Newsies of the week

February 18, 2019

Here are a few of the almost daily emails we send to those who sign up with us. There is no cost for these news items, but there is an ad you can squint your way through in a hurry.

To sign up go to http://bit.ly/gringoblast

You can always un-sign up, but why would you? They’re fun and informative.

Carnival Coming Undone. The carnival in La Paz is big, the biggest on the peninsula, but it's been under fire because of the money the bankrupt city has to kick in. In an effort to cut corners this year the entertainment offerings have been second and third tier, and that has caused carnival fans to grumble.

Last week the chosen queen quit in disgust, not even wanting to be associated with what she called disorganized, and now two more invited entertainment selections have pooped out because of the chaos. (You wouldn't know them if we listed them, they're not even known by most Mexicans, so it doesn't matter that we forgot to jot down their names).

The theme of what's left of this year's festival will be "Grandes Navegantes" or "Great Navigators." As in old timey sailing ships. The city is trying to whip up enthusiasm by calling this a family-friendly event and pointing out their nice parade they have planned. There will also be food booths, games, and cultural events.

But people who live near downtown La Paz will be glad if it folds after this year as there is an awful lot of drinking going on at this family friendly cultural event. They've been complaining about the noise, the crime, and the disorder for years.

We do hope we haven't dampened your enthusiasm to attend the carnival and sop up some culture.

Propane Deliveries Temporary Halted. Remember when we said the fuel theft problem over on the mainland wouldn't affect us? We lied. (Sounds better than to say we were wrong).

Sale of propane was halted in Cabo and La Paz couple weekends ago, but that was a quick stoppage. Whew! The state's Sustainable Energy Secretariat issued a statement saying that while there was no shortage of propane, it was being rationed in order to avoid reaching a "critical state."

"Even though there is supply, the reserves were rationed and states in central Mexico were given top priority," said Energy Secretary Luis Solís.” We call this panic hoarding.

East Cape Doesn't Want Race. Well, the president of the Board of Directors of the East Cape, Jose Murrieta Rosas, doesn't as he requested the cancellation of the off road races. He says the race cars run over cattle, goats, and pets, as well as the occasional person who apparently suicidely jumps in front of the cars. Maybe whoever or whatever steps out onto a track with cars racing down it should get out of the gene pool?

We're going to get cards and letters on that one, we just love hearing from you.

He goes on to say the race is badly organized and does not leave any tourism dollars behind.

Goodbye Plastics. This coming August may be the soonest the new law against plastic bags and plastic straws will go into effect. The law was approved last July but these things, (as all things in Mexico), take time.

We recently used a paper straw and that fell apart after sucking up most of one drink. The straw felt weird, too. But maybe we’re just a strong sucker with sensitive lips.

The biggest change will be not having to deal with those cheesy Wal-Mart bags that are so small and so skinny they can only take a few items. As you’re pushing your cart out the store, you look down and see a sea of thin opaque plastic waving and clattering in the breeze.

BYOB, (bring your own bag), has been the deal in some US states for a while now, and it’s doable with surprisingly little effort. Just always carry a cloth bag in the trunk of your car. And if you forget to BYOB? Hopefully they will sell you their cheesy ones. But you will look pretty irresponsible pushing out of the store with that sea of plastic bobbing around in your cart.

El Tezal Residents Protest. Homes in El Tezal, the hillside just outside of Cabo, are a mixed bag. There are many well off Mexicans, as well as many foreigners. It's not a development, the homes have been built one by one over the last 20 years or so, and there's no HOA to represent their interests. The streets have never been paved, but they do get city water occasionally and electricity is available.

Now about 80 residents, mostly foreigners, have signed a petition to stop the building of a high density four story condominium project of two and three bedrooms each, on three lots that have been pushed together. They say it will change the character of the mostly, (but not completely), single family neighborhood.

Other concerns of the foreigners is the constant home robberies, (residents bought a patrol vehicle they gave to the city), and the main road up the hill has been so eroded by traffic and rain storms, the pipes under the road are exposed in places. The plucky residents got some low cost dirt from the Pedregal and are smoothing it around to solve that problem.

The takeaway here, is the absurdly low property taxes that create these lack of city services. A beautiful two story home with granite and marble might pay at most a couple of hundred dollars a year, 30% less if you pay it on time, and 50% less if you're over 60 and get your old folks card.

One more takeaway: The 80 signers say they're only asking for the existing Urban Development Plan to  be enforced. We have one of those?

 Gov't. Cries To Human Rights. The federal government has asked the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) how to get the striking teachers off the train tracks while staying within human rights boundaries.

You wonder how that conversation went: "So, how many teachers can we mow down before we're accused of violating human rights?"

The teachers attacked police with sticks and stones on Thursday. Most teachers have folded their tents and want to go back to work, but one union is holding out.

Meanwhile, an estimated 3.3 million tons of freight is stranded while the cost of the blockades to the economy is estimated at about US $1.6 billion.

Most students in the state of Michoacán have not attended school for almost a month and teachers who aren't camped on the tracks continue to barricade shopping centers and government offices.