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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Omni Beach Club “not for sale.”

POST-PUBLICATION UPDATES:

Blood donor goal reached: Dave and Linda Gosslin,of Paamul, who sought donors for Dave, reported today (3/12/2015) that the goal has been reached. They said they are most appreciative to all those from Paamul to Akumal who offered to donate. Dave is back home from the hospital and doing well.

Sunday’s international food fest from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Colegio reports that attendees will have no less than 25 international dishes to taste as more chefs signed on in the last two weeks. Bring friends!

 Capt. Rick’s chosen for world

fish-tag conservation project

 

By Staff
Some forty captains, crew and maintenance workers of Capt. Rick’s Sportsfishing gathered at the Pub Restaurant in Puerto Aventuras this week to be briefed on methodology of harmlessly tagging billfish and other species as part of a relatively new international catch-and-release research program that “builds a bridge between professional fishermen and science.”

The collected data from the tags is made available to scientists worldwide who monitor and map migration of transient fish species, growth rates, size and weight comparisons along with other data used by scientists to predict stock depletion, replenishment and stability with the long-range view to conservation of sport-fishing species, particularly billfish.

Crewmen of Capt. Rick’s  15 charter vessels home-ported in the Puerto Aventuras Marina join some 10,000 sportsfishing charter boat crews worldwide in this continuing effort and is the only company from the Yucatan Peninsula in the project, said Bill Dobbelaer, general manager of Gray Taxidermy in Florida whose non-profit division “Gray Fishtag Research” is administering the program with donations from fishermen and corporate entities worldwide.

Dobbelaer and assistant Ian Hall provided the crews with all the tags, applicators and preferred methodology needed to begin the program immediately. Pepe Viruega, manager of Capt. Rick’s, said the crews were versed on the preferred methods of harmlessly tagging the fish along the dorsal fin preferably without removing them from the water.

Dobbelaer urged the boat captains to involve charter clients in the process by having them fill out the tag form that is sent to project headquarters and entered into an interactive computer system for free use by scientists and interested parties worldwide.

All the equipment and ongoing assistance is provided by Gray Fishtag Research. “Our pledge is to offer all tags, applicators, data cards and ongoing support to the professional partners for free. This, we believe, is the key to accurate data and success of the program,” Dobbelaer said.

Glenna Uecker, Capt. Rick’s owner, said she was approached by Gray Fishtag Research and agreed to involve Capt. Rick’s in the project. “I think this is a useful and exciting project,” she said. Oddly enough, Capt. Rick’s, which supports and provides the boats for an annual Wounded Warrior project in May, is being sponsored this year by Gray Fishtag Research. For more information and making a donation to Gray Fishtag, visit www.grayfishtagresearch.org . For more information on Capt. Rick’s as the fishing season comes alive, click on the Capt. Rick’s logo in the sponsor column.

 

Pool problem? – WeRWater can handle it. Check the web site in left column.

 

Omni sale rumor denied,

caleta floats explained

By Staff

PA developer Arq. Roman Rivera Torres has quashed a rumor that the Omni Beach Club is for sale, an event that, if true, would trigger concern for agreements made with the Colonos to preserve a public access corridor to the Omni Beach. Another arrangement will eventually provide funding and completion of Omni Beach restoration once all permits and sufficient funding are realized. “The Omni Beach Club is not for sale,” Rivera said.

The developer did confirm another part of the same rumor that the Dreams Hotel may be changing owners, noting that while negotiations for purchase of Dreams are under way, “the deal is not closed yet and the topic is not yet public.”

On other fronts, Rivera reported that the dirt road leading to the caleta in Phase 4 has been closed and gated is in preparation for construction of a new private residence, underscoring that the road is private property. He said that access to the caleta, as noted in previous reports, is by two paths beginning at the Main Road palapas marking conservation property and the cenote. While a bit more inconvenient for bikers, the paths nonetheless give the general public access to the same caleta areas to which they are accustomed.

Rivera was asked why floats recently have been placed off the private beach of his family’s compound on the north side of the caleta. He said the float line is for the protection of swimmers and snorkelers from so-called wave runners. “It remains our intention to close caleta access to motorized boats and toys in the near future to also protect the very fragile natural system from the rapid increase of boats, catamarans and groups of people coming mostly from Akumal and Xpuha.” Caleta access from the sea will remain open to paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and non-motorized watercraft, he said. In earlier reports, Rivera noted that the safety line of demarcation blocking access of motorized watercraft in Fatima Bay for protection of swimmers and snorkelers stretches on the same plane to the caleta.

 

Reserve car storage space early at Riviera Maya Dry Marina and Storage in Paamul

 

Coming Events …

THIS SUNDAY ENJOY THE…

CENSUS TAKERS from the Institute of National Statistics and Geography (Inegi) are in Puerto Aventuras to March 27. Personnel in uniform and carrying identity papers will do the polling randomly. Anyone with doubts when contacted by a census taker can call local Security 984-873-5128 or Inegi directly 1-800-111-4634…  COOKING CLASS – Latitude 20 cooking class is held at 10 a.m. Fridays. All are welcome to join in … SPANISH CLASSES at Latitude 20: Call Gloria Contreras at cel: 984-108-3517 for information… FREE LECTURE at 10 a.m. March 17 in the Colonos room. The topic: There Is No Cure For The Common Birthday, But There Is Youthful Aging – Join Professor Emeritus Jim White and learn how to immediately slow the aging process… BENITO JUAREZ birthday is March 21 but observed Monday, March 16, when the Colonos office will be closed…

 

Audio, TV Tech help available from Alan, Click logo for more info

 

