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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #668 - 29 June 2009

Never Be Lost in Bali
GPS Satellite Tracking Systems Now Available for Sale or Rent from Balidiscovery.com

In cooperation with Bali Navigator, Bali's leading destination management company www.balidiscovery.com is now able to help keep you on track during your next Bali Holiday.
State-of-the-art Garmin satellite navigators pre-loaded with detailed maps of Bali available for sale or rent means visitors to Bali can now know exactly where they are and where they’re going while traveling around the island.
Pre-programmed with over 12,000 POIs (Points of Interest), the Garmin range of user-friendly GPS will :
- Plot a route to your next destination shown on an easy to read video display supported by voice prompts alerting you turn-by-turn along the way to your destination.
- Let the GPS point out points of interest along your route in Bali.
- Query your GPS to identify the nearest police station, ATM. hospital or gas station.
- Clock your speed and gas consumption as you travel to your next destination.
- Download maps for other worldwide locations for when you return home or explore another corner of the world.
- Convert currency values (not available on all models).
Once you have your GPS, you can download pre-programmed tours of Bali or explore the exiting new world of geocaching - treasure hunting with GPS technology, the very cutting edge in trendy travel.
Rent or Buy
Balidiscovery.com can provide a range of quality Garmin GPS models pre-loaded with Bali maps either on a purchase or rental basis. Your unit can be delivered to you hotel or villa, ready for immediate use.
Models Available
Garmin Nuvi 250 – Great Value – Purchase for US$349
The Nuvi 250 features :

- New high sensitivity receiver.
- Voice prompts (e.g. "Turn right in 200 meters")
- 3.5" diagonal color display, 320 x 240 pixels, VGA Antiglare TFT with white backlight
- Trip computer records distance, max speed, total time and more
- Built-in travel kit includes features such as picture viewer, world clock, currency and measurement converters and a calculator.
- SD memory card slot for up to 4GB SD card for additional maps, photos etc…
- Includes Garmin Lock (anti theft) feature
- Configurable vehicle icons- allows users to select a fun, customized car-shaped icon, users can download additional choices from www.garmin.com/vehicles/
- Offers a three dimensional mapping perspective, or 2D overhead view.
- Built-in lithium-ion battery. Battery life up to 5 hours depending on usage.
- Unit dimensions: (96mm W x 71mm H x 20mm D)
- Includes sturdy suction cup mount that allows for easy adjustment and quick release.
- Simplified PC connectivity, similar to a digital camera, using USB mass storage with access to either the SD card slot or to the units internal memory directly from your PC desktop
Garmin Nuvi 255W – Wide Screen - Purchase for US$ 449.50
The Nuvi 255W features:

- New high sensitivity receiver.
- Voice prompts (e.g. "Turn right in 200 meters")
- 4.3" Widescreen diagonal color, 480 x 272 pixels, WQVGA display with backlight.
- Trip computer records distance, max speed, total time and more.
- Built-in travel kit includes features such as picture viewer, world clock, currency and measurement converters and a calculator.
- SD memory card slot for up to 4GB SD card for additional maps, photos etc…
- Includes Garmin Lock (anti theft) feature
-Configurable vehicle icons- allows users to select a fun, customized car-shaped icon, users can download additional choices from www.garmin.com/vehicles/
- Offers a three dimensional mapping perspective, or 2D overhead view
- Built-in lithium-ion battery. Battery life up to 5 hours depending on usage.
- Unit dimensions: (122mm W x 74mm H x 20mm D).
- Includes sturdy suction cup mount that allows for easy adjustment and quick release .
- Simplified PC connectivity, similar to a digital camera, using USB mass storage with access to either the SD card slot or to the units internal memory directly from your PC desktop
Garmin Nuvi 500 – Waterproof - Purchase for US$549.00
Nuvi 500 features:

