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Local Press Reports Several Villa Projects Halted by Sub-District and Regency Officials.
The crackdown on villas that violate local zoning codes continues in Bali with the Indonesian-language Denpost reporting that South Kuta authorities have halted construction of the 12-unit Halcyon Villa complex on Jalan Wanagiri in Jimbaran.
According to the Denpost article, the project, listed as "Hollycon Villa" (sic) in the Denpost report, was subsequently confirmed to be Halycon Villas following a call to the Contractor listed on the Halycon Web Site . The individual answering the telephone at the Construction company confirmed both the correct spelling of the villa project and that they had recently been cited by local sub-district officials for building while permits were still under process.
According to the Denpost report, the project, which is already in an advanced stage of construction, lacks a number of required official permits that must be in hand before commencing construction. The article also quoted the Head of the South Kuta Sub-District Chief, Drs. I Putu Eka Merthawan, as saying that the project located on the road leading to the Ritz Carlton Bali Resort is located in a "Class I" Conservancy Area in which development is restricted.
According to the Denpost story, local officials claim developers have repeatedly failed to heed warnings to halt the project until the required permits are in hand with Sub-District officers now threatening to seize construction equipment if the latest warning continues to be ignored.
A spokesperson for Halcyon Villas told balidiscovery.com on Monday, May 2, 2005, that they had just spoken to the Contractor for the project who had assured them that all permits were in an 'advanced stage' and "would be in hand in the coming days."
Continuing Crackdown Across the Island
As reported previously on balidiscovery.com in [ Crackdown on Bali's Beach Builders ], Sub-District officials in several parts of the island are increasing their scrutiny of villa owners who construct projects without the required permits or in violation of local zoning rules, such as the 100-meter no-build zone from the high water mark.
The Indonesian-language Bali Post in its April 30, 2005 edition reported that the builders of the Villa Kalinka and the nearby Villa Boeddha have both received formal warnings to halt construction until all the required permits are in place with a teask force from the regional legislature scheduled to inspect the building sites in the near future.
The Greenhouse Effect
Ubud's Newest Dining Sensation Opens at Pertiwi Resort and Spa on Jalan Monkey Forest.
A live jazz band, fashion models, drinks and canapés were on hand to welcome friends and travel industry colleagues at the official opening of the The Greenhouse - Ubud latest addition to swank dining venues on Friday, April 29, 2005.
Located on Jalan Monkey Forest, adjacent to the Pertiwi Resort and Spa - Greenhouse's bold design features large windows, a minimalist approach to interior design, and a healthy natural menu using only the finest and freshest local ingredients.
Featured on balidiscovery.com are snapshots from Greenhouse's gala opening party, including a picture of its proud owner, Dewa Gede Putra Arimbawa, standing before the restaurant's green neon signboard next to Resort and Restaurant Manager, Wayan Supandi.
Two Days of Competition and Prizes at Bali Handara Kosaido Golf & Country Club May 21-22, 2005.
Rotary Club Bali Nusa Dua will sponsor its 7th annual charity golf tournament at Bali Handara Kosaido Golf and Country Club located in Bali's mountain-lake district near Bedugul on Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22, 2005.
Trophies and prizes in 10 separate categories for men and women players will be up for grabs with all funds raised via the event going to vital community projects sponsored by Rotary.
Cost and Registration
Golf players pay only Rp. 1,250,000 (approximately US$128) which covers one person in twin-sharing accommodation for 1 night, 2 games of golf, 1 dinner, 1 breakfast, an award's luncheon and an entry in a Luck drawn. A single room supplement of Rp. 150,000 (approximately US$15.30) is also available.
Non-players joining the weekend pay only Rp. 500,000 (approximately US$51.00) for half of a twin-share room for one night accommodation, 1 dinner, 1 breakfast, and attendance at the award's luncheon.
For more information telephone Edward Naus at ++62-(0)8155722178 or Jo Rosarius at ++62-(0)811393635.
Trafficking in Confusion
Major Changes Introduced to Kuta's Traffic Grid.
Starting from Sunday, May 1, 2005, a number of major changes in traffic flows and one-way streets will be introduced on a trial basis in Seminyak, Kuta and Legian areas in an effort by Bali authorities to alleviate vehicular congestion in those areas.
An area of Bali whose existing maze of one way streets and cul-de-sacs can leave people confused even at the best of times, the many changes just introduced are likely to create added confusion during their implementation phase.