ColoNotes…

Ambulance phone numbers listed

Dear Residents:

We now have three ambulances located close by that can be called in emergencies, the Red Cross ambulance across the street in the poblado expected to arrive this week, and two private ambulances, one parked at the Barceló and one at the Hard Rock. The Red Cross ambulance is without cost (although they would appreciate a donation, based on your ability to pay), and will take you to the hospital of your choice. The private ambulances will bill you for their services, and both will take you to Hospiten.
In order to request the service, you can call any of these four numbers:
Red Cross ambulance: 065; Puerto Aventuras Security: 873-51-28 and 51-73. Tell them what your emergency is, and whether you want the Red Cross ambulance or a private ambulance. If a private ambulance, they will send the one which is closest. Ambulance at the Barceló: 044-984-876-22-50; Ambulance at the Hard Rock: 044-998-214-41-32.

 

Durell Associates for legal counsel. See logo in sponsor column

 

PA delegation joins protest

against Akumal entrance fee

By Staff

People of the Puerto Aventuras Poblado are objecting to a proposed 300-peso fee to go to the beach at Akumal, according to resident Orlando Cox Tun, a leader of neighbors in the Solidaridad municipal delegation. He notes they have no “window to the sea” through the private, gated Puerto Aventuras resort community and have depended on Akumal’s free-access beach.

It is allegedly the intent of the Ecological Center Akumal (CEA) to charge for entrance in the face of increased use of the beach there by poblado residents from PA and Akumal who are fairly well deprived of beach access by the plethora of private all-inclusive hotels along the Riviera Maya. Akumal has been one of the few public access points along the area coastline.

Tun has also been in pursuit of beach access in Puerto Aventuras to no avail. While the CEA’s proposal for an Akumal admission charge is to ostensibly reduce crowding of the popular beach and the alleged damage to the reefs by overuse, Tun counters that it is affluent tourists who can afford boat rides to the reefs who are causing the damage, not the rank and file pobladans. Tun alleges that large hotels being built along the Akumal beach are complicit in CEA’s plans in order to reserve beach area for their guests.

 

PA’s People…

PA resident lends heart, hand

at improved municipal pound

Animal welfare at heart of new direction

By Staff

She was greeted by an ensemble of dissonant yelps and howls laced by the whine of puppies that sounded like the plaintive strains of violins. Rather than raise a baton, she lifted up her own voice with joyful greetings, affectionate words and a bag of cookies. “Well aren’t you a cutie” – she would say while distributing yummies as the chorus went wild with anticipation – a cacophony of tenors, altos, baritones, basses, yowlers, howlers, yelpers and simpering pups.

Diane Zanuzoski of Puerto Aventuras was back again last week alongside the cages of Solidaridad’s newly improved animal shelter in Playa del Carmen. She was there for another labor-of-love session, approaching each cage with soothing words while gingerly serving cookies to each of the 41 dogs, then cooing over the 16 cuddling puppies with as much individual attention as time would muster.

Not many people from Puerto Aventuras have been to what used to simply be “the dog pound.” That’s understandable. What gloomy events of euthanasia went on there was of no matter to most. But now, Ms. Zanuzoski, heartened by the municipal government, Veterinarian Leticia Mora Acevedo and others of good will toward defenseless animals, are out to change the “pound” image with a new effort and a new name – Centro de Bienestar Animal Municipal – or, Municipal Center for Animal Welfare.

The idea now is not to euthanize most stray, sick, hostile or abandoned dogs, but to save and prepare them for adoption or return to their owners. The goal is not to reprove dog owners who neglect their animals and ignore the few rules of dog behavior in public places, but to modify their manners toward more considerate and peaceful co-existence with close neighbors and the community at large.

To that end, PA Colonos GM Armando Rincon has signed on to this humane thrust by inviting CEBIAM to conduct patrols in the PA resort, collect, care for and return straying dogs to their owners, follow up on public complaints about nuisance dogs and help owners to better care for their animal(s) and observe local rules of comportment.

Ms. Zanuzoski is volunteering her time and emotion to help CEBIAM director Acevedo and the municipality to transform what was essentially death row for unfortunate animals – appropriately located behind the municipal jail in the ejido – to a clean canine clinic that cares.

“I started working for the municipality when the new administration of (Mayor) Mauricio Gongora heard I wanted to improve the dog pound,” Dra. Acevedo said. With 10 years’ experience as a vet, she and others laid out plans for CEBIAM and, after a “lot of time and meetings,” the municipality for its part budgeted funds for staff and two vehicles, various supplies and, most importantly, “changed the objective” to a compassionate treatment of animals.

Dra. Aceveda is no stranger to Puerto Aventuras. Among other duties, she has been vet in charge of the free pet clinic in the PA Poblado for two years, spaying and neutering dogs and cats, consulting with owners about animal health and preventive medicine. Before CEBIAM, there was no official place to complain about being bitten by a dog or much oversight of handling animals at the pound that often were jammed into cages with sick dogs and not always fed, cleaned or otherwise treated for lack of money, staff and will.

All that is changing, slowly perhaps, but changing. The cages – which now can hold a maximum of two animals only – are cleaner, the animals better fed, neutered or spayed and medically treated when needed. There are two somewhat odiferous alleys of cages. One, which is quarantined, accepts new animals to be assessed by the vet and prepped. Once that’s done, the dog is moved to the second alley which contains the animals ready to be either reclaimed by their owners or put up for adoption.

