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Monthly Archives: April 2012


OLYMPIC TRIALS for Optimist Class sailboats April 28-30
CONCERT 6 p.m. April 30 at Cultural Center, Bahia Akumal
COLONOS BUDGET ASSEMBLY May 5, See details below
 See ‘for sale’ page
EROSION SERIES  to resume in June edition


BELOW; Three divers drown in nearby cenote



Looking back – and forward to new expectations

With this issue, the Pelican Free Press transitions to its low-season monthly schedule and will publish its next issue in June and monthly thereafter until November. Exceptions will be made in the event of important breaking news affecting its readers.
As always, the staff appreciates information about potential stories and news received from residents and welcomes a continuation of that practice during the summer months. Email information to [email protected]

Already, the Spring exodus is well under way for the many anglos retreating to their cooler northern digs to escape the heat and humidity of the sub-tropical climate.
What do they leave behind this year?
The much-ballyhooed Tulum Airport didn’t get off the runway,the immense commercial venture Dragon Mart has yet to put shovel into the ground near Puerto Morelos, all talk of a railroad from Merida has ceased and a hoped-for horseshoe pit didn’t get built adjacent to the tennis courts.
Beach replenishment in PA remains on the drawing boards while funds and compromises are sought. The Pelican Free Press will resume its “Erosion” series in June and continue to monitor the situation throughout the summer.
    Also, a few retail spaces at Chedraui remain vacant, several businesses have closed in Centro Comercial and several new ones opened; PA has yet to adopt a 2012 infrastructure budget (expected on May 5) with a possible 2 percent decrease for home and condo owners and 7 percent for commercial entities. (See story below)
The Mexican immigration authority continues to tantalize Anglos over the awaited promulgation of more accommodating immigration rules.

On the positive side, the Phase 4 roadway is well under way and a record was broken by the annual PA road race crowd of 500 runners, an initiative by Sports and Culture Committee icon Daniele Gracis who also brought an Olympics sailboat race to Puerto Aventuras. The concert series was not allowed to die, the library raised enough funds to expand, new building seemed to be on the rise and the wonderful Playa del Carmen overpass is a welcome fait accompli.
The Colonos infrastructure was improved with new plantings, new lighting was installed on Bahia Xcacel and repaving part of that road was in the works for this summer
Snorkelers have ogled their turtles, fishermen have hooked their mahi-mahi (or not), golfers have improved their scores (or not), travelers have sated their urges by visiting ruins, cenotes, urban centers, jungle attractions, big cities, many restaurants and shopping malls.
Last but not least, philanthropy showed its smiling face again in many ways including the charity golf tournament for the Poblado High School building, the library fund-raising concert, a dance to fund medical treatment for a friend from the Poblado and in a myriad of other ways through the Anat Kah Foundation, this area’s answer to the United Fund.

So for now, as Roy Rogers would croon:
Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, ’till we meet again


Colonos meets May 5 to debate tiered fee cuts

Hotels asking for 5% fee decrease
in addition to 2% offered by board


The Colonos will resume an effort to adopt a budget for the year at a general assembly May 5 in the Kuuch Muuch Kuxtal (Let’s Get Together) room located in Centro Comercial above the Oxxo store. First quorum call will be at 9:30 a.m. and second at 10 a.m..
The assembly earlier this year failed to reach a compromise on a Colonos proposal to reduce the Colonos fee by 2 percent for all stakeholders, with several hotels arguing for a larger reduction, resulting in a postponement of voting on a budget and fee.
Since then, there has evidently been a compromise. The Colonos board appears inclined to support an additional 5 percent decrease being sought by the hotels and businesses that claim to being hit hard by increased municipal taxes and permit payments in addition to the effects of a struggling world economy.     ‘

If the hotel request is approved by the Assembly, it means home and condo owners will get a 2 percent Colonos fee reduction and hotels a nearly 7 percent reduction. Colonos GM Armando Rincon said it would also set a new, lower baseline for commercial entities when setting rates  in subsequent years.
Registration to attend for home, condo and lot owners showing identification will be held April 27 and 30 and May 2. Proxies must present a simple document valid for the date of the meeting and signed by two witnesses bearing copies of ID documents of owner and proxy. Otherwise condo owners are represented by their administrators who, along with hotel representatives, must register on May 2.
There are a total of 6,296 votes in the Colonos. The combined hotels have 949 votes and Centro Comercial 126 votes for a total of 1,075. Lot, home and condo owners wield the remaining 5,221 votes…but must be present or have a proxy present to use them. Many snowbird owners have already departed. Only stakeholders current in dues will be allowed entrance.
Also on the agenda besides the 2 percent budget decrease is the question of applying the 5 percent discount to the base fee for the hotel, key and square meter of commercial properties, presentation of the expense budget for 2012-13 and approval of the maintenance fee retroactive to Feb. 1, 2012.

