Colonos lists top complaints,
urges effort to join solution
The Colonos has issued a statement this week briefly outlining the three top complaints received from residents. It added an appeal for all to abide by the local laws and rules that sustain a more civil and healthy society.
The first is the plethora of garbage bags left overnight in front of homes and condo complexes that invite harmful, nocturnal fauna to congregate, rip open bags and tip over barrels, spreading garbage that invites smaller rodents to eat and multiply and infest the area.The Colonos suggests construction of adequately sized garbage compartments to hold barrels; take garbage out between 7 and 11 a.m. just before the municipal collection truck arrives, and recycle more materials that the Colonos collects on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The second issue is speeding, or, exceeding the 19 mph posted limit and the equally dangerous practice of texting or using cell phones while driving, now a world-wide curse. “Believe it or not, accidents happen here in Puerto Aventuras too,” the Colonos notes.
It is suggested that drivers try to obey the 19 mph (30kmh) speed limit, try car-pooling to work or shopping, kindly remind neighbors and friends of the speed limit when you see them exceeding it and report speeders to Security. That will help avoid building more speed topes and vados that nobody likes.
Part of the traffic problem includes golf carts imprudently and illegally driven by under-age drivers – under 16 – and carts driven at night without lights, both adding to the potential for personal injury, particularly since sidewalks in some areas are non-existent.
Insufficient parking to accommodate growth also presents a problem as drivers often park in such a manner as to nearly block the roads and in no-parking areas
The third issue is dogs. “We know how much people love their pets,” the Colonos says. “They are the best friend one can have, but if they aren’t properly cared for, they can bother, and in some cases frighten, other people. We receive nearly daily complaints about unleashed dogs, dog waste on the streets or dogs locked in a house or tied in yard barking for hours.” These situations make living here unpleasant for others.
It is suggested dogs be leashed and walked at least twice a day to relieve stress; that their waste be collected in doggie bags and properly deposited; that dogs are not to be walked on the golf course, which is private property, and insist neighbors obey the rules.
These problems exist because some people are ignoring rules and lack consideration for others,” the Colonos says. “We strongly believe the problems can be overcome by observing our suggestions and urging neighbors in a civil manner to abide by them. It’s not a very hard thing to accomplish if residents try.”
What are these students hiding from?
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING: In fact, they happily jammed under the moveable dental tray to watch up close, below photo, as Dr. Enrique Perez, of Smile Aesthetic Dentistry in Puerto Aventuras, polished a fellow classmate’s teeth and lectured the 17 students from the Colegio’s pre-first class on good dental hygiene. The visit was part of a visitation program of local businesses and professional offices. If they feared the dental chair, they sure didn’t show it as many volunteered to be “the patient”.
Colonos will move to quarterly
collection beginning in January
Homeowners and condo administrators are reminded that the 2015 maintenance fees will be collected every three months starting in January. That’s why the last payment of 2014 was for 2 months (November/December) in order to adjust payments for next year. Early payment discounts will be in effect the first month of every quarterly period. Beginning Jan 1, the quarters will be as follows:
January, February, March (discount in January); April, May, June (discount in April); July, August, September (discount in July) and October, November, December (discount in October).
Trespassing on the golf course
indicates larger social problem
Dog poo, joggers, stolen signs affect play, upkeep cost
Golf course manager Jose Luis Ortega lamented to the Pelican last week that he doesn’t understand what it is residents don’t understand about private-property rights.
For some reason, he says, there are residents do not accept the golf course as a private entity reserved for people who pay to play golf undeterred by plops of poo, fairways marred by ruts from pedestrian and bicycle traffic and trespassers impeding the game in disregard for safety and courtesy.
One man in particular, says Ortega, has been driving his cart on the golf course with a large dog trailing behind whose droppings apparently remain for an unsuspecting golfer to step into. “Several attempts to explain to him this is private property went unheeded,” Ortega said, “so now we have warned him the next time he trespasses we will call the police to prosecute. We know who he is and we have his cart number.”