There is more to be done, says Ms. Zanuzoski, who sometimes has as many as five dogs at her expansive home. She has taken time from her business and social life to work on behalf of the animals. While at the pound last week in boiling heat and humidity, she saw one sick animal shorn of strength to move and baking in a sun-drenched cage by itself. “Somebody needs to pay attention to this dog now,” she advised the caretaker who was waiting for the vet to arrive. She asked the caretaker for gloves, water and cloth and entered the cage to clean the animal that could barely open its eyes.

“We’ve got to get him into the shade,” she told the caretaker, and helped move the dog to a larger pen in the cool shade. “This is one example of what we need here,” Ms. Zanuzoski said. “We need a retractable cover over the alley to provide shade.” But the budget is already strained in supporting the vehicles, six animal and property caretakers, eight inspectors covering all of Solidaridad, a computer operator and the director.

“That’s why we need donors and volunteers” says Ms. Zanuzoski, a self-confessed dog lover. She tells the story of one woman who has connected with friends in Canada who have adopted some of the fine-bred animals that pass through the CEBIAM clinic. A longtime resident of the Riviera Maya who started a real estate career in the early days of Cancun, Ms. Zanuzoski has been a Puerto Aventuras resident for six years. Her introduction to the pound came years ago when she visited there and began bringing dogs home then finding other good homes for them. The pound then was “heartbreaking,” she said.

“The municipality could use some financial support at the pound,” Zanuzoski inferred, to continue improvements. “Anyone from Puerto Aventuras who appreciates what CEBIAM is trying to accomplish and wants to help, can call me at cel. 984-169-8290 for more information.”

Meanwhile, local dog owners can refer to the Colonos website or Pelican archives for information on the CEBIAM program in Puerto Aventuras. The Colonos web site has a  form to make complaints about nuisance dogs and a complaint can be made directly to CEBIAM at 877-3050 x 10079. To get to the CEBIAM pound from PA, turn left from Highway 307 at Avenida Benito Juarez in Playa del Carmen, drive a few kilometers to the white municipal jail on the left and turn left immediately after the jail onto the dirt road to the center located in back of the jail building.

 

Blood donors sought to aid

library volunteer’s husband

The husband of PA Library volunteer Linda Gosslin of Paamul is hospitalized with pneumonia and requires a blood transfusion to regain his health. Donna Carey forwarded information concerning the donor process. Please read if you can contribute:

“The place to donate is the IMSS General Hospital (Hospital General de Playa Del Carmen. It is at Avenida Constituyentes and Avenida 135 in the Ejido. The phone number is 2061690. The hours for donation are 6:30 AM Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM on Saturday and Sunday and festival days.

The requirements to be a donor: Between ages of 18 and 65. Weigh at least 110 lbs. In general good health. Present official identification with photograph (passport or residente temporal or permanente). Do not have a cough, cold, headache or stomachache. Do not have, and have not had, epilepsy, syphilis, hepatitis, malaria, cancer, AIDS or severe heart disease. Have not had alcoholic beverages or used tobacco in the last 48 hours.

Have not used any illicit drugs. Be prepared to identify any prescription drugs and food supplements you use. Have not had any type of surgery in the last six months. Have not had simple procedures or dental extractions in the last 3 months. Have not had a tattoo, perforation or acupuncture in the last year. Have not been vaccinated against hepatitis, HPV or rabies in the last year. Don’t donate if you or your partner have human papilloma virus HPV. Do not donate if you engage in risky sexual behavior.

You cannot donate if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Have not had dengue fever in the last 12 months. Have not eaten or drunk in at least the last 4 hours prior to donating. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to donate blood. Afterward you will be asked to rest for a few minutes and drink some juice. It is an imposing list of requirements, but we only need to find two people who can do it. IMPORTANT: If you are able to donate, you must tell the blood bank that this donation is for David Gosslin in Hospiten, Playa del Carmen with Dr. Hernandez.”

 

Expert: Capture of  cartel

bosses won’t end violence

 

Two major Mexican drug lords were captured in the last two weeks, one of them the leader of the “Zetas,” a name often bandied about in connection with criminal activities and intramural power battles in this general region. While the arrests boost the government’s effort and image to reduce organized crime nationally, say observers, they do little to disrupt the continuation of the cartel businesses and battles.

That’s because capturing the leadership causes fragmentation in the cartels, which leads to more violence in battles for control. Another problem is that the government isn’t going after the money or investigating the complicity of municipalities and confiscating weapons, which are what drive the continuation of criminal enterprises, notes Jose Revelas, an expert on drug trafficking.

Zeta chieftan Oscar Omar Trevino was captured in Nuevo Leon a week after Servando “Tuta” Gomez, leader of the Knights Templar criminal organization, was arrested in Michoacan. One local newspaper that follows the area crime scene in particular claims there is ongoing infiltration by criminal elements in the area.

 

Briefly Noted…

Census takers from the Institute of National Statistics and Geography (Inegi) are in Puerto Aventuras until March 27. Personnel in uniform and carrying identity papers will do the polling randomly. Anyone with doubts when contacted by a census taker can call local Security 984-873-5128 or Inegi directly 1-800-111-4634… The Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya is in the running as a potential venue for the Economic Forum on Latin America to be held in May… Canada appoints new ambassador to Mexico. He is an entrepreneur named Pierre Alarie… The property tax discount in Solidaridad worked well this year with a 13 percent increase in collections, reports the municipality… The little airport landing strip in Playa del Carmen that is being shut down for a new airstrip in western Puerto Aventuras is scheduled to become a pedestrian walkway, according to city officials… A hotel association spokesman in Playa dell Carmen says the change in the time zone to conform to the U.S. standard time has been beneficial for the tourist industry… The alleged leader of a cartel in crime-ridden and touristy Acapulco was arrested this week in Merida on the Yucatan peninsula a long way from home…

 

 

The Mail Bag…

Alleged poacher sought

Dear Editor:

I have a condo in PA but am now back in Canada. When I was in my condo in January 2015 I noticed that my next door neighbor would take his snorkel and fins and go out into Fatima Bay every afternoon and return with some fish or a conch.

