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February 1, 2017

Board rejects main gate ban
as a tool in private disputes 

COLONOS: Main gate is for coming and going, not a tool for intervening in private, non-criminal matters.

By Staff
The Colonos board has declined a request to use the main gate as an enforcement tool to settle differences between private parties.

The request was made by Roman Rivera Torres, developer of the PA community and marina owner. It stemmed from an ongoing dispute over a reported 20 percent share the marina wants from commercial boat revenues in addition to standard slip fees. Rivera Torres directs the Fideicomiso (Puerto Aventuras Trust), which owns the marina.

Specifically, the Fideicomiso wanted main gate Security to deny entrance to the boat crews and to vans carrying tours to the protesting boat operations.

Want negotiations

All seems peaceful and pleasant at the marina…

While some boat owners have complied, others say they want to negotiate the amount and timing of the increase. Some suggest an incremental approach would give them time to prepare and adjust.

Rivera Torres said the added revenue is needed to undertake marina improvements such as restrooms, while boat owners say they would like assurances the added income would not be expended elsewhere.

Infrastructure demands updating 

Rivera Torres mentioned in a recent letter distributed in the community that the marina was originally conceived as a private yacht basin, but time and changing demands dictated allowing commercial activity, which has placed more demand on marina infrastructure.

The letter also noted the Fideicomiso’s intention of updating the marina infrastructure, necessitating a  new revenue source from the marina’s commercial users.

Colonos general manager Armando Rincon said after last week’s consensus at a regular board meeting that it was not the purview of Colonos, which is essentially a property owners’ association, to use common infrastructure to intervene in purely private, non-criminal matters.

Who controls what?

By way of a basic primer, the Fideicomiso owns all the land in Puerto Aventuras that hasn’t been sold to other stakeholders for housing, hotels, condos and businesses. It owns the golf course, the water concession and the marinas as well as the streets and the main gate.

When new streets are built and furnished with utilities by the developer, the developer legally and contractually cedes that property to the Colonos for maintenance and unfettered control but retains ownership.

In return, all owners pay for upkeep via the Colonos maintenance fee and have a vote at the annual assembly on how their money is expended for their benefit, protection and philanthropic causes.

Such is the situation at the main gate, Rincon said. It is still owned by the Fideicomiso but has been ceded to the Colonos for improvement, maintenance and control. As an example, Colonos voters last month approved spending more than $200,000 USD for main gate remodeling that will soon get under way.

General enforcement sought

In other business, Tim Howard, a member of the Vigilance Committee that participates at regular board meetings, initiated a brief discussion on what the Colonos might do to monitor and enforce general Colonos rules and bylaws that govern golf cart use, speeding and zoning regulations that largely are unenforced.

Rincon suggested getting advice from an attorney to explain what purely local enforcement actions are permitted under existing municipal laws and resort bylaws and how the matter of enforcement should be approached and fixed if necessary. “What’s the use of sending letters (of reproach to scofflaws) if we can’t do anything about it?” he asked rhetorically. Rincon is tasked with pursuing the advice.

All invited to Paamul’s charity auction 

Paamul Annual Charity Auction will be held at the Paamul Restaurant on Saturday, Feb.. 4.   Silent auction 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and the live auction at 7 p.m. It is the main fund-raising event for the “Paamul Service to Others Committee.”

Please make reservation early to get a table inside the restaurant and enjoy Happy Hour from 6 to 7 p.m. along with  dinner.  Happy hour offers 2 for 1 on local alcoholic beverages, local beers and red or white wine by the glass.  All items on the menu will be available. Restaurant reservations can be made by calling Kalu – 984.134.2324 or Christina – 984.130.9670.

Prof. James White

James White, professor emeritus, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, will present free health lectures on four consecutive Tuesdays beginning at 10 a.m. Feb. 14 at the Colonos meeting room. The topics are: Super foods that fight cancer and other risky diseases, Feb. 14; Ten simple ways to improve sleep, Feb. 21; Fight arthritis, Feb. 28 and, Slow the aging process, March 7.  Prof. White, a part-time resident, has previously given well-received free lectures here.

Recycling will take place at the skate park on Friday, Feb. 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Also, recycling will take place twice a month in 2017.

Spanish classes taught by Maestra and certified translator Gloria Contreras, are under way at the Latitude 20 Restaurant. Registration is still being accepted. Beginners class from 9 to 10 a.m. and advanced class from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact her at [email protected] or call cel 984-108-3517 for more information…

And the school’s traditional bazaar and food too, all happening from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 on the grounds of the Colegio.

