Newsletter for its Extended Global Community
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May 2006 Issue 38
Where's the rain?
We have all known it to be illegal to be fishing inside the reefs, but now we have an official position from the Mexican government.
Section 4.12 of the Norma Official Mexicana NOM-017-PESC-1994 (Official Mexican Rules for Recreational Fishing) states that no fishing is allowed within 250 meters of the edge of beaches frequented by swimmers. As many of the bays and lagoons in Quintana Roo are swimming areas, especially those in Akumal, fishing is not allowed in said areas.
the same article, fishing is prohibited:
FULL MOON, APRIL 13th
In most areas, including Akumal if we ever get any rain, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.
BUTCH SAYS "THANKS"
Butch has sent a note of "Thanks" to everyone who helped him celebrate another birthday - April 10th - in Akumal last month. He really appreciated everyone's attendance, participation, and presents, and everyone who was there made it a very special day for him.
GAYLE WALKER IS GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Gayle Walker, an artist and long time friend of many Akumalians, succumbed to a long battle with brain cancer and passed away on the morning of Wednesday, May 10th.
Gayle Walker was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1949. She has been living in Mexico since 1979 and in San Cristobal de las Casas since 1992. Gayle's earlier work was very closely related to the Mayan world of the Lacandon, a race she felt quite at home with. Her paintings reflect the native world view and have a lot of relation with the land, the colors, textures, and the people of Chiapas.
Gayle's fascination with Mayan textiles has led her to develop an intricate technique for the fabrication of her art, which consists of cutting, fixing, sewing and weaving strips and fragments of canvas in order to impart a three-dimensionality to her paintings. Her iconography reveals the symbolic presence of motives from Mayan cosmogony, such as Ixtab, the goddess of suicide victims, and Ak Na, "Our Lady" in Lacandon Maya, a figure associated with the moon. The subtle blending of a thickly textured support and the delicate application of paint layers results in fascinating hybrid works that seduce the viewer through their fine craftsmanship and sophisticated poetic message.
Gayle is survived by her parents, Don and Jean Walker; brother and sister-in-law, Jeff and Leigh Walker; and long time friend and companion, Miguel Angel Anzures. Condolences can be sent to her parents at 1350 Keans Court, Roswell, Georgia 30075. If you would like to call them, the telephone number is 770-998-7797. Gayle's obituary is at www.AJC.com/obits
The funeral is on Saturday, May 13 at the Northside Chapel in Roswell, Georgia.
Most of us remember Gayle from paintings like these in the Casa Colibri Gallery.
AN ACTIVE ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON
Forecasters Predict an Active Atlantic Hurricane Season
The start of the Atlantic hurricane season is less than a month away, and forecasters are predicting more devastating storms this year. Employing a statistical system based on past trends, hurricane forecasters at Colorado State University are predicting a "very active" season with landfall probabilities "well above their long-period averages." Their updated forecast, released in late April, projects 17 named storms, of which nine will become hurricanes.
Five of those hurricanes are expected to become intense, and the probability of a major hurricane landfall in the United States is estimated to be about 55 percent higher than the long-term average.
"Even though we expect to see the current active period of Atlantic major hurricane activity to continue for another 15 to 20 years, it is statistically unlikely that the coming 2006-2007 hurricane seasons, or the seasons that follow, will have the number of major hurricane U.S. landfall events as we have seen in 2004-2005," said Colorado State Professor William Gray.
The hurricane forecast team said the chances of a major hurricane making landfall on U.S. soil are:
*An 81 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S. coastline in 2006. The long-term average probability is 52 percent.
*A 64 percent chance that a major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida Peninsula. The long-term average is 31 percent.
*A 47 percent chance that a major hurricane will make landfall on the Gulf Coast, from the Florida Panhandle west to Brownsville. The long-term average is 30 percent.
*The team also predicted above-average major hurricane landfall risk in the Caribbean.
