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Bali Leaders Urge VP to Declare Green Belts Tax-Free
Rising Property Taxes in Bali are Threatening Bali's Agriculturally-based Culture.
Tourism and general development pressures in Bali are rapidly usurping traditional agricultural lands. The "land rush" to own a piece of Bali is inflating property prices across the island, creating an insupportable tax burden on farmers tending the few remaining green belts.
According to The Bali Post, Indonesian Vice-President Boediono was pressured by the Regent of Gianyar during a recent visit to grant agricultural lands a tax-free status. The Gianyar Bupati (Regent), Tjokorda Ardana Sukawati, told a meeting between Bali's other regents, governor Pastika and the Vice-President, "We, as the government, are not conscious of the fact that we add to the burden of farmers by enforcing high property (PBB) taxes."
Reminding the meeting that only the central government can eliminate the property tax, he warned that the farming class will eventually become extinct. Sounding a similar note, Professor Nyoman Suparta of the Indonesian Farm Owners Association (HKTI) said he hoped the central government would reduce the tax burden borne by farmers and help stem the conversion of agricultural lands to other purposes.
Every year an estimated 800 hectares of productive agricultural land is converted to other uses. As a result, the inheritance of Bali's agricultural heritage to the younger generation is becoming increasingly rare. Suparta added: "This is a big problem for Bali. If the government does not overcome this dilemma, not only will agriculture be destroyed but eventually tourism will be crushed because farming is the foundation of the cultural underpinnings of the island's tourism. "
The Vice-President admitted the stiff competition taking place between the tourism and agricultural sectors is evidenced by the shrinking share of the contribution made by farming to the gross domestic product of the province. Saying the both problem and its solution were problematic, Boediono said new regulations were needed to maintain some economic balance between tourism and farming in Bali.
In response to the call to remove property taxes paid on agricultural land, Boediono said the government was examining the idea of relinquishing all power over property taxation to the provincial government. "We will leave it to the provincial government to decide tax rates for farmers working in green belt areas," Boedion added.
Ciputra: Maintain Balinese Building Concepts
Property Magnate Ciputra Praises Bali and Urges Retention of Rules Requiring Balinese-Styled Architecture.
One of Indonesia's largest real estate developers, Ciputra, told BisnisBali that he took personal pride in the Bali concept of building.
While attending an international real estate conference in Bali, Ciputra said the Balinese desire to make their buildings adopt their local environment needs to be copied and adopted by others.
Said Ciputra: "Construction in Bali makes me proud. The Balinese have laid the foundation for development which pays attention to the environment."
Ciputra, the former President of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), praised local rules which forbid buildings that stand higher than coconut trees. He said Bali should not compromise with those who try to change the rules.
Ciputra also pointed to north Bali, east Bali and west Bali as areas of the island where real estate investments can assist in the development of local economies.
The 61st FIABCI congress was held in Nusa Dua, May 24-28, 2010, drawing 987 participants from 41 countries. The gathering adopted "Green Shoots for Sustainable Real Estate as its central theme focusing on innovation, funding, eco-property and green tourism.
Indonesia's Vice-President opened the conference at which Bali's governor at which Made Mangku Pastika also spoke on the concept of developing "green tourism."
Obama to Arrive in Indonesia on June 14, 2010
Details and Date Slowly Emerging for U.S. President Barack Obama's Visit to Indonesia.
While the exact date of U.S. President Obama's visit to Indonesia and Bali remains unclear, Detik.com reports that U.S. Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, Maria Otero, revealed during her recent visit to Jakarta that Obama's Indonesia visit would commence on June 14, 2010.
In Indonesia to pave the way for President Obama's visit, Otero met with counterparts at the Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs and members of local citizen groups the U.S. President wishes to engage in dialogue during his coming visit.
Bali Spokesman: Exterminations and Inoculations in Store if Rabies Found in Bali's Domestic Cat Population.
The provincial government of Bali is considering introducing mass vaccination for cats after initial reports of a rabies death in Buleleng, North Bali, tied to a young girl bitten by a cat. Follow-up reports, however, have discounted those reports, linking the death to a non-rabies-related infection of the brain.
Bertiabali.com quotes the spokesman of the Bali provincial government, Ketut Teneng, who says that if clinical studied find that rabies have infected domestic cats then local authorities would have to weigh the merits of exterminating stray cats and vaccinating those kept as pets.