- Waterproof use for car or motorbike.
- New high sensitivity receiver.
- Voice prompts (e.g. "Turn right in 200 meters").
- 3.5" diagonal color display, 320 x 240 pixels, QVGA Antiglare TFT with white backlight.
- Trip computer records distance, max speed, total time and more.
- Built-in travel kit includes features such as picture viewer, world clock, currency and measurement converters and a calculator.
- SD memory card slot for up to 4GB SD card for additional maps, photos etc
- Includes Garmin Lock (anti theft) feature.
- Configurable vehicle icons- allows users to select a fun, customized car-shaped icon, users can download additional choices from www.garmin.com/vehicles.
- Offers a three dimensional mapping perspective, or 2D overhead view.
- Battery life up to 5 hours depending on usage
- Unit dimensions: (107mm W x 85mm H x 23mm D)
- Includes sturdy suction cup mount that allows for easy adjustment and quick release.
- Simplified PC connectivity, similar to a digital camera, using USB mass storage with access to either the SD card slot or to the unit’s internal memory directly from your PC desktop.
Garmin Nuvi 760 – Wide Screen Flagship Model – US$ 599
Nuvi 760 Features:

- With MP3 Music Player.
- Bluetooth Hands free Mobile.
- New high sensitivity receiver.
- Voice prompts (e.g. "Turn right in 200 meters").
- 4.3" Widescreen diagonal color, 480 x 272 pixels, WQVGA display with backlight.
- Trip computer records distance, max speed, total time and more.
- Built-in travel kit includes features such as picture viewer, world clock, currency and measurement converters and a calculator.
- SD memory card slot for up to 4GB SD card for additional maps, photos etc.
- Includes Garmin Lock (anti theft) feature,
- Configurable vehicle icons- allows users to select a fun, customized car-shaped icon, users can download additional choices from www.garmin.com/vehicles.
- Offers a three dimensional mapping perspective, or 2D overhead view.
- Built-in lithium-ion battery. Battery life up to 5 hours depending on usage.
- Unit dimensions: (122mm W x 74mm H x 20mm D).
- Includes sturdy suction cup mount that allows for easy adjustment and quick release.
- Simplified PC connectivity, similar to a digital camera, using USB mass storage with access to either the SD card slot or to the units internal memory directly from your PC desktop.
Included in every GPS Box
All Garmin Bali Packages come complete with:
- The Garmin Unit of your choice.
- Vehicle Cigar Lighter Power Cable.
- Windscreen Suction mount kit.
- Pre-loaded latest Bali Navigator Map.
Rent a GPS in Bali
Rent a NUVI 250 or Nuvi 255W preloaded with Bali Maps.
Rental Rates (minimum 7 days)
- 7 Days – Rp. 500,000
- 14 Days – Rp. 900,000
- 21 Day – Rp. 1,200,000
- Extended rental periods available on request.
For more information email info@balidiscovery.com


H1N1 Virus Confirmed in Bali
Swine Flu Cases Confirmed Among Australian Visitors to Bali. One Patient Treated and Now Released from Sanglah General Hospital.

At least four foreign visitors suffering from the H1N1 Virus have been warded briefly at the Denpasar Sanglah General Hospital’s isolation ward.
As reported by various new media, the Head of Medical Services at the hospital, I Gusti Lanang Suartana, confirmed the hospitalization of six foreign nationals, beginning last week with a 22 year-old female resident of Australia, Bobbie Masoner; a 12 year-old Australian boy, George Coltman. And two other adolescent Australians Tayla (14) and James (10).
The Englishwoman and the 12 year-old Australian boy are Bali’s first confirmed H1N1 patients. The remaining two children are awaiting the results of tests that will confirm their condition.
Hospital authorities have now determined that Masoner’s infectious period had passed and released her form hospital on Friday, June 26th.
Bali Health authorities continue to monitor the health of the remaining three patients and people with whom they have had contact in order to see if symptoms of wide contamination develop.
According to NusaBali,, all the confirmed and suspected cases of H1N1 virus infection arrived in Bali on board a Garuda flight from Melbourne, Australia on Friday, June 19th.
The incubation period for the H1N1 Virus is seven days.
Masoner disembarked that flight and went to her private accommodation before seeking medical assistance from a local clinic. Later, she was move to the Sanglah General Hospital on Sunday, June 21st after being treated at a local clinic for several days. Officials are now concerned that Masoner’s condition was not detected by screening procedures in place at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport, but sought treatment on her own accord shortly after arriving in Bali.
Masoner is the first person to be confirmed with the H1N1infection in Bali.
Doctors handling the woman’s case told Kompas.com that her medical condition continues to improve.
Nationwide, six Indonesian have now been confirmed with the H1N1 Virus, but with five of the case affecting Indonesians currently abroad (Singapore, China and Australia). There are three confirmed cases involving Indonesian nationals in the capital Jakarta, one an airline pilot now hospitalized after he developed symptoms following several trips abroad.
Worldwide over 55,000 cases of H1N1 have been reported in 102 countries with 238 deaths linked to the illness. Most cases of infection are reported to be mild with 90% of all deaths to date emanating from Mexican patients.
Bali has prepared 54,000 dosages of Tamiflu as part of overall preparations to deal with a larger outbreak of the disease.
No Blood Tests
A spokesperson for the Indonesian Ministry of Health strongly denied reports published in some media that blood tests would soon be required from all foreign tourists arriving in Indonesia.
Chandra Yoga Aditama, of the Ministry’s Director General for Communicable Diseases, said: “I guarantee 100 percent that there are no blood tests for visitors in the airport, and there is no policy at the moment stating that all international visitors will be required to take that test.”


