Cozumel News Vol 16

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The Cozumel News in English

 

Each week we select articles from local newspapers that amuse or interest us and then translate them into English. We wish to stress that these translations are literal --English versions of exactly what was originally written in Spanish by reporters for Por Esto, Diario de Quintana Roo, Novedades and El Seminario. It should also be mentioned that we cannot always verify the facts in the stories we publish here. We leave that job to the newspaper that originally published the article. We appreciate hearing from our readers so please feel free to E-Mail US your questions, suggestions and comments. You may also wish to consider starting a discussion on any topic below that interests you by posting on the Living on Cozumel Forum.

Note: These articles are a great deal of work to find and translate. They are under copyright. But we all know what a temptation it is to want to share interesting info all over the internet. We don't mind you copying short snippets. But .....

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The Cozumel News in English, Vol 37

April 1-April 8, 2006

We would like to give special thanks for the very kind assistance of Israel Sanchez, a professional translator who has volunteered to help us with the more difficult passages. (Thanks, Izzy!). The simpler stuff was translated by the editors.

INTERNATIONAL PIER REOPENS
Por Esto by Antonio Rea

The Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Sea will be the first cruiseship to dock at a Cozumel's pier when it arrives this Tuesday, five months and fourteen days after Wilma's arrival.

The historic arrival will be at eight o'clock SSA Mexico pier. At this point, however, the pier may only be able to receive cruiseships of medium capacity.

The pier, known locally as the "International Pier" was the second most damaged by Wilma's path. Carnival Cruise's Puerta Maya was totally destroyed and only parts of Punta Langosta sustained serious damage.

The Internacional lost only some sections of the slabs of the flooring of the pier but preserved its strong columns. Joists were placed to join the columns where the concrete surface had been destroyed thus creating an elbo at one section of the pier thus allowing the reception of moderately sized cruiseships like the Jewell.

The company that administrates the dock broadcast from last Saturday the notice to the state-owned API that they proposed ready to receive ships. The API, for his part, requested immediately the inspection corresponding to Puertos's Headquarters of the SCT for this Monday and in the afternoon, the authorization was received in Cozumel stops than this same Tuesday arrive the first cruiser to a dock of the island in little over five months.

The Jewel of the Sea was originally scheduled to moor off shore as usual since Wilma and have tenders bring passengers ashore. Now they can sent directly to the pier.

The cruiseship was built in 2004 and is the twin of the Radiance and the Serenade. It flies under the flag of Bahama, has capacity for 2501 passengers and 859 crewmen displaces 90,000 tons and has 12 decks.

The harbor pilot that will guide the Jewell to the newly repaired pier will be captain Maurilio Ancona, one of the most experienced pilots on Cozumel who predicts that the arrival of this ship marks the start of a new stage in the economic recovery of the island.

NEW REGULATIONS FOR COMMUNICATIONS TOWERS
El Semanario de Cozumel

With the new municipal regulations for antennas and communication towers going into effect soon, there will be far fewer new ones erected in populous areas. What's most important is that now the citizenship will decide if they wish to accept the installation of any of this type of equipment and if not, another zone will have to be found.

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Director of urban works Arq. Sergio Soria Ximellow indicated that it was good news for the cozumeleña community because soon anyone applying to building a communications tower will have to apply to the town council for authorization. Antenna builders will be subject to specific requirements and, most importantly, they will have to persuade neighborhood committees to give their consent before they can do the work. If the committee gives the thumbs down, they will have to try elsewhere.


The municipal funcionary explained that the new regulations and approval processes are under the supervision of Cozumel's College or Architects who in addition to supervising important structural features plan to take a serious interest in the aesthetics -- how the structures will meld with the current urban physiognomy. Builders will be encouraged to look for the smallest structures possible to ensure the tranquility of the citzenship..

WORK TO BEGIN ON NEW FERRY PIER
Por Esto by Antonio Rea

IA Playa del Carmen building company has won the bid to construct the new ferry building which will be designed in a better way so as to catch the wind and let it pass through and also present a better vista to the waterfront avenue, Rafael Melgar of Cozumel.


The winning bid which was approved with some modifications by members of Cozumel's Association of Architects and Engineers will have a budget of 30 million pesos. The work is scheduled to begin in May of this year.


