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Beach erosion, access, interlocked issues
Mother Nature plays starring role
The decision by the Omni Hotel to lock the public access gate to the federal waterfront, coupled with the reality of a significantly diminished beach, has generated some heated letters and conversations among residents with opposing and generally self-serving opinions.
While poor-me fault-finding is part of the dialog, only a few participants concentrate on the starring role being played by Mother Nature’s noteworthy threat to the community’s economy and individuals’ investments: The deterioration of the beach.
Obviously, Nature has taken an unexpected course, using the power of the sea as a broom to sweep away the fine powdered sand that is the welcome mat of the Mayan Riviera’s shoreline facilities. Some puzzled stakeholders ask why hotels and condos were constructed so close to the water in the first place. Other casual observers say higher spring tides are causing a temporary problem that is stalling replenishment. Real estate agents argue on behalf of their short-term renters and their own income on what they perceive is the negative effect of closing beach access. Others simply straddle the fence for lack of sufficient information from those who would dare to control the savage side of Nature.
But for a primer, we can say Puerto Aventuras hasn’t cornered the market on beach erosion. It is happening worldwide. And the problem is not the neglect of those with the authority to do something about it. It is, in PA’s case, not a lack of will but a dearth of money coupled with the access issue that leads to the prolonged selection of a workable solution, of which there is more than one option on the table.
A few facts about the water hole known as the Caribbean Sea: It is roughly 1 million square miles of surface, stretches 1,700 miles from east to west and 500 to 800 miles from north to south. It is tagged as a sub-oceanic basin in the same sanitorio as the immense bathtub that is the Atlantic Ocean.
These two bodies of water are separated only by underwater mountain chains of the West Indies islands, which are the peaks of the sub-oceanic mountains. Some geologists theorize that between 225 to 570 million years ago the Caribbean and the Mediterranean Seas were actually connected.
Now, the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea are linked by underwater valleys between the submerged mountains created over geological ages and events. They are deep passages that allow cooler Atlantic water to enter the Caribbean and are known as the Anageda Passage between the Virgin Islands and Lesser Antilles, and the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti.
The geologists say the Caribbean basin is only 20,000 years old, young compared to the oceans and other seas, and descends five miles at its deepest point. The Caribbean is contained on the north and east by the island nations of the West Indies, on the south by the northern rim of South America, on the west by Central America, the Yucatan Peninsula and passageways into the Gulf of Mexico.
It is a lot of water and its tidal and current movements generate enormous power affecting the edges of its containment, that is, the shores of the land masses that surround it.
While Mother Nature is the star, man has a leading role in the beach erosion drama and his disruptions of nature’s routine often leads to unintended consequences.…TO BE CONTINUED
Colonos meets May 5 to adopt budget, set fee
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, with several hotels arguing for a larger reduction, resulting in a postponement of voting on a budget and fee.
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 is a 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.
Battle of the Mexican tele-titans
Customers not only ones with problems
A PA resident sent us an e-mail last week asking if we knew any “important folks” at Telmex because many customers here, the writer claimed, are getting imperfect service.
The answer is yes. We know Telmex-Telcel super-boss Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world according to The Economistmagazine. He got that way because people – even those who can’t afford it – are enchanted by the sonorous timbre of their own voice.
Like the young woman on the beach the other day. Unbelievable. She was on the CelTel for more than an hour unabashedly chatting frivolities, purposefully it seemed, to share the wonders of her voice box with others by being within earshot of nearby beachgoers. One could hear the pesos from the bottom of her beach bag screaming for her to stop or become like the boy who said he had to sell his chair to pay for his phone bill.
We may know Carlos Slim. But Carlos Slim doesn’t know us. We also know “Felipe” and ”Oscar” and “Federico” and ‘Enrique” and others at Telmex, voices without faces who gave us the runaround last year for nearly a month with words like “guarantee tomorrow” or “promise today” before we got our service back. They are in Mexico City. Like Carlos, they don’t know us either.
But we can help the hapless customers by suggesting some advice: When dealing with the “Tels” here, accept the fact that Mr. Slim’s empire remains somewhat dysfunctional and cannot be improved overnight while he creates even more wealth than his $63 billion fortune. It’s what wealth creators do. Customer service is an important but back-burner issue.
If you are a disgruntled victim, do this: Allow yourself to become frustrated and enraged. It’s a Telmex-Telcel customer characteristic. For relief, kick chairs, throw things at walls, blame everyone you love for your lost Internet access and scream invectives at the moon and stars.
