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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Early Edition: April 1, 2017

Several vans refused entry
at main gate in contract feud

DIRECTING SLOW MOVING traffic at the main gate Wednesday when several vans were refused admission and blocked both commercial entrance lanes for nearly two hours. (Staff Photo)

Colonos Chair Jorge Kaufer takes charge
to end gate standoff  before it ‘gets ugly’ 

By Staff

Several vans serving commercial boating interests operating out of the Puerto Aventuras marina arrived at the main gate just around sunrise last Wednesday as they have done for years.

This time it was different.

Main gate guards refused to let them through, idling the vans for nearly two hours and effectively blocking use of the several commercial entrance lanes. “We’re not blocking the gates,” said an employee of one of the companies. “They are not letting us through.”

Colonos Board Chairman Jorge Kaufer appeared at the scene at about 9 a.m. as tow trucks reportedly awaited orders, he said, and diffused the standoff. “I took the responsibility to cancel the operation,” he said, and to let the vans enter. “It was affecting too many people,” going shopping at Chedraui or trying to get to work.

In the ‘out’ gate

Outside the gate were small clumps of people standing among vehicles waiting to enter. The guards began to allow other commercial vehicles access through the “out” lane when available. A municipal police truck was parked nearby, the officers observing the activity and in some cases helping the guards maintain a flow of traffic. They took no other action as the crowd maintained its composure.

Employees of several commercial boating businesses using the marina were seen standing by the vans discussing the situation. Traffic whistles could frequently be heard from animated guards waving annoyed drivers through the logjam.

Knots of men were scattered nearby, some from the Municipal Delegation having apparently serious discussions. There were reporters from several newspapers taking photos and talking into their cell phones or recorders. A large group of construction workers waited in the shade of trees outside the gate.

One Colonos official earlier opined that this could have been avoided if the parties in the dispute talked to each other instead of talking past each other.

Alerted to stoppage

The gate closure wasn’t a surprise. A group of commercial boaters in a contract disagreement with the marina ownership had been informed by the Colonos last week that vehicles carrying customers to them would not be allowed to reach boating services due to operating without a contract and would be stopped at the gate beginning March 29.

The Colonos, which has operational jurisdiction over Security, was requested by marina ownership to invoke Article 18 of the Colonos bylaws, to wit: “Entry access is restricted to people who are not residents or owners of real estate within the developments (sic), or those who do not have the respected authorization.”  Interpretation of the bylaw is in contention as well as are some of the private matters between marina ownership and aggrieved commercial entities.

Asked after an hour at the scene what would become of the stalled vans, Security Chief Luis Espinosa, concern etched on his face, replied: “No comment.”

Chairman ends standoff

Kaufer arrived at about 9 a.m. and ordered a pass-through for the vans and said he “canceled the operation. It was a mess,” he said.

Consensus over the ongoing dispute among some ex-pats reflects disappointment that the parties could not have found harmony before tainting the community’s image, confounding business plans for the day and annoying some visitors.

At noon, two catamarans of one of the companies were at the dock. A crewman  on board said there wasn’t a morning excursion, but would be one in the afternoon. By about 10:30 a.m., several fishing boats were seen leaving the marina, a typical scene on a pleasant day in Puerto Aventuras.

The dispute has coincidentally given rise to discussions among some concerned stakeholders for an impartial public panel of volunteers to quietly offer to help settle  damaging disputes and maintain the community’s paradisical image.

The future course of the disagreement apparently remains in limbo. Boaters said they want to sit at the table and talk. The marina ownership spokesman did not wish to comment. Both sides of the issue have criticized the Pelican Free Press for biased and/or insufficient reporting.

CARS, PEOPLE AND BOATS were temporarily idled at the main gate and marina Wednesday over a contract feud. (Staff Photos)


Play Gringo Bingo at Latitude 20

Bingo is coming up at 3:30 p.m. this Sunday, April 2, 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 April… In Mexico – Heroic defense of Veracruz against US occupation, April 21; Children’s Day, April 30;   In the US – April 1, April Fools DayPersian Gulf War ends, 1991, April 6; Religious: Palm Sunday, April 9; Passover, April 10; Good Friday, April 14, Easter, April 16.

