Mexico City Airport has been announced by the Pena Nieto administration…A BANCOMER BRANCH OFFICE in playa del Carmen was broken into at the midnight hour when thieves punched  a hole in the wall, disconnected an alarm system and broke into several safes. Police believe it is the gang that has pulled three bank jobs in Cancun…

 

SOLIDARITY MAYOR Mauricio Escalante Gongora has received an award from the Mayors Mexico Magazine for  exemplary financial management in his administration…TEQUILA TRAVELS to 90 countries including Russia and China as Mexican exports of the popular drink increased 16 percent in the first six months of this year compared to 2013 when 149.1 million liters were shipped for a value of $996.9 million in 2013. This year’s shipments so far had a value of $568 million. Cheers!…POLICE SERVICE IMPROVING, reports the Pena Nieto Administration as complaints against police for violations of civil liberties are down 41.6 percent according to the National Human Rights Commission…TWO BOA CONSTRICTORS measuring three and four feet long were captured without incident in Playa del Carmen and Tulum an hour apart from each other…70 TUSCA BUSES operating in Solidaridad were subjected to safety inspections in September and those unfit for service removed from the streets…SUICIDE IN PARADISE – The National Health Information System says a study by the Center for Social and Gender Violence places the state of Quintana Roo among the highest in the rate of suicides. It is one of three leading causes of Q. Roo death in people 15-29 years old. A total of 144 suicides was reported in 2013 with males accounting for 83 percent and females 17 percent. The agencies cite a lack of qualified institutional personnel to treat the condition…U.S. TOURIST WAS HURT while paragliding from a boat in Cozumel when the rope broke, sending the tourist 20-feet down into the water. He was hospitalized with non life threatening injuries…STATEWIDE, some 25,000 volunteers have cleaned beaches of 75,000 kilos of rubbish…

The Mail Bag…

Seek Phase 4 security answers  

Dear Editor:
   Each issue of the Pelican Free Press is always a highlight for us. Thank you for the valuable service you provide to our community.On the issue of new Phase 4 restrictions (sadly and all too often, the few ruin it for the many), we have a couple of questions to which maybe someone knows the answers:

(1) Will the boats be restricted from accessing the Caleta? (2) Will all visitors (even pedestrians) to Phase 4 be prohibited or only those who ride bikes, golf carts, and cars? Is access of any kind now prohibited until some later date?

We noticed there is a detour around the security guard station for Phase 4; it is the side road off on the right (near the future holes of the golf course) that begins before the guard station, bypasses it, and comes back to the Phase 4 road farther away from the guard station. We’ve seen golf carts use this by-pass from time to time.

On past visits to the Caleta, we also noticed increased numbers of people from Barcelo coming to the Caleta and Phase 4 by walking over the rocks that separate P.A. from that private hotel. In our casual conversations with them, they confirmed they are Barcelo hotel guests. In the future, that may be a security issue for Phase 4 because trespassers to P.A. via the rocks have not gone through PA’s gates.

On past walks, we have also noticed that there have been cuts in the mesh gate fencing where 307 runs next to the construction gate for Phase 4. We’ve reported it to Security when we see it but it takes quite a while before it is repaired.

Signed/ Mary and Bernie Strojny

Ed: Note: The developer was clear that only motorized vehicles are prohibited until such time as controls are in place. Phase 4 remains private property until the infrastructure is turned over to the Colonos in about a year. The Pelican is not aware whether boat traffic can be prohibited by local or federal authorities along the federal zone.

Call for help answered

Dear Editor:
  
My husband and I recently purchased a condominium in Puerto Aventuras (PA). We told friends in PA we were looking for a translator and they suggested Gloria Contreras and that we could find her contact information in the Pelican Free Press.

We sent Gloria an email inquiring into her services and prices. She responded right away and even offered to pick us up from the airport and do some light shopping for us as we began the unpacking process. Although we declined those services, we were very impressed that she offered.

