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September, 2017

Neighbors complain; developer
asks youth sailing club to vacate 

Literally setting sail… (Pelican File Photo)

Search is on for new quarters

By Staff
The youth sailing club that has nurtured many medal-winning sailors for five years and brought international regattas and recognition here has been asked to vacate its base in Phase 4 following complaints by neighbors. The club is now looking for new quarters while hopefully extending its stay, said club director Daniele Gracis.

Puerto Aventuras developer and PA Trustee Roman Rivera Torres said he initially allowed the club to use the spit of land and boat ramp between a canal and conservation area in Phase 4 despite the concerns of  neighbors.

“I was able to argue and defend the initiative as being such a beautiful idea for the kids,” he said, “until Daniele (Gracis) rented out part of it and publicized the commercial activity. Now I can no longer support the idea.”

He said that neighbors, and rightly so, had complained that they had purchased lots in Phase 4 because the area was sold as a “green area free of activities. Their argument is correct,” Rivera Torres said. “Now they are withholding payment on their fees” until the property used by the club  is returned to its natural, unoccupied state.”

He said he has suggested other locations and has offered to help in the move from the Phase 4  location because “it is now necessary” for the club to vacate.

Colonos adopts new logo
to symbolize its domain 

By Staff
The Puerto Aventuras Homeowners Association (HOA), popularly known as the “Colonos”, has unveiled a new logo that will begin appearing on its communications.

The fresh design, emblazoned with the word “Colonos,” is meant to symbolize the HOA as a legal entity of homeowners distinct from the Fideicomiso, which is the Trust founded by the developer and founder of  Puerto Aventuras.

The new design  features a dominant house and palm tree but also retains the lighthouse and sailboat design of the Fideicomiso to signify shared hopes and responsibilities.

Both entities participate in the administration of the community on different levels and in various categories. Both have, in general, worked in harmony for the benefit of the whole community. This is represented in the new logo with the Fideicomiso’s familiar lighthouse and sailing ship design adjacent to the HOA’s house and palm tree,  their proximity to one another  signalling blissful harmony.

Where the votes are

There are currently 5,800 fee-paying Colonos members and the same number of votes certified for the the annual Assembly, according to Colonos administrtion. The Fideicomiso and Colonos each hold a considerable number of votes.

While every condo owner can register annually to cast a vote at the Assembly, few actually are involved enough to attend the meeting, or have not arrived prior to the Assembly or signed a proxy. In their case, the condo administrator is empowered by law to vote for them. Hotel management’s voting strength is based on the number of bedrooms or “keys” at a given hotel. All of the above represent 836 payment units. This year’s Colonos operating budget is $1,007,258 USD.

A special assessment of just over $200,000 was also approved by some 50 people (out of 5,800 voters) attending last December’s meeting , an amount that was to be used to improve the main gate structure that is owned by the Fideicomiso.

Those funds have been frozen while the Colonos and the Fideicomiso find themselves in the throes of a contentious dialog concerning the future administrative and operational control of the gate and its funding. That issue is expected to be debated at the coming December Assembly being held to adopt the 2018 budget and other matters. (See “The Mail Bag” below)

Iconic 5th Avenue getting
4-story gambling casino

Hoteliers call it a detriment to area

Compiled  by Staff – A gambling casino is planning to open in December on Playa del Carmen’s touristy 5th Avenue to the chagrin of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association.

The proposed casino will occupy the site of the former Tequila Barrel restaurant between 10 and 12 Streets that has been in the process of demolition since July.

Andrea Lotito, vice president of the hotel association, said a casino is incompatible with the destination’s offerings of Maya history, handicrafts, culinary diversity, beaches and hosting centers.

Conversely, Ricardo del Valle Prieto, secretary general of the Association of Bars and Clubs, sees the casino as “good news” for the destination, noting that it will add diversity to the area’s offerings, engender a positive economic impact, albeit without citing details, and encourage more similar investments in the locale.

The casino will operate under the name of Tequila Barrel Bar and Casino in a proposed 4-story building near the maritime terminal.

