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April 2012  Issue 112

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MESSAGE FROM THE STAFF

   March was a fairly uneventful month here in Akumal, with Robin’s Best Shirt Award being the highlight event.  There was St.  Patricks’s Day, with dancing to DJ Bob at the Beach Bar, and another ONDARTE reception, but both went unrecorded by The Staff.  The real highlight of the month was not an event, but a road trip The Staff took to Valladolid with Bob & Diane Mather, and this is documented in the Photo Galleries starting at Valladolid Road Trip; you need to look at this, even it is just to see Casa de los Venados.

Here is something you absolutely have to read.  And more importantly, you need to pass it on to at least ten of your friends who have to do likewise.  Please go to How Not to Get Beheaded in Mexico, and do not worry, there are no photos.

And, you definitely have to remember that the clocks in Akumal need to be moved forward one hour at 2:00am on Sunday, April 1.  This is not an April Fool joke.

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

IMPORTANT APRIL FACTS

Aries March 21-April 20

Taurus April 21-May 20

 April Birthstone: 
    
April's birthstone, the diamond, is remarkably simple in composition, yet stunning in its unique ability to reflect and refract light into vivid flashes of brilliant color.  The ancient Hindus called the Diamond "Vajra," meaning lightening, both because of the sparks of light thrown off by this gem as well as its invincible strength.  The diamond is harder than any other substance on earth. 

April Flower: 
   
The month of April is represented by the daisy.  Daisies have long been associated with innocence.  The large vibrant blooms of the gerbera daisy have made it a favorite among flower lovers.

 

APRIL BIRTHDAYS

Birthdays and Anniversaries    ¡Feliz cumpleanos!
1          Marcy Essy
4          Diane Firth
4          Maggie McKown
7          Holly Batting
7          Seddon Wylde
8          Sam Goby
10        Butch
10        Michelle Bliss
11        Judy James
12        Didier Jackson
15        Monica Estrada
18        Lucy James
19        Greg Goudy
20         Jan Koenst
21        Zoe Alexis Gonzalez Campbell
23        Sharon Wandler
25        Lindsay Firth
27        Gary Sparks
27        Jerry & Lois Radlinsky Anniversary

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

 Missed March Birthdays
29        David Wolfe
31        Aileen Andreatta

 Missed February Birthdays
12        Katie Humphreys
23        Kate Robinhawk

 

APRIL FOOL’S DAY, APRIL 1st

Unlike most of the other non-foolish holidays, the history of April Fool's Day, sometimes called All Fool's Day, is not totally clear.  There really wasn't a "first April Fool's Day" that can be pinpointed on the calendar.  Some believe it sort of evolved simultaneously in several cultures at the same time, from celebrations involving the first day of spring.

The closest point in time that can be identified as the beginning of this tradition was in 1582, in France.  Prior to that year, the new year was celebrated for eight days, beginning on March 25.  The celebration culminated on April 1.  With the reform of the calendar under Charles IX, the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, and New Year's Day was moved to January 1.

However, communications being what they were in the days when news traveled by foot, many people did not receive the news for several years.  Others, the more obstinate crowd, refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the new year on April 1.  These backward folk were labeled as "fools" by the general populace.  They were subject to some ridicule, and were often sent on "fool’s errands" or were made the butt of other practical jokes.

This harassment evolved, over time, into a tradition of prank-playing on the first day of April.  The tradition eventually spread to England and Scotland in the eighteenth century.  It was later introduced to the American colonies of both the English and French.  April Fool's Day thus developed into an international fun fest, so to speak, with different nationalities specializing in their own brand of humor at the expense of their friends and families.

In Scotland, for example, April Fool's Day is actually celebrated for two days.  The second day is devoted to pranks involving the posterior region of the body.  It is called Taily Day.  The origin of the "kick me" sign can be traced to this observance.

Mexico's counterpart of April Fool's Day is actually observed on December 28.  Originally, the day was a sad remembrance of the slaughter of the innocent children by King Herod.  It eventually evolved into a lighter commemoration involving pranks and trickery.
 

DO YOU KNOW?

Do you know who keyed the phrase "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" for Mary Poppins to sing on the big screen?  It was Robert Sherman, who died at the age of 86 in London, on March 6.

Sherman was half of a sibling partnership that put songs into the mouths of nannies and Cockney chimney sweeps, jungle animals and Parisian felines.  Robert Sherman and his brother Richard composed scores for films including "The Jungle Book," "The Aristocats," "Mary Poppins" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."  They also wrote the most-played tune on Earth, "It's a Small World (After All)."

The Sherman Brothers' career was long, prolific and garlanded with awards.  They won two Academy Awards for Walt Disney's 1964 smash "Mary Poppins" -- best score and best song, "Chim Chim Cher-ee."  They also picked up a Grammy for best movie or TV score.

Their hundreds of credits as joint lyricist and composer also include the films "Winnie the Pooh," "The Slipper and the Rose," "Snoopy Come Home," "Charlotte's Web" and "The Magic of Lassie." Their Broadway musicals included 1974's "Over Here!" and stagings of "Mary Poppins" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" in the mid-2000s.

