The monthly meeting was held on 18 February at the Restaurant Marino Ballena in Uvita. We had over 49 attendees – thank you, everyone, for the support! We also gained 10 new members during the meeting!!! Of special note was the large donation from the Guapil Homeowners Association. This was the second year that this HOA unanimously (100%) voted to support CAP with their yearly donation of $100 per every home and lot. Thank you Guapil HOA!
The meeting started with a review of the situation regarding the New Police Station for Uvita presented by Rogelio Barrantes from Association Desarrollo de Uvita. There is a substantial contribution of funds from a Spanish organization, JUDESUR, which is to be administered by ADI of Uvita. These funds are for construction purposes only; in the interim, the Fuerza have been housed in a private facility. Funds are needed to pay the rents while waiting for permissions to construct the new facility and CAP is being asked to contribute. CAP contributed $1050.00 last year along with other donations from local businesses in Uvita to cover the rent for year 2011. At this time there are no additional funds to cover rent for 2012.
A comment from the floor: Why not move the police to the Dominical facility during the interim period?
The CAP Fundraising Cruise on Royal Caribbean has been moved to 2-9 December. The cost will be $678 per person. For more information and registration, see www.springchicken.com or call Sandra Rogers at 8706-24-83.
In the Community News segment:
1. The Vice Consul for American Citizen Services at the San Jose Embassy visited the community and expressed a great appreciation for the efforts of CAP.
2. Richard Abrams (Coconut Grove) discussed some on-going efforts regarding the problem with truckers using “jake brakes”. There is a possibility of a protest (“huelga”) at the Dominical bridge that will stop traffic for some time: stay tuned for an alert.
3. There is a new Crime Report Form on the CAP web site: Check It Out!!!
4. There is new community organization that is focused on crimes committed against children: Fiel a Ti / TRU2U. One of their initial efforts will be a Social for youth ages 12-18 at the Refuge on 25 Feb from 6-9pm. Anyone interested in supporting Fiel a Ti should contact DeAun Michael, firstname.lastname@example.org, 2787-05-94 or Tracie Deming, email@example.com 8883-7126.
5. Supported by a significant private donation, CAP has initiated an upgrade to the Lights!Camera!Action! effort at the Dominical Bridge. We have constructed a bodega adjacent to the Police Station, installed 5 cameras and lights, and are in the process of doing an official hand-over to the police. It should be noted that of 9 people caught in the commission of a criminal act by CAP cameras, 8 are now in jail.
6. CAP has developed some warning signs that have been posted near many of the local beaches and throughout the area. The signs are meant to increase the Awareness of visitors to the potential of criminal activity in the area.
7. CAP is trying to negotiate with the authorities to have speed bumps located near Dominical and Uvita in an attempt to slow down the truckers who seem to ignore all the speed limit signs.
8. There was a report on recent criminal activity by Mike McGuiness. Of significance was the loss of unattended personal items and a recent upswing in credit card fraud. There was a recent CAP Bulletin on ways to protect your credit cards.
9. A new tower has been constructed on the Playa Dominical beach for the use of the Fuerza Publica.
10. We are going to add a page on the CAP web-site that will show Interpol’s “most wanted” people in Costa Rica.
11. Frank Walker gave an update to traffic laws, including a reduction in some of the fines associated with traffic violations. Of significance was a warning to never sign a traffic ticket, as such signature is an admission of guilt!! You have 5 days to appeal a ticket. Always carry your passport or a certified copy of the ID page and the page stamped with your most recent entry date.
12. 215 guns were stolen from the MOPT offices in San Jose, mostly new 9mm Glock. Of those some 60+ have been recovered.
13. We are considering expansion of the LCA effort with cameras in Uvita, Ojochal, Matapalo, Plantanillo, and Cortez.
14. CAP has started plans for a Security Guard program that would integrate the efforts of several guards hired by individual firms.
15. CAP is initiating a police appreciation program with certificates and dinners for those officers demonstrating some initiative or effort beyond that expected of their job.
Matt Kirsch finished the program with an excellent and informative presentation on some of the issues related to Home Security and how to best protect yourself. He started with some common Myths & Truths about various alternatives. Matt has also developed an extensive background on the cost, technical capability, and effectiveness of various protective measures such as cameras, Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) and motion sensors.
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