As you cool off, think of the problems Mr. Slim has had in his lifetime accumulating such a mind-boggling pile of money. How painful it must be knowing he can’t possibly spend it all, particularly in Mr. Slim’s case since he doesn’t give it away in the same measure as Bill Gates does, again according to the Economist.
Then find a neighbor willing to give you his or her WEP key so you can use his or her access temporarily, or telephone, if they have service. Be sure to thank them and promise not to divulge the WEP to anyone else. Or go to any hotspot like restaurants to access the net and use your Skype too. As you calm down, call Telmex or Telcel to report your problem to “Federico” or “Enrique” or “Oscar” or “Filipe”. You may need to do that multiple, irritating times. There is more to this than meets the eye and it may help if you read the entire Economist story at http://www.economist.com/node/21546028.
You will learn that Telmex is locking horns in high-stakes battles with the government and competitor Televisa over TV rights, that cell phone service in Mexico is comparatively expensive and … but read it yourself at the above link to the Feb. 4, 2012 edition of The Economist..
Remember there are other victims besides you but that millions of people in 18 countries in the Americas use Telmex and Telcel under America Movil and are satisfied with it. Locals will tell you the best way to get things done is to be patient, and you may also end up being satisfied after your private battle with Telmex-cel is over…at least until the next skirmish flares.
Is the over-55 concept good for PA condos?
There was a local newspaper article last week noting that the Riviera Maya and particularly Cancun are not marketing the area to the senior tourists, snowbirds and potential medical tourism populations that have the time, the money and the inclination to travel and/or live abroad. PA is no exception, but should it look at the potential of senior housing and assisted living?
In another story a few days later, tourism and medical authorities here lamented the fact that a potential 25,000 clients are being lost because of the area’s failure to specifically publicize medical tourism. What could the Mayan Riviera offer?
Just as social difficulties blossom in the mixed-use zoning theory of coupling business alongside residential units, problems also arise when trying to integrate the desires of young and old in the close-living conditions of residential condo buildings, particularly those acoustic monsters made of sound-carrying cement products and designed for open living.
The development of “over-55” housing and condo projects in the U.S. offer proof that segregation – a word soiled over time by racial malpractice – is viable when it comes to age-related housing conditions. Here in PA, none of the condo developments to our knowledge are dedicated to senior living.
Few things mar a vacation or living conditions more for many seniors, particularly some skittish combat veterans, than sudden loud noises and the raucous behavior of boisterous young adults emboldened by alcohol and music booming a nocturnal good time in a nearby apartment; or, numbers of innocent children screaming their delight by the toy-filled pool while seniors might be trying to find peace to read or enjoy quiet conversation. The ideal would be for each to have their desires met without infringing upon the contentment of the other.
The Pelican hears the results of this questionable mélange, older people telling us they are irritated by the antics of younger people and younger people saying they are aggravated by the complaints of older people.
“Weren’t they young once?” ask the young. Good question but absent a repartee. The old cannot ask of the young,” Weren’t you older once?”
Here in open-living conditions it would seem the problem lacks a solution…other than, perhaps, modest moves toward developing the over-55 concept in a few enclaves, an attempt to assuage both poles while improving housing sales and the economic climate.
Not here? Not in this lifetime?
What’s your view?
Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
Your friend’s wife has been ill. You might ask him: “Esta mejor tu esposa hoy?
(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
See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.
Compiled from staff, contributors and media reports
COLONOS GM Armando Rincon reports that road resurfacing and/or replacement will begin in about three weeks along the stretch of Bahia Xcacel near the parking lot and taxi
stand on the south to the boat ramp near Latitude 20 on the north. Concrete paving is expected to replace the current brick-interlock surface for smoother driving….THE EXODUS of the snowbirds has begun and while goodbye parties and dinners are the norm until the next high season, one business may be exiting for good from its current Centro location with a grand 50 percent sale. Mary Maher-Shaw of Flamingo’s Crossing clothing boutique reported last week she is closing for good soon at the
current location but may return to a smaller venue…HOLE IN ONE – An email from two witnesses, Kay Strange and Chris Landahl, purported that man-about-Centro John Schwandke got a hole in one at El Manglar this week. Another witness, his wife, Darlene, also in the foursome,witnessed the surprise event…TWO MEN WERE ARRESTED in Chetumal for being in possession of a 3-month old spider monkey in a box in their car and with with a rope around its neck. The primate is an endangered species…23 UNDOCUMENTED CUBANS, four women among them, were rescued by the cruise ship Oasis of the Seas last week after drifting for 22 days in international waters. They were delivered to Cozumel where they were being kept in a detention center to ascertain their health situation. They said they wanted to escape the Cuban regime and get a decent job…DENGUE FEVER is back with the humidity and mosquitoes, with 173 cases reported in Quintana Roo up to April 2. Protect yourselves against the mosquito bite…LOCALS complain in Playa del Carmen that taxi drivers shun them to pick up tourists who pay fares in U.S. dollars…HOTELSreported good occupancy, in some cases exceeding expectations, in the Riviera Maya for Easter weekend. Some of that rubbed off on PA hotels, at least one saying it was sold out for the weekend…
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Merchants, public, volunteers,
golfers made it happen for youth
Philanthropy is alive and well in the Puerto Aventuras Resort Community.
