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January 2010  Issue 85

Return to Home Page   2009 Index  

Happy New Year

 

INTRODUCTION

2009 is now history, and as we embark on a voyage into a new decade, we face new challenges and opportunities as we pursue our personal objectives. 

December was a busy month with numerous “Events” – see EVENTS on the last page – and now it seems like January could also be a busy month as many northern owners flee the wintry north for a week or so of ‘fun in the sun’.  The month and the new year kick right off with Robin’s Best Shirt Award on January 1st at the Lol Ha Beach Bar; see y’all there.
 

LETTER FROM “THE STAFF”

  On Thursday, the 31st, watch for the full Blue Moon rise at 5:23pm in Akumal, and then the HST is overhead at 6:54pm, and Friday, January 1st is the Best Shirt Award.  Akumal starts the New Year off in high fashion.

The following story is a MUST DO event if you are in or around Akumal on Sunday.  If you are not here, but have guests in your house, please make them aware of this important event on Sunday. 

At this time, The Staff can only say this is all being arranged by a group of concerned people in the Riviera Maya, and they are doing a spectacular job.  It's looking Absolooooottt-llyyy MMMMMMaaaahhhhh-vvelllloussss!  

And, check out the first story in "What's New Around Town"

 

"HOPE FOR HAITI" AKUMAL EVENT

On Sunday, January 24th, from 2:00pm to 9:00pm, there will be a “Hope for Haiti” fund-raising event at the stage in the center of Akumal.  This Akumal event is being held in conjunction with similar events in Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos. This “Hope for Haiti” event is a local, grassroots campaign whose mission is to raise badly needed funds to support the relief efforts in Haiti, and all proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.

 In Akumal, there will live music, DJ, food and beer, and a raffle for great prizes.  The current agenda looks like this:

2:00 - DJ
3:00 - Caribbean Soul Band (playing at Akumal lobby Bahia Principe)
4:15 - DJ
5:00 - Video presentation on Haiti
6:00 - Mayan ceremony by Charlie and Maria for good prayers to Haiti
7:00 - Bandikoro

 Raffle prizes include:

  • 4 tickets to Xel Ha
  • 4 tickets to Rio Secreto
  • 4 day passes to the Day spa at Hacienda Vista Real
  • Spa Services from Bahia Principe
  • 4 nights at Vista del Mar Hotel

 THANKS to these businesses for help and support:

  • Club Akumal Caribe, staff, and some security
  • Vista del Mar
  • Buena Vida
  • LG
  • Yoga Akumal
  • Akumal Beach Resort
  • Turtle Bay Cafe
  • other contributors to be announced later.

 The Akumalian hopes you will all join us on Sunday to enjoy the live music, good friends, and food, and help support our Caribbean neighbors in their time of need.

 “Hope for Haiti” is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for the Haitian people, particularly children, through education, nutrition, and healthcare.  100% of all donations received in response to the earthquake are going directly to their disaster relief effort on the ground.

Doctors Without Borders Online Online Donations
http://www.firstgiving.com/hopeforhaiti
 

 

FULL MOON, DECEMBER 31st    

December 31, 1:13 p.m. AST -- Full Long Night Moon.  Nights are at their longest and darkest.  The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long and the moon is above the horizon a long time.  The midwinter full moon takes a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite to the low Sun. 

This is the second time the moon turns full in a calendar month, so it is also popularly known as a "Blue Moon."  Full moons occur on average each 29.53 days (the length of the synodic month), or 12.3683 times per year; so months containing two full moons occur on average every 2.72 years, or every 2 years plus 8 or 9 months.  There will be a partial lunar eclipse that will be visible from Europe, Africa and Asia with this full moon.
 

HST FLYOVER, DECEMBER 31st

Be sure to look skyward on New Year’s Eve at 6:54pm to see the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).  The Akumalian staff has worked out a deal with NASA to have the HST make one more Akumal fly-over before the end of the year.  The HST will be traveling in a WNW to ESE direction and should be initially visible around 6:53pm, depending on the clarity of the sky.