In an effort to help people plot their journeys, here's a brief summary of some of the changes you're likely to encounter on your next visit to Seminyak, Kuta and Legian:
• Jalan Arjuna to operate as a one-way street exiting on Jalan Werkudara, also a one-way street, exiting onto Jalan Legian.
• Jalan Legian between Bemo Corner and the Jalan Melasti/Jalan Sriwijaya intersection is still a one-way street BUT now running in the opposite direction, from south to north.
• Jalan Patih Jelantik connecting Jalan Legian to Lapangan Tri Sakti remains a one-way street BUT now running in the opposite direction, running from west to east.
• Jalan Pantai Kuta connecting Bemo Corner to the Hard Rock Hotel is partially a one-way street going in the opposite direction of west to east starting from Jalan Dewi Sartika and exiting at Bemo Corner.
• Jalan Pantai Kuta lremains a one-way street following the beach starting from its new feeder street, Jalan Dewi Sartika, which now becomes a one-way street running south to north, past the front of Matahari Department store.
• Jalan Dewi Sartika in front of Kuta Square is now a one way street running south to north (motorcyles excepted).
• Jalan Raya Kuta connecting the Jalan Singosari and Jalan Raya Kuta intersections which was formerly one-way heading south to north is now open to two-way traffic.
Kuta area road-side shops are reported to be doing a brisk business in traffic maps and St. Christopher medals.
Garuda Indonesia Sees Red in Q1 2005
National Airline's Losses Mount at US$14 Million for Q1 2005. Fuels Surcharges Planned on Australian and Middle-Eastern Services.
Garuda Indonesia - the national flag carrier of Indonesia, reported losses during the first 3 months of 2005 totaling Rp. 139 billion (approximately US$14.5 million). On a daily basis, that's equal to a loss of Rp. 1.54 billion (approximately US$157,500) each and every operational day - a total slightly better than the estimated Rp. 1.6 billion lost during every day of operation by Garuda in 2004. On a quarter to quarter comparison basis, however, Garuda's first quarter losses are 89% larger than the same period a year before fueling concern that the final numbers for 2005 may exceed the Rp. 618 billion operating loss (approximately US$63 million) posted in 2004.
Speaking to the Indonesian-language daily Kompas, the Airline's newly-appointed President Director, Emirsyah Satar, said that the Airline lost money on 65% of its 33 international routes while suffering losses on 71% of its 27 domestic routes.
Garuda is burdened with debts of US$ 826 million requiring yearly repayments totaling US$110 million. With targeted "break-even" annual revenues for 2005 of only Rp. 10.6 trillion (approximately US$ 1.1 billion) there is genuine concern among Garuda's management funds in hand will be insufficient to meet the Company's debt service. As a result, Garuda's bosses will soon be meeting in coming days with the European Credit Agency - the creditor who holds the Airline's debt, to seek a further rescheduling of their current debt load.
Garuda operates a total of 57 aircraft, 26 of which are Boeing 747-400's. At the height of its corporate glory, the airline flew to both the U.S.A. and Europe and was the largest airline in the Southern hemisphere. In recent years, however, Garuda has shrunk to become a shadow of its former self now serving destinations only within Austral-Asia and the Middle-East.
In a step to counteract the effect of rising fuel costs, the Jakarta Post reports that Garuda plans to impose a US$25 surcharge on flights operating between Australia and Indoneisa and US$12 on flights between Indonesia and the Middle-East.
Giving Illegal Money Changers a Black Eye
Legian Villagers Beat an Illegal Money Changer Caught Cheating an Australian Tourist.
On Wednesday, April 27, 2005, an Australian tourists, identified in the press only as "Miss Merry," tried to change US$225 into Indonesian Rupiahs at John's Shop, located in the mid-Legian area. A short time later, Miss Merry ended up literally giving a black eye to one of Bali's numerous dishonest money-changer.
As reported in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, Miss Merry and a traveling companion were lured into John's Shop by a sign falsely proclaiming the location as an authorized money changer. Once inside, they exchanged their money only to discover at the end of the transaction that they had been short-changed by the unscrupulous owner of the shop, Nyoman Yasa, some Rp. 720,000 (approximately US$73.50) .
Distraught and upset at the shoddy treatment received from Nyoman Yasa, Merry left the art-shop-cum-moneychanger location and came to tears whilst standing in front of the shop.
Young men and women from the surrounding community, standing nearby and participating in a local religious ceremony, saw the very visibly upset Ms. Merry and enquired after her welfare. Once the crowd determined the root cause of Merry's distress, a frightened Nyoman Yasa quickly admitted his fraud causing the crowd to angrily set upon the young trickster.
