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Time zone change alert for Feb. 1


Eastern time zone takes effect

in Puerto Aventuras on Feb. 1

Moving clocks ahead 1 hour adds evening light

By Staff  

   The state of Quintana Roo, in which Puerto Aventuras is located, will move from the central to the eastern U.S. time zone on Feb. 1. The change in the state’s standard time zone is seen by the tourist industry as a boost to business.

The time zone will not change in the State of Yucatan, something travelers to Merida, Progreso and other points west should keep in mind.

Residents here will be able to set their clocks ahead by one hour before going to bed on Jan. 31 and wake up to the new time zone on Feb. 1. It means Riviera Maya will be ahead of the rest of Mexico by an hour. The move was approved by the federal government.

Quintana Roo contains tourist hot spots like Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the island of Cozumel. It also is home to unobtrusive ex-pat and snowbird communities like Puerto Aventuras, Paamul and Akumal.

Residents of this area by the Caribbean Sea will set clocks forward one hour for good on Feb. 1, 2015. The time zone switch is expected to enhance the tourism sector by creating longer, brighter evenings.

The “Southeastern Time Zone” as this new Mexican district is called, is the time- equivalent of United States Eastern Standard Time.

This change places Quintana Roo and its many tourist destinations in the same time zone as the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico once the change takes effect on Feb. 1.

The conversion will also improve airline connectivity with various cities in North America, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, but particularly in the teeming U.S., such as Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Miami, Boston and, in Canada, Montreal.

The change is also expected to deliver significant energy savings at the Cancún and Cozumel airports as well. It also means that daylight savings time usually occurring around April will not be observed in the new zone from 2015-2019.




And what about Cuba?

   The change in the time zone synchronizing Quintana Roo, and thus Puerto Aventuras and the rest of the Riviera Maya, with U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST), arrives at an opportune historical moment.

The apparent goal of the switch has been to grease the major U.S. eastern seaboard tourism markets centered in major population centers like New York, Boston, Providence, Philadelphia, Hartford, Washington D.C., and airline hub Atlanta. The move could also titillate snowbirds in the Montreal area as well.

The recent diplomatic breakthrough between the U.S. and Cuba adds an unexpected ingredient to the Caribbean tourism industry that some Riviera Maya investors feel will exacerbate competition.

The population on the Mexican Caribbean has been exploding along with the tourist industry, morphing sleepy villages into teeming cities like Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Prices and taxes on everyday needs from tortillas to gasoline and electricity are rising, thus decreasing the “bargain” perception of the Mayan Riviera particularly for snowbird real estate sales.

Cuba is 93 miles from the Florida Keys, a distance easily covered in four hours by modern fast ferries in which travelers from the freezing north could ferry cars and themselves from Florida to a Cuban destination in the future. Cuba has a land mass of 42,426 square miles, 3,570 miles of coastline, a low population density of its 11.3 million people, topographic diversity of flat plains and mountains and tropical climate similar to the Mayan Riviera. Tempting.

Cuba has already made significant strides in tourism, which has surpassed sugar as the main source of revenue. according to various reports. It attracts an average 3 million-plus tourists annually, mostly from Canada, generating several billions in income.

Business leaders in this area are already debating the long-term fallout from the political détente between the U.S. and Cuba, what it might mean for the island’s future foreign investment and development policies and the impact that will have on the Riviera Maya.

Developing a plan to capture and lock more tourists and home-buying snowbirds from the U.S. eastern seaboard as soon as possible makes sense for the Riviera Maya.




