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Monthly Archives: February 2017

March 1, 2017

Helping to heal the scars…

PREVIOUS ATTENDEE Ret. Marine Cpl. Justin Gaertner had this to say about his Puerto Aventuras adventure: “The tournament people opened their arms to me. I will forever be thankful to them for giving me a life-changing experience. It’s trips like this that save guys’ lives and raise our spirits…”

Puerto Aventuras preparing
to again host wounded warriors

By Staff
Puerto Aventuras will host U.S. Wounded Warriors again his year between May 19-23 as part of the annual Dave Harris Charity Billfish Tournament coordinated locally by Capt. Rick’s Sportfishing Center.

The annual 5-day event attracts from 60 to 80 fishermen from various countries. Once again this year they will share their adventure, sea stories and good times with eight recuperating wounded warriors who will be housed at Porto Bello and Aventuras Condominiums when not fishing.

The Dave Harris tourney seeks sponsors or partial donations to arrange for transport and needs of the veterans during the tournament, estimated to be $1,500 USD per wounded warrior. Donations can be sent to: Wounded Warrior in Action Foundation, 6516 Dolphin Cove Drive, Apollo Beach, FL 33572. (Please put “DHMBT sponsorship” in memo line).

How it began

Glenna Eucker of Capt. Rick’s, coordinator of the event from the Puerto Aventuras aspect, said the tournament sprang from the late Dave Harris’ fondness for fishing. The tournament was cast in Puerto Aventuras in 2005 and the idea of inviting wounded warriors launched in 2014.

Harris died of cancer but members of his family continued the tournament and has staged it annually in Puerto Aventuras with Capt. Rick’s handling local coordination.

“It’s become a community event” Uecker said, noting the annual cooperation of Porto Bello and Aventuras condominiums and restaurants such as Latitude 20, The Pub and Hippo’s who prepare opening and closing  banquets along with entertainment for the fishermen and warriors and special events such as a trip on the catboat Catamaya.

Aside from hosting wounded warriors, the charity tournament also donates to the Melanoma Research Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Hospital in the U.S. and children’s charities in Mexico. 

Forget about the ‘fake’ news;
traveler nabbed with fake cash

An airline passenger was detained at the Cancun Airport by federal authorities last week for trying to spirit $11,400 in fake US currency into the country. The person was not identified but was carrying a US passport.

Customs officials in Terminal 2 alerted federal police after the x-ray machine detected a bundle of money inside the man’s luggage. The passenger and the luggage were brought to a secure area where police found 114 fake $100 bills in the luggage along with a checkbook. The US consulate was notified and the man arrested.

Concert attendance here guarantees
continued local Red Cross presence

Part of audience that made Saturday’s Red Cross fund-raiser concert a success. (Staff Photo)

By Staff
An enthusiastic audience witnessed a masterful performance of violin virtuosity Saturday night that was described by exhilarated audience members with superlatives such as “terrific, wonderful, awesome, fabulous.”

Virtuoso Arlindo Silva, accompanied by adept and skillfully synchronized musicians on piano, guitar and percussion, climbed and descended through the musical scores with nimble fingers and flashing bow narrating the story of life’s wonders, joys and sadness in the universal language of music.

To accomplish this, the musicians created the sounds of fast and furious storms that, as storms do, eventually fade into passages of peace and safety seamlessly transitioning from Bach  and Vivaldi and emerging into contemporary times with what seemed to be the Bee Gee’s hit “Staying Alive” from Saturday Night Fever. What could have been more appropriate for a Red Cross fund-raiser?

Silva selected compositions for the event that, from the opening note, was one of soul in music and in cause. Because of the response of residents who paid 200 pesos each to attend, the district Red Cross president said the turnout that netted 30,000 pesos for the Red Cross would enable it to maintain its clinic and ambulance service in Puerto Aventuras for the year.

He explained that a promise of funds from the municipal government has not occurred for several years, risking closure this year of the district’s two outlying ambulance-equipped clinics, one of which is Puerto Aventuras.

At concert’s end, a sincere “thank you for coming” is expressed by Violinist Arlindo Silva, left. (Staff Photo)

Red Cross officials, noting the organization’s 107th year anniversary, mentioned the extraordinary work done by “quiet donors” – some Puerto Aventuras residents in the audience – who through their Rotary International affiliations, have secured tons of medical supplies for the district Red Cross and area hospitals.

The scores of volunteers and organizers like Dulce Carillo, Lucia Perrota and Leticia Duran and the Colonos for free use of the cultural center,  have helped make it possible for the Red Cross in Puerto Aventuras to answer for another year the community’s emergencies that frequently involve life or death situations.

