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PETROL: NOT THE BARGAIN IT USED TO BE

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But Q. Roo among states with slightly lower price

Posted 11/10/11 by Juanito
I’ve been coming to the Riviera Maya for fifteen years and have noticed this year that the price of gasoline isn’t the bargain that it used to be. Only four or five years ago, gasoline prices in Mexico were half of what I paid in the United States. Not anymore.
It appears that feeding our cars with cheap gas may soon become another of those… “Remember the good old days” stories. Then my mind flashed back to memories of how dangerous it was to drive Highway #307 “back in the good old days” and realized that I’m probably lucky to be alive and able to fill my tank at any price!

In doing some research to find out why the price increase, I came across a September 2008 story from Bloomberg News that stated… “Mexico is scheduled to increase the price of gasoline sold by state-owned oil companyPetroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) on a weekly basis until it reaches average international market rates by the end of 2010”. The reason being given was to provide more support in other sectors of the economy.
With decreasing subsidies, fuel prices have continued to rise during 2011. At the present day equivalent of 2.63 U.S.Dollars per Gallon (regular gas), the price is still about 22% below what I pay in the United States, but a lot of that difference has more to do with currency exchange rates than government subsidies. Should the dollar to peso exchange rate return to 10:1, as it was in 2008, then fuel prices between our two countries would be pretty much on par.
Magna (regular, unleaded gasoline) has 87 octane. Premium UBA is 91 octane and has lower sulfur content at 15 ppm. My VW Jetta runs just fine with Magna, but if you don’t specifically ask for it, the attendant will often times choose to pump premium into your tank.
PEMEX, as the Mexico City based company is known, is the sole domestic distributor of gasoline in the country. Mexico imports about 40 percent of the gasoline it consumes. Gasoline and diesel fuel retail prices are subject to change on a monthly basis. It’s been reported that fuel prices along Mexico’s Border States may be slightly higher than the rest of the country, while prices in Sonora, Baja, Quintana Roo and Mexico City might be a bit lower. Mexico’s posted fuel prices for October 2011 were as follows:
Magna per liter – MXN $9.48 (It was $9.25 per liter at PEMEX Stations near Puerto Aventuras)
Premium per liter – MXN $10.46
Magna per Gallon = $2.63 USD
Premium per Gallon = $2.97 USD
Diesel per Gallon = $2.79 USD
Exchange Rate at time of calculation = 13.35
Liters per Gallon = 3.79

Community Park panel plans events

Real monkeys show up for “story hour”

Food, friendship marks new ‘Community Night’

Lighting ceremony at park is Dec. 4

Posted 11/12/11 by Pelican Paulie
The community park committee is continuing its considerable efforts to create a pleasant, woodsy atmosphere for young and old Puerto Aventurans who enjoy a forest-like atmosphere while listening to stories, or playing chess, or viewing a butterfly garden.
Four years in the making, the park is finally being put to use while discrediting muted criticisms that its location between the main roadways into and out of the community is less than ideal. It could be said the same complaints were heard about New York’s Central Park, plunked as it was between the city’s busiest thoroughfares. It works as a peaceful oasis and so does this park for those who view it positively.
The committee, which includes transplanted founding members Patricia Hernandez of Colombia, ZsuZsa Batt of Germany, Liliana Viola of Uruguay and Monica Tynan Day of Canada, will be inaugurating a monthly fund-raising “Community Night” at 7:30 Dec. 1 at the new Latitude Restaurant adjacent to the boat launching ramp. (Committee member Andy Pittman returned to work as a professor at Texas A.M. this year).
“For 150 pesos,you get food and beverage prepared by the restaurant,” said Viola. “Children under 6 go free and those 6 to 12 half-price. We will have a silent auction at these events,” she said, and gave as examples of items to be auctioned as day passes to all- inclusive waterfront resorts in PA or any other gifts merchants or residents may wish to donate toward park improvements.
Tickets are available at Latitude and the Colonos office and need to be purchased three days before the event – in this case by Nov. 28 – because “the chef needs to know the number of guests in advance,” Viola said.
A lighting ceremony at the park  prior to the nightly observances of Posada Novidena from Dec. 16 to 24, will be held at an hour to be announced Dec. 4 at the park and all are invited. This event will presage the traditional Mexican commemoration of Joseph and Mary’s difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem seeking lodging. The posadas are traditionally marked by processions, parties and pinatas.

Video cameras helping keep PA secure

Posted 11/12/11 by Pelican Paulie
     “Big Brother” has gotten a little bigger here in PA, but don’t fret, the 16 videocams posted high above the community’s pleasant roadways at strategic sites aren’t meant to snoop on private lives but to protect the citizenry from harm and petty crime.

Security Chief Jesus Galdeano Chavez guarantees the cameras are not pointed at any private properties but rather give a broad view of common areas only, thus allaying fears residents might have about undue exposure of their private domains.
Chavez said the monitors at security headquarters could be a big help in describing vehicles and suspicious persons traveling at particular sites of recent crime and help identify miscreants. He said it is hoped the cameras also will serve as a crime prevention feature.
Camers have become a part of modern society and are seen on many street corners in America’s largest cities, underscoring the difficulties in keeping up with crime.
Chavez also noted that the cameras were installed free of charge as part of the contract the Colonos has with the security provider. Chavez, who has a working knowledge of English, can be reached at (984) 873 51 28 and online at colonos@.org and seguridad@colonos.org.

