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Staff

September, 2014: Kids, carts and new rules

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TRY PORTO BELLO for a deeded, no-fuss fractional buying and living experience
HOT EVENING? Take a cool walk to Jessie Gelato in Centro and taste the relief
SECURITY CAMERAS help guard your home when you are gone. Click on Mayan Security.
FISHING SEASON HERE: Click on Capt. Rick’s for sportfishing adventure
REPAIR LEAKS IN THE RAINY SEASON, click on Definitive Solutions for help.
LIBRARY HOURS  Mon-Fri from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. More than 15,000 English and Spanish books to choose from.
DANGER WET FLOOR? Don’t slip, don’t fall, give Innovative Floor Solutions a call. Click left.
REMEMBER Puerto Aventuras Catering for house parties, biz meetings or large weddings. Click logo at left.
PA’s LATITUDE 20 RESTAURANT preparing annual Halloween Party Oct. 30
WIDE SMILE – Visit our local dentist for comprehensive service. Click on the Smile logo
CHECK THIS OUT! WeRWater has a new website, pool products. Click logo at left
VILLAS AKALAN to rent close to the Riviera Maya’s prime beach at Tulum.
ALAN’S REPAIR for printers, computers, audio. Click his icon for full service list
“INTRODUCTION TO PAINTING” Every Thursday 5-9 PM, at the PA Info Center art gallery

 

Colonos asks support for rules

guiding use of golf cart by kids

By Staff
It’s no secret there are persistent complaints to the Colonos about children driving golf carts on resort streets, some better drivers than others, some barely old enough to handle a tricycle.

The criticisms usually emanate from incidents observed by residents of children driving erratically, overloaded or foolishly, which is not the manner in which most children handle the golf carts. So the few spoil it for the many. Residents will remember the young scoundrels a few years ago who “borrowed” golf carts, tore up the golf course grass then overturned the carts and left them there to the chagrin of owners, Security and golf course management.

Now, in an effort to compromise and assure safe golf cart use by children, the Colonos has issued updated rules hoping they will be followed by parents and children alike, remembering, first of all, that the municipality requires a person to be 18 years of age to acquire a driver’s license and 16 to drive with a learner’s permit.

The new rules put the onus on parents who allow their under-age children to drive the carts, noting that, “It must be very clear that parents are responsible for any accident and damage caused by under-age drivers.” That being the case, the Colonos requests parents refrain from allowing children under 16 from driving carts unattended by a parent or other adult in the cause of safety and municipal law.

The updated rule also suggest that carts not be overloaded with passengers, that passengers refrain from hanging off the carts, that the 30 kph speed limit (19 mph) be observed, that carts, motorcycles and bicycles have lights and/or reflectors in the case of bikes when driving on public streets at night; that every cart be registered with the Colonos to receive a numbered decal; that the golf course is off limits to carts not involved in playing golf, and that it is illegal to take the carts out of the resort, the driver being subjected to action by municipal authorities.

Importantly, any individual caught taking a cart not his or her own will be immediately reported to municipal police. Drivers with multiple other infractions face the possibility of losing their gate pass. In addition, any youthful driver who ignores the rules will be reported to his or her parents, a process whose only intent is to improve and assure safety. The Colonos notes that security staff should be respected for trying to make Puerto Aventuras accident- and incident-free.

The national U.S. estimate for golf cart-related injuries was more than 15,000 annually during its recent four-year study. During 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports dozens of people died in golf-cart related accidents.

According to The University of Alabama at Birmingham, the injuries were highest among males, ages 10 to 19, and those 80 and older.

Like most harmful incidents, it begins innocently enough, and, just as easily, can end up in life-threatening injury. Two recent cases in point from  Michigan told of how four girls went out in a cart driven by a 14-year-old who failed to yield to a stop sign and was struck by another vehicle. One of the four girls, a 13-year-old cheerleader, suffered critical head injuries and had to be airlifted to a special hospital. It was reported by Fox2 in Detroit. In another case last July 14, a 10-year-old girl was killed and her 6-year old brother hospitalized.

