Friday Feb. 6th, 2015

Issue 327
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
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.
If you look at the maps on this page, you will note that PV (as the locals call
it) is on the west coast of Mexico, smack in the middle of the Bay of Banderas
- one of the largest bays in this country - which 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 mountainsthe Bay is well protected against the hurricanes spawned in the Pacific.
Hurricane Kenna did come close on October 25, 2002, but actually touched
down in San Blas, Nayarit, some 200 kms 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 January 31 to Friday February 6
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.
Dear Editor,
Your Comments
[email protected]
Dear Editor,
On January 6, 2015, my husband and I took five
of our friends to Costco to do some shopping, and
it was agreed that we would all meet up in the
restaurant area in the store.
Dennis and I returned first; then one of the couples
sat down and joined us. They had purchased a
slice of pizza with a drink, and a hotdog. While we
were sitting chatting, a clerk came up and asked if
anyone called ‘Mike’ (not his real name) was at our
table. Our friend ‘Mike’ said “yes”.
His wife had purchased food and drink, and
without realizing it, she walked away without her
bill and change.
The clerk gave our friend over 200 pesos, which
had been her change. I wondered how they knew
a first name, and have never noticed that the
purchaser’s name is on the bill.
What amazing customer service! Kudos to the
clerk, and to Costco.
It is always a pleasure to spend eight months a
year in paradise. I so look forward to returning to
our beautiful Puerto Vallarta every year.
The friendly people, the waiters that never forget
you, the music downtown that brings everybody
out to dance, Friday night at the Romantic zone and
market days at the Marina and the Romantic Zone.
The other day unfortunately while dining at the
Marina, a very loud and of obnoxious person was
loudly harassing a musician asking if he wanted to
hear a song and then continued in a loud manner
to state that he was from New York. He then
proceeded in that same loud obnoxious voice to
harass the waiter who simply acknowledge him and
walked away.
Those of us that spend seven and eight months
a year here appreciate the Mexican culture and
understand that raising your voice in Mexico
is perceived by the locals as coming from an
uneducated person (malcreado).
I just wish visitors would remember that we are
all guests of the Mexican people in their beautiful
country. I suggest that people think about that
when they’re out and about, and not be the “ugly
American”. I for one am very thankful to be
welcomed in this beautiful country.
Joel C. Hart
Doreen and Dennis Gowler
Dear Editor:
We have been spending a few months in PV for a
few years and had been looking for a store selling
nutritional supplements or health foods as many
snowbirds in our age group often do. Then we
noticed in your paper the ad by VSN located in Old
Vallarta on Constitucion No. 204 between Calles
Cardenas and Madero.
We visited the store and have been buying our
health products there ever since.
The store carries a whole assortment of imported
products such as: Vitamins, proteins, amino acids,
probiotics, teas, beauty products, cereals and more
organic products. The owner is a young lady,
Martha Garcia, who speaks fluent English. She
is very knowledgeable, courteous and will order,
if required, any product that she does not have in
the store. Her e-mail is: [email protected]
and her phone number is 223-0090.
If you require any of these health products, please
visit the store and you will not be disappointed.
H. R.
Continued on Page 32
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Sound Off
Within PV
2 K Walk 4 Kids
Sunday, February 15 , 8 to 11 a.m.
Publisher / Editor:
Allyna Vineberg
[email protected]
Chris Amo
President of Children’s
Shelter of Hope
his is a definite WIN-WIN for
everyone – a nice Sunday stroll with
no concern for traffic since the street
will be blocked off, PLUS you help
can children-in-need here in Puerto
Vallarta. Please register right away to
participate in a leisurely 2-kilometer
walk, run, or roll (bicycles,
wheelchairs, etc) beginning at the
sports stadium (El Estadio) across
from the Sheraton.
donations will benefit the special
children from Refugio Infantil Santa
Esperanza (RISE) and from Sendero
de Esperanza y Amor (Sendero).
There will be door prize drawings for
the first 500 paid participants.
Registration forms are available
now at Daiquiri Dick’s (324 Olas
Altas – Old Town), Peyote People
(222 Juarez – downtown) and Erika
Lamas Permanent Makeup (Timon
1-4 – Marina), or by contacting
Sofia from RISE at [email protected] or Ceci from Sendero at
[email protected]
The suggested registration donation
to participate is 250 pesos ($20 US/
CDN) per person, or 200 pesos ($15
US/CDN) per person for groups
of 5 or more, or 100 pesos ($8 US/
CDN) for students with valid IDs.
Volunteers will also have registration
forms at the various Farmers’ Markets
in and around PV, as well as at gyms,
stores, restaurants, etc. in this area.
Another great option for those who
are not able to participate or who
prefer to sleep in on Sundays is for
you to register to sponsor a child from
RISE or Sendero to walk in your
place for a donation of 250 pesos
($20 US/CDN).
Bring your friends or make this
a family outing. Check in at the
registration tables at the stadium
anytime between 8 and 11 a.m., and
enjoy a new day in paradise together.
See you on Sunday, February 15th for
this unusual, fun activity.
Refugio Infantil Santa Esperanza
(RISE), a shelter for children from birth
through age 13, is located at 251 Ricardo
Flores Magon in Colonia Benito Juarez.
Sendero de Esperanza y Amor (Sendero)
supports the educational and health
needs of children living in extreme
poverty in the Bosques de Progreso
area. For more information about
Children’s Shelter of Hope Foundation,
RISE, or Sendero; or to arrange for a
donation or tour, please contact Chris
Amo at [email protected]
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Anna Reisman
Joe Harrington
Harriet Murray
Stan Gabruk
Krystal Frost
Giselle Belanger
Gil Gevins
Ronnie Bravo
Tommy Clarkson
Luis Melgoza
Todd Ringness
Tim Wilson
Astrid Van Dam
Christina Larson
Mark Hanley
Dr. Fabio Cupul
Chris Amo
Janice Gonzalez
Joel C. Hart
Bill Jory
Gabriella Namian
Office & Sales: 223-1128
Graphic Designer:
Leo Robby R.R.
Online Team
Cover Photo:
“The Pensive Pelican”
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.
SPCA de Puerto Vallarta 2nd Annual High Tea
Janice Gonzalez
alentine’s Day is just around the corner,
and you can share your love for our fourlegged pals by joining us for “High Tea at
High Noon” on Saturday, February 14th,
2015, benefiting the SPCA de Puerto Vallarta
sanctuary. (
Last year’s event was extremely successful
and well attended. Set in one of Vallarta’s most
romantic locations, Puerta del Cielo - the chapel
across from Hacienda San Angel (www., we will be dining on
traditional English tea and scrumptious finger
sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and
desserts, all catered by the fantastic Kathy
Overly. Everything was absolutely delicious last
year. But that’s not all!
We are so excited to announce that the lovely
Laura Labra Lopez will be showing her timeless
original designs during a brief fashion show.
Complimentary jewelry will be provided by
Cassandra Shaw. We are sure everyone will
enjoy the gorgeous designs from both Laura and
Festivities will be from 12
noon until 3 p.m. Tickets are
$650 pesos per person, and
tables of nine can be reserved.
Tickets sell out fast, so be sure
to contact [email protected] to
make your reservations today.
Looking forward to a
TeaROOFic Valentine’s Day with you!
Open House!
On Wednesday, February 11
from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 129 Albatros 129 in Marina Vallarta. Everyone
is invited, free of charge. The American School of Puerto Vallarta will open its doors to families in Puerto
Vallarta and surrounding areas to discover why it is the best educational institution in the region.
We want families to LIVE the American School experience, so instead of a typical presentation we’ve set
up a self-guided tour for visitors. There will be 11 stations in all, each one representing an important facet of
our school. Families can choose to visit some or all of the stations we’ve prepared, see classrooms in action
and talk to teachers, department heads and students. Visitors completing the route will receive a surprise
gift at the end of the tour.
Visiting families will learn about and discover the following: Preschool, Primary School, Secondary
School, Sports & Athletics, Art & Music, Community Service, Technology, Science, Libraries, ParentTeacher Association (PTA), Admissions and College Prep/Guidance.
For more information, please visit the School’s web site at or email [email protected]
Tel.: 226-7672.
See you there!!
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Within PV
Within PV
International Children with Cancer Day
Joel C. Hart
ou’re all invited to join us in
the celebration of the International
Children with Cancer Day and
Valentine’s Day.
There is no better time to celebrate
Valentine’s Day than giving a child
with cancer a smile and the much
needed opportunity to continue his
much needed treatment.
The children of CANICA in Puerto
Vallarta are extending a cordial
invitation to their annual breakfast to
celebrate International Children with
Cancer Day.
This group of 22 children with
cancer is celebrating life and the fact
that they have such good friends in
Puerto Vallarta who always support
them and help them with their
medical expenses. The expenses
are many and the children recognize
that without their friends’ support
they would have to interrupt their
chemotherapy treatment.
The children of CANICA thank
you in advance for your participation
in this annual event. This annual
breakfast it will take place on Friday,
the 13th of February at Oscar’s
Restaurant on the River Cuale with
a beautiful view of the gardens, river
and the ocean. This will be a buffet
breakfast that will be personally
supervised buy the owner of Oscar’s,
Ms. Lucy Sanchez. Lucy is known for
her kindness and amiability that will
carry throughout the entire breakfast.
We have a lot of surprises, gifts,
raffles and especially the opportunity
to meet all these children.
Please buy your tickets in advance
at Oscar’s Restaurant, Carol’s
Boutique on Basilio Badillo and the
salon Alexander in Plaza Marina,
Local 25-D. The price is US$20 or
the equivalent $290. Pesos.
Please don’t miss this event or the
opportunity to help support a child and
his family during these difficult times.
Medical Matters 2015
Speakers Schedule / Program
For a detailed description on each topic and speaker, please follow
Click on the Healthcare Resources icon and as we progress, you will
see updates with complete bio’s on the speakers and further details on
their talks. No pre-registration or reservations for the talks.
At the event, look for the Medical Matters Volunteers to direct you to
the various salons. Note: We suggest that you visit each speaker at their
exhibit – not at the talk - to ask questions and obtain further information.
This is so we can continue to run on time.
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Within PV
A special Sicilian Soirée
at Sapori de Sicilia
tratos Media and the San Juan Diego Home for Seniors
invites you to be part of a wonderful charity evening supporting
the organization to raise funds and keep helping this cause in our
Asilo San Juan Diego is a non-profit organization (C.A. - civil
association) created to improve the quality of life for our elders
(65 to 100 years of age) so their last years can be lived in dignity
and full of happiness.
It also offer families of Puerto Vallarta alternative care and
support for their elderly family members with a day care system
so the seniors who would normally be left at home without care
during the day may enjoy each other’s company, with therapy
services, health and recreation to improve their quality of life.
Don’t miss the spectacular Sicilian menu and come to enjoy the
live show from Bohemia Viva and all the raffles and prizes we
have for you on Sunday, February 8th at the restaurant Sapori di
Sicilia located in Plaza Romy at 228 Ignacio L. Vallarta in the
Romantic Zone on the south side of town.
Donation $395 pesos under reservation at
Asilo San Juan Diego
Mark your
orazón de Niña, the home
for children from high risk
situations, needs your help with
the following events:
1. Friday, February 6th –
“Special Breakfast for a Good
Cause” at LaPalapa, 10 a.m.
Tickets available at Carol’s
Boutique on Basilio Badillo
and at Kristina’s Salon in the
Marina. Door prizes and raffle
will help make this a fun event.
2. Saturday, February 14th –
“Open Your Heart Gala” at the
Sheraton, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Three-course dinner, silent
auction, door and raffle prizes,
dancing to the Gecko band,
and Mariachi music - all in a
beautiful ocean-side setting.
Also you will be able to
be held for some of the
Corazon girls reaching their
15th birthday.
donation. Information at www.
corazondeniñ Tickets are
available at Carol’s Boutique on
Basilio Badillo.
Within PV
Sports pioneers in the gay movement
Tim Wilson
and Gary Lichtenstein
In honor of the upcoming 49
Super Bowl
Championship, GAYPV wanted to explore the
historical genesis of selected gay icons that
influenced the gay athletes coming out. Recently
Jason Collins announced his retirement from the
NBA. Jason’s historic coming out certainly led
the way for others like Michael Sam, Chip Sarafin,
and Derrick Gordon.
In contrast to the intolerance within the NFL
in the 1960’s, an iconic LGBT pioneer existed.
The prestigious NFL football coach Vince
Lombard was that pioneer. The NFL Super Bowl
Championship award, the “Vince Lombardi
Trophy” is named after this legendary Green Bay
Packer and Washington Redskins Head Coach.
He was not gay but an iconic pioneer for the
LGBT community back in 1969 when homophobia
was very high. Vince had a gay player on his team,
Jerry Smith, a record-setting tight end. Rumors
had surfaced to Lombardi about the sexuality of
Smith through fellow players who did not seem to
have a problem with it. Players for the coach stated
Vince demanded a homophobiafree locker room and hinted to
Smith that he knew about (and
accepted) his sexuality. David
Kopay, the first NFL player
to come out after retirement
in 1975, also played on the
Redskins team and had a brief
relationship with Jerry.
Lombardi accepted another
gay player to his team in 1969,
Ray McDonald, a running back.
In 1968 Ray had been arrested
in Washington, DC, for having sex with a man in
public. At the Washington Redskins training camp
in 1969, Ray was trying to make the roster again
with Lombardi as the new Head Coach. Lombardi
told his running back coach George Dickson “I
want you to get on McDonald and work on him
– and if I hear one anyone make reference to his
manhood, you’ll be out of here before your ass
hits the ground”. Allegedly Lombardi invited
gay players to training camp and hoped they
would earn a spot on his team. Vince’s brother
Harold was gay and Vince knew it. He advocated
tolerance and believed discrimination against the
gay community was wrong. Lombardi’s daughter
Susan told Ian O’Connor of ESPN NewYork.
com in 2013 that her late father would have been
thrilled to have a player like Jason Collins on his
team. For more on Vince Lombardi see http:// and Jerry Smith see
Consider the historical gay sports pioneer, the
late Tom Waddell, who founded the Gay Games
originally called the Gay Olympics. He was
a football player, gymnast, winner in the 1968
Olympics in Mexico City, and track athlete. A
1972 injury on the field ended his competition
career. However, he went on to organize the first
Gay Games in San Francisco in 1982 based on the
Olympic Games. Waddell and his partner Charles
Deaton became the first gay couple to appear
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
on a national magazine, (People Magazine in
1976). The idea behind the Gay Olympic games
was to create an athletic festival dedicated, but
not restricted, to the LGBT community, an event
designed to foster both gay pride and the Olympic
ideal: ‘’To educate people through sport in a spirit
of better understanding”.