The brothers' awards included 23 gold and platinum albums and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  They became the only Americans ever to win First Prize at the Moscow Film Festival for "Tom Sawyer" in 1973 and were inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame in 2005.
 

DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME IN MEXICO IS April 1st  

In Akumal, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the first Sunday in April.  On the last Sunday in October (the 28th ), Akumal falls back to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m.  The names in each time zone change along with Daylight Saving Time.  Central Standard Time (CST) becomes Central Daylight Time (CDT), and so forth.  The state of Sonora does not observe Daylight Saving Time.

Mexico uses three time zones.  Most of the country uses Central Standard Time.
 

ROBIN’S BEST SHIRT AWARD, APRIL 6th  

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 this was a wide open event. 

Wendell Day was the winner for March, and you can see the other photos at Best Shirt Award, March.  This was Wendell’s 5th win.  Congratulations.

                                                  

FULL MOON, APRIL 6th 

The Full Pink Moon is on April 6, 02:18pm AST.

The grass pink or wild ground phlox is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring.  Other names were the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and -- among coastal Maya tribes -- the Full Fish Moon, when the barracuda swam inland to the cenotes to spawn.  This is also the Paschal Full Moon; the first full Moon of the spring season.  The first Sunday following the Paschal Moon is Easter Sunday, which indeed will be observed six days later on Sunday, April 24. 
 

PASSOVER APRIL 7th – 13th

Passover (Hebrew, Yiddish: פֶּסַח, Pesach, Tiberian: pɛsaħ, Israeli: Pesah, Pesakh, Yiddish: Peysekh) is a Jewish and Samaritan holy day and festival commemorating God sparing the Israelites when he killed the first born of Egypt, and is followed by the seven day Feast of the Unleavened Bread commemorating the Exodus from Egypt and the liberation of the Israelites from slavery.

Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan (equivalent to March and April in Gregorian calendar), the full moon of that month, the first month of the Hebrew calendar's festival year according to the Hebrew Bible.

In the story of the Exodus, the Bible tells that God inflicted ten plagues upon the Egyptians before Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves, with the tenth plague being the killing of firstborn sons.  However, the Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb, and upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord passed over these homes, hence the term "passover".  When Pharaoh freed the Israelites, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread to rise. In commemoration, for the duration of Passover, no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason it is also called חַג הַמַּצּוֹת (Chag HaMatzot), "The Festival of the Unleavened Bread".  Matza (unleavened bread) is the primary symbol of the holiday.  This bread that is flat and unrisen is called Matzo.

Together with Shavuot ("Pentecost") and Sukkot ("Tabernacles"), Passover is one of the three pilgrim festivals (Shalosh Regalim) during which the entire Jewish populace historically made a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.  Samaritans still make this pilgrimage to Mount Gerizim, but only men participate in public worship.
 

EASTER SUNDAY, APRIL 8th 

On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, JesusChrist.  It is typically the most well-attended Sunday service of the year for Christian churches.  Christians believe, according to Scripture, that Jesus came back to life, or was raised from the dead, three days after his death on the cross.  As part of the Easter season, the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion, is commemorated on Good Friday, always the Friday just before Easter.  Through his death, burial and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty for sin, thus purchasing for all who believe in him, eternal life in Christ Jesus.

In Western Christianity, Easter marks the ending of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline in preparation for Easter.  Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday.

 The Annual Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival
  
On Easter Sunday, you have the opportunity to see Easter bonnets to the New York City extreme as "paraders" wander along Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Streets.  The area around St. Patrick's Cathedral is the ideal place to see the parade.  The Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

When and Where is the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival in Akumal?      There’s plenty of time to organize something.  Maybe, just maybe, the Robin’s Best Shirt Award Committee (Mary Henderson) and/or the Lol Ha Beach Bar Best Easter Bonnet Committee (Laura and Sam) could arrange for an Akumal Best Easter Bonnet Award on Friday, April 6, in conjunction with the Best Shirt Award; like the Best Shirt Award, open to both women and men.
 

EASTER IN MEXICO

For Mexico, Easter is a combination of Semana Santa (Holy Week - Palm Sunday to Easter Saturday) and Pascua (Resurrection Sunday until the following Saturday).  For most Mexicans, this 2 week period is THE time of year for vacation; good time to not be on the highways - just stay put and enjoy Akumal during this holiday season.

Semana Santa celebrates the last days of the Christ's life, and Pascua is the celebration of the Christ's Resurrection.  It is also the release from the sacrifices of Lent.

In many communities, the full Passion Play is enacted from the Last Supper, the Betrayal, the Judgment, the Procession of the 12 Stations of the Cross, the Crucifixion and, finally, the Resurrection.  In some communities, flagellation and/or real crucifixion is included.  The enactments are often wondrously staged, costumed and acted, with participants preparing for their roles for nearly the full year leading up to Semana Santa.
 