 

 

IMPORTANT JANUARY FACTS

Capricorn - December 22 - January 19

Aquarius -  January 20 - February 18

January Birthstone: Garnet
Garnet is a beautiful stone that comes in quite the range of colors.  Large garnet gems, while not approaching diamonds or rubies in price, can make your wallet take a deep breath.  The red garnet is the one used for the January Birthstone.

 January Birthday Flower: Carnation
The carnation, scientifically known as Dianthus caryophyllus, is a historically rich and meaningful flower choice.  With its scientific name dianthus roughly translating to "flower of love" or "flower of the gods", depending on the source, this flower is one that has been revered for centuries.  One of the world's oldest cultivated flowers, the carnation is appreciated for its ruffled appearance, clove-like scent, and extended blooming period.
 

JANUARY BIRTHDAYS

Birthdays and Anniversaries
1          Kelly Colladarci
3          Arlene Pargot
3          Thierry VanderElst
4          Bob & Diane Mather Anniversary
7          Bill & Oteka Barb Anniversary
8          Diane Mather
8          David Richards
9          Nance Walker
9          Annette Bartsch
13        Mike & Lydia Pontius Anniversary
14        Cami Mazzola
16        Neri, Lucia Crespi´s partner at Lamanai Gallery
17        Tricia Haynes
22        Cheryl Ragan
25        El Moreland
25        Linda Tate
25        Kate Turner
26        Myrna Bush
26        Maribelle
26        Salvador Company
27        Lisa Combs
29        Tom Baxter
30        Richard & Arlene Pargot Anniversary

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

 Missed December Birthday
December 23, Kevin “Red Beard” McKee

And, October 13, Lisa & Phill Combs became grandparents with the birth of Haley Lynn Combs, born to Sean and his wife.  Congratulations

 

ROBIN’S BEST SHIRT AWARD, JANUARY 1st

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

It’s time for another “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, is ready to once again be the judge and jury as she selects the “Best Shirt” for January. 

 The December competition was won by Sam Goby. The photos for the December competition are located at Best Shirt Award.

The photos for the January Event have also been posted, and they can be seen at January 2010 Best Shirt Award.

 

QUADRANTIDS METEOR SHOWER, JANUARY 3-4th

The Quadrantids Meteor Shower is an above average shower, with up to 40 meteors per hour at their peak.  The shower will peak this year on January 3 & 4, but some meteors can be visible from January 1 - 5.  Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight, in the morning.  Look for meteors radiating from the constellation Bootes.  The first quarter moon will set by midnight, providing a good viewing opportunity.

The Quadrantid (pronounced KWA-dran-tid) meteors provides one of the most intense annual meteor displays, with a brief, sharp maximum lasting but a few hours.  The meteors are named after the obsolete constellation Quadrans Muralis the Mural or Wall Quadrant (an astronomical instrument), depicted in some 19th-century star atlases roughly midway between the end of the handle of the Big Dipper and the quadrilateral of stars marking the head of the constellation Draco.  The International Astronomical Union phased out Quadrans Muralis in 1922. 

According to the International Meteor Organization, maximum activity this year is expected on 4:50 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on Jan. 3.  For those across the western half of the United States and Canada, the radiant will soar high in the eastern sky just prior to the onset of morning twilight.  Over the eastern United States and Canada, the spike of activity is predicted to come after sunrise.

Quadrantid meteors are described as bright and bluish with long silvery trains.  Some years produce a mere handful, but for favorably placed observers, an excellent meteor display may be in the offing; at greatest activity, Quadrantid rates will likely range from 30 to 60 per hour for eastern parts of the U.S. and Canada, to perhaps 60 to 120 per hour for the western United States and Canada.
 

DID YOU KNOW THIS?

In the world of competitive paper airplane throwing, a 20-second flight is exceptional, 25 or better is world class.  Thirty is the stuff dreams are made of.  Only one man -- Japanese paper airplane virtuoso Takuo Toda -- has ever come close to breaking the 30-second barrier.  On Sunday, he set a world record for a hand-launched plane made with only paper, but fell just short of the 30-second mark.