Three divers drown in nearby Chac Mool cenote

     A diving instructor from Spain and a recently married couple from Brazil drowned Thursday during a diving expedition at Chac Mool Cenote some 100 meters south of Puerto Aventuras. The cenote has a depth of about 25 feet.     

There was speculation in a local newspaper as to the possible causes of the tragedy, none of which have been corroborated pending investigation.  The instructor/guide was identified as Ismael Garcia of Spain, allegedly working for a dive shop in the Akumal area,  and the tourists as a recently married Brazilian couple.
News reports said the dive shop and cenote management are being investigated by Q. Roo officials. Divers had entered the cenote at 4 p.m. and had not emerged when the cenote closed at 5 p.m. The bodies reportedly were discovered after midnight, some six hours later.

According to one research source, Thursday’s tragedy matches a 1995 Yucatan incident cited as the worst in the peninsula’s history when three open water divers including two tourists and a Cozumel dive store owner perished in the Cenote Calavera (Cenote Escueleto) near Tulum.
Water runs through underground caves in the Yucatan where part of the land collapses and causes a sinkhole, or cenote. The Chac Mool Cenote has two entrances and two rooms, one that is large and light and the other, with a collapsed ceiling under an air dome that allows divers to surface and view two levels of stalactites
The cenote’s attraction to divers includes a Halocline, where fresh and salt water meet creating fascinating visual effects. Chac Mool reportedly is also host to the largest underwater stalactite in the world.


Business Beat…

Pet Spa with veterinarian opens in Centro Comercial


     A pet spa offering dog bath, medicated bath, haircut, nail clip, ear, gland and eye cleaning plus part-time veterinary services, dog training and walking has opened in Centro Comercial. It occupies a retail space between the Paris pharmacy and Post Office Kiosk and is directly behind the parking lot adjacent to the bi-weekly farmer’s market.      

Biologist Arturo Romero, who speaks English, and veterinarian MVZ Diana Wells are partners in the venture, which opened three weeks ago and is in the process of developing the site to include the veterinary office.
For the record, the name of the new business, Maskoketos, is a play on words derived from the Spanish  “mascota”,  mascot or pet, and “coqueta” meaning a female who flirts girlishly to gain attention.
Romero said the company will also offer dog training, dog walking and kennel service for those who like to take short trips without their pets.
Also available are OTC medications for canine ailments such as fleas and heartworm, various foodstuffs and other dog accessories like leashes and food bowls. Maskoketos is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays.
Appointments can be made by calling 984-146-5875. Walk-ins also welcomed. Pick-up and delivery of the pet is also offered.


Dear Editor:
My wife and I own a fractional ownership in Puerto at the CMSC. We have owned there since 1999.

Usually we are only able to spend two, maybe three weeks, annually in PA. Although Minnesota, our home state, is beautiful, even with the snow, NOTHING compares to Puerto and we love this marvelous community and the many new friends we have been blessed to meet.
BECAUSE OF THE PELICAN FREE PRESS, in an “alternate”sense, we are able to spend much more time in PA, even from our home in Roseville, MN. We love your candor, your creativity, your artistry, your breadth of subjects and your care in sharing observations and information, yes even your humor.
THANK YOU for all that you do for our wonderful community as your efforts are, we believe, a significant platform for blending, bonding and bettering our wonderful community of so many different people with so much to offer each other. Keep up the “mission”!
Sincerely, and with grateful spirits,
Marty and Denny Wall.

(Ed Note:: With a blush on our cheeks, we thank you for the feedback.)

Dear Editor:
I was horrified to think that someone was so desperate because of the Colonos lack of concern over the deplorable situation with loose dogs that he or she poisoned a dog. The situation should never have been allowed to reach this level of seriousness.

