Que Pasa In Cabo?

September 6, 2016 Edition
BY: DAVID FLORES

We’re not giving medals for this. Fonatur, the federal agency that built the infrastructure to kick start our town as a resort, is strutting around taking credit for plowing some money and effort into rehabilitating the estuary. Please. Except for the bums who live there who accidently light it up every once and a while, and the people who leave some beer cans and wrappers behind, the main pollution is when the Fonatur sewage treatment plant over flows into the estuary. Instead of going out and creating a photo op by picking up beer cans, why don’t they fix the damn treatment plant? Then we would all give them the clap.

It’s party time! Well, not right now, hold your water.  Coming November, the Plaza del Pescador in San Jose will hold its 2017 San Jose Jazz Weekend on February 17 and 18 from 5:00 to 10:00 pm. It’s pretty cool, cause it’s like a street fair cause they block off one side of the Blvd. to traffic. They toss out some tables and chairs, and voila! We have a festival. Since there are about seven restaurants in that strip center, there’s no shortage of food and grog.

For more information, stay tuned to: www.sanjosejazzweekend.com

Did you notice the change? No? Well, then wake up, people are working for you. The streets surrounding the Plaza Nautica stores and condominiums building – home of the downtown Casino – have been cleaned up!

This was the result of hard work and lobbying and begging from the downtown business ass., known as Amigos de Cabo San Lucas.

Downtown Cabo has seen many improvements and more cleanliness thanks to the work of this group. We know because we donated $200 to fund one trash receptacle. A fancy garbage can. With our name on it. Well, the can does look pretty, and lo and behold they are even emptied on a regular basis, but we have to say we were a tad bit disappointed in our wonderful name. It looks like a faded out bumper sticker slapped on there. Next time we’ll sponsor a bench. That would be the benches that are homesteaded all day by the trinket salesmen. Sigh.

The downtown merchants’ ass. really has done a great job of cleaning up the downtown area. It’s looking 1000% better than it did before they rolled up their sleeves and went to work.  Their bag man, Leonardo, comes by our office every month collecting our monthly dues. Which I don’t even know how much they are, the boss lady pays it. Unfortunately, it’s not mandatory so some businesses, (mostly Gringo owned), are skating by free

Fire! Fire! Just practicing in case…

Cabo fire department is finally getting muh needed help from the city. The fire departments in Mexico are not on the city payroll. The city pitches in only enough dough to pay for gas for the fire trucks, so most of the firemen and and firechicks are volunteers, with only a few on salary. Their administration is by a board of directors, mostly business people, who organize fundraisers a few times a year.

Last month, that situation changed. The city council approved putting all of the fire department workers on its payroll, and pitched in more than $30,000 to acquire needed equipment.

Hopefully, the city government will not begin appoainting friends and relatives to run the fire department, or all the good work done up to now will quickly go to hell in a hand basket.

More garbage trucks. Mayor Arturo de la Rosa has been lobbying the federal government in Mexico City to obtain funds to acquire at least 20 new garbage trucks for Los Cabos, and it has paid off. It is estimated that, routinely, only 65% of the trash is currently being picked up on time.

De la Rosa said that when he took office eight months ago, there were almost no operational trucks, because they were not maintained and most lacked parts that were never sent for. The city quickly started hiring independent dump trucks to get us by, and at the same time began repairing ours one by one.

The new trucks should be here this month, with the city paying for 60% of their cost.

While we’re on the subject, have you seen what many people use as garbage cans? 55 gallon steel barrels! How long do we expect the young men who hoist these cans filled with god knows what, to last before their back goes out on them? We need to mandate plastic barrels. Or better yet, just use the big thick black plastic bags that can be picked up one by one. Yup, those will look handsome in our landfills. Sigh.

Christmas comes early. The Humane Society’s big annual fundraiser will be coming to the Sheraton this year on November 11, a full month earlier than usual, because the Sabor a Cabo event stepped on their date after they were all set. So the Humane folks scrambled to change the date with the venue and the starts they had lined up. That’s not easy and they ended up being a fall gala instead of the traditional Christmas gala. Well, there is an advantage to being a typically disorganized Mexican collection of chefs restaurants, and hotels, like the Sabor de Cabo folks are: You get to go the willy nilly route in picking your date.& join in ‌

More bedrooms for the poor. The director of the National housing institute (INVI for its long name in Spanish) stated last week that at least 144 additional bedrooms will be built, for free, in existing impoverished families’ homes.

The only requirement to receive this benefit is that their lot is legal, not for squatters. The new rooms are 160 sq. ft. in size. Let’s hope they don’t use those new bedrooms to make more babies they can’t afford.

