Que Pasa In Cabo?

February 7, 2017 Edition
BY: DAVID FLORES

Dear, dear Canadians. You deserve a break today so here’s a hot tip from us to you. We know you’re hurting with the strong dollar and weak peso, but many of you inflict even more pain on yourself by changing your Canadian dolllars in US dollars before changing to pesos. Don’t do that, you get knee capped twice! Bring town your loonies and toonies as they are, and change to pesos here. You will save a lot of money

Canadian robbed in San Jose. A female Canuck walking back from La Comer store in San Jose to her Holiday Inn hotel alone at 11:30 at night, was jumped by a thief, knocked to the ground, and she lost her purse to him.

Gone were about 100 bucks, her credit cards, and cell phone. And the groceries? Did the bastard get those? No mention in the police report.

The bandit made his getaway in a waiting white sedan. There was no one around to help her so she got herself up, dusted herself off, and continued walking. Canadians are tough.

When she reached the new MarAdentro resort, security personnel made her comfortable and called the police. She was driven to the Holiday Inn by the police to call her family. She can kiss that purse goodbye.

Let’s rescue our old chimney! Yes, we have chimneys in Mexico. In the town of El Triunfo, about 45 minutes south of La Paz, there is a pretty nice chimney, and it’s deteriorating due to hurricanes, earthquakes, and general old age. And she has a name, “La Ramona.” Are you surprised a chimney has a name? We’re more surprised that a chimney has a gender.

Anyhow, Ramona was built in 1890 by miners, she’s nearly 150 feet tall, made of red brick, and in a sad state of decay.

Although it was the largest town in Southern Baja when the mines were operating, boasting more than 10,000 residents, a 2010 census showed there were only 321 souls left in El Triunfo. Not enough to adopt this needy lady chimney, apparently.

El Triunfo is a small, quaint town surrounded by ranchos, but boasts a small piano museum and the smokestack was designed by Gustav Eiffel. Yeah, the Eiffel tower guy, how many guys could be named Gus Eiffel?

This Saturday, February 25, the town will hold a Gypsy dance festival starting at 2:00 pm, at the Minero Café Bar. It’s hoped the 750 peso wine tasting, tapas and Spanish paella event will go a long way to restore the grand old lady. In addition, there will be a sale of bricks. Well, you pay 950 pesos, (about $50), for a brick and in return a plaque with your name will be displayed on the new smokestack. 3,500 of them are needed. Let’s see, our abacus tells us that will be a $175,000 chimney.

No reservation is needed. Just jump in your rental car and show up. It will be fun, and you will love the little town and its friendly people.

More water for Cabo. And still, it’s not enough. Finally ending a legal fight with former governor Nabisco Agundez, Artie de la Rosa, mayor of Los Cabos, took back possession last week of a water well, numbered # 8, in the community of Santa Anita. And just why do wells only get numbers, but chimnies get names? I could explain that but you would have to be a Mexican to understand.

The well’s water was hijacked by former governor Agundez for personal use on his ranch, leaving San Jose with 10 gallons per second less. The well’s pipes have now been removed from the Agundez property, repaired, and the pipes are now pumping the precious liquid to San Jose again.

De la Rosa stated at the inaugural ceremony of the reopening of the well that his administration has spent more than $4 million on improving the water delivery system for Los Cabos. What he didn’t say is that some resorts like the brand new Breathless have desal plants so small they can’t and never were expected to keep up with demand so they are buying additional water from the city and off the water trucks. Every new resort is supposed to be independent of the city water supply, installing and running their own desal plants. Our precious and scarce water is supposed to be for the city’s barrios, not the richy rich resorts.

The Los Cabos municipality has 15 wells, of which only 13 are in operating condition.  Water delivery is rotated among the barrios, where most neighborhoods get some water at least twice a week. If they can’t live on that, they must buy off the private trucks, which is very expensive.

 It was recently discovered by the water department, (called Oomsapas for its looong name in Spanish), that two barrios were getting water every day, while others once a week, others about once a month. Bad administration? Nope. The two barrios that were getting it daily are where some former city officials live. Sigh.

Hoteliers united to stop new tax. Whoops, this is not a tax. The state government is not calling this a tax, but instead “an exploitation,” as in exploiting natural resources.

This new exploitation is only 16 bucks, but will be charged to every tourist who spends more than 24 hours here. Cruise ships passengers are exempt, as they don’t spend the night here. Also they are excluded because the association of cruise ship companies threatened our governor that they would stop coming to Cabo and La Paz if they are required to collect his tax from their passengers. The hotel people can’t threaten to pack up their buildings and move them down the line, so they’ve been stuck with the entire burden. The government still has to write down the exact rules and notify all airlines of the new tax, which will take at least a couple of months. In the meantime, the 70 resorts and hotels that are members of the Los Cabos hotel association have hired an attorney and filed an amparo, (a restraining order), to prevent the government from going through with this new tax.

Meanwhile the hotel ass. is working on a number of proposals to help the government raise funds by other means, without affecting our precious pilgrims. So we suggest you try not to attract their attention in your direction while they’re on this money hunt.