  • My dog has been bitten twice while being walked on leash, both times by dogs accompanied by owners, but not on leash. The latest episode occurred last week when the dog’s owner and his dog were with the so-called dog trainer. When confronted, both the owner and the “trainer” said it didn’t happen!
    They also said that it always happened that a female dog would bite another female dog. How incredibly stupid!
    When I stated that dogs in P.A. were required to be on leash, the “trainer” told me to go back to the USA, that this wasn’t my country. Furthermore, he said his dog was like a human and he would never comply and put a leash on his dog.
    What would PA and the Poblado be like if we were all to go back to our countries of origin? (With our money.) I have watched security drive past owners with leashes in hand while their dogs run loose and do absolutely nothing.
    None of this would be happening if the Colonos would enforce their laws and do something about this before PA’s reputation as a paradise becomes even more sullied. We are living in a community that is becoming increasingly dangerous (not just because of dogs) and everyone just keeps their head buried in the sand!

Patricia Parkinson,
Puerto Aventuras

Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
You left your keys inside the car and need a locksmith. Say “Deje las llaves, dentro de mi carro. Donde hay un cerrajero ?
(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.

Briefly Noted…

Compiled from staff, contributors and media reports

 – Danny Iglesias, the Poblado car-wash owner for whom a benefit dance was held several weeks ago to pay for a knee injury sustained while helping someone dodge an assault, slipped in the shower and re-injured the knee, reports benefit committee member Hal Harper, and will undergo additional surgery… APPEARANCE OF RED

MITES in Q. Roo’s south land is taking a toll on palm trees there, reports the local press. Check trees whose palms are rapidly turning yellow. The mites are usually under the leaves … A CARAVAN of white SUVs complete with a squad of armed marines were at the Omni Hotel on Friday, teasing the curiosity of people who witnessed the parade. Inside the Omni, it appeared a baby shower was in progress and, according to one source, the wife of the Q. Roo governor was in attendance … BABY BOOMERS are leaving $50 million a year on the Riviera Maya says the Association of Owners and Real Estate (AMPI) in Playa del Carmen … 43 FARM WORKERS were killed in Alamo last week, in the gulf state of Vera Cruz, when the bus they were in was hit by a runaway trailer on winding highway and plummeted nearly 200 feet into a ravine. Police were looking for the truck driver who ran off… INDIGENOUS GIRL, 12, gave birth to a healthy 6.2 lb. girl and had been picking chili peppers as a farm worker until a few days before giving birth in the northwestern state of Sinaloa … WAL-MART MEXICO BRIBERY plot surfaces on pages of New York times…17 MURDERED in a Monterrey bar Friday, bringing to 40 the number of homicides in a 24-hour period  believed to be perpetrated by rival drug gangs…

END THIS POST Just kidding

EROSION II: Process has name, but no easy fix

OLYMPIC TRIALS for Optimist Class sailboats April 28-30
CONCERT 6 p.m. April 30 at Cultural Center, Bahia Akumal


Returning sand, then keeping it, a puzzler

      The skipper/owner of the MV Dauntless docked here for the last month or so and departing this week, lives much of his life on the water and says he remembers a few things from his college days long ago that might help explain local beach erosion.
Capt. Mads Emanuelsen believes that “ ‘fixing’ the beach is going to be tough.  The moment you mess with the natural flow of currents you alter the transport of sand.  Sand moves along the shore.  As sand in one area is moved, ‘new’ sand from upstream is deposited. At least that is the way it is supposed to work.

“I believe the correct term is ‘long-shore transport’ ” he said. “I studied some of that oceanography stuff in college, but that was a looong time ago.” It is also known as long-shore drift or ‘littoral’ (seashore) drift.
“As you alter the natural shape of a shoreline, the long-shore transport gets altered.  Here in PA the major alteration of currents apparently occurred when the south jetty of the north entrance was extended.
“By extending that jetty it looks like the transport of sand into the lagoon was somehow cut off or the current in the lagoon (Bahia Fatima) altered significantly.  The result appears to be that sand from the Omni is still getting transported south, but not getting replenished.”
        Puerto Aventuras is not alone, Emanuelsen notes. “Beaches in Florida and Texas (and probably many other places) have the same problem, mostly because of jetties built perpendicular to the beaches.
“The solution that they have applied is beach replenishment, sometimes with berms built up to try to retain the sand.  It’s expensive and the results appear to be quite variable.  Of course, they could remove the extension to the jetty here in Puerto Aventuras, but that would result in boats and yachts ending up in the lagoon with some regularity again.  Besides, I don’t think that the Fideicomiso is willing to spend money to remove a structure it paid good money to install. Bottom line is that I don’t think there are any easy answers.”

