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Komplek Pertokoan
Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Tel:
++62 361 286 283

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++62 361 286 284

U.S.A. Fax:(toll free)
1-800-506-8633

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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #951 - 24 November 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


The Pause that Refreshes the World
Join Bali's Largest Meditation Event on September 11, 2011.

As the world remembers the solemn anniversary of the earth-shaping events that took place ten years ago, at sunset on the September 11, 2011, on the beach out the front of Petitenget Temple in Bali a unique gathering of different traditions and cultures will be held for a mass group meditation.

Called “The Bali Experiment” the mass meditation is presented by 1 Giant Mind - a global non-profit scientific research and education initiative to study the power of the collective mind.

Organizers say studies have revealed that when large groups of people come together to practice eyes closed silence, it has a significant positive impact on the environment and the community at large.

1 Giant Mind Co-Founder Jonni Pollard said: “The experience of sitting in silence with a large group of people from all walks of life is really something that everyone should experience once in their lives. It is really something very special. 1 Giant Mind is a wonderful catalyst for different groups, religions and cultures to come together and share in some thing meaningful that really uplifts the community. I urge everyone to come along and be a part of it.”

The Bali Experiment is a community awareness event building up to a global event to be held in September 2012.

All are invited to join what may be the largest mass eyes closed silence experience ever held in Bali. No meditation experience is necessary and everyone is invited.

For further information please [email-The Bali Experiment]  


      The Bali Experiment - Mass Community Group Meditation

                                 Sunday, September 11, 2011
                                 5:00 pm for Sunset Meditation

              at Beachfront outside Petitenget Temple - Seminyak, Bali


We Get Mail
Balidiscovery.com Readers Write In About Sarbagita Bus System, Smoking Bans, Survival of the Balinese Language and Traditional Markets

Our [Editorial: Sarbagita Bus System Lacks a Vision] elicited a chorus of comments from readers about Bali’s new bus system, including reactions from those who have actually “ridden the bus.”

· Tom Dwyer wrote to say:

“Personally I think the intention of developing mass transit in Bali is commendable. But like so much that's done here not enough thought and planning has gone into it. Lessons could easily be taken from so many other places with successful mass transit schemes like Singapore or even Bangkok. However, one is left to wonder if, once again, the ugly head of corruption is playing its usual part here.”

“Bali needs mass transit. With carnage on the highways, the deterioration of roads, and the mass explosion of private vehicles it will not take very long for this small island to become hopelessly gridlocked, as some already suggest it is. I hope the Sarbagita Bus System will become vital to transit in Bali, and I hope more public transportation alternatives will begin to come to fruition as well. In this time of global warming, environmental degradation and mass slaughter on Bali roads one might even conclude that it's a moral imperative for public transit to be the main means of transportation at some point in the future in Bali.”

“Personally I would like to advocate the greater use of bicycles as a means of transportation. So I hope that improving road safety and bicycle awareness among drivers will also be a part of the overall transportation plan in Bali. One can only hope!”


· Roger Kalhoefer in Bali said:

“It seems vision is not the only thing lacking for this bus “system”. With your story as a guide, who will be brave enough to board? Will it be out of business within 6 months? Who can fix it?”

· Marc Jacobs who works in the Island’s travel industry added:

“Are we being too harsh on Bali's new bus system?” That question can be answered by a ‘NO’, universally."

· Desley Keys shared her experience of riding on the Sarbagita Bus System:

“ 1) The buses are too big (high)!! Why not use buses the size of those that ply the Sanur/Ubud route? They travel packed with tourists heading in that direction. These new buses are like tourist buses with a compartment below the step for luggage??? As far as I can tell, there are no steps down to the ground which is why the bus stops are raised, many of the stops are unsightly and flimsy-looking pedestals.”

“ 2) For that matter, how do you get the luggage in the compartment if it is below the level of the bus stop itself? Passengers get on board and then the bus has to move away from the stop a few feet so the compartment can be opened?”

“3) The bus stop placement is ridiculous, some in the middle of nowhere. Why not have a bus stop in the Galleria Mall where you are guaranteed to find passengers? Or at the MacDonald's in Sanur? I can't imagine anyone walking to the stop (or waiting) out in the open in the elements come the rainy season.”

“I'm sure there must be a record of some sort of ‘study group’ from the House in JKT having gone overseas on a tour of various countries to assess their bus systems in order to be able to apply it to this country. Whoever was on that tour should be given a "F"! “

“It really is quite amazing to see how shoddy the planning and implementation for the system is. It would be interesting to know who is responsible for it.“

· Tami from Indonesia also share her Bali Bus experience:

“I used it the other day with members of my family of 5. We started from Hardy's in Nusa Dua and took the bus to the Matahari/DFS complex at Simpang Siur.”

“In Nusa Dua, our wait was only 7 minutes. The bus was clean, there were 9 other passengers. The driver was safe and the conductor was polite. Seats were comfortable and the AC worked very well.”

“On the return journey, the wait was 40 minutes - a bit too long. The bus was full when it stopped for us and there was 'standing room only' all the way to Nusa Dua – with over 40 people on the bus.”