THE 7th ANNUAL Puerto Aventuras road race this year is Sunday, Jan. 25, and will begin at 7 a.m. at Porto Bello, same place as last year, but end at the large palapa in Centro’s Dolphin Discovery, which is the major race sponsor this year. Local runners can register at the Colonos office during working hours. For more information on registration and costs (200 pesos for adults, 150 for children) click on the Colonos site in the right-hand column … COLONOS ASSOCIATION board of directors meets on Jan. 28 in the Colonos office…CHAC HAL AL ASSEMBLY convenes Friday, Jan. 30 at the Colonos meeting room… COOKING CLASS - Latitude 20 cooking class has switched back to its regular Friday class schedule at 10 a.m on Fridays… ART SHOWS are held each Thursday evening at the Information and Art Center…Spanish classes at Latitude 20 are held at 11:30 a.m. (basic) and 12:30 (intermediate) on Mondays and Wednesdays…


Commerce Corner…

Dental office expands site,

adds endodontist to staff

By Staff  

SMILE) Dental of Puerto Aventuras, located in the Bamboo Mini-Mall on the new marina, has expanded its dental services as well as its office space.

Dr. Enrique Perez announced the addition of Dr. Ines Gaffner, a specialist in endodontics and prosthetics, to the staff. She arrives here after being in practice in her native Spain since graduating from the International University of Catalonia in 2010 with additional masters degrees in her specialties.

Dr. Gaffner’s arrival adds to the comprehensive dental services offered at SMILE) where two more chairs and modern equipment have been added to the facility located in the office’s two floors.

Endodontists perform a variety of dental procedures, the most common being endodontic therapy, more popularly known as “root canal,” the treatment of the infected pulp of a tooth to eliminate the infection and protect the tooth from further contagion. In addition, endodontists perform dental surgery and repair cracked teeth among other procedures for which they are specifically trained. Dr. Gaffner also specializes in prosthetics, the replacement of missing teeth via dental implants and/or removable replacements.

Dr. Gaffner, who speaks some English, is currently studying the English language at daily lessons to become more proficient. She lives in Puerto Aventuras with her husband, an executive with the Catalonia Hotel here.

The office has a comfortable indoor waiting room with wide TV, a gracious bi-lingual receptionist, an outdoor waiting area that provides solitude and a vista of the new marina boating activity, and a colorful children’s waiting room on the second floor with toys. Read more by clicking on the SMILE) logo in the sponsor column at left.


Work on Puerto Aventuras airfield

expected to begin in two weeks

By Staff

Quintana Roo State Secretary Gabriel Mendicuti Loria predicted during a visit to Playa del Carmen last week that the new aeropista runway and service facilities in Puerto Aventuras should be completed in about eight months after construction begins in two weeks to replace the airfield in Playa del Carmen.

The new airfield , located west of Highway 307, already has a dirt access road near the Lapis jewelry outlet and just across the southbound highway from the first “retorno” out of Puerto. The road entrance was partially blocked by stones in the last few weeks.

Some environmental groups had earlier complained the airfield will disturb the habitat of endangered species as jungle is cleared for the strip. Also, three companies, although acknowledging the need to move away from the current airport in Playa del Carmen, say their business is expected to drop by 50 percent at the new, out-of-the way site.

Those businesses include Aerosaab, Skydive and Aerotropical. They predict that the 400 monthly flights by 10 planes will drop to 200 at the new site. The final length and width of the new runway is not assured at this time or whether the facility will be upgraded to service small private jets. There has been no mention so far whether the new airport will try to attract a connecting shuttle service to the Cancun Airport.

Currently, agents of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) are investigating the site for any possible anthropological remains before work begins.


Poblado residents re-energize

argument for access to sea


Residents from the Puerto Aventuras Poblado demonstrated again last week at the Municipal Palace (City Hall) in Playa del Carmen for some form of access to the sea. More than a dozen people led by Tun Orlando Cox made a logical presentation by noting that all Mexicans should have the right to “enjoy the (environmental and natural) wealth of the nation.”

As it now stands, Pobladans have to spend pesos to bus themselves to Playa del Carmen or Akumal because the Puerto Aventuras resort and the private all-inclusive hotels of Barcelo and Hard Rock have not left a single access route to the beach by privatizing all the land leading to it. It was the fourth time the residents demonstrate for beach access at the City Hall.