Waddell believed passionately
in the concept of the Gay
Games, a chance to shatter gay
stereotypes, a chance to dignify
and motivate gay athletes, and
a chance to bridge the gap that
had long existed between gay
men and the sports world. This
is back in 1982, again, when
homophobia was very strong in
the sports world. The Olympic
obtained an injunction against
his use of “gay” Olympics and the US Supreme
Court in 1987 forced him to change the name to
Gay Games. In 2014, the Olympic Committee
proposed adding non-discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation to the 6th fundamental principle
of Olympism. The 2014 Gay Games in Ohio
saw 10,000 athletes from more than 60 countries
compete in more than 37 events. (See these articles and
We remember these two great sports icons and
thank them for their great achievements. We only
wish they were here today to see how they started
the acceptance of the gay athlete and how far it has
come. counted 108 athletes came
out in 2014. Thank you, Vince and Tom!
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.
First Anniversary of ACT LGBT A.C.
he LGBT Association of Commerce and Tourism is
an influential legal coalition representing the interests of
Puerto Vallarta LGBT and LGBT-friendly businesses and
independent professionals to promote economic growth.
The history of ACT LGBT A.C. began in March 2013, when
a group of business professionals who understood the need to
promote our destination nationally and internationally came
together. In January 2014, the group officially became a civil
association with the mission is to promote and defend the
interests of the Puerto Vallarta LGBT business community
and support the growth of all its members.
Through various events, ACT LGBT A.C. offers a number
of opportunities to learn and connect with a great network
of LGBT entrepreneurs. These opportunities are scheduled
for every second Tuesday of the month at 6:30PM and are
hosted in different locations to showcase local businesses.
But undoubtedly the main event of ACT LGBT A.C. is
Vallarta Pride, an annual event held during the last days of
May to celebrate the diversity of the LGBT community who
live and visit Puerto Vallarta. The first Vallarta Pride was
a 3-day celebration, which grew to 5 days last year, and in
2015 will be held from May 17th to 25th.
During its first year as an official civil association, ACT
LGBT A.C. launched a membership opportunities which cost
$1,500 pesos, with discounted fees for Junior Memberships
and Senior Citizens. You can obtain more information via
email at [email protected] or by calling 322 182-2589.
Also in 2014, Mijo! Brands, the brand strategy and digital
marketing agency based in Puerto Vallarta, joined the efforts
of the association to lead the design and development of its
bilingual website which was released in last November.
Read more about the activities of ACT LGBT A.C. at
Within PV
Come on out to Bingo at Nacho Daddy’s
Wednesday, February 4th!
Cards go on sale at 5:30 p.m. and
Bingo starts at 6 p.m. Our last bingo
was a sell out! At each Bingo night
at Nacho Daddy’s, we have a final
cash blackout game with the winner
taking home half the pot in pesos. At
our last Bingo, the winner received an
incredible $4,300. pesos in cash!!!!
We use paper cards and bingo
daubers - we supply the daubers!
Buy a package of seven - three card
regular games for 100 pesos and
additional cards for the cash blackout
Bingo at three for 100 pesos or singles
for 50 pesos. It only takes one to win!
Increase your chances of winning
even more by bringing clothing to
donate to Pasitos de Luz and receive
one free Bingo card for regular games.
Our raffle prizes and bingo bags are
amazing! At our last bingo, winners
left with gift certificates for Coco’s
Kitchen, Langostinos and El Rio
BBQ, a week of free Spanish lessons
from the Spanish Experience Centre,
show tickets to The Palm Cabaret, an
overnight stay at Casa Isabel, a cut,
style and eyebrow threading from
Alexander A Salon and more! We
also have more great sponsors that
include Act II and the Red Room,
Boutique Theatre, Donna Davies Timothy Real Estate, PV Sea Dive,
Mascotas, Quetzalli Spa, Déjà New
Consignment, Intelligent Movement
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Centre, Sea Monkey and Nacho
Daddy’s, to name a few. Our Bingo
bags have over $1000 pesos in gift
certificates in every bag! The games
will continue through the season.
All bingo games at Nacho Daddy’s
will be every other Wednesday with
card sales beginning at 5:30 p.m. and
Bingo at 6 p.m. on February 4 and 18,
March 4 and 18.
Most importantly, you are supporting
two great charities in Puerto Vallarta.
All proceeds from your generosity
help the children of Pasitos de Luz a special needs centre in Pitillal - to
receive meals, therapy, compassion
and education; and you help Colina
Free Spay & Neuter Clinics to offer
those services for cat and dog owners
who are unable to pay.
Come out, have fun, help charity
and enjoy a night to remember at
Nacho Daddy’s!
Calendar / Directories
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
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Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Calendar / Directories
Beyond PV
Destination of the Week: Chiapas
hiapas - the southernmost state
of Mexico - has more in common
with Guatemala than with Mexico
if you’re talking about nature and
people. More than 25 percent of
the people in Chiapas are from
indigenous tribes, all Mayans. The
Mayans can be divided in more
than twenty different tribes, among
the most famous being: the Mayan
Tzotzil, the Mayan Tzetal and the
Lacandon. Each tribe speaks a
different language and has different
“trajes”, their typical clothing.
Without a doubt, Chiapas is one of
the most colorful states of Mexico
and for sure, the greenest state, as
it rains more in Chiapas than in any
other state of the Republic! I know
because I used to go there every
month for over ten years when I was
guiding tours there.
As for safety the State of Chiapas is
considered as one of the safest states
of Mexico. The last time we checked
the U.S. site on the State Travel
warnings, they say: “Chiapas: San
Cristobal de las Casas is a major
city/travel destination in Chiapas:
No advisory is in effect.”
I do have to be honest though,
that during the years of traveling
in Chiapas, one of the changes I
noticed there is that you might run
Astrid Van Dam
in a teacher strike. You find them
actually all over Mexico, but in
Chiapas there are usually more
than in the rest of the country.
Demonstrators in Mexico may
block traffic on roads, so like in
many other places, you need to have
patience in case you run into such
a demonstration. If this happens,
it’s usually on the way from San
Cristobal to Palenque, which is why
we advise to leave early on that
day of our tours. On this road, you
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
need patience anyway, as within
200 kilometers, you cross over 300
“topes”- speed bumps, and those
can be a real danger!
Our tour to Chiapas falls exactly
around the dates of the famous San
Juan Chamula Carnaval, really a
once-in-a-lifetime experience, so let
me tell you a little about it.
The traditional festival of the
Tzotzil community is held four days
before Ash Wednesday, in which
Catholic mysticism is combined
with pagan rituals. It lasts a whole
week, including the five lost days of
the ancient Maya calendar.
It is a reenactment of the legendary
episodes of the sacred book of the
ancient Maya, the Popol Vuh, its
liturgy, dances and costumes of the
actors who compose 13 groups,
of which the most striking are the
“max” ape-men dressed in a military
coat used by the French during the
intervention. The ceremony itself is
a complex ritual, and an important
In addition to our visit to Chamula,
the tour also includes a boat trip in
the Sumidero Canyon - a narrow
and very deep canyon carved out by
the Grijalva river. It is filled with
all kinds of wildlife and its vertical
walls reach as high as 1000 meters (that’s over
3,000 feet!).
You also have plenty of time to visit San
Cristobal de las Casas, that was the State Capital
until 1892 and is still considered as the Cultural
Capital of the State of Chiapas. It is an amazing
mixture of Spanish and Mayan Architecture.
Among the fascinating archeological sites this
tour visits are Palenque, of course, as well as
Bonampak and Yaxchilan.
If you come with us, you will enjoy 7 nights
of hotels with breakfasts, transportation in a van,
minibus or motor coach, all tours and transfers,
all entrance fees & National Park fees & taxes,
the boat trips in the Sumidero Canyon and to the
Yaxchilan site, etc.
All our bilingual guides are from the State of
Chiapas, certified by Mexico’s Administration
of Tourism of course, and most of them also
hold a degree in history, anthropology, and/
or archaeology. They know the area better
than anyone else, and they will take you to the
places that make Chiapas so unique, including
the archaeological sites, the famous Agua Azul
waterfalls, visits with indigenous families…
nothing will be skipped during this unique tour.
All in all, I would say that you should go to
Chiapas with us, you will not regret it!
Mexico-Expert Astrid Van Dam writes about
different destinations in Mexico. Astrid is a Federallylicensed guide for tours in the whole country (!) who
has guided hundreds of trips in Mexico, Guatemala,
Belize and Honduras. For any travel advice in
Mexico, or if you have any questions about a specific
destination in Mexico, just ask her! Feel free to send
her an email to: [email protected]
Your question -and her response- might be published
in one of the next issues of the Mirror.
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Beyond PV
Beyond PV
AT&T buys Nextel assets for $1.875 bn
The deal gives the telecommunications firm infrastructure, 3
million customers
AT&T has made another move in the Mexican marketplace
with the purchase of the assets of Nextel Mexico, it announced
The United States’ second-largest mobile phone carrier will
buy NII Holdings’ Mexican wireless assets for US $1.875
billion, hot on the heels of its purchase of Iusacell, a $2.5 billion
deal that closed earlier this month. The deal furthers AT&T’s
goal to become the country’s No. 1 or No. 2 wireless carrier
within 10 years. Iusacell is currently No. 3.
The purchase of Nextel, which went into bankruptcy protection
last September, gives AT&T spectrum licenses, network assets,
retail stores and about 3 million customers, AT&T said in a news
release. Nextel’s network covers about 76 million people. AT&T
will combine the two firms, which will help improve service for
people outside major cities.
“The acquisition . . . will support AT&T’s plans to bring greater
competition and faster mobile Internet speeds to the Mexican
wireless market,” AT&T said.
(Source: Bloomberg (en))
Agency cites environmental damage
in stopping the $180-million project
Profepa shuts down Cancún Dragon Mart
US $180-million trade center
development in Cancún has been
shut down by federal environment
authorities, another move that
threatens to hurt relations with
Profepa, the environmental
agency, ordered yesterday that
construction stop on Dragon Mart
Cancún, a development consisting
of 722 housing units and 22
commercial centers on wetlands in
the municipality of Benito Juárez.
If it is ever built it will be the
second-largest Chinese commercial
development outside China; the
largest is Dragon Mart Dubai.
Presidential spokesman Eduardo
Sánchez explained that the project
had caused environmental damage
and that land use changes had
been made without authorization.
Profepa prosecutor Guillermo
Haro explained that the ecological
balance of the forest ecosystem had
been damaged, negatively affecting
biodiversity in the area.
It’s not the first time Dragon Mart
has fallen afoul of environmental
rules. Approved by Quintana
Roo environment authorities in
2013, the project was fined over
$1 million for environmental
damage by Profepa in August and
September of last year.
Environmental groups have
also opposed the 204-hectare
development for the threat they
say it poses to forested areas, and
a national business association has
been critical as well.
The focus of the trade center is
supposed to be international goods,
but it is seen as a showcase for
exports from China. Concamin,
the Confederation of Industrial
Chambers, has charged that Dragon
Mart represents unfair competition.
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
It welcomed the shutdown,
describing it as a positive move,
not just for Mexican industry
but for the country as a whole. A
spokesman said 300,000 tonnes of
Chinese merchandise would have
swamped Mexico every month
at prices below their true value,
putting thousands of jobs at risk.
Leftist politicians in the Chamber
of Deputies have taken a similar
view, charging that Dragon Mart
would be dumping those goods
on the Mexican market. Another
concern is the effect the closure will
have on relations with a country
that has a great deal of money to
invest. Mexico has been courting
China vigorously in this respect but
has little to show for it so far.
Relations were not improved
when President Peña Nieto
ordered that the Mexico CityQuerétaro high-speed train project
be reopened for tenders after
conflict-of-interest concerns. The
winning bidder, China Railway
Construction Corp. had among its
Mexican partners a firm that had
a personal relationship with the
The coordinator of ChinaMexico studies at the National
Autonomous University said
Profepa was late in taking action,
and suggested the issues should
have been addressed in a more
timely fashion through discussion
among those involved.
Enrique Dussel Peters said the
move goes against the intentions of
the federal government to improve
relations with China and attract
more investment.
It is not clear whether the Dragon
Mart closure is permanent.
(Sources: CNNExpansion (sp),
El Financiero (sp))
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
The 7 Arts
The 7 Arts
Singer-songwriter Spencer Day steals hearts at The Palm
Returning to The Palm for a
second engagement this season,
is popular singer-songwriter
Spencer Day, Jan. 30th to Feb.
Puerto Vallarta just can’t get
enough of this up and coming
modern jazz artist who has stolen
the hearts of millions all over the
world. Over the years, Spencer’s
fan base has grown immensely
and continues to soar.
A clear tipping point was a few
years ago, when he was asked
to perform at the San Francisco
Jazz Festival, which led to many
requests to headline in a number
of music venues including:
Yoshi’s in San Francisco and
Oakland, the Plush Room, the
Great American Music Hall, The
Monterey Jazz Festival and at
The Hollywood Bowl in L.A.
On the east coast, he has earned
rave reviews for performances at
Town Hall, Joe’s Pub, and the
Canal Room in New York City.
In addition, he has headlined
internationally in England, Japan,
The Philippines, and Australia,
and he has enjoyed immense
popularity here in Mexico at The
Palm Cabaret and Bar.
Spencer Day was raised in the
small town of Pinetop, Arizona by
his mother, an accomplished music
teacher and soprano vocalist. Her
talent and love of music encouraged
and influenced him to become the
singer and musician he is today.
Spencer found inspiration in the works
of Cole Porter, George Gershwin,
Roy Orbison, Joni Mitchell, Paul
Simon and many others.
The past year was jam-packed
with international touring, writing
and recording new music. Spencer
travelled to Spain to perform at the
Mallorca Smooth Jazz Festival and
attended release parties at Birdland
Jazz in NYC, Feinstein’s at the
Nikko in SF, Jazz Alley in Seattle
and other venues in the US and
abroad for his recently released
fourth CD ‘Daybreak’, a selection
of classic tunes from the 60’s in
addition to five original songs he
wrote in a style to pay homage to
them. Spencer also recently signed
a multi-year contract with Modern
Works Music Publishing.
The aim of this partnership
is to bring more of Spencer’s
evocative music to films, television,
Broadway and commercials. During
his second engagement at The Palm,
Spencer will have Yair Evnine join
him on stage. He is a classically
trained cellist and guitarist who
has performed, recorded, produced
and written with many theatrical
and musical artists, including
Duncan Sheik, Meow Meow, Alan
Cumming, Lady Rizo, Taylor Mac,
Justin Bond, and Spencer. He has
performed as a musician in the La
Jolla Playhouse production of The
Nightingale written by Sheik/Sater
(Spring Awakening) and another
Sheik/Sater musical currently in
Comedy drag icon
Coco Peru Live!
The Palm Cabaret and Bar is
excited to announce the return of
popular comedienne, monologist
and film and television personality,
Miss Coco Peru, in Coco Peru
Live!, February 2nd to 15th.
Recognizable by her trademark
copper-toned flip hairdo, Miss
Coco is the iconic drag persona
of American actor and comedian
Clinton Leupp. He is a native of
City Island, NY, and a 1983 graduate
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
of Cardinal Spellman High School
in the Bronx, NY.