“In fact, more than 10 people refused to board with us, as they could see they would be standing. They opted to wait for the next bus.”

“On the trip back to Nusa Dua the conductor stood at the front of the bus with the driver and made no attempt to collect our fares, until the bus stopped for us to step off. He was lazy and caused the bus to stop for longer than necessary, causing traffic to bank up behind.”

“We would use the system again. It appears more popular than the survey results I read.”

“A map/pamphlet needs to be produced showing all the stops. When we left DFS to find the bus, we had no idea where to find the closest bus stop”

“Keeping to schedule is probably the most important. If they cannot run on time, this will stop many people using the system as they will fear they will be 'late.’”

“Clarify the charge of Rp2500. Is this for children in school uniform (as some of the posters claim) or for children of school age?”

“We witness a charge of Rp3500 for a young boy about 8 years old - and presumed that possibly it was because he wasn't in a school uniform. That's ridiculous. Kids of school age (say 6 - 20) should pay the lesser price.”

“These buses are very visible on the main roads and therefore I would expect many road users (bikes and cars) will start to consider trying this transit system if it can gain a good reputation.”


· Charlotte writing from Indonesia had this to say:

“There is a complete lack of access to and from the bus station. How to reach the bus on the bypass? How to get from the bus from the bypass to my hotel - no taxi or any other transport service near a bus stop.”

· Kevin Stokes staying at the Jayakarta Residence Apartments offered the following:

“Boarding and exiting the Bus should be regarded as an EXRTEME SPORT. Having used the Bus 8 times, not once did the Driver pull up to the stop correctly, sometimes creating a gap of several meters between the bus and the bus halt leaving this over 60 year old disappointed.”

“The Bus Halt at the Galleria heading towards Kuta is the worst and the bus Driver blames the fact that a tree needs to be cut !?”

“After exiting one has to take their life in their hands attempting to cross the By Pass at the Monument to go to the Galeria Mall.”

“Management needs to go to Jogya or Solo or, even better, Jakarta for training.”

“I support the Buses but only for the Brave and Fit.”


[Tiang Sing Bisa Mebasa Bali!] our article on why the use of Balinese language may be endangered caused several readers to write in:

· Susanne Wagner a German married to a Balinese wrote:

“Bahasa Bali is a very precious language which reflects the Balinese culture. ALL parents should speak Bahasa Bali with their kids Bahasa Indonesia comes automatically anyhow. My husband speaks only Bahasa Bali with my daughter, although I don't understand it. I am proud that my daughter can speak Bahasa Bali! Many non-Hindus in Bali can speak Bahasa Bali, but are not brave enough to use it. Bahasa Bali should be spoken any day in all offices. The non=Hindu will quickly understand, I am sure. Except the foreigners like myself (sorry) won't understand.”

·Surya, a Balinese, took issue with the government officials’ analysis on the use of Balinese language in daily life:

“Do not judge we are not using Balinese language by knowing parents are not called ‘meme bape.’ I am using Balinese language in my daily routine.”

[Holy Smoke!] revealing that a recent survey showed 93% of the people in Bali support a smoking ban in public places in Bali earned some spirited responses:

· Lela said:

“Truly this is not what any country would want for their children, a DEATH sentence. Emphysema! Throat cancer, tongue cancer, lung cancer! REALLY? Educate the youth in your schools on the dangers of smoking! At the very least painful emphysema! A 2007 survey determined 24.9% of ten-year-old children smoked, a number that has increased to 31% among 10-year-olds in Bali by 2010. Children are your future, care for them."

· Kevin Bell took umbrage with the survey mentioned in the article:

“A survey conducted by the provincial government of Bali shows 93% of Bali's residents support the implementation and enforcement of non-smoking areas?”

“I wonder where they too k the survey, a girls primary school? Talk about being out of touch with reality!”


· Bruce Wyder added:

“I think it is wonderful that Bali is considering a smoking ban in Public places and religious areas. As a reformed smoker (5 packs a day), I am very aware of how my health has improved in the 15 years I have been smoke-free.”

[Saving Bali’s Traditional Markets]  - an article discussing a moratorium on new supermarkets and conveniences stores brought in the following letters:

· Marcel wrote to say:

“Apparently the consumer market in Bali has developed in such a way that customers now prefer the convenience store above a local "toko.” These stores are cleaner, well lit, have trained staff, a good variety of products, parking areas, price tags on their products and give receipts after payment. No wonder people are walking by the dirty, smelly, ‘tokos’ where the mice ran away when you enter. Governor, focus your perspective and don't be fooled by the complaints of no-tax-paying-shop-holders whose customers are lured away by the convenience store. It's just the understandable choice of the customer."

· Diana Darling, a well known local author said:

“One way to save traditional markets is not to tear them down and move them outside the village, as Ubud is planning to do, in order make room for YET MORE TOURISTS.”

[The Marginalization of Paradise] in which Balinese artist Nyoman Gunarsa sees the lack of Balinese architectural elements as a symptom of the decline of the supremacy of Balinese culture also earned letters:

· Gia Holman wrote: 

“I firmly believe that preserving all the beautiful Balinese culture, especially the spiritual heart of temples, is very important to this island and the Hindu religion.”

