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Civic-minded Aventuran neither shy, nor retiring

 Park panel’s Prof. Pittman answers Texas A&M call

Posted 8/1/11 by Pelican Paulie
      A retired Puerto Aventuran whose been carving an indelible mark in our tree of life  here with civic commitment and collegiality will be lost to the community while he is on what we might call a reverse sabbatical.

Professor Emeritus Andrew “Andy” Pittman, a volunteer phys-ed instructor and director of the after-school track program at PAs Colegio, a member of the local park committee and appreciated contributor to the Pelican Free Press news pages, has returned to work for this year at Texas A&M.
“But I’ll be coming back for holidays and summer,” he said as he prepared to leave several weeks ago for a family reunion in his native Tennessee before reporting to duty at Texas A&M where he will teach courses in sports financing and marketing. His family, wife Pat, and stepson Logan, will remain at their Puerto Aventuras home on Bahia Chemuyil, he said.
Professor Pittman’s long and varied experience speaks to why Texas A&M would welcome him out of retirement. He returns to academia armed with a B.S. in physical education from Baylor, a master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio U., master of science in taxation from the University of Baltimore, a Ph.D. in educational administration from Texas A&M, post-doctoral law studies at Baylor and certificate in accounting from U. of Baltimore.
He was fortunate to have the opportunities to use all of these skills, including a 5-year stint with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Then, in academia, he directed university-level sports management programs for several universities, coordinated graduate admissions programs and taught numerous sport- and health-oriented courses. He was also an administrative assistant at the U.S.Naval Academy and served as U.S. Army sports officer for the Southern Command and chief of the classified records branch, Canal Zone, leaving the Army as a captain.
Pittman was also a prolific academic writer, authoring four books on subjects like risk management in sports and recreation, case studies and legal concepts in sports. In addition, he wrote chapters for several books on the subject of sport-related crimes and gambling and no less than 25 journal articles on subjects ranging from “foul balls and assumption of risk” to “Fighting in sports: Criminal or not?” and other articles in position papers and news, receiving numerous awards for his work through the years.
He was a key player in the search for and acquisition of a  PA park site as a member of the park committee and was a somewhat taciturn but refreshingly jovial companion during many a breakfast gathering in the Centro area with other PA residents of a similar nature.
“I’ll miss the folks in Puerto, but I will be back for Christmas and other holidays and in the summer,” he said. The feeling is mutual.

Municipality of Solidaridad lists hurricane shelters

The municipal government has released a list of  52 hurricane shelters in the event anyone needs them during this hurricane season. According to the Puerto Aventuras Colonos, the four shelters closest to PA, Paamul, Akumal and Tulum in Domocilio Conocido are: Miguel Ortega Navarete, capacity 180; Tel. Sec. Luiz Manuel Aguilar Cruz, 120; Jardin de Ninos Nueva Creacion Puerto Maya, 60 in front of the Poblado Complex; and, Jardin de Ninos Marco Antonio Millan, 100.

Dolphin born; 62 turtles hatch in PA and head for the sea

     Contributor Doe Stowell, who continues to pursue an avocation as a naturalist, reports on “miracles” of birth that accompanied the end of July. A a new and healthy d0lphin was born and July also ended the  summer wait for turtles that nested and hatcvhed under a palapa in front of Chac Hal Al, where Stowell resides.

     ”Wow! What a few days of miracles. On Friday (July 29), the baby dolphin was born big and healthy and nursing well and  yesterday (July 31) 62 turtle babies hatched and it was exciting to see them.Their instinct took them right into the water. Not a one went astray or had to be helped on the correct path.”
The new dolphin, the fifth birth for Shadai, emerged shortly after 5 p.m. after three days of  labor. “The baby is swimming heartily with the mother,” Stowell writes.
She said a number of people waited for several days in anticipation of the dolphin birth but were disappointed when both ends of the bridge, a vantage point from where to experience the birth, was blocked by Dolphin Discovery.
Stowell said she was told by a staff member the closure was ordered by the DD director to allow for “research. I didn’t see any research other than the usual charting,” Stowell said. She branded the closure as a public relations goof by Dolphin Discovery because “…there were many excited children and young people who were denied the visual of this miracle.” She said many people lost interest and left. 

