April 2016 – Week 4
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Assembly OKs $87K expenditure
for main gate remodel project
Voters speak up, ask questions, float ideas
Voters at a special assembly April 16 approved a roughly $87,000 USD expenditure to begin the first phase of main gate improvements that will greet returning snowbirds in the fall.
While the measure passed 99 to1 percent, it wasn’t a slam dunk as a handful of voters questioned whether the design could be improved to accommodate a smoother, safer flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic despite being hemmed in by private land and a public highway.
Developer and Arq. Roman Rivera Torres and members of the Colonos board listened intently to the various ideas presented from the floor and assured voters that do-able suggestions will be taken under serious consideration and integrated in the plan where possible and practical.
Rivera said designers laid out a scheme that will do the most good for the most people functionally rather than a quixotic attempt to serve myriad desires of a few to the possible detriment of the many. He said the Puerto Aventuras main access now looks “diminished” compared to the glitz and size of newer developments but noted the goal here is to maintain the image of simple good taste and dignity that defines the Puerto Aventuras community.
Judging from the professional design and the quality and candor of questions from the floor, absent voters can be assured their interests were served in the design and budgetary matters.
After the vote, Colonos HOA Chairman Jorge Kaufer said funds for the project are already in the treasury and work can begin soon. The first phase involves landscaping, some road work, lighting and safety factors such as reducing the height of landscape islands that impede the view of oncoming traffic and new covered bus stop with seating. The second phase is expected to be part of the annual assembly in December where funding will be sought to complete Phase 2, which includes work on the gate building, the security sector, and pedestrian and vehicular lane expansion.
There was a glitch in the translation device and recurring static pre-empted a considerable amount of the translation to English.
Movie night, April 28
About the movie: The Hoover family — a man (Greg Kinnear), his wife (Toni Collette), an uncle (Steve Carell), a brother (Paul Dano) and a grandfather (Alan Arkin) — puts the fun back in dysfunctional by piling into a VW bus and heading to California to support a daughter (Abigail Breslin) in her bid to win the Little Miss Sunshine Contest. The sanity of everyone involved is stretched to the limit as the group’s quirks cause epic problems as they travel along their interstate route….
Trivial pursuits Sunday, April 24, at 4 p.m. at Latitude 20 Restaurant and Lounge with Shannon Rachynski. Proceeds go to the needy…
Art teachers wanted to to help advance creativity to Puerto Maya children who are often alone while their parents are working in the hospitality industry. There are two 2-hour classes a week and teachers receive 150 pesos per class plus materials from the Director of Culture. Get more information from Gladis Perez at the resort Information and Art Center email@example.com> or from Mrs. Nicte Ha Garcia at 984-152-8370…
Cap’t Rick Sportsfishing will again host several wounded warriors to participate as guests at the upcoming 12th annual Dave Harris Memorial fishing tournament on May 21.
Art exhibition of ipad and oil paintings by local artist Adam James Butcher will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. May 14 at the Puerto Aventuras Art and Information Center at the junction of Bahias Xcacel and Yanten. Ten percent of sales for the evening will be donated to the award-winning youth sailing club. Coming soon to the center is a book containing the works of the late Michel Brown who was for many years a resident here showing his work to strollers along the popular Dolphin Walk on Sundays, a practice by Brown and other artists that is missed…
WATCH FOR CRIME: Stealing bike parts, and bikes – We are getting reports that four bikes were stolen in the vicinity of Calle Xel Ha near the Dreams Hotel and- on a number of recurring occasions, bike parts from bicycle racks built and maintained by condominium complexes along the golf course where hotel and other workers have been allowed to traverse the private property as a shortcut to the main gate and Centro. Unit owners at the condos are becoming increasingly disenchanted and talking of hiring guards to keep trespassers out. The Colonos is also considering placing monitored cameras in those areas to help catch the thieves who are taking wheels, nuts, bolts and seats from locked bicycles an spiriting them out of the resort area.
Navy nearly loses boat here,
but gains big US research ship
Many Puerto Aventurans were kept entertained for several weeks in January watching the Mexican Navy’s successful efforts to raise one of their patrol boats that sank after losing power and hitting rocks off the south channel within viewing distance from the Omni Beach.