Similar complaints went out two years ago from some resort homeowners when the only access to the beach in the resort was closed during a busy weekend, denying even property owners ready beach access. That situation has been corrected by a right of way issued to the Colonos for resort property owners. The Colonos is the association representing all property owners inside the resort. It administers surface infrastructure like roads, sidewalks, landscaping common areas and security among other general needs and issues.


The Mail Bag…

Writers say foul sewer gas

odor in area ‘disgusting’

Want answers from responsible officials

Dear Editor:

After several weeks of noticing a foul odor of raw sewage mixed with the usual fragrance of wood smoke from the Poblado blowing through my apartment on Punta Matzoma, I have spoken with one of our staff and he has confirmed, with a look of disgust, that this has not been my imagination. He has smelled it, too. His opinion is that the drains need to be purged from time to time, and this makes sense.

We have all experienced for many years the odor of sewage emanating from the P.A. sewage grates; but now it is airborne and in large volume. Our staff person added that it is the same over in Puerto Maya and the P.A. Poblado.

Questions: Does Colonos monitor sewage flows regularly, and, if so, who reports on the findings? With all the additional building over the years, has the sewage treatment plant been expanded? Who makes such decisions? Does Colonos take regular coliform readings at the beaches here, and are those reports available to public authorities and owners? Who is in charge of sewage and water quality in this “private touristic development?” Playacar has had the same problem for many years and now Puerto Aventuras? Thank you very much.

Signed/ Phyllis Boyd

Dear Editor:

Can anyone please address the issue of the air quality in PA for me? We live by the school and have to close our doors and windows as of the last few months, at different times, because of the disgusting sewer gas smell. I know I am not alone in this problem. Others have been issuing a concern. Who is the person to address this problem?

It is very embarrassing to have guests coming with this issue. Thank you

Signed/ Kathy Madrigrano

(Ed. Note: The new private water company H20 of Puerto Aventuras operates the water and sewerage systems. It can be reached at 984-802-9050. The Pelican Free Press welcomes a response from company officials in this matter. Numerous complaints have also emerged about foul odors and discoloration of the beach seawater near the Shangri La hotel beach in Playa del Carmen. Its suspected. but not confirmed, cause is the dumping of sewage from nearby buildings. An investigation is under way.)



Briefly Noted…

Metrick mile -  The Watchamacallit Magic Bus  driven by the Whodyacallim guy Peter Metrick of latidue 20 Restaurant is ready to provide fee-free rides to folks headed from anywhere in the resort to Latitude 20 Restaurant. Call 984-802-9372 The lack of street signs and simple addresses have drawn complaints on both sides of the highway dividing the Puerto Aventuras resort from the Poblado neighborhoods. A pitch was made for simplified addresses in the resort during the annual Colonos Assembly in December while, in the Poblado, the municipal delegation wants street signs to help visitors and delivery men find where they are going… More beer was spilled and stolen when the driver of a double-trailer truck tipped over into the brush off the highway about 20K south of Tulum. As though to prove people are alike everywhere, locals pulled up in cars and trucks and looted cases of beer from the spoils left by a driver who simply fell asleep after driving his load from Veracruz headed for Playa del Carmen. It’s the second truck headed for that destination to tip over in recent months and be looted, the first one on Highway 307 just outside the Playa city limits last spring, painfully slowing a traffic back-up for the better part of the day… President Pena Nieto announced last week that Mexico’s unemployment rate of 3.76 percent is the lowest in seven years. U.S. unemployment rate meanwhile is currently at about 5.6 percent and 6.6 percent in Canada… Adminstrative employees are on strike at the Autonomous University of Yucatan (Uady) over a wage increase. The union representing some 4,000 employees at all campuses is asking for a 10 percent hike and the university is offering 3.5 percent… The original Marlboro cowboy in the TV ads, Darrell Winfield, a real cowboy and father of six, died at 85 years of age at his Wyoming home last week. Cause of death was not released … More attention to bicycle safety and riders’ needs is being paid by the municipality of Solidaridad, of which Puerto Aventuras is part. There is a move on to issue rules of the road for bikers along with an effort to create more bicycle paths to improve safety and comfort. A growth in the number of people using bikes for daily transport has spotlighted the issue. Puerto Aventuras could use defined bike paths along its older main roads like Puerto Aventuras Boulevard to match the excellent paths in the developing Phase 4… Illiteracy in Soliidaridad has declined by 65 percent, reports the State Institute for Youth and Ault Education, from 7,000 to 2,000 since 2010 as the result of public education opportunities…


