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Monthly Archives: January 2012

MORE INFO ON CAR REGISTRATION EMERGING

UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY? – Click on “for sale” button
PARK COMMITTEE lists outdoor classes; see below
FULLY FURNISHED HOME …Click on “for sale” button
CHURCH SERVICES – Click on emergency phone page

Feb. 7 meeting will explore new rules

 

Compiled 1/21/12 from staff and contributor reports
     More information about new regulations concerning the importation and registration of foreign-plated cars continues to tickle in .

Also, area residents are invitedto a Feb. 7 meeting at 9 a.m. in the Kuuch Muuch Kuxtal Room at the Colonos Office above Oxxo. There, they will  get a broader view of the new rules from Samantha Mason, U.S. consular agent in Playa del Carmen, and Mexican Customs Official Lic. Aurea Ma. Munoz Beristain.
In addition, at 11:30 a.m., Solomon Freimuth, a law student and consultant with Calderon & Asociados, will advise on the immigration categories surfacing in 2012, the new documents and rules, important considerations and the validity and status of current documents in  2012.
S. Munoz, the customs official, will discuss vehicle importation procedural changes, duty-free importation and importation of prescription drugs. Consul agent Mason will outline the range of  services offered by her office that includes reporting crime, emergency dispatch, public safety, and proper procedures for handling traffic stops by the police.
Meeting coordinator John Schwandke emphasizes that residents from other villages are also welcome to this continuing, free informative series designed to clarify and simplify life here for foreigners. A banking forum will be held Feb. 27 at the same time and place. More on that later.

MEANWHILE…

Resident Betsey Amy-Vogt has been kind enough to share her recent request for information from the banjercito office “regarding how to renew a vehicle permisso without having to travel to a border.  Now that you have to give a large deposit when you drive a car down, we were concerned with how we would keep the permit valid so that the deposit was not forfeited.”

She received the following reply fromErik Fernandez Carranza.      “Your temporary import permit remains valid as long as you have a valid FM3 Visa.But you have to take some action to keep your deposit alive before your temporary import permit expires.
“Please visit as soon as possible the next SAT (Hacienda) office and request in writing to take note that you have a valid FM3-Visa and that you wish to keep your deposit alive. Present this letter in original and copy now and ask to have the copy sealed as proof of your request presentation in time.
“Together with this letter you have to bring with you in original and copy the following documents: U.S.Passport, FM3-Visa, Vehicle title or registration, Temporary Import Permit document.
“When you present these documents in time at the SAT office, then your permit remains valid and your deposit is not transferred to the Mexican Government. In the future, you have to repeat this procedure each time when you get a renewal for your FM3-Visa.
“Please keep in mind that this must be done each time before the renewed permit expires. If your expiration date has been passed for only one day, then your deposit will be transferred to the Mexican Government without possibility for you to recover it. But your Permit remains valid as long as you have a valid FM3-Visa.
“Please ask a local business owner in your area where a SAT (Hacienda) office is located. They must know it, because each month they have to present a tax declaration to this office. If you have further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us again.”
By the way, we couldn’t find “banjercito” in the dictionary, but Vogt explained, “

Banjercito is the Mexican military bank (yup… the military has a bank!) and it is the bank that accepts payments for all government transactions.  You may not have noticed, but all payments to immigration (for FM3′s, etc) go to Banjercito.  It is also the agency that controls customs payments, hence they oversee the car permits.”

 

 

Cenote dives offer hope of anthropological discovery

 

There is no telling what discovery a diver might make while on a diving experience with “Dive Aventuras” or other dive service provider in view of last November’s find of  11,300-year-old bear fossils in a Merida cenote. (Click on the ‘Dive Aventuras’ icon for more diving information).
Educators from UADY (Autonomous University of the Yucatan) discovered four bear skulls last November in a 45-meter deep cenote in the middle of thriving Merida and plan to return now in hopes of finding more bones to preserve and study for posterity.
The educators say finding more bones could help understand the climate and ecological process from the Pleistocene era ( in which the skulls are dated) and add to the knowledge of how caves and cenotes were formed.

PARK SCHOOLING: Learn art, French, cooking, more

Posted 1/22/12 by Liliana
     Park Schooling is here ! A new option around Puerto. Come and join us to have fun in the park, while learning a new subject. We are trying to put together volunteers teams to keep improving the Community Park.
Our first projects of 2012 are to build a compost area and a vegetable garden, work to improve the demonstrative trail and build the butterfly farm. Do you want to join us?. Coming soon at the park: chats on different topics. And right now, you can choose from any of the following training courses:
COOKING @ LATITUDE 20: This year we will do a tour around the world. We will start with Mexican cooking, following with Caribbean to finish with the exquisites from Hawaii. Keep your ears open for the other stops that we will do around the world. Meeting point: Latitude 20, When: Mondays @ 10AM;Cost: 100 MxP; Started: 23rd of January And continuing on Mondays.
And to make it even better, whatever we learn to cook in the morning, will be the special dish of the evening.