The Mail Bag

Please drive with care, courtesy

Dear Editor and Neighbors:

It is our belief that we are all blessed to live in such a lovely, safe and beautiful haven as Puerto Aventuras.

Like all residential communities however, there is a direct relationship between how each individual contributes to the community as a whole and the level of harmony that exists within that community.

Over the years the number of us who live on this street and the amount of traffic on our street has multiplied by several times.

There are many neighbors with small children, elderly folk, and pets and as we know there are no sidewalks.  That is why, several years ago, we campaigned vigorously for Colonos to install speed bumps (topes) to help control speeds.

SAFE, AND SOUND – New Colonos staffers keeping Puerto Aventuras safe and sound are, from left, deputy security chief Gabriel Vazquez Lopez, operations manager Ing. Jaime Ruiz and veteran security chief Luis Espinosa at the recent food festival. (Staff Photo).

Unfortunately a few neighbors and visitors are totally ignoring the speed bumps, failing to slow down at all for them, and in more general terms driving at speeds that are much faster than is safe for an entirely residential area.  In our opinion it is only a matter of time before we suffer a tragedy and someone or someone’s pet is severely injured or killed by a speeding vehicle.

We do not want to be forced into installing more severe speed controls and we certainly do not want to be forced into making reports of any and all vehicles that either fail to slow down for speed bumps or drive at excessive speed on Caleta Yalku… but make no mistake about it, we are totally committed to protecting the toddlers, children, pedestrians and pets on this street.

We would like to appeal to your sense of community and decency to please limit your speed when driving in Puerto Aventuras in general and Caleta Yalku specifically and would like to thank you for taking the time to read this communication.  Please feel free to share and discuss with your neighbors.

ACCIDENTS DO HAPPEN over the years even in the resort.

We have set-up an email address where you are free to comment or make suggestions concerning this topic: [email protected]

Signed/Concerned residents of Caleta Yalku

Nature Watch…

Florida pelican surprises old pal

at chance Puerto Aventuras reunion

By Paamul Jack
On a pleasant Sunday afternoon, having recently returned to Florida from wintering in the Bahama Islands aboard Mirage, my 36′ catamaran sailboat, I enjoyed a long walk – on solid ground – from Burnt Store Marina to a favorite local fishing spot. Walking on “Terra Firma”, after many months on a bouncy sailboat, reminded me of Martin Eden, in Jack London’s book (by that name), who felt the earth wobble under him, after returning from long sailing trips.

When I arrived at the bridge over the river-like inlet, several avid fishing-freaks were still casting their bait down from both sides of the bridge. Being a nature-lover, I also enjoyed watching the many gulls and pelicans that were either floating nearby or perched on the bridge railings, hoping for a snack.

One by one, as the sun slowly approached the horizon, the fishermen gathered their rods and buckets, and left the bridge. So did the pelicans.

But as I was about to depart myself, I noticed a lone young pelican in the water below behaving strangely. He kept moving his long beak violently from side to side, then flapped his wide open wings frantically again and again, but was unable to become airborne. It became clear to me that he was either badly injured or firmly entangled by something.

I walked to the end of the bridge, trying to find a way down the treacherous slope to the river, for a closer look. Half way down, the last fisherman on the bridge shouted to me:”What’ ya’ doin’ man? That river is crawling with alligators!”

Once at the riverbank, I could easily see what was preventing the pelican from taking off – and what was urging him to try so desperately to escape.

A large fish hook, still connected to a tangled fishing line in the distance, had pierced right through the pelican’s beak, making it impossible for him to fly away. At the same time, two good-size alligators where eying him from close proximity.

When motionless, the alligators would slowly float towards him together, but as soon as the bird flapped his wings wildly, sensing the impending attack, the gators would back off.

It became clear to me that without help the pelican’s fate will be a horrible death within minutes. I equally reasoned with myself at the moment that seabirds are within alligators’ natural diet, and that man has no right to meddle with nature’s food-chain. Yet, it didn’t seem fair to allow a fisherman’s mishandled hook to be the perpetrator in the premature death of an innocent young pelican.