Toda, flying a 10-centimeter-long craft of his own design, made 10 attempts to break his own record of 27.9 seconds set earlier this year in Hiroshima but failed to best his previous mark, settling for a 26.1-second flight.  That was still the best ever recorded for a strictly paper-only craft.  His 27.9 record was set with a plane that had tape on it.

"I felt a lot of pressure," he said after his paper airplane fly-off at a Japan Airlines hangar near Tokyo's Haneda Airport. "Everything is a factor -- the moisture in the air, the temperature, the crowd."

Toda, an engineer, is the head of the Japan Origami Airplane Association and is virtually unmatched in his ability to fold paper aircraft.  In keeping with traditional rules of the ancient Japanese art of origami, he uses only one sheet of paper, which he does not cut or paste.  He flew two variations of his world record-setting paper airplane Sunday -- the one he used to set the duration record in April and an updated version with a fin.  His April mark was recognized by Guinness World Records.

He did not use tape Sunday, which is allowed by Guinness.  He chose to forgo tape because he wanted to follow traditional origami rules.  His 26.1 mark was the best ever for a plane without cellophane tape keeping it together. Toda had that previous best as well, just over 24 seconds.

"I will get the 30-second record," he said. "It's just a matter of time."

Toda said that the secret to throwing a paper airplane is to aim upward -- not straight -- so that it has time to gain altitude and slowly circle back to the ground.  Toda appeared to be on his way to a record Sunday, but his second and best throw was ruled a foul because it hit a passenger jetliner parked nearby.

Along with breaking the 30-second barrier, Toda said his next goal was to launch a paper airplane from space. With funding from Japan's space agency, JAXA, Toda and a team of scientists have designed a plane they believe can withstand the intense heat of re-entry.  One of Toda's designs was scheduled to be released from the International Space Station this year, but that plan fell through in part because of problems with devising a means of tracking the planes as they fell back to Earth.
 

THREE KINGS DAY, JANUARY 6th

Three Kings Day, also known as The Epiphany, is celebrated on January 6th, twelve days after Christmas.  It is often viewed as the last day of the Christmas season (the end of the 12 days of Christmas).

Epiphany (Greek for "to manifest" or "to show"), is a Christian feast day which celebrates the "shining forth" or revelation of God in human form in the person of Jesus Christ.  Western Christians commemorate the visitation of the Magi to the child Jesus on this day, i.e., his manifestation to the Gentiles.  Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, his manifestation as the Son of God to the world.  It is also called Theophany ("manifestation of God"), especially by Eastern Christians.

LOS REYES MAGOS - The Christmas season continues unabated in Mexico through Epiphany, which is called Día de los Reyes (Three Kings Day).  Echoing the arrival in Bethlehem of Wise Men bearing gifts for the baby Jesus, children throughout Mexico anxiously await waking up January 6 to find toys and gifts left by the Reyes Magos (Magi).  In some regions it is customary to leave out shoes where treasures may be deposited by the visiting Wise Men.

In the days preceding Día de los Reyes, children write letters to the Magi requesting a toy or gift that they would like.  On the night of January 5th, the figures of the Wise Men are placed in the nativity scene.  Traditionally children would leave out their shoes with a bit of hay in them to feed the animals of the Magi (they are often shown with a camel).  When the children would wake up in the morning their gifts appeared in place of the hay.  Nowadays, like Santa Claus, the Kings tend to place their gifts under the Christmas tree.

 A special treat served one this day is the Rosca de Reyes--a crown-shaped sweet bread decorated with jewel-like candied fruits.  Tiny figures of babies are hidden in the dough before baking.  There is much excitement as each partaker cuts his or her own slice, for whoever gets a piece containing a baby is obliged to host another party on or before Candlemas (Día de la Candelaria), February 2, when Mexico's holiday season finally comes to an end.
 

FULL MOON, JANUARY 30th

The Full Wolf Moon is on Tuesday, January 30th at 5:19 am AST.

Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the jaguar packs howled hungrily outside Mayan villages.  Thus, the name for January's full Moon.  Sometimes, it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule.  Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon.

