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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Optimism for economic growth in 2013

A/C PROBLEM? – See CST on Service Provider page for help
NEED HELP WITH BANKING? Click on Bancomer icon at left
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LOOK TO HIPPO’S for a mighty meal: Click food page
CHECK LOCAL RESTAURANTS for New Year’s Eve celebrations

 

HAPPY NEWsidney 104 YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Colonos Annual Assembly

Residents choose videocams over live guards

Colonos to ponder beach

replenishment plan Feb. 16

 

By Juanito
    This year’s annual meeting flowed smoothly, with no controversial proposals on the Dec. 15 agenda. There was no yelling, no shouting, and no multiple votes needed for stakeholders to determine how much of a fee increase they’d be willing to accept for the coming year.

Instead, except for one big surprise at the end,the meeting seemed more like a social event with snacks, refreshments and a feeling of harmony among attendees.
We learned there have been more robberies within the resort complex than many of us had realized, with a total of 18 reported for the year. Some included the theft of large amounts of cash, previously reported in the Pelican Free Press.
Video evidence determined that at least one of these robberies was committed by members of the Colonos security staff. For this reason, it was suggested that homeowners and shopkeepers add video cameras to their internal security systems.
Because of the increased roll video cameras are playing in solving crimes, the assembly determined that it made more sense to invest in the expansion of the video network instead of continuing to add more security personnel to the equation.

The Colonos currently employs 28 guards who work various shifts. By electing to fortify the number of video cameras instead of adding six guards as originally planned, it reduced a proposed 12.54% increase in Colonos fees down to 6.37% for 2013.
Liking the idea, the lower increase was approved by an overwhelming majority without further discussion. It was explained that plans for an enhanced security camera network include technical upgrades at the main gate that incorporate “video recognition” to provide better identification of vehicles as they move through the complex.
In keeping with the plan to accelerate road improvements, residents can expect to see the entrance road resurfaced with stamped concrete all the way from the main gate down to the central zone during the coming year. The repaving includes elimination of the old stone portion of the road.
Mr. Jorge Kaufer, was elected president of the Colonos board for the 2013-2015 term. Outgoing president, Beatriz Marron Vales, will serve as Secretary.
It was announced that the new street lighting project was concluded during 2012, with 3,800 linear meters being covered, at a total cost of 600,000 pesos. Some complaints were expressed saying that it seemed Puerto Aventuras was heading in the opposite direction from the rest of the world that seems to believe that crime can be reduced by adding more light to dimly lit areas.
The question asked was… “Why are we reducing the amount of lumens on our streets when burglaries and thefts are on the rise?”
Those returning to PA after a multi-month absence should notice considerable new greenery. The Colonos gardening staff planted 300 new trees during the year that were grown from seedlings in the community nursery.

Regarding boat thefts, the Colonos has hired two new guards to patrol the two entrance canals between  7 p.m. and 7 a.m. These guards have direct radio communications with the Navy Post. They will report departing boats that refuse to stop, show their documents and that have not previously notified security regarding their departure. These actions will add to the promised assistance of authorities that have pledged to act on all reports from local security personnel.
The biggest surprise of the meeting came at the very end when Puerto Aventuras developer Roman Rivera Torres unveiled a beach reclamation project for Fatima Bay. The topic was not on the agenda, so attendees were surprised when it turned into a full blown proposal asking the Assembly to approve funding for a 700,000 peso beach restoration plan developed by Dr. Ping Wang, associate professor at the University of South Florida.

Without providing evidence or a detailed plan, it was Mr. Rivera Torre’s hope that the assembly would approve his verbal request to divert income from Phase IV construction fees over to his beach restoration project.
Rivera Torres explained that only monies collected from Phase IV building and lot fees would be used, exempting current residents from the burden of finding the project. While many of those present seemed warm to the general concept, they were not in the mood to approve anything without first having seen the details in writing and a satisfactory method of accountability for these funds.
It was decided to schedule a special assembly Feb. 16 to allow time for Rivera-Torres to present the proposal in writing so it can be properly viewed prior to making a decision. Those wanting to have input on that decision should be present at the February meeting. A date for pre-registration will be announced prior to the meeting.

