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Monthly Archives: September 2015

October 2015



Pumpkin Carving, a fun and creative activity directed by Cate Hauser for area youth (and parents too if they wish to advise) will be held again on the terrace of Jessie’s Gelato in Centro at 4 p.m. Oct. 24. Ms. Hauser has carving tools for 20 participants, who must bring their own pumpkins, and if more than 20 youths wish to participate, she and Jessie’s will have a repeat event for others. Parents are invited and cautioned that the tools are rather sharp. She suggests the event be limited to age-appropriate youth. The artsy-faced pumpkins will decorate the community for Halloween on Oct. 31.

Annual Halloween Party at Latitude 20 restaurant – The “ever popular” costume bash begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, with live music, dancing, special drinks and costume competition, says owner Jim Stubbs. “We are already taking bookings for this popular annual event,” he added. “As always, everybody is welcome, with or without costume, and we look forward to another great-fun Halloween celebration.”  The event also signals the start of the annual return of snowbirds.

US daylight saving time ends Sunday, Nov. 1 when it reverts to eastern standard time (EST). Since Quiintana Roo changed its time zone last year to permanent EST, the time here will remain the same on Nov. 1 as the US “falls back” one hour to join Q. Roo in eastern standard time.

Monthly recycling  is scheduled for this coming Friday at the Skate Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meanwhile, Playa del Carmen reports recycling rose by 9.6 percent so far this year putting the program on track to exceed the 306,000 tons collected last year.

The annual road race will be held this season on Jan. 31. Registration will open in October. Stay tuned for more information.

Not feeling well? Call the House-Call Doctor for relief

New security chief comes

with 13 years of experience


By Staff
Colonos General Manager Armando Rincon has announced the appointment of Luis Eduardo Espinosa Mata as the community’s new security manager. Espinosa, who speaks English, began work here on Sept. 18  after several weeks of the Colonos operating the security system without a manager. Chief Espinosa replaces former chief Jesus Galdeano who has moved into the same position at the Barcelo Hotel.

“I want to add that Mr. Espinosa has a degree in electronics and communications, as well as courses in paramedical, tourist security and other specialties. He has 13 years of experience as security manager in the hotel industry and he has skills and knowledge of administration and operations, civil protection and first aid. Espinosa has also been employed by the federal police.

“We will appreciate all the support fellow employees and residents can give to our new co-worker as we look forward to his quick orientation and assimilation into the community,” Rincon said.



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MRI coming to Playa hospital

It is being reported that by the end of November, the general hospital in Playa del Carmen will have MRI equipment in operation, while hospitals in Cozumel, Cancun and Chetumal are expecting cat-scan maxhinery later in the year.

MRI is the acronym for “magnetic resonance imaging” and plays an important role in photographing of the body’s internal anatomy and physiology. The image yielded from MRI enhances the information required by doctors to determine more accurate diagnoses and analyses.

Mexico listed by US as narco

nation, but will continue aid

By Staff from news sources
A list of 22 countries that produce – or form transit corridors – of illegal drugs into the US was released by the Obama Administration in September. Although the list includes Mexico, the US said it would continue to help its neighbor nation combat cartels.

The US cited Mexico’s continuing efforts to cripple the power and impunity of transnational criminal organizations via the Merida Initiative, which has as its goals the continuing cooperation between the two countries to achieve respect for human rights, support the rule of law, buttress public safety and decrease demand for drugs.

Countries on the list are, besides Mexico, Afghanistan, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Myanmar, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru and Venezuela .

In a notification to the Congress, Obama determined that Bolivia, Burma (Myanmar), and Venezuela “failed demonstrably”during the last twelve months to make sufficient or meaningful efforts to adhere to their obligations under international counter-narcotic agreements.

In accordance with provisions of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (FRAA), the President determined that support for programs promoting democracy in Myamnar and Venezuela remain vital to the national interests of the US and therefore grants Burma (Myanmar) and Venezuela National Interest Waivers, the State Department said.

