MAY 2014: Beer spill gridlocks 307
BILLFISH TOURNAMENT, Capt. Ricks, May 2-6; meet‘wounded warriors’ from the U.S.
AKUMAL COMEDY CLUB Festival returns April 29-May 3. See story below for schedule.
WIDE SMILE – Visit our local dentist before heading north. Click on the Smile logo
VILLAS AKALAN to rent close to the Riviera Maya’s prime beach at Tulum.
REPAIR LEAKS BEFORE THE RAINY SEASON, 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 at PA’s Latitude 20 Restaurant
DANGER WET FLOOR? Don’t slip, don’t fall, give Innovative Floor Solutions a call. Click left.
RESERVE NOW for summer car storage at Riviera Maya vehicle and boat storage. Click the logo at left.
FISHING SEASON HERE: Click on Capt. Rick’s for sportfishing adventure
REMEMBER Puerto Aventuras Catering for small house parties or large weddings. Click logo at left.
HOT EVENING? Take a cool walk to Jessie Gelato in Centro and taste the relief
AQUANAUTS dive shop in Centro offers training, varied diving exploits, GoPro camera sales
Thousands of 307 drivers affected
by toppled truck spilling beer load
A huge double-trailer truck carrying a load of beer went off the highway and toppled over at around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday on the northbound lane of Route 307 near Punta Venado when, said driver Pedro Rodriguez, 27, of Veracruz, he just blinked then lost control of the heavy truck.
The driver was not injured but lots of cases of beer were ejected and subsequently looted by ecstatic passersby who were feverishly loading car trunks and pick-ups with cases of beer. We even saw smiling natives waving beer bottles walking along the highway’s center strip nearly a mile from the accident scene as though they had had just visited Santa Claus at the North Pole.
But, like a Timex watch, the accident kept on ticking all day causing major gridlock until about 4 p.m. as the police, ambulance service and towing operations necessitated closing the road down intermittently and then allowing only one lane to barely remain open. The usual 14-minute trek to Playa del Carmen from Puerto Aventuras turned into 60-minute-plus stop-and-go torment for van drivers trying to deliver clients to the airport in Cancun.
By about 11:30 a.m., traffic remained at a standstill, to the point that many drivers apparently late for work or appointments were talking on cell phones and gesturing frantically with explanations. Others shut down their engines and stepped outside for a cigarette and conversation with other drivers, some complaining about the heat and pungent odor of exhaust fumes from cement-mix trucks and other diesel vehicles.
A seemingly overloaded Solidaridad municipal truck packed with workers – we mean packed – was stuck in the traffic while the workers who could barely move in the back of the vehicle suffered the oppressive heat and fumes stoically (see photo montage below) as traffic stalled and crawled all day long.
This issue begins monthly schedule;
stay tuned via our e-mailed notices
With this issue, the Pelican Free Press embarks upon its usual summer monthly schedule in hopes of keeping locals, snowbirds and visitors from Calgary to Vancouver and Washington state to Texas abreast of developments during the slower-paced summer season in Puerto Aventuras. Please stay tuned to our monthly e-mails.
Judging from the letters and comments we receive, this past high season has been a pleasurable one for most snowbirds and while they delight in applying the rhetorical “Paradise” label here, we know every place called “Paradise” has its own measure of imperfection, even the “real” Paradise: You have to die to get there. But for those of us who delight in spending our winters here, we can say that despite minor limitations, this is about as good as it gets.
We have seen considerable new housing construction along Bahias Chemuyil, Xaac, Yanten, Yalku and Soliman and of course the near completion of infrastructure in Phase 4 where at least three homes of the 132 house lots there are already under construction. And while we leave this season with a knowledge of growth, we undoubtedly will see and feel it more when we return in the fall.
We have also been apprised of movement in the water distribution system shifting to desalination and potable water from the tap sometime in 2016 and the potential distribution of fiber optic wiring to speed downloads from the Internet. Desalination is already being used by several hotels here to limit the cost of water. The Colonos is studying options for long-term traffic and parking control and permits are awaited for the major sand replenishment project in Fatima Bay. We’ll endeavor to keep you posted on developments over the summer and fall.
