November 23, 2016
Colonos board backs idea
of a community park
Imagine a two-mile jogging and biking track, a doggie park, a pastoral picnic area by a cool cenote, a children’s play-gym area, perhaps a small soccer field, maybe a miniature golf area, sufficient parking places and more – all contained in and around a 42-acre park within walking distance of most homes.
These are the visions being explored by the Colonos Board of Directors and PA developer Roman Rivera Torres in a bid to replace the proposed construction of the second nine holes of the golf course with a public park.
The initiative, said Jorge Kaufer, chairman of the Colonos board, has the board’s full support. The proposal will be presented to voters at the Dec. 10 General Assembly convening at 9:30 a.m. at the Dreams Hotel where the public gets its chance to hear details and weigh in on the idea.
The land area under discussion contains a total of 74 acres. Besides the park, 12 acres would be reserved for 60 single-family house lots on the extension road of Bahia Akumal beginning at the Cultural Center south to the Barcelo Hotel and 20 lots along Puerto Aventuras Blvd. in Phase 4, Kaufer said. Seven acres would be reserved for parking and streets and a 12 acres for greenery.
Kaufer said about $3 million US from the sale of house lots would pay for development of the park by the developer, after which time it would be turned over to and be maintained by the Colonos.
Kaufer said permitting for the house lots could take a year and perhaps anther year for proceeds from sales to become available to develop the park. He said the community could see a park shortly thereafter.
He said the proposal is not a “done deal.” The Assembly offers an opportunity for public discourse of the vision.
National championship sailing
races slated here this weekend
A national sailing competition of some 100 sailors and boats is being held this weekend off the Puerto Aventuras shore. The event is hosted by the Puerto Aventuras Sailing Club located in Phase 4 and is the last major national competition of the season, reports club Commodore Daniele Gracis.
A national championship in the Laser class boat will be determined by this weekend’s races and a team will be selected from the Optimist Class to compete in the National Sailing Federation championship.
Sailors from such distant places as Germany, Spain, Guatemala, Costa Rica and various Mexican states have already been arriving and preparing their boats for the event. The races will be visible from beachfront vantage points. As usual, events hosted by the club bring added business to the community during the preparation and duration of the races.
Taverna’s Akumal thanksgiving…
Thanksgiving feast is planned at Akumal’s newest restaurant, Taverna, adjacent to the Turtle Bay Restaurant, starting at 6 p.m. on Nov. 24. Choice of dinners includes oven-roasted turkey breast with baked yams, green beans, cranberry sauce, gravy and stuffing preceded by choice of pumpkin soup with shredded coconut or mixed greens with orange,carrots, raisins, goat cheese, toasted almonds and mixed berry vinaigrette. Other dinner choices include Risotto alla Pecatora, or grilled grouper filet or pumpkin ravioli. Reservations, price and more information by calling 984-875-9009.
Hippo’s Restaurant is conducting a raffle for a deluxe meal for 20 people aboard a Fat Cat catamaran cruise. Buy a ticket for 250 pesos and win this day on the water with a deluxe meal for 20 of your family and friends. All proceeds going o help children served by the volunteer social agency Transforma Educando in the poblados of Puerto Aventuras, Akumal and Chemuyil. Stop by Hippo’s for your ticket(s) soon because there are only 25 left.
The first concert of the season sponsored by the Colonos to fund other entertainment events throughout the season will be held at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Cultural Center on Bahia Akumal. It will feature “Rocksimus Maxximus” rock and circus group. Entrance fee $100 pesos…Latitude 20 Restaurant and Lounge notes the resumption of live entertainment as snowbirds begin to nest for the new high-season. While the popular and charitable bi-monthly Trivial Pursuits fund-raisers continued on alternating Sundays through the summer season, they will be joined by BINGO games on the remaining alternate Sunday afternoons. The first Bingo game will get under way on Nov. 27 .… The 9th Annual Road race registrations have begun for the race day of January 22, 2017. Dolphin Discovery is again the sponsor… The Colonos annual assembly is currently scheduled for Dec. 10 where, among other business, funds will be sought to finish the second phase of the main gate project. There is talk of a modest maintenance fee hike.
For the record…
Noise, sleeplessness, can bring
out the worst in the aggrieved
Revolutions are not only fought between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Neither are their post-war patriotic celebrations. That point was driven home last Friday night as a tsunami of ultra-loud sound waves crashed over the resort from the poblado until around 4 a.m. in the observance of the Mexican Revolution of 1910.
The excessive volume of music piped through powerful speakers trumpeted calls to Security at the resort’s main gate. Guards could only say that people were “dancing in the streets” across the highway and there was nothing they could do. Resort Security has no official standing in the poblado.
