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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Paradise lost: Child porn fugitive jailed

COMING EVENTS:

COOKING CLASS, Friday, March 15, 10 a.m. Latitude 20 Restaurant
COMEDY FESTIVAL, April 11-13, in Akumal

 

Lawyer says deportation means

there can be no  return to Mexico

By Staff
       A well-known Puerto Aventuras resident and convicted child pornography fugitive from the U.S. justice system has been arrested and is jailed in Florida. He is being detained on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender and has been placed on “immigration hold,” meaning that he cannot be released to the streets on bond pending a court appearance on the charge.

Douglas J. Bell, 71, who has been living in a posh waterfront condominium at Quinta Luna, was reportedly taken by law enforcement officials from his condominium earlier this month, quickly extradited to the U.S. and booked on March 6 in Florida’s Broward County.
There are thus far uncorroborated reports that officials confiscated electronic paraphernalia found in the condominium accessorized with at least four large television screens and multiple computers. A witness reported seeing law enforcement personnel and vans outside the apartment on March 8 after Bell had been mysteriously absent for seven days.
Bell had been listed on the internet for more than a decade as a fugitive from the Broward County, Fla. offender registry. He had been charged with 24 counts of sexual performance by a child (child pornography) filed in 1998 by the Broward Sheriff’s Department. At the time, Bell had been a computer and audio visual teacher at the Broward Middle Schools for 13 years. He had no prior U.S. convictions.
A report then in Florida’s Sun Sentinel newspaper said that charges were filed after school officials found 18 images of naked children on a school hard drive that Bell had brought in for repairs. A later search of his Florida residence turned up eight more similar photos on CD-Roms, the newspaper reported.
A review of the hard drive by U.S. Customs revealed “a meticulously organized directory of adult and child pornography and erotica,” according to Kirk Englehardt, Broward Sheriff’s Office spokesman at the time. Bell was arrested after that analysis. Detectives say that, though Bell had access to students at Pompano Beach Middle School, they found no evidence that he molested or tried to engage any of them in anything illegal.

CASE GOES TO COURT

On Jan. 25, 2001, Bell’s case finally went to court and he was “convicted by plea” on 25 felony charges, 24 of them on use of a computer for child exploitation and one count of cruelty to a child (obscene communication). He was sentenced to two years probation on all charges.
Bell was last seen in Florida on Feb. 26, 2001, just 32 days after the convictions on pleas of “nolo contendere” (no contest) according to court records. He was thereafter listed as “absconded,” – a fugitive from justice. A Florida detective said Bell could not have served probation in a foreign country. (A “no contest” plea is treated by the court as a conviction as is a guilty plea. The “not guilty” option was also available.)
At some point not long thereafter, Bell emerged in Mexico. He became a fulltime resident of Puerto Aventuras and began a process of courting the risk of deportation and befriending local residents and snowbirds to such a degree that it prompted a letter to the editor this week from resident and Bell friend Andrew Leigh. It reads, in part:

“I am writing you in hopes that you might consider omitting a recent event that involved a PA resident from this week’s publication of the PFP. No doubt you have heard of the arrest and deportation of Douglas Bell. If not, even better. We, as many of his longtime friends here feel, that this event and the circumstances surrounding it have nothing to do with Puerto Aventuras news. It is a personal matter that has no effect whatsoever on residents that do not know him, dirty laundry and nothing more.
“We greatly enjoy the informative articles regarding PA and the Mayan Riviera on a weekly basis, but all of Doug’s many friends here do not wish to see him skewered for events that may have happened in the past and in another country. I do hope you can consider taking the high road here.”

