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June 2009  Issue 78

Return to Home Page    2008 Index


With the H1N1 outbreak around the globe, the world’s media focused their attention on Mexico.  As a result, things really slowed down with arriving, or lack of, tourists and absentee landlords.  Hopefully, thing will be somewhat “back to normal” for Akumal’s 50th Anniversary this weekend.


During the last Staff Meeting, The Staff raised the issue of reporting on the holidays year after year, when basically nothing changes on most of them.  The Akumalian has been including informative “stuff” about all the holidays in line with all the other stories being reported, and this has lengthened some issues quite a bit, and for most subscribers, this is repetitive information that can be found almost anywhere.

So, The Staff made an executive decision that The Akumalian would now just publish a notice of the holidays, with a pointer to “the rest of the story” for those interested in knowing more about an individual holiday.  You will see this for the three holidays in June.

What do you think about this new approach?  Take the Survey and let The Staff know.

If this is well received by the readers, it may be extended to other elements that remain constant from month-to-month or year-to-year, like “Important Month Facts” and the Solstice (1st day of summer).

 Two other things to note.

1.      Up in the top left hand corner is a Subscribe box where you can add family and friends as Subscribers to The Akumalian.  This can also be used if you are accidently unsubscribed.

2.      Over on the right hand side is the ad for the Sale of Casa Colibri in South Akumal, and this is another place where you can direct family and friends who may want a piece of Caribbean beachfront with a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom house with pool and garage.


The aforementioned Survey is a very, very simple Survey with only two (2) questions that are quite important to the future layout of The Akumalian, and it should take less than a minute to complete.   Take the Survey.


Several stories are passed around to show how the month of June was named.  The most widely accepted explanation is that it is named after the Roman goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter and equivalent to the Greek goddess Hera.

Gemini   May 22 - June 21
Cancer   June 22 – July 22

 June Birthstone:  Pearl
Aphrodite's tears of joy, Cleopatra's love potion, Krishna's wedding gift for his daughter.  The legends stretch fast and far, however one fact is undeniable: Pearls are the oldest known gem and were considered the most valuable, for centuries!  In fact, the Roman General Vitellius allegedly financed an entire military campaign with just one of his mother's Pearl earrings!  The only jewel that is not made by mother Earth, the Pearl is created from a secreted resin of the oyster. 

June Flower:  Rose
One of the earliest flowers known to man, symbolize love magic, hope, passion.  The rose represents beauty and perfection.  The name rose comes from the Latin word rose which means red.  Nebuchadnezzar used roses to decorate his palace.  They were grown for perfume oil in Persia.  The Greeks associated roses with the blood of Aphrodite's beloved Adonis.  There are more than a hundred species of wild roses.



Birthdays and Anniversaries
 4          Betty McElhatten
4          Sharon Goby
5          Paige Wright
8          Harry Bittner
10        Salvador
13        Richard Mazzola
16        Ingrid Clouther
19        Hans Schmitthenner and Joan Potenza Anniversary
20        Demetrio’s girls
22        Sam & Sharon Goby Anniversary
25        Janet (Tricia’s mom)
25        Katie & Joel Datica Anniversary
29        Bud & Alice Blatner Anniversary

 There must be more than this.  Let’s hear about YOUR birthday.

May Wedding
Congratulations to Gary Phillips and Sylvia, who were married on May 30th.

 June Wedding
Congratulations to Juan and Lorrinda who are getting married on June 6.

 Missed May Birthdays and Anniversaries



            The presses are still running, but the June issue of The Akumalian is out with photos from the events from Friday and Saturday.  Sunday’s photos should by ready late Friday so come back to the Events page to see the “rest of the story”.  Go to Akumal’s 50th Anniversary.


May 16, 2009 – USA Today

Desperate to woo back travelers who cancelled trips in the wake of Mexico's swine flu outbreak, more than 20 coastal resort hotels have launched a "flu-free guarantee": Guests who catch the H1N1 virus in Mexico — and have the blood test to prove it — can get their next three vacations for free.

The initiative comes as the country's tourism industry tallies staggering losses from a flu epidemic that Mexican officials first confirmed on April 23.  The country's official death toll rose to 64 Thursday, with 2,656 confirmed infections.  The virus has so far infected nearly 6,500 people worldwide, including 3,352 cases in the USA.

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. State Department warned travelers against nonessential trips to Mexico, U.S. cruise lines dropped port calls, airlines waived cancellation fees, and resorts emptied.  The advisory remains in effect despite lobbying efforts from Mexican hoteliers and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, whose May 5 letter to Pres. Obama noted that, "it is now apparent that the health implications of H1N1 are not limited to Mexico, (and) CDC and WHO officials have publicly stated the H1N1 virus is generally no greater health risk than seasonal influenza."

