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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Heavy rains help undermine road

 LOOK HERE FOR COMING EVENTS:

NOVEMBER 28,29, 30  Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, 7 p.m. Mamitas Beach off 28th St. N. in Playa del Carmen. Free admission.
NOVEMBER 30
will mark the return of the Music, Art and Food Festival at Latitude 20 Restaurant. Details next week.
COLONOS GENERAL ASSEMBLY at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 7, at Omni Hotel’s Xenote Waterfront Restaurant
ANNUAL ROAD RACE Jan. 19, multi-class,  prizes, stay tuned. More later.

 

           LIVE-ABOARD LUXURY YACHT FOR SALE

Rain undermines, closes Kantenah 
road loop until repairs can be made

By Betsy Vogt and Staff
  You know it has really rained a lot when the roadway is disappearing into a sinkhole. About 5pm last night (Nov. 14) the Bonafont water delivery truck cracked the concrete roadway above what appears to be a cenote or river located under the roadway between Marina Mia and the Kantenah lagoon.

         

      Bahia Kentenah is the roadway that begins at the Catalonia Spa and runs to the beach area and around back to the spa. 
  Luckily the truck was able to drive out, but the Kantenah loop remained closed until the area can be made safe for traffic.
  The reporter viewed the area at 8a.m. last Friday and again at 5 p.m. and observed that the sink hole appeared to be growing. The maintenance man at Marina Mia confirmed that when they built the swimming pool for the condo complex they dug into a cenote and had to put down pilings to support the base of the pool.
  Colonos GM Armando Rincon said this week that this has occurred there before. Now, he said, the Colonos is looking at the budget to see if it can afford a more permanent solution to the problem. 

Target Heavy Trucks

   Meanwhile, the Colonos has announced it is requesting that the developer of the Phase 4 project open the gates from the highway directly into the project area to detour heavy equipment from the Main Gate and the established Colonos roadways, some of which, as underscored by the Kantenah incident, are vulnerable to the double threat of rain and weight.
  Earlier this week, drivers of cars and golf carts unaware the loop had been closed off, were seen making u-turns and having to back-track to exit the loop the way they came in.

   A lot of rubbish
 
 
Some returning snowbirds are wondering what is going on with rubbish collection. Last high season, one could almost set one’s timepiece by the midnight noise of the garbage trucks making their rounds. Now they come by at 9 a.m., or noon, or 2 p.m. or midnight again. So what’s up? But at least they are coming every day now unlike the two or three missed days at a time in September. 
  We can’t blame this on the Bossa Nova. It’s politics.
  Most are aware that a new municipal government was installed in the fall, and with that came the usual confusion and disarray of what the old government leaves behind and what the new government can re-arrange. Passing the stick of power here is unlike the seamless operation it is in the more developed countries. So, according to the Colonos, residents can expect a fluctuation in collection times a while longer until the new administration gets a long-term handle on it.
  T
he confusion has caused some in the area of the Xel-Ha streets near Secret Waters to complain that some private homes and condos aren’t keeping their rubbish contained in bins to keep foraging small animals away, causing a reported uptick of rummaging raccoons in the area and rubbish spilling along the streets. Perhaps the formation of a neighborhood association could address situations like this?

Mother Nature reclaims
reclaimed Playa beaches

By Staff
  The unusually heavy rainy season this year has reclaimed several Playa beaches that were replenished with sand over the last two years, washing away as much as nine feet of beach at the bottom of 16th Street.
  Jose Gomez Burgos of Caribbean Sea Tourism Co., reports the beaches in question have returned to the levels of sand depletion they were in before replenishment programs reclaimed the beaches. “We have heard, with great sorrow, tourists say we have ugly beaches,” he said. Some tourists who were here two years ago after the recovery and returned this year now say they will drop the area from their next destination, G
omez said.
  Spending good money after bad is evidently what Puerto Aventuras is trying to avoid in its infant beach reclamation project that of last reports was being delayed by the permitting process and the need to modify the barge needed to haul huge boulders to the barrier area of Fatima Bay where temporary work is currently under way.  

 Playa Red Cross preparing to move

  By Staff
  Snowbirds who may rely on the Mexican Red Cross for emergency services in Playa del Carmen should know the clinic’s location on Avenida Juarez has been sold. The clinic is now operating temporarily at the Villas del Sol in Playa until its new headquarters and clinic are opened on or about Dec. 7, said Teresa Jimenez, president of the women volunteers.  The clinic and ambulance in Puerto Aventuras Poblado remains in its same location in the former police station at the fork on the main road.

