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Komplek Pertokoan
Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Tel:
++62 361 286 283

Fax:
++62 361 286 284

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1-800-506-8633

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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #920 - 21 April 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


Ron Taylor 1934-2012
Remembering Legendary Underwater Cinematographer and Frequent Visitor to Bali & Indonesia – Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor, a frequent visitor to Indonesia and a world-famous underwater cinematographer, died on Sunday, September 9, 2012, at the age of 78.

Rob, together with his wife Valerie Taylor, is credited with creating riveting underwater film footage used in numerous documentaries and blockbuster features films. Among their most recognized works are the terrifying underwater shark attack sequences used in the 1975 Hollywood blockbuster Jaws.

Ironically, the Taylors frequetly bemoaned the negative light the Jaws epic cast on the reputation of sharks, underwater creatures they held in great esteem. Throughout their careers, Ron and Valerie dedicated themselves to documenting the shark as majestic animals worthy of man's respect and protection. As a result, they worked tirelessly to publicize and stop the wholesale slaughter of sharks merely for their fins taking place in Eastern Indonesia and other areas.

Both Ron and Valerie Taylor are recipients of the Member of the Order of Australia, bestowed for their work in conservation.

Ron Taylor had battled cancer during the final years of his life. Prior to his illness, both Taylors were frequent visitors to Bali and Indonesia where they were awed by the rich bio-diversity of the waters of eastern Indonesia. During those visits they dived extensively in remote areas of the archipelago, including Komodo, where there dive sites named in their honor.

Ron is survived by his wife, Valerie, who he first met at spearfishing competitions in the 1950s.


Bunkering Down
Key Police Stations in Bali Fortified Against Possible Terrorist Attacks

Sparked on by a terror attack targeted on Police in Solo, Central Java, and the discovery of a primitive bomb-making workshop in Depok, West Java, police in Bali have begun to stack sandbags around the perimeter of certain police stations in order to guard against any potential terrorist assault.

According to Beritabali.com, the police stations fortified with sand bag are those considered strategic by police, such as the police post located near the Ubung bus terminal.

Mobile brigade police offices (Brimob) wearing bulletproof body armor have been placed on 24-hour guard at these stations.

“We do not want to take a risk. Bali has twice become a target for terrorism and we do not want to be caught unprepared again,” said the spokesman for the Bali police Hariadi.

Hariadi explained that following the recent terrorist incidents in Java, the Bali police tightened security at it airport and seaports. He also confirmed that police are increasing the number of roadblocks to check passing vehicles and motorists.

Related Article

[Better be Safe Than Solo]
 


Operating High Above the Law
Bali Discusses New Laws to Control Kite Flying While Existing Regulations Remain Largely Unenforced

Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports that Bali provincial authorities are exploring revisions to local laws and regulations to control the Balinese pastime of kite flying and the resulting threat posed to aviation safety and the island’s electrical supply.

There are, in fact, long-standing laws in place restricting kite flying in areas near Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport [See: An Island With Strings Attached] .

Those laws in force since 2000, prohibit kite flying within 9 kilometers of Bali’s airport. At a distance of between 9-18 kilometers from the airport, kites cannot be flown more than 100 meters above ground level. At a distance of between 18-54 kilometers from the airport the maximum height restriction becomes 300 meters.

The law also provides for punishments of up to six month in prison and fines of Rp. 16 million (US$1,672) for kite enthusiasts found guilty of endangering flight safety.

To even the most casual observer, however, it is apparent that these laws are ignored by local kite enthusiasts and not enforced by local authorities. Moreover, a number of officially sanctioned kite flying competitions are held in Bali that fly kites at heights disallowed under the law.

While the threat to aviation of an aircraft colliding with kites that are sometimes larger than the large trucks used to ferry the kites and crew back and forth from local kite flying competitions is obvious, there is the additional threat posed to the island’s power system when a flying behemoth collides with a high power line.

PLN (Power Board) officials have reportedly called on officials to control the kites that have been sourced to past island-wide blackouts costing the island billions of rupiahs.