“I do, however, believe that it is inevitable that architecture is going to change. A classic example is the Oasis in Sanur. This spectacular design has now been bastardized by the inclusion of ‘Alang Alang’ and roof ornaments, which completely ruin the aesthetic of the building. No doubt that was done to comply with the IMB. There must be a compromise between new and traditional. Where that compromise begins and ends is the question. It is not enough for it to be tacked on at the end to comply. Maybe someone can establish an info centre to help people comply with traditional whilst having the scope to create their own dream home. All money donated for this service could go to help preserving the traditional buildings and building methods of this lovely island.

 


Seeing Bali on Two Wheels
Cycling Bali: Guidebook to Circumnavigating Bali Now on Sales

In 1991, Lash, an American woman, quit her conventional job in the U.S. and moved to Japan embarking on a life of world travel. Along the way, Lash has published three travel books on Bali: a general guidebook  to Bali, a guide to hiking in Bali and a cycling guide on how to circumnavigate Bali by bicycle.

Cycling Bali: Guidebook to Circumnavigating Bali by Bicycle

Chocked full of general travel information for first time travelers to Bali, CYCLING BALI: Guidebook to Circumnavigating Bali by Bicycle's real value as a guidebook is its unique focus and elaborate practical detail for those seeking to explore the island on two wheels.

Cycling Bali presents 15 manageable routes with individual segments of 25-75 km. Each segment is graded for difficulty and hazards with plenty of useful information on points of interest to enjoy along the way. Experienced cyclists can combine two or three segments in a single day while the less intense pedal pushers can enjoy Bali in shorter bits punctuated with stays at local hotels and inns along the way.

The book is available in print format on [Amazon]  or in pdf ebook format from [the Author’s website] .


A River Runs Through It
Baliís Current Water Crisis Can Be Solved by Using the Islandís River System

Bali is failing to optimize the use of its fresh water resources, adding further pressure to the current water shortage expected to go critical by 2015. According to Beritabali.com, Bali is suffering a shortfall in its fresh water supply equal to 1,500 liters every second.

The chairman of the Center of Study for Sustainable Development at Bali’s Udayana University, Dr. Dharma Putra blames the island's fresh water deficit on increased housing and the growing number of hotel rooms in Bali. In the face of this shortage, however, Puta says Bali has unexploited fresh water supplies flowing through the island and into the sea via the Tukad Unda and Tukad Penet.

“Just consider starting from the Telaga Waja, Unda, Petanu, Oos, Ayung, Terus Penet – all these waters are being thrown away. The only river being exploited is the Tukad (River) Badung via the estuary damn which could produce 900 liters of water per second for the Nusa Dua area but is currently only producing 300 liters of water every second due to infrastructure limitations,” explained Dr. Dharma Putra.

Dharma Putra is recommending to the provincial government of Bali to urgently add infrastructure capable of optimizing the water nature produces via the island’s rivers. Putra estimates that 1,800 liters per second are being loss from the Tukad Unda and 300 liters per second from the Tukad Penet.


Welcome to the Hotel Kerobokan
Baliís Kerobokan Prisonís Breakdown on Occupancy and ĎMarket Mixí

The current prisoner population for Bali’s Kerobokan prison stands at 1,056 convicts living in a facility originally constructed to house only 323 people. Overcrowding by 327% is due mainly to narcotic-related offenders and those awaiting trial on drug offenses.

More facts and figures for the Kerobokan prison from BeritaBali.com:

• Of the 1,056 people house in the prison, 361 (34%) are detained awaiting trial while the remaining 695 (66%) are convicted and serving sentences.

• There are currently 52 foreigners (5%) behind bars at the prison. 12 are awaiting trial and 40 are convicted and serving sentences.

• 9 (1%) of those housed at the prison are juveniles and 130 (12.3%) are female inmates.

• Narcotics charges are linked to 135 under detention awaiting trial and to 362 serving narcotics-related sentences. Combined, this totals 497 inmates or 47% of all those living at the prison.

• Theft cases represent 90 people under detention and 112 serving sentences. Combined theft cases constitute 19% of all inmates.

• Gambling cases account for 22 under detention and 30 under sentence for a combined 5% of all inmates.

• Homicide cases represent 3 people under detention and 37 people serving time. Combined inmates linked to murder represent 4% of those staying at the prison.
 


Is Your Hotel Sinking?
Saltwater Intrusion Threatens to Undermine Hotels on Baliís Beachfronts

Hotels along Bali’s beaches are in danger of collapse due to the disappearance and erosion of sub-surface soil. This condition is caused by the acute depletion of water reservoirs that creates large subterranean caverns and the danger of subsidence.

As reported by Beritabali.com, the chairman of the Center for Sustainable Development at Bali’s Udayana University, Dr. Dharma Putra, says the tendency of subsidence along Bali’s beaches is predicated on the intrusion of seawater into the water table. Saltwater intrusion is now estimated to have penetrated to a distance of 20-25 meters inland in some areas along Bali’s coastline. Putra warns that hotels in these areas could someday collapse due to growing caverns hidden underground.

