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Sudden water rate hike prompts
flood of calls from consumers
Apology offered for failure to forewarn
The local water concession issued a letter of apology last week after breaking an agreement with the Colonos that requires the concession to forewarn users of impending rate increases.
At issue is recent delivery of water bills that included considerable rate hikes on low-use customers because the concessionaire unilaterally implemented a minimum flat rate of 500 pesos on them, including taxes. It means consumers who generally use an average 200 pesos worth of water per billing cycle are now paying the minimum 500 pesos regardless of low usage.
Complaints poured into the Colonos administration after the bills were delivered without prior notification. Carlos Suarez, a vigilance committee member and condo administrator, said after the most recent Colonos board meeting he was looking into the circumstances of the increase.
Tim Howard, also on the vigilance panel, explained the water concession and Colonos agreed that several years ago the public would be forewarned of water shutoffs for maintenance purposes and pending rate increases.
For the record, the government authorizes and regulates distribution entities that are permitted to draw “the peoples’ water” from the ground. Puerto Aventuras resort developer Arq. Roman Rivera Torres is the concessionaire in the resort while the Aguakan Co. services the municipality using federal subsidies that keep rates artificially low there.
Armando Rincon, Colonos general manager, said while the Colonos board provides water concession oversight on the public’s behalf, it has no authority over the concession’s government-regulated business decisions.
Matter of equitability
He said Rivera Torres, also a member of the Vigilance Committee, explained at the meeting the water concession also operates the wastewater treatment process (sewerage system) for the resort and was losing money because more private homes have been digging their own wells. It means they don’t buy water from the concession but do use the costly wastewater treatment system to dispose of their effluent without having to pay for it.
Business models in some developed US communities segregate water and wastewater treatment services and issue separate bills for each. Some sewer bills are based on the amount of water usage, but where usage cannot be measured, as in this case, the flat-rate model or other fiscal device, such as charging a flat rate for fixtures (drains, commodes) supports the wastewater treatment and disposal process.
Condo complexes operating with one water meter for all units generally exceed the 500-pesos minimum rate and apparently are not affected. This raises the issue of fairness by placing the burden for extra income only on housing units with individual water meters, including condos, and no burden at all on units with their own wells that do not pay into the disposal system.
The water concession drafted a letter of apology to the Colonos and users for the oversight and for the flood of calls that had to be handled by the Colonos administration.
Colonos Movie Night Thursday
March 17; come see the stars
The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of Gustave H., (Ralph Fiennes) a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the world wars, and Zero Moustafa, (Tony Revolori) the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. It is showing Thursday night (March 17) at 7:30 p.m. in the cultural center at the end of Bahia Akumal. Cushions recommended for use on the cement seating.
The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune — all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.
In the 1930s, the Grand Budapest Hotel is a popular European ski resort, presided over by Gustave, who prides himself on providing first-class service to the hotel’s guests, including satisfying the romantic fantasies of the many elderly women who stay there.
When one of Gustave’s lovers dies in a mysterious case of homicide, Gustave finds himself the surprised recipient of the painting and, also, the chief suspect in her murder. You’ll want to come to learn whodunit.
Besides Fiennes, you’re likely to find one of your favored actors at The Budapest. If you go, you’ll bump into Harvey Keitel, funny man Bill Murray, Jude Law, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Adrian Brody and almost everybody’s favorite movie star, Hot Popcorn, made fresh from the portable popcorn machine that goes wherever the movies go. Bring your own beverage.
Solidaridad’s rubbish collection
failures in PA literally ‘stink’
Hard to believe, but the municipal rubbish collection trucks have skipped a 1,200-home section of Puerto Maya, just across the highway from the Puerto Aventuras resort and Hard Rock Hotel, for 15 days, leaving behind public reports of odiferous piles of bagged waste for rodents to invade and causing a health threat.
But even in the resort across the highway, which has a separate agreement negotiated with the Colonos (resort property owners’ association), General Manager Armando Rincon says it is a fairly continuous battle with the municipality to keep the packer trucks collecting daily and on time.
It doesn’t help matters either when residents place rubbish bags outside at night, which is akin to inviting to dinner various rodents and coatis that have no table manners, infers the Colonos administration. The organization has made multiple appeals to residents to place bags outside in the morning and not overnight.
Puerto Maya is growing rapidly with projected estimates of population reaching around 16,000 between 2014-2018. Puerto Aventuras Delegate to the municipal government in Playa del Carmen, Olivia Zamudio Escobar, has appealed to the government to add a packer truck to the route. Currently, noted the city council in reply to the appeal for an added truck, only several packers now operate in Puerto Maya.
