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November 2015, Week 4


Wait for wide Fatima Bay

beach said to be over soon

Chac-Hal-Al, Omni, Villa del Mar set to act

Work to be done in phases

By Staff
The wait for beach reclamation along a stretch of Fatima Bay reportedly will be over beginning next week. Three major waterfront property boards have essentially assented to fund first-phase sand replenishment within an existing temporary inshore barrier.

A new strategy for the long-awaited project will be presented at the annual Colonos assembly Dec. 12 in the Dreams Hotel by developer Roman Rivera Torres. The latest design is less expensive than one previously proposed but which was subsequently entangled in and delayed by the permitting process.

The new design, to be done in phases, informs that Chac-Hal-Al would begin importing 70 truckloads of sand along its proprietary beach from roughly Dec. 1 to Dec. 15, Rivera Torres said. Once that sand has settled in from tidal action and firmly contained, 70 loads will be deposited along the Omni Hotel waterfront from Jan. 10-20, then along the Villa del Mar property. Each of these entities will pay for their sand.

It is expected the total amount of imported material would create a sandy beach 20 meters (65 feet) wide and reverse the threat of property damage, particularly along the Omni Hotel beach bar, retainer walls and beach access points, and provide ample space for beachgoers.

The sand would continue to be sheltered long-term by future piecemeal construction of a less expensive artificial reef similar to the ones now existing closer to shore. These stone and netting jetties – also designed to deter the landfall of future sargassum invasions – would be placed 80 meters (197 feet) from the shoreline in water 1.8 to 2.2 meters deep (about 5 to 7 feet.)

Rivera Torres said Chac-Hal-Al, Omni and Villa del Mar will fund the sand replacement as an emergency spending assessment. Additional funding for the larger permanent reef farther in the the bay will require the approval of the coming condo assemblies involved in the project. That portion of funding, however, will be repaid by the Colonos from Phase 4 building permit receipts, as previously agreed at a prior assembly.

The earlier design, reported last year in the Pelican Press, would have used large inverted pyramids or huge boulders requiring a barge and crane/pulley device for lifting, transporting and placing the cumbersome boulders.

The current jetty design plan on paper also includes private properties along the southern section of the shoreline. (See rendering Photo). Owners there would have to agree to join the project. At any rate, Rivera Torres said, the work being done will not affect sand movement at other parts of the beachfront.

The previous funding agreement, approved by a past assembly vote, was for an estimated $1.3 million to be amortized by Colonos receipts from Phase 4 building permits. That meant waiting for payments to be made as lots there were sold and construction begun.

In return, the developer funded all Phase 4 infrastructure, including roads that will eventually come under Colonos jurisdiction and maintenance as they transition as part of the larger community.

The Colonos board thought that since the original plan was presented by the developer at an assembly, this change in strategy and design should also be presented by the developer and open to questions for the edification of the general community.

Property tax discounts offered

It’s property tax time again and agents from the municipality of Solidaridad will be present in the Colonos meeting room for two weeks offering substantial discounts for payment.

A 25 percent discount is in effect during December and the agents will accept payment from Monday, Dec. 7 to Friday Dec. 11 and also Dec. 14 through 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is a 15 percent discount for those who pay in January and 10 percent in February. The Colonos advises that those who pay more than 10 tax bills should send their catastral numbers (property number) to [email protected] .

Traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner

is being offered for the 20th year at Café Ole tomorrow, Nov. 26, in three seatings. Interested parties are asked to reserve seating either from 5-7, or 7-9 or 9-10:30 p.m. … Trivial Pursuits Sunday, Nov. 29, 4 p.m. at Latitude 20 with Shannon Rachynski. Proceeds go to the needy…