Teneng said such measure might become necessary for Bali to meet its goal of becoming rabies free by 2012.
The Bali spokesman said what matters most at the present time is for the general population to understand the importance of providing the proper care to household pets, such as dogs, cats and monkeys.
Reviewing government efforts to date, Teneng said 280,000 dogs have been vaccinated in Bali and 78,000 stray dogs have been exterminated. He also revealed that since the outbreak of rabies began in Bali in late 2009 there have been an estimated 44,000 dog bite incidents. Those who have died following dog bite in Bali is put at 57 people, 26 of which were clinically shown to have died due to rabies.
6-8 New Airbus 320 Aircraft Due for Delivery to Mandala Airlines in 2011.
Mandala Airlines is awaiting 6 to 8 new Airbus 320 aircraft due for delivery in 2011.
The head of corporate communications for Mandala, Trisia Megawati, said the new planes are part of the requirements to remain a scheduled airline under Indonesian law. Indonesian law requires that domestic carriers operating scheduled services must operate 10 aircraft; a minimum 5 of which must be owned by the airline and with the remaining five aunder their under their control (i.e. chartered or leased).
Trisia said the 6 to 8 airplanes due for delivery next year form a part of a total 25 new A320 Airbus ordered in 2007 and due for delivery between 2011 and 2014.
Starting in 2010, Mandala has "gone international" by opening new routes from Jakarta to Singapore, Macao and Singapore and another service from Balikpapan (Kalimantan) to Singapore.
A Date with the Fine Wines of Italy
St. Regis Bali Resort Host a Evening of Fine Food and Premier Wines from Italy's Renowned Gaja Winery on Saturday, June 12, 2010.
Established in 1859, Gaja Winery in Barbaresco, Italy has been in continuous management by the Gaja family for four generations. Under the wise leadership of Angelo Gaja, who has a degree in Oenology, he introduced French-style wine-making to the estate and planted Cabernet, Merlot, and Chardonnay varietals much to the outrage of some local traditionalists.
Innovative and controversial, Gaja began blending selected Cabernet and Merlot into his Barbaresco wines. This further outraged local winemakers who lobbied for legislation to bar Gaja from using the Barbaresco appellation on such wines. Because of this, some of Italy's finest wines are now inauspiciously labeled as "Langhe Rosso."
Leading wine expert Robert M. Parker, Jr. has dubbed Angelo Gaja as "Italy's most fascinating and revolutionary winemaker," while the prestigious Wine Spectator magazine boldly declares his wines "perhaps the finest Italian wines ever made."
Bridging the two great wine-making traditions of Italy and France, Gaja Wines range from vintages that celebrate the rustic traditions of Barbaresco and Brunello to the very refined, delicate nuances of his French-Italian blends.
Gaja Wines at The St. Regis Bali
The distinguished world of these outstanding wines will be introduced to Bali at a Gaja Wine Dinner presided over by the eldest daughter of Angelo, Giai Gaja, who heads the winery's export department.
For one night only, on Saturday, June 12, 2010, a magnificent 6-course degustation menu, specially prepared by Executive Chef Oscar Perez and his team, will be carefully paired with 5 premium wines from Gaja Winery.
A very memorable evening of fine wining and dining commences at 6:30 pm with canapιs and cocktails in the St. Regis' King Cole Bar. Dinner follows at 7:30 pm in the Astor Ballroom.
Deep sea scallops and snail ragout - Buttered white asparagus - Crustacean vinaigrette, organic greens - Lobster tail and caviar parfait - Slow dried tomato, Prosciutto ham and melon broth - Roasted pumpkin, basil oil
A taste of Amadei Chocolate - Chuao bitter Chocolate fondant, Chocolate and Grand Marnier liquid stick - Tuscano chocolate nut bar and fruit paste - 9 Chocolate coulis, Toscano White Sherbet
Rennina Brunello di Montalcino, Angelo Gaja, Tuscany 2004 - Brunello di Montalcino (Sangiovese Family)
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St. Regis Chocolate Truffles - Digestive and Cigars -Coffee and Tea
Wine Tasting Notes
ROSSJ-BASS Angelo Gaja, Langhe, Pricco - Barbaresco, Piedmont 2008 Chardonnay - This wine is produced from grapes grown in several estate-owned vineyards. The Rossj vineyard, planted in 1984, is named for Angelo Gaja's younger daughter Rossana, (Rossj). Pheasants are featured on Rossj-Bass' label to commemorate the beautiful birds that inhabit the forests adjacent to GAJA's vineyards. Aroma: Fine perfume of citrus fruits and flowers with a hint of honey. Taste: Considerable depth. Elegant body, definite character and good acidity; a fresh, lingering finish. Chardonnay with a touch of Sauvignon Blanc.
