Que Pasa in Cabo?

January 21, 2019 Edition
BY: DAVID FLORES

Crack Down On Cell Phones. Around here we breeze through stop signs, we speed on the fourlane where they don't even bother posting speed limits, and when there's a lane closure, the rush to be the last to merge is not a pretty sight. Many cars even drive up the dirt shoulder in their rush to pass more timid drivers. But don't be caught using your phone, because the police have announced a crackdown. Don't scoff, you scofflaws, this could get as serious as the crackdown on parking in handicap spaces. That got really serious, with fines as high as $400 US.  They are not announcing the fines for phone use, but they're plotting something big.

Cabo Riviera Shut Down. In a provisional way. Cabo Riviera is the ambitious Gringo enclave that's been through several developers over the last dozen years it's been under construction. Canals have been dredged in an effort to create boat moorings right in front of the homesites that are for sale. It is an ambitious project. But it's been inflicted with inept and underfunded management from the beginning. Now the desert hugging Defense, Water and Wildlife Baja California Sur has managed to close it down amid charges of water hugging. They're pointing out that locals are now only getting water to their taps about half the time and it's all the fault of this new development. The charge is providing opaque environmental processes. the spokesman of the association, Felipe Padilla, said they are bringing to trial the officials that have authorized the project without the corresponding necessary studies.

If you're confused, where this is, it's the development that has gone through many changes of leadership and direction and has now changed their name to Costa Palmas. Whatever they're calling themselves, they're now shut down in a provisional way. Until some money changes hands, no doubt.

Feds pitch us $$ Victor Castro, representative of the federal government in our Southern Baja state, announced that over $1 million will be sent to us from the feds, for use in programs such as high school scholarships for teens from low income families, pensions for the elderly, and infrastructure patch up. The amount is twice what we got from the feds last year.

Hop on the bus, Gus. After being stored for three years, Eco Baja Tours has brought back the bus that takes tourists around La Paz’s iconic buildings and touristy areas. Tickets cost only 5 bucks per person for a two-hour ride either from 2:00 to 4:00 or 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The open air bus has 36 seats and takes pilgrims to the old City Hall, the Juarez Theater, the Cathedral, the Museum of Anthropology and History, the Justo Sierra library and the Ceramics factory. It also goes to the Cultural House, cruises the Malecon and the iconic Cerro de la Calavera (the skull’s hill) and stops in at the Artisans’ House for some trinket shopping. It leaves from the bus station located on the Malecon, and kicks you to the same curb at the end of the tour. For information call: La Paz: (612) 123-0000.

La Paz Malecon remodeling resumes. Work on the second and final phase of the La Paz Malecon resumed last Monday. The budgeted investment reaches some $2 million and will take eight  months to finish. At least. Mexican time, of course.

The area to be remodeled starts at Salvatierra street, where Las Gaviotas hotel is, and goes all the way towards Pichilingue to the end of the Malecon. The works include a remodeling of El Molinito park that will include a fountain, shady areas and the rehab of the open-air gym. Perfect. just in time to disrupt the Carnival next month.

More investment means more growth.

The Los Cabos International airport closed last year with a record of 5.2 million tourists, 70% of which were international pilgrims. GAP, the group that manages our precious airport, has invested nearly $70 million in improvements in the last five years and will add nearly $14 million more this year in the modernization and expansion of the international terminal. (Terminal 2).

This winter GAP will welcome the first direct flight from London and is financially supporting the promotion of our tourist destination in South America and cities on Mexico’s mainland.

Chest thumping. Ramon Ojeda, director of Oomsapas, the Los Cabos water utility, stated last week that due to continuous efforts to contain water leaks, fixing water pumps and wells, plus improving maintenance at the Cabo San Lucas desalinization plant, the agency is now pumping 13% more water to businesses and residents. It’s still way below what’s needed, however.

It's baaack! Remember the old Hotel Marbella hotel on the fourlane between Cabo and San Jose? It’s at about km 17. In the summer of 2014 it took such a hit by hurricane Odile that we thought it would never rise back up again. But it’s still with us, has undergone extensive repairs, and it’s lookin’ good.

Las Velas resorts group acquired it and remodeled it and it now looks better than ever and with a new name, Mar del Cabo. It is Velas’ Group sixth property in Mexico, their second in Cabo, and the first on the European Plan, meaning, it’s not an all-inclusive resort.

It features 46 suites, 2 penthouses and a new restaurant named Encanto. Do we have to translate that, Bunky? The restaurant is following Baja’s food trend, using mostly Baja ingredients in a fusion with Mediterranean cuisine. Did I sound like a food snob? Yup, guilty.

More water to us! The state government is looking for federal funding to build another reservoir. Right now most of our rain rolls right into the ocean. Sure the new resorts are all required to build and use desalinization, but all the employees hired by those hotels need water in their homes. The state is in talks with Conagua, Mexico’s federal water commission, to get tech and funding.  Light up a candle, we’re growing so fast that we might end up dry soon.

Golf for a cause. The 6TH Fanlap Charity Golf Tournament will take place on Saturday, March 2 at the Paraíso del Mar Golf Club. In La Paz. This tournament is open to members, owners, and guests who only have to pitch in 75 bucks to participate. It’s a two person scramble, with men playing from white and women from the forward Ts. Registration is 8:00 am - coffee and sweet rolls included. The shot gun start goes off at 9:00 am with lunch and recognition to follow play. For more information and to sign up: Ph 612 140 1391 and 612 105 3863 or email: golfclub@paraisodelmar.com This course is a hoot, as you take an electric boat across the bay. It’s not on an island, but you feel like it is, it’s actually the end of a long peninsula.

Who showed up this week? The first and most prominent star – because every tabloid in the world follows him – who visited Cabo over the end of 2018 was pop singer Adam Levine, leader of the Maroon 5 band, accompanied by his wife the Namibian model Behati Prinsloo.

The songwriter was photographed atop a golf cart, while his gorgeous wife was wearing jeans shorts, a white blouse wrapped around her waist, a colorful top and a wide straw hat. The couple is in love with Cabo, as they got married here in the summer of 2014.

Fast times in Cabo. Usain Bolt, the Jamaican retired sprinter and world record holder in the 100, 200 and 4 × 100 meters relay was suntanning (snicker) in Los Cabos with his stunning bikini-clad girlfriend Kasi Bennett.

Bolt’s reign as Olympic Games champion in all those events spans three Olympics. Owing to his achievements and dominance in sprint competition, he is widely considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time. But in Cabo, he did a slow stroll down the beach with his longtime girlfriend.

He recently revealed he hopes to have children with her 'in the near future', following years of enjoying a low-key romance. Well, hello? How about a ring for the little lady first? Hey, girl, you hold out for that ring!

The Greatest Showman followed. Yup, Zac Efron was in town too, with his brother. Efron is an American actor who began acting professionally in the early 2000s. To the pleasure of his followers, he was spotted shirtless next to his brother Dylan.

And last but not least. Another celebrity, Katherine Schwarzenegger (do you reckon the last name?) was here with her beau Chris Pratt celebrating New Year's Eve. Pratt, 39, went shirtless as he and Schwarzenegger, 29, lounged by the pool. Their romantic getaway comes just a month after the actor made their relationship Instagram official when he created a collage of his favorite photos of  Schwarzenegger in honor of her birthday.