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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Help for kids’ party on Thursday

THIS JUST IN:

DearColonos:

 Greetings
from Soñar Despierto.

SOÑAR DESPIERTO AC actively promotes activities that
help those in need in Solidaridad. We are an organization mainly formed by
Young College students with limited resourses that volunteer to help. This time
we are organizing one of our major events of the year: Our “Christmas
MACROPOSADA of 2011” for the fifth consecutive year. The date of this celabration
is December 1st, 2011 at Centro Maya shopping center in Playa del Carmen.

 

In order to make this event a complete success, we
are requesting the support of the entire community of Solidaridad, including
Puerto Aventuras to help on this activity, which will be of great joy for the
children of our community. Such help will be extremely important to fullfill
the goals that Soñar Despierto has set for this year’s event which are targeted
to the children that have limited resources.

The event consists of a big “Posada”
and Soñar Despierto has invited children of 8 of the elementary Schools of
Solidaridad’s public system aged 6 to 9, who  will be  greeted with lunches, games and new toys.
Every single activity and item will be donated by several organizations within
Solidaridad.

This
in one of our massive events of the year and its purpose is to have children aged
6 to 9 spend a joyfull day prior to the Christmas holliday.

We are requesting our community for support by donating the
following  for our Campaign “ The Best
Gifts are those that begin with a dream”:

  • New Toys worth about $ 100
    to $ 200

Our goal is to collect enough
toys for the 1,300 children we expect to have. Each toy that you can donate
will be of great joy for a child. The toy or toys don’t need to be wrapped.
Please send your donation to the Colono’s Asociation office by noon,  Wednsday November 30.

 

With regards:

________________________________

Dulce
Carrillo

Soñar despierto Toys Coordinator

984 1513478

 

 

OCEANSIDE PALAPA AVAILABLE – Click on “for Sale” button
DOGS RAISE DANDER – See letters below
COLONOS CONVOCATION SET– See story below
REMINDER: Community Night is 7:30 Thursday (Dec. 1) at Latitude 20 Restaurant adjacent to the boat ramp on Bahia Xcacel. A third of proceeds go to the Park Committee. $150 pesos for dinner; children under 6 free, over 6 to 12, half-price. Come and be an active part of the community. Monday (N0v. 28) is the last day to buy tickets at the Colonos office or at Latitude 20.

Landowner seeks to alert Plano 3 neighbors:

Fideicomiso sues, claims agency’s actions illegal

Posted 11/25/11 by Pelican Paulie
     A Puerto Aventuras land owner has been granted time to speak at the Dec. 10 Colonos Assembly to address stop -work orders previously issued by a federal agency on several Plano 3 houses under construction along Bahia Yanten – and what that may bode for future construction.

Angelo Mouzouropoulos, a yacht owner who is contemplating construction of a canal-front home in that area, said he wants to alert all lot owners planning future construction in Plano 3 to be aware of a controversy over the federal agency’s jurisdiction before they begin to build.
In a conversation this week, Mouzouropoulos, of the UK and Belize and recently retired international shipping executive, said there is ongoing historical and legal debate over the federal SEMARNAT agency’s jurisdictional status in Plano 3. Contrary perceptions are impeding construction, he said, and emphasized the issue does not affect homes already built there.
SEMARNAT is the acronym for Mexico’s federal Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (Secretaria del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales).
Mouzouropoulos, multi-lingual and 2007 recipient of an award from the U.S. Coast Guard for “quality shipping” as then director general of the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE), said he has expended considerable time and currency in ascertaining the federal agency’s claim to legitimacy here in the Federal Zone. He said he would not build without conforming to its order for an environmental impact study(MIA), which he said he is doing. He believes, he said, the study should have been included with all other original permitting before land was sold.
In response, Roman Rivera Torres, PA developer and Fideicomiso, said he believes the enforcement arm of SEMARNAT erred against the law in ordering MIAs and work stoppages and, he said, has “sued them personally for large amounts.”
He said he would gladly discuss the issue in more detail preferably after Dec. 3 when “…the problem has to be resolved according to legal terms” on that date.
Meanwhile, Mouzouropoulos claims the Fideicomiso had allegedly advised owners to disregard  SEMARNAT’s jurisdictional claim, unfortunately leading to the stop-work orders and fines for several owners whose homes were under construction.
Mouzouropoulos emphasized that he scoured the Riviera coastline for a place to retire and found Puerto Aventuras to be an ideal community where he can dock his vessel “in back of the garden” and become a participant in the social life here.
But, he said, he was not willing to risk his law-abiding reputation by trying to circumvent what he believes is SEMARNAT’s legitimate mandate to enforce an environmental impact study and other rules on behalf of coastline preservation.
The debatable issue is a many-faceted one made more complex by numerous legal and jurisdictional variables. Mouzouropoulos said it reaches back to the creation of Puerto Aventuras, the competing authority of various local, state and federal permitting agencies, zoning regulations and, in the case of Plano 3, why SEMARNAT permitting had allegedly been overlooked or by-passed in the original round of  Plano 3 permitting. He said all other planos comply with SEMARNAT.

