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Monthly Archives: November 2015

November 2015, Week 2

 

Latitude 20 events help fill

Red Cross equipment needs

Staff Feature:

It was refreshing to see the door of the Red Cross clinic wide open and welcoming on Monday. Brief but delightful chats with staff on duty alerted us that staff paramedic Jorge Aguilar is multilingual and the new doctor, Dra. Julieta Medina Galindo, is three months out of medical school and settling into her internship with the Red Cross here.

It also was encouraging to receive a note from resident and volunteer Jill Schneden concerning two fund-raisers promoted recently by Jim Stubbs of Latitude 20 Restaurant and volunteers that have resulted in delivery of needed medical equipment to the clinic.

The clinic here had closed without warning last December for lack of funding and it took six months of negotiations with local businesses and private donors by Colonos GM Armando Rincon and Volunteer Tim Howard, to secure enough pledges to reopen in June and sustain the local station and ambulance into the future. The community of Akumal is now going through a similar process.

Items delivered

Schneden said Dra. Medina had requested five RC first aid kits, adult and pediatric electric thermometers, a supply of chewable baby aspirin, a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen in the blood, two paramedic jackets and an amount of cash raised from scavenger hunt and trivia game events.

Dra. Medina was attending to a young woman and child when we arrived mid-morning and by the time that patient departed, two more women with children and a young man were in the waiting room, all of them quiet while one of the babies took nourishment from a bottle.

But, explained paramedic Aguilar, who speaks Spanish, English, Italian and French, “we get more business at night, most of it from the Poblado” and some of it the result of injuries and some of it from mothers who wait for fathers to return from work. That way one of the parents can bring a sick child to the clinic while the other stays home with the other children.

“My boss sent me here because there are so many English-speaking people,” Aguilar said. The clinic staff is currently served by two teams of paramedics and Dra. Medina. Aguilar’s partner is an engaging, monolingual paramedic named Marco Rubio (not the one running for US president). They work a 24-hour shift every other day.

Dra. Medina is from Mexico City. She graduated with a medical degree from the Instituto Polytecnico Nacional three months ago. The clinic is in the old Police Station on the Poblado main-entrance road. Dial emergency 065 for the RC ambulance.

‘Trivial’ fundraisers continue

A game of trivial pursuits is not so trivial when one considers that its proceeds could possibly save a life via donations of medical equipment to the Red Cross. The game is being played twice a month at latitude 20 and is open to all in teams of four.

Latitude 20 bills itself as a mostly “locals” establishment with the flavor of the popular TV series “Cheers…where everybody knows your name.” The first trivia event, held in early low-season October, was “a great success” that inspired its continuation, said Latitude owner Jim Stubbs.

There is a modest entry fee for cash prizes with the remaining proceeds going to various charitable organizations like the Red Cross. The next game, hosted by volunteer Shannon Rachynski, will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 15) at the restaurant.

For the uninitiated, Trivial Pursuits is a board game whose winners are determined by their ability to answer general knowledge and popular culture questions.

 

ADO bus line opens shorter

route to visit Holbox Island

By Staff

The ADO (Autobuses de Oriente) has opened a run to serve the increasingly popular island of Holbox via the city of Chequila, from where ferries are available to the island.

The island is located a few miles southwest of Cancun where the waters of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico meet. ADO says that while the trip on the new road from Playa del Carmen to Chequila reduces the time from 5 to 2½ hours (3 hours from Tulum), demand is much lower during the off-season, so bus schedules are planned accordingly. The route is Tulum-Playa-Chequila.

The company’s most profitable run is Playa del Carmen to Cancun and the airport with buses at 60 percent occupancy and “saturation” during the high season, a good figure considering buses leave every half-hour.

Holbox is known for its whale shark viewing and is home to flamingos, pelicans (Yea!) and varied bird life. The island is 26 miles long and just short of a mile wide, has very few cars and some bike rentals. ADO (pronounced Ah dee o) lists its phone number as 984-803-0950 for those wanting more information and schedules, which can be picked up at the bus stations in Playa del Carmen).

 

Commerce Corner…

Novamar Insurance Mexico

associates with local agent

By Staff
   Novamar Insurance Mexico, an international brokerage firm working with more than 20 insurance providers and specializing in yacht coverage and custom policies, is being represented locally by independent broker Launa Brockman as the company spreads eastward from its Puerto Vallarta Mexico headquarters.