Suicides on the Rise in Bali
In 2008 a Total of 134 Balinese Chose to Escape Life in Paradise by Taking Their Own Lives.

Kompas.com reports that there were 134 suicides in Bali in 2008, an increase of 23% when compared to 2007.
Bali's northern district of Buleleng reported the greatest number of suicides in 2009 with 44 deaths (33%), followed by Karangasem with 25 (19%). Suicide deaths from other Bali districts in 2008 were Jembrana 14 (10%), Bangli 13 (10%), Gianyar 12 (9%), Denpasar 10 (7%), Tambanan 9 (7%), and Badung 5 (4%).
According to a Bali police spokesman, of the 134 cases of self-inflicted death 97 (72%) were men and 37 (28%) were women.
By age group, 56 were between the ages of 46 and 80 years, 50 were between the ages of 26-45 years, 27 were between 16 and 25 years and one death was between 5 and 15 years.
66 (49%) of Bali's suicide victims worked as farmers, 45 (34%) were self-employed, 8 (6%) were laborers, 8 (6%) were students and 7 (5%) were civil servants.
Police estimate that 53% of those who died took their lives due to chronic illness, (42%) due to personal frustration, and 7 (5%) for economic reasons.
The preferred method of self-elimination in Bal was hanging 125 followed by poisoning 5 and slitting of the throat 1.
The police spokesman called on his fellow Balinese to extend compassion and care to their neighbors as the most effective means of reducing Bali's suicide rate.


Peace Park or Pub?
Future of Former Sari Club Site Depends on Ability of Supporters to Consolidate Their Efforts and Raise the Funds to Purchase and Develop Site of 2002 Bali Bombing.

The Australian reports that some Australians are upset with rumored plans to develop the vacant lot that once held the Sari Club into another Kuta entertainment venue. The Sari Club and the adjacent Paddy's were destroyed on October 12, 2002, by a terrorist bomb that claimed 202 lives.
The paper reports that Balinese businessman Kadek Wiranatha has secured a 15 year lease on the land with plans to eventually erect a night spot.
While the necessary permits to build on the site have not been issued, any plans to build on the site would thwart plans by a group of Australians and Indonesians to acquire the lot and erect a Memorial Peace Park.
Kadek denied to The Australian reports he was building a restaurant, bar and club on the Sari Club land. "I have not bought the land," Kadek said. "They (the reports) are not true. I do not have a building permit."
A permanent memorial to the Indonesians and foreigners who died on October 12, 2002 has already been built on Kuta's main street. The memorial stands on "ground zero" and is located about equidistant between the former Paddy's and Sari Club.
The Australian government has called for the development of the site "in a manner appropriate to the memory of the victims of the bombing."
Efforts underway since 2002 by a group of private Australians and Indonesians to acquire the site and erect a peace park costing between AUS$1.5 – 2.5 million have been plagued with problems. Slow efforts to obtain tax-free status for the project and internal dissension within the membership of the voluntary peace park association has left the lot empty and open to eventual commercial development, if the proposed memorial park cannot eventually be funded.
The Australian says that a recent meeting between the Australian Consul-General in Bali, Lex Bartlem, and Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika generated "positive" support from the Balinese government for the proposed peace park.


