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'Road to Bali' Paved with Tennis Talent for Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions November 4-8, 2009.
Among the headliners at The Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions that gets underway next month at the Bali International Convention Center, Westin Resort, Nusa Dua, Bali will be a Wimbledon finalist and a young star who reached the semi-finals of the US Open. Play scheduled November 4-8, 2009, will feature top tour players and next generation champions competing in an innovative 12-woman round-robin singles format. The top 10 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour players who have all won at least one international series tournament over the past year and players not participating in singles at the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships will qualify for the event, along with two wild cards. The 12-woman event will feature four groups of three players in a round robin format, then a single-elimination semi-finals and final.
Marion Bartoli, who defeated then world number one Justine Henin to reach the 2007 Wimbledon final, has joined The Road to Bali by winning the Monterrey Open in March. That title came after she fell just short of claiming the Brisbane International in January by reaching the final, before falling to Victoria Azarenka. As well as her success at those two events, the 25-year old from France reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a straight-sets win over Jelena Jankovic. Later, she went on to reach the semi-finals in Charleston and Eastbourne. A second title of the year followed in August, when she defeated Jankovic again and then overcame Venus Williams in a tense three-set final in Stanford. While Bartoli is an established champion, event organizers cite Yanina Wickmayer as a perfect representative of what the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions is all about - presenting some of the very best of the young, upcoming stars of tomorrow. The 20-year old from Belgium has made a massive leap up the rankings this year after a poor start to the season. Just one win in her first eight WTA Tour and Fed Cup matches was followed by a spectacular run to the title in Estoril, and after that confidence booster more success followed in Birmingham where she reached the quarter-finals, and then s'Hertogenbosch where she finished as runner-up to defending champion Tamarine Tanasugarn. At the US Open in New York she swept her way to the semi-finals before falling to Caroline Wozniacki. As the Bali tournament nears, there are two players in line to win a US$1,000,000 bonus available to any player that can win three International Series events and the Tournament of Champions. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez secured her shot at the bonus prize by winning Bogota in February and adding the Bastad title in July. She has just three more events this season to claim a third title and become eligible for the $1,000,000 bonus to be played in Osaka, Linz and Luxembourg. Among other players expected to compete in Bali are Anabel Medina Garrigues, who won the Fes Tournament in Morocco, and Melinda Czink, who recently claimed the title in Quebec City. The race for the remaining places in the draw, which will feature 10 international series winners based on their ranking, plus two wild cards, is heating up as the season approaches its climax. No fewer than eight players are in line for what could be the last four places in the draw, with just 15 places separating them in the rankings. Possible qualifiers include Strasbourg champion Aravane Rezai, Budapest winner Agnes Szavay, Istanbul title-holder Vera Dushevina, Birmingham winner Magdalena Rybarikova and Austrian left-hander Sybille Bammer, who won in Prague. "It will be wonderful to welcome Marion Bartoli back to Bali, after she reached the final three years ago before losing to an in-form Svetlana Kuznetsova," said tournament director Kevin Livesey. At the same time we look forward to welcoming new friends, players who have shown by their results this year that they are destined to do great things in the future. "The next few weeks will be very exciting as so many players jostle to take part in what is certain to be an exciting week of tennis in a spectacular location." International Series Champions to Date • Marion Bartoli - champion in Monterrey, ranked 14 • Anabel Medina Garrigues - champion in Fes, ranked 21 • Yanina Wickmayer - champion in Estoril, ranked 23 • Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez - champion in Bogota and Bastad, ranked 37 • Melinda Czink - champion in Quebec City, ranked 38 • Aravane Rezai - champion in Strasbourg, ranked 44 • Agnes Szavay - champion in Budapest, ranked 45 • Vera Dushevina - champion in Istanbul, ranked 47 • Magdalena Rybarikova - champion in Birmingham, ranked 49 • Sybille Bammer - champion in Prague, ranked 50 • Petra Kvitova - champion in Hobart, ranked 55 • Andrea Petkovic - champion in Bad Gastein, ranked 58 • Roberta Vinci - champion in Barcelona, ranked 59 • Kimiko Date Krumm - champion in Seoul, ranked 100 • Tamarine Tanasugarn - champion in s'Hertogenbosch, ranked 104
Preserving a Restaurant's Proud Heritage
MÉTIS Restaurant and Gallery Opening in Kerobokan with the Team That Made Warisan Famous.
