The Island Captured by its Resident Photographers – An Exhibition of Bali Photos Through July 15 at Renon's Bajra Sandi Monument.
The Bali Association of Photographers is holding an exhibition of 120 photographs by 39 photographers at Bali's Monument of the People's Struggle (Bajra Sandi Monument).
Including the works of both professional and amateur photographers, photos will be on sale with proceeds going to help the victims of the earthquake that struck Yogyakarta and Central Java in late May 2006.
Ini Baliku – This is My Bali
Using as its theme - "Ini Baliku" or "This is my Bali" - the exhibition seeks to capture the rich and multifarious culture and daily life of Bali and its people.
The Exhibition is open daily through July 15, 2006 at the Bajra Sandi Monument in Renon, Denpasar.
Bali's Mangrove Forests Under Increasing Threat
Local Lawmakers Differ on Which Government Body Should Have Final Control Over Vital Mangrove Forests.
Bali's southernmost regency of Badung is home to critical mangrove forests covering an estimated area of 622 hectares.
In order to preserve this important asset which offers a natural barrier to tidal waves and erosion as well as a natural habitat to a wide range of wildlife and marine creatures, a member of the Badung regional parliament is suggesting that control over the Regency's mangrove forests be given to the regional government of Badung. According to Wayan Puspanegara, a member of Commission B of the Badung Parliament, his suggestion is “not an arrogation of current moves for regional autonomy, but a 'good will' recommendation to preserve the mangroves from various threats."
Quoted in the Indonesian language Bali Post, Puspanegara cited risks posed to Badung's extensive network of mangroves from property developers and local businesses who are trying to reclaim the forests for commercial purposes. The local lawmaker also pointed to incidents where solid and liquid wastes are being disposed of in the environmentally sensitive mangrove zones.
Another local parliamentarian, Bagiana Karang, called for more attention to mangrove preservation to be paid by Bali's provincial government but argues "now is not the time" for control of these areas to be transferred from provincial to regional authorities. Karang called for more coordination between the Provincial Government and the Badung Regency to preserve the mangroves which Karang sees as the "lungs" of the city of Denpasar.
Yogya Quake Causes Drop in Domestic Arrivals
Local Guides and Shop Operators Estimate Domestic Tourism is Down by 50% Following Java's Earthquake.
According to an article published in the Indonesian language BisnisBali, domestic visitors to Bali during the current travel peak of Indonesian school holidays have decreased dramatically in the wake of the massive earthquake that devastated Central Java and parts of Yogyakarta on May 27, 2006.
I Made Wijana, a local guide who normally handles domestic tour groups, told the newspaper: "During school holidays like now, domestic tourists from Java usually flood into Bali. Now, because of the earthquake (in Java), totals visitors are down."
According to Wijana, the advent of Indonesian school holidays would bring an average of 20 large bus every days from Java to Bali, a total that has dropped by 50% following last month's earthquake.
Another domestic guide, Eti, suggested that the tragedy in Central Java has temporarily reduced the desire of tourist from major population centers throughout Java to travel away from home to destinations such as Bali.
Supporting the view that domestic tourism is down was Robani, a seller of Balinese handicrafts in the village of Celuk. "Since the earthquake in Yogyakarta we've really felt the reduction in domestic tourists from Java," he explained.
I.A. Warsiki, an art shop operator from Sukawait, interviewed by Bisnis Bali confirmed that profits and visitors are both down during the current school holiday period as compared to years' past.
French Cooking as Easy as 'Un, Deux, Trois'
Bali Celebrity Chef Chris Salans Uses Modern Food Technology to Bring Traditional French Dishes to Areas Far Removed from his Signature Restaurant – Mozaic.
American-born, but reared in the atmosphere of a French kitchen, Cordon Bleu Chef Chris Salans has earned a permanent pace in Bali's culinary hall of fame via his highly regarded restaurant Mozaic.
Set in a verdant, Heliconia-ringed garden - Mozaic offers diners one of Bali's most unique dining experiences built on world class gastronomic cuisine in combination with impeccable service. Using a passion for cooking with only the finest ingredients, honed during past employments with two 3-star Michelin restaurants, Salan's Ubud eatery is one of only two Southeast Asian restaurants recognized by the prestigious Tradition et Qualité Association as a member of "Les Grande Tables Du Monde" - a grouping including many of the world's most highly regarded dining venues.