CORE OF PROBLEM SPECIFIED, CLARIFIED:

Mouzouropoulos further specified that “ …according to the documentation which I and my biologist have examined and as shown on SEMARNAT’s website, Fideicomiso Puerto Aventuras had submitted a MIA to SEMANAT for the construction of Phase 2 which includes Plano 3 but had only obtained their approval for the construction of Marina 2 ,its two “brazos” -canals etc but did not obtain their approval for the construction of “residencias unifamiliares” (single family residences) in Plano 3.
“This is in sharp contrast with Phase 1 which includes Planos 1 & 2 and where after submission of a MIA, Fideicomiso Puerto Aventuras had obtained SEMARNAT’s approval for the construction of Marina 1, hotels , golf course, condos etc as well as the construction of “residencias unifamiliares”.That is at the core of the problem in Plano 3.”

Registration set for Colonos Assembly

Property, house and condo owners who want to represent their own vote at the Dec. 10 Colonos General Assembly must register at the Colonos office on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, Dec. 5, 6 and 7 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Proxy documents must be presented with a valid assembly date, I.D. documents of the grantor and proxy and signed by two witnesses.
Hotel and condo managers will register Thursday, Dec. 8, at the same place and hours.
The assembly will he held at the Salones Playa  of the Dreams Hotel with first call at 9:30 a.m. for a quorum and if no quorum then, the meeting will begin at 10 a.m. to consider budget items, fiscal and board reports, construction bylaw updates  and general matters and presentations.

Phrase a week… By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter

Useful when a waiter is forgetful: “Necesito uno cuchara, y un tenedor, y un cuchillo,” which means, “I need a spoon, a fork and a knife.”
(Ms. Contreras teaches Spanish classes from 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is $150 pesos.)

 

LETTERS
Writer offended by dogs in restaurants

While the Pelican Free Press prefers to publish the names of letter writers, it also understands that in a small community it is perhaps best that some observations remain anonymous so as not to risk personal animosity or offense, albeit we do have the names on file. Herewith, then, is such a slightly edited letter followed by an editorial suggestion for what it’s worth: The letter:
“I am wondering if there aren’t any strict health regulations in Puerto Aventuras regarding dogs at the restaurants. We have already stopped frequenting one of the restaurants as either the owner, or one of the staff members, has their dog there.
Once, while eating there, another couple brought their two dogs with them and had them sitting on two chairs at their table. Other restaurants also suffer dogs and cats.
Some people are allergic to dog dander and it is also not healthy to have dog dander floating around food and drink. I am assuming that people feel that because the restaurants are outdoors that dogs are allowed. It is disgusting and unsanitary.
We like dogs, but not in/at restaurants (the exception would be a seeing-eye dog, but even that is gross)…not to mention that the dogs are supposed to be on a leash throughout our community. Just my thoughts and disappointment at the discourtesy of others.”
(Ed. Note:  When restaurant patrons in the U.S. began complaining about cigarette smoke, many restaurants compromised and sectioned off an area for smokers so that both points of view could at least be partially satisfied.  Perhaps requiring leashes and “no-animals” sections in restaurants here could appease those affected by dander and increase business.)

