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November 2015, Week 3


Beach replenishment strategy

plan to air at Dec. 12 assembly

By Staff:
  Several significant issues will be debated and voted upon when the annual Colonos Association of Homeowners meets at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 12 in the beach pavilion of the Dreams Hotel on Caleta Xel Ha.

Among items to be discussed is a new strategy for the reclamation of beaches on Fatima Bay – a long-awaited improvement sought by association members – and a special presentation by developer Roman Rivera Torres regarding the Phase 4 project. Specifics were not released in the association’s initial meeting notice, but will be pursued by the Pelican in the coming weeks.

There will also be a presentation of an agreement with the developer to increase the community’s security, a proposed adjustment to the guarantee deposits on new construction, budgetary and auditing reports and adoption of the maintenance fee for 2016.

Voter registration for owners of homes, condos and vacant lots will be held Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 7-9 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m in the Colonos meeting room above the Oxxo Convenience Store.

Voters may register in person by showing identification or by proxy, requiring a simple proxy document valid for the meeting date, signed by two witnesses and accompanied by identification of grantor and proxy holder. Condo owners who do not wish to cast a vote are usually represented by their condo management.
Condo managers and hotel representatives can register on one day only, Thursday, Dec. 10, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 3 and 5 p.m.

Association rules require that voters must be up to date in maintenance fee payments, requiring they bring such evidence to the meeting. Anyone wishing to raise a topic for discussion should present the intention to Colonos management by Dec. 4.


Commerce Corner…


Heirloom quality furniture

marks new ‘Unique’ shop

By Staff
If you’ve ever longed for a bucolic pine patch of rural land with a river meandering lazily through it, perhaps a less expensive timber table with flowing river illusion will do.

See for yourself at Unique Wood and Iron, a recently opened custom wood shop designing, handcrafting and retailing what owner Ron Hughes of Puerto Aventuras calls a “rustic industrial” line of various size and type tables, lighting, wine racks, intricate shelving, headboards and other custom-made wood and metal furniture and accessories.

“If you’re drawn to a rustic wood furniture item you see in a magazine, send or bring it to us and we’ll design your preferences, hand-mixed organic stain for the look you want and handcraft it for you,” Hughes said. “Since we launched the business seven months ago,” he added, “we’ve been exceeding sales every month. I think we’re the only shop customizing these designs in Mexico.”

Hughes, a native of Canada and retired executive involved in outsourcing management at companies in New Zealand and

Australia, has owned property in Puerto Aventuras for 11 years and has been a full-time resident for a little more than five years. As is the case for some men and women, “retirement wasn’t for me,” he admits.

Working with two finish carpenters – and looking for one more – some of his products have already been solicited by retailers in Mexico and the US for resale. The shop is also producing job lots such as 35 headboards for a small, local hotel and producing and shipping products to the US and Canada tariff-free because of NAFTA.

While the word “unique” – meaning “only one of its kind” – is often loosely used, it fits Hughes’ creations honestly since each grain and cut of specially selected, rough-hewn edge woods used for the tables are, like fingerprints, “unlike any other.”

Photographic art by well-known artist Gary Dillard, available for purchase, helps grace the showroom. Since pictures are worth a thousand words, visit the woodshop-showroom web site for more photos by clicking on the “Unique” logo at left and see the selection for yourself.

To visit the showroom from locations south of Playa del Carmen, take elevated Highway 307 north through Playa until you exit the bridge and see the sign “Paradisus”. Take the next retorno heading south and look for the Unique sign on your right. (More directions and contact information on the web site).


About Town…

Trivial pursuits drawing more

players to bi-monthly  games

Staff Feature
Shannon Rachynski picked up the microphone as some 44 Puerto Aventuras residents seated at 11 tables in Latitude 20 Restaurant Sunday looked up and waited attentively for her to pop the question.

“What,” Rachynski asked, “is the common name for the Abominable Snowman?” Heads bobbed and weaved in a hum of conspiratorial conversation, then down as hushed writers scribbled their answers on a prepared answer sheet representing a homegrown version of the Trivial Pursuits game.

It was the fourth session of a bi-monthly event spawned in early October by Rachynski and Latitude 20 owner Jim Stubbs to bring “fun” events to the community and share proceeds with needy organizations, such as the Red Cross. To date, estimated Rachynski, the events distributed 12,450 pesos to three needy organizations.

Good-hearted team

As a feel-good aside, winners of last Sunday’s jackpot – Anne Brown, Rick Neubert, Karla and Craig Hinton – folded their winnings into the amount to be donated to charity.

Seated at one table was Joe Mertens and his two children, Alan, 8, and Aly, 10, both pupils at the Colegio here. After Rachynski asked where TV’s Happy Days character “Fonzie” kept his office, we asked Mertens if the children wondered “What’s a Fonzie”? He smiled broadly and nodded vigorously. The children, who had said they were eager to play the game, weren’t even born in the Fonzie era.

Prior to the start of the game at 4 p.m. as clouds opened their spigots drenching the area, Rachynski went over the rules of the game for first-timers as players settled in comfortably under a generous and efficient palapa roof.