The best way to preserve a precious heritage is to enhance that heritage through augmenting and strengthening its core values.
"Heritage" in Indonesian is "Warisan", which, not coincidentally, is the name of one of Bali's landmark fine dining restaurants which has operated for more than a decade on Jalan Raya Kerobokan under the careful supervision of Chef of "Doudu" Tourneville. When the lease recently came to an end the men who created the Warisan dining experience were compelled to abandon both their location and their branding. Larger and more luxurious, the name has become MÉTIS Restaurant and Gallery. The location has shifted to larger premises near the beach. Both the move and rebranding are being used by Chef Doudou to take what was already an outstanding dining experience, hitch it up one notch and establish a new life-style tradition built on the established warisan of culinary artistry in French Mediterranean cuisine established at the old locale. More seating under cover from Bali's rains, a separate bar & lounge area, a gallery and boutique, a private cellar dining area and a special-events areas for small groups are the pleasing innovative improvements former Warisan clients will note at the MÉTIS Restaurant and Gallery. Unchanged will be many of the well-know culinary favorites from their menu, the extensive wine list and flawless service that have earned Chef Doudou his faithful following of clients over the years. Franco Cusumano Joins the Team A Bali travel industry stalwart, Franco Cusumano, has joined the MÉTIS Restaurant and Gallery team as its sales and marketing director, focusing on hospitality groups, special event functions, the MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Exhibitions) market and travel industry liaison. Franco has nearly two decades of industry experience includes hotel and restaurant management as well as a sales and marketing role with Sobek Bali Utama, Bali Bird Park and Lotus Restaurants. He speaks English, Italian, French, Indonesian, Spanish and German. Gilles Delaloy Appointed Pastry Chef Chef Gilles Delaloy has been named pastry chef at the MÉTIS Restaurant and Gallery overseeing pastry operations for both the restaurant and newly established patisserie. A love affair with pastry-making at a young age has sent Chef Delaloy across the globe. At the tender age of 15, Delaloy started a formal course of pastry-making and graduated first in his class in Paris, France. He apprenticed in a Michelin-starred restaurant and, thereafter, left France for Los Angeles, United States. Continuing his work at New York's historic Waldorf Astoria led Delaloy to CENA, one of the city's most acclaimed restaurants. Chef Delaloy's 25-year career has led him to oversee pastry teams at Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos; The Datai Langkawi, Malaysia; The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore; Arkady Novikov Group, Moscow, Russia; and the Istanbul Doors Restaurant Group, Istanbul, Turkey. Delaloy's creations have been featured in books and by high-profile media outlets, including The New York Times, Food & Wine and New York Magazine A Precious Warisan: MÉTIS Restaurant and Gallery Opening in late October 2009, MÉTIS Restaurant and Gallery is located at Jalan Petitenget No. 6, in Kerobokan. Visit their website at [MÉTIS Restaurant and Gallery]
Melia Bali Wins TUI Champion Award
Nusa Dua Property Named to TUI List of 100 Environmental Champions.