We get letters…

Looking for ways to counter negative publicity

 

“I always enjoy my Pelican Free Press and am impressed with your comprehensive news coverage – so thank you for your efforts on keeping us informed!
I have a business in the marina – Sabor! Restaurant  – and am feeling the crunch – as is everyone.   The  paucity of clientele is tremendously disheartening.  I’ve conversed with myriad locals who have family or friends that elected not to visit to our area because it has been  deemed “dangerous”!!

As if we don’t have cities in the states that are equally or more “dangerous”!  When queried, the universal response laid the blame at the feet of the  State Dept. and it’s inaccurate  hysteria guiding Americans away from Mexico. Why, do you suppose? Granted, there are parts of the country that are having issues, but certainly not here on the peninsula.  There is, ultimately, a method to their madness – but who can ever uncover the method – the madness is  pathetically evident!
So my question is this – what can we do to get the word out to Americans that the Yucatan is a paradise???!!!  Can we all unite  and try to get Bill O’Rielly’s attention {simply because he has a huge following – not any particular political affiliations} or something?  Tourism board?
I personally relocated to PA in Oct. of last year.  It has charm, peace, incredible beauty and all the conveniences that are so vital to us.  The most important lesson I have learned is to ask questions, realize that “in America” is not how it’s done here and above all, be patient!   I have made wonderful friends – both local and American. It’s truly marvelous to meet so many people thru my work and to spend time with them while they enjoy PA.  I may never see them again but the smiles and laughter shared will forever be a part of my life.
There must be a venue where we expatriates can expound on the beauty and security of our new homeland.  Incidentally, my Yahoo! homepage  listed Merida as the top location for retirees from the states. There has to be an avenue that we can pursue  to mitigate the misinformation that the State Department is spewing!
What do you think? (Interested parties are welcomed to respond to number below and/or to the comments section of the Pelican Free Press)

Signed:
Marlayna Miller,  984-802-8606 home; 984-802-8502 Sabor!; 984-106-5869 cell
e-mail: marlaynaj@yahoo.com

FOPA  seeks donors to continue Poblado schooling

“Please take a moment to review our attached Mayita presentation below atwww.friendsofpa.com  then come back to us here…..
As most of you know, we started a form of FOPA in late 1997 to benefit the people of the Pueblo and then became a stand-alone educational opportunity in 1998.  We specifically teach English to adults that are 23 or older and also have a 16-day computer course over eight weeks.

To date, we have taught over 1,200 students and on average there are 30-35 students in the English class and up to 8 students in each computer class.  These courses have changed people’s lives.  We firmly believe that if parents, after a full day’s work, make the effort to show up for the classes to learn and improve their life, then their families will also have a much better life.
To have these courses available is a recurring annual cost of $24,000.00 USD.  This amount is bare bones and doesn’t allow room for any expansion in the classes.  These funds pay for the rent, electricity, teachers, administrator, supplies, equipment and maintenance.
Unfortunately, our fundraising has fallen behind with each new call for money for another good cause that benefits the people of the Pueblo.  For the past two years, even with the funds received from our supporters, we have not made our annual budget and have barely squeaked by in keeping the programs open.  We were fortunate enough to cover some of the shortfall in funds by receiving grants from Anat Kahn which funded 50% of the English teacher’s wages for six months, rent and some maintenance costs.
A very generous donation from an anonymous contributor covered the balance of the shortfall and from others, donations of very much needed laptop computers.  Regretfully, this situation cannot continue as it is.
Donations, small or large, are greatly appreciated.  Please visit our website (www.FriendsofPA.com) to view a few of the options available and to make a donation.  Also, please feel free to stop by and see us whenever you are in Puerto Aventuras.
For those who feel we have been remiss in sending out timely newsletters and calls for funds, please accept our most sincere apologies.  Please do not fault the educational programs of FOPA.  The Board has just recently undergone several reorganizational changes in order to provide you, our supporters, more frequent and up-to-date information for in the future.
Thanking you in advance for your continued generosity, kindness and support.  Your contribution will always make a continuing difference in the lives of the people in the Pueblo.
With warmest regards,
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Sally Wood Evans, Lee Knudtson, Marie Cameron, Babs Griswold, Guillermo Hernandez
and
Administrator:  Fred Devos”

