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November 17, 2017

BULLETIN:  A tour boat with some 90 passengers began to sink yesterday off the northern coast of Cozumel. Officials there report other nearby vessels rescued all passenger without injury.


FRONT- END LOADER  transports sand to the Chac-Hal-Al beachfront in a project funded by the complex. The sand was deposited by a small convoy of big trucks last week and shut down this week for lack of permits. (Staff Photo)

Chac-Hal-Al funds beach work,
but city sinks no-permit project

By Staff
Local newspapers broke the story on Tuesday announcing the shutdown of the beach replenishment project funded by Chac-Hal-Al residents, which includes PA developer Roman Rivera Torres, stalling once again the long-sougbht replenishment hopes along Fatima Bay.

Municipal officials stopped the project that was being carried out with truckloads of sand and spread by a front-end loader that. the local papers alleged, may have been disturbing turtle nesting grounds and altering dunes.

The local press noted that the federal agency, Profepa, would likely get involved because the Puerto Aventuras exclusive resort allegedly has “distinguished” itself in the past for violating environmental laws.

Irony not overlooked

The project was being carried out in plain sight as huge trucks made their way through the community’s narrow streets. The reports noted the trucks were also being investigated concerning permits for extracting the sand elsewhere.

Ironically, the project was being carried out shortly after a recent fly-over by agents of the Environmental Secretariat who were mapping the most critical points of beach erosion from Cancun to Akumal. They reported finding 21 areas of severe attrition of more than 100 meters of beach lost in some cases, the worst three at El Recodo Beach in Playa del Carmen, Punta Cancun and the western side of Holbox Island.

The flyover was a response to the necessity of maintaining beach conditions that will continue to attract tourists. The Feds say an estimated one billion pesos will be needed to replenish the worst areas.

It would seem logical that if replenishment is needed but funding is short, the government would welcome Chac-Hal-Al’s effort to  help by processing permits promptly then overseeing that the work is done in accordance with environmental protocols.

The project, which has also included relocating existing protective barriers farther from the beach and out of sight, was expected to spread to the adjoining beaches with completion of the Omni Beach expected as the high season begins.

Temporary loss …

...OF PARKING SPACES leading to the Omni hotel and across from the Oxxo convenience store in Centro was necessitated by a water leak, reported the office of the concessionaire. (Staff Photo)

Colonos releases assembly agenda
rife with competing interests  

Some fear threat to balance of power

By Staff
The Colonos has released a 10-point agenda for the December 9 general assembly. It includes four controversial items that are likely to stir significant discussion in what could be a watershed year for maintaining a balance of power in Puerto Aventuras.

The first is a call for resignation of Colonos board Chairman Jorge Kaufer as requested by developer Roman Rivera Torres on general allegations of incompetence in the post. Kaufer, who has served the voluntary board for 11 years, has a year remaining on his latest two-year term. He has told the Pelican he does not intend to resign but will abide by the will of the voters.

Second is a report and expected discussion on the state of the community’s security program, which has been heavily criticized by the developer, particularly over operation of the main gate and in spite of  reports showing the community is as secure now as it has been for years. The developer has said he intends to take control of the gate in April if not sooner.

Third, the voters, whose money maintains the streets, the security force, main gate and the grounds among other tasks involving what is considered common infrastructure, will have to decide the fate of  $200,000 appropriated last year  for main-gate improvements.

The money is being withheld by the Colonos over disagreements on security by-laws and policy interpretations between the Colonos and the developer, who owns the gate building but cedes operations and funding to the Colonos under a yearly agreement. The decision to withhold was made by a Colonos board vote.

Fourth is the undisclosed signing last year of a tri-partite agreement between the Colonos, Fideicomiso and TAEMA Air Park being developed across Highway 307. The pact would sell access to the resort, beach and other facilities to a potential 2,000 residents of the air park, diminishing the degree of resort “exclusivity.”  Some residents believe it would  strain resort infrastructure, particularly parking and traffic, and reduce property values in the resort.

Others say charging for “passports” by the non-profit Colonos association could set a negative precedent that could erode the resort’s claim of exclusivity even further. Contrarily, the resort developer views the accommodation to TAEMA as one with benefits to the resort’s businesses and economy.

There was consensus expressed during last week’s Q&A at the  Colegio for maintaining the status quo of  shared control and the commissioning of a study and review to clarify some of the vaguely worded  Colonos by-laws.

The assembly will be held at the Dreams Hotel Theater with first call scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and second call, if needed, at 10 .m.

Residents who want to cast a vote themselves can register at the Colonos office during working hours, 9 to 2 and 3 to 5, from Dec. 4 through 6; hotels and condo administrators may register on Ded. 7 during the same hours.

Rain Dance…

BEATING THE BLUES – Couples did the rain dance last Sunday night at Latitude 20 as weekend weather brought heavy rainfall. Fans packed the popular restaurant to welcome the Vail Valley Band from Colorado that was making a guest appearance. (Staff Photo)

Possible break in marina
impasse may be in offing

By Staff
A scintilla of hope has surfaced in the conflict between the marina ownership and several commercial boating companies.