Novamar is an affiliate of US-based Novamar Insurance Group and is authorized to offer a variety of insurance lines in Mexico, said Michael Keller, spokesman for the group.

He said the move to Mexico surfaced after noticing that many of Novamar’s US and Canadian clients sailed their yachts for extended stays in Mexico. “Having a physical presence here offers those clients and new ones more efficient service and many benefits other companies do not provide,” Keller said.

For the same reason, the company wanted physical presence in the Mayan Riviera, which is home to a number of thriving yacht basins and marinas. One of the largest inland marinas is in Puerto Aventuras.

Ms. Brockman, who has been a broker since 1994, is that presence here. She worked with Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Co. for 17 years and has been an independent agent in Puerto Aventuras since 2012 offering home, health, boat and auto insurance as well as other lines.

“Having a local presence in Mexico allows Novamar to keep pace with changes in Mexican law and insurance provider regulations,” Keller said. “It allows us to communicate directly with clients, insurance providers and medical facilities to provide more efficient service to our clients.”

He said Novamar’s in-house, bi-lingual claims department easily facilitates communications between clients and insurers, helping clients step by step and efficiently in the claims process to achieve speedy, satisfactory outcomes. Novamar also joins the community of sponsors helping Pelican Free Press fund its news and information operations. 

For more information on Novamar, click on the logo at left to access its website  and learn more about the company and its offerings. Contact Laura Brockman at 984-115-8878 or brockmanlauna@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

Briefly Noted…

Annual Colonos Assembly will be held Dec. 12. Mark the date and plan to exercise your vote. More particulars coming in subsequent issues… Property tax agents should be in Puerto Aventuras to give discounts to early payers around mid-December. Get ready and stay tuned… Good friend to PA gone – Rene Malacara, who was general manager of Hard Rock Hotel here and was most gracious in helping achieve the return of the Red Cross ambulance, has reportedly left for greener pastures…

Jacuzzi deaths – A Canadian couple in their 60s died accidentally in their room at the Playacar Palace Hotel this week from a suspected electrical shock while they were in their room’s Jacuzzi. They were here to attend their daughter’s wedding…

Mayan Security, which opened a business in PA resort two years ago, has shut its doors as a result of a family member’s visa problems in the US, said owner Ted Schellas. He said his accounts here have been turned over to a local security company… A thief, 17, was caught in the Puerto Aventuras neighborhood of Puerto Maya after threatening a grocery store clerk with a knife and running off with stolen cash. The police on patrol saw him running, stopped and arrested him…

Vice den raided – Military personnel with state, federal and local police last weekend raided what the local press describes as a “vice” den in a building familiar to most area travelers. It is located at the southwest corner of Highway 307 and Benito Juarez Avenue in Playa and identified by the sign “Men’s Club.” Eight foreign exotic dancers were arrested for working here without permission. Also, 10 doses of crack cocaine were found and a handful of employees were detained in relation to the investigation of an unsolved 2013 assassination…

Captured in Tulum – A prison escapee from the US was captured in Tulum after posting selfies of himself in Cancun and other places along the Mayan Riviera. Police traced his whereabouts from the background of the selfies. He’s being extradited and returned to the US by marshals…

More than 2,000 job openings, mostly in the hospitality industry, exist in the municipality. State and municipal officials are working with the industry to help fill them before high season… The sargassum that continued its invasion of beaches is apparently on the wane ccording to multiple sources…

Marijuana use has been ruled legal by Mexico’s Supreme Court, which said banning use of the weed for medical and recreational use is unconstitutional. The ruling follows the trend of its northern neighbors and could seriously impact cartel profits… Sick idea – Police in Tijuana stopped an air med plane from taking off to the US with a supposedly sick passenger whose luggage contained 84 pounds of cocaine…

The Cuban president visited Merida last week and the outcome was strengthened trade deals. Yucatan is home to more than 1,000 Cubans with legal residence… The third tourist area fire in a month occurred last week in the wine cellar of Cacao Hotel at Avenue 5 and Calle 30 in Playa. As in another previous blaze in Playacar recently, a short circuit is blamed…

Marine services at the mercy of Mother Nature took a financial beating from the prevalent wind and rain recently as ports were closed to activities. Hotels also say they were experiencing decreased occupancy because of the weather…

 

The Mail Bag…

The police message continues

Dear Editor
In response to T. Casino’s letter, he obviously has no idea what he is talking about and he is not reading / understanding what was written.