She helped us get a locksmith, open telephone and electric accounts and other tasks, was always on time and on budget. Having Gloria provide exemplary customer care made our transition much smoother.

Signed/ Beverly and Kevin Schrab

SAVE MONEY with eSun solar panels at your home or business. Click on the logo at left to learn how.
TRY PORTO BELLO for a deeded, no-fuss fractional buying and living experience
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 HOURS  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.
PA’s LATITUDE 20 RESTAURANT preparing annual Halloween Party Oct. 30
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
“INTRODUCTION TO PAINTING” Every Thursday 5-9 PM, at the PA Info Center art gallery

 

September, 2014: Kids, carts and new rules

SAVE MONEY with eSun solar panels at your home or business. Click on the logo at left to learn how.
TRY PORTO BELLO for a deeded, no-fuss fractional buying and living experience
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 HOURS  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.
PA’s LATITUDE 20 RESTAURANT preparing annual Halloween Party Oct. 30
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
“INTRODUCTION TO PAINTING” Every Thursday 5-9 PM, at the PA Info Center art gallery

 

Colonos asks support for rules

guiding use of golf cart by kids

By Staff
It’s no secret there are persistent complaints to the Colonos about children driving golf carts on resort streets, some better drivers than others, some barely old enough to handle a tricycle.

The criticisms usually emanate from incidents observed by residents of children driving erratically, overloaded or foolishly, which is not the manner in which most children handle the golf carts. So the few spoil it for the many. Residents will remember the young scoundrels a few years ago who “borrowed” golf carts, tore up the golf course grass then overturned the carts and left them there to the chagrin of owners, Security and golf course management.

Now, in an effort to compromise and assure safe golf cart use by children, the Colonos has issued updated rules hoping they will be followed by parents and children alike, remembering, first of all, that the municipality requires a person to be 18 years of age to acquire a driver’s license and 16 to drive with a learner’s permit.

The new rules put the onus on parents who allow their under-age children to drive the carts, noting that, “It must be very clear that parents are responsible for any accident and damage caused by under-age drivers.” That being the case, the Colonos requests parents refrain from allowing children under 16 from driving carts unattended by a parent or other adult in the cause of safety and municipal law.

The updated rule also suggest that carts not be overloaded with passengers, that passengers refrain from hanging off the carts, that the 30 kph speed limit (19 mph) be observed, that carts, motorcycles and bicycles have lights and/or reflectors in the case of bikes when driving on public streets at night; that every cart be registered with the Colonos to receive a numbered decal; that the golf course is off limits to carts not involved in playing golf, and that it is illegal to take the carts out of the resort, the driver being subjected to action by municipal authorities.

Importantly, any individual caught taking a cart not his or her own will be immediately reported to municipal police. Drivers with multiple other infractions face the possibility of losing their gate pass. In addition, any youthful driver who ignores the rules will be reported to his or her parents, a process whose only intent is to improve and assure safety. The Colonos notes that security staff should be respected for trying to make Puerto Aventuras accident- and incident-free.

The national U.S. estimate for golf cart-related injuries was more than 15,000 annually during its recent four-year study. During 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports dozens of people died in golf-cart related accidents.

According to The University of Alabama at Birmingham, the injuries were highest among males, ages 10 to 19, and those 80 and older.

Like most harmful incidents, it begins innocently enough, and, just as easily, can end up in life-threatening injury. Two recent cases in point from  Michigan told of how four girls went out in a cart driven by a 14-year-old who failed to yield to a stop sign and was struck by another vehicle. One of the four girls, a 13-year-old cheerleader, suffered critical head injuries and had to be airlifted to a special hospital. It was reported by Fox2 in Detroit. In another case last July 14, a 10-year-old girl was killed and her 6-year old brother hospitalized.

PA residents can greatly reduce the potential for tragedy by taking the rules seriously and in the protective spirit they are intended. For the complete regulations, please click on the Colonos logo on the top right of this page for this and other important information on living and getting along in Puerto Aventuras, a model of safe community living sustained in a society by agreement.

