The New York Times Tuesday Crossword Puzzle

Issue 322
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014 to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
Need to Know
manners to present the check before it is
requested, so when you’re ready to leave,
ask «La cuenta, por favor» and your bill
will be delivered to you.
you may have to wait in line for a few
minutes, remember that the banks will
give you a higher rate of exchange than
the exchange booths (caja de cambio).
Better yet, if you have a «bank card»,
withdraw funds from your account back
home. Try to avoid exchanging money at
your hotel. Traditionally, those offer the
worst rates.
f you’ve been meaning to find a little information on the region,
but never quite got around to it, we hope that the following will help.
Look at the map in this issue, you will note that PV (as the locals call
it) is on the west coast of Mexico, in the middle of the Bay of Banderas,
the largest bay in this country, that includes southern part of the state
of Nayarit to the north and the northern part of Jalisco to the south.
Thanks to its privileged location -sheltered by the Sierra Madre
mountains- the Bay is well protected against the hurricanes spawned
in the Pacific. Hurricane Kenna came close on October 25, 2002,
but actually touched down in San Blas, Nayarit, some 200 miles
north of PV. The town sits on the same parallel as the Hawaiian
Islands, thus the similarities in the climate of the two destinations.
AREA: 1,300 sq. kilometers
POPULATION: Approx. 325,000
CLIMATE: Tropical, humid, with
an average of 300 sunny days per year.
The temperature averages 28oC (82oF)
and the rainy season extends from late
June to early October.
allowed under certain circumstances
but fishing of any kind is prohibited.
Every year, the Bay receives the visit
of the humpback whales, dolphins and
manta rays in the winter. During the
summer, sea turtles, a protected species,
arrive to its shores to lay their eggs.
FAUNA: Nearby Sierra Vallejo
hosts a great variety of animal species
such as iguana, guacamaya, deer,
raccoon, etc.
ECONOMY: Local economy is
based mainly on tourism, construction
and to a lesser degree, on agriculture,
mainly tropical fruit such as mango,
guanabana, cantaloupe and bananas.
Banderas encloses two Marine
National Parks - Los Arcos and the
Marieta Islands - where diving is
CURRENCY: The Mexican Peso is
the legal currency in Mexico although
Canadian and American dollars are
widely accepted.
BUSES: A system of urban buses
with different routes. Current fare is
$7.50 Pesos per ticket and passengers
must purchase a new ticket every time
they board another bus. There are no
TAXIS: There are set rates within
defined zones of the town. Do not enter
a taxi without agreeing on the price with
the driver FIRST. If you are staying in a
hotel, you may want to check the rates
usually posted in the lobby. Also, if you
know which restaurant you want to go,
do not let the driver change your mind.
Many restaurateurs pay commissions to
taxi drivers and you may end up paying
more than you should, in a secondrate establishment! There are 2 kinds
of taxi cabs: those at the airport and
the maritime port are usually vans that
can only be boarded there. They have
pre-fixed rates per passenger. City cabs
are yellow cars that charge by the ride,
not by passenger. When you ask to go
downtown, many drivers let you off at
the beginning of the area, near Hidalgo
Park. However, your fare covers the
ENTIRE central area, so why walk 10 to
15 blocks to the main plaza, the Church
or the flea market? Pick up a free map,
and insist on your full value from the
driver! Note the number of your taxi in
case of any problem, or if you forget
something in the cab. Then your hotel or
travel rep can help you check it out or
lodge a complaint.
TIME ZONE: The entire State of
Jalisco is on Central Time, as is the
area of the State of Nayarit from Lo
de Marcos in the north to the Ameca
River, i.e.: Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerías,
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Sayulita, San
Pancho, Punta Mita, etc. North of Lo
De Marcos, Guayabitos, La Peñita,
San Blas, etc. are on Mountain Time,
i.e.: one hour behind PV time.
check on the cost of long distance
calls from your hotel room. Some
establishments charge as much as U.S.
$7.00 per minute!
CELL PHONES: Most cellular
phones from the U.S. and Canada may
be programmed for local use, through
Telcel and IUSAcell, the local carriers.
To dial cell to cell, use the prefix 322,
then the seven digit number of the
person you’re calling. Omit the prefix if
dialling a land line.
usually 10%-15% of the bill at restaurants
and bars. Tip bellboys, taxis, waiters,
maids, etc. depending on the service.
Some businesses and offices close from
2 p.m. to 4 p.m., reopening until 7 p.m. or
later. In restaurants, it is considered poor
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
WHAT TO DO: Even if your allinclusive hotel is everything you ever
dreamed of, you should experience at
least a little of all that Vallarta has to
offer - it is truly a condensed version of
all that is Mexican and existed before
«Planned Tourist Resorts», such as
Cancun, Los Cabos and Ixtapa, were
developed. Millions have been spent to
ensure that the original “small town”
flavor is maintained downtown, in the
Old Town and on the South Side.
belief that a Mexican vacation must
inevitably lead to an encounter with
Moctezuma’s revenge is just that:
false. For the 21st year in a row, Puerto
Vallarta’s water has been awarded
a certification of purity for human
consumption. It is one of only two
cities in Mexico that can boast of such
accomplishment. True, the quality of
the water tested at the purification plant
varies greatly from what comes out of
the tap at the other end. So do be careful.
On the other hand, most large hotels
have their own purification equipment
and most restaurants use purified water.
If you want to be doubly sure, you can
pick up purified bottled water just about
EXPORTING PETS: Canadian and
American tourists often fall in love with
one of the many stray dogs and cats in
Vallarta. Many would like to bring it
back with them, but believe that the laws
do not allow them to do so. Wrong. If
you would like to bring a cat or a dog
back home, call the local animal shelter
for more info: 293-3690.
beginning would be to take one of the City
Tours offered by the local tour agencies.
Before boarding, make sure you have a
map and take note of the places you want
to return to. Then venture off the beaten
path. Explore a little. Go farther than the
tour bus takes you. And don’t worry this is a safe place.
Editorial / Sound Off
Here we are, dear readers, one year later, a little older, but also bigger and hopefully better, gracias
a Dios. It’s also been a promising year for Puerto Vallarta and the Bay of Banderas in general, with all
indicators apparently on the upswing for this area. Mexicans are an optimistic people, a resilient people,
folks filled with hope, who love life and sincerely believe in a better tomorrow. Viva Mexico! It’s about
time! May it just keep on getting better.
As always at this time of year (for the sake of our newcomers), I must point out that this issue includes
December 28th, “El Día de los Santos Inocentes”. This is Mexico’s equivalent of April Fools’ Day in other
countries, and makes for a rather strange combination of themes, to say the least.
First we have all the special events associated with Christmas Day itself, followed by the pranks that
have become the trademark of what used to be a sad reminder of a horrific passage dating back to biblical
times. Since the Middle Ages, the sacrilegious have remembered this mournful event with humor - and
the jovial tradition has continued to this day. On TV and in the newspapers throughout Mexico, bogus
stories will appear (a UFO terrorizes the capital; all cars with registration ending in 7 must report to the
police, etc., etc.), only some of which are later acknowledged to Los Santos Inocentes.
As you leaf through this issue of the Mirror, please bear this unique event in mind, and don’t be “fooled”
...despite the fact that some of the surreal “news items” in our local papers could easily be construed as
jokes at times, though they are not.
On a more serious note, on behalf of all of us who collaborate to make the Mirror what it is, I wish
everyone a New Year filled with happiness, good health and success. God bless us all.
Allyna Vineberg
Publisher / Editor
Your Comments
[email protected]
Dear Editor,
Maybe it’s not exactly an “only in Vallarta”
story, but it fits that author Maurice Monette
had the psychic space to write this gracious
inspiring memoir in this uniquely tolerant and
inspiring Catholic community.
We encourage any and all to read
“Confessions of a Gay Married Priest” to
better understand the hope and the everchanging face of faith in humanity.
Chris & Joanie Bruce
Dear Readers,
There are signed copies of Mr. Monette’s
wonderful book in a few places around town,
including A Page in the Sun and Cassandra
Shaw Jewelry.
The Ed.
Dear Editor,
First, I wish to thank you for the marvelous
cover of the December 20th issue: “Magos en
Navidad” by the illustrious and talented Ada
Colorina. I cannot imagine a more suitable
and lovely painting for the Holidays. As a
writer who visits many eateries and promotes
them, I commend you for printing the letter
informing readers that some people got ill
from some food at Joe Jack’s. By doing so,
you enabled many other diners to put in their
“two cents”. I have dined there with many
friends over the years and have enjoyed the
food, service and ambience with no problems.
You have nothing to apologize. I feel it is
your “duty” to print pros and cons and allow
readers to respond.
On a lighter matter, I want to discuss a new
activity we have enjoyed. Each Saturday, we
pick up three copies of the PV Mirror and our
trio sits at Salud Super Foods on Olas Altas and
work on the New York Times Crossword Puzzle.
When we each get stumped, we compare notes,
adding a word here, a letter there, correcting the
ones which do not work. At the finale, we have
almost every single letter correct plus we had
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
good food, fun conversation and a satisfaction
that we did well.
As I left our condominium complex one
day, at a table were seated three occupants
doing exactly as we do! I had to laugh and
thought I would pass this on to everyone. If
you cannot find anyone to work with you,
stop by and join our group.
Gary R. Beck
Dear Editor:
“Mikki Prost: Shades of the Blues” was a
great show for me!
At 4 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, we decided
“Why not have cocktail hour at The Palm and
see an affordable show? Good way to relax
and set the mood for our weekend of sailing.”
Wow, this show is an absolute show-stopper.
Mikki Prost may have been around awhile and
may just be a solo act singing some songs
from yesteryear; but Mikki Prost is a virtuoso
entertainer. She swept out on the stage in
a stunning big blue gown with diamonds
dazzling and belted out Cry Me a River.
Continued on Next Page
Within PV
Continued letters to editor...
My friend looked around the table with big eyes. We all smiled.
First act sizzled by; second act, more big eyes. Black dress, more
sedate diamonds.
At one point you are transported to Argentina as this lady dramatically
captures the Argentine tango in a way that kept my eyes glued on her. I was
fascinated at the storytelling of this dance as much as the dancing itself.
The show was over! Sorry to see it end. We stood, applauded and said:
“this little lady deserves a big audience.” My hearty kudos to Puerto
Vallarta for having the entertainment value provided in a resort town
where everyone can find the moments that make a vacation memorable.
My Best
JoAnne Shanks
Dear Editor,
I’m writing to tell you how much I enjoyed the “Out and Proud”
article in your November 15th issue.
Having grown up in the very “politically correct” US West coast,
it was a joy to read something that pokes fun at the uptight world
we’ve become.
Thank you, Tim, for keeping it fun… I look forward to reading
more “Out and Proud”.
W.H. Nuño
Publisher / Editor:
Allyna Vineberg
[email protected]
Anna Reisman
Joe Harrington
Harriet Murray
Krystal Frost
Giselle Belanger
Gil Gevins
Stan Gabruk
Ronnie Bravo
Tommy Clarkson
Luis Melgoza
Todd Ringness
Tim Wilson
John Innocuous
Janie Albright Blank
Office & Sales: 223-1128
Graphic Designer:
Leo Robby R.R.
Online Team
Cover Photo:
“Reaching for the Sky Towards Tomorrow”
by Mike Vineberg
PV Mirror es una publicación semanal.
Certificados de licitud de título y
contenido en tramite. Prohibida la
reproducción total o parcial de su
contenido, imágenes y/o fotografías sin
previa autorización por escrito del editor.
An important notice
The PVMIRROR wants your views and
comments. Please send them by e-mail to:
[email protected]
250 words max, full name, street or e-mail
address and/or tel. number for verification
purposes only. If you do not want your name
published, we will respect your wishes.
Letters & articles become the property of
the PVMIRROR and may be edited and/or
condensed for publication.
The articles in this publication are provided
for the purpose of entertainment and
information only. The PV Mirror City
Paper does not accept any responsibility or
liability for the content of the articles on
this site or reliance by any person on the
site’s contents. Any reliance placed on such
information is therefore strictly at such
person’s own risk.
To Advertisers & Contributors and those
with public interest announcements,
the deadline for publication is:
2:00 pm on Monday of the
week prior to publication.
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
December 28th - The Day of the Innocents
The 28
of December is El Día de los Santos
Inocentes, similar in spirit to the American April
Fools’ Day. On this day, people play inocentadas
(pranks or practical jokes) on friends and relatives: people make jokes hoping that the victim
believes the false thing. When people get caught,
the joker says: “Inocente, inocente!” (“Innocent,
innocent!”). The newspapers (including this
one) and other media are in on the joke as well,
reporting false news for the people to figure out.
This day recalls the killing of the “innocents” by
King Herod whose intention it was to eliminate the
recently born baby Jesus. Although the reference
is to a most bloody event, the Day of the Innocents
has turned into a festive tradition in Mexico and no
one really knows its origin or how it became so.