Nature Watch…

Tourist dies of heart attack

after battling Akumal tide

By Staff  

A 72-year-old U.S. citizen from Boston died of a heart attack upon leaving the water in Akumal Bay last week after an exhausting struggle with a suspected rip tide. That, and nearly a dozen rescues over the holidays in Playa del Carmen waters, is enough to recall our annual warning to swimmers concerning rip tides and how to spot and evade them.

For the uninitiated, a rip current, or simply “rip” is a potent water channel that flows from the shore to the sea through a surf line, sometimes flowing as fast as 8 feet per second. They potentially occur at any beach with breaking waves in the world’s oceans, seas and even large lakes. A rip is formed when wind and waves drive water toward the shore, forcing the water sideways. When wind and waves drive water toward the shore, that water is often forced sideways by the oncoming waves and it streams along the beach in search of an exit.

This results in the rip. It is more often than not narrow and found in trenches between sandbars, under piers or running along jetties.

There is a misguided view that undertow or rips pull victims under water when in fact the current is stronger at the water’s surface, which tends to dampen incoming waves, creating an illusion the water is calm. This may deceive some swimmers and lure them into the swift-moving channel in some cases causing death following exhaustion while fighting the current.

Typically, the strongest part of a rip current is the direct line between the water’s edge and the sandbar opening, but the current will also pull in water from either side of the basin. In this way, a rip current might pull you sideways, parallel to the beach, before it pulls you outward, away from the beach.

Once the receding wave makes its way through the sandbar opening and meets up with water at its own level, its pressure immediately drops. Overall, the water flow pattern has a mushroom shape.

Depending on its severity, you may be able to see a rip current from the beach. Strong rip currents disrupt incoming waves and stir up sand from the ocean floor. When you’re at the beach, keep an eye out for narrow, muddy streaks in the ocean where there aren’t any waves breaking.
If you get caught up in a rip current, it’s crucial that you keep your wits about you. Your first instinct may be to swim against the current, back to shallow waters. In most cases, even if you’re a strong swimmer, this will only wear you out. The current is too strong to fight head-on.

Instead, swim sideways, parallel to the beach. This will get you out of the narrow outward current, so you can swim back in with the waves helping you along. If it’s too hard to swim sideways while you’re being dragged through the water, just wait until the current carries you past the sandbar. The water will be much calmer there, and you can get clear of the rip current before heading back in.

People drown when they thrash about in the water or expend all of their energy swimming. To survive a rip current, or any crisis in the water, you have to keep calm, and you have to conserve your energy. If you don’t think you can swim all the way back to the beach, get past the rip current and tread water. Call for help, signal to people on the beach and, if all else fails, wait for the waves to carry you in.
If you’re on the beach and see somebody else caught in a rip current, call for help from a lifeguard or the police. Don’t immediately dive in and swim out to the person. It’s too risky to swim out there yourself unless you have a raft, boogie board or life preserver with you.
People who are not excellent and strong swimmers must exercise sensible caution when entering water with breaking surf and noticeable undertow, particularly near sandbars, reefs and jetties. A rip current could be lurking nearby. Common sense dictates that people not swim or snorkel alone or venture out in deep water or heavy surf without a life preserver and/or friends nearby.