As PA promotes safety rules,

bicyclist killed on nearby 307

A 36-year-old man riding a bicycle toward oncoming traffic on the highway was killed after crashing head-on with a taxi, authorities reported in mid-August. The accident occurred at around 11 p.m. at the 273-900K mark on the highway.

Authorities did not say whether the bicycle was equipped with lights or reflectors. As noted in the above story about the updating of road rules for operating golf carts, motorcycles and bicycles in the PA resort, drivers of those vehicles are urged to equip their vehicles with lights if driving after dark.

 

 

Disruptive behaviors temporarily

close Phase 4 to motorized vehicles

Developer fined after a family complains

By Staff:
Access to Phase 4 and the caleta ( a cove) by motorized vehicles has been temporarily discontinued following disturbing incidents by a few people involving alcohol and boating.

Arq. Roman Rivera Torres, developer, told the Pelican that several Sundays ago there were “several large groups of people drinking heavily and being disrespectful to families and others trying to enjoy the caleta.”

He said one family brought “three wave runners, put them in the water and spent the day teaching their very young kids to drive them at high speed inside the caleta. We also had three tour boats with many people drinking and playing very loud music, with different music playing from each boat.”

One of the families trying to enjoy a passive, peaceful day at the bucolic site along the Caribbean was obviously upset enough by the abuse to the environment and insensitivity toward the families, to video the obnoxious behaviors and report them to the port captain and SEMARNAT, Mexico’s environment and natural resources authority.

Because of the complaint, Rivera Torres said he was assessed a fine by SEMARNAT, which also threatened to insert agency policing at the site and obligate him to furnish the agency with a weekly report.

As a result of these incidents and SEMARNAT’S stern warning, the developer said he has blocked access to the Phase 4 site by the general public in or on motorized vehicles. Only owners and labor will be allowed until such time as workable controls can be developed to assure the absence or control of potential despoilers of the environment and the peace.

“Some people enjoy and respect the place, some others abuse it and are disruptive. Who feels capable of pointing out who may enter and who may not?” This is something that has to be worked out, Rivera said.

Phase 4 is a work in progress and during the last high season the developer generously allowed access to members of the general public, the majority of whom rode bicycles or walked to the caleta to enjoy time at this environmental asset.

A couple recently complained about being denied access to the caleta several Sundays ago when a security car blocked access, but the developer points out that all of Phase 4 remains private property until such time, in about one year, the infrastructure is turned over to the Colonos, which will then be responsible for the access roads.

The developer points out that no one complains about not being able to access the gated Chacalal or Villa del Mar condominium swimming pools precisely because, like Phase 4, they are private property.

“It is important not to take for granted things that have not been promised, mostly referring to someone else’s property,” he said.

 

 

EDITORIAL:
Put blame where it belongs

Somehow, the few always seem to mess things up for the many and the above two reports, on driving golf carts and on abusing private and public property, bear that out. The call by the Colonos for parents and children to practice good, legal cart-driving habits under the law should get utmost consideration if for no other reason than safety.

When it comes to environmental abuse, it is impossible to put 10 people in a  police line-up and try to identify beforehand which two or three are likely despoilers of the community’s environmental assets and which are habitually inconsiderate of others. Therefore, the motorized vehicles that contribute to the problem because of their capacity to carry more passengers and goods such as alcoholic beverages are denied access until controls to satisfy SEMARNAT and the developer can be implemented.

Abuse was in evidence last winter on the private Phase 4 territory roads that were under construction. The more appreciative and respectful residents either walked or rode bicycles to the caleta. But frequently there were autos being driven through or over yellow tape blocking a freshly installed section of roadway. Some drivers moved cement blocks to access roads that were off limits and still others drove vehicles perilously over the sidewalk and considerable embankment to access the dirt path to the caleta.