It is easy to play “Monday Morning Quarterback” when you are not involved and think you have some idea of what people should do in a given situation.  First of all, myself and all other victims who have written in on the subject have clearly been in “Rental Cars”.

If he has been in the area for 11 years, it is seriously doubtful that he is driving a rental car.  Second, all the victims have been on the way to the airport.  Rental cars do not have dark tint so it is easy to see a car loaded with luggage.  Again, if Mr. Casino has been here 11 years, it is doubtful that he has been in a rental car, loaded with luggage, headed to the airport. 

To suggest that people are doing something wrong by not paying the bribe – I wish it would happen to him so that he can experience what is happening with the Policia.  Remember, these same Policia can trump up any charge they desire and throw you in jail.  Lastly – don’t you see how many people this has happened to? 

Open your eyes – this is a problem.  Tourists that experience this while following the law are far less likely to ever want to move to the area, buy property or have anything to do with Mexico.  So what do we do?  We pay the bribe instead of being detained or locked up on more false charges – then we must voice our complaints to the US Embassy. 

The US Embassy has the following email address: ConAgencyPlayadelC@state.gov

In addition, after months they gave me the following email to voice complaints: dgspytm_rep@hotmail.com I did voice my complaint here but never received a response.  More help is needed to stop the tourist, rental car extortion by the Mexican Policia.

Signed/Robert Rosania

 

Nature Watch…

Neighbor state raises

caution over yellow fever

By Staff
A note of caution has been issued in our neighboring state of Yucatan to be on the alert for symptoms of yellow fever which is carried, along with dengue and chikungunya, by the prevalent Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Researchers from UADY in Merida (Autonomous University of Yucatan) say the good news is that the population can be vaccinated against yellow fever should the fever threaten the area.

Globalization is considered a contributor to the introduction of the yellow fever-carrying mosquito in Yucatan, likely entering through the major port of Progreso. The appearance of different arboviruses is partly from global travel by humans. Also, the presence of mosquito vector and weather conditions can give rise to unexpected epidemics such as yellow fever, say researchers.

The World Health Organization says 90 percent of yellow fever cases are in Africa and that of some 200,000 reported cases, 30,000 patients die. Symptoms appear in two phases; the first is fever, ache in back of the head, chills, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. The second, toxic phase, fever increases, skin yellows, acute abdominal pain appears and vomiting occurs.

Solidaridad’s municipal government has been urging residents and businesses to clear any standing water where mosquitoes may breed as a first line of defense. In another development, a new mosquito shield containing insecticide residuals to be placed over windows and other domicile openings, has been developed at the university and is being tested in some schools.

Meanwhile, Yucatan state is reporting a new case of chikungunya every hour and military forces are being employed there in the fight to eliminate mosquito breeding areas. Residents are urged to clear their property of standing water where mosquitoes breed and take other personal precautions.

Beer drinkers more susceptible

to bites from diseased mosquitoes

By Staff
Now come researchers from UADY (Autonomous University of Yucatan) with bad news for beer drinkers: They say brew lovers are more susceptible to the bite of the disease-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito. How come?

Science has proven, the researchers allege, that “fermented malt in beer releases substances that attract mosquitoes.” Also, when people are boozing, they say, they aren’t aware of mosquitoes waiting to bite.

Mosquitoes detect targets from the target’s carbon dioxide exhalations, they say, so not only beer drinkers are more at risk. Exertion that leads to heavy perspiration for any reason, such as exercise, emits the scents of lactic acid, uric acid and other excretions through the skin that also attract flies and mosquitoes.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito carries dengue fever, chikungunya and more recently, the possibility of yellow fever. The current delayed rainy season is providing breeding places for the mosquito and newly arriving snowbirds should check window and door screens, particularly if there is excessive puddling and pooling on nearby property.

November 2015 Week One

As snowbirds return and perhaps find themselves in need of products or services for the car, the condo or the stomach, may we suggest they first peruse their local merchants, vendors, agencies, craftsmen and sponsors listed at left. Sponsors help support the Pelican Free Press delivery of news and information all year long. With this issue, we begin publishing weekly for the duration of the high season. Share your news and views with your comments!