New year begins on note of optimism

By Staff
   THE BOOM IS BACK: The high season began last week with crowds foraging in Fifth Avenue shops and sunning on sun-drenched beaches while flocks of Snowbirds silhouetted on a blue sky winged back to their balmy, palmy hideouts.
From early reports, short-stay tourists converged by the thousands along Playa’s most popular avenue, giving local businesses and real estate vendors a much-needed shot of optimism and cure for ailing cash registers.
The initial invasion of spenders coincides with the seating of the country’s new and energetic President Enrique Pina Nieto, the debunking of the apocalyptic Mayan myth, a promising outlook of a 4 percent growth in GDP and an apparent political willingness among the nation’s three major parties to forge ahead on major economic and social initiatives.
These include a new tack on the war on drug cartels and a collision with the ultra-powerful teachers union over who will control salaries and educational oversight…the union or the government.
Other initiatives such as infrastructure projects will be used as bait to increase the government’s revenue streams, not with new taxes,  but by expansion of existing levies to pay for it. If the optimism is backed by cooperation and action, it will bode well for the invested snowbirds looking for  a resumption of accelerated appreciation of real estate values.
Some small investors are squirreling no-risk nest eggs in banks here in addition to real estate since the interest rates here yield better than the bottomed-out interest on U.S. CDs and savings. But that’s not all…

…President Pena Nieto signals start
of trans-peninsular railroad project

Hanging onto real estate is probably a good bet in view of the next big unfolding story for Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula’s Puerto Aventuras area: We are talking about President Enrique Pina Nieto’s intention to begin infrastructure construction of the Yucatan’s high-speed trans-peninsular railroad in early 2014. The rail is expected to chug westward from Calica (Punta Venad0 terminal) about seven miles north of us, providing a pleasant ride to Merida and other points of interest.
(We note that some roadwork was ongoing at the Calico terminal off Highway 307 last year, perhaps in preparation for the rail?)
We are familiar with what the 1800s railroads did for opening the American and Canadian West to population, opportunity and economic growth. If past is prologue, no less should be expected along the Mayan Riviera from this project.
Blend in the interest of Chinese and other investors to construct the proposed Dragon Mart near Puerto Morelos, retail/exposition project that includes considerable housing, and what can be reasonably expected is more population and more business opportunities and jobs. Also in the near future is the possibility of a new airport just south of us in Tulum.
It is a fair prognosis that the slide in housing prices hereabouts may be ready for a neat U-turn, particularly if the U.S. fiscal cliff issue is resolved and the economy there does not retreat into recession, a situation that could negatively impact Mexico’s projected economic surge.

The Mailbag…

Dear Editor:

I feel quite sure that those of us who spend the most time in PA are either a bit past our prime or at least approaching that stage of life.
Therefore, one must wonder about the total lack of handrails in our community. This is particularly noticeable on the steps to the Colonos office and meeting room. Surely it wouldn’t cost very much to add some handrails here and there.
Judith Labrozzi, Puerto Aventuras

Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter

A new president brings hope for a positive direction: “Un nuevo Presidente trae esperanza para una dirección positiva.”
Anyone interested in learning the language can contact Ms. Contreras by email at Gloria Contreras nanigloria@hotmail.com or Cel: 984-108-3517.
(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 per session. Please call her first to make arrangements.

 

What’s Playing…

See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.
Centro Maya: http://cinemex.com/

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

Briefly noted…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
EXTORTION RACKET calls have dropped significantly in Solidaridad, say press reports…THREE SWIMMERS SAVED  from a Playa del Carmen surf after being dragged by rip waves and current signaled extra precaution and heightened alert by local lifeguards…SO WHAT’S NEW? – The press reports that 315 federal job-holders in Mexico earn more than new president, Enrique Pina Nieto, despite a 2009 decree prohibiting workers including Supreme Court justices from earning more than the president…TWO VANS COLLIDED on Boulevard Playa del Carmen (the name of Highway 307 under the overpass) near Centro at the height of shopping, causing lots of damage to the vehicles. There were no injuries. Another reminder to drive carefully and observe the traffic laws…WAL-MART UNCOVERED – the New York Times printed a story about how Wal-Mart bribed its way into Mexico. It featured a $52,000 bribe to have some zoning changed near ancient pyramids 30 miles from Mexico City…Q. ROO COMPANIES conceal 3,000 labor accidents a year, says press report…A FITH AVENUE BUSINESS was disrupted by officials for hawking “pirated” Senor Frogs brand items…THERE IS TALK that the federal government wants to reclaim 5 miles of beach in Cancun and Riviera Maya but there was no mention of sand replenishment specifically for Puerto Aventuras in the local press…A CRANEwas required to right a car that flipped into another car on the federal highway near Puerto Aventuras. there were no injuries but the incident carries a warning to drive defensively and obey new speed limits…FIFTH AVENUE CLEAN-UP continues with arrests of criminal elements distributing drugs along the popular tourist enclave…A REBOUND in visitors is already being seen in Playa del Carmen, a harbinger most likely, of a better winter season…POLICE RAIDEDa tattoo parlor on Fifth Avenue between Ave. Benito Juarez alleging it was a cover for criminal activities of the “Los Pelones” gang…

