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January 2011  Issue 97

Return to Home Page   2009 Index  2010 Index

INTRODUCTION

2010 is now history, and the global economies seem to be on the road to recovery.  The tourists are returning to Akumal and the Riviera Maya in greater numbers, and home/condo sales have started to pick up, and Casa Colibri is still waiting for that buyer to come along.

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 7th at the Lol Ha Beach Bar; see y’all there.
 

LETTER FROM “THE STAFF”

While the world counts down the minutes and seconds to the new year, 2011, the Staff at The Akumalian is counting down the months to the 100th issue of The Akumalian – three more to go.  This will be a major milestone for the longest running non-profit publication of any kind in Akumal, and probably the Riviera Maya.  “What are we going to do?”, I hear you ask.  At this point in time, the Staff does not have a clue, but there are one or two things on the wish list.

Besides the number of EVENTS in December, Mary Henderson and Gabriella Herbert made a trip over to Izamal in early December, and there is a posting under TRIPS in the Photo Gallery.  There should be more photos there, but there has been a technical glitch with one of the field photographers not getting the photos to The Staff.

We know the Akumal Telephone Book needs to be updated again, and that is at the top of the 2011 resolution list for January.

There is no Crossword Puzzle this month.  Sorry.

And, for additional information about Akumal and Puerto Aventuras, don’t forget to check out Sac-Be and the Pelican Press of Puerto AventurasThanks to the Pelican Press of Puerto Aventuras for the first story, NEW FM2 /FM3 PROCEDURES, after January Birthdays and Anniversaries.  Check this out.
  

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 Birthdays
December 10, Gail Rowland
December 10, Ken Sutton
December 24, Karen
December 26, Wendell Day
November 27, Woody Brenton
 

NEW FM2 / FM3 PROCEDURES

This is a reprint of the story posted in The Pelican Press of Puerto Aventuras on 12/29/10 by Juanito

ISSUES: New FM3 process explained

How to renew MexicoFM3-FM2 visa using INM website

 Good News!  There have been major changes for the next time you renew your Mexico FM2 or FM3 Visa.  The revised procedure begins by completing an On-Line Application, eliminates the need for bank statements, and is said to put the new credit card size Visa in your hands within just a few weeks.  Here’s how it works:  

1.      LOG ON TO www.inm.gob.mx  At the top of the page there is a pointer for “English”

2.      CLICK "Immigration Formalities" located at the upper right side of the Home Page

3.      CLICK on top right "ESTANCIA" (Which means "stay" in English, to live in Mexico)

4.      A new screen will come up showing the Application Form for which you will "fill in the blanks".  Use the Google “Translate” to get the Form in English.

5.      FIRST BOX (pull-down menu selection) Extend Your Stay (Extender la estancia)

6.      SECOND BOX (pull-down menu selection) Prorroga de no inmigrante

7.      Then, proceed to fill in the blanks with your information

8.      There is a box on the form that says CURP.  Leave it blank, unless you are one of the few who actually does have a CURP number.

9.      When you complete the form, save it (guardar).  Wait a few seconds and then you will see all your information, plus a file number.  This indicates that you have now been recorded into the INM Computer System and have a File Number.                    NOTE:  Be very careful here.  The first time The Staff tried this, the Form was ‘lost’ before it was printed, and we have not found a way to get it back, even though it is “in the system” and we have the number.  Any help out there?

10.  Print that page and bring it with you to Immigration.

11.  Also, bring your current FM3 (FM2) and Passport with you.  Extra copies of certain pages will also be required, so it is best to go with extra copies.

12.  You may be asked to provide a simple letter, with your signature, that briefly explains why you are requesting the visa. I assume this to be the same letter I use every year. 

13.  Ask the man stationed in the little office, located out in front of Immigration, to help prepare your documents for presentation and to take whatever photos will be required.  He knows exactly what to do and charges a miniscule fee for the service.