Briefly Noted…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports

THERE WAS AN ACCIDENT last week at the retorno to Chadraui’s Market. A truck was overturned in a ditch and a car or two appeared damaged while police and fire vehicles stood by. Consider it a warning that patience is indeed a virtue when making the “retorno” turn to get to Chedraui’s. There is no tope to slow down traffic, so gauge speed accordingly and please be careful…FAVORITE DESTINATION –The Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) reports Cancun has been chosen by respondents to a Recommend Magazine poll in the U.S. and Canada as the leading Mexican tourist destination …SALES WERE UP as much as 50 percent in electronics and department stores during the 4-day “Good End” days this month offering sales opportunities for buyers on the Yucatan, what retailers hope is a positive sign for the coming high season…SPEAKING OF THAT summer tourism was up in the United States, from Seattle and Cape Cod, signs that could mean and uptick in business here this high season. As the good pastor might say, let us pray…

End Email Post

PETROL: NOT THE BARGAIN IT USED TO BE

NEED A PICK-UP TRUCK? – Click on “For Sale” button above
SPACE RATES:
ITEMS FOR SALE:
 $100 Pesos , 3 lines, 30 days, photo extra
SERVICES OFFERED: Business card or type, $120 Pesos a month, minimum three months; two months free for 1-year commitment; photo extra.

But Q. Roo among states with slightly lower price

Posted 11/10/11 by Juanito
I’ve been coming to the Riviera Maya for fifteen years and have noticed this year that the price of gasoline isn’t the bargain that it used to be. Only four or five years ago, gasoline prices in Mexico were half of what I paid in the United States. Not anymore.
It appears that feeding our cars with cheap gas may soon become another of those… “Remember the good old days” stories. Then my mind flashed back to memories of how dangerous it was to drive Highway #307 “back in the good old days” and realized that I’m probably lucky to be alive and able to fill my tank at any price!

In doing some research to find out why the price increase, I came across a September 2008 story from Bloomberg News that stated… “Mexico is scheduled to increase the price of gasoline sold by state-owned oil companyPetroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) on a weekly basis until it reaches average international market rates by the end of 2010”. The reason being given was to provide more support in other sectors of the economy.
With decreasing subsidies, fuel prices have continued to rise during 2011. At the present day equivalent of 2.63 U.S.Dollars per Gallon (regular gas), the price is still about 22% below what I pay in the United States, but a lot of that difference has more to do with currency exchange rates than government subsidies. Should the dollar to peso exchange rate return to 10:1, as it was in 2008, then fuel prices between our two countries would be pretty much on par.
Magna (regular, unleaded gasoline) has 87 octane. Premium UBA is 91 octane and has lower sulfur content at 15 ppm. My VW Jetta runs just fine with Magna, but if you don’t specifically ask for it, the attendant will often times choose to pump premium into your tank.
PEMEX, as the Mexico City based company is known, is the sole domestic distributor of gasoline in the country. Mexico imports about 40 percent of the gasoline it consumes. Gasoline and diesel fuel retail prices are subject to change on a monthly basis. It’s been reported that fuel prices along Mexico’s Border States may be slightly higher than the rest of the country, while prices in Sonora, Baja, Quintana Roo and Mexico City might be a bit lower. Mexico’s posted fuel prices for October 2011 were as follows:
Magna per liter – MXN $9.48 (It was $9.25 per liter at PEMEX Stations near Puerto Aventuras)
Premium per liter – MXN $10.46
Magna per Gallon = $2.63 USD
Premium per Gallon = $2.97 USD
Diesel per Gallon = $2.79 USD
Exchange Rate at time of calculation = 13.35
Liters per Gallon = 3.79