Ortega’s call for respect of private property in general and golf course in particular comes at a time when Ortega is negotiating costs with resident golfers and alerting residents of junior golf and tennis programs for the benefit of the community. An announcement regarding these is expected perhaps next week.
Not long ago, Ortega continued, five of six signs posted in various locations reminding residents the course is private and should not be trespassed for other activities or used as “short cuts” were stolen within a week.
“It’s very frustrating,” Ortega said. He said he employs 22 people to maintain the course in the condition expected by paying golfers, while trespassers simultaneously perpetuate the damage.”
He said when he has tried to explain to people walking loose dogs that they are on private property, he is met less by understanding than by snooty responses from trespassers “who think the golf course is part of the property they purchased here. I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe real estate sales people lead them to believe the course and other facilities are part of their purchase. It just isn’t so.”
The Pelican has routinely observed all sorts of activity on the fairways, including genteel strollers who are careful not to abuse the property and always defer to golfers; workers from the hotels and visitors riding bikes or walking across the fairways; clumps of people letting their dogs run free on the course and adjacent private properties to do as they please, where they please; groups playing games other than golf, like youths racing golf carts.
Ortega concedes that in a few instances, the encroachment also occurs in reverse: Golfers are seen chasing balls that land on adjacent private properties and some fishing errant balls out of private pools. “But these incidents are relatively few compared to the number of trespassers on the golf course,” he said. He added that the management pays for damage to windows by golf balls when the evidence is clear.
He said the venture continues to operate in the red because even local golfers prefer to go elsewhere rather than face ruts, dog doo and other imperfections left behind by trespassers who abuse the property.
“We considered making a nice path for walkers along the side of fairways but were advised against it in the belief it would invite even more abuse of the property.”
There is no disagreement that the golf course is a seductive attraction to anyone seeking a peaceful morning walk with nature, a place to kick a soccer ball around, a great venue for bird watching or let a beloved dog run loose in relative safety but…
If the image of Puerto Aventuras is of providing a marina for boaters and if a golf course for resident golfers is to flourish, then property rights of everyone need to be respected, Ortega said.
Gladis del Carmen, art director of the Puerto Aventura’s Arts Gallery, welcomes the photographic work of Jayne A. Halle of Puerto Aventuras. It’s a show entitled “Mexico Heart and Soul” and it opens Saturday Nov. 22 at 6 to 9 p.m. Take a leisurely stroll, drop by the arts and information center at the base of the entrance gate boulevard and “come enjoy the time while strengthening and supporting your community’s cultural expressions,” suggests Gladis.
Students from U. Q. Roo join
protest for 43 missing in Iguala
The ordeal of parents awaiting the fate of 43 kidnapped students from the teachers college in Guerrero State more than a month ago continues in a fog of vagueness. Even fellow students from the University of Q. Roo’s campus in Playa del Carmen joined others nationwide in mostly peaceful demonstrations, albeit Iguala is a little more than 1,000 miles away.
National anxiety over the kidnapping and apparent mass murder of the 43 students was heightened last week as national Atty. Gen. Jesus Murillo announced that the students are presumed dead but until positive identification of remains is made, they are still considered “missing” by the government.
The continuing mystery over the students’ fate fostered an attack and fire at the gates of the national palace in Mexico City last week, official home of the president. Several other violent demonstrations occurred elsewhere, but protest organizers and the government joined hands the next day in condemning such violence. The demonstrators are now moving toward an urgent call to end violence in Mexico.
The question of why the students were abducted in the first place continues to elude the nation and has added fresh fuel to charges of government inadequacy or unwillingness to protect its own people and general distrust of government at all levels.
Murillo’s statement followed the arrest of several members of the criminal gang “Warriors United” who confessed to the mass murder and cremation of the students’ bodies that were packed into six bags after a 14-hour cremation fire and dumped into a river.
Several bags have been recovered and special forensic experts are attempting to identify the charred and degraded remains to achieve indisputable evidence for prosecutors and closure for the families. Until positive identification has been established, the State will continue to view the students as missing. “I have no doubt there was a mass murder,” Murillo is quoted as saying. “What should I do about this certainty? Identify them,” he said.