Traditional Colegio Christmas Bazaar from 12 to 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, new items only, and Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (new and old items). Reserve booths now at the school. The Saturday bazaar includes family activities and entertainment… Colonos Assembly to be held Dec. 12 at Dreams Hotel… Annual road race scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 31. Sign up at the Colonos office… Something new – The first annual “Petanque” tournament of Puerto Aventuras will be held also on De. 12 at 11 a.m. at the Information and Art Center near Centro. What is “Petanque?” More later… Christmas reminder that the Colonos office is now accepting gifts and/or money to buy presents for Colonos employees who do such a good job maintaining the community. Gifts can be brought to the Colonos office during working hours. The gifts will be distributed at the annual employee party in the Poblado on Dec. 18. “As usual we look forward to your generosity,” says the Colonos board of directors……

‘Courthouse’ yacht in and out;

phase 4 cart access confuses

By Staff

Several weeks ago the Pelican reported a story concerning the final departure of the yacht ‘Courthouse’, which had been docked here for more than a quarter century. Then it suddenly re-appeared.

That’s because, say sources, it had left Puerto Aventuras for maintenance at Isla Mujeres where, it was learned, it needed more repairs to handle the crossing to Florida to be closer to its aging owner. Florida reportedly remains the yacht’s eventual destination, said PA developer Roman Rivera Torres.

No sooner do we report the boat’s return that it was observed leaving again last Saturday and had not returned by Sunday, said a waterfront observer. Then it reappeared and evidently has been out fishing.

Rivera Torres was a friend and diving colleague of yacht owner Guy H. Allison, now 84, a longtime attorney. He said last week that the dock space so long occupied by “Courthouse” will have new tenants soon in the form of a floating Vandutch Yachts showroom.

Golf carts welcome…really!

In the wake of several reports that golf cart drivers have encountered difficulties entering Phase 4 through the now-gated entrance, developer Roman Rivera Torres has reiterated that the carts should be admitted, with one exception.

He said people entering to visit the ruins to enjoy the caleta for a while are most welcome. But, he said, guards have been notified to turn away carts containing camping gear, since camping is not permitted.

He said that sometimes various guards at the gate are unsure of the details outlined in a letter to them to admit visitors in carts. In one case witnessed by a Pelican staff member, a language barrier existed and the cart occupants were permitted entrance after translation. To reiterate, golf carts are generally welcome to Phase 4.


Weekend sail club regatta

attracts 120 boats, skippers

By Staff

   If the Mexican Navy ever decides to expand its fleet with more ships, it won’t have any trouble finding officers and crews if last weekend’s sailing regatta here is any indication.

At least 120 young skippers of several boat classes participated in the regatta from all over seaboard Mexico. It was an event that morphed the usually noiseless tail end of the winding new Phase 4 roadway into a jammed but amazingly efficient staging area for the 120 boats, assorted trailers, trucks and cars, skippers and family members hauling coolers and gear in preparation.

Waddling through the crowd at 10:30 a.m. on the bright Sunday morning, the Pelican spoke with a young woman from Puerto Vallarta who skippers one of the boats sponsored by the Army and was working on her boat’s rigging.

She said the regatta was supposed to “go to water” at 11 a.m., but the minimal breath of air that morning she said could engender delays and remind the young sailors why man invented the engine. Even Nature is whimsically unreliable.

Scurrying hither and yon among the sailors and crews of several motor vessels preparing to set out markers for the course, was Daniele Gracis, commodore of the local Youth Sailing Club now ensconced off a Phase 4 canal.

Gracis, who in his earlier days sailed from Italy to Cuba then to Mexico on a cement sailing vessel he built, has parlayed a fledgling sailing club into award-winning sailors in national competition and to boosting the Puerto Aventuras name and its businesses by hosting national regattas here. He also raises money from sponsors for individual young sailors with promise who cannot afford to participate.