 Enjoys others having fun

A neatly mustachioed man with smiling eyes noted during a lull, that he participates more to enjoy neighbors having a good time while exercising their retention and recall abilities.

Teams of four, who give themselves names like “Smart Alecs”, occupy each table (though teams can be smaller) and all four contribute intelligence to the team answer.

For example, the abominable snowman is commonly known as “Yeti” in the Himalayas but is easily confused with the Pacific Northwest “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch” ape-like creature roaming the dense forests. That’s the fun of the game. How can somebody so right be so wrong, yes?

And speaking of trivial pursuits, where did the game originate, what year was it released, what year did it peak in North America and what company paid how much and when to purchase full rights to it?

The game’s genesis

The game originated in Montreal, Canada, when two newspapermen, Chris Haney, a photo journalist and Scott Abbot, a sports editor, lost pieces of their Scrabble game and decided to create a game of their own. That was in 1979. With some help, their game was released and marketed in 1982.

In 1984 when the game peaked, 20 million units were sold. The license changed hands several times until Hasbro bought full rights for $80 million. As of 2004, 88 million units had been sold in 26 countries and 17 languages, with 30 million manufactured by Northern Plastics of Elroy, Wisconsin, between 1983 and 1985.

Trivial Pursuits made it into the “Games Hall of Fame” in 1993. An on-line version was released in 2003 and various forms of the game found its way into television shows.

Prior to starting Sunday’s game, Rachynski said she was surprised by its growing popularity here and noted there is room for more participants. The next game is 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29.


Briefly Noted…

On the job – Puerto’s new security chief, Luis Eduardo Espinosa, showed up just in time to avoid gridlock inside the main gate last week where a large tractor trailer truck became disabled. The chief displayed logistical acumen using a police whistle and both arms to direct the traffic, probably like he did when he served in the federal police force…

Two thirds of Mexicans are against the decriminalization of marijuana despite the federal court’s recent decision that prohibiting it for medical and recreational use is unconstitutional. President Pena Nieto, who leans toward a conservative view, says he will open national debate on the topic… Carry-on baggage has increased, filling overhead compartments quickly and completely on some flights, since the airlines began charging extra for checked bags…

The World Amateur golf tourney will be held on the Riviera Maya on 8 to 24 September 2016 when 400 competitors from 72 countries are expected to compete on courses at Mayakoba and Playa Paraiso… Flights from France to Cancun continued normally last weekend despite the terror attacks, officials have reported…

The US and Mexico signed an agreement last week allowing Mexico to use raw data of land surface imagery from a US satellite, a deal that yields benefits to Mexico’s agriculture, forestry, geology, forestry, mapping and climate change studies… US approves cancer drug that reduces tumor size in lung cancer patients. The drug, Tagrisso, is manufactured by AstraZeneca…

Sargassum notwithstanding, 2015 has been a record year for turtle hatching along the Riviera Maya with unofficial sources estimating a turtle population of more than a million… While sargssum appears to be on the wane, there is an ongoing, coordinated study by the federal environmental agency, engineers and scientists debating the feasibility of creating barriers at sea to prevent kelp landfall…China is set to invest $2.5 billion in Mexico’s energy sector…

As two French visitors were scammed by “pirate” tour operators on 5th Avenue last weekend, officials were announcing plans to attack this growing threat to tourism along 5th Avenue… Analysts are reporting that the Big Three auto makers in the US are planning to shift more production of small cars to Mexico to take advantage of cheaper labor costs… Not surprising, the late rainy season is affecting profits in the lagging tourist season…

The Mail Bag…

Most tourists law abiding

Dear Editor:

Mr. Sindal, are you living under a tree? All these people complaining about the speed traps (even when you are under the speed allowed) are not people who go 90km because they think they can do whatever they choose while in Mexico.

Most of these tourists paid mucho pesos to come here and pretty much are law abiding citizens here in Mexico and at whatever country they come from, and leave with a very sour taste. Good for you, 11 years and no police activity. I can’t wait for your first time and see how you react!

Signed/Edward Lupa

No problem for most

Dear Editor:

In answer to Robert Rosania’s comment, drivers should take responsibility for their mistake. Not only do some break the law if they are speeding, but they put other peoples’ lives at risk.

You were not stopped for speeding because you were in a rental car full of luggage driving to the airport. Hundreds of people do that every day who don´t get stopped. The police have enough work stopping drivers who are speeding on their way to the airport. They should leave early, drive slowly and use seatbelts. They will be happier and trouble-free.

If people decide not to come to the Riviera Maya because they have been asked for a bribe after speeding, I think it is good news for the safety of the people who live here.I receive friends and family each year who use rental cars and none of them get problems because they do not speed.

You say that a lot of tourists have problems with the police, but I think the majority does not. Some people do not respect the speed limit but when you ask them, they will say they didn´t speed. Last point: I did not say it was right or wrong to pay a bribe. I just say it is foolish to complain to your embassy and admit you gave a bribe.

Signed/ T. Casino

The end

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