14.  Copies of bank statements are no longer required when applying for the Mexico FM2 or FM3 Visa, which totally eliminates what had been a major hassle in the past. 

15.  You are now ready to visit the Immigration Office and present your application, but you must be within 30 days of your renewal date to do so.  They will verify the correctness of your application materials and tell you when to return for the second visit.  At this second meeting there will be an additional Form requesting personal information about height, weight, birth date, etc.; plus a "bank prepayment verification" form.  They will also give you an appointment date for when you should return with this information.  At this point, you are almost done!

16.  When you return to Immigration with the Bank Verification Form (payment receipt) and the completed Personal Information Form that they gave you, your new FM3 Visa should be available either later that day, or the next day.  The new style FM2 and FM3 Visa is a card (credit card size), not a booklet as we’ve had in the past.  The entire procedure has been greatly simplified and you don’t need an attorney to prepare your documents.  It’s that easy!

17.  FEE PAID TO BANK = 1,294 Pesos

 There are additional considerations required if you are requesting a "work permit", represent a business or corporation, are affiliated with a religious association, or will be using a third-party agent to process your application.  But, for the vast majority of us, the above procedure is all that’s required.  This is based upon information obtained during a visit to the Immigration Office in Playa del Carmen.  Good Luck! 

Please let The Staff know about how this process works when you try it out.
 

THEY TOOK OUR KODACHROME AWAY, DECEMBER 30

Kodachrome film is officially a part of history.

The celebrated 75-year run from mainstream to niche photography for Kodachrome -- the first successful color film and still the most beloved -- came to an end on Thursday, December 30.  The last processing machine, located at Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas, was shut down and is being sold for scrap.

Demanding both to shoot and process, Kodachrome rewarded generations of skilled users with a richness of color and a unique treatment of light that many photographers described as incomparable even as they shifted to digital cameras.

At the peak, there were about 25 labs worldwide that processed Kodachrome, but the last Kodak-run facility in the United States closed several years ago, then the one in Japan and then the one in Switzerland.  Since then, all that was left has been Dwayne's Photo.

Last year, Kodak stopped producing the film and the chemicals needed to develop it, providing Dwayne's with enough to continue processing through the end of 2010.  And last week, right on schedule, the lab opened up the last canister of blue dye.

Dwayne Steinle, owner of Dwayne's Photo, will have the honor of ending the 75 year run—the man with the last Kodachrome photo in history.  The last snapshot?"  A picture of all the employees standing in front of Dwayne's wearing shirts with the epitaph: "The best slide and movie film in history is now officially retired. Kodachrome: 1935-2010."

The Staff has thousands of Kodachrome slides, and it will be fun getting back to them once we relocate to Cape Cod.  Adios Kodachrome.

Watch Simon & Garfunkel sing Kodachrome.
 

QUADRANTIDS METEOR SHOWER, JANUARY 3-4th

The annual Quadrantid meteor shower is one of the year’s best.  In 2011, this shower will be especially good because it reaches its peak the evening of January 3, within 8 hours of New Moon.  So, not only will you see bright meteors easily, but you’ll also count quite a few fainter “shooting stars.”

Astronomers predict that the Quadrantids will peak around 7 p.m. AST January 3.  That time works best for Europe, but North American meteor-watchers should also keep an eye out because predicting meteor showers isn’t an exact science yet.  New Moon occurs at 3:03 a.m. AST January 4, so no distracting moonlight will pollute the sky.

You’ll need a clear, dark sky to see more than just a few Quadrantids.  “Dark” means at least 40 miles from the lights of a large city.  You won’t need a telescope or even binoculars — in fact, the eyes alone work best because they provide the largest field of view.

When you’re ready to start observing, set up a beach chair, preferably one that reclines.  To see the maximum number of meteors, just look overhead.  Glancing around won’t hurt anything.

How many Quadrantids will you see?  Most years under clear, moonless conditions, observers count 120 meteors per hour from a dark site.  That’s an average of two shooting stars a minute!

