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Monthly Archives: February 2012


NEED A MINI-LAPTOP? Push the “for sale” button
DOG NEED TRAINING? Push the “service providers” button
GUESTS COMING? NEED SUSHI TO GO? – Look under “food/dining”
WATCH DOLPHINS, ENJOY ICE CREAM – See Tesoros at “food/dining”

First 2012 concert is 8-piece salsa band. Picante!

Two weeks ago it seemed the public concerts popularized last year at the Cultural Center on Bahia Akumal were jeopardized by the lack of volunteers to negotiate them.
But promoter and Cultural and Sports Committee Chairman Daniele Gracis has again taken from his own busy schedules to provide the second concert of this season at 7 p.m. Saturday Feb. 25 featuring a rhythmic night of Cuban Salsa.

The ticket cost for this event is up from the last series of concerts, from 40 to 60 pesos, and in this case, is needed to pay a larger group of musicians, eight of them, four from Mexico and four from Cuba.
PA residents who have attended the previous concerts have not regretted a different night out of enthusiastic melody and comforting camaraderie with neighbors and friends.
The cultural center should rock with eight musicians doing their thing, including vocals by Manuel Cabrera of Cuba; pianist Oscar Marrufo of Mexico; Juan Antonio Ortega of Mexico on conga drums; Jose Marrufo of Mexico on bass; Guillermo Guiterrez of Cuba, violin; Alberto Mendoza of Cuba on trumpet; Giovani Mancebo of Cuba, trombone and Oscar Alejandra of Mexico on kettle drum.
As usual there will be refreshments available for purchase, including beer and wine. Tickets are available at the Colonos office, at Bamboo and at the door the night of the concert.
One good idea is to bring chair pads to place over the cement seating and a pocketful of good cheer.

The Business Beat
New insurance agency opens in PA

Posted 2/1512 by Juanito
     While a top immigration official explained details of foreign-plated car registration and permitting before a full house of more than 120 interested citizens at the Colonos last week, advice on one major aspect was missing: Insurance.

Taking up the where immigration left off is the Vela & Associates Insurance Agency, recently opened in Puerto Aventuras, whose agents will provide free one-on-one advice on details and plans for insuring foreign-plated cars, golf carts and more at Cafe Café onSaturday, Feb. 18 and Monday, Feb. 20 between 10 a.m. and noon both days.
The agency staff in Puerto Aventuras includes bi-lingual personnel able to explain in English the various plans and particulars of insuring foreign-plated cars. The agency is among the few able to clarify plan details and provide insurance for foreign-plated cars and trucks at competitive prices.
Representing the agency in the Puerto Aventuras venue are Elisa Vela, Gabriela Cavia and German Derbez. They have 30 years of combined insurance experience and represent some of Mexico’s largest and best known insurance carriers.
Vela & Associates has the capacity to provide custom designed insurance coverage for all cars, trucks, golf carts and motorcycles, at comparatively low cost, and tailor coverage to your specific needs. The agency also writes hurricane protection policies for the safeguard of real estate assets.
Remember, to learn more, meet Elisa, Gabriela, and German in person at Mimi’s Café Café between 10 a.m. and noon on Saturday, Feb. 18 or Monday, Feb. 20. They believe the informal atmosphere will be more comfortable for those seeking answers to routine or specific questions. Coffee and refreshments will be provided. For a private and more personal meeting, contact Vela & Associates at 984-119-0484 or 984-146-4176. Email addresses are[email protected] or [email protected]

Banking steps you should know: Learn them on Feb. 21

Saving money is knowing how to bank it, and tips to help will be shared with PA residents in the Colonos meeting room at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, by Bancomer’s Sandra Alvarez Escarcega and Hiram Alarid Felix, senior segment managers of the bank’s English speaking preferred customers’ unit.
Master of ceremonies John Schwandke notes that snowbirds who don’t already have a bank account in Mexico would be well-served by attending the meeting, as well as those with bank accounts who need a refresher course in Mexico banking changes over the year.  They will discuss, among other topics:
Safe and easy transfer of money between USA-Mexico with favorable exchange rates;
Free Internet banking that includes auto bill pay, account and wire transfers;
Checking, savings accounts, high-yield money market and investments:
Debit card that is same as cash discounts when shopping;
Benefits of the Preferred Custgomer Unit;


