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PA’s virtues as premier diving destination promoted

     Area residents may not realize it, but “Dive Aventuras” at the Omni Beach Club and Hotel is not just a premier scuba diving vacation and training school, but a considerable marketing machine with a worldwide reach that helps PA businesses survive. For the uninitiated, scuba is the acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.

Owned and operated by Nils and Debbie van der Haar, originally of Netherlands and Argentina respectively, and Mike and Karen Doody  both originally of the U.S., all of them accomplished diving instructors, the enterprise attracts many divers to PA, the cenotes and reefs, a reality that translates into business for restaurants, shops, hotels, transportation and unit rentals.
In addition, “Dive Aventuras” is an active member of the PA and Riviera communities. The company participates generously in the sponsorship of local athletic, cultural and other charitable activities that strengthen the community’s social fabric.
It is also a provider of jobs with 15 current employees, while its basic classes in diving conducted at one of the sun-drenched Omni pools on the Caribbean seafront provide interesting moments for passersby on their way to the beach or other Omni facilities.
“Our diving competition is not local,” said Mrs. Doody. “It is the entire Caribbean, places like Grand Cayman.” When she and her husband purchase kiosk space at five or six scuba diving shows a year all over the U.S., they promote not only this area’s “world class” cenote system and reefs but multiple businesses here as well.
The volunteer Pelican Free Press welcomes “Dive Aventuras” as a sponsor. To learn more about “Dive Aventuras”, click on the icon in the column at left. You may be surprised at how comprehensive its services to divers are.


Representatives of the municipal treasury department will be accepting 2012 property tax payments from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Monday Dec. 5 through Friday, Dec. 9. in the Colonos Office salon above the Oxxo store. The municipality accepts credit and debit cards, checks and cash. Save 15 percent by paying early. People making more than five property payments are asked to contact Eddy Gonzalez beforehand at [email protected] so paperwork can be prepared in advance to avoid unnecessary delays.


Pirating phone lines! Say, isn’t that stealing?

Diversions bring call for locks, security

Posted 11/30/2011 by Pelican Paulie
Sneaking through an open window of somebody’s apartment and taking their telephone set is a criminal offense. It is called stealing. But what do you call it when someone deprives you of communication by diverting your phone service cable to their own use? That’s called stealing too and as such is a criminal and civil offense that deprives you of what is yours.    

A Condo Torre Esmeralda owner recently arrived for a six-month stay only to learn that the phone and Internet services he had been paying for during his 6-month absence had been diverted to someone else’s use by parties unknown.
The resident called TelMex, believing it was a TelMex glitch but learned in the process that it was a local problem, meaning that someone had manipulated the condo cable box situated on common property to divert the service. Upon his return, the owner had to pay $500 pesos to investigate and solve the mystery, not to mention considerable inconvenience for the roughly 10 days he was with0ut service.
In that effort, condo administrators Carlos Suarez and Lothar Batt found the problem and suspect that a former condo employee familiar with the phone cable system may have been hired to switch wires at the behest of another resident or property manager perhaps to appease a renter that could not get a phone line.
     Comments invited: Do you think the condo association is also at fault for not locking and protecting the phone wires box located in a common area to prevent thievery and vandalism? As it is, a vandal with a screwdriver could yank every phone wire into the building in a matter of minutes and deprive all tenants of phone and Internet service.
Discussing this with residents reveals a common belief that this type of theft is not so unusual, including electric and gas line diversions and illegal connections. In this latest case, the resident has requested Condo Torre Esmeralda administrators lock the phone boxes or install a locked gate to prevent continued theft of services. Administrators said they intend to do just that.


Phrase a week… By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter

If you want a full tank of gas and an check of fluids at the Pemex Station, just say “Tanque lleno por favor y cheque los nivales.”
(Ms. Contreras teaches Spanish classes from 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is $150 pesos. Reach her at 984-108-3517.)


New restaurant opens on Dolphin Walk

A “Hippo” has been added to Puerto Aventuras’ menagerie of performing dolphins, comical seals and plump manatees (sea cows).

But unlike the herbivorous African hippo, the “Hippo Marina Lounge” that opened for breakfast on Sunday and dinner this weekend is carnivorous too as it also thrives on serving ham and bacon with  breakfast and other meats the rest of the day to compliment the veggies and carbs.
The eatery, like the Sushi-Mi restaurant nearby that opened earlier this year, are the two most recent additions to the Dolphin Walk and is one of the few with considerable indoor eating space among its permitted 110 seats in and out.
Resident John Timmerman, of London, Ontario and La Jolla, California,  who said he was formerly in the finance and insurance field, is the owner while management duties are shared by Filipe Rosado, manager, and  Marcus Weiler, who has been a player in the Canadian restaurant scene.
The outdoor tables were full last Sunday, opening day for breakfast, as veggie-filled omelets, eggs benedict embellished with asides of fruit and asparagus, and French toast with maple syrup graced the granite-top tables.

