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Optimism for economic growth in 2013

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HAPPY NEWsidney 104 YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!


Colonos Annual Assembly

Residents choose videocams over live guards

Colonos to ponder beach

replenishment plan Feb. 16


By Juanito
    This year’s annual meeting flowed smoothly, with no controversial proposals on the Dec. 15 agenda. There was no yelling, no shouting, and no multiple votes needed for stakeholders to determine how much of a fee increase they’d be willing to accept for the coming year.

Instead, except for one big surprise at the end,the meeting seemed more like a social event with snacks, refreshments and a feeling of harmony among attendees.
We learned there have been more robberies within the resort complex than many of us had realized, with a total of 18 reported for the year. Some included the theft of large amounts of cash, previously reported in the Pelican Free Press.
Video evidence determined that at least one of these robberies was committed by members of the Colonos security staff. For this reason, it was suggested that homeowners and shopkeepers add video cameras to their internal security systems.
Because of the increased roll video cameras are playing in solving crimes, the assembly determined that it made more sense to invest in the expansion of the video network instead of continuing to add more security personnel to the equation.

The Colonos currently employs 28 guards who work various shifts. By electing to fortify the number of video cameras instead of adding six guards as originally planned, it reduced a proposed 12.54% increase in Colonos fees down to 6.37% for 2013.
Liking the idea, the lower increase was approved by an overwhelming majority without further discussion. It was explained that plans for an enhanced security camera network include technical upgrades at the main gate that incorporate “video recognition” to provide better identification of vehicles as they move through the complex.
In keeping with the plan to accelerate road improvements, residents can expect to see the entrance road resurfaced with stamped concrete all the way from the main gate down to the central zone during the coming year. The repaving includes elimination of the old stone portion of the road.
Mr. Jorge Kaufer, was elected president of the Colonos board for the 2013-2015 term. Outgoing president, Beatriz Marron Vales, will serve as Secretary.
It was announced that the new street lighting project was concluded during 2012, with 3,800 linear meters being covered, at a total cost of 600,000 pesos. Some complaints were expressed saying that it seemed Puerto Aventuras was heading in the opposite direction from the rest of the world that seems to believe that crime can be reduced by adding more light to dimly lit areas.
The question asked was… “Why are we reducing the amount of lumens on our streets when burglaries and thefts are on the rise?”
Those returning to PA after a multi-month absence should notice considerable new greenery. The Colonos gardening staff planted 300 new trees during the year that were grown from seedlings in the community nursery.

Regarding boat thefts, the Colonos has hired two new guards to patrol the two entrance canals between  7 p.m. and 7 a.m. These guards have direct radio communications with the Navy Post. They will report departing boats that refuse to stop, show their documents and that have not previously notified security regarding their departure. These actions will add to the promised assistance of authorities that have pledged to act on all reports from local security personnel.
The biggest surprise of the meeting came at the very end when Puerto Aventuras developer Roman Rivera Torres unveiled a beach reclamation project for Fatima Bay. The topic was not on the agenda, so attendees were surprised when it turned into a full blown proposal asking the Assembly to approve funding for a 700,000 peso beach restoration plan developed by Dr. Ping Wang, associate professor at the University of South Florida.

Without providing evidence or a detailed plan, it was Mr. Rivera Torre’s hope that the assembly would approve his verbal request to divert income from Phase IV construction fees over to his beach restoration project.
Rivera Torres explained that only monies collected from Phase IV building and lot fees would be used, exempting current residents from the burden of finding the project. While many of those present seemed warm to the general concept, they were not in the mood to approve anything without first having seen the details in writing and a satisfactory method of accountability for these funds.
It was decided to schedule a special assembly Feb. 16 to allow time for Rivera-Torres to present the proposal in writing so it can be properly viewed prior to making a decision. Those wanting to have input on that decision should be present at the February meeting. A date for pre-registration will be announced prior to the meeting.