I took off my shoes, folded my shorts up as high as I could and, keeping an eye on the gators, I entered the water. The pelican now turned towards me, and the look in his eyes seemed as if he understood my intended mission. As I slowly advanced, both alligators, without retreating, were watching my every move.

Owing to my previous experience with Florida alligators, I was not overly concerned about being attacked by them, and their demeanor left no doubt as to their real target.

Some years earlier, prior to my sailing days, I rented a small dingy for a few hours of fishing  on lake Okeechobee. At about midday, the hot Florida sun and high humidity called for a break. I tossed the small anchor overboard a short distance from shore and jumped in for a 15 minute swim. Back on the boat, while drying off, I noticed that the shore was covered with a strange layer of mostly gray and green colors, as far as the eye could see. Curious, I came closer, only to discover, to my astonishment, that I was looking at hundreds of alligators, young and old, nearly on top of each-other, basking in the sun. It seemed a miracle to me that I was in the water for so long only a few yards from them – without having been slashed to pieces.

Be it a blessing or a curse, the experience eased my fear of alligators.

Now, I was not really sure whether I would be able to free the pelican from the fish-hook, but I was fascinated and relieved to see that his reaction to my approach was in contrast to his tumultuous response to the alligators. Not only did he stay calm as I came within touching distance, but he actually seemed to welcome my advance. He allowed me to quickly grab the end of his beak and hold on to it while I labored at yanking out the metal hook.  After several minutes of intense effort, it became clear that the only way to free him – before the gators get to him – was to work the hook forcefully right out of the bone. I did so reluctantly, and when I examined the damage I found an open  crevice, vertical to the beak, about half an inch long.

Before I let go my grip on his beak, I noticed that the two gators were getting closer. To  make sure my efforts were not in vain, I wrapped my right arm around his body and carried him, like a baby, out to shore. I placed him gently on the ground and let him loose. Sensing his freedom, he took off immediately, to my delight, and to the obvious dismay of the lurking alligators.

The sun was nearly down, and I headed back to my boat with mixed feelings.”Was that really the right thing to do?,” I was thinking.

As if to reassure me – I could swear I saw the very same pelican hovering above me several times, escorting me back to my boat.

After a lazy relaxing weekend, I devoted all daytime hours of the following week to routine maintenance projects, expected of any conscientious sailboat captain when preparing for his next voyage. Come Saturday, while enjoying a sunrise breakfast in the open cockpit, I burst out laughing to the site of a pelican trying to steady his perch on a line that connected my boat to the piling. It was funny to see him flap his wings open, struggling to balance, as the rope under him was constantly flexing up and down with the boat’s movements.

I almost dropped my glass of orange-juice when, to my astonishment, I recognized the crevice on the pelican’s lower beak. After an entire week, and considering the distance to the fishing-spot where I set him free, his appearance near my boat had to be a mere coincidence. I finished breakfast, and then went about my day as usual. When I returned from a shopping trip the next afternoon, I saw him again, perched calmly at the least expected location.

Pelicans are a common site around the marina, flying above in circles, diving in for a catch, resting on dock pilings – or perched way up atop sailboats’ masts – from which they drop enormous quantities of white excrement. To keep my deck clean, I had placed a large, ominous-looking brown plastic owl at the top of my mast whenever moored for long periods. The owl “scarecrow” proved to have been a good investment, as it kept all birds off my mast for many months. But that Sunday afternoon, my relentless pelican was sitting, comfortable and fearless, right on top of my fake owl’s head, looking down and watching my every move. During the following week, I saw him several times a day, perched either on a nearby piling or on top of my (by then mostly white) plastic owl.

I then left the marina and sailed some 50 miles south to ״Bob & Annie’s״ boatyard in St. James City , to have Mirage hauled-out for its annual bottom cleanup and anti=fouling paint-job.

The years went by. My memory of the friendly pelican had faded away long before I sold my boat, some 8 years ago, and retired in Paamul, a small community on the eastern shore of the Yucatan peninsula.

About a week ago, my friend Rusia and I – both avid photo-hobbyists – visited the marina in the nearby resort-village of Puerto Aventuras, hoping to capture some photos of migrating sea-birds. Indeed, a considerable number of seagulls, frigate-birds and pelicans were enjoying the marina’s bountiful sea-life. About a dozen pelicans were gathered around a fishing boat whose crew members were cleaning their catch, tossing away unwanted parts to the contentment of the ever-hungry pelicans.

