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Around town…


PA’s municipal delegation

asks to have its own mayor

By Staff
There is a move afoot in the poblado’s political delegation to create a mayor’s position in Puerto Aventuras. If such an alteration should come to pass – and a decision on the plan could happen this month – Colonos General Manager Armando Rincon says he doubts the modification would have much, if any effect on the community’s  generally self-governing resort at least until November when a new municipal administration takes charge.

From what can be gathered thus far, the request to establish a mayoralty in Puerto Aventuras is aimed mostly at affording the indigenous community – comprising the poblado and the massive Puerto Maya sector – an updated measure of fiscal and political autonomy, subject however to oversight by the municipal seat of Solidaridad in Playa del Carmen. In a meeting this week, the Citizen’s Council moved to invite the University of Quintana Roo to help in a proper transformation.

It appears the proposal aims to assure that the Puerto Aventuras municipal delegation is allotted a more equitable return on the tax dollars the community sends to the municipality, and more control over how it is spent.

The plan was presented to the city council earlier this month by Councilor Emilio Tamargo, and was initially viewed favorably by that body pending legal review.

Tamargo pointed out that Puerto Aventuras is no longer a community of “just 6,000” residents, pegging the population now at 11,000 according to the Municipal Population Council while other reports count as many as 15,000 inhabitants. The higher population figures and the distance between Puerto Aventuras and the municipal seat in Playa requires a more elevated, responsive and efficient status, Tamargo infers.


Library sets summer hours:

The Puerto Aventuras Library will begin summer hours on Wednesday, July 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays only until August 10.  Regular schedule will resume on August 15.


Federal anti-corruption move

on 2 states includes Q. Roo

By Staff
The Pena Nieto administration took aim at two state governments this week over allegations they defied federal anti-corruption laws. One of those states is tourism-rich Quintana Roo. The fed action comes as a mild surprise to the foreign, non-voting community invested in the state’s flourishing tourist sector. The other is the oil-rich but crime-ridden state of Veracruz.

Pena Nieto’s office is pursuing allegations made by critics and the press during the last election that new state prosecutors’ offices in the process of being created in both states are intended to shield the governors of those states from alleged wrongdoing.

The Pena Nieto administration wants the Supreme Court to rule against those measures being implemented by the two states to preempt federal rule. (There are already US indictments outstanding against some three PRI governors.)

The President’s office acted after the people of both states recently voted in gubernatorial elections to end the decades-long reign of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the President’s party, and joining five other states in a rebuke of PRI control.

Quintana Roo’s governor, Roberto Borge, who has been accused of corruption by critics of his administration, denied this week that he has promoted the creation of any state controlled anti-corruption system for self-protection. He said he has full respect for the coming federal anti-corruption initiative.

The weak rule of law and rampant impunity nationwide have been listed by economists as major concerns of investors in Mexico’s future.

Another US fugitive caught here;

faces LA charges of felony fraud

For the second time in three months, international enforcement authorities have taken into custody an alleged fugitive living in Puerto Aventuras. Both fugitives are separately charged in unrelated US warrants concerning fraud complaints in the US and both men were employed of late in the real estate industry in Mexico.

Apprehended last week at a rented, upscale Punta Roca condo was a suspect identified as Wallace E. Thomas, 53, who, it is alleged, is wanted in Los Angeles County, USA, in connection with a multi-million-dollar fraud case involving sales of unqualified securities.

A resident familiar with the arrest scene said Thomas was taken away without incident or resistance. Booking information at the North County Correctional Facility, Los Angeles County, CA, notes Thomas was being held in lieu of $980,000 bail.

In late April, another fugitive, William Bowen, was taken into custody and returned to the Colorado judicial system in the US where he is now incarcerated and facing allegations of fraud. His cases are still pending in Colorado Courts and several hearings scheduled this month.

Details concerning the US charges leveled at Thomas are included in papers filed in LA Superior Court on March 26, 2012 by the LA Department of Corporations. The filing purports that a defendant, Wallace E. Thomas, a/k/a “Wally”, was involved in a continuing scheme with other individuals and businesses in which investors poured $10 million, of which $2.7 million was diverted to Thomas, notes the court filing.

While living in Puerto Aventuras, Thomas and Bowen were employed in real estate sales.The day after Bowen was extradited in April, the rented office of the time-share sales company  in which he reportedly was a partner closed. There are no known official charges on file against either fugitive in Mexico.


Limits on Akumal snorkelers

cut profits despite price hike

A limit of 12 snorkelers a day in Akumal Bay per licensed tour operator is reportedly causing fiscal hardship for cooperatives with permits and resentment from companies as far away as Puerto Morelos that were turned away last week, one with a group of 80 swimmers and another with 60.

Recent regulations to control tourism and simultaneously protect sea life that has been endangered by overuse, according to recent studies, has already caused a doubling of the fee from $25 to $50 for tourists to snorkel with turtles. Still, some cooperative members say that leaves little room for profit to make up the loss from the diminished number of tourists.

The limit of 280 snorkelers a day total, or 12 per licensed operator, was instituted by Semarnat (Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources) and is being enforced by agents of Profepa (Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection.)

The issues of curtailing beach access over purported private land and unlimited activity by local tour operators have in the last few months caused protests and demonstrations in which fences were torn down, Molotov cocktails thrown, roads blockaded and tear gas used to disperse protesters in efforts by the cooperatives to maintain access in the face of new hotel construction and get intervention by government.