For more than 20 years, Miss Coco
Peru has starred in various onewoman shows across the U.S. and
other countries, including Puerto
Vallarta, where audiences fell in love
with her last season. Coco has also
hosted numerous LGBT events, and
is well-known for her many hilarious
movie roles and her series of live
theater performances. She starred
in Richard Day’s ‘Girls Will Be
Girls’ and was one of six performers
featured in the Logo original standup comedy series, Wisecrack.
Coco has also appeared in a number
of other supporting and gueststarring roles in film and television,
including a memorable and hilarious
appearance in the 1999 independent
film, Trick. Other supporting and
guest-starring roles include Will &
Grace, Arrested Development, and
Twins. She also appeared in the
Bravo network’s reality series Boy
Meets Boy, Welcome to the Parker,
Wigstock, and the very successful
film To Wong Foo - Thanks for
Everything, Julie Newmar with
Hollywood heavyweights Patrick
Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John
Leguizamo. Coco also voiced the
role of ‘Mama Hippo’ in the 2006
Disney animated feature The Wild,
and appeared in an Orbitz TV
commercial that was later nominated
for a GLAAD Media Award.
Since 2005, Coco has hosted the
‘Conversations with Coco’ series in
which she interviews and celebrates
the lives and careers of some of the
LGBT community’s favorite icons
including Bea Arthur, Lesley Ann
Warren, Karen Black, Lily Tomlin,
Liza Minnelli and Jane Fonda.
In Coco Peru Live!, she performs
some of her favorite monologues
and songs spanning her long career,
as well as some new material.
Whether you’ve heard all or some
of these stories, or if you’re a Coco
virgin, come see why Lily Tomlin
called Coco “one of the last great
storytellers” and experience the
trailblazing Queen who elevated
drag, whilst still wearing sensible
heels. It’s sure to be hysterical!
Also currently playing at The
Palm is the popular strings and
vocals quartet Well-Strung,
now playing through Feb. 6th.
Coming in February to The Palm
are two other hugely popular
drag comedy acts, Feb. 1 -15,
Miss Richfield 1981, Feb. 11-24,
and The Kinsey Sicks return for
a second engagement this season
Feb. 9 - Mar. 1st.
The Palm is well-known for
bringing top notch, cutting-edge
entertainment to Vallarta. Inside
you’ll find an intimate, completely
refurbished 90-seat cabaret with
outstanding sound and lighting,
creating the ambiance of cabarets
from days gone by. Shows are
scheduled seven days per week
with two different shows nightly
through April, 2015. The Palm
also offers matinées at 4 p.m. on
selected shows.
The Palm is non-smoking (a
patio is provided for smokers) and
is located at 508 Olas Altas, in 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, information and
online tickets are available at You can
also find the Palm on Facebook at
The Palm Cabaret and Bar.
The 7 Arts
Music coming to Writers’ Conference
Bill Jory
a Cruz de Huanacaxtle song writer and performer Thomas Pulley
(a.k.a. Rusty Debris “On Time and In Tune”) will be adding a new ingredient
to the 9th Annual Puerto Vallarta International Writers’ Conference March
6th to 8th: live music.
In addition to providing a presentation on song writing, he’ll be playing
opening and closing songs for the Biblioteca Los Mangos Public Library
event sponsored jointly by Puerto Vallarta Writers’ Group and the library.
“My presentation will introduce participants to the basics and techniques
of writing a song,” he says. “We will touch on music theory, keys, chords,
what to keep in mind about the song, some dos and don’ts, guidelines on
the craft, point of view, tempos, timing, rhythm structures, melody, chorus/
verse issues, inspiration, themes, easy songs and ‘composing in pencil.’
There will be examples of songs I think are well crafted as well as songs I
have written (love songs, novelty songs, work songs, anti-war songs, tearjerkers and humorous songs, etc.)”
Pulley has been snow-birding in the Puerto Vallarta/Nayarit areas since
the early 1980s and is a fixture in the writers’ group and entertainment
venues. He performs regularly on Wednesday nights at Ana Bananas, at
Philo’s Loosey Goosey Jam on Monday nights and at private parties and
benefit fund raisers.
“La Cruz, in my estimation, is Mexico’s Music Mecca,” he says of the
stimulation he gets here and wants to share with conference participants. “I
hope the participants of the song-writing session will gain an understanding
of the process and an appreciation for the craft of song writing. I’m hoping
to arm twist a couple of my musician friends to help with the music.”
Texas writer Caleb Pirtle, author of more than 55 books, also promises to
motivate as keynote speaker.
Maurice Monette, author of Confessions of a Gay Married Priest, will be
speaking too. Other presenters - Sarah Cortez, James Callan, Donna Dahl
and Melissa Frost – will offer an inspiring mix of seminars, workshops
and interaction on the theme Leaving Our Mark ... Awakening More than
Memoir. Evelyn Byrne of White Bird Publishing and literary agent Elise
Capron, representing the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, will be on hand
to consider manuscripts.
Registration is $125 U.S. Registration forms and information are available
by email at [email protected] Payment can be made via Paypal.
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
The 7 Arts
beanstalk does grow overnight, Jack
does climb it, but nothing up there in
the clouds is shown. No explanation
is given when he scurries down the
stalk carrying a golden harp, which he
discards for an ax that he wields like
Joe Harrington
Into the Woods
his movie starts off with the first
sentence setting the tone: “Once upon
a time,” which is the perfect start for a
movie about fairy tales.
The first song involves Cinderella,
scrubbing the floor while her evil
stepsisters and even more evil
stepmother sing. Except that this
shifts to another fairy tale involving a
young girl wearing a red cape. Hello,
Little Red Riding Hood, who is going
– where else? – into the woods. While
she skips merrily along her way, she
passes a boy leading a cow called
Milky White. Took me a moment to
remember that Jack – of beanstalk
fame – traded a cow for those
magic beans. Then – again who
else? – a charming and handsome
prince rides through the woods
with his faithful companion. In
a distant tower, he sees a woman
with hair as pure as gold.
The four fairy tales: Cinderella,
Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and
the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel all
become intertwined with each other.
The creators of this were smart
because they didn’t get bogged down
with telling the complete original
stories that the Brothers Grimm
published. For instance, Jack does
sow his magic beans, a gigantic
a dervish dropping the beanstalk and
killing the giant. I do like movies that
take chances.
I was lucky enough to see this
offering on stage in Manhattan ages
ago. One of the brightest diamonds
on Broadway starred as the witch:
Bernadette Peters. In the movie,
another brilliant diamond, Meryl
Streep, plays the same role.
Most legitimate theater offerings are
divided into two acts, sometimes called
first half or second half. The second
is almost always shorter than the first.
This format is followed in Into the
Woods. The first half ends making
one think that the presentation is over,
with the chorus singing, “And they
all lived happily ever ---” Then the
village starts to fall apart, with Prince
Charming not heroic, but suddenly
muddled. Curtain. The second half is
much darker than the first.
Throughout, there are some great
lines of dialogue. For instance, the
prince finds the shoe that matches
Cinderella’s foot. All is happy in
the first half. In the second half, the
prince starts fooling around, trying
to seduce a baker’s wife. Cinderella
catches him and asks him how could
he? He answers, “I’m supposed to be
charming, not sincere.”
I love this kind of stuff, but while
watching I couldn’t help thinking
that this flick needs a knock-out
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
song, something powerful like, “One
More Day,” from Les Misérables, or
humorous like, from the same movie,
“Master of the House”.
I remembered watching Leonard
Bernstein a long time ago, being
interviewed when West Side
Story first came out in 1961. The
composer said he was sitting in
a bar across from the theater on
opening night. He said when the
place filled up with people after
the show ended, he turned to his
producer and commented, “We’re
in trouble. No one is humming or
singing anything.” He was right.
No one walks out of a theater
after watching that story based on
William Shakespeare’s Romeo
and Juliet singing, “Maria, there
once was a girl called Maria.”
But, hopefully, Into the Woods will
have the same fate as Bernstein’s
work and end up a classic. It received
a very respectful 71% from the major
critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but only a
middling 54% from the audience.
Is the paying public becoming blasé
to fairy tales? Are fairy tales becoming
passé? Does the youth of today need
transformers rather than witches?
Bombs instead of magic spells? Has
a story like a girl who is befriended by
seven midgets become too tame when
stacked up against Harry Potter? And
if so, why? They both have magic.
They both have good versus evil.
Or is it merely the old, relentless
movement of time with the new replacing
the old? For me, the tales from the distant
past, once told around warming bonfires,
with ominous flickering shadows as
a backdrop, about trolls hiding under
bridges and a spinning wheel delivering
the deadly sting of possible eternal sleep
still entertain.
Joe Harrington
Is an internationally published true crime
writer and documentary filmmaker.
Send comments or criticism to
[email protected]
Artwork by Bob Crabb.
Ute Hagen opens at Galleria Dante
Friday Feb. 6th, 2015 - Cocktails 6 to 10 p.m.
or all the soft lines and wobbly
brush strokes plumped with paint,
Ute Hagen’s acrylic works now
showing at Galleria Dante are
studies in precision. Behind each
of the 25 luxurious, impressionistic
paintings in the show are a solid
perspective and an accomplished
use of color. At first look, you
will be drawn to the warm glow
of yellows, blues and reds that she
uses to capture light-filled still lives
and familiar scenes. However, on
second look, you will inevitably
appreciate how well she renders
familiar objects, even though her
style is about softening definitions
and infusing the whole work with
light. Her expert color handling
and choice of subject matter within
each canvas gives us those exquisite
“snapshots” of the golden moments
that live in our memory of places
and things long after the moment
is gone. Even Hagen’s remarks
about her work are clear, precise
statements although English is a
third or fourth language behind her
native German and studied French
and Spanish.
“My works are inner journeys
and I use art to communicate. I
welcome the challenge that comes
with every canvas. I
use color, light, and
emotions as I try to
express better and
more deeply what I
see. My personality
thus becomes a
filter through which
these expressions
pass”, she states
in an well- crafted
precedes her work
in the gallery. “My
work is imbued with
my own perception and feelings.”
photographer. Her photographs,
too, show us what moves her inner
eye. Her photography is about
people, doorways and buildings,
the lake and still lives, revealing
again her sense of what to leave in
and what to leave out. They seem
almost stark, however, next to the
intense sensuality of her paintings,
that which even the most novice
of art viewers will be reminded of
Van Gogh or Matisse. Presumably,
Hagen has been honing her
skills since her first exhibition in
Oberursel, Germany, at age 15.
Born in 1944 in Meissen, Hagen
was compelled to put aside
her passion for painting
during post-war times
and as a young woman,
earned a Journeyman
diploma in cabinet making
in 1963. She used this
education later to restore
antique furniture, but it
is also revealed in the
deliberate constructions of
her paintings. Two years
after earning her diploma,
she emigrated to Montreal,
Canada, where she began
painting and exhibiting
again while also working
in the fashion industry.
In 1973 she began a love
affair with Mexico, leaving
after ten years to settle in
the Gulf Islands off Vancouver,
and then returning “more or less
permanently” to Ajijic.
Three years ago, she moved
permanently to Puerto Vallarta,
where she had to have a view of
Los Arcos, which has inspired her
“jungle and panoramic views of the
bay”. Galleria Dante is located at
269 Basilio Badillo.
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
The 7 Arts
The 7 Arts
Todd Ringness
t seems like there was a full week of full moon this week. There
have been many opportunities to choose the better response, instead
of reflecting my reaction. I’m reminded of a poem hanging on the
wall of our home when I was growing up. I hope these words inspire
you to just “keep swimming”, as Dory encourages us from the biggest
selling DVD of all time, Finding Nemo. Sadly, this poem is credited
to Author Unknownl; I’ve omitted one verse to save space.
Don’t Quit
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When they might have won if they’d stuck it out.
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
This week held some inspiring moments as well, most of which
came from saying yes to a very spontaneous invitation to join my
friends Warren and Edgar for a visit to the San Juan Diego Seniors’
Home sitting just in front of the lush Sierra Madre mountains.
This stunning secured facility is home to about 20 or so seniors
with varied levels of disabilities. The home also provides a seniors
drop-in daycare and meal service. It is an immense building with a
beautiful courtyard and a huge front lawn with an inspiring view of
the bay from the second (unfinished) floor.
The beautiful souls in this home are anxious to greet visitors, but
the beacon of beauty on this day was the home director, Lic. Luz
del Carmen Luna Balbuena. This dear lady simply radiates love
and genuine affection for her residents. Truly inspiring.
We were told the original vision for the home came from its first
resident, a Catholic priest who has since passed on. I was literally
overcome by what I saw and felt… sin palabras is what is said in
Spanish when there is nothing to say. It means, without words.
We are proud to partner with Stratos Media to present a unique
benefit to support this special home. The Sicilian Soiree is on
Tuesday, February 8th and you’ll enjoy four courses of authentic
Italian cuisine and a touch of sensual with a live performance by
Bohemia Viva (who also perform at the Palm Cabaret). Tickets
are only US $29.50. I look forward to revisiting Casa San Juan
Diego, and you can look forward to hearing more in the coming
Well my wife and I were swimming in tequila samples and their
stories at the recent seminar and dinner held at El Rio BBQ. I have
to say, the facilitator and “tequila evangelist” Clayton Szczech
was outstanding (and this is NOT the tequila still talking!) His
knowledge of the potent pride of Mexico seems unparalleled and his
delivery style is comfortable, easy, and fun. If you get the chance to
tour or taste with Clayton, do it. Thanks to Kurt and the El Rio gang
for hosting such a fun night.
Here comes Valentine’s Day already… or the much more inclusive
Friendship Day here in Mexico. If you haven’t got plans yet, think
about taking in the Lorna Luft concert in the Red Room. Me and
my sweetheart got to meet Lorna last year; she is lovely and very
down to earth, and she puts on a pretty special show; four nights only.
My column this week is dedicated to our friend and faith brother
Richard Ridout, who passed away from a massive heart attack
while he was painting at the new Compassionet Impact children’s
home. Richard is a remarkable example of a humbled heart that
gave out so much, that it eventually just gave up. Our brother left
behind his wife Sue… please keep this dear one in your heart.
If you’re tempted to quit on something or someone this week,
I encourage you to just keep swimming a little bit more than you
think you can... And 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]
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Galería De Ollas
Mata Ortiz 2nd and 3rd generation of potters
econd and third generation of potters in Mata Ortiz town continue
to carry on the tradition of Juan Quezada, who is the creator of this fine
ceramics. Young artists as:
Jesús Treviño and wife Cindy Perez captivate our senses with their
intricate works. They carve (sgrafitto) and paint realistic forms usually
insects or bird designs on the elegant shapes of pottery they form.
Olivia Domínguez started to make pottery when she was 8 years old,
thought by her parents, but actually started to sell her pieces when she was
16 years old (1989). Her most striking pieces are formed in white clay
with intricate animal effigies.