Magari, Angelo Gaja, Ca' Marcanda, Maremma, Tuscany 2006 - Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc - Darmagi, planted in 1978, was Piedmont's first Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in more than a century. "Darmagi," is Piedmontese for "what a pity," a comment Angelo Gaja's father, Giovanni, once uttered when he passed the vineyard as it was planted to Cabernet Sauvignon in 1978. Aroma: Opulent layers of concentrated fruit. Taste: Though very Cabernet in character, Darmagi owes its distinctive, austere personality to the unique terroir of Barbaresco. Excellent fruit with strong cassis flavors and impressive power on the palate carry through to the long finish with persistent soft tannins. 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc.
Barbaresco, Angelo Gaja, Langhe, Piedmont 2006 Nebbiolo - This is one of Italy's great red wines and the historic flagship of the Gaja family. Produced from Nebbiolo grapes, the wine takes its name from the village of its origin. GAJA Barbaresco has been in production since the winery's founding in 1859. Aroma: The nose is almost sensual in its complexity, with aromas of forest fruits, plums, licorice, mineral and coffee scents. Taste: Long, complex finish with fine, silk-like tannins and good acidity; dense structure, full of super-ripe fruit. 100% Nebbiolo
Conteisa, Angelo Gaja, Langhe, La Morra, Barbaresco, Piedmont 2005Nebbiolo - The term "conteisa" is the Piedmontese word for "quarrel" and refers to the historic dispute between the communes of La Morra and Barolo for possession of the Cerequio land. Aroma: Expressive floral nose with notes of red berries, plums, licorice and spices. Taste: The Nebbiolo in Conteisa reflects the essence of the Cerequio terroir: sumptuous texture and a very refined character with perfectly integrated tannins. 92% Nebbiolo, 8% Barbera
Rennina Brunello di Montalcino, Angelo Gaja, Tuscany 2004 - Brunello di Montalcino (Sangiovese Family) - A document from 715 A.D. makes reference to the "vicus Rennina" (Rennina area), a site located next to the church Pieve (church) of Santa Restituta. The wine was named for this link to the history of the property. Due to the slightly richer soil, Rennina is usually softer and a bit less tannic than Sugarille Aroma: Very clean, opulent aromas, with notes of ripe red fruits evolving into delicate spice and floral perfumes. Taste: Powerful and velvety in flavor with a fleshy and sustained finish and refined tannins. 100% Sangiovese
Cost and Reservations
The cost for the evening including pre-dinner cocktails, canapιs, 6-course dinner and 5 wines is Rp. 1,950,000 per diner (US$212).
For reservations, +62 361 300 6114
Reservations are a must. Book a Stay at the St. Regis Resort, Bali
Julia Roberts: Come Home to Bali to Run, Bike and Swim
An Invitation to Julia Roberts to Eat, Pray, Love and Run at the MRA Bali International Triathlon on June 20, 2010.
Express.co.uk reveals that while Hollywood star Julia Roberts was in India and Bali last year to film her soon-to-be-released Hollywood blockbuster "Eat, Pray, Love", she was also busily training for a half-marathon.
Roberts is said to have found the tropical climate of the two locations provided a valuable training bonus. Roberts said: "'I trained a lot while I was doing the movie and it was so hot there, I think it was to my advantage that I had trained under such dire circumstances.'
According to her husband, Danny Moder, Roberts completed a 21.7 kilometer charity run in California in December 2009, five months after her departure from Bali.
Bali Lives in Hope
If Julia is reading this article, Bali would like to extend an open invitation to "come home" to Bali on June 20, 2010, to participate in the MRA Bali International Triathlon.
As deal sweeteners we're also offering Julia:
A round-trip ticket from the U.S.A. to Bali
Luxury accommodation in Bali during her stay.
