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How NOT to drown in a rip current

REMINDERS:

FOOD FEST participants sought by Colonos. See story below and sign up! 
VILLA CHOICES
for families, friends. Click on Akumal Villas at left
SALSA DANCE LESSONS, Wednesdays, 10 a.m., Latitude 20 Restaurants. All welcome. Have fun! Just 30 pesos per hour lesson.
IF THE RAINS leaked on your property, click on Definitive Solutions for help.
LIBRARY HOURS   Mon-Fri from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. More than 15,000 English and Spanish books to choose from.
ENTERTAINMENT NIGHTLY at Latitude 20 Restaurant
RESERVE NOW for summer car storage at Riviera Maya vehicle and boat storage. Click logo at left for web page.
TECHNICAL PROBLEM? – Check Alan’s Repair at left for list of services
ALL THE POOL supplies you need. Click on WeRWater logo for list of products that work.

COMING ATTRACTIONS:
COPPELIA’S BALLET
and Man With the Golden Voice along with Colegio talent, March 8, at 7 p.m. in the Cultural Center, to benefit the PA library and school art projects. Evening of song and dance;, food and drink for purchase, silent auction of local prizes – dinners, hotel stay, landscaping, fishing trip and more. Donation 100 pesos at school office, library or at the door. See display below.

 

Pobladans protest at City Hall;

seek PA beach access lane  

  

By Staff:
   The age-old search for access to beaches through private property expressed itself again last Friday. A group of protesters from the Puerto Aventuras Poblado lined the basement of City Hall in Playa del Carmen to criticize the apparent lack of effort on the part of the municipality to give some 16,000 inhabitants of the Poblado and Puerto Maya access to the local beaches.

This is a universal problem that pits private property rights against the peoples’ legal right to walk upon and enjoy the federal beach zones along the water’s edge. Getting there is the conundrum, because they have to pass through private property. It becomes doubly difficult when such private property belongs exclusively to gated communities and hotel enclaves existing under the law. First, they have to get through the main gates, then cross private beachfront property.

Similar situations exits along some tourist areas in the United States where long sections of public beach go mostly unused because there is no parking along the narrow roads, a situation that wealthy landowners aim to maintain.

Some 30 protesters carrying placards and petitions signed by many Puerto Aventurans met with the city clerk. They are asking the municipal government to intervene with an early solution to the access situation. They said as it is they have had to go some 15 or so kilometers to Akumal – a relatively open community with a small Poblado – to enjoy beachfronts that essentially belongs to all the people. But even there, says Cox Tun Orlando, a PAP (Puerto Aventuras Poblado) resident, access issues are arising.

The Hard Rock Hotel, the Puerto Aventuras Resort Community and Barcelo’s all-inclusive are all gated. In the case of the resort, beach access has also been an issue with some home and condo owners who have had intermittent, temporary problems accessing the beach through the resort’s hotels and private waterfront properties. It has been said that an access lane was inadvertently omitted from the resort’s master plan, leaving the entire waterfront as one continuous barrier of legal private property.

As it is, beaches in the PA resort area have been decimated by nature, losing considerable waterfront land, which in turn has greatly increased taxes on those private waterfront properties. It is doubtful the federal zone remaining could handle the potential increase in beach users that a 16,000 population represents.

Could nearby X-Pu-Ha area of mostly undeveloped beachfront, combined with direct daytime shuttle service from the Poblado, potentially offer an acceptable solution?

What we heard…

Driver offers advice to people

worried about getting a TIP

Kantenha loop now open to cars

By Stan Glab of Tankah Tres

  “In case anyone needs to get a new vehicle TIP (Temporary Import Permit), don’t be discouraged. The process I just went through was a breeze! I had my original TIP from 2010, before the laws changed. I was supposedly still legal because my status is Residente Temporal. However, I have been stopped twice and told the TIP was out of date and that I needed to get a new one or they could impound the car. Obviously not all the police thought I was legal.