The good news is that NASA oceanographers agree the recent La Nina in the eastern Pacific Ocean is not expected to have an effect on the Atlantic hurricane season this year. That is good news, because normally a La Nina tends to increase Atlantic hurricane activity and decrease Pacific Ocean hurricanes. Although La Nina occurs in the Pacific, it affects weather in the Atlantic Ocean as well, through changes in the winds. La Nina changes the wind patterns in the upper and lower levels of the atmosphere, which makes it easier for hurricanes to form in the Atlantic and harder in the eastern Pacific.
Forecasters and other scientists still expect a greater than average number of Atlantic Ocean hurricanes this year, but La Nina will not be a factor in that. The more active season is expected because of other environmental conditions favorable to hurricanes, such as the location of the Bermuda high, removing much of the wind shear in the western Atlantic that thwarts hurricanes, and warm sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico.
Bill Patzert, oceanographer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California observed, 'The recent increased frequency of the hurricanes is thought to be part of a larger decades-long cycle of alternating increases and decreases of hurricane activity. The current busy hurricane cycle began in 1995 and could continue for another 10 to 25 years."
"For the U.S. East and Gulf coasts, the fading La Nina is a real good thing," Patzert said, "but Atlantic sea surface temperatures are still very toasty. It's the summer conditions that will dictate the fall hurricane activity, and I suspect those forecasts will be modified."
A powerful Category 5 hurricane, Wilma set the all time record for the lowest recorded pressure in the Atlantic basin.
For the first time, the public can see online the probabilities of tropical storm-force, hurricane-force and intense hurricane-force winds occurring at specific locations along the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts within a variety of time periods. The Landfall Probability website, online at: www.e-transit.org/hurricane , is the first publicly accessible Internet tool that adjusts landfall probabilities for regions, sub-regions and counties based on the current climate and its projected effects on the upcoming hurricane season. The site provides U.S. landfall probabilities for 11 regions, 55 sub-regions and 205 individual counties along the U.S. coastline from Brownsville, Texas, to Eastport, Maine.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed the warming of the Atlantic Ocean on Monday, noting that the region where hurricanes originate has warmed several tenths of a degree Celsius over the 20th century. According to NOAA, new climate models suggest that "human activity, such as increasing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, may contribute significantly to this warming."
DO YOU KNOW?
L. Jackson's films have grossed more at the box office than any other actor
in history. He has been in 68 movies, and they have grossed $3,793,254,710.
Get the details at
FREE TROPICAL WEATHER BULLETIN
Go to http://www.cancun.bz/cancunweather.htm for Cancun weather reports and the ability to receive a FREE Tropical Weather Bulletin.
Tropical hurricane season on the Atlantic basin runs from June 1 through November 30. In case of severe weather conditions or tropical warnings, the latest official weather report updates issued by the Mexican Government will be published on this page. Weather reports for the Mayan Riviera, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel will also be included and satellite imagery, tracking maps and weather forecast maps as well.
Officially the hurricane season 2006 will start on the first day of June 2006, but due to significant changes in the behavior of the tropical systems in the Atlantic over the last year, as of May 1, 2006, this site will start to monitor any disturbance in the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic basin, and post all the necessary advisories on that website.
to Cancun or the Mayan Riviera from June 1 to November 30th, 2006? Don't
let a tropical storm or hurricane ruin your vacation plans. The best way to
prevent this is an early tropical weather information. Signup to the Free
Tropical Weather Bulletin, every time a tropical system forms in the
Atlantic and represent a potential danger for the Caribbean Sea area they
will send you the first alert for you to track the progress of the system.
LA CUEVA DEL PESCADOR REVISITED
Due to an allergy related to shrimp, we have avoided La Cueva Del Pescador for some time, with periodic visits now and then. It was time to revisit this popular fish restaurant, owned and operated by Carlos, a long time friend, going back to the early days at Aventuras Akumal.
