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January 2013  Issue 121

Return to Home Page   2009 Index  2010 Index   2011 Index   2012 Index

 

LETTER FROM “THE STAFF”

2012 is now history, and the tourists are returning to Akumal and the Riviera Maya in greater numbers, and home/condo sales have started to pick up.  Every business in Akumal reports this to be the best December/Christmas ever!  The road into Akumal has been jammed packed with cars and buses on both sides of the road.  The community – spearheaded by Laura and Gonzalo – contacted the Municipality President to get 4 or 5 police to manage the traffic and parking.

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 4th at the Lol Ha Beach Bar; see y’all there.

Do not forget the other local publications, Sac-Be - The Costal Source for Travel in the Riviera Maya, the Pelican Free Press, and the CEA Newsletter
 

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
3          Paul Rasmussen
4          Bob & Diane Mather Anniversary
6          Don Papa
7          Bill & Oteka Brab Anniversary
8          Diane Mather
8          David Richards
9          Nance Walker
9          Annette Bartsch
9          Dawn Shubert
12        Neil Humphreys
13        Mike & Lydia Pontius Anniversary
14        Cami Mazzola
14        Tobias Zimmermann
16        Neri, Lucia Crespi´s partner at Lamanai Gallery
17        Tricia Haynes
17        Larry Allen
19        Marieke White
21        Dan Freeman
22        Cheryl Ragan
25        El Moreland
25        Linda Tate
25        Kate Turner
26        Myrna Bush
26        Maribel Bianchi
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 

 NONE????

 

QUADRANTIDS METEOR SHOWER, JANUARY 3-4th

The annual Quadrantid meteor shower is expected to produce its greatest number of meteors in the wee hours before dawn on Thursday, January 3.  Before dawn on January 4 is also a possibility – especially for far eastern Asia.  But this year, the waning gibbous moon does not provide a dark sky for this year’s production.

The Quadrantid meteor shower is capable of matching the meteor rates of the better known August Perseid and December Geminid showers.  It has been known to produce up to 60 (or more) meteors per hour in a dark sky. This shower favors the far northern latitudes – for example, northern Europe, northern Asia, the northern U.S. and Canada.

So why isn’t the Quadrantid shower as celebrated as the Perseid and Geminid showers, I hear you ask?  It’s because the Quadrantid shower has a narrow peak that lasts for only a few hours.  If you miss the peak – which is easy to do – this otherwise tepid shower is sure to disappoint.

 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).

ROBIN’S BEST SHIRT AWARD, JAN 4th

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

This month is the start of the 7th 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 Susanne Van Lierop.  The photos for the Event are located at December Best Shirt Award.
 

COMINGS AND GOINGS 

            Comings:
·      
Karl & Dawn Shubert were back for a bit of Akumal warmth.
·      
The Tom & Judy Baxter’s “Reveal” at Lasata brought down Terry & Lisa Turner, Macon & Susan Gravlee, Oveta Vardell, and Michael Schwartz to South Akumal.
·      
Susan Meade was in town for the December Best Shirt night.
·      
Ken & Mary Margaret Goldstein are back for the season.
·      
Sharne Hampton was in town around mid-month.
·      
Zoe Pargot is here visiting her parents, Richard & Arlene.
·      
Scott Pargot and the kids were here with Richard & Arlene over Christmas.
·      
Mike & Lydia Pontius were in town over Christmas.
·      
Laura & Chuck were in town visiting Gabriella Herbert in South Akumal.
·      
Jack & Ann Kennedy were also in town with some friends.
·      
Memo Essy was also around the Beach Bar for Best Shirt night.
·      
Lou came down to Akumal to get his keys to his new house, Casa Rodonda.
·      
Rick Tompkins and Lynn Chase are back in Aventuras Akumal until end of March.
·      
Wally & Jan Koenst are back in AA for an extended stay.
·      
Bob Doebert is NOT coming down to Aventuras Akumal this month.
·      
Wendell & Lynda Day have returned.
·      
Bob & Barbara Armstrong are also back in Aventuras Akumal.
·      
Ryan Wolfe and Natalie Blankenship are back for New Year’s Eve.
·      
Ivan and Natasha have been back around the beach bar.
 