We were sitting at the edge of the concrete embankment nearby, cameras in hand, when Rusia called my attention to a single pelican that left the group and seemed to float in a beeline, directly towards us.

Jack, Jack – here’s a chance for a good closeup shot, he’s coming straight in our direction,” she said excitedly.

The lone pelican floated slowly, but with obvious determination, parallel to the pier, while looking at us. Our excitement subsided as he went passed us. But then, a few yards further, he turned to face the pier, flapped his wings for liftoff and landed on the concrete dock a short distance from us. This alone was enough to excite any observant nature-lover, for I do not recall , in all my sailing years, having seen pelicans strolling on the docks.

Look, look Jack, he is coming to you,” Rusia said.


He staggered from side to side as he walked to just a few feet from me, then stood there staring at me, as if trying to verify my identity. Utterly fascinated, I suddenly recalled the two-week episode with the pelican I had rescued from the jaws of the Florida alligators – years ago. I rose to my feet, and took a few “slow-motion” steps toward him, while he remained still. As I came within touching distance, I shouted to Rusia behind me: “Get a shot of this.”

When I was reaching from above to pat him, he turned sideways and allowed me to caress his head several times. Just as I was beginning to think this was all a sweet dream, I felt my heart stop, and a sudden surge of exploding adrenaline crawled up my spine.

A dark crevice, about half an inch long, was clearly visible on the lower section of his beak.

It all came back to me in a flood of memories: his coloring, mannerism, and his lack of fear of my close proximity, were all too familiar. He was unmistakably the pelican I had rescued from  the hungry Florida alligators – almost a decade earlier!

For a short moment the world around us ceased to exist.  There were just the two us – an old sailor and an aging pelican – momentarily immersed in a mystifying, inexplicable bond.

A large boat, crowded with rowdy tourist returning from a snorkeling trip, was closing in to tie up at the very spot. With obvious dismay, the pelican first backed up, then reluctantly flapped his wings and flew away.

We tucked away our cameras and sat down at a shady table close by for a cool drink.

“Jack, what was that all about? You didn’t say a word to me in five minutes,” Rusia asked. When I finished telling her the story, she said:”But that’s impossible, he couldn’t have lived that long!

Full of curiosity now, I pulled out my iPhone, looked up “Pelican” in Wikipedia and read out loud to her, victoriously:”Here’s your answer: Pelicans live for 15 to 25 years in the wild…”

 “Ok, but your Florida marina is hundreds of kilometers north of here!” she argued.“Yes, about 900. But you are forgetting that we are in the peak of bird-migration season.”

She reacted with a mischievous smile on her face: “Come on, Jack, do you really expect me to believe all this?”

“No, not really – not today.”

“What’s today got to do with it? Oh,…wait a minute, my God, Jack, is this another one of your April Fools’ tales?”

“Well, it is April 1st   isn’t it?”


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.

Our next edition will appear on April 12, 2017

The end – Previous edition below



March 29, 2017

PA’s People…
Resident Tony Schaefer all a-board
for PA Colegio’s fundraising effort  

ALL ABOARD for a Colegio fundraising mission is boarder Tony Schaefer, who plans to paddle 124 miles from Cancun to Tulum. (Staff Photo)

Funds needed to finish 3rd-floor classroom 

By Staff
Ex-pat resident Tony Schaefer is going to paddleboard 124 miles from Cancun DOWN to Tulum to help the Puerto Aventuras Colegio build UP a third-floor classroom.

The school needs 2 million pesos to complete the project and since Schaefer believes in the school’s mission, he said, he’s hoping his paddling contribution will attract donors.

Like the Roman Empire, his excursion won’t be done in a day. “We’re planning it for the first or second week of June, depending on the weather” he said last week sitting on a Fatima Bay beach wall. “We figure it will take me seven days paddling about five hours a day.”

TONY SCHAEFER staying in shape as he trains along the Fatima Bay shore. Barcelo Hotel is in background.

Overheating a problem

He’ll be tethered to a Tahoe Zephyr “touring board” supplied by the LXV Outdoor Co. (see logo at left) for which he is an unpaid ambassador of good will.

