Que Pasa In Cabo?

November 13, 2017 edition
BY: DAVID FLORES

Ready to get your groove on? Earth, Wind and Fire will be the main performers at the 12th Annual Sabor a Cabo (Flavor of Cabo). The event, which features food, wine, tequila, mezcal and music, is happening at the Quivira golf course starting at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 9. It is presented by the restaurant association.

Nearly 3,000 people are expected to attend  and more than 40 restaurants and 25 vineyards and food supply companies will offer dishes from five different categories: Mexican food, seafood, farm to table, grilled and roasted, and desserts.

For ticket information, visit saboracabo.com/en/.

Time to set sail The grand finale of the Extreme Sailing Series is coming to Los Cabos at the end of the month.

The race will take place just off Medano Beach, in front of the Hacienda and Breathless resorts. You can sit on the beach and watch the sailboats race. There will also be a free, open to the public Race Village located in front of Breathless.

The race begins on Thursday, November 30, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Additional races will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, ending with the official awards ceremony on the main stage in the Race Village. Be there or be square.

This could be useful The local architects’ association is recommending a new alternate road that would let drivers access the fourlane from various neighborhoods. Currently, drivers coming from the Cabo barrios must enter the fourlane at one single point, at the intersection of Constituyentes Avenue (known as “the hump”), and the main drag, Lazaro Cardenas.

Building a new road to San Jose, maybe two miles up, would help drivers access the  barrios located along the fourlane more easily and without traffic jams. The current fourlane would then become a tourist avenue, with stoplights and lower speeds. The idea for this came about when the SCT (Mexico’s department of communications and transportation) recently began repaving the fourlane, creating a bottleneck at several points along the fourlane. Well, how about if they quit re paving it every couple of years, then wouldn't it be ok? Yeah, we don't think that is the worst of our traffic woes.

Another option would be to build two-lane roads that could connect from the new toll road to San Jose to the fourlane at different points. This is somewhat close to what the major developers are wanting to do by moving the fourlane two miles up towards the mountains. Yes, they really are doing that.

Race agrees to pony up Score International, the company that runs the Baja 1000 race, met with ejido land owners of Mulege, in the northern part of our Southern Baja state, and convinced them to let the racers tear through their properties.

Score is promising to repair all the rural roads, pick up trash left behind from the race and fix any damages done to properties or cattle. Score obtained a bond to take care of the expenses, to the tune of $2 million USD.

As soon as the race starts, the bond appraiser will follow along for the entire 1,134.4 miles of the race route to evaluate damages and pony up any money owed.

Isn’t it time to move? The federal and city governments are looking for more land to relocate the more than 7,000 families that currently live in high risk areas, such as arroyos (dry river beds) that flood during hurricane season. A lot of families living in the arroyos lost most or all of their possessions during Tropical Storm Lidia, and many dozens  lost their lives when the water swept through. They were squatting illegally, out of desperation for a place to live. Just the number of construction workers you have been brought over from the mainland and are currently working on the new developments, numbers 26,000. Then there are the families. Next will come the people to staff those hotels and residences.

The National Institute of Sustainable Soil is trying to acquire 2,500 acres from the San Jose ejido (communal) land owners, and nearly 2,000 acres more in Cabo. But the ejidos are asking for big bucks, as they know they've got us all over a barrel. It looks like there's a lot of land out there, but it's all owned by someone. The negotiations continue, and hopefully they will reach an agreement before next year’s hurricane season.

Plaza remodel hits snag The remodeling of the downtown San Jose plaza, in front of City Hall, will be finished by the end of this year, promises Jose Escalera, secretary of the state’s urban planning agency (Yes, Virginia, we do have one of those).

The work was delayed because the interlocking pavers delivered in the first shipment were too porous for an area that gets littered with everything from cigarette butts to chewing gum. That finish would make the pavers very hard to maintain and keep clean. The nearly lava like rocks were shipped back to the supplier, who sent new ones weeks later.

Work was also delayed by several changes made to the original project plan. These included using local flora, having more natural shade from trees, leaving an open space for civic events, and having an open air theater. Oh, and adding a very shallow, eight inch water fountain (more like a water mirror). All this at a cost of an additional $1.7 million.

Where are they going to get enough water? The Chileno Bay corporation has begun the construction of an Olympic size pool in the Cangrejos barrio, west of Cabo near the Diamante development, at a cost of $2.1 million.

The pool is a “donation” from Chileno Bay to the city. It is actually a requirement for any developer to contribute to the community with a park or some kind of family-oriented facility. The cost of the “donation” is based on the value of the developer’s investment in a resort or residential area. Yes, in the Real World these would be called developers fees and would be paid in cash, spent by elected officials. Here, some doofas decides to build a pool in the desert.

Currently, workers are in the process of clearing the land and digging and compacting the soil. The pool will include a diving pool, children’s pool, seating, gym, and an area for judges and photographers. It’s expected to be finished in February of next year.

Maintenance of the pool will be a joint venture between the city and the Chileno Bay developers. Good luck with that.  And with telling the folks in the barrio that this was not a gift from their officials, nor is it their tax dollars at work. It is more like their tax dollars stolen.

Ambulances under control?

Officials from the city government, transport division and civil protection all met with officials of the various ambulance companies that operate in Los Cabos, to arrive at an agreement on operation, costs and location of vehicles.

Currently, private ambulances are deployed at strategic points around Los Cabos, engines idling, hoping for the worst. They’re in the Cabo marina, near the cruise ship dock, and even at Migriño arroyo where most ATV activities take place.

Ambulances from each of the five Gringo oriented hospitals listen to scanners and take calls from people expecting compensation, and zoom out, hoping to scoop up an injured person with funds.  They often end up literally fighting over the person, almost to the point of having a tug-o-war with their bodies. They fight the Red Cross and the fire department ambulances too. It’s embarrassing.

St. Lukes alone has no less than 10 ambulances on the prowl. And that nice Mexican you flag down for help in an emergency? Check the back of his cell phone. Chances are there's a sticker on it with the phone number for one of the local hospitals. He will be round to the hospital the following day for his reward.

To combat this, officials have suggested a four-point plan. The first step is to register every operating ambulance with the state’s transportation agency, as they currently operate under federal permits. The second step is to study the locations where the ambulances will be legitimately located. Thirdly, find a way to regulate their prices. And last but not least, require the private ambulances agreed to participate, free of charge, in case of major needs or tragedies when the city requires it.

Ha! The cost of the ambulance ride is not the issue, it's the fact that the hospital has gained a person in need of care and they can shake the last nickel off their credit card for that care.

Both the US and Canadian consulates have complained to state and city government about the ambulance mess, and it looks like finally someone wants to get those ambulances under control. Until they also get a kick back.

Guarantee, this problem will not be brought under control any more than the issue of the hospitals holding people hostage for money has ever been brought under control. There is just too much money at stake, and too much corruption.