Hundreds of donors to Anat Kah, the area’s answer to the tax-deductible United Fund, and special projects such as the annual Charity Golf Tournament, have funded construction of a co-edicational high school building, however modest, now giving hope through education to more than 90 Poblado boys and girls reaching for the stars.
The fund-raising efforts and the generous participation of many resort individuals was explained briefly to teachers and students at the high school during a lunch break last week. The significance of benevolence in their lives struck a chord of excitement and cooperation in the students who roundly responded with a spirited photographic sign of appreciation and sense of participation. (See above)
The second annual golf tournament this year raised around $18,000 USD and still counting, more than double last year’s inaugural event. The need for a high school is particularly significant since the Mexican government has decided to extend the current middle-school mandate to high school.
The initial construction was funded by Anat Kah and finishing touches provided by the first annual golf tournament initiated by Jim and Jeanette Jamieson and friends that raised about $8,000. This year’s golf earnings are folded into an Anat Kah dedicated high school/education account for future disbursement as needed and approved by the committee.
The Jamiesons and committee members Bob and Glenna Uecker, Dick and Sally Dawson, Don and Diana Black and Bob and Pam Beisenherz and scores of others who helped selling raffle tickets, raising auction gifts, getting food and beverage contributions say this year’s golf event yield was boosted by a public raffle and auction and the exemplary cooperation of local businesses who contributed auction items, labor, food and/or beverages.
They included Dive Aventuras, Hippos, Café Ole, Tu Parador, Xpa Spa, Paradise Tours, Flamingo Crossing, Maya Gym-Omni, La Cueva del Changa, Dolce Vita, Mezzanine, Gringo Services, Turtle Bay, Mangos, Latitude 20, Tiramisu.
Also, Alegria Spa, Roger’s Auto Repair, Omni Restaurant, Paparazzis, Fresas Wedding, Aquanauts, Fat Cat Catamaran, Captain Rick’s, Gringo’s Cantina, Mike Terry, Dolphin Discovery, PA Condos, Myakoba Golf.
Also, Bahia Principe Golf, Grand Coral golf, Playacar Golf, The Pub, Café Café and Tesoros Café.
The golf committee extends a special thanks of its own to the 34 golfers and those who made cash donations, all the volunteers who pitched in, a special appreciation to Fideicomiso Roman Rivera Torres for free use of the golf course and carts, and members of the public who participated in bidding and buying the auction items.
Preparations for next year’s event are already in the mixer.
No end to giving in Puerto Aventuras
Some of the same people who helped in the golf tournament also showed up for a more personal event last Thursday to raise funds for Pobladan car-wash and hamburger-stand owner Danny Iglesias who recently underwent a 5-hour knee procedure in Merida to replace badly torn ligaments sustained in an effort to protect a neighbor from an assault.
A donor who wished to remain anonymous paid the bill – discounted by the doctor and hospital – for the operation but friends learned it would take extensive therapy for Iglesias to regain a normal, or close to normal, ability to use the knee. So a fundraiser was born.
Nearly 60 people attended a dance and raffle at the former Disco Lounge above Gringo’s Cantina organized by Anne and Ron Silver and assisted by jazz pianist and DJ Jerry Fastrup, his wife, Gloria, and Hal Harper who have come to know the 41-year-old bilingual Iglesias from his own contributions to people in the Poblado and business dealings with resort community residents.
The organizers say doctors in Cancun believed that Iglesias would need crutches to walk for the rest of his life, but his friends in the resort found Dr. Felipe Camara in Merida who agreed to try the delicate procedure.
The operation took place last week. Dr. Camara replaced the meniscus, a crescent shaped cartilage structure, and repaired torn ligaments and muscles. Recuperation will require six to eight weeks combined with costly and intensive physical therapy that the event proceeds will help to cover.
The organizers said over the weekend that ticket donations, raffle, outright donations and Mayan lottery game sales generated 18,000 pesos, enough to pay for therapy three times a week for 12 weeks. Harper will oversee disbursement of the funds as needed.