We thank the Colonos and Fideicomiso for their cooperation in helping us keep the English-speaking community informed of local events, visions and infrastructure developments. A special appreciation goes to our sponsors who provide the community with necessary services and products, help defray the cost of publication and to readers who, we trust, support the sponsors.
Onward and forward.
EASTER IN PUERTO AVENTURAS
ABOVE PHOTOS show the Poblado children’s re-enactment and observation of Jesus’ Good Friday crucifixion while photos below capture people doing what it is they do to celebrate Easter Sunday in Centro stores like (in photos below) Oxxo and Jessie Gelato and the Omni Beach Club beach, pool and restaurant. Some 18,000 people a day packed Playa del Carmen beaches and Tulum was reportedly inching toward a record crowd.
Entrepreneur settles in PA
with some helpful suggestions
Would you like to look inside your Puerto Aventuras condo or villa and maybe turn on the fans while you’re sitting in your kitchen in Canada or at a restaurant in Europe? Or how about seeing the scoundrel who cloned your credit card at a local ATM? There’s a new man in town who can arrange it.
Meet Ted Schellhas, a newly arrived bi-lingual stakeholder in Puerto Aventuras who has brought with him 18 years of training and experience in the technical art of electronic security and monitoring for villas and condos, public properties like schools and parks and large and small businesses. He and his Mexican-born wife, Sanjuana (Jane), a language teacher at the Colegio here, have settled in “for the long term,” he said during an interview last week.
A native of New Jersey, Schellhas honed an interest in security and protection early on by the side of his father, a New Jersey State Trooper who later served with the F.B.I. Born in the age of technology, Schellhas said he saw the promise of photo/electronic security and followed the electronic side of the security profession while majoring in criminal justice at W. Virginia University and earning a business degree from Thomas Edison University in New Jersey.
Suggests cameras at ATMs
Having read in the Pelican Free Press about incidents of ATM misdeeds here and how one homeowner who was burglarized used video camera evidence to nail the perpetrators, Schellhas said he would suggest the Colonos require banks with ATMs here to install cameras at the ATM sites to keep watch on those who abuse the system and provide evidence.
“I worked a number of years for two jointly owned companies in Charleston, South Carolina, one in which I conducted installations of the latest technology in alarm and door systems, door access control and security cameras,” Schellhas said.
Worked developing the software
“The other company was iPoint. I assisted this division in developing the software used in the security installations. I continue to develop software under the Mayan Security name and I’m currently converting it to the Spanish language as well.”
He said he installed security systems in the Charleston school district’s 90 schools that included cameras, door and even gate systems operated automatically by electronic cards in the buses that allowed entry onto school grounds safely “and without long lines waiting.”
Schellhas said he installs and wires, where necessary,two types of cameras depending on the need. One, usually for small homes and condos, can be wireless still photography cameras operated on the same principal as motion detectors. This camera takes snapshots of anything in motion. The other type is video cameras that operate continually.
For villas and businesses where security is paramount, integrated door, camera, gate, monitoring and alarm systems provide the ultimate in electronic security. And, he says, he maintains what he installs and trains clients to get the ultimate uses of of the equipment.
Incidentally, Schellhas designed his own logo and web page and for five years taught various computer classes. Read more about this new resident’s accomplishments, security and monitoring systems and more by clicking on the “Mayan Security” logo on this page to reach his web site or call him at (cel) 984-136-6555.
Thieves use welding torch
in ATM break outside gate
Colonos security has reported that thieves on Saturday night broke into a wall of a building just outside the main gate near Taco Paco and went to quite some labor to create a hole in the building where air conditioning was positioned to gain access.
Then, according to the Colonos report, the thieves used a welder’s torch to break into one of two ATM machines inside the building that was not only closed but doubly so by hurricane shutters. Only one of the ATMs was ripped open by the torch and the money inside stolen.
Security theorizes that the thieves ran out of fuel in the torch cylinder before being able to open the second machine. The police are following up on some leads as to who might be responsible for the theft. There have been nearly a dozen complaints about ATMs inside the resort this season, the latest concerning the cloning of cards that were then used a few days later for purchases in Cancun (see below).
