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barrbower

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barrbower last won the day on May 22

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  1. Yes they can...and yes they did! Actually, for me it was an illegal U-turn on the highway to the airport. He was very polite and professional and I was polite to him. He explained what I had done wrong and I was guilty. We visited in Spanish for a couple of minutes and he then offered to write me the cheapest ticket he could which was a "no seat belt" instead of the turn infraction. He showed me on the ticket how to go online to get the numbers I'd need to pay at Bancomer for 1/2 price if paid promptly. He showed me his name and badge number on the ticket as well. He never asked for a mordida and I never offered one. I didn't mind getting the ticket since I have bent my share of traffic laws over the years. Figured I was due... Alan
  2. Here is an idea. If you still have the old container with it's pump sprayer, you can buy a package of "Cynoff" at almost any hardware or lawn and garden supply store and mix your own. I think the little pack costs something like 40 or 50 pesos and mixes with water. Not sure of ratio for gallon size jug but I think one pack makes about two gallons. I use a small spay bottle and add about 1/2 tsp. Same kind of chemical...odorless, non staining, long lasting, and works on any kind of crawling bug. Roaches, ants, scorpions, spiders, etc. Safe for pets once it's dry but don't spay on the floor where pet beds or food bowls live. They should not lick the floor where applied. I normally spay around entries, areas where walls meet floors, under and beside fridge and stove, etc. Seems to work very well except for those tiny little ants that seem to materialize from thin air. Alan
  3. I thought this forum existed for discussions about topics that affect us here at lakeside. This topic does that. When I used the term "new money" it was meant to be sarcastic. There is no new money from this little scam. All of the money will just come out of the legitimate economy someplace. People only have so much to spend and that money could be spent over and over as it circulates through many hands. The money collected by transitos will be spent that way. But the money collected by the government and some German company who sets up these stations is likely gone, for the most part. That's about fifty million dollars a year taken out of the local economy and that represents perhaps ten times that much of economic activity lost as that money won't circulate. Those who don't like the topic and think it is a waste of time should also not waste our time posting complaints about it...maybe just go do something else. Alan
  4. According to the Reporter, there are three testing stations each with four lanes. It takes fifteen minutes to test each car meaning four per hour each lane. 4X4 is sixteen cars per hour at each station. 16X3 is 48 cars per hour. If they are open 12 hours a day that is 576 cars per day. If there are 177,000 cars with plate ending in "7" then, if they are open Sundays also, it will take them 308 days just to get the first number done. They need to get busy with new stations or this will soon become another income stream for Transito cops asking for mordidas. They should also exempt car models newer than 2011 models. Those cars will all do better than the minimum test standards and the state knows it. But that would cut into the revenue stream they have created with the testing. What will the "new money" be spent on? Probably not on road work, trash collection, sewer and treatment plants, etc. I'm guessing it will just disappear into the money funnel that is government everywhere. There might be a slight improvement in air quality but they could achieve the same improvement by only targeting the worst offenders by impounding vehicles with visible smoke coming from the tailpipe. Alan
  5. I wouldn't put much money in any Mexican bank...but that's just me. Might be a place that does dollar accounts but not sure if it's insured and there has been theft from accounts. If you have a peso account, the rate of exchange could nullify any interest income as peso falls to the dollar. Those insecurities are why they offer to pay more interest here. Most folks leave most of their funds in the US or Canada banks and if you need pesos here use an ATM. Some banks waive ATM fees. Opinions vary widely and so do recommendations on how to handle cash. I'd let the owner decide all of that or get a legal document in addition to POA that removes you from any responsibility if things end badly. Alan
  6. When the average depth of the lake is only twelve feet the total volume can change quickly...both increase and decrease. If the shoreline has moved out, say, thirty feet it could represent a total volume loss of 50% which is where we are now. It could mean only a drop in level of four or five feet but over the large surface of the lagoon, that is half of the lake volume. Most of the drop seen every year is from evaporation not draw-down from Guadalajara. If the depth of the lake was averaging 150 feet the lake would only be abut 1/10th the area it covers now and you would hardly notice the dry season change in level. Cedros is correct in that the level is very much dependent on rains and inflow from areas east of here. You'll notice it when the lirio starts showing up when dams are releasing water. Some day it will all be wetlands and then slowly become a seasonally verdant plain. But not this year. Alan
