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Monthly Archives: February 2011


Sold out musical melange puts Puerto ‘in the mood’

Posted 2/26/11 by Pelican Paulie
A smorgasbord of musical modes greeted 350 Puerto Aventurans and friends Friday night at the first concert heralding the resort’s new palapa-roofed cultural center for the performing arts on the southern end of Calle Akumal.

The four piece band and two female singers whipped up the audience early on with an explosive, introductory drum solo followed by a series of Latin and energetic rhythms that had been billed as a  discovery expedition to fathom what kind of music Puerto Aventurans might like.
     It was a great idea, but it worked too well. The eclectic audience loved it all and proved it with considerable applause, whistles and whoops after every number the band belted out with gusto. There was a whole lot of shakin’ going on too as many in the audience swayed
and tapped with waves of undulating rhythms that mimic the sea.
Promoter Daniele Gracis, chairman of the Colonos Cultural Committee, was ecstatic at  concert’s end as he reported attendance by 350 music lovers exceeded expectations and took it as a signal to continue a performing arts program.
Colonos general manager Armando Rincon, who, along with his staff, assisted Gracis in

preparing the venue, said the goal is to promote a variety of performing arts  about every two months for the time being.
The musicians had to appreciate the decent acoustics offered by the site and the audience response, particularly violinist and band leader Guillermo Guiterrez whose nimble-fingered solos and staccato fill-ins for the singers and other musicians drew loud applause at every step.
Also doing yeomen’s work were Adrian Ornelas on piano, Jorge Galvez on guitar, Julio Cepero on drums and Lorena Gonzalez, lead vocalist, all of whom were given wide berth to display their talents in rousing rounds of  rotating riffs.
But the concert was more than music at 50 pesos a ticket. It was an invigorating

endorsement of  community involvement, friendship and joy in a complicated world so lacking it. Priceless. It was a considerable gathering of Caddeys, Landahls, Greens and Whites and Rodriguez’ and Schwandkes and so many others as though funneled through a cone to this one spot on this one might to enjoy each others’ company in a language we all understand… music.
It was a lesson in personal endurance as well. Those who saw Mr. Gracis bounding up and down the amphitheater’s considerable steps, rushing hither and yon, graying hair flowing behind, to enspirit the musicians and enliven the audience must have marveled at his boundless enthusiasm…that after just undergoing a heart procedure in Italy. Gracis explained it all away in a few words: “I love music,” he beamed.
Any balance left from the sale of tickets and beverages will go into the cultural committee account to continue improvements and maintenance of the venue.
One whimsical note: The venue’s new sanitarios underneath the coliseum is co-ed, an unusual situation necessitated by lack of funds for separate facilities.  Sense of community doesn’t get much better than that.

State fails to help HOAs collect from deadbeats

   We are hearing from people who have been reading and deciphering the much-awaited changes in the state condominium laws that were expected to provide condo associations tools to collect maintenance fees from the worst delinquents.
Administrators and vigilance committees were hoping the state would allow HOAs to

shut off non-potable water to excessively delinquent units. But to the contrary, reports one study group, the new rules allow HOAs to deny electricity and gas services only if delivered as part of the HOAS fee but for some evidently wider reason, the lawmakers exempted water, the most effective tool, even though it isn’t used for drinking in resort areas.
This puts many condo associations back where they started in dealing with delinquents and confounds others. In one instance, an HOA voted unanimously for a rule advising delinquents of three months or more that their water would be shut off for non-payment after being notified by letter.
The treasurer of one HOA suggested the reluctance to allow water shut-off could be a protection for poorer inhabitants who are able to drink tap water. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all issue, however. Lawmakers could have tiered the regulation to allow both a ban in the general population, but allow condos to govern themselves by agreeing as part of the bylaws t0 allow shut-offs where residents drink bottled water anyway.
There could be some HOA defiance of the state’s  ruling if HOA owners themselves vote and agree to deny themselves water service for non-payment of maintenance fees within a reasonable amount of time. At least one association did successfully shut off water to a unit late last year without a legal challenge and was rewarded with a beneficial outcome.
Another association allowed administrators to turn water down to a trickle in units owned by deadbeats, rendering the water flow useless but without breaking the letter of the law.
A prevailing view from those charged with collecting fees is that the state’s law is illogical in condo circumstances if it also allows water distributors to shut off the supply to delinquent property owners.  (The Pelican has not read the new laws and is not schooled in the state reasoning to ban water shut-offs.)  What’s YOUR view? Leave a comment.


    It’s the same staff, but it is a new, larger company and new uniforms for Colonos  Security which has three shifts of nine people each, five at the gate and five roaming the resort on motorcycles and responding to distress calls.
The agents can’t cover the entire perimeter simultaneously so the Colonos and Security

administrations ask residents to take precautions to protect their valuables at home and in their vehicles.
Colonos Manager Armando Rincon said the new, darker colored uniforms – which have received mixed reviews from residents – were part of negotiations with a new security company, “Securitas”which purchased and folded the former company, Guardio Blanco, into its larger organization. “We have essentially the same staff headed by Jesus Galdeano but with new uniforms,” said Rincon.
Resident opinions differ: “The main gate now looks like the entrance to a penitentiary” is one opinion while another is that the guards “look more official and down to business.” Regardless, part of the negotiations have included disucssions about setting up security cameras.
Meanwhwile, six thefts were reported during December and January, five of the six in January. They include one from Villas del Caribe, a ring and money returned by household help; a missing mobile phone at Punta Matzoma; a missing motorcycle;  flat screen TV, laptop, camera, rings and hand bag taken from one residence on Bahia Chemuyil when the owner left a rear window open and a camera, videogame and handbag taken from another on Bahia Chemuyil; laptop missing from a locked car parked on Cleta Xel Ha, Residents are asked to take care in protecting their belongings and to report suspicious activities or other complaints such as noise to Security at the Main Gate or calling 984-873-5128.