Bali Airport Declares War on H1N1 Virus
Bali Airport Authorities and Tourism Officials Introduce Steps to Control the Spread of "Swine Flu" Virus in Bali.

Now that Bali has its first confirmed cases of the H1N1 Virus with the confirmation of that illness in the English-born Australian Bobbie Masoner (22) and 12 year-old George Coltman, the island has tightened controls and measures in the hope of curbing a further spread of the disease.
Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport
Angkasa Pura I (PAR I) , the management authority for Bali's airport, has responded to the confirmed case of H1N1 by declaring an all out effort to prevent more undetected cases from entering Bali.
Working together with the Airport Health Office, PAP I will single out planes from countries confirmed to be infected with the H1N1 Virus for special treatment. Upon landing at Bali's airport the subject planes will be sequestered briefly at Bravo 18 - a remote aircraft parking area of the airport where the plane and its passengers will be sprayed with disinfectant. Passengers will then be disembarked and subjected to thermal scanners to determine if any are suffering from an elevated body temperature which, if discovered, would earn a more thorough medical examination by the airport's H1N1 containment team.
Separately, the Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), IB Ngurah Wijaya, saluted the open attitude of the government in dealing with the worldwide pandemic represented by H1N1. Explained Wijaya, as quoted in the Bali Post: "Indeed, there's no need to cover this up. What matters is that we explain is that we tell the public how we are handling the illness, as we did before with Bird Flu."
Wijaya also called on members of the travel and hotel industry to take a more proactive role in fighting the H1N1 virus by bringing guests to Denpasar's Sanglah General Hospital whenever symptoms are detected.
Guidelines from Bali Tourism Authority
On June 24, 2009, the Bali Tourism Authority (Diparda) issued a circular memo addressed to all tourism stakeholder suggesting:
• To heighten coordination between clinic operating from hotels and local Health Centers.
• To prepare face masks for Bali visitors.
• Prepare stocks of Tamiflu to treat cases of the H1N1 Virus.
• Guests suspected of being infected with the H1N1 virus should be isolated and reported to the Bali Health Office by calling Dr. Suteja at telephone ++62(0)818550650, Dr. Subrata at telephone ++62(0)0811397568 or the Health Command Post at ++62-(0)361-222412.
Tamiflu supplies are on stand-by at local community health centers and the Sanglah General Hospital.


Purse Snatcher Shot by Police Near Ubud
Ubud Area Police Continue Crackdown on Muggers and Purse Snatchers.

Ubud area police are continuing their crackdown on muggers and purse snatchers who have been targeting tourist visitors. On Wednesday, June 24, 2009, police capture two young men were apprehended in the process of snatching a purse near Ubud. One of the men, 20-year-old Lukman Hakim of Jembrana, Java, was shot by police in the thigh after he reportedly tried to evade capture.
Police authorities told NusaBali that Lukman heads a group of teen-age thieves who operated from his rented accommodation in Sembuang in Gianyar targeting tourists in Ubud, Sukawati and Tegallalang.
Police continue to seek at least one more youth, believed to be part of Lukman's den of thieves.
The most recent arrest follows the capture of another man on June 6th near the center of Ubud. [See: Ubud Police Arrest Purse Snatcher]


Kuta's Bitter Cup
Bali Authorities Call on Waterbom Park to Reduce Groundwater Use to Help Remedy Increasing Salinity of Local Water Supply.

