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June 2010  Issue 90

Happy MemorialDay

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May was one wild and crazy month as the weather varied from, “It was a dark and stormy night with lightning dancing across the sky, while sheets of rain slashed its way across the turbulent sea.”  Then it went to being extremely calm during the latter days of the month, and “The Caribbean Sea was as flat as a glass table top, and the morning sun sparkled like diamonds bouncing across the surface.”

Even though Akumal seemed relatively quiet with tourist and visitor activity, there were reports of extreme congestion at Immigration and Customs at the Cancun Airport, with some delays reported to be four hours in length.  Ouch!!!  Apparently, there were some staffing problems at the airport.


Two 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; sorry Hyacinth, there is no sauna and room for a pony.


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, Anniversaries
4          Betty McElhatten
4          Sharon Goby
5          Paige Wright
8          Harry Bittner
10        Salvador
11        Kathy Sonheim
13        Richard Mazzola
16        Ingrid Clouther
19        Hans Schmitthenner and Joan Potenza Anniversary
20        Demetrio’s girls
21        Jim & Kathy (Sonheim) Farrell Anniversary
21        Susanne Van Lierop
22        Sam & Sharon Goby Anniversary
25        Janet (Tricia’s mom)
25        Katie & Joel Datica Anniversary
26        Beryl Van Lierop
29        Bud & Alice Blatner anniversary

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

Missed May Births
4          Wee Man White-Brown
30        Zoe Alexis Gonzalez Campbell



On Friday, May 14, there was a General Meeting of the Akumal Council at CEA, and despite the low season and day of the week, it was reasonably well attended.  The Board of Directors have decided to give each General Meeting a focus, rather than trying to cover everything in great detail at every meeting.  This meeting was focused on Security.

Please understand that is coverage here is by no means the official minutes or coverage of the May 14th meeting, but just a report of what transpired.  All the Reports are going to be posted on the Akumal Council’s Bulletin Board under Reports and/or Community Forum.

Each of the major Committees made a brief verbal report, and these included the President, Treasurer, Environmental, Secretary, and Education.

Laura Bush is stepping down from the Chair of the Community Liaison Committee, and that is being picked up by Lettie Cordova, who is merging it in with the Education Committee.  Laura remains the Chairperson for the Security Committee.

The Security Committee presentation was done via PowerPoint, and this provided an excellent visual presentation that was easier to follow and understand than the usual verbal ones.  The program is called Center Security Network (CSN), and it will be best to watch for this Report/Presentation on the Akumal Council Community Forum.  Some highlights – really thoughts of things to be done – included:

·         Coverage to be from Yal ku to Aventuras Akumal

·         Enhance security coverage in and around North and Central Akumal

·         Build a police booth by the bridge and CAPA at the highway entrance to Akumal

·         Install video surveillance cameras at the parking lot, arch, and old police station (booth F)

·         Create Car Pass/Tag for hanging on rear view mirror for locals and guests

·         Substantial budget to be allocated across all section based on number of bedrooms

 There was more, but The Staff had to leave for another meeting.

 The Staff has presented some suggestions to the BOD, and these included:
They should use a microphone and speaker system to ensure everyone hears everything being reported by the Committee Chairperson.

All Reports should be done in a uniform PowerPoint presentation format:

·         Keeps speaker focused on key points

·         Audience can see and better understand the key points

·         Eliminates the need for hand outs

·         Would open up more discussion

·         Ready to post on the Community Forum blog

·         Overall, would be a lot more effective

The next General Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 18. 


The 2010 Hurricane Season in the Atlantic Ocean will begin on June 1, 2010, and end on November 30, 2010.  Atlantic hurricanes affect the eastern and Gulf coasts of the U.S. and the Caribbean nations. Those with interests in hurricane-prone areas must heed federal and state advice on preparedness, the season in general, and each specific storm in the season.

The experts are predicting a busier-than-usual hurricane season for 2010.  These early forecasts, however, will likely be modified depending on the evolving climactic conditions. If the early forecasts prove to be accurate, the 2010 hurricane season will stand in sharp contrast to the relatively mild 2009 season.  Special concerns in 2010 are whether a hurricane will hit the already-devastated island of Haiti and how a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico would affect the giant oil slick created by the explosion on the BP offshore drilling platform.  Another question is whether a hurricane will come ashore in the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama coastal areas, some of which have not yet recovered from 2005's Hurricane Katrina.  Closer to home, the question is, "Will one make landfall around Akumal?"