A brief Facebook posting announcing the move from pub to pub-casino said the casino will offer live tables on four floors including slots, video poker, black jack, roulette and craps. Employees corroborated the announcement and were quoted as saying they don’t know if they will continue to have jobs there.

As of this posting, there has been an absence of comment from local authorities concerning possible social implications and impact on the local business scene.

Commerce Corner…

LET THERE BE LIGHT – Unique Furniture,co-owned by Ron Hughes of Puerto Aventuras, is shining new lighting designs in its showroom on Playa del Carmen Boulevard. Click on th Unique Furniture logo in the sponsor column and get the full lowdown on what’s new in lighting and furniture.

 

The Mail Bag  – on the gate issue

Make Peace, Not War

Dear Editor:
The Colonos and Fidicomiso need to sit down and resolve the real issue behind the main gate standoff concerning, and that is the financial disagreement between the  marina and commercial  boat operators.

Holding the front gate improvement and central park projects hostage and using them as bargaining chips s not professional and not in the best interest of Puerto Aventuras as a whole.

PA only exists based on its investor/residents and tourist income. Without these two factors, Puerto Aventuras would cease to exist as is. Plans or decisions that negatively affect residents, property owners and tourism need to be thought out very carefully and in a professional manner.

I am a new property owner here and reading these two letters (in the last edition) basically airing political disagreements in a public forum is disheartening. I would strongly urge both parties to get together and come to an agreement in a private setting. That is in the best interest of the community.

Once an agreement is achieved, then post a positive plan of resolution for everyone to read. This plan must move PA forward in a positive manner.

The current stand-off is not productive and no one wins. If officials can’t deliver,  then perhaps PA should look to new leadership. I hope that the next time I see an update on this issue, it is that a solution has been reached. This issue should be resolved. Get to work and make a positive change for all involved.

Signed/ Kevin Pollock

Buyers having second thoughts

Dear Editor:
My husband and are in the process of buying a condo there in PA.  After reading this (letter about the gate issue), I’m not so sure we are making the right decision.  Is security an issue?  Are we safe in buying a property that is gated but have security that is not doing their jobs?

Any feedback from residents would be much appreciated.  We are just getting started and have time to back out, although we may lose our Earnest Money.  We want to make sure this is the place we plan on retiring to. Thank you.

Signed/Mary Papageorge

(Ed. Note: Residents can contact the writer at mary.papageorge1@gmail.com )

Parks are for play, not punishment

Dear Editor:
I have lived in Puerto Aventuras since May 6, 1997. Within the first three months, I was told by the developer we would have the second nine holes of the golf course the following year. I don’t care about golf, but then he did tell us again recently that the money was there for the golf course —- but they will not use it for the park?

I do not understand why work has been halted on the park until the end of April 2018, punishing the community because of an apparent verbal feud between the Fideicomiso and Colonos.

Secondly, why name our park after one of the most famous and beautiful parks in the world? (New York’s Central Park). Can’t we come up with a Mexican (Spanish) or Mayan name that would be more fitting? After all, we do not live in Port Adventure.

Finally, I do not understand the reference to: “He is also aware that across the highway there is a poblado with a population of 18,000 people with no park.”  Thank you

Signed/ Sally Wood Evans

There is also a third issue

Dear Editor:
There is a third view related to the issues about the entrance gate and that is the fees being requested by the Marina and the legality of all these actions that re being taken. Extreme views are respected, but a legal approach must be found. It relates to the rights of all settlers  who bought properties, the right of the Marina to administer the facility and to charge users, and the right of those like us who paid a premium price to have a waterfront property with private docking.

These issues will also affect the rights of those promoting and selling the new canal properties that wre developed to sell at a premium price to have one’s own boat at one’s house or condominium.

A special panel should be established by the Colonos to handle such issues as previously stated. Real estate and marine law experienced legal counsel should be involved in such reviews and negotiations.

Signed/ Joaquin A. Sosa

Will discourage potential buyers

Dear Editor:
I will go out of my way to discourage any potential buyer from buying in Puerto based on the heavy handed way the Fideicomiso group is treating all parties involved.