The Mail Bag…

Wants to learn about local flora

Dear Editor:
I am very interested in learning about the local trees and shrubs. I wonder if there is anyone in Puerto Aventuras knowledgeable in this subject who would like to conduct a teaching field trip for a few of us. Sorry but my Spanish is poor, so English would be necessary. Please contact me at 984-802- 8635 or [email protected]

Signed/ Ann Matheson

Calling all artists!
Gallery slates final exhibition

Dear Editor:First of all, thank you for the support given to the Gallery while it lasted. The Gallery is coming  to an end, and to leave happy, there will be one last exhibition with local and nearby artists.I am calling as I can, all the artists around to participate, free of charge. And, if you may, I would very much appreciate your help passing the word along on this and inviting everyone to accompany me as I gratefully say goodbye with this exhibition.

Signed/Gladis Perez 

The Roundup…

Sirens heard passing PA Sunday evening were in response to a one-car crash on The 307 near the “El Dorado” hotel in which at least one person was killed and two injured. Police said speed and alcohol caused the driver to lose control and crash into the cement base of a road sign at about 80kph. Firefighters had to be called to extricate passengers trapped in the steel wreckage…

Anxiety on the ferries –  About four prisoners a month are escorted on ferries carrying tourists from Cozumel to the mainland in Playa del Carmen for court appearances. It is being reported however, that since the shootings at the Blue Parrot lounge in Playa, tourists have become uneasy with the sight of prisoners in chains and their armed guards mingling nearby…

Walmart will make  a major investment on the Yucatan Peninsula where it plans to upgrade its supply chain with added distribution centers to service its brands operating here. They include six Walmart stores, three Sam’s Club, one Superama, 10 Bodegas Aurrera, 11 My Bodega Aurrera, five Bodega Aurrera Express and one Suburbia. The company says it will generate 10,000 jobs in the region…

The state has intervened in the municipality’s police issues by naming new chiefs of various police divisions. The state action was taken as the administration of Mayor Cristina Torres was deemed  incapable of controlling the municipal security system, say critics…

Shots were fired in the air near the US Embassy in Merida early last Wednesday by an intoxicated neighbor who told the police he was tired of people throwing garbage in his yard two blocks from the embassy. Police responded, the embassy staff continued its duties uninterrupted, the area was cordoned off and nobody was injured…

Don’t worry, be happy in London – That’s the message being sent out by the city of London, England, to Mexican students who were planning to study in the United States but now worry about sour relations between the two countries and the effect it might have on their plans…

On the roof top on a dark night, we are told, you will be able to see Venus and Mars by the light of the silvery moon. The pair was to have their closest approach to each other on Feb. 2. White Venus and red Mars will be observable though February as they separate…

Gasoline prices to rise again on Feb. 4, reports Antonio Meade, the Secretary of Finance and Public Credit. He said he increase will be less than the one imposed in January and was determined by market conditions in the face of rising oil prices and the devaluation of the peso…

Xcaret bus driver fell asleep on Highway 307 between Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen last Friday with 60 people on board. The bus went through a guardrail and overturned. Two people died and 30 were injured. A new Xcaret program “The World of Children” was to be inaugurated but was postponed because of the accident. An Xcaret spokesperson said the company was attending to the needs of the passengers..

Military sources say that while investigation continues, no suspects have been arrested in the deadly shootings in Cancun and Playa del Carmen several weeks ago. The sources said they believe the events were not connected. Hotel spokesmen in Cancun said the attack there has not affected tourism, which remains robust…

Nature watch
Know what a wasp nest looks
like and avoid getting stung

Hive got you under my skin…if you get too close. (Sandholm Photo)

By Gayle Sandholm
Since my recent return to Puerto I am reminded of the lush green surroundings which provide food and shelter to so many critters. Fortunately, I have seen the spider monkeys, 35 different birds (and counting), and a coatimundi.

Looking up in the trees you can see numerous termite and squirrel nests.  A closer look under some fan palms may show you a paper-like structure with an oval hole in the front.   Beware.  Or more accurately, Waspware!!

These are not bee, but wasp nests.  These paper nests are common here in Puerto.  I saw two during my walks around town.  Often a long tubular shape, tan in color.   Unlike bees who build nests with a waxy substance, wasps construct these papery structures from wood fibers chewed to produce a papery pulp.   From time to time, they remove the bottom layer and add more to the nest, expanded to provide space for new wasps and new wasp combs.

Each wasp colony is started from scratch by a queen who builds a small nest.  Here she raises a starter group of worker female wasps.  These workers then expand the nest, constructing cells into which the queen will lay eggs. The nest gets larger and larger.  A colony can grow to more than 5000 wasps.

On the one hand, these wasps are beneficial to humans.  They are carnivores and often out during the day seeking little critters like spiders and ants to feed the larvae in the nest.  Most pest insects are preyed upon by wasps.  They are so good at controlling pests that some in the agricultural industry use them to protect crops. A few less of these pests around town can be a good thing.  However…

These small wasps can deliver a mighty sting.  When I mentioned this to a friend, she quickly noted that she had been stung, almost like a bite out of her arm, and the pain was horrific.

So keep looking up at these papery nests, but from a distance.  It is much safer that way.

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