One favorite kite flying area on Padang Galak Beach in Bali sees kites weaving and bobbing less than one hundred meters away from high-voltage lines critical to the island’s power grid.

PLN officials say the 2000 law-banning kite flying only addresses flight safety and does not extend protection to power lines. But, clearly, based on the ineffective enforcement of the current law, any change in the law will prove largely pointless unless it is teamed with a firm mechanism for enforcement capable of dealing with kite village-based kite teams who view their culturally based love of kite flying as taking precedence over any governmental rule or regulation.

I Ketut Teneng, provincial spokesperson for Bali, summarized the current dilemma, saying, 

“We have to preserve tradition, but at the same time we have to ensure the safety of air traffic and public utilities that may affect the lives of residents.”

Teneng told the press that the provincial government is seeking input from the community, the aviation sector and essential services on how to revise and best enforce kite-flying rules in Bali. Adding, “We need to preserve our cultural heritage, while at the same time we have to create a safe environment”

Related Articles

[There Ought to be a Law!]

[Don’t Go Fly a Kite!]

[Pulling the Strings of Power in Bali]

[The Killer Kites of Bali]

[Kites and Helicopters Don’t Mix in Bali]


An Urgin’ for Sturgeon
Champagne Duval-Leroy and Sturia Caviar at the St. Regis Bali Resort Saturday, October 13, 2012

A truly sparkling event awaits at the St. Regis Bali featuring the exclusive Champagnes of Duval-Leroy and Sturia Caviar.

The evening begins with a cocktail and canapé reception at King Cole Bar followed by a seven-course lavish dinner at 7:30pm at The Astor Ballroom. Each course will be specially prepared by executive chef Agung Ardiawan and carefully crafted to reflect the elegance and sumptuousness combination of caviar and Champagne.

Duval-Leory Champagne

Located in Vertus, in the heart of La Cote des Blancs, Champagne DUVAL-LEROY was established in 1859 when two great Champagnes joined forces.

The House currently cultivates about 200 hectares mostly devoted to the production of high quality Chardonnay grapes.

Sturia Caviar

The caviar Sturia Prestige is considered the most precious and luxurious selection of Sturia Caviar. Only 4% of the roes are selected for the Prestige range. Roes are large, exceeding 3mm in diameter, firm, with iodized flavors providing a very subtle taste, competing with that of the famous Beluga Sturgeon whale.

Sturia is the flagship brand of the first French producer of caviar - Sturgeon. A pioneer in the breeding of sturgeons in France, the company established near Bordeaux, produces approximately 12 tons of caviar every year which is sold all over the world.

MENU

Duval Leroy Champagne and Sturia Caviar
St. Regis Bali Resort

The Astor Ballroom - 7:00 pm
Saturday, October 13, 2012.

Amuse bouche
****
Sturia Vintage
Served with deep sea scallops and tomato maki roll, chilled angel hair pasta, garlic Parmesan tuile, silver leaf and “tavazo” saffron coulis
Duval - Leroy 1er Cru Cuvée
****
Sturia Primeur
Paired with lemon oil confit of salmon trout, potato - fennel espuma, Champagne Bouillon and lemon basil oil
Duval - Leroy, Vertus, Brut Rosé NV
****
Sturia Grand Chef
Perfectly matched with slow poached medallion of lobster tail, seafood dumpling, lemongrass infused carrot velvet, micro cress and gold leaf
Duval – Leroy, Vertus, Brut Rosé NV
****
Peach Bellini Granite
Duval - Leroy Brut, Vertus, Champagne NV
****
Sturia Prestige
Served with lemon oil confit turbot fillet,
Chinese barley, Alaskan crabmeat and vongole emulsion
Duval - Leroy, Vertus, Brut Femme de Champagne Vintage 2000
****
Langres cheese from Mons
Topped with champagne and honey comb
Duval - Leroy, Vertus, Cuvée 150 Vintage
****
Blackcurrant violet caviar
With coconut dacquoise, vanilla crémeux, and yoghurt ice cream
Duval - Leroy, Vertus, Lady Rosé NV
****
Coffee and tea
Petit fours
Digestif

Price: Rp. 2.250.000 Net (US$237)

The Astor Ballroom, Saturday, 13 October 2012

For more information or reservations telephone ++62-(0) 361-3006114 or [Email] . Reservations essential.