Body of Colegio student found
after being reported missing

The body of a student at the Puerto Aventuras Colegio was discovered in an empty lot on Puerto Aventuras Boulevard last Thursday by security personnel after the teenage boy was reported missing by his family.

The student was identified as a Canadian national who enrolled at the Colegio here last August and was reportedly afflicted with depression.

Municipal police investigators ruled out foul play. They found a number of cigarettes, pills and a small package containing a grassy substance near the body. Officials withheld cause of death until an autopsy required by law is competed.

Suicide reported in Puerto Maya

Municipal police said a young father committed suicide by hanging at his home in Puerto Maya where he lived with his wife and 2-year-old baby.

The police said they were told the man had been despondent. They said the event was carried out by the man while his wife was in the kitchen cooking dinner.

Second concert scheduled Friday, March 3, to benefit youth sailing
By Staff
Another concert has been scheduled for this Friday, March 3, to benefit the popular Puerto Aventuras Youth Sailing Club whose members have brought significant esteem and medals to their skills and their club in international sailing contests.

Club commodore Daniel Gracis, a member of the Colonos board and its Cultural and Sports Committee, has worked with the Greater Puerto Aventuras community in developing training programs and bringing international sailing tournaments to Puerto Aventuras.

Jazz – funk lovers will appreciate this Friday’s concert by the “Quantum Quartet” starting at 7:30 at the Cultural Center on Bahia Akumal. Bringing cushions suggested for the cement stadium seating.

Working some colorful wheelies on a newly painted skateboard park where recycling is held.

Recycling this Friday, March 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the newly redecorated skate park on Blvd. Puerto Aventuras. This year, there will be recycling twice a month. Stay tuned for dates.

Free double lecture on Slowing the Aging Process and handling Wrinkles, Sags and Bags will be presented at 10 a.m., March 7, in the Colonos meeting room by professor emeritus James White of UCSD. This is the last of four lectures presented this year by White.

Bingo is coming up at 3:30 p.m. this Sunday, March, 5, at Latitude 20 Restaurant with proceeds going to the poblado Community Center. Come join the fun, says owner Jim Stubbs…

Spanish classes taught by Maestra Gloria Contreras are under way at the Latitude 20 Restaurant. Beginners class from 9 to 10 a.m. and advanced class from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact her at cel 984-108-3517 for more information…

Soccer players aged 15 to 50+ are invited to play on the informal resort team Sundays, 9 to 11 a.m., at the Puerto Maya sports complex field. The resort team, wearing red and black shirts, has informal fun games with a poblado team. The field is in back of the Oxxo store on the main entrance road that begins at Chedraui’s…

Dates of note in March… In Mexico – Oil expropriation by President Cardenas in 1938, March 18;  President Benito Juarez birthday, March 21; In the US – Ash Wednesday, March 1; Daylight Saving Time, March 12; St. Patrick’s Day, March 17…

Chefs wanted for…

SIGN UP NOW at the Colonos office and share your cultural cuisine with your friends and neighbors. So far, 18 chefs have come forward and the Colonos would like at least 25, and at least one serving something from the sea if possible.

The Roundup…

JOSE YSIDRO pauses a moment before picking up a mound of sargassum he raked in earlier in the day at the Omni Beach, doing yeoman’s work keeping the beach clean. (Staff Photo)

Sargassum grew like hair last week on the temporary stone and plastic-netting barriers protecting the Fatima Bay shoreline from sand depletion and the intermittent landing of sargassum on the beach. While Playa del Carmen had difficulty removing sargassum piles from some of its beaches last week, one man with rake, shovel and wheelbarrow was able to keep PA’s Omni Beach cleared…

Kidnapping incidents have decreased in 10 states nationally, including Quintana Roo (pronounced row), reports the National Cooperative Against Kidnapping (Conase). The agency said the decline implies that national strategies to reduce real and virtual kidnapping are working…

The income of marine services providers in Akumal has been negatively affected by the temporary closure of the bay to tourist activities like swimming with the turtles and sightseeing along the reefs, spokespersons for 13 marine service cooperatives told government officials last week. To underscore their plight, they blocked entrance to Akumal for about an hour.

They said they represent 600 families earning a living from those activities. They estimated six days of losses of 150,000 pesos per day. The temporary closure of the bay was part of government enforcement of new sanctuary rules and an effort to prevent overuse of the assets by swimmers brought in by unlicensed guides…

Female taxi driver murdered  in front of her home in Playa del Carmen last week brought to four the number of taxi drivers assassinated this new year in what police believe is drug related activity. She was shot by two men on a motorcycle as she was preparing to drive a daughter to school. The shooters escaped.