 

Returning snowbirds to find

part of PA history missing

Iconic “Courthouse” yacht weighs

anchor after a 26-year ‘visit’

 

 

By Staff
A quarter-century of history has sailed out of Puerto Aventuras marina for the last time, leaving behind the legacy of a renaissance man’s contributions to this still-developing resort community.

The 55-foot yacht “Courthouse”, owned by Texas Attorney Guy H. Allison, 84, long touted as a top US trial attorney with multi-million dollar verdicts under his belt, was one of the first yachts to visit the Puerto Aventuras marina in 1989 as the canals were being dredged. It was also the first yacht that remained here for more than 25 years witnessing the community expand and flourish.

“In 1989”, recalls PA developer Roman Rivera Torres, “Mr. Allison was in Cozumel and by mere chance entered our marina. It was still being dredged. He decided to tie up and spend the night.” It was a night that ushered in a solid friendship and an accidental visit that lasted 26 years.

The two men met on that first night and learned they shared an avocation for salvage diving adventure. As a result, they frequently teamed up over the years to finance expeditions and actively gather some of the undersea artifacts now ensconced in Puerto’s CEDAM Museum.

Born into a family of lawyers, Allison’s versatility shone early in life as he chose chemistry as a college major along with the study of music in a bid for a career as an operatic tenor. But, he later told friends laughingly, “I realized it might be easier to feed myself by being an attorney.”

Between cases heard before various courts in multiple jurisdictions, including the US Supreme Court, Allison worked his 1,600-acre Texas cattle ranch, continued his diving expeditions and pursued  property purchases and financing opportunities here during frequent visits.

“Guy is aging now and affected by Alzheimer’s. He can no longer visit us and so ‘Courthouse’ sailed to Florida where it will be closer to him,” Rivera explained. “I am always happy to hear of a new resident arriving to live in Puerto and form part of our community. In the same way, it makes me sad to see somebody leave. Guy is a very special older man that Puerto will miss.”

 

 

 

 

 

Developer issues guidelines

for Phase 4 caleta access

 

By Staff
Major infrastructure construction in the Phase 4 development is expected to be completed by Dec.1, at which point updated access directives for the area and the caleta will be fully implemented.

 

Golf carts already have access to Phase 4 and the caleta with parking allowed alongside the new gateway palapas across from the sailing club. The caleta is just a brief and interesting walk from the palapas along a short jungle-like path that skirts a cenote. The same directive as golf carts will apply to automobiles after Dec. 1, according to the developer.

In addition, and as reported earlier, motorized watercraft are now prohibited from entering the caleta in an effort to ensure the safety of a growing number of swimmers and snorkelers. The prohibition of motorized watercraft, reports the developer, also takes into consideration the necessary protection of an ecologically sensitive environment.

The prohibition of boats does not include non-motorized craft such as kayaks, paddle boards and assorted floating cushions and swimmers. “They are more than welcome to enjoy the caleta,” the developer said.

Security guards have been briefed on the instructions and should not prevent people from entering the area as long as they are in compliance with the aforementioned directives, the developer emphasized.

 

 

Akumal ambulance gone, return

dependent on more funding

By Staff

The Red Cross ambulance in Akumal has temporarily ceased operations under an agreement giving fundraisers time to generate sufficient pledged financing to continue the service for another year or more.

Marieke Brown, the point person handling negotiations for the Akumal community, said after a meeting with Red Cross officials in Tulum last week that local businesses and residents need to pledge another 65,000 pesos (roughly $4,000 USD) monthly to close the deal. It is understood, she said, the service will resume by Thanksgiving.

The community has already raised 100,000 pesos (roughly $6,015 USD) from a dinner at the Turtle Bay Restaurant in Akumal that tallied a one-time $66,070 pesos (roughly $4,100 USD) and from monthly pledges by 36 generous residents from Akumal, Tulum, Paamul and Puerto Aventuras.

In addition, hotels in Tulum and the municipal government have pledged 20,000 pesos monthly total.

One recent setback to the service was the resignation of four of the eight paramedics assigned to the RC’s Tulum ambulance group who, Brown said, were concerned about job stability.