[Book a Stay at the St. Regis Bali]


Academic Detachment
Taman Rama School Issues Clarifications in Arrest of Japanese Boy by Bali Police

Local media and Balidiscovery.com’s coverage of the arrest a Japanese teenager arrested for marijuana possession in Bali [See: Graduation Delayed] prompted a corrective note from James Nicholas Bird, Director of Studies at Taman Rama Schools (Taman Mahatma Gandhi Foundation).

The school administrator objected to local press coverage of the arrest of Ryusei Yohioka, issuing the following clarification:
  • The Japanese youth had left Taman Rama School “by mutual consent: in July 2011, a full 13 months prior to his arrest by Balinese police.
  • The young man was “never part of a school leaving graduation batch of students.”     
The clarification was made on behalf of Taman Rama Schools, which, in the words of Bird, “emphasizes the good behavior of its student.”


Degrees of Unemployment
Labor Office: 58.87% of Unemployed in Denpasar, Bali are College Graduates

According to the Bali Post, data released in August 2012 recorded 4,851 unemployed workers living in Bali’s capital of Denpasar.

Labor Office data shows that 58.57% of the unemployed hold a tertiary degree.

The head of the labor office (Disnakertansos) in Denpasar, Made Erwin Suryadarma Sena, told the press that it would be impossible to completely eliminate unemployment. He said a constant, cyclical stream of new job seekers always outpaces the number of new positions for job seekers.

At the same time, Suryadarma said his department managed to reduce unemployment levels. In 2011, he said a total of 5,500 unemployed was eventually reduced last year to 649 people.

Reflecting the problems of the uneducated seeking employment in Bali's capital, Suryadarma confirmed that his office has ceased even recording only those with grade school or junior high school educations because of the low number of positions available to the under-educated in both the private and public sectors.

The labor department chief said that tourism provides 60% of all job openings in Bali. This is followed by industry (20%); business-trade (15%); and the rest (5%) spread across the agricultural, insurance, banking and service sectors.

The labor department in Denpasar undertakes a three-prong approach to creating employment opportunities. The government provides training programs to meet market demands and instill an entrepreneurial spirit among job seekers; coordinates young job seekers placement overseas employment; and conducts job fairs.


Safeguarding the Memory
Strong Security Presence Planned for Bali Bombing Commemoration Ceremonies on October 12, 2012

The State News Agency Antara reports that the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) are preparing to safeguard ceremonies scheduled in Bali to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Bali Bombing on October 12, 2012.

The main focus of those commemorations will be an early morning ceremony at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park (GWK) on Friday, October 12, 2012 attended by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The military commander of the 9th Udayana Military District headquartered in Bali, Major General Wisnu Bawa Tenaya, confirmed that both the police and military have been approached by the Australian government to coordinate security for the event.

He said soldiers trained in community outreach have already been deployed to villages in Bali to strengthen the first lie of defense in maintaining public security.

Tenaya called on the public, accommodation manager and innkeepers to report any suspicious individuals or activities to the authorities.

He confirmed that the army would be assisted by the National Intelligence Agency (BIN), government agencies and the public to activate local security. Traditional village security (pacalang) would also be deployed to keep the peace during the commemorative activities.

In addition to the ceremonies at GWK to be televised internationally, another ceremony will also be held at “Ground Zero” on Jalan Legian in Kuta, the scene of the bombing in 2002 that killed 202 people.


From Little Acorns Grow
Two Elegant Evenings with Silver Oak Wines at the Four Seasons Resorts Bali October 5 – 6, 2012

The Four Seasons Resorts Bali will present two exceptional dining occasions on Friday, October 5, 2012 at the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay and Saturday, October 6, 2012 at the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan in cooperation with Silver Oak Wines - one of the most prestigious wine estates of California.