Eli Navarrete learned to pot from his uncle Macario Ortiz, an artist who
started to apply graphite on his pieces to get a striking metallic sheen and
he learned very well.
His multicolor designs showing iguanas, fishes,
birds and other animals interlocked with precolumbian forms are masterly painted on the shinny
surface. His very slim, cylindrical-shaped pieces
are a must-have piece in all the important collections
of Mata Ortiz pottery. His piece in this article -now
in Galeria de Ollas- shows a thin-walled, delicate
piece, painted with great refinement.
Galería de Ollas is located at 176 Corona
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
The 7 Arts
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
The 7 Arts
The PVMC presents
“The Magic of Love”
What’s more magical than music?
The Puerto Vallarta Men’s
Chorus (PVMC) Valentine gift to
their audiences: Magia del Amor!
This “Magic of Love” concert
will be performed on February 8,
10 and 14 at ACT II Stages under
the skilled leadership of Alfonso
Lopez, the new Artistic Director
of PVMC, whose debut concert
“Higher and Higher” won acclaim
in the local media last December.
Your hearts and souls will drift
into dreams of brotherhood and
LOVE as you sway in your seat,
smile and gently squeeze your
partner’s knee while enveloped
in songs of puppy love, new love,
and magical love. The variety of
selections for everyone to embrace
are: dance, choral poetry, show
tunes, 70’s retro, and a Tuscan folk
song plus many more!
ACT II Stages will host a
“meet and greet” at the Encore
Wine and Piano Bar after the
concerts, serving light appetizers
to enjoy with your drinks. The
most elegant will be on The
Day, February 14th, with bubbly
and chocolates! The PVMC
family of singers and members
look forward to spending time
with their greater family, their
audience and supporters, each
evening. Please join us and bring
your hope-to-be love, your closest
friends, or your love of 50 years,
to this “enchanted evening”.
Tickets are available at ACT
II Stages Box Office, entrance
on Basilio Badillo, corner of
Ignacio Vallarta in the Romantic
Zone, telephone 222-1512, and
via for these
8 p.m. performances. Prices are
$100, $200 and $250 pesos.
“Thank You for Being a Friend” –
The Golden Girls closing weekend
They’ve toured with the shows
from New Orleans to the Russian
River, and now they’re in Puerto
Vallarta! The Golden Girls will play only
3 more shows: January 29, 30 and
31 at 8 p.m. The Voice of Vallarta Season 2: Disco Week is here
The Voice of Vallarta returns to
the Main Stage! Week EIGHT
for the long awaited Disco Week
he Golden Girls live performed
to packed houses, starring four
of San Francisco’s top drag
luminaries: Daft-nee Gesuntheit
(Dorothy), Kim
(Sophia), Pollo Del Mar (Blanche)
and Turleen (Rose). The mise-enscène is reasonably straightforward:
Take four talented drag performers,
cast them in two classic episodes of
the ground-breaking and uproarious
TV show: The Golden Girls, and
hilarity will ensue.
The Golden Girls started
performances in San Francisco
in 2006 in the front parlor of a
Victorian Mansion in the Western
Addition of the City by the Bay.
The shows quickly became more
and more popular with the shows
being performed twice annually –
for a month every June and for a
month each December.
As The Golden Girls became
more popular, they moved to sold
out-runs at ever larger venues. In
2011, the show moved to the 500seat Victoria Theatre where it now
plays every December, for smash
runs of its Christmas Episodes. In 2013, all 12 shows sold out!
with special guest performer, the
one and only Kim Kuzma! This
week the contestants get down and
boogie with DISCO music.
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, Edgar
Sanchez and our weekly celebrity
guest judge. The Voice of Vallarta
will run every Sunday till the big
closing night March 29th. DATES:
Sunday nights at 8 p.m. Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
EQUUS to open
in the Mainstage Theater
February 4th
by Peter Shaffer, directed by Alain
Perreault, EQUUS tells the story of
a psychiatrist who attempts to treat a
young man who has a pathological,
religious fascination with horses.
An explosive play that took critics
and audiences by storm, Equus is
Peter Shaffer’s exploration of the
way modern society has destroyed
our ability to feel passion. Alan
Strang is a disturbed youth whose
dangerous obsession with horses
leads him to commit an unspeakable
act of violence. As psychiatrist
Martin Dysart struggles to understand
the motivation for Alan’s brutality, he
is increasingly drawn into Alan’s web
and eventually forced to question his
own sanity. Equus is a timeless classic
and a cornerstone of contemporary
drama that delves into the darkest
recesses of human existence.
February 4th until February 21st on
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays
and Saturdays at 8 p.m. There will be a Saturday matinée
on February 14th at 3 p.m.
The Main stage theater is located in
the Act II Entertainment STAGES
complex at 300 Insurgentes (corner
of Basilio Badillo) 2nd Floor Zona
Romántica Puerto
Jalisco Tel 322.222.1512
The 7 Arts
Luis Sn Carlos Opening Reception at Galeria Contempo
“My passion has always been eroticism, but it has not been my obsession.” - Luis Sn Carlos
he strength of the work of Sn Carlos is
unquestionable. In each stroke, Sn Carlos
gradually reveals sensual forms that are meant
to invade our privacy so the viewer discovers
that everything in them is submerged in
eroticism. His work comes from a rebellious
freedom; a willingness to experiment, and in
doing so, the artist comes up with answers
that conclude an expressive and sometimes
gestural style.
The traces of this young artist expose a
technique that intentionally deforms and
finds mannerist bodies in exotic postures that
encourage the pleasure of the viewer.
The wide color palette that Sn Carlos uses
creates atmospheres and ontological stages
that are supplemented with rhythmic strokes,
sometimes subtly and others charged with
dense pigments to strip the compositional
elements of its pictorial dimension.
Sn Carlos is native to southern Mexico, to
be exact, the so-called land of Eden: the state
of Tabasco on the Gulf of Mexico.
The artist generates a plastic - literary
proposal, playfully managing the verbal
language in their titles and frequently from it,
decoding the essence of his works, designed
to echo in the history of Mexican art.
His extensive work has been exhibited
nationally and internationally and can be
found in important collections.
In Mexico, his work has been shown at
the Museum of Modern Art, the Museo José
Luis Cuevas, and at the Torres Museum
Bicentenario Fundacion Arturo Herrera
Cabañas; also in Mexico City. Sn Carlos
has also participated at other collective
exhibitions at the Toluca Fine Arts Museum,
National Museum of Art, Museum of
Contemporary Art of the UNAM, Museo
Tamayo, Popular University Museum,
Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, and the Cultural
Center of Spain.
He has participated in several collective
exhibitions at international museums as
well, including The National Gallery of Art
in Washington DC, the National Gallery
in London, the Museum of Amarante and
National Museum Machado Castro in Portugal,
the Museum of Latin American Art MoLAA
in Long Beach, California, at the Nelson A.
Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art,
the San Antonio Museum of Art, SAMA,
Virtual Museu de Ciência e Tecnologia da
Universidade de Brasília and at the FUNARTE
Fundação Nacional de Arte and at the Ministry
of Culture in Brasília, Brazil.
And now we get to experience his most
recent works right here in Puerto Vallarta
at Galeria Contempo, during his Opening
Reception on Friday the 6th of February from
6 to 10 p.m.
Galeria Contempo is located at 252 Basilio Badillo, on the South Side. Phone: 322 223-1925.
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
The 7 Arts
Porsche - The Girl with a Thousand Voices!
hits Blue Chairs February 2nd through 12th
ince her humble beginnings
in 2000 in New York City’s West
Village, Porsche has entertained
audiences all over the USA and
around the world with her stunning
impersonations, fantastic singing,
and stellar wit. Her hijinx on stage
have been seen from dive bars
to Off-Broadway to Broadway
to national television, and her
unique style of performing has
had audiences rolling in the aisles,
brought to tears, ending up on stage
with her, and coming back again
and again!
Celebrating her 14th season on Fire
Island as Ice Palace Headliner, her
show has been honed and perfected
over the years, never growing stale
and leading legions of fans to feel,
Four shows only!
as Neil Sedaka said, “the revelation
that is [Porsche], Darling!” She can also be seen every
New Year’s Eve on CNN for the
“Shoe Drop” with Sushi in Key
West, Florida, where Porsche still
performs when schedule permits,
soaking up the sun and sequins.
Perhaps one of her biggest
claims to fame so far has been
the lucky role of Sidekick to the
Herlariously funny Emmy Awardwinning Wanda Sykes on FOX’s
“The Wanda Sykes Show”, which
prompted Advocate Magazine to
call her a “Reason To Have Pride
In 2010” for her ground-breaking
work and role on that show. From Shirley Bassey, Céline Dion
to Adele, from Britney Spears to
Meghan Trainor Judy Garland
and Nina Simone …then around
to Karen Walker and Whitney
Houston …and then back around
to Billie Holiday and Janis Joplin,
Porsche will give you pretty much
anything you ask for, and that is why
audiences fill the houses every time!
Porsche performs February 2nd
through 12th MONDAYS and
THURSDAYS at 8 p.m. in the
Chandelier Room at BLUE
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
CHAIRS. Only 200 pesos!
The Dueling
Drag Divas thru April 1st, 2015.
at 8 p.m. in the Chandelier Room
Tickets available at the door the
evening of the show or at Lobby of
The Blue Chairs Resort located
at Malecon and Almendro No. 4,
in the Romantic Zone on the south
side of town. Tel.: 222-5040.
The 7 Arts
Hollywood royalty returns to Vallarta with “positivity”
It’s almost time to go over the rainbow again, when
Hollywood royalty returns to Puerto Vallarta for an exclusive
four-night engagement at the Red Room Cabaret in the
Zona Romantica during Valentine’s Week.
Lorna Luft is thrilled to bring her all-new solo show to the
Red Room, called “Accentuate the Positive”. This new show
stays true to its title thanks to the positivity that flows through
this talented singer and into her songs with a strong sense
of celebration. Part of the show is dedicated to songwriter,
lyricist, and singer, Johnny Mercer, who was also a friend
of Lorna’s family. Accentuate the Positive is Lorna’s love
letter to this legend who also wrote lyrics for the theme song
from Judy Garland’s hit television show, simply titled Lorna.
Born to legendary entertainer Judy Garland and producer
Sid Luft, Lorna Luft’s acclaimed career has encompassed
virtually every arena of entertainment. A celebrated live performer, stage,
film and television actress, best-selling author, recording artist and Emmy
nominated producer – Lorna Luft continues to triumph in every medium
with critics labelling her one of the most vibrant, versatile and exciting
artists on stage today.
It was on her mother’s CBS show that Lorna Luft made her singing
debut in 1963 at age 11, with Santa Claus is Coming to Town, while her
mother, brother, and older sister Liza Minnelli cheered her on. There
would be frequent appearances on the show for Lorna and her siblings,
and eventually she crafted a career of her own.
Lorna is no stranger to the stage and has enjoyed numerous successes
across the globe, including Broadway and the West End. She starred in
the 2006 blockbuster UK premiere production of Irving Berlin’s White
Christmas: The Musical. She quickly followed that success with the
2007 hit revival of Rodgers and Hart’s Babes in Arms at the prestigious
Chichester Festival Theatre. Lorna reprised her role in White Christmas:
The Musical for the 2007 and 2009 winter seasons and most recently in
2011 at the Papermill Playhouse. Her theatrical credits include: Promises,
Promises; Snoopy; Extremities (with Farrah Fawcett); Songs My Mother
Taught Me; They’re Playing Our Song; Guys and Dolls; Grease; Mame;
The Unsinkable Molly Brown; Little Shop of Horrors; Girl Crazy; Gypsy;
The Magical World Of Musicals; White Christmas; Babes in Arms; Wizard
of Oz and Pack of Lies.
Concurrent with her theatrical career, Lorna Luft is a gifted live
performer frequently featured as a concert artist at the world’s most
prestigious venues including: The Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square
Garden, Carnegie Hall, The London Palladium, and L’Olympia in Paris.
One of her most ambitious projects to date is the highly acclaimed
multi-media production Songs My Mother Taught Me - The Judy Garland
Songbook. This theatrical extravaganza melds one of the world‘s most
familiar songbooks with personal memories of a loving daughter. Songs My
Mother Taught Me, which Variety called “a rousing, dramatically riveting
musical event,” was awarded two Los Angeles Theatre Alliance Ovation
Awards (Best World Premiere Musical & Best Musical Direction). The
Los Angeles Times called her performance “heart-stopping and thrilling…
an incandescent revelation not to be missed.” A CD based on the concert,
produced by Barry Manilow and Lorna’s husband Colin R. Freeman,
was released in October 2007 from First Night Records.
Last year, Lorna appeared with her sister Liza Minnelli
and their brother Joey Luft as part of the 75th anniversary
celebration of the release of The Wizard of Oz at the
Academy Awards. Their mother Judy Garland starred
in the iconic motion picture that debuted her signature
and Oscar-winning song, Over the Rainbow.
Some of the selections from the Accentuate the
Positive: An Evening with Lorna Luft playing
February 11th - 14th at the Red Room Cabaret, include
Too Marvellous, Make Someone Happy, Moonriver,
Something’s Got to Give, What Did I Have That I Don’t
Have Now, and many other American standards and
favorites. The show is described as bursting with spirit
and providing real comfort through the familiar and
beloved music Lorna generously shares with her audience.
As with all her performances, Lorna Luft evokes a sense of nostalgia
that is unique to her and especially her star-dusted family. Between songs,
Lorna often shares humorous stories and other tales from her celebrated
and prestigious past.
Tickets for Accentuate the Positive: An Evening with Lorna Luft are
now on sale at and at Act II Stages box office,
on the corner of Insurgentes and Basilio Badillo in the Zona Romantica.
Special VIP upgrades include priority seating and an exclusive champagne
reception with Ms. Luft following her performance. Seating is very limited
in the Red Room, so advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended.
For more information, please visit or call
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
The 7 Arts
Lavish rhythm and masterful guitar take center stage at the Roxy
Christina Larson
With Los Bambinos presenting
their hot show on Tuesday nights,
Flashback: A world favorites
tour –taking you from rock-n-roll
sensations to International delightsit is only natural for the group to
want to spread their wings and soar
into their other musical specialty this
season. Over ten years performing
together, Los Bambinos have
excelled in performance featuring
familiar rock and roll, and popular
international songs, with a taste
of Latin. If this sounds like your
kind of show, see them Tuesday.
This Sunday, the show brings the
heart of Los Bambinos to the stage,
satisfying those wanting to savor
the rich offerings of this beautiful
country of Mexico, as they bring
the ageless melodies to life.
