Que Pasa in Cabo?

January 11, 2016 Edition
BY: DAVID FLORES

The sidewalk wars Agents from the city tax and permit department, (called fiscal), confiscated half a dozen flower pots from the sidewalk in front of Pan di Bacco, that pretty good restaurant  across from Hard Rock Café. The restaurant could not show they had a permit to deploy tables and flower pots on the city sidewalk.

While Pan di Bacco owner Giammarco Vela, who also owns the Sunset da Mona Lisa just outside of Cabo, and is president of the local restaurant ass. (Called Canirac), got away with his outdoor tables and flower pots for months, that ride is over. Gene Elman, owner of the Happy Ending bar just around the corner, could never get a permit to deploy similar patio furniture.

Both places have the luck of a very wide sidewalk – almost unseen in Cabo – but Elman, who showed up at city hall with pictures of Pan di Bacco’s display of tables and flower pots to further his case for them, couldn’t get a permit. Ever. But now with the new city administration that’s trying to not play favorites, Pan di Bacco has lost its flower pots, but not the privilege to deploy outdoor tables.

 It’s a Mexico thing: It’s not paying for a permit, or what you know, but who you know.  As president of the rest. ass. most people figure he used his position to use the pots to mark his territory in front of his restaurant.  So Giammarco muscled his way into special treatment, while as Canirac president he fought government corruption. Sigh. Only in Mexico can you have it both ways.

Missing boat found. Too late. Parts of the Muchacho Alegre, or Happy Boy fishing boat were found floating near Cabo San Lucas, several days after it was reported missing. Just a day before, the floating corpse of its captain was also found. Lost at sea on December 12, the bodies of the other two crew members are yet to be found.

Let There Be Light! The 680 collapsible street lights along the fourlane between San Jose and Cabo should have winked on by the time you read this.  SCT, the federal road people, have double pinkie promised we would have lights by now, “You bet, you can count on us,” is what they said. Well, we paraphrase.

BTW, just why do we need those lights? Doesn’t everyone have headlights? There shouldn’t be anyone walking out there, it’s just cars, which are all delivered with two headlights. If yours are not working, please get off the damn road!

Doesn’t matter anyway, before they’ve been finished, there have been thieves out there heisting the wires. In broad daylight. We give that lighting project about as much time as your neighbors’  Christmas lights. If that.

Government to donate land. Three busy body citizens’ activist groups have approached Mayor Arturo de la Rosa with a request for land to build a center for attention to children in a crowded low income neighborhood in San Jose.

Wherever the city has land will do, they said. The organizations are The boys and girls club of Los Cabos chaired by Raul Godin, Mobimex wheelchair chaired by Greg Edwards, and Young People For A Change led by John Pentz, developer of the Palmilla Shoppes.

The center will help children and teenagers from 6 to 16 years of age and its charter is to keep kids off the streets after school. The investment of the three organizations could reach 120 grand in workshop classrooms, sports installations and upgrading its surroundings.

“To care for the future and development of our children is an important and noble labor, and as Mayor of Los Cabos, I am convinced that to invest in forming good habits in children and young ones is the best investment for our town,” said De la Rosa.

Gringo dies in car wreck. James Allen, 67 and from Texas, died instantly in a car wreck just outside of the H+ Hospital. He was driving out of the gas station and turning towards San Jose when his SUV was T boned by a speeding pick up truck on its way to Cabo San Lucas. Everyone, be careful out there, that’s just a real bad intersection.

The driver of the pick-up truck was taken to the local social security hospital but is expected to recover soon.

Don’t Bogart that parking space. Mayor de la Rosa has promised to instruct government officials to park their vehicles along Centenario Avenue behind San Jose, in order to allow visitors to park in front of the downtown businesses. Right now the city workers snap up all the parking spaces when they arrived downtown at 8 in the morning, preventing shoppers from parking when they arrive a couple hours later.

Cabo boardwalk expanding. Fonatur, the federal agency that developed the San Jose hotel zone and the Cabo San Lucas marina, has announced with great fanfare the expansion of the malecon, or concrete boardwalk, that goes around the marina. The expansion is on the East side, extending 400 more yards. The new malecon will run from the Marina Cabo Plaza condos towards the beach in front of the Hacienda resort on Medano beach.

How are our cops doing? Well, not so good. They do seem to be trying harder, extorting less, but of all our cops in Southern Baja, only 35% passed their exams last year. That plunged us to the top of the bottom pile. Our state, Baja Sur, flunked more policemen and police chicks than the entire rest of the country. 

According to the National system of public safety, 45,516 Mexican cops failed the tests. Although that is only 13.49% of the total, it is worrisome in our state.

This year, Mexico changes from city cops to “mando unico,” which means that all cops in the state will be under the leadership and supervision of the state’s attorney general. Oh lordy, those guys are known as the crookedist agency in Mexico. Sigh. Many municipalities are still fighting this, as cities lose their sovereignty that the constitution establishes for each, and they fear that governors will become more corrupt.

Los Cabos has 586 cops with 54 operating vehicles. Most of the police cars and trucks were received in terrible condition at the change of the city administration last September, but have been repaired now and are running.

No olvidar! That’s Mex speak for don’t forget! Two major events coming up: This January 13 – 17 the Lord of The Wind KA North American Kitefoil Championship will take place in Los Barriles, on the East Cape, about an hour north of San Jose. There’s $22,000 in prize money, a tamale cook-off and reggae concert on the beach.  It’s fun to watch from shore. For more information look up: lordofthewindbaja.com.

Then this January 21, 22, 26, 27, 28 at 7 pm Love, Loss And What I Wore, a NY play, will be presented by The Pelican Theatre as part of La Paz’ third season. The play celebrates as well as redefines the expression, “wardrobe malfunction.” Tickets 150 Pesos; wine served. Get your red hot tickets at Allende Books in La Paz and Tecolote Bookstore in Todos Santos.

 We’re a young state. As in, the average age of residents of Southern Baja is 28 years. That means 47% of our population depends on their parents and there’s a lot of children running amuck in our streets, while the  parents are making more babies! At least we’re pretty equal when it comes to gender, as 49.6% of the population are chicks, while 50.4% are dudes. That’s like 100 women for each 101 men, not that bad for a stud like me who’s not afraid of a little competition. The data comes from the INEGI, Mexico’s statistics and geography institute, who are perceived as pretty accurate in their job. Another interesting fact is there are 9.6 residents for each square kilometer (0.386 sq. miles.) Sparse.

And, if you didn’t know or haven’t noticed, 14.47% of the population considers itself indigenous, although only 1.53% speak an indigenous dialect, and 0.44% speaks no Spanish at all. And no, that doesn’t include you, Gringos. We’re talking people who are born in Mexico who can’t speak the language. How are we going to educate these people? Sigh. No wonder the indigenous states like Oxaca are so poor.

Cruise ship dock. The old dock at Puerto San Carlos, north of La Paz on the Pacific side, is under expansion to allow cruise ships to, well, dock there. The new facility is expected to bring at least 70,000 cruise ship passengers to the small Puerto San Carlos town, a favored site for whale watching during the winter.

The dock will be finished in early 2017, at a cost of $1.2 million, said API, the agency that manages Mexico’s small craft marinas. Well, those bandits can afford this project.