GROWING A BREAKFAST CROWD

         A stoic and accommodating sort who generally spoke in a monotone, Bell  soon became a magnet attracting as many as 15 to 20 other residents at times to chatty breakfast gatherings, said a source close to him this week who wished to remain anonymous. “He had a way of doing things for you that made you dependent on him,” the source said. “He was good on the Internet, could help you, and had this long file of local craftsmen he could get for you if you needed one.”
Another view came from a mother and local business owner who said this week that she refused his business because of what she observed as inappropriate behavior and a comment he made about her young daughter.
The source described Bell also as …“controlling, too. He could round up sometimes 20 people to go to Sunday breakfast in Playa or Akumal and it was great. You met a lot of new people. He had a collection of new movies he would loan to just about anybody who asked.  This may sound strange but now that I think of it, he kind of made you feel safer.”
There was also an eccentric but intriguing quality about Bell as he ate in restaurants that would allow his two small dogs to sit in chairs on either side of him, where he could easily share his food with them. He hosted annual birthday parties for the dogs and 25-30 people would show up, some with gifts.
The quirkiness is probably why, the source suggested, that many of Bell’s hail-good-fellow acquaintances shrugged in common truancy when his fugitive status in the U.S. began to circulate in whispered commentary. “I and some others began to drift away from him and those breakfast meetings because of it,” the source said. “But now that this has happened (the arrest), I have to say that I’m feeling somewhat guilty.”
Guilty, he inferred, of saying nothing, doing nothing, not condoning but abiding a fugitive.

BIRTH OF A CRUSADE

Not so Teresa Rubi Mendiola, a relentless Playa del Carmen immigration attorney and mother who took it upon herself five years ago to pursue Bell. Asked what her motive was for this particular crusade, she replied “because I love children.” She also said she previously worked in law enforcement.

In an interview this week in her office, she said she collected evidence and sought Bell’s deportation for five years after some of his neighbors informed her of his convictions and fugitive status. She said she was also motivated by other local negative hearsay information that so far remains uncorroborated and untested by any official Mexican law enforcement agency or court.
One of Bell’s neighbors who wanted anonymity, said in a phone interview that when he first heard questionable details about Bell, he had a Chicago private detective vet Bell’s record in Florida and passed the information on to Atty. Mendiola.
She said that for five years she has been contacting immigration officials here and in Florida, who, she said, generally responded with reasons or “excuses” why they could not or would not act on his deportation.
It was not, she said in the interview, until the recent arrival of new immigration agentHector Lemolin in Playa del Carmen that swift action occurred. “I gave him the file on February 11th… and look how fast he acted.”
She said her work could not have been accomplished also without the serious considerations of  the regional director of the Instituto Nacional de Migracion, Lic. Oscar Tirado Tirado, based in Cancun, and the local Encargado de la Delegacion de Playa del Carmen, Lic. Luis German Martinez Aguilar.
“Due to their wonderful teamwork this was able to take place . Up to this point, no other immigration delegado had ever shown interest in protecting the country’s borders or community from fugitives like Bell during the past four to five years.”
Atty. Mendiola says Bell’s days in Paradise are over. “He can’t come back because he was deported,” she said. She was joined in this view by Broward Sheriff’s Office detectiveMelissa Smith Everlyi who also worked on the case as did Mendiola’s law partner, Daniel Jesus Garcia Perez.
An attorney in Playa del Carmen who represented Bell on other matters declined comment. “I don’t know what he would want to say,” he said. There was no word on a court date for Bell’s arraignment.

COMMERCE CORNER

Two ferry companies delay start of service here

       Two competing ferry services are vying for the Tampa-Yucatan market and both of them, much like the Dragon Mart, are becoming adept at postponing their projects for various reasons.

Limestone Industrial del Carmen CEO Jorge Marquez Chabolla told the local press that the shipping company interested in the route from Tampa to the Calica Terminal – the closest terminal to serve Puerto Aventuras –will likely be postponed until late 2014.
And now comes Caribbean Cruise Lines CEO Bruce Nierenberg saying that his ferry plans for a Tampa-Progresso route – more distant for Puerto Aventurans or about a 5.5 hour drive – also will not likely begin until the winter of 2014. Progreso is a port near Merida.
Chabolla said the Tampa-Calica  project was temporarily delayed when the shipping company that was to operate it placed priority on a Tampa-Bahamas route.
Nierenberg, of Caribbean Lines,  was apologetic in his correspondence to people on the Mexican side who had filed polling data with the company to hasten its service to Progresso.
“It’s taken much longer than I had hoped it would as a result of many things international that are out of my control. But I feel we are getting to the finish line and will be establishing the start date  soon.