Growing up in a musical family,
the brothers Los Bambinos earned
their name long before local
stardom. As the three youngest
were about to take part in a musical
competition among other students of
middle-school age, they were asked
to announce their name, thus they
donned “Los Bambinos” the pet
name that their musician father -and
first instructor- had called them since
With the salsas, and flamencos of
Mexico, the elder middle brother,
Lázzaro, had perfect material to
build what is now masterful guitar
finger-work that brings the effect
of fresh, aromatic flowers to each
song. The lavish rhythm poignant
throughout Latin music brought
Immer, the younger middle brother
the inspiration to bring the warm
Mexico breeze into the music. For
the youngest and the eldest -Giorgio
and Carlos- the ballads and cumbias
created the perfect musical backdrop
for their soulfully soaring lead vocals.
Experience this easy-listening
evening for yourself on Sunday,
February 8th, and Fridays from the 13th
on through the rest of the season, 8-10
p.m. at Roxy Rock House. Hear Latin,
global rhythm and Los Bambinos
originals together during one evening.
Friends make for a good time at the
Roxy Rock House’s cabaret-style
venue. Reserve your table early for
the best seats in the house. If you just
can’t make the show on Sunday night,
remember that you can still catch
Los Bambinos on Tuesday night for
Flashback: A world favorites tour.
The Roxy Rock House
has live music every
night at 217 Ignacio L.
Vallarta in the Romantic
Zone on the south side
of town. Los Bambinos
will be back to normal
after the 13th with Tuesday
and Friday night shows.
Tickets and booking at
com or 222-4357.
English spoken. See you
at the show!
“Remembering Patsy Cline” sold out!
sold out house is a triumph for the performer and a nightmare
for the producer who wishes there was more room. Unfortunately
some fans were turned away at the January 20th Patsy Cline concert
at the Boutique Theatre.
It was a memorable evening held in the intimate dinner theatre
above Nacho Daddy’s. The food was great, the mood was set and
the performance right on the money. The crowd sang along with
their favourites and Mikki engaged the crowd bringing smiles and
tears as the music of the incomparable Patsy Cline was brought to
For almost two hours, they were transfixed and felt like they were
in the presence of greatness. Mikki melded the incredible story of
Patsy along with her music. A polished performance left everyone
wanting more when it was time to go.
Don’t miss the next performances by this finely tuned performer
as she brings the life and music of Patsy Cline to life. Tickets at or at the box office at Nacho Daddy’s at
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Dear Editor:
Your Comments
[email protected]
Dear Editor:
We’re taking a moment to say thank you
for publishing the comment from Lluvia
[Issue # 325] about my newly-opened
restaurant, Yucateco.
Her support and that of the community
here in Puerto Vallarta has made me feel
so welcome. In turn, I’ve enjoyed inviting
local and international visitors to taste the
flavours of Yucatan. Their response has
been truly gratifying.
Since making Puerto Vallarta my home,
I’ve been truly humbled by the kindness
and hospitality of the people here. They
reflect the values of Yucateco: to offer the
best there is to our clientele, in the spirit of
generous hospitality.
It’s my great pleasure to share with you
the culinary bounty of my home province.
Your embrace has warmed me like the
Puerto Vallarta sun!
Again, all of us here at Yucateco thank
the PV Mirror, Lluvia and people of Puerto
With warmest thanks,
Chef Jorge E. Hoil
Editor’s Note: Yucateco is located at 155
Lazaro Cardenas, just off the Malecon,
near A Page in the Sun book store & café.
What a pleasant surprize! The prize was
won by eating at Dante Di Vino on Basilio
Badillo Street ! Wow. The Sangria was
great, but the Cesar Salad and the Pizza
Rocked. The service was impeccable and
the trip upstairs to the second floor was
well worth it.
Quality in a beautifully decorated
restaurant with quality food.
It’s also pretty cool to see all of the great
artwork in the restaurant.
Donna and Monroe
Dear Editor,
When in Marina Vallarta, have you
visited Los Mariachiles, a small family run
restaurant? If not, you are in for a treat. You
will be greeted by Beto, the owner, and his
wife Tabata and their 2-year old daughter
Jessica. They are nestled in the southwest
corner of the Marina, by Las Palmas
Condominium. The location provides for
a quiet, relaxing atmosphere; great for
visiting with family or friends. Enjoy a
cappuccino, coffee or hot chocolate while
catching up on the latest news on your iPad
as they have free wifi to offer. They are
open every day of the week starting with
breakfast at 8:20 a.m. Their menu offers
American and Canadian food, along with
Mexican food.
The breakfast special is only 69 pesos
and includes coffee and freshly squeezed
orange juice. It is a licensed restaurant.
They make the best Pina Coladas and
Miami Vice’s – smooth and flavorful.
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Good Bites
As soon as you sit down, you will have
their home made salsa to taste. We jokingly
refer to it as “Canadian salsa” (though the
“hot” salsa is also available). And if you
like hamburgers, they are grande! The
Hawaiian burger is a favorite, along with
the shrimp burgers. The starter called
“Cheese” comes with Mexican sausage and
a fresh tortilla to wrap the melted cheese
in. For supper, there are delicious items to
choose from. The Caesar salad is a really
nice starter, with the dressing very mild,
and the croutons warm with a hint of garlic.
It seems like we have landed on the crispy
chicken as a favorite, often taking home half
of it for the next day. If you prefer Mexican
food, try the Molcajete which comes with
steak, chicken, shrimp or a mixture; served
in a hot lava rock bowl. The tortilla soup is
their signature. There are also enchiladas,
shrimp burritos, and chile relleno to choose
from. The Portugese Shrimp is very good,
stuffed with cheese and rolled in bacon,
dipped in a mango sauce.
Beto and Tabata are genuine, friendly and
want you to feel at home. They converse
with their guests, and make sure that you go
away satisfied. They are always interested
in where you come from and how you are
enjoying Mexico. If you need to get up
and stretch, visit Tabata’s store that is right
beside Los Mariachiles. She will be there
to help you with anything you need.
So, if you need a taste of food made with
love and served with a smile, remember to
visit Los Mariachiles and say hi to Beto
and Tabata.
Al and Sandra
Jim and Pat
Good Bites
Kaiser Maximilian and Austrian wine
t’s been called Austria’s liquid
gold. Wine producers from this small
country can boast being one of the
top countries in the world with high
production standards.
Austria has a long tradition of
winemaking and grapevines have
been cultivated in the same viticultural
regions for thousands of years. Vines
are synonymous with the landscape,
the culture and daily life.
There are 35 grape varieties, 22
white and 13 red. Some of the
popular red grapes are Zweigelt,
Blaufränkisch and Blauer Portugieser.
The prevalent whites are Grüner
Veltliner, Welschriesling and Müller
Thurgau. The Grüner Veltliner grape
is only grown in Austria and is similar
to a Sauvignon Blanc.
Austria’s wine success can be
attributed to ideal geological and
climatic elements. The vines enjoy
the best conditions essential for
making authentic, distinctive wines
with character and personality.
Kaiser Maximilian Restaurant
in Puerto Vallarta is proud to serve
Austrian wines. These are a new
addition to the already extensive
wine list. Here are the wines being
Grüner Veltliner, Hugo 2012
According to the winemaker
Markus Huber, this wine has delicate
fresh green apple and fruity aromas.
There are the flavors of lemon, lime
and peaches with a solid fruit core.
It’s rich in finesse with beautiful
length and mineral tones. The ideal
wine for seafood, white meat and
light dishes like salads.
Grüner Veltliner, Gebling 2012
(winemaker Sepp Moser)
This white wine in the nose has a
fine spiciness and on the palate it is
expressive and voluminous with a
fruity elegance and a long finish. It
is a perfect palate cleanser for richly
flavored foods, like Wiener Schnitzel.
Zweigelt, Grosse Réserve 2011
(winemaker Sepp Moser)
Deep garnet-red in color with a
perfume of sour cherry and walnut.
On the palate, it is subtle and shows
touches of salty minerality, lightly
toasty with long finish.
Banfalu 2012
(winemaker Sepp Moser)
A Bordeaux style blend of Zweigelt,
Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. There
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
are characteristics of black currents,
blackberries and a toasty touch in the
nose. On the palate, it is powerful, yet
elegant with a lingering, roasty finish.
Pinot Noir, Markowitsch 2012
This fine wine is ruby-garnet in
color, intense nose of raspberries,
coffee and spices, very concentrated
flavour with a long, strong finish.
High longevity. Ideal with hearty
meat dishes made with delicate
spices, as well as mature cheeses.
You can now savor the flavors of
Austrian wines at Kaiser Maximilian.
Here’s what wine critics across the
globe appreciate the most. They
have written that Austrian wines are
exceptionally appetizing and pair
wonderfully with food, making these
wines sheer drinking pleasure.
Anna Reisman
somewhere that makes you feel “at
home”, a place where you can find
things –dishes in this instance- that
simply make you feel good. Am I
biased? Yes and no. I’ve been living
here for over twenty years now thank heavens! - and as one would
expect, I’ve become accustomed to
some restaurants more than others.
Sometimes because of distance,
sometimes because of the food they
serve. And I return to them over
and over again. On the other hand,
I confess that I still have to visit
some that sound great and which,
for one reason or another, I just
haven’t gotten around to trying.
This time I’m writing about
Patty’s Mediterranean Café. My
friends and I were regulars at her
place, at all the various locations it
has had over the years. One of my
favorite dishes is her avgolemono,
that iconic Greek soup she prepares
so wonderfully, closely followed by
her lamb souvlaki, her homemade
baklava, etc., etc. I hope that her
latest location at what used to be
La Luna, where Las Tres Gallinas
y Un Gallo market
opens on Saturday
mornings, on Venustiano Carranza,
proves to be the best and most
successful she’s ever had.
I’m also looking forward to
my first sit-down, relaxed dinner
at Roberto’s, another place I
frequented regularly during the 15+
years it was there before re-opening
a few weeks ago.
And then there’s the new German
restaurant, Heidelberg. Sure, I
hang out at Hacienda Alemana
(also because the food is so good
and because it’s in close proximity
to my house), but I’m interested
in the new one too. If memory
serves me right, it’ll be the first
time that PV will have not one, but
two German restaurants. Yes, there
once was one called Bavaria, but it
wasn’t the same…
After all, when one lives here
year ‘round, what is it that matters?
We take the weather for granted,
so we don’t even think about it.
The way I see it, for most of us,
our time is used volunteering,
shopping, indulging in exercise of
various types, getting together to
play bridge or Mah Jong, learning
Spanish, eating out …and attending
Shuffles, Art Walks, fundraisers
and other entertainment events
such as live theater or movies – all
of which may take up a few hours a
week, but food is an everyday thing.
Consequently, the importance of
the selection of restaurants our
adopted home town offers.
admit that we are truly spoiled in
that category: Italian, Japanese,
German, Austrian, French, Greek,
Spanish, Thai & Philippine,
Canadian & American, Peruvian,
Indian, vegetarian, and of course,
Mexican of all types. Everything
from roadside stands to the most
exquisite world-renowned gourmet
cuisine, and I’m sure I’ve missed
some. How can we complain?
And yet I do. Complain that is. I
complain about the fact that I just
received a letter yesterday, mailed
from Canada two months ago. I
complain about taxi and bus drivers
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Vallarta Voices
who fly through red lights with total
impunity, as do distracted driver
chatting on their cell phones. I
complain about tradesmen who say
they’ll be right back only to return
a few days later as if nothing was.
I complain about people who wait
until I put my little car in reverse to
cross behind it. I complain about
my neighbour who plays the same
ranchero music over and over, at
full volume…
Nevertheless, in the grand scheme
of things, all my menial complaints
are inconsequential. I am blessed.
I live in what I consider to be the
closest thing to paradise and I
never get tired of watching our
spectacular sunsets, or listening to
the songs of the birds that wake me
every morning.
May your Mirror always reflect
a happy, healthy you, dear reader.
Hasta la próxima vez!
[email protected]
Vallarta Voices
The winters of my youth
Continued letters to editor...
Dear Editor,
Re: Problems with computer - laptop - tablets - smart phones, etc.,
Ronnie Bravo is your man.
We really enjoy reading his article each week, but never thought we
would be asking him for help. Our laptop froze and we were lost as to
what to do to fix the problem. A call to Ronnie Bravo and he returned
out call quickly and diagnosed the problem over the telephone at no
cost. Talk about good customer relations! A huge thanks to Ronnie for
keeping us connected for the rest of our holiday in P.V.
Please use this man if and when any problems occur.
B. Brettell
Dear Editor,
I find it incredible that there aren’t any Pemex stations or supermarkets
from the Botanical Gardens to the Medasist Hospital, where you find
the first Pemex!
Is there some sort of zoning law that prohibits such services?
When Rizo’s was first open, it was enjoyable to have a market right in
town. Surely Pemex would have plenty of business!
Rieva L.
Gabriella Namian
inter somehow brings out the worst in all of us; it overdoses
our personalities with paranoia, elevates our anxieties to a level
of total hysteria to a point of almost alienating everything alive
surrounding us.
We become grumpy, we get tired more easily and we become
misanthropes as we yield to total hibernation. There are the
coats, gloves, hats, and boots to contend with. And don’t forget
the weight we put on during winter. Especially since you are not
a skiing aficionado.
But life wasn’t always like this. We have lived through some
adventuresome snow storms in Montreal over the past years that
would possibly make the North Pole blush. But then, we were
younger. We looked at the fuel tank pointing to the “empty” sign when
our cars crept slowly in a bumper to bumper rhythm in the middle
of the bridge on freshly-iced roads, praying not to get stuck or
stop if we used the brakes, and not hit anyone’s car. We shuddered at the moment when we had to go up a slippery
hill and prayed for the light to turn green as otherwise we would
have stalled or simply backed into a brand new BMW. But then,
we did not look at our watches or thought of any consequence. Somehow, we have always made it through the rough winters,
like true champions.
Like all of us, we let a few expletives out when we are angry
or frustrated at the wheel. Come on, don’t let anyone tell me they
did not utter a swear word here and there!
I have had the pleasure and the misfortune to encounter all
kinds of drivers and back-seat drivers that shared the roads with
me. Buses, taxis, truck-drivers, teens, octogenarians, tourists
and the like.
Some were speeding beyond mention (where was a police car
then?), others were just doing 25 km or simply… sightseeing
during rush hour. But what really made me angry (and still does)
are the inconsiderate rude drivers who are not yielding the right
of way, honking at you to step on it (even if you are respecting
the 30 km limit), cutting in from the wrong side. Oh, and I almost
forgot! I’ve had so many fingers pointed at me that I could have
opened a glove factory a long time ago!
But winter does not last forever. And then when all’s calm and
the snow melts, the barbecue’s all set and the patio furniture is
back in the garden, the beautiful birds are chirping, the garden
flowers are blooming and neighbors reacquaint themselves, the
winter seems so far away!
And then humidity hits 85%, it’s too hot to sleep, the wasps are
buzzing over my hamburger, and welcome me to summer days
with an amorous sting. So I dream of a snow storm. Ironic, no?
Hey, I never claimed I was perfect!