Not long afterwards, the Mexican Navy took the spotlight again, this time on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the US home of the Pelican Free Press. On March 14, the US transferred to Mexico the possession of the research ship R/V Knorr that discovered the elusive Titanic remains in 1985.
Following the transfer ceremony on Cape Cod, a Mexican crew of 40 sailed the old ship of historical seafaring significance to Veracruz, just across the Gulf from the Yucatan Peninsula.
And maybe, just maybe, if the Mexican Navy is going to retrofit the ship with updated electronics and other ship’s parts, it may be possible that one or more of those artifacts could find their way to the CEDAM Marine Museum of Puerto Aventuras to become part of its historical collection.
As it happens, Javier Rivera Torres, son of PA developer and diver Roman Rivera Torres, has been coordinating recovery permits for the gold-laden 1862 shipwreck “Golden Gate” off Manzanilla with the Navy Secretary and discussing creation of a federal commission that would ease the bureaucratic rules on the use of research ships for exploration of Mexico’s waters. The possibility of artifacts from the historic Knorr to grace the CEDAM Museum here was to be possibly broached by Javier as an aside.
The 40-year-old Knorr (R/V sands for research vessel) was assigned by the US Navy to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute on Cape Cod for scientific research and exploration. In that pursuit, it was the crew on this ship that discovered the wreck of the Titanic, which sank 104 years ago past Friday, on April 15, 1912, after colliding with an iceberg in the frigid North Atlantic.
In all 1,500 of 2,224 passengers and crewmen on the Titanic’s maiden voyage perished at sea. After many expeditions in search of her remains over nearly eight decades, the wreck was discovered in 1985 by scientists aboard the Knorr using a new, remote controlled sea vehicle called the “Argo,” which took photos 12,500 feet deep to locate the wreck. It was found about 13 miles from the position noted by the Titanic crew as the world’s then largest commercial liner was sinking.
Since the discovery, numerous diving expeditions have recovered scores of artifacts from the wreckage, which is being slowly devoured in its frigid, watery grave by metal-eating bacteria that eventually will render the once-massive hull but a spot of rust on the ocean floor, say scientists.
Transfer of the 275-foot Knorr, now re-named the ARM (Armada Republica Mexicana) Rio Tecolutla, is joining four other Mexican Navy research vessels to continue research and exploration of Mexico’s extensive water areas. The ship served Woods Hole scientists for 40 years and traveled more than a million miles of ocean, which is equal to two round trips to the moon. The US is replacing the Knorr with a $74 million ship aptly named after astronaut Neil Armstrong.
Prepare your property for the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season running June 1 through November. University of Colorado experts predicting seasonal storm activity say this year could produce 17 tropical disturbances, five of which could be named hurricanes, two of those intense and possibly affecting the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s the first prediction of the year and gives property owners and civil authorities sufficient time to protect property to withstand hurricane-force winds and rain…
A woman was killed and a child critically injured early Saturday (April 16) when the woman driver of a pickup truck heading north on 307 lost control of her steering, went off the road and slammed head-on into the cement base of a light pole in the vicinity of the Catalonia Hotel at mile 263. The unidentified woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
Airfield action – Permission to move the airfield from Playa del Carmen to a new 1,800 meter (nearly 6,000 feet) long air strip in the Puerto Aventuras jungle will take about two months, the local Committee on Aviation Security was told during a tour of the new facility last week. The committee is comprised of representatives from the Civil Protection Agency, Fire Department, Red Cross, Navy and Department of Defense. The new runway is long enough to handle small business jets, opening the door to new possibilities…
Air show crash – A stunt pilot from Guatemala was killed when his plane crashed near the airfield on Cozumel Sunday (April 17). Donna Carey, of Puerto Aventuras, an eye witness to the tragedy, said there was no smoke and no fire, just a loud thud in jungle growth adjacent to the airstrip…
The bodies of a man and woman believed to be domestic tourists, were discovered in a Playacar condo last week by maintenance workers who noticed flies and foul odors coming from the condo windows. One news report used the word “homicide” but official cause of death was yet to be determined as of this writing.
