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Elusive ideal: Good will toward all…

 

 

To our sponsors, reading audience, story contributors, officials public and private who share information for the public knowledge, and to one and all, The Pelican Free Press wishes you  silent nights and days that are bright with the promise of peace and prosperity. So…

“Have yourself a merry little Christmas,Let your heart be light; From now on our troubles will be out of sight;

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Make the Yule-tide gay; From now on, our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,happy golden days of yore; Faithful friends who are dear to us, gather near to us once more;

Through the years we all will be together, If the Fates allow, hang a shining star upon the highest bough,

And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.”

Song written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane and introduced by Judy Garland in the 1944 musical “Meet Me in St. Louis.”

 

 

Merry Christmas – Feliz Navidad! 

 

BULLETIN:

Doe Stowell at her birthday party ( File Photo)

Doe Stowell at her birthday party (
File Photo)

Doe Stowell, 80, long-time resident, dies

Doe Stowell, a 16-year resident of Puerto Aventuras who celebrated her 80th birthday with family and friends last March at the Latitude 20 Restaurant, died Tuesday (Dec.23) shortly after arriving here from Minnesota several weeks ago.

Doe, also known as the “Grand Dame” of Puerto Aventuras, was a fixture along the Dolphin Walk for most of her years here, launching an informal breakfast club with the late Parker Woods and others including his daughter, Sally Evans, that persisted at various local restaurants after Mr. Woods’ passing and continues today, “…although I don’t get out that much anymore,” Doe said at her party last March.

She created an artistic canvas through the years here as she spent entire days wearing a large-brimmed hat and sitting in a portable chair into the night to watch dolphin births. “The Dolphin Discovery staff was so generous with biological information,” she said, “…that I think I earned two years of biology credits.”  As one thing leads to another, she also developed an abiding interest in the ritual of sea turtles and their propagation on nearby beaches where she would venture to protect the nests.

Doe came to Puerto from the frigid environs of Minnesota and in the few years prior to her 80th birthday had developed a lingering illness that reduced her otherwise energetic charitable, community and environmental activities, but not her unending interest in them.

Her typical emails after returning to Puerto were profoundly joyful and went something like this: “I am so delighted to open windows, greet the sun, look at the sea, and see people here.” Nearly 90 friends and family attended her birthday party. Arrangements are incomplete.

Colonos Assembly 2: Security

Chef cooks up precious present

for Puerto Aventuras residents

Goes beyond call of duty to fortify security

By Staff

Mexican-born chef Luigi Danieli Alberico was relaxing, half-asleep on the couch. Esmeralda, his girlfriend, was in a nearby chair watching television in their rented condo unit on Bahia Xaac, enjoying a respite from work. Outside, a group of people were escaping the searing September heat by frolicking in the pool.

“Esmeralda shook me a little bit and whispered that she heard a noise upstairs. I told her it was nothing. But we could see the balcony above us from the couch and as we observed, we saw a figure lean over the railing, look down and quickly pull back out of view. I don’t think he saw us. I think he must have thought we were in the pool”

Wearing only a pair of athletic shorts, Alberico sprung from the couch and ran out toward the pool from where he could see the condo’s second level. He saw some kind of movement, then ran around to the front of the building, up a flight of stairs where windows to the upstairs bedroom were located. There, he saw a man attempting to exit through an opened window. Upon seeing Alberico, the intruder turned, held onto some items he had taken, ran down the stairs inside the apartment, past Esmeralda and out the front door to a waiting, idling, rented car and sped off.

This is one of three examples cited by Puerto Aventuras Security Chief Jesus Galdeano at the Dec. 13 annual assembly showing that reactive citizens coupled with the new video camera system can make a long-term difference in the community’s attraction as a safe haven.

“I was confused and scared,” Alberico continued, “not sure of what I could do. But at the same time, I ran into the house for my car keys, then out to my car and caught up with the intruder. He had taken my money, my cell phone and a watch my girlfriend had given me. When he noticed I was following him, he began speeding toward the main gate, very fast, and nearly hit a woman pushing a baby carriage.

“At the gate,” Alberico went on, “I leaned out the car window and was shouting for the guards to stop the intruder’s car, but they had already lifted the barrier for another car in front of the intruder’s vehicle to go through and the intruder quickly followed that car out the gate before the barrier went down.”

At this point, Alberico said, he was gripped by anxiety not knowing what to do and subsequently mishandled his car, bumping it into the main gate structure and damaging the car’s front end. Determined not to let the intruder off so easily, he exited the car, rushed through the main gate toward the highway, barefooted, in what in retrospect seemed a vain attempt to stop the thief. Then Fate smiled for Alberico.

“Just then a police truck came by and stopped when they saw me running down the road in shorts and barefooted,” he said with a sheepish smile. Alberico, who is bilingual, briefly told the police what happened and asked them to follow the car. He jumped into the truck and the police began the chase as the officers radioed ahead to the police filter on Highway 307 in Punta Venado with a description of the suspect car and a request to stop it.