The local firefighting unit has come to the rescue somewhat by offering one of their paramedics to man the ambulance, leaving the Red Cross with the need to hire only three more instead of four.

The deal does not leave much time for raising another 65,000 pesos monthly or hiring three new paramedics, leaving the potential service dependent on the pace of financing and hiring personnel.

The Red Cross service has been stationed in Akumal since last December and in that time, Brown noted, has treated nearly 100 patients. She said having the ambulance in the community has greatly improved response time and is partly responsible for a decrease of 500 percent in the number of deaths when comparing 2014 and 2015.

 

Commerce Corner…

Sargassum may join lionfish

as pesky but credible edible

Students say they found a better batter

By Staff:
When the insatiable but colorful reef predator known as lionfish began decimating this area’s coastal reefs a few years ago along with other regions along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, one way to combat the invasion was “eat it to beat it.” Thus was a new revenue source and fish dish born.

Now, three students from the Riviera University studying marketing and advertising have applied the same “eat to beat” principle to the persistent invasion of sargassum along the Mayan Caribbean coastline that reportedly has put a dent in the tourist industry revenue stream by fouling the beaches that, we must add, have so far been rapidly cleaned, cleared and ready for the new season.

The students, Erika Guadalupe, Anayeli Conde and Berenice Patatuchi worked on their creation for six months, trying various recipes of breads, cookies and other baked goods to finally decide that the best medium of delivery was in cake batter.

The trio has concocted a “kelp cake” after doing research and discovering that past kelp by-products have included food pills in Japan and 18th Century medical uses to treat asthma, tumors and skin diseases.

Nutritious properties

Evidently, some of kelp’s properties are nutritious, but the odor could have been a put-off. But students were able to corral a process that removed the scent of the sea from the final pie product without using chemicals.

 

The pastry was tested by humans during an event held at the university in April and while the tasters were somewhat reluctant to ingest kelp, they nonetheless did so and reportedly found a savory taste good enough for the marketplace.

 

Health authorities are currently reviewing the product and once permission is granted, it will be marketed, said a university spokesman.

Join the lionfish

If and when that day comes, kelp cake will join the lionfish in testing whether the general marketplace is primed for something new.

In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., recently, where contests are held and prizes awarded for divers who catch the most lionfish and bring them ashore in so-called “zookeeper tubes”, restaurateurs say lionfish, described as a “white, flaky, buttery” fish similar to snapper, is catching on.

Can kelp cake be far behind?

COMMERCE BRIEFS: There have been slight changes at meeting locales within the Cancun Airport while new construction progresses. The wire fence that guided arrivals being picked up by friends or relatives is no longer in use. Once outside, those arrivals should take the alley to the terminal building and wait inside the door… CAR STORAGE: –  CONTACT RIVIERA MAYA STORAGE at (52-1) 984-139-6632  or TedFaber@Yahoo.com. Several people have contacted Pelican Press to report difficulty contacting the company while its web page is out of service for reconstruction.

 

Mexlaw says…

Do homework before investing

 

Mexlaw, located in Playa del Carmen and the only Canadian law firm in Mexico, offers basic tips on real estate investment in the Riviera Maya.

It’s a given that before investing, one requires sufficient capital, financial sense and the realization that both low-and high-risk investments exist. Factors such as location, overspending on repairs and lackluster demand present the possibility that investments can sour.

Hence, property evaluation by an expert with knowledge of the market yields a professional view that addresses the myriad details involved in helping achieve a profitable investment.

So before investing:

-Analyze the property: location, price, condition, credit, rental and resale realities and opportunities.

-Pursue various options of properties and agencies for a better and faster purchase process.

-Look at repossessed properties from banks that may offer a less expensive option.

-Research rental history and expected income to assure the projected income or re-sale justifies the purchase price.

-Be assured the location can meet your target market.