New year begins on note of optimism

By Staff
   THE BOOM IS BACK: The high season began last week with crowds foraging in Fifth Avenue shops and sunning on sun-drenched beaches while flocks of Snowbirds silhouetted on a blue sky winged back to their balmy, palmy hideouts.
From early reports, short-stay tourists converged by the thousands along Playa’s most popular avenue, giving local businesses and real estate vendors a much-needed shot of optimism and cure for ailing cash registers.
The initial invasion of spenders coincides with the seating of the country’s new and energetic President Enrique Pina Nieto, the debunking of the apocalyptic Mayan myth, a promising outlook of a 4 percent growth in GDP and an apparent political willingness among the nation’s three major parties to forge ahead on major economic and social initiatives.
These include a new tack on the war on drug cartels and a collision with the ultra-powerful teachers union over who will control salaries and educational oversight…the union or the government.
Other initiatives such as infrastructure projects will be used as bait to increase the government’s revenue streams, not with new taxes,  but by expansion of existing levies to pay for it. If the optimism is backed by cooperation and action, it will bode well for the invested snowbirds looking for  a resumption of accelerated appreciation of real estate values.
Some small investors are squirreling no-risk nest eggs in banks here in addition to real estate since the interest rates here yield better than the bottomed-out interest on U.S. CDs and savings. But that’s not all…

…President Pena Nieto signals start
of trans-peninsular railroad project

Hanging onto real estate is probably a good bet in view of the next big unfolding story for Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula’s Puerto Aventuras area: We are talking about President Enrique Pina Nieto’s intention to begin infrastructure construction of the Yucatan’s high-speed trans-peninsular railroad in early 2014. The rail is expected to chug westward from Calica (Punta Venad0 terminal) about seven miles north of us, providing a pleasant ride to Merida and other points of interest.
(We note that some roadwork was ongoing at the Calico terminal off Highway 307 last year, perhaps in preparation for the rail?)
We are familiar with what the 1800s railroads did for opening the American and Canadian West to population, opportunity and economic growth. If past is prologue, no less should be expected along the Mayan Riviera from this project.
Blend in the interest of Chinese and other investors to construct the proposed Dragon Mart near Puerto Morelos, retail/exposition project that includes considerable housing, and what can be reasonably expected is more population and more business opportunities and jobs. Also in the near future is the possibility of a new airport just south of us in Tulum.
It is a fair prognosis that the slide in housing prices hereabouts may be ready for a neat U-turn, particularly if the U.S. fiscal cliff issue is resolved and the economy there does not retreat into recession, a situation that could negatively impact Mexico’s projected economic surge.

The Mailbag…

Dear Editor:

I feel quite sure that those of us who spend the most time in PA are either a bit past our prime or at least approaching that stage of life.
Therefore, one must wonder about the total lack of handrails in our community. This is particularly noticeable on the steps to the Colonos office and meeting room. Surely it wouldn’t cost very much to add some handrails here and there.
Judith Labrozzi, Puerto Aventuras

Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter

A new president brings hope for a positive direction: “Un nuevo Presidente trae esperanza para una dirección positiva.”
Anyone interested in learning the language can contact Ms. Contreras by email at Gloria Contreras [email protected] or Cel: 984-108-3517.
(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 per session. Please call her first to make arrangements.


What’s Playing…

See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.
Centro Maya: http://cinemex.com/

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

Briefly noted…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
EXTORTION RACKET calls have dropped significantly in Solidaridad, say press reports…THREE SWIMMERS SAVED  from a Playa del Carmen surf after being dragged by rip waves and current signaled extra precaution and heightened alert by local lifeguards…SO WHAT’S NEW? – The press reports that 315 federal job-holders in Mexico earn more than new president, Enrique Pina Nieto, despite a 2009 decree prohibiting workers including Supreme Court justices from earning more than the president…TWO VANS COLLIDED on Boulevard Playa del Carmen (the name of Highway 307 under the overpass) near Centro at the height of shopping, causing lots of damage to the vehicles. There were no injuries. Another reminder to drive carefully and observe the traffic laws…WAL-MART UNCOVERED – the New York Times printed a story about how Wal-Mart bribed its way into Mexico. It featured a $52,000 bribe to have some zoning changed near ancient pyramids 30 miles from Mexico City…Q. ROO COMPANIES conceal 3,000 labor accidents a year, says press report…A FITH AVENUE BUSINESS was disrupted by officials for hawking “pirated” Senor Frogs brand items…THERE IS TALK that the federal government wants to reclaim 5 miles of beach in Cancun and Riviera Maya but there was no mention of sand replenishment specifically for Puerto Aventuras in the local press…A CRANEwas required to right a car that flipped into another car on the federal highway near Puerto Aventuras. there were no injuries but the incident carries a warning to drive defensively and obey new speed limits…FIFTH AVENUE CLEAN-UP continues with arrests of criminal elements distributing drugs along the popular tourist enclave…A REBOUND in visitors is already being seen in Playa del Carmen, a harbinger most likely, of a better winter season…POLICE RAIDEDa tattoo parlor on Fifth Avenue between Ave. Benito Juarez alleging it was a cover for criminal activities of the “Los Pelones” gang…

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