Signed/Joseph Madrigano

 

Area gang killings climb to 38
in 2017, a few in tourist zone

Compiled by Staff:
August arrived in Solidarity just like July this year with a murder and an attempted murder attributed by police to cartel/gang violence. A man believed to be a drug dealer in a beach area bar was shot dead in the Villa Maya neighborhood in Playa del carmen. His murder brought the municipality’s gang-related death toll to 33 for this year.

On the same day, there was an attempted execution of a woman in the ejido colony near an alleged brothel. She was shot twice and hospitalized. On August 4, a man sitting outside a skate board store on 10th Avenue in the tourist section was shot in the arm by a stranger walking by who then ran off.

The municipality’s 34th execution of 2017 occurred on August 12 on Luis Donaldo Colosio Avenue in Playa’s north end where a victim of the cartel war for control of the area was found shot in the head next to a typically threatening note left on a strip of cardboard by the killers.

Another evident gang-war victim shot in the head was discovered on August 16 under a bridge leading into the theme park Xcaret on The 307 north of Puerto Aventuras and Paamul. It brought to 35 the number of homicide victims in 2017 linked to cartel/gangs operating in Solidaridad.

The drug-related execution toll edged up again to 36 for the year on August 19 when a victim of these intramural assassinations – a 25-year-old tour and retail vendor on 5th Avenue – was shot dead with a bullet in the head on Playa del Carmen Boulevard southwest of the city near the Pitayo ranch off 307.

The sicarios (assassins) were not yet sated. It didn’t take long for the toll to reach 37 when, on August 20, a man was shot dead in a Centro zone bar on 45th Avenue between Calle 2 and Benito Juarez Avenue. On the same day, there were two other failed executions in other parts of the city.

Then on the afternoon of August 29th, a man purportedly employed selling lots in Puerto Aventuras and enjoying some ceviche at the Bucaneros restaurant on Constituyents Ave. in Playa’s ejidal zone was shot twice in the head by a brazen sicario (hitman) in front of witnesses. The sicario quickly escaped in a white car driven by an accomplice. This brought the year’s total of gang-related executions to 38, or about five such murders a month, a growing number of them occurring in the restaurants and streets of the tourist zone in a battle to control the turf. None of the other diners, men, women and children, were injured.

31 tourist resorts, bars
raided after US complaint

In reaction to U.S. warnings to travelers about tainted alcohol being served in Mexico tourist areas, the Mexican government launched an investigation that has culminated in the seizure of 10,000 gallons of contaminated alcoholic beverages and closing of two bars, one on the Riviera Maya and one in Cancun.

The lobby bar at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya Hotel on the Riviera Maya, where a U.S. woman drowned in the pool after consuming allegedly bad alcohol, was temporarily closed while investigations continued. Also closed was The Fat Tuesday bar in Cancun.

They are among the 31 nightclubs and resorts that were raided in response to the woman’s drowning and the U.S. allegation that impure alcohol may have been complicit in her death.

Barroom brawl in the poblado
leaves one man stabbed to death

One man was pronounced dead in the aftermath of a 3:45 a.m. fight in a Puerto Aventuras poblado bar on August 28, and another person seriously injured by a knife-wielding assailant.

Police and witnesses said a man and woman were imbibing at the bar, which is charged with operating after hours, when the woman’s former partner arrived and started a scuffle with her, injuring her with a knife. Her partner joined in the fray and was subsequently stabbed and collapsed as he attempted  to leave the scene to get help.

The assailant tried to escape on a motorcycle but was detained by neighbors of the bar until police and Red Cross personnel arrived. Neighbors said they have been complaining about after-hour fights at the bar for a long time but the municipality has failed to take action on their appeals.

The Offbeat…
What is an ‘iZzzsleep’?
 A room without room

By Staff
There’s a pioneering Japanese “hotel” called “iZzzleep” coming to the Cancun Airport. It makes the cozy, unique Gaia container hotel in Tulum look and feel like a 5-star Hilton.

A Mexican group has invested in an iZzzleep at the Mexico City Airport and is reportedly planning one in Cancun and a few other airport locations.