A country’s presence on the list does not necessarily reflect its counter narcotics efforts or its level of cooperation with the United States on illegal drug control, the statement said.

Meanwhile, methamphetamine production in mid-Western US states has dropped dramatically but, surprisingly, without a corresponding reduction in street sales and use of the drug. This means, say officials, that Mexican-made meth is finding it way into the US and filling the gap. Also, as reported in the New York Times, Mexican cartels have turned to producing powdered heroin and sales are booming in the US mid-West, along with more than 100 overdose deaths in that area. On another front, more arrests of prison and government officials have been made over the escape of major drug dealer  Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and 13 so far will be tried, according to federal officials.

Where they’re always glad you came – Latitude 20 Restaurant

Mexlaw says…

Opening of new court system

will improve search for justice

The opening of Playa del Carmen’s first oral trial courtrooms expected this year will change the system of administration of justice. Many administration mistakes will be avoided, guaranteeing that criminals will be prosecuted correctly.

Parties will be appropriately allowed to present their cases and be judged by the applicable law and facts, without fear of personal interpretations or judgments by judicial authorities undermining their case.

With this system, cases have a chance to be concluded sufficiently, with each matter being given the most appropriate care through rational and efficient use of judicial resources. Due to the transparency of the system and the efficiency of the process, citizens should have more confidence in the judiciary branch.

Additionally, this administration of justice will help erode the slow development of procedures that currently tarnish the image of the Mexican judicial system that too often personifies the adage that justice delayed is justice denied.

Keep in mind that with the simplification of this process, citizens hopefully will be more motivated to exercise their constitutional rights and to report illegal conduct, which will consequently help combat crime and promote active involvement by citizens in the pursuit of justice.

These measures to support Mexico’s transition to an accusatory justice system involving oral trials are a response to continuous complaints regarding the high levels of impunity that are prevalent in Mexico.

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 Engineers advocate for updated

building, urban planning codes

By Staff
Anybody who has had problems with the quality of living quarters they have purchased in Solidaridad, along with potential buyers, might be pleased to know that the local College of Engineers over the summer called for updating Solidaridad’s building code to keep up with the times and improve the environment and construction requirements.

Jose Tomas Farfan, president of Solidaridad’s Association of Engineers, suggested that construction requirements and environmental urban planning need to stay abreast of the community’s rapid growth. To accomplish that, Farfan said a coordinated effort between all parties involved in construction, housing and urban planning need to work together on updates to their various specialties.

The goal is to obtain a document that includes strategies to improve streets, housing construction regulations, green space and utilities infrastructure. In addition, continuing education and training courses for various specialties in the building trades were proposed.

Call Alan’s Tech if your electronics are a wreck

Tulum Rotary charity golf

tourney set for Oct. 31

The Rotary Club of Tulum and the Tao Foundation will host their first Annual Charity Golf Tournament on Saturday October 31, 2015, at Bahia Principe Golf Course. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Tulum Rotary Club and the Tao Foundation.

The tournament will be a four-person scramble format. Tournament day check-in begins at 7:00 a.m. and Tee Time is at 8:00 a.m. Registration fees are $110.00 US before Oct. 13 and $130 US after that date.  Cost includes greens fee, cart, lunch and drinks (water, soda and juice) and a goody bag.

Prizes include 1st, 2nd and 3rd place plus longest drive and closet to pin.  We will also be having raffle ticket prizes.

The Rotary Club of Tulum is one of many clubs in Mexico and around the world. Our programs include diabetes testing in Tulum, Akumal and Chemuyi; dental hygiene programs for school children, support for the Tulum Red Cross as well as the Tulum Fire Department and many other programs.

The Tao Foundation presently assists in the Mayan village of Xache on a variety of programs including educational support, health and diabetes testing, support for special surgeries for children and environmental awareness programs. For more information or to register for the tournament, please contact 984-100-5097.