Friday, October 5, 2012Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay

The epicurean evening at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay begins with a sunset cocktail reception, accompanied with a traditional Rindik performance at the pool side from 6.30 pm to 7.00 pm followed by a sumptuous multi-course wine-paired dinner in the resort’s signature Taman Wantilan restaurant overlooking the expansive Jimbaran shoreline.

Australian born Executive Chef Greg Bunt will present a four-course degustation menu including melting salmon with tahini yoghurt, Wagyu beef carpaccio, lamb loin, chocolate cake with berry kulfi, which each course complimented by careful pairings of Napa Valley and Alexander Valley Silver Oak wines.

Saturday, October 6, 2012 – Four Seasons Resort at Sayan

A day after the Jimbaran event, the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan will welcome diners with cocktails and canapés, at the Lily Pond from 7.00 pm to 7.30 pm. A four-course menu prepared by the resort’s Executive Chef Denny Frederick will then be presented at the Ayung Terrace, set atop the jungle gorges of Sayan Ridge. The Sayan menu will present outstanding Indonesian cuisine including ikan kerapu (trio sea bream fish, steamed in banana leaf), sop bebek (duck soup), sapi panggang (grilled tenderloin of beef), a selection of cheeses and Indonesian sweets. The dining experience will enhanced with a traditional Keroncong musical performance.

Wines featured at both dinners will include the following premium selections:
  • Sauvignon Blanc Twomey Cellar Napa Valley 2011
  • Cabernet Sauvignon Silver Oak Napa Valley 2007
  • Cabernet Sauvignon Silver Oak Alexander Valley 2007
  • Merlot Twomey Cellar Napa Valley 2007.
Silver Oak Wines

Silver Oak Wines have a single-minded pursuit to produce exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon wines. To this end, Raymond T. Duncan and Justin Meyer have a bold and unconventional vision for their winery. Rather than producing six or seven varietals, they devote all their resources to producing a single wine: Cabernet Sauvignon. As a result, they operate to an extensive aging program of approximately 25 months in American oak barrels, and 15 to 20 months cellaring in bottles. For 40 years, they have produced delicious and distinctive Cabernets from their Napa Valley and Alexander Valley Wineries.

Price
  • The wine-paired dinner at Four Seasons Jimbaran on Friday, October 5, 2012 is Rp. 950.000 ++ per person (US$121). For reservations, call Cynthia Sitompul on +62-(0)361-701 010 Ext 8404 or [Email] .
  • The wine-paired dinner at Four Seasons Sayan is priced at Rp. 850.000 ++ per person (US$108). For reservations, please call Ratna Puriningsih on +62-(0)361- 977 577 Ext 8003 or [Email] .
[Book a stay at the Four Seasons Resort Bali on Jimbaran Bay]

[Book a stay at the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan]
 


Water Water Everywhere
Denpasar, Bali’s Water Shortage to Continue Until 2013

Bisnis Bali reports that Bali’s capital city of Denpasar is running short on water due to its burgeoning population and a shortfall in the ability of the water department in meeting growing demands for water.

The Municipal Water Board (PDAM-Denpasar) has a customer base of 70,919 with a list of 8,744 more customers waiting for connections.

The chief of PDAM-Denpasar, Ir.Putu Gede Mahaputra, said the long waiting list is tied to his department’s inability to produce sufficient fresh water to meet the capital’s needs. In 2012, Denpasar’s demand for fresh water was an average of 1,375 liters of water per second while production capacities stood at only 1,269 liters per second."

There was a resulting shortfall in production of 105 liters per second.

The chairman of the Bali Consumers Foundation, Ketut Udi Prayudi, told the press that it is the responsibility of PDAM to ensure there are adequate fresh water supplies for the public.

In response, Mahaputra said that PDAM is working to overcome the increasing shortfall in fresh water in Bali. In 2013 new water supplies for Denpasar taken from the Penet and Petanu Rivers.

