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  • San Miguel’s Acuaférico and Looming Water Crisis

    NoticiasAmbientales_crisis-h%C3%ADdrica.jpg

    By OCSMA.

    The municipality has come up with a plan to address this shortage. in mid-October of 2020 the Sistema Municipal de Agua Potable del Municipio de Allende, SAPASMA, began the construction of a large cistern on the Cerro de las Tres Cruces. The project was halted but not before they destroyed a ceremonial staircase of great archeological and cultural significance.

    For many years is being developed and authorized the construction of extensive housing projects in the upper part of the city, such as Zirándaro, Capillas de Piedra, El Paraíso, El Deseo, Los Arcángeles, Luminaria, Lomas de San Miguel, Jardines de Allende, without any consideration of how to supply them, or those already living in the zone, with sufficient water. As could easily have been predicted, the city is now facing a water shortage.

    The municipality’s plan The Acuaferico involves drilling eight wells around the perimeter of the Presa Allende, between the communities of San Marcos and Cabras Juan Xido. From there the water would be pumped to cisterns at various points around the city. ...

    Continue reading at Observatorio Ciudadano de San Miguel de Allende: San Miguel’s Acuaférico and Looming Water Crisis. More #ObservatorioCiudadano.

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  • OCSMA: Art Highlights Divisions in the Colonia Guadalupe

    OCSMA: Mexico has a long and rich tradition of public art that inspires, provokes, and enriches our communities. The best of this art helps us to look at ourselves and our world in a new way. It is definitely doing that in the Colonia Guadalupe, where a conflict has been brewing for some time about the murals. A few weeks ago, several threads appeared amongst English speakers on Facebook, suggesting that the government or secret, nefarious forces were trying to destroy the mural project. After investigating these claims thoroughly, we found absolutely no one who wanted the murals removed. But, like art should, they are forcing residents to look at the changes within and challenges facing their neighbourhood.

    Like most of San Miguel, the Colonia Guadalupe was a very traditional neighbourhood centered around the church and the many orchards until recently. A few years ago, the neighbourhood began to grow due to its safety, proximity to centro and popularity with foreigners. Older buildings were knocked down to make way for spec houses. The orchards were gradually consumed by new stores and restaurants. In 2012, an American named Colleen Sorenson, started the Muros en Blanco project to coincide with the Calaca Festival. She brought graffiti artists from all over Mexico to express themselves on the walls of the colonia. The first festival was well-supported and well-attended. The atmosphere was exciting, creative and fun. At that time, it appears that everyone was in favor of the project. In recent months and years though the general attitude has changed. It seems that much of this change is due to a lack of communication between newcomers and those that have made their homes in the Guadalupe for generations. Whereas many newcomers love the idea of a funky art district, some of the older residents are uncomfortable with the murals and what they represent. Moreover, many are offended by Muros en Blanco’s publicity which states that the Colonia was “high risk” and characterized by “theft, vandalism, drug addiction and abandonment” until they moved in, creating further divisions within the community. All this has been brewing under the surface for some time.

    Continue reading at Observatorio Ciudadano de San Miguel de Allende: Art Highlights Divisions in the Colonia Guadalupe. More #ObservatorioCiudadano.

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  • Brief News and Views Oct 12, 2019

    Oct 12, 2019:
    • What happened with the PMDUOET?,
    • Amigos de los Animales Pet sterilization,
    • Secretary of State Environment on tree transplants,
    • Violent first ten days of October in San Miguel,
    • Mexico increases its appeal for retirees over 65,
    • Avocado and lemon falls in price; tomato increases,
    • Best cities to live in Mexico for personal or professional growth,
    • Race is on to contain wind-fueled Los Angeles wildfire,
    • It’s Lights Out in California to Deal With Climate Risks,
    • Electric cars could be just another ecological disaster,
    • Heavy rain, winds lash Tokyo as powerful typhoon hits Japan.