Oh for gods’ sakes! A man and a woman were seen tossing trash out the window of their Nissan in San Jose. Finally, there’s a cop around when you need one. When the cops pulled them over for littering, they found seven plastic bags with turtle meat and 47 turtle eggs in their trunk.

 Sea turtles are a protected species in Mexico, and killing them is a crime against the ecology. The couple was hauled away but there is no way of knowing what punishment, if any, they suffered. No, the police have no effective PR person or department and are not in the habit of talking about any cases with the likes of us. Transparency isn’t their thing because the Mexicans don’t expect it nor demand it.

More cruise ships coming. Héctor Montaño, manager of API, the agency that operates the Cabo marina, announced that a total of 251 cruise ships have confirmed their arrival to our resort town for 2017. (What, they need a reservation? I say, drop on in!)

That represents 47 more than this year, or an increase of 21%.

It is estimated that each cruise ship pilgrim spends some $65 bucks a day on T-shirts, beer and margaritas during their visit. Nice chunk of money, if we estimate that at least 2,500 pilgrims get off the ships. Street peddlers, restaurants and bars along the Cabo marina will be fat and happy. Also, there is a bus station close to where the pilgrims come off the ship, full of buses that take the cruise shippers to San Jose and Todos Santos, and to many of our adventures like the zip lines and camel rides. The cruise ship people are very important to us. Look sharp, and be helpful. And if you’re one of the day drunks at Tanga Tanga, try to at least perk up when cruise shippers walk through.

Sports facilities in the dark. More than 90% of the sports facilities in the Los Cabos municipality are in the dark, said Jesus Zumaya, director of the city’s sports agency. And that has been since hurricane Odile hit us hard two years ago this month. The previous administration never got around to fixing the lights (nor the street lights either), and then left the city coffers empty when they blew out of town. Actually, the mayor did not blow out of town. After pillaging the city treasury, he has the nerve to stick around. Last month it came to light that he and his brother, the former mayor and governor who spent time in the slammer, had an illegal water pipe built to their ranch, and were taking more water than a small village would use. Why don’t people shun these thieves? Why don’t they chase them out of town with a noose? People generally get the government they deserve. Sigh.

We are now waiting for federal funds to get the lights back on, but the federal government has also cut spending in various areas. So our soccer fields and ball fields can’t be used by people after work in the evenings.

Los Arcos hotel catches fire. A fire erupted at the administration offices of the closed Los Arcos hotel, located across from the La Paz malecon.

According to Alberto Renteria, a spokesman for the CROC worker’s union, which has held the hotel hostage for more than five years, the striking workers that were on watch saw a couple of people running out of the building at 7:30 am as the fire started.

Hence, Renteria believes that it was arson, and blames the hotel owners, the Coppola family, for it. Of course the union blames management. That’s the order of things.

The union shut down the hotel, striking in demanding 14 U.S. cents more a day. A day.  This reporter talked to some of the strikers at the time, and they didn’t even know what they were striking for, nor did they ask.

For the record, the union shut down the hotel because one of the Coppola family members, who was a congressman,  disagreed on some legislation that another congressman wanted passed. So that congressman hired the union to shut down Coppola’s hotel.

It was a great hotel, right on the seafront, and always busy. It was the anchor to the downtown. Lately the city has been pressuring the family do to something about the eyesore, but the family can’t without paying the union workers huge, huge sums of money.  The issue has been in court, where a decision has not been made in all these years.

Tourism down. At least in La Paz, where the city marinas are seeing a 30% decrease in slip occupancy, said Malcolm Schroyer, V.P. of the Mexican ass. of tourist marinas.

This is the biggest decrease since November 2015 and, according to Schroyer, it has nothing to do with this being hurricane season. La Paz has 750 slips available in seven different marinas, where only 30% of the boats are Mexican owned.

La Paz Mayor asks for help. Armando Martinez, mayor of La Paz, is reaching out to the federal government for funding for repairs to the city’s pot hole situation, which is in a terrible state.

There are potholes everywhere, caused by past half assed repair jobs and the rains that we have somewhat enjoyed lately.

The city is waiting for the customary large donation of asphalt from Pemex, Mexico’s gasoline monopoly, the ministry of communications and transport (SCT) and the state government. Meanwhile, drive carefully. The artful dodger is the one who doesn’t break his axel. And look for bushes growing in the middle of the street, as that usually is a bush stuck in a really large pothole by some citizen who is your benefactor.

Speaking of the state government. According to a recent report, the state government is the largest single employer in the state, with 6.3% of the active population drawing a paycheck every quincena.

The figure, which includes 5,057 employees, is above the national average, and twice the number of recommended bureaucrats for a government in a state our size to operate.  Friends of elected officials, who are paying back favors, mostly. Call us jaded. Maybe our eyes have seen too much greed and corruption over the years….. ,