It is believed that in the Middle Ages, it was
decided to combine the biblical event with another
- pagan – known as the “Fiesta de los locos”, celebrated during the days between Christmas and New
Year’s. It is said that that fiesta was so scandalous
that the Church, in the hope of calming the eccentricities of the participants, decreed that it would be
celebrated on the Día de los Santos Inocentes, and
that this is how the pagan-religious union of the two
The Slaughter of the Innocents by
Domenico Ghirlandaio - 1490
began. As a precautionary measure, so as not to fall prey
to the pranks played on them by friends and relatives,
people are reminded not to lend anything to anyone on
that day: money, jewelry, books or any other object as
they may be played for “innocents”. The joke consists
in the person falling for the prank, lending something
of his, and the item is not returned.
Part of the tradition consists in the person who has
been played for a fool, i.e. the “innocent”, receiving a
little basket of sweets accompanied by a note saying:
PV to host Superbowl
John Innocuous
he president of the National Football
League announced today that Puerto Vallarta has
been chosen to host the 2016 Superbowl. Puerto
Vallarta was chosen over 12 other cites vying for
the honor of hosting the greatest annual sporting
event in the world. This will mark the first time
in the history of Superbowls that it has been held
outside of the United States, and will coincide
with the entry of four expansion teams from
Mexico into the National Football League.
The four new expansion teams from Mexico
will be the Cancun Conquerors, The Mazatlan
Marauders, The Guadalajara Guapos, and the
Puerto Vallarta Bull Throwers.
The site of the new multi-purpose stadium
has yet to be announced, but it will most likely
replace the Marina Golf Course. The golf
course area is an ideal location, according to city
officials, who noted that there is sufficient room
to build adequate parking lots around the new
stadium. Also, the nearby hotels have sufficient
rooms to house the huge crowds needed to fill
the stadium during the American Football games
that will be played there.
Construction of the new stadium will begin
in about three months, insuring that it will be
completed in time for the kickoff of the first
game in September 2015.
As a multi-purpose stadium, it will also be
used for futbol (soccer) games and bull fights.
With a seating capacity of 127,500 people for
bullfights, the new stadium will be the world’s
largest arena.
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
Within PV
“inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar, sabiendo que en este día nada se debe prestar?” (Innocent
little dove who let itself be fooled, knowing full
well that you should never lend anything to anyone
on this day.)
Other acts considered “inocentadas” are those
by which false news are spread in a convincing
manner and the fun is derived from those people
who would believe them.
The celebration of the Día de los Santos Inocentes goes back over two thousand years when
King Herod, upon the counsel of his kingdom’s
wise astrologers, found out that a new King of
the Jews had just been born in Bethlehem - as
prophesized by tradition. Consequently, Herod
issued orders that all babies under the age of two
were to be slain and ever since then, the date is
known as “la degollación de los santos inocentes”
(the slitting of the innocent saints’ throats).
Nevertheless, the origin of the pranks associated
with this date nowadays is uncertain. It is known
that the order of the Bethlehemites established
in Mexico in 1673 had been celebrating the day
ever since December 28th, 1703. But when that
order disappeared in 1820, the commemoration
ceased to be related to King Herod’s actions and
became what it is today.
Within PV
Gay D-I-V-O-R-C-E already?
Tim Wilson
We interrupt our normally scheduled
article this week to bring you the latest
trend from the LGBT community: Gay
D-I-V-O-R-C-E. This week’s article is
from the GAYPV bully pulpit and is the
only time bully and gay are acceptable to
be used together. GAYPV declares gay
marriage is now old news. We haven’t even
gotten everyone the right to legally married
in every state before an interesting gay
divorce case hits the docket. Where else but
Florida? As of December 20, 2014, Florida
does not even legally recognize same sex
marriage. So how can the state grant gay
divorce? Florida is listed as a state where
same sex marriage is “under review”.
Remember the 2000 US Presidential
election results where the votes were “under
review”? That term sends cold chills down
my spine as to what can happen. What are
they reviewing? Are they trying to decide
if the couple is really gay and really love
each other? Is Florida sending out its
questionnaire asking if the couple will
remain married until death do them part?
GAYPV did a little investigating. Turns
out the couple was legally married in a civil
union in Vermont in 2002. So in effect,
Florida is recognizing gay marriage in other
states, but not recognizing it in their own
back yard. How bizarre. So you can get gay
divorced in Florida but not gay married!
The circuit judge Dale Cohen dissolved
the marriage between the two women on
December 17, 2014, and on the same day
US Chief Justice Clarence Thomas accepted
the petition to rule on the Florida marriage
ban stay. Cohen is also the judge that ruled
the same sex marriage ban in Florida is
unconstitutional. US Chief Justice Clarence
“Mr No Questions Asked Conservative”
Thomas is set to rule on the stay on January
5th, 2015. Thomas hears emergency appeals
from Florida, Georgia and Alabama. So I
am not holding my breath on that one! Only
God knows what Thomas will rule. I will
be standing by to get Thomas removed from
the bench if he messes this one up.
Now the sordid details of this unfortunate
entanglement and dissolution. The couple
is Heather Brassner who had been seeking
to get an official divorce from her estranged
domestic partner Megan Lade for 5 years,
but the court needed to recognize the
relationship as an out-of-state civil union
first, in order to grant the divorce. This
meant Cohen had to rule on Florida’s samesex marriage ban. After their separation,
Lade disappeared. Brassner then hired a
private eye to track her down, but that was
unsuccessful. Brassner decided to file for
divorce in Lade’s absence. For the divorce
to be official, Cohen had to declare the ban
unconstitutional so that Brassner and Lade’s
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
civil union could be legally recognized and for
the divorce to be official. What a wicked web
of marriage woes they weaved! I am writing
the couple now to see what it cost to split
and if they will grant GAYPV an interview.
Federal judges, out of state researching fees,
and cross border complications... Image the
cost of this divorce!
Ironically, on December 10, 2014 - one
week prior to the divorce - the Williams
Institute sent GAYPV a press release stating
the gay marriages are less likely to end in
divorce that straight marriages. It also stated
that lesbian women are more likely to get
married than gay men (64% of all same sex
marriages are women). Read the full report I
received here
I refused to print this press release in
GAYPV. I sent it back with a note saying
“Too soon to tell. Do more research”.
Why? The gay marriages today are with
well seasoned gay couples who have been
together for many years. Trust me. If they
wanted a divorce they would have left each
other by now and not be “getting married”.
Just wait until a young gay couple who has
only been together 4 years gets married.
The honeymoon will quickly move to
divorce court. This rate will soar and I predict
will exceed that of traditional marriage
divorces. Bravos to the gay divorce lawyers.
Wait and see!
Tim Wilson
Is owner and editor of GAYPV Magazine (
in Puerto Vallarta. This magazine features news,
a complete list of gay and friendly businesses and events,
interesting stories, and around town photos of gay and
friendly businesses and people in Mexico. It is available
in print, online and the new app on Apple newsstand in
December 2014. Tim is an official member of NATJA where
he and GAYPV contributors provide content and press
releases about Puerto Vallarta as a “beyond Gay Friendly”
destination to international LGBT media outlets.
IFC January Calendar
Full of fun & informative activities
Janie Albright Blank
The International Friendship Club
(IFC) is noted for its many and varied
activities for members and guests.
January 2015 is no exception. For
complete details, times and prices,
the IFC website has a full activities
calendar that can be accessed online
at or come by the
Clubhouse and look at the calendar.
You may also call us at 222-5466.
The IFC will be closed on New
Year’s Eve, Wednesday Dec.
31 through January 2. Normal
activities for everything listed
below will resume on Monday,
January 5th unless otherwise noted.
The IFC has a number of
reoccurring activities each week
starting with a busy Monday that
includes Bridge lessons outside in
the courtyard beginning at 9 a.m.
Lessons WILL be held on Dec. 29th
then every Monday of the season
- free to members or $50 pesos for
Monday also includes Spanish
Lessons. The IFC is known for
its Spanish classes, also held on
Tuesday and Thursdays. There are
a number of different levels, from
Tourist Spanish to Advanced. Check
the website for details. Classes
WILL be held on December 29th
and 30th at the usual times.
Monday evenings offer a Classic
Movies series this winter with an
Academy Award winning film being
shown each week. Bar opens at 6:30
with movie at 7 p.m. Check the
website for listings.
Tuesday and Wednesday of
each week, beginning again January
6 through March 25, features the
signature IFC offering: their Home
Tours. Home Tours raise money
for the Cleft Palate Program and
other charities supported
by the IFC. Home Tours
depart from the Sea Monkey
(Aquiles Serdan at the
beach) promptly at 10:30
a.m. with tickets going on
sale at 9 a.m. or they can be
purchased in advance at the
IFC clubhouse or online at If
you have never been on a
Home Tour, this is a MUST
activity in Vallarta. If you
have, then come back and bring
a friend! There are four different
and fabulous homes toured weekly.
There will be NO Home Tours New
Year’s Week.
Wednesday evenings this season
bring something new: the Democrats
Abroad Movie Series. This popular
series has moved to the IFC and the
bar opens at 6 p.m. with movies at 7.
Again, more details and listings can
be found at
Thursdays, in addition to Spanish
lessons, the IFC plays Bunco at 10
a.m. at the Sea Monkey on their
upper level. This fun game is open to
members and non-members. Stop by
and join in. It’s an easy game to learn
and a fun way to meet new people.
Fridays include Social Bridge
from 2 to 5 p.m. and the IFC Social
Hour from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Complete
your evening if you like by going
to one of our preferred restaurants.
Enjoy a great dinner with the IFC
discounted rate and receive your own
individual bill. A different restaurant
is chosen every week
Finish out the week at the IFC
with two very popular and relaxing
activities each Saturday: Dharma
Yoga 9:15 - 10:15 a.m. with Alberto
Vargas, popular yoga instructor
at FIT club. No prior training
necessary. Chairs provided or bring
a mat. Voluntary donation of $50
pesos minimum requested. Mindful
Meditation 10:30 to 11 a.m. with
Alberto Vargas and Dan Grippo.
Free-will donation to the IFC.
The IFC also has some Special
scheduled in January. On Tuesday
evening, January 13th, the IFC
will host an Open House & Chili
Cook-off in conjunction with their
General Meeting. This will be open
to members and the public. Look for
more details on this next week.
On Thursday evening, Jan. 15th
and again on Jan. 29th, the IFC will
host Pam Thompson and her everpopular Medical Matters series.
The former will be “Skin Care in
the Tropics” with Dermatologist
Patricia Garcia, introduced by
Pam Thompson, while the latter
features “Your Healthcare Options
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
Within PV
in Puerto Vallarta” presented
by Pam Thompson of Healthcare
Resources, discussing information
on hospitals, specialists, emergency
care, insurance coverage, and other
important topics. Donation: $40
pesos or 3 canned goods at the door
(no advance tickets). Doors
open at 6:30, talk begins at 7
On Thursday, Jan. 15th, the
IFC will host Jeana Dunphy
of Beyond Vallarta who will
offer a Travel Presentation at
7 p.m. $40 pesos or 3 canned
goods donation at the door.
Also a reminder: The
2015 Provecho Restaurant
Discount Card Decks are on
sale at the IFC! The popular
Provecho Card Deck offering
$100-peso discounts on meals
at many fine local restaurants
as well as at other outlets is available
at the IFC Clubhouse for $300 pesos.
The IFC will receive $100 pesos on
each deck sold at the Clubhouse, so
if you are planning on buying a 2015
Provecho Deck, please consider
buying from the IFC.
The International Friendship Club is
a registered charitable organization in
Mexico listed as Club Internacional de la
Amistad de Puerto Vallarta A.C., located
at the northeast corner of the Rio Cuale
Bridge above the HSBC Bank downtown.
Phone: 222-5466.
Email: [email protected]
Beyond PV
New Holiday tipping regulation
PVBS - The state legislature has approved a bill and sent it
to the Governor’s office that will benefit restaurant and bar
workers who have to work on national holidays. The Governor
has endorsed this bill and is expected to sign it without
People who have to work on national holidays will receive
triple time pay for the hours they work. This bill, when enacted
into law, will require that patrons of restaurants and bars give
these hardworking employees triple tips on national holidays.
The recommended tip for good food and service is 15% of
the total bill. When this piece of legislation becomes law, the
recommended tip for the same meal will be 45% on national
A spokesperson for the Restaurant, Bar and Cantina Workers’
Union says that this is fair compensation for all those people
who forego spending the holidays with their family in order
to serve meals and drinks to tourists. Restaurant owners fear
that this may cause patrons to go to less expensive restaurants
on national holidays. A spokesman for the fast food restaurant
owners (where employees don’t receive tips) says this will
significantly bolster their business on national holidays.
US-Mexico drug tunnel wins
prestigious safety award
SAN DIEGO (PVBS) — The Mine Safety and Health Administration
awarded the Medal of Honor, its most prestigious safety award, to the
US and Mexican conglomerate responsible for the recently discovered
Tecate/San Diego drug smuggling and illegal immigrant tunnel.
“The tunnel,” said David G. Dye, Acting Assistant Secretary of
Labor for Mine Safety and Health, “is unusually elaborate, equipped
with rails, electric lighting, and a ventilation system. Not a single safety
violation has been reported in the history of the tunnel’s operation.
Methane levels are controlled, there is no coal dust accumulation and
the structure is properly shored-up against collapse.”
In the unlikely event of any problem, tunnel users had access to
200 pounds of top quality marijuana with which to amuse themselves
while rescue operations got under way.