A half-triathlon in addition to an Olympic distance event. The shorter course provides a 21 kilometer running course.
A large number of eager and willing athletes in Bali who would jump at the chance to help Julia form a corporate team relay by sharing the duties of running, swimming and cycling.
Lots of company. Registrations for this year's event are 25% ahead of last year's record numbers.
Julia, come home to Bali, - we've got your number; we hope you'll wear it at the 2010 MRA Bali International Triathlon!
Indonesia's Vice-President Boediono Proclaims 'Bali is Different'.
The national news agency Antara quotes Indonesia's Vice-President Boediono as declaring that every time he visits the island of Bali he discovers his mind is clearer and more refreshed after his visit. Speaking at a meeting with Bali's governor, Boediono said: "I'm not just paying lip service. Every time I come to Bali, my thoughts become more serene and relaxed."
The Vice-President's endorsement received a round of applause from all in attendance, including the Regents and Mayors from across Bali who attended the meeting. Encouraged, Boediono continued by saying Bali is a "paradise island" which possession a "special magnetism."
"Maybe Bali possesses a different atmosphere," said Boediono, who was accompanied at the meeting by his wife, Herawati Boediono; Minister of Religion, Suryadharma Ali; and the Minister of Industry, Marie Elka Pangestu.
The Jakarta V.I.P. visitors also lavished praise on Bali's administration which, they said, achieves a level of public administration proficiency above the national average.
Boediono called on Bali to address the economic imbalances between various regions of Bali, an efforts in which he promised support from the central government in Jakarta.
Blue Bird Vows to Fights Back
Blue Bird Pledges not to Tolerate Threats to Conduct Inspections of Bali Taxis Bearing "Blue Bird" Emblems.
Bali Taxi or PT Praja Bali Transportasi, who operate a fleet of taxis under the "Blue Bird logo in Bali, have warned they will not silently suffer arbitrary moves made against their company.
Quoted in Kompas.com, the Company's promise to defend their rights follows an agreement last week between the Association of Bali Tourism Transport (PJWB) and island authorities to conduct organized raids against any vehicles in the Bali Taxi fleet displaying the popular "Blue Bird" branding.
The Public Relations Manager of PT Praja Bali Transportasi, Teguh Wijayanto, said that his company operates in compliance with the law by displaying the Bali Taxi identity on their car doors. Insisting that the "Blue Bird" branding on other parts of the taxis does not violate any law, he declared his company is prepared to bring to court anyone who illegally interferes with their operations.
A special judicial team recently reviewed taxi operations in Bali and declared the PT Praja Bali Transportasi operation was legal.
Governor Made Mangku Pastika used an appearance at the opening of the 61st World Real Estate Congress (FIABCI) to formally announce that Bali will host the Miss World Competition 2014.
Speaking at the FIABCI congress at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Nusa Dua, Pastika announced, "In 2014 the Miss World contest is going to be held in Bali."
Proudly pointing to the large number of international meetings scheduled for Bali, Pastika told his listeners that Bali is known internationally as "the island of love."
"Bali is known as the Island of Gods and Island of Peace and Democracy, now Bali is the island of Love. Julia Roberts, in the movie Eat, Pray and Love found true love in Bali," explained the governor.
Garuda Indonesia Introduces New Look for Cabin Crew.
Garuda Indonesia launched new uniform designs at a public gathering held in the Hotel Indonesia Ballroom on Thursday, May 27, 2010.
As reported by Kompas, the new in-flight costumes for stewardesses will be inspired by the traditional kebaya with blue lereng batik sarongs complemented by a blue or turquoise Kartini-stlyled kebaya for the upper torso. An additional costume style for the ladies includes orange lereng batik sarong with a matching orange Kebaya.
Male cabin-crew will sport grey suits, blue shirts, and branded neck-ties.
The new uniforms represent one step of an overall plan to earn a 5-star rating for what is termed the "Garuda Experience." The design team for the new uniforms included Josphone (Onin) Weeatie Komara, color consultant Irma Hardisurya, a former cabin crew member Dianti Poetranto, design consultant Ted Sulisto and Grace Purukan of Garuda.
The selection of batik motifs reflects the naming of batik as world heritage product by UNESCO in 2009.