MT WASHINGTON MARKS “THE BIG WIND”, APRIL 12th

On April 12, 1934, the second highest surface wind measured anywhere on earth was clocked by the staff of the Mount Washington (New Hampshire) Observatory.  This "World Record Wind" of 231 miles per hour has become the stuff of legend, but what is the meaning of that decades-old record?

First and foremost, the World Record Wind is a testimony of the real extremes that can rule on Mount Washington.  Significant cold, abundant snowfall, dense fog, heavy icing, and exceptional winds are a prominent feature of Mount Washington's environment.  Yes, there are colder places, such as Antarctica, and snowier places, such as some peaks in the Cascade Range. However, Mount Washington, a small peak by global standards, really does have weather that can rival some of the most rugged places on earth.  There are days each winter when the combination of life-threatening weather factors on Mount Washington is remarkably similar to weather extremes which have been recorded in the polar regions and on peaks three or four times Mount Washington's height.  The World Record Wind is one benchmark testifying to the mountain's truly severe weather.

 

New Hampshire's Presidential Range includes the highest peaks in the Northeast.  Mount Washington, at 6,288 feet, is the highest in the range, and is the only peak in the Northeastern United States which exceeds 6,000 feet in elevation. 

The Presidential Range forms a ridgeline, about twelve miles in length.  Perhaps the Range's most remarkable feature is its extensive area above treeline, the greatest contiguous alpine area in the United States east of the Mississippi.  Treeline here, which averages about 4,500 feet, is significantly lower than in mountains in the west, thanks to the extreme climatic conditions, including cold temperatures, high winds, and frequent atmospheric icing.  The unusual conditions above treeline have led to a fascinating landscape, seemingly barren, but decorated with low spruce and fir scrub and a variety of alpine plants, whose bright blooming usually occurs in a brief period from mid-June to late July.

In New England it is said, “If you can ski here, you can ski anywhere”.
 

COMINGS AND GOINGS

            Comings:
Visitors in March:

  • Macon & Susan Gravlee were back in town early in March.
  • Bill & Oetka Brab, with some friends, were in South Akumal for the Best Shirt Award.
  • El Moreland and Pato were up from Bacalar in early March.
  • Paula, Katie, and Ellie Humphreys flew into town for a week of R&R
  • Zoe Pargot is here in Las Vigas with her parents for nine days.
  • Jill (Pargot), Don and the kids (Emma, Madeline, and Nathaniel) are also visiting Richard & Arlene at Las Vigas.
  • Larry & Karen Kantor arrived on March 18 for two weeks.
  • The Kantor’s son, Jonathan, along with Christine, Kaitlin, and Ethan, were here the last week in March.
  • Hollis’ daughter, Rachel, and Michael and the boys were back at Los Primos.
  • Ralph & Lois and Ralph & Terry visited Denny & Diane at Casa Solymar.
  • Frank & Lennie Hatch are back in Casa del Sol.
  • Paul & Gayle Rasmussen have been spotted around town.  Is the fat lady singing?
  • Alice Blatner flew in and out before you could say “hello – “goodbye”
  • Michele Connor is back in Las Hamacas in South Akumal.

Coming in April

  • George Plamondon's son and family are coming to Los Primos.
  • Stefanie Fredette arrives in Casa Colibri on April 11.
  • Wally & Jan Koenst return to Aventuras Akumal on April 12 for a couple of weeks.
  • David Richards returns to South Akumal for some R&R on April 17.

 Goings:

  • Lynn Chase and Rick Tompkins have returned to Maine after wintering in Aventuras Akumal.
  • Denny & Diane Mahan are returning to the Harbour Club outside Atlanta.
  • Richard & Cami Mazzola are returning to Colorado for the season.
  • Stephanie Motley is going to visit her dad.
  • Kazue and Beniko Hayashi are leaving Akumal and moving to Brussels, Belgium on April 1st.  Brussels, with a population of about 1 million, is a centre of European culture, officially nicknamed ‘the European Village’, with almost 90 museums, beautiful parks, fascinating walks, trendy restaurants and bars.  It’s a big change from Akumal, but both Kazue and Beniko are looking forward to it.  If you did not get to say “Goodby”, you can post your best wishes on Kazue’s Facebook page.
     

PATRIOT’S DAY, APRIL 16th

Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans' Day are four distinctly American tributes to liberties, freedom and democracy, commemorated by a holiday in the United States.

Then there is Patriot’s Day, celebrated on the third Monday of April.  For New Englanders, Patriot’s Day remains the quintessential observance: the anniversary of the beginning of the American Revolutionary War with skirmishes between British troops and the Minute Men of Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts, and preceded by Paul Revere's famous Midnight Ride.

It should not be confused with Patriot Day, held on September 11 to mark the anniversary of terrorist attacks in the USA in 2001.

The events of more than two centuries ago in April 1775, now commemorated as the Patriot’s Day holiday in Massachusetts and Maine, marked a turning point in the long struggle between England and her American colonies. In a march of protest and petition, which turned into revolution and independence, the fighting on April 19, 1775 foreshadowed the rebellious action of the American colonies in ultimately creating a new nation, the United States of America.  Originally celebrated on April 19, Patriot’s Day was moved to the third Monday of April in 1969.