Reports of the situation did not mention whether the deficiency is a political problem, vehicles side-lined for repairs or inability to keep pace with rapid population growth and the high season.
The Puerto Aventuras Library will observe holiday hours during spring break. It will be open on Wednesdays, March 23 and March 30, from 10 AM to 4 PM. It is closed all other weekdays from March 22 through April 5th.
Two divers died last week after entering the cenote Chaak-Tun on north Juarez Avenue in Playa del Carmen for training at 9:30 p.m. The dead included an instructor and a 26-year-old American tourist identified by police as Rachel N. …
Students of the architecture college in Playa del Carmen agreed the city’s architectural direction is “bad”, noting that the worst example is the city hall, followed by the design of several malls they say are dysfunctional. They did, however, applaud the design of the new city theater…
Dunkin Donuts franchises are expected to open up in the states of Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Campeche as the Mexican franchise begins to move eastward….
Area ports were closed for five consecutive days last week as high winds buffeted the coast. Two small boats sank on their moorings in Playa del Carmen as marine service providers took a financial hit…
Area pharmacies were warned by the Federal Commission for Protection from Health Risks that a fake doctor was operating in the area and issuing prescriptions illegally. The agency asked pharmacies to report receipt of suspicious prescriptions…
Accidents happen on this side of the resort fence too as the photo evidences. It occurred in broad daylight last week on the park-like island at the junction of Bahias Xcacel and Kantenah across from the Catalonia Hotel’s Alegria Spa. No injuries were reported, except for a tree that was killed and replaced the next day with another. The Colonos is currently trying to come to grips with traffic safety and parking woes. (See letter in today’s Mail Bag)
Gasoline competition coming – Ex-pats and snowbirds can look forward to a familiar sign along the Mexican roadways this year as American-owned Gulf gasoline stations begin popping up across Mexico, the result of 2013 energy reforms in Mexico. Currently, only government-owned Pemex retails gasoline. Sergio de la Vega, Gulf director general in Mexico, said Gulf plans to have 100 retail stations operating across Mexico by year’s end… Driving in Tulum should become a little easier and safer if the new signs being posted are noticed by motorists. Stay alert…
ADO bus line discount – Discounts up to 50 percent are being offered by ADO bus line to people who purchase tickets on line the day before departure. The company is adding buses on its routes to Cancun, the airport, Merida and Chetumal for the Easter high season which began this week…
The Mail Bag…
Advises another gate
Just a couple comments on the traffic, gate traffic and the bikes. It’s really nice that the Colonos put in a bike lane. Now if they can just get someone to use it instead of riding the sidewalk pushing the pedestrians out of the way, then it would be nice.
I have yet to see someone ride a bike in the bike lane. Not that I blame them with the amount of traffic we have. What really should or should have been done for the traffic here would be to have a gate on the north end for buses and taxis since most of them are going to the hotels which are all on or north of Caleta Xel Ha except for the Omni and how often does a bus go to the Omni? It would have a major impact on the traffic flow.
Signed/ Michael Savage
Why blockade Phase 4 caleta?
Can anyone tell me why boats are no longer allowed to enter Caleta Chac Hal Al (in Phase 4)? And why is it closed with a rope from the sea? Thank you.
(Ed. Note: The caleta is being protected from damage by motorized boats and overuse since it is part of an historic site and conservation area. It is also within the safety zone prohibiting personal watercraft (Jet Ski) from operating in waters catering to bathers. Non-motorized boats like kayaks and paddleboards are permitted as are snorkelers and bathers.)
Nearly 400 attended food fest…
…while the band played on
This year’s international food festival held last Sunday on the Colegio grounds attracted nearly 400 diners who sat in the shade to savor international tastes prepared by 20 participating chefs from area restaurants and a few amateur cooks sharing a taste of grandma’s secret recipe. The food was accompanied by live sounds of a colorful Mariachi band and a rainbow mix of piped melodies adding to the day’s enjoyable rhythm.
The Colonos administration expressed gratitude to the chefs and their helpers and to the nearly 400 who attended the event . Acquaintances were renewed as friends socialized in the shade of building overhangs and portable canopies to enjoy the variety of foods, a few which were in short supply as the afternoon wore on.
In one case, the purveyor didn’t bring enough food or served portions that were too large, emptying containers within an hour although most had food left over by the event’s end. Another exception was
Aventuras Gelato,which ran out of product mid-way through the event, but for different reasons. Some people lined up for gelato upon arrival and returned for seconds after sampling other foods.