“I know you all plan as far in advance as possible so while I wont have the start date for a while, let me give you and your friends down there some information as to what they should be planning. 1. The ferry will not start until 2014. 2. It is being targeted for a winter start hopefully by February.
If you all are planning to travel I would not delay any other travel arrangements in any way before these dates.
“I have put together a list of all the people who have contacted us answering our questionnaires. That email list will be the first to know our specific plans when we announce them. Tell the others that if they have not contacted us to send me their email address and I will add them to the list for the latest information and special rates when we start.
“We also will have some special rates and deals for all of you that have been so patient,” Nierenberg said.
The line earlier predicted the proposed car/passenger ferry service on European style ferries capable of 1,000 to 2,000 passengers and as many as 600 cars would be up and running last year. Hyde Shipping, another Florida company, was chugging two container ships and delivering more than predictions to people choosing to haul their stuff from there to here or vice versa.
One case in point was that of Janet and Bruce Hardwicke of Puerto Aventuras who shipped their 10-year-old plus car from Florida to Puerto Morelos and were quite satisfied with the service despite having to jump through a number of seemingly redundant hoops once the car arrived in Mexico.

ALERT FOR ARTISTS, CRAFTSMEN, COOKS….

       A day to strut your skills will be presented by the Latitude 20 Restaurant from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 14. Owner Peter Metrick invites all local artists, craftsmen and cooks to set up at the Latitude 20 to market their wares while being entertained by the delightful music of students from the Colegio.
The day is being billed as the Food, Fashion and Arts Fair offering the opportunity to display one’ s  skills to the local market.
Any artist, cook, tailor or other craftsperson who wants to participate in a fun day are asked to call Peter at 984-128-2933 or his chef, Daniel, at 984-593-1362. Contact can also be made at info@latitude20restaurant.com
B
USINESS BRIEFS – There’s a new breakfast in town known as the American doughnut and it became available at Cafe-Cafe in Centro yesterday….

 In Case You Want To Know…

 

Medical Information for Americans Abroad

(Provided by the U.S. Consular office in Playa del Carmen)

 

     If an American citizen becomes seriously ill or injured abroad, a U. S. consular officer can assist in locating appropriate medical services and informing family or friends. If necessary, a consular officer can also assist in the transfer of funds from the United States. However, payment of hospital and other expenses is the responsibility of the traveler.
Before going abroad, learn what medical services your health insurance will cover overseas. If your health insurance policy provides coverage outside the United States, REMEMBER to carry both your insurance policy identity card as proof of such insurance and a claim form. Although many health insurance companies will pay “customary and reasonable” hospital costs abroad, very few will pay for your medical evacuation back to the United States.Medical evacuation can easily cost $12,000 and up, depending on your location and medical condition.

THE SOCIAL SECURITY MEDICARE PROGRAM DOES NOT PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR HOSPITAL OR MEDICAL COSTS OUTSIDE THE U.S.A.

Senior citizens may wish to contact the American Association of Retired Persons for information about foreign medical care coverage with Medicare supplemental plans.
To facilitate identification in case of an accident, complete the information page on the inside of your passport providing the name, address and telephone number of someone to be contacted in an emergency.
A traveler going abroad with any pre-existing medical problems should carry a letter from the attending physician, describing the medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic name of prescribed drugs.
Any medications being carried overseas should be left in their original containers and be clearly labeled.

 

Letters…

 

…Writer reminds community of “Art Walk”

Dear Editor:
       Not many people know there is an Art Walk around the marina every Saturday from 3:00 PM until 10:00 PM. The artists have their art displayed in front of several of the restaurants. Could you please put out a notice in the Pelican asking for artists interested in exhibiting and also asking people to come and support their local artists? If artists are interested in exhibiting, they should contact Salvador Penaloza on 984-151-2089 or at kunsthaus@zoho.com and he will assign a spot for them to display their art. I can be reached on 984-120-3953. Thank you for any support you can give.

Signed/Terri Hughes

Church Services…

FELLOWSHIP CHURCH PAAMUL– Non-denominational English worship Service is at 9:00 a.m Sundays in Paamul at the Palapa Church and at 10:45 a.m. at the Hacienda Real Hotel, Avenida 10 and Calle10 in Playa del Carmen.
LIGHTHOUSE CHURCH TULUM – “Lighting the way to Life” English worship Service is non-denominational, 10:00 a.m. Sundays with continental breakfast at 9:30; located on Highway 307, 1.2 miles past San Francisco grocery, hospital and Subway, next door to fruit stand.

 

Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter

What’s the temperature? “Cual es la temperatura?” Anyone interested in learning the language can please contact Ms. Contreras by email at nanigloria@hotmail.com or Cel: 984-108-3517 so she can prepare materials in advance.
(Classes are from 8:30 to 9:30 a..m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is $150 pesos per session.