Mahaputra continued: “PDAM-Denpasar at the present time relies solely on water from the Ayung River. To overcome water shortages we are waiting for the construction of a water station being built by the Sarbagita consortium. That project will tap into water from the Petanu River in Gianyar and the Penet River in Tabanan."

He anticipates the first phase of the Petanu River project will begin operations in 2013, although consumers will only begin enjoying that supply in 2014. For the Penet River the construction will take place in 2013-2014 with water from that source coming on line in 2015.

The new water installations promise an additional 300 liters of water supply every second.

He also said he hoped the heightened water production capacity would reduce the use of people in Denpasar of precious subterranean water reserves.


Governor on a Mission to Sell
Vice-President Boediono Declares Bali’s Governor a ‘Fantastic Salesman’

Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika has been cited as a “fantastic salesman” for his island by the vice-president of Indonesia, Beodiono.

The Vice-president bestowed the praise on Bali’s governor during the opening of the 25th World LP Gas Forum held at the Bali International Convention Center in Nusa Dua, Bali on Wednesday, September 12, 2012.

Beritabali.com reports that the comments from Boediono occurred after hearing governor Pastika speak at the World LP Gas Forum.

In addressing a thousand delegates form 67 countries, Pastika used the opportunity to promote Bali as a tourist destination; declaring Bali as the “Island of Love.

Pastika explained how Bali earned the moniker following the filming of Eat Pray Love starring Julia Roberts. Because of this, Bali has become a sought after destination for couples on holiday.

The governor said older couples come to Bali renew their commitment. Young people come to Bali come to plan their weddings to be held in Bali.

Pastika brought the crowd to laughter when he issued a reminder to those panning to marry in Bali, saying, “don’t forget to invite me to the wedding.”

Taking the speakers podium after the governor, vice-president Boediono declared Pastika a “fantastic salesman" for his island.


Enough Already!
Badung’s Moves Towards a Hotel Moratorium Sidestepped by Permits for Condotels, Apartments and Villas

Bali’s southern regency of Badung is unable to bear the strains on its infrastructure of the rapid tourism development now underway.

Bisnis Bali quotes the Dean of the Tourism Faculty of Bali’s Udayana University, Drs. I Putu Anom, who says that between 2000-2010 Bali, particularly in its southern region of Badung, became overburdened with tourism development.

“Badung was late in enacting a moratorium. Based on the results of our studies, an oversupply in rooms created a rate war that commenced in 2010. Our recommendation is that only home stays in tourism villages (Desa Wisata) be allowed,” said Putu Anom.

He explained that in determining the carrying capacity of Bali tourism it is not sufficient to only look at the number of rooms, but to also consider the demand for water created by each new room. The tourism academic also accused officials of only looking at the growing number of tourists in issuing permits for new accommodation without considering the quality of those tourists, which has been in the decline.

Putu Anom said the calculation of carrying capacity must first considered the needs of the endemic population for land and water.

Any moratorium issued by the government for new hotels is being sabotaged and sidestepped through the issuance of permits for non-starred hotels, condotels and villas.


Go to Sleep, and Good Night!
Kuta Bali Residents United in their Opposition to 4:00 am Closing time for Nightspots

Bali Post reports that 5 communities (banjars) in the Kuta area of Bali are resisting efforts to extend the operating hours of entertainment centers until 4:00 am.

The extension of closing time from 3:00 am to 4:00 am being sought by nightspot operators is meeting resistance from local community members who cite the disturbance to peace and security by the longer operating hours.

The banjar chief (klian) of Pande Mas in Kuta, Nyoman Jika said on Thursday, September 13, 2012, confirmed that five banjars have taken the initiative to voice their reistance to the 4:00 am closing time.

Five banjars have united to oppose the longer operating hours.

The five banjars are: Banjar Pelasa, Banjar Pemamoran, Banjar Pande Mas, Banjar Pering and Banjar Pengabetan.