La Cueva Del Pescador, beside the Akumal stage at Plaza Ukana, is owned and operated by Carlos Danu, who excels as a fisherman. He will take you out fishing, and what you catch can be brought to the restaurant where they will prepare it for you. Needless to say, this restaurant specializes in fresh fish.
Just this past week, Carlos and his staff were seen carrying six good size Mahi-Mahi and other fish into the restaurant after returning from a very successful fishing trip.
For those of you like Boquinetta, La Cueva Del Pescador is the place to go, even now when they are "out-of-season" in Quintana Roo. Boquinetta is not out-of-season in the Yucatan, and Carlos has it brought over to Akumal. If you want a whole, fried Boquinetta, this is the place to go.
La Cueva Del Pescador is open every day for lunch and dinner.
Academy Award Night Supplement
Akumalian's Academy Award Night Supplement is on the Hotel Akumal Caribe web
site, under Events, for those who want to review that evening's celebrities.
A couple of electrical tips for locals. Did you know you can check your electric bill online at CFE's website at http://www.cfe.gob.mx/en/ ? You need to register, but it's easy to do. Usually by the time we get our electric bill, it's almost due. We like to monitor our electricity to see how much juice we are getting. We have discovered a couple of times that our current has dropped very low, which is tough on our appliances, especially the fridge and the water pressure pump. To learn more about your power bill, go to http://www.cancunassist.com/Calculate-electricity-usage.cfm, the Cancun Assist website.
EM100 Electronic Energy Meter by UPM
We are looking at/for this little device that allows us to monitor our current, plus you can plug an appliance into it and see exactly how much power it is using (and how much it is costing you). It's built by UPM (http://www.upm-marketing.com/ ). People have bought them at Canadian Tire for about $25 CDN. In the States, it's available at Ace, True Value, and Lowes.
As unobtrusive as a small electric clock, the PowerCost Monitor is a powerful real-time direct feedback display device for domestic energy consumers. It tells you at a glance, in real-time, how much electricity your home is using in dollars and cents and in kW.
Domestic energy use studies have demonstrated that real-time feedback yields energy savings anywhere between 10 and 20 percent. The savings at the high end of this range are realized when a tabletop energy display device, such as the PowerCost Monitor is used.
The PowerCost Monitor technology consists of two discrete functional units:
1. A detection unit, known as the transmitter, is affixed to an existing household electromechanical utility meter with a simple ring clamp. This transmitter tracks the energy consumed by counting turns of the meter disk. This is the only component of the PowerCost Monitor that will be in direct physical contact with the utility's electromechanical meter and the clamp mechanism allows it to be attached to the outside of the meter glass. It can also be quickly attached and detached without making any changes to the existing meter.
2. The display unit, located inside the home, receives a wireless signal from the transmitter and displays the consumption information in real time and in dollars and cents for the end user. Other information is also displayed such as time and outside temperature.
MEXICO LEGALIZES DRUG POSSESSION - then "NO"
On Friday, April 28, Mexico's Congress approved a bill that would legalize drug possession for personal use - decriminalizing the carrying of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and even heroin. The only step remaining is the signature of the president, whose office indicates he will sign the measure, despite the implications for the war on drugs.
The bill, approved by the Senate on a 53-26 vote with one abstention, had been approved earlier by the lower house of Congress. The bill legalizes possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine, ectasy and marijuana.
"No charges will be brought against ... addicts or consumers who are found in possession of any narcotic for personal use," the bill reads.
U.S. officials had no immediate reaction on what this means for the fight against drug trafficking, or the vast numbers of American students who visit Mexico on vacation.
"The presidency congratulates the Congress for approving the reforms," said presidential spokesman Ruben Aguilar. "This law gives police and prosecutors better legal tools to combat drug crimes that do so much damage to our youth and children."
On Wednesday, May 3, Mexican President Vicente Fox refused to sign a drug decriminalization bill, hours after U.S. officials warned the plan could encourage "drug tourism."