The negative behaviors awakened government agencies to the need for intervention and the promulgation of rules – basically limiting tour numbers – that are now themselves subject to disagreement.

Studies claim there is a possible link between tumors found on turtles and overuse of the resource by humans.


The Roundup…

Hoo Haa lounge was shut down by municipal authorities after months of late-night noise complaints and other problems involving encroachment on common property. The restaurant and lounge abuts Centro HOA properties and generally has been criticized for not responding to legitimate complaints of nearby residents, particularly from the iconic Chac-Hal-Al housing complex, concerning late-night noise. It could not be determined as of this writing whether the closure is permanent or temporary…

Tulum dispossessed hold protest – About 100 aggrieved people who were unceremoniously removed from private homes and hotels they were operating in Tulum’s Punta Pierda area gathered peacefully outside the judiciary building last week to protest government action in removing them from their rented properties for allegedly not paying rent as per an oral agreement, a claim that is disputed. The aggrieved allege government officials conspired to carry out the eviction without warning or displaying a court order. The eviction is causing jitters in some area land investors in Tulum…

The ADO bus company, (Autobuses de Oriente) suspended service to areas of the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas for the safety of their passengers as June came to a close. Those states have recently been subject to violent protests (11 deaths in Oaxaca) over teacher union concerns regarding education reforms and a rise in gang violence…

Meanwhile, police in Solidaridad have been reduced to asking businesses for money to purchase gasoline for police cars after limits were placed on petrol purchases by Solidaridad’s municipal government…

Two deaths from heat stroke, one of them in Solidaridad, prompted officials to release an alert reminding the populace to take precautions against heat that has occasionally risen to 45 degrees Celsius (113 F). The victim in Solidaridad was a 32-year-old laborer…

The massive Mayakoba City project west of 307 continues to foment protests by residents of two nearby neighborhoods concerned about disruptions of their water and sewerage services by the Mayakoba construction process. But the aggrieved added another complaint recently alleging that city officials have increased police patrols in the area that harass and intimidate residents…

Daily rubbish collection service faltered again in June, requiring a posted notice to residents by the Colonos that it was actively “putting pressure” on the municipal collection service to quickly resume daily service. It worked, evidently, as the department responded with a pledge to do just that by the following weekend…

Surprising turn-around – While the US is known for its frequent advisories cautioning Americans about travel in certain Mexico states, a rare step was taken by the foreign ministry of the Bahamas last week cautioning its citizens to use caution traveling to certain US cities in view of the recent spate of deadly shootings. Bahrain and United Arab Emirates followed suit…Meanwhile, police reported 15 people including a family of 11 and six minors were murdered over the weekend in apparent intramural  cartel violence in Ciudad Victoria, capital of Tamaulipas state…

There is optimism in PA and the area that the summer high season beginning this week will be as good as last year’s, according to tourism sources. While the influx of summer tourists isn’t as exuberant as the Christmas and Easter seasons, the summer high season is longer, reaching into August, say tourism spokesmen. PA service providers and food retailers reported a good season last summer…

Rising prices for gasoline, electricity and other commodities are being lamented by Mexico’s businesses and working class, the latter wondering how it will be able to pay for even basic items… Ten inmates escaped from jail in Cancun over the weekend by going over a wall.


Nature watch….

The frigate bird we see here

is a truly unflappable fellow

By Staff

“Cloud nine, please.”

That’s what the frigate birds we see gliding gracefully above the Puerto Aventuras shoreline might order as they enter Mother Nature’s elevator on their roughly 2.5 mile climb half way to the limits of earth’s troposphere, which ends at five to nine miles up before thinning out.

To get there, the frigates ride the winds and clouds that comprise nature’s elevator of convection, which in this case is vertical atmospheric movement by which the warmer air ascends and the colder air descends – up and down like an elevator. That’s what the frigate rides by merely spreading its wings.

Here are a few astonishing facts made possible by the convenient relationship of the frigate’s physical structure and convection’s natural movements: The bird can remain aloft for two months, travel more than 250 miles daily and glide up to 40 miles without flapping its wings at all. Not once. How come?

For one thing, the frigate bird weighs only two to four pounds but has a wingspan of about seven feet. It is quite a high ratio of wingspan to body mass compared, for example, to the Canada geese which weighs 15 pounds and has about the same wingspan as a frigate.

The frigate gets to and uses the elevator thus: It glides under a convenient cloud about 100 feet above the water and fills its wings with warm rising air with such efficiency that up it goes in a corkscrew movement without a flap. They exit the elevator as it reaches about 2000 feet and increasing turbulence by lapping their wings to exit, fly downward to catch another cloud and repeat the cycle.

By the way, the frigate’s feathers aren’t waterproof so they don’t sit on the water after dinner, a repast they must swoop and scoop while skimming in flight just above the water. They don’t splash into the water to stun their prey as does the pelican.

One frigate tracked by ornithologist Henri Weimerskersh, of the National Center for Scientific Research, whose report was fodder for news articles, reached 2.5 miles vertically then glided diagonally downward for nearly 40 miles before catching another cloudy cumulus elevator.

While they spend much of their time at sea, the frigates rest now and then on land, in trees and rocky cliffs. Chances are when we spot them gliding over the Puerto Aventuras caleta, they aren’t lollygagging. They’re looking for an elevator.


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The End – Previous edition below

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