A meeting convened by the banjars unanimously resolved to refuse later operating hours, insisting that the 3:00 am closing time previously set by the regent of Badung be upheld.

The villagers cited the disturbance to the peace that would result from the proposed 4:00 a.m. closing time and the criminality in the form of fights and thievery that frequently occur in the areas surrounding the nightspots.

Another factor underlying local resistance to later opening hours is the involvement of the local population in the operation of local small inns and hotels, while nightspots are largely held by people coming from outside the Kuta area.

The Badung tourism office (Disparda) has stated its opposition to efforts to extend operating hours and its support for local communities rejecting the 4:00 am closing time.


They've Got Their Eye on You
Bali Increasing Surveillance and Monitoring of Foreign Residents and Visitors

The Bali immigration office is reported by Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) to be organizing an inter-agency team to more closely monitor the activities of foreign nationals living in Bali.

The head of the Bali Immigration office, Maroloan Barimbing said: “The Immigration office has a duty to closely monitor foreign nationals living here. But we need help from other institutions to effectively supervise and monitor them.”

A law passed in 2011 calls for the establishment of teams to monitor foreign nationals comprised of police officials, the Office of National Unity and Community Protection, the Public Order office, Manpower Office and other institutions.

Explaining the responsibility of the team, Barimbing said: “The team will have special authority to impose sanctions on foreigners who violate the law and regulations. But it will not have any authority with regard to deportation.”

Deportation remains the exclusive right of the immigration department.

Barimbang added: “A number of foreign citizens have violated working and residential permits. Many more foreigners are involved in a variety of legal disputes and even criminal acts.”

The new team is needed, he explained, because the job of dealing with the 2 million tourist visitors to Bali and the many foreign residents was too much for the 300 immigration officers assigned to the province.


Bali Environmentalists Prepare for Battle
Environmental Group WALHI Calls for Boycott of Bali APEC Summit

Beritabali.com reports that Bali Friend of the Earth (WALHI) has issued a call on the 21 countries that are members of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to boycott the APEC Summit planned for Bali in October 2013.

WALHI said the boycott is justified by the lack of environmental care being taken in preparing infrastructure projects to support the coming summit.

In supporting their call for a boycott, the coordinator of WALHI in Bali, Wayan Gendo Suardana, alleges developers failed to abide by an agreed environmental plan when constructing an elevated highway over the mangrove forest to connect Benoa, Bali’s Airport and Nusa Dua. Gendo said developers promised to use a floating pontoon to erect the highway, but instead have built access roads through the mangrove.

“We are suspicious that systematic steps are being taken to kill the mangrove forest,” Gendo said.

He said preparations for APEC have had a negative effect on Bali. Earlier, an effort was made to establish the Bali International Park mega-project that has yet to commence due to widespread public rejection of that project. Similarly, he sees the elevated highway being rushed to completion as just another example of destructive development in the name of APEC.

Gendo Suardana said the limestone access roads being built through the mangrove are killing the mangrove and polluting the oceans.

Related Article

[Bali’s Bitter Medicine]

[Temporary Digs]


The Greening of Bali
Pertamina Plants 10,000 Trees in Bali

The State-owned oil company, PT Pertamina has demonstrated its commitment to Bali’s environment by planting 10,000 trees in mangrove areas in the vicinity of Serangan Beach and Mertasari Beach in Sanur.

As reported by Beritabali.com, the tree-planting program in Bali by Pertamina is part of a larger participation in a national program to plant one billion trees nation-wide that is supported by Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The CEO of Pertamina, Karen Agustiawan, together with directors of the Company, local citizens, students from a local junior high school on Serangan island and local fishermen joined in the tree planting program.

Karen Agustiawan who was in town to participate in the World LPG Conference at Nusa Dua, said on Thursday, September 13, 2012: “Before I join the World LPG Conference in Nusa Dua, I have set aside time to plant trees in the mangrove as a part of Pertamina’s support for beach conservation in Bali by preventing erosion and prevent a living environment for the animals and fish living in the mangrove.”