The Colorado State University forecast team predicts an above-average 2010 Atlantic basin hurricane season based on the premise that El Nino conditions will dissipate by this summer and that anomalously warm tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures will persist.

The team predicts 15 named storms to form in the Atlantic basin between June 1 and Nov. 30 with eight expected to be hurricanes and four developing into major hurricanes (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5) with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater.

Long-term averages are 9.6 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 major hurricanes per year.

“We expect current moderate El Nino conditions to transition to neutral conditions by this year’s hurricane season,” said Phil Klotzbach, lead forecaster on the CSU Hurricane Forecast Team. “The dissipating El Nino, along with the expected anomalously warm Atlantic ocean sea surface temperatures, will lead to favorable dynamic and thermodynamic conditions for hurricane formation and intensification.”

The 2010 forecast marks 27 years of hurricane forecasting at Colorado State, led by William Gray.  The hurricane forecast team makes its predictions based on 58 years of historical data.

“Based on our latest forecast, the probability of a major hurricane making landfall along the U.S. coastline is 69 percent compared with the last-century average of 52 percent,” Gray said. “While patterns may change before the start of hurricane season, we believe current conditions warrant concern for an above-average season.”


Torrential rains brought by the first tropical storm of the 2010 season pounded Central America and southern Mexico, triggering deadly landslides.  The death toll stood at 99 on Monday morning, but authorities said the number could rise.

Tropical Storm Agatha was dissipating over the mountains of western Guatemala, a day after it made landfall near the nation's border with Mexico with winds up to 45 mph.  Although no longer even a tropical depression, Agatha still posed trouble for the region: Remnants of the storm were expected to deliver 10 to 20 inches of rain over southeastern Mexico, Guatemala and parts of El Salvador, creating the possibility of "life-threatening flash floods and mudslides," the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said in an advisory.



Navy Day is an official Mexican holiday.  The day is held on the June 1st and has been recognized every year since 1942.  Go to Navy Day for additional information.



The L.A. Lakers have won three of every four playoff games during their run to the NBA Finals by polishing their skills, executing X's and O's and sticking to a game plan.  They've followed a script that all but guaranteed a return trip to the promised land, a third straight Finals appearance.

Now, with their hated rivals, the Boston Celtics, looming in a Finals series that begins on Thursday, it is time for the Lakers to veer from the page.  It won't be enough to play great physical basketball, hands and minds in harmony.  It won't be enough to play great technical basketball, executing the triangle to perfection. To win the 16th championship in the franchise's storied history, the Lakers will have to play with fierce hearts and stubborn memories.

"The challenge is to win the championship.". "The Celtics are in the way."

These are the same Celtics who showed the Lakers the way in the 2008 NBA Finals.  By mopping the floor with L.A. and beating them by 39 points in Game 6, the most embarrassing and excruciating loss in the history of the purple-and-gold, the Boston bunch demonstrated how togetherness and simply trying harder than the guy standing across from you trump talent every time.  "The Celtics are in the way."


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 Dan, 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 142nd 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.

Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver is skipping the 11/2-mile classic following his eighth-place Preakness finish.  The Preakness Stakes victor, Lookin At Lucky, is also skipping the Belmont Stakes.  It will mark the first time since 2006 that neither winner of the first two legs of the Triple Crown goes to the Belmont.

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.


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

  • Larry & Karen Kantor were in Mariposa for a spell.
  • Larry & Karen’s friends, Doug & Jill were visiting them
  • Michael Schwartz was seen just for a brief moment in South Akumal, twice.
  • Gene & Mary Ellen Langan were in Villa Langan for about 12 days.
  • Sherwood Anders was seen around the beach bar, albeit without Bob
  • Beryl & Susanne Van Lierop were back in N Akumal.
  • David & Nancy Poor, along with Nancy’s mother, were in town for the Akumal Council.
  • Elsie Bush was back in town once again.
  • Terry & Lisa Turner were back in the middle of May.
  • Macon & Susan Gravlee were also back, and they were spotted keeping late hours one night
  • Gary & Oveta Vardell, along with Gary’s sister and her husband, were back in S Akumal.
  • Nance & Crayton Walker were reportedly back at Seven Seas in late May.
  • Neil & Gail Breton are building the house next to Casa Zama and were back for a visit.
  • David Nunez was at the beach bar one night, and reports he might be returning.
  • Erin & Eric Young and the kids arrive later in the month.