The clinic’s new location and expanded services will be available on Avenue Chemuyil and Technology, about 300 meters from the Mexican Social Security Institute., after Dec. 7.
   Services at the clinic include general medicine, ultrasound, chiropractor, clinical laboratory, dental and medical offices along with new specialties in pediatrics and gynecology. The first phase of the new headquarters built on land donated by the municipality includes an operational area, bedrooms and recreation area for staff, machine room, medical services section, ambulance area and emergency room.
  A later phase or phases will add a rest area, administration, crisis area and auditorium/training room with a capacity of 100 people. The Red Cross services everyone with fees and donations generally based on ability to pay.
  Remember also the Red Cross operates an ambulance and clinic in the Puerto Aventuras Poblado. It is located on the main street in the building formerly housing the police station.

 

Commerce Corner

 PA part of area tourism promotion 

  By Staff
  A committee centered in Playa del Carmen, the “heart of Riviera Maya” is working on what it terms “microdestinations” that include the fishing, golf and dolphin attractions of Puerto Aventuras and the ecotourism potential of the village of Uxuxubi, which is west of Akumal but within the Solidarity perimeter. 

Jesus Martin Medina, of the Council for Tourism and Ecology, said it decided to center its efforts on Playa del Carmen precisely because it is surrounded by micro-destinations like Puerto Aventuras that are likely to help attract more tourists to the general area.
  The committee hopes to promote areas that have a good chance of increasing their potential for attracting visitors.
  Doing its part, the Latitude 20 Restaurant in the Puerto Aventuras Resort Community, a/k/a Paradise, hosted its second annual Halloween Party and, even in the low season without the influx of snowbirds, attracted another roughly 130 people including ghosts, goblins, witches and pirates (see photo) who remained dry (on the outside) despite the wet weather experienced here in an extended rainy season.
   “We’re probably the only restaurant here with a full roof,” said co-owner Peter Metrick. “We also had a wedding here. Ninety people attended and not one of them got wet.” Danny Fuentes, the eatery’s chef and Peter’s partner, said the turnout was just about the same as last year. “It might be on its way to becoming an event…the Halloween party to go to” he said.
  Several restaurants that were here in Centro last year are gone, two of them being replaced by new enterprises and two of them leaving a gap like a missing tooth in the Dolphin Walk ambience where tables, candles, chairs and silverware attracted the attention of passersby. 
  On other commercial fronts, if you ever plan on going to the upscale Liverpool Store in Playa don’t break your neck to get there early. The place doesn’t open until 11 a..m. And Chedraui Market building across the highway still has several retail bays for rent, with only one new business, a pet food store, opening there since the last high season.

 

Federal police planning
a new outpost in Playa

  By Staff
  A federal police administrative outpost is likely to be built in Playa del Carmen on land donated by the municipality in order to increase “presence and coordination” between the various police agencies operating in the area. The exact location was not revealed. 
  Hector Gonzalez Valdepena, state coordinator of the federal police in Q. Roo, described Playa del Carmen as a “strategic point” for quick mobilization of federal and other forces along the coast, indicating that its location roughly midway on the Riviera Maya serves that purpose better than would a Cancun location on the extreme northern end of the Riviera.
  He said there is a very low crime rate along the stretch of 307 and that the impetus of the federal initiative is to diminish the high rate of accidents in the area.
  In that vein, returning snowbirds might take note of the new filtro station being constructed closer to Calica, just a few miles from Puerto Aventuras. It is not immediately known if the new filtro will replace the one near Liverpool on the outskirts of Playa Centro. 
  In line with this, many Puerto Aventurans have been complaining about the lack of lights along the highway from Puerto to Playa, noting that the absence of lighting is quite probably contributing to the high accident rate mentioned by the federal police spokesman. Turn on the lights, turn down the number of accidents! 
 