A program to plant 100 million trees initiated by Pertamina is part of the Company’s commitment to Indonesia’s environment that also includes efficiency in their operations, fuel conservation, increased use of LPG and the creation of products that are environmentally friendly.


Rules of Engagement
Code of Conduct Now in Place for Divers Visiting Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan

The Coral Triangle Center (CTC) in cooperation with diver operators at Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, and the Bali chapter of the Association of Indonesian Water Sports Operators (GAHAWISRI) have established a code of conduct for operators and water sports enthusiasts regarding Manta Rays and Mola-mola Fish.

As reported by Beritabali.com, Nusa Penida is one of Bali’s premier diving locations. According to a survey conducted by CTC, Nusa Penida is home to 300 types of coral and 576 species of fish spread across 1,400 hectares. Nusa Penida is also home to a mangrove forest covering 230 hectares and 108 hectares of a shallow coastal ecosystem.

One of the distinguishing unique features of Nusa Penida is its role as a cleaning station for the giant Mola-Mola Sunfish. Capable of growing to 2-3 meters, the Mola-mola venture into the shallow seas areas surrounding Nusa Penida at certain periods of the year in order to cleanse themselves of parasites, a process aided by resident angle fish.

The seasonal appearance of the Mola-mola at Nusa Penida draws large numbers of divers from around the world during the July-September season. The most popular locations for Mola-mola sightings are
Blue Corner (Jungut Batu Village), Ceningan Wall (Lembongan village), Crystal Bay (Sakti village), Toyapakeh, and Sental (Ped village).

The popularity of these sites to divers has resulted in damage to the environment and threatens the large starfish when divers try to get too close to photograph the giant fish.

The new Code of Conduct stipulates that divers will not touch or hold the Mola-mola or Manta Rays. Other rules forbid divers from swimming under the Mola-mola to prevent compressed air bubbles from frightening the fish.

Rules also stipulate that divers cannot approach the Mola-mola from behind and only go near the fish when they are safely in the cleaning areas. Photographers are urged to minimize the use of underwater flash unit out of concern for the fish.

Visitors are also told not to block the Mola-mola or Manta Rau and to never try to feed the fish.

The new Code of Conduct for divers will eventually form the basis of rules covering the Nusa Penida Conservation Area.


Staying Self Sufficient
Bali Produces a Surplus of Rice

The State News Agency Antara  reports that Bali is secure in terms of food security and not threatened by continuing drought conditions in many part of Indonesia.

Ida Bagus Wisnuardana, head of the food crop division for Bali, confirms that Bali has adequate sufficiencies of rice and soybeans.

Said Wisnuardana, "There is no problem in food security in Bali in the next several years."

Bali has 84,118 hectares under rice and soybean production, producing 471,601 tons of rice annually.

This results in a surplus of rice production with Bali needing only 455,130 tons of rice each year to meet local demand.

The surplus rice of some 16.450 tons of rice is sold to nearby Java.
 


Fire Destroys Central Market in Bangli, Bali
104 Shops Destroyed by Fire at Kidul Market, Bangli, Bali

The Kidul Market in Bangli, northwest Bali, was heavily damaged by fire on Monday, September 9, 2012.

The fire, which started at 2:30 pm, destroyed 104 shops, threatening both the livelihoods of the shop owners and the distribution network that drives a large part of the Bangli economy.

According to Nusa Bali, three traders were injured in the fire and taken to hospital.

In the end, the six fire trucks that rushed to the scene spent more than 6 hours trying to bring under control a fire fed by the merchandise packed tightly into each of the shops.

While the authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire, preliminary suspicions are that the fire started when a small gas cooker exploded in a ground floor shop.

Two fire trucks initially responded to the fire from Bangli. The fire was fully engaged and raging out of control prompting requests for assistance from four additional fire units from Gianyar, Klungkung and Denpasar. Efforts to extinguish the fire were complicated by a lack of water, causing the trucks to ferry back and forth between the location of the fire and local water reserves.