Rare earthquake shakes area


Snowbirds that ‘wing it’ to PA,

plan to show they can also ‘leg it’


Number of runners could near 700 this year

By Staff

   We know that snowbirds can fly, but can they run?

Well, Gayle Sandholm of Montana and PA, at age 71, and some other fellow (and lady) snowbirds around his age are joining an estimated 500 or more runners for PA’s 7th annual road race beginning at 7 a.m. Jan. 25 at the Porto Bello starting line on Puerto Aventuras Boulevard.

“I figure I’ll be among the top 10 finishers in my age group,” Sandholm teased during a recent check of the race route in Phase 4, “because there’ll probably only be nine runners in their 70s.”

The race has become progressively popular statewide, attracting increasing numbers of runners all along the Mayan Riviera and then some, including some proficient African runners living in Cancun. A few years ago the limit of runners was 500. Now, attesting to its growing popularity, the limit is set at 700.

There is still time for newly arriving snowbirds from Paamul, Akumal, and elsewhere with a zest for the outdoors, fresh air, competition and a chance to strut their stuff, to register at the Colonos office here for a good run (or walk, as you like it) and a chance to win a cash prize.

The categories and starting times for men, women and children are: 7:00 am – 10 km: Free (19-39 years), Masters (40-49 years) and Veterans (50 and over); 7:00 am – 5 km: Youth (15 to 18), Leisure (19-39 years) and Masters (40 years and over); 9:15 am – 1000 meters: Older Children (from 9-14 years); 9:00 am – 400 meters: Minor Child (under 9 years).

Registration cost for adults is 200 pesos and 150 pesos for children. This year, the proceeds from the race will be donated to the municipality of Solidaridad DIF Quintana Roo for materials to equip the "Prosthetic Workshop", which serves the entire northern region of the state for poor people in vulnerable situations. Register online at [email protected] or www.carreradolphindiscovery.com

The races this year will finish at the large palapa at the rear of the Dolphin Discovery Store, which is this year’s prime sponsor. It will be one of the exciting areas to experience the thrill of the finish line. As in past years, massages will be available for runners with potential muscle cramps. There will be water stations along the way and refreshing fruit and distribution of awards at the finish line.

Mr. Sandholm has been wintering in Puerto Aventuras for five years and has carved a reputation here as a bird watcher. He was a church pastor then a campus minister for 15 years at the University of Montana. He is an avid camper, outdoorsman and fly fisherman.

He graduated from Drew University in New Jersey with a masters degree in Ministry, then the San Francisco Theological Seminary with a Ph.D in Ministry. “I had a lot of fun running the race a few years ago for the first time,” he said, “and now that I’m a bit older, I’m doing it for the challenge – and the fun.”


Centro Comercial assembly

re-scheduled to Feb. 21

   The Centro Comercial Assembly originally slated for Jan. 10 is rescheduled for 8 a.m. Feb. 21 in the Colonos Meeting Room while the agenda and notices are sent to stakeholders.

The need to reschedule follows a Dec. 6 special meeting to recall the previous board as part of the outfall arising from a disagreement between that board and Cafe Ole, which filed a criminal complaint against the previous board for its action in ordering part of a fixed bar to be demolished.

The disagreement over that and other issues have yet to be settled and that will be the task of the new board elected at the same special meeting that the previous board was recalled by a 71 percent voting majority.

Elected were Edgar Giffenig, former golf course manager, president; Hector Pavon, Fideicomiso operations director, treasurer; Teresa Gutierrez, real estate sales company owner, secretary; Mirtila Lopez and Barbara Fox, both residents of Centro, as voting board members. Several of the members have close ties to the PA Trust, or Fideicomiso.