BRIEFLY SAID…

Posted 8/11/11 by staff, contributors and published reports
RECYCLING pick-up at the skate park is this Friday, August 5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Remember that household alkaline batteries are accepted only at downtown Playa del Carmen’s Plaza 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m…. NOW LICENSED – The Latitude 20 palapa restaurant  adjacent to the Aventuras Club and two buildings after the Dolphin Discovery store and adjacent to the boat launching ramp at the entrance to the marina channel, now reportedly has its liquor license to go along with its food fare and two-TV sports bar…TURTLES on our beaches are still a-hatching…THE PARKING LOT at the Super City Plaza just outside the main gate has been resurfaced. Goodbye stone and dust… A NEW RESTAURANT, Que Pasa, Mi Casa,  is reportedly going into the former Trebol site…TWO WATER SPOUTS were spotted

from Puerto Aventuras in July. A water spout is a  tornado or lesser whirlwind occurring over water in the form of funnel of spray and air…FROM PAAMUL,we get a report that Lester Willis, village pioneer and former owner of the dive shop, has passed away…Also, while tourism may be somewhat anemic this summer, Paamul reports more full-time residents than before and more construction going on in the North End….WIN-WIN MEDICAL TOURISM – The Quintana Roo state congress has approved a new tourism law taking effect within the month that also includes efforts to expand so-called “medical tourism” by which foreigners travel to Mexico to get medical care at less expense. Presidents Calderon of Mexico and Obama of the U.S. have reportedly held quiet talks about accommodating such proposals to save money on U.S. medical care and simultaneously beefing up the Mexican economy…CANADIAN CORP. “Environment Canada” has presented a plan to Benito Juarez City Council (Cancun) to convert organic waste to bio-gas with which to generate electricity. Waste-to-energy operations are already producing power in the U.S. and Canada…BORDER ZONE DRONE – U.S. customs and border bureau will add a second unmanned aircraft, the type used in Iraq and Afghanistan, to patrol the U.S.-Mexican border. That will make a total of six aircraft monitoring the border from Texas to California…

TULUM RUIN’S REWARDS –  It is reported that Tulum ruins increased to about  4,000 visitors a day from Europe, Asia and the U.S. this summer season, but that few visitors actually go to the town to spend since the ruins are the destination point. Meanwhile,the INAH (National Institute of Anthropology ad History) is blaming tourists for walking all over the ruins and escalating the pace of deterioration of Tulum and Coba archeological sites. Too much of a good thing?…TWO POLICEMEN up Merida way were discharged for accepting a bribe from a motorist. That should be of some comfort to those on the Riviera Maya who complain of extortion by the police on the roadways…NAVY PERSONNEL and federal police arrested the alleged second-in-command of the “Los Zetas” gang in Cancun along with 14 others during a coordinated mid-July operation on the Cancun-Playa del Carmen highway. Various caliber guns, bullets, communications gear, cash and bags of cocaine were confiscated…CREEPING CRIME – Q. Roo was fourth nationwide in criminal incidents per 100,000 population according to a July report by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography…MEXICO’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE has inched up to more than 5 percent from 3 percent as inflation elevates the cost of basic food needs…TULUM THEFTS from homes, businesses and hotels are up and the safety commission complains that there aren’t enough police to patrol. Four of 10 respondents to a citizen survey there said they had been affected by crime…

The Turtle End

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