Dr. Dharma Putra continued, “actually, in terms of construction, new hotels have already prepared for this contingency; it is the older hotels that are risk.” He went on to explain that hotels in Nusa Dua or on the Ungasan peninsula are relatively safe, built on limestone and coral. He contends the hotels most in danger of collapse are located in Kuta where the soil composition is mostly sand.

The respected academic flagged Kuta, Tanjung Benoa and Sanur as the areas where saltwater intrusion is most acute in Bali.


A Night with the Rothschildís
Five-Courses by Chef Jusman So and Six Wines by Winery Baron Edmond de Rothschild at Dava Restaurant Ė AYANA Resort & Spa, Bali Friday, September 23, 2011.

On Friday, September 23, 2011, Dava restaurant at the AYANA Resort and Spa Bali will introduce its newly appointed Chef de Cuisine Jusman So [See: In Bali: Just So!] via a five-course dinner paired with wines from the estates of the Baron Edmond de Rothschild.

Dating from the 1868 with the acquisition by James de Rothschild of Château-Lafite at Pauillac, the family name has become synonymous with prestigious wines that encompass Baron de Rothschild champagne, Château Clarke, Château Malmaison and Château Peyre-Lebade.

More recently, the family has expanded to the Bordeaux region through the acquisition of Château des Laurets in 2003. International in scope, the families name and winemaking skills are also now found in South Africa and Argentina.

Also attending the AYANA dinner on September 23rd will be the export manager from Baron Edmond de Rothschild, Florent Mougin, who will share insights on the paired wines and stories of the rich heritage of the de Rothschild clan.

Only 30 seats area available for this rare evening of food and wine priced at Rp. 1.5 million (US$170) covering pre-dinner cocktails, the five-course dinner and paired wines from Baron Edmond de Rothschild.

Reservations by [email]  

                               Baron Edmond de Rothschild
                                         Wine Dinner Menu
                                        23 Setpember 2011

                                        Cocktail Reception

Champagne Barons de Rothschild Brut NV


Tasting Notes: Bubbles: Fine to medium sized, slow pace, sparse - Nose: Very yeasty, sweet brioche, little fruit (sweet red apple). Palate: Creamy with sporadic fizz. The fizz tends to disappear quickly. Good fruit intensity with some sweet apple and spicy pear. Yeasty and mineral. Good finish.

                                           Dinner Amicale

                                       Yellow Tail King Fish
          Carpaccio of yellow tail king fish with pickled fennel and
                  oven-dried orange, Avruga caviar with fresh dill
                                       and parmesan foam


Champagne Barons de Rothschild Blanc de Blancs NV

Tasting Notes: 100% Chardonnay from the heart of Côte des Blancs Green gold color. White fruit aromas, with notes of exotic fruits typical of the Chardonnay grapes. Persistent in the mouth; a subtle balanced wine between power and freshness.

                                                 ~~~~~

                                              Foie Gras
          Pressed confit of foie gras with caramelized apples
       and duck rillette, beet root marmalade and walnut tuile


Château des Laurets 2008 Puisseguin Saint Emilion, Bordeaux

Tasting Notes: A lovely, well-made, richly fruity St.-Emilion revealing notes of black currants, sweet cherries, roasted herbs, and loamy soil.

                                                 ~~~~~

                                           Barramundi
            Barramundi fillet topped with prawn butter and
 roasted baby zucchinistuffed with lobster ragout and sauce Nantua


Château Malmaison, Baronne Nadine de Rothschild 2007Moulis, Bordeaux

Tasting Notes: Displays plum skin and cedar on the nose, with floral notes. Medium-bodied, with chewy tannins and a medium finish.

                                               ~~~~~

                                       Beef Short Ribs
       Twice-cooked beef short ribs crusted with onion confit
                    and bone marrow, celery root puree with
                 mushroom risotto and roasted chanterelles


Château Clarke, Baron Edmond de Rothschild 2006 Listrac, Bordeaux

Tasting Notes: Sweet plum, cassis, violets, dusty tobacco. Fruit depth and vanilla spice. Good balance and texture. Plum, cassis and toasty oak.

                                              ~~~~~

                                   Strawberry Soufflé
    Strawberry soufflé and compote with champagne sabayon,
                 lemon scented cream cheese ice-cream

Champagne Barons de Rothschild Rose NV

Tasting Notes: Beautifully made on a pale rose Champagne color with hints of salmon, with delicate red fruit aromas. In the mouth it is silky with smooth refinement and good length on the finish thanks to its Chardonnay structure
 


Bali at the Sidelines
Legendary AC Milan Football Club Holidays in Bali Prior to Friendly Match in Jakarta for Disaster Relief

The legendary AC Milan Football Club arrived in Bali on Thursday, September 1, 2011, leading up to an exhibition match scheduled between AC Milan Glories and the Indonesian All Star Legends.