Mexico joins Western Treasury Federation
In an unexpected move last (LOL); (3.) The Return of Offshore
week, the Mexican Government
agreed to join the Western
Treasury Federation, a newlyformed conglomeration of Central
American and South American
countries with a number of financial
and fiscal goals.
According to Juan Jose Cabrillo
Zapeda, a spokesperson for the
Western Treasury Federation,
“The WTF has five specific short
term and long term goals. These
are: (1.) Moving all countries to
a common currency, called the
Western Currency (WC), similar to
the very successful Euro; (2.) The
Legalization of Omnibus Leverage
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
Transaction Funds (ROTF); (4.)
The Legitimization of Management
Assests Overseas (LMAO); and
(5.) The realization of Offshore
Monetary Gains (OMG).”
Señor Cabrillo went on to say that
the primary department in WTF,
the Ministerial Fiscal (MF), will
have evaluators of regional support
(ers) to ensure that these goals are
achieved in every country within
the WTF.
He stated, “WTF and the MFers
will oversee LOL, ROTF and
LMAO until OMG is achieved.
Then we can use the WC.”
...but why?
“Happy New Year!”
greeting will be said and heard for
at least the first couple of weeks
as a new year gets under way.
But the day celebrated as New
Year’s Day in modern America
was not always January 1.
Ancient New Years
The celebration of the new
year is the oldest of all holidays,
first observed in ancient Babylon
about 4000 years ago.
Babylonian new year celebration
lasted for eleven days. Each day
had its own particular mode of
celebration, but it is safe to say
that modern New Year’s Eve
festivities pale in comparison.
In order to set the calendar
right, the Roman senate, in 153
BC, declared January 1 to be the
beginning of the new year. But
tampering continued until Julius
Caesar, in 46 BC, established
what has come to be known as
the Julian Calendar. It again
established January 1 as the new
year but in order to synchronize
the calendar with the sun, Caesar
had to let the previous year drag
on for 445 days.
The Church’s view
Although in the first centuries
AD, the Romans continued
celebrating the new year, the early
Catholic Church condemned
the festivities as paganism.
But as Christianity became
more widespread, the Church
began having its own religious
observances concurrently with
many of the pagan celebrations,
and New Year’s Day was
no different. New Year’s is
still observed as the Feast of
Christ’s circumcision by some
During the Middle Ages, the
Church remained opposed to
celebrating New Years. January
It’s Another New Year...
1 has been celebrated as a holiday
by Western nations for only about
the past 400 years.
The beginning of the new year
has been welcomed on different
dates throughout history. Great
Britain and its colonies in America
adopted the Gregorian calender
in 1752, in which January 1st was
restored as New Year’s Day. Ways
of celebrating differ as well, but
whatever the custom, most of people
feel the same sentiment: With a
new year, we can expect a new life.
We wish each other good luck and
promise ourselves to do better in the
following year.
Auld Lang Syne
“Auld Lang Syne” is sung at
the stroke of midnight in almost
every English-speaking country
in the world to bring in the new
year. At least partially written
by Robert Burns in the 1700’s, it
was first published in 1796 after
Burns’ death. Early variations of
the song were sung prior to 1700
and inspired Burns to produce the
modern rendition. An old Scotch
tune, “Auld Lang Syne” literally
means “old long ago,” or simply,
“the good old days.”
Making New Year’s resolutions
is another tradition dating back to
the early Babylonians - whose most
popular resolution was to return
borrowed farm equipment.
Unfortunately, by the time the
end of the month rolls around, most
resolutions made on December
31 have been subtly forgotten and
placed in a cupboard marked “maybe
next year.” However, all hope is not
lost, as there’s a second chance to
start afresh with the celebration of
Chinese New Year which will fall
on Thursday, February 19th, 2015,
ushering in the year of the Sheep.
The tradition of using a baby to
signify the new year was begun in
Greece around 600 BC. It was their
tradition at that time to celebrate
their god of wine, Dionysus,
by parading a baby in a basket,
representing the annual rebirth of
that god as the spirit of fertility.
Early Egyptians also used a baby as
a symbol of rebirth.
Although the early Christians
denounced the practice as pagan,
the popularity of the baby as a
symbol of rebirth forced the Church
to reevaluate its position. It finally
allowed its members to celebrate the
new year with a baby, which was to
symbolize the birth of the baby Jesus.
The use of an image of a baby
with a New Year’s banner as a
symbolic representation of the new
year was brought to early America
by the Germans. They had used the
effigy since the 14th century.
Peruvians wear yellow underwear
to welcome the new year, while
Scots wish for a dark-haired visitor
to cross their threshold soon after
midnight, regardless of the color of
his or her briefs.
In Italy, Neapolitans toss pots and
dishes out their windows to bring
good luck, although presumably not
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
Beyond PV
to the innocent passersby on the
street below.
Similarly, Muscovites crowd
Red Square, then risk serious
tossing emptied vodka bottles
overhead at midnight.
In the category of only slightly
less hazardous, Danes leap off
chairs at the stroke of midnight
so they can “jump” into the new
And Korean girls seesaw
standing up. Why? It seems
centuries ago, women there were
not allowed any outdoor exercise.
If they wanted a glimpse of love
interests beyond the courtyard
wall, bouncing up on their seesaws
was just about the only way.
At midnight, Buddhist temples
toll their bells 108 times,
symbolizing the 108 human
frailties in Buddhist belief. Once
listeners have heard all 108
chimes, they’ve been relieved
of each sin — and their hearing
if they’ve been celebrating near
the world-class 74-ton bell of the
Chion-in Temple in Kyoto.
As colossal diversions go,
Brazilians are among the best.
Each year, thousands of whiteclad Rio de Janeiro residents
gather at beaches and plunge
noisily into the sea at midnight
bearing offerings of flowers,
candles, candies, cigars and
sugarcane alcohol for the ocean
goddess Iemanja.
In Mexico, a more modern, and
possibly more perilous approach,
is to fire rifles into the air.
Of course, in keeping with the
electronic age, millions of people
worldwide celebrate New Year’s
Eve in a wholly modern way.
They turn on their TVs or iPads
and watch other people celebrate.
Happy New Year!
The 7 Arts
nother Christmas has come and
gone already. I hope you or someone
special decked your halls with some
figgy pudding or other holiday food
favorites. It was a busy week for
my wife and me as well. We really
enjoyed meeting up with our friends
at the Sunset Christmas Party at the
Mangos Beach Club. The joint was
jumpin’ with servers scurrying with
loads of libations in every different
direction. Hats off to Edgar and
Warren at Stratos Media for their
efforts to send just about everybody
out the door full to the brim with
Christmas cheer and a few with great
We also had some excitement
with our business, Vallarta Tickets
and the biggest Saturday morning
two-for-one tickets promotion to
date. Many thanks go to our newest
marketing partner, Vallarta Today.
We look forward to a great future
People often ask me how Vallarta
Tickets got started. Back in 2006, the
Palm Cabaret was alive and well,
and the only theatre on the south side
of town was located on Olas Altas.
Todd Ringness
The Santa Barbara Theater was
owned by Ed Hutmacher and it featured
a huge variety of performances… and
eventually, something different most
every night of the week. I had the
opportunity to work with Ed for a time,
and that’s when the idea first came
to start an online ticketing agency to
make it easier for people to get their
show tickets.
The name was conceived, the
logo was designed, the domain
was secured, a service provider
was contracted, and the proposal
was presented. But it was not to
be, because we couldn’t agree on a
pricing model that would make the
business viable with only one small
theatre supplying ticket inventory.
So Vallarta Tickets was off, and life
went on.
Fast forward six years. I was
running the Paradise Stage and
it quickly became apparent that
customers wanted an easier way
to get their show tickets. Along
with The Palm Cabaret, we began
experimenting with online ticketing
options and found early success. And
then the news came.
A new south side theatre was the
talk of the town. The arrival of two
more venues pretty much sealed the
deal - it was time to revisit Vallarta
So everything was literally pulled
off the shelf and out of the hard drive
back-ups. Negotiations ensued with
each venue… now numbering FIVE
on the south side alone!
One by one, each venue signed on,
giving us the right to sell their tickets
online. Elizabeth and Danny from
the Main Stage and the Red Room
(Act II Entertainment), Tracy from
The Palm, Ken & Karrie from
Boutique Theatre, and Ric & Joy
from the Paradise Stage. All of
them recognized the cross-marketing
potential of a cooperative online
ticketing agency, and everyone joined
us for our debut. What a blessing of
encouragement that was for us and our
new venture! Quite simply, Vallarta
Tickets wouldn’t be here today with
you, and my wife Sandra Gaye and
I will remain forever grateful to each
one of you.
On October 22, 2013, we
finally threw the switch, and roared to life.
Within minutes, we received our
first telephone order from Mikki
Adams… a very proud mama who
wanted the best seats to cheer her
daughter on in Act II Entertainment’s
debut and opening night extravaganza
for A Chorus Line.
In most ways, it’s hard to believe
that all happened only 14 months
ago. Since day one, one thing has
not changed. You, our ticket-buying
customers continue to visit our
website week after week to buy your
tickets online. You’ve put up with all
the glitches and more. And you keep
coming back, and you keep telling
your friends about us, and you keep
US going… day, after day. THANK
YOU for your support… we really do
love serving you! We truly hope that
our convenient service gives you a
little extra time to do what YOU truly
A woman who also loves what
she does is our newest event partner
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
this week. You can join Catherine
Beeghly as she takes you on a guided
Saturday tour of three very different
public Markets. The Puerto Vallarta
Saturday Markets Tour will give a
great feel for all three markets as well
as some personal shopping/snacking
time. Catherine also shares some
inside tips and info along the way.
It’s a perfect way to explore our town
with your visiting friends or family
AND get some great shopping in!
Ask Catherine to tell you about her
latest finds that helped spruce up her
winter wardrobe.
The Puerto Vallarta Saturday
Markets Tour is a walking tour with
some bus transportation included.
Get details and tickets under the
TOURS tab at or
call Sandra at our service center at
222-4198. Tour sizes are limited, so
book early!
Catherine is also the director
behind the Puerto Vallarta debut of
The Odd Couple - Female Version
at the Boutique Theatre above
Nacho Daddy on Basilio Badillo on
the south side. The original stage
version of the comedy starred Sally
Struthers and Rita Moreno. This
production features local talent and
is presented entirely in English.
Enjoy the play with a 3-course Filet
Mignon dinner from the same table
you enjoy the show, for US $37 or
take in the show only for just US $16
at (seating is
VERY limited, so don’t wait!)
I hope you ring in 2015 either
doing something or being with
someone YOU love. As the years
whiz by faster and faster, it seems
only the most special of memories of
shared love remain. And as always,
blessings upon you!
Todd Ringness
Along with his wife Sandra Gaye are the
founders of Vallarta Tickets, a Canadian
online ticketing agency serving the
Banderas Bay region and beyond. You can
usually see this man about town, or you
can email: [email protected]
‘Greater Tuna’ and
Latcho & Andrea: The Blond Gypsies
at The Palm Cabaret
Vallarta has fallen in love with the
colorful characters in the hit comedy
stage production of ‘Greater Tuna’,
and with the earthy sounds of Latcho
& Andrea - The Blond Gypsies and
their Spanish Guitars. Added dates
will now extend both shows well into
the new year.
‘Greater Tuna’ - With twenty
characters (played by just two actors)
and 42 costume changes, Tracy Parks
and Chaz Weathers, who star in the
play, have had their work cut out for
them in this labor of love. “It has been
a dream of ours for many years to play
these characters, and we are thrilled
that so many people are enjoying it
just as much as we are!” said Tracy
Parks, who plays Aunt Pearl, along
with a host of others in the production.
Audiences are raving about ‘Tuna’
and reviews have been excellent, with
some folks returning for a second and
even a third time to see it.
‘Greater Tuna’ is a big comedy
about a small town, small minds and
big hearts. Set in the fictional, yet
typical small town of Tuna, Texas,
‘where the Lions Club is too liberal
and Patsy Cline never dies’, Tuna
is rife with a wide-range of colorful
characters and storylines. Written by
Joe Sears, Jaston Williams and Ed
Howard, the original production ran for
more than 30 years all over the world
and played two command performances
for US Presidents in Washington, D.C.
Due to its overwhelming popularity,
‘Greater Tuna’ is now playing through
January 20th.
Latcho & Andrea - The Blond
widespread popularity at The Palm,
having appeared recently in two
very successful shows, with a third
scheduled on Christmas Eve at 7
p.m. Latcho & Andrea are European
recording artists who perform
Gypsy Rumba and Flamenco Guitar
music. Both of German descent,
their music takes influences from
around the world and back through
time, authentically producing the
mysterious and passionate sounds
of Gypsy Flamenco music. They
have recorded nine albums and a
DVD chronicling their long musical
career. In 1996, Latcho & Andrea
decided to leave Europe and relocate
to Puerto Vallarta. Since then their
local popularity has soared and they
have been consistently performing
throughout Puerto Vallarta and other
parts of Mexico, the United States
and Europe. Due to overwhelming
demand, additional dates have been
scheduled on January 5 & 26 matinees
at 4:00 p.m. and February 14th at 9:30
p.m. & 28th at 7:00 p.m. (see the link
below for tickets).