I didn’t realize at the time that he was poaching. I am kicking myself for being naive. I did see him meeting with a Mexican friend with a spear gun from time to time on the way to the Bay as well. My neighbor is an older man in his 70s. I hope that you can pass this info on to the the proper people to talk with this guy.

Signed/ Gene Sarmaga

(Ed. Note: The suspect’s identification has been omitted and was forwarded to the Colonos GM Armando Rincon who immediately replied: “To add to the story, I had a neighbor from Chac-hal-al reporting the same thing (Mr. Paul Shaffery) this week. Security chief Jesus Galdeano has already inquired and we need confirmation from anybody who can identify this person, but we are almost sure this person is a worker from a house on the beach and has a relative in the Poblado that has a seafood restaurant.)

Lazy croc spotted in Paamul

Dear Editor

I have seen a crocodile in a mangrove cenote in Paamul, apparently similar to the one the sign warns of in Puerto Aventuras.

It was like 1.20 meters long (four feet), quiet and did not move from its place. Locals told me it is very lazy and doesn’t move even when kids throw stones at it and is not aggressive to humans, probably because of its size. But knowing that, I will certainly not swim in the PA cenote.

Signed/ T. DeFauw

 

 

Nature Watch…

———————————————–

Lent and warming weather

advise caution buying fish

With the advent of the average 40-day Lenten period before Easter, the federal commission for Protection against Health Risks (Cofepris) has begun 15 to 20 daily checks on some 64 registered fishmongers in the area to assure quality of the product as more fish is eaten during the seasonal Christian observance that includes fasting, hence the consumption of more fish.

The agency is also advising consumers that with increasingly warmer temperatures, many foodstuffs spoil faster if not properly kept and handled. It advises consumers to assure that fish is fresh at point of purchase and properly kept thereafter to remain edible.

Here are some signs that fish is fresh. It should have a mild scent and moist flesh, and appear freshly cut. Consumers are advised not to purchase fish that has a strong, fishy odor. Whole fish should have bright, bulging eyes and bright red or pink gills.

Frozen fish should meet the fresh-smell test and have taut packaging with no evidence of ice or blood. Fresh fish is best used on day of purchase or can be stored for up to two days in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Frozen fish, in its original wrapping and frozen at zero degrees or lower, will keep for up to 3 months. Fish dealers who sell old or tainted fish can be fined up to 1,000 minimum wages.

Snowbirds accustomed to whitefish up north such as cod and flounder that flake easily when grilled do not have that choice at the local Puerto Aventuras supermarket, which is limited in its offerings from the sea, even in the frozen section. There is more – but not extensive – choice in the Playa del Carmen markets. For people with patience, there is truly fresh fish coming into the Puerto Aventuras marina in recreational fishing boats daily. Find out where the boats are, what time they return from their trips … and wait while enjoying the sunshine and marina activity.

 

Reasons offered why toucans

flocking outside the city

In a a rare sight, Toucans have been flocking into the Playa del Carmen perimeters of late, an unusual event for a bird that is on the nation’s protected species list. Why they are suddenly appearing so close to a city is a matter of conjecture, but specialists here say it could have something to do with being disoriented by urban noise.

One of the birds was recently captured in a photo by Puerto Aventuran Armando Rincon, general manager of the Colonos, as it perched on a branch just outside a window of Rincon’s home. Other sightings, though infrequent, have been reported in PA.

Martin Porta, who does research at the Jaguar Conservation Network, offers some possible reasons that include disorientation by urban noise, nesting instinct in males in search of females who possibly escaped from captivity and possible loss of natural habitat to man’s progress. He fears that urbanization of the species could be harmful to the birds since they are colorful, relatively rare in urban settings and a prize to capture.

 

 

Red Cross OKs PA clinic, ambulance

Hard Rock, Colonos join forces

to reopen PA Red Cross clinic

Agree on expanded ambulance options,

reopening gate to reduce response time

By Staff

Two Puerto Aventuras resorts are of one mind when it comes to reopening the Red Cross clinic in the Poblado across Highway 307 and cooperating on expanded ambulance services that all residents and visitors can afford.

The spirit of collaboration was palpable when Colonos GM Armando Rincon and Vigilance Committee member Timothy Howard were cordially welcomed by Hard Rock Hotel GM Rene Malacara last week to discuss options for sustaining the PA Red Cross clinic over the long-haul, improving potential life-saving response time

of ambulances and mining sources of funding and in-kind services to make it all happen.

The trio agreed at the outset that reopening a long-closed gate between Hard Rock and Puerto Aventuras resort properties would add another layer of ambulance protection and swift response. The Hard Rock Hotel has a private ambulance on-site with links to Hospiten, a bilingual, well-equipped and staffed clinic interconnected to its major hospital in Cancun. With the gate issue resolved, response time would be quick but at a cost for service beyond the reach of the less affluent and/or uninsured.

It would be an option to the Red Cross ambulance located at the Red Cross clinic in the Poblado that services the entire area including the PA resort community, Hard Rock Hotel when needed, the Poblado, Puerto Maya residents and all emergencies. That’s a total population estimated at upwards of 15,000. The Red Cross ambulance, manned by at least two well-trained paramedics, does not charge but accepts sliding-scale donations for the service.