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
NOT THIS TIME – Q. Roo’s state government has adopted a 213 million peso budget for maintenance of state highways, but none of it apparently will come to highway 307…THE RED CROSS of this region, which recently opened a module in the Puerto Aventuras Poblado, has announced it needs to raise 800,000 pesos in its fundraising drives this year to expand its unit in Playa del Carmen. There will be drives today (March 14) and on March 31. Give generously to this worthy cause…NEW POLICE CARS along with new equipment and uniforms costing an aggregate 7,900,000 pesos have been delivered to Solidarity police elements by Mayor Filibeto Martinez Mendez. Our tax money at work for a safer environment…THERE ARE COMPLAINTS  about adulterated alcoholic drinks being served in some bars and lounges on 5th Avenue in Playa. Business people fear it will negatively impact tourist business…ANALYSIS FINDS that 5th Avenue cenotes contain a bacteria  seen there for the first time. Officials discussing what action to take…A BOX TRUCK speeding on wet pavement on Highway 307 between Puerto and Playa went off the road causing considerable damage Tuesday. Police used the incident to warn drivers to slow down on slippery wet pavement….

 

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Colonos votes to reclaim bay beach

 

Prep work could begin as soon as this month

 

Colonos to collect, disburse funds;

Beach access all but guaranteed

 

By Staff
     Despite demands for “guarantees’ rising from the audience, precious few were actually delivered as more than 70 owners and condo administrators at the Colonos Assembly Saturday overwhelmingly approved a funding plan for the proposed Fatima Bay beach replenishment project. The vote was a lopsided 1,756 for and 10 against, with condo administrators present casting all their votes in favor.
With Saturday’s affirmative vote in hand after a two-hour session, Pablo Besquin, of the Oceanus Corp., which will engineer and oversee the project, said preparatory work could begin this month and, with the cooperation of the weather, government and other variables, could be completed in eight months.
Oceanus estimates the project cost at $913,000 USD, of which $350,000 of quarry stone will be used as in-kind service by Plano 4 developer Roman Rivera Torres, leaving a project balance of an estimated $751,800.
The Colonos has agreed to dedicate fees from future housing construction in Plano 4 to the beach project. The fees would ordinarily be used to build roads. In return, the developer (Fideicomiso) will construct roads and  underground infrastructure.
Expected future revenue from construction fees over the long haul is estimated at $1,550,000 USD. The beach project cost of $751,800, according to Oceanus, represents 36 percent of the total amount in fees expected over the build-life of  Plano 4.

Since funds are needed now to reclaim the beach as soon as possible, there was talk of loans being made by private parties at no interest to the Colonos in order to begin the project. For its part, the Colonos would collect and disburse future Plano 4 fees to repay the loans. There is no cost to existing property owners in Planos 1,2,3.
Most of the meeting was conducted by Besquin who explained that some six various reclamation plans had been considered with a view to minimizing costs. The first, and best plan (See photo in Feb. 21 edition below) using inverted pyramid devices across the top of the bay was deemed cost-prohibitive.
Oceanus, Besquin said, along with the scientific guidance of Dr. Ping Wang of Florida University’s Coastal Research Laboratory, chose instead a system of  five underwater barrier reefs about 300 feet away from and parallel to the shore. The reefs would be constructed  in 6-foot water depth and remain hidden from view. They would be strung along the entire bay coastline (725 yards or seven football fields) laid out in five separate lengths. (See photo at top of story.)
Once the reefs are in place, sand that has washed along the southern marina jetty would be reclaimed to create a shoreline beach averaging 100 feet wide and festooned with palm trees and beach grass to add beauty and accommodate sand retention. Besquin said there was a possibility of introducing coral life forms to the underwater barriers over the long term.
Like Mother nature, who does not issue written guarantees, neither did the Fideicomiso or Oceanus, which said that a few areas of the reef still need to be studied and tweaked, particularly in front of Chac Hal Al; that all government permits are not in hand, that a timeline for completion is