FITNESS CLUB: Keep your body and mind in good shape by attending our classes at the park held at 8:15 a.m.: Tai Chi Ch’uan on Tuesdays and Yoga on Wednesdays and Fridays; Cost 90 MxP. Started Jan. 24.
ART & LANGUAGES CLUB:If you want to keep your mind working while living in Paradise, attend one of our workshops. Art: Wednesdays from 9AM to 12PM @ 200 MxP
French: Tuesdays from 9:30 AM to 11 AM @ 100 MxP; Sculpture: Thursdays from 9AM to 12PM @ 200 MxP; Started Monday, January 9.
KIDS CLUB:If you want your little one to join the “Park Schooling”, here are some options to pick from:  Art: Saturdays from 10AM to 11AM @ 50MxP; French: Mondays from 4PM to 5PM @ 50MxP; Story Telling: Fridays 3PM; Started Jan. 16.
Are you ready to accept the challenge? Each last Saturday of the month, the little ones that have attended each class of the month, will be able to enter the painting competition, in order to win a special prize.

 

Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
You want a cookout but need gas for your grille. You might ask: “Donde puedo comprar gas para mi asador?”
(Ms. Contreras teaches Spanish classes from 3 to 4 p.m. basic and 4 to 5 p.m. advanced  Mondays and Wednesdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is $150 pesos. Please call her first to make arrangements at 984-108-3517)

What’s Playing…

See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.
http://cinemex.com/cartelera/cartelera_cine.php?cvecine=115

http://www.cinepolis.com/_CARTELERA/cartelera.aspx?ic=70#Cine215

Briefly Noted…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
GONE FOR GOOD? – Several inquirers have asked if the Subway shop just outside the main gate will reopen. As far as can be determined, it is permanently closed. There had been some grumbling about prices and quality of product and service…A DROWNING DEATH presumed accidental in the south channel was reported on Jan. 16. Local marines and security retrieved the body, believed to be that of a boat crew member,when police officials arrived to investigate…NEW MEXICAN MOVIE called “Miss Bala” reportedly captures the narco-syndrome from the perspective of otherwise innocent bystanders. It explores the effect on the national mood since the drug wars began in 2006’s government determination to tackle the problem head-on and the resultant 50,000 estimated homicides therefrom…AKUMAL TRIVIA – We were told this week that the “AK” in AKUMAL means “turtle” and the “umal” means “the place of.”   Like turtles on land, breaking the Mayann code was a slow process…AIRPORT SECURITY dogs sniffed out 16 kilos of cocaine this week being carried in baggage at Cancun International Airport by a woman headed for Rome, Italy, officials reported…PROPOSED ‘DRAGON MART’ that was supposed to be up and running by this March hs yet to sign a permit or put a shovel into the ground. Should it now be called “Dragging Mart”? The Tulum airport plans do not seem to be faring much better. Maybe its the the uncertain world political and economic condition…DOLPHIN STRANDINGS on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, total about 85 in the last few weeks as volunteers work to rescue those that can be rescued. That number is just about how many beach there in a year, puzzling experts…

The End Island with a palm tree   Previous issues below

PLAYA BOWL OPENS TO JAMMED FIRST NIGHT

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REMINDERS OF COMING PUBLIC EVENTS:
New vehicle registration information: Feb. 7, Colonos Room, 9:30 a.m.
Banking Seminar: Feb. 21, 9:30 a.m., Colonos Room
Cooking Class, Park Committee benefit, Jan. 23, 10 a.m. at Latitude 20, 100 MxP
Art Festival at Colegio, Jan. 28, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Copper Memorial gathering, 1 p.m. Jan.24, Latitude 20

PA looks to form adult, youth bowl leagues

Would compete with Akumal, Playa

Posted 1/18/12 by Pelican Paulie
     It’s been talked about for years, but finally the bowling alley at Maya Centro in Playa del Carmen opened to business Monday night to a crowd of eager pin heads including a delegation from Puerto Aventuras.