Community Park panel plans events

Real monkeys show up for “story hour”

Food, friendship marks new ‘Community Night’

Lighting ceremony at park is Dec. 4

Posted 11/12/11 by Pelican Paulie
The community park committee is continuing its considerable efforts to create a pleasant, woodsy atmosphere for young and old Puerto Aventurans who enjoy a forest-like atmosphere while listening to stories, or playing chess, or viewing a butterfly garden.
Four years in the making, the park is finally being put to use while discrediting muted criticisms that its location between the main roadways into and out of the community is less than ideal. It could be said the same complaints were heard about New York’s Central Park, plunked as it was between the city’s busiest thoroughfares. It works as a peaceful oasis and so does this park for those who view it positively.
The committee, which includes transplanted founding members Patricia Hernandez of Colombia, ZsuZsa Batt of Germany, Liliana Viola of Uruguay and Monica Tynan Day of Canada, will be inaugurating a monthly fund-raising “Community Night” at 7:30 Dec. 1 at the new Latitude Restaurant adjacent to the boat launching ramp. (Committee member Andy Pittman returned to work as a professor at Texas A.M. this year).
“For 150 pesos,you get food and beverage prepared by the restaurant,” said Viola. “Children under 6 go free and those 6 to 12 half-price. We will have a silent auction at these events,” she said, and gave as examples of items to be auctioned as day passes to all- inclusive waterfront resorts in PA or any other gifts merchants or residents may wish to donate toward park improvements.
Tickets are available at Latitude and the Colonos office and need to be purchased three days before the event – in this case by Nov. 28 – because “the chef needs to know the number of guests in advance,” Viola said.
A lighting ceremony at the park  prior to the nightly observances of Posada Novidena from Dec. 16 to 24, will be held at an hour to be announced Dec. 4 at the park and all are invited. This event will presage the traditional Mexican commemoration of Joseph and Mary’s difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem seeking lodging. The posadas are traditionally marked by processions, parties and pinatas.

Video cameras helping keep PA secure

Posted 11/12/11 by Pelican Paulie
     “Big Brother” has gotten a little bigger here in PA, but don’t fret, the 16 videocams posted high above the community’s pleasant roadways at strategic sites aren’t meant to snoop on private lives but to protect the citizenry from harm and petty crime.

Security Chief Jesus Galdeano Chavez guarantees the cameras are not pointed at any private properties but rather give a broad view of common areas only, thus allaying fears residents might have about undue exposure of their private domains.
Chavez said the monitors at security headquarters could be a big help in describing vehicles and suspicious persons traveling at particular sites of recent crime and help identify miscreants. He said it is hoped the cameras also will serve as a crime prevention feature.
Camers have become a part of modern society and are seen on many street corners in America’s largest cities, underscoring the difficulties in keeping up with crime.
Chavez also noted that the cameras were installed free of charge as part of the contract the Colonos has with the security provider. Chavez, who has a working knowledge of English, can be reached at (984) 873 51 28 and online at [email protected] and seguridad@colonos.org.

NEW: Spanish “phrase a week” 

The pelican kicks off a new weekly feature today that will come in handy

for snowbirds trying to negotiate a sale, find a product price, a taxi stand, hardware store or order a meal.
These handy tidbits of Spanish phraseology, designed to help the non-Spanish population communicate more easily while in Mexico, are prepared by L.A.E. Gloria Contreras M., state authorized translator, who teaches Spanish language classes here in the informal setting of the Tiramisu Restaurant on the Dolphin Walk.
The classes convene from 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, while an intermediate session is held at 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.  Wednesdays. Interested parties need only show up at the appointed time to sign up and find out that learning a new language can be fun and that learning the language means loving the culture. Enjoy.
PHRASE OF THE WEEK by Gloria Contreras, state authorized translator
This question will come in handy if you run out of cash : Donde esta un cajero?” meaning, “Where is there an ATM?”