A short time later, badly bruised and beaten, Nyoman Yasa was handed over to the Kuta police precinct who continue to investigate the case.
Bali Chapter of ASITA Holds Gala Launch of its New Monthly Newsletter.
The Bali Chapter of the Association of Indonesia Tour & Travel Agents (ASITA) held a beach-side dinner party at Sanur's Puri Santrian Resort on Saturday, April 30, 2005, to celebrate the launch of its new monthly newsletter Piknik.
The full-color publication 12-page inaugural edition, printed entirely in Indonesian, carries information intended to fill the gap in information and data existing among members of the local travel industry. With in-depth interviews with local tourism figures and analysis of news developments impacting on Bali's tourism scene.
Also featured in its first edition was an interview with Bali Discovery Tours' President Director, J.M. Daniels, examining the issues delaying the recovery of Bali's meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition industry.
With an initial print-run of 4,000 copies distributed to ASITA members and other tourism stakeholders, Piknik hope to eventually become a bi-lingual publication that encourages a lively dialogues between all components of Bali's tourism industry. Scheduled to be published once each month for its first four months of operation, Piknik hopes to become biweekly thereafter.
Preceding the signature endorsement of a symbolic inaugural issue by I Gde Nurjaya, the Chief of Bali Tourism, and representatives of all of Bali's main tourism organizations, the Chairman of ASITA-Bali, Bagus Sudibya, gave and inspiring and spirited address. Sudibya emphasized the need for Bali to take control of its own tourism industry by calling on Bali's government and tourism players to invest heavily and aggressively in tourism, striving over time to place majority ownership of the local tourism industry in local hands.
Local Economist Sees 4.8% Unemployment Level at Near-Crisis Level.
Current statistics from the Department of Manpower estimate that Bali's unemployment level stands at 144,000 workers, approximately 4.8% of the island's entire population.
According to the Dean of the Faculty of Economics at Bali's Udayana University, Drs. Made Kembar Sri Budhi, an unemployment level approaching 5% in Bali should be viewed by all as very critical.
Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, Drs. Budhi sees the salvation of Bali's workers resting firmly with three sectors of the economy – namely tourism, agriculture and small industry.
The Need to Support Tourism
Pointing out that Bali's tourism is slowly returning to life, the respected Economist said that no efforts should be spared in guaranteeing the safety of holidaymakers in Bali. In the same vein, he said the Government must be prepared and able to handle rumors surrounding outbreaks of contagious diseases that have the potential of frightening potential visitors away from the Island.
Agricultural and Handicraft Sectors
He also called on the Government to pay attention to Bali's farmers, ensuring that markets for produce offering fair rates of return are preserved and developed. Similarly, Drs. Budhi said credit facilities must be simplified for handicraft producers in order to stimulate job creation in that sector.
We Get Mail
Balidisocvery.com Editorial on Bali Drug Cases Provokes Many Readers' Responses.
balidiscovery.com's editorial [Editorial: Bali is Not the Problem, Drugs Are] was picked up and reprinted by a number of overseas publications, featured as a lead-in article on Australia's E-Travel Blackboard and re-broadcast by an Australian radio station. As you might expect, it also brought lots of letters, excerpts of which we share below.
• Nick Lawson, a travel agent from Australia wrote:
". . . . These nay Sayers put a wet blanket on people's holiday plans but are not seeming to convince anyone to stay home. I bet if any of these knockers were handed a free ticket then they'd go in an instant.. . . It's a bumper year for Bali which makes me happy as to boycott only punishes the innocent Balinese and not the guilty drug dealers where ever and who ever they may be. Happy Travels."
• R. Brampton wrote to raise what he sees as inconsistency on local sentencing practices :
"I congratulate the Indonesian Authorities on their work and hope the case is proved beyond doubt against any drug trafficker who gets caught. The one thing I can't understand is drug trafficking can bring the death sentence or life in prison but terrorist found guilty get a much more lenient sentence even when involving the death of so many (and) affect permanently countless others who lost family, friends or were injured and disfigured. Maybe that is where the inconsistency lies. . .I visit Bali often with my wife and bring what we can to help orphans and locals in way of clothing & toys the last thing these people need is a drug distribution centre operating out of Bali."