Unfortunately, the need to rapidly produce sufficient new uniforms for 1,600 cabin crew means that the costumes will be ersatz batik, mass-produced in a modern textile factory and not the highly regarded hand-made batik for which Indonesia is famous.
Speaking at the "uniform launch," the CEO of Garuda, Emirsyah Satar, said the new outfits reflect the larger transformation taking place at the State-owned airline. Underlining this corporate transformation is Garuda's increasingly young fleet of aircraft, now averaging 8 years as compared to five years ago when the average age of a plane was 14 years.
Skytrax recently rated Garuda as a four-star carrier together with 26 other international carriers from the total of 210 reviewed.
Bright Skies Ahead
Emirsyah was enthusiastic in telling the audience, "on June 1 Garuda will return to Amsterdam." Other European destinations are planned as part of Garuda's European revival including, Frankfurt, Rome and London. Once more aircraft join the Garuda armada plans call for flights to the U.S.A.'s West Coast in 2013.
Shown on balidiscovery.com is Garuda's CEO Emirsyah Satar (middle) standing among a group of crewmembers modeling the in-flight costumes. (Photo: Kompas)
Reshuffles in Merpati Nusantara Management
Minister for State-Owned Enterprises Revamps the Management of Merpati Nusantara and National Ferry Service.
Bisnis.com reports that the Minister of State-Owned enterprises, Mustafa Abubakar, has announced major changes in the senior management of Merparti Nusantara Airlines and the Ferry Service for Rivers, Islands and Crossings (ASDP).
Bambang Bhakti, who was the CEO of Merpati, has been moved to the CEO role at ASDP, replacing Bambang Soerjanto. Meanwhile, the top-job at Marpati is being filled by Sardjono Jhony Tjitrokusumo, a former pilot for the airline.
Mustofa expressed his desire that the two CEOs will perform well and bring both State-Owned companies to improved commercial positions.
Prior to the latest shake-up, ASDP's directors were in disarray with the company's Chief Commissioner, Ahmad Sukuri, compelled to take control from Bambang Soerjanto.
The new line up at the company that overseas water-borne ferry services in Indonesia:
Bambang Bhakti, CEO
Fatah Setiawan Topobroto, Director of Finance
Rudi Meiyansyah, Director of Manpower and General Affairs
Sirajuddin Saini, Technical Director
Prasetyo Bhakti Utomo, Port Operations Director
Youlman Jamal, Director of Ferry Crossings
Merpati Nusantara Airline
The new CEO of Merpati, Sardjono Jhony Tjitrokusumo told the press that he faces major challenges to put the airline in a positive financial position. "Merpati's cash flow in May was very critical. My duty is find a way to return (the airline) to profitability. We will be operating more aircraft in order to achieve that goal," Tjitrokusomo explained.
The list of new managers appointed by the Minister to help turn Merpati around:
Sardjono Jhony Tjitrokusumo, CEO
Adi Gunawan, Assistant CEO
Wisudo, Technical Director
Asep Ekanugraha, Director of Operations
Tonny Aulila Achmad, Commercial Director
Farid Luthi, Finance and Administration Director
Vice-President Boediono Slept Here
Indonesian VP Boediono Chose Laguna Resort for an Overnight Stay in Bali.
While attending the 61st FIABCI World Real Estate Conference in Bali, Indonesia's Vice-President Boediono and Madame Herawati Boediono chose The Laguna Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, as their accommodation address.
Welcomed to the Resort by David Cuddon, General Manager of The Laguna, who was joined by members of the hotel's executive team who ushered the Boediono's through the VIP entrance and lounge.
"Parting was sweet sorrow" for the busy Indonesian Vice-Presidential party who, at check out, encountered the Resort's General Manager, Executives, Department Heads and selected members of the rank and file all dressed in resplendent traditional Balinese costumes.
Shown on Balidiscovery.com are pictures taken during the Indonesian Vice-President's Visit to The Laguna Luxury Collection Resort.
Royal Santrian Luxury Villas Hosts a Rainbow Beach Party to Welcome Bali's Newest Luxury Property.
The recently opened Royal Santrian Luxury Villas organized its "First Rainbow Beach Party" at its luxurious 2.5 hectare beachfront property on Saturday, May 29, 2010.