Donating items were Kapalai Interiors, Hippos, Flamingo Crossing, Dive Aventuras, Color Vetrum Jewelry, Yollot Handicrafts, Cafe Ole, La Dolce Vita, Latitude 20, Matahari, Bamboo, Mango’s and The Pub. Roman Rivera Torres donated use of the dance hall.
Ex-Dolphin discovery site being demolished
Return to is origins is rental loss to Centro HOA
Posted Apr 2, 2012, by Juanito
There is new construction taking place in Puerto Aventuras’ Centro Comercial Shopping Center, but instead of adding to the structure, it’s actually taking away. The curious banging of sledge hammers in recent days has caused many to peak behind the construction curtain in an effort to see what all the noise is about?
In recent days, four strong and hard working men have totally demolished Dolphin Discovery’s former sales and retail office using nothing but a couple of old fashioned sledge hammers and a lot of sweat. The space we are talking about is located on the marina between The Pub and Dolce Vita Restaurants.
A decade before, Dolphin Discovery received permission to expand the size of retail space so as to better serve the growing number of tourists wanting to come swim with the dolphins. However, new construction of a newer and much larger facility in a different section of the marina, left the original space nearly deserted except for a small portion that continued to be used as a training facility.
Some of you may not be aware, but all the ground surrounding the building in the commercial area is owned “fractionally” by the property owners. The same is true for some shared patio areas on the upper levels. Part of what makes the Marina Shopping Area so unique is its blend of retail and residential occupants.
All spaces on the ground floor are zoned for commercial use only, with the second and third floors being designated for home or office use. All of the outdoor displays and seating that you see being used by various shops and restaurants are known as “common area” and, subject to approval by the Home Owner’s Association, are available for lease on an annual basis.
A new contract must be realized each year for the continued use of this space. Even the Fruit and Vegetable Market that sets up at the Kiosko each Wednesday and Saturday must pay for the privilege of occupying that space. This rental income accounts for about 25% of the association’s total operating expense and has become a critical component to its finances.
By original agreement, should Dolphin Discovery ever decide to vacate the “common area” upon which they were allowed to build… they must return it to its original state… and that is what we are seeing now.
The space is being returned to its original state. Dolphin Discovery will retain ownership of that original space and continue to use it for an office and training facility. The “common area” becomes common once again… and the HOA loses a $1,000 a month renter. So, it is with mixed feelings that PA’s Centro Comercial Marina Association regains the space.
Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
You are in a restaurant, your coffee has cooled and you want it warmed up. Tell the waiter:”Mi cafe esta frio. Por favor, caliente mi cafe.”
(CLASSES RESUME APRIL 23) 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
See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.
Compiled from staff, contributors and media reports
NO NEW NEWS emanated from last week’s Colonos board meeting concerning beach access, but that doesn’t mean the issue still isn’t alive. For the moment, the Omni access gate remains closed and access for residents with ID allowed through the Omni lobby. Critics who want to be heard are asked to email their views to Colonos GM Armando Rincon, firstname.lastname@example.org to be passed on the board members… JUST A LOOK-ALIKE – A resident reported seeing what he thought was a boat reported stolen a few weeks ago, but owners say the vessel, for which a $5000 reward was posted, is still missing…MORE BUILDING – We don’t need experts and statisticians to tell us there seems to be
a modest increase in building activity in the resort area. All one needs is to be able to see. Several homes are being completed on Bahia Xaac and a handful of condos rising along Bahia Chemuyil and a few trophy homes going up on canal-side Bahia Yanten…ON THE OTHER HAND,a few folks we’ve met are struggling to sell condo units and homes, particularly along Bahia Xcacel where one section of grandiose manses seems to be sporting an inordinate amount of for sale signs…HARD ROCK HOTEL is reportedly going be a new neighbor as it reportedly takes over the all-inclusive mega hotel Aventuras Spa and Aventuras Cove, although the signage out on the highway isn’t telling us that yet…DRUGS AND MORE DRUGS – Naval personnel have recovered – on three separate occasions in a week- bundles of floating marijuana off Cozumel and worth more than an estimated million in street sales…SCIENTISTS GALORE, 500 of them will descend on the Hotel Grand Velas, Riviera Maya, in mid-May for a Microsoft-sponsored conference. Another 500 guests are expected also. Q. Roo won out over other sites in Mexico, including Mexico City…TWO MUNICIPAL WORKERS were injured when a steel gate at the the rear of the Soriana store on Avenida 30 in Playa del Carmen fell on them as they tried to open it. One was rushed to Hospiten Cancun for surgery…TULUM residents are complaining to CFE about excessive costs and blackouts…
“Always leave ‘em smiling”
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