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Monthly Archives: April 2016

April 2016; Week 3

 

No more snow? Goodbye Joe,

we gotta go, me oh my oh!

By Staff

The snowbirds are gathering their things, flapping their wings and heading north. It’s what they do, go back and forth.

The exodus is in full force and by the end of April the territory will revert to the second high season welcoming fishermen and domestic and South American travelers escaping the inland heat for the Caribbean’s balmy breeze and life of ease.

Snowbirds are real birds, too, called, among other species, ‘juncos’. The northern juncos fly south around November, just like us, and roughly six months later, perform an aerial loop de loop and return from whence they came, like the swallows of Capistrano.

The Pelican staff is currently looping also, preparing to fly north but not really leaving. The Pelican will, as always, continue publishing on a monthly and sometimes semi-monthly schedule and sooner, as important news dictates, to keep the English-reading community of friends and neighbors informed while away. So stay tuned.

Thank you to our sponsors and readers for their support. Our last weekly publication for this high season will appear April 20 then transition to the summer schedule as noted above. And remember, your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

Contract signed with Miami firm

to provide fiber optic service

Project could begin in June

and be completed in 7months

By Staff
A new provider for phone, internet and wi-fi business here could be offering service as early as June following a contract signed last week between developer Arq. Roman Rivera Torres, the PA Fideicomiso (Trustee), and C&W Networks of Miami.

Rivera said last week the goals are to have temporary antennae in operation sometime in June that would be able to handle the community’s communication traffic while the company buries permanent fiber optic cable to every household and condominium, which is projected to take about seven months, Rivera said.

The antennae will “create a cloud over Puerto Aventuras” Rivera said, to provide immediate subscribers with service while the company installs the underground cables adjacent to existing below-ground pipelines. An antenna will be placed above the Puerto Aventuras offices and Omni Beach Club building and hook up with another one at Dolphin Discovery.

The advent of the C&W presence opens the door to competition with Telmex, the only provider here, in addition to improved fiber optic telecom services. C&W is expected to open an office here for subscriber services. C&W Networks has an award-winning presence in the Caribbean, Central and South American markets. Read more about the company at www.cwnetworks.com

 

Colonos voters to consider $87K

for main gate area improvements

A Colonos assembly will be held at 9:30 a.m. this Saturday (April 16) to vote on spending about $87K on road extension, landscaping and site preparation for the future remodeling of the main gate structure, including several new main gate traffic lanes. The latter project will be funded by an additional assessment to be voted on later this year at the annual assembly…

 

Showtime: – A show of dance, mime and acrobatics with an intermission auction will be held beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 16 at the Cultural Center. It is sponsored by the PA Youth Sailing Club that has produced individual and team champions in national and international competition. Daniel Gracis, club commodore, said funds are needed to send the young sailors to various international competitions. “They are winning a lot,” Gracis said, “and bringing attention to Puerto Aventuras and its seafaring tradition as a destination.” (This replaces a previous announcement of a concert that had been scheduled for April 15.)

Trivial pursuits Sunday, April 24, at 4 p.m. at Latitude 20 Restaurant and Lounge with Shannon Rachynski. Proceeds go to the needy. The project, which has been attracting players every other Sunday this high season, has already raised 40,000 pesos for distribution to local charities.

 

 

Commerce Corner…

Pressure grows to impose

fees on unlicensed rentals

Puerto Aventuras, Akumal, Tulum targeted

By Staff
Hotel associations are continuing to pressure the state and local governments to target and monitor unlicensed vacation rentals, 40 percent of them located in Puerto Aventuras, Akumal and Tulum, according to the associations.

 

They claim unlicensed condos and houses make considerable profit without paying for the public and private marketing services they receive in connection with the vacation rentals, leaving that patently unfair burden to registered hotels.

 

In addition, observers in Puerto Aventuras said there was strong suspicion this year that some condo owners may have been shortchanged by individuals who rent for a modest monthly fee for three months over the holidays and then sublet for considerably more as weekly holiday rentals, profiting on the loss of owners.

Also, there were the usual complaints that absentee owners are not aware that rentals to two people often grow without notice to a larger number actually occupying the premises, resulting in excessive use of utilities and common areas such as pools.