Murillo also said it would take time to make the identifications since the remains have been burned and decomposed.
In all, 74 people, including members of the local security force, the mayor of the town of Iguala and his wife and members of the Warrior gang are believed to have conspired, under the mayor’s orders, to kidnap the supposedly activist students who were riding on several buses and turn them over to the criminal gang to be done with.
Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife, Maria de Los Angeles Pineda, were arrested last week after fleeing the area and eluding investigators for a month. While the investigation is continuing, the mayor and his wife are suspected of masterminding the killings.
Officials say the normal school, Rural Ayotzinapa, is located near Iguala, a city of some 116,000 residents half way between Mexico City and the coastal tourist destination of Acapulco. The school was founded in 1926 to educate children of local agrarian families and workers and is now a teachers’ college and reported center of activism in the area.
The case has become a national cause celebre as students and parents throughout the nation, including in Quintana Roo, prod the government for action and answers.
The kidnapping mimics the April abduction of 200 school girls in Africa by the subversive Boko Haram group seeking an Islamic state that also opposes Western education. Literally, Boko Haram means “Western education is prohibited.” The abduction occurred in April and the students are believed to be alive, but remain hidden.
The Mail Bag…
Readers respond to Pelican’s
call for highway lighting ideas
In response to the request for suggestions on 307 highway lighting, I was watching closely early this year as the repair crews were working. It was clear that the main cause of the lights being out was faults in the underground power cables carrying electricity to the light standards. In some places, the crews had to run separate power lines from the side of the road over the highway to the middle to re-establish power to some sections.
The answer to the lighting problem is actually very simple and the long term solution is very inexpensive compared to the current system: That answer is stand-alone Solar powered street lights. We visited Belize in April and saw that they were in common use there. And Belize is light years behind Mexico in infrastructure. (my apologizes to an Belizians who might take exception to that comment, but that’s my humble opinion…)
New types of stand-alone street lights consist of a small solar panel which charges a battery which powers LED lights. They come as a complete unit and simply have to have a concrete base poured. No electric cables to corrode. No cost for electricity. Very low maintenance (LED lights last a minimum of 10x longer than the standard high pressure sodium (HPS) yellow colored lights which have been the standard for many years. And,almost no light pollution.
Many major cities are now retrofitting all street lighting to LED because of the enormous savings is electricity and maintenance. My “base” city which is a suburb of Toronto has converted over 49,000 of their street lights so far to LED. Take a look:
I was recently contacted by a manufacturer offering to supply these and I was very surprised at the surprisingly low cost. All components have dropped in price over the past two years including the Solar panels, LEDs and batteries – either lithium ion or NiMH so this type of lighting is now less costly than conventional street and highway lighting. It would seem reasonable that in a few years almost all new street and highway lighting will be converted to LED for the above mentioned reasons.
Perhaps Quintana Roo should look into this type of lighting for the 307?
Signed/ Gordon Stogre
My heart goes out to the family with the loss of their little one. I have seen some close calls in that area. When I walk over to Chedraui to do some shopping, I always walk down to the crossover bridge, however it is on the non-sidewalk side of the road. What would be nice is if that side of the road had a path evened out or a sidewalk.
Maybe then people might use it more to go down over to the bridge or bus stop. It is not very nice to walk on so maybe they feel it is easier if they take a shortcut. I thought they were going to fix this area to make it a decent walkway but I know that takes time and money but hopefully it will be in the plans. It could even just be a dirt one but evened out and made to look nice.