Introducing French Cuisine
Eager to share his culinary expertise beyond the 60 seats available at Mozaic each evening, Chris Salans is now increasing the reach of his cooking empire to provide quality food to areas spread across Indonesia.
Determined that good food should be available to diners at functions in remote venues or workers in remote locations, Chris Salan's just ;aunched and somewhat generically branded "French Cuisine" uses modern technology that guarantees a safe and hygienic food product in a ready-to-eat, high-quality format. Delicious dishes are carefully prepared by talented chefs in a commissary kitchen and then stored and chilled in sealed vacuum packs. Easily handled and transported, the food packs can then can be chilled and stored for 2 weeks, or longer when frozen. And, best of all, unskilled personnel in the field need only to warm the original packages in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes before plating the dish before appreciative diners.
Chris Salans hosted a gala launching party to introduce his new line of "French Cuisine" at a private villa in Sanur's historic Batujimbar Estate on Friday, June 16, 2006.
Wall to Wall Welcome Carpet at Sanur Beach Hotel
Confident in the Future, Bali's Sanur Beach Hotel Invests in New Carpeting.
Confident that Sanur will continue to be one of Bali's most popular destinations, the Sanur Beach Hotel recently invested more than US$60,000 in new carpeting for many areas of the 426 room hotel on Sanur beach.
According to the Hotel's General Manager, Christoph Voegeli, "even though lately there have been difficult times, we feel it is very important to keep investing in our hotel." Voegeli said the addition of new carpets for the hotel was merely part of a continuing program of capital investments to ensure high standard of service and facilities are maintained for the hotel’s guests.
And, according to the enthusiastic hotel manager, the hotels far-sighted view to investment will have a medium-term return with Bali's arrival statistics showing a rapid comeback to their former healthy levels.
Shown on balidiscovery.com are members of the Hotel's team taking a closer look at the new carpet just installed in one of the Resort's corridors.
Senior Police Officials from ASEAN Region Meet in Bali to Crack Down on Corruption and Other Transnational Crime.
Senior government and police officials from the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met in Bali June 5-10, 2006 to establish closer cooperation in the prevention of transnational crime.
Hosted by the Indonesian Police Force, the Indonesian police are seeking the agreement of their colleagues in law enforcement from across the region to have corruption and illegal logging affirmed as acts of transnational crimes and subject to cross-border police cooperation.
The Indonesian proposal is supposedly tied to the frequent escape of high-level corruptors of the Indonesian economy to neighboring countries where they are safe from extradition.
The call for police cooperation was made on behalf of the Republic of Indonesia by Police Commissioner General Makbul Padmanegara, Head of Research and Crime Board at the National Police Headquarters who called on the delegates to increase cooperation to eradicate corruption and terrorism in the region.
The 6th Annual ASEAN Senior Official Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) was held at the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel.
Shown on balidiscovery.com are delegates to the Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime Held posing for a photograph at Bali's Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel.
Getting Serious About Bird Flu
Udayana University Think Tank on Infectious Disease Delivers Some Hard-Hitting Criticism and Recommendations to Bali's Government on How to Deal with the Bird Flu Threat.
On Tuesday, May 30, 2006, the Center for the Study of Community Epidemics (UPLEK) convened a round-table discussion including representatives of Bali's Agricultural Service, Health Department, Quarantine Department, veterinarian corps, the faculty of animal husbandry and Veterinarian Science at Bali's Udayana University, and local poultry producers.
In the free-roaming discussion that followed, the four main issues were identified in Bali's struggle to deal with the threat of Avian influenza or bird flu:
• Controlling the Smuggling of Poultry into Bali
The discussions were led and moderated by one of Bali's leading experts in epidemiology, Professor Dr. A.A. Gde Muninjaya, MPH.
The participants in the forum identified a number of factors stimulating the illegal smuggling of poultry into Bali, including:
(A) The price differential of between Rp. 20,000 – Rp. 25,000 (approximately US$2.12 –US$2.65) per duck between Bali and East Java.
(B) Heavy demand from the people of Bali for poultry, such as free-range chickens and domesticated ducks, to meet ritual requirements for local celebrations. Meanwhile, current demands for cut poultry and eggs are being satisfied by local producers in Bali.
(C) New modes of smuggling poultry into Bali that circumvent controls in place at main ports, such as Gilimanuk and Padang Bai, together with sophisticated means of hiding poultry on trucks traveling into Bali.