Pumped up – The federal consumer agency reports that of 100 gasoline stations checked for pump/hose discrepancies in the state of Quintana Roo, 77 percent did not pass inspection. Of those, eight stations were located in the municipality of Solidaridad, which includes Puerto Aventuras. Individual stations were not identified. Caveat emptor.
In business less than a year,
Unique Wood, Iron expanding
Looking forward to its first anniversary year, Unique Wood and Iron lighting and furniture plans to expand its showroom and workshop on Highway 307 in Playa del Carmen to meet what partners Alan Shields and Ron Hughes say is an unexpected surge in demand for its custom products.
The start-up company, which began last June with Shields, of Playa, in the workshop and Hughes, of Puerto Aventuras, in the showroom, expanded quickly and has hired three more employees in the workshop.
Shields is a self-proclaimed inventor and jack of all trades who began designing lighting fixtures in Canada then moved into furniture design and production at the request of a major retail outlet there that purchased and sold his lighting products.
“We plan to expand our lighting section with more designs,” said Hughes, a retired outsourcing executive in New Zealand and Australia. “We are also targeting hotels and motels for expanded marketing of custom items like headboards, booths, tables and lighting.”
To visit the Unique showroom from locations south of Playa del Carmen, take elevated Highway 307 north through Playa until you exit the bridge and see the sign “Paradisus”. Take the next retorno heading south and look for the Unique sign on your right. (More directions, products and contact information by clicking on the Unique logo on this page).
The Mail Bag…
Fugitive Bowen in Colorado
court tomorrow for hearing
One of his victims speaks out
“I am the Colorado victim that you quote in your story about fugitive George William Bowen. We have been looking for him for four years and are very happy that he is back in Colorado and will finally be held accountable for what he did to over 45 people in Colorado Springs.
I found your article while Googling Bowen’s name. I was trying to find out more about where he was arrested and extradited. And why he went to Douglas County instead of Colorado Springs. I was also interested to see if his female accomplice in Colorado (Tina Voglegesang/Rossi) was with him when he was arrested.
His first court appearance will be tomorrow (April 21, 2016 at 1:30 p.m.) at the Douglas County Courthouse. It will be a preliminary hearing so we will find out whether he has a lawyer.
William Bowen’s roofing scam took place in El Paso County/Colorado Springs in 2009. He skipped out in October,2009 but we found him in South Carolina six months later and he was extradited back here to face 12 counts of “Felony Theft of At Risk Adults.” These were the people whose insurance money he took without fixing their roofs. (The rest of us were left with roofs that were not completed and/or roofing crews that had not been paid. So our cases would have to be civil cases.)
Unfortunately, he was allowed bail and during that time he started another scam involving various businesses in and around the Denver/Castle Rock area. When he was confronted by a reporter (John Ferrugia) from News7 out of Denver who was investigating that scam, he took off again and we had been searching for him since.
He is a convicted felon who did four years in prison for federal charges of mail fraud in 2003 but he was also convicted of federal mail fraud in 1995 in North Carolina. In that case, he was given probation. He was ordered to pay over $500,000 in restitution in those cases but only made a few payments.
He was also charged with “armed robbery” in 1976 after completing basic training in the Marines. He was given an “other than honorable discharge” and served time in jail.
He is a horrible person who has been in trouble his whole life and has taken advantage of hundreds of honest, trusting people, from poor elderly widows to retired military personnel. He is a rat that has finally been caught!
I will let you know what happens on the 21st. Even though his hearing is in another county, a bunch of us from El Paso County will be there to see him in his new attire!
Signed/ Monica Staab
(Ed. Note: As far as we know, the business location in Puerto Aventuras has been closed since Bowen’s extradition and a partner who posed as the brother of a local politician was reportedly misrepresenting that relationship.)
THANK YOU FOR READING! LOOK FOR OUR NEXT ISSUE IN THE LAST WEEK OF MAY AS WE MORPH INTO OUR SUMMER SCHEDULE.
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