Eddy, who was serving the gelato, smiled broadly when he told of “about seven” people who waited in line, got their gelato, walked around the plaza while downing their gelato, then got right back in line again. He said he served 26 kilos before running out of product.
It appeared that many more people arrived earlier this year and left earlier, while others remained until the Mariachi band had finished its show.
Bright sunshine drove the attendees into the shade hugging buildings in the Colegio plaza, creating a sense among some that attendance may have dropped from last year. But an early check of ticket sales showed the usual attendance hovering around 400, said Colonos officials Armando Rincon, the general manager, and Jorge Kaufer, board chairman.
Near-death experience: Part 1 of 3
By-pass heart surgery exposes
patient to after-life experience
By Jack Frankenthal
After more than 12 hours in a coma-like state, following a quintuple by-pass surgery in one of the top heart-clinics in the world, consciousness came to me in a very strange way. Long before I registered the reality of the recovery-room, an awareness of my existence began to trickle in – but not as a physical entity. Since from birth we perceive our being in physical terms, I am quite limited in words to fully and accurately describe the experience.
I found myself in an extremely peaceful, pleasant realm, engulfed with a rich bluish light, where the dimensions of time and space were non-existent, and where the total sum of one’s needs were satisfied effortlessly in the most delightful way. It was a universe of harmonious bliss, devoid of any necessities and obligations. I became aware of an overwhelming desire to stay, and never leave that state of existence.
I then noticed a strange dividing wall to my right. On the other side, through a large opening, and with my eyes still closed, I sensed a familiar grayish environment, lit with multiple fluorescent lamps, where nurses in white attire efficiently tended to other patients. It occurred to me that I had lived my earthly years in that realm until the surgery, and that remaining in the euphoric bluish paradise would mean my death in the familiar “real” world. It suddenly became clear to me that I was on the verge of dying and was given the option to choose between the two realms: Stay for a pleasant eternal existence in the “bluish” bliss, or cross that line to step back into the “real” world – and spend a few more years "alive."
Out of the blue
Human greed triggered my quick decision to have "the best of both worlds." So I set my left foot firmly in the heavenly blue paradise, and then crossed the line with my right foot into the familiar, rational world. For a brief moment I was allowed to feel the essence of both realms, but then a gap was forming between them, forcing my feet wider and wider apart, clearly indicating that if I don’t make my choice immediately – it will be made for me!
I was later amazed that some form of subconscious logic helped me decide in favor of life. My reasoning was clear and simple: After death, one cannot go back to ordinary life. Conversely, that ordinary life must always end with death. Since I now know that death is an incredible state of pleasant existence beyond anything one might imagine when alive – I might as well enjoy a few more years of my earthly life, no longer afraid of death, and later return to "the other side" when normal life ends. I took that imaginary fateful step over to the gray world.
As the blue light faded away behind me, I found myself coming back to life, breathing heavily, a thick plastic tube down my throat and an intense fluorescent light shining on my closed eyes. I felt a human hand touching my arm and, out of the commotion of the busy recovery room, I heard my nephew Michael’s voice at my bedside: "Jack, Jack, it’s Mike…”
Getting a second chance
I tried to respond, but was unable to utter a word, as that thick tube was pressing on my vocal cords. I made a writing motion to Mike. He placed a pen in my one hand and a small note pad in the other. I wrote down a few words and the nurse removed the tube. I then said to Mike:
“Mike, I am alright. Don’t say anything, we can talk later. I must first tell you something, and it is important to me that you listen to it and remember it, for if I don’t verbalize it this very minute, it will leave my memory forever.”
With my eyes still closed, in an effort to hold on to the fading memories, I described to Mike all the details of my extraordinary "Twilight Zone" experience. When finished, I opened my eyes, and the expression on his face clearly showed his concern that the surgery must have permanently removed every ounce of sanity from my brain.
During the 6-7 years following my heart surgery, I have retold my experience to several friends, who have listened to it with great interest. Though it was very real to me when it happened, the passing years rendered the experience a distant, inexplicable mystical event that can only be encountered after – or very near – death itself. The rational, logic-seeking aspect of my mind ruled out any possibility that I may experience that special state of existence again before I die – certainly not during a normal, healthy and active "terrestrial" life. That "blue" state was the after life, and I wouldn’t have ever believed that I would consciously enjoy that realm again – while alive!
Until I met Spotty.