Briefly Noted…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
EXTENDED RAINY SEASON continued to dampen the amount of business being done by retailers and restaurants here and in Playa, but a surprising spending spree occurred on the holiday “Good Weekend” with some retailers reporting 80 percent increase in sales, some of that attributable to early Christmas shopping…MORE STREET SIGNS on busy 30th Avenue, from Constituentes to Colosio Avenue to the north will be a big help for visitors as Playa continues to expand northward…AMERICAN Harris English, 24, won last week’s Mayakoba Classic golf tourney with a nearly perfect game…PRISON OFFICIALS in Cozumel have rejected a plan to use extra space being provided by a prison expansion to house prisoners from the mainland to prevent overcrowding there…TOURIST POLICE in Playa del Carmen have been taking courses in English to learn enough of the language basics to better assist visitors…TWO MEXICAN CREWMEN were killed in the crash of a private jet in waters off Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Tuesday, and recovered along with wreckage by the U.S. Coat Guard. The plane was headed to Cozumel. Two other crew members are missing…LOCAL RESTAURATEURS are complaining about a projected increase from 11 to 16 % in the value added tax (VAT) on food come January and urging restaurateurs to take measure to keep costs down and value up for visitors in order to maintain a competitive edge with the rest of the Caribbean.. 
 

Phrase a Week…By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
When will the sun shine again? In Spanish, you would say, “Cuándo brillará el sol otra vez?  ”
Anyone interested in learning the language can please contact Ms. Contreras by email at nanigloria@hotmail.com or Cel: 984-108-3517 .

Church Services… Please click Colonos icon on right top of page.

AA and Alanon meetings…
AA and ALANON meetings are held at the public library at the Colegio as follows:
AA Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m; Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at noon. ALANON meeting is held Mondays at 5:30 p.m., also at the library. Meetings are “open” and non-members are welcomed to attend.

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Colonos assembly slated for Dec. 7

  SPONSOR TESTIMONIALS: It is always reassuring to receive unsolicited feedback from people who have done business with Pelican sponsors. We met a woman, Shirley was her name, from Akumal, who raved about the waterproof work done to the leaky roof of her condo building in Akumal by sponsor Definitive Solutions, whose owner lives here in Puerto Aventuras. “I’d recommend them to anyone,” she said. Click the icon with the big red and black “S” logo for more information. And it was delightful returning here this week to a shiny car in and out, no flat tires, no dead battery and no scum anywhere thanks to the maintenance service at auto and boat storage firm of Riviera Maya Dry Storage in Paamul, which, incidentally, was full-up this season and may be eyeing expansion. Reserve early!

Beach reclamation report
to be Colonos assembly topic

   Annual parley slated Dec. 7 at Omni

By Staff
  T
he Fatima Bay Beach reclamation project and use of surplus funds to continue investment in technology and lighting lead the topics to be reported and discussed at the Colonos General Assembly Dec. 7 at the Omni Hotel’s Xenote Restaurant on Punta Celis Road. Photo shows temporary work being done to prevent continued deterioration until a permanent fix is implemented.

There will also be a presentation on the Puerto Aventuras passport card for beach access and other identification uses. The Colonos already has about 3,000 cards culled from data bases supplied by condo administrators and other sources. Residents will be able to get their card at the Colonos office anytime after the Dec. 7 general assembly. 
   These are the only issues listed in the official meeting notice aside from the  usual procedural steps of naming tally clerks and issuing reports from the Vigilance Committee, board of directors, financial statements and audits and budget.
  Any other issues from the floor seeking consideration for discussion must be registered with Colonos Manager Armando Rincon’s office by Nov. 29. This is the time for any vested property owner with an issue or suggestion to present to do so before an official Assembly.
  Register to vote
  Owners of homes, vacant lots and condo units who want to cast ballots at the meeting must register in person and with identification at the Colonos office from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 2, 3 and 4. Proxy documents will also be accepted on these dates with identification  from both the grantor and proxy. 
  Hotel managers or their representative and condo administrators with copies of their appointment have only one day to register, on Thursday, Dec. 5.
  All interested parties are reminded that they must be current in payment of Colonos maintenance and building fees to be admitted to the meeting. They are asked to bring proof of payment, such as a last-payment receipt.

Media note 25% property tax discount
     Colonos to open office to revenuers

  The municipal government has announced it is contemplating a 25 percent discount on early-bird property tax payments beginning Dec. 1 as an incentive to quickly raise 207 million pesos to prop necessary government spending. The municipality was deciding how long the discount would apply and other details of the plan..
  In line with this, Colonos GM Armando Rincon reports he is negotiating with the municipality to again this year post employees from the revenue office at the Colonos headquarters above the Oxxo store on Punta Celis Road for early collection of taxes beginning Dec. 2 and lasting for at least two weeks.
  Rincon said the employees may also work the first Saturday and Sunday for the convenience of Aventurans and taxpayers from the area. 