But the guards at the filter were in for a surprise. As they saw the suspect car approaching and prepared to wave it off, the car accelerated and sped by the policemen, almost hitting them, Alberico said.

But the robber paid the price at Centro Maya where “many policemen” and cars had blocked the road into Playa del Carmen. The thief finally stopped and by the time Alberico got there, the police had the thief under control, Alberico said, and his watch was returned to him. “But no money and no cell phone. The thief must have thrown that evidence out the window,” Alberico said.

In his annual report, Security Chief Galdeano noted in part that “…an important part of resolving some cases…has been that residents have understood the importance of reporting the events to the authorities…” He said that’s what helps keep a case open along with evidence collected by the local security force, particularly from video cameras, to assist detectives in achieving a successful prosecution. Consider that nearly 50 percent of theft cases in PA were solved in this reporting period, or 13 out of 27 cases in which the victims themselves played an important role.

“I used to keep my windows and doors open to enjoy the breeze,” Alberico said during a hindsight interview last week. But since the September event, he has moved to another condo and now keeps doors and windows closed and curtains drawn “because of what happened.” He has filed the necessary complaints to help prosecute the suspect.

What perhaps hasn’t occurred to Alberico is that he has given the people of Puerto Aventuras the Christmas present everybody can use: Security and more freedom from fear.

That is because his hair-raising effort to catch an alleged thief, now identified by the police and security force cameras as a Belizian career criminal named Amado Edwan Gonzalez, is apt to bring an added measure of sanctuary to the community because the thief faces a 6-year jail term, according to sources.

As a follow-up to a Pelican story last February about a housebreak in which the owner played an important role in subsequently apprehending the thief who used his credit card, the owner recently reported that his money was returned – not by the bank that issued the card – but by the lawyer for the defendant in that case.

Actions by Alberico and other victims of the thefts reported during the year along with the identification capability of the community’s video camera system, “…definitely assisted in resolving some of the felonies,” reported the Security chief. And with that and the spirit of local yuletide photos below, have yourself a very Merry Christmas.

 

 

COMING EVENTS…

 

THE PUBLIC LIBRARY at the Colegio will be open during the holiday season from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 30 and Tuesday Jan. 6… CENTRO COMERCIAL annual assembly is scheduled for January 10…THE 7th ANNUAL Puerto Aventuras road race this year is Sunday, Jan. 25, and will begin at 7 a.m. at Porto Bello, same place as last year, but end at the large palapa in Centro’s Dolphin Discovery, which is the major race sponsor this year. Local runners can register at the Colonos office during working hours. For more information on registration and costs (200 pesos for adults, 150 for children) click on the Colonos site in the right-hand column… COOKING CLASS at Latitude 20, now under new ownership, meets Fridays at 10 a..m…ART SHOWS are held each Thursday evening at the Information and Art Center…SAY IT IN SPANISH -Stay tuned for next week’s edition of coming Spanish classes. All area teachers are invited to submit times, places and other pertinent information for their classes or private-lesson offerings…

Colonos thanks donors of gifts

for annual employee party

The Colonos held its annual Christmas party for workers on Friday and, reports General Manager Armando Rincon, the generosity of resort residents allowed the Colonos to distribute three rounds of gifts for workers and their children at the party held in the Poblado.

Some 40 employees – one of them with the Colonos for 22 years – mingled for about four hours enjoying food and conversation along with the distribution of gifts. Resort residents who gave cash in lieu of gifts helped the Colonos purchase seven “large” items such as a TV set and microwave ovens that were raffled on the third round. “This year we were able to distribute two gifts to everyone,” Rincon said

Rincon thanked the workers for their support throughout the year and assured them the support was mutual not only from the Colonos administration but, as well, from the people of the resort  who appreciate their labors. Each employee also received an annual bonus gift card valued at 600 pesos each from the Colonos budget and board. (Party photos below by Edouard Reynoso)

The Mail Bag…

Communication lacking

Dear Editor:

We wanted to make you aware that we had a problem with security at the front gate yesterday.  We were told by Security Chief Jesus Galdeano that contractors were not allowed in Puerto Aventuras from Dec. 22, 2014, until January 2, 2015, without prior approval.

I asked Mr. Galdeano when did this policy take effect and he mentioned that it was effective yesterday (Dec. 22). Mr. Galdeano was kind enough to assist me with the problem and allowed my contractor to come and work on my project. However, this delayed my contractor as he had to park outside the gate, walk to my condo and request that I walk back with him to the gate to provide an extended explanation to permit his access. This was all very inconvenient.

I was shocked and surprised that as residents in PA we were not made aware of this policy in advance. There was no email notification and nothing on your website.  I am not opposed to any policy that is for the betterment of PA.  However, I am opposed to policies not being communicated in a timely fashion to PA residents. Thank you.

Signed/ Beverly and Kevin Schrab

(Ed. Note: Amen to that. The Pelican was also wondering why there wasn’t any construction going on in Phase 4 on Wednesday, Dec. 23. We shall endeavor to have the Colonos board be more aware of the weekly Pelican when it has significant announcements to make.)