Meliá Bali has been voted among the most popular 100 holiday hotels in the world and awarded as a TUI Umwelt Champion 2009 by one of Europe's largest tour operators - TUI Germany.TUI honored 100 hotels in 22 countries in the 2009 Environmental Champion Awards based on sustainable environmental resort management practices. Meliá Bali ranked #73 in the final tally with only one other hotel so honored in the Asia-Pacific region, the Katathani Phuket Beach Resort in Thailand which was ranked #66. The TUI Environmental Champion Award is a special honor presented to TUI Hotel Partners who consistently orientate their hotel philosophy along the lines of sustainable hotel management and as such actively contribute to preserving the environment. Meliá Bali is the first Sol Meliá Hotel in Asia to be certified Green Globe Gold. The 2008-2009 ASEAN Green Hotel Award recognizes the resort's dedication to the highest environmental and social standards. The Emerald Tri Hita Karana, awarded to the resort five times by the provincial government of Bali, recognizes the UNFCCC-endorsed approach to protecting the global environment and socio-cultural concepts. Book a stay at [Melia Bali Villas & Spa Resort]
Julia Robert Begins Filming in Bali
Village Demonstrators Seeking Compensation from Filmmakers Mar Start of Bali Filming of 'Eat Pray Love.'
Oscar-winning Hollywood star Julia Roberts has arrived in Bali for what is expected to be a month-long filming of the Bali portion of Elizabeth Gilbert's novel "Eat Pray Love." Gilbert's best-selling autobiographical recounting of her post-divorce travels in Italy, India and Bali is to become a Columbia Pictures (Sony) film starring Roberts, Javier Bardem and Richard Jenkins. Bali filming is centered on areas in and around Ubud and Bali's southernmost beach with cast and crew staying in various five star hotels on the island. Filming got off to less than a smooth start on Thursday, October 15, 2009, when the villagers of the village of Benyutung demanded Rp. 200 million (US$2,000) in compensation for the use of their village in the film. This demand, according to local press reports in Bali, was precipitated by rumors of large sums being paid to other Bali locations being used in the film. The Regent of Gianyar, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati (Cok Ace), is reportedly mediating local villagers' demands with the film's production team. Filming is also scheduled to take place in Ubud's famous monkey forest in Padangtegal, Nyuh Kuning, Pengosekan and the traditional art market in Ubud. Cok Ace, who is also the leader of Ubud's royal household, has issued a special invitation to Julia Roberts to his Palace for dinner. It remains to be seen, however, if the notoriously reclusive star will set aside time on her schedule for visits with Cok Ace or Bali's governor. Those hoping to steal a look at Julia Roberts or a Hollywood film in production may be disappointed. Elaborate security perimeters are being set up at filming locales that keep the general public at a minimum distance of 500 meters.
How Now Brown Cow?
For the Second time in as Many Years, a Farmer in North Bali Caught 'in the act' with a Local Bovine.
Are the cows of North Bali so attractive that their beauty outshines the charms of local maidens? Or is it something in the water? In any case, front page news in several Bali newspapers carries the shocking revelation that a 33 year-old farmer, I Made Widiana, from Kebutambahan on Bali's north shore, has been caught in flagrante delicto with a local cow on October 13, 2009, just as Bali began its Galungan celebrations marking the victory of good over evil. Although Widiana's unnatural act was witnessed by a neighbor, it was the perpetrator himself who admitted his act to local community leaders. Freely admitting that he had sinned and put him community at risk by defying the natural order of things, Widiana claims in mitigation that the cow cast some sort of spell over him causing him to see a beautiful woman instead of a cow. It was only when his neighbor scolded him for his behavior, that he awoke from his smitten stupor and became aware of his act. Widiana, married and the father of four, must now wait for a meeting of village elders to be convened and a course of action laid out that will restore order to the cosmos which is now off-kilter because of his transgression. This is second time such an incident has occurred in that otherwise quiet corner of Bali. On August 17, 2008, a 70 year-old man, Sutarya, who lives only a few kilometers from Widiana, committed a similar act that demanded elaborate ritual cleansing and the sacrificial drowning of the pregnant cow in the nearby ocean. [See: Drown Now, Brown Cow] Both Widiana and his "contented" cow await the decision of local religious leaders as to what must be done to restore good order to the Universe.