Colonos maintenance fees

are due quarterly in 2015

- The Colonos reminds residents that the 2015 maintenance fee will be due quarterly starting this month. That’s why the last payment of 2014 was for 2 months (November/December) in order to adjust payments for 2015. Remit fees early to take advantage of the discount. Payments are due in the following quarters:

January, February, March (discount in January); April, May, June (discount in April); July, August, September (discount in July); October, November, December (discount in October).


Municipal animal department

to begin enforcement in resort

   Pet lovers, leash your pets!

The municipal animal rescue agency (CEBIEM) and the Colonos have reached agreement to cooperate in responding to dog complaints here and picking up loose dogs roaming the streets without a leash.

The bilingual teams of municipal employees will start patrolling Puerto Aventuras resort on Monday, Jan. 19, in a clearly marked vehicle on random days and times responding to complaints, such as barking dogs disturbing neighbors, and observing the area and its pets.

“For the first three weeks, the animals will not be caged and owners held harmless. But beginning the fourth week,” said Colonos GN Armando Rincon, “loose animals will be taken and brought to the agency pound.”

The municipal pound, now operating under a more humane name and procedure somewhat like an animal rescue league, will randomly send its truck to Puerto Aventuras weekly to collect stray, unleashed and unsupervised dogs.

Once a dog is caged in the truck, owners who want to recover their pet will have to produce a pet registration and/or rabies vaccination certificate. They will have four days to retrieve their pet at the municipal pound in Playa del Carmen located on Juarez Avenue next to the jail and gas company in Playa.

Enforcement with fines

If that happens, owners will have to pay $500 pesos fine if the pet is already neutered. If not, the municipality will have it neutered and charge the owner an extra $350 pesos to pay for the procedure.The pets will be put up for adoption after four days.

Owners walking their pets and not collecting the droppings will be reprimanded the first time and fined on the second offense. This municipal rule applies to the federal beach zone as well, according to a letter from the health department.

An alternative to municipal intervention would be for dog owners to willingly observe the local rules governing pets, including no trespassing on private property, which includes the golf course, and assuring their pets are not disturbing neighbors. (See the rules by clicking on the Colonos logo in the upper right hand column).


Wildlife photo hawkers in Playa

called  “stain” on destination


  Men carrying assorted wildlife used to pose with tourists for souvenir photos are becoming a problem again on Playa’s 5th Avenue, but this time the antics of the human handlers are the targets of most tourist complaints.

There have been reports made to officials that the handlers, while charging 50 to 300 pesos for a photo taken with the consumer’s camera, have been yelling at and shoving passersby who are taking pictures of the handlers themselves and their animals without paying.

Among witnesses to one scene of the men harassing tourists was visitor Sandra Boe staying in Puerto Aventuras with friends Tim and Jacki Berreth. Below is their account of what was happening:

“ We were on 5th Ave Sunday in Playa when several men in green shirts and khakis appeared with a doped cub, which I believe was a lion, a coati, and a baby spider monkey. They were asking for payment from people to have their photos taken with the animals. The men were adamant about not appearing in the photos themselves, rudely shoving people’s phones, iPads and cameras away. The cub was not moving and appeared to be sedated.

“I circled around them and took several photographs that clearly show their faces and the animals they had with them. I understand from Jacki the Pelican has run articles about this illegal activity before. I am interested only in getting the word out and hope it will be helpful to the cause.”

Environmental Protection Agency (Profepa) is aware of the situation but, according to local sources, lacks authority to stop those hawking the animal photos without permits. It is unknown whether the municipality’s new animal care unit dealing with dogs and cats, Cebiem, has any authority to intervene for the protection of wildlife.

BULLETIN: It was reported just before press time that nine members of a gang exploiting wild animals in the photo-shoot game were arrested on 5th Avenue by the Municipal Tourist Police after receiving a several complaints from tourists who said they were manhandled by the hawkers who were asking exorbitant prices for photo shoots with the animals.


