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March 29, 2017

PA’s People…
Resident Tony Schaefer all a-board
for PA Colegio’s fundraising effort  

ALL ABOARD for a Colegio fundraising mission is boarder Tony Schaefer, who plans to paddle 124 miles from Cancun to Tulum. (Staff Photo)

Funds needed to finish 3rd-floor classroom 

By Staff
Ex-pat resident Tony Schaefer is going to paddleboard 124 miles from Cancun DOWN to Tulum to help the Puerto Aventuras Colegio build UP a third-floor classroom.

The school needs 2 million pesos to complete the project and since Schaefer believes in the school’s mission, he said, he’s hoping his paddling contribution will attract donors.

Like the Roman Empire, his excursion won’t be done in a day. “We’re planning it for the first or second week of June, depending on the weather” he said last week sitting on a Fatima Bay beach wall. “We figure it will take me seven days paddling about five hours a day.”

TONY SCHAEFER staying in shape as he trains along the Fatima Bay shore. Barcelo Hotel is in background.

Overheating a problem

He’ll be tethered to a Tahoe Zephyr “touring board” supplied by the LXV Outdoor Co. (see logo at left) for which he is an unpaid ambassador of good will.

“Overheating is a problem even on the water,” he said in explaining why he’ll paddle mornings and late afternoons, stopping by prearranged landfalls at various all-inclusives for the night and hoping, he said, “others join me along the way.” He’ll also carry water, juice and bananas but “mostly water” and paddle roughly between 1 and 3 kilometers from shore.

The effort is the more daunting considering that Schaefer is 69. He permanently settled on old Mexico’s Caribbean shore from New Mexico’s deserts four years ago, trading riding horses in the desert to paddling the Caribbean. “You might say I went from saddle to paddle – which, incidentally, is his Facebook by-line “saddle2paddle.” He will document the trip on Facebook. His Facebook handle is “Tony Schaefer.”

Was New Mexico contractor

Schaefer and his wife, Annette, parents of four, retired from the construction business in New Mexico to a beach-side condo, after which Schaefer, who says “I don’t know how to retire,” took to paddle boarding eight years ago, four of which were part-time years vacationing in PA.

He did it, he said, to stay fit and occupied. And fit he is at about 170 pounds and 32-inch waist. “I owe that to riding horses in New Mexico and paddle boarding,” he says.

Anyone who lives on the Fatima Bay shore has surely seen Schaefer paddling away mornings from the north to south shores of the bay in preparation for his maiden Cancun-Tulum mission. He has already completed boarding trips to Akumal and Paamul and back, logging an estimated 700 kilometers of training distance on his current board.

“I’m not involved with the details of the fundraising,” he said, “but I understand there will be an announcement from the school shortly.”

Paddling along the reefs as he often does, Schaefer said he was “astonished” to recently find much of it along this part of the coast “bleached”, killing coral. But that’s another story and, Schaefer said, he hopes to follow it.

“Swan Lake” ballet on the golf course

Copelia’s Ballet Co. will present “Swan Lake” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 31, in an outdoor setting on the Puerto Aventuras golf course near the club house and Divot Cafe. Pre-sale tickets are 200 pesos or 250 pesos at the event. More information at 984-803-4136.

Rotary Golf Classic tees off Saturday, April 1. 

By Michele Kinnon
Rotary publicist

   The Rotary Club Playa del Carmen Seaside is pleased to host the 5th annual Seaside Rotary Golf Classic presented by TAEMA, a Charity Golf Tournament to be held on Saturday April 1st at the Hard Rock Golf Club Riviera Maya in Playacar. Tee-time is at 8 a.m. The tournament will be a 4 Player Scramble (non-handicap). Players are invited to sign up in teams or individually. Cost: 2200 pesos. 2000 pesos for FMG members.

Tournament Trophies will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. There will be additional prizes for Special Contests such as “Closest to the Hole”, “Longest Drive”. All Players will be invited to BEAT THE PRO. Golfers who qualify for the hole-in-one shoot out will also be offered the chance to win either 1,000,000 pesos or a building lot in the exclusive TAEMA Residential Resort and Airpark worth $88,000 USD!!

Enjoy coffee and breakfast before the tournament. Complimentary beverages will be provided during tournament play. All players and sponsors are invited to a gala awards ceremony and luncheon following the tournament. Event proceeds will support Seaside Rotary projects that benefit disadvantaged youth and families in Solidaridad. To register, please visit the tournament website: www.seasiderotarygolfclassic.com or contact Scot Lyall – 984 806 5190.