Records toppled at PA road race

Posted 11/13/11 by Pelican Paulie
    It was a near-perfect morning for a road race as cooler air and low humidity greeted runners who broke at least two records, one for an attendance of 497, up from last year’s a little over 400,  and the other for a 10K finish of 32:19.
Not surprisingly, the record time was set by Kenyan Bernard Songoka who now lives in

Cancun and was running his first race in Puerto Aventuras.    In all likelihood, Songoka’s  appearance and performance lends a new level of interest in PA’s annual event, which, it appears, will reach its maximum number of 500 runners next year since only three more are needed… adding to the excitement of the day by being tempted to break Songoka’s record. By  2003, Kenyan men and women had won five of seven New York city marathons and the men had won all but one Boston Marathon. Why is this?
A common theory – sort of a nature, nurture combo – is that the best Kenyan runners were born in mountain altitudes of 7,000 to 8,000 feet in a climate that allows year-round running. The thinner air and year-round runs build expanded lung capacity. Another purported reason on the “nurture” side is that Kenyan victories in early Olympic marathons inspired the young of that nation to take running seriously, as Canadian youth adore their hockey players, Americans their football heroes and Mexicans their soccer teams. So Kenya keeps on producing winning runners.
For all results and times, go to the Colonos website at www.colonos.org or click on the link under the money converter in the right hand column of this page.
Not to be forgotten are the many volunteers who work almost all year long to make this event happen and those who show up early before the race to assure runners leave the event healthy and happy. The cultural and sports committee is chaired by athletic and cultural guru Daniele Gracis, whose efforts are much appreciated.

New bar with 22 stools added to Cafe Ole

Posted 11/14/11 by Pelican Paulie
    The Cafe Ole, reportedly the oldest continuing restaurant in Centro Comercial with the same name and only two owners in more than 20 years,  has undergone a visible change

over the summer with the addition of a new bar of granite top and tile facing. It was constructed in two sections.
Owner/operator “Gaylita” Dunaway said a kitchen too small prompted the change so that the liquor end of the business could be moved out of the kitchen into the new bar area and “give the chef and wait staff a bit more room to do what they need to do.”
In the process, Gaylita said she hoped the bar would provide an informal setting to accommodate people who pass by and want to sit for a while without purchasing a dinner to listen to the music or watch sports on a large TV over a portion of the bar. Last year, Cafe Ole invested in a palapa roof over its elevated stage with permission of the Centro HOA to protect musicians and their vulnerable electronic equipment.
The bar project appeared to be the only one visible outdoors undertaken by a  Centro business this year. If any other project has been overlooked,  notify the Pelican atinfo@pelicanfreepress.comso we can spread the news.

Briefly Noted…
Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
GROUP SPANISH LESSONS are now being held at Tiramisu on the marina.  Beginner classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m.  Intermediate classes are Wednesdays at 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.  Cost is 150 pesos for the hour. Interested parties invited to stop by Tiramisu just before class starts…TRADITIONAL THANKSGIVING DINNERS, we are informed, are being served a-la-Pilgrim with fixin’s this Thanksgiving at Cafe Ole and Tiramisuin the Centro Business District. Great for those who yearn for something nostalgic from home on the holiday…GOLF TOURNAMENT CHAIR Jim Jamieson is back in town and already setting the groundwork for the second annual charity tournament. It raised $7,000 or so earlier this year to equip the Poblado high school with doors and windows. An earlier time, perhaps in February, is expected so more snowbirds can participate in a fun day…HELICOPTER CRASHsouth of Mexico City killed Mexico’s interior minister, the nation’s leading figure in the drug war and second most powerful national official. Francisco Blake Mora is the second interior minister to die in an air crash in three years. No official cause of the crash has been given, but weather was cited as a possible contributor…COZUMEL ISLAND predicted the arrival of some 77,000 tourists this week coming ashore from a fleet of visiting cruise ships and by air…

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