Alleged party house  spurs quest for noise rule

Posted 2/15/12 by Pelican Paulie
A so-called emerging “party house” on Bahia Xaac, a residential zoned street, may compel residents to file for a neighborhood “noise bylaw” with the Colonos to be voted upon at a general assembly.
Neighbors have complained the house at 33 Bahia Xaac, reportedly owned by an architect, is becoming a nuisance violating the unwritten rules of common decency and respect for neighbors.

“I have been living here since 1998,” said one neighbor, “and it is the first time we have a  house like this.” Two parties on successive weeks beginning with Super Bowl Sunday, have occurred there, neighbors say, attracting from 15 to 20 young boys and girls who cavort on the public street while loud disco music is being played and a “bar complete with stools and disco lights” under the carport is in operation.
Neighbors say they called Security but nothing was done to abort the cacophony of revelry and trespassing onto neighboring lands that went on until 2 a.m. They say that judging from their antics, some of the young people appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, but have no proof that this is the case.
Chief of Colonos Security Jesus Galdeano told the Pelican Free Press that his personnel responding to the calls from neighbors did not see under-age drinking and that there is currently no Colonos bylaw in existence to force the owner of a private home to contain noise. He said Security requested music be turned down and to his knowledge it was, he said.
Colonos GM Armando Rincon underscored the fact that there is no Colonos-wide bylaw to reasonably control excessive noise at night. He said that would dampen hotel business. His inference was that a neighborhood or residential-zone anti-noise by-law is up to stakeholders to petition Colonos to implement one via a general assembly vote.

Noise regulations can only be found at some condominium complexes and most notably the Centro Comercial district where mixed-use is made possible by cooperation from businesses that willingly adhere to an 11 p.m. noise curfew – the time at which loud music in particular must be contained within the walls of a business or living unit in deference to the majority of neighbors who are trying to sleep.
But even in Centro Comercial, there is one building, the one housing Gringo’s, that is independent of the Centro HOA and it is drawing complaints from neighbors for loud music after the curfew.
One Bahia Xaac neighbor said he doesn’t mind the parties but did move his car off the street to avoid potential damage by the foolish golf-cart driving antics of some of the revelers, he said.
Other neighbors said they heard late-night noises on their carport and turned on lights to find two trespassing bodies sprawled there with mouths wide open, as though in a stupor. They said they saw some youths trespassing on another house site to urinate. One passerby saw a youth had removed his pants and was cavorting behind a car in his underwear.
A resident from a nearby condo complex saw youths trespass on a golf cart at 6:20 a.m. and at least one of them use facilities at the private condo pool to wash. “Where are the parents?” asked a condo dweller as a group of six piled onto the golf cart and left.
Residents may remember that the only way some canal residents achieved peace was to remove the source – the youth-magnet derelict vessel Kukulkan – which the Fideicomiso scuttled after repeated complaints. Now there are reports from owners there of peace and contentment with their investment.
The Colonos administration office noted a “rumor” that the Bahia Xaac proprietor constructed the outdoor bar facing the street for his son, reportedly in his thirties, to invite friends over instead of having to go to Playa del Carmen for recreation. Unfortunately, most investors say they chose to build in PA partly to escape the party atmosphere of Playa and evidently resent importing it here.
It would appear a noise by-law for residential-zoned neighborhoods is the first recourse for those seeking freedom from insensitive neighbors and relative peace on earth at a reasonable hour.


Chilled volunteers save 55 of 152 stranded

dolphins on Cape Cod beaches since Jan. 12.

Reprinted by permission from Barnstable Patriot, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
     Eleven common dolphins were sighted yesterday [Feb. 9] in the mouth of Barnstable Harbor off Bone Hill Road. As rescuers arrived, four dolphins were swimming and two were freeing themselves in the rising tide. Five were dead, and being covered rapidly by tidal waters, according to Michael Booth, communications officer for the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Yarmouthport.

