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September 2012: Added power for PA

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$7 million sub-station to meet growth

Puerto Aventuras is one of three communities in Solidaridad that will be getting a new electric sub-station, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has announced. Cost of each project is about $7 million.

Capi Gil Wood, superintendent of distribution in the Riviera Maya, announced the first station will be constructed in the south ejido off Playa del Carmen, the second in the expanding north corridor of Playa and the third in Puerto Aventuras, where housing development and attendant population growth has become conspicuous.
Specific information as to location of the PA project and its timetable was not available at press time.
Future needs prompting the added PA power project are incorporated in the development of Phase 4 in the PA resort area and the expected continued Puerto Maya growth in the Puebla where donated funds have built a one-room high school still awaiting some utility services from the government to be considered complete.
A partial report from the charitable organization Anat Kah, which, along with proceeds from two annual golf tournaments constructed the high school, noted that the enrollment figure of 122 at the school is just over the 120 needed to trigger a response from the government for completing full infrastructure/utilities services there.
Ms. Christina Alexander, a founder of Anat Kah said, “My hope is that the school officials are working to make it happen.” Ms. Alexnader, who works in Mexico City but makes fairly frequent trips to PA, is getting married in January.
The ejido sub-station west of Playa del Carmen will be serving an estimated 80,000 people in 20,000 homes, according to the CFE announcement.


Woman attacked in resort as warning to police

A female employee of a PA resort hotel was attacked and threatened by an armed assailant who evidently wanted her to deliver a warning message to another woman whose husband is a public safety employee.
The victim told police she was leaving work when she was attacked by the assailant who pulled her by the hair to a green area of a condo complex, kicked her in different parts of her body and put a gun to her head.
Reports indicate the attack was to serve as a warning to the public safety employee. It was the second time the same woman has been attacked. Reports of the incident noted the assailant calmly walked away from the scene and got away.
In another incident, Navy and police elements responded quickly to complaints of an inebriated man with gun-toting bodyguards cavorting in a “seedy” nightclub “in the town of Puerto Aventuras,” reported the local press.Turned out the man was a state government official and the bodyguards were licensed for firearms.

Colonos says: Don’t take theft lying down

The Colonos Security Department urges victims of theft of valuable goods to file a complaint with the local police department. This has obvious benefits, including a better possibility of theft items being returned to their owner, and striking a blow to those who would steal.
Since the Colonos hired a new security company two years ago in the wake of “many thefts,” robberies have decreased and 30 percent of the subsequent incidents have been solved and goods returned to owners, something, says the Colonos administration, that never happened before.
Stakeholders are advised that the security company has a legal staff ready to assist any victim of theft. Police are understandably reluctant to release stolen goods unless the owner of such items has filed a complaint with them. Without these complaints, thieves are more likely to go free to strike again, says the Colonos.

New, improved library resumes regular hours


The Biblioteca Puerto Aventuras/Puerto Aventuras Library has resumed regular hours in conjunction with the beginning of the school year. The library is open to the public from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The library is generally closed on school holidays. The exception is Christmas and Easter holiday weeks, when the library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays.
Spokesperson Linda Gosslin of Paamul, said, “Since our hugely successful fundraising this spring, for which we owe great thanks to residents all over the Riviera Maya, we have expanded into a second room.
“We now have more than 12,000 books on our shelves, including great numbers of new donations. Lifetime membership is still only 100 pesos. We also maintain a free magazine exchange, and as always we have hundreds of books for sale for 10 pesos each. Come visit us soon!” The library is located on the school grounds.

Dolphin Discovery expansion may be in the works

Dolphin Discovery is reportedly expanding its operation to include all the marina that is behind the commercial building housing Hal Harper’s auto storage business and Peter Metrick’s Latitude 20 Restaurant overlooking the Secret Waters lagoon..
Harper reports he was told personally by Roman Rivera Torres, PA developer, that he had rented that entire lagoon. “It is useless to anyone else and would be a good use of resources,” Harper said.
There is also a possibility the dolphin operation would rent space in the commercial building, Harper said. Rivera Torres did not respond to a request for corroboration and further information.

School fundraiser scores good time, food, fun

Betsy Amy-Vogt, an organizer and parent, reports that “…everyone had a fantastic time on August 11th at Tiramisu Restaurant, when the community gathered to raise funds for Otoch Paal, the non-profit Montessori school in Akumal that needs new elementary classrooms.
“Entertainer Tony Gabriel had us rolling with laughter at his portrayal of the famous Mexican singer, Juan Gabriel, and we all ate far too much of Tiramisu owner Donna Carey’s delicious lasagna. The spicy Mexican lasagna with mango, served with crema and pico de gallo, was my special favorite. Donna, please add this to your menu, we want more!