For the uninitiated, long-shore transport, or drift, is a process by which beach material is shifted laterally in a gradual process when waves meet the shore at an oblique angle. The transport is influenced by a number of natural processes including wind and currents and the swash (liquid hitting a solid) and backwash (backward flow of water as receding breakers from a beach).
Emanuelsen wondered if hydrological studies have been done of the bay and understood. The Colonos does have in its possession at least one proposal that appears to include such a study.
While some informal observers speculate that tidal amplitude has something to do with the existing washout of the Omni Beach here, comparative studies point out that the Caribbean tidal flow is relatively insignificant at about two feet, even spring tides.
In fact, say some observers, it was precisely the low tide amplitude (size range) that allowed, as far as tourists are concerned, vacation facilities to be built so close to the water’s edge. California tides can range to nine feet and the Bay of Fundy to 60 feet by comparison.
Residents here report seeing developer and trustee Roman Rivera Torres peering studiously at the water’s action near the Omni Hotel since one jetty of rocks and netting was installed a few weeks ago. He has said there are plans to regain some of the beach in the short term and plans for the long term that won’t be developed for at least a year. Rivera Torres admits is will take a lot of money to reshape the beach in Fatima Bay and is being careful not to select the wrong solution …TO BE CONTINUED


Concert to close Olympic sailboat trials here

Late-departing snowbirds get a crack at another fine concert scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, April 30, at the popular venue of the Puerto Aventuras Cultural Center on Bahia Akumal.

The Colonos Sports and Cultural Committee presents Juan D’Anyelica and his fusion band featuring flamenco, rumba and jazz supported by food, fun and drinks, wine and beer, that will be for sale. Entrance is 60 pesos, but free for participants of the national Olympic trials Optimist Sailboat races occurring here on the same weekend. Tickets are available at the Colonos office and at Bamboo on the new Marina.
Daniel Gracis, chair of the sports and cultural committee  has landed one of three preliminary “national” championship sail races to be held here April 28,29,30, the results of which, with two other preliminary races held elsewhere, will be used to select a team representing Mexico in international competition.
      “We expect 100 boats will be participating,” Gracis says with gusto as he prepared along with local hotels and businesses for the influx of visitors that come along with the boats…youthful skippers, their parents, their friends and more, “about 500 people” said Gracis, “who need lodging and food and other services.”
And now if they need entertainment, they and all area music lovers will have it at the Cultural Center.


Akumal’s first comedy festival starts thursday

Akumal kicks off its first “free” annual Comedy Festival beginning at 5:30 tonight with events lasting through Saturday. The schedule, which is subject to change:



5.30 p.m., Akumal community children dance performance on “The Grateful Dead Stage” immediately followed by Stand Up! Upcomers Showcase hosted by Phoebe Bottoms with comedy by John Conroy, Dave Johnson, Jeff Pfoser, Erik Allen, Mel Fleming (Merida, MEX) and headliner Bill Young. 7.30pm Akumal community children dance performance on “LOL at Lol-Ha” immediately followed by comedy hosted by Tommy Ryman with guest comic Mitch Hansen, featured comic Erik Allen and headliner Kjell Bjorgen: 10pm “Blue” Show at La Buena Vida hosted by Chris Maddock with comedy by Nate Abshire, Phoebe Bottoms, Corey Adam, Fanck Chevrier (Montreal) and Gabe Noah.
FRIDAY, APRIL 20th: 5.30pm Akumal community children dance performance on “The Grateful Dead Stage” immediately followed by Upcomers Showcase hosted by Nate Abshire with comedy by Jeff Pfoser and others and headliner Tommy Ryman: 7.30pm Akumal community children dance performance on “LOL at Lol-Ha” immediately followed by comedy hosted by Gus Lynch and guest comics: 10 p.m. “Blue” Show at La Buena Vida.
SATURDAY, APRIL 21: Live on the Akumal Cancha – Plaza Ukana;5 p.m. Local community sundown live drumming and instrumental 6.30pm – Live music from Arpason;7.30 – Akumal community children dance performance; 8 p.m. Festival Closing Show Hosted by Gus Lynch with Darlene Westgor and Kjell Bjorgen and Festival Headliner Chad Daniels; 9.30 p.m. – Live music and party with The Kalua Band.
Food, drink, and gifts will be sold throughout the final evening. All proceeds from this event will go towards building a children’s playground in the Akumal Pueblo. There are currently no public facilities where our local children can play.