The caleta area contains newly designated conservation land and an historic Mayan outpost that unfortunately has collected its share of litter discarded by the few inconsiderate users of the area even while trash receptacles are stationed nearby. The temporary closure of access to the public’s motorized vehicles should alert the community to the problem and usher forth an equitable solution.

 

Install a security system by Aug. 31 for intrusion detection, video surveillance, access control or home automation and save the $99 installation fee. Call Mayan Security, a local Puerto Aventuras company, at 984-136-6555 to sign up. See what is offered by clicking on the Mayan Security icon at left to visit the website.

 

 

U.S. updates travel warnings

to Mexico,but Q. Roo excepted

The U.S. State Department has updated its Mexico travel warnings but pointed out that the states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo are safe to visit, although the department suggests using the precautions travelers would use in the danger states.

Other states where the warning does not apply include Baja California, Campeche, Chiapas, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Tabasco and Tlaxcala and Federal District.

States posing security threats by organized crime include Tamaulipas, and border areas of Michoacan (except Morelia and Lazara Cardenas) and border areas of Piedrdas Negras and Nuevo Laredo as well as some southern states like Sinaloa. Caution was also urged in business areas of Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua industrial parks.

Eighty-one Americans were killed in Medico in 2013, ten more than in 2012, the State Department said. It warned of rising kidnap incidents in neighbor states like Tamaulipas, Guerrero, Michoacan and Morelos.

Travelers are asked to keep a low profile, not carry jewelry or cameras in view, avoid isolated sites, use toll roads wherever possible and travel in daylight. The Department says car theft with violence and theft are a serious problem.

5,000 new federal Mexico police

given mission to protect citizenry

 

 

A new division of the Mexican federal police called the “Gendarmerie” began to hit the streets of Mexico in areas where there is “greater institutional weakness,” President Enrique Pena Nieto said at a commissioning ceremony last Friday in the nation’s capitol.

The division’s 390 senior officers were trained in France (where police are called gendarmes) and in Colombia. The force will operate under civilian command and focus its efforts on providing security in rural and marginalized areas of the country.

The president said homicides are down 27 percent this year, while some 100,000 homicides were reported during the six years of the Calderon administration from 2006-2012, most of them from the brutal drug war.

The Riviera Maya in general is known for its relative security, and reportedly is not an area of concern for the new gendarmerie. Puerto Aventuras resort community, in particular, is considered one of the safest locales on the Yucatan.

Mexican Supreme Court upholds

sales tax hike for border states

 

In a 9-1 vote, the nationals Supreme Court upheld legislation passed last year that lifted the federal sales tax (VAT-value added tax) from 11 percent to 16 percent in border states like Quintana Roo…meaning there won’t be tax relief for this area.

The increase was challenged on constitutional grounds by border-state businesses and lawmakers from several parties. They attacked the new general tax law’s section on the sales tax that abolished a preferential rate for border states. In other words, while the rest of the nation paid a 16 percent VAT, border states only paid 11 percent.

The Federal Finance Secretariat said last year the discrepancy – the lower rate paid in Q. Roo for example, benefitted business more than it did consumers. The court said a uniform tax rate does not violate the principle of tax fairness.

 


Student at Mexico university

creates voice-recognition app

   As the British government labors to identify the voice of the possible UK subject that murdered U.S. journalist James Foley in Iraq, a graduate student at Mexico’s Autonomous University announced the development of a program of voice recognition specifically for use in such investigative forensic situations.

Student Jose Trangol’s program would be used in court cases to analyze voice evidence that is “as objective as possible rather than subjective as the system is now.”

The goal is to conclude whether a suspect is the source of the voice on a recording or other electronic device by using scientific methods, Trangol told a forum sponsored by the university’s applied mathematics research institute.

Mexico says Texas Gov. Perry’s

terrorist charge lacks evidence

The Mexican embassy in Washington has refuted Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s suggestion that Islamic State terrorists are possibly accessing the United States from its border with Mexico.