Timmerman said he will be employing from 12 to 15 people – six in the kitchen alone – with perks that include family health plans including eye and dental care. He has been a property owner here for six years and recently purchased the restaurant portion of the building. “I live upstairs,” he said and would not want a “karaoke” bar below him.
The restaurant also includes a taco bar facing the street with products and prices “competitive with the Poblado.” Timmerman said he wants to accommodate the local population that is employed in the resort area and all other residents as well. There has been considerable remodeling with a new bar, kitchen, tiled rest rooms and floors of hard pine from Belize in a walk-through design linking the street and Dolphin Walk.
As of Sunday, menus were still being prepared and printed. Scheduled hours will be from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Oh yes. And the “Hippo” name? Just a Shakespearean (What’s in a name?) whimsy. “I have a cookie jar at home shaped like a hippo,” said Timmerman.



Posted 11/30/2011 by Juanito
It seems like spring in Centro Comercial Marina. As the “snowbirds” return, new things begin popping up, just like springtime. It’s wonderful to see a new coat of paint at the Kiosko Plaza. This year the paint even found its way to the rooftop. How glorious she now looks with her crown of globes glowing in the night. Check it out next time on your evening stroll… FOR THOSE WHO DIDN’T KNOW… there are public restrooms located just behind the bandstand. They are clean, well lit, and open everyday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m… A FRESH COAT OF PAINT is currently being added to the street side of all buildings within the Centro Comercial complex. This includes repairs to window sills, overhangs, roof tiles and electrical feeds as needed. Cables and wires that are no longer in service are being removed and those that remain are being consolidated so as to remove an eyesore that has accumulated over time. To keep cost manageable, the administration decided to spread the painting project over a two year period. Painting on the marina side will take place next season. These buildings are among the oldest in Puerto Aventuras. I recently watched a home video recorded on VHS by Don Lerch in 1989. He had purchased a condo in Chac Hal Al as a pre-sale. In the video, you see only three buildings in

Chac and they are under construction! The ocean entry to the marina was different, there was more wave action coming into Fatima Bay. The beach in front of the Omni (known then as the “Beach Club”) appeared to be the size of a football field. Most of the buildings in the shopping center are still under construction (you can hear hammers hitting nails throughout the video), but there is a waiter waving to us from a “Carlos and Charlies” restaurant that was located near what is now Joel’s Pub… ANOTHER JEWELRY STORE… is rumored to be coming soon. Remodeling work is underway in a space located to the right of Restaurante Mikimali. Not sure we really need another jewelry store, but I’ve yet to see the completed project, and at least the space will be filled. “MARINA CHIC”… is the name of a new upscale Dress and Jewelry Shop located next to Aquanauts Dive Shop. It is the brainchild of brothers Fabrizio and Giovanni Nocerino from Italy. The brothers take turns running the shop and are a delight to visit with… IN THE SPOTLIGHT is the way some of the trees and shrubs of the shopping center must feel. New spotlights are being added to the garden islands in front of Paparazzi Pizza, Reiki Bakery and Mari Carmen’s Remax office. Garden areas along the walkway leading to the main stairway, between Flamingo’s Dress Shop and the Museum are also receiving new decorative lighting. Maybe they’ll encourage nighttime stroller’s to hold hands a little tighter and whisper sweet nothings to the ear?… GO BACK TO CAPISTRANO is what many would like to tell the hundreds of birds who’ve decided to nest in the trees near the Oxxo store. Such a clatter as they return each evening at sunset. You might want to wear a hat if you’re headed off to the store… WHO’S THE FATHER you may wonder? We have four pregnant dolphins in the pens along the bridge between Sabor’s (I wonder if they’ll reopen this season?) and Dolphin Discovery, the most pregnant of which could deliver any day. She is huge! Swimming on her back, she seems proud to show you her belly and likes to “chatter and whistle” with visitors who stop to say hello. Some complain about the brightness of the spotlights shining down on those pools, but dolphin handler’s say they’re necessary to monitor the birth of the babies. No news yet on whether we should buy pink or blue blankets. “Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.” ~Danny Kaye

Condo clippings…

Compiled from staff and contributor reports
CONDO TORRE ESMERALDA – Several improvements are greeting returning snowbirds this month including a new ladder in the swimming pool, a repaired pool pump, an aluminum cover at the rubbish bin and a slip-proof step at the elevator landings.
Administrators Carlos Suarez and Lothar Batt said the pool ladder was installed upon request from a number of owners to accommodate people having difficulty exiting the pool because of age-related impediments.