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Cameras capture trio here during theft

 

Deadline for Colonos employee gifts nears 

 

If you haven’t rolled out the good cheer yet, you have through Dec. 19 to deliver a present for the Colonos employees and their families in time fortheir annual Christmas party on Dec. 21. It is an opportunity for residents to express in a small way their appreciation for the labors that maintain and beautify the community’s welcoming infrastructure. As we approach the season of joy, those more fortunate than others can express their good fortune by sharing. Gifts can be delivered to the colonos office. Do it today. Other Colonos events on the way:

December 15th – General Assembly Meeting to be held at “Salon Playa” in Dreams Hotel, at a 9:30 a.m. first call.December 21st –Party organized for the Asociacion de Colonos staff. We appreciate your support by donating gifts to be distributed to employees,  which we are receiving at Asociacion de Colonos during office hours.December 21st to 25th – The Asociacion de Colonos  office will be closed for Christmas holidays, resuming activities on the 26th.December 22nd – Closing work in process, resuming work on January the 2nd, 2013.
December 29th to January 1, 2013 – The Asociacion de Colonos office will be closed for New Year’s Eve, resuming activities on January 2, 2013.
COMMERCIAL EVENTS:
End of World Dinner Dance 
at Latitude 20 Restaurant, 7-10 p.m. Dec. 21
Special Mayan dinner, 6-10 p.m. Dec. 20 at Cafe Ole
Dessert and wine tasting, 6-10 p.m., Dec. 21, Cafe Ole

 

Colonos says 3 security employees captured

on video during alleged robbery

Trio being sued by security company

(The following notice was received by the Pelican from the Colonos and is presented as delivered, with only slight editing.)
“The security within the Puerto Aventuras Resort has been compromised by a single event on Nov. 29 in which three people who belong to the company that provides security services were involved and who were captured by video cameras at the time of committing the crime.

“It doesn’t mean in any way that the company or the Asociacion de Colonos are involved. Proof of this is that today Vizprotec Security Company has sued these people withpreliminary number AP/ZN/PYA/01/01/3401/11-2012 for robbery, as the event is  considered a breach of trust.
“Due to the above, we inform you that each case has been reviewed promptly in video cameras and hasn’t detected any violation by staff hired and so far hasn’t been linked to any safety feature similar events, so in this vein, we are suggesting that all affected persons to place their demand to the competent authorities to clarify the facts and punish the guilty persons.
“We take this opportunity to invite you to become a members of  the Board for the period 2013-2015 of Asociacion de Colonos, or any of our committees. For that you must register at the Colonos office between December the 3rd through the 7th presenting an ID. No more for now, we look forward to your feedback.”

Mayan coast chronicles…

The meaning of Roo,
a what or a who?

By staff
     What or who is Quintana Roo?
Most folks freshly arrived here from elsewhere in the world come across the name Quintana Roo and wonder about its origin. Is it some exotic plant, Mayan idiom or ceremony? Or is it somebody’s name? Read on.
To begin, Quintana Roo, which stretches westward from the coast to the border of Yucatn state, is the newest of Mexico’s 31 states (plus a federal district). It achieved statehood in 1974. It happens to be the state we live in while in Mexico.
Chetumal, to our south, is the state capital and has a population of nearly 220,000. To the north of the capital is our village/resort of Puerto Aventuras. It is in the municipality of Solidaridad, which was once the mainland section of the island of Cozumel municipality. The two were separated in 1993 to form Solidaridad on the mainland, one of Quintana Roo’s 10 municipalities.