“Overheating is a problem even on the water,” he said in explaining why he’ll paddle mornings and late afternoons, stopping by prearranged landfalls at various all-inclusives for the night and hoping, he said, “others join me along the way.” He’ll also carry water, juice and bananas but “mostly water” and paddle roughly between 1 and 3 kilometers from shore.

The effort is the more daunting considering that Schaefer is 69. He permanently settled on old Mexico’s Caribbean shore from New Mexico’s deserts four years ago, trading riding horses in the desert to paddling the Caribbean. “You might say I went from saddle to paddle – which, incidentally, is his Facebook by-line “saddle2paddle.” He will document the trip on Facebook. His Facebook handle is “Tony Schaefer.”

Was New Mexico contractor

Schaefer and his wife, Annette, parents of four, retired from the construction business in New Mexico to a beach-side condo, after which Schaefer, who says “I don’t know how to retire,” took to paddle boarding eight years ago, four of which were part-time years vacationing in PA.

He did it, he said, to stay fit and occupied. And fit he is at about 170 pounds and 32-inch waist. “I owe that to riding horses in New Mexico and paddle boarding,” he says.

Anyone who lives on the Fatima Bay shore has surely seen Schaefer paddling away mornings from the north to south shores of the bay in preparation for his maiden Cancun-Tulum mission. He has already completed boarding trips to Akumal and Paamul and back, logging an estimated 700 kilometers of training distance on his current board.

“I’m not involved with the details of the fundraising,” he said, “but I understand there will be an announcement from the school shortly.”

Paddling along the reefs as he often does, Schaefer said he was “astonished” to recently find much of it along this part of the coast “bleached”, killing coral. But that’s another story and, Schaefer said, he hopes to follow it.

“Swan Lake” ballet on the golf course

Copelia’s Ballet Co. will present “Swan Lake” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 31, in an outdoor setting on the Puerto Aventuras golf course near the club house and Divot Cafe. Pre-sale tickets are 200 pesos or 250 pesos at the event. More information at 984-803-4136.

Rotary Golf Classic tees off Saturday, April 1. 

By Michele Kinnon
Rotary publicist

   The Rotary Club Playa del Carmen Seaside is pleased to host the 5th annual Seaside Rotary Golf Classic presented by TAEMA, a Charity Golf Tournament to be held on Saturday April 1st at the Hard Rock Golf Club Riviera Maya in Playacar. Tee-time is at 8 a.m. The tournament will be a 4 Player Scramble (non-handicap). Players are invited to sign up in teams or individually. Cost: 2200 pesos. 2000 pesos for FMG members.

Tournament Trophies will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. There will be additional prizes for Special Contests such as “Closest to the Hole”, “Longest Drive”. All Players will be invited to BEAT THE PRO. Golfers who qualify for the hole-in-one shoot out will also be offered the chance to win either 1,000,000 pesos or a building lot in the exclusive TAEMA Residential Resort and Airpark worth $88,000 USD!!

Enjoy coffee and breakfast before the tournament. Complimentary beverages will be provided during tournament play. All players and sponsors are invited to a gala awards ceremony and luncheon following the tournament. Event proceeds will support Seaside Rotary projects that benefit disadvantaged youth and families in Solidaridad. To register, please visit the tournament website: www.seasiderotarygolfclassic.com or contact Scot Lyall – 984 806 5190.

Bingo is coming up at 3:30 p.m. this Sunday, April 2, 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 April… In Mexico – Heroic defense of Veracruz against US occupation, April 21; Children’s Day, April 30;   In the US – Persian Gulf War ends, 1991, April 6; Religious: Palm Sunday, April 9; Passover, April 10; Good Friday, April 14, Easter, April 16.

Recycling this Friday, March 31, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the skate park on Blvd. Puerto Aventuras. This year, there will be recycling twice a month. Stay tuned for dates.

Commerce Corner…
Maya Storage has space enough
for cars, carts and all your stuff

TAKING A BREAK from diversifying and expanding his business, Ted Faber sits on a rustic bench he manufactured for sale at Riviera Maya Dry Marina and Storage in Paamul. (Staff Photo)

By Staff

Riviera Maya dry marina and car and general storage is observing its fifth year of operations on Highway 307’s southbound lane across from the Paamul entrance. It now has more space to store cars indoors and has increased the number of various-sized lockers for storage of household goods.