So loud was the amplification that it penetrated the usual noise defenses of shutting windows, doors and even hurricane shutters, this time all to no avail. Colonos GM said the music was carried across the highway by cold-front wind from the north.
We have read in the past that excessive noise and sleeplessness can provoke rather unpleasant responses in some people. A possible case in point is the recent mysterious torching of a lounge in Centro that has long been accused by neighbors of excessive noise into the wee morning hours, causing sleep deprivation.
There is a voluntary agreement in the resort’s Centro Comercial association to reduce noise by 11 p.m. For that, residents who retire at traditional hours are grateful. The Hard Rock Hotel next door opened with a bang several years ago but toned it down considerably after negotiations with Colonos GM Rincon and a small delegation of concerned residents. Again, the community is grateful.
Unfortunately, another musical disturbance Saturday night began at 11 p.m. on a residential street, forcing immediate neighbors to slam windows shut and regrettably forgo the paradisal Caribbean breezes in their bedrooms. “I don’t see why private parties aren’t made to follow the Centro Comercial model and bring their loud parties indoors at 11 p.m. so the rest of us can sleep,” said one of the aggrieved neighbors. “There ought to be a law,” he yawned.
Puerto Aventuras mayor issue
reported back on front burner
The political struggle to elevate the Puerto Aventuras municipal delegation to a “mayoralty” of sorts with its own budget and spending priorities was apparently on the verge of heading to the courts for a resolution if the newly elected president (mayor) of Solidaridad continued to stall implementation.
Proponents were reportedly threatening to sue municipal President Cristina Torres for impeding progress on the initiative following its unanimous approval by the previous city council in September. Torres countered the municipality doesn’t have the funds and that the initiative lacks constitutional prerequisites and the bureaucracy to handle the transition.
But PA developer and mayoralty proponent Roman Rivera Torres reported meeting with President Cristina Torres to go over the process and logic of the plan and was assured by her the initiative approved by the previous municipal council will go forward with her blessing.
Proponents have been lobbying for a mayoralty for six years, spurred on by recurring shortfalls in public services and spending by previous Solidaridad administrations. A disgraceful and health-threatening lack of rubbish collection for days on end this summer provoked a protest that blocked Highway 307 for several hours, some property damage and personal injury.
Alderman Navarro Emilio Tamargo, who pushed for passage of the mayor plan and would represent the resort in the local administration, said Puerto Aventuras generates between 160 to 180 million pesos yearly for the municipality. (At the current exchange rate, 180 million pesos equals just over $9 million USD.)
Rivera Torres, who supports the transition, said income from taxes, fees and grants generated in Puerto Aventuras would return to the community an estimated 220 million pesos ($11 million USD). In that way, the Puerto Aventuras community would handle its own affairs while freeing the municipal president to concentrate on the burgeoning population in Playa del Carmen.
It is noted that Puerto Aventuras is not seeking to become a full-fledged municipality with a constitutional mayor, but rather a sort of deputy mayor working under the administration of Playa del Carmen, but with more fiscal autonomy than the current delegation model of governance. It is also noted that some influential resort residents oppose the move for fear of opening the resort gates to possible municipal interference.
Taverna in Akumal merges
flavors of Italy and Mexico
into fine dining experience
Akumal’s newer restaurant is literally steps above the norm in the busy village. It is a second-story, palapa plateau of plenty where Italian flavors of home-made sauces and pastas blend effortlessly with gracious service under the welcoming eyes of manager Alejandra Ruiz Perez and collegial chef Leonardo Leonetti, who are, incidentally, husband and wife.
Just beginning their second year at the Taverna in Akumal, the bi-lingual Alejandra and tri-lingual Leo have already formed a bond with repeat customers pleasing their palates with the flavorful fruits of Leo’s culinary education at Italy’s “Albergherio School” specializing in all phase of hotel and restaurant management. Leo is a native of Bari, located in the heel of Italy, while Alejandra is from Mexico City where she received a degree in business management at the city’s Panamericana University.
Pelican staff was given a tour of the expansive 70-seat dining area, the spotless open kitchen where diners can see what’s cooking, the smaller and more private “prep” kitchen with state-of-the-art stainless steel oven and other gleaming appliances used in producing the homemade pastas and sauces, the storage freezer and room where a selection of beers, including Akumal ale and selected wines are kept at proper temperatures.
