Puebla delegate seeks beach access
NATIONAL SAIL CLUB REGATTA coming here Jan. 31 – Feb. 2 with some 250 boats. Pick your vantage point. (See story below)
ADOPT A SAILOR for a monthly donation of 700 pesos and watch them grow. Contact Lucia or Daniele at © 984-113-5123 or 873-5505.
SATURDAY IN PUERTO Feb. 1 at the Colegio presents international dances by students, art exposition and workshop, music, foods. Come and enjoy.
COOKING CLASS on regional Mexican cuisine at 10 a.m. Fridays at Latitude 20 Restaurant through March. More info at 984-802-9372; Live jazz 7-9:30 Saturdays, Mr. R and Bohemian guitar 6:30 – 9 p.m. Wednesdays.
FOR CATERED party information click on Puerto Aventuras Catering logo at left to see extensive menu and prices
LIBRARY HOURS Mon-Fri from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. More than 15,000 books to choose from.
GOT LEAKS ON YOUR ROOF? Check out Definitive Solutions by clicking on its logo at left for information.
Annual race attracts 560 runners;
Kenyan again wins 10K level
It was the perfect, crisp morning for runners as the sun broke over the dawning horizon Sunday to help launch the 6th Annual Puerto Aventuras Road Race along Boulevard Puerto Aventuras and into the new Phase 4 construction area loop. And again this year, the 10K men’s phase of the race was won by Kenyan Benard Kimwetich Songoka of Cancun in 35:27. He also took the 2011 run honors.
Even more impressive was the consistency displayed by Hector Berestain of Quintana Roo who won the the master’s 5K division (over 40) for the fifth time in six years with a time of 16:48, coming across the finish line at a fast pace indicating he could have given Songoka a competitive run in the 10K. In the juvenile 5K division, (15-18) Alexis Guadalupe Alfaro Loria came in first with a time of 17:53. Early morning joggers and walkers perhaps unaware of the nearby race knew something was up Sunday when they saw parked cars lining both sides of the entrance boulevard from beginning to end, a rare sight indeed. (For a list of all winners, please visit the Colonos web site by clicking its logo on this page or visit www.entusmarcas.com
For supporters and onlookers, it was a morning for light jackets and sweaters as a stubborn night chill hung over the area battling the rising sun for temperature supremacy. Race fans enjoyed the action of the runners’ “retorno” – a barrel on the road – that the 10K runners navigated swiftly for the second leg of the race while, alongside them, 5K runners went dead ahead to the finish line. It seemed like everybody was taking pictures with iPhones or pads.
Jorge Kaufer, chairman of the event this year and also chair of the Colonos Board, was assisted by Carlos Quinones, coordinator of the administrative staff; Eduardo Reynoso, the director of the Colonos Public Works Department and Jesus Galdeano, chief of security, along with 15 volunteers who handled registration and another 20+ volunteers on race day.
Delegate reports beach access
for 16,000 actively being sought
A municipal delegate from the Puerto Aventuras Pueblo announced last week a possibility that beach access in Puerto Aventuras beaches for some 16,000 Puebla inhabitants could possibly be implemented during the the current municipal administration.
Olivia Zamudio Escobar, the delegate, made the announcement after meeting with a number of local officials who believe that a lack of proper planning on the waterfront left the general community without any public access to the beach. All the beachfront property is private and dotted with all-inclusive hotels and private homes.
She said officials are continuing the search for a public passage to the sea but did not identify any possible paths in order to prevent speculation.
Viewing the sailing regatta
This year’s national sailing regatta should provide some excitement for sailing fans as five classes of boats compete for what is the beginning of many regattas this year to determine national champions. For those who want an up-front view of the action, three catamarans will be available on the following schedule:
Friday, Jan.31, the catamaran Raiatea will leave from the dock alongside the Dreams Hotel for a 10 am to 3pm outing; On Saturday, Feb.1, the catamaran Paso Doble will leave from the sailing club, which is at the Phase 4 development 2 km. past the Grand Peninsula living complex. On Sunday, Feb. 2, the catamaran Fat Cat will leave from the sailing club, same time. The cost per person is 250 pesos and includes the tour, two soft drinks, water and a sandwich. Please book in advance through Lucia © 984-113-5123 or 873-5505
Lightning bolt breaks thumb
of iconic Brazilian statue
One of the most recognizable statues in the world, that of Christ the Redeemer, perched on a mountain top over Rio de Janeiro, was struck by lightning last week and the thumb on the 125-foot statue’s right hand damaged, along with an information plaque, reported the Rio archdiocese that is responsible for the icon’s maintenance. Repairs are expected to get under way this week.
The irony here concerns the maxim that “lightning never strikes twice in the same place.” Last week’s strike debunked that as the same statue and the same hand was struck by a bolt last year and another finger struck earlier this year. The statue sits atop a steep mountain and, according to reports, is often struck by lightning. The statue has an outer layer of soapstone that was repaired in a previous remodeling project.