The RC ambulance is a necessity, the trio agreed, particularly for the Poblado, many of whose residents cannot afford private ambulance service or, in some cases, even a taxi to go to a clinic in Playa. Response time from the Poblado to the resorts would be about four or five minutes versus an average 30 minutes from the Red Cross emergency clinic in Playa del Carmen – a considerable life or death difference.

Malacara was generous in offering the Hard Rock facilities for possible fund-raising events and helping with in-kind services such as food for the Red Cross personnel. A suggestion from the Red Cross directors in Playa del Carmen was delivered by Howard that possibly the hotels in PA could place one or more Red Cross personnel on their payroll in exchange for CPR and lifeguard training. That idea also was well-received by Malacara.

For their part, Howard and Rincon shared options with Malacara that involve the collection of private donations – some already pledged – to be handled and accounted for by the Colonos administration and some possible volunteer efforts to conduct fund-raisers. Howard mentioned the probability of placing a question on the next Colonos general assembly agenda asking stakeholders to cover part of employee salaries via a nominal surcharge and thus have all potential users of Red Cross services and ambulance contribute minimally but equitably to the cost.

Howard also announced last week that Red Cross officials in Playa del Carmen have agreed to reopen the clinic and return the ambulance this month as fund-raising projects here get under way. Also, the seemingly dormant Anat Kah charitable organization started here by Christina Alexander, who has since resettled elsewhere for a job opportunity, has agreed that the certified organization will receive tax-deductible donations to be placed in a dedicated account for the PA Red Cross facility.

Howard said late last week details were being worked out with Anat Kah. “People will have three ways to donate: In pesos at the Colonos office (with a receipt from the Red Cross, I believe), or in US dollars via Anat Kah, either by check or credit card, with a 501(c)(3) receipt from them.”  In fact, the first donation from the U.S. and through Anat Kah was received earlier this week, Alexander reported.

The details of these fast-moving developments were being worked out in an effort to reopen the PA Red Cross clinic as soon as possible for the protection of inhabitants and visitors.

This just in…

Clinic, ambulance returning

to PA Poblado by March 15

    Following an emergency agreement by the Colonos board to advance 25,000 pesos per month ( $1,673 USD at latest x-rate) to pay half of Red Cross clinic and ambulance personnel salaries for 2015, the Red Cross says it will resume operations in Puerto Aventuras no later than March 15. The advance is contingent on the amounts expended be being repaid by the public, fund-raising and business donations for this year. One of several options being considered for subsequent years is a Colonos surcharge in the Colonos budget that would require Assembly approval.

Timothy Howard, of the Colonos Vigilance Committee, said the PA clinic staff  already has been notified and a meeting was to be held  this week to formalize the arrangement with the Red Cross.

Howard has expanded on the process of making donations: His report:

“Residents of Puerto now have three ways to donate, should they wish to do so:

Peso donations in cash:  Colonos GM Armando Rincon is ready to take cash donations in the Colonos office.  He (or his staff) will log in the donor and the amount of the donation, which will be used as part of the monthly Colonos contribution to the Red Cross.  He then will be able to give official Red Cross donation receipts to donors (although it may take a few weeks.)

U.S. dollar donations by credit card.  These can be made on the Anat Kah website: http://donate.icfdn.org/?dm_i=2P2A,2AI,1O1OB,372,1#npo/fundacion-riviera-maya-fund

If you go on this website, you’ll note several things.  First, the donation says it will be credited to the "Riviera Maya Fund," not Anat Kah.  Don’t worry about that.  The Red Cross will get it if, after you make the donation, you also send an e-mail to Christina Alexander telling her you’ve made it and want it to go to the Red Cross clinic in Puerto.  Christina’s e-mail address is: christina@fcrivieramaya.org.  Right now there is no way on the Riviera Maya Fund website to indicate where a specific donation should be directed; Christina says she will try to get that changed (but even if she does, people still should send her a confirming e-mail).

The last thing to note about the credit card donation is that the processor they use takes five percent as a fee (you’re given the option to offset that by increasing your donation).

U.S. dollar donations by check.  You also can send a check in the mail.  In this case, though, you make the check out to the International Community Foundation, and send it to: International Community Foundation, 2505 N Avenue, National City, CA 91950.  As with the credit card donation, after you’ve sent the check you’ll need to send Christina an e-mail telling her you’ve done it, and that it’s for the Red Cross in Puerto.

For both the credit card and check donations, Christina will send you an official 501(c)(3) receipt that you can use to take a deduction when you file your taxes.

“The goal is in sight,” Howard said in thanking Puerto Aventurans in advance for their support. (See Anat Kah annual report below)

 

Want fresh fish? Call Capt Rick’s and enjoy catching your own. Click the logo in the sponsor column for an exciting array of choices.

 

 COMING EVENTS…

RECYCLING at the skate park 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, March 6… COOKING CLASS – Latitude 20 cooking class is held at 10 a.m. Fridays. All are welcome to join in … SPANISH CLASSES at Latitude 20: Call Gloria Contreras at cel: 984-108-3517 for information… FREE LECTURE at 10 .m. March 17 in the Colonos room. The topic: There Is No Cure For The Common Birthday, But There Is Youthful Aging – Join Professor Emeritus Jim White and learn how to immediately slow the aging process… BENITO JUAREZ birthday is March 21 but observed Monday, March 16, when the Colonos office will be closed…

Thinking of going diving? Find a great learning experience at Aquanauts. Click on the logo at left.

