National Survey for The Mexico City Airport Starts Today

From today and until October 28th, polls will be open in order for Mexican people to decide the faith of the deeply controversial new Mexico City airport.

There are just two options to vote from, one is to continue construction of the new airport in Texcoco and the other option would be to expand the current airport, the Toluca airport and build two more air strips in the military air base in Santa Lucia.

The construction is already ongoing or the Texcoco airport.
Construction is already ongoing on the Texcoco airport.

The poll is organized by Lopez Obrador or AMLO as he is better known, although he hasn’t stepped into office yet (he will do that on December 1st) he said he wanted to gain some time and ask people how they feel regarding the airport.

AMLO has been against the new airport from the start because, he says, it was just a monument to corruption since on the first phase the project was already over budget by over 5.5 billion USD. The total cost is said to be 15.5 billion USD.

The new airport was beautifully designed by Norman Foster, an internationally acclaimed architectural design group.

In Baja, several polls are installed in every municipality although the one in Rosarito was almost cancelled because the organizers were robbed of all the material from their truck a couple days ago.

https://www.bajanorte.com/en/surfing/

Surf Tournament Coming Up In Ensenada

Playa Hermosa Surf & Sk8 Club is adjusting the final details of the 5th “Day Of The Dead” tournament, which this year is a tribute to Cristian “Cri Cri” Contreras.

The surf competition will be this October 27 and 28, Saturday and Sunday. You can register now at Playa Hermosa Surf and Skate Shop in Pedro Loyola St.

Cost per competitor is just $150 pesos (about 8 bucks) until October 25, after this day the cost will go up to $200 pesos (about 11 USD), registration includes an official shirt of the event.

The categories open this year are female beginners, male beginners, female open, male open, body board open, long board open (mixed), paddle board open (mixed) and Minihoonies (12 years or less).

Each day the tournament start at 7 AM just across the stairs in Playa Hermosa, awards are being given after the competition finishes on Sunday on the same place.

With information from Gabriel Garcia | El Vigia.

Ensenada Plans to Shield the Wine Valley After Business Owners Complain

Authorities from the three levels of government (city, state and federal), agreed to strengthen security in the wine valley by opening a second security booth, working on public lighting and programming more security checkpoints in a meeting with business owners from the valley.

Attendants to the meeting told authorities about the increase of non-violent thefts that they have suffered lately and asked authorities to prioritize and solve the issue as soon as possible.

Ensenada mayor, Marco Antonio Novelo, emphasized the importance of filing a report with authorities for them to know about the problem and work on a solution as most crimes in the city go unreported. A report by Ethos Public Policy Lab published last year stated that 94% of crimes in the whole country go unreported because people think it’s just a waste of time.

The city has been strongly pushing the wine valley to national and international tourists for a few years now and gets pretty worried when there are crime problems over there, sometime getting residents of other parts of Ensenada, specially the low-income areas, disgruntled at the lack of surveillance there.

Wow! Did You See That Giant In Ensenada?

The largest cruise ship in the Norwegian line dropped anchor in Ensenada’s bay for the first time on Saturday, October 6. It did look big, from wherever you viewed it.

the Norwegian Bliss will set sail from the Port of Los Angeles for a few week long voyages to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, before squeezing through the Panama Canal to ply the Caribbean route for the winter season.

This past summer it sailed between Seattle Washington and Alaska. It had to wait for low tied to go under the Lions Gate bridge on arrival in Vancouver British Columbia.

The newly built Bliss is Norwegian’s largest cruise ship, and has an onboard go-kart race course, a water park, Broadway theater shows, and a very cool sounding laser tag arena. Some people don’t like such big cruise ships, so there is a separate upscale section, called The Haven that offers quieter, more luxurious accommodations. Away from the unwashed masses, one would presume. Well, we presume.

The big boat can take up to 4,900 passengers, mostly in 170 square foot balcony rooms, but there are 2206 rooms total, in 42 categories on 11 decks. Altogether there are 20 decks It takes about 1700 crew to keep it all organized. Top speed is about 26 miles an hour, and the $920 million ship gets about 3,000 gallons an hour.  That’s 3000 gallons to move the ship 26 miles down the road. Sounds expensive, but with 4000 passengers, that’s only about three quarters of a gallon per person per hour.

Photo by Enrique Botello

Baja 1000 Temporarily Suspended: Score International Fined $27K by PROFEPA

Score International was hit with a fine of around $27,000 USD and in order to guarantee the payment of the fine, the permits for the coming Baja 1000 race where suspended.

PROFEPA (The federal agency for the protection of the environment) was the one to fine Score because, they say, the race last year passed through unauthorized protected areas in the “Valle de los Cirios” (That’s the valley south of the city of Ensenada that has huge cacti everywhere).