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New “tourist card” could ease

traffic stops for minor offenses

Radar guns re-introduced in this area

Officials in the Cancun-Tulum corridor – one of the top ten magnet areas for tourism – are trying to ease the problem of tourists being stopped by police for minor infractions and could, in the long run, reduce complaints concerning police bribery incidents over alleged speeding, particularly in cases of rented cars. (See letters section below.)

While the project is not currently cemented into a law, the cards could be in a trial run come the winter season, say officials working on the project. They estimate that 7000 cars are rented daily in the Benito Juarez (Cancun), Solidaridad and Tulum municipalities.

The officials say they are working to line up cooperation from rental-car companies operating in the corridor. The companies would be responsible for distributing and collecting the cards from renters.

On a parallel front, police departments from Cancun, Solidaridad and Tulum, along with military agencies and the attorney general’s office, have been meeting to formulate strategies of cooperation and coordination in the effort to better deliver security to the northern Yucatan states.

This includes, in Solidaridad, the revival of the “radar gun” which will measure the speed of vehicles along area roadways. Speeders could face a fine of up to 25 minimum wages.

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Feds eye med prescriptions;

tourists may face a problem

By Yucalandia
The Mexican government now requires that every prescription for controlled pain medications (like barbiturates and opiates) include the patient’s CURP number. As has happened with Immigration and visas and Customs and importing vehicles, the Mexican government now tracks prescriptions with a new national computer data-base system. (The CURP number is like a social security number used to track residents.)

This presents significant problems for visitors in Mexico on Visitante/Tourist visas because they have no CURP number. CURP numbers are somewhat equivalent to a US Social Security number. Temporary visitors to Mexico do not get CURPs with their visas. Residents, as Residente Temporal and Residente Permanente, do get CURPs as a part of their visa.

Specifically, medical tourists who come to Mexico for economical treatments cannot now get controlled pain medications under this new policy. Yucalandia says it will provide updates if there are changes in the law or rules.

Investment Properties Mex builds dreams on time and budget

Briefly Noted…

A citizen petition filed with Semarnat, the ministry of environmental and natural resources, has resulted in a call to the community for comment on recent barrier installations by the Catalonia Hotel to prevent beach erosion and block the landing of sargassum along its beachfront. Semarnat wants to assess the viability of the project and is open to community input… Female day of empowerment will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 17 at 61 Bahia Yanten. More information at 984-115-4180, or 722-456-7826 and 998-577-2664… Storm Joaquin was churning in the Atlantic off the Bahamas on Monday with 40 mph winds that could strengthen as it headed west toward the Mexican coast in an otherwise quiet hurricane season… so far. The season ends in November…

Sewer installation work at the Golf and Racquet Club requiring a trench across Bahia Xcacel between the club parking lot and Hippo’s Restaurant was scheduled to begin Monday (Sept. 28) and take 10 days to complete. Traffic will continue to flow but at a slower pace and drivers are asked to plan accordingly…

Help for kelp – Scientists and government officials conferred recently on the invasive presence of sargassum along the Mayan Riviera coast and predicted the invasion could continue for another 10 years because of the prevailing Gulf Stream currents and other environmental factors… Meanwhile, the effort to keep area beaches free of the pesky sea grass seem to be working along the Riviera, which has been reporting clean beaches lately, keeping the area alive for tourism… In addition the government agency Semarnat is requesting another $65 million to continue cleaning and other offshore operations to control the kelp…

Population rising – The Municipal Council of Population in Solidaridad reports a population increase of 11 percent in the first half of the year, adding to last year’s total 206,000 municipal population. With another half year to go, the municipality is well on its way to reaching a predicted increase of 18 percent in 2015… Meanwhile, population growth is expected to continue in Puerto Aventuras with the development of Phase 4 in the resort, which now has an estimated population of 3,500+, and continuing growth in the Poblado and Puerto Maya to exceed 15,000…

Security cameras – Following the success of security cameras in Puerto Aventuras, the city of Playa del Carmen has installed a monitoring system along 38 major intersections in addition to using GPS technology to view garbage truck routes and other city activity. Also added to the mix to be controlled at the Center for Urban Intelligence and Monitoring, will be intelligent traffic lights to improve vehicular movement by reducing waiting time at traffic lights…

VW check – Mexico says it will test nearly 40,000 VW diesels in the country in the wake of recent VW revelations on toxic emissions…Caterpillar says it may move 40 manufacturing jobs from the US to one of its plants near Monterrey, Mexico…

Try Mayan Security for that extra feeling of safety.