BisnisBali reports that Bali's Zoning Authority (Dinas Cipta Karya-DCK) have asked Bali's Waterbom Park to reduce their use of ground water following complaints from surrounding residents of increased salinity in their water supply. The DCK have said that if the salinity problems persist they will be forced to shut off water supplies to the popular water park.
Access to ground water is, according to regulation, strictly controlled with special licenses required to sink water wells. The DCK has issued only 255 ground water permits in Kuta.
A spokesman for the DCK, Putu Wiarka, told the press that salinity in Kuta's ground water is generally a problem, particularly during the dry season when salt concentrations increase in the absence of regular rainfall.
The Badung Environmental Agency (BLH), has responded to the situation claiming that ground water sources in Kuta have been over exploited.
NusaBali reports that Waterbom is licensed to tap into local ground water supplies to a maximum level of 2,592 cubic meters each month.
According to NusaBali, the DCK claims the water park has used twice the authorized amount of ground water over the past several months. The DCK has also revealed seeming anomalies in tests conducted on local ground water by Waterbom and the government. Electrical conductivity tests results (used to measure salinity) reported by Waterbom regarding of its two ground water sources on March 4, 2009, showed 750 mhos/cm and 680 mhos/cm, respectively. Tests conducted at the same water sources by DCK on June 23, 2009, obtained results of 2,791 mhos/cm and 2,369 mhos/cm - demonstrating a high level of salinity.
The Head of the Mining and Energy Division of DCK, Putu Wiarka, has dismissed the wide variance in the two tests as attributable to the 3-plus months between the two tests. Wiarka told NusaBali that such a change in results could not occur over the course of just a few months and must represent an error in the March report submitted by Waterbom.
The DCK has now directed Waterbom to change the laboratory used to analyze ground water samples while reducing the amount of ground water used by the park.
Waterbom Responds
Quoted in NusaBali, the Chief Financial Officer of Waterbom, Nyoman Suteja, has denied that the park violated limits on maximum amounts of ground water used, insisting that only 100-125 cubic meters of ground water were used each day.
The park's extensive collection of pools contain some 1.5 million cubic meters of water, most of which is continually treated and recycled by the park.
Suteja views as unfair the disproportionate amount of focus being placed on Waterbom in the current situation, calling on authorities to check on all legal and illegal ground wells in use in the Kuta area. The Park also pointed to the failure of the government to make city water available to the very heavily populated area of Kuta as the real underlying cause for any overuse of ground water.
The General Manager of Waterbom, Maman Lingga, told NusaBali that the Park has not received complaints regarding water quality from surrounding residents and community officials.


Bali Artistic Leader Calls for a Stop on Condotels
Nyoman Gunarsa Says Condotels Threaten Balinese Culture.

One of Bali's most famous artists and art curators, Nyoman Gunarsa, views the recent surge of "Condominium Hotels (Condotels)" as a detriment that does more harm than good for Bali.
According to Gunarsa quoted in Denpost, tourist staying in fully equipped apartments will adopt a lifestyle of a local, providing minimum economic benefit to Bali. Moreover, Gunarsa sees Condotels as reflecting a highly individualist western lifestyle that distances residents from the local environment, local culture and the community-based culture of the Balinese.
Gunarsa also expressed fears that an element of positive social control will be lost on the large number of Condotels, creating an environment conducive to the excesses of modern life, such as free-sex and the use of narcotics.
Because of these concerns, Gunarsa is calling on the government to limit the use of Condotels in Bali and to stop the construction of new Condotel projects.
Gunarsa told the press of a basic conflict between Bali's artistic community dedicated to preserving and protecting Balinese culture and other parties in Bali only seeking to profits from the exploitation of the island.
Underling the depth of his concerns, Gunarsa cynically said that if the government has no desire to stop the construction of Condotels in Bali it would be better if all restrictions were simply lifted and Bali quit any claims of being the "islands of the Gods." Continuing angrily, Gunarsa said that if everything is allowed to develop without control, Bali will eventually be destroyed by condominiums, apartments and similar developments.
The well-known artists bemoaned the fact that Bali's farmers are selling rice fields, agricultural lands and river fronts that are supplanted with modern buildings. Adding: "If everything happens in this way, we will no longer need to host the Bali Arts Festival every year to present our stage performances and other arts. All our idealism becomes pointless."


Indonesia's National Tourism Targets Too Ambitious?
Despite Evidence to the Contrary, ASITA Chairman Ben Sukma Thinks Elections Will Keep Tourists Away.

