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January 2012  Issue 109

Return to Home Page   2009 Index  2010 Index   2011 Index

 

LETTER FROM “THE STAFF”

The Staff of The Akumalian wishes you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

2011 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 6th at the Lol Ha Beach Bar; see y’all there.

And, for additional information about Akumal and Puerto Aventuras, don’t forget to check out Sac-Be and the Pelican Free Press of Puerto Aventuras
 

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 Brab 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
19        Marieke White
21        Dan Freeman
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 Birthdays     

30     Ann Kennedy.

North Akumal Road Update

The Akumal Road Crew would like to thank everyone that has participated with financial assistance and words of encouragement for the bricking of the North Akumal road.  Here are some updates, information, and photos from the Akumal Road Crew.

  • We went over budget on a couple of sections due to the thick amount of asphalt that had to be dug and removed; we also had  water drainage issues which required extra money; and there were some checks unable to be cashed after the work had been completed.  But, overall, the improvements are appreciated by all.
  • Aventuras Mayas Tours has committed $1,000 per month in high season and $500 per month in low season for at least 1 year, making a minimum contribution of $10,000.  Please support them.  Go to Aventuras Mayas Tours for more info on their tours.
  • You have probably seen the pallets of bricks alongside the road.  There was a price increase in October for brick, so we purchased as many as possible for sections where owners have already paid.
  • The public entrance to the lagoon is being expanded and will have an island with plants.  Oscar has been so kind to allow us to move one of his sculptures from inside the park to the island when it is completed.  He is also donating the plants.  The island will help to prevent the area from becoming a parking lot, and it will provide a traffic pattern.
  • We are very close to completing all of the improvements where we have had financial participation.  Our goal of having the entire road bricked, will fall short, because there are 32 lots without any funding or participation as of this writing.  
  • The projected amount of money to complete the road from the entrance to the Casitas all the way to Yal Ku is $90,000.  Oscar has told us that if we can raise ¾ of the funds, he will donate the last $27,500.  But, we need to raise $63,500 before he will write the check.  If each of the 32 unpaid and unpaved lot owners could donate $2,000, we would be done with a paved road the whole length of North Akumal!!
  • As you know, it is high season, and we are very busy trying to make a living while we can.  We just don’t have time to continue annoying everyone by asking for more money.  If those 32 property owners who still have a dirt road would step up and contribute, this project could come to completion.  We understand that times are tough, but here is a second chance for them to get free money to improve their section of road.  Please drop your checks at the Akumal Investments office, next to the Lol Ha restaurant.  We will hold the checks until we get to the magic number and then obtain Oscar’s gracious donation.  
  • This project has been more work than we ever imagined, at times more frustrating than ever imagined and certainly more time consuming.  Even though we love the smoother drive and the new shine of Akumal, our reward was watching the community getting involved and seeing all of our friends’ smiling faces as the bricks filled the old potholes.

All the best for 2012!

Russ & Rhett

 P.S.  The Akumalian might not be reaching all of the 32 owners who have yet to contribute to the North Akumal Road Fund, so if you know any of them, and have their e-mail address, please take the time to forward this issue to them, pointing out this important North Akumal Road Update.
 

QUADRANTIDS METEOR SHOWER, JANUARY 3-4th 

The Quadrantids are an above average shower, with up to 40 meteors per hour at their peak. The shower usually peaks on January 3 & 4, but some meteors can be visible from January 1 - 5. The near first quarter moon will set shortly after midnight, leaving dark skies for what should be a good show.  Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight.  Look for meteors radiating from the constellation Bootes.

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 6th

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

This month is the start of the 6th year of the Robin’s Best Shirt event, and this makes it a “Gotta be there” event that cannot be missed.

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 Dave Zucker.  The photos for the Event are located at December Best Shirt Award.
 

COMINGS AND GOINGS 

Comings:

·         Back in Aventuras Akumal we have:

o   Ray & Barbara Armstrong

o   Lynn Chase and Rick Thompson.

o   Wally& Jan Koenst

·         Karl & Dawn Shubert were back for a bit
·        
Michelle Bliss brought down some “stuff” for the new house.
·        
Zelda, Michelle’s friend, was here too.
·        
Bente Palmer was back for a short stay in mid-December.
·        
Jim Farrell & Kathy came back in late December.
·        
Ken & Mary Margaret Goldstein returned back in Akumal for Christmas.
·        
Jack & Ann Kennedy are in their Casista for a month.
·        
Frank & Lennie Hatch have returned to Casa del Sol for some R&R.
·        
Phil & Maiju Growick were back in Aventuras Akumal to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the villa, Akumal Dream
·        
Chuck & Laura are back visiting with Gabriella.
·        
Leroy & Margaret Wiedman arrive the first week in January.
·        
Richard & Arlene Pargot return to Las Vigas on January 2 for an extended stay.
·        
Larry & Karen Kantor are returning later in January.
Many South Akumal homeowners will be here for the Vecinos Meeting on the 28th

 Goings:

·         On Tuesday, December 20, Lic. Mary Carmen Domani Garcia, a dear friend of Akumal and loved one to many of us passed on.  Don’t remember the time period, but Mary Carmen Domani was President of The Akumal Council.  The funeral was in Playa del Carmen on Thursday, December 22. 
 

FULL MOON, JANUARY 9th  

The Full Wolf Moon is on Tuesday, January 9th at 06:30am 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.

 

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.
 

WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?