Signed/ Wanda Hamilton
China showed it discontent this week at President Pena Nieto’s reversal of the high-speed rail tender contract it had been awarded to build the first Latin American high-speed train from Mexico City to the central state of Queretaro. The Chinese premier hinted, during an aside at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing attended by Pina Nieto. Another nearby traffic death last Saturday night of a pedestrian on Highway 307 near the Sirenis Hotel underscores the need for people to use pedestrian bridges to cross the highway and the need for highway lighting…Lime production, a major agricultural product in Q. Roo, is expected to be considerably higher than in 2013, the state director of agriculture has announced…Workers wearing seatbelts escaped injury when a large rubbish compacting truck flipped over several times and landed on its right side following a mechanical failure near the Arc Road at Avenue 65 in Playa del Carmen…A war of words is raging between north and south Quintana Roo over a plan to align the state’s time zone with that of the eastern United States. The north says it would help the tourism industry and the south says it won’t benefit that region at all…Nissan will launch an electric model car, the “Leaf”, next year in Cancun. It will sell for roughly 545,000 pesos (just over $40K USD)…The National Commission Against Addiction said at a meeting of the International Congress on Addiction meeting in Cancun last week that legalizing marijuana is now an international debate in which Mexico must participate…A virus in Tulum, known as chikungunya, has infected one person and set the community on a course to battle the mosquito that carries it with an “epidemiological fence” of fog spraying…The National Congress of Funeral Services meeting on the Riviera Maya says it wants to improve services and assure standards for serving foreigners…German visitors to the Riviera Maya topped 140,000 this year, an increase of 5 percent…Xcaret Experience and CADU Housing of Quintana Roo were among 60 top companies nationwide to earn business awards to be presented Nov, 27…ALSO – Dengue vaccine has arrived in Q. Roo — 4.4 million visitors came to the Riviera Maya this year and may be a record — More than 7000 service workers have been trained in the state’s service industry — The temperature this week could get as low as 10 degrees Celsius, or, 50 degrees F. …
Centro Comercial slates vote
to recall Vigilance Committee
All stakeholders in the Centro Comercial Owners Association (CCOA) have been notified of an assembly scheduled for Dec. 6 to discuss and act on a proposal to recall the current Vigilance Committee and a follow-up proposal, if needed, to select a new panel. To date, three people reportedly are interested in becoming board members if necessary.
The petition to recall the five-member board was initiated by two residents with ties to the Fideicomiso (Trust), Hector Pavon, administrative director of the Trust, and former golf course manager Edgar Giffenig. They collected signatures of 25 percent of the vote, the legal number required to affect an assembly.
The petition was filed in the wake of the current CCOA committee’s partial demolition of permanent fixtures built on leased common property adjacent to Café Ole. Also, the committee’s decision to end translation of assembly business into English has alienated some owners in the English-speaking community who want to be able to more accurately understand proceedings and correspondence.
The CCOA board believes it acted for cause within CCOA rules and rights – after notifying owners of the pending action, – to demolish permanent structures built on common property. But it is the way the demolition was carried out that angered a number of nearby business owners and supporters of Café Ole, which, it may be noted, has admitted to a breach of Centro rules that helped bring on the demolition.
Currently, the partially demolished bar along with its attendant rubble remains as is behind yellow crime-scene type tape – further angering some nearby businesses – while the legal system purportedly weighs in on what has been a contentious disagreement between the CCOA committee and Cafe Ole business owners who are operating out of rented quarters.
“Someone please explain to me why we have to live with this mess until ‘funds are available’ or until a court case that could take months has been settled,” said one business owner who wished to remain anonymous. “I refuse to accept that I have to live with this mess until some undetermined date. High season is not very far away.” The comment is in response to one by Cafe Ole owner Gary Adams that he was waiting for the courts to settle what he said has morphed into a “criminal” rather than civil proceeding.
Resident Don Dusette writes, “The problem at Cafe Ole is regrettable, but I would think that by now someone would have cleaned up the mess regardless of who is at fault.” The situation has created an impromptu $10,000 needy fund drive whereby a website has been set up to accept outright donations for the Cafe Ole owners who have reportedly run out of money after 18 years of running the business. There is also a fund-raising event at Latitude 20 Restaurant from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 21 – 100 pesos entrance fee begets a free drink .
