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We Get Mail

Bali Update Readers Write in About Baliís Governor, Dog Bites, Criminal Lawmakers, Best Western Kuta and Gypsy Taxis.

(6/6/2011) Here’s a selection of emails from our mail bag:

[Governor Pastika: Will He or Won't He?] Our coverage of governor Pastika’s ponderings on whether or not he’ll run for re-election and public wonderings if, at age 60, he is too old to lead Bali earned a number of letters, including:

· Christopher Mill from Australia said:

"I have been traveling and doing business in Bali for 30 plus years. With Governor Made Pastika in charge the Island of the Gods has never been in better hands and the people of Bali have never been so confident of their future. Stay on! A beautiful part of the world needs you!"

· Writing from the United Kingdom, Susan Barclay-Edwards shared:

"I wish big time he will stay! In the U.K. we are ‘blessed’ (Not!) with leaders who are TOO young. Pastika has been a good governor, and I would hope that he would go on to be an even better one. People of 30 - 40 have an even better way of forgetting things."

An article on the wider meaning in the declining number of dog bites in Bali [All Bark, Less Bite] brought a response from the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA):

· Rebecca Gill of BAWA wrote:

"While it is a positive thing dog bite cases appear to be decreasing - we want to point out that having a high or low number of recorded dog bite cases does not necessarily mean rabies is increasing or declining."

"Most bite cases reported to authorities are not related to rabid dogs - often people have inadvertently provoked a dog (for example by stepping on its tail, approaching a mother dog nursing puppies, etc). Or sometimes they have been bitten by a dog that has been made aggressive because it has been chained or caged."

"So, if reported dog bite cases were to increase - it shows a growth in the number of people reporting bites, not a growth in the number of rabies cases. This means that education and socialization campaigns have been successful in raising public awareness about rabies."

"Now people understand the danger of dog bites - they should, and will - continue to report them and ask for vaccines. So we should not expect reported dog bite cases (and the requests for vaccines) to decline too quickly - because after all, there is still rabies in Bali, and people must remain vigilant."

[A Lawmaker's Study Tour] the story of how two Central java Lawmakers caught with narcotics in a Bali hotel are facing the possibility of 15 years in prison, caused one reader to write in:

·Geoff in Australia wrote:

"It is a sad story when local lawmakers are allegedly involved with drugs, however, given the sentences handed out by Balinese judges to foreigners, the whole world will be watching if the justice system treats locals on the same basis."

The continuing and drawn-out saga of the governments attempts to close the Best Western Kuta was a popular topic of correspondence from Bali Update’s readers:

·Caine wrote:

"Make an example of them while protecting the jobs of the staff and deterring other developers from flaunting the law. It is a tough call for a compromise solution. How about a massive fine-and a yearly penalty payable for operating a commercial property in a residential zone? That should deter greedy developers if they see that their profits would be stripped away in fines."

· Susan Darcy had this to say:

"Time to stop fooling around. Tear it down as soon as possible and charge the owners for the demolition costs!"

·Geraldine Svisdahi from Australia wrote:

"Why don't the authorities simply cut off the water and electricity? That would force the hotel's recalcitrant owners to obey the law."

[Bali's Biggest Losers] - coverage of the damage being caused to Bali’s overloaded trucks and how this adds to traffic congest prompted a reader to write in.

· Davo wrote:

"The worst example of dangerous overloading of trucks are the limestone trucks traveling up and down the Bukit PeninsulaUngasan at Jimbaran, Ungasan and Pecatu in the Badung Regency. Not only are they destroying the roads, but at every bump they go over they have rocks and boulders falling out the back, When will something be done about them before they kill even more people?"'s hard-hitting [Editorial: Road Rage] earned a number of responses, including:

· Mike Edwards from Australia:

"As a visitor from another country, I don't want to break the rules while I am in Bali. The recent crackdown on Traffic Officer bribes is a great move by Bima Aria Viyasa. I feel more confident riding a motor bike in Bali. I have the correct licensing, wearing a helmet and now knowing I won't be targeted by Traffic Officers seeking bribes. It's a relief."

"The illegal transport operators look the same as any transport in Bali. I certainly wouldn't want to be disembarked randomly because I could not tell if the vehicle or driver are legal. If I am able to identify a legal operator, then I would choice the legal operator, for my own protection and safety. Are legal Transport Operators card carries? Something like that?"

"Many limits have been reached in Bali in recent times. Best Western Hotels are paying the price for breaking the rules, traffic officers are on notice about bribery, enforced protection for temple zones and now rogue transport operators are also on notice."

"We love Bali and thank all Balinese people for allowing us to come and visit you."

Note from Bali Update: Vehicle licensed to carry tourist passengers in Bali have "tourism permits" or "izin pariwisata". Look for a small additional square silver colored tag wired to the main police plate on any vehicle. This tag mean the vehicle is inspected and legal for the carriage of tourists.