A dinner later with congenial friends Chris Landahl and Kay Strange of Puerto Aventuras elicited oohs and ahhs as waiters, almost too attentive to our wants and needs, delivered ample selections of Risotto al frutti di mare , a saffron risotto with seasoned seafood whose delightful flavors wafted and mingled about the table as did essences of ravioli maremmani stuffed with ricotta and spinach. Other risotto dishes were caressed with parmesan cheese, truffle sauce and lemon confit.
We shared some antipasti of avocado fries that were breaded and fried with lemon cilantro and some bruschetta garnished with fresh tomato, garlic, basil and extra virgin olive oil.
And the spiced grand margarita came with a dash of Grand Marnier for color and added zest, fresh lime, agave nectar, jalapeno and chile blended into a glass large enough to last the meal for one who sips, rather than gulps. The bar sits at the opposite end of the room from the kitchen were one can also order food while watching one of the two television screens tucked into the corners of the palapa.
Taverna’s ambience is open and tropical with low lighting, most of it with candles accompanied by potted plants that line the steps and airy dining area. There is enough room between tables to afford a cozy privacy. The Tavern of Akumal, part of the Lombardi Family chain, is offering a Thanksgiving meal from 6 p.m. to closing Thursday, Nov. 24. Reservations recommended by calling 984-875-9009. Click on the Taverna logo in the sponsor column for more information.
The Round Up…
The Great Maya Aquifer of underground water on the Yucatan Peninsula is being threatened by urban development, say researchers from National Geographic and INAH, Mexico’s cultural and archeological agency. Guillermo De Anda, an archeologist on special projects for INAH, says the most endangered area is from Cancun to Tulum where underwater Mayan artifacts and sustainability are most threatened. The researchers call for more legislative control over sites and cenotes served by the aquifer…
The earth-moving Calica Co. just north of Puerto Aventuras has received a Clean Industry Certification from the federal attorney for environmental protection to underline Calica’a compliance with legal matters involving the environment. Critics however say the company is threatening the Jaguar’s habitat with its earth removal operations west of Highway 307…
New bedfellows are the US Chamber of Commerce and Mexican government as they joined in a vow to defend trade between the two countries embodied in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) worth $500 billion a year in trade. US president-elect Donald Trump has boasted of amending or abandoning trade pacts during the recent political campaign…
Special treatment for immigrants highly-skilled in technology is being sought by the US Internet Association in the wake of president-elect Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric about closing US borders to newcomers…
Chichen Itza has turned up a new discovery of a third structure inside the Kukulkan pyramid that was built similar to a Russian nesting doll, say experts. They found a 10-meter tall pyramid inside a 20-meter tall one which was inside a 30-meter tall outer pyramid…
The local hotel association is fighting a move by the municipal government to add a 20-peso per room surtax that would, says the association, overlook 50 percent of the rooms being rented and cause financial hardship to the industry. They also contend it would be more equitable to collect regular room taxes from the multitude of private homes and condos being rented without paying any fees into the system…
The 911 (formerly 066) emergencyl line has received double the calls for burglaries since 2013, most of them from Playa del Carmen’s mushrooming colonies and the tourist zone. In the last six months, 1,311 calls were directly related to burglaries in living units, cars and on the streets…
Mosquito, nature’s cargo plane,
now carrying ‘Mayaro’ fever
Quintana Roo’s director of health, Arturo Lopez, is alerting county residents of the possible arrival of the “Mayaro” virus disease borne by the infamous Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which also carries dengue and chikungunya fevers and Zika virus.
Lopez said that while no Mayaro fever cases have been reported thus far on the Yucatan, he is urging residents to take precautions such as routine cleaning of flower pots on patios and rooftops and any standing-water containers to prevent mosquito proliferation.
Other general preventive steps include spraying and fogging by government and private agencies and the liberal use of personal and home repellents, such as sprays and citronella candles.
Mayaro symptoms are similar to infections from dengue, and acute symptoms usually last for three to five days. They include headache, myalgia (body pain), particularly in large joints, fever and rash. Mayaro can be confirmed by laboratory testing. Human exposure is affiliated with humid tropical weather usually found in forests.
Local house-call Dra. Carolina Guzman said she has been dealing with some patients exhibiting mild symptoms of flu-like infections and that the several cases she had laboratory tested came out negative for the fevers. Most cases had mild dengue- or flu-like symptoms minus the itch, she said. Recommended treatment is rest, avoiding too much sun, drinking plenty of liquids and taking analgesics like Tylenol. Cases where respiratory problems exist are treated with medications to prevent bacterial infection, she said.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said the Zika virus is no longer a global emergency, but emphasized the crisis isn’t over.
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 Tuesdays. Thank you.
The end -Previous edition below