LOBSTER (LARVAE) COLLECTORS
Look Out for the Lobster Collector in Akumal Bay
The Coral Reef Targeted Research Project and CEA are working on a new project which will examine the settlement of lobster larvae in the area. They hope to be able to identify areas where lobsters prefer to settle and thus help to assess management strategies.
Lobster population declines in the region have been related to the destruction of mangrove estuaries for coastal development, over-fishing, and pollution which has lowered the water quality at lobster nursery sites. During the first week of May, they built lobster collectors and placing them in Akumal Bay, including one in South Akumal.
These collectors consist of a rectangular framework of PVC pipe, with six cross supports from which six sheets of 'hogs-hair' air conditioner filter material hang. The hogs-hair filters successfully mimic the structure and consistency of the macroalgae Laurencia, which is the preferred natural settlement habitat. The collectors are moored in 1-3 meters of water, with the frame floating at the surface, and the hogs-hair hanging vertically down. This design presents the maximum possible surface area to attract the post-larval lobsters and fish.
Europeans: "Americans need to get over high price of gas."
Many British and French drivers have a response for Americans who are complaining about paying $3 a gallon for gasoline. "Tough luck, Yanks" and "c'est dommage" are the polite ones.
"Get used to it," says Caroline Gregson, 49, who lives in the posh Chelsea area of London and fills up her Mini Cooper at a station there for about $7 a gallon.
"Come here and see the prices we have," says Eric Chantala, 34, a Paris antiques dealer, as he fills up his Volkswagen Golf at a station on the Boulevard Raspail in the city's Left Bank. He now pays about $75 to fill up his tank.
Europe also has been hit by the high gasoline prices that are outraging Americans and prompted President Bush last week to stop filling the nation's emergency oil reserve, waive costly clean-air provisions on gasoline content and launch an investigation of oil companies.
Last week, British motorists were paying $6.45 a gallon on average for unleaded gasoline. The French were paying an average of just over $6 a gallon. In mid-April, average prices in Europe ranged from a low $5.07 a gallon in Spain to $7 in the Netherlands, according to a monthly survey by the European Road Information Center in Geneva.
Like Americans, Europeans and Britons are dependent on foreign oil. Most comes from the Middle East, but there also are some imports from Africa and Russia. The 25-member European Union ranks first in the world in oil imports at about 16 million barrels of crude a day. The USA is No. 2, with about 13.1 million barrels imported daily. Britain ranks 10th at roughly 1.1 million barrels. So, high prices are felt at the pumps from Chelsea to Paris.
When diesel prices hit a record in Britain, as they did on Thursday at an average of $6.77 a gallon, Slater cannot raise his fares to offset high diesel prices until London Mayor Ken Livingstone says he can. "It's our livelihood at stake," Slater, 50, says.
Part of the reason that many British and European motorists are unsympathetic to Americans is they have been paying more than $3 a gallon on average for more than a decade. At the end of April 2001, the French paid an average of $3.66 a gallon and the British $4.17, according to the U.S. Energy Department's weekly survey of world gasoline prices. Americans were paying $1.81 on average at that time. The huge disparity is largely attributed to high fuel taxes. In Britain, for instance, 67% of the price of gasoline is for taxes.
Gregson of Chelsea has "absolutely none" when it comes to sympathy for Americans who have enjoyed lower gasoline prices for years. She lived in New Jersey for seven years, while keeping a home in London, and recalls the disparity of filling up her SUV in New Jersey at $22 a tank and her SUV in London at just under $100.
But that disparity also helps explain Americans' anger, says Bosdet of Britain's AA Motoring Trust. "It's a matter of comparatives," he says. Going from $2 to $3 a gallon, or a 50% increase, in America in a year's time may be more of a psychological shock than going from $4.50 a gallon in Britain at the end of 2002 to $6.50 today.
So rather than get angry, some drivers over here say, Americans should learn to live with - from the European perspective - the higher price they are paying for big and fast cars.