(D) When smugglers are captured, the power of the police to hold the perpetrators in custody is restricted, with interference in the process by outside unnamed parties from Bali and Java.
(E) Difficulties in handling evidence in smuggling cases, with rules dictating that "evidence" cannot be destroyed prior to a final court decision creating procedural problems for the authorities.
(E) Limitations in the number of officers assigned in the field and a similar lack of support funding.
(F) The lack of defined procedures for control officers in the field assigned to prevent poultry smuggling.
(G) The extensive length of Bali's shorelines, making perfect supervision of smuggling of poultry onto the Island by boat extremely problematic.
• The Role of the Governor's Special Team for Combating, Preventing and Controlling the Spread of Avian Influenza (P4AI)
Those attending the conference concluded :
A) Generally, the Government is failing in its responsibility to handle the problem of Bird Flu.
(B) The P4AI, appointed by Bali's Governor in 2005, is considered to be unrepresentative both in form and content to meet the demands of controlling the spread of bird flu in Bali. The policies of Bali's Government are insufficient in reaching the grass-root elements in the community needed to make such a program successful.
(C) The P4AI team is failing to establish synergy of action with various agencies in the efforts to prevent the spread of bird flu. Attention and focus on the regency and city level is still weak and fails to optimize their roles in the battle.
(D) A lack of intensity in education of the people in traditional villages and those involved in poultry production.
(E) The P4AI Team has failed to become the motor driving forums communicating the need and means to control bird flu in Bali.
• Surveillance and Quarantine Issues
The forum concluded :
(A) Statements by Balinese officials that Bali is free of bird flu are not strictly correct and need to be clarified. Like other areas in Indonesia, Bali has the potential for the spread of bird flu although no human infections in Bali have been thus far detected. Surveillance efforts by the Veterinarian Department of Udayana University have discovered the bird flu virus in local populations of birds and duck. These results have suggested that local duck populations may play an insidious role as Trojan horses for a a more wide-spread contamination in Bali.
(B) Surveillance efforts to observe the infectious opportunities for bird flu in Bali are considered sufficient, but sctual implementation of measures in the field are lacking order and proper planning.
(C) Surveillance effort in Bali to date have been limited to efforts to prevent poultry smuggling and have yet to be intensively introduced for traditional markets and for pet populations of poultry kept by the Balinese.
(D) The capacity of quarantine facilities in Bali are very limited. Funds need to be urgently put in hand to increase these facilities.
(E) In order to anticipate the spread of bird flu among Bali's human population, sero-testing must be expanded beyond the 180 people tested to date. Target populations susceptible to infection must be identified and tested.
• Role of Mass Media
The forum concluded that news coverage of bird flu in Bali remains unclear and incomplete. Current Reports on bird flu in the print media are generally only adding to public confusion and disinformation.
The participants at the round table discussion called for greater attention to be paid to the problem of bird flu in Bali in order to preserve the Island's reputation as an international tourism destination, protect the human animal population, and meet the demand of poultry for local ritualistic ceremonies.
In order to continue and improve efforts to control the spread of bird flu in Bali, the following recommendations were put forth:
• Controlling Smuggling of Animals and Poultry into Bali
(A) One alternative to be considered is to open Bali to the importation of poultry but with standard quarantine inspections to ensure that no infected poultry affected by the H5N1 virus are allowed entrance to the Island. Inspection stations, both in originating ports outside Bali and at Bali's air and sea ports should be developed and improved in terms of facilities, quality of manpower and funds available for their operation.
(B) The other alternative is to continue with the current program to prevent the importation of poultry to Bali. If this alternative remains the status quo then the legal aspects of how to handle those involved in smuggling must be discussed to ensure a just, consistent and non-discriminatory application of the rules apply; local communities must be involved in improving the work of field officials assigned to prevent smuggling; the government must undertake an intensive, consistent and ongoing socialization of information to the general public on the prevention of the spread of bird flu; and those assigned to handle the prevention of the spread of bird flu in the field must be equipped with clear and well-formulated standard operating procedures.
• Upgrading the P4AI Team
The following recommendations were put forth :
(A) The Governor decision (No. 384/03-J/HK/2005) establishing the P4AI team must be reviewed. The team assigned this task must include all affected stakeholders to ensure a synergetic and effective team is in place.