Big Winner raffle…

 

Editorial-ito…

Callous renters bring profits

to landlords, crass disrespect

to many sleepless neighbors

The booming rhythm a few nights ago blasted through the evening into the next morning to the chagrin of many residents trying to sleep. By 3:15 a.m., the party held by renters at Kali hotel/condos at the end of Caleta Yalku was in full swing. The noise did not subside an iota despite a request by Security to tone it down out of respect for neighbors along and across the golf course fairway and others on Caleta Yalku and environs.

“Security went there three times,” GM Armando Rincon said after the fact. “They went once and asked politely to turn down the volume. The renters said they would, but they didn’t. Security called municipal police and returned to the Kali complex only to find the gates closed to them.” By rule, Security is prohibited from private property unless invited in…which it was not. Damn the neighbors, damn Security and damn the police evidently. By about 3:30 a.m. the volume was reduced a little and the persistent booming finally ended at around 5:30 a.m.

Uncaring private parties are a thorn in the crown of Paradise. It doesn’t take rules and laws to remedy the problem. All it takes is consideration for one’s neighbors by moving the noise indoors at 11 p.m. A most respectful model exists in the Centro Comercial District and in considerate local hotels that end loud entertainment by 11 p.m. in consideration of others. The community is grateful to them.

Rincon feels condo administrators and owners should ensure that renters understand the preferred rules of this community as they apply to nighttime noise and stipulate that understanding in rental contracts. Then the police will have rules by which to act.

 

Commerce Corner…

Save time, money, energy with

solar golf-cart roof, says dealer

Major golf course here testing the product

By Staff
The clean and renewable energy era is getting a local boost with the novel idea of using rooftop solar panels on electric golf carts as the modern way of saving time, money and the environment over the long term.

While huge solar-panel arrays are already generating free power from the sun’s energy at airports, marinas, malls and private homes in many parts of the world – and selling left-over power to regional grids too – the Mayan Riviera is getting its introduction to the solar panel future in a smaller dose with an idea that is gaining traction here: Rooftop solar panels to power golf carts.

In addition, the Federal Electric Commission (CFE) said this week it has seen a savings of 500,000 pesos in Solidaridad by entering into contracts with some 60 private solar pane users who are selling unused power to the CFE, general savings that also apply to the solar-powered golf carts.

Leading that charge locally is Puerto Aventuras snowbird resident Gerardo Ruiz of Minnesota. He is an electrical engineer who sees the fiscal, environmental and time-saving virtues of charging golf-cart batteries with solar energy and negating the pesky requirement of regularly plugging into power sources to maintain the six batteries that power the average cart.

There are roughly 400 golf carts registered just in Puerto Aventuras alone, a number that has growth potential given the development of the outlying Phase 4 and promise of an additional nine-holes to the current golf course.

“What’s the main reason people buy into this idea?” Ruiz was asked last week by a curious breakfast group at the Omni Hotel. “It isn’t saving the environment or money,”  Ruiz responded, “even though that’s correct. It’s  saving time. Most people like not having to plug  in under normal use.” He added, however, that golf-course carts that get more sustained usage require some charging.

He said his 255-watt standard panel is currently undergoing stringent testing by a well-known golf course on the Riviera Maya with an eye toward purchasing  solar roofs for the maintenance carts.

Without delving into technical minutiae, Ruiz says the golf cart panels save money onthe cost of plug-in electricity and also by extending – sometimes doubling – the life of the average cart’s six batteries that can cost from $60 to $100 or more each. The batteries last longer as the result of the solar panel’s ability to keep batteries charged to 80 percent by virtue of continuous charging as the cart is being used or just parked in the sun.

Ruiz has designed a framework and rail system on which to attach the solar panel that also covers and conducts the necessary wiring to the cart’s motor qnd accessories. The system also fits neatly to various cart configurations. All pieces, manufactured here in Puerto Aventuras, are of aluminum and stainless steel while the solar panel glass is easily cleaned and highly resistant to weather damage including hail. Panels last a long time – as much as 25 years – because they are sealed and have no moving parts.

“I originally purchased the solar panel for my late mother’s golf cart, so she wouldn’t have to worry about charging it….hassle-free, “ says Cate Hauser of Chac Hal Al. “It is now my golf cart and I love not having to charge it.” Ruiz has two warranted products, a $600 USD standard solar panel rig for the average buyer that is certified by underwriters’ laboratory as fire retardant and hail resistant. He is distributor also for a prime $2,600 model manufactured by Solar Drive of Denmark –Solardrive.com – that carries a 25-year guarantee. So far, he says, he has sold eight regular panels and two of the Danish panels here.

Ruiz, who vacationed in Tulum 10 years ago with his wife, Lucille, “fell in love” with the Riviera Maya and settled in Puerto Aventuras nine years ago. Having been employed many years in the corporate world, he formed his own company in 2007 and sold it in 2011 to a corporation and began his new solar challenge.

“I know the panel will pay for itself in a year,” Hauser said. “I had some squeaky issues with it at first and Gerardo addressed them right away and has made everything easy and perfect.” Ruiz, who was born in Spain, educated in the USA and is bilingual,  said sales include service familiarizing customers with the product. “It only makes sense to have a solar panel on a cart,” said Hauser. “It’s off the grid and worry-free.”

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The Mail Bag…

Illegal poaching of queen conch

being observed in Fatima Bay

Dear Editor,

Our Bahia Fatima is under attack. Regular illegal poaching and netting are happening now. It happens at night and during the day right in front of us. It is seriously depleting our stocks of conch, especially the queen or Caracol Rosada, which is currently protected, as well as our world class schools of permit and bone fish.