Rare earthquake strikes nearby

   A rare earthquake rumbled in this area Sunday night, measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale. While a tremor was felt among some of the population between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, no damage or injuries were reported and there was no threat of a tsunami, officials from the National Seismological Service (SSN) reported.

The epicenter was located 67 kilometers southwest of Playa and five miles into the town of Tulum, the SSN said, with a depth of three miles. Quintana Roo has experienced only one other quake with an epicenter within its borders, and that was in 2002. It had a magnitude of 4.7 on the scale. Two other quakes were also reported on Sunday in Oaxaca, both epicenters near each other and nearly an hour apart.


THE 7th ANNUAL Puerto Aventuras road race this year is Sunday, Jan. 25, and will begin at 7 a.m. at Porto Bello, same place as last year, but end at the large palapa in Centro’s Dolphin Discovery, which is the major race sponsor this year. Local runners can register at the Colonos office during working hours. For more information on registration and costs (200 pesos for adults, 150 for children) click on the Colonos site in the right-hand column … COOKING CLASS - Latitude 20 cooking class has switched back to its regular Friday class schedule at 10 a.m on Fridays… ART SHOWS are held each Thursday evening at the Information and Art Center…Spanish classes at Latitude 20 are held at 11:30 a.m. (basic) and 12:30 (intermediate) on Mondays and Wednesdays…


Briefly noted…

Christmas trees are being collected by the municipality for making compost. They can be brought in this immediate area to the delegation building in the Puerto Aventuras Poblado located at the end of the Main Street just past the Red Cross building…A Brazilian tourist at a party on 1st Avenue in Playa lost his balance after drinking and fell three stories from a condominium to his death…Some Tulum Hotels are being accused of dumping sewage into the coastal waters, creating an odor, polluting the inshore seawater and threatening groundwater. It is alleged authorities are not acting on hotels operating without sewage treatment plants…Another water problem, this time in Solidaridad, is the delivery of purified water in bottles that have been exposed for too long in the sun while on open delivery vehicles. The officials say it exposes the bottles to solar radiation that can detach plastic particles causing pathogens in the water. As of Feb. 7, authorities say delivery will not be allowed in open vehicles. There are the 73 purification operations in the area. Two companies servicing Puerto Aventuras resort use covered vehicles…The federal environmental agency (Profepa) plans to locate an office in Playa de Carmen to better respond to complaints, and perform scheduled inspections and verifications…A campaign to spay and neuter thousands of cats and dogs in Solidaridad began last Friday. PA is part of the Solidaridad municipality. The Municipal Center for Animal Welfare (Cebiem), which is working on a service plan for Puerto Aventuras, is participating in the project with several volunteer organizations…Work on the PA sports complex on the edge of Puerto Maya is expected to be completed this year…Criminal proceedings  have begun against the wife of the mayor of Iguala who allegedly was involved in the disappearance and probable death of 43 students in September. She faces charges of assisting a drug cartel in its work since 2005 and complicity in the disappearance of the students…President Pina Nieto  reports that 714,000 jobs were created in Mexico in 2014, the most in five decades…France certifies official  honorary consul in Playa del Carmen. She is Carine Gebelin Claude, who has served unofficially in the office since October..Hotel occupancy along Riviera Maya of more than 80 percent appears guaranteed through April according to reservations and the “spring break” phenomenon…


Mexico’s ‘corruption perception’

worsens in 2014 world rankings

   Mexico again ranks in the bottom half of the world Corruption Perception Index, coming in 103rd out of 175 total countries annually ranked by Transparency International. The higher the ranking, the worse the perception.

The index results were reported by the Justice in Mexico news monitoring program at San Diego University. While considered a developing nation, Mexico, the report notes, has been unable to pull itself out from under the perception of corruption, its score remaining flat since 2006 while some other countries in the bottom half have showed gains, supplanting Mexico’s standing.