Phoebe has returned to Vail, where she is getting the RV and heading west.
Isabel has also returned to Vail for a short trip.
Paul Rasmussen has returned to Aspen, but he is back.
Maimo & Marcy have gone back to Iowa for the summer.
Russ & Stephanie took a short trip to Colorado.
Dave & Dan went back to the US, and they are driving back.
Wendell & Lynda Day have returned to the US for the summer.
It looks like Hurley Hackler has up and gone; has not been seen for a long time.

2010 FIFA WORLD CUP, June 11th to July 11th

The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the 19th FIFA World Cup, the premier international football tournament. It is scheduled to take place between 11 June and 11 July 2010 in South Africa. The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the culmination of a qualification process that began in August 2007 and involved 204 of the 208 FIFA national teams.  As such, it matches the 2008 Summer Olympics as the sports event with the most competing nations.

This will be the first time that the tournament has been hosted by an African nation, after South Africa beat Morocco and Egypt in an all-African bidding process.  This decision left the Oceania Football Confederation as the only confederation yet to host the FIFA World Cup.  Italy is the defending champion.  The draw for the finals took place on 4 December 2009 in Cape Town.


The American Theatre Wing's 64th Annual Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 13, 2010 (8:00-11:00 p.m., live EST) on the CBS Television Network.  The awards honor theatre professionals and distinguished achievement on Broadway. The cut-off for nomination eligibility on the 2009-2010 Broadway Season was April 29, 2010.

The Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards are bestowed annually on theatre professionals for distinguished achievement.  The Tony is one of the most coveted awards in the entertainment industry and the annual telecast is considered one of the most prestigious programs on television.

 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.

Sean Hayes has been named the host of the 2010 Tony Awards.  Sean is up for a Tony for his role in Broadway’s Promises, Promises opposite Kristin Chenoweth.  Sean Patrick Hayes (born June 26, 1970) is an American actor and comedian.  He is best known for his role as Jack McFarland in the NBC sitcom Will & Grace, for which he won an Emmy Award, four SAG Awards, one American Comedy Award, and six Golden Globes nominations.  He also portrayed comedian Jerry Lewis in the made for TV movie Martin and Lewis.




Dish Network
   Please be advised that the reception from Dish Network is just about nil.  It ranges from subscribers getting absolutely nothing, to others who get a few isolated channels.  The ‘local’ stations (the networks) are nonexistent.

            Nobody has come up with a definitive answer, but the consensus seems to be that Dish Network is moving and/or re-aligning the satellites and transponders.  Other reports say they are putting up more satellites to create a looping net over the east coast.  Others have said that it affected all of Mexico, so it is not just us here in Akumal.  Do not have a definitive response from the owners of 1.8 meter dishes to ascertain if that is a viable solution.

BREAKING NEWS: Russ Motley has a 1.8 meter dish, and he reports his transponders have a signal strength in excess of 10, with most in the 20s, and one (#18) as high as 41; these are much lower than what they originally were.  It looks like he is on the edge of the extended footprint with 1.8 meters.

Mike Mayo, The Green Zone Mexico, reports, "They sent a new satellite into space earlier this year. Now they are migrating to the new one. It appears that Miami locals have gone away, but New York is working.  We have no idea as to what is to come. The final date is supposed to be done on June 16th. "

       For the moment, it’s a ‘wait-and-see’ game to see if the dishes need to be re-directed to a new satellite position, or do you need to go to a Mexican provider. 

Phoebe’s Store
Phoebe’s and Rocio’s store next to what used to be Peak Gym has also closed.

What is happening here?

 Fishing Tournament
    On Sunday, May 23, the annual Akumal Fishing Tournament was held, and let it be known right away that Wendell Day could not defend his championship, coming up empty-handed.  As it turned out, the winning fish was nowhere near as large as the one Wendell won with last year.  That said, the beach was crowded, and the sun was hot and the music loud.

            This year there were three prizes for the largest fish, and then there was the greased pole where the victors were rewarded with warm beer.

 Music at the Beach Bar
On Sunday, May 23, Laura had arranged for the dance troupe, the Capoeira Dancers, dancers to perform after the Fishing and Volleyball Tournaments. 