Go Tell it On the Mountain
TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition Brings a Message of Living in a Climate Changed World to Bali.
The TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition paid a call on Bali on October 12, 2009, in order that the expedition's leader, Dario-Andri Schwörer, could climb Mt. Agung and deliver his inspiring message to local school children. Dario-Andri, traveling with his wife Sabine, share a commitment to travel to every climate zone of the world under muscle or wind-power to encourage a better level of stewardship of the world's resources and bring home the increasingly urgent need to understand the effects of climate change on our lives. A man of almost boundless energy, Dario-Andri is a ski and mountaineering guide, a river rafting guide, canyoning guide, skipper, diver, hang gliding pilot who is at home on the open oceans as he is on a mount top. An avid adventurer, he has studied geography and is an acknowledged expert on climate change in the Alps. The TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition is the first expedition over the seven-seas to the seven - summits transacted only by human and nature's wind power. Along the way, the expedition inspires children to build a better future. The expeditions shares examples of nature's beauty and innovations for a green planet, in class rooms all over the world. While in Bali, Dario-Andri Schwörer, delivered his inspiring message during a short presentation at the Nikko Bali Resort and Spa on Monday, October 12, 2009. Nikko Bali Resort and Spa welcomed Dario and his family to the resort during their visit to Bali. During his stay in Bali he presented awareness presentations at schools and conducted a clean up campaign with 250 students. Related Website [www.toptotop.org]
Bali's Worsening Water Crisis
Hotels in Nusa Dua and Kuta Affected by Diminishing Water Supplies.
A page-one story in the Bali Post on Thursday, October 15, 2009, has confirmed the worsening water crisis affecting the island. A number of hotels in Nusa Dua, Kuta and Seminyak are reported to be suffering critical water shortages with water reservoirs down to as little 90 centimeters of standing water in reserve tanks. Bambang Wibowo, Chief Engineer of Melia Bali Villa and Spa Resort, Nusa Dua said that a prolonged dry period has had an acute effect on water reserves since October 9th. Other Chief Engineers in Nusa Dua are making similar complaints. Beyond Nusa Dua, the Chief Engineer of the Sofitel Seminyak, Esti Haryono, said the shortage of water was affecting a number of water-dependent areas of the hotel's operations, including garden and swimming pools. Despite long-standing warnings that Bali's was failing to conserve its water resources, little has been done to preserve sub-terrain water reservoirs or clean up the badly polluted rivers which supply, after intensive water treatment, Bali's piped water supply. According to Bali Post, the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) which manages the Nusa Dua Complex of hotels and tourism businesses is largely absent of reminders to visitors to help conserve precious water supplies. The entire supply of water for the BTDC's approximately 5,000 guest rooms is piped to South Bali by the island's water board (PAM) and a local water-supply company, diverting precious water supplies from other up-island agricultural needs. The newspaper estimated that the BTDC complex consumes Rp. 3.8 million cubic meters each year. For more than a decade agricultural experts and environmentalists from the Indonesian conservational watchdog group WALHI and Udayana University have warned of a coming water crisis. Related Articles [Bali Hotels Asked to Begin Desalinating Seawater] [Bali's Diminishing Water Supply] [Bali's Lakes are Shrinking]
Remembering the Dead and the Demons
October 12, 2002 Terrorist Attack Remembered in Bali and Australia.
The seventh anniversary of the murderous attack on several Indonesian night spots on October 12, 2002, was marked with a ceremony held Monday, October 12, 2009, at the Australian Consulate in downtown Denpasar. That attack killed 202 people, 88 of whom were Australian nationals. This year's commemoration was the first held following the execution of the three men convicted of perpetrating the attack and the recent killing by police of the Malaysian, Noordin M. Top, thought to be the mastermind of a years' long reign of terror. On the same day, a short distance away on the streets of Kuta, other mourners gathered at the "Ground Zero Monument" to pay their respects. There, around 70 people offered prayers for all the dead, many of whom were Indonesian nationals. Prayers for the dead and praise for the Indonesian government which has stayed the course in its war on terrorism were a central theme of both Bali gatherings. A parallel event was held on Sydney's Coogee Beach, allowing friends, families and survivors to gather and commemorate fallen comrades.