Tourism minister Rodolfo Elizondo estimated this week that a flu-related drop in foreign visitors could cost Mexico up to 250,000 jobs and as much as $4 billion this year, or nearly a third of what the country earned from 22.6 million visitors last year. 

The new flu guarantee is offered at Real Resorts, AMResorts, and Karisma's El Dorado and Azul hotels, most in Cancun or the Riviera Maya.  At least 25 Cancun hotels have closed because of low occupancy, and many are slashing rates.

To qualify for a free vacation under the flu guarantee, travelers must have made a new reservation at a participating hotel between May 8 and June 30 for travel taking place between May 8 and Dec. 20, 2009.

Sniffles don't count: Guests must provide a doctor's certification and positive test results, taken within five days of departure, for Influenza A — H1N1.  The three return stays — one per year — are valid for the original traveler plus one companion; blackout dates and other restrictions apply.


AccuWeather Cuts 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast

The Atlantic hurricane season is officially from June 1 to November 30.  There is nothing magical in these dates, and hurricanes have occurred outside of these six months, but these dates were selected to encompass over 97% of tropical activity.


Forecaster cut its forecast for this year's Atlantic Hurricane season, which begins June 1, to 10 named storms from the 12 it predicted in March.  AccuWeather forecast six of the storms will be hurricanes, down from eight predicted in March, with two of them rated category 3 or stronger on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

AccuWeather's forecast is the latest of several to predict a less active hurricane season than in 2008, when hurricanes Gustav and Ike shut offshore oil and natural gas production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and refineries in Louisiana and Texas.

AccuWeather predicts three tropical storms will hit the U.S. coastline, including two hurricanes, one of which could be at least category 3 strength.  That forecast is unchanged from March.

"Anywhere along the U.S. coast is susceptible to an impact, but the Texas coast early in the season and East Coast from Carolinas northward during the heart of the season are areas that have us worried," said AccuWeather in a statement.

A weak El Nino pattern of warm water in the Pacific Ocean is expected to create wind shear to blow apart storms while cool water in the tropical Atlantic Ocean will rob the storms of their primary energy source as dust and dry air blowing from Africa will inhibit storm development, AccuWeather said.

There were 16 named tropical storms in the 2008 hurricane season including eight hurricanes, of which five were considered major.  Half of the 2008 tropical storms impacted the U.S. coast, including four hurricanes.


These are the ones Luis Lobo has, so you can ask him about additional, personal information.  The web site is at and the distributor in Cancun is Cortinas Anticiclonicas Inteligentes SA de CV on Av Bonampak # 3, Edif Domus; telephone is 998-892-0706.

Armor Screen is Miami-Dade certified, including large missile impact and wind pressure tested to 195 PSF (276 MPH).  The patented system uses deflection to cushion the impact of objects as they strike the Armor Screen.  Deflection distance varies with the height of the screen and is engineered for each opening.  Armor Screen is a flexible, transparent membrane designed to withstand even the strongest hurricane winds without rupture and to deflect large and small missiles.  The system is constructed of a technologically advanced, lightweight fabric which is 95 percent solid and 5 percent porous, allowing visibility and natural light into protected structures while effectively eliminating high winds and driving rain intrusion.

The mounting systems for Armor Screen are important to its strength, and they must be installed according to the company’s specifications, depending on the architectural issues and constraints. Also, each screen is custom manufactured to fit each opening.  As a result, only qualified Armor Screen Dealers are allowed to install these products.

All Armor Screen systems are easy to deploy.  The screens are light weight and the mounting systems typically require no special tools or devices.  Because they offer such a wide array of mounting systems, it's impossible to estimate how long your system will take to deploy.

Some systems are pulled across on a track and attached in a couple of minutes.  Others are stored in bags that must be retrieved from storage and attached.  But even this type of system can be deployed easily and quickly.  Most homes can be fully protected in less than one hour by one person.


Navy Day is an official Mexican holiday.  The day is held on the June 1st and has been recognized every year since 1942.  To learn more, go to Navy Day.



Come one, come all, to the Beach Bar, where we’ll have a ball.

It’s time for the “Best Shirt Award”, which is held on the first Friday of each month during Happy Hour at the Lol Ha Beach Bar.  This award is based on Robin’s penchant for good, classy Beach Bar shirts, and his sister, Mary Henderson, is ready to once again be the judge and jury as she selects the “Best Shirt” for June.  And, as we go to print the criteria are still somewhat nebulous, but it looks like “coolest”, “neatest”, and “most colorful” might work.

The May award for “Best Shirt” went to Gary Sparks, who had to go through some very tough scrutiny by the judges, because there was some serious competition.  See May Best Shirt for more photos.