(b) The P4AI team must be funded to include operating funds with provisions made for a secretariat.
(C) Local lobbying efforts must be undertaken to obtain a share of the provincial budget for the prevention of the spread of bird flu in order to create public information and educational materials.
(D) The P4AI team should establish a communication forum to meet once every three months to discuss the prevention of bird flu.
In order to enhance surveillance, the forum recommends :
(A) Ongoing studies on poultry in Bali must be undertaken to know the current sixe of poultry and wild fowl populations and projected consumer demand for poultry products.
(B) Surveillance must be intensified to include not only market populations but also for domestic livestock and pets (e.g. pigs, cats, fogs, etc..)
(C) Sero-survey of human populations must be expanded, including wide spread sampling among strategic human populations deemed at greater risk of infection.
• The Mass Media Campaign Against Bird Flu
The following recommendations were made:
(A) Public awareness about bird flu must be expanded, especially among farmers. These campaigns must always be coordinated with the government's agricultural and health departments.
(B) The mass media must begin presenting a consistent quality of news on issues related to bird flu based on accurate information provided by the Departments of Agriculture and Health. An ongoing supply of clear and accurate information on bird flu will result in a greater understanding and awareness among the public on the threat posed by bird flu.
(C) Information kits and training for journalists must be undertaken to enable the press to convey accurate information that will educate the public on bird flu.
In its closing comments, the round table called on the Governor's P4AI Team to convene a follow-up meeting to the round table discussion, tabling the recommendations made at the roundtable gathering as a main topic on the agenda at that meeting of the P4AI.
Peter O'Connor Returns to Bali
Former Head of Bali Hard Rock Returns to Bali to Take the Helm of Bali Hilton International.
The Bali Hilton International have announced the appointment of Peter O’Connor as General Manager, effective June 1, 2006.
The American native and 1977 graduate of The State University of New York most recent hospitality industry appointment was as opening General Manager with the Intercontinental Financial Street Beijing - the first luxury hotel in the prestigious financial district of the Chinese capital.
O'Connor's 3 decades of hotel experience have included assignments in Bali, Malaysia, Hawaii, Boca Raton, Singapore, Virgin Islands, and Vienna. A former Vice-President for Hard Rock Hotels & Resorts based in Singapore and Bali, he came to Bali after a posting as General Manager of the Palace of the Golden Horses in Kuala Lumpur.
Bali-based Long-Distance Swimmer Breaks Another World Record while Swimming for Yogya Earthquake Relief.
As reported on balidiscovery.com [Monte Sets Records and Fights Child Hunger], the Bali-based American long-distance swimmer, Monte Monfore, seems more at home in the water between Indonesia's many islands than when actually standing on terra firma.
Adding yet again to his long list of "firsts" and "world records," the 45 year-old Californian managed to set a new record time covering a 12.5 kilometer straits at the Karimunjaya Underwater Park off Java's northern coast on Friday, June 9, 2006.
Dedicating his record-setting swim to the United Nations' World Food Program, Monte paused to pray before embarking in the early morning darkness from the pier of the Kura Kura Resort on Karimunjawa Island. Heralding the people of Central Java's current journey from darkness and despair to hope, Monfore said: "I commence my swim in the dark to remind us of the earthquake and the continuing suffering of the people affected. More than 6,000 lives were lost and around 650,000 people were left homeless (by the tragedy). I wish to complete my swim after the morning sun has risen as a symbol and a sign of hope for those who are suffering following the earthquake and to tell them that help is on the way." He also used the opportunity to remind the world that his adopted home of Indonesia needs the world's support to relieve its current human suffering.
Wearing a small fluorescent light attached to his swimming trunks, Monte led the way through dark waters for camera crews and support crew in follow-boats as he battled high seas and fierce opposing currents during the first two hours of his swim.
Tossed by high seas and nauseous as a result, Monte was unable to retain special energy drinks handed to him during his swim. Adding to his difficulties were painful jellyfish bites in combination with the strict mantra of all long distance swimmers to use no fins, to wear no protective insulating rubber suits, and to at no time during the swim touch a support vessel.
After an epic swim lasting 4 hours and 4 minutes, Monte swam ashore on uninhabited Kumbang Island. Recorded on film by Stormbird Media's Dean Allan Yolhurst and Robert Barkman, the swimmer received enthusiastic applause from his very sea-sick support crew, equally glad to once again make contact with land.
