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NOTICE: With this issue, the Pelican Free Press resumes its high-season tradition of weekly editions. Thank you for reading.
Leaping for joy….
Specifics awaited on Omni Beach sand plan
A proposal to link a much sought after sand replenishment project at Omni Beach with Phase 4 construction, building fees and beach access has engendered three prerequisites issued by Colonos leaders: They include:
That specifics of the proposal by Fideicomiso’s Roman Rivera Torres floated at the Dec. 15 Assembly be put in detailed writing covering all points.
Also, the Colonos board insists that Rivera Torres’ somewhat vague proposal include a stipulation that beach access for residents (and legitimate renters) “be guaranteed 24/7 all year long” in lieu of a deeded access path that has been sought for some time by the Colonos. Last year, a closing of beach access by the Fideicomiso angered some property owners who said they bought here with the understanding there was guaranteed beach access. Buyer beware.
Evidently, this compromise is doable, something the U.S. Congress has difficulty accomplishing. The demand requires the Fideicomiso to provide plastic credit-card sized beach passes for residents along defined paths, Colonos GM Armando Rincon said this week.
Third, the Colonos wants all the financing specifics in writing and an estimate of the cost to the Colonos, or, in other words, to the taxpayers of Puerto Aventuras.
Rincon explained that Rivera Torres’ initial proposal targets a portion of construction fees ordinarily charged to developers by the Colonos. Traditionally, said Rincon, those fees are set aside for road repairs. In return for an as yet undetermined portion of those fees for use in the replenishment project, Rivera Torres would build Phase 4 infrastructure to include paved roads, sidewalks and lighting, which the Colonos would not have to do. (Rivera Torres had said in previous years a bike path would be included in the Phase 4 plan but there has been no mention of that in current discussion. A wide sidewalk could fill that dream.)
At some point, the Fideicomiso would integrate Phase 4 into the Colonos so that the Colonos could assess its annual maintenance fee revenue from Phase 4 property owners. The integration would not occur until such time a sufficient number of lots had been sold to make the integration financially feasible for the Colonos.
Torres Rivera had been expected to provide all the information at the Dec. 15 Assembly, Rincon said, but did not meet deadlines for including his proposal on the agenda. That could happen again because the Colonos has scheduled a special Assembly for Feb. 16 to hear specifics of the proposal, particularly how much funding River Torres wants from the Colonos, before opening the Assembly to a vote.
Rivera Torres told the Pelican at press time last night week that details of the project are in hand. More on that later.
Absent specifics by the deadlines, the Assembly will not convene, Rincon said.
Don’t be confused…
$100,000 theft welcomes 2013
Two safes holding jewelry, cash, ripped from wall;
Victims offer $1,000 reward to I.D. the thieves
Two couples living next door to each other were reportedly robbed of an estimated $100,000 in jewelry and cash while they were away on a trip to Puebla, one of the victims told the Pelican Free Press last week. Pelican policy is not to name victims of crime in most cases.
The theft is believed to have occurred on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) in one unit of a condo development near the cultural center on Bahia Akumal. One of the couples had arranged a housing exchange and invited their neighbors next door, where the crime occurred, to go with them while a family from Puebla occupied their exchange unit. The crime scene unit was left unoccupied.
The thieves apparently pried open a kitchen window that is hidden from the street by a staircase, went into two closets each containing a safe bolted to the wall, ripped away the safes and exited with the safes unopened via a glass slider, leaving footprints in and outside the scene. It was assumed the safes would be smashed open elsewhere. A few other items such as a laptop were also taken.
“We were still on the road driving back when we were alerted by our household help that something was amiss,” said one of the victims. The visitor from Puebla reported seeing a person he described as having light hair and skin loitering on the balcony of an unfinished unit above the pool area the day of the theft.
Local and state police agencies have joined in the investigation . Meanwhile, a safe unrelated to that crime was found in shrubs and woods near the fence south of the cultural center. The victims said they would launch a search of that area on their own to see if their safes might also be found there.
“Travel magazines warn travelers to leave valuables at home to diminish the odds of theft or loss while on the road. It backfired,” said one of the victims whose jewelry was taken.
The theft occurred 16 days after voters at the Dec. 15 Assembly turned down a request to hire six additional guards to the current force of 28 for a 12.54 percent fixed-cost increase in the Colonos fee. Instead voters opted to increase the number of videocams to the community’s current street surveillance system for a one-time fee hike of 6.73 percent in 2013, a modest cost to property owners averaging about 83 pesos per vote (bedroom).
The victims have offered a $1,000 reward for a return of their stolen items and successful identification of the criminal (s) involved.
There were 18 thefts, some of considerable loot, last year. It ought to remind residents not to flash too much cash or jewelry in public and to lock windows and doors of cars and homes when expecting to be absent for more than a day. Also, it doesn’t hurt to vet the help.
Seven dolphins born here in 2012
It’s a boy! Another dolphin was born into the the Puerto Aventuras marina family of mammals recently, bringing last year’s total to seven.
The birth took 45 minutes from when the tail first appeared from mama’s tummy until she pushed her baby to the surface for its first breath of air. This was baby number four for “Regina”… and number seven overall for Dolphin Discovery during the course of 2012. Mother and baby are doing fine and swimming together in great harmony.
Baby dolphins are born “tail first”. Regina appeared to go into labor on several occasions, but the actual birth came on December 18, 2012 at 8 a.m.. What a pleasant surprise for residents and visitors who unknowingly came to the marina for breakfast that morning.