The Mail Bag…

Another police stop

image Dear Editor:
I would like to respond also to the residence owners that were taken victim of police dishonesty in July. We own a residence in Puerto and are planning retirement there. We have had our condo for over two years and really appreciate the the local population’s friendly ways and customs.

We were stopped also in May and the police demanded money and were going to take my license. The exact same thing was said to us that we were 1 kilometer over the 80 kph speed limit going to the airport. This has us wondering if it is going to continue. We have never had a problem in two years. It happened in the same place as the other residence owners.

Now my wife is getting concerned about retiring in Mexico. Is there anything you can do to get the word out or any suggestions if this happens again? Thanks.

Signed/Kevin Koester

(Ed. Note: See below)

Try to observe the facts

Dear Editor:
I was reading about the police extortion in Pelican Free Press . It is important to know the number of the police truck or the name of the officer so we can make an anonymous call to report it. The date and the hour is important too, so it is fine to put it in the complaint as well. Regards.

Signed/Alberto Rivera

(Ed. Note: We presume it is also important to know which police (federales or local), the general location of the stop and whether you were on your way to the airport.)

Negative image discourages

Dear Editor:
Love your site! Keeps me updated on my home away from home. Was very interested in the police stopping tourists and the way some appear so corrupt !Another reason a lot of Canadians are afraid to go to Mexico!

Signed/ Maryann Parack

See the sea. Plan a dive. Click on Aquanauts

Nature Watch…

Try suggested home remedies

to help keep roaches at bay

By Staff
We were in a neighbor’s apartment quietly chatting of an evening last season when the lady of the house suddenly sprang up from her chair and raced across the room to grab a broom. We quickly spied the reason.

Crawling along the wall of the living room was a cockroach big enough to saddle and ride. As the neighbor went at it with the broom, the roach galloped off under a small space where the entrance door didn’t quite meet the floor and disappeared. “I hate those things,”  said our host, somewhat embarrassed for no reason.

The cockroach is a frequent non-grata visitor to living quarters, restaurants and anywhere there is something to eat. And they eat just about anything organic, from grease, garbage, wool and cotton fabrics, cardboard and wallpaper. More active at night, they live in dark, damp holes, cracks and where drains transit.

They  prefer spending time on porous surfaces such as wood, cardboard and paper and leave their scent on these surfaces to attract other cockroaches to the same area. What to do about that? Here are some suggested home remedies, albeit professional extermination is best.

One easy and affordable solution is to place chopped bay leaves in places where roaches can enter. Usually they resist the odor and move away immediately.

Onion and boric (acid?) powder: Another preferred remedy is to make a super effective and very cheap pulp by mixing half an onion chopped fine, half a cup of plain flour, enough beer or water to make the mix pasty, a pinch of sugar and three or four teaspoons of boric powder, available over the counter. Place ingredients in a bowl and mix into paste. Use soda caps to place the mixture inside. Put these caps in places (especially corners) where cockroaches forage. Warning: This can be toxic to household pets.

Lavender: Sprigs of lavender or tea bags with pieces of it on sites where cockroaches exit. Its aroma is reportedly pleasing to the human nose, but not to these insects.

Sugar and baking soda: Cockroaches have an acid stomach. To eradicate them, make a simple mixture of sugar with baking soda and place it in the favorite sites of these insects. They cannot resist the sweet and eat it right away.

Vacuuming: It seems  simple, but … It works! It helps reduce cockroach populations that you find behind appliances or furniture. The accessories are usually very helpful in reaching remote and inaccessible places. When finished, take out the bag, seal it and dispose of it.


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