For runners, Patriot’s Day has become synonymous with the Boston Marathon or, as locals  often refer to the day, Marathon Monday.   While "the shot heard 'round the world" continues to reverberate in re-enactments of the historic events, the sound of gunfire also will ring clearly in Hopkinton this Patriot’s Day to signal the start of the 116th Boston Marathon and to recall the ideals of the American Revolution.  

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon.  In 2011, the Boston Marathon attracted 26,895 entrants and about 500,000 spectators.

The Boston area is a uniquely and profoundly American locale; there's no better venue and no better occasion than the Boston Marathon and Patriots' Day to showcase the spirit.  And then there’s the Red Sox.

Every year, on the third Monday in April, the Red Sox play host to the only morning game on the entire Major League Baseball schedule.  The annual 11:05 a.m. game at Fenway Park is part of the festivities of Patriot’s Day, a federally recognized holiday in Massachusetts.  This year, the Boston Red Sox are playing the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park.
 

EMANCIPATION DAY, APRIL 16th

Emancipation Day is a holiday in Washington DC to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act, which president Abraham Lincoln signed on April 16, 1862.  It is annually held on April 16.  In all other areas of the United States, April 16 is a normal day and public life is not affected.

Formal slavery was legal from 1619 until 1865 in the area that is now the United States.  Many slaves were of African origin and many slave owners were of European descent, although some other groups also had slaves.  By 1860, there were about four million slaves in the United States.  On April 16, 1862, Abraham Lincoln, who was the US president at the time, signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, which freed more than 3,000 slaves in the District of Columbia.  However, slavery did not officially end in the rest of the United States until after the American Civil War, which lasted from 1861 until 1865.

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution formally ended slavery in the US.  It was proposed on January 31, 1865, and ratified by 30 of the then 36 states in the same year.  However, it was only ratified in Mississippi in 1995.  Slavery and the racial divisions, upon which it was based, have had and continue to have huge implications for individuals and American society as a whole.

Emancipation Day in Washington DC marks the anniversary of the signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act.  On January 4, 2005, legislation was signed to make Emancipation Day an official public holiday in the District of Columbia.  Elsewhere in the United States, the emancipation of slaves is celebrated in Florida (May 20), Puerto Rico (March 22) and Texas (June 19).  There are also similar events in many countries in the Caribbean, including Anguilla, Bahamas, Bermuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands.  Many of these events occur during the first week of August as slavery was abolished in the British Empire on August 1, 1834.
           

TAX DAY UNITED STATES, APRIL 17th

Mark your calendars!  The last day to file your 2011 taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been extended to Tuesday, April 17, 2012.

Just like last year, the traditional April 15 tax deadline has been extended as it falls on a Sunday.  Because Monday April 16 is Emancipation Day (an anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act) and a government holiday, then the tax deadline has been extended for one more day to Tuesday, April 17.  Of course, this deadline is still subject to a last-minute extension in extreme circumstances (such as bad weather, war, etc.).

For those wanting to file a tax extension, basically asking the IRS that you need more time to file your tax return, you will have until October 16, 2012 to do so.  Keep in mind that asking for an extension of time to file does not mean that you can wait on any payments owed to the government.  If you will owe any money for underpaid taxes, then you may be slapped with interest charges and/or a penalty for paying late (the fee is about 5% per month interest on the balance due).
 

1st ANNUAL AKUMAL COMEDY FESTIVAL, APRIL 19 - 21

Thanks to Marieke White for this.  Marieke has been doing a LOT of work to pull this together, so the next time you see her, please extend a very warm, "Thank you".

 Stand Up! Records is proud to present The First Annual Akumal Comedy Festival.  The festival will take place on April 19-21st, 2012 in the heart of Mexico's lovely Mayan Riviera.

This completely free comedy festival will feature over a dozen professional comedians from the United States performing seven shows in four distinct venues in Akumal over three days.  The Festival is the brain child of Grammy Award winning president and founder of Stand Up! Records Dan Schlissel and comedian/actor Gus Lynch (Saving Silverman, North Country, I Spy), who seek to showcase the finest professional and fastest rising stars in stand up comedy, as well as the people, restaurants, and businesses of Akumal.

Award winning filmmakers Matthew Olson and Token Media will be working with the comedians to produce comedy short films and multimedia content featuring the most beautiful and distinct locales and hot spots in Akumal all week long!

The Festival will culminate on Saturday, April 21st on the Cancha at Plaza Ukana with a free show featuring Festival Headliner and Stand Up! Records recording artist Chad Daniels.  Chad has appeared on The Tonight Show, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and his Comedy Central Presents special was voted #5 of all time in 2010.  The evening will also feature a "Best of the Fest" lineup, live music, street vendors and artists, as well as plenty of food, beverage, and alcohol options.

Again, all shows are completely free.

 Go to Akumal Comedy Festival for the complete line-up of events.