Baby dolphins are called calves and stay very close to their mother for many months, sometimes even years before becoming independent. As soon as the baby is born the mother quickly pushes it to the surface so it can breathe fresh air.
Dolphins are mammals, not fish. The mother’s milk is very rich and is as thick as ice cream. Baby dolphins are about three feet long when born and weigh between 25 and 50 pounds. Their weight and length can double during the first month.
The baby’s sonar is not fully developed at birth, so the mother constantly whistles to her baby and the baby soon learns to identify its mother’s “signature” whistle from all the others.
Calves learn from imitating their mothers. They stay by their mother’s side and turn, dive, and surface right along with her. Dolphins born in captivity, like those here in Puerto Aventuras, learn many of the tricks that dolphins do when interacting with humans by mimicking their mothers. Visitors can see all of these things occurring at the Dolphin pools here in Puerto.
Dolphins mature in 10 to 12 years. A pregnancy lasts 12 months and dolphins, in the wild, typically have a baby every other year.
Event to inspire women set for Jan. 18
A pioneering Canadian choreographer known for her commanding on-stage presence is bringing a world of experience in the arts and life to the Puerto Aventuras Cultural Center on Friday, Jan. 18 in an hour-long presentation called “The Image of Woman.”
“It’s an evening of poetry, ritual, music and dance intended to inspire women to find their own sense of dignity and self-possession,” Patricia Beatty told the Pelican in an interview last night.
While the evening is geared to a message for women, men are invited also to enjoy the dancing talent, music and provocative poetry that fills the hour-long adventure. It will be followed by informal conversation with the talent over assorted beverages.
Beatty, who winters in her Bahia Solimon home near Tulum, returned to Mexico early this year from Toronto and agreed to the performance after being inspired by the cultural center’s generous architecture, space and light she saw last year at one of the center’s popular concerts.
The event offers the opportunity to network with other women from Paamul, Akumal and other nearby enclaves. The program is in English and Spanish.
Beatty studied at Bennington College, known for its superior arts programs and for five years at the Martha Graham School in New York City before returning to Toronto in 1967 to launch the New Dance Group of Canada.
In tandem with becoming one of Canada’s outstanding choreographers, she authored an elegant treatise on choreography entitled “Form Without Formula.” Canadian critics described her choreography as marked by meticulous attention to detail. First Music (1969), set to Charles Ives’ enigmatic The Unanswered Question, was presented at the Joyce Theatre, New York, in Nov. 1991, while Beatty’s Against Sleep (1968) was restaged in Nov. 1998 for Toronto Dance Theater’s 30th anniversary performances.
Tickets are 120 pesos and are available at the Colonos office. Women who attend are asked to wear something red as a symbol of a better future for women everywhere.
Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
Where have all the monkeys gone? “Todos los monos donde han ido?”
Anyone interested in learning the language can contact Ms. Contreras by email at Gloria Contreras firstname.lastname@example.org 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.)
See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.
Centro Maya: http://cinemex.com/
Compiled from staff, contributors and media reports
COOKING CLASSES we are told are set to resume at Latitude 20 restaurant Fridays at 10 a.m. … RETURNING SNOWBIRDS could not help but notice the pace of construction along Bahia Chemuyil this week where workers were checking surveillance cameras. Kudos also to the grounds crews for managing trees and shrubs so well. The area is alight with nature’s gifts…EIGHTEEN MILLION is a nice round figure and it is the one that officials say Q. Roo reached in the number of travelers in 2012, getting a boost this time of year from the holidays and Mayan Calendar’s end-of-time non-event. The figures surpassed last year’s 16 million…SOME 20,000 of those visitors were on the sandy beaches of Playa del Carmen. PA residents who went to town said La Quinta was a sea of people, almost too many to be enjoyable…ACCORDING TO local press reports, tourists and Anglos hereabouts would do well to steer clear of the Coco Bongo nightclub at 10th Avenue North and 12th Street, where it is alleged several women have been raped in the rest room, threats made on patrons by gun-wielding thugs and a Saturday night report that one man almost lost an eye when hit with a bottle. The reports allege none of this is reported to local authorities or local hospitals to avoid publicity…ON THE BRIGHT SIDE you may notice less hawking of goods by “pullers” on Avenue 5 and other improvements to help guarantee a world class travel experience…RETAIL SALES UP 40 percent over the off-season at 5th Avenue shops but still not meeting pre-recession numbers… FIRST ALLEGED NARCO MURDER of the new year was reported in the local press. The 32-year-old victim, a DJ in a Playa club located on 307 and Benito Juarez Ave., was allegedly involved in the drug trade. He was bound, gagged with socks and suffocated to death then dumped on a roadside. His mother reported him missing on Saturday. Police have arrested 16 club employees on various allegations…CANADA CANCER CAUSE – The oil sands industry in Canada whose wealth has allowed thousands of regular workers to buy winter retreats in places like Puerto Aventuras has a dark side too. A study shows the unintended consequence of the industry’s growth is the increased levels of cancer causing compounds in lakes…FERRY PRICE HIKES drew more than 100 business-community protestors to Playa’s waterfront and in Cozumel last week…IN THE MEANTIME, city officials turned up the heat on tour vendors crowding the ferry piers and 5th Avenue to stop harassing passersby…