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MORE MUSIC TO FILL CULTURAL CENTER

NEED A MINI-LAPTOP? Push the “for sale” button
DOG NEED TRAINING? Push the “service providers” button
GUESTS COMING? NEED SUSHI TO GO? – Look under “food/dining”
WATCH DOLPHINS, ENJOY ICE CREAM – See Tesoros at “food/dining”

First 2012 concert is 8-piece salsa band. Picante!

Two weeks ago it seemed the public concerts popularized last year at the Cultural Center on Bahia Akumal were jeopardized by the lack of volunteers to negotiate them.
But promoter and Cultural and Sports Committee Chairman Daniele Gracis has again taken from his own busy schedules to provide the second concert of this season at 7 p.m. Saturday Feb. 25 featuring a rhythmic night of Cuban Salsa.

The ticket cost for this event is up from the last series of concerts, from 40 to 60 pesos, and in this case, is needed to pay a larger group of musicians, eight of them, four from Mexico and four from Cuba.
PA residents who have attended the previous concerts have not regretted a different night out of enthusiastic melody and comforting camaraderie with neighbors and friends.
The cultural center should rock with eight musicians doing their thing, including vocals by Manuel Cabrera of Cuba; pianist Oscar Marrufo of Mexico; Juan Antonio Ortega of Mexico on conga drums; Jose Marrufo of Mexico on bass; Guillermo Guiterrez of Cuba, violin; Alberto Mendoza of Cuba on trumpet; Giovani Mancebo of Cuba, trombone and Oscar Alejandra of Mexico on kettle drum.
As usual there will be refreshments available for purchase, including beer and wine. Tickets are available at the Colonos office, at Bamboo and at the door the night of the concert.
One good idea is to bring chair pads to place over the cement seating and a pocketful of good cheer.

The Business Beat
New insurance agency opens in PA

Posted 2/1512 by Juanito
     While a top immigration official explained details of foreign-plated car registration and permitting before a full house of more than 120 interested citizens at the Colonos last week, advice on one major aspect was missing: Insurance.

Taking up the where immigration left off is the Vela & Associates Insurance Agency, recently opened in Puerto Aventuras, whose agents will provide free one-on-one advice on details and plans for insuring foreign-plated cars, golf carts and more at Cafe Café onSaturday, Feb. 18 and Monday, Feb. 20 between 10 a.m. and noon both days.
The agency staff in Puerto Aventuras includes bi-lingual personnel able to explain in English the various plans and particulars of insuring foreign-plated cars. The agency is among the few able to clarify plan details and provide insurance for foreign-plated cars and trucks at competitive prices.
Representing the agency in the Puerto Aventuras venue are Elisa Vela, Gabriela Cavia and German Derbez. They have 30 years of combined insurance experience and represent some of Mexico’s largest and best known insurance carriers.
Vela & Associates has the capacity to provide custom designed insurance coverage for all cars, trucks, golf carts and motorcycles, at comparatively low cost, and tailor coverage to your specific needs. The agency also writes hurricane protection policies for the safeguard of real estate assets.
Remember, to learn more, meet Elisa, Gabriela, and German in person at Mimi’s Café Café between 10 a.m. and noon on Saturday, Feb. 18 or Monday, Feb. 20. They believe the informal atmosphere will be more comfortable for those seeking answers to routine or specific questions. Coffee and refreshments will be provided. For a private and more personal meeting, contact Vela & Associates at 984-119-0484 or 984-146-4176. Email addresses aregabriela.cavia@hotmail.com or derbezgmex@hotmail.com

Banking steps you should know: Learn them on Feb. 21

Saving money is knowing how to bank it, and tips to help will be shared with PA residents in the Colonos meeting room at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, by Bancomer’s Sandra Alvarez Escarcega and Hiram Alarid Felix, senior segment managers of the bank’s English speaking preferred customers’ unit.
Master of ceremonies John Schwandke notes that snowbirds who don’t already have a bank account in Mexico would be well-served by attending the meeting, as well as those with bank accounts who need a refresher course in Mexico banking changes over the year.  They will discuss, among other topics:
Safe and easy transfer of money between USA-Mexico with favorable exchange rates;
Free Internet banking that includes auto bill pay, account and wire transfers;
Checking, savings accounts, high-yield money market and investments:
Debit card that is same as cash discounts when shopping;
Benefits of the Preferred Custgomer Unit;

 

Alleged party house  spurs quest for noise rule

Posted 2/15/12 by Pelican Paulie
A so-called emerging “party house” on Bahia Xaac, a residential zoned street, may compel residents to file for a neighborhood “noise bylaw” with the Colonos to be voted upon at a general assembly.
Neighbors have complained the house at 33 Bahia Xaac, reportedly owned by an architect, is becoming a nuisance violating the unwritten rules of common decency and respect for neighbors.

