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Salsa Concert, 7-9 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 25), Cultural Center, tickets at door, $60 pesos, soda, beer, wine, end of Bahia Akumal. Come and enjoy! Bring cushions and friends!

Charity golf, public auction: Wednesday (Feb. 29) Golf at 9 a.m., public auction, many items, 2 p.m. at golf course. See story below

Victims allege owners were irresponsible

Posted 2/18/12 by Pelican Paulie
   They were her “friends,” so when Puerto Aventuran Pat Parkinson Pittman made a gift for their new baby and tried to deliver it, she was mercilessly mauled by one of the couple’s dogs.
That incident occurred last Dec. 16. Though badly bitten and bruised about the chest and back, which were turning black, Mrs. Pittman’s respect for friends Andrew and Christy Schisler, the dog’s owners, was such that she refrained from going to a doctor “because by law he would have to report it and I didn’t want to cause them any trouble.”
It was a decision she now regrets.

Less than two months later, on Feb. 8, Liliana Viola, chairwoman of the Colonos Park Committee, also went to see the Schislers on park committee business, and was herself mauled by the same dog and badly bitten about an arm, a thigh and back.
How could this happen twice? It did, and the municipal government has ordered the animal officer to come for the dog, said Mrs. Viola..
The Schislers rent an apartment through Fanny Rentals. It is exactly a floor above the Colonos business office in Centro Comercial where many tourists pass each year. An iron gate to a staircase leading to the Schisler apartment is on the Colonos landing, quite some distance from the door to the apartment above.
Both women report that the gate to the staircase was open and/or unlocked when they went to visit, that there was no sign warning that an attack dog was on the premises, and no bell, buzzer or other signaling device to let the Schislers know there was someone waiting to see them. Both women, unfamiliar with the apartment layout, said they first called out and when not receiving an answer, began to ascend the stairs while still  calling out, to find the unit door.
“There’s a second landing,” said Mrs. Pittman, “and when I turned the corner to go up the second flight of stairs, two dogs came at me. One was a Labrador retriever, wagging his tail, but the other dog immediately attacked me.” In trying to escape, Mrs. Pittman also fell on one knee, but in absolute fright managed to reach the Colonos landing and slam the  gate shut.

Events were about the same for Mrs. viola who had managed to reach near the top landing and the apartment door, which was open, when the dogs came out. She was petting one of the dogs when the other rushed “…like a lion coming at you” and began biting her on the thigh and back. “I raised my arm to try to push the dog away,”- she raised her arm to show the fang marks – “but he bit me there also, nearly hitting  a tendon, the doctor later told me.”
Viola said the attack was “totally uncalled for. I did nothing threatening.” As she tried to get away from the dog and shouting for help, a woman appeared on a balcony and said she couldn’t do anything because she was taking care of a baby in the unit. She did try to tell the dog to stop,” Mrs. viola said. It was later learned the Schislers were not present and the infant’s grandmother was babysitting.
“The apartment door was open, so I ran in and attempted to close the door to get away from the dog, but a door-stop was in the way. Then the dog charged into the apartment and I pushed the doorstop away and closed the door with the dog inside and me outside,” Mrs. viola said.

Mrs. Viola, the mother of a 4-year-old, said she would have had her daughter with her had not the time a class she was taking been changed. “The dog surely would have bitten her in the face,” Viola said, shuddering at the thought. “She is about the same height as where I was bitten on the thigh.”
After seeing a doctor, being treated for the wounds and given a tetanus shot, Mrs. Viola learned of Mrs. Pittman’s ordeal and called her. “I did not at first go to the Colonos office to file a complaint because the Colonos cannot do anything, although the general manager was very helpful later as intermediary. I did some research of Georgia (U.S.) law, which is where the Schislers are from,” said Mrs. Viola, “and found that for a first biting incident, a warning is issued, giving owners the benefit of doubt.  But a second incident, the law declares the owner liable, responsible and the dog is put down.” She said the state of Quintana Roo has a similar law.
Conversations, or lack thereof, between the women and the couple only made things worse, the bite victims said. Viola said Mrs. Schisler referred to her wounds as “only scratches” and wanted to “negotiate” the invoice of roughly $100 Mrs. Viola sent the couple for damage to a blouse and medical fees. “What’s to negotiate?” Mrs. viola asked rhetorically. “That’ what it cost.” Mrs.Pittman said that since she was bitten, the Schislers haven’t contacted her to ask how she was or “even thank me for the gift.”