  7. I was told that HSA will honor insurance like Medicare if there is also a supplemental plan that insures for emergencies while traveling outside the USA. They then bill for services at a much higher rate for reimbursement from those companies. Problems arose when "emergensies" turned out to not always be the truth. Patients were caught taking advantage as were doctors and the hospital that made more money than if they were charging local prices for local services. If it was all above board the insurers would end up paying less for expats' medical care if they would just insure for local care. Big corp and politics on both sides of the border take priority over what is logical and compassionate. Never forget that the US does not really want us spending our money in foreign countries. Local insurers also don't want things to change because those corporations can charge what the market will bear. For an aging population with money and few alternatives that seems to be to demand higher prices, provide less coverage, give more denials, and cancel policies for anybody with even a slightly higher risk factor. If insurance, as it now stands, was a good deal for the consumer they would not be selling it. Alan
  8. I like Tapalpa. The drive there can be interesting because you can see the dry lake bed, an elephant, a rhino, and if it's the rainy season there are birds wading in the shallow water. The winding road up the face of the mountain is a bit of a pain but the views out over the lake bed are amazing. The town itself is more traditional. The church is the largest brick church in Mexico and is made only of bricks and mortar...no rebar or concrete supports. The piedrotas just outside of town are quite interesting. On the other side of town in a golf course/subdivision that has a great hotel, bar, restaurant with outside seating and a view of the lake, volcano, and the golf course. There is also one of the tallest waterfalls in Mexico but that requires a bumpy ride and a fairly long hike. You can arrange a guide. Mazamitla has a more vibrant feel due to it's location as a trade and commerce center. Tapalpa is pretty much on the end of the road. Mostly tourists and locals just hanging out. There is a second route for the return which takes you across the top of the mountain and through some beautiful pine covered hills and interesting little towns. That route takes a few minutes longer but it's a nice change. The last time we were in Mazamitla, and tried to get into the subdivision where the little Japanese style garden and waterfall are located, we were not allowed in by car...only on foot or horseback. Of course the horses are there for renting and if you are younger and fit enough the hike is nice. I think the homeowners didn't like the car traffic and noisy 4 wheelers in their neighborhood. That restriction now makes Mazamitla less interesting for me. There are a couple of other little towns near Mazamitla that are pretty and interesting. MC has been to all of them on his bike and might have some suggestions that could make a day trip there more interesting. Alan
  9. These comments just prove to me that all that is needed there is one four way light with left turn arrows for all four directions with opposing sides all doing the same thing at the same time. Just get rid of all of the extra trappings. Allow right on red after stopping, when safe, at all times. Pretty much what EVERYBODY said was needed and what most assumed would happen. Any officials out there with the guts and influence to make it happen? It would be a very popular decision that might even have future election ramifications. Alan
  10. I wish I knew exactly how the money stream is working. Does the Federal Govt. pay to the local government which then hires locals to do the projects? Is it only state money that has been received from the the feds and the state hires the work done? Who is deciding what this is going to look like in the end? I know the entire Pueblo Magico program is now something different from what it was when Tapalpa was designated. Is there different oversight now? I just feel like whatever was decided was going to be spent to "improve" Ajijic is not what is actually being spent. I have been asking since the start who was going to be responsible for sidewalk repairs when poles are removed. Where are the extra cars going to park? Who is going to pay for improvements and changes to utilities once they are buried under the streets? How are CFE, Telmex, Wizz, etc going to access the infrastructure once it's buried and who pays for all that? Has any thought been given to the local businesses that will be adversely affected by changes like increased traffic and less parking, street closures, infrastructure interruptions during changeovers, restrictions to access to the plaza for seating, etc? Anyway, I'm hoping logic begins to play a major part in this mess but I'm afraid corrupt ineptitude will continue to prevail. MC is correct...charm and character are losing out all over this area and Pueblo Magico status is not going to help. Alan
