Monday, February 7, 2011

BALI – latest updates

Om Swastiastu ...
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When will they ever learn? Sadly, drugs continue to feature in local tourism news. Narcotics police arrested two prominent lawmakers from Central Java at their Kuta hotel last week and a 57-year-old Australian has received a stiff sentence of 7 years for cocaine possession from the Denpasar courts.

An Italian expatriate convicted of participating in the theft of religious artifacts was taken directly from prison to the airport last week while angry demonstrators were demanding a more punitive sentence than the mere 5 months handed down by a Gianyar court.

Development news continues to dominate the local news scene. Badung regency officials are resisting the governor's instruction to halt the issuance of new accommodation licenses and tear down tens of residences and businesses surrounding the Uluwatu Temple. Bali is aiming for 2.8 million tourists in 2011, but statisticians warn rising visitor numbers are no reason to build more hotels. The environmental group WALHI is opposing the presidential initiative to build a massive tourism complex near Jimbaran Bay. The governor has identified population pressures and over-development as root causes of higher crime rates. Separately, governor Pastika is defending plans for a Bali rail system. And poor planning and little consultation with the travel industry is being blamed for the many inadequacies of the new cruise terminal at Tanah Ampo, East Bali.

"Nyepi" on March 5, 2011 will be even more "silent" than usual this year if officials have their way and ban all broadcastings on and to the island for that 24-hour period.

Environment and climate news includes reports that volcanoes in East and Central Java are causing downturns in freight business on the ships traveling between Bali and Java. In another article, the Bali Disaster Control Center says natural calamities are on the increase.

In Aviation news: Plans are announced to build a transit hotel within Bali Ngurah Rai airport. Lion Airlines are following in the tracks of Garuda, announcing plans for their own IPO in 2012.

Hotel and Restaurant news: Chris Salans of the Mozaic Restaurant in Ubud is making a one-week appearance in Melbourne, Australia March 4-11, 2011. Michelin-starred celebrity chef Hubert Obendorfer is cooking for five special nights with his all-star Bavarian culinary team February 24-28,2011, at The Banyan Tree, Ungasan. And, police continue to investigate a fire at the Maccaroni Club.

There's a new post office box address in Bali for people who want the governor's ear on matters of public service.

The BIMC Hospital has broken ground on a new, second hospital to begin operating in Nusa Dua later this year. Bali Hai Cruises have announced program changes while the Bali Hai II goes into dry-dock for one month, starting on March 29, 2011.

Just some of the stories in this week's Bali Update.

Om Çanti Çanti Çanti Om ...
J.M. Daniels - Bali Update
Bali Discovery Tours

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