Both women branded as “irresponsible” the Schislers’ failure to take any actions at all after the first bite to lock the gate, post signage or make certain visitors are safe from the dog. But even at that, some locals fault both victims for trespassing on private property, a view perhaps based on cultural differences?
Both Pittman and Viola went to report the incident to municipal authorities. “People should know how to do that,” Viola said, even though it takes the better part of a day.
“You go to the end of Arco Vial  (the road that takes you past Soriana to Las Americas Mall, then back out to 307) and you see three new buildings. One is the courthouse. A building in front of that houses the office of Proteccion Civil (civilian protection office). You file a declaration of what happened, give them a photo I.D. of yourself and the dog owner’s name and address. Then they take photos of the dog bites and automatically send them to the animal officer with an order to take the dog. They copy everything for you to take to the Municipal Palace (City Hall) in Playa del Carmen,” Mrs. Viola said, but she wasn’t sure why. (As of this writing, it is nor known if the municipal authority has come for the dog.)
Last year, a child was bitten by a trained attack dog on the golf course. These cases beg the question of why, in one of the safest, protected communities in Mexico, people need attack dogs…and why, perhaps, so many pet owners refuse to voluntarily abide by the Colonos request for keeping dogs on leashes in public places and on public ways as a  considerate precaution.

The Business Beat…

Banking sense a friend in changing times

Posted 2/22/12 by Pelican Paulie
The curses of money laundering and abuses of off-shore banking is spawning fresh international reporting regulations in concert with the way technology is changing the industry. Having an idea of “what’s happening” in banking  is a plus for everybody’s checking account.

With that in mind, area BBVA Bancomer managers gave another of their informative Banking 101 presentations at the Colonos meeting room on Tuesday, heralding technological improvements with new gadgetry for secure online access to accounts and an update of the bank’s expanding products.
Meanwhile, several PA snowbirds in concert with the Pelican Free Press, are alerting U.S. residents here of changing and complex IRS reporting requirements affecting every U.S. citizen who files income tax. The Pelican will begin a series on those reporting changes next week to keep area snowbirds attuned to mandates that, if ignored, carry considerable penalties.
Consequently, Sandra J. Alvarez Escarcega and Luys Fernandez, senior segment managers, and Lic. Alma Dhelia Cordova Vazquez of Bancomer’s Preferred Customer Unit (PCU) in Playa del Carmen, which is tailored to meet the needs of snowbirds, ex-pats and visitors, presented the rudimentary details of the bank’s “three pillars” of its PCU offerings, Mexican Trust (Fideicomiso), mortgages in pesos and general banking, which includes investments and insurance.
They answered in the affirmative the often asked question of whether a foreign citizen with only a tourist visa (180 days) can open a bank account. All they need to bring is a passport, visa and utility bill. They described the PCU’s general benefits of English-speaking one-on-one assistance, speed lane, wire transfers, deposits in cash and checks, free online banking and same-as-cash debit cards.
Online banking services include transfers between accounts, to third parties, to other banks and popular “pay services” to handle utility bills, a truly handy way for snowbirds to take care of business while away.
There were a number of questions following the meeting from people with particular circumstances who needed one-on-one assistance that is always available at Bancomer offices, online and by phone.

Public invited to 2 p.m. charity golf auction

     Thirty six golfers are expected to take to the PA links Wednesday, Feb. 29,  to raise funds for the developing high school in the Poblado while the 2 p.m. auctionnear the clubhouse and a general raffle welcome public participation this year.

The auction – silent and live – is loaded with about 40 contributed gifts from local businesses and individuals to include fishing trips, dinners, breakfasts, clothing, airport transfers, gym membership, sunset cruises, dolphin swim, gift baskets, Maxfli laser range-finder and more.
The major raffle item , Nintendo’s powerful Wii game console is sure to please kids young and old and is joined by clothing items and more. Volunteers this year also went throughout the community with raffle tickets in hopes of being able to support the school development, such as completing the septic system for indoor plumbing, landscaping and other future construction to help meet the expanding needs of the community.
The auction is a fun way for residents here to participate in this worthwhile endeavor. Of the many items, about a dozen will be held for the live auction while the remainder will be for the “silent” auction which can be viewed and bid upon from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the clubouse area. A street sign will be posted.


The volunteer committee has dedicated proceeds to continuing to develop the Poblado high school in association with Anat Kah, this area’s answer to the United Fund that paid for the school construction from local donations, including proceeds from last year’s first-annual golf event and auction.
The two-room schoolhouse is currently being used for teaching with temporary electrical connections to the schoolhouse and three older trailers that also  provide classroom space for the time being.
Golfers can still check in to reserve a spot by calling Tourney Chairmen Jim and Jeanette Jamieson at 984-873-5336 or ( c ) 617-733-3174 or Bob and Glenna Uecker at 984-873-5195 or visit them at Capt. Rick’s Sportfishing Center in Centro Comercial.


 Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
You’re on your way to the Chedruai in your car and you see a Mexican neighbor walking in that direction. You can ask if they want a ride thus: “Quieres un aventon al super mercado?
(Ms. Contreras teaches Spanish classes from 3 to 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is $150 pesos. Please call her first to make arrangements at 984-108-3517



In Akumal – Feb.26, 5 p.m.,Academy Awards Night at Lol Ha Snack Bar, $100 pesos to benefit the Akumal Entrance Beautification Project; prizes, best dressed, raffle.

At Mayakoba PGA Golf Feb. 22-26 – Tickets available in Puerto Aventuras from Anne Silver, 802-8331. Proceeds of sales go to Equinotherapia, a local charity with local PA volunteers that helps brain damaged children by interacting with and riding horses.

In Puerto Aventuras – Moon’s birthday lunch, 1 p.m., Feb. 24 Latitude 20, call ( c ) 984-876-6784 or 984-873-5601.

What’s Playing…

See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.



Library needs a computer

Dear Editor:
The main library computer where the master database of books is stored is coming up on ten years old, and is very slow.  The monitor and keyboard are still good, but the library really needs a newer CPU or a back-up computer.  If anyone is upgrading and has a spare CPU or older complete computer that they would be willing to donate to the library, the volunteer librarians and library users would be very grateful.
Thank you.
Elisabeth (Betsy) Amy-Vogt
[email protected]

PARK COMMITTEE CLASSES: Drop by to sign up

Cooking:10 a.m. Mondays at Latitude 20 Restaurant
Fitness at the Park: 8:15 A.M.: Tai Chi Tuesdays, Yoga Wednesdays and Fridays
Art: 9 to noon Wednesdays and Sculpture on Thursdays
French: 9:30 to 11 a.m. Thursdays
Kids’ ClubArt 10-11 a.m. Saturdays; French, 4-5 p.m. Mondays; Story hour 3 p.m. Fridays

Briefly Noted…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports

SOME 10 VOLUNTEERS from Puerto Aventuras and some from Akumal helped with translation during a one-day clinic in the Poblado on Tuesday where 15 doctors and dentists from Germany and elsewhere treated nearly 400 people. The Pelican Free Press was there and obliged a request by a coordinator to refrain from taking photos or excessive publicity of the event…

TEACHER WANTED for Montessori school in Akumal must haveMexican certification in elementary education (SEP cedula profesional). Pay is $9,000 Pesos a month plus living

accommodations in Akumal. More info at 984-130-0920 and[email protected] … DRIVING REMINDER – A small stake-body truck crashed into the woods just off the northbound lane of 307 on the access road to the Pueblo last Thursday. Injuries appeared to be serious. Several ambulances were nearby as truck passengers were being carefully removed from the cab by emergency personnel. We love you. Please drive carefully…QUINTANA ROOreportedly ranks first in teenage pregnancies, logging 4,397 cases in 2011, of girls between 15 and 19 and 265 cases of girls under 15. Some 35 percent of the 295,000 survey respondents are not familiar with contraception options…Q. ROOis among 7 states whose debt increased

dramatically over the last few years by some 42 percent average…MEANWHILE, the state is becoming a leader in the production of sugar cane with 190,000 tons predicted for this year’s harvest…AKUMAL BEACH BODY –Visitors to Akumal last week from PA reported a man’s body was left on the beach for several hours awaiting official investigators. The man apparently died of natural causes…TULUM RESIDENTS are protesting the inaction of 10-month-old government leadership that promised much in infrastructure improvements but has delivered little so far…44 INMATESbelieved to be in rival narco gangs were killed n a prison riot Sunday at Apodaca Prison in Monterrey…STATE BUSINESSMEN are urging a federal study by experts of the cost of electricity in Q.Roo, where is is among the highest tariffs in the country…WATER SPORT SERVICES such as fishing, diving, etc., hit 80 percent of capacity around Playa del Carmen this past weekend, good news that is expected to continue through the college break season……SOME BUSINESSES ARE QUESTIONING the national disparity of a tax charged visitors arriving by air and the disbursal of the income since only five states contribute to the tax, our state, Quintana Roo, the most at 46 percent of the estimated annual 5 billion MxN take…SOME 28,000 PEOPLE attended the just-ended, 5-day Cancun Carnival that ended with headliner Alicia Keys…

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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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