"In the U.S., everything is big - homes, cars, pickups," says Pasetio Philippe, 32, a Parisian taxi driver who spends about $88 every four days to fill up the tank of his black Mercedes cab. "If they choose to live big, then they are going to have to deal with the price."
In Quintana, Roo, Mexico a gallon of gas costs about $2.22US
MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 28th
Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to the United States of America. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers.
During the first national celebration, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who were buried there. This event was inspired by local observances of the day that had taken place in several towns throughout America in the three years since the Civil War. By the late 1800s, many more cities and communities had begun to observe Memorial Day, and after World War I, it became a occasion for honoring those who had died in all America's wars.
Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery each year with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Traditionally, the President, or Vice President, lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. About 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.
In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday of May. Several southern states, however, have an additional, separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas; April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 in Louisiana and Tennessee.
COMINGS AND GOINGS
2006 FIFA WORLD CUP
The 2006 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup opens on June 9th, with Germany hosting Costa Rica at 1800 in the FIFA World Cup Stadium Munich. The final match is scheduled for July 9th.
In March 2004, FIFA named Munich as the venue for the Official Opening Ceremony of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The ceremony takes place ahead of the Opening Match on 9 June 2006. The 2006 FIFA Congress will also be convened in Munich. The Bavarian metropolis is the location for the International Media Centre. The new stadium stages the Opening Match, a semi-final and four more matches at the tournament.
The arena chosen to host the German national team in the Opening Match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup on 9 June 2006 boasts a truly unique exterior, guaranteeing the stadium a place among the most unusual and spectacular venues in the world. The smooth facade formed from translucent, lozenge-shaped cushions glows in a variety of colors to imbue the structure with a shimmering, magical poetry.
The extraordinary facade consists of 2,874 EFTE (ethylene tetrafloroethylene) foil panels. The self-cleaning, fire, heat and cold-resistant panels are inflated to a permanent pressure of 350 Pascal. Each panel can be separately illuminated in white, blue or red, creating a breathtaking backdrop at night games. Regulations do not allow the lighting effect to be changed more than every two minutes in order to minimize distraction to motorway traffic. The three-tier arrangement in the stands is unique in the Bundesliga. The highest tier still provides superb views thanks to a steep 34 degree rake. Europe's largest underground car park on the site provides almost 10,000 parking spaces.
The 66,000 capacity stadium was inaugurated on 30 and 31 May 2005 by joint owners TSV 1860 Munich and FC Bayern Munich, Germany's most successful club. The first Bundesliga goal at the new ground was scored by England international Owen Hargreaves in Bayern's 3-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach.
HISTORY OF THE WORLD CUP
No other sporting event captures the world's imagination like the FIFA World Cup. Ever since the first tentative competition in Uruguay in 1930, FIFA's flagship has constantly grown in popularity and prestige.
A group of visionary French football administrators, led in the 1920s by the innovative Jules Rimet, are credited with the original idea of bringing the world's strongest national football teams together to compete for the title of World Champions. The original gold trophy bore Jules Rimet's name and was contested three times in the 1930s, before the Second World War put a 12-year stop to the competition.
When it resumed, the FIFA World Cup rapidly advanced to its undisputed status as the greatest single sporting event of the modern world. Held since 1958 alternately in Europe and the Americas, the World Cup broke new ground with the Executive Committee's decision in May 1996 to select Korea and Japan as co-hosts for the 2002 edition.
Since 1930, the 16 tournaments have seen only seven different winners. However, the FIFA World Cup has also been punctuated by dramatic upsets that have helped create footballing history - the United States defeating England in 1950, North Korea's defeat of Italy in 1966, Cameroon's emergence in the 1980s and their opening match defeat of the Argentinean cup-holders in 1990.
Today, the FIFA World Cup holds the entire global public under its spell. An accumulated audience of over 37 billion people watched the France 98 tournament, including approximately 1.3 billion for the final alone, while over 2.7 million people flocked to watch the 64 matches in the French stadia.
After all these years and so many changes, however, the main focus of the FIFA World Cup remains the same - the glistening golden trophy, which is the embodiment of every footballer's ambition.