The resort's restaurants and public areas, together with the uniforms of service staff, were transformed in keeping with an Egyptian theme: Egyptian statuary, pyramids and service provided by staff dressed in costumes reminiscent of Pharaohs and Cleopatra.
The night of lavish luxury was in keeping with the superbly designed Resort of 3 Royal Villas and 19 Deluxe villas arranged around over-sized water features and lush gardens leading to an expansive white beach.
Guest attending the exclusive beach party enjoyed excellent food, copious drinks, fireworks and cabaret performance all staged around an Egyptian theme.
Was the party a success? It ended at 3 am. Need we say more?
Shown on balidiscovery.com are pictures from the "First Rainbow Beach Party."
Security Measures Beefed Up at Gilimanuk Harbor Prior to U.S. Presidential Visit to Bali.
In anticipation of the mid-June visit of U.S. President Barack Obama, members of Indonesia's elite anti-terrorist Densus 88 squad and other law enforcement agencies are stationed at the Gilimanuk ferry harbor connecting Bali to East Java.
Kompas.com contacted the head of the criminal division of the Jembrana police precinct, I Ketut Suparta, who confirmed that intensive screenings were being carried out at the port to prevent the entry to Bali of any dangerous materials and to narrow the opportunities available for those wishing to disturb public order, such as terrorists.
The combined force is inspecting every vehicle and car entering Bali via Gilimanuk, the main land-sea entry to Bali from Java.
Included in the combined forces team are officers from the Jembrana police precinct, mobile brigade officers (Brimob) from Bali's police headquarters and crack members of Densus 88 anti-terror squad.
As part of the screening process, bus passengers are being compelled to disembark and pass through separate gateway equipped with detection equipment. Following physical screening for metal and explosives, passengers must then present their personal identification to a team of inspectors.
Suparta told the press that, to date, no suspicious individuals or situations have been detected at the screening stations.
Enforcement officers also have side streets around the port under close surveillance, together with local boat traffic sailing between Java and Bali.
Bali is Bursting at the Seams
Bali's Governor: Island's Infrastructure Under Intense Strain.
Bali is drowning in its own popularity. Traffic jams, virtually unheard of 10 years ago, are an increasingly common facet of daily life on the island.
As reported by The Jakarta Globe, Bali's governor used a recent visit by Vice-President Boediono to ask for more funding to repair and supplement Bali's sagging road transportation system.
Pastika said: "The infrastructure we currently have in place is insufficient. Our concern is that one day Bali will cease to be a desirable destination, mainly because of the traffic jams, so resolving this problem must be a priority."
On the governor's shopping list of much-needed infrastructure programs:
A tourist port facility at Tanah Ampo in the East Bali regency of Karangasem.
A bridge link connecting Sanur to Tanjung Benoa over Serangan Island.
An overpass highway at the Dewi Ruci monument at Simpang Siur.
Bali's surging local population, dynamic growth in foreign tourist visitors and upsurge in domestic travelers who now represent nearly 58% of all arrivals are all putting the islands infrastructure systems under pressure. The seasonality of the tourism business and intermittent surges in traffic when major conferences come to Bali, are beginning to have a negative impact of the overall tourism experience in Bali.
Pastika continued: "We don't have natural resources such as oil, coal, gas or gold," Pastika said. "All we have are our human resources, culture and natural environment, which we need to preserve. Worsening traffic jams here will reflect poorly on Indonesia, so the central government needs to step in."
After hearing the governors plea for infrastructure assistance, Vice-President Boediono promised to take up the project list with the relevant ministers within the President's cabinet.
Indonesia's Public Works Minister, Djoko Kirmanto, said funding was scheduled by Jakarta for the Tanah Ampo port facility, spread over payments between now and 2011.
Kirmanto also promised that the Serangan bridge project and Simpang Siur overpass would be seriously examined by his office.
Cruise Ship Abandons East Bali Anchorages
Authorities Failure to Address Complaint of Insufficient Draft for Ships' Tender Operations in Karangasem Cause Cruise Ship to Shift Bali Operations to Benoa Harbor Anchorage.
Karangasem regency is expected to suffer a loss of Rp. 200 million (US$21,800) each month from its tourism economy due to a decision by Costa Cruise Lines to bypass anchoring at Labuan Amuk in favor of anchoring outside Benoa Harbor on the island's south.