Body” on canal rocks
was in alcoholic seizure
  A”body” discovered by a panga boat crew lying on rocks along one of the PA canals and reported in the Pelican’s last edition turned out to be that of an American tourist who, according to Security, left his domicile with a suitcase and in an inebriated state following a domestic dispute.
  Neighbors had reported seeing authorities remove the “body” from the rocks but were not aware of  the condition. The man was brought to a hospital and the US consul was called to act in his behalf. Security reports the man had suffered an alcoholic seizure, was hospitalized, then assisted by consul officials for return to the the USA.
  On another issue, a report that the kidnapping of a person who was later identified as an architect living in PA occurred outside the resort, perhaps in Tulum. PA Security says he was released after about a two-week absence and speculates a ransom was paid.

Main Gate back in action 

  The mid-summer lightning strike that fried the electrical circuitry at the main gate and caused some traffic delays should
be all but forgotten by this week-end, reports Security Chief
 Jesus Galdeano
. 

  He and Colonos GM Armando Rincon simultaneously announced an improved traffic pattern that will keep commercial vehicles and buses from using Bahia Chemuyil to get to waterfront hotels and limit the vehicles to main roads.   
  Some of the area directly inside the gate has been cordoned off to prevent entering traffic from directly crossing the apron onto Chemuyil. About 80 percent of the work is done, with minor adjustments to be made next week. 
  It isn’t immediately noticeable, but a new sidewalk has been positioned along the fence on a portion of Chemuyil for the safety of joggers and walkers. Rincon said it was an inexpensive project as the stone dust used was donated by the fideicomiso from the Phase 4 project.
  Galdeano said 10 of the 12 security cameras purchased by the last assembly have been installed and are working in the effort to maintain security and keep criminal activity at bay.    
 

Editorial…
Return to Paradise via Dante’s Inferno

  Like the road to success, the path to “Paradise” is sometimes peppered with pesky potholes of aggravation and frustration. Maybe you arrive at the pearly gates only to find your dehumidifier malfunctioned and flooded your unit; maybe six of your 12 ceiling lights aren’t emitting lumen because humidity has collapsed them into piles of rust-dust at the touch; maybe there is an empty space where your bicycle should have been; maybe you jump into the shower after a tiring day of travel and there is no hot water because the tank is gonzo.
  Then again, you’ve landed in Paradise. And optimistic snowbirds thrive on this stuff. Problems give them something to do, yes? 
 
It gets worse  
 
These minor frustrations pale in comparison to getting stuck in your condo’s tiny elevator with your baggage for 20 minutes, or waiting more than an hour the day after your arrival to simply deposit a check in the account you have had at the same bank for four years. You would think they would have the process down pat.The elevator ordeal was no joke. It was suffocating in there. There were few people outdoors. Your shirt is as damp as a dish towel after a dinner party. Even breathing becomes an effort as you try to conserve the oxygen in that little box. 
  At first, when the door wouldn’t open, you sound the alarm button. It emits a tweety-tweet call. After about five minutes the thought strikes you: Even if somebody hears it out there, do they know what it is and, second, are they curious enough to try to find out?
  We were able to open the door about a half-inch and begin shouting for help. Nothing after 10 minutes. Where the hell is everybody? You shout louder: “Help! Elevator!” Finally, a female voice, then two. A dialogue. They are calling administration. You love those people. They are your neighbors, but the concern in their voices reprises the reassuring sounds of your momma’s voice.
 
  A secret latch
  Then comes a gentle male’s voice. Was it St. Peter at the Golden Gate? “Is one door open?” he asks. Yes, you reply with a sense of relief. He tells you there is a latch above the door, off to the left. You search with aging eyes and feel with searching hands but can’t see or feel it. But your wife sees “something like a dull metallic plate” up between the elevator wall and the outside door. You reach up, pull on a piece of flat metal and poof, the door allows you to slide it open. Egads! You will live another season in Paradise!
  Turns out the man is a local educator. He was outside fixing a bicycle when he heard the commotion. How did he know there was a lever for the door? “It happened to me and my son last week,” he responds. So who told him about the latch and why did it happen again a week later? An administrator explained after the fact that once the elevator emergency response is notified, help is only 30 minutes away. He said nothing wrong was found with the elevator in the first instance, but a broken part was found in our case. The company technician said the problem could have been caused by electrical surges that trigger safety features.  
  The next day at Bancomer’s branch near Soriana’s, we met a quite irritated woman in front of us waiting for the “segment manager” to OK a check for deposit to her account. Her account wasn’t old enough – not a year – for her to make a deposit, she told us later. Wow! Since when does a bank turn down a deposit? Evidently, since new policies. 
 