The Mexican embassy said it has no indication of the presence of extremist groups or individual terrorists in Mexico.The Mexican embassy also noted that the Pentagon has publicly said it lacks any indication that terrorists are entering the U.S. from Mexico.

 

Briefly Noted…

HOME DEPOT IS OPEN in Playa del Carmen and is reportedly about the same size as the one in Cancun. It is located just off Playa del Carmen Blvd. (Highway 307) near the Ford dealership. Can Costco be far behind?… A SMALL BOAT tied to another boat sank in the Puerto Aventuras marina last week, spilling oil and gasoline from the motor into the quiet waters, requiring quick clean-up action… A WORKER was hit by a truck along Highway 307 in front of Barcelo at 11 p.m. last week and died immediately from the impact. The victim reportedly worked at Xcaret. He had exited a Colectivo and was trying to cross the highway in the dark…THERE IS AGITATION in Playa del Carmen to have the government lower the tariff rates on electricity to help reduce the burden on poor families and the government says it is working on it…A LOT OF HARMLESS KELP collected on Playa beaches last week because the tractor that cleans it up had a broken clutch and had to be repaired…SERVICE EMPLOYEES at the Princess Hotel working there for a private contractor, told the local office of the Worker Defense Agency that the contractor is abusing labor, forcing 15-hour-days, hiring under-aged women and a host of other abuses…HOUSING GRANTS have helped more than 2000 poor and middle class Playa residents improve their homes by purchasing building materials with a 50 percent subsidy, reports the municipal Ministry of Social Development…FEDERAL POLICE have arrested 15 alleged child pornographers nationwide so far in 2014 using cutting edge technology to trace criminal activities on the Internet…MOST WANTED CANADIAN fugitive Cory Vallee, wanted in Canada for murder and other crimes, was captured, detained and deported last week by Mexican officials in Jalisco…THE ENGLISH COLLEGE in Playa del Carmen was hit with seals of suspension by the Consumer Protection Agency for infractions including the defiance of rules governing the clear posting of enrollments and tuition. A school official said the action is arbitrary and that the school would respond to the allegations…MEXICO’S JOBLESS RATE dipped to 4.9 percent in the second quarter of this year…MEXICO’S PAN (National Action Party) dismissed its leaders in the lower house following a video showing them dancing with scantily clad women at a private party…CHILDDREN began returning to school last week for a school year that will end July 14, 2015…AREA BUSINESSES are lamenting the end of this year’s domestic tourism high season and now await the return of the snowbirds. Several sources say PA is now very quiet…A LOT OF BUTTS, more than 14,000 of them, were collected from Playa beaches during a clean-up event sponsored by Zofemat (Federal Maritime Zone)…

 

The Mail Bag…

 

Dear Editor:
I appreciate all you do to keep Puerto Aventuras informed. I am writing to comment on your recent coverage of the Centro Comercial Area’s Condo meeting.

First of all, I am no longer a business owner in the Centro Comercial area.  I closed my bakery in June. I am dedicating my time to developing a tour business I began about three years ago that specializes in tours to Bhutan, Nepal and Bali.  This winter season, we will be launching Off the Beaten Track Mexican Tours. I am also writing travel articles in addition to completing my promised memoir replete with recipes from Tirami…su.

On another note, I want to say that I felt privileged that Attorney Mario Vela asked me to translate for Gaylita Dunaway from Cafe Ole at the recent Centro Condominium meeting.  I felt it was my responsibility to communicate clearly and succinctly, even when I was being yelled at in the meeting and had to remind people that I was only the translator.

Since then, I have been calling for peace and asking people to look at the facts and not just the emotions.  Upon reflection, however, I feel that there is probably someone better in our community who could broker a peace.  My long term connections with all parties involved could be misinterpreted and misconstrued.  And in the end, I could possibly be an obstacle to peace.  So I am backing down from a peace brokering role.

I, too, hope that this will all be settled soon and we can all get back to the serious business of enjoying life in the Mexican Caribbean.

Signed/Sincerely, Donna Carey

 

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