PA residents can greatly reduce the potential for tragedy by taking the rules seriously and in the protective spirit they are intended. For the complete regulations, please click on the Colonos logo on the top right of this page for this and other important information on living and getting along in Puerto Aventuras, a model of safe community living sustained in a society by agreement.

As PA promotes safety rules,

bicyclist killed on nearby 307

A 36-year-old man riding a bicycle toward oncoming traffic on the highway was killed after crashing head-on with a taxi, authorities reported in mid-August. The accident occurred at around 11 p.m. at the 273-900K mark on the highway.

Authorities did not say whether the bicycle was equipped with lights or reflectors. As noted in the above story about the updating of road rules for operating golf carts, motorcycles and bicycles in the PA resort, drivers of those vehicles are urged to equip their vehicles with lights if driving after dark.

 

 

Disruptive behaviors temporarily

close Phase 4 to motorized vehicles

Developer fined after a family complains

By Staff:
Access to Phase 4 and the caleta ( a cove) by motorized vehicles has been temporarily discontinued following disturbing incidents by a few people involving alcohol and boating.

Arq. Roman Rivera Torres, developer, told the Pelican that several Sundays ago there were “several large groups of people drinking heavily and being disrespectful to families and others trying to enjoy the caleta.”

He said one family brought “three wave runners, put them in the water and spent the day teaching their very young kids to drive them at high speed inside the caleta. We also had three tour boats with many people drinking and playing very loud music, with different music playing from each boat.”

One of the families trying to enjoy a passive, peaceful day at the bucolic site along the Caribbean was obviously upset enough by the abuse to the environment and insensitivity toward the families, to video the obnoxious behaviors and report them to the port captain and SEMARNAT, Mexico’s environment and natural resources authority.

Because of the complaint, Rivera Torres said he was assessed a fine by SEMARNAT, which also threatened to insert agency policing at the site and obligate him to furnish the agency with a weekly report.

As a result of these incidents and SEMARNAT’S stern warning, the developer said he has blocked access to the Phase 4 site by the general public in or on motorized vehicles. Only owners and labor will be allowed until such time as workable controls can be developed to assure the absence or control of potential despoilers of the environment and the peace.

“Some people enjoy and respect the place, some others abuse it and are disruptive. Who feels capable of pointing out who may enter and who may not?” This is something that has to be worked out, Rivera said.

Phase 4 is a work in progress and during the last high season the developer generously allowed access to members of the general public, the majority of whom rode bicycles or walked to the caleta to enjoy time at this environmental asset.

A couple recently complained about being denied access to the caleta several Sundays ago when a security car blocked access, but the developer points out that all of Phase 4 remains private property until such time, in about one year, the infrastructure is turned over to the Colonos, which will then be responsible for the access roads.

The developer points out that no one complains about not being able to access the gated Chacalal or Villa del Mar condominium swimming pools precisely because, like Phase 4, they are private property.

“It is important not to take for granted things that have not been promised, mostly referring to someone else’s property,” he said.

 

 

EDITORIAL:
Put blame where it belongs

Somehow, the few always seem to mess things up for the many and the above two reports, on driving golf carts and on abusing private and public property, bear that out. The call by the Colonos for parents and children to practice good, legal cart-driving habits under the law should get utmost consideration if for no other reason than safety.

When it comes to environmental abuse, it is impossible to put 10 people in a  police line-up and try to identify beforehand which two or three are likely despoilers of the community’s environmental assets and which are habitually inconsiderate of others. Therefore, the motorized vehicles that contribute to the problem because of their capacity to carry more passengers and goods such as alcoholic beverages are denied access until controls to satisfy SEMARNAT and the developer can be implemented.

Abuse was in evidence last winter on the private Phase 4 territory roads that were under construction. The more appreciative and respectful residents either walked or rode bicycles to the caleta. But frequently there were autos being driven through or over yellow tape blocking a freshly installed section of roadway. Some drivers moved cement blocks to access roads that were off limits and still others drove vehicles perilously over the sidewalk and considerable embankment to access the dirt path to the caleta.

