Echoes of Bali’s Past
Mekar Bhuana Performs Ancient Balinese Music at Bali Arts Festival on Tuesday, July 9, 2013
As part of the Bali Arts Festivals’ month-long program of cultural and arts performances, Mekar Bhuana Center will present a unique performance of previously extinct Balinese music at the Ayodya Stage, Taman Budaya (Bali Arts Center) in downtown Denpasar on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 2:00 pm.
Mekar Bhuana Center was established in 2000 as a division of the Selonding Bali Foundation by New Zealand ethnomusicologist Vaughan Hatch, and dance instructor Putu Evie Suyadnyani. Based in Kertalangu, Denpasar, Mekar Bhuana specializes in Balinese court, archaic gamelan and dance art forms - specifically semara pagulingan, semara patangian (pelegongan), semara pandirian (bebarongan), selonding and gender wayang.
The Center’s primary aim is to create a repository of rare and nearly extinct Balinese music and dance. Currently, there is no such artistic archive exists in Indonesia.
In preparation for their July 9th performance, Mekar Bhuana’s team of 33 musicians has reconstructed five pieces of once extinct seven-tone semara pagulingan court music from four different villages in Denpasar. Four of these pieces have been studied from vintage recordings or research documentation, and one has been transferred from the aural memory of an 84-year-old man from Kaliungu Kelod. Believed to the last living musician familiar with this piece of music, this is the first time that a reconstruction of this kind has been successfully carried out.
Never before has the transfer of music been attempted in this manner. The Mekar Bhuana’s team - under the guidance of founder Vaughan Hatch, Pagulingan style expert Pagan Kelod Semara, I Made Sumara, and musical coach and senior lecturer Wayan Suweca - has arranged this piece of music transcribing it to be played by a large bronze court orchestra.
Entrance to the 2:00 pm performance at the Bali Arts Center is free of charge, but it is recommended to arrive by 1:00 pm in order to secure a seat.
Maybe Next Year
Bali Toll Road Managers Given One Year to Remove Temporary Access Roads Built Over Mangrove Forest Wetlands
The Jakarta Post reports that PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol – the builder and operator of Bali'z new toll road has been given a one-year period in which to restore wetlands and mangrove areas disturbed in the construction process of the 12.7-kilometer road suspended over Benoa Bay.
Nyoman Sujaya who heads the Bali Environmental Agency said: “We hope that the company finishes the rehabilitation work earlier than the timeframe. The project’s environmental impact analysis (AMDAL) stipulates that the company has a maximum of one year to rehabilitate any environmental damage caused by the project,”
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono schedules the road for formal inauguration on July 13, 2013
Original plans to carefully preserve and protect the existing mangrove forest by constructing the elevated roadway by using floating pontoons was quickly abandoned when water depths were found to be too shallow. When contractors began building access roads made of limestone through the wetlands environmentalists protested that irreversible damage was being inflicted on the ecologically-critical mangrove that buffers Bali’s southern shoreline.
The builders then modified the original environmental impact study for the project, promising to remove all the access roads and return water flows through and past the 34,000 concrete pillars installed to support the roadway as part of the construction process.
Meanwhile, PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol insists it will keep its promise and that dredging to remove the temporary roadways has already begun.
Two Will Get You Four
Appeal Court Doubles the Prison Penalty Imposed on Former North Bali Regent and His Subordinate
The Bali High Court has rejected an appeal of the 2-year prison sentence given to the former Regent of Buleleng in North Bali for corruption of land and building taxes amounting to Rp. 1.36 billion (US$136,000) during the periods of 2002-2007 and 2007-2012.
In reviewing the original two-year sentence handed down to former-regenct Putu Bagianda, the Court determined that sentence was too lenient and imposed an additional 2-years behind bars. The Court also doubled the original sentence of the chief of the region’s revenue department (Kadispenda), Nyoman Pastika, from 1 year to 2.
The decision was announced by the Court on Thursday, July 4, 2013. A spokesman for the Court told Nusa Bali: “The appeal resulted in longer sentences for both of the convicted corruptors, a fact that we have advised to the Singaraja Prosecutors Office."
In addition a doubling of the time to be served behind bars by both men, the Court increased the fine to be paid by Bagianda from Rp. 150 million to Rp. 200 million (US$20,000). Failure to pay the fine will result in an additional six months added to his prison sentence.
The Court also upheld the lower Court’s decision that Bagianda must reimburse the state in Rp. 574.71 million (US$57,471) in State funds lost due to Bagianda’s crimes. Failure to make restitution will cause the personal assets of the former Regent to be seized and sold at auction. If the proceeds from the State Auction are insufficient to pay court-ordered restitution another 6 months will be added to the jail sentence.
Nyoman Pastika, who served as an assistant to Bagianda, saw his prison sentence increase from 1 year to 2 years.