The Chairman of the Indonesian Association of Travel Agents (ASITA), Ben Sukma, has expressed pessimism that the national target of 6.7 million foreign visitors for all of Indonesia in 2009 won't be achieved.
Quoted in Bali Post, Sukma said: "Anywhere in the world where there is a national election, tourism visitors automatically avoid that destination out of fear of possible conflict. So how can we achieve this target?"
Ben defended his pessimistic view by pointing to arrivals in 2008 when Indonesia's situation was calm and peaceful and was supported by the "Visit Indonesian Year 2008." In that relatively conducive situation, Indonesia achieved only 6.23 million foreign tourists who spent an estimated US$7.5 billion dollars. In that year, Indonesia's tourism arrivals fell short of the targeted 7 million set by the government, but did manage to improve over 2007 when 5.51 million foreign visitors came to the country.
The possibility that the Presidential elections set for July 8th will extend to a second run-off round of voting only serves to increase Sukma's trepidation in the face of the 6.7 million visitor target for 2009. "With these conditions and with observers suggesting that the presidential elections will go to a second round, this must certainly make foreign tourists reconsider an Indonesian holiday for security reasons," explained Sukma.
Sukma said that the government and tourism industry leaders should better use the current period to repair and upgrade the national infrastructure that supports tourism.
In seeming contradiction to Sukma's pessimistic outlook, Bali hotels are reporting high occupancies with record number of visitors coming to the island.


Bali: a Suspended Island?
The Highs and Lows of Bali's Annual Kite Flying Season.

Visitors to Bali during the months of June-August each year could be forgiven for thinking Bali is an island suspended on strings descending from the heavens above. A look skyward during these months in any direction will usually reveal hundreds of kites, some the size of a large trucks, supporting colorful tails flapping in the wind. And, while legions of small boys can be found everywhere playing with their kites, kite flying in Bali is hardly child's play. Almost every banjar in Bali has its dedicated team of young men who build and enter kites competitions to win prizes and bring honor to their village.
Some Words of Caution
High-flying kites in Bali are not without a downside:
- Those with eyes turned skyward admiring the island's annual high-flying spectacle should be cautioned to keep their eyes on the road in order to avoid becoming yet another statistic to the many who are injured or disfigured each year by hard-to-see kite strings stretched across local roads.
- Local pilots operating around Bali know to keep their eyes peeled for high flying kites suspended near Bali's airport, despite rules outlawing such kite-flying activity. The threat to aviation increases somewhat during night time flights when many large kites are left unsupervised flying overnight, tied to the earth by wires held by heavy spikes driven into the earth.
- Candles and flashlights should be stocked during Bali's kite-flying season in anticipation of power outages caused by kite wires that short-circuit high power lines in Bali.
- It's also a good idea to be on the look out for kites, both small and very large, that have momentarily "slipped the surly bonds of earth" and are suddenly crashing back uncontrolled to earth. In such scenarios, horrendous collisions with vehicles or cardiac arrest among drivers who find themselves face to face with a road-sized kite are common results.
Despite these cautionary notes, visitors to Bali during the month of Bali should monitor local media and attend the annual kite festival held on at Padang Galak field on Sanur Beach.
Related Article
[The Killer Kites of Bali]
[Kites and Helicopters Don't Mix in Bali]
[See: Yikes! Watch Out for Kites]
[Bali Suffers an Island-Wide Power Outage]
[An Island With Strings Attached]


Luke McKenzie Wins 3rd MRA Bali International Triathlon
Hundreds of Athletes and Spectators Enjoy Glorious Morning on Jimbaran Beach.

Over 326 athletes from 26 countries swam, cycled and ran in Bali on Sunday, June 28, 2009, in the 3rd MRA Bali International Triathlon.
Returning to once again claim first place honors was professional triathlete Luke McKenzie who managed to cover the 1.5 km swim, 750 meter beach run, 40 km bike ride through the hills of the Ungasan peninsula and a 10 km run though the village of Jimbaran in on 2:10:15. The man who spends his professional life participating in and winning triathlons, continued to laud Bali as his favorite destination Luke’s appearance at this year’s event together with that of fellow athlete Amanda Balding was made possible through he support of Garuda Indonesia.
In the individual triathlete division, second to Luke’s first was claimed by Swede Fredrick Nus Cruneberg who clocked across the finish line at 2:13:57 followed in third place by Australian Kyle James Gear with a time of 2:23:15.
The top Indonesian time was turned in by Kadri Regar who placed 8th with a time of 2:29:31.
The top time turned in by a female individual triathlete was 2:36.39 recorded by Michele Ann Hailey, who placed 14th overall.
Winning a special cash prize prepared by the Bali Hotel Association, the best 3-member team was from the Kartika Plaza Hotel who covered the entire race in 2:28:43 followed in second-place by the Bali Trail Blazers Team at 2:26:43
Held simultaneously with the main-event was a 5 km fun run won by Indonesian Albert Trai Kumlasi with a time of 15:59, followed by Ketut Darma Tutme (16:58) and Kristianus Ore Roto (17:43).
The race got underway just before 7:00 a.m. as a contingent of Bali Life Savers (Balawista) departed the shore en masse for the swim start signaled by the Regent of Badung Anak Agung Gde Agung.
As the racers covered the south Bali course, a lively party got underway at the Four Seasons Resort’s Coconut Grover with live music by local band Ardo and Delights, games, live radio broadcasts by Hard Rock Radio, food, drink and a local bazaar. Hundred of athletes and spectators spent a memorable morning watching the race from the Four Season’s Coconut Grove and the transition area at the Intercontinental Resort Bali.
[Link for Complete Race Results]