Garuda to Return to Amsterdam on June 1, 2010
Daily Service to Link Jakarta and Amsterdam via Dubai.
Garuda Indonesia has announced their intention to resume flight service between Jakarta and Amsterdam on June 1, 2010. Emrisyah Satar, CEO of Garuda, speaking to the Bali Post confirmed that his airline would operate a daily service leaving Jakarta at 21:00 hours each evening and landing in Amsterdam at 8:00 hours the next morning after an intermediate stop in Dubai. The return flight will leave Amsterdam at 10:00 hours landing in Jakarta at 19:10 hours after another stop in Dubai. The service will be operated with Airbus 330-220 aircraft configured for 186 economy and 36 business class passengers. The resumption of service will mark a return to Holland by Garuda who suspended service to Holland in 2004.
Visit Indonesia Year(s)
Government to Retain VIY for Third Year in Effort to Woo 7 Million Visitors in 2010.
Indonesia's Department of Culture and Tourism has announced its intention to continue the current Visit Indonesian Year (VIY) campaign for a third year as part of plans to attract 7 million foreign visitors in 2010. Sunrise, Sunset, One Season Following Another Visit Indonesia Year which was initially launched after 2008 was already well underway, was retained for an additional year in 2009. The latest announcement from the government is that the program will be retained for a third year - 2010. Credited with bringing 6.4 million visitors to Indonesia in 2008, tourism officials remain confident that VIY 2010 will pave the way for modest growth in tourism arrivals while arrivals to competing destinations in the region continue to shrink. Tourism officials also point to Indonesia's improving security situation as contributing to tourism growth now that violence-prone fundamentalist elements are being arrested, run to ground or physically eliminated. Sapta Nirwandar, the Director General of Marketing at the Department of Culture and Tourism, told the Bali Post that suggestions are under consideration to drop the "year tag line" and just retain "Visit Indonesia." Critics of the retention of VIY for a third year believe the program's message may be losing its potency and its continued retention underline a fundamental lack of creativity in how the country's tourism is promoted. In 2008, Indonesia welcomed 6.4 million foreign tourist who spent an estimated US$7.5 billion in foreign exchange. Indonesia expects more than 6.5 million foreign tourists in 2009.
Bali Power Blackouts will Affect Water Supply
Bali PAM Officials Warns Periodic Blackouts May Make Island's Water Taps Rub Dry.
Kompas.com reports that current electrical shortages affecting Bali will also impact on the distribution of clean water by Bali's Water Board (PAM). Bali's director of PAM, Ir. Putu Gde Mahaputra, confirmed this message on Saturday, October 17, 2009, saying that the distribution of piped water is dependent on a consistent electrical supply. "So with plans to have rotating blackouts beginning in October, clearly this will disturb the distribution of clean water," he explained. While clarifying that the operational department of PAM have stand by generators, he admitted that the power generated is not sufficient to permit optimal water distribution. Moreover, there are several water wells where the water pumps are not equipped with generator sets, including the wells located at Jalan Kebo Iwa and Panjer. "Because of this," he continued, "when the PLN (State Power Board) intorduces black outs in a rotating manner, this is certain to disrupt the distribution of clean water to customers." Mahaputra is recommending that clients of PAM take the precaution of having stand-by water reserves sufficient to see them through the planned blackouts. Related Articles [Dark Nights Ahead] [Bali to Face Power Outages September - November]
We Get Mail!
Balidiscovery.com Recent Editorial on How to Remedy Current Electrical Power Shortage Stimulated Many to Write. Link to Rotating Blackout Schedule.