(Continued next week when, years later, the patient gets that blue feeling again in the oddest of places.)
PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication in any given week is Monday at 5 p.m. for production mid-week, usually Wednesday. Thank you.
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Good morning, Sunrise…
International food fest Sunday
to offer palate-pleasing variety
Get advanced tickets at Colonos now;
come one, come all and have a ball
Twenty chefs offering international foods from multiple countries and Mexican states will be serving their specialties at the 6th annual International Food Festival being held from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday (March 13) on the grounds of the Puerto Aventuras Colegio. The annual event is sponsored by the community owners’ association (Colonos) to recognize Puerto Aventuras’ cultural diversity through native foods.
There will be tamales from Tabasco, burritos from Baja (California) paella from Jamaica, sausage from France, empanadas from Argentina and for dessert, gelato from Italy among the variety of foods that will be available for the taking.
A festive air will be provided by a live mariachi band, “Errol the Singer” and recorded music , said Carlos Quinones, the Colonos coordinator. Residents of neighboring villages such as Paamul and Akumal are invited to attend along with visitors from neighboring hotels. Tickets at 150 pesos for adults and 100 pesos for children are available at the Colonos office above the Oxxo store in Centro Comercial and at the fest.
For five years the event has attracted some 300 to 400 people in family groups and neighbors, helping to promote social interaction in the community and with other villages. The Colegio plaza offers plenty of shade and seating and is organized specially that day for the enjoyment of villagers and visitors. Any proceeds are set aside to promote other community events.
Colonos to present another movie
Spend a vicarious eve at Grand Budapest
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a 2014 comedy film written and directed by Wes Anderson, from a story by Anderson and Hugo Guinness, inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig. It stars Ralph Fiennes as a concierge who teams up with one of his employees (Tony Revolori) to prove his innocence after he is framed for murder.
The film is an American-German-British co-production that was financed by German financial companies and film-funding organizations. It was filmed in Germany. The Grand Budapest Hotel was released to widespread acclaim from film critics, and many included it in their year-end top 10 lists.
The film led the BAFTA nominations, with 11 nominations, more than any other film, including Best Film and Best Director for Anderson, and Best Actor for Fiennes.The film won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and garnered three more Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Director for Anderson.
It also garnered nine Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Director. It won the Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Production Design and Best Original Score.
Trivial pursuits Sunday, March 20 at 4 p.m. at Latitude 20 Restaurant and Lounge with Shannon Rachynski. Proceeds go to the needy.
Taste international foods from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 13 at the 6th annual Puerto Aventuras food fest held on the grounds of the Puerto Aventuras Colegio. The idea is very simple: One country = one dish. It’s a way to get to know each other and to know the traditions of each country’s food. It’s not “high level cuisine”, but the traditional food, what we eat every day, or during the holidays, the Greeks, the Chinese or the Turks. Not lobster or caviar, something more simple but characteristic from each country. México will participate by states: Puebla, Yucatán, Nuevo León, etc. Come join the feast and the fun, says the Colonos.
Group Spanish lessons have returned to Puerto Aventuras this year with Maestra Gloria Contreras who has been teaching informal groups here for quite a few years. Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. for beginners and 12:30 p.m. for advanced and intermediate. Contact her at email@example.com or call cel 984-108-3517 for more information…
Akumal Bay marine refuge
made official by feds
By Centro Ecologio Akumal
In Monday’s posting to the Diario Oficial de la Federacion, Akumal Bay has officially been decreed a Marine Refuge. Centro Ecologico Akumal’s director, Hector Lizarraga-Cubedo said “This is great news for the future of Akumal. At last there is formal recognition that the vulnerable species and ecosystems that make Akumal Bay unique, need to be and will be protected and preserved.”
The decree, available online in Spanish, outlines the specific refuge area and the species to be protected, including three species of sea turtles, four species of corals, three species of mangroves and three species of seagrass.
The refuge has been a long time in the making. CEA first submitted a formal proposal for the decree of a Turtle Refuge to SEMARNAT offering technical and scientific support for the protection of Akumal Bay in 2008.
“This took time and concerted effort on the part of CEA, the landowners, businesses and the community to see this decree a reality. In addition we can’t forget the key work of SEMARNAT Minister Rafael Pacchiano Alaman and the delegate in Quintana Roo, Jose Luis Funes Izaguirre who pushed this decree forward,” added Lizarraga-Cubedo.
Now that the decree is official, it is expected that SEMARNAT, in coordination with CONANP will call out to the various local actors, including those from Akumal and Quintana Roo, to form a working group that will focus on the elaboration of a management plan, as well as to aid in the operation and administration of the refuge.