 All of these performances are free to watch, and we will be fundraising for money to build a children's playground in the Akumal pueblo.  The pueblo currently has no public facilities at all for children, so we would like to change that.  We are working together with the Akumal Delegado Don Melchor who is helping us to get Municipal permission to use the land, and also Pablo Mena and Leti Cordova's project to protect the Mayan ruins in Akumal, which are currently zoned for residential development.  There is a petition signed by 300 people in the Akumal Pueblo supporting the protection of the archeological park and opening it up to the public.  We are planning to incorporate the parque infantil into the archeological site, and we are working with Leathers Associates on the design and build.  The plan is to actually have the children of Akumal to draw us their dream playground, and then Leathers Associates will design the park based on these drawings.  We will arrange for the purchase and delivery of the materials needed, and then the community will build the park together.  The entire archeological park will be a source of local pride for both sides of the highway, and it will bring more people and business to Akumal.  The children's playground will give the growing population of Akumalians a safe place to play, learn and grow.

The comedians performing at this fundraising festival are almost all paying for their own flights and are offering their time and talent to support this cause.  In return we just need to look after these guys while they are here.  If we market this correctly, this will be a huge promotional opportunity for our village and a way that we can draw people to Akumal and extend our high season this year and in subsequent years.  Along with the press coverage, each of these comedians has a sizable personal following, who will be watching and reading about Akumal all week long via social media.  The film crew will be documenting all parts of the visit including a number of location shoots throughout the village.  This footage will be converted into online and media content which we will also be able to use to promote our destination.  If there is enough footage, then they are thinking of making a DVD, although this has not been confirmed yet.  The film crew will be working out of the Ondarte Artists Residency, and on Sunday April 22, they will have a semi-public showing of the footage that they have produced.   
 

MEXICO CITY PHASES OUT THE VW BEATLE TAXI

Mexico City has announced that the last of the iconic Volkswagen Beetle taxis will be withdrawn from service by the end of 2012.  Officials said that the last of the old-style VW Beetles will have their cab licenses expire by the end of the year, marking the end of an adventurous if uncomfortable part of Mexico City life.

The rounded, two-door sedan nicknamed the Bug - in Mexico, it's a "Vocho" - has long been an informal symbol of this sprawling city, a tough, rattling reflection of its gritty urbanity and chaotic streets.  At its height in 2006, the little VWs accounted for almost half of all taxis in Mexico City, with about 50,000 cruising the streets.  Today, there are only about 3,500 of the privately owned and operated Bugs among 130,000 taxis.

The model hasn't been manufactured since 2003, when the last one rolled off an assembly line in the Mexican state of Puebla.

For safety reasons, Mexico City began mandating four-door taxis in 2003.  So, the Beetles that entered service in 2002 are the last to operate as cabs.  Most car models are limited by the city to eight years of service as taxis, but the Bug was allowed a 10-year run - and that ends with 2012.

Despite their role as icons, the VW taxis have never won plaudits for comfort. Drivers remove the front passenger seat so customers can get in more easily, leaving only the ungenerous back seat.  And with no front seat, there is little to stop the passenger from being thrown forward in a mishap, Ramirez noted.  "If they slammed on the brakes and you weren't wearing a seat belt, you wound up in the windshield," he said. "The government mandated four-door cars, with trunks, to ensure passengers' safety."

For a time, in the 1990s and early 2000s, Bug taxis were notorious as a robbery trap.  Because there were only two doors, muggers or kidnappers could push their way through the passenger door, leaving the passenger no way to escape.

Many people felt a pang of nostalgia for the Bug after Friday's announcement, even while acknowledging the little car's shortcomings.  Some people said the VW taxis are easier to find: The engine is so noisy you can hear them rattling down the street blocks away.

In some ways, it was the VW's fragility that endeared it to drivers. Vera Perez recalled fondly how easy it was to fix a Vocho after a fender-bender. 

"You just took the fender off with a wrench and got another one."  
 

FENWAY PARK’S 100th ANNIVERSARY, APRIL 20th

On April 20, 2012, Boston will commemorate 100 years of history at Fenway Park with a large-scale pre-game ceremony.  The Red Sox will play the New York Yankees, same team (then the New York Highlanders) they played on April 20, 1912; Boston won that 1912 game, the first major league game played in the new park, 7-6 in 11 innings.  Both teams will wear 1912 throwback uniforms.

Picture is of Fenway Park in 1912.

There is no American city more attached to its history than Boston.  So, when the Massachusetts legislature allocated funds in 2000 to level Fenway Park and to build a replacement stadium, Red Sox fans and historic preservationists would hear nothing of it. Thanks to an impassioned campaign to Save Fenway Park and a 10-year investment in renovations and expanded seating, the historic 1912 ballpark--Major League Baseball's oldest stadium--will celebrate an unprecedented milestone in 2012.  And baseball fans and history buffs are invited to join in the celebration of Fenway Park's 100th birthday.