The 140th running of the Belmont Stakes will be held at Belmont Park on Saturday, June 6. ABC-TV and ESPN will provide live coverage of the day’s events.

Because of its distance and status as the race that can make or break a Triple Crown champion, the Belmont Stakes has been the venue for some of the most famous moments in American racing.

The first Belmont in the United States was not the famous stakes race or even the man for whom it is named.  Rather, the first Belmont was a race horse that arrived in California in 1853 from his breeding grounds of Franklin, Ohio.  The Belmont Stakes, however, are named after August Belmont, a financier who made quite a name and fortune for himself in New York politics and society.  Obviously, Mr. Belmont was also quite involved in horse racing, and his imprint is even intertwined within the history of the Kentucky Derby.

One thing the Belmont does have over the Derby is that it is the oldest of the three Triple Crown events.  The Belmont predates the Preakness by six years, the Kentucky Derby by eight.  The first running of the Belmont Stakes was in 1867 at Jerome Park, on, believe it or not, a Thursday.

Here's a tidbit you didn't see in Derby or Preakness history.  When Grey Lag won the Belmont in 1921, it marked the first running of the Belmont Stakes in the counter-clockwise manner of American fashion.  This 53rd running was a mile and three-eighths over the main course; previous editions at Belmont Park had been run clockwise, in accordance with English custom, over a fish-hook course which included part of the training track and the main dirt oval.

It’s been 30 years since Affirmed swept the Derby, Preakness and Belmont to give racing its 11th Triple Crown winner. There will not be a Triple Crown winner in 2009, unless it’s a Triple Crown Jockey.



            There were a couple of “events” in early May, and the pace definitely slowed down as the US media wrecked havoc on the tourist industry in Mexico with their ‘coverage’ of the H1N1 flu.

Comings, in May, for Best Shirt Award and Kentucky Derby:

  • Dennis & Barbara
  • Jim & Jackie Powers
  • Rick, wife and friends from Boston area
  • Donnie, Cheryl, and Lucy
  • Michael & wife
  • Kelly Zhou
  • Janet Bouten and daughter, Jessie
  • Jim Coke
  • Lunda Schwartz and boys

 Arriving later in May we had:

  • Bente Palmer stopped in for a week on her way to/from Russia.
  • Bay & Chris Haas were back in South Akumal for a short visit.
  • Rod & Joyce Flake were back in Playa Caribe for a brief spell
  • Diana Wyatt was also back at Playa Caribe
  • Laura Bush returned to host the 50th Anniversary event
  • Elsie Bush is also in town for the 50th Anniversary
  • Ryan Wolfe and girlfriend are also here.
  • Bush and his brother made a special trip for the 50th Anniversary

 Coming in June
Thierry & Jissou VanderElst return on June 5
Richard & Arlene Pargot arrive on June 14.

 Goings, in Mays:
Charlene went back to the US for a short trip.
Didiere Jackson is off on his summer vacation in the US
Bud Blatner returned to Philly.
Linda Tate went back to the US for a short vacation.


The Full Strawberry Moon occurs on June 7th at 12:30am AST.  This name was universal to every Aztec tribe.  However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon.  Also, because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June, so the full Moon for June was christened for the strawberry!


The 63rd Annual Tony Awards

On the stage at New York City's Radio City Music Hall.  The three-hour ceremony will be broadcast live (ET/PT time delay) on the CBS Television Network from 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. 

The Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Awards, recognize achievement in live American theatre and are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City.  The awards are for Broadway productions and performances, as well as discretionary non-competitive Special Tony Awards and the Regional Theatre Tony Award, and the Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre.

While the theatre-going public may consider the Tony Awards to be the Oscars of live theatre, critics have suggested that the Tony Awards are primarily a promotional vehicle for a small number of large production companies and theatre owners in New York City.  Only shows playing in one of 39 "Broadway" theatres designated by the Tony Awards Management Committee are eligible for the Tony Awards.  The 39 "Broadway" theatres are all large venues located between 40th and 66th Streets and 6th and 10th Avenues in New York City, an area surrounding Broadway from Times Square to Lincoln Center.  Shows playing in "off-Broadway" or "off-off-Broadway" theatres, or shows playing outside of New York City, are not eligible.  Since there are only 39 theatres, only a portion of which will be featuring a "new" production in any given season, and 27 award categories, it's likely that many "new" shows will reap at least one award.


·         Harold Prince has won 21 Tony Awards, more than anyone else, including eight for directing, eight for producing, two as producer of the year's Best Musical, and three special Tony Awards.  

·         "The Producers" won the most Tony Awards ever received by a musical with 12 awards, including best musical. 