Briefly noted

When oh when oh when – is the Chedraui Supermarket across the highway going to fill and repair the exacerbating potholes leading into and out of the parking lot? …  The Impossible ‘Dreams’ – A number of residents could have found it “impossible to dream” last Thursday night as an earsplitting musical group did its best on the shore of the peaceful sounding “Lagoon of Dreams” to entertain but inadvertently preempt slumber. Fortunately, and to the hotel’s credit, the entertainment ended at 9:30 p.m. Good show!… A hotel construction worker  attempting to cross the highway between Puerto Aventuras and Akumal was killed Monday by a hit and run driver…

One PA resident with a sense of humor carries a business card that heralds “ice fishing” in the Caribbean. Now comes an announcement that  our neighbor Hard Rock Hotel in a deal with sports company Woodward Camp may offer “snow skiing” in the hotel facility next year…

Fixing a visa flap In a face to face discussion at the G20 meeting last week in Turkey, Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto he was ready to recommend the repeal of Mexican visa requirements.The permit requirement was imposed by Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government in 2009 to stanch the flow of Mexicans seeking asylum in Canada.The visa permit had become a nuisance between the two countries, leading a vexed Mexican ambassador to say he was “really mad” at Harper’s conservative government. Trudeau had included the repeal issue in his successful election platform.

Best roads – Quintana Roo tops the list of states on the peninsula for maintenance of its roadways and places fourth nationally. The state pledges to continue the practice in 2016… The federal government’s new and elite “gendarmerie” police force will have a presence in this area during the upcoming holiday season. They will participate in security efforts during the peak influx of tourists. Mayor Mauricio Gongora hopes to have a permanent contingent of gendarmes in the municipality to help battle criminal activity…

A day without water – Some 70,000 inhabitants of Playa del Carmen went a day without water last week when an electrical problem in water supplier Aguakan’s catchment area stopped the flow. The stoppage began in the Ejidal colony west of the highway then spread to the entire city, causing loss of profits to some businesses and inconvenience to residents and tourists…

Delta Airlines is investing another $600 million USD to boost its share of AeroMexico to 49 percent… Former Mexican President Vincente Fox predicts cocaine to be legalized within 10 years since the Mexican federal court has declared banning marijuana use unconstitutional… Tiny pet pigs on a leash becoming the vogue in Mexico City… Housing costs could rise by 10 percent in the new home industry because of increased material and labor costs…

Day of the Toilet declared by the UN in 2013 to call attention to the millions of people without one came and went on Nov. 19, but not before it was noted that many families in Solidaridad’s impoverished districts are without sanitary infrastructure, contributing to the higher incidence of disease…

Warm waters of El Nino containing all sorts of fish are flowing north from Mexico and unexpectedly depositing the fish off the California coast, a boon to anglers. El Nino is the periodic warming of Pacific currents … PEW Research Center in Chicago says more Mexicans are leaving the United States to find work and be with family in Mexico than entering it…

Anyone keeping count? – Another traffic death was reported last week on Boulevard Playa del Carmen. That is the name of the street under the 307 overpass through Playa. It would be enlightening to know how many people die or are seriously maimed on that stretch of roadway and how many incidents involve taxis whose drivers run away from the scene rather than stay with the victim and call for help…

Nature Watch…

Area mosquito carries more

viruses than a furniture van

By Staff:
Just when we thought we heard it all, the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries dengue, chikungunya and yellow fevers has found room to carry a new kid on this block called “Zika” virus.

Health officials in Playa del Carmen last week diagnosed one case of this newer threat to the area in a traveler who had recently been to Colombia. The virus is transmitted only by mosquito bite and not communicable.

The symptoms of Zika fever are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya – fever, rash, joint pain and red eye. The Aedes mosquito family is found throughout the world, so is capable of introducing new viruses worldwide from parochial outbreaks.

Health officials say there is no treatment or vaccine for Zika but that its symptoms are comparatively mild and best treated by drinking plenty of liquids, rest, taking medicines such as acetaminophen or paracetomal. It is best to avoid aspirin and other non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory until dengue can be ruled out to avoid the possibility of hemorrhage.

As always, the best way to avoid these viruses is to avoid being bitten by the mosquito by wearing protective clothing, using sprays, window and door screens and/or air conditioning.

Politically, assure that governments and/or HOAs spray effectively to eliminate breeding grounds in standing water found near residences. Several neighborhoods in Playa are already agitating for added spraying.

Meanwhile, it is reported that an infant in our neighboring state of Yucatan has become the second person there to succumb to dengue fever this year.

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication in any given week is Monday at 5 p.m. for production mid-week, usually Wednesday. Thank you.

The end

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