On the advice of people who know more about these things than I do, I decided to bite the bullet and drive to the Belize border and struggle though the process. But to get the new TIP, I learned, you don’t have to leave Mexico!

We left from our house three miles north of Tulum and got to the Belize border in about 2 3/4 hours. You follow the signs toward Belize but before you actually get to the border you take the road to the “Libremente” or something like that. (You’ll know it when you see it.). Drive past the red light/green light stop on the left and you will come to a small Kiosk.

From there go left across the road and park in the lot. The signs are not that good but we saw Bancerceto through the side door and went to the counter. There were 2 agents. One spoke English, one did not. We don’t speak much Spanish and the agent we got didn’t speak English. It was not a problem though since the process was so easy.

I told her I needed to cancel a TIP and wanted to get a new one. She took my old TIP paper, which you MUST have, and went to the car. She took a picture of the VIN number and removed the old sticker. She then gave me an official TIP cancellation paper.

Next she asked for my passport, my Residente Temporal card, my US drivers license, and my credit card. Within minutes she handed me the new TIP. We left and put the new sticker on the window and the whole process took about 25 minutes. I had to pay the $400 USD fee which I will get back when I return the car to ANY border crossing while my TIP is still good. There were also other fees amounting to about $50 USD that are not returnable.

The best part is that when we got our “temporary” visa last year it was good for 3 years. Therefore my car TIP doesn’t expire until March 2016 at which time I will need to get the car back to the US. Then I’ll proceed with getting a Permanente visa and a Mexican tagged car.

We were so pleased at how things went. It was relatively easy and not intimidating. On the way back, we suggest you get some pinas and jicamas near Bacalar and get some oranges and especially orange blossom honey just south of Lemones. It is the best honey I’ve had in Mexico in my 20 years of coming here. (I was a hobby beekeeper in the states for 20+ years so I know honey).”

 

Recognizing a rip tide

can help save lives

   By Staff:
   A few years ago, a PA resident lost his life while either snorkeling or body surfing near the Sirinis Resort and Spa just south of Akumal with a friend when he was swept seaward by the current. An attempt at rescue was unsuccessful in preventing death. We were also told red warning flags were out that day and fairly heavy wind was kicking up the surf.

The Pelican Free Press issues this annual reminder to swimmers as a precaution in observing red flags in rough surf and recognizing the formation of rip currents to help prevent accidental death.

For the uninitiated, a rip current, or simply “rip” is a potent water channel that flows from the shore to the sea through a surf line, sometimes flowing as fast as 8 feet per second. They potentially occur at any beach with breaking waves in the world’s oceans, seas and even large lakes. A rip is formed when wind and waves drive water toward the shore, forcing the water sideways. When wind and waves drive water toward the shore, that water is often forced sideways by the oncoming waves and it streams along the beach in search of an exit.

This results in the rip. It is more often than not narrow and found in trenches between sandbars, under piers or running along jetties.

There is a misguided view that undertow or rips pull victims under water when in fact the current is stronger at the water’s surface, which tends to dampen incoming waves, creating an illusion the water is calm. Some say this may deceive some swimmers and lure them into the swift-moving channel in some cases causing death following exhaustion while fighting the current.
Typically, the strongest part of a rip current is the direct line between the water’s edge and the sandbar opening, but the current will also pull in water from either side of the basin. In this way, a rip current might pull you sideways, parallel to the beach, before it pulls you outward, away from the beach.

Once the receding wave makes its way through the sandbar opening and meets up with water at its own level, its pressure immediately drops. Overall, the water flow pattern has a mushroom shape.

Depending on its severity, you may be able to see a rip current from the beach. Strong rip currents disrupt incoming waves and stir up sand from the ocean floor. When you’re at the beach, keep an eye out for narrow, muddy streaks in the ocean where there aren’t any waves breaking.
If you get caught up in a rip current, it’s crucial that you keep your wits about you. Your first instinct may be to swim against the current, back to shallow waters. In most cases, even if you’re a strong swimmer, this will only wear you out. The current is too strong to fight head-on.