·         Stephen Sondheim has won more Tony Awards than any other composer, with eight Tony Awards: Best Music and Best Lyrics for Company (1971); Best Score for Follies (1972), A Little Night Music (1973), Sweeney Todd (1979), Into the Woods (1988), Passion (1994); and Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement (2008).  

·         Julie Harris has won the most performance Tony Awards, and has been nominated more than any other performer.  She has won five awards for her roles in I Am a Camera - 1952, The Lark - 1956, Forty Carats - 1969, The Last of Mrs. Lincoln - 1973, and The Belle of Amherst - 1977.  She has been nominated a total of ten times. 

·         Bob Fosse has won the most Tony Awards for choreography, eight, and one more for direction.  Choreography: The Pajama Game (1955), Damn Yankees (1956), Redhead (1959), Little Me (1963), Sweet Charity (1966), Pippin (1973), Dancin' (1978), and Big Deal (musical) (1986).  Direction: Pippin (1973).



      Well, on Monday, May 18, Akumal finally got some well-needed rain from the north-west side.  The Staff’s Rain Dance was meant to bring a gentle, prolonged shower between 10:00pm and 6:00am, for three days, but “somebody” must have missed a step here or there.  Unfortunately, the “storm” that brought the rain interrupted CFE’s ability to distribute electricity for some time afterwards.

 The Bridge is Open
The bridge that connects vehicular traffic between the pueblo and Akumal Central/North has been open to vehicular traffic, including bicycles.  Unfortunately, once the bicycles cross over to the east side of the highway, they have no way to get onto the sidewalk, so they stay in the road.

When entering Akumal from the highway, it is absolutely imperative that you be extra cautious of the bridge traffic coming on your left. There is a 40Km sign as well as one for “Ceda el Paso”.

It has not taken long, and the graffiti has already started on the bridge, and the first visible ones are right at the entrance going into the pueblo.

The Fence
In conjunction with the bridge now being open, a fence is being erected in the median strip in an effort to keep pedestrians from crossing the highway.  It remains to be seen just how effective this will be, considering the bridge was build without a sidewalk for pedestrians.  Of course, there is the pedestrian overpass, which is rarely used.

The Akumal Topes Are gone!
The topes on MX307 at the entrance to Akumal are now history.  They have been removed, but not all of the locations where they were have been cemented over.



 The Akumal Sign Is Down!
Remember back in September 2008, The Akumalian showed a photo of the two highway signs just prior to the entrance on the northbound side of MX307, and we questioned which one would fall down first?  Well, the sign for “Akumal” is down, but The Staff has no reports on how it came down.

It is very possible that the highway department is in the process of installing one of those signs that extends across the highway.

 Blacktopping MX307
Work has resumed on blacktopping the southbound lane of MX307 beyond Akumal.

 The Turtles Are Back
It is turtle season in Akumal, and there already has been an attempt at setting a nest in South Akumal.  This was an area not conducive to digging a nest, so it was a vain attempt.


The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America's birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885.  

To learn more, go to Flag Day.


Historians have recorded that there was a tradition to celebrate Father's Day even thousands of years ago.  Their studies say that 4,000 years ago in Babylon, a son called Elmesu carved a father's day message on a clay card.  In his message Elmesu wished his father a long and healthy life. 

To learn more, go to Father's Day.


This is the first day of summer!!

Solstice, from the Latin for sun stands still, in astronomy, either of the two points on the ecliptic that lie midway between the equinoxes (separated from them by an angular distance of 90°).

At the solstices the sun's apparent position on the celestial sphere reaches its greatest distance above or below the celestial equator, about 23 1/2° of arc.  At the time of summer solstice, about 2:06pm on June 21, the sun is directly overhead at noon at the Tropic of Cancer.

In the Northern Hemisphere the longest day and shortest night of the year occur on this date, marking the beginning of summer.  At winter solstice, about December 22, the sun is overhead at noon at the Tropic of Capricorn; this marks the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. For several days before and after each solstice the sun appears to stand still in the sky, i.e., its noontime elevation does not seem to change from day to day.


The Kukulcán pyramid at Chichen Itza is notable for the fact that at the spring and fall equinoxes (March 21 and September 22) the sun projects an undulating pattern of light on the northern stairway for a few hours in the late afternoon—a pattern caused by the angle of the sun and the edge of the nine steps that define the pyramid's construction.  These triangles of light link up with the massive stone carvings of snake heads at the base of the stairs, suggesting a massive serpent snaking down the structure.


During the month of May, there was one other “Event” beside the Best Shirt Award, and that was the Kentucky Derby “party” on May 3rd.  For photos, go to Kentucky Derby.

And, who could forget the fantabulous “Akumal 50th Anniversary”?


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