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We Get Mail!

People Write about Zoning Issues, Convenience Stores, Ubud Restaurants, Best Western Hotel Closure, Law and Order and the BIZNET Bali International Triathlon.

(4/25/2011) Our coverage on the Bukit Mimba project in Karangaem and its South Korean Developer who is now facing problems for building a non-conforming hotel in an environmentally protected area [Changing the Rule After Violating Them] brought two letters:

· Peter Wrycza wrote:

"Let's hope that the Bukit Mimba project be stopped and this eyesore returned as near as possible to it's original condition."

· Clare in Bali added:

"And what about a hotel with five-levels actually being built in a green zone at Kerobokan?"

The coverage if the Guardian's (U.K) list of their best 10 restaurants in Ubud [Soothing Hunger Pangs in Bali's Hills] earned one letter from a guest who found the list lacking:

· Carolyn Tyler opined:

"I've lived part time in Ubud since 1993 and have been enjoying the delicious food at Terrazzo, Cinta, Batan Waru and Siam Sally. I am very surprised you didn't include at least one of these gastronomic gems in your Top Ten list!"

Continuing coverage over the past weeks regarding plans by the Badung regency government to close the Best Western Kuta for zoning and business registration violations has evolved to the point where it will now be formally closed on April 28 [Best Western Kuta to Close].

· Bernard VanGeuns from the Netherlands wrote:

"I understand the reason of the action of the authorities. I did stay a few times in this hotel and I am worried for the staff working there because they were so nice and helpful and losing their job now."

· One reader in Australia, Annamaree Harris became indignant with Bali Update, suggesting we are waging some sort of private campaign against the hotel. Ms. Harris – for the record our reports on The Best Western Kuta have all been based on reports carried  in a number of leading Bali newspapers. Based on those reports and statements issued by the regency's administration,  we sincerely believe that the hotel will be closed in the coming few days. We welcome the owners to write should they wish to respond to the various press reports, official declarations  and order to close issued by the regent of Badung.

Over to you, Ms. Annamaree:

"I just spoke to Tommy at Best Western Kuta. He denies this claim and states it is made by only one Newspaper in Bali and all allegations are false as the Newspaper has an issue with the Hotel."

Our latest report on the BIZNET Bali International Triathlon to be held on June 26, 2011, [Bali By Land, Bali By Sea and Bali By Bicycle] has one reader concerned:

· Marie wrote from Bali:

"I sincerely hope that the organizers of the Triathlon take care to use a course that does not add to the terrible traffic problems in Bali. Last year a bicycle race caused incredible traffic jams that lasted for several hours. Bali is already overcrowded and has an embarrassment of too many tourists. It's nice to have international events, but please, please be aware of your impacts on the island!"

Our article focusing on the Karangasem region and the price it is paying for poor development decisions [Stunted Development in Bali's East] earned a detailed response from one resident of Karangasem.

· Peter Wrycza wrote:

"It would be great to see development decisions taken in a more holistic way. The Bukit Mimba development destroyed the access and context of an idyllic little beach, which was an attraction to the kind of travelling tourists that pass through Padang Bai on their way to Lombok and the Gillies. Destroying that beach and building a large hotel takes resources away from the small Balinese businesses in Padang Bai, the home stays and restaurants of the village. Sure there are some jobs created, but how much is lost for the quality of experience for the existing system?"

"Similarly, the potential development of Pasir Putih is a tragedy, because not only does it destroy one of the few natural beautiful sandy beaches and valleys left on the island, it removes a magical destination for the visitors to Candidasa whose beaches were ‘uglified' in previous rash development."

"Does Karangasem need another large hotel and a stupid golf course built by Korean investors as much as it needs protection of a very limited asset which is a key element in the current context where the Balinese own and control a lot of small businesses? Who really benefits from the development of these idyllic little remnants of a vanishing Bali? What happened to ‘Tri Hita Karana' and the balancing of human, natural, and divine realms."

The decision by the Denpasar municipal government to freeze any new permits on convenience stores in order to protect the livelihoods of local traders [Pardon the Inconvenience] evoked the following two letters:

· Annet from France said:

"I am very happy to hear this. I will buy everything possible at the traditional markets. I can't see why we wouldn't shop at traditional markets - it's so fresh and colorful and cheaper too! In France, small grocery shops, butchers and fishmongers, to name just a few, have also been suffering from supermarkets. My big wish is that people use banana leaves for wrapping meat and fish, and that customers bring their own bags/baskets."

·Janet Stirling said:

"Thank goodness local authorities are finally going to put a halt to more convenience stores. I visit Bali twice each year and can't believe how many new stores have opened up in the last 12 months. I refuse to buy from them and tell other people I meet to buy from local stores where things are usually cheaper anyway! Please encourage all visitors to Bali to boycott the Circle K's and Minimarts."

Our Editorials in Bali Update are written, as the genre suggests, by our Editor.  [Editorial: Law and Order: Bali] called for a strict and transparent enforcement of the rules as the true key to protecting Bali and encouraging investment.

· Wendy Kay Foldes applauded the editorial, saying:

"Bravo! I couldn't have said it better."

One reader who  chooses to sign identify himself  as "Pak Banana" took ironic umbrage with the editorial, insisting that we put our  name to the editorial. Well, "Pak Banana" our editor's name has been shown on each and every Bali Update for the past 13 years. No mystery there!

·"Pak Banana" wrote:

"Very strong article with no author name(sic). If you say such strong words then put a name to it."

A report on the new Tanah Ampo International Cruise Terminal in East Bali [A Pier without Peer?] earned one letter:

· Bill for Colorado wrote:

"Looks like Karangasem didn't count all the costs of the new pier. They must have known how long a cruise ship was!?! What they have is pretty useless now and more money may not fix it. The new road has already washed out twice and repairs are just that, a stopgap to get them by. A longer pier alone will NOT fix the problems that lie ahead for that project!! The road complex CANNOT support the traffic expected when big boats arrive in the future."