MORE ATM PROBLEMS are being recorded by residents here. We received a notice from a Boulevard Puerto Aventuras resident that he and several neighbors fell victim to a compromised Santander ATM near Paparazzi Pizza as of April 6. “Scammers use the card reader on the machine to make duplicate cards then later use them at other ATMs in Cancun.”… MEANWHILE, banks like Santander and Bancomer evidently do not have enough branches and ATMs in Playa del Carmen. There were long lines on payday just before Easter when workers who are not paid in cash had to go to the banks in droves to get enough money for the holiday weekend… REFLECTORS of some sort are needed to find the oblique entrance into Puerto Maya and Chedraui’s market at night when heading south on Highway 307… CUPCAKE AND COFFEE shop opening next month near the Omni Hotel…PEMEX gasoline station outside the Main Gate was running on empty last Thursday morning…NO SURPRISE that the service industry fared well over the Easter Week with a considerable spike in domestic tourism…A BENEFICENT CONSPIRACY was encountered in the Puerto Aventuras Poblado (PAP) when two gringos were spotted unobtrusively measuring a door and looking over the Red Cross clinic building. Turns out one of them talked the other into paying for a new door and a paint job. Did we mention this happened on “Good” Friday?…A LOADING DOCK for Cozumel is under way at Calica on the mainland…MUZZLE THE POLICE – There has been a covert movement in Playa del Carmen to muzzle the police: Hoteliers want incidents like the shooting of a foreign traveler in the ankle last week allegedly for selling dope on the Playacar beaches to be kept quiet. Hoteliers say it sullies the city’s image and hurts the tourism business. In other words, the truth hurts…FILTRO DOUBLED – The 307 police filtro at Calica was augmented over the holidays by a second north-bound filtro of federal police to check trucks and give guidance to bus drivers from distant places before entering Playa…PA HELPS ACHIEVE NEW RECORD during the holiday weekend by contributing to Solidarity’s collection of a record-breaking 3000 tons of garbage, reports the director of Urbana Maintenance and Cleaning. The usual 550 average collected in those four days exploded to 750 tons…UNEMPLOYMENT rose from 4.51 percent to 4.8 percent last month with most workers, 42.3 percent, employed in the service sector…FIVE NATURAL GAS PIPELINES will be built in Mexico, but none yet in the Yucatan…U.S. PLANS TO SELL 18 Blackhawk helicopters for $680 million to Mexico to help its fight against drug crimes and bolster security for both countries…WHILE CONTROVERSY continues of Dragon Mart plans in Cancun, observers say Chinese goods cloning Mexican crafts are already in abundant supply along touristy 5th Avenue in Playa…
Colonos, Fideicomiso sign
road repair agreement
While the concessionaire for the water company has had to fund considerable repairs to aging, buried water pipes under resort roads this season, the Colonos, which builds and maintains the roads for the association members whose maintenance fees pay for them, has struck an agreement to assure proper replacement of cement roads after they have been disturbed to repair the pipes.
Colonos GM Armando Rincon said last week a memorandum of understanding has been signed by the two parties requiring that road patches be properly and fully repaired no more than 14 days after being disturbed. Rincon said the water distribution system repairs are necessary , causing losses of as much as 30 to 35 percent of the water and cash assets of the concessionaire.
The agreement generally states that roads disturbed by the concessionaire must be replaced with cement thickness of 300 kg per square meter, that holes be filled and tamped with good base materials within 7 days and roads reopened fully within 14 days. The idea is to return disturbed cement road patches back to their original condition.