Katie Moore, manager of IFAW’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network’s rescue and research and Brian Sharp, stranding coordinator, were set to return as the tide lowered again in the afternoon to put numbered red tags on the dorsal fins of any dead dolphins.
Of a total of 152 confirmed strandings by common dolphins on Cape Cod since Jan. 12, 97 were found dead. Of 55 living animals, 35 have been successfully released to deeper waters off of the Cape’s tip. The other 25 either did not survive, or were euthanized if assessed to be unable to be returned to the wild without undue suffering. Most of the dolphins have beached between Wellfleet and Dennis. The Barnstable stranding is the first one this far west.
This winter’s continuous strandings of common dolphins make this the largest single species event in the Marine Mammal Stranding Network’s history. Common dolphins (like other toothed whales) herd together to forage and deter predators, following a leader who may take them shoreward. Rapidly receding tides can leave them unable to swim in the Cape’s shallow waters. The curved hook itself may confuse the animals’ echolocation, and geo-magnetism or other factors may be in play.
IFAW’s resources are stretched thin: half the budget for the year has been used, and staff is tired from so many emergencies.Disease is not a factor in the strandings, and biologists are still seeking answers. If you see a marine mammal stranded or dead, leave it alone and call the hotline at 508-743-9548 .

Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
You forgot your cellphone and you need to make a call on a public telephone. You might ask a local: Hay (pronounced eye) un telefono publico cerca?”
(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)

PARK COMMITTEE CLASSES: Drop by to sign up

Cooking:10 a.m. Mondays at Latitude 20 Restaurant
Fitness at the Park: 8:15 A.M.: Tai Chi Tuesdays, Yoga Wednesdays and Fridays
Art: 9 to noon Wednesdays and Sculpture on Thursdays
French: 9:30 to 11 a.m. Thursdays
Kids’ ClubArt 10-11 a.m. Saturdays; French, 4-5 p.m. Mondays; Story hour 3 p.m. Fridays

What’s Playing…

See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.



In Puerto Aventuras – 2d annual charity golf tournament 9 a.m. Feb. 29, followed by public auction at 2 p.m. Golfers can sign up now to reserve a spot by calling Tourney Chairmen Jim and Jeanette Jamieson at 984-873-5336 or ( c ) 617-733-3174 or Bob and Glenna Uecker at 984-873-5195 or visit them at Capt. Rick’s Sportfishing Center in Centro Comercial.

In Paamul – Catholic Spiritual Retreat at Paamul Community Center.Feb. 18th. 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Theme: The Devine Mercy of God. Lunch provided. More information, the Rev. Jim Hogan 984-116-3373.

In Akumal – Feb.26, 5 p.m.,Academy Awards Night at Lol Ha Snack Bar, $100 pesos to benefit the Akumal Entrance Beautification Project; prizes, best dressed, raffle.

At Mayakoba PGA Golf Feb. 22-26 – Tickets available in Puerto Aventuras from Anne Silver, 802-8331. Proceeds of  sales go to Equinotherapia, a local charity with local PA volunteers that helps brain damaged children by interacting with and riding horses.

In Puerto Aventuras – Moon’s birthday lunch, 1 p.m., Feb. 24 Latitude 20, call ( c ) 984-876-6784 or 984-873-5601.