Monte's latest feat follows by less than 3 weeks another record-setting swim between Bali and East Java, breaking his own world-record on that treacherous crossing.
In September Monte is scheduled to try to break another record-personal-best set in 2003 as he sets off to swim the 17 kilometers separating Bali and the island of Nusa Penida. Sponsored by the Bali Tourism Board and the The Bali Hotel Association, more than 1,000 broadcast channels have expressed interest in covering that event.
Local Government Survey of South Kuta Villas Reveal Security Shortcomings.
A report in the Indonesian-language daily Denpost 17/6) reports that the current census of villas in the South Kuta area by local officials is bringing to light serious shortcomings in security.
According to the Coordinator of the Villa Survey Team for South Kuta, Drs. I Nyoman Adi Wiratma, of the 110 villas surveyed to date only 36 villas (33%) employ security staff. Moreover, according to Wiratma, the security staff employed are ineffectively deployed with many only working in the evening hours.
Missing Building Permits
In the course of the same survey of South Kuta villas, officials found that only 50.91% of the villas surveyed were able to produce official building permits (IMB), suggesting that nearly half of the villas are illegal structures built without reference to local building and zoning regulations.
Meanwhile, a member of the survey team, I Putu Eka Marthawan, commented that security at South Kuta villas was far below standards, threatening to damage Bali’s image should those staying in these accommodation be the victim or the perpetrators of criminal activity.
A Condon Conundrum
Bali's First Automated Condom Machine Lacks Customers.
As reported on balidiscovery.com in February 2006 >[Condom Nation!], Bali’s Governor Made Beratha has called for the installation of "ATM Kondom" or automated condom dispensers at various locations at tourist locations across the island to help stem the spread of AIDS/HIV.
After much popular debate among the Balinese on the pros and cons of easier access to prophylactics and a fear that easier access to condoms might encourage sexual activity among under aged teenagers, Bali's first ATM Kondom was finally installed last week.
However, during the first week of its operation there were apparently no takers prepared to deposit Rp. 1,500 (approximately US$ 0.15) into the machine and choose one of the 5 varieties of condom on offer.
Shrinking Violets or a Failure of Libido?
Apparently, the decision by local officials to protect the morals of local youth by installing the machine in the lobby area of the Kuta Community Health Center (Puskesmas Kuta I) on Jalan Blambangan has also managed to discourage any local lads from braving the stares of the Center's many employees to make a condom purchase.
Acknowledging that the installation of the ATM Kondom in the high-visibility Health Center Lobby defeats the purpose of allowing anonymous purchases, a local Kuta community leader, I Made Sujana, has suggested that future machines should be installed in local hotels and villas.
A May Pause on Road to Arrival Totals' Recovery
Bali by the Numbers: May Arrival Numbers Seem to Stall as Bali Seeks Recovery.
Total foreign arrivals to Bali in May 2006 totaled 101,776, a figure that lagged -12.72% behind 116,615 near-record number of arrivals in the same month one year before. Those hoping to see arrival numbers notch another month of improving totals in May were no doubt disappointed; May arrivals slipped statistically as compared to April when month-on-month arrivals were down only -10.65%.
As shown on balidiscovery.com, when arrivals for the period of October – May 2002-2003 and October-May 2005-2006 are juxtaposed, Bali arrivals are both qualitatively and quantitatively much better following the bombing attack of 2005 than was the case after the first bombing in 2002. This is demonstrated by the fact that while May 2006 arrivals were down -12.72% from the same month the previous year, May 2003 arrivals were down a staggering -59.87% from the totals recorded in May 2002. Quantitatively, May 2005's arrival total (101,776) were a full +112.66% ahead of the totals for the post-bombing May of 2003 (47,858).
The next installment of Bali by the Numbers will take a look at the performance of key markets through the end of May 2006, including the performance of the Island’s top 4 inbound source markets, namely:
• Japan's steady month by month improvement, down only -21.21`% in May 2005.
• Australia's worsening arrivals, slumping further to -58.40% month-on-month for May 2006.
• Taiwan's continuing to sustain its pattern of buoyant performance, improving +45.87 month-on-month in May 2006.
• South Korea's turnaround performance in May, chalking up a +10.93 performance over May 2005.
Just some of the market segments to be reviewed in the next installment of Bali by the Numbers.
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.