The rift has had disturbing repercussions in other community matters such as control of the main gate and security in general. It has generated personal hostilities, some of which may be insurmountable, and thwarted significant development projects such as a public park and gate improvements.

PA developer Roman Rivera Torres is reportedly open to perusing a proposal from boaters that may be conveyed through resident Angelo Mouzouropoulos, who has offered his time and effort as intermediary between the two parties.

For his part, Mouzouropoulos has been in contact with a principal of one of the companies that has agreed to deliberate with other owners to achieve a consensus proposal for presentation to the marina.

Mouzouropoulos , a retired shipping executive who is volunteering his time and effort on behalf of the community, wrote to Rivera Torres that he has asked the boaters to “… prepare their very best offer and to submit it to me for discussion with them, together with their justifications and explanations. After that process, I will bring their best offer for consideration by you (Rivera) and the Fideicomiso.”


The Mail Bag…

Golf ball damage: It is what it is.

Dear Editor:
This is a reply to Jesse Cooper’s post. Jesse, first let me say I am really sorry about the damage to your solar panel by a golf ball. Even though it may not make you feel better about the local golf club, I would like you know some facts.

Please understand I am not arguing the  right or wrong of it, but  just how it is. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of golf courses in America and Canada that have homes backing on to them. None of these golf courses carry liability or are liable for golf balls causing damage. The person who does the damage is liable if you are fortunate enough to catch them.
In fact,  this actually happened this year at my local course and like you it was a solar panel that was damaged. The player was know and he paid for it, not the golf course. Again, I am sorry about your damage and while it probably will not make you feel better, That is what I understand. This assuming you are from North America. From what I know U.K. is the same.

Signed/John Lacey

The divide is too personal
Dear Editor:
I was at the Q&A meeting at the Colegio on Nov. 8 and it was very uncomfortable as the Puerto Community is so divided that whatever you say, some of your friends will not speak to you again.  The divide has become too personal and we must agree that nobody is 100 percent right or 100 percent wrong.

We must analyze the situation in a very practical and pragmatic way so the assembly can make clear decisions on what really matters. Perhaps then, each party will know exactly what he or she has to do.
We must accept that each visitor has a cost to the community that includes delays at the entry, cost of the security check, traffic congestion, limited parking space, added garbage, deterioration of the infrastructure and potential incivilities (noise, alcohol, traffic infractions) and assorted misdemeanors.
On the other side, we must evaluate what each category of visitors brings to the community and adopt a  comprehensive access policy that all can understand and enforce.

Signed/ Thierry Defauw

(Ed Note: Mr. Defauw also sent a long outline of steps that could be taken to achieve an access  policy residents can live with. Those steps were forwarded, with the above introduction, to the Colonos.)

Agrees on privacy and security

Dear Editor:
By reading the current and past editions of the Pelican Free Press, I caught up with the important issues facing PA, some of which will be addressed at the 2017 annual Colonos’ meeting Dec. 9.

I agree with developer Roman River Torres’ interest in retaining the integrity, independence, privacy and security of our ‘exclusive’ gated community. As one of your readers stated in the Mail Bag, the Hard Rock Hotel and other private entities don’t allow entry to just anyone with an identification. Until recent disagreements, the developer and Colonos had successfully co-existed.

I salute Ms. Gabi Kozeljj of the Puerto Aventuras Colegio for sponsoring the recent forum aimed at resolution, but if the parties cannot amicably resolve their differences for the good of Puerto Aventuras, I urge all Colonos members to assure PROXIES are in place and properly executed.  Whichever way we vote, it’s important that we don’t allow others to make our decisions for us without our input.

As always, hoping for peace and continued success in beautiful Puerto Aventuras .

Signed/Aymara Lilienthal

Disturbed by beach conditions

Dear Editor:
This letter addresses the article about the Colegio Q&A Forum between the PA developer and community.

The 70-plus attendees displayed spirit and a thirst for communication. I was sorry to see the PFP sum it up as  “sparring between the developer and audience and between residents.”

There were passionate people with big concerns wishing to be heard. After all, it was meant to air grievances. I saw a community with questions,wanting answers and to be heard. I thanked event host “Gabi,” and acknowledged the need to resolve troubling issues between marina businesses and the Fideicomiso.

I described how allowing anyone with an I.D. into PA has impacted my life and beachfront. I live above the “public access” to the beach. On any day this summer there were 50 to 200 people in a very small beach area and in the water. I have dates, numbers, and pictures. The Colonos is aware of the situation and has done nothing to rectify it.

There are no bathrooms, no garbage receptacles, no privacy area for changing clothes. There was and is no respect for noise volume, moderate alcohol consumption, and no respect for private time between couples. I find that disgusting! Also, my condominium association has spent a great deal on private security and that still doesn’t keep people from walking wherever they want and believing they have a right to be on our property.