    ~~~~~
    Local News Sites
    Looking for more news? These are our top local news sites:
    Atención | Noticias Con Valor (sp) | News San Miguel (sp).
    See our Links page for more news sites.
    ~~~~~
    What happened with the PMDUOET?
    We at the Observatorio Ciudadano were invited to participate in public consultations for the Programa Municipal de Desarrollo Urbano y Ordenamiento Ecológico Territorial de San Miguel de Allende or PMDUET. This is the plan for the municipality that will be in place until 2040. It addresses issues of zoning, density, traffic flow, and green spaces, amongst others.
    What happened with the PMDUOET? More #ObservatorioCiudadano.
    Also: THE PMDUOET : AN INADEQUATE MODEL FOR THE CITY.
    Background, from July:
    City Puts Out a Call for Public Comments on Its Proposed Land-Use Plan
    The city has finished its environmental and territorial planning document—the Programa Municipal de Desarrollo Urbano y Ordenamiento Ecológico y Territorial (PMDUOET)—and now it’s calling upon citizens to weigh in. Citizens can respond to the document, a copy of which can be downloaded at implansma.gob.mx, until September 11. A printout is also available ...
    City Puts Out a Call for Public Comments on Its Proposed Land-Use Plan
    The Plan: MUNICIPAL URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND TERRITORIAL ORGANIZATION PROGRAM OF SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, GUANAJUATO, 2019-2040.

    Here comes the pet sterilization campaign of Amigos de los Animales
    The Association "Friends of Animals" invites you to its Free Sterilization Campaign on October 19 and 20, 2019, will be in the Lions Club Hall in front of the atrium of the San Antonio neighborhood. The requirements for the sterilization of your pets: - That they go with 12 hours of fasting, ...
    Here comes the pet sterilization campaign of Amigos de los Animales (sp).

    Secretary of State Environment "turns" the issue of tree transplants
    The secretary of @M_AmbienteGto, María Isabel Ortiz “turns her around” to talk about transplants and survival of a transplanted tree; She says better to ask the municipality.
    This Friday, in San Miguel de Allende, the head of the Ministry of Environment of Guanajuato, María Isabel Ortiz Mantilla, is visiting the Hotel Real de Minas attending the event ...
    Secretary of State Environment (sp).

    Violent first ten days of October in San Miguel
    On Tuesday October 8th, San Miguel de Allende lived a violent day (again). ...
    Violent first ten days of October in San Miguel.

    Mexico increases its appeal for retirees over 65
    The United States, Spain, Guatemala, Canada, and Cuba are the countries that concentrate the largest foreign population over 65 years of age residing in Mexico.

    Parents who see their children leave home after raising them and experience the so-called empty nest syndrome, retired after a lifetime of work … Many people over 65 choose to travel and travel the world once retired or retire to A sunny and warm place. The favorite places for these purposes worldwide are the United States, Germany, and China, although Mexico grows in this type of tourism

    One of the main causes is the lower costs for health treatments. According to the extinct ProMéxico, in the last ten years, the country has established itself as the second destination of health tourism – behind Thailand – with up to 1.2 million travelers a year for this purpose. Baja California, Baja California Sur, Mexico City, Chihuahua, and Jalisco are the main receiving entities.
    Mexico increases its appeal for retirees over 65.

    Avocado and lemon falls in price, but tomato increases in Sinaloa
    The avocado went from costing 100 pesos a kilo to around 50 pesos, the lemon went from 50 to 20 pesos and the tomato already reached 20 pesos a kilo.
    Avocado and lemon falls in price, but tomato increases in Sinaloa.

    If you are looking for more opportunities to grow personally or professionally, these are the best cities to live in Mexico
    Mexico, despite being a multicultural place, full of traditions, entertainment and opportunities to develop in different areas of life, is a country that, unfortunately, has become popular for having a high crime rate against men and women in the streets, in the houses and even in some places of work. ...

    This is a relevant and worrisome issue that has forced many women, in search of their safety, to find opportunities to live and develop quietly outside their home cities, moving to some of the best cities to live in Mexico, considered thus thanks to the job offers, growth and personal security that these places can offer you. Here are some examples of these safe cities in Mexico for women...
    If you are looking for more opportunities to grow personally or professionally, these are the best cities to live in Mexico.

    Race is on to contain wind-fueled Los Angeles wildfire
    A major wildfire burning in Los Angeles and fueled by high winds swelled in size Friday as more than 1,000 firefighters worked to try to contain the blaze and prevent it from destroying any more homes.

    Around 100,000 people were under evacuation orders after the so-called Saddleridge Fire broke out around 9 p.m. Thursday in the Los Angeles community of Sylmar in the San Fernando Valley.
    Race is on to contain wind-fueled Los Angeles wildfire.

    It’s Lights Out in California to Deal With Climate Risks
    More than a million people in Northern California lost power yesterday in an intentional blackout that reveals the stunning measures utilities and state officials will take to ameliorate the risk of wildfire as the effects of climate change become more apparent.

    Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which provides electric service to 5.4 million customers in California, said it cut power to 800,000 of them to protect people, work crews and property from a potential outbreak of wildfires. It’s unclear how many people would be affected, but it stands to far surpass the number of homes and buildings that would lose power.
    It’s Lights Out in California to Deal With Climate Risks.

    Electric cars could be just another ecological disaster
    As sea levels rise and climate-change protests grow ever louder around the world, the owners of electric cars may feel they are doing their bit to avert a global-warming crisis. If so, they may be deluding themselves. Electric vehicles currently account for less than 0.5% of the world’s cars. That will change soon. Many countries, including France, Canada, the UK and Norway, have set target dates for ending the sale of gasoline or diesel vehicles between 2025 and 2040, and major car manufacturers are racing to dominate this new and lucrative market.

    Around the world, consumers have so far been reluctant to embrace electric cars, but a tipping point will come when there are sufficient charging points and drivers realize that a car that runs on fossil fuel has no resale value. And when that happens, whether the electric car is going to save us or destroy us will depend on what type of power we use to charge its batteries.
    Electric cars could be just another ecological disaster.

    Heavy rain, winds lash Tokyo as powerful typhoon hits Japan
    A heavy downpour and strong winds pounded Tokyo and surrounding areas on Saturday as a powerful typhoon forecast to be Japan’s worst in six decades made landfall southwest of Tokyo, with streets, beaches and train stations deserted.
    Heavy rain, winds lash Tokyo as powerful typhoon hits Japan.

    ~~~~~
    We use google translation, sometimes with some manual editing. How to use Google translations. News sites and Facebook pages are on our Links page.

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  • How green is San Miguel de Allende? Not green enough…

    OCSMA: As we write this, Sanmiguelenses are protesting the removal of 33 fiscus trees along Avenida Guadalupe. There are many arguments for and against the project, which we will discuss later, but we all agree that San Miguel de Allende cannot afford to lose any more trees.

    Green areas are essential to the well-being of every city in the world. Parks, playgrounds and gardens are vital for mental and physical health. Access to green areas is correlated with lower obesity and even reduction in crime. In this age of global warming, trees and vegetation have taken on a more urgent role of temperature moderation and rainwater absorption. They prevent soil erosion, control dust, carbon and pollution, and provide habitat for wild animals and birds.

    However, if you look at a satellite map of San Miguel de Allende, you will see a blanket of cement and stone, especially in the newer developments.

    Continue reading at Observatorio Ciudadano de San Miguel de Allende: How green is San Miguel de Allende? Not green enough…. More #ObservatorioCiudadano.

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  • Arsenic and Fluoride – A Growing Public Health Crisis

    Our local water contains levels of arsenic and fluoride that far exceed the limits set by the World Health Organization. As we continue to deplete our aquifer, these concentrations are increasing, presenting grave health risks to all of us. Babies and children are the most vulnerable.

    Fluoride is generally believed to be beneficial in very small doses for the prevention of tooth decay. However, high levels can be extremely dangerous. We have all seen the staining and discoloration of the teeth that indicate dental fluorosis or skeletal fluorosis around the municipality. But the damage is much more serious than aesthetics. Studies correlate in utero exposure with intellectual impairment and behavioral problems such as ADD. Joint pain is common, as are cardiovascular problems. Renal failure and some types of cancer may also be connected to fluoride.

    The effects of arsenic are less visible that those of fluoride but equally concerning. Arsenic is a neurotoxin and potentially hazardous to children’s physical and mental development. Arsenicosis causes skin problems, pain and vomiting. It also can lead to kidney failure and cancers.

    More at Observatorio Ciudadano de San Miguel de Allende Arsenic and Fluoride – A Growing Public Health Crisis. More #ObservatorioCiudadano.

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  • What’s Going On With Our Garbage?

    One of the biggest concerns of all Sanmiguelenses is how we dispose of our garbage. The most common questions we have heard are:

    Why are the new garbage trucks so much smaller, leaving so much garbage on the streets?

    Why, in the age of environmental awareness, do we have a system that makes recycling and composting almost impossible?

    How can we make garbage collection more efficient and less wasteful?

    Recently I met with Regidor Ing. Helio Bastien and asked him these very questions. He responded by explaining the contract the city has and why it is ineffective.

    More at Observatorio Ciudadano de San Miguel de Allende What’s Going On With Our Garbage? More #ObservatorioCiudadano.