Owner Ted Faber has also expanded the on-site consignment shop to carry a variety of outdoor decorative cement products such as coral pots, home-made rustic wooden furniture and various plants including cactus,

He has leased more space in the building to add indoor storage for 10 more cars at that site to about 40 cars, and 15 more at another site in Playa del Carmen. That brings total auto storage to “about 55”, Faber said.

Section of storage lockers that will have swipe-card access in the future.

Offers storage option

The company offers an alternative to leaving unattended cars and carts outdoors during the hot, humid, rainy season. Faber said the building has natural air flow, on-site personnel and 24/7 security. Lockers of various sizes and prices can store household goods, bicycles.

“For  snowbirds who spend a few months here and accumulate more items than they can carry every year,” say Barry and Shirley Myers of Toronto,  “Ted offers reliable, punctual and reasonably priced storage service with  convenient pick-up and delivery. We recommend it.”

Faber said the company also continues to offer boat hauling services and transportation to and from the airport of clients in their own cars for the ultimate in travel convenience. He will also pick up and deliver locker storage items.

On-line payment added

Speaking of convenience, Faber said he has added on-line payment service and will soon introduce a swipe-card system to the Paamul storage facility for independent access to lockers.

Last but not least, Faber and a partner will be opening a restaurant on the Paamul premises to service highway drivers in rest-stop style, noting there isn’t a highway rest stop from Puerto Morelos to Tulum, a roughly 100-mile stretch.

Learn more about the facility by clicking on the Riviera Maya logo in the sponsor column at left or call Ted Faber at 984-139-6632 for more information.

The Roundup…

Taxi union requests for increases in fares of up to 30 percent were rejected by the state Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (Sintra) last week, ending the current round of fare hike petitions by 17 unions in the state. Instead, Sintra said it is talking to taxi drivers about improving service..

Sad day for happiness gauge  Mexicans are somewhat less happy these days according to the annual World Happiness Report findings in a survey of 155 countries. Mexico dropped four places, from 21st happiest to 25th while Norway came in first, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland as the top four happiest countries. Canada was 7th and the US 14th

Canada experiencing a spike in Mexican visitors since dropping a visa requirement while Trump policies  in the US and better airline connections also contributed, say Canadian officials…

Sale of seized gangster assets by the Mexican government over seven years has netted about $22 million for the national treasury. The assets have included homes, warehouses, cars, yachts, jewelry, wine and exotic animals, reports the government’s Asset Management and Disposal Service…

Squatters killed 20 protected-specie crocodiles in Chiapas for their blood last week while environmental officials managed to save 14 others held in captivity and abused. While the blood may have some antibiotic uses, popular myth claims it can help cure diabetes and cancer. Most of the animals were about 1.5 meters long. Chiapas’ southern border is coterminus with Guatemala…

A 12-state spike in homicide in the first two months of 2017 is the highest since records have been kept, reports the federal Interior Secretariat. Guerrero was highest at 340 homicides and Yucatan, the least of the 12 at 14. Veracruz reported 211. The agency said 17 other states were near records…

Thieves opened valves of stopped train in Nogales, Veracruz, spilling an estimated 70 tons of wheat along a two-mile stretch of the track.  The word spread quickly and about 300 families appeared with buckets, bags and sacks to cart off the free find…

Underwater Museum promoters denied approval for the project just last month have returned to the federal environmental agency to again seek permission for the park off Mamitas Beach in Playa del Carmen…

Tulum has more jobs than workers as few people participated in a job fair with more than 1,000 relatively good-paying job vacancies offering as much as 10,000 pesos a month in some sales openings…


The mail bag…

Retired shipping executive offers
to mediate marina/gate ban dispute 

Dear Editor:

I refer to your recent article entitled “Colonos reverses stance on use of main gate ban.” In my view, it is regrettable that the dispute between the owners of the marina and the owners of some commercial vessels has not been resolved.