Holiday Schedule - Christmas Eve,
Day & New Year’s Eve, Day will see
shows in full-swing at The Palm. On
December 24th, Latcho & Andrea will
play at 7, followed by the ever popular
Dragapella Quartet - The Kinsey
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
The 7 Arts
Sicks, with their holiday comedy
classic ‘Oy Vey In A Manger’ at 9:30
p.m. On Christmas Day ‘Simply
Barbra & Friends’ starring acclaimed
Barbra Streisand impersonator Steven
Brinberg, who sings everything live
with accompanist Chris Denny at the
piano, will play at 7 p.m. followed at
9:30 by stand up Comedienne Shawn
Pelofsky stars in her popular show
‘Here Comes Shawn-A-Claus - Stand
Up Comedy To Jingle Your Bells’. On
New Year’s Eve, ‘Greater Tuna’ will
play at 7 p.m. Then on New Year’s
Day ‘Simply Barbra & Friends’ will
play at 7:00 p.m. followed by The
Kinsey Sicks at 9:30 p.m.
The Palm, currently celebrating
its 15th Anniversary Season,
is well-known for bringing top
notch, cutting-edge entertainment
to Vallarta. Inside you’ll find an
intimate, completely refurbished 90seat theatre with outstanding sound
and lighting, creating the ambience
of cabarets from days gone by. Shows
are scheduled seven nights per week,
with two different shows nightly
through April 2015.
The Palm is non-smoking (a patio is
provided for smokers) and is located
at 508 Olas Altas, in the heart of the
Romantic Zone on the south side of
town. Tickets may be purchased
online 24 hours a day, and at The
Palm’s box office, open at 11 a.m.
daily. A full calendar of performances
and online tickets are available at You can also
find The Palm on Facebook at The
Palm Cabaret and Bar.
The 7 Arts
of Hatshepsut. Although the word
“pharaoh” may have been used at
that time as title for King Ramses,
the word “king” was definitely
used throughout much of Egyptian
By Joe Harrington
Thanks Gretchen for the info and
mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima
The title of this column is “Gods,
Kings and Insanity.” Gretchen took
care of gods and kings; now I take
ecently, I reviewed Moses: UCB and subsequently traveled to on current bedlam.
The flick currently ensconced
Gods and Kings writing: “The title Egypt many times. Studying the
annoyed me. Using God as singular history of Egypt, I learned the word in international political lunacy is
is capitalized, gods are not. And “pharaoh” means “great house,” called The Interview. Plot in 14
there are no kings in an Egyptian referring to the palace, i.e., the words: “Two dumb and dumber
tale, only pharaohs.” I was wrong; government (comparable to our use types are recruited by the CIA to
assassinate Kim Jong-un.” That
the word “gods” used in a title is of the “White House”). dictator,
with the worst hair since
“The word “pharaoh” was not
My gaff regarding “kings” drew used for an Egyptian king until after Medusa quit combing hers, didn’t
an informative response from a the middle of the 18th dynasty, after like this idiotic comedy. According
reader named Gretchen who wrote: the death of Queen Hatshepsut. to the F.B.I., Kim, funding a group
“I enjoyed reading your review Hatshepsut birth was 1508 BC. who piously call themselves
after having made a decision not Moses birth is alternately given as “Guardians of Peace,” hacked
to see this film. Years ago I took 1592 and 1572 BC, putting him in Sony Picture Company’s files and
Egyptology extension courses at the 18th dynasty and after the death released sensitive documents, then
threatened to blow up theaters
daring to air the film.
Sony caved.
Hello and goodbye to the First
Amendment of the Bill of Rights.
What critiquing power!
think what Muslim radicals can do
with Sony’s capitulation. Some
Muslims believe women should not
expose their winsome faces, come
hither curves, fluttering eyelashes,
and moistened lips -- even though
these enticements were created by
the Intelligent Design Designer to
guarantee the survival of the species.
What happens when other
terrorists with a gripe against
another film’s content demands a
halt to distribution with the threat of
bombs in movie houses? Using the
standards that women should not
show any feminine charms means
every movie ever made is offensive
to radical Muslims.
A ludicrous and farfetched
Sahara, not Matt
Humphrey Bogart (1943). There
is no actress in this movie. Plot: In
Gods, Kings and Insanity
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
a desolate desert in North Africa, a
tank crew holds off thirst parched
Germans from getting non-existent
water from an oasis’ well. A
captured Italian soldier who, in
a desperate plea to save his life,
shows Bogart a photo of his Sicilian
wife and – horror of sand driven
dervish horrors – her loving face
wears no hihab, al-Amira, Shayla,
Khimar, Chador, Niqab or any other
type Burka veil. That photo of a
woman’s face is offensive in the
minds of some. If a stupid comedy
can be forced to the editing room
trashcan, why not any movie that
shows a woman’s face?
Somewhere in the Middle
East a member of ISIS, wearing
a black ski mask and holding a
quivering in anticipated use quill
pen dipped in the blood of a throatslashed goat, salivates with the
thought of his newly anointed
editorial power.
This Muslim
remembers movies that offended
him. Insults attacking his cherished
beliefs painfully throb in his skull as
he remembers the faces of women
in A Christmas Carol or It’s a
Wonderful Life or The Nativity as
the celluloid clicks by at 24 frames
per horrific and sacrilegious second.
Get a bomb. Buy a movie ticket.
No more shall the infidel be allowed
to spread these disgusting images.
Why stop at movie theaters? Why
not threaten Netflix or HBO office
Think I fantasize? Think it can’t
or won’t happen again? If someone
a week ago told me this threat was
going to happen to Sony Pictures
and they would fold, I would have
guffawed. I ain’t laughing now.
Happy New Year to all, the Brave
New World is upon us.
Joe Harrington
Is an internationally published true crime
writer and documentary filmmaker.
Send comments or criticism to
[email protected]
Artwork by Bob Crabb.
Dueling Drag Divas
- Chi Chi Rones and Joanna
bring their smash hit all-live
comic celebrity impression show
“Celebrity Smackdown” to the
newly remodeled “Chandelier
Room” at the Blue Chairs Resort
opening New Year’s Eve and
playing thru April 5th, 2015
(Sundays and Wednesdays
at 8 p.m.) with a bonus
show added for January
2nd @ 8 p.m.
E m m y - Aw a r d
Winner Chi Chi Rones
(Peter Garcia) and NY
Times acclaimed
you a night you
will never forget.
Come see these two
great entertainers
as they duke it out
live) with back
to back comedic
impressions of Dueling Tina
Turners, Barbra Streisand vs.
Bette Midler, Battling Judy
Garlands, Adele vs. Amy
Winehouse, a wicked/frozen
Mash-up, Cher, Katy Perry,
Bette Davis, Eartha Kitt, Dame
Dueling Drag Divas land at Blue Chairs
New Year’s Eve thru April 2015
Shirley Bassey, Billie Holiday,
Ursula from The Little Mermaid
and a male medley with Johnny
Cash, Neil Diamond, Bruce
Springsteen and Elvis! This high
energy comedy show is not
to be missed. Come see
why it is TripAdvisor’s
#1 Best Reviewed
Drag Show 2013/2014 for both
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and
Ogunquit, Maine!
Joanna and Chi Chi Rones first
met working the same venue in
Puerto Vallarta a few years ago.
They decided to put together a
show titled “The Taco Belle and
the Dairy Queen” (since Joanna
is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
and Chi Chi loves Taco Bell) but
changed the title at the last minute
to “Dueling Drag Divas”. Word
about their partnering quickly
spread amongst the locals and
tourists and all six shows quickly
sold out.
Success followed
them to Ogunquit, Maine where
they have played to sold out
houses the past two summers at
“We are very excited to be
kicking off the season at the Blue
Chairs Resort with a Rockin’
New Year’s Eve Party
complete with a 3 course
meal, champagne toast and
private fireworks!
evening will also be about
helping those less fortunate
as the Dueling Drag Divas
and The Blue Chairs Resort
have partnered with the Casa
JoJo Foundation”, says Chi Chi
Rones. $5us from each Full Price
ticket sold will go directly to Casa
JoJo, benefitting minority children
helping them get a primary
education and assist families with
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
The 7 Arts
basic living needs. Casa JoJo’s
current projects include “Christmas
at the Dump”, “Corazon de Niña”
- Girls Orphanage, “Christmas at
Quimixto”, “Cheryl’s Shoes”, and
“Adopt a Family Project”. http://
Alvarado and Bill Williams,
who spearhead Casa JoJo, have
always opened up their hearts to
the people of Vallarta and we are
proud to include their foundation
in what will be a magical New
Year’s Eve atop Blue Chairs”, say
the Dueling Drag Divas.
In addition to performing
summers and winters in Ogunquit,
Maine, and Mexico respectively, the
Dueling Drag Divas also perform
throughout California, DC, Florida,
New Hampshire and Maine.
The Dueling Drag Divas will
be performing two shows weekly
in the Chandelier Room at the
Blue Chairs Resort on the 6th floor
thru April 5, 2015. Wednesdays
and Sundays at 8 p.m. Only 150
Tickets available at The
Blue Chairs Resort located
Malecon and Almendro
No. 4 Puerto Vallarta. Phone:
222-5040 or online at www.
The 7 Arts
The New Year starts out with Music, Comedy and Murder at
ACT II Entertainment’s Main Stage
The Musical
Comedy Murders of 1940
Secret passageways, Nazi saboteurs, and
dead bodies combine to create a blizzard
of mayhem in this sidesplitting comedy.
Poking antic fun at the more ridiculous
aspects of “show biz” and the corny thrillers
Les Femmes de Serge
Back by popular demand! Don’t miss
this totally original, wonderfully eclectic
show. The harmonies of Les Femmes de
Serge will knock your socks off! French-Mexican quartet “Les Femme
des Serge” revisits popular French music
(chanson française) from the second half of
the 20th century. Originated in Guadalajara,
Mexico, Les Femme de Serge explores
beautiful melodies that take listeners out
of everyday reality, plunging them into a
colorful pool of varied emotions. Some of the
songs are funny, others full of melancholy. Florence and Mary introduce elements of
performance that enlighten us or expand
upon the context of the lyrics, all sung in
French. DATES: December 25, 26 & 27
at 8 p.m.
of Hollywood’s heyday, the play is a non-stop
barrage of laughter as those assembled (or at
least those who aren’t killed off) untangle
the mystery of the Stage Door Slasher.
New York Magazine hails Murders as “the
intelligent person’s kind of nonsense.”
Ringing in the New Year on January 2nd!
A hilarious “whodunit”, the name says it all.
Music, comedy, and murder. The Musical
Comedy Murders of 1940 is set in the
mansion library of Elsa von Grossenkneuten
in Chappaqua, NY, in 1940. She has invited
the crew of a musical that had a series of
murders associated with it to her home
to consider a new show which she will
produce. This is actually a ruse to reopen
the cold case of the Stage Door Slasher.
To tell you any more would spoil the fun. This Murder Mystery is a nonstop ride of
laughs and mystery, directed by Danny
Mininni. This is Danny’s second time in
the director’s chair for this show. In 1990,
his California production was honored by
The Voice
of Vallarta Season 2
The Voice of Vallarta returns to the Main
Stage! Week four features the songs of 2014.
Once again, the highest attend show in Vallarta
history is looking for the best singer in the
Bay of Banderas, hosted once again by Juan
Pablo Hernandez who turns SPANGLISH
into an art form! This year taking the judges
chairs are: PVMC Choral Director Alfonso
Lopez and returning to the table, Kharla
Barragan, Carlos Santana and Elizabeth
Ensor. The Voice of Vallarta will run every
Sunday till the big closing night, March 29th. A Voice of Vallarta Pass is now available
at This pass will
get you into all auditions, seats in the first three
rows, one cocktail per show and seats for the
big closing night. Check it out!
DATES: Sunday nights at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
winning the L.A. TIMES Best Pick of
the Week with extended runs and sold out
shows. MCM of 1940 will be starring many
of Vallarta’s favorites: Act II founding
member Elizabeth Ensor, Mary Amelotte,
Anthony St Martin, Roger Uscila, Stephanie
Wright Watts, Adam Bishop, Salvador Ruiz,
Cherry De Lorenzo, Heidi Pitts and Hal
Bonta. DATES : January 2, 3 7, 8, 9, 10,
14, 15, 16, 17.
The 7 Arts
Puerto Vallarta’s ArtWalk
(boardwalk) can be found on the cobblestone
streets of Centro Histórico, the original site of
Puerto Vallarta, settled on December 12, 1861.
Visitors will find a variety of art, gourmet
restaurants, unusual jewelry and unique stores
in this area.
Café des Artistes and River Café, two
highly ranked restaurants, have consistently
supported the ArtWalk for several years. As
well as enjoying art at participating galleries
on Wednesday nights, visitors can also have a
fantastic culinary art experience at one of these
rtWalk’s nineteenth season begins October
29, 2014 and ends May 27, 2015 in the Centro
Histórico (downtown) area of Puerto Vallarta.
The purpose of the ArtWalk is to exhibit
exceptional national and international artists.