 

 

 

COMINGS AND GOINGS

            The Akumalian is reporting from the home office in South Akumal, where The Staff is able to get first hand information about the local “Comings and Goings”.  There was not a whole lot of activity, probably due, in some part, to the weather that affected most of the US in the early part of Christmas week.

Comings:
·        
Sam & Sharon Goby were back in Akumal before the holidays.
·        
Jana Simpson was back in town with her friend Fiona over Christmas
·        
Elsie Bush was here over Christmas
·        
Rachel, Michael, and the boys were in Los Primos for Christmas
·        
In Aventuras Akumal condominiums we have:

o   Wendell & Lynda Day

o   Bob & Gayle Dobert

o   Ray & Barbara Armstrong

o   Lynn Chase and Rick Tompkins

o   Joe & Kathy Volpolicello returned on New Year’s Eve

·         Jack & Ann Kennedy made a quick visit to Las Casistas on Dec 29 as their cruise ship made a stop in Playa del Carmen.  They return to Akumal on Jan. 4

·         Denny & Diane Mahan are coming back for a visit on Jan 5

·         Frank Hatch and Lenny return to Casa del Sol on Jan 6.

·         Crayton & Nance Walker arrive in South Akumal on Jan. 20.

·         Tom & Barbara Miller arrive back in Akumal on Jan 22

·         Kazue and Beniko Schober return in Jan. from their holidays in Japan

·         Janet & Marshall Thurber are coming back to Akumal in Jan.

·         Phill & Lisa Combs are returning to Tankah in Jan. thru end of Feb.

 

Goings:
·        
Paul & Gayle Rasmussen returned to Vail and Las Vegas for the holidays with family.
 

WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?

AKUMAL

New Music at Lol Ha Restaurant
Please be advised that new entertainment has been hired to play in the Lol Ha Restaurant on Thursday evenings, starting at 7:30.   The group is called Arpason, and it is a versatile group with the exquisite combination of strings and percussion.  They have a very extensive repertoire that should please just about everyone.  Listen to their Cuban, gypsy, and Mexican passion closely fused with rich interpretation, with a unique combination of harp, violin, and percussion.

There is a $30 peso cover charge per person.  You can get a preview of their talent and versatility at Arpason Music, and their web site is at Arpason Web, where you can listen to some additional music.

 


S
upport the new small eateries

Gyn'Ak
Gynna Bush has opened Gyn’Ak, an open-air place that serves delicious tacos, hamburgers, and there is a main dish that changes daily.  She also had some seafood and other items on her menu.  It is located behind the Villas Flamingo and is open air for dining in, or take out, and she also accepts orders.  Tel. 984 804 0088.  The picture is from Opening Day.

Lucy’s Too Restaurant & Bar
Lucy’s Too is located in the Akumal Pueblo, just on the other side of the overpass, and it is hard to miss on the right side of the road.  Lucy’s Too has been open for the season since mid-November, and it definitely is worth a visit to get something a little bit out of the Akumal ordinary.  Lucy has a unique Happy Hour policy:  5-6 and 9-11 drinks ½ price. Dinner is 6-10.  Telephone at 984-145-0085 

Mario’s Pizzeria & Panaderia
Mario’s Pizzeria & Panaderia is also on the main street in the Akumal Pueblo, albeit on the left hand side of the street, just beside the Farmacia.  The hours are 3:00 – 11:00, and he is closed Tuesdays.  Mario has a wide selection of pizzas in three sizes (medium, large, and extra large), and he also delivers, reportedly within 30 minutes of placing the order: call cellular 984-127-3577.  There is a $25 peso fuel surcharge for deliveries, and the last order for delivery has to be taken by 10:00.

TULUM

Hechizo
Hechizo is open for the season and have a special fixed menu for New Year’s Eve.  They also have a web site under construction at http://www.hechizotulum.com/  Check it out for pictures of some of Stefan’s creations.
 