 A Ballpark is Born
     
Built over the winter of 1911-1912 by Irish immigrant Charles E. Logue's construction firm, Fenway Park hosted its first professional baseball game on April 20, 1912.  I've always found it a curious bit of trivia that the results of that game between the Red Sox and the New York Highlanders (rechristened the Yankees the following year) were not the front page headline in the next day's Boston Daily Globe.  Although the Red Sox bested their future archrivals in 11 innings before 24,000 fans packed inside the new Fenway Park, continued coverage of the April 15, 1912 sinking of the Titanic was a bigger story.

 The Rivalry of the Century
    
Precisely 100 years later--on April 20, 2012--the Red Sox will face the New York Yankees at Fenway Park in a game that is guaranteed to evoke nostalgia.  Game time is 3:05 p.m.: The same as it was in 1912.  Elaborate pre-game festivities are planned, and both teams will wear 1912 throwback uniforms.  Of course, the game's already a sellout, so unless you're willing to pay a premium for tickets on the secondary market (a quick check of StubHub shows prices ranging from $100 for standing room only to $1,650 for the home plate dugout box), you'll have to settle for watching the game on TV.

 A Free Fenway Park Open House for Fans
     
But fans have another opportunity to celebrate Fenway's centenary, and it's absolutely free.  A Fenway Park Open House on April 19, 2012, will give all those who have celebrated and suffered along with the Red Sox season after season a chance to see historic artifacts, banners and photographs; to meet legendary Red Sox players and to explore areas of the historic ballpark the public rarely gets to see.  The free Open House is tentatively scheduled to run from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.  According to Zineb Curran in the Red Sox Corporate Communications office, "There might be a little bit of a wait" to enter the stadium as crowds build, but "all who come are welcome."  
 

LYRIDS METEOR SHOWER APRIL 21 – 22

Remember how all the major meteor showers in late 2011 were drowned in bright moonlight?  It was fun to see meteors streaking along in the moonlight, but … alright, already.  Let’s have a moonless meteor night!  In fact, the next major meteor shower in 2012 – the Lyrid shower in April – will be virtually moon-free.  Mark your calendar for the best night – the evening of April 21 until dawn April 22, 2012.  The nights before and after might also feature some Lyrid meteors.

The Lyrid meteors – April’s “shooting stars” – tend to be bright and often leave trails.  About 10-20 meteors per hour at peak can be expected.  Plus, the Lyrids are known for uncommon surges that can sometimes bring the rate up to 100 per hour.  Those rare outbursts are not easy to predict, but they’re one of the reasons the tantalizing Lyrids are worth checking out.  The radiant for this shower is in the constellation Lyra, which rises in the northeast at about 10 p.m.  Fortunately, this year, the new moon guarantees a dark sky in the late night and morning hours, the best time to watch the Lyrid shower.  As a general rule, the greatest number of Lyrid meteors fall in the dark hours before dawn.  The optimal night will probably be from late night April 21 until dawn April 22, though the night before or after (April 21/22 and April 22/23) may also offer a sprinkling of Lyrid meteors.  With no moon to obscure this year’s display, we are assured of dark skies for the 2012 Lyrid meteor shower!

The Lyrid Meteor Shower is named after the constellation Lyra, as the meteors appear to be falling from the constellation.  The debris that forms the Lyrid shower is dust from the comet C/1861 G1, known as Thatcher.  The swift and bright Lyrid meteors disintegrate after hitting our atmosphere at a moderate speed of 29.8 miles per second.  
 

EARTH DAY, APRIL 22th

Earth Day 2012, April 22, will mark the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day.

Click the link Earth Day 2012 - Mobilize the Earth  

As the 42nd Anniversary of Earth Day approaches, people are becoming frustrated with the failure of governments to take any steps toward protecting and preserving the environment.  The Earth Day 2012 campaign is designed to provide people with the opportunity to unite their voices in a call for a sustainable future and direct them toward quantifiable outcomes, using vehicles such as petitions, the Billion Acts of Green campaign, and events.

Earth Day 2012 will act as a launch pad for growing the environmental movement and will put forth a bold declaration demanding immediate action to secure Renewable Energy for All and a sustainable future for our planet.  The movement will be comprised of individuals of every age from all corners of the Earth, and will call upon local, national, and international leaders to put an end to fossil fuel subsidies, embrace renewable energy technology, improve energy efficiency, and make energy universally accessible.

 By Senator Gaylord Nelson, Founder of Earth Day

What was the purpose of Earth Day? How did it start? These are the questions I am most frequently asked.

Actually, the idea for Earth Day evolved over a period of seven years starting in 1962. For several years, it had been troubling me that the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country. Finally, in November 1962, an idea occurred to me that was, I thought, a virtual cinch to put the environment into the political "limelight" once and for all. The idea was to persuade President Kennedy to give visibility to this issue by going on a national conservation tour. I flew to Washington to discuss the proposal with Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who liked the idea. So did the President. The President began his five-day, eleven-state conservation tour in September 1963. For many reasons the tour did not succeed in putting the issue onto the national political agenda. However, it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day.