Valle de los Cirios in Ensenada, a natural protected area.

The agency says race participants destroyed several specimens of protected cacti from the lophocerus schotti species.

Due to this violations, PROFEPA issued a temporary suspension of activities to Score International S. de R.L. de C.V., which effectively suspends their right to do the race until they pay the fine.

In November of 2014, PROFEPA announced that it was fining the Baja 1000 race organizers for about $162,000 USD for the same violations, although there is no public knowledge about the fine being paid or not, since it was contested in court.

 

With information from El Vigia

130 Federales Arrive In Baja


Just last week 130 elements of the Federal Police of the “Gendarmerie” Division, were deployed here in Baja mainly in Tijuana and San Quintin.

Juan Carlos Moran, head of the federal police in Baja, stated that the deployment of this group of police was in response to the increased requests from local authorities and the private sector regarding the increasing drug crime problems that have been going on.

Moran said that the Federal Police has been the only one in the country that has been able to increase their perception of trustworthiness and credibility between the population.

The Gendarmerie Division was created in 2014 by president Peña Nieto as part of his security strategy to combat organized crime in Mexico.

It has been widely seen as an effective police force by the general population since these officers are better prepared and better paid than almost all other police forces. In order to be accepted to the force, a candidate needs to have completed a bachelor’s degree.

Here is a promotional video of the Gendarmeria, we placed English subtitles in there for you this time, you’re welcome.

Watch Out For Those Mosquitoes

State health authorities, headed by Guillermo Trejo, warned citizens to be aware of possible breeding places for mosquitoes that can transmit dengue fever, zika and chikingunya.

David Ibarra, head of the vectors control program for Baja, stated that all actions taken are merely preventive, as no cases of any of these diseases have been reported yet in the current year.

He did say that because of the present climate change, temperature and humidity has become ideal for the proliferation of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which has already increased its population by 30%, although they haven’t been found to carry the diseases.

“It’s important to remember that tires, flower pots and any containers that contain water, are ideal for the proliferation of the mosquito, since it looks for clean water to deposit its eggs”, said Ibarra.

Ibarra also stated that his office has already installed 6,692 mosquito traps around the state and invited everyone to pitch in by not leaving any open containers with water around the house.

What To Do If You’re Stopped By The Police

Although not every policeman is corrupt around here, there are definitely many bad apples in the group.

People! Do not feed these thieves, you only make it worse for yourself and for everyone else. If nobody gives them money, they will stop asking.

If you are stopped, and you have actually made a boo boo, ask for a ticket and go down to the police station later on or the next day, or even the next week, and pay it. They will take your driver’s license to insure that you show up, and that’s OK. They do not want your license, and there is nothing they can do with it. You will get it back.

If you have not broken any law, just keep asking for a ticket. “Dar may un teeket por favor”. Be polite but be firm.

If they threaten you or get nasty, write down their name, or if they are not wearing their name badge, (mandatory, but still it’s common for them to stick it in their pocket), then haul out your phone and take their picture. That’s like holding a mirror up to a vampire, and they will jump in their car and scurry away like cockroaches when you turn on the light. They will let you go with some face saving mumble like, “just a warning this time”.

It’s extremely rare for them to write a ticket, and for sure they will not cite you when you haven’t done anything wrong. And, if you have broken a law, the ticket is ridiculously small. Man up and go down and pay it, don’t take the cowardly/lazy way out and throw money at the officer.

OK, once more now, altogether, “dar may un teeket”

This police extortion would stop in a week if everyone would grow a back bone and stand up to them. If it doesn’t stop, then it’s your own fault.

UPDATE: We heard that the police are now using the new “tinted windows law” to shake down foreigners. It is in fact illegal to have your windows tinted if they are dark enough that you can’t see inside of the vehicle. The law says that the officer should give you a chance to remove the film of the windows right then and there and you will not get a ticket, if you get the ticket you will have to remove it to get your license back anyway. If it’s too dark get rid of it! Better to comply with the law than to support corruption every week.,

Second Smoke-free Beach In Mexico Will Be In Ensenada

Ensenada city council has unanimously approved yesterday a new rule that will start a procedure to make Playa Hermosa the second tobacco smoke-free beach in Mexico. The first one was San Martin beach in Cozumel but the project is now abandoned in there.

ZOFEMAT (the ones in charge of the federal zone in the beach), will be in charge of certifying the beach before the COFEPRIS (The federal commission for protection against sanitary risks). COFEPRIS is the only authority that can certify a place as “smoke-free”.

Jorge Martinez, local councilman, stated that they will help organize, coordinate and implement the necessary infrastructure for this to happen. He said that signs will be installed on the beach and that a surveillance committee will be formed to enforce the new rule and get the federal certification.