NEW: Spanish “phrase a week” 

The pelican kicks off a new weekly feature today that will come in handy

for snowbirds trying to negotiate a sale, find a product price, a taxi stand, hardware store or order a meal.
These handy tidbits of Spanish phraseology, designed to help the non-Spanish population communicate more easily while in Mexico, are prepared by L.A.E. Gloria Contreras M., state authorized translator, who teaches Spanish language classes here in the informal setting of the Tiramisu Restaurant on the Dolphin Walk.
The classes convene from 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, while an intermediate session is held at 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.  Wednesdays. Interested parties need only show up at the appointed time to sign up and find out that learning a new language can be fun and that learning the language means loving the culture. Enjoy.
PHRASE OF THE WEEK by Gloria Contreras, state authorized translator
This question will come in handy if you run out of cash : Donde esta un cajero?” meaning, “Where is there an ATM?”

Records toppled at PA road race

Posted 11/13/11 by Pelican Paulie
    It was a near-perfect morning for a road race as cooler air and low humidity greeted runners who broke at least two records, one for an attendance of 497, up from last year’s a little over 400,  and the other for a 10K finish of 32:19.
Not surprisingly, the record time was set by Kenyan Bernard Songoka who now lives in

Cancun and was running his first race in Puerto Aventuras.    In all likelihood, Songoka’s  appearance and performance lends a new level of interest in PA’s annual event, which, it appears, will reach its maximum number of 500 runners next year since only three more are needed… adding to the excitement of the day by being tempted to break Songoka’s record. By  2003, Kenyan men and women had won five of seven New York city marathons and the men had won all but one Boston Marathon. Why is this?
A common theory – sort of a nature, nurture combo – is that the best Kenyan runners were born in mountain altitudes of 7,000 to 8,000 feet in a climate that allows year-round running. The thinner air and year-round runs build expanded lung capacity. Another purported reason on the “nurture” side is that Kenyan victories in early Olympic marathons inspired the young of that nation to take running seriously, as Canadian youth adore their hockey players, Americans their football heroes and Mexicans their soccer teams. So Kenya keeps on producing winning runners.
For all results and times, go to the Colonos website at www.colonos.org or click on the link under the money converter in the right hand column of this page.
Not to be forgotten are the many volunteers who work almost all year long to make this event happen and those who show up early before the race to assure runners leave the event healthy and happy. The cultural and sports committee is chaired by athletic and cultural guru Daniele Gracis, whose efforts are much appreciated.

New bar with 22 stools added to Cafe Ole

Posted 11/14/11 by Pelican Paulie
    The Cafe Ole, reportedly the oldest continuing restaurant in Centro Comercial with the same name and only two owners in more than 20 years,  has undergone a visible change

over the summer with the addition of a new bar of granite top and tile facing. It was constructed in two sections.
Owner/operator “Gaylita” Dunaway said a kitchen too small prompted the change so that the liquor end of the business could be moved out of the kitchen into the new bar area and “give the chef and wait staff a bit more room to do what they need to do.”
In the process, Gaylita said she hoped the bar would provide an informal setting to accommodate people who pass by and want to sit for a while without purchasing a dinner to listen to the music or watch sports on a large TV over a portion of the bar. Last year, Cafe Ole invested in a palapa roof over its elevated stage with permission of the Centro HOA to protect musicians and their vulnerable electronic equipment.
The bar project appeared to be the only one visible outdoors undertaken by a  Centro business this year. If any other project has been overlooked,  notify the Pelican atinfo@pelicanfreepress.comso we can spread the news.

Briefly Noted…
Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
GROUP SPANISH LESSONS are now being held at Tiramisu on the marina.  Beginner classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m.  Intermediate classes are Wednesdays at 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.  Cost is 150 pesos for the hour. Interested parties invited to stop by Tiramisu just before class starts…TRADITIONAL THANKSGIVING DINNERS, we are informed, are being served a-la-Pilgrim with fixin’s this Thanksgiving at Cafe Ole and Tiramisuin the Centro Business District. Great for those who yearn for something nostalgic from home on the holiday…GOLF TOURNAMENT CHAIR Jim Jamieson is back in town and already setting the groundwork for the second annual charity tournament. It raised $7,000 or so earlier this year to equip the Poblado high school with doors and windows. An earlier time, perhaps in February, is expected so more snowbirds can participate in a fun day…HELICOPTER CRASHsouth of Mexico City killed Mexico’s interior minister, the nation’s leading figure in the drug war and second most powerful national official. Francisco Blake Mora is the second interior minister to die in an air crash in three years. No official cause of the crash has been given, but weather was cited as a possible contributor…COZUMEL ISLAND predicted the arrival of some 77,000 tourists this week coming ashore from a fleet of visiting cruise ships and by air…

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