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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Trying to solve airport problems

 

REMINDERS:

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

By staff:
   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?

By Staff
   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

 Editorial

Hard Rock hotel night noise

unabated after Colonos talk

Irritated taxpayers file more complaints

By Staff:
   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.

Negotiations continuing

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

By Staff
   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.


Commerce Corner…

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 BRIEFSThe 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…

Dear Editor:
   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

Dear Editor:
   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

Dear Editor:
   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.)

   
Briefly Noted…

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 nanigloria@hotmail.com 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.

End this post clip_image001Previous post below

Puebla delegate seeks beach access

REMINDERS:

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

By Staff:
   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

By Staff
   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

By Staff
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.    

    

Commerce Corner…

Auto storage company

fills up in first year

 

By Staff  

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, info@mayastorage.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.

 

BIZ BRIEFS…

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.)

Dear Editor:

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

Dear Editor:

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

Dear editor:

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

Dear Editor:

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?

Signed/David Hunsicker

…With kudos to administrators

Dear Editor:

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.

Signed/David Zannoni

…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

 

 Briefly Noted…

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 nanigloria@hotmail.com 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.

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