The announcement comes just a few hours after Terra Peninsular stated that in their recent cleaning efforts of local beaches, they were able to gather almost a ton of trash which included 1,495 cigarette butts in just over half a mile of beach. And this wasn’t even in Playa Hermosa, which is the most visited beach in the city. These are the complete results of their cleanup (Yes, we know it’s in spanish, this has little icons so you should be ok):

Hopefully authorities around here will keep the designation longer than San Martin in Cozumel, where now, after only 4 years, people are mostly unaware of it’s smoke-free designation because no one bothered to replace the decaying signs or have anyone in there to enforce the non-smoking rule.

Que Pasa In Baja?

Rosarito desalination plant update. Congressman Miguel Osuna sent a formal request for information regarding the new Rosarito desalt plant that was supposed to be under construction but isn’t yet, to which the state government responded by saying that the construction plan will be reanalyzed since a lot has changed since its start.

The state government said that they were mostly reviewing the finances of the project, which if concluded, will be the largest desalination plant in Latin America.

“The project has been delayed because of all the bureaucratic procedures that a project of this size requires, the amount of money being invested is considerable and that it has to be analyzed. Of course, the changes coming in the federal government are another factor”, said Ricardo Cisneros, head of the state water commission.

Pest beetles attack Baja. Ensenada municipal government announced that a plague of insects called “Ambrosia Beetles” have been found in Doña Petra Canyon and in Revolución Park.

The plague is known to affect crops so measures to cut down affected trees are being taken in an effort to contain the insects.

About 60 trees are going to be cut down in the Canyon and one more in the municipal park, stated Gabriela Sampedro, from the ecology office in Ensenada.

The beetle is originally from Asia and until recently it was only found in the USA and Israel outside of its habitat.

In 2015 it was detected in Tijuana, and just last year Rosarito and Ensenada where also affected by it.

The Rosarito Tourism and Conventions Commitee (COTUCO) has launched a new campaign to prevent car break-ins from downtown Rosarito all the way to Popotla.

Don’t leave the laptop in the car! Car break-ins have been a problem for years all along the free road, with most of the victims being tourists that forget that it’s not safe to leave your valuable belongings in sight inside your car.

Edgar Orozco, head of COTUCO, said that the campaign consists of several signs that are being installed along the Benito Juarez and Popotla Boulevards, informing people to double check their cars before leaving them unattended.

The tourism police said they would pitch in by doing more patrolling around the area. Incredibly enough, the chief of tourism police stated that “It’s important for business owners to remind their patrons to not leave their valuable stuff in their cars because opportunity makes the thief”.

Are we in or are we out? After much speculation about Ensenada being left out of the newly defined border zone that will cut taxes in half, the new Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) stated that he will review the situation.

Jorge Cortes, head of the coordinated businesses council in Ensenada (CCEE), Mario Zepeda, president of the Baja California Citizens Council and federal congressman Armando Reyes, talked at different times with AMLO regarding placing Ensenada into the tax-reduced zone and they all agreed that he was open about the idea but said that he had to review the matter thoroughly.

Although this seems like a win for Ensenada, who wants to be part of the tax-reduced area, no commitment was made by AMLO to include Ensenada in the border zone, which is comprised of every city that is within 19 miles from the border.

One of them did say that AMLO was analyzing the possibility of including Ensenada in the Border Zone in a second stage of the process.

Jorge Cortes, from CCEE, said that he delivered a letter signed by all the business councils in Ensenada that will be directly affected by the change if it goes through on December 1st, the day he starts his term.

Jacobo Zepeda stated that he delivered another letter to AMLO and about 4,000 signatures of concerned citizens.

Rosarito, on the other hand, has already secured a place in the new border zone, granting them the tax cuts for next year.

Hell in the sky. That’s what passengers from Volaris flight 423 travelling from Guadalajara to Tijuana experienced last week after suffering major “turbulence”, scaring the bejesus out of the 165 passengers and 5 crew members in there.

Sandra Sanchez, one of the passengers in the flight stated: “This definitely felt more than regular turbulence, it felt more like an impact that lasted for around 2 seconds. After that we still had to fly for more than an hour to get to Tijuana. I’m definitely thankful that we’re alive”.

Volaris stated that the plane “Experimented a clear air turbulence during it’s flight”.

Clear air turbulence (CAT) is dangerous as it happens in clear skies and cannot be detected with conventional radar equipment, although it can cause severe damage to the aircraft and injuries to passengers and crew.

Many videos of the aftermath are circulating online, in one of them a passenger is seen laying on the corridor while others shout for a doctor on board.

Several people were hurt, with 12 of them requiring medical attention in Tijuana hospitals.

At the time of writing 2 crew members were still recovering from their injuries, while the other passengers where all discharged from local hospitals.

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