Trying to solve airport problems
NATIONAL SAIL CLUB REGATTA begins tomorrow, Jan. 31 through Feb. 2 with some 250 boats in various classes. 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.
Playa’s tiny airstrip reportedly
moving west of Puerto Aventuras
TransPen train plan still on track
That little airport with one short landing strip between Highway 307 and 10th Avenue may be relocated this year to a site nine miles west of the Puerto Aventuras-Playa del Carmen highway. It will be sited on a 1000-acre area owned by the Public Real Estate Administration of Quintana Roo.
A state spokesman said the move was placed on the front burner following a crash landing two weeks ago, as reported in this blog, and a series of other wind-related incidents. No one was injured but the aircraft was damaged after being buffeted by considerable crosswinds and landing in a patch of brush and trees adjacent to the runway.
The government is responding to a longstanding request for a new aerodrome considering that eight or more accidents in 18 years have occurred there because of the area’s particular crosswind situation.
One improvement to the new airfield will be a wider and longer single runway that can service twin-engine aircraft. Only single-engine aircraft can land on the current runway.
Train development on track
It appears that a land swap in the ejido lands west of Playa del Carmen is in negotiation to accommodate long-range plans for a trans-peninsular train that would connect Merida, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Punta Venado – about half way to Playa from Puerto Aventuras – and Cancun. Playa del Carmen wants a station stop in its city to be part of the deal. Meanwhile, Paul Alcocer Gongora, vice president of the National Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, said the proposed train project and international airport in Tulum are needed infrastructure if the Maya Riviera expects to yield private development funding south of Playa del Carmen…
Cancun airport changes
vex private parties. Why?
The arrivals gates at terminals 2 and 3 that mimicked the excitement of cattle chutes in the good old days have within a few weeks been transformed into monkey cages…and boy oh boy are the monkeys mad! Without any public notice, it seems, airport authorities have ringed the arrival gates with wire fencing far enough away from the exits to require individuals who are there to pick up family or friends to need binoculars to find them.
At around 1 p.m. last Sunday the place was a madhouse of buses, vans, taxis, travelers and a few individuals there to collect their kin amidst a lot of horn honking and beeps of huge buses backing up into traffic. Guards at tiny gates wouldn’t let a pedestrian soul through even if there to collect a 105-year-old blind aunt with cancer, heart disease, crippling arthritis and no legs lost among the bus crowds in her wheel chair. This angered a number of people there, one bad enough to warrant intercession by some four guards.
The problem seems to be that neither the arriving travelers nor those individuals there to pick them up have access to any information. Monitors inside the departure terminal lack information on flight arrivals. There is no information or signs telling arriving passengers how to get to the proper fence exit gate where their rides are awaiting. As a result, those travelers often get stuck in the maze of courtesy vans, buses, etc., believing maybe they’ve been forsaken.
“When we came out of the terminal,” said one arrival, “we were swept up into the crowds heading for buses and vans and people shouting and waving signs. Nobody was there to direct us to the proper gate. After roving around for a while, we just by chance saw one of our friends beyond a green wire fence in the distance. Unfortunately, we couldn’t even use our U.S. cell phone, the last tool anybody has for a situation like this.”
Meanwhile, the people there to meet arrivals get increasingly antsy, particularly if the flight is late or the immigration process too long and they begin to vent and argue with the red-faced guards who finally refuse to look at or answer anybody about anything. The airport would do well, said one anxious greeter, to at least have very clear signs for travelers to follow to meet their private ride. Even better, said another, there should be courtesy personnel there shouting directions. Warning: Those of you contemplating a pick-up mission at Cancun Airport might want to bring along a few Ativan.
Last but not least, what the heck was broken that airport authorities are trying to fix?
Regatta vantage points
abound along shoreline
This year’s national sailing regatta beginning tomorrow through Sunday should provide some excitement for sailing fans as several classes of small boats compete for what is the beginning of many regattas this year to determine national champions. The courses are just offshore between the north and south channels and can be seen from beaches and other waterfront vantage points, particularly shore-front rooftops. The Puerto Aventuras Sailing Club won numerous medals last year and hopes to improve on that this year. For those who want an up-front view of the action, three catamarans will be available on the following schedule for a modest fee.