Among the 22 AC Milan Stars who arrived in Bali for a stay at the Westin Resort  Nusa Dua were Alessandro Costacurta, Daniele Masaro, Nelson Dida, Franco Baressi, George Weah and Marcos Cafu.

Hundreds of AC Milan fans were on hand at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport at 5:30 pm on Thursday to welcome team members who will spend two days in Bali before leaving the island on Saturday for their Sunday charity match in Jakarta at the Gelora Bung Karno Senyan Stadium.

Press Conference

On Friday, September 2, 2011 a press conference was held at the Temple Garden, Westin Resort Nusa Dua Bali.

The AC Milan Glorie’s Captain Franco Baressi with Commercial Director Mauro Tavula told the press that the team was thrilled to finally arrive in Indonesia for the short vacation in Bali before heading to Jakarta for the 2nd leg of the “Asia Disaster Relief Tour – 2011.

"The AC Milan team visit in Bali prior to Jakarta is to allow the team to relax after the 1st Match on the tour in Japan," said Alan Solow, CEO of PT Asia Sport Development (ASD). Solow added,“with the football season getting underway in Italy, after finishing the game on September 4th.

Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali was the official hotel chosen by ASD for AC Milan Glories in Bali for the short 3-day vacation in Bali.

AC Milan

Founded in 1899, AC Milan is considered among the world’s most successful football clubs having won 18 UEFA and FIFA titles. Winners of the FIFA World Cup once and the International Cup three time, AC Milan has also won the European Cup/Champions League seven times. AC Milan has won the UEFA Super Cup a record give times.


Allís Well That Ends Well
Bali Government Challenged to Uncover Large Number of Illegal Water Wells Depleting the Islandís Water Reserves.

The Bali provincial government is being urged to undertake a detailed survey of water wells bored by local businesses and hotels in Bali. The need for the new survey, according to Beritabali.com, is motivated by the widely held assumption that many Bali business are lying to the government on the actual existence of local wells and the amount of ground water consumed.

The director of the Winsu Foundation, Made Suarnatha, told the press that an careful examination of the star status of a hotel or the type of business occupying a specific location should make it impossible for these businesses to misrepresent to the government their actual water consumption from concealed well holes.

“We certainly will know that a ‘melati class’ hotel with so many rooms, must be using a set amount of water; five-star hotels are using so much – by using this method we can extrapolate the amount of water consumption. This calculation is what’s missing, so that a hotel reports if has only one well when in fact it has three hidden wells. Through  extrapolations such as these  we will know if there are hidden wells,” explained Suarnatha.

Suarnatha also characterized that the current policy of the government of Bali to increase the tax paid for ground water use by 1,000% as very difficult to implement. Such a policy, he believes, will cause hotels and companies to undertake even greater efforts to conceal ground water wells on their properties.


Welcome Back Chef Schuster!
The Legian, Bali Welcomes Back Chef Dorin Schuster for Another Tour of Duty.

Dorin Schuster has returned to the kitchens of The Legian, Bali for a third tour of duty. Schuster’s first assignment with the resort was as Executive Chef in the early 2000s.

Dorins first entered the kitchen as an apprentice at the age of 18 in a small family-run hotel in South Germany. Experience and scholarship led to eventual certification as a “Master Chef” by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Augsburg.

Credentials in hand, he then spent several years working in his native Germany, earning his stripes and a culinary reputation while working at establishments such as Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Munich, Landhotel Illereichen and the legendary Adlon Hotel in Berlin.

Asia beckoned and Chef Schuster set out for Bali working for 3 years as the Executive Chef at The Legian and 2 years at the Financial Club in Jakarta before opening Iggy’s in Singapore 2004.

Chef Dorin has worked together with an impressive list of legendary Chefs such as Eckard Witzigmann, Tetsuya Wakuda, Luke Mangan, Eberhard Aspacher, Peter Dörner and Karlheinz Hauser. He has cooked for then-U.S. President George Bush, German President Roman Herzog, Steven Spielberg and Michael Jackson.

Now back for a third engagement, Schuster worked previously at The Legian Bali in 2008, departed the island briefly and is now back again as Executive Chef at one of the Island’s most renowned dining rooms.

When asked about his culinary philosophy, Schuster's answer is simple: Good ingredients, simple preparation and precise execution.


That Old Devil Moon
Indonesia Postpones Islamic New Year Celebrations for One Day While Astronomers Go in Search of a Crescent Moon.

In an 11th hour move late on the afternoon of Monday, August 29, 2011, the government of Indonesia declared that the fasting month of Ramadan scheduled to end on that date was to be suddenly extended for an additional day, moving the “official” start of the Islamic New Year – the first day of the month of Syawal from Tuesday, August 30th to Wednesday, August 31, 2011.

The “age” of a New Moon is of paramount importance to Moslems. While modern technology allows precise calculations of the start of a new month, many Islamic scholars insist on ancient visual methods of New Moon confirmation that are much less precisely predictable and subject to the vagaries of weather. The young crescent moon that marks the start of a new month, or in this case the new year, is very low in the sky making the thin crescent difficult to sight in the twilight sky during the first two days of its cycle. Most observers will, however, be able to observe the lunar crescent within one day of the New Moon, weather permitting.