Art collectors, art patrons, local residents and
interested visitors will discover the great variety
and exceptional quality of art available in
Puerto Vallarta which rivals any city in Mexico.
Remarkable paintings, exceptional sculptures,
fine ceramics and noteworthy art in many diverse
forms – these are the experiences of ArtWalk.
Because all the galleries involved in the
ArtWalk are located in the Centro Histórico,
walking from one gallery to another is an easy,
enjoyable experience. Participating galleries
offer exhibitions and cocktails every Wednesday
evening from 6 until 10 p.m. The amount of
time you spend at each gallery is optional.
Join us at ArtWalk in Centro Histórico
and enjoy a piece of the history of this city.
The church and crown of Nuestra Señora de
Guadalupe which is the famous icon of Puerto
Vallarta, the city hall and plaza and the malecón
Art Walks from Oct. 29, 2014, to May 27, 2015
During New Year festivities, the Art Walk will be held on
Tuesday, December 30th, 2014, instead of Wednesday.
The rest of the year most of the galleries remain open.
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
The 7 Arts / Good Bites
Catch Los Bambinos’
last show of 2014
Los Bambinos present their last concert of 2014 this
Tuesday December 30th, 8 p.m. at Roxy Rock House.
The unforgettable harmonies of the Beach Boys come
to life as the talented Morales brothers bring their heart
and soul to the stage. “I always look for Los Bambinos
when I come back to Vallarta. Their music just makes
me feel good,” comments Sandra of California. “This
show brings out the best in the group, with their
fabulous harmonies.”
For the first time ever, the group dedicates a complete
set to their original songs. They have received positive
response. A long-time listener shared after the show.
“These guys have come a long way. I used to see them
playing in the restaurants like fifteen years ago. We
called them ‘the kids.’ We always bought a couple
Mexican songs. I am delighted to see them on stage,
performing their own music. It really makes them
shine and I am so happy to be able to support them as
original performing artists.”
Los Bambinos’ Friday night show is a hit for Latin
music fans! It brings an easy-listening selection of
Latin & international rhythms to the stage. Alongside
tastefully selected international songs, the group
performs a mellower selection of their original music,
perfect for the refined listener. Come alone or bring all
your friends.
Los Bambinos will resume their Friday night
UNPLUGGED show on January 9th, 2015, at 8 p.m.
The Beach Boys show will continue Tuesday nights,
8 p.m. Reserve your seats now! Concerts are held at
Roxy Rock House cabaret-style venue at 217 Ignacio
L. Vallarta in the Romantic Zone on the south side of
town. Reservations at 222-4357. English spoken.
Visit Roxy has live music
every night beginning at 11 p.m. See you there!
New Year food traditions
s with many holidays, food plays a special role at
this time of year. Traditional New Year foods are also
thought to bring good luck. Many cultures believe that
anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because
it symbolizes “coming full circle,” completing a year’s
cycle. Thus the Dutch believe that eating donuts on
New Year’s Day will bring good fortune.
Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by
consuming black-eyed peas, typically accompanied
by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other
legumes have been considered good luck in many
cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered
lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is
another “good luck” vegetable, considered a sign of
prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In
some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New
Year’s Day.
Norwegians have a traditional lutefisk meal: mashed
green peas, bacon, mustard, boiled potatoes and, of
course, lutefisk. For those not in the lutefisk loop, it’s a
dried cod fish treated with caustic soda. Yum.
Tastier, but trickier, are the 12 grapes Spaniards rush
to devour at the start of the new year, popping one with
each chime of the clock. Peruvians do the same, only
swallow the grapes whole while sitting underneath a
It’s not just the what of food, but also the why and
the how. Foods eaten for their symbolic meaning play
a large part in Japan’s several-day-long celebration.
Herring roe [fish egg] is eaten for fertility, black beans
for health, dried chestnuts for success and prawns as
omens of happiness.
Offerings of food are also the norm. Scottish children
traditionally make the rounds of local homes on New
Year’s Eve to collect oatmeal cakes. And in Armenia,
families take turns having feasts around their hearth, as
neighbors lower baskets of presents down the chimney.
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
Good Bites
Your Comments
[email protected]
Dear Editor,
We have been spending the Christmas
season in Puerto Vallarta for many
years and especially enjoy all the great
restaurant choices here. We appreciate
the restaurant reviews and customer
experiences we see in your paper.
Recently we tried a small place off
Basilio Badillo on Ignacio L. Vallarta
called Bistro Balsamar. We ordered the
Chicken Mole and it was the best we’ve
had anywhere. An additional plus for us
is that my wife is Celiac and their version
is gluten free. They have many other
interesting items on their menu that we
look forward to trying.
Charlie M.
Boulder Colorado
Dear Editor,
For many years here we have been
starved for good old Chinese food. I have
found what I have been craving at last. It’s
not gourmet, it’s not Szechuan (although
they have some Szechuan dishes), but it’s
all good, fresh, well prepared Cantonese.
It’s called Fei Long, and the chef-owner
is Chinese.
The menu is very complete: Chop
Suey, Chow Mein, crunchy fresh veggies,
delicious sauces, and my personal
favorite, the half duck in your choice
of styles, is a huge, generous, perfectly
cooked portion, big enough to share.
My husband loves the Fu Yong, and it’s
excellent as well.
When you want a Chinese ‘fix’ I
recommend Fei Long. It’s in 5 Diciembre
at 378 San Salvador downtown. Very
reasonably priced as well. It’s clean and
comfortable, good service. No delivery
yet, but you can call and order for carry
out 223-5665. The waiters speak English.
You won’t be disappointed.
Estelle Eisen
Dear Editor,
I am so happy to be staying in Vallarta
for three months this winter! While
walking on the Malecon to the south
side, I happened to notice a yoga class
taking place on the grass next to Oscar’s
restaurant. The next week I joined the
class and afterward went with the group
to Oscar’s for breakfast.
What a great experience! The food
was delicious, the service impeccable
and the location next to the river was
serene and beautiful.
I highly recommend both the yoga
and Oscar’s!
Dear Editor,
When I returned “home” in October,
one of the many surprises that met me
was on the corner of Badillo and Pino
Suarez. Instead of the small white
structure whose facade was mainly Fajita
Republic on the Badillo side, there was
a huge hole. From the rumours rampart
in town, I learned that the property was
sold and that it would become a condo
building with the restaurant on the first
Over the next few weeks, construction
went very quickly and a sign confirmed
that the restaurant was coming back
on November 15. Although the work
seemed to be nonstop, I doubted that
opening day as Mexican time is certainly
different than I am accustomed to in the
US. November 15 came and went, but
work continued at a rapid pace. We
tried to peek into the fence to see how
much progress was being made, but
were never quite sure how far along
they were.
To my great delight, last Wednesday,
Fajita Republic opened for dinner. The
staff was back ready to take orders
and deliver food and drink. Patti and
Fernando greeted all with wide smiles.
The space is absolutely gorgeous - very
much in the same style, but beautifully
appointed. Most importantly, the food
was delicious, plentiful and wonderfully
Welcome back!!
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
Good Bites
Rules for enjoying the holiday season
1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who serves
carrots knows nothing of the holiday spirit. In
fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go
next door, where they’re serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And
quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it’s rare. In
fact, it’s even rarer than single-malt scotch. You
can’t find it any other time of year but now. So
drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in
every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into
an “eggnog-aholic” or something. It’s a treat.
Enjoy it! Have one for me.
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s
the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand
alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your
mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the
volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re
made with skim milk or butter-and-cream. If it’s
skim milk, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a
sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party
in an effort to control your eating. The whole
point of going to a holiday party is to eat other
people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise
between now and New Year’s. You can do that
in January when you have nothing else to do.
This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need
after circling the buffet table while carrying a
10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at
a buffet table, like frosted cookies in the shape
and size of Santa Claus, position yourself near
them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can
before becoming the center of attention. They’re
like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them
behind, you’re never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat.
Have a slice of each. Or, if you don’t like
mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin.
Always have three.
When else do you get to have more than one
dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s
loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories,
but don’t turn up your nose and attempt to avoid
it at all cost. I mean, have some standards… try
some with a BIG dollop of Cool Whip!
10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when
you leave the party or get up from the table, you
haven’t been paying attention. Reread tips: start
over. But hurry, January is just around the corner.
Remember this motto to live by: “Life should
NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention
of arriving safely in an attractive and well
preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways,
chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body
thoroughly used up, totally worn out and yelling
‘WOO-HOO what a ride!’”
Happy Holidays (all of them)!
(Thank you, Christine!)
About those 12 traditional Mexican grapes
ust as bells announce that an old year has ended and a new one begun,
many Mexicans are accustomed to eat 12 grapes to enjoy happiness and
prosperity in the year to come. But more than that, the little fruit are
also good for your health as they provide antioxidants and elements that
eliminate parasites from the organism.
In fact, this fruit of life provides many benefits. Apart from their pleasant
taste, shape, texture and seductive freshness, grapes also embody the saying
that states: “Let your medicine be that which you eat.”
Grapes are basically made up of water (80%), and although their
nutritional value varies according to their color, they are generally rich in
hydrocarbons such as glucose or fructose (17%); they also contain fiber
and its laxative properties. With regard to minerals, potassium is the
most abundant, especially in red or black grapes, but all grapes contain
phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and boron.
Also, they are rich in vitamin B-6 and contain small quantities of B-1,
B-2, B-3 and C, along with folic acid and retinol that both help metabolize
sugars by “burning” them so that the energy they contain may be used more
easily. There are practically no proteins or fat in grapes.
Notwithstanding the preceding, the highest benefits of this fruit,
especially the dark ones, come from another series of elements whose
properties for our organisms have been the subject of many studies
recently: flavonoids, antocianos and tannins, that are antioxidants (helping
to eliminate free radicals or molecules that cause aging or cancer) or others
such as resveratrol, that gives color to grape skins and is an antimicótico
(preventing the growth of fungi).
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
P. V. Garden Club –
Beautifying Vallarta
Sunset Christmas Party
big success!
Bob Price, Curator of the Botanical Gardens,
was our featured guest speaker last Thursday.
We met at !No Way José! for our regular third
Thursday meeting. Bob spoke on the topic of
orchids and the exciting new addition to the
Gardens of the Orchid Pavilion. He brought a
plant trivia quiz and prizes. Did you know that
the official flower of Mexico is the dahlia? It
SHOULD be the bougainvillea!
Our President, Bonnie Mott, explained our
need to raise money for poles to support our
growing bougainvillea and trees throughout
town. When these went in the ground two to
four years ago, they were self-supporting. But
we live in the glorious tropics where plants
grow vigorously. Some of them have tipped
over and broken. Preventive action is called
for immediately. Installed, these poles are 1500
pesos a piece. Three generous members stepped
up and bought a pole, but many more donors
are needed. We received a promise of matching
funds for these poles, so your gift is worth more
than the face value. Please contact Bonnie Mott
at [email protected], or Matthias Vogt,
Treasurer, at [email protected] with your
pledge and we will happily arrange to pick it up.
Beautification of our city through plantings
on the following streets is solely the project of
PV Garden Club. The city does not help; and
we are NOT part of the Botanical Gardens. Our
contributors paid for, planted, maintain and
water all the bougainvillea and primavera trees
on Basilio Badillo, Olas Altas, Pino Suarez, Ave.
Vallarta, Insurgentes, Ave. Mexico (from Leys
south) and the streets adjacent to the Mercado.
Everyone living here, visiting for a few
months, and of course all the businesses
depending on tourism, benefit from the efforts
of our 57 members and our donors. Please join
us. Become a member, buy a planter tile or
make a contribution.
The Pier street – Francisca Rodriguez, is now
available for sponsorship tiles. $5,200. pesos
can buy a memorial tribute of your choosing.
By the way, on Sunday mornings, look for Babe
the Blue Ox, our Watering Truck. Wave hello!
Facebook: P.V. Garden Club
Vallarta Voices
Anna Reisman
his year went by way too fast for my liking.
And my youngest turned 39. Now he’s the same
age as me… I still don’t understand that. And my
other children are sooo much older than me now!
Very strange.
Some of you may recall that I made a New Year
resolution last year, for the first time in a long,
long time. I decided that instead of watching
news programs when I wake up and get ready for
the day, I was going to set my TV to the Comedy
Network from then on. A couple of nights earlier,
I had been watching a movie on that channel so
when I woke up the next morning, it was still
on. I ended up laughing myself silly for over
a half-hour, first thing in the morning. What a
wonderful, fabulous way to start the day!
Definitely better than the «news»! Well,
guess what? It is with pride that I can say:
I kept my resolution! And I think I’m a
healthier person as a result of it - mentally.
Last year, I went to see «Les Femmes
de Serge» at Act II. Well, they’re back and
I cannot urge you enough to go see this
unique group’s performance. It doesn’t
matter whether you understand or speak
French. Their show is extraordinary –
pure entertainment. It is so different from
anything you’ve ever seen that you may
find yourself at a loss for words, like I did.