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
Hard Rock hotel night noise
unabated after Colonos talk
Irritated taxpayers file more complaints
More complaints have come rolling in about the nearly night-long loud music last week at the Hard Rock Hotel preventing residents of the Puerto Aventuras resort community from sleeping. And the bad news is there’s more night-noise pollution coming this week from Hard Rock’s outdoor entertainment venue and no guarantee of a long-term solution in sight. The first of this week’s intrusion exploded on our senses Monday night.
Residents were surprised to be disturbed by some three nights of musical cacophony last week drifting into their bedrooms. This was after Colonos GM Armando Rincon had met with hotel general manager Rene Malacara on behalf of resort residents in an attempt to reach an accommodation about the late-night cacophony, this publication reported.
Rincon again reached Malacara by phone last Friday morning and was told by Malacara that he is attempting to stop U.S. booking agents from writing “outdoor” stipulations into the contracts of entertainers so concerts can be held indoors to contain the sound. Rincon said Malacara lives at the hotel and has to endure the noise along with other guests who would prefer to sleep at one, two or three in the morning.
Nonetheless, another sound blast emerged Monday night, prompting a previously indifferent resident who was awakened and held sleepless, to inform the Pelican that “…the noise from the Hard Rock was just ridiculous last night. I could hear it when I went to bed, and it was still going and woke me up at sometime in the early hours of the morning. I’m going to talk to the other residents here, and if we all talk to the Colonos officials AND to the realtor when we pay our rent, hopefully she’ll add her voice and talk to the Colonos as well.”
Malacara told Rincon he empathizes with PA’s relatively quiet resort community whose hotels and restaurants, to their conscionable credit, limit both volume and hours of entertainment in deference to the village’s majority of householders. Resort residents who have invested millions of dollars and continue to spend in the local economy want more action for night peace, not empathy and excuses after the fact.
Police padlock Mangos
There is perhaps a lesson to be learned by Hard Rock as regards a problem business that was sealed shut by the Municipal Preventive Police (PMP) last week. Mangos Bar in Puerto Aventuras’s Centro Marina district was for months the target of complaints that included nighttime noise and revelry, non-payment of taxes and permits and issues with the use of common-area space.
The Centro-Marina organization is comprised of 35 ground-floor retail units and 75 upper floor condos. The businesses and residents have been able to live in relative harmony by sticking to the tenets of a society by agreement and compromise: Businesses have generally deferred to residents in the matter of nighttime noise, limiting such to the 11th hour. Mango’s had become a boisterous exception to the rule, increasing pressure on authorities to act, which they now have done. It will benefit the Hard Rock Hotel’s public image and the resort community’s desire for peaceful nights – a win-win situation – to quickly reach an understanding that Hard Rock Hotel must contain its noise to its own property. It’s the considerate thing for a good neighbor to do.
Akumalians seek public-private
investment for sewerage fix
Several residents in Akumal are urging public-private investment to correct what they say is a lack of sewerage infrastructure. They say they fear pollution of groundwater might be occurring from the discharge of sinks and septic tanks from homes and businesses. They also complain about the odors emitted by some small hotels and condos invading the air with stench, particularly in the Yalku area.
The tourist area of Akumal, housing several well-known eateries, retail, diving, fishing businesses and pay parking lots, could, they say, also use some private-public money to improve the mostly unpaved ways to the popular beach and waterfront area that is a haven for snorkelers and beach-goers.
Akumalian editor leaving
The longtime owner/editor of The Akumalian monthly newsletter that chronicled birthdays, the comings and goings of snowbirds, the popular “best shirt” contests, astronomical events and general local information has sold his home in Akumal and is moving to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In a brief conversation last week, the editor, who cherishes anonymity, said no one so far has offered to continue the monthly newsletter.
The first issue was published in August 2002 and continued to publish randomly for a while before becoming a monthly. The publication sprung from the cradle of a Lol-Ha Restaurant conversation with Carol Larson, who had published The Akumal Sun Times, a paper product. The Akumalian moved the dissemination of news and information from a paper product to the blossoming internet, which subsequently increased in readership locally and abroad.