Orthodox Islamic teachings dictate that the new moon must be visible to the unaided eye.

Because of the difficulties in seeing the new moon of the month of Syawal marking the start of the Islamic year 1432 Hijrah, a debate broke out among various Islamic grouos in Indonesian resulting in the last minute postponement of the New Year.

The postponement was declared after hearing testimony from an expert astronomer from the Ministry of Religion. The expert, Cecep Nurwendaya, told the August 29th session, chaired by the Minister of Religion and televised live to the nation, that the exact position of the moon needed to declare the start of the New Year was still uncertain. Referring to 32 different observation points employed to fix the phase and position of the moon observers were unable to absolutely verify the 2% elevation of the New Moon needed to confidently declare the New Year had arrived.

Citing overcast conditions at some observation points, the experts said it was indeed possible that the correct face and position of the moon for the commencement of the New Year was “highly likely” or “more likely” to occur on Wednesday, August 31, 2011.

Prior to the convening of the meeting, the second largest Islamic organization in Indonesia – Muhammadiyah – had earlier set the New Year day for Tuesday, August 30, 2011.

Upon reconsideration of the lack of firm sightings of the New Moon, Islamic scholars from outside the Muahammadiyah movement argued that earlier calculations and the timings used in neighboring countries, such as Singapore and Malaysia, were wrong and it would be best if Indonesian Moslems extended their fast for one more day and celebrated the New Year on Wednesday, August 31, 2011.

While the government acceded to the request of a date change the Muhammadiyah members stuck to their original and widely accepted calculation celebrating New Year on Tuesday, August 30th.


O Lord Wonít Buy Me a Mercedes Benz?
Governor Wins Legal Battle for Control of Taman Festival Complex in Legal Battle with Mercedes Benz Mogul Hartono.

A prolonged legal battle between the provincial government of Bali and an Indonesian businessman over the title to the defunct Bali Taman Festival project may finally be coming to a conclusion.

Radar Bali reports that a legal appeal brought by Hari Boedihartono (Hartono) against the governor of Bali for control of the 9.5 hectare site near Padang Galak in Sanur has been won by the Governor. Hartono is the owner of the local Mercedes Benz dealership and a hotel property in Kuta.

During the administration of Ida Bagus Oka, the province entered into a joint-venture with Indonesian businessmanand timber tycoon Bambang Pengestu for a proposed US$100 million entertainment complex near Sanur – Taman Festival Bali. The soft opening in 1997 gave visitors a glimpse of a promised complex comprised of an amusement park, dining venues, a mini-brewery, animal exhibits, outside performance stage and a faux volcano rigged to explode every night at 7:00 p.m..

The park, however, eventually went bankrupt and closed its doors with the developer unable to complete the construction. In the intervening years the park has fallen into adject neglect and disrepair.

Apparently, Pangestu pledged the Taman Festival Bali Developer land as collateral with a bank that in turn sold the lease to Hartono who has been aggressvely trying to take possession of the valuable coastal land ever since. The province of Bali, however, has declared the lease agreement non-valid by virtue of Pangestu’s failure to deliver on his obligation to build the promised park and the fact that the land was, in any case, only leased by the province and never deeded to Pangestu. Bali’s provincial authorities maintain that Pangestu's pledging of land he did now own to a bank was not legal.

An initial suit over control and ownership of the land before the Surabaya courts was won by Bali. Hartono’s efforts to appeal that decision also ended in failure with Bali’s rights over the land being reaffirmed by the Jakarta appellate court.

Based on the courts’ decisions, the governor’s office is now taking the necessary steps with the State Land Agency (BPN) to assume control of the land,

Related Article

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Forever Strangers in Paradise?
Baliís Sanglah Hospital Morgue Now Holding 19 Unidentified Bodies Believed to Be Tourist Visitors.

Bali Post reports that 19 unclaimed and unidentified bodies, believed to be foreign tourists, are stored in the morgue of Bali Sanglah General Hospital.

Dr. Ida Bagus Putu Alit, the head of the Forensic Section at Sanglah said the 19 John and Jane Doe's have accumulated at his facility between July 19 and September 1, 2011 with no friends or family members coming to the hospital to identify the remains or claim them for final disposition.

The latest body to enter the facility did so on August 30, 2011. She was a woman, identified only as “Mrs. X,” found in the Hotel Rita on Jalan Popies No. I in Kuta. The woman had been dead in the hotel for between 18-24 hours before being discovered by hotel staff. The woman is believed to be between 40-45 years of age, black skinned, 168 centimeters tall and weighing 119 kilograms.

An examination of the woman’s body indicates she had a medical history that included a caesarian birth procedure.

An autopsy of the mystery woman’s body also recovered 82 condom capsules of narcotics containing methamphetamine. NusaBali reports that the weight of the drugs found in the stomach of the woman totalled 1.2 kilograms leading police to conclude the woman was acting as a “mule” for a drug syndicate.

If no one clams the remains of the unidentified dead authorities will preserve photographs and physical evidence for future reference before eventually sending the bodies for cremation at Mumbal, South Bali.