The hotels say they have been complaining about unlicensed rentals since 2011 with little actual progress being made by government to end the abuse. Hotels also want rules assuring that rental agents vet renters and monitor the number of people actually occupying units entrusted to rental agents.

The vice president of the hotel association said a study in Spain reported that condo vacation renters spend 84.5 percent less than a hotel guest on the European plan (the opposite to all-inclusive). He insinuated , as an example, that condo renters cook in their units, resulting in less business for restaurants.

Regulations being proposed by the hotel association would have condo and house rentals provide the same assurances of safety and cleanliness as hotels and pay their fair share into the system in order to be welcomed as an option to a hotel room.

Federal agency pares 2017

spending to avoid  deficit

 

Mexico will spend and earn less in 2017, requiring budget cuts outlined by the Finance Secretariat due to a slowdown in exports and low oil prices.The federal government will reduce its 2017 budget by 175 billion pesos (US $10 billion) after cutting 2016 spending by 132 billion pesos.

 

The Finance Secretariat said the cuts will help achieve a zero deficit while minimizing economic and social damage. Its 2017 growth forecast is between 2.6% and 3.6%, down from a September estimate of 3.5% to 4.5%.

Finance officials told Congress it expects an average price of US $35 per barrel for Mexican crude oil next year, up from $25 this year. Production is expected to decline to 2.03 million barrels a day from the current 2.12 million.

Further impact from lower oil prices was also felt this week at Pemex, the state oil company, whose credit rating was cut by Moody’s Investor Services to Baa3, its lowest investment grade rating, from Baa1.

The Roundup…

Santander Bank , which has a presence in the Riviera Maya, is closing 450 branches in Spain to reverse a 45 percent loss in its value last year. it will also offer a 5 percent raise in dividends to bolster investor confidence. The reduction in branch-offices represents a  loss of an estimated 1,000 jobs in Spain as the bank seeks to enhance its ongoing development of internet services…

Spider monkeys have been conspicuously absent from Puerto Aventuras this year but several have been spotted smack in the middle of Playa del Carmen’s urban center. Firefighters tried but failed to capture one and return it to its dwindling habitat last week. Observers say the animals are being driven from their habitat by urbanization…

Foul weather dampened profits of marine services during the final week of the Easter season in the Riviera Maya, particularly on the final Sunday when rain storms swamped much of Playa del Carmen with flooding and sewage overflow along the iconic 5th Avenue after a torrential 2-hour downpour…Meanwhile, the ADO bus line hit a record for one day by moving 6,300 passengers…

Potent but cheap Mexican heroin crossing the border and finding its way to St. Louis, MO, where is is being spread by Mexican traffickers, is being blamed for an increasingly higher use of the drug and crime rate, according to the New York Times…Meanwhile, the first murder of the year was recorded in Playa del Carmen April 3 when a headless body identified as that of a so-called narco taxi driver with a criminal record was discovered. The police say the murder had all the markings of an organized crime revenge killing…

One person was injured in a two-vehicle crash on Bahia Xcacel early Tuesday morning when a taxi driver who said he was blinded by the sun collided with a parked van, resulting in considerable front-end damage to the taxi. A passenger said to be an employee of the Dreams Hotel was injured and taken to the hospital by Red Cross ambulance paramedics German Pereda and Marco Rubio stationed in the poblado, said Security Chief Luis Espinosa.

Too much entertainment? Hoteliers and businessmen in the Mamitas and Martin beach areas have asked the Playa city council to prohibit outdoor concerts in those venues because, as it has turns out, they create more trouble than benefits to the nearby hospitality industry…

Mexico named a new ambassador to the US to counter the Trump phenomenon and the feelings of ill-will generated by negative Trump comments concerning Mexicans and the proposed Wall he wants to build between the two countries. The nominee is career diplomat Carlos Manuel Sada Solana, who spent many years as a consul general in major US cities and as liaison to the US Congress. Sada will require confirmation by the US Senate…

10,000 turtles spawned a million hatchlings on 13 protected beaches from Punta Venado to the Sian Ka’an biosphere in 2015, reports the civic group “Flora, Fauna and Culture Association”. The group called it a “historical” figure…