Mexico’s world rank has declined from 70th in 2006 to 103rd in 2014 while other countries who shared the 70s ranking in 2006, such as Brazil, China, Egypt, Ghana, Peru, India and Senegal, achieved better ranking in 2014 while Mexico remained the same, lowering its comparative world standing.

Transparencia Mexicana urges the Mexican government to adopt and enforce anti-corruption measures including a national transparency investigative system, a federal tribunal of responsibilities for the three government branches; defining and regulating conflict of interest in state and municipal governments and public disclosure by political candidates of assets, 5-year tax statements and declaration of potential conflict of interest among other reforms.


The Mail Bag…

Resident wants specifics

Dear Editor:

It was reported in the Pelican that again the beach replenishment project is currently in limbo awaiting the government bureaucracy to issue the necessary permits. I would like to know exactly what permits have been applied for and what they are asking approval for, as in exactly, not in vague terms, but exactly what they want to do.

I would like the complete plan, what government agency did they send the application to and when did they send in the application. I’m sure the powers that be, as you have referred to them, can supply that information to you. Maybe even a copy of the application or a link to the agency that they sent it to. It seems that some information is given to us, but nothing specific. If the powers that be have a plan, it should be spelled out exactly, not in vague terms.

Signed/Ron Hurst, resident of Chac Hal Al

(Ed Note: Specifics and timetables have been presented in the Jan. 16, March 7 and June 30 editions of 2013 but have failed to materialize yet and now seek refuge in the vagueness of circumlocution. The situation apparently is what it is.)

Dear Editor:

Missing golf cart found

My golf cart that was missing for three weeks has been found. Thank you to the Pelican and others who helped look for it.

Signed/Andy Pittman


Nature Watch…

Proposed Tampa-Yucatan ferry

would use Progreso facilities

  (Ed. Note: There has been talk locally for the last two or three years about a proposed ferry service from Tampa, Fla., to Progreso, Mexico, on the Gulf of Mexico. But how many people here are aware the pier in Progreso is a whopping four miles long jutting into the Gulf of Mexico, one of the largest such partially arched, cement piers in the world.

Aside from handling cargo container ships for distribution to Q. Roo and Campeche, fishing boats and other vessels such as the proposed passenger/car ferry, the pier hosted nearly 100 cruise ships in 2014. The town itself is worthy of a look-see as are quaint fishing villages along the Gulf coast in that area, report some Aventurans who have visited the area.

Progreso is about 30 minutes north of the Yucatan state capital of Merida, the largest city on the Yucatan Peninsula, which is now connected to Playa del Carmen by a new road from Playa that shortens the drive by about two hours, give or take minutes. Read pier information below.)

“The pier that extends from Progreso into the Gulf of Mexico is among the longest beach structures in the world. Located in a port city in Mexico in the state of Yucatán, the pier was built for docking large cargo and passenger ships.

“The pier hasn’t always reached such great lengths. Starting in 1985, builders began extending the original structure from 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) to its current length of 6.5 kilometers (4 miles). Built over a wide and shallow continental shelf, the additional length was necessary to allow docking by larger ships. In 2014, almost 100 cruise liners docked in Progreso and brought more than 344,000 passengers to the city.

“The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this image of Progreso’s pier on November 5, 2014. According to Gabriela García-Rubio of the Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education. Light turquoise areas offshore are probably shallower than the darker areas. Prevailing winds here typically blow from the east-northeast, producing short-period waves and carrying sediment westward along the shore.

“The older segment of the pier (closest to the shoreline) was built atop arches that allow some sediment to pass through. The rest of the pier, however, is solid. Despite its arches, the structure as a whole has likely decreased the amount of sediment transported alongshore, leading to "updrift accretion and downdrift erosion," according to research led by García-Rubio.

"It is interesting to note that the darker regions (of the satellite photo) are next to the solid part of the pier, which seems to be in agreement with a significant reduction in the alongshore transport," García-Rubio said. "The effect of the pier is more complex, however, as it seems to be producing settlement and a seaward movement of the shoreline."