The regent of Bangli, Made Gianyar, has set up an open area as a temporary market near the Bangli Bus Terminal to allow traders displaced by the fire to continue their businesses.


Badung Regent Not Interested in Becoming Governor
A.A. Gede Agung Not Interested in Governor’s Job, Preferring to Continue Working as Badung’s Regent

A.A. Gede Agung has reaffirmed that he has no interest in seeking the post of Bali’s governor in elections to be held in early 2013.

Agung told Nusa Bali his preference is to continue to focus on the job of serving as the "bupati" or regent of the Badung regency.

The regent spoke to the press as he was preparing to depart for Harvard University to attend a short course on public sector management.

The regent’s comments have apparently put to rest moves by both the Democratic and Golkar parties to draft Agung as their candidate for the top provincial job in Bali.
 


Keeping Gianyar Green
Gianyar Regency in Bali to Require Hotels to be ‘Green’

The Gianyar regency is preparing new regulations that will govern the way in which new hotels are built and ensure that accommodation projects are “green” and friendly to the environment.

The regulations will also impact on existing properties in the regency that includes the popular Bali tourist destination of Ubud.

In announcing the new regulations, Beritabali.com quotes the regent of Gianyar, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, as promising that his regency would become more selective in accepting new hotel investments.

“The essence is how to build green hotels; new hotels must follow the new rules. Existing hotels will need to follow these rules when renewing their permits . . .we have begun to describe how to use energy, handle sewage – this will all be part of the permit issuance process,” explained Tjokorda.

Tjokorda said the new regulations would also include a larger role for the public in supervising hotel development in Gianyar.


Bali’s Bitter Medicine
Jasa Marga Bali Responds to Call to Halt the Toll Way Project as Out of Touch with Bali’s Traffic Situation and What Must Be Done to Fix it

The spokesman for PT Jasa Marga – the consortium building the new Benoa – Ngurah Rai – Nusa Dua toll way has compared the road network in Bali to a patient suffering from coronary disease.

Quoted by Beritabali.com, Drajad J. Suseno said: “The road network in Bali is like a patient suffering from acute heart disease; the arteries to and from the heart (of the patient) are clogged. The only solution remaining is to undertake a bypass operation. To perform this operation, the patient must be prepared to allow his ribcage to be split open. So it’s very strange when the doctor begins to split open the chest cavity, some scream ‘my body is being destroyed.”

Continuing, the Jasa Marga spokesman said: “”What’s important is that after the operation and the heart is functioning, the chest cavity is restored to its original state. This is the sacrifice and logical consequence, which must be pursued. Likewise, with the building of the toll road in Bal, there is a method of work requiring a temporary excavation (of the mangrove forest) that will later be recovered for the natural environment.”

Suseno said that toll way should not be compared with the Bali International Park project rejected by local environmentalists.

“We are rushing to complete the project. To do this, our workers, who are also children of the nation, need room and time to complete their work, prove their capabilities and not be distracted by unnecessary issues. What’s important is that (our) commitment to the environment must be proven once the toll way is completed. Don’t be suspicious or create negative sentiments that we are trying to destroy the environment. If you want to be suspicious, be suspicious. But what are your real motives?” asked Suseno.

Suseno’s comments follow calls by the Bali Friends of the Earth (WALHI) to boycott the APEC Summit in 2013 due to perceived damage being done to Bali’s environment by the toll way project. [See: Bali Environmentalists Prepare for Battle]
 


The Size of Indonesia’s Tourism Economy
Tourism a US$4.4 billion Stake in Indonesia’s National Economy

Bali continues to make a substantial contribution to the overall Indonesian economy.

2011 figures show that Bali contributed Rp. 42 trillion (US$4.4 billion) in income comprised of Rp. 32 trillion (US$3.4 billion) in foreign exchange from international tourists and the remaining Rp. 9 trillion from domestic tourism.

The head of tourism for the province of Bali, Ida Bagus Subhiksu, said tourism revenues are up 10% compared to the previous year.


 
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