Cancun Airport’s infrastructure will be competing with Mexico City’s airport in infrastructure when its new fourth terminal is completed later this year, reports the country’s Communications and Transport Secretariat (SCT). “It will be the most capable airport in the country,” said Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Esparza…

Deported to suicide – Mexican migrant Guadalupe Olivas Valencia, 44, just couldn’t take it anymore. Carrying a plastic bag with all his belongings, he was being deported to Mexico for the third time until, in sight of the US border, he jumped from a bridge and died. Another notch in the pistol of politics.

Ford Motor Co. still plans to move ahead on construction of two auto parts plants in Mexico despite the bullying from the US president that caused the company to stop plans to build a small-car manufacturing plant in Mexico. The two plants now planned are in the state of Guanajuato and the city of Chihuahua. The plants will produce engines and transmissions…

Four armed robbers – three men and a woman – stripped some 30 customers of the Banorte branch bank at Juarez Avenue and Playa del Carmen Boulevard last Friday. They also helped themselves to cash from the tellers. Victims said they were made to lie on the floor and give up  their possessions and deposits they were waiting to make. Ironically, a hotel across the way houses about 100 federal police here temporarily to ensure high-season safety of tourists…

Nature watch…
Dead bird on condo balcony
leads to an area mystery

Blackheaded trogan: Out on a limb?

By Staff

She was visibly upset.

“There’s a dead bird on the balcony,” she explained with sadness in her voice. It was a sudden finding. “I was just out there, and it wasn’t there. It must have just happened.”

The maintenance man, Primitivo, happened to be nearby and was consulted. The bird did not look injured or damaged. Why was it dead on a second-floor balcony for no apparent or obvious reason?

“Maybe,” ventured Primitivo, “it flew into one of the glass additions on the balcony above.” He said the bird might have seen the reflection of palms on the glass and had flown into it. They sometimes do that, he said, as he took the lifeless bird away.

A few days later we happened upon a story in a local newspaper concerning reports from various sources of finding dead or (sick or wounded) Coa Cabeza Negra (blackheaded trogon) birds, lending some mystery to the multiple findings.

A spokesman for a group called Green Jay Maya Birding and other sources suggested drought may have forced some birds out of the wild, their usual habitat, and into urban areas in search of water but offered no conclusive reason for the multiple reports of dead birds.

The blackheaded trogon is not an endangered specie. They eat fruit and insects usually plentiful in jungles and mangroves.

Anyone seeing a dead or living trogon is asked to report the sighting to [email protected] with this data: Location, date, time, condition (dead, alive, wounded, sick) and a photo if possible.

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our weekly high-season schedule is 10 a.m. on Mondays. Thank you. Disclaimer: The Pelican Free Press is not responsible for content and/or claims made on sponsor web sites or social media links.

The end – Previous edition below

February 22, 2017

PA’s People…
Virtuoso Arlindo Silva to perform for Red Cross fundraiser Feb.25 

By Staff
The high season’s first concert of 2017 featuring violin virtuoso Arlindo Silva in a solo presentation will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Puerto Aventuras Cultural Center on Bahia Akumal.

The event will benefit the local Red Cross clinic and ambulance located in the poblado but serving emergency needs on both sides of the highway and nearby communities…

This will be Silva’s second concert here for a charitable cause, the first held in April 2015 for the medal-winning Youth Sailing Club of Puerto Aventuras.

With symphony 21 years

Attesting to his considerable musical talent, Silva, a native of Portugal, was first violinist with the Symphony Orchestra of Portugal for 21 years, accompanying numerous world artists of the era. He then furthered his musical studies at Northwestern University in Chicago, during which time he first visited Puerto Aventuras.

Upon completion of his studies, he returned for a brief time to Portugal then embarked on a life-changing visit to Puerto Aventuras three years ago…and remained. He is now living here with his family.

As in his acclaimed previous concert here, Silva’s considerable repertoire displayed the versatility and flowing transition of the consummate artist with renditions of classic baroque by Bach, to the hard rock and blues of Led Zeppelin, to Pagnini’s brilliant compositions using the instrumental techniques he advanced. There will be contemporary pieces adding diversity to the musical evening.

Elevates level of culture

Silva’s presence here has lifted the community’s musical opportunities to a new level via the Academy of Music school he inaugurated two years ago in a Centro studio .

There are now 40 students and seven teachers in voice, piano, guitar, percussion, violin, and wind instruments such as the saxophone, thus sustaining the community’s rhythm of cultural life.

Silva’s first concert here delighted the audience with a blend of musical styles performed with the emotion, conviction and practiced skill of the accomplished musician. A well-satisfied  audience at that concert presupposes another delightful experience on Saturday evening.