The rubbish bin cover was installed for general neatness and cleanliness and to discourage congregation of assorted critters and feral cats that awaken owners at night with their antics. So far, the bin is achieving its goals and is a welcome improvement.
The administration is beginning to prepare fiscal reports and a preliminary agenda for the Jan. 20, 2012, annual meeting at 9 a.m. in the Colonos salon. It is not too early for owners who wish to make suggestions or request insertion of an agenda item to forward these to administrators at[email protected]
Among special items intended for insertion by the administration is the completion of understandings concerning the construction of several balconies last year and whether owners wish to have the building painted. Administrators say estimated cost is about $12,000 USD for a professional job by a large company. There are sufficient funds in the 18-month special assessment account voted last February to cover the cost. But owners need to vote on the expenditure. Paint swatches have been added on a 3d floor wall in Building ‘A’ so owners can vote on their choice of a color.
As a matter of courtesy, it might be a good idea for owners having work that requires heavy, sustained pounding in their units to notify neighbors a few days ahead so they can plan a day at the beach or shopping.

Contributed by La Sirena
CONDOS QUINTA DEL SOL I and II – Quinta del Sol-2’s annual board meeting to elect new officers will be held on December 29th at the Colons Office.  The current president and vice president will step down after two years and only the treasurer Jim Caddey will stay on.  Two candidates willing to step in are Jeanine Pedersen for president and Bill Weaver for vice president. Both are the newest residents in the building.
A vote was up before the homeowners last July to tear out the swimming pool and build a new one. The current president and vice president, along with a resident attorney who often advises the board,  all voted in favor.  All remaining owners voted no. Many strong opinions were voiced in email correspondence.  Had it passed it would have depleted cash reserves entirely, which is why the treasurer recommended the negative vote.
QDS-2 still has two existing “deadbeats” who refuse to pay homeowner dues.  The new board will be gearing up to take a fresh new look at the problem with a new lawyer early on in the year.

     Quinta del Sol-1 will also elect a new board during the Christmas week.  An unusually high number  of their beach-front units are reportedly for sale. One of the units has been the object of attempts to gain title  from the courts to apparently sell the unit to collect overdue maintenance fees.  A retired Florida couple had purchased it during construction, furnished it, came very few times and then disappeared without ever paying dues.  QDS+1 hopes to recover the back dues and then give the owners the remaining money.

Religious services….
Contributed by MTD
     In an effort to work towards more informative websites, below is contact and service information for three places of worship.  There is a religious ministry in Paaamul that some PA residents attend also (perhaps Marie-Carmen @ Remax can help).  Basic listings would  be helpful, especially with holidays, regardless of religious leanings.  All offer services, classes and support groups for children and adults.

Sta. Teresita del nino Jesus Y la Santa Paz (Roman Catholic)
At the poblado; classes: Mondays through Sundays, 7 p.m. (Spanish)
Contact church office: 984-206-6245 (4-8 p.m.- Spanish)

Corpus Christi Parrish (Roman Catholic)
Calle 110A  entre 25, Playa del Carmen (near Soriana)
Mass: Saturdays, 9 a.m. (English); office: 803-0600; Rev. James Hogan

Chabad Lubavitch Jewish Center
Avenida 10 entre Calle 6 , Playa Del Carmen
Service: Sundays, 9 a.m.; tel. 984-876-5571
Contact: Rabbi Mendel Goldberg

Briefly noted…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
WORD’S OUTthat the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. brought a 75 percent weekend hotel

occupancy rate in Cancun, while increased activity was also noted along the Riviera Maya …PLASTIC MAN – Q. Roo, that’s us, folks – consumes half the 325 tons of plastic  waste collected on the Yucatan Peninsula. Can’t wait to learn how the Roo rates on liquor bottles and cans…BANK IN CHEDRAUI – It appears the Bank Azteca is opening a small branch in Chedraui’s Market here  in the next few days …INFRASTRUCTUREimprovements are being added with federal money in Puerto Morelos to attract more tourism along with a program of increased marketing to help small hotels along the Mayan Riviera…THE PRESIDENT of a beachfront condo association has reported to Security that while he and his wife were on the beach in the Omni area, credit cards were lifted from his wallet nearby. He sent a letter warning co-owners to be vigilant…

The SchoolEnd

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For emergency phone numbers, church services, “resident” and “gate” card forms and processes; rules for golf carts and motorcycles, pets, construction by-laws, recycling schedule and other pertinent community information and services, please click on the Puerto Aventuras Colonos icon below. Thank you

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