• Australian Tony Swanson took issue with our editorial and calls for a greater distinction to be drawn between Shapelle Corby's case and that of the "Bali 9" :
"I generally enjoy your weekly newsletter, but today I found it very unfortunate that you draw a parallel between Ms Corby and the 'Bali 9.' That there would be anything like the level of support for the heroin 9 is an absurd proposition. The possibility of Ms Corby's innocence seems very real to many people, and this is a HUGE factor in the extent of support for her."
• Sharon Camilleri of Australia wrote in :
"I have to agree with you - Bali is definitely not the problem, it is the drugs. . .While in Bali my friend and I got offered drugs but of course the answer was always 'no thank you' and it is not just Bali (this) happens in, it (also) happens here in Australia ...I also believe that no matter what country you visit you must have respect for their laws. I am hoping to return to Bali as I had a wonderful time while I was there I only hope that people do not continue to try and take drugs in and out of you beautiful country. I am hoping and praying for Schapelle and that your judges see that she is innocent and let her come home."
• Philip Hilton wrote from Australia to say :
"Most Australians believe Corby is the innocent victim of Australian airport drug smugglers. They also consider the Bali 9 to be guilty. So I don't think you need to be too concerned about the Bali 9's conviction having a serious affect on Australian tourist numbers. Most Australians know your Police and ours work well together these days, and are learning to trust your Justice system. I have just booked for my 11th holiday in Bali and hope to continue visiting in the future."
• Trevor Harrington, also writing from Australia, thinks the airline that flew Ms. Corby to Australia has missed its fair share of the criticism in the current case:
"As an Australian, I'm embarrassed by my countrymen who expect an Australian to be given preferred treatment simply because they are Australian. This applies just as much to identification of tsunami bodies as it does to the Indonesian legal system. Australians should ask how the situations initiated, rather than demand exemption in return for aid and assistance of tsunami victims. In the case of Shapelle Corby, I haven't heard a single complaint against the airline that had responsibility for the baggage and yet failed to cooperate in the early stages when a proper defense could have been secured."
• Fiona wrote to insist she won't come back to Bali if Shapelle Corby is found guilty by the Indonesian courts :
"I agree that drugs are a major problem and have no sympathy for the 9, only their families. What they did was stupid and greedy, but Shapelle Corby is a different matter. I feel as do so many Australians that she is innocent. I don't think those drugs were ever meant to leave Australia. I have been to Bali 15 times and love everything about it but I will definitely not go back if she is found guilty as I am so convinced that she had nothing to do with those drugs. I went back to Bali 6 weeks after the bomb with no hesitation, but I just would not feel the same about Bali anymore if this poor girl is not listened to."
• Jessica Pinkerton wrote regarding the hypocrisy in Bali's high profile street dealing in drugs when seen against the background of the current cases before the Indonesian Courts:
"I agree with a lot of what you said but I cannot agree with the way the Indonesian justice system works....guilty until proven innocent. When there is reasonable doubt, surely that must count for something. . .But when there is so much doubt surrounding the marijuana in Shapelle Corby's body board bag and there is not concrete evidence, I just don't see how you can demand life in prison. I think that is a bit hypocritical when you walk around in Bali and almost every 4th person offers you drugs. I am a yearly visitor to Bali and will not sign the petition to boycott travel, but I do think that Shapelle Corby deserves a fair trial."
• Richard also writes from Australia to make a similar point :
"It is about time the local constabulary did something about all the drug sellers on the streets. On a recent trip I would barely walk 50 meters before I was offered anything in the drug line - and the sellers were quite blatant about what they were doing. Another point of dismay was the increasing offer to sell you pornography. So, who do I write to air these grievances?"
• Also from Australia, Khatijah said :
" . . . I think that if you break the laws of the land you should be tried by the law of that land. But can you please tell me what a tourist should do when they are walking down the streets of Bali and having drug pushers trying to sell every kind of drug imaginable to them? Why aren't the drug pushers shot! They, too, are the scum of the earth and should be punished.......are they let off because it is the 'silly tourist' that buys the drugs that should be shot?"
• Graham Hornel, a reader in Perth, wrote to say:
"Congratulations on a much-needed presentation of the rest of the facts, plus some realistic commentary on what has unfolded as a sad and sorry matter - one that has the potential to seriously damage both Australia-Indonesia relations and certainly Bali's tourism arrivals from Australia. . . .Drugs are indeed the problem and until law enforcement authorities in both countries combine to work back from the end user through the chain to the supplier, this situation will happen again. . . .Crack down very hard on those who openly sell death on the streets of Kuta and on those stupid enough to buy and then to use drugs in Bali and that will be positive progress. . . .No-one involved should be spared prosecution for involvement in any aspect of the drugs industry, be they Australian or Balinese, Policemen or Tourists."