We have public beaches but not through private access. I want PA to return to a private resort as it was meant. It’ll be hard to reverse what’s been allowed to happen but I want to feel safe, secure and swim in an ocean, not a kiddie pool.

I love Puerto Aventuras or I wouldn’t call it my home and I feel blessed to be here. I think we have a warm, generous and thoughtful community and I’m hoping it can continue to be that way. Thank you.

Signed/Cate Hauser

Rock concert, circus acts
fuse for Nov. 24 event 

The Colonos homeowners’ association has wasted no time in preparing a second cultural event, this time a lively rock concert fused with circus acts by the “Roximus Maxximus” group at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 24 in the Cultural Center on Bahia Akumal.

This is an upbeat presentation with songs from the Beatles, other rock legends and a cast of dancing performers, balancing, trapeze and fire feats that keeps the eyes and well as the ears entertained.

Tickets are 120 pesos and are available now at the Colonos office, also the Colegio and at Transformar Educando in the Poblado. The Colonos asks for support of the local population in attending these events so that more of them can be presented for the enjoyment of all in the high season.

Soccer anyone? We heard from Thierry Defauw that the friendly Sunday morning pick-up soccer games have resumed at the Puerto Maya field in back of the Oxxo store on the main road into the village. Call Thierry at  984-877-5190. Young. middle aged and older folks can join the fun workout.

Trivial Pursuits is coming up at 4 p.m. Sunday, November 26 at Latitude 20 Restaurant with proceeds going to the Poblado Community Center. Owner Jim Stubbs welcomes new players to join the fun. And don’t forget the Halloween Party being held early this year on Oct. 28 starting at 6 p.m.

November dates of note: In Mexico:  Revolution Day, Nov. 21: All Saints Day, Nov. 1:  All Souls Day, (Day of the Dead), Nov. 2 – In the U.S.  – Daylight Saving Time ends Nov. 5; Election Day Nov. 8; Veterans Day Nov. 11; Thanksgiving, Nov. 23.

The Roundup…

The Colonos employee Christmas party will be held 0n Dec. 15 and the administration is once again asking for residents to donate gifts, or cash to purchase gifts, to be raffled off at the party. Gifts are being accepts at the Colonos office during working hours. The party is organized annually by the board of directors to thank employees for their labors.

Several robberies have occurred inside and outside area supermarkets where Puerto Aventurans shop, here and in Playa, reports one of the victims. Residents would be wise to remain alert while shopping, keeping wallets and pocketbooks within eyesight at all times and being conscious of the scam where thieves deftly place sticky caramel or ketchup on a victim’s clothing or car door, feign giving help while picking pockets… Stay aware!

Deadly choice – A tourist was killed in Akumal trying to cross the highway near the pedestrian bridge after exiting a  colectivo on Tuesday. Witnesses said two people who chose to cross the highway rather than take the bridge were struck by a speeding taxi whose driver attempted to flee until the taxi broke down. The driver, who was traveling at about 180 kph and couldn’t brake fast enough,  was arrested by investigating  officers.

A proposed condo/hotel project on Kantenha Lagoon in Puerto Aventuras has been rejected by the federal environmental agency, Semarnat, according to a local press report. The project, to be known as Villas Aqua, was the subject of a Pelican story in July when spokesmen for the company said construction would begin in August.

Spending time on time – There is a push-and-pull debate going on in Cancun to abandon the state’s current time zone situation that has adopted full-time daylight saving time. Schools, unions and businesses have expressed a desire to keep things the way they are

The rules we live by – or not!

Obligations of Colonos board members

(Page 11 of 22, unedited)

ARTICLE 27.– The following are obligations of the remaining Board Members:

  1. To act as advisors to the Association and propose solutions to its problems;
  2. To assist the President. Treasurer and Secretary in the performance of their duties when they so request;

III. To accept specific commissions for the evaluation and solution of different problems that might arise; and

  1. Participate actively in any work commission where they are appointed.

ARTICLE 28.– The following are obligations of the President, in its case, or of all  members of the Board of Directors:

  1. To attend all meetings of the Board and to participate actively in the discussions with voice and vote;
  2. To keep all Association’s assets in good state of order, conservation and cleanliness;

III. Promote all measures that foster the good name of the Association; and

  1. All other, indicated in these By-Laws or which are assigned by the same Board.

ARTICLE 29.- When the Association is headed by a President; he/she shall then assume all powers granted in these By-Laws to the Board of Directors as required. (To be continued)

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 and by the 25th of each month during the summer schedule May-October. Thank you. Disclaimer: The Pelican Free Press is not responsible for content and/or claims made on sponsor web sites, logos or social media links.MAIL BAG POLICY – Limit comment to 300 words per writer , or 5 paragraphs of 60 words each. We reserve the right to edit for comprehension and to avoid personal, inaccurate or offensive material. Thank you.

The end – Previous edition below

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