Tourist hunt. At the closing of the International Tourist Fair held in Madrid Spain, Paloma Palacios, director of the Los Cabos hotel association, said we should double down on our efforts to bring European pilgrims to Los Cabos.

“We are going after the luxury tourist, who will appreciate the experience of our resorts and restaurants,” said Palacios.

Let’s not forget that 1,500 new hotel rooms will be added this year and they will need to be filled. Why not fill them with Europeans who expect to spend more money than Fred and Ethel from Iowa?

More money to us. At the end of January, the revenue for property taxes in Los Cabos had increased 34% in comparison to last year’s numbers. A total of 30,000 property owners took advantage of the 20% discount offered by the city for early bird payment. The discount decreases to 15% in February and 10% in March, so shake a leg.  At the current rate of exchange, even considering the 3% increase in most property tax this year, it’s still a steal.

How many times do we have to tell you? Scrape the tinting off your car windows or pay the fine, which will not save you from removing the tinting. For several weeks, the police have warned us the maximum tinting of driver and passengers’ car windows should be no more than 35% to allow police to see inside without risking their lives, as most criminals have been caught driving vehicles with heavily tinted windows. Or maybe they just don’t want you to have wild sex anymore while you’re driving down the fourlane,

The fine is a joke, at 146 pesos which currently equals about 7 Gringo bucks. But the state congress is debating raising that. In addition, if you don’t remove that heavy tinting, your vehicle can be impounded.

As of last February 1st., the police had increased its enforcing of the law, even sometimes removing the plastic tinting with their own hands on the spot. Remember, this is an issue of their own safety so they are not inclined to horse around.

Rehab for everyone. No, we’re not talking about your bad habits, Bunkie. We’re talking about rehab of cultural and sports facilities in Los Cabos. Mayor Arturo de la Rosa obtained $2 million to repair the cultural center in San Jose, which was badly damaged by hurricane Odile way back in 2014. With all that mold, that’s got to be getting pretty stinky by now.

Also on the rehab list is the Don Koll Taj Mahal of sports facilities in Cabo San Lucas, where besides repairing the lights and other damages caused by Odile, they will be building additional sports facilities. And that’s not counting the upcoming construction of an Olympic pool, paid for by the Diamante development as part of their mandatory development fees.

There will be a new running track, four multiple use fields to play soccer, basketball, volleyball and fast soccer, plus additional paths for those who want to just stroll around the park like setting. Fast soccer? Yes, there is such a thing, maybe now you Gringos will stop whining about how pokey and boring soccer is. We have fast soccer in addition to the pokey and boring variety.

Now, what are they going to do about the stinky sewage plant next door to the sports complex? And don’t tell us that’s just the way sewage plants smell. They don’t if they’re built and maintained correctly.

Chicklet moms arraigned. The nine women who were apprehended in early December managing small chicklet children on the streets late at night, have been formally charged with child exploitation. According to the law, they may be sentenced to 3 to 10 years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Since they were jailed, we haven’t seen any small children selling chicklets at night. After years of hand wringing over this issue, with politicians claiming there was nothing they could do about it, all it took was swooping in for one big bust. Now how hard was that?

Calling all food snobs. The Rancho Pescadero resort in, well, Pescadero, the small ocean side town 40 minutes north of Cabo on the road to Todos Santos, will hold its guest chef series from March to July this year.

That’s when famous chefs from the U.S. cook for you the audience. We have been there, and it was a lovely evening of wine sampling, good food and ambiance, all with our feet buried in the warm sand of Pescadero beach.

The cost for cooking and mixology demos, tasting menus and warm nights on the beach, is $250 per person. Additional packages for staying there are available. You can eat there any time, but you have to eat in the back, away from the beach and the pool, near the kitchen, unless you’re paying to stay there. This is because some local drunken Gringos made fools of themselves there and the hotel guests were offended. More information at www.RanchoPescadero.com.

Governor’s austerity plan. Following other parts of Mexico that are hurting from a general cut in the federal budget, Governor Carlos Mendoza has announced a series of measures to save money. Among them, the governor himself and his cabinet members as well as under-secretaries and other top officials will reduce their salaries by 10 percent.

What he forgot to say was all those guys just got a 20% salary raise last December. Sigh.

Mardi Gras in La Paz. From February 23 to 28, most of the malecon in La Paz will be closed to traffic as food vendors, live music events, and lots of cold beer booths will be trotted out to celebrate Mardi Gras, or Carnival in Spanish.

It’s a big loud party that begins at sunset each night, and wailing away until the wee hours of the morning. It’s a great opp to mingle with the local drunks, dance, enjoy regional food and a variety of hot dog recipes, and buy trinkets, not tourist trinkets, but trinkets directed at nationals. There will be housewares, an interesting and impressive array of candies, and more blankets that you would think we would ever need here in the semi tropics. 

Can you stand another party? Around March 19, San Jose will celebrate the day of San Jose (Saint Joseph), with live music, lots of food and beer booths, and the household trinkets. This will take place both in downtown San Jose and at the soccer stadium near the old Pemex station by the roundabout.