Que Pasa in Cabo?

September 21, 2015

David FloresChange your clock Oct. 25. Yeah, we know it’s a long way off, but people who are tired of this long, really hot summer are asking when daylight savings time ends. They’re hoping that date will usher in cooler weather. Well, news flash, folks, moving the date of the clock change is not going to change the crappy weather. We just have to bear it. But we don’t have to like all our friends who figured out a way to bail out this month. Lucky dogs.

For the record, and I know I’m beating my gums for nada because you won’t remember it, but the majority of Mexico (including us) falls back at 2 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 25. Border towns close to the U.S. make the switch on the same date as the United States, Sunday, Nov. 1. So don’t roll the clock back yet, hunker down and drink up. And remember the dittie, man springs forward and falls back. Get it? Turn the clock back in the fall?

Ironman Los Cabos style This year the triathlon  includes two competitions on October 25, when half of the 1,500 participating athletes will compete in Ironman Los Cabos, which features a 2.4-mile swim beginning at Playa Palmilla; a 112-mile bike ride along the fourlane from San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas, and a 26.2-mile run comprised of three laps through the streets of the village, hotel zone and Puerto Los Cabos, ending at the finish line in front of City Hall in San Jose.

Ironman 70.3 Los Cabos follows the same route, with athletes competing in half the distances. Runners in both races are competing for qualifying slots in the Ironman World Championship in September 2016 in Queensland, Australia. For details, visit www.ironman.com.

Trash talk Like any city, one thing we generate is a lot of is trash; about 400 metric tons or 8,818 pounds a day. However, with only five garbage trucks in operation, only one-forth of the nasty stuff is being collected in Cabo San Lucas. Gregorio Canales, head of public services in Cabo, said the problem is due to the current transition period where the current mayor leaves office in December, and there is no money left in the treasury to repair several broken down trucks. A few angry citizens tired of black garbage bags accumulating at street corners delivered some of them to public services offices in protest. And tell the mayor to take our city funds out of his suitcase and stick some of this garbage into them.

Citizens try to stop mine A letter signed by 17,000 people was delivered to the 13 members of the La Paz city council, asking them to vote against new zoning that would allow an open pit mining project to operate in the Sierra de la Laguna.

The letter, submitted by attorney Arturo Rubio representing The “Legality and Transparency” civil organization, is considered a citizen’s mandate by law, but was not replied to within the time frame that the law establishes, and Rubio filed a complaint in federal courts].

Article 39 of the Mexican Constitution, Chapter 1 refers to national sovereignty and form of government and reads: “The national sovereignty resides originally and essentially in the people. All public power originates in the people and is instituted for its benefit. The people have at all times the inalienable right to alter or modify its form of government.”

Based on that, a federal judge ordered the city council members to reply and gave them a short time to do so. No reply will be taken as contempt of court which could lead to expulsion, making them unable to work, and even serving jail time. Should the council approve the zoning change in favor of the mine, the organization will take the issue to the supreme court.

Councilman Ricardo Fiol told us that the council has not defined a position in favor or against the mining project yet. Their term ends Sept. 27, when Mayor Elect Armando Martinez takes over, along with a new city council. They might sign in favor of the mine at the last minute, or simply pass the hot potato on to the new administration.

Reef and mangrove clean-ups Four friends were fed up and decided to clean up the underwater and mangrove (trees that grow in coastal habitats) area of San Rafaelito in La Paz near Pichilingue, around the small island that is crowned by a lighthouse. When their plan became public, more than 30 national and foreign divers joined the group. The city provided a dump truck and a Red Cross ambulance. Lots of metal, plastic, glass, and tires filled up the 8 cubic meter dump truck.

The initial four then decided to create a civil organization, “Rescuing our reefs and mangroves,” or RNAM for its name in Spanish.

The second call to action took place at the mangroves of El Mogote, Centenario located north of La Paz. Kayakers and stand-up paddlers were invited. The group grew large and additional people even walked the beaches near downtown La Paz picking up more trash.

The third event attracted nearly 200 people along the La Paz malecon and a fourth one took care of trash on Cerralvo Island and Punta Arenas, with children from the elementary school of La Ventana pitching in. The group welcomes volunteers who can sign up on Facebook: Rescatando-Nuestros-Arrecifes-y-Manglares. It’s amazing how people are willing to pitch in, they just need a leader.

Architects’s perspective of Odile Local architect Nora Alvarado is seeking financial support for a book outlining the architectural damages done by Hurricane Odile last September. It will also present professional opinions on ways to minimize structural damage in the future.

Titled “Arquitectura de Los Cabos, El Viento Motivo de Diseño” (Los Cabos Architecture, the Wind as a Motive of Design) is expected to be in print by November, in both Spanish and English. Proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the Cabo San Lucas Fire Department, whose mostly volunteer members worked hard cleaning up Cabo after the hurricane hit.

Content includes an analysis of architecture severely damaged; the urban and social impact of the hurricane; and tips for architectural design. Alvarado was aided in the production of the book by architect Horacio Gonzalez, director of the city’s urban planning institute (Implan), Comandante Juan Carbajal of the CSL fire department, and friends who helped with promotion, style correction and translation to English, including Astrid Castañeda, Hector Narro, Daniela Flores (this writer’s daughter), and yours truly.