Instead, swim sideways, parallel to the beach. This will get you out of the narrow outward current, so you can swim back in with the waves helping you along. If it’s too hard to swim sideways while you’re being dragged through the water, just wait until the current carries you past the sandbar. The water will be much calmer there, and you can get clear of the rip current before heading back in.

People drown when they thrash about in the water or expend all of their energy swimming. To survive a rip current, or any crisis in the water, you have to keep calm, and you have to conserve your energy. If you don’t think you can swim all the way back to the beach, get past the rip current and tread water. Call for help, signal to people on the beach and, if all else fails, wait for the waves to carry you in.
If you’re on the beach and see somebody else caught in a rip current, call for help from a lifeguard or the police. Don’t immediately dive in and swim out to the person. It’s too risky to swim out there yourself unless you have a raft, boogie board or life preserver with you.
People who are not excellent and strong swimmers must exercise sensible caution when entering water with breaking surf and noticeable undertow, particularly near sandbars, reefs and jetties. A rip current could be lurking nearby. Common sense dictates that people not swim or snorkel alone or venture out in deep water or heavy surf without a life preserver and/or friends nearby.

 

Commerce Corner…

Auto, boat storage firm gets

new on-site management

   Compiled by by staff, contributors and general news sources 
 

   A change in on-site management has been reported by Riviera Maya Dry Marina and Storage on Highway 307 across the road from the entrance to Paamul. Ted Faber, one of the original partners in the business is now living in Paamul and will be at the facility “99 percent of the time.”  His former partner, Ken Kindred of Puerto Aventuras, has decided to explore possibilities in another country, Faber said.

The change in operational management comes with new mechanical services for car and boat owners. Faber, who is a mechanic and metal fabricator in his own right, said the company has hired a car/boat mechanic of considerable experience and is now offering auto and boat maintenance and repairs such as brake work, tune-ups, tire rotations and other maintenance services.

Faber, who said he has come down from the state of Washington for permanent residency here will be installing a car lift and expanding his tool supply to handle most jobs. Faber is also a welder and has been repairing boat trailers and doing custom metal work. “If a customer can draw what they want, I can generally build it,” he said.

He has rigged a diesel, four-wheel drive dump truck with a pneumatic ball lift to haul boats in and out of the water and to move and transport large and small recreational vehicles.

The indoor auto storage was full last season, he said, and well on its way to being full this season. He said this year he is offering outdoor storage for cars as well at a reduced rate and if the owner doesn’t have a cover already, can arrange to have one made. All cars stored there, whether in or outdoors, receive continuous battery service, ventilation and moisture control. Since batteries are maintained by running the engines periodically, it is suggested that clients deliver their cars with a full tank of gasoline in the event they stay away longer than expected. The company is also offering a package deal that includes transportation to and from the airport.

“We’re filling up rather quickly this year,” Faber said this week. “We’re on a first-come, first-served basis.” Call © 984-139-6632 for reservations. More information available by clicking on the company logo at left to visit its website.

 
Mexico TV battle heats up  

   The Maharajah of Magador used to sing, “Take my rubies and take my pearls, take my camels and take my girls..” and here in Puerto Aventuras many a snowbird adds, “But don’t take my television service away from me.”

Televisa and TV Azteca, Mexico’s top two broadcasters, are demanding the new federal government agency, Ifetel, investigate dealings between Telmex and Dish Mexico saying they are a threat to competition. Ifatel was formed last year to soften the hold on the communications industry giants like Televisa and the Carlos Slim empire that includes Telmex, part of American Movil. 

The two TV broadcasters say Telmex is using contracts with Dish Mexico to enable Telmex to offer the triple package deal – phone, internet and television…and thus decrease the level of competition. The broadcasters claim the deal constitutes an illegal merger, harmful to competition and not in the best interests of end users.