It is regularly done because we don’t pay attention and because our bay is not legally protected. Imagine trying to harpoon the only big grouper in Akumal, or Soliman or YalKu. It wouldn’t happen because the locals would stop you. Here in Puerto Aventuras, it happens regularly. The grouper are already gone. Now, our few schools of game fish and our conch are being wiped out by illegal netters and poachers.

The netting crews use long nets up to 100 meters in length with floats. Some of these crews told me that they use the netted fish for bait. On Monday, an individual was selling conch meat in the Marina Commercial. This cannot be tolerated. It is an illegal act under the laws of Mexico and those of conscience. The netters I’ve confronted tell me they are from Playa. The conch predator is local. I know him. I’ve chased him off numerous times. He has fired his harpoon at me. He tried to overturn the kayak of an observer when I informed him that we had his photo. He is a menace to us and to our bay.

I’m doing my best but I am one person. Armando Rincon, Colonos administrator, asked me to ask you to get the word out about this. We have had enough. I met with him and the head of security, Jesus Galdeano. We have met with the Marines. We are working with Zofamat and Semarnat. We hope to have the bay and all entrances covered with signs noting that the denizens of the bay are protected just as the land animals are.

if you see suspicious activities on the bay, ie. harpoons, snorkelers with visible or subsurface floats, snorkelers spending lots of time in one area, just call security at 984-802-9078. Lets put a stop to the plundering of our bay. Also, no one should approach anyone in our bay who is using harpoons of any kind. The important thing is to call security and point out the poacher to them. In my experience, confronting suspected poachers is just too dangerous.

Signed/Tony Schaefer

Another Bancomer complaint

Dear Editor:

I too was treated very rudely by Napoleon while I was at Bancomer on my latest visit to Puerto in January. I ended up referring to him as Little Hitler. I have been banking at Bancomer for almost seven years but if his rudeness continues I will switch to another bank. He acted like he didn’t want to service me at all and made me wait an inordinate amount of time, which he delighted in doing.

Signed/ Andy Pittman

 

Added topes appreciated

Dear Editor:

The Colonos installed "speed bumps" (topes) on Blvd. Puerto Aventuras last week after a long time in the making.  I just wanted to say thank you to Rick and Marti Lachaw along with others who have been persistent in making this happen.  Thanks to the Colonos for listening and making it safer for the children and anyone walking on Blvd. Puerto Aventuras.

Signed/ Dr. James Sammon

Crocodile fears

Dear Editor:

I was very concerned last week when my husband and I rode our bikes to Phase 4. While my husband sat and watched people snorkeling in the caleta I went for a walk. I walked to the Mayan ruin and tried to go around it as I always used to, only to be led into a narrow pathway into a bushy area which led to the cenote.

As I was trying to find my way out of this maze of undergrowth, I came upon a sign in Spanish which said to "Beware of Crocodiles". I was very worried as nobody knew where I was, the path was so narrow, I didn’t know which way to go to get out and heaven forbid that there was a crocodile on that path as there was no way around it.

I think that there should be signs at every entrance into that area about crocodiles because if there had been I would not have ventured in there, especially on my own.

Signed/ Nesta Lacey

(Ed. Note: So far, the Pelican knows of no one who has actually seen a crocodile in that area.)

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Briefly Noted…

Census takers from the Institute of National Statistics and Geography (Inegi) will be in Puerto Aventuras from March 2 to 27. Personnel in uniform and carrying identity papers will do the polling randomly. Anyone with doubts when contacted by a census taker can call local Security 984-873-5128 or Inegi directly 1-800-111-4634… The Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya is in the running as a potential venue for the Economic Forum on Latin America to be held in May… Canada said to be complicit in the 2012 suppression of worker protests at a mine in Mexico, say two investigative agencies… Ten female dancers performing at the Chilly Willy nightclub were arrested and detained last week by agents of the National Migration Institute for being in the country illegally. They are scheduled to be repatriated to their home countries… Germany’s human rights commissioner has faulted lax rule of law as an underlying cause for Mexico’s runaway incidents of violence… The gas delivery company found responsible for the deaths of five infants at a Mexico City hospital explosion in late January has compensated families of those who died in the blast and is meeting the medical and emotional needs of survivors, the company, Gasistica Gas, has reported… The state’s symphony orchestra of some 50 musicians says a contemplated new municipal cultural theater in Playa del Carmen could be chosen as the home of the orchestra since it will have the proper acoustics and space for that type of event, meaning that the concert series would be within easy driving distance of Puerto Aventuras… A Playacar death occurred Monday when a motorcyclist slammed into a palm tree. Police said the deadly combination of alcohol and speeding was suspected…  Mexico’s mid-term election  on June 7 is open to a little more more than 83 million voters in a population of 113 million, the election commission has announced…

GIVE JESSIE GELATO a licking to cool the hot days coming our way.

 

Anat Kah renders 2014 report

to Puerto Aventuras community

(Ed. Note: Anat Kah is an all-encompassing charitable organization similar to the community United Fund in the USA. It’s relative absence in public discourse during the past several years was the topic of discussion among a group of men last week and is now answered by release of the agency’s annual 2014 report on Puerto Aventuras programs supported by the fund.) The report:

“Over the course of 2014, Anat Kah focused its philanthropic efforts in Puerto Aventuras in three specific areas: education, extracurricular opportunities and violence prevention.  Each of the contributions made to these important areas has been based on a strategic vision for the future of Puerto Aventuras and its residents of all ages. Our belief that real social change depends on an educated, active and participatory community base, guided our fundraising and investments in 2014. 