This construction will replace the present-day installations which have given many years of service but which were damaged in the last year's hurricane season. The new planned installation will integrate different architectonic concepts that take into account the need to allow wind to flow through freely so that air conditioning is not necessary to maintain coolness and to also make it stronger in hurricane wind conditions. It will also present a more beautiful and less obstructive vista on the waterfront of Cozumel.


Once the work is completed, the Fiscal dock will have a waiting room and transit area for passengers that is totally shady under a roof with tall pillars and almost no wall, in order to clear the wind.
The present-day tickets office and businesses located at both sides of the present-day entrance of the dock will be demolished.

DRIVERS TRAPPED IN CONSTRUCTION MAZE
Por Esto by Antonio Rea

 

In spite of the fact that the rain drain construction work has cut off the circulation for some important streets at the north end of downtown, authority has been negligent in placing precise and opportune signalings, provoking many vehicles, mostly ones driven by tourists to get lost and go down one way streets the wrong way. .
The situation is especially dangerous on 20th Avenue north between the streets 6 and 10 where vehicles become trapped in the maze of the work and are compelled to use wrong direction street to escape. .
The introduction rain drainage is a work that began in 2005 and ever since, it has immersed the north section of the downtown neighborhood of El Centro in chaos. .
However, annoyances were normal to a certain point for a work of this magnitude. Until 3 weeks ago when A new stage of the works became necessary that involved closing off the traffic flow between 10th and 15th Avenues North and Airport Blvd. .

However, Cozumel's traffic police have until now been incapable of mobilizing traffic agents at the entrances to these construction zone mazes that have been created by the escavation. As a result, many drivers lose themselves, only realizing they are trapped when they come to a place where it is no longer possible to advance.
Neither the town council or the traffic police has placed any decent warning signs-- only a few sheepish pasteboard ones painted with felt-tip pen that are of not very much use.

Tourists are the primary trappees who get lost in the chaos of the work as they or road gibberish as they try desperately to extricate themselves fro mthe road gibberish and escape to 20th Avenue which still flows freely.
Only good luck has so far avoided an accident of major dimensions as the transit authorities still have not put up the necessary signs.
Only caution and good luck are so far saving what is left of the island's prestige caused by the lack of vision of some officials who are not doing their work well.

 

CITY PLAYS HARD BALL WITH TAX DODGERS
Por Esto by Luis Roel Itzá

As a warning to the slow and no payers of property tax, the Office of the Treasurer and Municipal Land Management Office has proceeded to confiscate the first 14 estates of a real estate property known as Sierra Herra Hermosa which is owned by a former president of the republic Luis Echeverría Alvarez. The properties are located in the northern hotel zone.


The municipal treasurer Raúl López Osorio, indicated this Monday that 151 estates exist on the island where the owners have not paid their taxes for several years or more. In total they owe the city around 40 million pesos. He mentioned also that only 13 proprietors have approached the city about paying or negotiating a payment since the edict was first published last August 26.


According to the laws, the town council has the authorization to seize properties as compensationg for not payment of real estate tax which is why this morning a sign was placed on the 14 estates belong to the formedrinking them as payment for real-estate tax, reason for which this morning was placed a sign at the 14 estates the family of the former national head of state.

Esther Echeverría Zuno, Luis Echeverría Alvarez's daughter has already communicated by telephone with the municipal treasurer indicating that her lawyers were on their way to accomplish payments and correspondent agreements on this issue.

The official explained that the family's debt comes to one million 800 thousand pesos just for the past six years of non-tax payment. However, this figure doesn't include other debt that have accrued in fines, etc. He added than the primary objective of Mayor Gustavo Ortega Joaquín is to collect property taxes not just from the humble people but the same for all the people who own property on the island.


He insured that in the next few days 15 more slow payers will be put on otice including Sr. James Coldwell who has a tax debt of around 2 million pesos. ; Tiburcio García Martín, who owes 1 million 683 thousand 39 pesos, José Antonio León Ruiz with another similar quantity and Javier Ponce Torres, with 898 thousand 856 pesos, between other ones further.


López Osorio reported that the slow payers would have the opportunity to balance the debt in addition to an additional 2% surcharge on their total debt which would go towards the expenses of execution.


He reiterated that what's most important in these actions is that everyone who owns property has to pay their taxes or else their property will be seized by the government and they will lose proprietorship. And this is why he has invited those who have not paid to approach the Office of the Treasurer either to pay outright or else to agree on some other form of payment since opportunities exist, if and when those concerned comply.

 

 

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