However, the single-occupancy “rooms” may not do for the claustrophobic crowd or folks who need to sit, stand and stretch.

The accommodation, called a pod or capsule, conjures up images of stackable washer/dryers, rows of dog crates or, perhaps, the ghoulish roll-out drawers at the local morgue.

But a convenient overnight sleep right there in the airport near the food court costs just $37 USD per night, or $8 an hour in the daytime (minimum two hours) plus 130 pesos for a shower at the nearby sanitarios. In addition to the bed, there is free WiFi, TV, a safe and USB port.

The option is a snug fit for lanky Texans and NBA players at a meagre 6’ 7” long, x 3’3” wide and 4’1” high. Sleep tight.

Check out recycling days for September

Trivial Pursuits coming up at 4 p.m. Sundays, September 3  and 17 at Latitude 20 Restaurant with proceeds going to the poblado Community Center. Owner Jim Stubbs welcomes new players to join in the fun…

September dates of note: – In Mexico: Independence Day and Cry of Dolores Day, commemorate the 1810 war for independence led by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Sept. 15; Heroic Boys’ Day, celebrates the Battle of Chapultepec in 1847, Sept. 13; End of Independence War in 1821, Sept. 27; Birthday of Father Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon, one of Mexico’s founding fathers, in 1765, Sept. 30:  In the U.S.  – Labor Day, Sept. 4; Patriot’s Day, Sept. 11; POW and MIA Recognition Day, Sept. 15; Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 20; Gold Star Mothers’ Day, Sept. 24; Yom Kippur, Sept. 29: In Canada: Eid-al-Adha, Muslim holiday, Sept. 2; Labor Day, Sept. 4; Rosh Hashana, Sept. 20; Muharram, (Islamic New Year) and September equinox, Sept. 22; Yom Kippur, Sept. 30. Enjoy.

The Roundup…

Meet the heat – Riviera Maya experienced temperatures last month that it hasn’t seen in a decade according to government meteorologists. The warmest night of the year occurred in early August with 29 degrees Celsius (84.2 F). Day temps reached 36C (96F) but felt like 49 (120F) with the humidity. Meanwhile, four cases of heat stroke were reported in the state and residents alerted to take precautions…

With three months left to the Atlantic Hurricane Season, another storm has formed off Africa and could become a hurricane next week with a possible direction toward the Caribbean.

Meanwhile, weather reading equipment is being installed in Puerto Aventuras and Playa del Carmen under privately-financed auspices to promote real-time local weather readings for the local marine services industry.

The police filter just north of Puerto Aventuras on The 307 does more to filter out crime than one might think. It nabbed two gunmen with a suitcase full of cash last week. The men could not explain where they had gotten so much cash and gun, so were remanded to prosecutors…

The USA issued a far-reaching, state by state travel warning in mid-August. Here is what the warning said about Quintana Roo, including Cancun, Tulum, Cozumel, Riviera Maya and Playa de Carmen: “U.S. citizens should be aware that according to Government of Mexico statistics, the state of Quintana Roo experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured or killed, have occurred.”  So far, the warning has not deterred US tourists from njoying a respite here…

Taxing Airbnb – The state of Q. Roo is the second in Mexico to tax the Airbnb plaform, acceding to small hotels who complained the rental of private rooms without taxing them nurt small hotels that do pay per capita taxes. The state expects to yield 1 million pesos ($57,000USD) a month in receipts…

Mototaxi problems continued to plague the Puerto Aventuras poblado. Five unions with government permission complain of nearly two dozen illefgal mototaxis operating there. Union drivers want government officials and union leaders to perfect their control before more violence breaks out…

A female hotel worker from the Hard Rock Hotel was seriously injured when she was struck by a van while trying to cross Highway 307 near Paamul on August 2. The van driver, trying to avoid her, mounted the median and flipped over, injuring the family of five, including three children,  police said.  Several ambulance EMTs including the Red Cross responded to stabilize the injured and bring them to hospitals…