By supporting successful, long-running community educational and recreational programs, as well as developing and promoting an innovative community intervention to prevent violence through the promotion of positive relationships and community engagement, Anat Kah has achieved important steps towards its overall mission “to promote community participation, social investment and sustainable development in the Riviera Maya”. (Anat Ka is a charitable organization similar to the United Fund in the USA)

 

Pilot Project: Promoting positive

relationships for the prevention

of violence in Puerto Aventuras

   ”This innovative initiative seeks to address the problems of social and structural violence in Puerto Aventuras that have resulted in multiple harmful effects, as well as health and security issues, at the domestic, community and regional level. Quintana Roo is a state with one of the highest rates of violence against women in Mexico, despite being one of the most economically advanced states in the country.

The project is based on best practices from other successful violence prevention projects in Mexico and areas around the world faced with high levels of violence. This project is aimed at promoting “positive treatment” in human relationships, a methodology that has been proven to contribute to a reduction of violence at the community level. 

The project also seeks to promote local participation and mobilization around common causes and concerns, creating new spaces for positive relationships and well-being, organized and led by trained community members, while at the same time addressing critical community concerns surrounding critical issues such as education, the environment, health and literacy. 

To that end, in 2014, a group of 15 committed men and women from the Poblado of Puerto Aventuras and Puerto Maya, were trained as community promoters of positive relationships and violence prevention through 105 hours of educational and psychological workshops from the project’s coordinator, psychologist Elsa Solís. 

Results of this intensive training show that the participants experienced great changes in their knowledge regarding the themes of the workshops, including the identification of violence in family and community settings, conflict resolution, and community organizing. Participants also reported behavioral changes as a result of their participation in the workshops, including the ability to engage in active listening and conflict resolution in a positive, non-reactionary manner. These changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors at the personal and individual level, also impact how the community promoters engage with their families, neighbors, and the community at-large.

The next phase of the project has begun with the objective of expanding the reach of the positive relationships philosophy to more and more members of the community, through the organization of activities and projects. The local promoters, with assistance from the project coordinator, have planned a series of events relating to pertinent themes like gender-based violence, such as a theater production and movie-roundtables.  They have also begun to design and implement community-based projects to address issues such as literacy, education, health and the environment, such as the creation of a community library, in Puerto Aventuras.  The promoters will involve other community members in the development of these projects, creating new spaces where they can replicate some of the material and lessons from the workshops in which they participated. Each process and activity is designed to promote increased community cohesion, a key to reducing violence.

We are committed to the belief that social change comes through community mobilization, and are convinced that this initiative will stimulate strategic participation, organization and movement building in Puerto Aventuras for years to come.  The model that we are developing, documenting and evaluating here will be replicated in other communities around Quintana Roo, and perhaps Mexico, increasing the real impact of this one project, and bringing positive relationships to an even greater number of people and communities in Mexico.  Anat Kah plans to continue to support these local projects and groups, both financially as well as through the provision of technical assistance, where needed and when requested.”

(Continued Next Week.)

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Nature Watch…

                                                                                                                                            

 

Look! Up in the sky! Is that

a man-o-war or La Frigates?

 

By Gayle Sandholm

   Most any day on the beach you will see the “Pirates of the Caribbean”. These large, long-winged, fork–tailed birds were called by the English the “Man of War” bird. The French called them La Frigates (fast warships) from which the common name Frigatebird is derived.

These pirates will chase other birds to steal their food, even shaking some until they regurgitate. They grab food from the water’s surface while in flight, feeding in flight as well. Frigates often soar high, seemingly without effort and are known to fly day and night without landing for up to a week at a time. This is possible, in part, because they have the lightest body weight in relation to wing area of any living bird. It is also necessary because they do not take flight from the water or a flat surface but leap from trees or cliffs.

The Magnificent Frigatebird is a meter long with a wing span reaching two meters. The Spanish name given this bird was Rabihorcado (forked tail) which can sometimes be identifiable in flight. Their bills are long and hooked. Mostly a lustrous black in color, females are larger and identified by their white breast.

Males seen in flight appear to have a dark breast, but when seeking to attract a mate or in mating season, display a striking red throat sac. Immature frigates have a white head and occupy the nest tree for up to six months before their first flight. On a recent fishing trip I saw up to a thousand Magnificents nesting in trees off Cayo Culbra, a small island south of Punta Allen.  As our boat approached the guide said to look at the apple trees. The displaying males gave the appearance of red fruit. Arrr! matey, keep looking up, those “Pirates” are putting on a show in the theatre above.

NATURE NOTES: The regional lobster catch decreased by 50 percent between 2014 and 2015 because of heavy rains and increasing water temperature in 2013, report scientists who are studying the issue. The rains added too much fresh water to the mix, affecting larval growth of the salt-water species. Hard hit were the bays of the Sian Ka’an Reserve.

BIRD WALK,   Wednesday, Mar. 11 — 9:30-11:30 a.m.   Join two, local, amateur birders on a leisurely bird walk around Puerto.  Comfortable shoes, water, binoculars if you have.  Meet at the tennis courts near the Golf Course. 

THE MELIPONA BEE that was threatened with extinction here just a few years ago is making a comeback in Mayan villages such as San Juan de Dios, Honzonot, San Silverio and others in the southern part of the state where hives are being cared for, protected and expanded with a view to future honey sales to France…

Pelican Free Press Newsletter

For emergency phone numbers, church services, “resident” and “gate” card forms and processes; rules for golf carts and motorcycles, pets, construction by-laws, recycling schedule and other pertinent community information and services, please click on the Puerto Aventuras Colonos icon below. Thank you

PA Colonos Information

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