I continued to speak on environmental issues to a variety of audiences in some twenty-five states. All across the country, evidence of environmental degradation was appearing everywhere, and everyone noticed except the political establishment. The environmental issue simply was not to be found on the nation's political agenda. The people were concerned, but the politicians were not.

After President Kennedy's tour, I still hoped for some idea that would thrust the environment into the political mainstream. Six years would pass before the idea that became Earth Day occurred to me while on a conservation speaking tour out West in the summer of 1969. At the time, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, called "teach-ins," had spread to college campuses all across the nation. Suddenly, the idea occurred to me - why not organize a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment?

            I was satisfied that if we could tap into the environmental concerns of the general public and infuse the student anti-war energy into the environmental cause, we could generate a demonstration that would force this issue onto the political agenda. It was a big gamble, but worth a try.

At a conference in Seattle in September 1969, I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate. The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters, and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air - and they did so with spectacular exuberance. For the next four months, two members of my Senate staff, Linda Billings and John Heritage, managed Earth Day affairs out of my Senate office.

Five months before Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carried a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the astonishing proliferation of environmental events: "Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation's campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam...a national day of observance of environmental problems...is being planned for next spring...when a nationwide environmental 'teach-in'...coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned...."

 The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970. Over 20 million people participated and it is now observed each year by more than 500 million people and national governments in 175 countries. Senator Gaylord Nelson, an environmental activist in the U.S. Senate, took a leading role in organizing the celebration, to demonstrate popular political support for an environmental agenda. He modeled it on the highly effective Vietnam War protests of the time. 

Check out the CEA web site at www.ceakumal.org and watch for the CEA Newsletter for up-to-date information on the Earth Day Programs CEA is organizing.
 

WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?

AKUMAL

OCEAN Magazine
  
One of Akumal’s best kept secrets can be found at OCEAM Magazine – Akumal Edition.  This apparently is a very large file, and it takes a long time to load; be patient.  Once the link is open, move your cursor over the top right corner of the cover.  It should give you a "peel back" look.  Left click and the page will turn. 

As to actually getting a copy of this magazine, it is still a mystery.  Supposedly, it is being distributed in Texas and Monterrey.  This magazine was to be in distribution before Christmas, but the hard copies have arrived here in Akumal.  Needless to say, all of the paid advertisers were anxious to see, touch and smell the magazine.

The Akumal Dive Shop Undergoes Image Make Over
   
The Akumal Dive Shop reports, “If you are in the area come and check out our recent changes!  We have developed a complete makeover that is gradually taking place, from the company's logo to signs and prints on our vehicles.  We think that after doing what we love for so long, we have turned our passion into tradition; a tradition of friendship and sharing through diving.  It's water tradition!  What do you think about it?  Tell us your comments and ideas!” 
 

Little Que Onda Is Open!
     Yes, Maribel confirms the rumors.  Little Que Onda is open every day except Sunday.  It is open for breakfast 7.30 – 11:00, and dinner is 5:00 – 9:00pm with pastas, lasagna, salads, and desserts.  And, there is a delicatessen menu to order to go, with larger orders needing an advance notification.


 Tequilaville News Update

  • Tequilaville has not been sold, and Ken is leaving his job in Jamaica and returning to Akumal and Tequilaville.  No date yet, but “Welcome back, Ken.”
     
  • On Thursdays, Mary is having “Thursday Only”  appies!!  Jalapeno poppers, Poutine, Caprese, and Gazpacho soup!! 
     
  • There is Karaoke every Friday night, starting around 8:00, and as a warm-up act, Mary Anderson will be singing – Karaoke style – from 7:00 to 8:00.
     
  • Tequilaville continues to accept donations of gently used clothing and shoes for distribution to the local community.  Last time was a great success.  They limited people to 10 items per family, because so many people turned out.  As soon as Mary has enough to distribute, she will be hosting this again at the restaurant.  The best time for delivering items to the restaurant would be in the afternoon, but they will accept donations at anytime; they are open Tuesday- Sunday 12-11pm.
     
  • Tequilaville is also accepting donations of small kids toys for our Kids Day (El Día de los Niños ) party.  Last year they had over 85 children for fun, games and food.  They had a great time.  Unfortunately, Kids Day is on the Monday this year, so Tequilaville will be celebrating it on Sunday, April 29th from 2-4pm.  Mary says, “We are accepting donations of small toys, like tattoos, coloring books, crayons, not expensive, 1 or 2 dollar items.  We just want them to have something to walk away with.  Come and visit, and join the fun.”   Delivery is the same as for the clothing.

 

TULUM

Zamas’ 2 x 1 Pizza
    
Please be advised that Zamas on the Tulum Hotel Zone/ Beach Road now has a 2 x 1 pizza Special every day from 3:00 to 5:00; buy two and pay for one (the more expensive of the two).  The Staff has been there two weeks in a row in late February/early March, and the wood oven, thin crust pizza are still terrific.
 