SMILE –  Anybody thinking of making an appointment for a dental cleaning or looking for aJapanese restaurant might want to be patient for about five weeks and save themselves a trip and a search. A reliable source says a dental office will be opening next to the stairs of the Colonos office in Centro and a Japanese Restaurant coming to the empty store adjacent to Tiramisu. Stay tuned… STILL JUST A RUMOR – Speculation about the sale of the golf course to Barcelo have been charging around longer than a golf cart battery. But could signs and fences going up on the course lately to minimize damage to the fairways and keep motorized vehicles off paths  be saying a sale is imminent? No, says Roman Rivera Torre of the Fideicomiso: “Barcelo and I have been negotiating the idea of them buying the golf course, finishing it with a signature and maintaining open for their hotel as well as for owners and residents of Puerto.    The general economic situation today has not allowed it and it will not happen for some time.”

Now we know where slang ‘lucky dog’ comes from

   He was born in Arkansas to penniless parents and didn’t have to work a lick or sniff out an uncle’s fortune to suddenly find himself living a young life of luxury in a Caribbean waterfront condo.
  All he had to do was be a cuddly puppy that captured – at a distance – the fancy of his


benefactor, Doug B. of Quinta Luna. And he did that so innocently but completely that he was accorded a birthday party last Friday at Centro’s Sabor restaurant in appreciation of  a shared companionship that includes an older canine named Copper.

    “Dogs can be a lot of trouble at times, but they are wonderful companions,” said Doug, a retired computer program designer who has been living in Puerto Aventuras for seven years in a condo unit with a spectacular view of the Caribbean and lagoon area. He calls his birthday dog Moon, a white, tail-less west highland terrier  who has to wiggle his entire hind side to express his considerable joy.
One would be hard put to find a resident here who hasn’t come across Doug and his pups somewhere in the resort, particularly mornings when they sit with friends for chit-chat and breakfast at local eateries along the federal Dolphin walk.
Doug is testimony to his own observation that, “People here love their dogs,” a sub-culture of sorts that allows pets some human attributes. Moon, for example, enjoys watching TV and  will sit and otherwise interact with the guys who come to Bell’s to watch football on occasion. In this case, it was learned how to make Moon shine.


Administrators seek end to ‘balcony’ controversy

For Condo Esmeralda Owners

Potential financial crisis hangs over the issue

    New administrators of Condo Torre Esmeralda say it is imperative a controversy over balcony construction by two Vigilance Committee members be settled quickly. “Otherwise it could possibly become a big financial disaster (as much as $25,000 USD)”  said Carlos Suarez and Lothar Batt of B&S Associated.

They were hired by Esmeralda HOA Feb. 1 and inherited the balcony controversy. They were not involved in the construction project last June that has vexed some owners seeking answers in a flood of emails, say the administrators.

Reluctant to use names, the administrators said VC members who approved the work  had what they characterize as the “tacit approval”  of the former administrator who did not attempt to stop the project or mention any objection at the HOA annual meeting Feb. 1. Complaints of some owners have aimed less on what was done, but how it was done. (See report “Balcony Imbroglio” in previous edition of the Pelican Free Press for more details).

With a lack of documentation as evidence to show otherwise, some owners saw the contained approval process as a discourtesy to other owners, conflict of interest and deception in the absence of engineering and façade approvals by the assembly.

The VC tried to explain the process and the project during the Feb. 1 assembly but apparently failed to  satisfy the doubts of critics who flooded the new administrators with strident inquiries.

After researching Q. Roo and municipal laws, the administrators now say some things were done right and some things were done wrong. They say what is important now is for the owners to avoid a crippling financial crisis that could result from prolonged arguments after the fact.

They say if a continuing outcry were to cause the government to require a new set of plans for the building, it would cost about $25,000 USD. “The Vigilance Committee has asked us to mediate this disagreement with the aggrieved owners,  so the HOA can move on to other matters.” In the process, the balcony owners, say the administrators, have agreed to pay the extra maintenance fee (about $19 each USD a month) representing the square footage of the balconies, even though they believe the law does not require the extra payment. It is hoped, the administrators say, that it would assuage critics who have focused on the fee portion of the issue.

The administrators say they have been polling owners for their views of what it would take to settle the issue, allowing the HOA to move on to many other condo matters that need tending, such as painting the building. Among suggestions received from owners, they say, is to return the VC to its 3-member status by having one of the members retire. That option suggests it could signal an official end to what some perceive as the appearance of collusion on the board. It would also assert the parliamentary odd-number rule to avert  tie votes and improve credibility.

In the meantime, the administrators are asking aggrieved owners to tone down the rhetoric, accommodate the necessity to move on, and seriously consider the fee payment and apparent willingness of the balcony owners to make negotiated concessions.

The administrators say they will continue to ask more owners for their views on how to bring this situation to an end to avert lingering tension that could get in the way of progress.

“We are meeting soon with the vigilance committee members involved and will report the outcome to owners,” the administrators said.

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