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Sexual Abuse
Giselle Belanger
exual abuse that occurs in
childhood can range from an ongoing
occurrence for years by the same
perpetrator (usually a family member
or close friend of the family) or it
can be a one-time occurrence by a
stranger. Needless to say, it has an
extremely devastating long-term
affect that leaves the person scarred
for life.
Every aspect of their life is affected.
Their sense of self is distorted and they
have a warped sense of what normal
is. They don’t know how to relate or
express and manage their feelings.
They don’t feel safe and have great
difficulty trusting.
It is particularly confusing when one
of the parents (usually the father) is the
perpetrator because they are precisely
who you are supposed to feel the most
safe, receive appropriately expressed
physical affection, and receive
unconditional love. Even if one parent
is sick enough to be the perpetrator,
the other parent, usually the mother is
supposed to be capable of protecting
her child from harm (and for whatever
reason does not). Imagine the damage
when neither parent is capable of
appropriate interaction, affection, nor
protection of their child.
Note: For simplicity in writing
this, I will refer to the perpetrator as
male and the victim as female unless
otherwise specified.
Breaking the silence
How many years have you kept
the secret? What threats did your
perpetrator make in order to keep you
silent? Did your father threaten not
to love you anymore or did you keep
allowing it in order to protect your
other siblings from being abused?
What happened to make you decide
to tell? Who did you tell? Did they
believe you?
She didn’t believe me!
When the perpetrator is a family
member, the child is much less likely
to tell anyone, particularly a parent.
They feel the need to protect their
family and keep the secret. If the
perpetrator is not a family member,
the child is more inclined to tell
depending on the threats that the
perpetrator made or the manipulative
way they made the child feel guilty or
ashamed. The parent(s) are also more
inclined to believe the child in these
cases, but not always.
One man recalled trying to tell his
mother immediately after it happened.
He was 5 years old when a man
approached him in a public place
and lured him into the bathroom and
proceeded to molest him. All of these
years later, he still can’t believe that she
didn’t wonder where he was for that 20
minute period or go look for him. As
soon as he returned to her, he and told
her immediately what happened and
she didn’t believe him. Of course, he
is still very angry about that!
Another woman was forced to
continue living with her perpetrator
even after she told her mother that
her stepfather was sexually molesting
her. Her mother called her a liar and
refused do anything about it. This
girl ran away to live with her father,
but her mother found her and made
her go back home. She was 12 at the
time and didn’t escape this situation
until she was 18 and left home to live
with her boyfriend. Her mother then
proceeded to disown her.
As an adult…
Maybe you didn’t tell anyone until
your adult years. Did you finally tell
a friend, a teacher, a therapist? Did
you attend support groups or group
therapy? Have you told your spouse?
Have you spoken with your other
siblings to see if they too were abused?
Maybe it is still a secret…
How it manifests itself
throughout your life …
As with any type of abuse, but
particularly with sexual abuse, the
long-term devastating impact on your
life is tremendous. The effects of such
horrifying experiences might manifest
in one or multiple ways for the
survivor. These include depression,
attempted suicide, alcohol and drug
abuse/addiction, compulsively seeking
or avoiding sex, self-mutilation, and
eating disorders including anorexia,
bulimia, and binging and overeating.
Alcohol and drug addiction are
obvious escapes from emotional pain.
They help you numb the feelings.
Addiction also has an element of selfhate and self-destruction, which helps
the person perpetuate the feelings
from childhood, therefore continuing
the abuse. You treat yourself the same
way you were treated. You keep it
going. You repeat what you learned;
that you are worthless, don’t deserve
to be happy, or that are a bad person.
(The Courage to Heal, Bass, Ellen
& Davis, Laura, Harper Perennial
Publishers, third edition (1994) Pg 54).
Similarly, self-mutilation also serves
to control the pain, except this time,
it is by intentionally inflicting it on
yourself. The pain is deep, making you
feel, because otherwise you are numb.
Cutting also helps to distract you from
the emotional pain by experiencing
physical pain. (Pg 53, 229)
Eating disorders are especially
common. Anorexia and bulimia tend
to develop in families where external
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Health Matters
appearance and perception meant
everything, they appeared normal and
were usually highly respected and were
never suspected of abuse. These victims
have found a way to have control over
their body. The goal for an anorexic is
to avoid physically developing into a
woman in an attempt to keep men from
being sexually attracted to her. Bulimia
is more about a compulsion to vomit;
to throw up, to purge the disgusting
thing (penis or other objects) out of
you. Compulsive overeating is another
way of protecting yourself by creating a
physically unattractive body so that no
one will want to get near them. It can also
help stuff the emotions and repress them
instead of purging them. (Pg 55, 227-8).
Depression is very common
following a history of abuse.
Sometimes getting it under control
with medications is possible and other
times the victim attempts suicide.
They may not know why they feel the
way they do because their memories
of the abuse are completely blocked or
very vague and disconnected pieces.
It can take a long time before treating
the underlying cause of the depression
becomes possible, because it depends
on the capacity to remember and fill in
the missing pieces.
To be continued next week…
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.
Health Matters
Krystal Frost
Mexican ancient grains… amaranth and chia seeds
friend came into the store today
and tasted the popped armaranth
granola. She asked about the little
pearly grains, which are amaranth…
she had never heard of the Mexican
grain which is used roasted, popped like
popcorn and milled into flower… Keep
you eyes on this super grain, which will
be the next in line after quinoa.
Amaranth has some interesting
history. It is an ancient grain used
by the pre-Columbians and in
Mesoamerica. Mesoamerican cultures
believed amaranth to be right up there
with corn when it comes to sacred
foods so naturally, it was used in ritual
ceremony. Of course, the Church
frowned on this, as they did on all
Mesoamerican rituals and proceeded
to burn the grain all over the continent
(they burnt the libraries too). For
many years, amaranth all but vanished
as did much of this amazing culture.
Fortunately, some remote villages in
Peru and Mexico continued to cultivate
amaranth, or it would be extinct. Amaranth is a tall plant with very
broad leaves. Each plant produces
thousands of seeds.
The Aztecs
used it to make a beer, the leaves
were boiled or fried, and in foods or
healing teas and potions, it is good for
everything from respiratory ailments
to STD. The seeds were (and still
are) popped like popcorn, and used in
the still popular sweet called alegría.
Amaranth flour is a non-gluten flour
that can be used in high protein
muffins, bars, and cookies. It requires
the addition of other flours in order to
use for making breads. It is high in
iron, protein, and has three times the
calcium of milk.
We use in it in Organic Select kitchen
to increase the protein content of the
breads, and in a high protein breakfast
drink with oats, nuts, soy milk and a
bit of vanilla… sometimes we throw in
some fruit and zap it in
a blender.
Here is the low down
on what this ancient
little seed has in it…
guess the Mayans had
the info too:
Chia Seeds
For centuries the tiny little seed
known as Chia was used as a staple
food by the Indians of the southwest
and Mexico. Known as the running
food, its use as a high energy endurance
food has been recorded as far back
as 3,500 years. It was said the Aztec
warriors subsisted on the Chia seed
during the conquests. The Indians of
the southwest would eat as little as a
teaspoon full when going on a 24hr march. Indians running from the
Colorado River to the California coast
to trade turquoise for seashells would
only bring the Chia seed for food.
There is reference of the use of Chia
seed in the Florentine Codex.
If you try mixing a spoonful of
Chia in a glass of water and leaving
it for approximately 30 minutes or so,
when you return the glass will appear
to contain not seeds or water, but an
almost solid gelatin. This gel-forming
reaction is due to the soluble fiber in the
Chia. Research believe this same gelforming phenomenon takes place in the
stomach when food containing these
gummy fibers, known as mucilage,
are eaten. The gel that is formed
in the stomach creates a physical
barrier between carbohydrates and
the digestive enzymes that break them
down, thus slowing the conversion of
carbohydrates into sugar.
In addition to the obvious benefits
for diabetics, this slowing in the
conversion of carbohydrates into
sugar offers the ability for creating
endurance. Carbohydrates are the fuel
for energy in our bodies. Prolonging
their conversion into sugar stabilizes
metabolic changes, diminishing the
surges of highs and lows creating a
longer duration in their fueling effects,
and it has a mild taste.
One of the exceptional qualities
of the Chia seed is its hydrophilic
properties, having the ability to absorb
more than 12 times its weigh in
water. Its ability to hold on to water
offers the ability to prolong hydration.
Fluids and electrolytes provide the
environment that supports the life of all
the body’s cells. Their concentration
and composition are regulated to
remain as constant as possible. With
Chia seeds, you retain moisture;
regulate, more efficiently, the body’s
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
absorption of nutrients and body fluids.
Because there is a greater efficiency
in the utilization of body fluids, the
electrolyte balance is maintained.
As a source of protein, the Chia, after
ingestion, is digested and absorbed
very easily. This results in rapid
transport to the tissue and utilization
by the cells. This efficient assimilation
makes the Chia very effective when
rapid development of tissue takes
place, primarily during growth periods
if children and adolescents. Also for
the growth and regeneration of tissue
during pregnancy and lactation, and
this would also include regeneration
of muscle tissue for conditioning,
athletes, weight lifters, etc.
Another unique quality if the Chia
seed is its high oil content and the
richest vegetables source for the
essential omega-3 fatty acid. It has
approximately 3 to 10 times the oil
concentrations of most grains and 1-1/2
to 2 times the protein concentrations of
other grains. These oils, unsaturated
fatty acids, are the essential oils your
body needs to help emulsify and
absorb the fat soluble vitamins, A, D,
E, & K. Chia seeds are rich in the
unsaturated fatty acid, linoleic, which
the body cannot manufacture. When
there are rich amounts of linoleic acid
sufficiently supplied to the body trough
diet, linoleic and arachidonic acids can
be synthesized from linoleic acid
Chia seed imparts power and energy
to the user. I’ve used it for years. My
first Mexican husband turned me on to
it, he would simply add it to our lemon
water and it would puff up. Not
all chia seeds are the same, but
generally the mild taste makes it
easy to put in sauces, smoothies,
breads, puddings, and whatever
you want. They won’t really
change the taste, but will add to
the nutrition. Chia seed is great
for those who want to increase
their energy and wish to increase their
stength and muscle tone. Really a
wonder food for those who work out.
We use in the mornings just before
we go to the gym for the hydration
and energy without the fuss. You can
find both superfoods at Recipes can be found at
Ask Luis
Luis Melgoza
Dear Luis: I fully enjoy your
expert articles. In your “Ask Luis”
PV Mirror column dated January
24th, the property capital gains tax
issue was addressed. In this article
you wrote that “Mexican citizens
and Fiscal residents of Mexico are
exempt...” I am not familiar with the
term “Fiscal Resident”. I currently
hold a Permanent Resident status here
in PV and am considering selling my
condo. Mi pregunta: Is the definition
of a “fiscal resident” similar to that
of a “permanent resident”? What are
the tax consequences to a permanent
resident? I know several in my
situation and they would similarly
value a clarification.
I appreciate your expertise in this
matter. Is it possible to address this
issue in a future edition of your fine
“Ask Luis” column? Dear Reader: Much obliged. I
received a few messages similar to
yours. I’m printing only one of them
for the sake of space.
Article 9 of the Federal Fiscal Code
(Código Fiscal de la Federación,
or Mexico’s Tax Code) defines as
fiscal resident “any individual with
established dwelling in Mexico.”
“If the said individual also has
established dwelling in another
country, that individual shall be
considered (fiscal) resident of Mexico
if his/her vital interests center is
within Mexico.
“For the Mexican Tax Code, the
vital interests center is located within
Mexico when, among other cases
(at the discretion of Mexico’s tax
authorities), either of these applies:
“1. More that 50% of the individual’s
total income in the calendar year come
from a Mexican source.
“2. The individual’s primary
professional activity center is in
The first paragraph of article 154
of the Income Tax Law (Ley del
Impuesto Sobre la Renta, or LISR by
its acronym in Spanish) indicates that
“regarding salaries and subordinate
personal services (employment), it
shall be deemed that the source of
wealth is within Mexico when the
service is performed in Mexico”.
Furthermore, article 1 of the
same LISR orders: “Individuals and
corporate entities are obligated to pay
income tax in the following cases:
“I. (Fiscal) residents of Mexico,
on all their (worldwide) income,
regardless of provenance or location
of the source of wealth.
“II. Residents abroad with a
permanent establishment in Mexico,
on all income attributable to that
permanent establishment.
“III. Residents abroad, on all income
from Mexican sources of wealth, when
these individuals either do not have a
permanent establishment in Mexico,
or their income is not attributable to
that permanent establishment.”
So, Mexican nationals and citizens
(by birth or naturalization) and
permanent residents of Mexico are, by
definition, fiscal residents of Mexico;
except that:
a) Permanent residents whose
income comes exclusively from
foreign sources and it is not payment
form services performed in Mexico,
may still be deemed fiscal residents of
their country of citizenship and not of
Mexico, if, and only if they also do not
rent out any property owned by them
in Mexico (not even for one second)
and if they do not benefit from the sale
of real property in Mexico , and,
b) Mexican citizens by birth and
permanently residing abroad (except
Mexican government employees)
may claim fiscal residence in their
country of residence, if, and only if,
they are not benefited by preferential
tax treatment in that other country.
Any individual employed in
Mexico, even if the employer is a
foreign entity without a permanent
establishment in Mexico, is a fiscal
resident of Mexico, regardless
of Immigration status (excepts
employees of foreign governments).
Tourists and temporary residents
who receive pay, in kind or cash, for
any services preformed in Mexico
(i.e. writing reviews and/or articles,
acting, selling tickets, online business,
etc.) may also be considered fiscal
residents of Mexico for tax purposes,
and they may also be found guilty of
Immigration violations.
Any individual who resides abroad,
but that has a permanent establishment
in Mexico (i.e. rental property, office,
agency, etc.) or receives any income,
in kind or cash, from Mexican sources,
while not necessarily deemed a fiscal
resident of Mexico, is still subject
to Mexico’s tax laws on all income
resulting from that individual’s
permanent establishment in Mexico
or from Mexican sources.
As I have written in previous
columns, unearned income (i.e. social
security pensions, certain annuities,
etc.) originating in Canada, the US and
select other countries is not reportable
to Mexico and it is not subject to
Mexico’s income tax by virtue of the
bi-lateral tax treaties between Mexico
and each of those countries, tax treaties
which also prevent double-taxation
when the individual or corporate entity
abides by the tax laws of the countries
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Legal Matters
in question. The above is just what the
law says and my attempt to explain it
layman’s terms, in general. The advice
of qualified tax accountants in Mexico
and your country of citizenship,
preferably accountants cognizant of
any applicable tax treaties by and
between Mexico and your country of
citizenship, is strongly advised, please
do not rely on this column as your only
source of information since individual
circumstances vary enormously.
(Note: Last week’s column
is available online at http://
pdf, all PV Mirror’s past issues are
available at
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
Psychological factors affect real estate
nce an experienced real estate
instructor taught a group of new
real estate agents how to create a
comparative market analysis (CMA).