BIZ BRIEFS… The president of the area College of Physicians, Arturo Palma Alfaro, has cautioned residents to choose foreign doctors carefully in the area of Playacar since there is no way to check the authenticity of their credentials. He said it is difficult for officials to enter the gated community to ascertain whether foreign credentials are legitimate…A-MAZE-ING ROADWORK – Anyone having business in Playa del Carmen north of Constitution Avenue around 20th street down to 5th should be ready for a test of their navigational skills. There is so much simultaneous roadwork going on that yellow tapes are indiscriminately blocking roads and sending cars on a wild-goose chase for a way out…THE COLD SNAP was being blamed last week for a reported 30 percent drop in tourist area retail sales in Playa del Carmen…FISH FARMING is coming to Cancun as a site takes shape for training personnel to farm tilapia to feed the poor…
The Mail Bag…
We have not taken the east coast route for several years, as after researching online, we decided that it was no longer safe. However we, and many of our friends, have safely driven through central Mexico using MX57 south and taking the Arco Norte around Mexico City to join in with MX180 just west of Veracruz. As far as I know, no incidents have been reported on this route, and it is nearly all toll roads.
Signed/ Betsy Amy Vogt
(Ed Note: Caution remains the rule: The Mexican Press reports two Colombian nationals vacationing in mid-December with their families were kidnapped in Michoacan, where cartel battles are raging. One of the families received a ransom note demanding $750, the Press reported. An investigation is still ongoing and the men still missing.)
…More on ATMs
On Jan. 6, 2014 I went to the Bancomer machine at the Bancomer Bank outside Sorianas to withdraw 14,000 pesos. I was with a friend who stays here for 6 months and he withdrew 14,000 pesos to show me how the machine works. During the process, we heard the machine counting the money and my friend told me when you hear that noise you know you are getting money. I proceeded with my withdrawal and the machine made the same noise, but no money came out. I had to cancel the transaction to get my card back. When I got back to Puerto Aventuras, $1,167.98 had been taken from my bank account. We now have a claim with our Canadian bank.
My husband used the ATM in Puerto Aventuras by the bike rental to get money. The next day our on-line banking was frozen. We called the bank, which advised us that they did this because that particular ATM has a history of copying cards. Now when we need money we have to call our bank to activate our bank card for two hours so we can withdraw money and then the bank puts a hold on it again.
Signed/ Nesta Zlacey
…Viva la differance
Congratulations for all your job!!! just a comment: Puebla is a Mexican state. I think you must say pueblo or even better, poblado as local people know it.
Signed/ Patricia Kryuff
(Ed. Note: We stand corrected. Thank you for your input and feel free to contact us when we err.)
Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
DOLPHIN WATCH – Sad news relayed by Doe Stowell on the Dolphin Watch: “Sadly, the dolphin baby born this evening didn’t make it. The tail was out for a long long time and the two vets were there. Good sized. When she finally expelled the baby it was dead. The mother tried unsuccessfully many times to bat the head up for air to no success. It was obvious to me immediately that there was no life. Then the lights on the pool were turned off. It is still very dark there.”…WHERE HAS ALL THE CHEDDAR GONE? – We’ve been monitoring local grocers for nearly a month for the reappearance of cheddar cheese bricks to no avail. What’s up with that?…HOWEVER, we did discover something new, to us at least: chocolate flavored cream cheese from the nonpareil Philadelphia brand. Peter Metrick of Latitude 20 mentions the brand carries other flavors too, like mango…ALL FEMALE forensic investigative unit has been inaugurated in the Mexican state of Morelos…FLU DEATHS up 322% in one week as 103 died nationally mostly from the AH1N1 virus compared to only 32 deaths from Jan. 1-16, reports the National Heath Secretariat…EARLIER THIS YEAR the Pelican reported on predictions there would be at least 45 cold fronts coming our way this year. Well, the 30th one just went by last weekend, forecasters say, so only 15 to go. Hang in there…PLAYA POLICE have stepped up patrols along the beaches, particularly near the maritime area, in the wake of reported thefts of items left on barren areas of the beach by the more adventuresome tourists distancing themselves from the crowds…THE FIRST CASE of AH1N1 (swine flu) virus in this region has been confirmed at the General Hospital of Playa del Carmen…HONDURAS SAYS 65 policemen were slain in 2013, part of the 20-a-day killed in violence. MEANWHILE, Mexico has announced a new national strategy to combat the crime of kidnapping and has also temporarily legitimized vigilante groups fighting drug cartels in the state of Michoacan…
Phrase a Week… with Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
”It is time to renew your car insurance” In Spanish, you could say “Es tiempo de renovar su seguro de automóvil”
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.