(Centro Ecológico Akumal is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping create a model for sustainable tourism development in the Mexican Caribbean, through research, education and outreach.)
Volunteers needed for biblioteca Puerto Aventuras library to work two hours on weekday afternoons at our community library, located in the Colegio Puerto Aventuras. The library is open from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM on school days. We are not open on weekends. With our snowbirds returning home, we are in need of two or three volunteers to cover one shift per week each. It’s a fun and interesting way to spend a couple of hours and contribute to our Riviera Maya community. If you’d like to help out, please contact Linda Gosslin at [email protected]
The annual Red Cross fundraising drive began this week and will continue until April 7.
The ePura water company again missed deliveries over seven days in some sections of Puerto Aventuras without explanation, leaving customers high and dry. There was a similar situation over the holidays that evidently put deliveries out of kilter since then. Some customers are talking about the need for more competition while WeRWater co. in Centro Comercial is offering on-site water purification systems for houses and condos that allow drinking tap water and negating the need for potable water deliveries…
Airport taking off? – For the first time in months some activity has been seen on the dirt road near the Chedraui retorno supposedly leading to the new airstrip in Puerto Aventuras. The strip will replace the aerodrome in Playa del Carmen’s tourist area. Earlier reports have said the new runway and other facilities should be completed this year…
Two deaths from the flu have been reported in Playa del Carmen and one in Cancun, reports the National Center for Epidemiological Surveillance. The agency said failure to get a flu shot was a contributing factor in all cases as were other health problems. Symptoms include sore throat, runny nose, muscle and head aches and fatigue. Health officials say people with obesity, or diabetes, hypertension or cancer should get available flu shots…
Illegal dump sites have cropped up in at least 10 areas of Playa del Carmen, say officials, mostly from a lack of regular urban waste collection, particularly from businesses, and dumping by individuals tired of waiting for rubbish collections … An American lawyer was detained at Cancun airport for questioning in the death of his girlfriend in a Playa del Carmen condo where they were vacationing. The suspect, John Loveless, 59, in being held by Mexican authorities in the strangulation death of Tamra Turpin, 36, of Union, Missouri. Police did not release the suspect’s home town…
Solidaridad Mayor for governor – Mauricio Gongora Escalante, mayor of the municipality of Solidaridad, which includes Puerto Aventuras and Playa del Carmen, has been chosen by party leaders of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to be a candidate for governor of Quintana Roo… City officials in Playa say the city is ready to receive the first wave of college break visitors and preparing for the Easter rush…
Threatening propane gas leak
spotlights need to be prepared
Air flow possibly prevented an explosion
Shortly after 9 a.m. on Nov. 14, 2010, five Canadian tourists and two Mexican workers died horrific deaths when an earth-shaking propane explosion at the Playa del Carmen Princess Hotel heaved the floor of a small lobby through the ceiling and hurled shards of steel, glass and human body parts across a courtyard. Seventeen people were injured. So we know propane kills.
But like a thief in the night, propane is also insidious. It doesn’t have to explode to end someone’s life. Inhaling enough of it can be fatal.
So it was a few weeks ago that a propane leak threatened some five units of a local condo building. The threat was abetted by general unpreparedness. Misidentification of the odor, the lack of available gas detectors, personality conflict and the resultant not-so-pleasant confusion over who is responsible for what. In emergencies, where health or lives are at risk, one would like to believe all principals share responsibility for unfettered, cooperative assistance.
In this case, unfortunately, the immediacy of preventing the possibility of an explosion and fixing the problem post haste was marked, right or wrong, by conflict between condo management and owner of the unit where the leaks were discovered.
The faint scent of propane had been mistaken for several months by a condo couple who were most affected by the toxic fumes invading their unit. They thought the trace was produced by sulfur in tap water or periodic whiffs of sewerage gas that affects some neighborhoods. Living with the scent had desensitized them to the odor. It was not until repeated guests over several weeks expressed alarm at the noxious presence that owners called condo management.
The response from condo management was timely. The outmoded soap and water check of pipes and connections failed to show leaks but resulted in the owners being advised to replace flexible gas connections to their dryer and cooking stove as a first precaution.
That done immediately, the odor not only persisted over the next few days but worsened by the day. Other units began reporting a gas odor. A portion of a suspected gas line in the unit above was also closed by condo maintenance as a precaution.