Business beat…

Boulevard cuts through Phase 4 development

A major double barreled boulevard has been cut into Phase 4 – the final phase of the Puerto Aventuras community, marina and golf course encompassing 42.6 hectares (94 acres) of the 320 hectares or about 790 acres that define the entire Puerto Aventuras resort not including the 300-hectare Pueblo across the highway. A hectare, by the way, equals 2.47 acres.

Phase 4 promises more canals flowing peacefully along rows of distinctive homes, several more waterfront hotels, a jaunty wooden bridge to an islet beach club and premier restaurant, a half-dozen new condominium complexes, grand yachts and small craft hugging the quay, bike paths and roads lined with vivid tropical foliage, more people, more jobs, more community.
Developer and architect Roman Rivera Torres said in announcing the beginning of Phase 4 development two years ago this month, that the sale of four large seaside tracts to hotel and condo developers, four of five condominium blocks and 21 of 116 house lots facing a canal and docking would be pushing the development along once all permits were secured. That evidently took some time.
Plan 4 development stage should create 1,500 new direct jobs that will mean a population growth of about 3,500,” Rivera Torres said. This would add to the current 2,000 residents of the resort that climbs to 4,500 in season plus the 4,000 to 7,000 residents of the pueblo for an estimated in-season community of over 10,000 population as time and development strides into the 2000 decade.

He expects the infrastructure project will take 3.5 years while construction by third parties will continue for six or seven years. The major work of digging the channel is expected to take three years to complete, he said.
“Because the project was modified, I had to apply for new permits,” he said.
As in the past, Rivera Torres had said he plans to invest in the project, creating a new beach between an islet and the mainland and operate a beach club and upscale restaurant there. He said people will be able to ride to it on their bicycles (along planned bike trails around the nearby Caleta and Cenote) or in their dinghies and tenders on the quiet ribbons of canals.
He added that some sales of house lots have been to residents already living in Puerto Aventuras but seeking to upgrade to a new level of privacy. More information at www.puertoaventuras.com.mx or telephone 984-873-5111.

Dog with attack history is poisoned, dies

A dog with a record of having attacked people and other dogs was poisoned last week in an apparent act of vengeance. The poison was believed to have been delivered on ham meat.
Armando Rincon, Colonos GM, corroborated that the dog had previously been photographed on surveillance tapes biting a Colonos employee. A more recent incident, he said, involved the dog hurling through a window screen of a nearby apartment and attacking a dog inside, making a considerable mess in the process and causing damage to furniture and drapes.
The dead dog’s owner was reported seen last week along the marina walk in the area of Marina Blue Condos shouting “Who poisoned my dog?” and, said one witness to the scene, accusing and/or threatening a woman. Security had to be summoned.
The Colonos authority does not subscribe to using poison on dogs as a measure of solving a problem, but some officials recognize that when residents ignore rules and nothing is done by authorities to abate problems and enforce leash laws, some residents see no alternative but to take the law into their own hands.
These events would not have occurred, said the Colonos, if dog owners observed the rule to keep dogs leashed and under control when outdoors.
Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
Most heard phrase in the past few weeks is “when are you leaving? or, “Cuando sale?”
(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.

Briefly Noted…

Compiled from staff, contributors and media reports
DOLLARS AND SENSE – President of Omni Hotels, Abelardo Vara Rivera, is complaining that Mexico’s anti money-laundering law restricting the flow of dollars into the country is hurting the tourism industry that often deals with large sums of money above the $14,000 limit …
SUSHI-MI restaurant offering oriental fare here has decided to close its doors for good. It is the second business so far this year to shut down in the face of increased rental costs among other factors. Flamingo Crossing boutique clothing will also be locking its doors after a half-price sale …
THIS ISN’T BROADWAY – The new lighting along Bahia Xcacel is done but some people claim they don’t shed that much light in the aggregate …
HOTEL OCCUPANCY on nearby Cozumel Island reached nearly 84 percent over the Easter holy days while restaurants in the Q. Roo southland reported a 30 percent uptick in business…
FOREIGN WORKERS – The Confederation of Workers in Playa del Carmen suspects foreign workers are taking tourism industry jobs away from locals and wants the government to begin checking their papers…

END THIS POST Just kidding

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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