Please believe me when I tell you that the
combination of the beautiful women’s voices is
indescribable. And the group uses the strangest
combination of «instruments» to accompany them
in some of the songs. Anyone who loves music,
who appreciates something truly unique and ohso beautiful, must absolutely catch Les Femmes
de Serge - at Act II’s Main Stage this weekend
As usual, we had to decide whether we were
going to publish anything «special» for the Day
of the Innocents this year. One year, when I was
writing for the Tribune, they published an article
that said something about the PV airport being
closed permanently. Well, the publication was
deluged with e-mails (AND phone calls!) from
panicking readers who were asking if they should
cancel their reservations for next year.
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
he spirit of Christmas and its fiestas was
evident last Friday, December 19th, during the
grand fiesta organized by Stratos Media at
Mango’s Beach Club.
Guests enjoyed a wonderful ambiance filled
with music, prizes and much fun, as well as a
wide variety of dishes and drinks, along with
Italian sweets from Sapori de Sicilia.
There is no doubt that this event offered
tourists and locals a truly enjoyable and
different kind of entertainment option.
Stratos Media thanks all its sponsors that
made the event possible, as well as the
valued participation and collaboration of as sales representative.
Some of the e-mails were downright nasty,
even though that same issue contained an entire
page at the very beginning explaining
exactly what the Day of the Innocents
was in this country. They even received
phone calls and e-mails from our friends
at Vallarta Lifestyles (definitely the No.
1 magazine in this destination) to tell
us of all the calls THEY had gotten
about that article. We all arrived at a
unanimous conclusion: some readers
only read headlines.
So... this year you may not find any
prank-style articles for El Día de los
Inocentes. But on the other hand, you
might. Truth be told, some of the surreal
«news items» in our local papers could
be construed as jokes at times anyways...
If you’re going to be driving around on New
Year’s Eve, please be careful. If not, please
make sure you make transportation arrangements
ahead of time. Local taxi drivers have a habit of
disappearing off the streets around 11:30 p.m. or
so in order to welcome the New Year with their
families… I never forget the time I had to drive
some friends back to their hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
after an evening of celebration. Not a single taxi
to be found between downtown and their hotel!
I will never forget driving back home that night,
alone, in the dark, at 3 a.m.
I wish you a New Year filled with love, joy,
fulfillment, peace, and most of all… good health!
Without it, we cannot enjoy all the rest. God bless
us all. [email protected]
Health Matters
Krystal Frost
The Power of Now
It happens that a New Year is
upon us... time seems to fly between
one year and another these days.
Recently we have come to spaces
in our lives long waited for. Like
a second chance to make things
right with a loved one, be at home
in our bodies, be blissful, be at
peace with a particular situation.
At the moment we are enjoying
living that manifestation of the
NOW. This brought to mind all
the pain involved in the waiting
process. Waiting for something to
give, someone to appear, a certain
situation to arise, waiting for the
energy to bring about change. I
thought about this a lot. When
I first remember waiting for
something, I was 9 years old and
was told I had to wait 3 years to be
a Girl Scout… man, that seemed
like a lifetime to me... a third of my
life. Then, waiting for my body
to catch up with all my girlfriends
to be a woman. Then, waited to
finish school, meet someone, have
a relationship, have kids, the list
goes on and on. Then, it occurred
to me if one is not waiting for
change, one is looking back and
regretting some situation. Boy, we
are masters at fitting ourselves into
the pain mold, and even better at
avoiding the joys of being present,
in the NOW.
Have you heard of Eckhart Tolle?
His name has come up lately in
a number of conversations with
friends, so I had a reread. He wrote a
book a while back called the Power
of Now. He was quite popular for
a spell (still is) due to his new age
revealing of spiritual awaking and
the process of living in the NOW
without pain attached to the past
and the waiting game. He presents
a method of self observation and
behavioral realignment. Here is
what he says about the game…
Check it out.
Identification with thoughts and
the emotions that go with those
thoughts creates a false mind-made
sense of self, conditioned by the
past: the little me and its story. This
false self is never happy or fulfilled
for long. Its normal state is one
of unease, fear, insufficiency, and
nonfulfillment. It says it looks for
happiness, and yet it continuously
creates conflict and unhappiness. In
fact, it needs conflict and enemies
to sustain the sense of separateness
that ensures its continued survival.
Look at all the conflict between
tribes, nations, and religions. They
need their enemies, because they
provide the sense of separateness on
which their collective ego depends.
The false self lives mainly through
memory and anticipation. Past and
future are its main preoccupation.
The present moment, at best, is a
means to an end, a stepping stone
to the future, because the future
promises fulfillment, the future
promises salvation in one form or
another. The only problem is the
future never comes. Life is always
now. Whatever happens, whatever
you experience, feel, think, do - it’s
always now. It’s all there is. And
if you continuously miss the now –
resist it, dislike it, try to get away
from it, reduce it to a means to an
end, then you miss the essence of
your life, and you are stuck in a
dream world of images, concepts,
labels, interpretations, judgments
– the conditioned content of your
mind that you take to be yourself.
And so you are disconnected from
the fullness of life. When you are
out of alignment with what is, you
are out of alignment with life. You
are struggling to reach a point in
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
the future where there is greater
security, aliveness, abundance,
love, joy.
Food for thought
Well, I cannot claim that my
experience has been as Mr. Tolle
describes, certainly there are
moments of conflict, doubt... etc.,
etc., however these moments
seem to pass easier with less pain
attached to them.
One thing is for sure, reactions
boils down to stemming from
FEAR or LOVE… so you can
decide next time the stuff hits the
fan, where it came from, fear being
negative, possessive, fearful…
or love, being positive and all the
good stuff.
For the most part, and, for the
moment, I am content to be in the
moment. I have waited a LONG
time for its coming.
Krystal Frost
Is a long time resident of Puerto Vallarta.
Graduate of University of Guadalajara, and
specialized in cosmetic acupuncture at
Bastyr University in Washington State. She
is the owner of Body & Sol for over 20 years
where she practices traditional Chinese
medicine, acupuncture, massage therapy,
yoga, meditation and nutritional counseling.
She has created healing programs for
individuals, retreats and spas. For questions
and comments - Cell: 322 116-9645,
Email [email protected]
Do you have the
courage to change?
Giselle Belanger
hether you are trying to
improve a relationship, get through
a divorce, heal past traumas,
resolve family of origin issues,
heal the inner child, confront an
addiction, you are suffering and
seeking change. Some people try
to handle everything alone, while
others turn to friends, some attend
support groups, and some enter
There is a common tendency
in all of us to make huge efforts
to avoid facing our emotional
pain. We really don’t want to do
the work to process our feelings.
How many times have you thought
or said, you “don’t want to look
back,” to remember the pain from
your childhood or past traumas, or
“that’s just how I am and I’m not
going to change now”? Some of
you rhetorically ask “what good
will it do now?” and affirm that you
are “over it.” Basically, you don’t
want to re-live it. In some cases this
is best, but in many cases it is very
beneficial to heal the pain.
It takes courage to seek help, to
admit your truth to someone else, to
enter therapy, to walk into a 12-step
meeting, to check into a treatment
center. To consciously choose to
heal and grow is a big step, and
often a huge leap that requires a
serious commitment, as well as a
willingness to go through the pain.
John Bradshaw says, “in order to
heal it, you must feel it”.
Fear of change
Fear can either be a huge obstacle
that obstructs your path or you
can acknowledge it and allow it to
accompany you along your path,
aware that you are afraid and aware
that fear serves a purpose; to keep
you alert and warn you of danger.
Fear can paralyze you if it loses
proportion. It is helpful to name
the fear, to know exactly what you
are afraid of, and to determine the
severity, the immediateness, or
even if it’s real or imaginary. Scott
Peck, author of The Road Less
Traveled, wrote, “Courage is not
the absence of fear; it is the making
of action in spite of fear”.
Life is a Game, These are the Rules
addresses it and defines courage
as “finding the inner strength and
bravery required to confront”
something and says that it is the
“energy current behind all great
actions”. She reminds us that
courage “resides deep within us”
and that it is the “intangible force”
that propels us forward. She states
that “courage is learned in the
moment that you take a leap of faith
and take action” and recommends
that you “banish” your fears so
that you may “learn the lesson of
courage and create the life you
desire.” (pp104-5)
Healing is the goal
“Healing” is defined as a
restoration to a state of wholeness
and well-being. It is a lifelong
process. Healing takes courage. It
is a process you must go through,
not around. In order to heal and
restore balance, we must heal
emotionally, mentally, physically,
and spiritually.
The healing
process is a process of letting go,
which requires forgiveness and
compassion of yourself and others.
Tian Dayton devoted an entire
daily affirmation book to this
process, entitled, Forgiving and
Moving On. In it, she reminds us:
“Forgiveness and letting go are part
of our road to happiness. We deserve
to move on. We need not be held
Courage to change and heal
Courage is such a necessary
component of healing, change,
and personal growth that it can be
found throughout books written
on these subjects. A very famous
book written for survivors of child
sexual abuse written by Ellen
Bass and Laura Davis, is actually
entitled “The Courage to Heal”.
Cherie Carter-Scott, author of If
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
Health Matters
hostage to our pasts. Only we can
ultimately free ourselves. To forgive
someone else is to forgive myself.
We forgive because it restores to us a
sense of inner balance. The process
of forgiving, letting go, and moving
on requires a willingness to know
one’s own truth and the courage and
strength to feel pain that has been
hidden in silence.”
Integrate thoughts and feelings
True healing takes place from
the inside out; not just on the
surface. Healing isn’t just the scab
that forms over a cut. Emotional
healing requires the connection
and integration of the mind and
the heart; of the thoughts with the
feelings. Healing brings resolution,
relief, and peace. The burden
is lifted and things are lighter.
Lessons, insights, and personal
growth are its gifts.
Change is good
Change is inevitable. It is a fact
of life. We have a choice to fight
against the current or accept and go
with the flow; to fight it or embrace
it. Change must be faced with an
open mind and an open heart.
Giselle Belanger
RN, LCSW (psychotherapist) is available
for appointments in person, by phone,
or by skype webcam. Contact info:
[email protected] Mex cell: 044
(322) 138-9552 or US cell: (312) 914-5203.
Legal Matters
Ask Luis
Luis Melgoza
Dear Luis: Last July, I think,
you wrote a very interesting column
about why so many restaurants fail in
Puerto Vallarta year after year. Is it
possible to publish it again?
Dear Reader: I believe you are
referring to my column in the PV
Mirror issue #297 (July 5 through 11),
published online only and available
Here it is again, as published then:
It is sad that so many upscale
eateries downtown and in Olas Altas
choose not to cater to Mexicans —
whether locals or tourists—, in what
can only be described as financial
suicide, simply by closing during
Mexican meal times and having all
exterior signage in English.
Why do I call this financial suicide?
After all, it is foreign tourism and
expats that keep PV alive, right?
For starters, it is a confirmed fact
that domestic tourism will spend an
estimated $38 Billion USD in 2014;
European tourists, while fewer than
the total between US and Canadian
visitors, will spend an estimated $14
Billion USD… while the tourism
originating between Canada and
the United States (which is the
overwhelming majority of the foreign
tourism in Puerto Vallarta), will spend
only an estimated $6 Billion in the
year 2014. These figures represent the
totals for the entire country. (Source:
Mexico’s Secretariat of Tourism,
SECTUR). In other words, US and
Canadian visitors spend only 11.54%
of these three categories of tourism,
without even taking into account the
tourism from the rest of the world.
True, there are many domestic
tourists that travel on a dime,
spending as little as they can
whenever they travel. But it is also
true that the bulk of foreign tourism
arriving in Puerto Vallarta spend very
little, too. From those staying in allinclusive properties and not spending
a dime in town; to those arriving on
cruise ships (with far less combined
financial impact per year than a single
home built in Punta Mita; between
design, construction and maintenance
costs, property taxes and operating
staff salaries for a year), all the way to
those expats living on reduced fixed
When an establishment chooses
to shut down during Mexican mealtimes and features all exterior signage
in English, it is proclaiming that they
don’t care to serve those that bring
the lion’s share of tourism income:
the domestic tourists. The Mexican
public gets the message and avoids
that establishment, forcing it to either
incur in operating losses from May
through November, or to go out of
Wait staffs, however, simply love
to cater to affluent Mexicans because
they tend to tip a minimum 20% for
expected service and much more
for above average service, on the
bill after taxes. Generally, foreign
tourism and many expats struggle
figuring out whether to tip 10 to 15%
of the total before taxes.
(As a general rule, a minimum
$2. USD, or its equivalent in pesos
should be tipped, even if the tip is
higher than the bill; unless a tip is
not deserved at all, in which case you
should complain to the manager. If $2.
dollars per person is less than 15% of
the bill after taxes, the minimum tip
should be 15%).
In many Mexican cities and resorts,
eateries have wised up and stay
open during Mexican meal times
too (Breakfast: 8 to 11 a.m., Dinner:
2 through 5 p.m., Supper: 8 p.m. to
midnight) throughout the year and
make a point to cater to domestic
tourists, laughing all the way to the
The weird hours of operation kept
by so many eateries in town are
precisely the cause of so many of
them going out of business year after
Looking for the always elusive
foreign tourism dollar while ignoring
the big-spending domestic tourism is
anything but a path to success.
Domestic tourism is, financially
speaking, the most important of
tourisms. Domestic tourism income
brings between 60% and 76.8% of all
tourism income to Mexico annually
(and to those who choose to cater to
this group.)