PROPERTY TAXES
The Tulum Municipality is still offering discounts through February on the payments of property taxes, if you missed the 25% discount which ended on December 15.  The discount was 20% to the end of December, and will be 15% in January and 10% in February.
  

PUERTO MORALES
The MX307 bridge over the intersection with the entrance to Puerto Morales is now open.  This helps the drive to/from Cancun, as it eliminates the topes and traffic light.  Enjoy.
  

PLAYA DEL CARMEN
“Avatar” is now playing at Cinépolis Las Américas and MMCinemas, and “Sherlock Holmes” opens at both complexes on January 1st.
  

CANCUN

Malecón Américas
                 The Malecón Américas is a new mall that is part of the new development going up in the empty lot that was there beside the Mall of Americas.  The Malecón Américas mall basically runs parallel to the Mall of Americas, and it is full of new stores and en extension to Liverpool.  There also is more underground parking here.

                 There are some different, and new to Cancun, restaurants here, including California Pizza Chicken, Chillis, and Johnny Rocket, among others.

                 The connection between the two malls goes through the Cinépolis.  And the Cinépolis VIP theatre is down on the main level with the other ‘normal’ screens.
 

Costco and MEGA Parking Lot
They have been working on installing islands and gates at the entrances and exits around this parking lot, and it looks like this could be completed in early 2010.  Unfortunately, The Staff does not know how this is going to work with regards to Costco members and the cost, but it looks like there are authorization kiosks outside the entrance to Costco.  Maybe it’s like other parking lots where you get a ticket as you enter, and you use that as you exit to determine amount of usage and rate, but the question remains, is it a fixed price, or do shoppers get the ticket validated at the register as you pay?

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. BIRTHDAY, JANUARY 18th

The Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., often called Martin Luther King Day, is a United States holiday marking the birth date of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of King's birthday, January 15.  It is the only United States federal holiday commemorating an African American, and one of only four to commemorate an individual person.

            Martin Luther King Day was founded as a holiday promoted by labor unions in contract negotiations.  After King's death in 1968, Rep. John Conyers introduced a bill in Congress to make King's birthday a national holiday, highlighting King's activism on behalf of trade unionists.  Unions did most of the promotion for the holiday throughout the 1970s.  In 1976, trade unionists helped to elect Jimmy Carter, who endorsed the King Day bill.  After that endorsement, union influence in the King holiday campaign declined, and the King Center turned to support from the corporate community and the general public.  The success of this strategy was cemented when musician Stevie Wonder released the single "Happy Birthday" to popularize the campaign in 1980 and hosted the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981.  6 million signatures were collected for a petition to Congress to pass the law, termed by a 2006 The Nation article as "...the largest petition in favor of an issue in US history."

            Opposition to the bill was led by Senator Jesse Helms, who questioned whether King was important enough to receive such an honor.  He was also critical of King's opposition to the Vietnam War and accused King of having Communist connections.

President Ronald Reagan was also opposed to the holiday.  He relented in his opposition only after Congress passed the King Day Bill with an overwhelming, veto-proof majority (338 to 90 in the House of Representatives and 78 to 22 in the Senate).

At the White House Rose Garden on November 2, 1983, Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King.  It was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986.

On January 17, 2000, for the first time, Martin Luther King Day was officially observed in all 50 U.S. states.  The day is marked by demonstrations for peace, social justice and racial and class equality, as well as a national day of volunteer community service.
 

CARNATION DAY, JANUARY 29th

The carnation was originally called dianthus by the Greek botanist Theopharastus.  The carnation has been cultivated over 2,000 years.

            The name carnation has two possible origins.  One thought is that the name comes from "coronation" or "corone" since it was used in Greek ceremonial crowns.  Another thought is the name is derived from the Greek carnis meaning flesh, which was the original flower color.

Carnations in general mean fascination, love and good luck.  A white carnation stands for innocence, devotion and pure love.

 

 

EVENTS

Robin’s “Best Shirt Award”, was not the only recorded “Event” in December.  

 Look at the Photo Gallery Index for:

·         Robin’s Best Shirt

·         Live Nativity

·         Nayeli’s New Store Opening

 

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