The Higher Court found the original sentences “too light” given the losses suffered by the State due from the defendants’ corruption. Pastika’s was also ordered to pay a fine of Rp. 100 million (US$10,000) and reimburse the state Rp. 29.9 million (US$2,900) for losses he incurred.
State Prosecutors in Singaraja,who felt the original punishments handed down by the lower court on March 5, 2013, were inadequate to the crime, filed the appeal against the original sentence.
Bagianda, former Regent of Buleleng, entered prison in Singaraja on September 3, 2012, just two months after ending his second term as the region’s chief executive. Pastika, his asistant, began serving his sentence on August 16, 2012.
Watch Out for the Gusts, Gusti!
Bali’s New Toll Way to Be Equipped with Wind Speed Detectors
Bali’s new 12.7-kilometer long toll way scheduled to open in mid-July 2013 will be equipped with wind speed monitoring equipment.
The monitor have been installed to allow PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol, the roadway’s operators, to close the road to vehicular traffic whenever winds are determined to be a threat to safety.
The CEO of PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol, Akhmad Tito Karim, told Seputarbali.com that the main use of the wind-speed detectors would be to protect motorcyclists who could be at risk in a high wind situation.
“We will selectively open and close the road, primarily for motorcycle riders. The motorcycle lanes are completely separated from the main road. The width of each motorcycle land is 3.2 meters. We will also deploy patrols on the road,” said Tito.
The Road to Profitability
Bali’s First Toll Road Aiming for Profitability Only After 10 Years of Operations
The CEO of PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol, Akhmad Tito Karim, told Seputarbali.com that Bali’s first toll road is only projected to turn a profit after 10 years of operations.
Tito said his company, who operated the Bali toll road, hoped that Bali’s newest highway would benefit the Island’s economy that has been stymied as of late due to severe traffic congestions. He called on the Balinese to join in safeguarding the toll way, adding: “both the provincial government of Bali and the regency of Badung are investors. Both have shareholdings of 8 percent and have invested Rp. 100 billion.”
Tito explained how private investors do not find investing in toll roads sufficiently attractive. The new toll road in Bali is expected to only become profitable after 10 years of operation.
He continued, explaining that other factors could delay the project’s eventual profitability, including a failure to achieve the targeted 40,000 vehicles passing over the road every day.
Royal Treatment on Bali’s East Coast
Royal Water Park at Tirta Gangga Offers – a Pause that Refreshes While Touring Bali’s Northeast
Tirta Gangga, the water palace owned by the royal household of Karangasem, is located 83 kilometers northeast of Bali’s capital of Denpasar and 6 kilometers north of Amlapura, the capital of the regency of Karangasem.
Beritabali.com reports that the complex was built in 1948, in the years following the end of World War II, on the initiative of the then king of Karangasem, Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem, as a place of rest and relaxation for his family.
Largely leveled by an eruption of Mt. Agung in 1963, the gardens have been lovingly restored to their original glory.
Built on the foothills of Bali’s sacred Mount Agung, the Tirta Gangga Water Palace offers both a cooler locale and panoramic views across verdant rice terraces to the Indian Ocean in the distance.
The architecture of the water garden blends both Balinese and Chinese styles. Prior to the building of the water palace, the location was known as for its cool running waters that area residents believe were sacred, capable of being both physically and spiritually regenerative.
“Tirta” in ancient Sanskrit mean “water” while “Gangga” is linked to the sacred Ganges river of India. Like its namesake, Tirta Gangga viewed as a source of holy water by Balinese Hindus and its waters are used for holy ceremonies at surrounding temples. In keeping with tradition, sacred water for ritual purposes must always be takes directly from the source, necessitating a hike through the nearby jungle.
Upon entering Tirta Gangga, visitors will see a large pool decorated with statuary. The statues of Balinese Gods and Goddesses keep watch, standing on platforms surrounded by water. Very large gold fish swim the cool waters, swimming up to the pool’s edge to solicit food from visitors.
Nearby a large swimming pool provides inviting cool dips. Changing rooms are also available.
The entire complex covers 1.2 hectares broken into three parts, each at its own elevation.
The complex is home to three separate water sources. One provides the drinking water for the entire city of Amlapura, the remaining supplies of fresh water fill the pools and irrigate the surrounding rice fields.
Those wishing to linger at the pools can stay at nearby accommodation ranging from inexpensive guesthouses to more lavish villas adjacent to the complex.
Garuda, It’s for the Birds
Garuda Indonesia Forms Project with Taman Bali Safari Park to Preserve the Dwindling Number of Bali Starlings
The Indonesian National flag-carrier PT Garuda Indonesia is cooperating with Bali’s Taman Safari and Marine Park in the launch of a captive breeding and preservation center for the critically endangered Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi), also known as Rothschild’s Mynah.