Even Las Vegas, NV, does all it can
to attract Mexican tourists; why is it
that Puerto Vallarta doesn’t?
So many suffer from May through
November, many even closing for
good, unnecessarily. The fact is that
the only slow month in the region,
for those who choose to integrate
—businesses and individuals— is
September (this said, PVGeeks has
not had a slow month, since we
opened for business locally almost
five years ago, thanks to our many
snowbirds, full-time immigrants and
Mexican clients).
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
My experience as a lawyer and
business owner lets me state –
unequivocally - that poor business
planning equals doom. I’ve yet to
see a business, any business, that
chooses to ignore the majority of
their potential clientele, thrive.
I’m sorry that your in-laws, as so
many of my friends and relatives
throughout Mexico prefer that you
visit them, instead of coming to what
would be Paradise if only we could
find more upscale places to eat at
Mexican hours.
Dear Readers: My best wishes for
2015 to be the best year yet for you
and your loved ones.
Send me your questions to
[email protected], I am not able
to answer each message privately due
to the volume of mail I receive. I do
not take legal cases, I am retired from
the practice of Law.
Luis Melgoza
Is a former PRI (Mexico’s ruling party)
Head Counsel and Legal Adviser to the
Mexican Congress. Although retired
from the legal profession, he is a highly
respected consultant for both the foreign
and Mexican communities in Puerto
Vallarta. Luis’ PVGeeks is the premiere
wireless high-speed Internet provider in
Puerto Vallarta. For Internet service, you
can reach Luis at [email protected]
Real Estate
Harriet Murray
Who am I?
“Sometimes when I consider what
tremendous consequences come
from little things… I am tempted to
think…. there are no little things.”
- Bruce Barton
he three countries of North
America share similarities and
There are many
vacationing and buying properties
in Mexico. We all experience a
convergence of these different
cultures when we have an exchange,
whether it is social or business.
How we handle situations
and form our thoughts involves
cognitive and value systems. One
of these is how we accept what is
the truth…
How we organize and process
information is our cognitive
processing. Our values systems
establish for us what is right and
what is wrong.
Our cultural orientations show in
general how we can differ.
Who in general is this citizen of
North America.
Information is readily accepted
for purposes of discussion, but
little movement in attitude is seen.
These persons process information
subjectively and associatively, as
most of their education is by rote.
They become personally involved
in each situation and look at the
particulars rather than using a rule
or law to solve problems.
Subjective feelings form the basis
for the truth, and this leads to the
truth changing depending on what
one is perceived to want. Faith
in the ideologies of their religious
faith, though pervasive, does not
greatly affect their perceptions
of the truth. Objective facts are
often used by those with a higher
The individual is responsible for
his or her decisions, but the best
interest of the family or group is a
dominating factor. One must know
a person before doing business
with him or her, and the only way
to know a person is to know the
Expertise is less important than
how one fits into the group, so it
is extremely important to cultivate
personal relations with the right
people in the right places.
It is one’s role in the social
structure and the presence of the
extended family, which gives a
sense of stability to life. However,
families exert pressure on the
behavior of their members. Group
members are bound by intense
friendship and personal relations,
and commit themselves to assisting
one another in case of need. This
network of relatives, friends and
memberships is crucial to class
affiliation and social mobility. All
of these expect mutual support - a
lifelong commitment.
Machismo is very strong. For
women, femininity is stressed in
dress, makeup and behavior.
Each of us is a mixture of our
own personal experiences and
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
cultural influences. When we make
friends or do business with persons
from another country, we need to
realize that the way of approaching
issues, from etiquette to negotiating
a lease or a purchase, will be
affected by our own perspective.
Our counterpart’s perspective can
be very different, not wrong, and
just different.
Information is from authors
Morrison, Conaway, Borden. I
recommend that each potential
buyer or seller conduct his own
due diligence and review when
contemplating a purchase or lease.
Harriet Murray
Can be contacted at:
[email protected]
Fish Tales
Deep water locations breathing
Tuna, Marlin, Sailfish
Stan Gabruk
his week, the title may be a little
confusing; breathing is in reference
to the hot and cold situations we’re
experiencing at the deep water
locations of Corbeteña and El Banco.
Some days are on fire, other days are
just slow at best. On the positive side,
we have the Big 3 Marlin, Blue, Black
and Striped right now. Sailfish are
here to stay, Dorado move in and out,
and Rooster fish return to the Marieta
Islands. Abundance of bait was an
issue last week, too much to choose
from makes your presentation (bait)
look weak and feeble, but things
change. Right now, an experienced
and proven captain will always come
in with fish, this is where the ¨Walk
Meets The Talk¨. The real players
step up, the others never shut up!
Puerto Vallarta is world famous
when it comes to many things, fishing
being just one of them. You can’t
go wrong fishing in or around the
Bay of Banderas with many species
to choose from and many forms of
fishing. For the moment, I don’t care
what your situation is, if you can find
a way on the water, you will have
experienced PV in a way many won’t.
For now, inside the bay, the local
guys are ecstatic. Bonito to 35 lbs.,
Dorado to 40 lbs. in some instances,
Skip jack Tuna 25 lbs., Jack Crevalle
to 40 lbs., Sierra Mackerel to 25 lbs.
and good tasting. Rooster fish for the
surf fishing guys are very possible.
With a bit of a stretch there are still
sailfish chasing abundant bait into
the bay around La Cruz marina and
(Owner of Master Baiter’s Sportfishing & Tackle)
off the Los Arcos rocks. Not normal,
but we’ll take all donations when it
comes to fishing! The Marieta Islands
are breathing again with the arrival of
Sardines (sardinas in Spanish) with
¨some¨ Rooster fish averaging 35 lbs.
chasing them around. There are the
reliable Bonito, Jack Crevalle, small
Snapper, Sierra Mackerel, Sailfish off
the island a bit, again life is coming
back to the Marieta Islands. Trolling
down the channel between the
Marietas and the point of Punta Mita
has also produced some nice sized
Dorado on slow days, it’s an option to
remember, keep this as our secret.
For the big boys, the ones that are
looking for world class game fish,
then the deep water locations of El
Banco and Corbeteña are running hot
and cold. At Corbeteña, the number
of Marlin is a bit lower this week.
Mostly Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado to
35 lbs. here with all the arm burning
action you need! It seems like the area
is breathing fish as they come in and
then, like a breath, blow out. What this
means is you better have some fuel in
those tanks and be on a boat that will
be willing to chase the birds off in
the distance. Experienced captains
can make a difference coming in with
¨Fish or Wishes¨! At times like now,
when experience counts and there are
Big Black marlin (400 lbs. plus), Big
Blue Marlin (400 lbs.), Striped Marlin
(250 lbs.), Yellowfin Tuna Monsters
(60 to 250 lbs.), Sailfish, Dorado (35
– 50 lbs.) and more out there. This is
fishing at the highest level and can be
dangerous with inexperienced crews
where you have a sword-faced fish
swing that thing around like Zorro,
you need experience, make sure you
choose a real fishing company, choose
wisely. El Banco is ¨breathing” as
well, but if you’re going to find fish
here you need to start your ¨hunt¨ four
to five miles off the high spots, west
northwest, and work your way out
in the direction of diving birds. The
biggest reason to hit The Bank is 60 to
250-lb Yellowfin Tuna. Yes, there are
Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado here as well,
all about the same size as Corbeteña,
the only difference worth making the
extra two-hour excursion is YF Tuna!
Fanatics, hit it now because we have
a few more weeks before you’ll have
to hit the Tres Marias Islands for your
fix - at twice the cost and double or
triple the time. Whatever the species
is, they’re always bigger at El Banco.
Fishing conditions this week are
as they were last week and the week
before, perfect may be too strong a
word but the conditions are close.
Plenty of bait, in fact almost too much
bait and that is most likely the reason
the fishing is hot and cold all at the
same time. If you’re a fish and you
have options, then as a fisherman
you better be presenting something
that will attract their attention. What
that might be is what experience will
dictate and that’s the reason you got
a superior equipped captain, boat and
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
crew. Local baits include Flying fish
4 to 6 inches, Bullet Bonito, Goggle
Eyes, Skip Jack Tuna, Sardines (why
Roosters are here) and the list goes
on; it’s incredible. Bait balls at El
Banco and Corbeteña are massive and
will blow your mind.
It’s funny, people read articles like
this, thank you for that by the way…
and they get things in their heads and
think they’re experts because they
read it somewhere. Then tourists
come armed with this information
and dictate how the crew does their
job on their day fishing. The crew
can suggest, they can beg, but they
will follow directions from the client,
no matter how wrong they are, until
finally the clients decide to ask what
they should do. Normally this is at
the end of the fishing day when clients
are now desperate to catch something,
anything! The bottom line here is you
are paying for this knowledge and
experience, which of course will cost
money to get talent. Forget the cost
of the boat, the cost of fuel, and the
money you have in your pocket. Pick
the captain first, equipment second and
boat third. Then let them do their job.
When you hear the screaming reels,
you’ll stop thinking about if everything
is going the way it should be, you’ll be
jumping to action! The moral of this
story: you get what you pay for, even
if it’s an expensive boat ride.
Until next time, don’t forget to kiss
your fish and remember: at Master
Baiter’s Sportfishing & Tackle “We
Won’t Jerk You Around!”
Master Baiter’s has changed
locations in Marina Vallarta,
now between docks A and B
on the boardwalk.
Email your
questions to me at: [email protected] Web page: , local
Phone at: (044) 322 779-7571 or if
roaming: 011 521 322 779-7571 cell
phone direct. Facebook: http://www.
The trade name Master Baiter’s ®
Sportfishing and Tackle is protected
under trade mark law and is the sole
property of Stan Gabruk.
Oddly enough
Gil Gevins
very nice woman walked in the
shop recently holding a red binder
in her hand. Whenever I see people
enter the shop holding binders or
folders, my whole body trembles
with fear - no matter how charming
and attractive the person is, and this
young woman was all of that. The
reason the binder-holders frighten
me so much is that invariably their
plastic receptacles contain reading
material - reading material meant for
my personal perusal.
For most of my life I’ve been a
ravenous reader, gobbling up books
like they were so many M&M’s. But
lately I seem to have lost the urge.
Along with a number of other urges.
In fact, the only urge which seems
to be increasing with age is the urge
to urinate. But getting back to this
particular binder person. She was
affiliated with the Boutique Theatre,
which performs their plays next door
to my wife’s shop, at Nacho Daddy’s.
Nacho Daddy’s, by the way, is a
terrific place to spend an evening. A
great Tex-Mex restaurant/bar, which
is also a blues club, as well as a live
theatre venue. Oddly enough, back
in the Eighties, my wife and I lived
in the very same house which today
is the home of Nacho Daddy’s. Many
of the wild stories in my first book
(Puerto Vallarta On 49 Brain Cells A
Day) take place in that house. This
fact alone - along with the great food,
the terrific live music, the charity
bingo (and now) the wonderful live
theatre - makes a visit to Nacho
Daddy’s all but obligatory.
But getting back to the nice
woman. She wondered if I would
consider reading the play they were
about to put on, and maybe write a
review, or do something (anything)
to help promote the production.
In actual fact, I would have been
delighted to do anything to promote
her production. Except read the play.
Nonetheless, I took the plastic binder
home and, over a bowl of Blue Bell
pistachio mint ice cream (currently
on sale at Sam’s), and three lactase
pills, I went to work.
Everyone remembers The Odd
Couple - first the movie, and then the
television show. And that (the TV
show) is in fact what I turned to, after
ten minutes of attempting to read the
At this point, there must be people
out there thinking to themselves,
“Why is this fellow, who is supposed
to be a writer, so averse to reading?
He certainly isn’t opposed to people
buying and reading his books.”
True! I am all for, one-hundred
per cent in on, and an enthusiastic
supporter of reading my books. My
psychiatrist, Dr. Seymour Mendoza
Mendoza, believes that the reason I
react so adversely when an unsolicited
piece of reading matter is thrust upon
me, has to do with my fear that aliens
are taking over my brain. What an
idea! Aliens could not possibly take
over my brain; my wife beat them to
it years ago.
But getting back to the play. The
idea was that instead of having a mismatched pair of male roommates,
there would be a mis-matched pair
of women. Kind of like my idea
for turning the Vagina Monologues
into the Penis Monologues. By the
way, you can read my version of the
MonoIogues on my website - once
it is released by the Chinese cyberthugs who are holding it hostage.
Fortunately, these soulless commie
hijackers only get to keep my website
for a year, and there is no way I’m
paying them three hundred dollars to
get it back sooner; not when it only
cost them fifteen cents.
Doing the Odd Couple with a pair of
women turned out to be a great idea.
The play opens with four women
playing Trivial Pursuits (I would have
had them playing Mahjong). By the
time I finished page three of the play,
I was laughing so hard I had to put
down my pistachio ice cream. Which
is when the panic attack hit me like
a tsunami. Popping an extra-strength
Xanax, I called Dr. Mendoza.
Dr. Mendoza had a new theory:
When I was a very young boy, he
believed, a pervert had attempted to
lure me into his car with a magazine or
a book, thus traumatizing me for life.
“Where in God’s name do you get
these screwy ideas, Dr. Mendoza?”