“I have been living here since 1998,” said one neighbor, “and it is the first time we have a  house like this.” Two parties on successive weeks beginning with Super Bowl Sunday, have occurred there, neighbors say, attracting from 15 to 20 young boys and girls who cavort on the public street while loud disco music is being played and a “bar complete with stools and disco lights” under the carport is in operation.
Neighbors say they called Security but nothing was done to abort the cacophony of revelry and trespassing onto neighboring lands that went on until 2 a.m. They say that judging from their antics, some of the young people appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, but have no proof that this is the case.
Chief of Colonos Security Jesus Galdeano told the Pelican Free Press that his personnel responding to the calls from neighbors did not see under-age drinking and that there is currently no Colonos bylaw in existence to force the owner of a private home to contain noise. He said Security requested music be turned down and to his knowledge it was, he said.
Colonos GM Armando Rincon underscored the fact that there is no Colonos-wide bylaw to reasonably control excessive noise at night. He said that would dampen hotel business. His inference was that a neighborhood or residential-zone anti-noise by-law is up to stakeholders to petition Colonos to implement one via a general assembly vote.

Noise regulations can only be found at some condominium complexes and most notably the Centro Comercial district where mixed-use is made possible by cooperation from businesses that willingly adhere to an 11 p.m. noise curfew – the time at which loud music in particular must be contained within the walls of a business or living unit in deference to the majority of neighbors who are trying to sleep.
But even in Centro Comercial, there is one building, the one housing Gringo’s, that is independent of the Centro HOA and it is drawing complaints from neighbors for loud music after the curfew.
One Bahia Xaac neighbor said he doesn’t mind the parties but did move his car off the street to avoid potential damage by the foolish golf-cart driving antics of some of the revelers, he said.
Other neighbors said they heard late-night noises on their carport and turned on lights to find two trespassing bodies sprawled there with mouths wide open, as though in a stupor. They said they saw some youths trespassing on another house site to urinate. One passerby saw a youth had removed his pants and was cavorting behind a car in his underwear.
A resident from a nearby condo complex saw youths trespass on a golf cart at 6:20 a.m. and at least one of them use facilities at the private condo pool to wash. “Where are the parents?” asked a condo dweller as a group of six piled onto the golf cart and left.
Residents may remember that the only way some canal residents achieved peace was to remove the source – the youth-magnet derelict vessel Kukulkan – which the Fideicomiso scuttled after repeated complaints. Now there are reports from owners there of peace and contentment with their investment.
The Colonos administration office noted a “rumor” that the Bahia Xaac proprietor constructed the outdoor bar facing the street for his son, reportedly in his thirties, to invite friends over instead of having to go to Playa del Carmen for recreation. Unfortunately, most investors say they chose to build in PA partly to escape the party atmosphere of Playa and evidently resent importing it here.
It would appear a noise by-law for residential-zoned neighborhoods is the first recourse for those seeking freedom from insensitive neighbors and relative peace on earth at a reasonable hour.

 

Chilled volunteers save 55 of 152 stranded

dolphins on Cape Cod beaches since Jan. 12.

Reprinted by permission from Barnstable Patriot, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
     Eleven common dolphins were sighted yesterday [Feb. 9] in the mouth of Barnstable Harbor off Bone Hill Road. As rescuers arrived, four dolphins were swimming and two were freeing themselves in the rising tide. Five were dead, and being covered rapidly by tidal waters, according to Michael Booth, communications officer for the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Yarmouthport.