Real estate remains an attractive investment option

 

Briefly Noted…

 

 

Monthly recycling is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday (Nov. 6) at the Skate Park…Restaurant prices in the area may inch upward come 2016 depending on the fluctuations of the US dollar. Exchange rates reached over 17 to 1 in September, causing profit losses in the service industry… Fake 50-peso notes have been circulating in Playa del Carmen. Police suggest dialing 066 immediately if given a fake note… Look for more activity by city tax collectors next year to collect a 3 percent tax on rental income from houses and condos in tourist areas. Hotels already pay the tax… Solidaridad is one of seven Q. Roo municipalities to share in federal emergency funds as the result of severe rain and flooding Oct. 16 and 17… Meanwhile, the cost of buying raincoat/ponchos shot up from 30 to 100 pesos at tourist-area retailers…

The hurricane season is officially over tomorrow and this part of the country has escaped unscathed for another year, unlike the Pacific coast which suffered six deaths and 3,500 homes and 25,000 hectares of crops destroyed by Hurricane Patricia last week… Caution is advised when driving the north-south elevated road on 307 in Playa del Carmen since heavy rains have apparently bared some deficiencies in repair work along bridge joints, leaving pot-hole like impediments… No ferry this year – The latest information on a ferry run from Florida to the Yucatan is that because of financing changes and Cuban recalcitrance the earliest possible sailings  won’t be until mid-2016….

A narco boat reportedly used to ferry cocaine from Colombia to Soliman Bay, between Akumal and Tulum, and abandoned at anchor in the bay for two weeks, mysteriously disappeared, reports the press. Evidently no agency had assigned a crew to guard it and its two 225 hp engines… Two people died and one was injured on Oct. 18 when their car crashed into Playa’s 34th St. exit barrier at about 3 a.m. Police said alcohol, wet streets and speeding were involved…

Mexico has lost $5 million in US drug aid this year because it has failed to reach human rights goals that are

part of the 8-year old Merida Initiative joint crime-fighting agreement and aid package. One incident cited for the rebuke is the disappearance and presumed murder of 43 Guerrero state students, an event in which police, public officials and cartel henchmen were allegedly complicit…

 

A teenage boy found dead at the Grand Palladium Hotel several weeks ago was vacationing there with family to attend a wedding. Four persons of interest, not guests at the hotel, were detained pending investigation and two of them later arrested on a murder charge… Two new colonies established some several kilometers north of Playa del Carmen have been notified as a precaution by the Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) not to drink water from wells dug there…

The bee line –

 

Honey producers in the area awaiting the flowering season of November and December are holding out hope for a 20 percent increase in production this year as a result of a robust rainy season. They reportedly harvested 100 tons last season… Resurfacing sections of federal Highway 307 with asphalt instead of slippery concrete has played a role in helping reduce accidents by 70 percent over the past two years, say safety officials…

 

 

 

 

Fire follow-up – Fire that damaged the Ibero Tucan Hotel in Playacar and caused the evacuation of 1,000 guests has resulted in the suspension of two companies that were supposed to apply retardants to the palapas where the fire broke out. Cause of the blaze was reportedly an electrical overload  of cooking appliances… The city council has adopted an ordinance providing fines of up to 100 minimum wages to any property owner who fails to assure the property is free of standing water where dengue-carrying mosquitoes breed. Agents from several levels of government will participate in inspections throughout the municipality. Residents are asked to help government prevent outbreaks of dengue and chikungunya by eliminating still-water reservoirs on their property…

 

Management of water supplies to assure clean and sufficient water for all residents in Solidaridad is the goal of a tri-level government plan being implemented via a Water Basin Committee. The plan includes sanctions for private water systems that do not meet protective requirements… A “Shrek” theme park by Dreamworks Productions is being planned for a 7.5 hectares site near Punta Maroma. It will be the first Dreamworks park in Latin America and is expected to generate added family tourism in the area as has Cirque du Soleil. Construction starts in 2016…

The Mail Bag…

Save some vegetation please

Dear Editotr:
Like many PA residents I enjoy reading your articles and news items. My wife and I have a concern about the large-scale clearing of vegetation that is going on all around the golf course.

One of the big draws for us was the abundance of flora and fauna and unfortunately as PA grows, more and more is being cleared for development (understandable and part of the original plan).

However, the needless “clearing out” of tracts of vegetation in the few remaining spots where wildlife can find sanctuary is inexplicable and, in my view, misguided. I refer to several spots, including the tree line between the 4th and 7th fairways, the area adjacent to the 5th tee and now the area along the gravel path between the 3rd green and the 4th tee.

I have asked golf course staff and they say they are “cleaning up”. In reality, they are chopping down a great deal of the naturally occurring brush and vegetation. Apart from taking away areas where the local fauna can live and flourish, they are adding to flooding problems (brush and small trees absorb huge amounts of rainwater) as well as creating countless new swamps and ponds that in turn lead to a sharp upturn in the mosquito population.