The first round of NAFTA talks between Mexico, Canada and the US has come and gone without much of a bang compared to the campaign threats  by the US president-elect last summer. Negotiators departed with a refrain of “We’ll meet again” and not wanting anybody to get hurt…

A rare accident occurred on the southbound lane of The 307 on August 12 when an electrified wire broke and fell on the road near the Liverpool store as a 58-yeard-old motorcyclist was driving by and struck the wire…but not long enough to be electrocuted. The rider suffered cuts and bruises when falling as the cycle became entangled in the wire…

Sixteen people were injured, two seriously, in an Aug. 4 van and truck accident near Delphinus on Highway 307, the result of speeding, according to authorities. Several people in the van were trapped when their legs were wedged between seats. Several Samaritans helped unscrew the seats from the floor so the injured could be removed and taken to hospitals……

It was ‘lights out’  for several waterfront homes in Akumal recently. The bright lights disoriented turtles coming ashore to spawn, said environmental authorities conducting night monitoring of the nesting turtle population. Inspectors checked 368 nests that were in excellent condition…

Plane ticket tax on incoming international flights is being proposed and analyzed by the Cancun Hotel Association to help deal with security and beach area conservation in Quintana Roo. If approved, the state would be the first to implement this idea suggested by the National Business Tourism Council…

What’s in a name? – A movement on Change.org seeks to replace the municipal name of “Solidaridad” to “Playa del Carmen” because, say promoters of the idea, most residents identify with “Playenses” than “Solidarenses.” Municipal residents so inclined can sign a petition supporting the change on Change.org…

A diver from Russia died in a Lu’m Balam eco-park cenote near Puerto Aventuras on August 5. Park employees and municipal rescuers were unable to recover the body for several days because the diver had entered a restricted channel that was too difficult for rescuers to navigate safely. The victim was an Xcaret employee. The park is located on The 307 between Xpu-Ha and Kantenha…

Mexico is resisting a U.S. Push to add taxes on online purchase, from Amazon, for example, and sold duty-free in Mexico without charging a U.S. sales tax. The issue is a potential flashpoint at the next round of  NAFTA negotiations…

 

The Rules We Live By… Or Not!…

Penalties for dereliction of duty

(Page 6 of 22)

ARTICLE 12.– The associates, by the very fact of so being, ere bound by the dispositions contained in the present By-Laws and the decisions stemming from the General Assembly of Associates, from the President or from the Board.

ARTICLE 13.- Any associate who consistently defaults in the fulfillment of his/her obligations in the terms of the Code, the Deed of Incorporation of the Association, the Articles of Incorporation or its Bylaws, or in case of failure to observe the terms of the resolutions issued by either the President or the Board of Directors, in addition to the responsibility incurred for any damages caused to the other members or to the Association itself, shell be liable to a lawsuit demanding the sale of his/her properties, even through public auction, and to be expelled from the Association. The exercise of this action shall be resolved by the General Assembly of Associates by a minimum of sixty five (65%) percent of the total value represented by the associates’ votes.

ARTICLE 14.– Any associate, expelled from the Association, shall automatically forfeit all and every rights that might correspond him/her over the Association’s patrimony.

CHAPTER VI

OF THE ASSOCIATION’S PATRIMONY

ARTICLE 15.– Tho Associations Patrimony shall be formed with the following income:

  1. With the ordinary and extraordinary assessments;
  2. With the contributions it receives from persons or outside the Association;
  • With the proceeds from events and fund-raisers organized for that purpose; and
  1. The contributions it receives from public or private entities, the Federal, State or Municipal governments.

The Association’s patrimony shall be recorded in the inventory and in the accounting books kept under the care of the Treasurer.

ARTICLE 16.-The Assembly of Associates may freely set and modify the amount of the ordinary assessments necessary to cover all services and activities it undertakes, as wall as to set the amount of the extraordinary assessments to cover the cost of other specific services. (To be continued)

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our weekly high-season schedule is 10 a.m. on Mondays and by the 25th of each month during the summer schedule May-October. Thank you. Disclaimer: The Pelican Free Press is not responsible for content and/or claims made on sponsor

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