at the mercy of natural and man-made variables  and that the Colonos would incur more costs for a barrier maintenance program over the first five years at about $25,000 a year to keep the beach replenished and the barriers in place.
Stone for the barriers will be cut from the proposed canal areas of Plano 4 using a rock saw to yield 900 large boulders required for the barrier reefs. The rocks will be hauled three at a time on a barge with cranes that will need to be built then deconstructed when the work is done.
The process will require two small towing vessels to move the barge with three to four boulders per trip.  The process will take about 40 days for each of the five separate barrier sections.
While the science/engineering part of the Assembly was coldly technical, the argument for a signed public access guarantee was emotional.
The political aspect of the Assembly revealed what the world already knows: Voters usually have a self-serving reason to vote the way they do and this was no exception.
Several passionate pleas for a legal, guaranteed public right of way to beach access were made from the heart by persons who own off-beach property and had been turned away during the unilateral closure last season of the Omni Beach access point behind the Dive Shop.
They wanted Colonos and Fideicomiso to sign a contract guaranteeing  permanent beach access for owner/residents before committing Colonos funds to the project. There was some applause. However, their supplications failed to gain the support of the few condo administrators whose pockets were loaded with votes from residents who already live on the beaches and have their own access. Judging from the tally, some administrators voted even their landlocked complexes in line with the beachside condos.
One man in the audience explained why: Waterfront condos have been hit with new taxes – some condo complexes as much as $100,000, the man said – because beach erosion results in the condo properties encroaching on federal land, therefore the tax. Replenishing the beach as quickly as possible will relieve the condos of that tax since they will no longer be encroaching on federal land. To them, obviously, beach access was a secondary issue.
But the beach-access crowd didn’t walk away empty handed even though it might think so. The Colonos board, speaking through its chairman, Jorge Kaufer, said it was in negotiations with the Omni Hotel/Fideicomiso as it has been for several years and very close to a permanent access deal. Evidently, it will be one in which private property remains private property but one granting an accommodation short of a legal public access grant.
More significantly, developer Rivera Torres put his word and faith on the line by publicly stating in front of 70 witnesses that the Omni Beach access behind the dive shop will be improved and placed under the control of the Colonos to assure its maintenance and continuity as such. It would give resident/owners access via an identification card issued by the Colonos.

When asked ifhe had permits in hand, Rivera Torres said much of the work can be legitimately accomplished before receiving them. He said the government was not the problem, but more so the few local armchair observers who view things from their condo units and complain to outside authorities, thus bringing them down on the community to complicate matters.
He said the Puerto Aventuras vision has been and remains the existence of a unique self-sustaining and governing “private property” community measurably controlled in the final analysis by its residents via the Colonos Association.
He said the indigenous communities across the highway have grown to nearly 15,000 residents – which drew a few expressions of surprise and disbelief from the audience – and expounded on the the necessity to tighten access at the Main Gate and at the beach access point if for no other reason than the beach and community couldn’t handle the influx.
If there are any hard feelings among some residents at the moment, they will surely ameliorate when a spacious sandy beach with palm trees, palapas and unhindered access stretches out into the refreshing, turquoise waters of Fatima Bay. Faith in the Colonos and Fideicomiso vision is riding on it.
In Case You Want To Know…

Red Cross: Mutual aide comes to the fore

 

 

 

Clinic, ambulance that serve resort

receive equipment donated by golfers…

    It was a win-win situation for the Red Cross clinic, the Poblado and the people of the resort this week when $3,400 in medical equipment was delivered to the new clinic in the former police station.
Donated items from partial proceeds of last year’s Charity Golf Tournament chaired by Jim and Jeannette Jamieson and treasurers Bob and Glenna Uecker of Capt. Rick’s sport fishing, included a sanitary table, infant scale, blood pressure monitor, a good bright light to illuminate delicate work, equipment for checking eyes, a fetal doppler (to hear the fetal heartbeat) and other equipment including a multi-purpose defibrillator that had not yet arrived.    

At the urging of Centro resident John Schwandke who brokered the donation, funds have also been set aside by the Colonos to provide gasoline for the Red Cross ambulance now permanently stationed in the Puerto Aventuras Poblado.
The Red Cross clinic was opened here in September and is an outreach of the regional Red Cross that stretches from Puerto Morelos to Akumal. It has one of six ambulances in the regional district.
Worth repeating is the fact that the Red Cross in Puerto Aventuras is an emergency ambulance service and a drop-in clinic for all area people. Both segments operate 24 hours a day serving the rapidly growing Poblado and Puerto Maya, and other nearby communities such as Akumal and Paamul. It is staffed by three doctors and six certified paramedics who are also used to train other paramedics.