Baliís Deadly Love Affair with Motorcycles
300 People Die in Traffic Mishaps in the first Three Months of 2011. Most Traffic Deaths Motorcycle-Related

Data from the Transportation, Information and Communication Service show a low level of safety awareness among motor vehicle operators in Bali.

Beritabali.com reports that the chief of the Service, Made Santha, points to the rising number of traffic accidents, with 300 traffic fatalities recorded in Bali during the first three months of 2011, as proof of widespread disregard for safety.

Most of Bali’s traffic fatalities involve motorcyclists. Santha said: “Frequently the public ignore safe practice. In Bali alone, the latest data shows 300 people died needlessly driving private vehicles, primarily motorbikes. Please remind people, that transportation by motorcycles is no guarantee of personal safety.”

Even more concerning, according to Santha, is the misuse of motorcycles for the transportation of goods. He emphasized that motorcycles are only designed for travel over short distances with a maximum of two passengers.

Nationwide, the Ministry of Transportation records 30,000 people lose their lives each year in Indonesia while operating motorbikes. Worldwide 1.5 million people die each year as the results of motorcycle mishaps.

Related Article

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Sarbagtia Bus System
More Information on Bali Sarbagita Bus System including a Route Map.

From a variety of sources, Balidiscovery.com has endeavored to collect additional information on the new Sarbagita Bus System that commenced operations in mid August 2011.


• Shown on balidiscovery.com is a route map showing the route served and the location of bus halts.

• The bus system operates daily from 5:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. covering a route system from Batubulan to Nusa Dua.

• The provincial government of Bali has allocated Rp. 5.5 billion (US$625,000) to cover the operational expenses of the new bus system.

• The cost of a one-way fare for an adult passenger is uniformly Rp. 3,500 (US$0.40) and Rp. 2,500 (US$0.28) for students. By some reports, only student wearing school uniforms are provided the lower student fare.

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[We Get Mail]

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[On Board for the Magical Mystery Tour]
 



Welcome to Visit, But Please Donít Stay
Authorities at Baliís Main Seaports working to Control Traditional Influx of New Residents After the Lebaran Holidays.

Waves of people returning from the Lebaran holidays and “newcomer” aspiring  residency on the island  have been arriving in Bali since Saturday, September 3, 2011.

Both vehicles and passengers stood in growing lines at inspection points the Gilimanuk entry port for the Java ferry. Representatives of the Population Service (Dinas Kependudukan), local enforcement authorities from Jembrana (Satpol PP) and members of the armed forces were manning checkpoints to review identity papers.

During a single day, a total 29 people were found in violation of local residency rules for Bali. 14 were holding expired identity cards (KTP) and 15 had no KTP at all to show officials. 16 of the 29 violators were refused entry and placed back on board the boat headed to Java.

Meanwhile, on Bali’s eastern ferry approach at Padang Bai, a similar combined enforcement force was busily checking the identity papers of passengers disembarking from Lombok.

Quoted in Bali Post, the chief of the police sector at the port of Padang Bai, AKP Dewa Ketut Nila Candra, said, “We are strictly checking to prevent people from entering Bali with unclear personal identities.” He said that most violations regarding identity papers were minor infractions, the inspections would continue to keep “undesirables” from entering Bali.

Candra said that in the first two days of inspections only two violations were discovered at the Padang Bai checkpoint. He said most people failing to present ID cards claim they lost their card to a pickpocket while traveling to Bali while others straightforwardly admit they have no KTP to show.

Saying whatever the reason given for not having a KTP, violators would be returned to Lembar (Lombok) on the next ferry.

Police also had smaller traditional ports used by local boats under intelligence surveillance to close opportunities for people trying to smuggle themselves into Bali.


Stop Over-Exploiting Bali's Environment
Jakarta Post Article Offers a Wake-Up Call Reminding that the Same Tourism that Has Made Bali Famous Carries with it the Seeds of the Islandís Decline

A recent article in The Jakarta Post did a masterful job of summarizing how Bali is suffering from the excesses of its own success. That article [“Bali Must Stop Over-Exploiting Environment for Tourism: Activists”]  lays the blame for the ongoing degradation of Bali’s natural environment on the current tourism boom; the conversion of agricultural lands to other pursuits; the over -exploitation of water resources ;and a general lack of concern by hotels and tour operators in taking a proactive role in saving Bali for future generations.

The succinct article that's well worth the read, quotes a number of environmental activists on topics ranging from overpopulation, land usage, water resource depletion and waste disposal

Following the link above to read the article.


Murder Mystery in Bali
Denpost: Bali Police Have Long List of Unsolved Major Murder Cases.

Denpost reports that the Bali police have at least 9 major homicide cases that remain open and unsolved on their books.

Among the major recent murder cases that remain unresolved:

• The July 2009 murder of a Surabaya artists Septiawan, also known as “Iwa,” at his place of residence on Jalan Nusa Kambangan in West Denpasar remains unsolved despite earlier police reports that suspected the homicide was committed by a close friend.