The decision to relocate the Bali port-of-call for Costa Cruises was prompted by inadequate draft at the tendering dock used to embark and disembark passengers.
Cruise operators using the East Bali port have unsuccessfully lobbied for local authorities to dredge the approaches to the docks to prevent passenger tenders from running aground.
The Costa Allegra makes regular calls at Bali carrying an average 550 passengers per trip. Local tourism leaders in Karangasem estimate that each visit to the Labuan Amok port generates at least Rp. 200 million (US$21,800) in local tourism revenues.
A problem common to all ships calling on East Bali, the lack of sufficient water draft threatens the viability of future ships calls on East Bali. Meanwhile, local officials are unprepared to put a target date for dredging the tender approaches, saying the matter is still under technical review by consultants.
Bali New Zoning Laws in a Sate of Confusion
Bali's Regencies Resist Governor's Efforts to Bring Order and Regulation to the Island's Zoning Practice.
Although Bali has approved a new and comprehensive Provincial Zoning Plan (RTRWP), violations of the new rules are rife due to resistance by island officials to relinquish their personal power to grant exemptions or, at the very least, ensure the stated rules are selectively enforced.
Bali Post reports that the current sorry state of zoning affairs was recently tabled by a member of Karangasem regency's House of Representatives (DPRD), I Nyoman Sadra, who pointed to the refusal of Bali's Bupatis (Regents) and Mayors to submit to the new rules, preferring instead to work with the less specific status quo in which developers demands are more easily facilitated.
Sadra, a well-known community leader and environmental activist, cited the many violations in his home regency of Karangasem where an non-confirming hotel built at Bukit Mimba is threatened with non-completion. Other violations have occurred at Bukit Guman in the village of BugBug. According to Sandra, in the case of the large hotel project at Bukit Mimba, it appears that the regency's government has violated the local zoning laws by allowing the project to be built in a protect zone.
The recently approved RTRWP for Bali has made tourism development in Karangasem even more problematic. The implementation of the new rules is being resisted by the Regent. If the new zoning laws are, in the end, enforced, how will thee new rules address prohibitions against commercial structures within 2.5 kilometers of sacred temple sites? The new rules would also require the demolition of a large number of existing restaurants and hotels.
Some local administrators argue the 2.5 kilometer no build zone around religious temples and the 100 meter set back from the ocean's edge will leave Karangasem with little land with which to lure tourism investors.
The solution, according to Sadra, is for a complete halt to the building of hotels and restaurants in Karangasem. At the same time, the actual number of hotels and the number of tourist quests served by those hotels could to be accurately counted. If such a survey showed that demand is adequately served by the current supply of rooms, the local legislator thinks it's better to prevent any new projects from being built.
Sadra said it is mistaken to assume that every new hotel in Karangasem automatically results in an increase in the regency's tax revenues. Warned Sadra: "If the attractiveness of the regency has been destroyed through environmental degredation, the tourists will have gone."
Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go!
Two Foreign Nationals Facing Prison for Involvement in Bali Property Fraud.
Christopher James Forbes and Angus Knowles Jackson, accused on involvement in a US$195,000 fraudulent property deal are facing the possibility of 2.5 years in prison if prosecutors sentencing demands are met by the Denpasar Court.
Radar Bali says that the sentencing demands by prosecutors before the panel of judges on Thursday, May 27, 2010, declared that the two men had been proven to have jointly committed property fraud and, as such, should spend 2.5 years behind bars.
The prosecutor's case against the two men included a number of documents and the sworn statements of a group of witnesses.
The alleged crime took place in November 2007 when the two men, together with an Indonesian associate, Agus Setiawan Waworunto, offered a 24 are (2,400 square meters) parcel of land on Balangan Beach, Jimbaran, to a Russian national, Dmitry Chernikov. To finalize the deal, Chernikov transferred a 10% deposit on the land to the bank account of Waworunto at Bank Permata.
In response the two defendant created an order form in the name of Asean Estate and Investment that verified that land was for sale and without any encumbrances that would bar a final handover of the property. The subject parcel of land was, in fact, not available for sale due to its previous seizure by the Courts as part of a civil law dispute.
Radar Bali reports Agus Woworunto is sought a fugitive from the law by the Bali Police.
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