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Newsletter No. 67 - March/April, 2006
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Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~

Sooner or later, all plans of mice and men go astray, so true in my case. Despite my best efforts to protect my computer files, my computer refused to boot up on March 20th. The following morning, I drove into Puerto Vallarta with computer in tow looking for a quick fix; but instead, I received a bitter worse-case-scenario: both primary and secondary hard drives had failed. The realization that I had lost all my files was overwhelming to say the least, and my only hope at this point was CD back-ups. By March 27, two new hard drives, XP Professional Edition, and backup CD's, had been installed. My computer looked as it had on February 12. I had lost over seven weeks of work, a year"s worth of photographs, and my music. So, one word of advice, back-up all your files often.

Good news! My landlord has agreed to build a two bedroom house next door to my home. During the five month nesting season the house could accommodate up to five volunteers, In the winter (October through June), I would rent it to friends.

Throughout the 2005 nesting season, we recorded a total of 376 nests, 310 of which were incubated in our nursery producing over 25,290 hatchlings. 37 nests were placed in a special protected area to hatch naturally. 27 were taken by poachers, and 2 had been washed out.

Over the past ten years, our attempts to incubate late season nests (11/15 to 6/15) within a controlled nursery environment have generally failed to produce any better results then natural hatching on the beach. Nests must receive constant warmth of 28° to 31°C from all sides throughout the 45 day incubation period.

About three months ago the town fathers, under the direction of the new major, Jesus (Chuy) Placencia produced a list of over 200 items designed to improve the living conditions within our community. Of this list I have posted 30 of which I feel are interesting.

Environmental

* Avoid excessive lighting in natural areas (including the beach and lagoon)
* Promote education, i.e. movies and library books.
* Promote activities that will respect the general environment.

Health and Safety

* Construction of a new municipality sewage plant.
* Prohibit burning within the greater community.
* Control the use of motorized vehicles on the beach, except where authorized by law.
* Train paramedics, firemen, and lifeguards.
* Limit the use of noisy firecrackers during religious fiestas (using bells instead)
* Verify the correct type and placement of biological refuse from the hospital.
* Promote a campaign to vaccinate and sterilize cats and dogs.
* Prohibit livestock (pigs, mules, horses and donkeys) within the greater community.

Community Improvements

* Improve the physical condition of the streets.
* Control and/or reduce the abuse of loudspeakers.
* Open the access to all beaches
* Relocate the Disco into the CONASUPO warehouses
* Repair the children"s playground equipment.
* Promote a new entrance into town from the northeast.
* Control the construction of new roads in the hills.

Some of the 200 items have already been set in action: yellow curbs (no parking) run along the west side of Africa and Asia, the south side of Tercer Mundo and Egipto. One way signs have been posted on Asia-south and Africa-north. No heavy trucks are allowed in the center of town, on America Latina or on Tercer Mundo from Africa west. Several "speed limit 30 kph", "No parking", and "No truck" signs have sprung up around town.

While I am on vacation to the States, there will no marine turtle presentation at Gallo's Pizza between April 21 and June 23. And in case you are in need of a 2006 Homeowners Directory; during this time, you can find them at Calandria Realty.

Weatherwise here in San Pancho, it has been a mild winter: little clouds, no rain since early October and temperatures running from the mid to high 80's during the day and mid to low 70's at night. The only outstanding weather event is the dryness of the countryside. For early April, it is the driest it has ever been in the past fifteen years.

Unfortunately these dry conditions will give those looking to slash-and-burn their land the perfect opportunity to do so, especially after their cattle have exhausted the land of all its edible vegetation. If last year was any example, burning this year will be out of control as well. The last of the jungle is under assault, and what few areas remain untrampled are beautiful reminders of how this country may have appeared many decades ago.

Frank D. Smith
Director,
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
México tel. (311) 258-4100
America Latina #102
San Francisco, Nayarit, México

Paul's classes

heres lookin at ya.


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