He was an interesting teacher and
showed his students how to obtain a
more detailed assessment of real estate
values. A CMA adjusts the features of
a subject property based on its closest
competitors in monetary values of
pluses and minuses.
If the neighborhood typically has
swimming pools, garages, extra
landscaping, then homes without these
features have dollar values deducted
for the lack of each feature which is
not the “norm” or most common. By
making these refinements, the students
began to see more clearly how to use
a system to establish valid reasons for
the differences in values of properties
within the same neighborhood.
Conversely, if a home in a particular
neighborhood is the only one with a
swimming pool, this home may not
get a plus, but a minus value for not
being the typical or “norm”. This
home may sell, but not necessarily for
a higher price (possibly a lower price)
than homes without pools.
The students thought they had
learned a pretty sophisticated appraisal
method and were about to shut their
notebooks and quit for the day, when
the instructor spoke: “Can anyone tell
me what this statement means? Fear of
loss is greater than the desire for gain.”
Several new agents gave their
ideas of the meaning. Some tried to
say the statement about loss was not
correct; that there were exceptions
to this “rule”. The instructor said
he had learned this principle in the
most important literature books in the
world. He had tested the validity of
the statement many times, and he had
never been able to disprove it.
What did the instructor mean?
In order for a person to make a
decision to take an action to buy a car
or a home, he has to want to acquire
something more than he cares about
loosing something else (money in
many cases). Could this statement
mean that as long as the fear of loosing
is greater than the desire to have
something, loosing will win? Yes, it
can mean this. How?
If a prospective buyer is not sure
of the value in a property, he will not
want to make an offer and spend his
money to buy it. A buyer mentions
that he wants to buy in town because
he likes to walk everywhere. The
agent finds him the perfect property
for walking in town, with all the other
features the buyer says he wants: a
view of the water from the bedroom,
the kitchen open to the living area.
All of these requests of the buyer
are found within the buyer’s budget!
The buyer hesitates and says he is not
ready to sign the offer. What does the
agent do? Until and unless the agent
finds out what fear of loss the buyer
has, the transaction will not go further.
What could be a fear of loss to
stop the buyer in his tracks? Could
something have happened in the
exchange between the agent and buyer
or from a third party, which has caused
the buyer to feel his investment will not
be safe? Is there concern or fear that
the property is not well built, safe or in
an area where values will go down? Is
this fear of loss something which the
agent can draw out and discuss with
the buyer to correct misunderstandings
or misinformation?
Is the fear of loss valid? Should this
be respected by the agent? Should
the buyer look at other areas or types
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
of which do not make him negative?
Until these concerns or fears are
dealt with, it will be very hard if not
impossible for the buyer to make a
forward decision.
Is the fear of unemployment,
financial upheaval, loss of savings or
retirement assets enough to compel a
buyer to put off buying? Would this
same buyer have a different attitude if
his child needed a special school and
the only way he could be enrolled was
to live within the school district? If
the fear of loss of opportunity for his
child is stronger than his desire to save
money, the buyer will most likely buy
the house.
This article is based upon legal
opinions, current practices and my
personal experiences in the Puerto
Vallarta-Bahía de Banderas areas. I
recommend that each potential buyer
or seller of Mexican real estate conduct
his own due diligence and review.
Harriet Murray
Can be contacted at:
[email protected]
Large Dorado, plenty of bait,
Tres Marias Islands
Monster YF Tuna !
Stan Gabruk
(Owner of Master Baiter’s Sportfishing & Tackle)
s we move into winter the fishing
is surprisingly good. If you’re not
looking for Moby Dick, you can have
a great time with arm-burning action
with our winter species. Having said
that, we are still seeing nice sized
Dorado taking lures and dead bait off
El Moro but the Rooster fish numbers
are disappointing. The slack is being
picked up by Jack Crevalle by the
thousands. For now, if you’re looking
for Monster Yellowfin Tuna and you
want to keep it all legal, you’ll boat
some nice sized ones at the 200-lb
mark, but it’s hot and cold so you
could come in with either the catch of
a lifetime or babkis, it’s a crap shoot.
Let’s start with the deep water
locations, although any space I give
El Banco and Corbeteña is purely a
courtesy. For the most part if you’re
heading to these locations you’ll
find the same species you’ll catch
much closer in so, for now, save your
money and look for fish a little closer
in. For those diehards looking for
Billfish, there’s a chance, a fraction
of a chance you’ll boat a Striped or
Blue Marlin 12 to 16 miles off Punta
Mita point, but to be straight up with
you I’d forgo hunting Marlin and save
the fuel dollar for better days. Your
chances are less than 30% of boating
a Billfish, so don’t get excited by
the photos, it’s not really happening
except for one lucky guy or so.
Tuna guys, you’ve got options:
16 miles southwest of the Tres
Marias (third island), you’ll find big,
strong Yellowfin Tuna in the 200lb range running with huge bottle
nose Dolphin. These Tuna are not
your lazy types if they’re keeping up
with those Dolphin; it means they’re
strong fighters. Not like what you
normally see around the Islands, fat
Tuna gorging themselves on abundant
bait around the rocks. You get a strike
on one of these monsters and you’ll
be talking to the big guy above! Still,
it’s a 16-hour day minimum so you’ve
got to be ready for it and there’s still
a good chance of coming up emptyhanded. It’s been hot one day, cold the
next. Good luck and remember any
fishing inside the so-called ¨buffer¨
zone is poaching. Have fun, but be
legal, amigos....
The real story this week is out of
season Dorado! Six miles off El Moro,
there are very nice sized Dorado in the
35 to 60-lb range, most boats heading
to these fishing grounds are coming in
with three to five of these Dorado with
a 35% chance of a Sailfish hook-up…
The Marieta Islands are just awash
in Sardines but few Rooster fish.
You’ll spend the whole day chasing
these quill-headed arm breakers
and if you’re lucky you might boat
one. Jack Crevalle, Sierra Mackerel,
Bonito, Skip jack Tuna and the rest of
the regular game fish are still there, all
of which are in the 25 to 40-lb range.
For my money, if you’re not targeting
Dorado at El Moro, then the bay is
your best second choice option.
Inside the bay, you’ve got more
Jack Crevalle, larger Jacks for sure,
and they’ll hit just about anything
you put in front of them. Lures, live
bait, dead bait, they don’t care. So for
the person looking for lots of armburning action, inside the bay will do
the trick. With Dorado in front of the
La Cruz area, Sierra Mackerel, Jack
Crevalle, Bonito, Skip Jack Tuna and
more; you won’t go wrong with 4 to
6-hour fishing trips. Take the kids,
even the little woman can handle six
hours in the bay. You’ll also come
across whales too, so why not enjoy a
day on the water and experience our
spectacular Bay of Banderas?
The bite is between 10 and 12 right
now, I’d be where you think you want
to be by 9:30 a.m. With so much bait in the area,
Sardines, Flying fish, Bullet Bonito
at Punta Mita, you’d think we’d be
getting strikes on live bait, but it’s
just the opposite. Dead bait and lures,
mostly Rapalas are working best,
especially for Dorado. Color doesn’t
seem to matter, but I’d be looking to
use lures of silver with tiger prints or
pink. They’re hitting just about any
lure they see. I don’t get it, but that’s
Water temperatures are still high
for winter fishing - in the 75o – 77o
range. Not exactly warm, but things
will get cooler before they start really
warming up. As we enter February,
water temps will hit around 72o,
chilly for tropical gamefish. If you’re not looking to boat Moby
Dick, the fishing is great. For the
jaded types, you’ll have to wait until
July before we see summer species
start returning. But for now there’s
great action, fun days and plentiful
fish anywhere from El Moro to Punta
Mita and the Marieta Islands. Don’t
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Fish Tales
believe the promoters telling you
Tuna, Marlin and Sailfish are there
for the taking. They may be there, but
it’s gonna be work to the tenth degree
with no guarantees...
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.
Windows 10 - Ready or Not!
only the second time in the 9 years
I’ve been writing this column, that
I’ve said that. This is not an April
Fool’s or Dia de los Inocentes joke. I
am about to talk about Microsoft and
FREE in the same sentence!
Now don’t worry, you didn’t miss
a whole generation of Microsoft
Windows. This last week Microsoft
gave us our second public peek of its
next operating system - and it’s called
Windows 10.
One of the biggest surprises that
Microsoft announced last week is that
Windows 10 will be a FREE upgrade, if
you have Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 7
!!! Free… Microsoft… no, your eyes
are not deceiving you!!! Microsoft
which normally charges $150. USD
to upgrade to the newest operating
system, will offer it free this time!
Another big announcement last week
was that “Cortana” would be included in
Windows 10. Cortana is the Microsoft
version of the Apples’ Siri - a virtual
assistant. Using voice commands
you will be able to have Cortana type
emails for you, create new contacts and
set up appointments in your calendar.
If Cortana gets integrated to the new
web browser (code name Spartan), that
could make surfing the web very fun.
Fingers crossed!
Now there are a lot of pundits out
there who are poking fun at Microsoft
for the leap frog in names from
Windows 8 to Windows 10. Some
say Microsoft wants to distance itself
as far as possible from Windows 8
and therefore skipped Windows 9
That thought is not as farfetched
as it seems, when you think about it.
Remember Windows Vista? Vista was
a disaster from day one. So much so,
that Windows 7 was released in record
time after Vista, to try and recover
user and corporate confidence.
Microsoft seems to hit a home run
with every second generation of its
operating systems. Windows 98: a
hit, Windows Millennium: a miss,
Windows XP: a hit, Windows Vista:
a miss, Windows 7: a hit, Windows
8/8.1: a miss.
Others say Microsoft is skipping 9
because it wants to catch up to Apple’s
operating system numbering of OS X
(X being the Roman numeral for 10)
so as not to appear “behind” Apple. I
think this theory will go down as more
folk lore that fact.
I’ve read several insiders’ blogs,
that claim since Windows 95 and
Windows 98 code are still buried in
a lot of programming out there, that
a Windows “9” could cause major
program crashes. From a technical
point of view, this makes more sense
to me as a reason to jump to 10.
Now one of the biggest criticisms
about Windows 8 was that it looked
and felt like it was made for a tablet or
a phone and not for a laptop or desktop
that uses a keyboard and mouse! This
was a totally justified complaint in my
opinion. In Windows 8, gone was the
start button that we have all known
and loved since Windows 95. Gone
was the boot up to the desktop as well,
and all programs list. With tweaks
and hunting, you could make a work
around to get these things back, but
WHY make us jump through hoops to
get to things we love!?!
With Windows 8.1, booting to the
familiar desktop was made easier
again, but still things just don’t feel
right. When you buy a new computer
these days, you need to re-learn how
to use Windows. What we’ve been
familiar with for almost 18 years, from
Windows 95 through to Windows 7,
was completely changed on us.
So I guess the big question is… has
Microsoft listened to the outcry from
users as to how hated the Windows 8
changes are? I’m hopeful… but you
never know with Microsoft.
Microsoft has some misguided
vision of one operating system for all
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
devices, from the cellular phone to
tablet to laptop and desktops. Now I
do have a touch screen on my newest
laptop purchase, but to be honest, I
rarely use the touch screen. Its angle
of use is not comfortable to use, as it
would be for a tablet or phone is. So
I beg you Microsoft… please keep the
keyboard and mouse in mind with the
fine tuning of Windows 10.
So far, I myself have only spent
a few hours playing around with
Windows 10, with the majority of
that time digging in the technical
workings. But I am pleased to report
the good old “start button/menu” is
back in Windows 10.
Also back is the good old desktop
at boot-up and it’s actually improved
from Windows 7. Some reviewers
say Windows 10 is what Windows 8
should have been. In my opinion, they
still have a way to go, but a lot can
change still between now and when
the final version of Windows 10 is out
this September or October.
That’s all my time for now. See you
again next week...
Until then, remember:
only safe Internet!
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]
Low fidelity
Gil Gevins
ergio the taxi driver was thin and
edgy, with a frail moustache and a
frightened look about his dark dilated
eyes. And, he was a talker; in less
time than it takes to rear-end a bus, he
was going to reveal to me the source
of his apparent anxiety.
As for myself, it had been a long
day and I was dopey with fatigue.
All I wanted was to collapse in front
of my new Smart TV with a nice tall
Raicilla-Melox cocktail, and watch
seven seasons of Breaking Bad on
“My name is Sergio. I live in
Nayarit,” the friendly driver informed
“I’m Gilberto,” I yawned. “Why
do you live in Nayarit, if you work in
“I have a hardware store in Nayarit,”
he explained, “but I also drive a taxi
in Vallarta to make extra money.
What do you do for a living?”
Jokingly, I told Sergio that I also
had two jobs: running my wife’s
shop, and doing a little writing on the
“You are a writer?”
“No,” I replied, “and I’ve written
four books to prove it.”
“Four books!” Sergio exclaimed.
“I’d like to read one.”
“They’re in English.”
At this point the conversation
flagged, which was fine with me. But
then Sergio got his second wind, and
it was a whopper.
“Since you are a writer,” he said
hopefully, “would you mind if I asked
your advice about something?”
“At one time,” Sergio began, “I
had a pretty bad drinking problem,
and I got myself into kind of a mess.
I don’t drink anymore, but…”
“Congratulations!” I interrupted,
hoping to lighten the dark mood,
which had begun to roil around the
taxi like a late-nineteenth century
London fog.
“Thank you. The thing is, when I
was drinking I got myself into this
situation, and now I don’t know what
to do.”
“I’m all ears,” I yawned again.
“I met this woman,” Sergio said
gravely, “and we had four children
“So? What’s wrong with that?” I
asked, tentatively opening the door.
“Well, nothing, except… you
realize, Gilberto, that the car is still
moving? Yes? Okay. At the time I
also kind of had a wife - I mean, I
still have a wife, I think. And four
“Wait a minute, Sergio, you’ve lost
me. So you have four children?
“Eight,” Sergio said proudly, “four
with my wife, and four with the other
“Well,” I muttered, “talk about
family planning.”
“But I am very responsible,” he
averred with some emotion. “That
is why I have to work two jobs - to
support both my families.”
All right. I could almost buy that
- given the context. But scaling the
cultural Alp which separated the driver
and myself was not an act I was about
to put on the program any time soon.
“Sergio, I’m glad to hear that you
are taking responsibility for all eight
of your children. Keep up the good
“Thank you.”
“Well,” I sighed, “that takes care of
“Well, no,” Sergio said. “The thing
is, I like my girlfriend better than my
“Yes, I understand that can happen.
Well, here’s my house. What do I
owe you?”
Sergio pulled to the curb. “My wife
and I separated,” he said, “and I was
going to move in with my girlfriend
when the… incident happened.”
“Forty pesos sound right, Sergio?”
“My girlfriend is a secretary at the
Volkswagen dealer. I’m not supposed
to visit her at work, but one day…”
“So,” I interrupted, desperate
to breach the twenty foot chasm
separating me from my nightcap,
“you caught your girlfriend fooling
around with her boss?”
