Que Pasa in Cabo?

September 3, 2018 Edition
BY: DAVID FLORES

Caught On Camera You are being watched. Nine more cameras are being added to the 25 that are already set up along the marina. Those cameras are an unblinking eye trained on everyone from the dock where the cruise ship passengers come ashore, all the way around to the other end of the marina by the resort Breathless and to the beach.

There is someone watching all those feeds from the three story orange and white Tourist Assistance Center, recently completed. It was federal money that bought them, and the Navy, which is the ultimate policing authority in our state, is in charge of them.

American pedophile arrested. James Clay Heitrotter, 60, was arrested in the Santa Rosa neighborhood in San Jose, following an investigation by the CISEN, Mexico’s national security agency, and the federal police.

Heitrotter was apparently living among us for 12 years, while the U.S. government looked for him in the States on pedophile charges. The bad hombre was transferred to the detention center of the Cabo immigration center, to process his deportation. We have one of those? Immigration detention center? Maybe we should send our Gringa boss to verify that. Snicker.

We found the diver! Remember the guy who took a swan dive off Land's End last weekend? No? Well, we posted the video on our Facebook page, pay attention!

It was an impressive dive and he actually is a pro, who was in Cabo training for the Red Bull Cliff Diving competition. His name is Jonathan Paredes, a Mexican diver who won bronze medals in 2013 and 2015. He was here with David Colturi from the U.S., preparing for the annual competition that took place recently in Denmark. Well, that makes sense, it was a hell of a dive. Go to Facebook Gringogazettecabo and watch it if you are not one of the 96,000 who already have. And if none of your Facebook friends alerted you about this video, what kind of friends do you have? Yeah, we thought so. Facebook friends, not real friends.

Giant mantas sighting. A group, (herd? Pod? School?) of giant mantas was seen near Isla Cerralvo, as it is commonly named, although its official name is Jacques Cousteau island. It is located off the Cerralvo Canal coast near La Paz.

Giant mantas, according to marine biologist and professional diver Erick Higuera, had not been seen for 20 years due to commercial fishing activities that lurk about. The critters can be as large as five feet long and weigh up to 4,500 lbs. They feed off plankton and can live up to 125 years. Wow, that would take a lot of plankton to support that size.

And now, it’s turtle time. A week ago a sea turtle swam towards the beach along the malecon in La Paz, to the awe of passersby, who called the police to protect her. What, they think she never learned to swim?

A yellow police ribbon was placed around her and tourist police and crowds of people watched her deposit her eggs in the sand, which were then snatched up by Profepa, Mexico’s environmental protection agency, and taken to an undisclosed location. Actually, a turtle egg nursery, but undisclosed location sounds more exciting. New baby turtles should be born by November. They will be immediately tossed out to sea. It’s amazing she was able to do something so private in front of all those people, but then their intelligence is not high up the food chain. It’s possible she didn’t notice.

Kardashian sighting. If anybody cares, American celebrity Kourtney Kardashian was spotted last weekend enjoying our tourist resort with several girlfriends, among them her trainer, makeup artist, Hrush Achemyan, Sarah Howard, and her good friend Stephanie Shepard -- she's Kim's former assistant.

Driving on our beaches is illegal. And the feds are watching us. People driving vehicles on Los Cabos beaches risk from six months to six years in prison and fines from four to 82 grand if they run over a turtle nest. Even if you don’t screw anything up, driving along Los Cabos beaches is illegal and not cool.

The Federal Gendarmerie is now being deployed from Buenavista to Migriño, in an effort to stop vehicles from driving on the beach. Mama turtles are coming in to deposit their eggs at this time of the year and the Los Cabos city turtle protection agency is patrolling day and night, as well as the feds.

Sea turtles, as well as the sterna elegans seabirds are protected species in our state and they’re tired of ATVs and all kinds of vehicles crushing their eggs, since only 1 in 1000 of their babies survive predators, mostly humans and dogs, as well as seagulls and pelicans and then fish in the sea.

This reporter was shocked while on vacation on the East Cape two weeks ago. Residents of Buena Vista and Los Barriles and La Playita in San Jose ride their ATV’s along the beach to go grocery shopping! Stop doing that, people, or be ready to pay the price! Even if you don’t run over a nest, the tire tracks you leave are just high enough that the tiny babies can’t get over them to get to the ocean. They climb up a two inch track, can’t make it, and flip over backwards, turning turtle. Couldn’t resist that one.

Uber opposed by taxi drivers. To no one’s surprise. Following a protest by taxi drivers who drove their vehicles to the state’s government house Friday to oppose the arrival of Uber and other ride hailing services in La Paz, the Uber operations manager for northern Mexico, Miguel Rocha, said they would come to Los Cabos soon, like it or not.

Rocha added that between January and July of this year, they have received 100,000 requests for service, mostly from the San Jose international airport. In La Paz, Uber has 1,000 drivers registered and over 50,000 app users so far.

“Uber has held meetings with both current and elected government officials both in La Paz and Los Cabos to have their service regulated and approved,” said Saul Crespo, communications manager for the app. Unfortunately, he added, “technology is faster than bureaucracy.” Well, good luck to us, as our incoming mayor, Armida Castro, has already announced her opposition to Uber and her support of the taxistas. We’re screwed.

Growing pains. Residents of the low-income barrio of Cangrejos ll, on the northernmost part of Cabo towards Todos Santos, are complaining of excessive traffic, roadside food booths and trash caused by the nearby construction of the Hard Rock hotel and Nobu hotels.

La Paz love. Our Southern Baja state capitol city was named by Forbes magazine among the 10 best cities to live in Mexico. We are number six on the list, beaten by mostly cities in Northern Mexico near the industrial city of Monterrey.

Forbes said they interviewed 30,400 inhabitants in 76 of the most populated cities in Mexico plus 16 barrios in Mexico City. The poll included questions about current position, family environment, employment, public services and an overall rating of their cities.

Palapa Summer Camp. This year’s summer program produced by the Palapa Society in Todos Santos was a big hit with the kids. The students learned how to swim at the Serendipity Inn’s pool and in the ocean. They finished the swimming program at Cerritos beach where the kids got a chance to try surfing and every one of them was able to stand up and ride a wave. Yes, Todos Santos is the town where every child is above average.

On Wednesday, November 7th, the After School Art Program with artists Doug West and Jill Mollenhauer will once again be offered to all Todos Santos children between the ages of 6 and 15, so drive by and kick your kid to the curb. Each Wednesday afternoon the Palapa Learning Center art room will host 16 students interested in exploring their artistic side. With a class size limit, spaces go quickly and a wait list will be created. Sign-ups may be made via email, text and/or WhatsApp beginning Monday October 1, 2018.  Further information will follow in the September/October newsletter. Classes are free. For more information or to donate, go to: https://palapasociety.org