The offshoot was that several local individuals with busy schedules are going to attempt to form adult and youth bowling leagues here in Puerto Aventuras for both intramural and regional competition with Akumal, Playa del Carmen and any other village that can field a team or league.
Opening night saw all fourteen alleys “full” according to PA’ s people there. And while the place experienced a few opening-night breakdowns, there was enough help to repair the problems quickly and efficiently. The 10 pool tables located there were busy too, but the bar wasn’t because it isn’t open yet.
The first setback toward PA’s goal was a no-show meeting on Wednesday, just before Pelican’s deadline, impeding PA’s efforts to secure a bowling night reservation and other understandings with the alley ownership.  But not to worry. The quest will continue and the results will be published in the Pelican Free Press, such as who to contact to form a team, join the league and what it costs, etc. To be sure, it’s less expensive than golf or a date with Angelina Jolie or George Clooney. Stay tuned…

MEANWHILE….

A horse walks into a cafe and the waiter says “Hi neigh-bor, why the long face?”
“Somebody walked off with my shoes,” replies the dejected horse.

The waiter leans on the counter close to the horse’s ear and whispers: “It’s none of my business but you might want to check out those guys planning to install a horseshoe pit on a little piece of land loaned to them by the golf course.” He pauses, then adds, “You didn’t hear that from me.”
The horse suddenly perks up: “You mean we’ll be able to play horseshoes here in Puerto Aventuras? You know, like maybe go to breakfast with the guys (and gals) then just cross the street to the horseshoe pit for some banter and repartee spiced with exercise that anybody can do?”
“I can’t wait,” says the horse with anticipation. “It’s cheaper than bowling.”
Stay tuned.

Local press reports on PA Poblado health 
Novidades reported this week on complaints from the Puerto Aventuras Poblado over the government’s lack of action concerning health issues, lack of an ambulance and cemetery.
With a reported population of 7,000 residents, most of them construction and service industry workers, settler leader Luis Fidel Parra said in an appeal to the state government to provide these services, that despite continued growth in population and new housing construction in the Puerto Maya section, the Poblado lacks clinics, a cemetery and ambulance, he said.
Meanwhile, Anat Kah, the area’s answer to a United Appeal foundation geared to the sense of generosity of the resort community, says it too has been working to locate a clinic in the Poblado, but nothing has been reported out from that source since its negotiations with a clinic in Playa del Carmen last year.

The business beat

CST: An A/C service company that shows up on time

Three of the major gripes hereabout are that many craftsmen fail to show up at the appointed time, overlook clean-up when the job is done and do not provide written guarantees.

Now comes an air conditioning repair and maintenance service – and much more – that eliminates those gripes with a service model designed for people accustomed to prompt, clean, dependable and guaranteed service by qualified personnel.
CST Aire with headquarters in Playacar, is the brainchild of civil engineer Servio E. Arguellas, a Mexico City native who arrived in Playacar a decade ago to lead construction of a major hotel and “fell in love” with the place so decided to stay. CST, by the way, stands for technical climate services (Clima, Servicios, Tecnicos).
“I understand the need for on-time service,” he said during a job in Puerto Aventuras this week. From the beginning, he said he congealed ideas aimed at appropriate care, timely service, and solid job performance and guarantee, virtues, he said, that are hard to find. “I knew all houses have water, electricity and many with air conditioning and fans, so I aimed for those areas to keep them working.”

He has built the business in nine years to three trucks fully equipped with all the required tools and eight technicians and helpers, one of whom, Adrian Gomez, is a resident of Puerto Aventuras in the Poblado.
On a typical job, the technicians shut off electricity for a moment to assure all circuits are working before beginning to repair and/or maintain and fully clean air conditioning and fan systems. The employees are equipped with two-way radios and cameras. They take “before” photos of a job site to insure that any items such as furniture or wall hangings are replaced exactly as they found them before the job began.
“All our employees carry photo identification cards and wear uniforms so that our clients can feel secure,” Arguelles points out. Other service needs were detected during the formative years of the business and as a result technicians are chosen for their abilities to multi-task.
That way, Arguelles said, “we can service refrigerators, do plumbing, electricity, painting, sheet rock, cement, stucco, and special finishes.” While repair and maintenance is the core business, new ACs are available when needed.
More information at 984-803-0915 or email at aircst@gmail.com

 

Mystery Yacht  0wner worth estimated $7.8 billion

Posted 01/16/12 by Pelican Paulie
     The Pelican received a number of helpful responses as to ownership of last week’s mystery yacht visit here. Among the names offered, Soleiman Kerimov seems to be the winner, not Microsoft’s Paul Allen who owns the even larger “Octopus” at 414 feet.
So if in fact Kerimov, a member of the Federated Council of Russia, which is the upper chamber of the Russian Parliament; a self-made billionaire and active philanthropist  listed 118 in Forbes list of billionaires still owns the yacht “ICE”  that stopped by here last week, then the Pelican hopes he liked it enough to invest here.