Tickets are 200 pesos ($9.79 US) and are available at the Colonos office, the red Cross clinic in the poblado and at the door.

Colonos notes post-concert buffet

The Colonos  says a post-concert buffet dinner at The Divot cafe on the golf course is also intended to raise funds for the local Red Cross – which is funded by donations only.

Colonos coordinator Carlos Quinones said combined dinner and concert tickets are 800 pesos (400 to the local Red Cross) while dinner-only tickets are 600 pesos and include a 200-peso donation to the Red Cross. He emphasized this is a separate event to render additional  aid to the Red Cross and to help complete an enjoyable evening.  

  Play soccer, fight arthritis, learn Spanish, try trivia with friends, be a chef, pair wine and food, lots to do…

Free lecture on fighting arthritis will be presented at 10 a.m. Feb. 28 in the Colonos meeting room by professor emeritus James White of UCSD… Trivial pursuits coming up at 4 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 26, at Latitude 20 Restaurant with proceeds going to the poblado Community Center. Come enjoy live music after the game, says owner Jim Stubbs… Soccer players invited to play on resort team Sundays, 9 to 11 a.m., at the Puerto Maya sports complex field. The resort team, ages 15 to 50 wearing red and black shirts, has informal fun games with a poblado team. The field is in back of the  Oxxo store on the main entrance road at Chedraui’s… Spanish classes taught by Maestra Gloria Contreras are under way at the Latitude 20 Restaurant. Beginners class from 9 to 10 a.m. and advanced class from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact her at cel 984-108-3517 for more information…

Food and wine pairing events are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22 (Oops! Sold out) and Thursday,Feb. 23 at the Divot Cafe next to the Golf Course clubhouse. Seating is limited to 30. Must reserve and pay 500 pesos charge in advance by calling Steph at 984-802-8939 or at the Divot…

Sign up now at the Colonos office to participate in the international food fest…

SIGN UP NOW at the Colonos office and share your ethnic cuisine with your friends and neighbors.

Environmental agency, Navy
bear down on Akumal scofflaws

Order turtle guides, tourists out of water 

New rules: Fewer swimmers and no more flippers in Akumal Bay. (File Photo)

The government has finally cracked down on scofflaws in Akumal who were importing tourists to swim with turtles without having a permit to do so.

Agents from the Environmental Protection Agency (Profepa) backed by armed Navy personnel cleared the bay of swimmers and guides last week – temporarily including permitted guides – to get a handle on what has been transpiring between rogue guides and the cooperatives that are permitted. More than 100 unhappy tourists also were directed out of the water.

Environmental agency personnel (Profepa) have explained the rules for swimming with turtles, which includes limits on how close to get to the turtles and each other and the non-use of flippers. The idea also is to limit the daily intake to 120 swimmers to protect the turtles from overexposure.

The Akumal Ecological Center and permitted operatives have been asking for government intervention and are reportedly pleased to have received it. Profepa agents said Navy personnel will be permanently assigned to regular beach patrols to assure rules are being observed.

Despite the enforcement measures being taken, reports out of Akumal say tourism remains robust…

The Mail Bag…
Hard Rock’s loud music
aggrieves nearby neighbors

Dear editor:
As a resident at Pueblo Escondido (about 100 yards south of Hard Rock) we are very upset about the change in the noise policy at the Hard Rock resort.

Most days – by 2 or 3 p.m. – it is not possible for us to be outside due to the noise level. Some nights the music has played until well after midnight, and the really loud music is not confined to the weekend.

Even with our doors closed we can clearly hear the music. In the past, we have recommended a number of friends and a couple of corporate events to the Hard Rock. I can assure you we will not do that again.

Their music is being played at a volume beyond legal limits and at a level that can cause permanent hearing damage. Please change your policy Hard Rock!

Signed/Wayne Greenberg
(Ed. Note: 
Colonos GM Armando Rincon has received complaints via condo administrators also and has contacted Hard Rock management to register the complaints. Nonetheless, Hard Rock plans its biggest event of the year from Feb. 27 to March 3, Rincon said. In his opinion, he added, the wind played a role in carrying the music to Puerto Aventuras. The previous local Hard Rock manager did much to abate the music, and thus, the complaints.) 

Happy 50,000th birthday
to tough Mexican microbes

By Staff
If an old mine in Mexico can give up a find of 50,000-year old life forms, one must wonder what prehistoric wonders local cenotes may harbor.

Perish the thought of living inside this crystal for 50,000 years eating iron and manganese tacos…with the same spouse!