Briefly Noted…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
GOOD GREEN  NEIGHBORS– Sometimes people quietly do nice things that make other people react, as did Ray Gartside of Condominios Turquesa when he saw a neighbor,

Jan Oliszewicz, and Dennis Burris, of Condominios Esmeralda right next door, joining forces to plant some palm trees and beautification bushes between the two properties.”It was a very positive sight to behold,” Gartside said…DOUBLE YOUR ART – Well-known area artist Michel Brown also emotes with his vocal chords. He belted out a few tunes in Francais at Latitude 20 Saturday and Tuesday nights. Not to be outdone, his artist wife, Lourdes, also sat in with pianist Jerry Fastrup’s jazz trio…PAPERS ARE BEING PASSED and farmers contacted for land that supposedly will ultimately be used for a fast toll road linking Playa del Carmen and Merida…10TH AVENUE ROAD IMPROVEMENTSunder way in Playa del Carmen…TWO THOUSAND CONSTRUCTION workers are unemployed in the Riviera Maya, reports the Confederation of Workers in Mexico (CTM)… CANCUN AIRPORT got top billing from passengers for the second consecutive year as the best airport facility in Latin America and the Caribbean. The survey was conducted by Airports Council International (ACI)…FITCH MEXICO has lowered the state of Quintana Roo from A- to BBB with a negative credit outlook caused by increasing long- and short-term borrowing…


VALENTINE COUPLE – Surf & Turf, 300MxN, Cafe Ole
 – See the “for sale” page
GET A BRIGHTER SMILE – Go to “service provider” page
NEED A MINI LAP TOP? – Push the “for sale” button

Sign up now to help Poblado students

reach a new educational level of hope

Event limited to 36 golfers, but public invited

to enjoy auction, raffle following play at 2 p.m.

Posted 2/9/12 by Pelican Paulie
    PA’s second annual charity golf tournament to support the Poblado high school will be held this leap year on Feb. 29 at the PA golf course with a 9 a.m. tee time. Last year’s

initial event with only 27 players raised an estimated $8,000 that furnished windows and doors for the 2-r00m, 2-bath school funded by Anat Kah, this area’s answer to a tax-deductible United Fund.
Students are now using the school classroom while temporary electrical service is being installed by CFE, the government-run electric company.
Fee for golfers is again $100 with opportunities to win cash prizes  for best performance and have fun with various $75-peso mulligans. Last year, beneficent players who enjoyed a merry day with neighbors and friends on the course left their winnings for school use.
Golfers can sign up now to reserve a spot by calling Tourney Chairmen Jim and Jeanette Jamieson at 984-873-5336 or ( c )  617-733-3174 or Bob and Glenna Uecker at 984-873-5195 or visit them at Capt. Rick’s Sportfishing Center in Centro Comercial.
     Committee members Dick and Sally Dawson, Don and Diana Black, Bob and Pam

Beisenherz, the Ueckers nd Jamiesons and others are currently busy drafting posters, getting sponsors, marketing the auction to the public, general logistics and food and performing other myriad tasks for the event.
If it is anything like last year, it will be a day every golfer, raffle ticket buyer and auction bidder will remember as a “hoot,” as Mrs.Jamieson would say.
Nine foursomes (36 players) will enjoy a 5-hour round shooting for 4.5 hours armed with a gift bag containing golf balls, tees, shirt and treats. After play, lunch will be served – and it was delicious last year – with a silent auction in tandem preceding the live auction of 10 major items at 2 p.m. There will be a major prize for a lucky winner of the raffle. Plans are afoot also for hanging a plaque in the clubhouse with the name of the winner of each year’s tourney to be engraved on it.
Jamieson visited the school this week to note the progress being made. There were several electricians fashioning a junction box to handle a temporary flow of electricity to feed power to fans in three

trailers also being used as classrooms, and to the school itself. A lengthy spur of macadam roadway already has been constructed alongside the school and is extending into the jungle where it seems future housing and other development is being planned. In addition, a large hole has been prepared on the school site to accept a septic system.
Like leap year itself that occurs every four years, one day is added at the end of February,which usually ends on the 28th. It is significant that the added day coincides this year with the tourney, symbolically giving students the added time to prepare for a better life of service and success through education.


More than 120 show for car, FM3, pet primers

Best advice of the day?
Purchase a Mexican car

     More than 120 people jammed the Colonos meeting room Tuesday for advice on new rules governing the temporary (and permanent) importation and use of foreign-plated cars. When that segment of the fact-filled 3-hour schedule ended, the best advice seemed to be “Buy Mexican!”
New rules dictate that driving a home-country car into Mexico from now on will require an affidavit that the car will also be driven out and to insure that,  the government will require deposits ranging from $200 to $400USD depending on age of the car. Break the permit or immigration rules and you lose the deposit and the car could possibly be confiscated under certain circumstances.