  11. We recently saw the Ajijic plaza project and what a mess! And no surprise either. We had a chance to try the new benches just before they were removed. Badly placed, ugly, uncomfortable, and already breaking. Again, no surprise. The final project doesn't look like the rendering that was shown either. No surprise. And it is starting to sound like, just as I predicted, that there might not be a lovely patio for the Jardin restaurant and perhaps the coffee shop and bar might lose their plaza space as well. Next would be the craft vendors on the Guadalupe Victoria walkway and the evening taco, hot dog, and tamal vendors. Pretty much everything that makes the plaza "magic" could go away in the name of sterile Pueblo Magico" regulations. Ajijic has never had portales or other architectural elements to make the plaza a commercially viable or person friendly space without using some of the plaza footprint. That was why they decided years ago to close streets on two sides of the plaza. It made the space a more user friendly destination. What they have done now does the opposite. There is soon to be a committee supposedly made up of locals to help direct future issues like buried utilities, increased car traffic, sidewalk repairs, street closures, wall painting, etc. It would be good to know who those folks are and how input could be provided ahead of another mess of a project. And maybe revisit the entire Pueblo Magico designation. Alan
  12. Well, the traffic control lights at the intersection of the carretera and libramiento have been off for a few days. Guess what! No problems with traffic jams, accidents, and no transito cops trying to direct traffic or stopping cars to ask for bribes when they can't figure out the WalMart entrance. People seem to be careful and polite and Mexican anarchy proves once again to mostly function OK if you can keep government and other "experts" out of the situation. Think how many uncontrolled intersections are in our area and folks make them work fine on their own. In several places in Europe, traffic controls are being removed and results are similar. People enter the intersections with caution, they let pedestrians cross, and traffic flows much easier. I like to think somebody is looking at that mess and trying to decide how to best change (and hopefully improve) that intersection. I could be wrong...it could just be a faulty light controller. Alan
  13. I do remember the short window of time when they were stopping motos and golf carts. It lasted about a month and then back to normal. I daily see both of these in open violation again. I was recently stopped by a Guardia Nacional after making an illegal U turn on the highway near Cajititlan. He was very polite, did not ask for a bribe, I knew I was wrong (and it was a dangerous turn) and he gave me a ticket. But because I spoke to him in Spanish and didn't try to argue with him he wrote the ticket for no seat belt which saved me several hundred pesos. I paid the ticket at Bancomer after going online to print a copy of the incident. This new level of cop is supposedly required to pass some honesty and anti-corruption tests before being given a job. The guy I dealt with was quite professional. State Transitos not so much... Alan
  14. Here is a little tip that might help. If the cop asks for a mordida then ask for the ticket. He will not want his name on a ticket knowing you can the tell his boss that he first asked for a bribe. They will probably just let it go if they can't make any money. There is a reason that motorcycles, for instance, which don't have plates, the riders don't have helmets, the driver is lane splitting or passing on the right, and probably speeding through a red light doesn't get detained. The cops know he probably doesn't have any money so it isn't worth their time. If the cop doesn't ask for a bribe then just take the ticket and pay it promptly for your 50% discount. Never offer a bribe and never pay a bribe. Even if you are traveling out of town. Offer to follow them into the station. Especially if they have already asked for a bribe. Either way it will be a little adventure that will make a good story later. Just like most places in the world (not all) traffic control by cops in Mexico is not really about public safety...it's revenue. Alan
  15. There will likely never be much improvements to infrastructure in most of lakeside. Like most things in Mexico, it is all "designed" to function at minimum standards and will be repaired the same way when it fails. There are no building standards, no home inspections, no licensed plumbers or electricians, no enforceable codes, no concrete or brick standards, no civil engineers, and almost no wastewater treatment facilities. The government knows that there is massive corruption at all levels and so even if property taxes were to triple (in our case that would move ours from six dollars per month to 18 dollars per month) that increased money would just get siphoned off by local folks in charge at every level and services would not improve. There is actually not raw sewage in the streets of Riberas but there is a lot of gray water which if left standing can get funky. The roads are not great but they are not better anyplace else except in some downtown streets in Chapala. Our water comes from the same well that serves much of San Antonio and Mirasol and it does come in unfiltered but our coto pre-filters it and the individual homes have filters and we all drink it without problems. On the plus side, the local water doesn't have chloramine or chlorine dioxide in it. Google those things sometime. Many cities in the US provide drinking water that is treated wastewater. Nothing wrong with that but I'm not sure I'd like that option here locally... I always say that Mexico is not for everybody and one needs to adjust expectations to keep from going crazy. Alan
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