We have spoken to other residents who share our concerns but it seems none of them knows who to talk to or indeed who the decision-maker is. We used to see the monkeys very regularly and now hardly at all as more and more vegetation and trees disappear. We find this sad and extremely worrying.

Surely it is possible to balance human development with a more ecologically friendly approach to land management?

Signed/Roger Sherman

Another traffic stop irks

Dear Editor:
Further to the letters in regards to the police stopping of tourists heading to the airport. I would just like to add that our son and daughter-in-law just got trapped by this on their return journey to the Cancun airport.

Once again he was accused of speeding and forced to pay a fine in order to continue to the airport. This happened October 29th at the same checkpoint nearest the Cancun airport and he was in a rental car.

Please let us know in a future issue of the Pelican Press if you find out what can be done aboutt reporting these incidents to the correct authorities. I enjoy reading your paper and keeping in touch with what’s happening in PA and the area. Thanks.

Signed/ Jim Snidal

(Ed. Note: The government is preparing to issue “visitor cards” to drivers using rental cars. The cards prohibit hard-nosed handling of visitors for minor traffic infractions, but not speeding. Visitors instead will be given up to two warnings before actual tickets are issued for such infractions aw not using  seat belts, going the wrong way on a one-way street and parking on a yellow line. We’ll endeavor to keep readers posted when cards are actually in use, supposedly in early winter season)

First, follow the rules

Dear editor:
If people respect the speed limit in the first place they would not put themselves in trouble. What happens in their country when they don’t follow the rules? They get a big fine. Here they may be asked for a small contribution… just a cultural difference.

I have been here for 11 years. I always comply with the rules and have never been stopped by police. I used to live in Costa Rica where policemen stop tourists for nothing, asking for all documentation, emergency equipment, even for a flashlight at noon … just to find a reason to request a bribe. But in Mexico, if you don’ t break the law, they don’t stop you and you don’t put yourself in trouble.

Also if you pay the bribe, it is not smart at all to complain to your embassy, as bribing foreign government employees is a criminal offense and you may go to jail (?) for that.

Signed/ T. Casino

Thanks for the thought

Dear Editor:
As a recent subscriber to PFP, I must in all sincerity tell you that if I lived in Puerto Aventuras, I’d PAY to subscribe. Seriously!

Signed/ Arthur Kane

(Ed. Note: The Pelican Free Press is non-profit, but readers who feel as you do need only support our community-minded sponsors who help defray expenses.)

 

Three-time victim

Dear Editor:

We too have been victims of the police on the highway to the airport. Not once, but three times and always demanding money. Once was at 5am and we were not speeding, constantly watching the speedometer so as not to have a problem.

Another was a stop of our son and family to the airport, again. There is no talking to them. They bring up things, such as, their supervisor will not be happy unless the amount given them is what they want. The answer is to stay well under the given speed shown and cross your fingers.

Signed/ Lori Lupa

 

Nature Watch 101

Eliminating musty odors

starts with repairing leaks

It’s no big secret that the musty odor in living quarters is a by-product of mildew and mold forming along walls on furniture, clothing, shoes and other products during the hot, humid rainy season. It’s often what greets returning snowbirds whose units have been locked up for the summer without maintenance.

Just as obvious is the fact that some mold and mildew forms in living quarters when water leaks through cement, cracks in walls and roofs or other structural defects. What to do about it?

Obviously, if leaks are noticed, a professional company should be called to repair the structural deficiencies. Puerto Aventuras is fortunate to have the owner of Definitive Solutions (see sponsor logos at left) living in Puerto and ready to help eliminate leaks.

Eradicating odors is the second step after repairs are completed and one of the best remedies is placing a container of activated carbon near the source of the odor for a few days, such as inside closets, to absorb any lingering scent. The activated carbon should be available in fish stores and aquariums, we are told.

If carbon isn’t available, try spreading sodium bicarbonate on affected areas for a day or two. Another odor fighter is a mix of equal parts of vinegar and lemon diluted with a bit of water, placed on the odor source for a day then cleaned. The acidity of the above products helps kill the fungus.

Here’s to the sweet smell of success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pelican Free Press Newsletter

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