That’s a major difference from the old rules that have allowed cars to remain in this country without current registrations either in Mexico or the USA, meaning fee-and tax-savings for the owners. But under the new rules, bring a car in, you’ve got to take  it out…even if it isn’t running.
The new rules also require a lot of paperwork, multiple copies of just about every pertinent paper and piece of information about the car and the owner and a process that runs through three to five separate agencies, some of which are in fairly distant locations like Cancun. Anybody with an FM3 knows what that’s like.
Getting a permit, which costs $44 USD, requires valid passport, immigration document  and car title or registration. If it’s a rented car, a copy of the lease agreement is required. If the car is financed, bank permission is required. Also mandated is a “promise to return” affidavit.
Obey the rules and your deposit is returned. Break them by allowing a breach of your immigration status or permit, and you lose it. However, even if you lose your deposit, the car permit is still extended so long as your immigration status is.
For those whose cars that were here before the new law, the car is legal and its validity is based on the owner’s immigration status. A vehicle is automatically permitted along with one’s visa renewal. It was quite obvious there were too many details in the talk for people to remember and their hopes were dashed when they learned the U.S.Consul agent could not post the English translation on the Internet “because the laws change.”
Temporary importation is for foreign tourists, non-immigrants and immigrant rentistas and expires with the length of the various visas. The car can remain in Mexico for the length of extended visas as long as the visa is continuously valid.
There are many more details and specifics about these rules, too many to be repeated in this space. For people who still need good information, such as getting a permit over the Internet and other processes, Lic. Aurea Ma. Munoz Beristain of the Mexican Customs Office, who explained the rules in Spanish, and Samantha Mason, U.S. consular agent in Playa del Carmen who repeated them in English, strongly suggested  getting the details straight from the law itself at www.aduanas.gob.mx or calling the agency from Mexico at o01-800-463-6728 or, from the U.S. or Canada, 1-877-448-8728. The agency has English-speaking information agents.
Boats and motor homes can be permitted for 10 years and accessory small vehicles can be trailered into the country with the main vehicle.
Now that the tax has been removed from owning a Mexican-plated car, and the seemingly complicated new process, with its potential for loss of deposit,the murmur heard in the room  was indicative of a foundation change of things to come and a logical conclusion to “Buy Mexican.”

Keep your luggage close,
but keep your pets closer

U.S. Consular Agent Samantha Mason clarified a problem that has lately beset several U.S. citizens bringing their pets to Mexico. One PA visitor recently complained to the Pelican Free Press about their pet being left in a customs warehouse for some 17 hours without food and

water and having to pay $800 to a customs broker to retrieve the dog.
The consul agent said, generally, that transporting a pet as cargo requires the services of a customs broker to retrieve the pet upon arrival. She strongly advised that rather than save money on extra baggage by putting pets free in cargo instead, pets fly with the owner.
As long as a pet has a certificate of health and vaccinations, it can fly with the owner and enter the country without problem. But if the pet flies cargo, it must go through customs and be retrieved by a broker whose basic charges, said the consular agent, is alleged to be $1,620 pesos.
(That did not explain why the PA vacationers were initially charged $800 USD, then dropped to around $600. The plaintiffs also alleged the airline made the error by shipping the dog cargo and an attempt was being made to recover the payment from the airline.)
Immigration process
looks brighter……maybe

Snowbirds and expats were told the future seems much brighter for a more accommodating immigration process if new laws already written on the federal level are actually promulgated at some future time.