The assembly meeting will be held in the Kuuch Muuch Kuxtal room adjacent to the Colonos administrative offices with first call at 9 a.m., second at 9:30 and third at 10 a.m. to attain a quorum.
Stakeholders who want to participate in the assembly are required to register at the CCOA administrative office between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. three days prior to the meeting. Registrants will be asked to provide identification. Those who wish to vote in absentia are required to present or transmit a power of attorney (proxy) signed in the presence of two witnesses.
The recall and selection of replacements, if necessary, is the only business before the assembly.
Baby’s death prompts plea
for lights, bridge use over 307
The death of an 11-month old child who was killed while being carried by its mother across Highway 307 a few weeks ago has prompted a plea for people to use the pedestrian bridge over Highway 307 to avoid fatalities in the future.
Olivia Zamudio Escobar, the Puerto Aventuras delegate to the municipal government, filed a formal request with the Ministry of Communications and Transportation for a 500-meter barrier in the area near the Chedraui building to prevent people from crossing and guide them to the safe, albeit less accommodating, pedestrian bridge.
It has become common practice by residents on both sides of the highway to try to “short-cut” across the highway rather than take a few minutes more to use the pedestrian bridge, which allows bicycles and carriages.
On the same day that the child and its mother were struck by a hit-and-run van driver, another one-car accident occurred just up the road a way when a car flipped and crashed. Fortunately, no one was injured in that accident.
The delegate also conducted an “awareness” campaign to alert people to the dangers of trying to outrun speeding cars, taxis and vans on the highway. An alternate, safer way of crossing the highway – particularly by resort residents walking to Chedraui – is to cross under the overpass near the resort main gate about a hundred yards south of the pedestrian bridge and walk on the west-side sidewalk.
Darkness another problem
Delegate Zamudio also referenced the lack of lighting on the pedestrian bridge, the highway and 307 overpass by the resort Main Gate. Meanwhile, self-proclaimed activist Michelle Burkenfield, who lives in the resort, talked with the Pelican Free Press about trying to help local officials achieve sustained lighting on the vehicular and pedestrian overpasses and along the highway.
Lighting fixtures were installed in these areas a few years ago in a major undertaking intended to provide enough light to avoid, or at least diminish, the frequent fatal and injurious accidents. Complaints about the absence of lights have been plentiful and ongoing since, without explanation, the government has been unable to keep them glowing when they are needed. Two reasons are rumored: The government can’t afford to keep the lights on, or, thieves are stealing the copper. Oddly, the lights from Paamul to Playa were on at 11 a.m. yesterday in bright daylight (Wednesday) for no apparent reason.
Snowbirds from large cities in North America, Europe and elsewhere are accustomed to lighted roadways. They particularly have considerable difficulty seeing the road boundaries at night, especially where they have been blacktopped from Puerto to Playa but remain without a center line and lane markers to guide drivers. (The Pelican Free Press welcomes helpful comments and suggestions about the situation from its readers.)
New ferry postponed while
other carrier ships cars, goods
The devil in the details is hampering efforts by the United Caribbean ship line to launch a ferry service out of Florida to the Yucatan peninsula carrying mostly passengers but some cars and freight.
Because of some glitches, among them trying to tie down details of ports in Florida and the Yucatan, a previously planned launch of service for April has been postponed to the end of summer or beginning of fall 2015, CEO Bruce Nierenberg has reported.
Tamara Magnusson, a volunteer point person of interest on the Yucatan, said some 2,000 Yucatan snowbirds, ex-pats and residents answered a survey earlier this year that helped boost the company’s confidence in its plans.
Meanwhile, says Magnussen, if anybody really needs to ship a car or goods from Florida before then, it can be arranged by Linear Peninsula ship Lines out of Panama City, Fla. to Progreso on the Yucatan. “You can actually ship anything you want with them as long as you want to pay the price. I have not used them personally but I have friends who have shipped household furniture and vehicles with them.
“Friends brought a car over two years ago and paid around $800.00 US. They were very pleased with the process and service and said they would do it again,” she said.