Briefly, Zeta Gas, which is responsible only for its lines up to the unit, was contacted after long waits on the telephone line. The company dispatched a two-man team ultimately accompanied by condo maintenance, a condo manager and the chairman of the condo Vigilance Committee who happened to be a former plumber in the States. He traced the odor to a wall switch, as had a previous guest. The switch cover was removed, releasing a gush of odiferous fumes.
A maintenance man was directed to inspect one of the ceiling light fixtures in the kitchen. When the fixture was removed, the worker close to it visibly winced at the escaping rush of propane. The exercise corroborated earlier suspicions the leak was in the apartment above and that gas had infiltrated wall and ceiling spaces in the unit below since gas is heavier than air. The owner of the upstairs unit, in California, was contacted by condo management and arrived a few days later. By then, the gas line imbedded in his kitchen floor to supply the cooking stove had increasingly become suspect.
Two days later, that owner’s uncle arrived from California with an electronic gas detector that corroborated three leaks in that unit, emptying gas from light fixtures in the unit below where a woman had been ill for several weeks with cramps and moderate disorientation. Fortunately, the woman said, her unit was always open to the flow of fresh air, which probably helped save the day.
There was contentious disagreement between condo management and the unit owner over costs and access to assistance to help pinpoint and repair the leaks. The details are of little consequence to the goal of this editorial, which is to alert the entire community to the possibility of similar developments in other buildings and the prudence of following the Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared.”
Management told the owner it had done its duty by shutting off gas lines until they could be repaired and that the problem now belonged to the owner who had asked for assistance locating repairmen. What is important is that what should have been repaired in two days because of the danger it posed to other unit owners took two weeks, extending the risk.
In a place where absentee owners prevail, more responsibility for emergency actions and equipment is placed on hired administrators, maintenance people and rental agents that may exceed their job descriptions. They become first responders in emergency conditions.
Condo managers and agents for owners should have a ready list of journeymen plumbers, electricians and other trades to be able and willing to at least advise owners quickly where help can be found. Local first responders in PA, most frequently condo managers and/or the security force, need to be furnished with items like modern gas detectors in the way a new defibrillator and crime-fighting cameras have been assigned to Security.
Condo vigilance committees might want to open up constructive dialogue with fellow committees to create standard protocols with managers as to how best to confront such emergencies and to determine who is responsible for what.
It beats having a fatal gas explosion.
Riviera Maya businesses
opposed to casinos in area
National business organizations have merged to fight a pending gaming law that allows casinos in tourist areas, even in those regions that are already successful and feel casinos would have a negative effect. Manuel Paredes, director of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association, said the organized groups want a new analysis of the casino law in order to restrict casinos in tourist areas that are successful without them.
“We believe that the law as written can be counterproductive not only for the tourism sector but also may compromise the country’s security,” he said. The merged organizations issued a statement arguing in part that the casino law as written jeopardizes economic and social development.
The group wants to know if the effects of compulsive gambling, tax evasion, trafficking and family breakdown have been considered in the law that is expected to be implemented this year. They also want to know who is advocating for casinos and what the motivation is.
Lifting 450 pounds high over shallow water is no easy task unless you are a 7- or 8-foot dolphin heavyweight that’s eager to please.
Not only are the dolphins athletic, they posses a remarkable IQ, which makes them relatively easy to train and adapt to show business.
But most of us knew that in the realm of common knowledge.
And maybe most people are aware that the dolphins they’ve come to know and love at such places as Dolphin Discovery are first cousins to the killer whale, a 25-foot hulk that weighs about 2,500 pounds but can’t jump as high even out of deep water where it can get a better head of steam.
The common bottlenose dolphin has a lifespan of about 40 years and the killer, or orca whale, has a lifespan similar to humans, reaching 70 or more years. But do most folks know why dolphins jump out of the water? Is it just to please a human audience? Not really. They leap from the water – an exercise called spy-hop – to view their surroundings and to follow ships. So why follow ships?
We’re told the dolphin conserves energy by swimming alongside ships, a practice called bow-riding, sort of like a bicyclist will ride aft of another that is used as a windbreaker.
The fish-eating mammal has a virtue that humans might envy: They are awake and asleep simultaneously, that is, to prevent drowning since they need to periodically breathe air. One half of their brain sleeps and the other half remains awake. And if you wonder why Dolphin Discover laces mother dolphins about to give birth in a separate pool, it’s because expectant moms in the wild separate themselves from the pod to give birth.
PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication in any given week is Monday at 5 p.m. for production mid-week, usually Wednesday. Thank you.
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