“A huge thank you to all our generous sponsors, without whom this event would not have been possible: Ristorante Tiramisu, Dolphin Discovery, Think Organik Boutique & Spa, Dive Aventuras, Cafe Ole, David Nuñez of Mexiconservacion and the inimitable Tony Gabriel.
“The Otoch Paal elementary classes re-opened last week, but are still in a provisional classroom while the building takes place. The school currently has 20 elementary age children (grades 1 – 3), of whom approximately 90% are from the poblado of Akumal.
“Thanks to your generous donations, and the support of the whole Riviera Maya community, they have received a lot of support in the form of building materials and supplies. However, they are still very much in need of monetary donations to pay the laborers.
“You can donate on the website: www.otochpaalakumalmontessori.org or contact Anne Gayley-Gabbert at 984-130-0920. Anne also asked us to let the community know that there are still a few pre-school places available at this wonderful school. Fee-paying students make up approximately 30% of the student body, and their monetary donations help pay the teachers and buy supplies for the classrooms.
“Otoch Paal is a community school that follows the Montessori method and offers a high quality education to all children in this area, regardless of economic background.
For more information or to schedule a visit, give Anne a call at the number above, or email her at: [email protected]


Dear Editor:
I just wanted to let you know that I came across your publication by happy accident and have found it a great source of information. My husband and I will be moving permanently to PA ( once our house in the UK is sold) and it’s been fascinating to find out via your newsletter the realities of living in PA. Keep up the great work!

Sharon Watkins

Briefly Noted…

BEWARE YOUR BANKING – Banamex employees at the bank’s branch at 10th Avenue and 12th street in Playa del Carmen have allegedly fleeced tourists of money they say was deposited by error in other accounts, then the money withdrawn. In addition to alleged theft, an account holder also complained of high-handed treatment by the employees. Anglos ought to keep a continuous check on their account holdings in Mexican banks… THE BEACH REVCOVERY TRUST is meeting in Cancun to discuss reclamation of sand lost to the ravages of hurricane “Ernesto.” Meanwhile, reports are that the abbreviated Omni Beach sand and space supply in PA is no worse or better and that some of the palm trees have been moved away from the shore’s encroaching tide…MURDER HE WROTE – While Mexico’s pace of drug-related murders are now legend, Andy Pittman of PA, a former park committee member, arrived back to his teaching post at Texas A&M an hour before three shooting deaths occurred near his living quarters there … STATE OFFICIALS were grappling with the legal technicalities of two boys, 14 and 15, accused of repeatedly raping a 12-year-old girl from PA…SURPRISE RAIDS caught nine shops on Playa del Carmen’s iconic “Firth Avenue” selling pirated goods such as shirts, bags, jewelry, glasses, cigars under brand names… IN AKUMAL, local residents are protesting the roping off public beach by the Akumal Ecological Center (CEA) to prevent local residents from accessing the beach. A protest group is asking government to intercede… TREE OF LEARNING – Some pupils returning to school in Playa’s Luis Donaldo Colosio at 88th Street and Avenue 20 were relegated to desk-less classes under a tree since the school there ran out of space due to increased student population, a well-known problem of prolific municipal growth that attracts new residents… TWENTY INJURED, three seriously, in a bus-trailer truck accident on 307. The bus carrying employees of Bahia Principe slammed into the rear of the truck…CRIME AND TAXIS is a subject getting plenty of ink lately in the local press as officials and taxi unions battle use of taxis in criminal activity. New rules enforcing use of driver I.D. are in effect…A RECRUITING DRIVE for public safety-policemen is ongoing in Solidaridad. The department is looking for high school graduates to fill 200 vacancies. Successful applicants will be 21 years or older, undergo a background check and will receive training, to prepare them for a career protecting the public and enforcing the law…COASTAL AUTHORITIES want to re-implement markers at beaches used by tourists to prevent swimming between boats by delineating swim areas … AREA HOTELS reported an 80 percent occupancy rate for the domestic summer season, translated as a “good” rally for the tourist industry. Will the wave of foreign tourists do as well come winter?…SNAIL’S PACE – There is a move on by the Navy and other government officials to stamp out the illegal fishing of snails, known as “pinks” by poachers…58 HAITIANS were rescued by the cruise ship Allure of the Sea near the Cayman Islands and brought to Cozumel where they were interrogated by immigration officials…A DRAGON MART study addressing concerns of local businesses has been put on the back burner while researchers return to duties as college instructors…

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