The statue has been considered the largest art deco statue in the world. It stands on the peak of the 2,300 foot Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city. It was constructed between 1922 and 1931 of reinforced concrete and soapstone.
As a result of its immediately recognizable features, the landmark has been used in many pop culture scenes, such as Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us”, more than a dozen video games and a large number of movies and videos.
The statue, with open arms, was selected over other possible designs as a symbol of peace.
Auto storage company
fills up in first year
Riviera Maya Dry Marina and Car Storage on the highway across from the entrance to Paamul has reported a successful first year by filling all of its currently available indoor auto storage spaces and is now accepting reservations for 2014. Ken Kindred, owner, said any thoughts of expanding the indoor auto storage would depend on the number of reservations coming in before the low season begins and recommends making reservations early. Contact and reservations can be made by email, email@example.com and by dialing (52-1 from outside Mexico) and the local number,984-139-6632. English and Spanish spoken.
In a candid comment, he said there was only one complaint about the service this year involving an owner who was away longer than expected and an employee who idled the vehicle longer than required and it ran out of gasoline. As part of its service in not only storing but protecting and cleaning the cars, the company services the battery by idling the car routinely for a few minutes to maintain a charge.
“It’s a good idea,” Kindred said, “for owners to fill the gas tank before dropping off the car. That way, there is enough gas for the routine battery runs and some left over for use when the owner returns, even if that is later than expected.” The facility has live guards, 14-foot security fence and cameras and large dry marina area that stores and offers maintenance to water craft and two-wheeled vehicles. There are also indoor storage bins for household goods. For complete information about services, click on the company logo on the left side of this page to reach its web site.
WORKERS IN Q. ROO last year earned an average monthly income of 6,500 pesos (about $500 USD) the third highest average wage region in Mexico and, with an unemployment rate of just 4.3 percent, is below the national rate, says the National Institute of Statistics and Geography. In 2012 the wage average was 5,950 pesos, placing the state fifth in the wage race…PEMEX plans to build nation’s first solidifying sulfur plant. It will be sited on the Gulf Coast and will allow participation in foreign sulfur markets. The end product is used in China, India, Brazil and other countries in the oil refining process and in the production of fertilizers, lead batteries, tires, fungicides and other products…TOURISM FROM SPAIN to the Mexican Riviera nosedived 15 percent in 2012 and 2013. But an increase is projected this year as three Spanish airlines announce more flights to Cancun…SEEING IS BELIEVING – German auto parts manufacturer Hella has opened a $150 million headlight manufacturing plant in the central Mexico city of Irapuato…U.S. AND MEXICO reject “re-opening” negotiations of the NAFTA pact and instead talk about reinforcing it… PEMEX PARENT Petroleos Mexicanos has purchased a defunct fertilizer plant in Veracruz and plans to reopen it with a $475 million investment…SMALL PLANE owned by Boxito crash-landed at the Playa del Carmen Airport last week while being buffeted by strong crosswinds that gave other aircraft difficult landing experiences also. Nobody was hurt and the plane was slightly damaged when it went off the runway and into trees and brush…
The Mail Bag…
…Beware credit card hacking
(Ed. Note: Excerpts from several letters revealing suspected theft at ATM machines or in market checkout lines are printed here as a caution from the writers to card users.)
Before this happens to any one else we would like to warn you about a situation that took place January 14th. Andy checks his bank accounts daily but we were out all day and when we got home he realized he did not check our accounts.When he did later that night, there had been 11 transactions of more than $2,400 between 3 .p.m. Jan 14 to 3 a.m. Jan. 15, when he discovered the problem. Our bank is investigating and tells us the theft was in Mexico.
We had used the ATM machine in Puerto Aventuras near Dolphin Discovery on Jan. 8, but that might not have been the problem, although ATMs have been for others. We also had noticed a suspicious person with a cell phone in a Chedraui market near us as we checked out who we think may have “tapped” the chip in our credit card that was out of its metal case.
Tapping has become a problem. Cards with a chip or a wifi symbol emit a radio frequency that can be read when in close proximity of a card reader that has been re-programmed to steal your personal information and pin number off both credit and debit cards by thieves with a concealed reading device. To protect yourself, you have to carry these type of cards in a metal case so the radio frequencies with your personal info can’t be stolen. Wrapping your cards in tin foil may also help.
Regardless of the situation whether it was a thief in Chedraui or a corrupt bank machine we are warning everyone to be vigilant to guard their cards so this does not happen to you.Please let us know if you know of anyone else this has happened to recently. It would be nice to catch the people doing this.
Signed/ Cathy and Andy Catara
…And several people responded
I personally lost $50 from the ATM by Dolphin Discovery, next to the new restaurant. The machine is called "Cashola" from the Internacional Grupo Bank. The phone number on it for problems is phony. When using the machine, you type in the amount you want deducted, and you get just half of it.
