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Birthday Greetings for Bali Update, Bali's Airport, Rabies, Elephants and Blue Bird Taxis are Some of the Subjects Covered in this Week's Bali Update Mailbag.

(3/8/2010) [Bali Update Turns 12]

• The Operations & Sales Manager of The Hill Villas in Bali, Yvonne Anggreni, sent the following:

"I would like to congratulate you on the 12th anniversary of Bali Update, wishing you and Bali Discovery all the best in the future."

• Michael Burchett, the General Manager of the Conrad Bali Resort & Spa said:

"Dear Jack . . From myself and the Conrad Team: Congratulations on ‘your baby's' 12th birthday."

• Graham Hornel, a pensioner from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and a principal of Questbay Migration Service in Western Australia, wrote to say:

"How the years go by fast, when one is both having fun and wakes up with a real sense of purpose each morning. You have done both very well, mate - and sincere congratulations on reaching another milestone."

Telling how it really is in a Very Special Destination through both bad times and good over the last 12 years has taken fortitude and a strong desire to deliver facts and information of real value both to those who know Bali and those who want to. . . More power to your PC and to your Editorial Independence both."

• Lawrence Bellefontaine of Bali Real Estate News and Views wrote :

"Happy Anniversary to a first class publication."

• Philip Townsend, who lives in Sanur, contributed:

"I know you put a lot into it and have successfully maintained its impartiality and integrity over the years. It has become a valuable source and adds value to all who have an interest in Bali, wherever in the globe they may be located. . . Congratulations and please keep up the great work."

• Bapak Anak Agung Gde Rai, a true veteran of Bali Tourism said :

"As a friend of yours and regular reader of Bali Update, I wish Bali Update a very Happy 12th Anniversary. I am thankful and proud of the Newsletters and especially very proud of Jack Daniels for all his efforts in informing the world of Bali's side of the News. A great endeavor that deserves thumb ups from the Balinese tourism stakeholders in particular. Long live Bali Update!!!"

• Well known Bali promoter Tony Fletcher of Calypso Bedbank sent the following :

"Dear Jack and crew at Bali Update, . . . Just wanted to wish congratulations on your 12th birthday and keep up the good work."

• Also from Australia, Peter Shrimpton of Prime Reps Travel Marketing said:

"Congrats on reaching your 12th Birthday . . .Having just retired after 36 years in the Tourism Industry and visiting Bali for over 30 years. I must admit your Reporting is extremely valuable & keeps me updated for my now yearly Holiday. Good luck for the Future"

• Jurg Suter the operator of the Samana Villa and Spa sent the wishes :

"Congrats and well done...I am one of your loyal and thankful readers."

• Barry Blaby wrote :

"Congratulations on 12 years of interesting and vital news. I look forward to reading the Bali news each week."

• Julie Penfold from Australia added :

"Happy12th birthday, I enjoy reading your info every week, keep up the great work, and here's to the next 12 years."

• Nigel Seys-Philips of Singapore and Bali had this to say :

"Jack - heartiest congratulations on your ‘birthday.' We read your newsletter every single week and can only imagine what goes in to getting it together. Thank you - and thank you on behalf of all those who visit Bali regularly."

• Marg Hellback, a Bali hand now living in Australia said :

"Congratulations Jack and Team, reading your update is the highlight of my dreary Monday mornings."

• Roy McGreevy wrote to offer a suggestion :

"I want to thank the editor for great work in sending out the weekly update. It is one of just a few travel updates I read regularly. I live in the USA. A suggestion: I believe many of us would gladly pay a voluntary annual subscription of US$10-$15 to assist in the production and for more editorial staff. Keep up the excellent work."

[Bali Rabies Epidemic Worsens]

• Brian Huntley wrote :

"Why is there not a mass culling of ALL the stray dogs in Bali!! So many human lives being lost for the sake of a bunch on mangy (and I mean mangy dogs who roam the streets and beaches. When a few tourists die of rabies then maybe something will be done. Only when it hurts in the pocket books of the tourism industry which will be shattered when tourists die of this dreadful virus. Take the $25 taken at the airport for a visa and spend some of it on stray mangy dog elimination...."

[Lines Harden in Bali's Elephant War]

• Peter Lyngdorf in Sweden wrote to lend support to Governor Pastika:

"I very much support Governor Pastika's rejection to import more elephants to Bali. I find it strange and out of order that Bali already has an African Safari and Marina lodge. Export all animals that are not endemic to Bali. Bali is well on the way to become a new Disneyland. Why go to Bali, these things can be found all over the world. Let Bali come back to its core culture otherwise it will loose its soul."

[Urgent Need to Expand Bali's Airport]

• Carin Versteegh had this to say about the welcome extended at Bali's airport:

"Yesterday my friends arrived at Bali's airport, and as soon as they try to pick up their luggage, there were some "nice men" who wants to help them. After they went to the parking some other guys joined them and after all they all wanted money. No, not in Rupiah, but in Euro or dollars. They asked 50 dollars or 50 Euro!!! My friends did not visit Bali for the first time and knew that they were trying to trick them and they refused to pay this crazy amount of money. Then they gave them RP. 50.000 and left them with very angry faces. Not really a warm welcome to the Island of the Gods!"

These kind of stories are not unique. Happens almost every time. At the luggage pick up, the porters are hiding the luggage cars, so mostly the arriving passengers have no choice that using the porters.

• Christine Mundy of Australia has a kinder, gentler view of Bali's airport :

"We have never had a problem with Bali Airport. Good food, very friendly staff and the wait is not that bad. I think they are very fast compared to some larger Airports. The line for the visas may take a while when a few aircraft have arrived at the same time, but if you are the only plane in it's a breeze."

[The Blue Bird of Happiness Gets a Balinese Reprieve]

A reader named Melinda wrote :

"As a regular traveler to Bali I am delighted to hear of the reprieve being given to Blue Bird. I am like a number of your other commentators - I prefer to use BlueBird and will let other taxis go past. I have had similar bad experiences on the couple of occasions where I have used taxis other than Blue Bird."