PELICAN FREE PRESS SPREADS WINGS
Responds to requests for ad space
WELCOME to the Pelican Free Press as it prepares to return to its more frequent editions next month. As a result of requests for and a recognition that advertising also is a public service, and to help defray costs of publication and site maintenance, the Pelican has provided space for a limited number of sponsorships, should potential patrons be so inclined. They will be seen on the left side of the news page. Local classified advertising is being offered on the ”Commerce” page for residents who may want to inform readers of goods such as cars or furniture for sale or the gamut of available local services such as carpentry, plumbing, metal work, various repairs, property management, restaurants and other offerings.
The Pelican has also added Google translation on the right side of the news page to extend its reach to non-English readers by simply clicking on a nation’s flag. Choices include Spanish, German, Danish, Italian, French and Russian, however fractured these translations may be. A “sponsor page” will carry pertinent information about each sponsor in addition to a website link and contact information, and readers can click on the sponsor logo for more information. Also in the news page gutters are the weather station, money exchange, the easy and free subscription form and archives. Some pages on the site remain under construction and we apologize beforehand for any possible inconveniences to our readers.
The Pelican staff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fourth annual PA race is Nov. 13
New PA high school waits government aid
Despite generous contributions from the x-pat and snowbird population, the Anat Kah fund and a successful golf tournament that raised some $7,000 earlier this year for windows that are now installed, the new one-room high school in the poblado remains closed for lack of government and/or union action to provide electricity and other infrastructure improvements needed to make the building usable.
“The high school program continues to operate in the building next to the delegation,” Christina Alexander of Anat Kah, a major fund-raising sponsor of the school
construction, said in response to reports the building was in operation. “They might be thinking of the primary school that opened in Puerto Maya. As I’m sure you know, the Mexican government is legally committed to provide education only up through middle school. That is part of the reason why we are having such a problem getting their support for the high school.”
Alexander and others were supposed to meet with the governor on Sept. 30, but “the governor did not show up, so we are working other channels to get the petitions to him. I think that he is our best chance as everybody has commented on how difficult it is to get to the new municipal president, and the governor has publicly stated his intent to have a building bonanza of social and public “obras” (works). Once we have submitted the petitions to him I will share them so the public can see exactly what it is we are asking for and need from the authorities. It always comes down to the final details,” Alexander said, adding that she was slated for a meeting with the president’s wife and will ask for her help. “The students will be able to get into the school once the septic system is in place and the electricity is brought to the site and final details dependent on those things are installed”, Alexander said. Meanwhile, Bob Uecker, representing the golf tourney’s charitable interest in the school, reported he would meet with the new delegato.
In later developments a few days ago, the school director was urged to look at temporary options such as using an offered small generator to meet minimal electrical needs such as classroom fans and bathroom lights and put the school to use as soon as possible, pending government approval of temporary options. Currently, said Alexander, there are five groups of high school students, requiring a trailer be put to use to accommodate them.
The PA school effort comes at a time when the state of Quintana Roo is singled out as having the lowest score in student math skills in the country.(See Briefly Noted below).
Meanwhile, Jim Jamieson, chair of the founding charity golf tournament, said he is already preparing for a second annual tourney sometime next year before too many snowbirds depart.
Government data unveils the two Akumals
Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and Informatics has released findings comparing the “uneven aspects” of life between the touristy and comparatively wealthy “Akumal” by the sea and its pueblo across Highway 307 where poverty thrives under Third World conditions.
The Mexican press has picked up on the study, noting the “uneven” conditions between the 40 percent “wealthy people” who own “nearly all the natural wealth under concessions” and the 1,000 families “just across the highway” whose miseries remain relatively hidden.
Since Akumal’s development 20 years ago, the findings allege, not much has been done to improve the pueblo infrastructure. Many families are living in darkness under roofs made of corrugated cardboard whose inhabitants are vulnerable to the typical diseases of poverty.
During the day, said press reports, the pueblo inhabitants working in Akumal proper and other resort areas “live in a First World environment” but return home in the evening to Third World conditions.
The press reported that a group of adult women living in the pueblo said during 20 years of seeking improvements to the pueblo, they still face serious problems without much visible attempt at solutions.
Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
Q. ROO’S STATUS despite considerable financial help from generous snowbirds and ex-pats is listed at the bottom of the education and social development heap by the Mexican government which recently noted that Q. Roo students are at the bottom of mathematics scores and under the national average for economic and social development …NINTH ANNUAL 3-DAY JAZZ FESTIVAL at Mamitas Beach in Playa del Carmen starting Nov. 24 is expected to attract some 15- to 20,000 jazz aficionados.. DEVASTATING LOW SEASON is how the Tulum Hotel Association described the current business level with only 20 percent hotel unit occupation, forcing closure of a number of small businesses. The hotel group is looking to recoup in the high holiday season…HIGHER FOOD COSTS –
Snowbirds may face higher food costs when they begin returning next month if complaints by low-income housewives is any indication. They say the price of fuel has driven up costs for perishable agricultural products and basic staples…THE DOCTOR IS OUT? – Local media has noted the plight of a pregnant woman in Puerto Aventuras who complains that the lack of a doctor in the municipal area has complicated her pregnancy and caused hardships having to travel to Playa del Carmen for medical service. Which brings up the question: “What is happening with the plan to locate an Angel Notion clinic in the poblado? It was reported there hasn’t been a doctor in the poblado since February, complicating transfer of medical records,…COLONOS CONVOCATION – A PA traffic committee was formed in an attempt to help regulate traffic flow and cars that use the resort roads. It was also reported that construction by-laws still await approval by the municipal authorities and cannot be enforced until that approval is received…WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND? – If you’ve wondered what bothers the Cancun public these days, your answer is found in a poll of 3,500 citizens conducted by various business and academic entities. Of major concern, in order of importance, are: Corruption of authorities in granting urban development permits, pollution of aquifers, increase in crime and organized crime, environmental degradation and insufficient diversification of the local economy…EMPTY HOUSING – Roughly 78,000 living units are empty in the state of Quintana Roo, most of them in Solidaridad, followed by 14,000 in Ciudad Juarez, reports the National Institute of Statistics and Geography…DENGUE FEVER UP – There was an increase of 78 cases of Dengue Fever and several deaths reported 0n the Peninsula and nearby islands as the federal government redirected strategies, such as fogging urban areas and increasing collection of statistical data in Cozumel,Cancun and Solidaridad where summer heat and rain create conditions for large mosquito populations…NEW HOSPITAL – the Pelican has received reports of a new hospital in Playa del Carmen constructed by the IMSS. Its location, according to a contributor, is on the road to the Wal-Mart and Las Americas Mall “…at the intersection before the turn to get back onto Highway 307…The hospital is big, has an emergency room with ambulances and looks great.” More on this in later issues…SOLIDARITY’S Director of Public Safety, Angel Rodolfo Campos who escaped an assassination attempt when he was shot in the shoulder July 31 in Playa del Carmen, is back at work and has announced a shake-up in the Solidarity Tourist Police that includes the resignation of the chief and removal of 11 officers. Radical changes to improve protection of the public was announced in the wake of the Playa Tourist Chief’s murder on Sept, 9…MEANWHILE, Q. Roo Director of Public Safety Carlos Bibiano Villa Castillo, characterizes recent crimes, including assassination of Playa del Carmen’s chief of tourist police,as isolated incidents. He said crime is minimal in Q. Roo and urged citizens to be cordial to tourists who help sustain the Mayan Riviera economy. He urged anyone seeing or suspecting criminal or illegal activity to contact his office at 983-154-0350 or 844-160-4110 and/or local police. Nonetheless, there were 102 murder investigations in Q. Roo in 2010 and already this year investigations are up to 114, about 65 of them attributed to organized crime, according to press reports…SOCIAL MEDIA (Facebook, Twitter, cell phones etc.) is reportedly becoming a major survival tool in Mexico where the network is used to alert peaceful citizens to avoid crime scenes as occurred in Veracruz recently when gunmen dumped 35 bodies on a busy highway near a Las Americas mall. Nearly everyone has a cell phone. Networking is growing amid a fearful Middle Class as a matter of defense, say press reports.Twitter has more than 4 million users while 95 percent of the 30 million people on the Mexico internet have Facebook accounts, particularly in areas where the state and the free press have been seriously intimidated and compromised by organized crime. Oddly enough, the same day as the Veracruz horror occurred, that state made it a crime to use social media to subvert public order by issuing false reports…A FORMER-MAYOR OF Playa del Carmen was wounded by attackers who took shots at him last week on Highway 307 between along Puerto Morelos, say unconfirmed press reports. Former Mayor Miguel Ramon Martin Azueta , now the CEO of a Playa del Carmen tabloid, was shot in the shoulder and his accountant killed. About seven suspects were arrested after police found two cars allegedly used in the attack, one on Highway 307 between Cancun and Playa del Carmen and the other in Playa.