   Rita, Richard Pargot's Sister, and her husband, Joseph, were here for New Year's Eve with Richard & Arlene.
·      
Diane & Denny Mahan report they will be back on January 10th.
·      
Don Papa is reportedly returning in early January to do his FM3.
·      
Bud & Alice Blatner will (probably) be back in Casa Zama in mid-month.
·      
Many South Akumal homeowners will be here for the Vecinos Meeting on the 28th
·      
Monica Meyer will be here with her daughter Annie and boyfriend for 1/13-1/30.
·      
David Richards is coming down on January 19th.

Goings:
·      
Thierry & Jissou Vander Elst have returned to Europe for the holidays.
·      
Jamie & Yolanda are back in the US.
 

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.
 

BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, JANUARY 7th  

The 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game is a postseason college football bowl game scheduled for Monday, January 7, 2013 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  It will feature the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Alabama Crimson Tide, who finished first and second in the Bowl Championship Series rankings respectively

Alabama is representing the Southeastern Conference, which has participated in every standalone BCS Championship Game (since the format was introduced in 2007) and has won the past six National Championship games.  Notre Dame does not belong to a conference and is the first independent team to play in the National Championship game since the Miami Hurricanes in 1989.
 

AUSTRALIAN OPEN, JANUARY 14 – 27  

The 2013 Australian Open is a tennis tournament that will take place in Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia from January 14 to January 27, 2013.  It will be the 101st edition of the Australian Open, and the first Grand Slam event of the year.  The tournament will consist of events for professional players in singles, doubles and mixed doubles play.

In 2012, Novak Djokovic successfully defended his title after he defeated Rafael Nadal in the longest final in history.  The 2012 final passed the 2008 Wimbledon final for the record, finishing after 5 hours and 53 minutes of play.  Victoria Azarenka defeated Maria Sharapova for her first Grand Slam title; and over took Caroline Wozniacki as the number one ranked player on the WTA Tour.

Rafael Nadal will miss the 2013 Australian Open due to a stomach virus as his long-awaited return was put on hold again.  The world No 4 missed the second half of last season with a knee injury, but had hoped to be ready in time for the season-opening grand slam in Melbourne. That bid has been scuttled, however, by a virus that had initially forced his withdrawal from the exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi in late December.
 

NFL CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES, JAN. 20th

            The National Football League conference championship games will be January 20.  The AFC game is at 6:30 p.m. on CBS, the NFC game at 3 p.m. on FOX.

            The Super Bowl is February 3rd in New Orleans, beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Will it be the New England Patriots against the Denver Broncos??
 

INAUGURATION DAY, JANUARY 21st 

The Presidential Inauguration will be held in Washington DC on Monday, January 21, 2013.  A week of festivities will include the Presidential Swearing-in Ceremony, Inaugural Address, Inaugural Parade, and numerous inaugural balls and galas honoring Barack Obama, the elected President of the United States.  The official theme for the 2013 inauguration is “Faith in America’s Future,” commemorating the United States’ perseverance and unity, marking the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the Capitol Dome in 1863.

 Specific plans for the Inauguration will be announced as soon as available.  An estimated 1.8 million people attended the 2009 Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama, a record breaking number for any event in the nation’s capital.

Inauguration Day is the day on which the President of the United States is sworn in and officially takes office.  After a morning worship service, the oath of office is traditionally administered on the steps of the United States Capitol in Washington, DC.  The Vice President takes the oath of office at the same ceremony as the President. The oath is as follows:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Following the oath of office, the President will give his inaugural address, setting out his vision for America and goals for the nation.  After the Inauguration ceremonies, the President and the Vice-President traditionally attend an inaugural luncheon hosted by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
 

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. BIRTHDAY, JANUARY 21st 

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 27th 

The Full Wolf Moon is on Sunday, January 27th at 04:38:24am 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 Full Moon in February.

 

WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?

AKUMAL

Turtle Bay Café Has Expanded
       Turtle Bay Café has been selling Lucy’s Ice Cream from the restaurant, and this has been accepted with long lines of young and old waiting to get some.