Found only on the Island of Bali, the distinctively beautiful Bali Mynah was first discovered in 1910 and adopted as an iconic symbol for Bali in 1991. The bird, known locally as “Jalak Bali” also graces the face of Indonesia's Rp. 200 coin.
In a ceremony held at the Taman Safari Park on Thursday, July 4, 2013, a large aviary and breeding population of 18 Jalak Bali were symbolically transferred by the CEO of Garuda Indonesia, Emirsyah Satar.
Satar, speaking at the occasion, emphasized that the joint program by the airline with Taman Safari also includes training and education for local communities. “This is a pars of Garuda’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program and a wider commitment to conservation and the environment,” said Satar
The bird is under threat from man’s encroachment on its natural habitat and poachers who are able to fetch high prices for live birds sold on the black market.
Estimates in 2012 counted only 124 birds living in the wild, spread between the West Bali National Park and Nusa Penida Island. Meanwhile, an estimated 1,000 birds are believed to be held illegally in the hands of private collectors.
Satar told his audience that the eventual goal of the project with Bali's Taman Safari Park is to propagate the population of birds in order to permit a sustainable program of release back into the wild.
“We hope that through this program the conservation and propagation of the Bali Starling will permit visitors from Indonesia and abroad to enjoy these bird,” said Satar.
Separately, a Director of Garuda, Novianto Herupratomo assed that the inauguration of the project for the preservation of the Bali Starling coincides with the International Green Aviation Conference 2013.
The Green Aviation Conference was held July 1-4, 2013 and was convened in Bali to discuss ways to make the international aviation industry more environmentally friendly.
Brief History of Lovina, North Bali
North Bali Tourism Community Tourism of Lovina Traces its Root to Bali Literary Figure Anak Agung Panji Tisna
Bali-insiders have long known that the best beaches are in fact located on the Island’s northern shore at Lovina. Located about 9 kilometers to the west of Bali’s former capital of Singaraja, Lovina offers both a relaxing beach getaway and a chance to experience those charms less discernable in the Island’s south.
Sandy beaches that border non-polluted waters that are the home to large pods of dolphins, easily discoverable on a morning excursion arranged with a local fisherman. An entire range of accommodationay or near Lovina is available from simple losmen to private villas to well-run small hotels.
The history of Lovina is inseparable from the man who first coined its name. Balinese literary icon Anak Agung Panji Tisna made an extended sojourn to Asia and Europe in the 1950s that inspired him to create a modest 3-room beach resort on a piece of ocean-side land he owned near the estuary of the Tukad Cebol.
Well pleased with his creation, Panji Tisna declared his beach “Lovina” – his shorthand for “Love Indonesia.”
In 1958 Panji Tisna sold his small Lovina Inn to Anak Agung Ngurah Sentanu. While tourist visitors were few and far between, the small inn continued to prosper with visits by friends of Panji Tisna from Europe and America and local officials. The Lovina Beach location was also popular with Indonesian students who flocked to the area to partake in local temple festivals and Hindu holidays.
The economic fortunes of Lovina and nearby Singaraja, however, went into decline in the early 1960s when Singaraja lost its status as Bali’s capital, as that role moved to Denpasar.
Tourism Comes to Bali
Many date the advent of modern tourism in Bali with the opening of the mammoth Hotel Bali Beach in 1963. Taking the lead from that “sky scraping” structure, small hotels, inns and restaurants soon began to take root across the Island. In 1970, Bali’s new Ngurah Rai Airport began formal operations. Sensing opportunities afoot, the provincial government of Buleleng took early seminal steps to obtain its share or Bali’s tourist market.
After disappearing from popular usage for nearly a decade, the name of “Lovina” to designate the sub-districts of Buleleng and Banjar came back into vogues in the 1990s. Lovina today includes the beaches at Binaria, Banyualit, Kubu Gembong, Hepi, Rukad Cebol, Temukus and Penimbangan. Known as “Lovina” this area is administered locally as the Kalibukbuk Tourism Area.
The simple dream of Panji Tisna in the 1950s to create an attractive international tourism beach destination in North Bali lives on today as Lovina continues to welcomes thousands of visitors each year.
A Balinese Block Party
Bali Toll Road Open to Pedestrians and Cyclists Afternoon for a Single Afternoon
While Bali’s new toll road remains closed to traffic as it undergoes final engineering inspections by the Public Works Department, Ministry of Transportation and Police Authorities, the public got a sneak preview of the 12.7-kilometer roadway when the road was open to pedestrians and cyclists between 4:00 and 8:00 pm on Saturday, July 6, 2013.
Thousands of people took the opportunity to explore the roadway by joining in a fun-run events organized by the toll’s operator PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol. A large stage built at the center of the toll hosted musical entertainment as the sun set over the massive road project completed in record time.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to inaugurate the new road on July 13, 2013.