The Red Cross here is not subsidized by government and for an agency that survives on donations, auctions, races, general fundraising and comparatively very low posted  prices for medical and ambulance services, it performs a vital, life-saving service with efficiency and dedication of its personnel.
Unlike private ambulance services and or government ordered trips on the public emergency number, the Red Cross –emergency number 065 – cares for and delivers a patient to the hospital of his or her choice without initial regard for payment.
And if you aren’t feeling well, perhaps indigestion or other distress you feel requires a diagnosis , or if you need treatment for a deep cut, rash or the like, the clinic is there for you 24/7 with modest prices posted for the various medical and Rx services.
Unlike the U.S. Red Cross that concentrates on major disasters, the Mexican Cruz Roja is an integral part of the Mexican emergency response system, in fact, a leading part. If you read Mexican newspapers, you will see that Cruz Roja  is a critical first responder at the scene of most accidents and other events where there are injuries.
The clinic is the former police station on the main Poblado road you enter from the overpass area. It is at the fork in the road, almost at the end.
Red Cross services are there for resort dwellers also. Remember the Red Cross emergency number — 065…

Commerce Corner…

Business network group eyes Puerto Aventuras

       The first annual “business exchange” in Playa del Carmen sponsored by Negocios Unidos (NU) (United Business) to foster international and intramural business networking  may someday have a role to play in Puerto Aventuras.

That was the impression left with David Zannoni of Puerto Aventuras, who has a masters in  Public Management from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, as he strolled among some 200 business people last week at the Colegio Ingles in Playa del Carmen and spoke with NU founder, Jon Felperin, a teacher at the school.
It was Playa’s first “business exchange” event. “It was a good start,” said Zannoni, who conducts international business as a film industry consultant and debt mediator and is fluent in Dutch, English, Italian, Spanish and basic German. His wife, Mexican-born America Vanessa Rodriguez Luiz operates an on-line children’s clothing business.
     “I would have preferred to see more corporate-sized businesses involved, although there were a few, but you have to start somewhere.” Zannoni said. Most of the displays were smaller businesses from crafts to aluminum windows, banking and medical.

Rain somewhat dampened enthusiasm as some 35 display booths that had been set up in the Colegio courtyards stationed themselves under the courtyard overhang. There was food and drink and no shortage of conversations among huddled groups of business people doing what the evening was for – networking. While some strolled along the booths, others joined several business classes going on in a nearby palapa.
Zannoni said he has discussed possibilities of folding Puerto Aventuras into the Playa organization, which, for the record, conducts weekly morning business meetings among members for networking and referrals, “a model that was created in the United States,” Zannoni said.
He agreed there could be value in helping small businesses, particularly craftsmen in the Poblado, to refine some of their business practices and spread the word of their existence into the larger area and even abroad in some cases.
Felperin and Zannoni are slated to meet informally Sunday to discuss “bringing intercontinental entrepreneurs to the Riviera Maya physically and virtually to help promote foreign investment in the region” and to also consider the expansion of the networking group to Puerto Aventuras.
Anyone interested in this pursuit can contact Zannoni atd_zannoni@hotmail.com and/or Jon Felperinjfelperin@negociosunidos.net

 

BUSINESS BRIEFS…Ice-fishing guru Hal Harper says he has signed papers to share part of his car-storage operation near the Dreams Hotel bridge adjacent to the popularLatitude 20 Restaurant with a dive shop to be run by two German divers and owner of existing shops in Playa and Cancun…Dr. Enrique Perez,the resort’s only dentist, has moved his office from Centro to the Bamboo building on the new marina…

Looking UP… With Gayle Sandholm

Little fish makes a decent dish

As you walk along the beach here in Puerto you may notice black fins just breaking the water’s surface. More than likely this is a triggerfish, “tailing” as it seeks small crabs in the shallow water close to shore.

They dig out prey by flapping their fins and by squirting water from their mouths. I assured one visitor last week that these really were not sharks and that it was OK to actually get into the water and snorkel. Their name comes from the way they lock the spine on their dorsal fins when threatened or alarmed. I caught what I guess was a two pound one on my fly rod last week in the waters in front of Villa del Mar. They do fight hard, however, when hooked on a fly rod. While some triggerfish are quite colorful and are often found in aquariums, those “tailing” along the beach are grey and to my eye not too attractive. But they are quite tasty.