As that battle rages, snowbirds and ex-pats, helped by technical advances, are going to great means to bring their own Television services from back home down to Mexico…

Slim ups NY Times stake

MEANWHILE, Slim and the Italian group Proto were preparing to sign a deal this week or next to become chief shareholders of the New York Times. Slim, who loaned the

newspaper $250 million to get through the hard times of the last recession, joins Proto to up their joint capital stake to 19 percent, 17 for Slim and 2 for Proto. The value of the stake was not made public

The agreement makes Slim-Proto principal shareholders but the editorial line will remain in the hands of the traditional ownership by the Ochs-Sulzberger family. Alessandra Proto, president of the Proto group, said as Amazon owner Jeff Bezos’ purchase of The Washington Post has shown, traditional groups can no longer operate large media groups without solid support during the industry’s period of transition.

Immigration Law Targeted

  Billionaire investor George Soros upped his philanthropic stake in promoting immigration reform in the U.S. last year by boosting the $3.25 million he donated to liberal causes in 2012 to $11 million in 2013, much of it going for lobbying efforts on behalf of immigration. The major recipient of his largesse last year was the Alliance for Citizenship, which last year promoted marches and rallies urging comprehensive immigration reform.

Join hands, join friends,

cook and share a patriotic

taste of your culture

 

From the Colonos: “Hello friends: We are ready for the 4th edition of The International Food Festival of Puerto Aventuras.
The date is Sunday March 30, 2014, at the Puerto Aventura’s School.We need anyone interested, to confirm their participation as soon as possible.

The idea it’s very simple: one country = one dish. It’s a way to know each other and to know the traditions of each country through their food. It’s not ‘high level cuisine’, but the traditional food, what we eat every day, or during the holidays, the Greeks, the Chinese or the Turkish. Not lobster or caviar, something more simple but characteristic of each country.

Mexico will participate by states: Puebla, Yucatán, Nuevo León, etc.Each dish must be enough for 250/300 samples, small portions, a taste of flavor. 30 gr of meat or 30 gr of pasta. Nothing big, we would like for everyone to be able to taste 10 countries before being full.

There are two ways to participate: 1) As commercial business (restaurant, hotel, foods dealer). The company makes its own publicity, in any way they want, but we need it to identify with one country: Chinese restaurant, Argentinian parrilla, French cheese import. The Colonos will provide the installation of table, chairs, cups, main course or soup dishes, napkins, etc., but not the food. This it’s the cost of publicity.

2) A private citizen cooks his recipe just to introduce his country, with no commercial intent. In this case the Association of Colonos will refund the food cost (but we need the receipts) up to a max of $2000 pesos. Obviously the Association of Colonos will provide also the installation of table, chairs, cups, main course or soup dishes, napkins, etc.

We need to know ASAP who wants to participate, name of the country and the dish that will be prepared. Invite your neighbors and friends from other countries to participate.We expect around 600 people at the event. Drinks are sold separately.Tickets are sold in The Association of Colonos office at $150 pesos , children $100 pesos.

Info with Carlos at coordinacion@colonos.org tel. 8735116 or with Jorge at chupachiux@hotmail.com

Best regards, Association of Colonos Sports and Culture Commission.”

 

 

Phrase a Week… with Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
“Do not swim lone in rough waters.” In Spanish, you could say “No nade en aguas turbulentas solitario ”
Anyone interested in learning the language can please contact Ms. Contreras by email at nanigloria@hotmail.com or Cel: 984-108-3517 .

Church Services… Please click Colonos icon on right top of page.

AA and Alanon meetings…
AA
and ALANON meetings are held at the public library at the Colegio as follows:
AA Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m; Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at noon. ALANON meeting is held Mondays at 5:30 p.m., also at the library. Meetings are “open” and non-members are welcomed to attend.

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