As an added bonus, she also got an excellent band to play live music prior to dancers.  Needless to say, a good time was had by all, and Laura was right out there in the middle of things.

 Kid’s Club Is Gone
Just about everyone who has been coming to Akumal over the years – especially those with kids – fondly remember the good time the kids had at The Kid’s Club by the Beach Bar.  The old timers (that’s you Ryan Fredette) remember Katie, and more recently Fatima.  Well, now it is gone, and the site is being converted into the Game Room that was over where the Pizza Restaurant used to be, adjacent to the Lol Ha Restaurant.  Lot of changes going on in Akumal.


Game Room Has been Converted
But what is happening to the Game Room, I hear you ask?  Take a look.  It is now the lush offices of Akumal’s newest real estate company, Akumal Investments; doesn’t that sound a lot better than “real estate”?  Akumal Investments is owned and operated by Russ Motley and his able staff, and it behooves you to stop in to say “hello” the next time you are over at the Beach Bar.


       Have you seen the recycling bike that rides around Akumal (at least North Akumal) and collects the recyclables?  This saves you the time and effort to take them to one of the drop-off sites yourself.


Raffle for Catholic Church
Have you seen the Bishop driving around in a new Nisan Tsuro with a wad of $25,000 pesos in his cassock?

Bob Mulgrew reports, “10th of May---the numbers were chosen - good.  I did not see that you were a winner - not so good.  The number for the 2010 Nissun Tsuro  is 9867, and the number for the $25,000 MN is 8729.  



“OK, the numbers that were chosen were from 2 different ticket packets, and neither packet was opened nor any tickets were sold.  Therefore, there will be another raffle, and all tickets from the May 10 raffle will be honored.  Do not throw your tickets away!  The next raffle will be in June or July, before August and after May.”


It sounded like a good call. To combat organized crime, especially the phenomenon known as “virtual kidnapping,’’ the Mexican government ordered the owners of every cell phone in the country to register their name, number, and address.  But in a remarkable mass protest, under threat of service interruption, millions are refusing to submit their personal data for a very Mexican reason: They don’t trust the government.

The burgeoning Mexican cellular class — which includes city swells with thrumming BlackBerrys and peasants with cheap Nokias out in the fields — assumes that personal information they give the state would inexorably flow into the hands of the very criminals the new law seeks to foil, creating a kind of White Pages for crooks and kidnappers.

“And these fears are not unfounded,’’ said José Adán Ignacio Rubí Salazar, a federal legislator and head of the communications commission in the Chamber of Deputies.  According to the Federal Telecommunications Commission, another entity, 68 million cellphones have been registered but 17 million remain unlisted.  Because so many declined to give personal information, and because the data they did submit could not be authenticated, Rubí said, “the mobile-phone registry is, from a security standpoint, completely useless.’’

The National Mobile-Phone User Registry has been declared a fiasco.  Its future is unknown.

The goals were noble.  With the end of cellular anonymity, authorities promised to combat the growing scourge of virtual kidnapping, or phoning victims to claim — falsely — that a spouse or child has just been kidnapped.  The extortionists demand instant payment, by wire transfer or access to a bank account.

These fake kidnapping calls are often accompanied by the muffled sound of someone whimpering in fear or pleading for help.  Mexican prisons frequently serve as the de facto call centers for these extortion rings, which operate in complicity with guards who provide phones and reportedly take a commission.

“It can be terrifying,’’ said Lorenzo Meyer, a College of Mexico historian and a prominent political and social analysts.  “They are terrifying because we live in this atmosphere of violence. Where are our sons?  We need to contact them every day, just for a minute.’’


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.  

In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14.  It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.

Flag Day is not an official federal holiday, though on June 14, 1937, Pennsylvania became the first (and only) U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday.  One of the longest-running Flag Day parades is held annually in Quincy, Massachusetts, which began in 1952 and celebrated its 57th year in 2009.

Did you Know? If you like to study flags, then you are a Vexillologist!


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.  There is no knowledge as to what happened to this father son duo, but it is believed that several countries retained the custom of celebrating Father's Day.  Go to Father’s Day for additional information.


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.


The Full Strawberry Moon occurs on June 26th at 10:30am 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!


During the month of May, there was one other “Event” beside the Best Shirt Award, and that was the Kentucky Derby “party” on May 1st.  For photos, go to Kentucky Derby.


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