Katie Moore, manager of IFAW’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network’s rescue and research and Brian Sharp, stranding coordinator, were set to return as the tide lowered again in the afternoon to put numbered red tags on the dorsal fins of any dead dolphins.
Of a total of 152 confirmed strandings by common dolphins on Cape Cod since Jan. 12, 97 were found dead. Of 55 living animals, 35 have been successfully released to deeper waters off of the Cape’s tip. The other 25 either did not survive, or were euthanized if assessed to be unable to be returned to the wild without undue suffering. Most of the dolphins have beached between Wellfleet and Dennis. The Barnstable stranding is the first one this far west.
This winter’s continuous strandings of common dolphins make this the largest single species event in the Marine Mammal Stranding Network’s history. Common dolphins (like other toothed whales) herd together to forage and deter predators, following a leader who may take them shoreward. Rapidly receding tides can leave them unable to swim in the Cape’s shallow waters. The curved hook itself may confuse the animals’ echolocation, and geo-magnetism or other factors may be in play.
IFAW’s resources are stretched thin: half the budget for the year has been used, and staff is tired from so many emergencies.Disease is not a factor in the strandings, and biologists are still seeking answers. If you see a marine mammal stranded or dead, leave it alone and call the hotline at 508-743-9548 .


Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
You forgot your cellphone and you need to make a call on a public telephone. You might ask a local: Hay (pronounced eye) un telefono publico cerca?”
(Ms. Contreras teaches Spanish classes from 3 to 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is $150 pesos. Please call her first to make arrangements at 984-108-3517)

PARK COMMITTEE CLASSES: Drop by to sign up

Cooking:10 a.m. Mondays at Latitude 20 Restaurant
Fitness at the Park: 8:15 A.M.: Tai Chi Tuesdays, Yoga Wednesdays and Fridays
Art: 9 to noon Wednesdays and Sculpture on Thursdays
French: 9:30 to 11 a.m. Thursdays
Kids’ ClubArt 10-11 a.m. Saturdays; French, 4-5 p.m. Mondays; Story hour 3 p.m. Fridays

What’s Playing…

See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.
http://cinemex.com/cartelera/cartelera_cine.php?cvecine=115

http://www.cinepolis.com/_CARTELERA/cartelera.aspx?ic=70#Cine215

COMING EVENTS…

In Puerto Aventuras – 2d annual charity golf tournament 9 a.m. Feb. 29, followed by public auction at 2 p.m. Golfers can sign up now to reserve a spot by calling Tourney Chairmen Jim and Jeanette Jamieson at 984-873-5336 or ( c ) 617-733-3174 or Bob and Glenna Uecker at 984-873-5195 or visit them at Capt. Rick’s Sportfishing Center in Centro Comercial.

In Paamul – Catholic Spiritual Retreat at Paamul Community Center.Feb. 18th. 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Theme: The Devine Mercy of God. Lunch provided. More information, the Rev. Jim Hogan 984-116-3373.

In Akumal – Feb.26, 5 p.m.,Academy Awards Night at Lol Ha Snack Bar, $100 pesos to benefit the Akumal Entrance Beautification Project; prizes, best dressed, raffle.

At Mayakoba PGA Golf Feb. 22-26 – Tickets available in Puerto Aventuras from Anne Silver, 802-8331. Proceeds of  sales go to Equinotherapia, a local charity with local PA volunteers that helps brain damaged children by interacting with and riding horses.

In Puerto Aventuras – Moon’s birthday lunch, 1 p.m., Feb. 24 Latitude 20, call ( c ) 984-876-6784 or 984-873-5601.

Briefly Noted…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
GOOD GREEN  NEIGHBORS– Sometimes people quietly do nice things that make other people react, as did Ray Gartside of Condominios Turquesa when he saw a neighbor,

Jan Oliszewicz, and Dennis Burris, of Condominios Esmeralda right next door, joining forces to plant some palm trees and beautification bushes between the two properties.”It was a very positive sight to behold,” Gartside said…DOUBLE YOUR ART – Well-known area artist Michel Brown also emotes with his vocal chords. He belted out a few tunes in Francais at Latitude 20 Saturday and Tuesday nights. Not to be outdone, his artist wife, Lourdes, also sat in with pianist Jerry Fastrup’s jazz trio…PAPERS ARE BEING PASSED and farmers contacted for land that supposedly will ultimately be used for a fast toll road linking Playa del Carmen and Merida…10TH AVENUE ROAD IMPROVEMENTSunder way in Playa del Carmen…TWO THOUSAND CONSTRUCTION workers are unemployed in the Riviera Maya, reports the Confederation of Workers in Mexico (CTM)… CANCUN AIRPORT got top billing from passengers for the second consecutive year as the best airport facility in Latin America and the Caribbean. The survey was conducted by Airports Council International (ACI)…FITCH MEXICO has lowered the state of Quintana Roo from A- to BBB with a negative credit outlook caused by increasing long- and short-term borrowing…

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