Plans for an undersea museum are being explored for a water site near Mamitas Beach in Playa del Carmen, reports the Federal Natural Resources Ministry. The plan calls for some 19 different sections developed over six years offering sculptures to accommodate snorkelers and divers while preserving the reefs, say proponents…

Going up – Proposed plans for the relocation of municipal political and administrative services to the area of Las Americas Mall off 115th Avenue include an “architectural high.” Buildings to be constructed in that area are approved for seven/eight stories plus rooftop terraces. High-rise condos are also proposed for the area…
The Mail bag…

Support for safety initiatives

(Ed. Note: This letter, translated from Spanish and edited, was written to Security Chief Luis Eduardo Espinosa and copied to the Pelican.)

 

 

”I congratulate you on the efforts being made to promote safety in Puerto Aventuras and hoping they bear fruit for the benefit of all who dwell here.The reason for this message is not to complain, but to provide you with evidence illustrating the need to continuously pursue safety improvements and to add my voice in support of your efforts.

I have attached a picture of a tourist bus that was parked in front of the Dolphinarium and was invading the bike lane that was recently so painstakingly painted.

 

Also, another picture of a speeding van carrying tourists to the Hotel Catalonia (platenumber 14-RA-2A) which almost hit me on a curve while riding my bicycle. At the time, I called the guardhouse to report the incident.

Further, my friends tell me that when they come to visit me, the gate guards do not ask them for identification or other information and let them pass. I think it is necessary to strengthen security entering and leaving so that when employees are leaving with items, they have a permit signed by the person who is authorizing the exit.

The entrance gate is the main safety point because it represents security for everyone living here. We need to have energetic and capable guards that do not allow entrance to non-residents without reasonable grounds to enter. They also need to check the bona fides of guests.

I previously worked more than 10 years in industries that constantly trained their employees on the value of workplace safety. There exists a “risk pyramid” to explain our emphasis on reporting incidents before they become accidents. For every 60 incidents, there are 30 minor injuries,10 disabling injuries and one death (which nobody wants to see happen).

That is why I prefer to report minor incidents such as illegally parked cars or vehicles speeding before you have to one day report a major incident with serious injuries or death. Thank you for your attention.

Signed/Alberto Rivera

Where’s the disabled parking?

Dear Editor:
We need disabled parking areas in Puerto Aventuras. I am surprised to see that we don’t have any such areas anywhere. What can we do to assign such areas?

Signed/Octavio Calvillo

(Ed. Note: Try attending the Colonos Assembly this coming Saturday at 9:30 a.m. in the Colonos meeting room and asking that question there. Short of that, call the Colonos or file your request on the Colonos website.)

Evidently, Cancun doesn’t get it

Dear Editor:
Regarding Richard Homme’s previous comment about the motorcycle cop stopping people. We were stopped in January. Same story. Cop wanted 2500 pesos. We worked it down to 1700 and paid.

This was not 100 feet from the police barricade just before the airport. We were stopped by the police because our rental car had a sticker in the rear window for a new registration. They then let us go and it was not 100 feet that the motorcycle cop stopped us and said we were speeding.

He was also in contact by radio with the cop at the barricade that stopped us. We could hear them talking to each other. The cop at the barricade saw that we had suitcases in the car. This is continued bad PR for Mexico.

Signed/ Ken and May Ellen Vidar

 

Nature Watch…

 

These owls don’t give a hoot

about being shorter than others

 

By Gayle Sandholm
This Pigmy Owl is very small, 6-7 inches tall, with a short tail, yellow eyes and pale peak. Rare in the US & Canada, it is common in the tropical lowlands of the Yucatan and is the only small owl found in and around Puerto.

It often hunts in the late evening or early morning, flying low to the ground and capturing flying insects as they take flight. It also hunts for a variety of birds, lizards, and small mammals.

Pigmy Owls often nest in a cactus or tree hole, especially one prepared by a woodpecker. It is often seen by noticing the small birds that mob it while it is perched in a tree.

Up to 40 birds of 11 species have been recorded mobbing one owl. Its “hoot” is easy to recognize with 7-10 short, hollow sounds, hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo… From the behavior of these two hooters, it appears there will be several more of them in Puerto in the coming weeks.

 

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.

The end – previous edition below

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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