This was a good week for seeing birds. I watched a ferruginous pigmy owl looking for prey in the trees along Bahia Yalku. A couple of days later I watched it again in the trees along the golf course. A small owl (7 in / 18 cm) it often hunts for small birds, lizards, or insects during the dawn or dusk, but can be seen hunting in midday.
I also spotted a painted bunting in the bushes along Bahia Xaak. It is about 5 inches (12-13 centimeters) long and is blue, red, yellow and a luminous light green back. It winters here (a real snowbird). Most often it can be seen eating insects in the bushes low to the ground.

The finest sighting, however, was a “lifer” (first time seen in my life). A black headed trogon was perched in a tree along the golf course. Trogons spend much time perched motionless in open trees.
They eat fruit and insects (wasps and termites) and often make nests in rotten stumps or termitaries (those large mud like nests in trees). This one was unmistakable with its beautiful blue eye ring, yellow breast and large white markings on its tail. About 11 in / 28 cm long, its back is a beautiful dark blue. As I work on my Spanish I am adding the phrase: “hermoso pájaro” beautiful bird.

We received a report from Andy and Cathy of Quinta del Sol saying they saw a beautiful flash of blue fly by and went to investigate and discovered this

beautiful insect. It had a metallic turquoise back side where the wings are and the underside including the legs and face were a brilliant orange.
I think it is from the family of insects called pentatomidae (five sections). Back in the states we call them shield bugs or more commonly stink bugs.
When disturbed they secrete a rather foul smelling substance and are a nuisance for farmers because they enjoy eating the crops. So, enjoy the beauty of metallic turquoise and brilliant orange, but don’t disturb.

Have another good week in Puerto Aventuras. Keep looking up.

 

Letters…

Dear Editor:
     B
eing way up in Minnesota, yet longing to be in Puerto, you bring exciting news/current information/community events and experiences/great visuals (pictures) and so much more. Even from up near Canada we can feel like we are still a part of Puerto Aventuras and surrounding areas. Thank you. We recommend the Pelican Press to all our “snowbird” friends and to permanent residents in Puerto who for whatever reason have yet to make the connection. Have a great day.

Signed/Denny Wall

 

Church Services…

FELLOWSHIP CHURCH PAAMUL– Non-denominational English worship Service is at 9:00 a.m Sundays in Paamul at the Palapa Church and at 10:45 a.m. at the Hacienda Real Hotel, Avenida 10 and Calle10 in Playa del Carmen.
LIGHTHOUSE CHURCH TULUM – “Lighting the way to Life” English worship Service is non-denominational, 10:00 a.m. Sundays with continental breakfast at 9:30; located on Highway 307, 1.2 miles past San Francisco grocery, hospital and Subway, next door to fruit stand.

 

Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter

Busy as a bee: “ocupado como una abeja” Anyone interested in learning the language can please contact Ms. Contreras by email at nanigloria@hotmail.com or Cel: 984-108-3517 so she can prepare materials in advance.
(Classes are from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is $150 pesos per session.

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

GRAND PROPOSAL planted in Jose Maria Morelos would be to create a forest of  precious woods that would in turn provide 20,000 jobs within five years…SEA TO DESERT – The weekend cold front prompted a phenomenon in Chetumal Bay when a low tide left 200 meters of muddy desert where water generally is….GIVE US A BRAKE –Of 490 flights hauling spring-breakers Saturday at the Cancun International Airport, 113 were in the terminal one with 57 arrivals and 56 departures; the international area of terminal two had 164 flights of which 82 were arrivals and 82 departures and in terminal three, also international, were 213 operations, with 108 arrivals and 105 departures. United alone had nine extra flights. It looked as if Puerto Aventuras picked up business accordingly…BROADER TAX base seems in the offing nationally as the PRI removed its previous objections to tax food and medicine and tinker with Pemex. The moves are drawing charges from opposition leaders that the PRI is breaking its promises to the people who elected the party…PRICE OF GAS is up 11 cents and taxi drivers aren’t too happy about it. Shoes are cheaper, and barefoot even cheaper than that…INCREASES OF 3 AND 5 PERCENT in visitor landings respectively for January and February was reported this week for Riviera Maya…A PLANNED FERRY SERVICE between Calica and Tampa has been postponed until 2014 by government edict…THE MEXICAN INSTITUTE OF WATER TECHNOLOGY has been hired to analyze the source of contamination emitting negative odors from 5th Avenue cenotes under or around shops there…

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