The caleta area contains newly designated conservation land and an historic Mayan outpost that unfortunately has collected its share of litter discarded by the few inconsiderate users of the area even while trash receptacles are stationed nearby. The temporary closure of access to the public’s motorized vehicles should alert the community to the problem and usher forth an equitable solution.

 

Install a security system by Aug. 31 for intrusion detection, video surveillance, access control or home automation and save the $99 installation fee. Call Mayan Security, a local Puerto Aventuras company, at 984-136-6555 to sign up. See what is offered by clicking on the Mayan Security icon at left to visit the website.

 

 

U.S. updates travel warnings

to Mexico,but Q. Roo excepted

The U.S. State Department has updated its Mexico travel warnings but pointed out that the states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo are safe to visit, although the department suggests using the precautions travelers would use in the danger states.

Other states where the warning does not apply include Baja California, Campeche, Chiapas, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Tabasco and Tlaxcala and Federal District.

States posing security threats by organized crime include Tamaulipas, and border areas of Michoacan (except Morelia and Lazara Cardenas) and border areas of Piedrdas Negras and Nuevo Laredo as well as some southern states like Sinaloa. Caution was also urged in business areas of Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua industrial parks.

Eighty-one Americans were killed in Medico in 2013, ten more than in 2012, the State Department said. It warned of rising kidnap incidents in neighbor states like Tamaulipas, Guerrero, Michoacan and Morelos.

Travelers are asked to keep a low profile, not carry jewelry or cameras in view, avoid isolated sites, use toll roads wherever possible and travel in daylight. The Department says car theft with violence and theft are a serious problem.

5,000 new federal Mexico police

given mission to protect citizenry

 

 

A new division of the Mexican federal police called the “Gendarmerie” began to hit the streets of Mexico in areas where there is “greater institutional weakness,” President Enrique Pena Nieto said at a commissioning ceremony last Friday in the nation’s capitol.

The division’s 390 senior officers were trained in France (where police are called gendarmes) and in Colombia. The force will operate under civilian command and focus its efforts on providing security in rural and marginalized areas of the country.

The president said homicides are down 27 percent this year, while some 100,000 homicides were reported during the six years of the Calderon administration from 2006-2012, most of them from the brutal drug war.

The Riviera Maya in general is known for its relative security, and reportedly is not an area of concern for the new gendarmerie. Puerto Aventuras resort community, in particular, is considered one of the safest locales on the Yucatan.

Mexican Supreme Court upholds

sales tax hike for border states

 

In a 9-1 vote, the nationals Supreme Court upheld legislation passed last year that lifted the federal sales tax (VAT-value added tax) from 11 percent to 16 percent in border states like Quintana Roo…meaning there won’t be tax relief for this area.

The increase was challenged on constitutional grounds by border-state businesses and lawmakers from several parties. They attacked the new general tax law’s section on the sales tax that abolished a preferential rate for border states. In other words, while the rest of the nation paid a 16 percent VAT, border states only paid 11 percent.

The Federal Finance Secretariat said last year the discrepancy – the lower rate paid in Q. Roo for example, benefitted business more than it did consumers. The court said a uniform tax rate does not violate the principle of tax fairness.

 


Student at Mexico university

creates voice-recognition app

   As the British government labors to identify the voice of the possible UK subject that murdered U.S. journalist James Foley in Iraq, a graduate student at Mexico’s Autonomous University announced the development of a program of voice recognition specifically for use in such investigative forensic situations.

Student Jose Trangol’s program would be used in court cases to analyze voice evidence that is “as objective as possible rather than subjective as the system is now.”

The goal is to conclude whether a suspect is the source of the voice on a recording or other electronic device by using scientific methods, Trangol told a forum sponsored by the university’s applied mathematics research institute.

Mexico says Texas Gov. Perry’s

terrorist charge lacks evidence

The Mexican embassy in Washington has refuted Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s suggestion that Islamic State terrorists are possibly accessing the United States from its border with Mexico.