PLAYA DEL CARMEN

Sam’s Club Playing Classical Music
   
This one is really hard to believe.  On Wednesday, March 28, Sam’s Club was playing classical music over its sound system!!!  This was a very welcomed change from the usual stuff they play.  How long will it last?  Down by the entrance you just need to go around and turn down the volume on the TVs and stereo systems.
 

AKUMAL COUNCIL PLEA

Marcy Essy has written the following on behalf of the Akumal Council.

 As you probably know, in 2010 the Akumal Council decided to stop all fiscal operations but continue as an informal organization to promote and share information, but not actively run any funded programs.

With changes in the Mexican law, the council is now forced to liquidate, but has no money to pay for the legal bills needed to do so.  We have received a few contributions, but need about 30 more.

Over the years, the council did do a lot for the community and, despite some problems, the benefits far out weighed the shortcomings.  It is not fair to ask the remaining officers who volunteered their time and efforts to pay the costs of an organization that served the whole community.

Therefore, I am asking you to please contribute $100 USD ($1,250 NMP) to help liquidate the council, so that there are no future repercussions.

·         If you are in Mexico, you can give the money to Paul at CEA or to Carmina at the accounting office on the second floor of the building in front of La Lunita.  Since the council is not longer an active fiscal organization, we cannot give you a factura, but your donation will be sincerely appreciated.

·         If you are in the US, you can send your contribution to David Poor: he will consolidate the donations and wire the money to Mexico.  Please make your check out to David D S Poor with the notation "AC Liquidation" and mail it to David Poor, 1512 Mill Road, Meadowbrook PA 19046.  Marcy Essy, lote #39 Aventuras Akumal.

Thank you
Marcy Essy
984-875-9116

 

ARBOR DAY, APRIL 27th

Arbor Day (from the Latin feminine noun arbor, simply meaning tree) is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. 

The first Arbor Day took place on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska.  It was the brainchild of Julius Sterling Morton (1832-1902), a Nebraska journalist and politician originally from Michigan.  Throughout his long and productive career, Morton worked to improve agricultural techniques in his adopted state and throughout the United States when he served as President Grover Cleveland's Secretary of Agriculture.  But his most important legacy is Arbor Day.

Morton felt that Nebraska's landscape and economy would benefit from the wide-scale planting of trees.  He set an example himself planting orchards, shade trees and wind breaks on his own farm and he urged his neighbors to follow suit.  Morton's real opportunity, though, arrived when he became a member of Nebraska's state board of agriculture.  He proposed that a special day be set aside dedicated to tree planting and increasing awareness of the importance of trees.  Nebraska's first Arbor Day was an amazing success.  More than one million trees were planted.  A second Arbor Day took place in 1884 and the young state made it an annual legal holiday in 1885, using April 22nd to coincide with Morton's birthday.

In the years following that first Arbor Day, Morton's idea spread beyond Nebraska with Kansas, Tennessee, Minnesota and Ohio all proclaiming their own Arbor Days.  Today all 50 states celebrate Arbor Day although the dates may vary in keeping with the local climate.  (State Arbor Days) At the federal level, in 1970, President Richard Nixon proclaimed the last Friday in April as National Arbor Day.  Arbor Day is also now celebrated in other countries including Australia.  Variations are celebrated as 'Greening Week' of Japan, 'The New Year's Days of Trees' in Israel, 'The Tree-loving Week' of Korea, 'The Reforestation Week' of Yugoslavia, 'The Students' Afforestation Day' of Iceland and 'The National Festival of Tree Planting' in India.  Julius Sterling Morton would be proud.  Sometimes one good idea can make a real difference.

For the homeowner, Arbor Day is an excellent opportunity to take stock of the trees on your property and plan for the future.  Inspect your trees.  Note any broken branches or evidence of disease or insect infestation.  Think about how planting new trees might improve the look of your property or provide wind or heat protection.  Take a trip to your local nursery to see what's available and to get new ideas.  Walk around your neighborhood.  Are there any public areas where tree planting or tree maintenance might make a real difference to your community?  Talk with your neighbors.  Find out what their opinions are.  And, oh yes, plant a tree.

Mexico celebrates National Tree Day on the second Thursday of July; i.e. July 12.
  

EL DIA DEL NINO, APRIL 30th    

El Día de los Niños Celebrating Young Americans is a gift from the Latino community to all children.  Many nations throughout the world, and especially within the Western hemisphere celebrate “Día de los Niños” on April 30th to honor and celebrate children—who represent the hope and dreams of every community.

A growing number of cities, schools, libraries, museums, churches and other community organizations are embracing this celebration by planning activities and events that:
 • Are fun and exciting
• Center around children’s interests
• Develop skills
• Instill confidence
• Capture children’s dreams and hopes
• Involve families and community
• Reflect cultural diversity
• Inspire and empower new generations of achievers
• Create advocacy for children’s issues
• Engage civic leaders, media, sponsors and volunteers                         
     

EVENTS

Once again, Robin’s “Best Shirt Award, was the leading “Event” of March, but we also had the Silent Auction for the Library.  And, there was a “Road Trip” to Valladolid that should be looked into.

 

 

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