Then the machine says "dispensing error" and shuts down, out of order. The phone number is not good so I looked up Internacional Grupo Bank on the internet and called another of their telephone numbers. They put you on hold after you tell them what you’re calling about. All day you’ll wait. I waited 1.5 hour and our condo administrator advised us they will never pick up. "It’s just how it is.” He says locals know never to use those machines. His warning must go out to everyone asap!!!!!!
Signed/ Trisha Caddey
…And yet another
We used the ATM machine beside the mini-mall just down from the store several times. It appears it was tampered with and someone has found a way to retrieve the numbers on the card as well as our pin numbers.
Jack’s card was used to extract over $900 from his card on Dec 30th after we had been home since Dec. 19. Today when I went on line to pay some bills I find that my card was used yesterday to take over $1200.00 from my account. We have put holds on those debit cards and will be reissued new ones and have filed fraud reports with our bank. We have always loved going to Puerto Morelos and have never had any issues, until this trip. Jack and I love the place, but it certainly puts a different perspective on our visit there. If you have a contact with your local police and can get this information to them or send us a contact number, we would appreciate it. We just want someone to be aware that this is happening.
Signed/ Lois and Jack Harris
…And leave the driving to us
Reference the driving incident on the coast road in one of your recent editions: My wife and I were on our way to Puerto Aventuras and on January 4, 2014, we arrived at Brownsville, Texas, for our preparation day prior to entering Mexico. We checked into our hotel and the clerk said, "Don’t take the drive, Mister." At the bank getting some pesos, the bank teller said, "Don’t do it. It is very dangerous to drive the coast of Mexico." Next, I went to the Department of of Homeland Security and talked to an agent. His comments: "Are you crazy? If you love your wife, you won’t drive the coast." Ok, I listened! Went to Dallas, left my car with my daughter and we flew to Cancun, no problem!” Next time, I have to figure out how to get my car here. Any suggestions?
…With kudos to administrators
Torre Turquesa’s yearly assembly took place on Monday, Jan. 13 at the Colonos office in the Marina. It was a positive assembly, with well-prepared material from administrators Carlos Suarez and Lothar Batt. Discussions between the owners present about the various subjects, like the water supply situation, VAT increase, general rules and this year’s budgeting took place in a harmonious and dedicated environment. I experienced both the participation of owners and administrators as very constructive.
…And a library needing help
The Biblioteca PA Library is looking for volunteers. The library is located at the Colegio PA, across from Bamboo and the new Grand Marina area. The library is open to the public every school day from 2:30PM to 4:30 PM. Volunteers are needed for scheduled shifts once a week during public hours. We are also looking for casual volunteers who are able to contribute some time any afternoon, without a set schedule. Casual volunteers help with shelving returned books and keeping shelves in order.If you’re looking for an interesting activity to fill a few hours each week, please stop by the library any school day after 2:30 PM to learn more about joining our group of happy and dedicated volunteers.
Signed/Linda Gosslin, volunteer
Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
GRAND DAME Doe Stowell of the Dolphin pools and turtle watches is back in town after what is for her a considerable absence. She won’t be “out and about” much, she says, but is accepting visitors. “I am so delighted to open windows, greet the sun (even if it is the 50s) , look at the sea, and see people here” she said.…DIVING TOURISM IS DIVING – Only 5 percent of 8 million tourists arriving at Cancun airport were diving aficionados here to explore the coral reefs and caves, reports the sales manager for Diving Only. The Cayman Islands, Bahamas and Cuba have twice that number, said the report, with Cozumel capturing the lion’s share of that business in the Yucatan…MEXICO’S HIGH COURT has approved warrantless cell phone tracking of suspects in criminal activity such as murder and kidnapping, The nation’s human rights commission had asked the court to declare the practice unconstitutional…THE MEXICAN ATTORNEY GENERAL’S office has been ordered to release the number of foreigners killed in Mexico violence between 2000 and 2013 . A reluctant AG has been saying the figures don’t exist…A THIEF was reportedly shot and lynched by an angry mob after a robbery at a mall Sunday in San Cristobal de la Casas, southeastern Mexico, a Tzeltal Indian community…
Phrase a Week… with Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
”Where do we pay our vehicle taxes?” In Spanish, you could say “¿Dónde pagamos nuestros impuestos del vehículo? ”
Anyone interested in learning the language can please contact Ms. Contreras by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Cel: 984-108-3517 .
Church Services… Please click Colonos icon on right top of page.
AA and Alanon meetings…
AA and ALANON meetings are held at the public library at the Colegio as follows:
AA Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m; Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at noon. ALANON meeting is held Mondays at 5:30 p.m., also at the library. Meetings are “open” and non-members are welcomed to attend.