Kerimov,  after all, made his fortune mostly by investing in public and private markets after earning a degree in financial accounting and economics from Dagestan State University.Briefly his investments are as diverse as a Russian football team, gold mines, oil trading, investment and holding companies and ad infinitum.
He is married, with three children, is a lifelong sports enthusiast and ardent supporter of youth sports, and chairs the Russian Wrestling Federation. In 2006, he suffered serious burns in a car accident in Nice where he was driving his Ferrari Enzo. It required a prolonged recovery.
The injury prompted a donation of $1million Euro to Pinnochio, a non-profit working with children with burns. He formed the Suleiman Kerimov Foundation in 2007 to empower initiatives that strengthen communities and help those in need. In two years the foundation donated more than $164 million. In 2010, it was reported he would donate $100 million to build a school west of Moscow for educating “forward-minded” children.
So much for people who can afford to own mega-yachts.

Residents of busy streets being ‘badgered’

Posted 1/17/12 by Pelican Paulie
      There was a report from a resident of Puerto Aventuras Blvd. that the population of  PA’s version of  a raccoon appears to be expanding and another homeowner report on Bahia Xaac of the animal’s fondness for accessible rubbish cans.
This writer spotted his first coati dashing into the brush last week and wondered at first quick glance if it was a monkey or a dog. If you’ve never seen one, you don’t really know what it is. Let us introduce you.

The woman reporting from PA Blvd. described the animal as not fearful of humans but inferred the opposite, that people are uneasy at the sight of them given the animal’s “big teeth.”  Unlike the raccoon, the coati is diurnal rather than nocturnal, so you are more apt to see them while you are out and about, riding your bike, walking along wood lines or just happen upon a rubbish barrel hosting a hungry  coati.
In a quick glance you can mistake the coati for a monkey for its brown coloring, the length of its tail and its ease climbing trees where they sleep at night, or a dog likeness for it’s pointed face, particularly the white-nosed coati found here.
They are omnivores and forage on the ground in daylight hours for small vertebrates,(reptiles, birds, mammals) fruit, carrion (roadkill etc) and leftover dinners in the trash can. Males grow to more than 3 feet – about half of that tail – and can weigh around 27-30 pounds, depending on how well they hunt.
Natives here are likely to refer to the coati as “Tejon” (badger) while the coati name stems from the Guarani words “coa” meaning “long” and “ti” meaning nose. The Guarani are aboriginal natives of South America.
It is said the coati have intelligence and can be trained as pets, albeit no one who dislikes walking around with a doggy bag in one’s home all day or repairing furniture is better off sticking with a parakeet or beagle with a Ph.D. in voiding.
When it comes to wild animals like the coati, follow the advice you got from your parents at puberty: Look but don’t touch.

Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
If you are looking for a good restaurant, you might want to ask a local. “Donde hay un buen restaurante?”
(Ms. Contreras teaches Spanish classes from 3 to 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is $150 pesos. Please call her first to make arrangements at 984-108-3517

What’s Playing…

See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.
http://cinemex.com/cartelera/cartelera_cine.php?cvecine=115

http://www.cinepolis.com/_CARTELERA/cartelera.aspx?ic=70#Cine215

 Briefly Noted…

Compiled from staff, contributors and media reports
WE ASKED THE CLERK at the Farmacia by Chedraui’s how business was. He said it is great! Lots of people have the flu, or grippe and diarrhea, he said. That’s really looking at the glass as half full, yes?…JACK-KNIFE CAUTION – A trailer truck jack-knifed at the access road off 307 to Chedraui on Saturday and nearly blocked access. The cab was damaged by the wood line but nobody injured as far as we know. Just a reminder to be cautious near the retorno and access road there…BUSINESS IS UP – Judging from various reports from small businesses and real estate agents here, business appears to be getting a lift, with the exception of small hotels in the Tulum area complaining about losing business to low-price deals being offered by the large hotels…ANOTHER YACHT with Russians aboard made the news this week, this time with less glamor. Two Russian men were captured  aboard the stolen yacht “Anna” of North Bay Village, Fla.  The name had been changed to “Baby J”. The Navy acted on a tip the vessel was cruising in the Fifth Naval District waters and was intercepted and escorted to Isla Mujeres…THE MAYAN PROHECIES are being used to promote more tourism to Mexico  during the International Tourism Fair in Madrid, Spain, now ongoing until Saturday…

The end Black Sheep of this post. Read previous posts below.

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