Bingo is coming up at 3:30 p.m. this Sunday, April 2, at Latitude 20 Restaurant with proceeds going to the poblado Community Center. Come join the fun, says owner Jim Stubbs…

Spanish classes taught by Maestra Gloria Contreras are under way at the Latitude 20 Restaurant. Beginners class from 9 to 10 a.m. and advanced class from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact her at cel 984-108-3517 for more information…

Soccer players aged 15 to 50+ are invited to play on the informal resort team Sundays, 9 to 11 a.m., at the Puerto Maya sports complex field. The resort team, wearing red and black shirts, has informal fun games with a poblado team. The field is in back of the Oxxo store on the main entrance road that begins at Chedraui’s…

Dates of note in April… In Mexico – Heroic defense of Veracruz against US occupation, April 21; Children’s Day, April 30;   In the US – Persian Gulf War ends, 1991, April 6; Religious: Palm Sunday, April 9; Passover, April 10; Good Friday, April 14, Easter, April 16.

Recycling this Friday, March 31, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the skate park on Blvd. Puerto Aventuras. This year, there will be recycling twice a month. Stay tuned for dates.

Commerce Corner…
Maya Storage has space enough
for cars, carts and all your stuff

TAKING A BREAK from diversifying and expanding his business, Ted Faber sits on a rustic bench he manufactured for sale at Riviera Maya Dry Marina and Storage in Paamul. (Staff Photo)

By Staff

Riviera Maya dry marina and car and general storage is observing its fifth year of operations on Highway 307’s southbound lane across from the Paamul entrance. It now has more space to store cars indoors and has increased the number of various-sized lockers for storage of household goods.

Owner Ted Faber has also expanded the on-site consignment shop to carry a variety of outdoor decorative cement products such as coral pots, home-made rustic wooden furniture and various plants including cactus,

He has leased more space in the building to add indoor storage for 10 more cars at that site to about 40 cars, and 15 more at another site in Playa del Carmen. That brings total auto storage to “about 55”, Faber said.

Section of storage lockers that will have swipe-card access in the future.

Offers storage option

The company offers an alternative to leaving unattended cars and carts outdoors during the hot, humid, rainy season. Faber said the building has natural air flow, on-site personnel and 24/7 security. Lockers of various sizes and prices can store household goods, bicycles.

“For  snowbirds who spend a few months here and accumulate more items than they can carry every year,” say Barry and Shirley Myers of Toronto,  “Ted offers reliable, punctual and reasonably priced storage service with  convenient pick-up and delivery. We recommend it.”

Faber said the company also continues to offer boat hauling services and transportation to and from the airport of clients in their own cars for the ultimate in travel convenience. He will also pick up and deliver locker storage items.

On-line payment added

Speaking of convenience, Faber said he has added on-line payment service and will soon introduce a swipe-card system to the Paamul storage facility for independent access to lockers.

Last but not least, Faber and a partner will be opening a restaurant on the Paamul premises to service highway drivers in rest-stop style, noting there isn’t a highway rest stop from Puerto Morelos to Tulum, a roughly 100-mile stretch.

Learn more about the facility by clicking on the Riviera Maya logo in the sponsor column at left or call Ted Faber at 984-139-6632 for more information.

The Roundup…

Taxi union requests for increases in fares of up to 30 percent were rejected by the state Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (Sintra) last week, ending the current round of fare hike petitions by 17 unions in the state. Instead, Sintra said it is talking to taxi drivers about improving service..

Sad day for happiness gauge  Mexicans are somewhat less happy these days according to the annual World Happiness Report findings in a survey of 155 countries. Mexico dropped four places, from 21st happiest to 25th while Norway came in first, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland as the top four happiest countries. Canada was 7th and the US 14th

Canada experiencing a spike in Mexican visitors since dropping a visa requirement while Trump policies  in the US and better airline connections also contributed, say Canadian officials…

Sale of seized gangster assets by the Mexican government over seven years has netted about $22 million for the national treasury. The assets have included homes, warehouses, cars, yachts, jewelry, wine and exotic animals, reports the government’s Asset Management and Disposal Service…

Squatters killed 20 protected-specie crocodiles in Chiapas for their blood last week while environmental officials managed to save 14 others held in captivity and abused. While the blood may have some antibiotic uses, popular myth claims it can help cure diabetes and cancer. Most of the animals were about 1.5 meters long. Chiapas’ southern border is coterminus with Guatemala…

A 12-state spike in homicide in the first two months of 2017 is the highest since records have been kept, reports the federal Interior Secretariat. Guerrero was highest at 340 homicides and Yucatan, the least of the 12 at 14. Veracruz reported 211. The agency said 17 other states were near records…

Thieves opened valves of stopped train in Nogales, Veracruz, spilling an estimated 70 tons of wheat along a two-mile stretch of the track.  The word spread quickly and about 300 families appeared with buckets, bags and sacks to cart off the free find…

Underwater Museum promoters denied approval for the project just last month have returned to the federal environmental agency to again seek permission for the park off Mamitas Beach in Playa del Carmen…

Tulum has more jobs than workers as few people participated in a job fair with more than 1,000 relatively good-paying job vacancies offering as much as 10,000 pesos a month in some sales openings…


The mail bag…

Retired shipping executive offers
to mediate marina/gate ban dispute 

Dear Editor:

I refer to your recent article entitled “Colonos reverses stance on use of main gate ban.” In my view, it is regrettable that the dispute between the owners of the marina and the owners of some commercial vessels has not been resolved.