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  • Brief News and Views August 1, 2019

    August 1, 2019:
    • Simplified Telephone Dialing,
    • What's Happening This Week in SMA?,
    • Transit Agents denounce retaliation,
    • Police infiltrated by organized crime,
    • Writers' Conference & Literary Festival,
    • How Many Police do we need?,
    • Living without water: El Salvador,
    • Split Apart by Deportation: US Family Begins a New Mexican Life in San Miguel,
    • New SMA Photograph Book,
    • Hear the Wedding Bells?,
    • Giant sandwich for ‘Torta Fair’.

    Mexico Simplifies its Telephone Dialing Rules
    Service prefixes are no longer required.

    The fundamental change to the telephone dialing rules happening on August 3rd 2019 is the removal of service code prefixes associated with calling domestic long distance numbers (01) and calling Mexican cell phones from Mexican land lines (044, 045). Also, the confusing need to add the number ‘1’ when calling a Mexican cell phone from overseas is also being eliminated.
    Mexico Simplifies its Telephone Dialing Rules
    See also: The definitive guide on the new telephone dialing system in Mexico

    What's Happening This Week
    What's Happening This Week in San Miguel de Allende (DiscoverSMA)
    QuePasaSanMiguel (Atención)
    Lokkal Events

    SMA Transit Agents denounce retaliation for protesting
    By " #traidores " and by " #rebelarse ", Transit agents of #SanMigueldeAllende they say they started to be #víctimas of reprisals by Director Samuel #Mercadillo ...
    @SeguridadGto
    Transit elements of San Miguel de Allende, decided to continue their protests "working" wearing a white bow with pink that would represent their disagreement with the way they are working. Yesterday they went out to the streets like that and those who asked them about him, told them they were doing their job ...
    SMA Transit Agents denounce that Mercadillo retaliates for protesting (sp)

    There are police infiltrated by organized crime
    GUANAJUATO, Gto. - (OEM- Reportx). - Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo revealed that there are several municipal police corporations that are infiltrated with organized crime, which report the activities carried out by the authorities.

    In this regard, the state leader stressed the importance of the Reform to the Criminal Code, article 222-A of the Local Constitution or better known as an initiative that sanctions the crime of " hawk ", to be approved, as he said he will give them greater tools to fight crime.

    He said that the leaking of information by municipal police is one of the activities that were detected, so he said that with the Law against “Halconeo” he will punish those who carry out this activity.
    There are police infiltrated by organized crime (sp)
    See also: In Guanajuato the hawk will be punished with up to 13 years in jail (sp), and, 'Halconear' is a crime from today in Guanajuato and will be punished with up to 13 years in prison (sp).

    Writers' Conference & Literary Festival
    Registration Now Open!

    Announcing the 2020 Keynote Speakers for the 15th Annual Conference

    The Writers’ Conference is excited to reveal the keynote speakers for our February 2020 event. Registration for the 15th Annual Writers’ Conference and Literary Festival is now open. The dates are February 12 to 16, 2020.
    Writers' Conference & Literary Festival

    How Many Police do we need?
    Organizations like the UN and the IRC have a range of recommendations but, ideally, the police to civilian ratio in any city with a population of over 100,000 should be approximately 180 to 225 police officers for every 100,000 people.

    The population of the municipality of San Miguel de Allende is estimated at 180,000 which means that we should have between 324 and 405 officers.

    The government will not release exact numbers, but our sources within the Presidencia tell us that we have roughly 100 to 120 officers.
    How Many Police do we need? (Observatorio Ciudadano Facebook) More #ObservatorioCiudadano.

    Living without water: the crisis pushing people out of El Salvador
    Just after 6am, Victor Funez fills a three-gallon plastic pitcher with water from a tap in the cemetery, balances it on his head and trudges home, where his wife waits to soak maize kernels so she can make tortillas for breakfast.

    Funez, 38, stops briefly to help his daughter with some homework before heading back to the cemetery with the pink urn. This load fills large plastic milk and juice bottles used for drinking throughout the day.

    The tap is the family’s only source of water, so Funez makes the journey along the dusty dirt road 15 to 20 times each day.