You can buy a copy at the Cabo San Lucas Fire Department for about 17 bucks.  Alvarado, who is also the founder of the Cabo San Lucas downtown merchants association, is seeking tax-deductible donations to print as many books as possible. If you’re willing to donate, please contact her via email at: callistosadecv@yahoo.com.

Esperanza recognized Our very own Esperanza resort was honored among the world’s best in the 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards from Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report, “a digital magazine for sophisticated travelers”. We think that means Andy’s personal blog.

The Auberge Esperanza in Cabo San Lucas was awarded No. 4 Beach Resort along with sister resorts Napa Valley flagship Auberge du Soleil as the No. 1 Food and Wine Resort, while neighboring sister property Calistoga Ranch was voted No. 3 Food and Wine Resort.

Results for the Readers’ Choice Awards are determined from an annual survey where subscribers to Andy’s blog choose their favorite hotel and resort.

Beaches certified again Los Cabos was awarded the International Blue Flag certification for the clean beaches, including Chileno Bay, where a diesel spill was discovered a few months ago, causing its certification to be yanked for two months.

Currently, Palmilla, Santa Maria, Medano and Chileno beaches are all certified. The Blue Flag Program is owned and run by the non-government, non-profit organization the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and is a voluntary eco-label awarded to more than 4,000 beaches and marinas in 49 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean.

New flight announced. The Los Cabos Tourism Board says we got a new flight from Toronto to Los Cabos. This route, by Canadian airline WestJet, will operate every Saturday from December 19 through April.  The aircraft is a 737-700 with 130 seats. WestJet now has five flights to Los Cabos; from Edmonton, Kelowna, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Calgary.

Hotel update. We are almost there. Of a total of 66 hotels that are members of the Los Cabos Hotel Association, 55 are back in operation, from last year’s hurricane Odile damage. The Cabo Azul Resort and the Hyatt Ziva in San Jose are back online, while the following will be opening on October 1st.: Casa del Mar, El Ganzo, Dreams and the Me by Melia Cabo San Lucas.

The Meliá Cabo Real and The Westin  are expected to be open again in the summer of 2016.

Comedy fest does Cabo. From September 30 to October 4, the Cabo Comedy Festival will take place at two different venues, Desperados restaurant with some of the best comedians from the U.S., and the La Divina bar with the Spanish shows. Along with these comedians, there will be panel discussions with the participation of comedy writers, producers and cast members. To learn where the fun begins visit: www.cabocomedyfestival.com

Green Fest in October. The Los Cabos Green Festival will generate its own electricity for the second year. The concerts and performances by international artists will be powered by using Pedal Power energy-generating bikes. The Green Fest will also feature conferences and workshops dedicated to sustainability issues. Local and U.S. based companies may show off sustainable products and services. Other events include Yoga Masters, EcoTrail Run, the first annual SUP Cup, Beach Soccer Cup, and more activities to increase environmental education and awareness and promote a healthy life-style. To learn more about Mexico’s Green Festival, or to learn how to get involved look up: www.loscabosgreenfes. Careful with the volunteering, they will need plenty of peddlers to power the stage.

Are we the only poor people left? Ohana Real Estate Investors, the group behind Hanalei Plantation Resort in Hawaii and the Montage Beverly Hills, began selling properties at its new resort, Maravilla, last year. The oceanfront lots at Km 11 on the corridor cost between $5 and $10 million, just chump change. Condos and townhouses, the first of which were completed last year, also cost between $5 and $10 million. And sales have been brisk.

Nearby Chileno Bay Club, a 1,200 acre development with two miles of beachfront where building has started and stopped for years, has already sold $50 million worth of dirt since launching a year ago, announced Chris Snell, former brokerage owner who is now director of development for Chileno Bay Club.

Like Maravilla, Chileno Bay Club is taking on a traditional Mexican look with modern lines and finishes. It also will have a kids’ club with a burger restaurant and video game room, two movie theaters, an 18-hole, Tom Fazio-designed, members-only golf course, and a network of bike paths. Chileno Bay Club’s beachfront lots have sold for $7 to $9 million, while elevated lots are $7 to $15 million.

Developers and real-estate agents tell us the typical buyers 10 to 20 years ago were retirement-age couples looking to get away from it all, but today there are more young families and more retirees who are catering to the needs of their children and grandchildren. “In the olden days it was two guys with a fishing cabin raising hell,” said Snell. “The profile of today’s buyer has become more family oriented.”

Boat goes up in flames And then dives for Davey Jones’ locker. The locally owned 35 foot boat Big Kahuna caught on fire with four American tourists and three crew on board 12 miles south of Cabo San Lucas.

The harbor station received an emergency call on their VHF and alerted the Navy, who dispatched a Defender type vessel and a boat with a rescue team, including medics and a nurse. By the time they arrived on the scene, the boat was taking its final dive and the people had been taken onboard the Bandito, another fishing boat that was nearby.

Everyone was in good condition and nobody needed medical attention. At press time no names had been released, nor was the cause of the fire announced.