AKUMAL

 Lol Ha’s New F&B Manager
  
When you have the opportunity, please welcome Walter Balan Canul, the new Lol Ha Food &Beverage Manager who will oversee the entire operation, encompassing purchasing, inventory control, cost control, training and supervision.

Originally from Tabasco, Walter grew up in Yucatan.  His professional experience started out in Cancun at Hotel Bahia Maya, and later he moved on to the Riviera Maya at the Gran Flamenco Xcaret.  After that he was in Canada for 5 years working in two restaurants in Toronto.  Walter returned to Cancun in 2009 to work in Azul Sensatori, Dreams Riviera, and Azul Fives before coming to the Lol Ha Restaurant.

Victor will remain in his position as Assistant Food & Beverage Manager, and Sam will continue as Bar Manager, and assist as well.  

La Lunita Maitre d’
     Have you been wondering what happened to Sinhue Ramirez, ‘new’ Bar Captain at the Lol Ha Beach Bar back in July 2011?  Look no further than La Lunita, where he now is working as the Maitre D’.  Say “hello” to Sinhue the next time you visit La Lunita.

My Favorites
            The Akumalian usually does not do this, so I am going out on a limb with this.   For a real good hamburger, go to Tequilaville, and for the very best fried calamari in Akumal (IMHO), go to Turtle Bay Café.

TULUM

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

CHINESE NEW YEARS, JANUARY 23rd 

Chinese New Year (also called the Lunar New Year) occurs in the early months of our calendar year, typically January or February, and this year fit alls on January 23rd.  This is the first of 15 days of celebration and the start of the Year of the Dragon.

                 People born under the Dragon are passionate, brave and self-assured. At their best they are pioneering spirits; at their worst, they epitomize the old adage: Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Dragons are generous with their resources, a tendency that at its most negative can reflect a foolhardy attitude towards money. But Dragons in general are blessed with good fortune. They are smart, enterprising and have a wicked sense of humor. They have a natural flair for fashion and are the people to consult if you want to catch up on the latest trends.

                 This Chinese New Year 2012 ushers in the Water Dragon.  Water exerts a calming influence on the Dragon’s innate fire.  Water Dragons are more open to other people’s opinions than other Dragons which gives them the ability to channel their personal charisma into real leadership qualities.

                 Dragon years are lucky for anyone thinking of starting a business or initiating a new project of any sort because money is easier to come by for everyone, whether it’s earned, borrowed or received as a gift. Consequently we can expect the economic downturn to ease up a bit in the coming year.  Fortunes can be made but they can also be lost: Keep in mind like all good things, the Year of the Dragon will come to an end and you will be held accountable for unreasonable extravagances.

                 Dragons do well in professions that give them the ability to function somewhat autonomously.  They make excellent sales people, publicists, political campaigners, lawyers, real estate brokers, actors and politicians.

Famous celebrities born in under the Dragon include John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Al Pacino, Marlene Dietrich and Matt Dillon.  The Dragon’s lucky color is yellow.
  

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.  
 

CONSUL TO EXPLAIN FOREIGN-PLATED CAR RULES, FEB 7th

       Looking ahead one month on what could be a very important meeting in Puerto Aventuras.  Copied from the Pelican Free Press.

U.S. Consular Agent, Samantha Mason, will present another in her series of informational seminars in Puerto Aventuras on February 7, 2012.  Her meetings have become an annual event much to the delight of area residents.

            This year’s program will be held in the Colonos Meeting Room, with doors opening at 9:00 O’clock and presentation to begin at 9:30.  Topics to be discussed include a detailed explanation of the many changes made to laws regulating U.S. plated cars in Mexico, including the 2012 reintroduction of an annual import sticker.  Yes, it will cost you more for the coming year.

Those who own foreign plated cars, or are considering bringing one into Mexico, are encouraged to attend this meeting.  Other topics on the agenda include a detailed explanation of services offered by the U.S. Consulate Office in Playa del Carmen, the suggested protocol to use when stopped by police, how to pay your traffic ticket, and what to do if you become the victim of a crime.  No reservation is required to attend and the meeting is open to all interested parties.

 From an earlier posting in the Pelican Free Press, we have:

New rules govern foreign cars here

People bringing cars or other recreational vehicles and boats from the U.S. and other nations are now subject to new rules and fees. Regulations are of such length that the best way to convey them to our readers is to provide links to the information needed as noted in links below.

You will be dealing with a government sanctioned agency known as “Banjercito” a national credit society authorized by the government. In brief, the import will require deposits of from $200 to $400 “collected in Mexican pesos” and based on the model year of the vehicle. More information on the substantial rules is contained in the links below that were provided by the U.S. consular agency in Playa del Carmen.  The consul notes that “As of June 11, 2011, there have been some significant changes to the laws regulating your U.S. plated car in Mexico. Everyone who has, or is considering bringing a car from the USA is encouraged to visit these sites for the latest update on requirements.”

https://www.banjercito.com.mx/iitv/sitio/html/cte_cst_info2biitv_ing.php

Input from other Americans who have posted information on this subject and on the general topic of life in Mexico can be found at:

http://yucalandia.wordpress.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/

http://yucalandia.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/new-requirements-for-bringing-foreign-plated-cars-into-mexico-banjercito/

http://rollybrook.com/car-in-México.htm

http://rollybrook.com/vehicle_permits.htm

http://rollybrook.com/Page%20Directory.htm  [14] http://nancyandbarry.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/nationalizing-a-vehicle-in-mxico/

 

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

·         Alcaraz – Stein Art Show

·         Flea Market

·         Wendell Day’s Birthday

·         Live Nativity

·         Hechizo Christmas Eve

 

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