    “My husband’s job is to fetch the water so I can do the housework. It’s like this every day, all day,” said Bianca Lopez, 46. “We can live without electricity – we have candles and lamps – but water, that’s essential.”
    Living without water: the crisis pushing people out of El Salvador

    Split Apart by Deportation, US Family Begins a New Mexican Life in San Miguel
    This month, while many Americans were readying a worldwide protest against the separation of families, the jailing of migrants in camps, and the deaths of migrants in US custody, American citizen Alena Orwin was packing her and her three children’s suitcases. The young family’s destination was San Miguel de Allende, where they ...
    Split Apart by Deportation, US Family Begins a New Mexican Life in San Miguel

    New Book of San Miguel Photographs Captures the City’s Variety
    A day, a week, maybe even a year, would not be enough time to stroll through every single space in San Miguel de Allende, to discover all the traditional flavors, climb every rooftop, and try each cocktail in the city’s bars and restaurants, never mind understand the city’s culture. Dozens of books ...
    New Book of San Miguel Photographs Captures the City’s Variety

    Hear the Wedding Bells in San Miguel?
    San Miguel de Allende has witnessed the love of more than 800 couples who have married here. The state of Guanajuato has been a favorite destination, with San Miguel being one of the most popular places in the state.

    Roughly 19 weddings take place, each week in San Miguel, yielding over 800 weddings per year!
    Hear the Wedding Bells in San Miguel?
    See also: 800 couples chose San Miguel to say yes (sp)

    Mexico makes giant sandwich to kick off ‘Torta Fair’

    Mexican chefs have created what they say is the world’s biggest “torta” as thousands gather for an annual event celebrating the traditional sandwich.

    Sandwich makers from across the country took less than three minutes to assemble the 236-foot (72-meter) creation in Mexico City, featuring a variety of fillings from ham to rib meat to seafood.
    Mexico makes giant sandwich to kick off ‘Torta Fair’

    Google translations. News sites and Facebook pages are on our Links page.

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  • The Great Storm of the End of June by César Arias de la Canal

    I just found this article on Facebook about the same storm and its effects:

    San Miguel forms part of the Sub Cuenca Támbula Picachos watershed. Starting in the Picachos mountains, runoff flows right through the center of town via the arroyo Atascadero into the Presa Allende. In the past, even in the heaviest of storms, property was rarely damaged as much of the water was absorbed; the Atascadero and the land above it acting as a natural sponge and buffer zone. However, recently we have been covering that land with cement and stone for new developments, housing and industrial parks. The water that would have been absorbed, hundreds of cubic meters, now flows right into town.

    This effect was first noticed when the Luciérnaga Mall was built about a decade ago. After cementing over approximately 100,000 square meters to build the mall, estimates of the increased water flow through the Atascadero Arroyo were as high as 73%. Since then, the municipality has continued to authorize new development in the area. We do not have recent studies, but there is no doubt that the flow of water has only increased as a result of this building, almost certainly setting us up for even more serious flooding that could threaten both property and lives. It also threatens the very developments that are causing the problem. The increased water can potentially wash out the soil underneath, a scenario which has caused building collapse at sites all over the world, such as in Santa Fe, CDMX. It is in everyone’s interests to resolve the situation.


    Observatorio Ciudadano de San Miguel de Allende The Greatest danger to our Watershed? Poor City Planning. (Spanish and English; scroll down for English.) More #ObservatorioCiudadano.
  • Security in San Miguel: Observatorio Ciudadano

    "We continue with our series of articles on issues and concerns of interest to the residents of San Miguel de Allende. There is no bigger concern right now than security.

    What is the actual situation with security in San Miguel?

    The truth is no one knows. All our Facebooks feeds are full of stories of violence, extorsion and theft - in San Miguel and across the country. With most of our news coming from unreliable social media sources, many of us feel frightened, powerless and ill-informed. Some local groups are adding up death counts but reliable, fact-based statistics simply do not exist. How can we get the information we need to keep ourselves and our families safe? ...

    Many people don’t know how to report a crime or feel unsafe doing so. Even more say reporting crime is a waste of time, because the bad guys always get away. We understand this perspective and would like to address these issues. But firstly, we would like to explain what to do if you are the victim of any type of illegal activity

    The 2 steps to reporting a crime.

    1) Getting Emergency assistance
    2) Register an official complaint with Ministerio Publico.

    They are not the same thing."


    There is much more in this informative post. Continue reading on Facebook, The San Miguel Herald, Security in San Miguel: Observatorio Ciudadano.

    Original, in English and Spanish Observatorio Ciudadano San Miguel de Allende Security in San Miguel. More #ObservatorioCiudadano.

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