Bali Sheraton Laguna Appoints New Managers
Janet McNab Head Sales While Former Pacific World's Eka Putra Gede is Named Event Manager.
Starwood Hotels Indonesia Vice President, Stephen Ford, has appointed Australian Janet McNab as Regional Director of Marketing Starwood Indonesia, including responsibility for the Director of Sales & Marketing Role at the Sheraton Laguna Nusa Dua Bali.
Janet McNab comes to Bali from Sheraton Nanjing Kingsley Hotel & Towers, China, where she served as Director of Sales and Marketing and an Executive Assistant Manager for two and a half years.
Janet began her career with Starwood Hotels & Resorts at Sheraton Brisbane Hotel & Towers, Australia, working in various capacities including Convention Services Manager, Sales Manager and Catering Manager. In 1997 she was appointed as the Brisbane hotel's Director of Sales & Marketing.
Fluent in Italian, she holds a master of business administration degree from Queensland University of Technology majoring in strategic management and marketing.
Eka Putra Gede
Sheraton Laguna Nusa Dua Hotel Manager, Richard Suter, has appointed Eka Putra Gede as the Hotel's Events Manager.
A native of Bali and a 1991 hotel school graduate, Eka most recently was a groups, meetings and incentives account executive for Pacific World Nusantara in Bali, handling domestic and international accounts.
The Porpoise of a Good Breakfast
North Bali's Puri Bagus Lovina Resort Offers Guests a Breakfast Cruise with Local Dolphins.
A 2-hour drive away from Bali's South and a world away in terms of its relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, Bali's north shore holds many wonders to visitors who take the time to explore its beaches, vineyards, and ancient temples.
On a recent brief visit to the luxurious Puri Bagus Lovina Resort & Spa we also discovered another unique treat awaiting those who spend a night at this very comfortable and well-run resort.
Guests now have the options of bookling an early morning breakfast cruise aboard the Resort's specially-designed 17-meter teak outrigger cruise boat. Powered by 2 x 85 HP outboard engines, the spacious vessel offers a delicious breakfast while guest sit at their tables watching the sun rise over nearby Mount Agung. Shortly after you start your second cup of piping hot coffee, you'll find the ship passing Bali's original capital of Singaraja.
Comfortable and extremely stable, the breakfast vessel comes equipped with its own grill for eggs-made-to-order, radio communications and toilet facilities.
The highlight of the early morning cruise, however, is unarguably the frequent encounters with pods of playful dolphins that make their home in these waters. While the boat's operators wisely warn that dolphin sightings can never be completely guaranteed, the crew estimated that guest manage to encounter these majestic mammals on nearly 90% of all breakfast cruise departures.
And should you be unfortunate and miss the dolphins on your morning cruise, take compensation in the form of a quick snorkel over local reefs on the sail back to shore and then sign up for another night and tomorrow's breakfast cruise at North Bali's best resort.
Canadian Couple Make Kuta's Bali Hai Resort and Spa and Bali their Second Home.
Dr. and Mrs. Nicholas Rety are just two of the nearly 1.5 million foreign tourists visiting Bali each year.
Flying halfway around the globe, Dr. Rety and his wife, Eva Dimitrov, regularly spend six weeks in Bali, visiting in March and September. This past March was their 17th visit to Bali where they make their home away from home the Orchid Villa at the Balihai Resort & Spa.
"This place makes me feel at home. There is no glass barrier between you and the staff. The attitude is genuine-from the heart. And I found that staying at Orchid Villa is a simple form of life. This is a perfect end of the destination, where every day is like the embrace of a loving mother," said Dr. Rety.
In December 2003, Dr. Rety, a surgeon from British Columbia, Canada, delivered surgery equipment donated by fellow Canadians in response to the Bali Bomb tragedy of 2002. As a token of what Dr, Rety says is his fond attachment to Bali's "spirit of acceptance," the Doctor is bringing more donations on his upcoming visit.
When not practicing his much-in-demand skills as a surgeon,
Dr Rety spends time gathering and re-writing personal journals and pictures to capture the experiences in life, dedicating them to his children and grandchildren. "It's like walking on the beach, you leave footprints in the sand, and if you look back at all the footprints behind you. You must leave some footprints in life." And, as you might expect, Bali plays an important role in his journals and writings, finding the island a never-ending source of inspiration.
Shown on balidiscovery.com are Dr. and Mrs. Rety relaxing together at their favorite Bali hotel.