A presentation by U.S. citizen and Mexican law student Solomon Freimuth  approached an exercise in futility since there was no way of knowing, he said, what decision would be made on the new legislation.
But briefly, the law as written does seem to be more welcoming to foreigners. It evidently eliminates the FM3 – 2 and sets up a broad category of “temporary resident” that would include visitors who could stay to 180 days as tourists, working tourist who could remain in country up to 4 years, and – the one that would mostly impact retired snowbirds…a one-time visa for those who support themselves from outside money, such as Social Security, pensions, etc. Now that would be nice and save many old folks those frustrating FM3 complications and long waits for service.
The proposed law also contains a points system to attract skills the country needs, such as educators, doctors, engineers, etc. For those who want more specifics despite the fact the law remains only a proposal and could face multiple amendments and/or political inertia, go to Freimuth’s promotional website at www.mymexicanlawyer.com .

Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter

You are at the bank and want a balance on your account. Ask the clerk: “Quiero mi estada de cuento, por favor.”
(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)


Cooking:10 a.m. Mondays at Latitude 20 Restaurant
Fitness at the Park: 8:15 A.M.: Tai Chi Tuesdays, Yoga Wednesdays and Fridays
Art: 9 to noon Wednesdays and Sculpture on Thursdays
French: 9:30 to 11 a.m. Thursdays
Kids’ ClubArt 10-11 a.m. Saturdays; French, 4-5 p.m. Mondays; Story hour 3 p.m. Fridays


What’s Playing…

See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.


Briefly Noted…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
POWER OUTAGE Tuesday evening didn’t help with production of the Pelican this week as Freddie Kilowatt took a hike and left the entire village except hotels with generators without illumination until Wednesday morning. It ruined many a dinner as did a water repair shutdown Wednesday evening. The outage was caused, we are told, by a broken transformer near Akumal…TRASH TALK – While the resort community went about five days without rubbish pickup last week, the “problema” with the municipal collection contractor has evidently been overcome, reports the Colonos. Some folks began to worry about rodents and other

organisms should rubbish remain uncollected…SEVERAL EXOCITC ANIMALS,including a tiger and macaw among others used to entertain visitors, were taken over by authorities from shops and sites along Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue last week because they evidently lacked proper permitting papers…RUMORS (slosh, slosh!)OF A DROUGHT in Puerto Aventuras are grossly exaggerated…PEEWEE SIGNAL?- No, it isn’t what you might be thinking. It’s a traditional Mayan delicacy of corn on the cob cooked underground for about three days. It is known as “Pibi Nal”  in Yucatec Mayan and no longer a widespread practice…BEATLE PAUL MCCARTNEY is expected to give a concert at Chichen Itza when his final world tour gets under way, say state and federal officials despite the fact that no contract has yet been signed…SMALL HOTELS in Playa had to decrease room rates by 60 percent in order to achieve 50 percent occupancy in December and January as managers say there is no relief from the economic doldrums in that sector…CONVERSELY, INVESTMENT-MINDEDreal estate dabblers can take heart in a prediction by the Mexican Association of Real Estate Owners in Riviera Maya that the worst is over, that is, the 2008 economic downturn and the 2009 influenza scare, and the real estate future looks brighter. Now all owners have to figure is a way out of

capital gains…LIONFISH HUNT – Twelve divers this week participated in the first lionfish tournament off Playa del Carmen  and the effort was called a success as bags of lionfish were brought ashore, poison spines removed, and fish served as ceviche. The lionfish is a predator  with the potential of destroying the reef ecology. PA divers  have been removing them from local reefs for several years…TULUM FOODSTANDS are the target of health officials who said growing cases of suspected salmonella reported at the local hospital moved them to ask for hygienic inspections of  local eateries…SIX DEHYDRATEDCubans on an escape  raft were rescued off the coast near Isla Mujeres this week after being spotted by a fishing boat…SEARCH FOR a British passenger who jumped or fell from a cruise ship off Cozumel last week was to end this week without success…

END THIS POST Left hugRight hug

Pelican Free Press Newsletter

For emergency phone numbers, church services, “resident” and “gate” card forms and processes; rules for golf carts and motorcycles, pets, construction by-laws, recycling schedule and other pertinent community information and services, please click on the Puerto Aventuras Colonos icon below. Thank you

PA Colonos Information


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