Playa del Carmen, 15 miles to the north of PA on Federal Highway 307, is the rapidly growing seat of Solidaridad’s government. Playa has grown since 1970 from a small fishing village to a bustling vacationland of around 140,000-plus. It has a relatively defined central tourist area east of 307 and a sprawling pueblo on the west.
Puerto Aventuras, with a population of roughly 6,000 says the 2010 census, is part of Playa del Carmen, together forming one municipality. To Puerto’s immediate south is the village of Akumal, the northernmost community of the Tulum municipality. It has a population of nearly 1,400 reports the 2010 census.
Just four years ago, in 2008, Tulum was detached from Solidaridad to form the new municipality of Tulum, home to a spectacular and largely undeveloped  beach complemented by a Mayan ruin site and the prospect of a new airport that so far has largely just been talked about.
As to Quintana Roo, the name belongs to Mexican patriot Andres Quintana Roo, born Nov. 30, 1787., in Merida, whixch is in the next-door state of Yucatan. He was foremost a man of letters studying early at a local seminary in Merida then at Mexico City’s Royal and Pontifical University.

His father established the first printing press that produced newspapers on the Yucatan Peninsula. It is not surprising that aside from Andres’ considerable

curriculum vitae as poet, lawyer, politician,, insurgent in search of independence for Mexico and a participant in defining the Mexican Declaration of Independence, that he was also a journalist.
His forebears settled in Merida from the Canary Islands, which may explain the name. The Canaries, south of Spain and off the African coast in the Atlantic, were named after the large dogs (Canes) found there.
A sports arena in Cancun is also named after Quintana Roo as is a town in Yucatan state.

The Mail Bag…

Residents “very unhappy” that caleta access blocked

Dear Editor:
We recently arrived back in Puerto after several months in the States. This morning I rode my bicycle to the caleta and was told by the security guard that residents are no longer allowed access to the caleta. He indicated that others have been very unhappy to be told they can no longer access the caleta.
Signed,
Valerie Leyva

Let there be holiday lights …

Dear Editor:

It has always been quite shocking that PA does not have Christmas lights, a community tree or a service for the holiday. We attract many tourists that keep our businesses and community live.
Christmas looks like any other normal day. Can we do something about this? Even the Poblado decorates better than us. Can we all get together and purchase a large Christmas tree in the village and then on one night we light candles and give presents to the needy? Just an idea.
Signed
Melodie . Melvin

Understand and help each other

Dear Editor:

I appreciated reading Jose Ramires’ letter of acceptance of us Gringos in Mexico. Sad to say there is mistrust on both sides. The thing we all agree on is that Mexico is a beautiful country and both natives and visitors need to work together to keep it that way.
As visitors, we are impressed by the good nature and the hard working Mexicans. We hope we bring opportunity for greater employment with our investments here and also support for needed projects like schools, playgrounds and the arts with our dollars.
Most Americans that I know respect the work ethic of the Mexican people and want to see them realize their dream of a better life. Maybe our living together here will open opportunities to know, understand and help each other fulfill all our dreams.
Signed,
Peter Moulton

Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter

Santa Claus is coming to town “Papá Noel viene a la ciudad”
Anyone interested in learning the language can contact Ms. Contreras by email at Gloria Contreras nanigloria@hotmail.com or Cel: 984-108-3517.
(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 per session. Please call her first to make arrangements.

What’s Playing…

See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.
Centro Maya:  http://cinemex.com/

Las Americas: http://www.cinepolis.com/_CARTELERA/cartelera.aspx?ic=70#Cine215
Briefly noted…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
BELIZE is reportedly looking to establish a “free zone” to compete with the proposed Dragon Mart project in Cancun/Puerto Morelos area…THE COASTAL BUSINESS SECTOR continues to complain about beach erosion…LOOKING UP – Holiday flights are on the rise with the start of 36 weekly flights to Cancun Airport from such places as Paris, Austin, St. Petersburg, New Orleans, Chicago, Panama among others…SHORTFALL – It is reported that only 25 percent of Solidaridad police meet certification requirements required by the Federal Public Security Act. The reason is an inability of the center responsible in Chetumal to meet demand for the tests…THE USUAL SUSPECTS – Police and Navy personnel with drug sniffing dogs continue to raid establishments on the west side of 307 hoping to prevent crime before it happens…

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