Group plans Cirque du Soleil
outing for New Year’s Eve
While Cirque du Soleil performers prepare for the Nov. 8 opening night of their new adventure on the Riviera Maya, a group of Puerto Aventuras residents is planning a New Year’s Eve visit to the world-popular acrobatic show and inviting all interested parties to join in.
Pauline Harper, who has been informing residents about the night out, said, “…we thought it might be fun to go to a cirque show on New Year’s Eve,” and sought out the particulars to share with others who might be interested.
“We booked tickets for the 7 p.m. show on 12/31 (there is also a second showing at 10:15). Tickets range in price depending on where and whether you want champagne and/or dinner on site. If you are interested, go to the website and book your tickets. The price per person for “show only” is $1,122.00 pesos.”
The new theater built specially for Cirque du Soleil performances is on the premises of the Grand Mayan Riviera Maya resort between Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos on the north leg of Highway 307, closer to Morelos. It’s a chance to do some car-pooling or discuss other transportation needs among those who want to sign up for the colorful and historic show and perhaps dinner afterwards.”
The cirque is Montreal, Canada’s gift to the world of dazzling entertainment. Daniel Damarre, president and CEO of the world famous performing arts group, said the local show entitled Joyà aims to showcase “Mexico´s cultural heritage” not only through the performance but also through the region´s cuisine and natural beauty.
The construction of the 600-seat theatre, the company´s first venue in Latin America, started last year at the Grand Mayan Riviera Maya resort between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The Vidanta Group, one of Mexico´s largest hotel development companies, invested $2 million USD in the building project.
According to Cirque du Soleil, the name of Joyà comes from the Spanish for “jewel” but also alludes to the expression “a hidden gem.” The show will recount the story of a naturalist who journeys into the mangroves with his granddaughter. Their discoveries mark the beginning of a magical quest, revealing the secrets of life.
Damarre explained that Joyà´s theatrical set is integrated with the area’s natural jungle environment and is designed in a way that the artists will interact intimately with the audience. The show will last 70 minutes and involves 24 artists. The performance also combines local gastronomy, with a gourmet dinner available by Chef Alexis Bostelmann, and a champagne prelude.
The Sponsor Scene…
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Signed/ Beverly and Kevin Schrab
The Colonos will hold a general assembly on Dec. 13, an early alert for those who want to be prepared for it. Stay tuned for the agenda… Rubbish collection went missing for a few days for unknown problems and resumed yesterday … Rocky road gone – To the great delight of car owners, the rocky aprons of the Main Gate have been replaced with stamped concrete for a smoother entry to what we refer to as Paradise . Like living on a cloud, yes? … Prince Charles was visiting Mexico this week to tighten relationships on many fronts with Mexico and recalling the part British miners played in developing and working silver mines in the state of Hidalgo …Japan is asking its wholesale fish buyers to stop importing bluefin tuna from Mexico until such time as Mexico implements rules to end overfishing the species … An Ibero American summit to discuss economic, social, educational technological and health issues will be held in December in Veracruz with 22 nation/states participating. They are Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Venezuela and, the host, Mexico…A municipal performing arts center in Playa del Carmen is now under construction and will be ready for presentations in the first quarter of 2015 … President Pena Nieto declares energy reforms instituted last year are giving the economy a new life and appeals to the “civil society to undertake substantive changes” in the wake of 43 kidnapped students missing now for five weeks despite considerable searches and investigations L Noise pollution in the area of 5th Avenue in Playa is bringing complaints from hoteliers who in turn are getting complaints from guests about construction noise. PA hasn’t cornered the market on noise pollution …
The Mail Bag…
Injured monkey spotted
This week, we spotted the mature pair of monkeys making their way down Caleta Yalku (near the roundabout where the Hotel Kali sign is posted).
One of the pair had an injured front leg and that monkey did not put any pressure on it. It walked on three legs and did not swing from that leg, either. They climbed the tree and ate some of the berries from on high, Let us all hope the injury is not significant. It would be such a loss to have them disappear.
Signed/Mary and Bernie Strojny