More Russians vacationing

In the Riviera Maya area

The Riviera Maya continues to open new tourism markets, the latest being a spike of Russian nationals sufficient enough to prompt the Revolutionary Confederation of Workers (CROC) to begin offering courses in the Russian language for guides and service workers next year.

The Pelican has already published the intent of a Russian conglomerate to construct condos in PA’s Phase 4 as more Russian-speaking visitors pop up in Puerto Aventuras hotels. A spike in Russian tourism has been recorded area-wide with an estimated figure of around 40,000 Russian visitors last year, which represents about 2 percent of the total tourism market.

The union already has a teacher and is looking for venues that can be used as classrooms. About 168 union members are already proficient in the English language, according to the union.

In another report, area hotels including those in Puerto Aventuras were reporting about 95 percent occupancy the first week of the holiday season and local restaurants and attractions welcomed a healthy increase in business. The local press reported on waiters who said they have been earning an average 700 pesos in tips.

Nature Watch…

The ‘coati’ is a leading critter

that overturns barrels at night

By Staff

Short of training the “coati” population to buy and cook their own food, more residents of Puerto Aventuras need to assure their trash receptacles are either tip proof, placed in a locked bin, or at the least, not set out for collection until the morning when the rubbish truck makes its rounds.

The Colonos has been asking residents not to set barrels out at night in order to discourage the varmint population from making a mess that could eventually result in the proliferation of a rodent population that nobody wants, not to mention how messy spilled rubbish in front of a handsome home appears to others.

The white-nosed coatis that inhabit Puerto Aventuras are social animals like the people here, and hang around in groups of 20 or so instinctively foraging for food like insects, eggs and carrion. They overturn rocks, barrels, tree trunks for whatever edibles their long noses turn up under them. However, they have a preference for fruits and vegetables, to the dismay of farmers.

The coati – the term stemming from the indigenous Brazilian Tupi language “coa’ meaning ”belt’ and “tim” meaning ‘long’ – later expressed as “Kua’ti,” then into Spanish and Portuguese “coati.” They are climbers that live in trees and come to earth to forage. They are diurnal, not steadfastly nocturnal as are their cousins, the raccoon, but are adaptable to living around humans, tipping over their trash receptacles at night for scraps.

Like humans, coatis have favorite places to dine, that is, barrels that they like to visit during their roughly 7-year lifespan. The easier the barrel is to tip, the better.

Residents who have complained about the proliferation of coati in Puerto Aventuras doubtless would like to see their neighbors take steps to keep their rubbish away from these raiders who could then return to their natural habits and habitats and keep rodents at bay.

Briefly Noted…

Construction of the new airfield to be situated in Puerto Aventuras west of Highway 307 will begin in January and the aerodrome ready by March said a state official. It will replace the small airfield in downtown Playa del Carmen…A new electric substation called Zac Nicte went on line last week just west of Playa del Carmen and is expected to improve upon electrical service and accommodate growth in Solidarity for the next 10 years… Low-cost Volaris Airline has initiated direct flights between Cancun and Las Vegas, and between Cancun and Miami hoping to draw more tourists to the Mexican Caribbean…New U.S.–Cuban relationship won’t hurt Riviera Maya’s tourism industry…yet… says director of local hotel association…Mexico is a-buzz over the prospect of Jeb Bush running for president of the United States, bringing with him the potential of the first Mexican-born First Lady, his wife, Columba Garnica Gallo. They met in 1971 during an educational exchange program in which Bush participated as an English teacher in Mexico. The link could give Republican Bush an edge in Democratic Florida…Ten merchant marine cadets are assisting local authorities in policing the beach areas of Playa del Carmen to ensure public safety for tourists who are expected to double their number in Playa during the holiday season…Photos of the 43 disappeared students in Iguala were used to decorate a memorial Christmas tree in Mexico City…Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade has rejected the notion that Mexico is seen world-wide as a “narco” state, saying instead it is a developing nation full of promise… Mexican President Pena Nieto is offering to help “normalize” relations between the U.S. and Cuba in the wake of the Obama-Castro agreement to start the process with small steps…An estimated 2.5 million Mexican nationals living abroad have returned to their homes in Mexico for the holidays…Arson by organized crime may be the cause of a fire that destroyed a Playa del Carmen lingerie shop on Constitution Avenue Sunday, say shop owners and the police. This possibly could fall into the crime of extortion which, according to crime figures released this week by the national System of Public Security, is highest in Quintana Roo with 17.9 reported cases per 100,000 inhabitants compared to the statistical national average of 4.5 cases…

 

 

New taxi fares listed for 2015

The Colonos office suggests that people taking a taxi to or from the following destinations take down the number of the taxi and the time and date in the event there is a disagreement on price. That will make it easier to present evidence in the event a customer wants to make a complaint. Below are the fares: Terminal refers to the bus terminal in Playa del Carmen. (Print and save)

taxi fares

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