The Mexican embassy said it has no indication of the presence of extremist groups or individual terrorists in Mexico.The Mexican embassy also noted that the Pentagon has publicly said it lacks any indication that terrorists are entering the U.S. from Mexico.

 

Briefly Noted…

HOME DEPOT IS OPEN in Playa del Carmen and is reportedly about the same size as the one in Cancun. It is located just off Playa del Carmen Blvd. (Highway 307) near the Ford dealership. Can Costco be far behind?… A SMALL BOAT tied to another boat sank in the Puerto Aventuras marina last week, spilling oil and gasoline from the motor into the quiet waters, requiring quick clean-up action… A WORKER was hit by a truck along Highway 307 in front of Barcelo at 11 p.m. last week and died immediately from the impact. The victim reportedly worked at Xcaret. He had exited a Colectivo and was trying to cross the highway in the dark…THERE IS AGITATION in Playa del Carmen to have the government lower the tariff rates on electricity to help reduce the burden on poor families and the government says it is working on it…A LOT OF HARMLESS KELP collected on Playa beaches last week because the tractor that cleans it up had a broken clutch and had to be repaired…SERVICE EMPLOYEES at the Princess Hotel working there for a private contractor, told the local office of the Worker Defense Agency that the contractor is abusing labor, forcing 15-hour-days, hiring under-aged women and a host of other abuses…HOUSING GRANTS have helped more than 2000 poor and middle class Playa residents improve their homes by purchasing building materials with a 50 percent subsidy, reports the municipal Ministry of Social Development…FEDERAL POLICE have arrested 15 alleged child pornographers nationwide so far in 2014 using cutting edge technology to trace criminal activities on the Internet…MOST WANTED CANADIAN fugitive Cory Vallee, wanted in Canada for murder and other crimes, was captured, detained and deported last week by Mexican officials in Jalisco…THE ENGLISH COLLEGE in Playa del Carmen was hit with seals of suspension by the Consumer Protection Agency for infractions including the defiance of rules governing the clear posting of enrollments and tuition. A school official said the action is arbitrary and that the school would respond to the allegations…MEXICO’S JOBLESS RATE dipped to 4.9 percent in the second quarter of this year…MEXICO’S PAN (National Action Party) dismissed its leaders in the lower house following a video showing them dancing with scantily clad women at a private party…CHILDDREN began returning to school last week for a school year that will end July 14, 2015…AREA BUSINESSES are lamenting the end of this year’s domestic tourism high season and now await the return of the snowbirds. Several sources say PA is now very quiet…A LOT OF BUTTS, more than 14,000 of them, were collected from Playa beaches during a clean-up event sponsored by Zofemat (Federal Maritime Zone)…

 

The Mail Bag…

 

Dear Editor:
I appreciate all you do to keep Puerto Aventuras informed. I am writing to comment on your recent coverage of the Centro Comercial Area’s Condo meeting.

First of all, I am no longer a business owner in the Centro Comercial area.  I closed my bakery in June. I am dedicating my time to developing a tour business I began about three years ago that specializes in tours to Bhutan, Nepal and Bali.  This winter season, we will be launching Off the Beaten Track Mexican Tours. I am also writing travel articles in addition to completing my promised memoir replete with recipes from Tirami…su.

On another note, I want to say that I felt privileged that Attorney Mario Vela asked me to translate for Gaylita Dunaway from Cafe Ole at the recent Centro Condominium meeting.  I felt it was my responsibility to communicate clearly and succinctly, even when I was being yelled at in the meeting and had to remind people that I was only the translator.

Since then, I have been calling for peace and asking people to look at the facts and not just the emotions.  Upon reflection, however, I feel that there is probably someone better in our community who could broker a peace.  My long term connections with all parties involved could be misinterpreted and misconstrued.  And in the end, I could possibly be an obstacle to peace.  So I am backing down from a peace brokering role.

I, too, hope that this will all be settled soon and we can all get back to the serious business of enjoying life in the Mexican Caribbean.

Signed/Sincerely, Donna Carey

 

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