Links to Comedy Festival
Akumal’s Marieke Brown sends the following links for residents interested in the performance schedule of this years Comedy Festival April 29-May 3,
Here is the schedule: http://www.akumalcomedyfestival.com/schedule
“We have shows in Akumal on the Plaza Ukana (Grateful Dead) Stage next to Turtle Bay Bakery. There is live music from 7-8pm and then comedy from 8-9pm. The show on Saturday May 3 is in Spanish, so if you prefer English speaking comedy, then Thursday and Friday would be good days. You can buy advanced tickets for the shows here http://www.akumalcomedyfestival.com/donate and the ticket is actually good for both shows on your chosen day. The second show of the day is at La Buena Vida Bar on Half Moon Bay at 10pm. 100% of the proceeds goes to the Red Cross. On the Thursday May 1 early show we have Tim Harmston headlining who is awesome! You can check out his work here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f4KKFtdz9k
An invasion of privacy was recorded at midnight on Good Friday when three large motorcycles, none of which had mufflers, tooled around the resort sounding like a squadron of General Sherman tanks bent on defeating enemy troops by depriving them of sleep and making them too tired to fight back. These loud vehicles shorn of mufflers so drivers can appear macho should not be allowed through the main gate in the first place when it is clear they are already ignoring Colonos rules prohibiting excessive night noise. Residents pay for the right to peaceful slumber necessary for good health.
The Mail Bag…
A hit is a click, a look
Love, love The Pelican Free Press. I get the news in my home state of Washington. We are here in PA the month of April annually. One question however…The Pelican Hits Parade is a mystery. Could you explain please? Thanks!
Signed/ Karen Kaza
(Ed. Note: Web sites are measured by the number of “hits” they get, that is, how many visits to the site. We use a company called Computerize to count those clicks for us and render a weekly report, which we sometimes publish so readers and sponsors will know how many people we reach. Thanks for asking.)
Unsolicited appreciation appreciated
Dear Pelican Press;
Thank you for the coverage we enjoy by reading and feeling a part of our community. I am grateful for our piece of paradise and the wonderful people who live and vacation In Puerto Aventuras. To be a part of this community is a gift. Thank you for chronicling and keeping us up to date while we are away.
Signed/ Doe Stowell.
What about the brine?
Concerning the proposed reverse osmosis plant for water supply: Can someone ask the management where they intend to discharge the by-product brine from the RO plant. The salt in the sea water is concentrated on the residual brine to very high levels. If this is discharged into the canals it will increase the salinity of the canal water to very high level. If it is in Fatima Bay it could cause local high salinity levels.
Signed/ Mike Millard
(Ed. Note: The Tampa operation remixes the brine with water to dilute it before discharging into Tampa Bay. We assume something similar will be employed here. We have an inquiry in the works. Stay tuned.)
THE STICK MAN walking has made an auspicious appearance in Puerto Aventuras emblazoned on simple limestone sculptures guiding strollers to the community’s fine walking paths and crosswalks. A good show by the Colonos grounds crew chief Eduardo Reynoso and artist Veronica Vazquez… THANKS ALSO for repairs to the walkway through the golf course from Yalku to the Golf Club…LANDLINE PHONE SERVICE was disrupted briefly last week when a third party accidentally cut some fiber optic wiring owned by Telmex…THERE MAY HAVE BEEN SNOW up north all winter but a Mexico City suburb got slammed with a hail storm so serious that it idled thousands of vehicles on a highway for more than 12 hours…A BROKEN SEWER PIPE spilled its fetid contents into the waters of Playa del Carmen (PDC) near the ferry terminal as bathers swam in the waters and thousands attended Good Friday rituals by the beach…MORE THAN 3 MILLION MEXICANS have firearms at home, a rise of 53 percent in just three years, to protect themselves in the face of rising cartel crimes like extortion, reports the Ministry of Defense. Citizens wanting to own a weapon need to register with the ministry…HISPANICS formed the largest group of students entering the University of California this year for the first time ever, changing demographics…MEXICAN consulate in Phoenix, Ariz., has loudly condemned a “virtual fence” of high tech cameras and radar along 600 miles of Arizona border to help control human and drug smuggling. The consulate says it will have a negative impact on the relationship of the two countries…NEW SECONDARY TELECOMMUNICATIONS LAWS are expected to be approved in June along with a “competition act” aimed at combating monopolies…PLAYA DEL CARMEN is expanding its free internet access to some public parks…ABOUT A HUNDRED vintage cars will be seen in Playa May 7 as they parade through the city Centro as part of the first Maya Mexico Rally…HARD ROCK CAFE in Cozumel was evicted by officials there for non-payment of rent…
SAY IT IN SPANISH by Gloria Contreras, teacher and certified translator
What time are you going to the beach? A que hora vas a la playa?
(Reach Gloria for lessons or translations at © 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.