Grudging Compliance with the Rules?
Best Western Halts Demolition of its Top Floor. Community Leaders Call for Compliance with Both Height and Setback Rules.

DenPost reports that the demolition of the top balcony of the 188-room Best Western Hotel in the Kedonganan area suddenly came to a halt on Tuesday, June 23, calling into question pledges by the developer to bring the hotel into conformance with the 15 meter maximum height rule for buildings in Bali. DenPost said that some of the offending pillars located on the top of the building remain partially intact, giving rise in some quarter to suspect that the removal of the offending balcony was more symbolic than real.
A local community leader in Kedonganan, I Gede Rai Wijaya, adopted a more positive outlook, expressing appreciation for the readiness of the hotel’s investors to submit themselves to the local laws governing the maximum height of buildings in Bali. At the same time, however, he asked if the Best Western will also be taking action to correct its violation of set-back rules committed in building to close the street.
The Head of the Badung enforcement agency (Satpol PP), Wayan Adi Arnawa, confirmed that his office had obtained assurances from the Best Western that alterations would be made to remove those parts of the building standing too close to the roadway. Arnawa was told by the owners


Minister of Tourism: Be Transparent in Dealing with H1N1 Virus
Truth and Openness is the Best Way to Deal with a Global Epidemic.

When it comes to the H1N1 virus the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is urging openness and transparency in dealing with worldwide epidemic. Meanwhile, many within the tourism sector are urging moderation from the press in its coverage of the potential threat to public health.
According to Radar Bali, both sides to the debate have their individual reasons for their respective views. Tourism operators within the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) claim news stories on H1N1 have the potential of reducing tourist arrivals to Bali. In seeming contradiction, the Ministry responsible for tourism is calling on the provincial government and related agencies to not cover up details regarding “swine flu.”
Speaking in Bali at a meeting of the Bali Chapter of the , the head of development of human resources for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, I gust Putu Laksaguna, was adamant in his view hat foreign visitors need clear information. He cautioned provincial governments not to conceal the problem of “swine flu” saying: “If there are foreigners suffering from ‘swine flu,’ then report that fact. Don’t cover up this sort of information, tell it like it is.”
Laksaguna believes that by providing truthful explanations, Indonesia will gain both the sympathy and the trust, also accepting as truthful reports on the various preventative steps being taken to prevent the spread of the disease. On a practical level, the tourism official pointed out that efforts at deception would prove futile as infected tourists told their story to the outside world.
Will such truthfulness cause tourism arrivals to decline? Laksaguna feels that any downturn will be insignificant if the hotel and travel industry communicate openly with tourists. “For instance, if a tourist wants to cut short his stay because of swine flu, the hotel must be able to describe how those being infected with the disease are not catching the disease in Bali. They must also be told of the many steps being taken to control the disease’s spread, ”he explained.
In response, the Chairman of the Bali Chapter of PHRI, Tjokorda Oka Artha Sukawati, admitted that hotel operation in Bali were concerned with the implications of the ‘swine flu’ epidemic. He asked for all involved not to panic and to continue to carry on life as usual and supporting steps to prevent the spread of H1N1.<.i>
Registering a differing view from that held by Laksaguna, Tjokorda said he hoped the media would not sensationalize the news on ‘swine fly.’ Tjokora said: “If you’re going report (on ‘swine flu’), then report the news in a proportional way and the steps being taken to keep it under control; don’t blow-up’ the news on ‘swine flu.’


 
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