Que Pasa In Cabo?

November 27, 2017 edition
BY: DAVID FLORES

New Chedraui opens A new Chedraui store has opened in Los Cabos. It’s a Chedraui Selecto and it’s at the corner of the Club Campestre and the toll road to the international airport. This is the third Chedraui location in the area, there’s also one in Cabo, one in San Jose, and “soon” to be one in the downtown Puerto Paraiso mall.

The difference between the original Chedraui stores and the Selecto stores is that the Selectos are much smaller. They’re only 10,000 square feet, compared to the 110,000 to 300,000 square feet the regular stores occupy. The smaller Selecto stores let Chedraui build in highly populated neighborhoods where large patches of land aren’t available. But it does look big. And pretty. There are more eating in opportunities, with lunch stands with stools offering different types of food. Opening weekend it was so jammed it was unpleasant, but let’s hope we all get over that and crowds even out.  After all, there is a perfectly nice Comer store accoss the street

It’s about time Following up on the many complaints – mostly from foreign tourists – about hospitals’ costs and the fact that patients are practically held hostage by the hospitals unless they pay their outrageous prices, the city government has decided to intervene.

The city is acting under pressure from the U.S. and Canadian consulates, tourist related business organizations and even concerned citizens who see the hospitals’ practices as a threat to tourism. Several complaints about Cabo hospitals have gone viral on social media and were picked up by online and printed newspapers around the world.

The city’s idea is to create a “protocol of medical attention” that would be overseen by the director of CAT/TAC, Cabo’s tourism attention center. CAT/TAC officials will draw up the rules and regulations for hospitals to use with the tourists (and surely these will also be applied to foreign part-time residents).

More Uber news The arrival of Uber in La Paz caused a protest of some 350 cabs parking outside the state government building. This is surprising because usually the taxi cartels take more extreme (as in violent) action against potential competitors.

The governor’s response to the protesters was, “Uber is not illegal, but it is not regulated. We will have to regulate it.” That was kind of a “C’mon guys, just stop protesting.” And “regulated” likely means they will tax Uber drivers by requiring them to have a permit to operate.

Cabo residents are getting anxious for Uber to arrive. Last week, Los Cabos Mayor Arturo de la Rosa, said “We do not regulate transportation services, the state government does. And what our people want is modern, safe, trustworthy, quality transportation.” Which means, the city government can’t stop Uber from coming to Los Cabos.

Will the powerful taxi cartels allow it? So far, they have forced the government, hotels and tourist transportation companies to create an app that forbids companies like Uber from taking tourists out of the resorts unless their services have been contracted from their point of origin, through their travel agencies. Otherwise, only the local cabs can drive them around. Maybe Uber can build an app to get around their app?

Asphalt dumper fined Remember that big pile of asphalt that got dumped in the arroyo, right after the stop light as you’re leaving town, when they were repaving the fourlane back in October? You don’t remember that? Pay attention! A local resident reported this to our rag, who in turn filed a formal report with the city’s ecology department.

Vehicles and heavy equipment from civil protection were sent to pick up the asphalt, as we were right in the middle of hurricane season and if a storm came down on us, that asphalt would have washed into the ocean. And no, not out to China, but it would have washed up on our own beaches,

Profepa, the federal environmental protection agency, ended up fining the contractor, Construcciones Viales Corporation, nearly 10 grand for dumping the asphalt there. Hopefully this makes them think twice about dumping just anywhere they want to.

Convention center almost ready Key word being “almost.” According to the state’s secretary of tourism, the Los Cabos Convention Center will open in late April of next year. It was built in 2012 to host the G20 summit, and was badly damaged two years later by Hurricane Odile.

The center has been closed since, waiting for funding for repairs, and then there was the bidding for which company would operate it. Two companies have been hired to run it. One, from Spain, will promote it internationally. A second one, from Mexico City, will make sure everything works and is in place for the different conventions, meetings and conference that will surely jump to book the center once it opens. Ha. We really need Uber here before it opens, or nobody will be able to move.

New desalination plant coming Finally. Mayor Arturo de la Rosa announced that an agreement to fund the construction of a second desal plant for Cabo was made with Banobras, the federal bank that funds infrastructure projects all around Mexico.

The best part is, 49% of the funding will be a gift from the feds. Well, a gift paid with our taxes, we’d say. The new desal plant will provide Cabo residents with 66 gallons of potable water per second. No word yet on when the plant will be ready to pump us that precious liquid.

Good luck, turtles! Sea turtle season is coming to an end, and 1,000 baby turtles have been tossed into the ocean by local kids and tourists at the San Cristobal turtle ranch, a few miles outside of Cabo on the road to Todos Santos.

For the record, nearly 2 million baby turtles have been protected and tossed (placed, really) into the ocean in the past 10 years at San Cristobal. Since only one in 100 baby turtles survive, this means that at least 20,000 of the feistiest of them have survived.

Stoplights almost ready More than three years after Hurricane Odile washed our precious stoplights and city lights out to China, we’re getting them back. All of the lights are supposed to be installed by November 29, according to the mayor. Oh, that was yesterday! And it’s not like China sent them back, we had to buy new ones.

Well, drive around and see if Mayor de la Rosa made good on his promise. These new stoplights are supposed to be smart, as in able to adjust their timing according to traffic flow. They will have surveillance cameras attached to them that will be monitored by the police, who can alter the stoplight timing from their headquarters in San Jose to ease traffic flow.

We Mexican have a joke about these new stoplights. It goes something like this: We have new smart stoplights, but will the people that monitor them be smart too?” Ha ha ha.