            A bar – with two TV screens - has been added in the area between Ixchel Boutique and the restaurant, and a cover has been put over the area.

 

Lol Ha’s New Capitan de Meseros
   
Miguel Navarrete has returned to Lol Ha as Capitan de Meseros (head of all the waiters).

Miguel left Lol Ha and Akumal when his kids needed to be closer to schools.  They moved to Playa del Carmen, and Miguel got his High School degree.  With the goal to become a lawyer, Miguel started going to University, but he had to quit and work full time in Playa for several years.  He has wanted to come back to Akumal for a while now, and Laura is very happy that he is back.  His long term goal is to take part time college courses and get his Business degree.

            The next time you are at the Beach Bar, give Miguel a “Welcome Back”.

 

 Sam Jimenes Recovering From Accident
      Sam, the Bar Manager at Lol Ha, was in an automobile accident on Thursday, December 27th.

            Laura reports, “Sam and his girlfriend were driving to Playa after his work and lost control of his Xterra on slick pavement just past Xplor; it had been raining.  He flipped it twice and landed on the median.  The vehicle is a total loss, but they are thankfully alright.  It is a miracle they were able to walk away from this terrible accident.  I saw it in the paper!

“Sam was hospitalized for the rest of the night, and he has suffered severe whiplash and a torn ligament in his neck.  He is in a lot of pain and very sore.  His girlfriend is very sore and quite shaken of course.

“I am talking to Sam daily to check on his progress.  Today he is in pain but mobile, taking care of insurance details, but he will be going home as soon as he can.”

The Staff is not sure of Sam’s access to e-mail at this time, but send him a Get Well wish today at shiramjm@gmail.com  His mobile is (984) 120-1195, but we do not know if it survived the accident.

 

Green Eyes’ Crèche Contest
       Nan Armstrong has a crèche contest for her properties in North Akumal, and this year the competing properties are Kokobeach, Half Mon Bay Condos, Playa Blanca, La Joya, Yool caanal, Casa Mayana, and Casa Mariposa.  Nan reports, “Half Moon Bay was 1st.  2nd was Casa Mayana, and Kokobeach and Mariposa were tied for 3rd.

 

Acquisition of Akumal Real Estate by BUYPLAYA
     No more news here yet.  Michele Kinnon says, “We are waiting for contracts to be completed and signed before we send out the press release.”

 

Akumal Toy Drive 2013
        It is not too late to donate to the Akumal Toy Drive 2013, which is dedicated to the memory of its founder and dear friend, Gina Austin.

            Like Christmas morning all over the to find toys and gifts left by the Three Kings.  Día de los Reyes Magos, “Three Kings Day” or “Epiphany”, is the most special day of the year for children throughout Mexico, and historically portrays the arrival of the Wise Men in Bethlehem bringing gifts to baby Jesus.  However, many children in the Mayan rural villages have never experienced the joy of receiving a toy from the Reyes Magos.

            The Akumal Toy Drive changes all that, you can help by donating toys.  Or you can go to http://www.akumaltoydrive.com/FAQ.htm and donate money by PayPal.

            Toys can be dropped-off at TSA (TSA Travel Services located next to the Akumal Dive Shop) and CEA (Akumal Ecological Center).  Although new unwrapped toys are preferred, used toys in very good condition are acceptable.  Suggested toys include: action men, Barbie dolls, trucks, Matchbox cars, make-up kits, baby rattles, water guns, legos, stuffed animals, and similar kind of toys are the best options.  Please avoid batteries operated toys due to high cost of replacement.

            Toys are generally delivered to a couple of Mayan villages: Chun-ha and Chumpon, located about 60 miles south of Tulum.  Children in these Mayan villages wait for Akumal Toy Drive every year, and each year more kids coming from other nearby villages. 

 

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.
 

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

·       Tequilaville New Beginnings Party

·       Tequilaville Kids Christmas Party

·       Gynn’AK 3rd Anniversary Party

·       ONDARTE Exhibition and Reception

·       Natalie Performs at Beach Bar

 

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