I demanded. “With you Freudians
everything is kill your father, youknow-what your mother, traumas,
molestations. There’s more to life
than repressed sex, Dr. Mendoza.”
“Vhat about dhat dream,” Dr.
Mendoza asked, “vhen you vere in
zhat spaceship?”
“I keep telling you, that was a fun
dream. Riding through space…”
“Sure, sure,” Dr. Mendoza said,
“you keep telling yourselves zhat.”
The next day, I did an hour
of meditation to prepare myself
for pages three through six. The
adaptation, I had to admit, was totally
hilarious. Nonetheless, I felt another
panic attack coming on, so I put
an old episode of the Odd Couple
on YouTube. But it was so awful I
decided to look for the original Neil
Simon play, instead.
Unfortunately, there was no way
Solution to crossword on page 31
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
Gil Gevins’ Page
to watch it for free, so I gave up on
that and went back to reading pages
six to nine of the script. Page eight
was so funny it made me choke on
my pistachio ice cream! My wife
came home, found me turning blue
on the living room floor and called
Dr. Mendoza. The reason she called
him (and not a real doctor) is that
he had informed her previously that
all of my seeming ailments were
psychosomatic in origin, and that
whenever I displayed symptoms of
being ill, she should ignore me. And
she would have ignored me on this
occasion as well, except that she was
a little concerned over the blue tint to
my complexion.
At any rate, the pistachio eventually
melted and I was able to breathe
again. The minute I recovered, I went
online and bought two tickets to the
Boutique Theatre production of the
ODD COUPLE, which premieres on
January 2, at Nacho Daddy’s, located
in my old house on Basilio Badillo.
Gil Gevins
Is the author of four hilarious books,
including the cult-classic, PUERTO
and his latest and greatest, SLIME AND
PUNISHMENT. Signed copies of all Gil’s
books are available at LUCY’S CUCU
CABAÑA, located at 295 Basilio Badillo;
or as E-Books on Amazon.
Solution to Sudoku on page 31
Calendar / Directories
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
2014… What a Year!
ell, it’s time to say goodbye to
2014 - some say good riddance! It
has definitely been an up and down
year in the tech world and even more
so in the real world. Let’s take a look
back at some of the highs and lows of
2014 in tech.
Early in 2014, TV manufacturers
decided “we needed” 4K or Ultra
HD TV’s. Full HD TV’s have 1080p
resolution while Ultra HD TV’s have
4 times higher resolution. Up north,
cable providers may give decent HD
TV content, but down here in paradise
we are still waiting. Short of Bluray DVD, there is not much to shout
about here for true HD content.
So manufacturers were seeing the
writing on the wall that consumers
(even up north) were not buying the
Ultra HD sales pitch and prices. What
to do? Let’s convince consumers they
“need” curved TV screens! Curved
is the latest trend and comes with a
nice price tag as well. I don’t think
they will convince any of us this is a
necessity, except the few consumers
that want the newest and latest
2014 saw the predicted passing
of a pioneer technology in TV’s.
The plasma TV was relegated to
the history books when the final 3
manufacturers retired all plasma
development and production. Plasma
technology blazed the trail for LCD,
LED and future generations of TV’s,
without question. R.I.P.
Speaking of screens, laptop
manufacturers also decided we need
touch screen on our laptops. All
major manufacturers now have touch
screens in their line-ups. I for one am
still on the side of keyboard/mouse
use on a laptop. To work at a 75°
angle on the screen of your laptop is
ridiculous and does not fit the way
our wrists are made. On a tablet or
smartphone I think the touch screen is
great, but not on a computer.
With regards to tablets, 2014 saw
a definite leveling off of new tablet
sales. Since the introduction of the
first Apple iPad in early 2010, annual
sales sky-rocketed year after year
with over 52% growth per year! 2014
tablet sales are projected to be around
250 million units which is just a 7%
growth over 2013.
The biggest explanation of this
leveling off is that tablets last longer
and don’t fall behind as fast as
computers do. Advancement of tablet
programs doesn’t demand bigger and
better hardware like computers do.
People are using their tablets for much
longer than manufacturers would like.
Good for us!
2014 also marked a couple of
important birthdays. The World Wide
Web (www) celebrated 25 yrs old!
The World Wide Web was originally
created to connect academics,
scientists, and corporate researchers.
By 1993, two million computers were
connected to the Internet and were
navigated by text based commands. It
wasn’t until a graphics based browser
was developed, that the www caught
on with the rest of us.
The 33rd birthday of the personal
computer as we know it came and went
this year as well. It’s hard to imagine
the world today without the internet
and a computer in almost every
household. Tablets, smartphones and
Wi-Fi would not be around if it were
not for these early technologies.
This past year we were treated to
amazing sights when NASA setup and
started broadcasting the International
Space Station HD Earth Viewing
Experiment. You can still watch it
at If it happens to be black
when you go to view it, it may be that
the Space Station is on the dark side
of the earth. Check back often, as
there is a sunrise or sunset every 45
minutes - it is a truly amazing sight.
September saw Apple finally listen
to its customers and introduce larger
screen iPhones. Sales have been
record breaking for both the iPhone 6
at 4.7” and the iPhone 6 Plus at 5.5”.
Introduced at the end of September,
supply is just starting to catch up with
demand, with 1-3 working days ship
times, compared to 3-4 weeks back in
In October, Microsoft introduced
the world to its upcoming next
operating system - Windows 10.
Microsoft is skipping Windows 9
altogether. (I wrote about those
theories previously). We can expect to
see an improved Windows compared
to the current Windows 8, sometime
in the summer of 2015.
Earlier in December I wrote about
the unprecedented hacks of both
JPMorgan and Sony Pictures. While
fallout from both is still coming
to light, hackers of Sony Pictures
(backed by the North Korean
government, as now confirmed by
the FBI and President Obama) have
managed to basically “censor” a
private US company. Sony decided,
after threats of violence at theatres
that showed the upcoming Sony
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
movie “The Interview”, to cancel
release of the movie all together.
We’ve all heard in the news the past
weeks about the theme of the movie
being of a CIA plot to assassinate
the current “dear leader” of North
Korea. For a private company to give
in to state-sponsored cyber terrorism,
is a sad precedent. Even President
Obama called the cancelled release
of the movie a mistake. But in these
uncharted waters, what is a right and
what is a wrong response? It’s hard
to say.
Well good or bad, it has been an
eventful year in technology. I can’t
wait to see what 2015 brings us!
That’s all my time for now. I wish
you all a safe and happy New Year!
See you again next YEAR...
Until then, remember: only safe
Ronnie Bravo
Ron can be found at CANMEX Computers.
Sales, Repairs, Data Recovery,
Networking, Wi-Fi, Hardware upgrades,
Graphic Design, House-calls available.,
Cellular 044-322-157-0688 or just
email to [email protected]
Nature’s World
Planting Roots
in Mexico
Tommy Clarkson
Ruffled Fan Palm
Licuala grandis
Family: Aracaceae
(Also known as Ruffled
Fan Leaf Palm, Ruffled
Lantan Palm, Palas Palm
or Vanuatu Fan Palm)
eading the locales from which
the 108 members of the lush Licuala
family come is like thinking back
to those faraway places, from
our youth, that were featured in
National Geographic: New Guinea,
Borneo, Sarawak, Vanuatu, Sumatra,
Indonesia, Malaysia, Bougainville,
Java, India, the Solomon Islands,
Southern China, New Britain Island,
the Philippines, Australia and the
Northernmost coast of Scotland…
“naah” on the latter. I just wanted to
see how closely you were reading!
They are generally understory palms
but – in the wild – may “colonize”,
dominating whole areas of vegetation.
Depending upon variety, they may
be single trunked, clustering or
acaulescent - meaning that its trunk is
The Ruffled Fan Palm is small to
medium in size and palmate-leaved. It
is has an attractive, small, single trunk
(once in a while found in a clustering
form) palm and can be enjoyed in a
variety of venues - both indoors and out.
Originating in the Republic of
Vanuatu, as well as San Cristobal
Island and the Santa Cruz Group in the
Solomon Islands, one of the foremost
reasons for its popularity are those
gorgeous, medium to dark green,
bright and shiny, undivided, almost
circular, notched margin, leaves – 12
to 20 per palm tree. Its Latin name
“Grandis”, obviously, means “grand
or spectacular.” Appropriately, one
of the foremost authorities of palms,
Robert Lee Riffle, described them
as “among the choicest in the world
(with) an elegance matched by few.”
Pretty heady compliment I’d say!
As a rule it grows up to two to
three meters (8-10’) in height. But in
its native habitat it may be found at
nearly seven meters (30’) tall, with a
top width of 2.4 meters (8’).
As a rain forest palm, it likes moist,
fertile, well draining, sandy/loamy
soil. It appreciates high humidity and
shade and needs protection, especially
from wind, which will tear up its large,
corrugated/pleated fronds.
Its smooth, gray to almost white
trunk is covered in tight, brown, leaf
base fibers and is slender – around
3-4 inches (7½ - 10 cm) in diameter.
It is marked by closely set leaf base
scars in a semicircular ring normally
(in “captivity”) not exceeding three
meters (10’) in height. This palm’s
crowning glory, its fronds, can be
up to three feet wide on long, heavy
petioles of the same length which, by
the way, are armed with small, curved
barbs on the lower margins.
Its hermaphrodite (bi-sexual)
inflorescence is often not seen as it
rises from a six inch stalk among the
leaves, the berry appearing fruits are
round, marble sized and bright red
when ripe with only one seed per fruit.
This should not be planted as an
isolated plant. They are particularly
pleasing looking as a multi-height
grouping or when planted with
complimentary palms and plants. We
have two. One is nestled in a more
shaded beneath a King Alexander Palm
(Archontophoenix alexandre) from
The Ruffled Fan Palm is a most
desirable addition to your home
and garden.
The berry appearing fruits of the
Licuala grandis are round, marble
sized and bright red when ripe
with only one seed per fruit.
from South-East Asia surrounded by
some Tropical American Pepperface
(Peperomia obtusifolia) – a delightful
shrubby groundcover – and some
Australian Xanadu Philodendron
beneath a Medjool Date Palm (Phoenix
dactylifera) from Iraq and a Bismarck
(Bismarchia noblis) that, originally,
came from Madagascar.
If you try to grow one from a
seed, be patient as it may take up to
a year to germinate. Once sprouted,
it doesn’t gain momentum and is still
slow growing. But, one of a bit of
size does make a wonderful potted
specimen when used as an accent plant
indoors or on the courtyard, patio or
by the pool – but ensure you give it
ample space and indirect sunlight …
though once established, it can tolerate
considerably more sunshine.
I have read about – but never seen
– a beautiful variegated leaf variant
that grows in Singapore and which
I’d dearly love to have in Ola Brisa
Particularly indoors, the Ruffled
Fan Palm may be a bit prone to scale
and spider mites however, generally
speaking, it has few pest or disease
problems. And I suggest that you
not only feed your Licuala grandis
monthly with a water soluble fertilizer
– consider a fish emulsion – but that
you clean its leaves occasionally with
a damp cloth. It’ll love you for that!
Tommy Clarkson
One of the foremost reasons for
its popularity are those gorgeous,
medium to dark green, bright and
shiny, undivided, almost circular,
notched margin, leaves
Australia and an Arikury Palm (Syagrus
schizophylla) from Eastern Brazil.
The other, receiving more sunlight,
is next to its spine-bearing cousin, a
Mangrove Fan Palm (Licuala spinosa)
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
In Manzanillo, visit Ola Brisa Gardens,
Tommy and Patty’s verdant, multiterraced tropical paradise nestled on
a hill overlooking the magnificent vista
of Santiago Bay. Leisurely meander its
curved, paved path, experiencing, first
hand, a delicious array of palms, plants
and flowers from all over the world.
Or, e-mail questions to him at
[email protected]
For back issues of “Roots”, gardening tips,
tropical plant book reviews and videos of
numerous, highly unique eco/adventure/
nature tours, as well as memorable
“Ultimate Experiences” such a Tropical
Garden Brunches and Spa Services,
please visit
Brain Teasers
The New York Times Tuesday Crossword Puzzle
by Kevan Choset / Will Shortz ©New York Times
Solution to Crossword
on Page 27
Sudoku is a logic-based placement puzzle.
The aim of the puzzle is to enter a numerical digit from 1 through 9 in each row,
column and group of squares enclosed by the bold lines (also called a box). Each
box must contain each number only once, starting with various digits given in some
cells (the “givens”). Each row, column, and region must contain only one instance of
each numeral. Completing the puzzle requires patience.
It is recommended as therapy because some studies have suggested they might
improve memory, attention and problem solving while staving off mental decline
and perhaps reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Solution to Sudoku on Page 27
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015
AIR CANADA 01 800 719-2827
AIR TRANSAT 01 800 900-1431
01 800 252-7522
01 800 904-6000
See United
DELTA 01 800 266-0046
01 800 432-1359
01 800 011-2345
NORTHWEST 01 800 900-0800
01 800 864-8331
US AIRWAYS 01 800 428-4322
AEROMEXICO 01 800 021-4000
Saturday, Dec. 26, 2014, to Friday, Jan. 2, 2015