“Yes, on the bus!”
exclaimed. “How did you know?”
“On the bus? Isn’t that illegal?”
“I saw them leaving the office
together and get on a bus. I got
on through the back door, so they
wouldn’t see me. Then I watched
them to see what would happen.
They were sitting very close together,
so I was suspicious right away.”
“You know, Sergio, I wouldn’t read
too much into that. The seats on those
buses are awfully small, and unless
your girlfriend and her boss are both
beanpoles, they’d have to sit…”
“No, she is not skinny. She has a
really big ass!” the driver beamed
with pride.
“That’s nice. So, did you have a
question or…”
“And a big bosom, too. That is one
of the reasons I like her better than
my wife.”
“Sound reasoning, Sergio. So, how
“Then they started kissing!” Sergio
erupted. “Right there on the bus!”
“You’re kidding,” I yawned yet
“I was so jealous I could not stand
it, so I went and confronted them.”
“That must have been interesting.”
“She denied everything. She said
this was the first time they even kissed,
and that it would never happen again.”
“And you believed her?”
“Not really.”
“Listen, Sergio, I’m expecting an
urgent phone call from the King of
Luxembourg, so maybe we could
wrap this…”
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Gil Gevins’ Page
“I don’t know what to do,” Sergio
whimpered. “I love my girlfriend.
But what if she is cheating on me?
That, I could not stand!”
“Oh, brother!” I mumbled in
“I was calling you ‘my brother’
- we’ve become so close, Sergio.
Okay. Gotta go. Here’s fifty pesos.”
“My wife loves me so much she
does not care if I have a girlfriend, as
long as I do not leave her. I cannot
decide between them, and it is tearing
me apart!”
Despite my dim view of Sergio’s
misplaced machismo, I sort of felt
sorry for the man. On the other hand,
my multi-megaton Raicilla cocktail
was calling me…
Sliding out of the taxi, I said,
“Sergio, please allow me to give you
a few fleeting words of advice.”
“Yes, please,” the driver said
“You, my prolific friend, already
possess the greatest treasure a man
can have - a woman who loves
you. So don’t be an idiot. Dump
the girlfriend. Keep the wife. And,
for Christ’s sake, get yourself some
“But, but birth control is a sin!
“Who told you that?”
“My priest, Padre Pederastro.”
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.
Megabytes and millstones
Mark Hanley
Once again time for the annual
longest week of the year, the week
before the Super Bowl. So much
coverage, so little to talk about it
devolves into a mini silly season
of trivia, sound bites, rumors,
innuendo and hype disproportionate
to the actual game itself which
can be a great game …or a boring
blowout. Over the years we’ve
all seen both, including last year’s
farce of a contest.
So what of Super Bowl XLIX?
Glendale Arizona, University of
Phoenix Stadium, home of the
Arizona Cardinals in the regular
season, a 63,400 outdoor facility,
ramped up to 73,000 for the game.
(Why does the University of
Phoenix, a largely online school
have a Stadium??) 5,500 reporters
from 27 nations, 100 million
TV eyes worldwide. Did I say
Megabytes? I meant Terabytes.
By the opening kickoff even the
casual viewer at a social “Super
Bowl” party, (good excuse to drink
and eat), will be drowning in data.
Serious fans will be starved for
information. So you don’t need my
hyperbole; you can get way more
online. So, I’ll note three things:
Deflate gate. My editor begged me
not to mention it, but I must. As
noted last week, it has teeth. It has
been inflated (intentional) by the
media and taken up by national
evening news. Not that it matters.
I’m already bored. What exactly
are the Colts crying about? That
they would have lost by less than
45-7? For the record, Tom Brady
looked horrible in the first half
of that game. Missing receivers,
who dropped the ball, when he
was on the mark when the balls
were supposedly deflated.
was far more accurate and precise
ala’ Brady in the 2nd half when
the balls were legal. So, why the
shouting? Here’s why it’s the
Patriots millstone. There has long
been a problem with the Patriots
organization. If this was College
Football, the NCAA would issue
sanctions for “lack of institutional
control”. The last 10 years have
seen a snow blower on the field
for a field goal, spy gate, taperiots,
illegal substitutions, dodging of
the injury/ineligible list rules, and
now this. First both Belichick and
Brady issue official statements in
which they plead total ignorance
about footballs. Really? They
get blasted by media and exquarterbacks. Then, the owner,
billionaire Robert Kraft, who hangs
out with Commissioner Roger
Goodell at each other’s homes
during the holidays (truth) issues
an official statement. Then, Brady
gets quizzed, Belichick delivers a
bizarre press conference in which
he presents pseudo-physics about
football inflation and deflation
which is immediately repudiated
by both scientists and the football
manufacturer. Then Kraft issues
a press conference demanding an
apology from the NFL should they
find no evidence of wrongdoing. In
the immortal words of Shakespeare,
“me thinks they doth protest too
much”. Now a tape surfaces with a
ball boy taking the game balls in a
bathroom pre-game?
But enough. I’m bored. Between
the nachos, guac, beverages, banter
and commercials, take a moment in
the midst of the pre-game deluge to
observe the most grateful guy on the
field. Hint: hard as it is to reach, let
alone win a Super Bowl, he won’t
be wearing a team uniform. I must
thank Peter King, the longtime
NFL Senior Editor for this. It’s all
his; not mine. At midfield, before
the coin toss, please take a moment
to note Bill Vinovich, the Referee
for this game. An NFL referee in
2005-2006, Bill, who is a CPA by
profession but a Ref by passion,
finished the 2006 tax season and
worked out near his home in
preparation for the 2007 season. He
later experienced “stabbing pain”
in his back and was diagnosed with
an “aortic dissection”. That means
he had torn the descending aortic
valve from his heart to his chest and
blood was filling the area between
the interior and exterior walls of the
valve. Inoperable and a 2% survival
rate. Eleven days intensive care, 6
weeks recuperation, after which he
received a clean bill of health and
applied for reinstatement. Denied.
Again and again. Finally took
a job as Supervisor of Officials.
Then, in 2011, after 4 Thoracic
Surgeons had pronounced him fit,
an aneurysm was discovered in
his ascending aorta. So, he went
through grueling surgery solely to
referee again. A synthetic mesh
was inserted and he was once again
healthy. Finally, the NFL relented.
Now in his 3rd season back on the
job, he received a phone call 3
weeks ago from the NFL’s Director
of Officials, asking if he was busy
this weekend. Hell no, he replied,
then wept tears of joy. So, nod to
the most courageous man on the
field; the one who doesn’t have his
name on his back...
Solution to crossword on page 43
Solution to Sudoku on page 43
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Mark Hanley
Has been coming to PV since ’78.
He’s a sports fan(atic) “with a writing
talent and too much free time on his
hands.” Mark’s writings have been
published in industry newspapers
and the New York Times, he was also
interviewed in the Wall Street Journal.
The mule – with the load on its back
Dr. Fabio Cupul
he mule is a mammal that
exists thanks to the manipulation
that humans have done to nature
over thousands of years. It is not
an animal that appeared on the face
of the earth as the result of nature’s
trials and errors. The mule is not
a different species from that of its
mother, the mare (female horse)
or of its father, the ass. It is a
hybrid because, in order to exist
and proliferate, it needs the human
guidance and experience needed to
successfully breed its parents.
They say that the mule is the
perfect example of the vigor of a
hybrid animal because, as a beast
of burden, it has much stamina and
is very resistant. It can carry very
heavy loads and its feet are stronger
than those of both horses and asses.
In Mesopotamia, it is known that
the ass and the mule came from the
horse, as a beast of burden. In fact,
the horse did not manage to impose
itself on them until around 1800 B.C.
During much time, inhabitants
of that Asian region preferred the
mule over the horse because they
considered horses as wild animals.
This predilection for the mule can
be noted in a letter sent to a monarch
of the Euphrates that stated: “my
Lord, maintain your regal dignity.
Do not mount a hourse, but rather
you should travel in a coach drawn
by mules.”
A European legend associated to
biblical writings tells that Anatael,
father-in-law of Esau -who sold
his birthright to his brother Jacob
for a plate of lentils- was the first
to encounter those hybrids. There
is no mention of this legend in the
Bible, though the sacred book does
mention the mule. In the Book of
Ezequiel, the mule’s importation
from the city of Tyre in Lebanon
to Torgarmah (a village of the
Hebrews that was located in today’s
Turkey) in the times of King David,
is mentioned.
The ancient Hebrews could
not breed mules as the Laws of
Moses forbade it. In the Book of
Leviticus 19:19, we can read that
assisted reproduction of animals
was forbidden: “Ye shall keep
my statutes. Thou shalt not let
thy cattle gender with a diverse
kind: thou shalt not sow thy field
with mingled seed: neither shall
a garment mingled of linen and
woollen come upon thee.”
Some authors believe that this
prohibition regarding the breeding of
cattle was meant to keep the Hebrews
away from the practice of witchcraft.
On the other hand, mules did take
part as valiant beasts of burden
during armed conflicts. In the First
World War, the British Army used
around 571,000 horses and mules, of
which some 68,000 died during the
military operations. It is important
to point out that, during that horrific
war, horses and mules were the
biological targets of the German
forces that used infectious bacteria
(of the species known by scientists
as Burkholderia mallei) to eliminate
them and thus affect the means of
supplies of the Allied Forces.
During the Second World War, the
presence of mules as supply carriers
was reduced, to be replaced by
motorized vehicles. Nevertheless,
their participation turned out
to be of utmost importance for
the transportation of supplies,
equipment and personnel in areas
where the terrain was inaccessible
to vehicles. This can be verified in
the history of events that occurred
in Italy where, between 1944 and
1945, the 10th Mountain Division of
the United States’ Army used more
than 14,000 mules to deal with the
mountainous terrain of northern
Italy during its trek through the
Alps and the Po Valley.
Far from the fields of war, some
mules became movie heroines.
In Hollywood, Francis the mule
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Nature’s World
became a star on her own as “Francis
the Talking Mule”, a celebrity
featured in seven Universal
Pictures film comedies during the
1950s. The character originated in
the 1946 novel “Francis” by former
U.S. Army Captain David Stern
III (1909–2003), and the premise
of all the movies was the same:
“Francis...123rd Mule Detachment...
[serial number] M52519” was
wiser and more experienced than
her awkward and naïve human
companion called Peter Stirling,
interpreted by renowned comic
actor Donald O’Connor.
Dr. Fabio Germán Cupul-Magaña
Coastal University Center (CUC)
of the University of Guadalajara
Email: [email protected]
Nature’s World
directly below the crownshaft,
sporting small white or nearly white
unisexual (of both sexes) creamywhite flowers. These are followed by
small, bright red fruits.
It works well as a single specimen
landscape palm, nice when planted
along streets or is quite pleasing in
appearance when grouped with others.
Sometimes planted in a tub they are
effectively employed on verandas or
patios. And, as a rainforest palm, it
likes regular moisture and prefers a
rich, deep, humusy, organic yet fast
draining soil. It thrives in partial sun
when young and but can handle full
sun as a mature specimen.
As was my condition when but
a tender, impressionable youth, its
heart is vulnerable to fatal shattering.
In the King Alexander Palm’s case, it
may be when the crown is subjected
to undue stress while being moved or
transplanted. It is also susceptible to
leaf-tip burn from drying winds.
One must not forget that it likes to
be watered during the dry season and
responds well to fertilization at least
twice a year. So beyond drought, cold
and drying winds are its enemies.
The three things it likes: good air
circulation, high relative humidity,
and bright sunshine when no longer
young. With such it will grow at least
a vertical foot a year.
Long live the King!
Planting Roots
in Mexico
Tommy Clarkson
King Alexander Palm
Archontophoenix alexandre
Family: Arecaceae
(a.k.a. Alexandra Palm,
Alexandra King Palm,
Alexander Palm, King Palm,
Northern Bangalow Palm
and the Alex Palm.)
s perhaps the foremost Guru
of palm trees, Robert Lee Riffle,
has stated, these “are some of the
world’s most beautiful trees, palm or
Yet, that having been said, there
are similar looking palms as they’re
sometimes confused with the Solitaire
Palm (Ptychosperma elegans) or
the Hurricane Palm (Dictyosperma
album). In fact, there are actually six
species in this genus with all sharing
the common name of King Palm.
The name for this species was
derived from an honor bestowed
upon Princess Alexandra of Denmark
(1844-1925). It and its five relatives
are tall and slender with unarmed
feather leaf fronds which look quite
similar to the fronds of a coconut
palm frond while its trunk of the
palm looks similar to a Manila (or
Christmas) Palm.
Native to the coastal rainforest of
northern Queensland to southeastern
New South Wales in Australia, it is
a single-trunked, self-cleaning and
virtually maintenance free palm. In
the wild it grows up to 18-25 meters
(60-80’) but it is more usually seen at
a domesticated height of between six
to nine meters (20-30’). In its native
environs it often grows in lowland
swamp forests but just to show that it’s
not stuck in just one neighborhood, it
can also be found happily living at
altitudes up to 600 meters.
I’ve read that it is purported to be
the fastest growing of all cultivated
palms but in Ola Brisa Gardens I have
several others that will certainly give
it a run for its money in this category!
It has a medium sized, ringed, light
gray to olive-green straight trunk
30.5 to 46 cm (1-1.5’) in diameter
with a slightly enlarged base topped
with a bright green crownshaft
composed of tightly wrapped pinnate
leaf-bases. This up to 90 cm (3 feet)
crownshaft is smooth and ranges in
color form light green to purplish or
a brownish red.
Though occasionally sold as an
indoor palm, they should not be as
they have a need for much sun and,
simply, don’t care for the, generally,
dry atmosphere of indoors.
(Archonotophoenix purpurea) is
slightly different than its five siblings
in that it has a crownshaft that is more
bulbous at its base and is a reddish
purple in color. Another of this genre,
the Bangalow or Piccabeen Palm - and
by some also called the King Palm (archontophoenix cunninghamiana)
displays lilac-purple flowers.
Its crown of 8 to 12 large, graceful
leaves, each 1.8 - 3 meters (6 to 10
feet) long and comprised of 100
or more closely spaced, narrow,
drooping and strongly ribbed leaflets,
is light green above and have a deepgreen, grayish green, blue-green
color or silver color on the underside,
and when mature, can be 6 meters
(20’) across.
They grow from the rachis in a
single plane with it twisting near
its middle providing an absolutely
wonderful angle for the leaf giving
it - again in the words of Riffle - “a
sense of movement even in still air.”
Its numerous white clusters on
pendent spikes encircle the trunk
Tommy Clarkson
The numerous stages in the
inflorescence of the King
Alexander is intriguing and a
singular delight to watch unfold.
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
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 Richard Chisholm / Will Shortz ©New York Times
Solution to Crossword
on Page 40
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 40
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6
Saturday January 31 to Friday February 6