In response to the announcement that Bali is destined to suffer rotating power blackouts due to repairs on the Java-Bali power grid, we presented an editorial suggesting that a less painful solution to power shortfalls was readily available in the excess power capacity of generator-equipped hotels in Bali. [See: No Need for Bali to be Kept in the Dark] That editorial prompted a large number of writers to send us an email, a sampling of which is presented below: - Bill and Marcia in Bali wrote in with a comment and a suggestion: If PLN knows that the major resorts and restaurants have 'back up power sources', wouldn't it make sense to have them use it instead of shutting down the more rural areas (like Candi Dasa?) that do not have back up? Also, publishing the black out schedule thru Bali Update sure would be handy for the areas to be impacted!!" Our response: Good idea. Here's a link to the page at PLN’s website listing blackout areas over the coming few months [PLN List of Power Outages]. - Mark Taylor, based in Bali and working in the power generating sector, said: Excellent suggestion regarding the hotels, Jack. Not only could the hotels generate the power they require for their own operation, they could grid tie and sell their excess power back into the PLN grid. The available generation capacity of the large hotels would conservatively be around 200 MW which is about half what Bali needs during the peak period which is 5pm till 11pm. Turning the lights off is a joke - shut down the electric water heaters and AC units - they are the prime consistent consumers." - David Mendoza of Ubud, Bali had this to say: "Patience regarding blackouts would be much more likely if PLN could issue a schedule of dates with locations of the blackouts so one could prepare. The frustration is when you are suddenly about to cook dinner and the power goes off. If one knows in advance you can have a nasi bungkus ready from the warung! or if a small shop owner, just plan to close for that evening. I think the best incentive for hotels to follow this excellent suggestion would be for the government to offer access to LOWER prices on imported wines, liquors, and foods via reduced import duty, giving hotels an opportunity to recoup some of the cost of running their generators. I am not in the hotel/restaurant business so this is not on my behalf." - Adrienne suggests: "If the hotels just made sure that the air conditioning in unoccupied rooms was turned off, I'm sure that alone would reduce consumption by quite a lot." - Brian Mullock contributed the following: "What an excellent idea. And one which hotels may buy into if they can themselves benefit in some way. The politicians should jump at the chance to get private industry involved in helping public utilities. However, one question remains to be answered: why did it happen in the first place? Who was responsible and are they still in their job. If it was private industry in the West, the person would be looking for another job... probably in farming!
Wacik Likely to be Retained as Culture and Tourism Minister
Jero Wacik's Reappointment as Indonesian Minister of Culture and Tourism Appears Certain.
The general consensus in the Indonesian press is that, barring a surprise in the final list of ministers to serves in President Yudhoyono's next cabinet, Jero Wacik will be reappointed as Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism. Currently undergoing "fit and Proper tests" required of all ministerial appointees that include final financial, physical and mental audits, Wacik's appointment will formally be announced as the President is sworn in on October 20, 2009, for his second and final five-year term by the Indonesian House of Representatives. Wacik is a Balinese, hailing from the Kintimani, and a political activist from the Indonesian Democratic Party. Although the formal announcement of his appointment has yet to be made, the fact that Wacik met with President Yudhoyono over the past weekend, that he is undergoing the required tests, and that others suggested for the tourism role have reportedly not been telephoned by Yudhoyono's staff – all speak to the perceived inevitability of his reappointment as Minister of Culture and Tourism. To meet a deadline imposed by Indonesia's election law, Wacik recently resigned his Ministerial post, in order to retain his elected post in the parliament. At the time of his resignation on September 20th, Wacik's certainty of a seat in the new cabinet was much less certain that now appears currently the case. During Wacik's meeting with the President over the weekend, he was reportedly told to improve the image of Indonesia to increase revenues and tourist totals. Tempo Interaktif reports that the President specifically instructed Wacik to use the current filming in Bali of "Eat, Pray, Love" as a means of raising Indonesia's international visibility.
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