It is my understanding that the commercial vessel owners have taken legal action and the owners of the marina have requested and secured the imposition of a “ban” by the Colonos Association preventing the customers of the several commercial vessel owners from entering through the main gate of Puerto Aventuras effective March 29, 2017.

I am in no way commenting on the merits of each party’s case but, as a member of the Colonos Association, I regret and object to the Colonos Association becoming embroiled in a commercial dispute in the absence of any criminal act being committed or pursuant to a court decision or court order.  I have informed the Colonos Association accordingly.

Such an involvement will probably expose the Colonos Association to unnecessary litigation and claims for damages from the commercial vessel owners and possible adverse publicity for our resort.

I do enjoy the tranquility and atmosphere in Puerto Aventuras and its facilities. I also hold in high regard its founder/developer, Arq. Roman Rivera Torres, and those who operate our facilities .

Therefore, in order to assist in the resolution of  the current impasse, I, as a retired international shipping executive for 43 years and holding, among other certifications, a qualification in English Arbitration Law and Practice and a  Fellow of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (retired status), have offered my services to the parties in dispute through the Colonos Association on a free of charge basis, to conduct informal mediation.

Litigation, although sometimes inevitable, is all too often an unnecessary, wasteful deployment of financial resources, time and effort that detracts the parties from pursuing the development of their respective businesses.

Signed/Angelo Mouzouropoulos


Wants improved path to bridge

Dear Editor

Two things I would like to propose that would make life better in PA. One is placing lights along the marina adjacent to the Dolphin Discovery Manatee palapa. The rest of the marina has lights and while this area used to be lit, it is now  “lights out,” making a walk around the marina dangerous at night.

Second, could someone please complete the pathway to the Chedraui pedestrian overpass on the resort side of 307. It makes walking to the market dangerous when a little work to finish the pathway is all that is needed…

Signed/Peter Moulton

…or maybe a sidewalk?

Dear Editor:

When we come down to PA we try to shop as much as we can in town but have to go over to Chedraui for a few things.  We usually walk and use the pedestrian overpass. However, it is tough to use when there is no walking path on the resort side – just ruts to traverse and prayers that no driver hits you.  A sidewalk on that side would be very handy for all who do not want to walk to the underpass and then cross over (which is also dicey sometimes).

Signed/W. Hamilton

Nature Watch…
Two toucans in town add
to local birdman’s trifecta

By Gayle Sandholm
It was a Wednesday morning when I ventured out with two other birders.  One had seen a Keel-Billed Toucan in Phase 4 earlier in the week.  After seeing several common birds, including the bright red Summer Tanager, a large bird flew overhead to land in a nearby tree.

BIGGER BILL than CFE. Toucan handle it better than one. (Gayle Sandholm Photo)

Amazed and awe struck, we agreed it was a Toucan.  Sure enough, this Keel-Billed Toucan sat in the upper section of this tree and I was quick to capture several photos.  It is a life bird (first time seen) for me.

Soon after we spotted two Black headed Trogons.  Then to our surprise another Keel-Billed Toucan was resting in a tree some distance from where we saw the first one. Later that evening some family members saw the Toucan again.  I joined them only to also see a Turquoise Browed MotMot.   It was a perfect trifecta.  Fly fishers know of the Bonefish/Permit/Tarpon trifecta.  Golfers know of a hole in one.  It was that kind of day.

Best known for its oversized bill, the Keel-Billed Toucan is a large and colorful bird with black plumage, a bright yellow throat and cheeks, vibrant red feathers under its tail and a yellow-green face. Its light green, banana-shaped bill is splashed with orange and tipped with red and blue, and can grow to be a third of the size of the toucan’s 20-inch body.

Though cumbersome looking, the bill is actually quite light because it is made of protein and supported by hollow bones. The toucan’s very broad wings, however, are heavy and make flight laborious.  (Rainforest Alliance)

Also known as the rainbow billed toucan because of its colorful bill, it is the national bird of Belize.  It inhabits forests from southern Mexico, where it is the only large toucan, south through Central America to northern Colombia and extreme northwestern Venezuela.  Not a permanent resident of Puerto Aventuras, It is a delight to see when it comes to town.  So keep looking up at all that can amaze us in this little piece of paradise.

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