It is my understanding that the commercial vessel owners have taken legal action and the owners of the marina have requested and secured the imposition of a “ban” by the Colonos Association preventing the customers of the several commercial vessel owners from entering through the main gate of Puerto Aventuras effective March 29, 2017.

I am in no way commenting on the merits of each party’s case but, as a member of the Colonos Association, I regret and object to the Colonos Association becoming embroiled in a commercial dispute in the absence of any criminal act being committed or pursuant to a court decision or court order.  I have informed the Colonos Association accordingly.

Such an involvement will probably expose the Colonos Association to unnecessary litigation and claims for damages from the commercial vessel owners and possible adverse publicity for our resort.

I do enjoy the tranquility and atmosphere in Puerto Aventuras and its facilities. I also hold in high regard its founder/developer, Arq. Roman Rivera Torres, and those who operate our facilities .

Therefore, in order to assist in the resolution of  the current impasse, I, as a retired international shipping executive for 43 years and holding, among other certifications, a qualification in English Arbitration Law and Practice and a  Fellow of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (retired status), have offered my services to the parties in dispute through the Colonos Association on a free of charge basis, to conduct informal mediation.

Litigation, although sometimes inevitable, is all too often an unnecessary, wasteful deployment of financial resources, time and effort that detracts the parties from pursuing the development of their respective businesses.

Signed/Angelo Mouzouropoulos


Wants improved path to bridge

Dear Editor

Two things I would like to propose that would make life better in PA. One is placing lights along the marina adjacent to the Dolphin Discovery Manatee palapa. The rest of the marina has lights and while this area used to be lit, it is now  “lights out,” making a walk around the marina dangerous at night.

Second, could someone please complete the pathway to the Chedraui pedestrian overpass on the resort side of 307. It makes walking to the market dangerous when a little work to finish the pathway is all that is needed…

Signed/Peter Moulton

…or maybe a sidewalk?

Dear Editor:

When we come down to PA we try to shop as much as we can in town but have to go over to Chedraui for a few things.  We usually walk and use the pedestrian overpass. However, it is tough to use when there is no walking path on the resort side – just ruts to traverse and prayers that no driver hits you.  A sidewalk on that side would be very handy for all who do not want to walk to the underpass and then cross over (which is also dicey sometimes).

Signed/W. Hamilton

Nature Watch…
Two toucans in town add
to local birdman’s trifecta

By Gayle Sandholm
It was a Wednesday morning when I ventured out with two other birders.  One had seen a Keel-Billed Toucan in Phase 4 earlier in the week.  After seeing several common birds, including the bright red Summer Tanager, a large bird flew overhead to land in a nearby tree.

BIGGER BILL than CFE. Toucan handle it better than one. (Gayle Sandholm Photo)

Amazed and awe struck, we agreed it was a Toucan.  Sure enough, this Keel-Billed Toucan sat in the upper section of this tree and I was quick to capture several photos.  It is a life bird (first time seen) for me.

Soon after we spotted two Black headed Trogons.  Then to our surprise another Keel-Billed Toucan was resting in a tree some distance from where we saw the first one. Later that evening some family members saw the Toucan again.  I joined them only to also see a Turquoise Browed MotMot.   It was a perfect trifecta.  Fly fishers know of the Bonefish/Permit/Tarpon trifecta.  Golfers know of a hole in one.  It was that kind of day.

Best known for its oversized bill, the Keel-Billed Toucan is a large and colorful bird with black plumage, a bright yellow throat and cheeks, vibrant red feathers under its tail and a yellow-green face. Its light green, banana-shaped bill is splashed with orange and tipped with red and blue, and can grow to be a third of the size of the toucan’s 20-inch body.

Though cumbersome looking, the bill is actually quite light because it is made of protein and supported by hollow bones. The toucan’s very broad wings, however, are heavy and make flight laborious.  (Rainforest Alliance)

Also known as the rainbow billed toucan because of its colorful bill, it is the national bird of Belize.  It inhabits forests from southern Mexico, where it is the only large toucan, south through Central America to northern Colombia and extreme northwestern Venezuela.  Not a permanent resident of Puerto Aventuras, It is a delight to see when it comes to town.  So keep looking up at all that can amaze us in this little piece of paradise.

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our weekly high-season schedule is 10 a.m. on Mondays. Thank you. Disclaimer: The Pelican Free Press is not responsible for content and/or claims made on sponsor web sites or social media links.

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