Aggravating redundancies
  When we first went to the teller’s cage, the young lady told us in Spanish that the same segment manager had to sign off on the deposit check. So we waited. About an hour later, after showing him our passports, he signed the check. We had another wait to get to the teller. Then the teller said he had to get another approval, by phone this time. Oops! Then he also needed the passport again.
  It would be a sin to let these events go without  suggesting improvements. When one is accustomed to USA banking efficiencies, it becomes easy to forget about the virtue of patience. On the other hand, Bancomer , a Spanish bank, needs to tone down its claims of great service until it can actually deliver on them.
  As to the elevator, we learned that someone could unnecessarily die in it if help was not forthcoming fairly quickly. For one thing, nobody knows what the emergency horn sounds like and are apt to ignore it as perhaps a car alarm. Second, vigilance committees and administrators should orient owners and renters to the sound of  the alarm and distribute a printed guide on whatever escape tactics, alarms or aids are available, such as knowledge about the door opener, which, incidentally, short people cannot reach. The administrator said he suggested the company place its emergency number in the elevator so people can call them directly – provided they have a cell phone -without having to call administration.
   
  One owner in the building has become so wary of  the elevator’s relatively frequent problems she puts her heavy shopping bags in it, punches her floor then runs upstairs to retrieve the packages…assuming the door opens.
  Somebody do something, please.   
         
‘Diabesity’ a new word coined
to name preventable diseases

By staff
  The word surfaced in news reports of a symposium in Cozumel this week where various government and medical agencies rallied around the call for action to stem the scourge of diabetes and obesity, which they labeled “the new epidemic of the 21st century.”
  Cozumel Mayor Martin Fredy Marrufo labeled the twin scourge as perhaps the most difficult problem facing hospitals because most cases of diabetes and obesity are preventable, noting the diseases do not distinguish between economic status, gender or age.
  The meeting’s goal  was to initiate an exchange of ideas and to establish a forum for discussion. Members of the dental and family doctor  associations attended.
   

 The Mail Bag…

Dear Editor:

  I wrote to the Colonos to ask if the water drainage problem can please be resolved in the parking lot across from the Porto Bello, which is next to the Swim with the Dolphins. Here is the Colonos reply: “Good morning Mrs. Karen, how are you? We are working on it. The problem is that we have several wells that need to be fixed and this work represents a considerable investment, which we are analyzing. We hope to get the budget approved for it as soon as possible.”

Signed/ Karen Williams

Dear editor:

  I want to comment about translations required by Immigration. There has been some people forging my signature and seal (specifically xxxxxxxx from the fotoshop outside the Immigration Office) as well as other authorized translators’ signatures and seals. Immigration knows about this issue and will be rejecting these translations. In order to avoid this, please advise your readers to go to the following page:
http://www.tsjqroo.gob.mx/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2676&Itemid=869 at the end of this page click on + Ver Padrón de Peritos (PDF) . This is the full list of peritos in every category so you have to scroll down to peritos traductores, you will find their location and phone number.
  Thank you.

 Signed/ Gloria Contreras

Dear Editor:
  .  Wait until you see what they are doing to ruin 5th Ave.  in Playa. Many of the blocks of native shops are being replaced with sterile, upscale,  expensive strip malls and it’s starting to feel like Cancun.  Big money is trying to move in.  It won’t feel like MX anymore.  Don’t they know that if we wanted to be in Miami or Las Vegas, we’d go there instead? Go figure! 

Signed/Trisha Caddey 

Briefly Noted…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
NUMBERS GAME – Light poles in the resort have been numbered. Colonos GM Armando Rincon explains the numbers are to be used by residents who want to report a dysfunctional light. The numbering system helps repair staff get the light back within 48 hours when residents give the pole number and street name…WORK HAS BEGUN  dismantling the marine terminal in Playa del Carmen in preparation for a major facelift…

Phrase a WeekBy Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
We wish the rainy season would end.  In Spanish, you would say, “Deseamos que la temporada lluviosa terminara”
Anyone interested in learning the language can please contact Ms. Contreras by email at nanigloria@hotmail.com or Cel: 984-108-3517 .

Church Services… Please click Colonos icon on right top of page.

AA and Alanon meetings…
AA and ALANON meetings are held at the public library at the Colegio as follows:
AA Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m; Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at noon. ALANON meeting is held Mondays at 5:30 p.m., also at the library. Meetings are “open” and non-members are welcomed to attend.

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