The shower’s radiant lies in the northern part of the constellation Boötes the Herdsman, which will lie low in the eastern sky at midnight and overhead at dawn.  The Quadrantids got their name from a defunct constellation, Quadrans Muralis the Mural Quadrant, which used to occupy this region of sky.

 Quadrantid facts
The now-extinct constellation Quadrans Muralis the Mural Quadrant originally sat between the right foot of Hercules, the left hand of Boötes, and Draco.  It represented the mural quadrant of French astronomer Jérome Lalande (1732–1807).  Lalande used his quadrant to chart some 50,000 stars while at the College de France. French globe-maker J. Fortin introduced Quadrans Muralis as a constellation in his atlas of 1795.

The Quadrantid meteor shower originated from a near-Earth asteroid named 2003 EH1.  Although astronomers classify 2003 EH1 as an asteroid, most believe it to be a dead comet.  Observers first recognized the Quadrantids as an annual meteor shower in 1839.
  

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT METEORS

To be visible, a meteor must be within about 120 miles (200 kilometers) of an observer.

 Meteors become visible at an average height of 55 miles (90 km). Nearly all burn up before they reach an altitude of 50 miles (80 km).

 The typical bright meteor is produced by a particle with a mass less than 1 gram and is no larger than a pea.

 The hourly rate on a “non-shower” night is approximately 6 meteors per hour.

 A meteoroid enters the atmosphere at velocities between 50,000 and 165,000 mph (81,000 and 265,000 km/h).
 

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.
 

ROBIN’S BEST SHIRT AWARD JANUARY 7th

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 Mike Cook.  The photos for the Event are located at December Best Shirt Award. 
 

COMINGS AND GOINGS

"There will be snow birds over the white sands of Akumal..."

Comings:
·        
Back in Aventuras Akumal we have:
      o  
Bob & Gayle Dobert  
      o  
Lynn Chase and Rick Thompson.
                  
Wally & Jan Koenst

·        
Shelley & Lynn were back in early December
·       
Adrian & Martha Wilkinson were here for the first three weeks of December.
·        
David Richardson flew in for a quick 3-day visit in mid-December.
·        
Mike & Vicky Cook were in town for the December Best Shirt – Mike won!!
·        
Don Papa returned to Puerto Aventuras for a week or so.
·        
Bente Palmer was back for a short stay in mid-December.
·        
Pat & Cheryl Reagan were back at Casa Maleno in mid-December.
·        
Tom & Barbara Miller were in town for Christmas.
·        
Mike & Sharon Brier arrive at Sirenas on December 25th
·        
Ken & Mary Margaret Goldstein returned back in Akumal for Christmas.
·        
It has been reported by several reliable sources that Jack & Ann Kennedy were back Christmas week.
·        
Chuck & Laura are here visiting Gabriella over New Years.
·        
John & Allyson Sheffield returned after an extended absence.
·        
Hugh Maynard and Carolyn, along with her son Mark, were back over New Years.
·        
Leroy & Margaret Wiedman arrive the first week in January.
·        
Richard & Arlene Pargot return to Las Vigas early on January 7 for an extended stay.
·        
Scott Pargot, the star of the Helena, Montana production of “Chicago” and son of Richard & Arlene, is at Las Vigas the first week of January, and he is looking for somebody to play golf with.  Call Scott at 875-9063 or catch him at the Beach Bar on Friday.
·        
Denny & Diane Mahan are returning to Akumal on January
27.
·        
Bruce& Ellen Eanet are hoping to get back to Akumal in January.
·        
Lucy James is reportedly returning for the first two weeks of January.