The discovery, in an old 800-meter deep mining cave in Naica, Mexico, by scientists with the US National Air and Space Administration’s  astrobiology institute involved ancient, dormant “super-life” microbes and viruses locked in crystal but still surviving under punishing conditions on iron and manganese.

The discovery was revealed at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston, Mass., by a NASA scientist ironically named Penelope Boston. The findings have yet to be published or reviewed by peers following nine years of work.

But if certified, say the scientists, it will be another example of how tough life on earth is and how adaptable living things can be despite the bumps in the road.

The Roundup…

Ing. Jaime Ruiz

Following a “meticulous” search, the Colonos has hired Jaime Ruiz as its new director of operations. Ruiz began his duties overseeing the public works labor force on Feb 6. The Colonos administration said it would appreciate the public’s support of the new director.

A sixth mototaxi group has been denied a permit to operate in the Puerto Aventuras poblado and Puerto Maya sections where the three-wheeled vehicles have already multiplied like rabbits. Officials are now setting rules limiting operations to five unions limited to 15 mototaxis each, or 75 vehicles total.  No further word on inauguration of mototaxis in the resort…

Another bar has closed in Playa’s tourist zone as the result of the “Blue Parrot” shootings and what the local press describes as an increase in criminal activity such as extortion, proliferation of questionable kiosks believed to be scamming tourists. The bar, “Mezcallina” follows the closure of the “La Santanerra” in January. While some observers say there are noticeably fewer tourists on 5th Avenue, businesses in Centro say they’ve seen an uptick here. The Blue Parrot itself will not reopen to make way for a new hotel and disco, say reports…

“I’ve got water!” – That’s what PA artist Peter Terrin called out from the cab of his van at Chedraui’s parking lot recently. As a renter, he was caught in the middle of a non-payment battle between the water concession and Hoo Haa lounge over non-payment of water bills and had to do without  water for a  time before bringing some in from the outside. Now, evidently, the bills have been paid and the water is flowing again…

Another shootout, but no injuries, was reported on Highway 307 when police approached a vehicle that fit the description of one involved in the earlier robbery of a safe from a notary’s office in Playa del Carmen. The car’s occupants fired at police and tried to escape by entering the Iberostar hotel where they were apprehended. The safes were later found in a private home…

The price of gasoline is fluctuating daily, but the federal government assures consumers that prices will not spike beyond reasonable market expectations. Average cost for Magna the past week, the so-called regular gasoline used in most cars, has been around 15.87 per liter. Weekly costs by federal region will be published in the Energy Regulatory Commission’s website…

A hit and run death was reported over the weekend on Highway 307 near the Catalonia Hotel when a man tried to cross the highway at night. Municipal police unit and Red Cross ambulance in Puerto Aventuras responded but the victim had already died from apparent head trauma and the car and driver nowhere to be found…

Nature Watch…
No evidence of diminishing
numbers of birds in resort

The lineated woodpecker shows how much wood a woodpecker can peck as it ponders how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck…(you finish it).

By Gayle Sandholm
Several people have asked whether there are fewer birds around this year.  The construction around town with fewer trees and undergrowth may affect the bird populations.

I have no evidence on diminishing numbers and have identified 43 different birds in the past few weeks including turquoise-browed motmot and black headed trogon.  Four anhinga are reported to be frequenting the “bird island” on the right as you enter Puerto.  There are lots of orioles, flycatchers and buntings to be seen.

My find of the week is a life bird (first time seen) for me.  The Lineated Woodpecker is 12 ½-14 inches (31.5-36cm) long, quite large for woodpeckers.  Its range is from southern Mexico to northern Argentina.

They use their powerful necks and sharp, long beaks to chip out holes in trees searching out insects, ants, termites, beetles and their larvae.  They usually collect insects from the bark crevices with the help of a sharp and sticky tongue.  They also will eat seeds from fruits, berries and nuts.

Its brilliant red crest and white line down its neck are unmistakable.  When I saw this one I thought it was a pileated woodpecker common in parts of the US and Canada.   After some research I find that pileated woodpeckers are occasionally found only in the northernmost parts of Mexico.

What a delight to see this splash of red looking for a meal.   I can add this one to my list of life birds seen around town. So, keep looking up to discover the natural wonders to be seen here in Puerto.
(Ed. Note: Evidence of bird numbers can be collected by using the PPW scale – Poops Per Week – left on car tops parked under Centro’s trees.)  

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our weekly high-season schedule is 10 a.m. on Mondays. Thank you. Disclaimer: The Pelican Free Press is not responsible for content and/or claims made on sponsor web sites or social media links.

The end – Previous edition below


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