DIA DE LA MARINA, JUNE 1ST
June 1: Dia de la Marina - Navy Day - is an official Mexican holiday celebrated only in the ports such as Mazatlan, Veracruz, La Paz ,and Acapulco. What about Akumal??
AKUMAL COUNCIL REVISITED…
The Akumal Council www.akumalcouncil.com has fallen off the pages of The Akumalian, because there has not been any General Meetings open to members and interested parties since December 2005, and communications from the Akumal Council has been sparse. The General Meeting, historically every two months, was the main way for a member to get any information about what the Akumal Council had done, or was doing, and then provide feedback and input. The Akumalian collected information from the meetings and published it in the next issue.
Now, there is a new Membership Chairman, Myrna Sparks, who seems to have taken the initiative to complement Gonzalo's letters and distribute information via a Newsletter. The most recent one for April/May can be viewed at http://www.akumalcouncil.com/newsletter-may2006.html. This issue talks about 2005 accomplishments and 2006 target issues.
Needless to say, Myrna is looking for new, as well the old, members for the Akumal Council, and your membership pledge can be sent to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
It's time for you to revisit and join the Akumal Council.
AKUMAL COUNCIL AND CAPA
The Akumal Council has been actively working the issues on water for North Akumal with CAPA, and a May 12 Update can be viewed on the Akumal Council's web site at http://akumalcouncil.com/new.html under Research and What's New?
Be advised that:
CAPA will be at La Buena Vida this coming Wednesday and Thursday, May 17 and 18 and the following Wednesday and Thursday, May 24 and 25, between the hours of 10:00AM and 2:00 PM. They are ready to answer questions and make contracts. Get all the info at the URL above.
Annika Sorenstam failed to the make the cut in a golf tournament for the first time since 2002 Friday, shooting a 2-over-par 73 in the second round of the Michelob Ultra Open on a course that has always frustrated her. The women's top-ranked player had made 68 consecutive cuts before struggling for a second straight day while playing partners Karrie Webb and Cristie Kerr did well.
Olympic champion Laure Manaudou of France broke Janet Evans' 18-year-old world record in the 400-meter freestyle Friday, finishing in 4 minutes, 3.03 seconds at the French national championships. Manaudou beat the time of 4:03.85 set by Evans in winning the 400 free at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Evans' record was second-oldest world mark in the sport.
Olympic champion. World champion. Now, Justin Gatlin is the world record holder, too. The American sprinter - No. 21 - broke the 100-meter record Friday with a time of 9.76 seconds at the Qatar Grand Prix. He shaved one-hundredth of a second off the mark of 9.77 seconds set by Jamaica's Asafa Powell on June 14, 2005, in Athens.
Now that all eyes are on Pimleco Racecourse for the Preakness Stakes, the second-leg of the Triple Crown, leading online wagering site BetonSports.com announced a host of wagering options and will send one lucky customer to the Belmont Stakes, where Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro could be crowned the Triple Crown champion. Barbaro cruised to a 6-1/2 length victory in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, the first leg of the Triple Crown, and looks poised to win the Preakness as many of the contenders have already withdrawn from the 1-3/16 mile race.
Arkansas Derby winner, Lawyer Ron, has been pulled from the 131st Preakness Stakes, with the announcement that the colt will undergo surgery.
Will there be a Preakness Stakes "party" at the Beach Bar next Saturday?
The 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 is on May 28th.
DID YOU KNOW?
Yucatan, as in the peninsula, is from Maya "u" + "u" + "uthaan," meaning "listen to how they speak," what the Maya said when they first heard the Spaniards.
S.O.S. doesn't stand for "Save Our Ship" or "Save Our Souls" -- It was just chosen by an 1908 international conference on Morse Code because the letters S and O were easy to remember and just about anyone could key it and read it, S = dot dot dot, O = dash dash dash..
A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
Marijuana is Spanish for 'Mary Jane.'
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