 Goings:
·        
Mike & Peggy Stone have returned to Pittsburgh
·        
Bob & Sherwood Anders, and the dogs, have returned to SF for Christmas
·       
Kazue and Beniko Schober are in Japan, where they celebrated the holidays.
·        
Ryan Fredette is snowboarding in Maine over New Years with his friend, Brendon.
·        
Ryan Fredette and Brendon then head out to Winter Park, Colorado, with Bob, Stefanie, for a weekend of snowboarding over the Martin Luther King Jr. long holiday weekend.  Happy Trails to you . . . . . .
 

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. BIRTHDAY JANUARY 17th

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.
 

FULL MOON JANUARY 19th

The Full Wolf Moon is on Tuesday, January 19th at 9:21:24 pm 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.

 

 

WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?

AKUMAL

Super Chomak Expansion
            Super Chomak is putting on a new face to the outside world by opening up with large windows and a new door facing the parking lot and street.  Now, people can see that there is a store inside there.  And, way in the back, there is one of those price checking scanners!!!!

 Lol Ha Beach Bar Manager
    
Samuel Hiram Jimenez, better known as “Sam”, is the new Lol Ha Beach Bar Manager.  Say “hello” when you see him around the Beach Bar.

     Sam reports, “I was born in the Estado de Mexico but lived in NY State for the last 19 years of my life.  I graduated from the State University of New York with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism and a certification in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America.  I have worked at bars and restaurants for 18 years all over NY State.  At my last job I was a beverage, events and training manager for a group of family owned restaurants based in Poughkeepsie, NY.  One of them, called "The Standard" in Albany, was my favorite due to the food and the decor.  I moved to the Riviera Maya to escape the cold winters of the North, and because I really missed Mexico, its food and beaches, and because my two sisters have recently moved here.  I'm an avid mountain biker, love aviation and currently working on acquiring my pilot license.  The Yankees are my favorite team in baseball and would love to play locally in a league.  I speak (besides my native tongue and English) a little bit of French, Italian, and some words in Japanese.”

 La Pueblito ATM
  
The La Pueblito supermarket has changed their ATM machine back to pesos, from US dollars.

Ixchel Boutique Has Hand-Knitted Scarfs and Socks
       Even though you may be finished with your Christmas shopping, be advised that the Ixchel Boutique next to Turtle Bay Café has a wonderful selection of hand-knitted scarfs and socks.  Some of the socks are designed and knitted to be worn with flip-flops (separate big toe).  The socks are very appropriate for the cool nights we are having here in Akumal.

 

 

 

 

 

 
TULUM

Peak Gym Found
   
Not necessarily BIG NEW news, but The Staff finally located the Peak Gym in Tulum.  It is actually very easy to locate, once you have good directions.  When entering Tulum, turn right at the first rotary where the divided highway starts.  Drive down a couple of hundred yards to where the Truper Hardware store is, and turn left.  Peak Gym is about a mile or so down the road, on the right hand side, across from the sports field.

Property Taxes
   
The Tulum Municipality is still offering discounts through February on the payments of property taxes.  The discount will be 15% in January and 10% in February.

 

PLAYA DEL CARMEN

Jozef Scales, the Pan Man
     Jozef Scales is still “in the neighborhood” with his steel drums/pan.  Jozef says that he plays most every Saturday (if it doesn't rain) at the Xpu Ha restaurant from about 2:30-5:30.  He is recording a new steel pan CD, and they have a big show coming up in Holbox for New Years.

            Jozef reports, “I now play with reggae groups Planeta Bola, Cujeje, and SOCAlypso, and as a soloist for the hotels and weddings in the Riviera Maya.  I'm currently working on a new steel pan band and CD at my "Studio Boom Boom" in Playa.  My "Seven Chakras Music as Meditation" CD is available at www.CDBABY.com/sevenchakrasmusic and www.Broadjam.com/jozef  and is on i-tunes, napster and a few other digital distributors.”  
 

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
·        
TBC Christmas Party
·        
Riviera Azul Cocktail Party
·        
Casa Zama Christmas Day Brunch
·        
Mary’s Trip to Izamal

 

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