• The November 9, 2009 death of Candra and Suparmi, employees of the Titiles meat processing company, who were both poisoned. Police have supposedly tied the deaths to an employee of the company. However, no arrests has been made in the case.

• Also unresolved is the July 14, 2010, brutal attack by a street gang at the Red Room Bar in Kuta in front a room full of customers that left one security guard badly injured and another, Bagus Alit Edi Sastrawan, dead. Police say they know the man guilty of the murder but, due to a lack of funds, are unable to arrest the man ssaid to be hiding in Australia.

• The September 28, 2010 murder of 38-year-old Jefri Sembiring whose nude body was found hastily buried next to his home a plant nursery on Jalan Raya Kuta. Police have issued a long-standing “wanted” warrant for a man identified as "Selamet" also know as "Arifin Hongkong" (30), an employee of Sembiring, but have yet to make an arrest in the case.

• The October 5, 2010 death of Hartoyo (38), a Ceramic salesman, who had his throat slit at his shop on Jalan Ngurah Rai Bypass in Kuta and died 2 days later at a local hospital. No arrest has been made in the case.

• The beating death and robbery of 46-year-old Luciana Burgess in her Umalas home on January 19. 2011 remains unsolved.

• The discovery on May 19, 2011 of the body of Marisinto Kariano (40) in the mangrove swamps of Serangan island in South Denpasar has not led to any suspects.

• No arrest has been made, despite the police issuing an arrest warrant for a man called "Mat Soleh," in connection with the July 2011 murder of a construction project supervisor, Hery Fauzi (40), at a residence on Jalan Segera Madu I, Kedonganan.

• A July 24, 2011 fight between youth gangs on Jalan Mahendrradatta in Denpasar resulted in the death of two boys from Banyuwangi – Abdul Rochim (22) and Gigih Prasetyo (23). Although there were witnesses to the altercation that led to the deaths and contact with other youths also injured in the fight, no arrests have been made by police.


TNI-AU and RAAF in Joint Exercise over Bali
'Elang Ausindo 2011' Deploys Royal Australian Air Force and Indonesian Air Force Fighter Jets in Combat Simulations from a Base at Baliís Ngurah Rai Airport.

The Indonesian and Australian Air Forces are undertaking joint air exercises based from Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport September 5-10, 2011.

Code-named “Elang Ausindo 2011” the joint exercises are designed to enhance the performance of fighter aircraft and crews of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU).

The Air Commander for the Ngurah Rai Air Sector, Lt. Colonel Jumarto, told the press that TNI-AU undertakes regular joint exercises with other countries, including Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and the U.S.A..

The Australian flyers are led by Mel Hupfield, Commander Air Combat Group, and is comprised of eight F18 Hornets supported by a Globemaster (C17) and two Hercules C130s. Meanwhile, the Indonesian flyers, led by Colonel Emir Panji, have six F16s with two Hercules C130s in a support role.

In addition to air exercise simulations the two countries will give groups of local students a chance to personally view the aircraft of the two squadrons.


When Death is Hard to Swallow
Bali Police Identify Dead Drug ďMuleĒ Found in Kuta Hotel as an Ugandan National

Police have tentatively identified the woman found dead in the Hotel Rita on Jalan Popies I in Kuta [See: Forever Strangers in Paradise?]  as a 41-year-old Ugandan, Pheobe Annet.

An autopsy of the woman’s body, found lifeless in her room at the hotel, revealed more than one kilogram of methamphetamines concealed in her stomach.

Police know the woman flew from Kenya to Doha, Qatar on August 27, 2011 on Qatar Airways. She then flew on QE638 from Doha to Denpasar arriving on August 28, 2011.

She obtained a 15-day single entry visa issued in Kampala, Uganda on August 3, 2011 by the Honorary Consul for Indonesia,

Forensic doctors and police now suspect the woman may have died of an accidental overdose when one of the capsules carried within her digestive tract leaked its contents.

The autopsy performed at Bali's Sanglah Hospital uncovered within the woman's gastro-intestinal system 1.119 kilograms of methamphetamine tablets crammed into protective condoms.


 
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Bali Update #597
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Bali Update #586
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Bali Update #584
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Bali Update #566
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Bali Update #558
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Bali Update #557
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Bali Update #556
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Bali Update #555
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Bali Update #554
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Bali Update #553
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Bali Update #552
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Bali Update #551
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Bali Update #550
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Bali Update #549
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Bali Update #548
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Bali Update #547
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Bali Update #546
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Bali Update #545
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Bali Update #544
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Bali Update #543
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Bali Update #542
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Bali Update #541
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Bali Update #540
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Bali Update #535
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Bali Update #532
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Bali Update #531
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Bali Update #529
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Bali Update #528
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Bali Update #527
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Bali Update #526
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Bali Update #525
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Bali Update #523
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Bali Update #522
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Bali Update #520
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Bali Update #519
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Bali Update #518
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Bali Update #516
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Bali Update #515
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Bali Update #514
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Bali Update #513
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Bali Update #512
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Bali Update #510
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Bali Update #509
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Bali Update #508
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Bali Update #507
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Bali Update #506
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