Thieves of Baghdad?
Bali Police Seek to Bust Middle Eastern Crime Rings
The Jakarta Post reports that Bali Police are seeking four people from the Middle East for questioning in connection with a series of robberies committed at hotels in the Legian area of Bali.
Police said the robberies are part of a growing number of crime reports in which Middle Eastern visitors are believed to be involved as perpetrators.
These include the recent arrest of a Middle Eastern man in Ubud who was acting suspiciously while visiting a small hotel in Ubud, Central Bali.
Originally thought to be involved in the robbery of the Legian hotels, police eliminated the man as a suspect when hotel employees were unable to recognize his photograph.
Hotels that have suffered robberies since mid-June include the Legian Beach Bungalow and the Balisani Padma Hotel.
In one of the robberies, safety deposit boxes containing passports and valuables worth Rp. 123 million (US$12,300) were emptied after robbers drugged the front office staff at the Balisani Padma Hotel.
Food and drink containing a soporific substance may have also been involved in the robbery of a sole Australian at the Legian Beach Bungalow.
Women and Children First
Passengers and Crew Suffer Injuries as Sea Horse Ekpres Boat Catches Fire on Trip from Bali to Nusa Lembongan
The State News Agency and Beritabali.com report a speedboat with a large group of passengers on board caught fire while traveling from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan on Saturday, July 6, 2013.
The boat, powered by outboard motor, was operated by Sea Horse Ekpres and captained by Kadek Indrawan (33).
The accident sent five people, including a French tourist, to the hospital.
At least three of those injured were Balinese men while the French woman, Monched, was warded with her injuries at the BIMC Hospital.
The fire started moments after departing Sanur Beach, with many passengers and crew jumping into the sea in panic.
The fire was quickly extinguished by the crew, limiting the damage to the boat.
Initial investigations indicate the engines driving the boat suffered a short circuit sparking the fire.
Police are still investigating the cause of the accident and continue to question the Captain and his crew.
Deeper Insights Needed
Legislators Joining Demand for Complete Disclosure on Police’s Failure to Install US$5.8 million in X-ray Detectors at Bali Seaports
It remains unclear when and where X-ray machines that cost the province of Bali more than Rp. 58 billion (US$5.8 million) and have sat idle for more than six months will be installed by police at the ports of Padang Bai and Gilimanuk.
The Bali Post quotes a community leader in Bali, Nyoman Sentana, who said on Thursday, July 4, 2013, that the state of continuing uncertainty over the X-ray machines was proof of a lack of serious commitment by the provincial government to keeping Bali safe.
He continued, the international standard of security for Bali sought by the Governor remains little more than lip service, pointing to the high rate of crime and the failure to install security equipment, such as the X-ray machines.
Sentana, who is chairman of the United People of Badung (Forum Masyarakat Badung Bersatu), said the governor’s policy should be pursued and supported by the legislature.
“When will the X-rays be operating? What’s the impediment? This must be answered by the Governor, the Legislature and the Police. Let’s not let the international standard of security envisioned by the Governor only become an empty slogan or become politicized,” demanded Sentana.
Separately, the chairman of Commission IV of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), Nyoman Parta, questioned the reluctance of legislators to take a firm stand on the long-delayed introduction of the X-ray devices. He called on lawmakers to immediately summon the police and provincial officials who managed the bidding process for the X-rays to uncover the true facts of the case.
“The legislature is reluctant to take a stance in the problem of the X-ray. I hope that this matter can be quickly resolved,” said Parta. Parta’s comments were made on Wednesday, July 3, 2013, at a session of the DPRD-Bali to review a special report on the implementation of the 2012 provincial budget.
Spotlighting the continuing delay in deploying the X-ray machines, Parta stressed the important role to be played by the devices in safeguarding Bali. He said it was time to determine if the machines somehow failed to meet the original tender documents, if there was a lack of funds to install the X-rays or the problem was a lack of trained personnel to operate the equipment.
Meanwhile, the secretary of Commission I of the DPRD-Bali, Dewa Nyoman Rai, said the security of Bali must remain a top priority, especially on the eve of the APEC Summit to be held in Bali in October. Said Rai: “The provision of the X-ray was budgeted for Rp. 58 billion and the equipment is already here but not yet installed. We want to know why they have not been installed. We want this matter implemented as Rp. 58 billion is a large sum of money.”
Dewa Rai is also questioning the sophistication of the new x-ray equipment, which, according to tests by the police, takes 10-15 minutes to inspect a single vehicle. Many in the legislator see the inspection process as taking too much time. One legislator, Gusti Made Suryanta Putra, is openly alleging the new X-ray machines are not the latest models and are already out-of-date.
Bali Hyatt Celebrates its People
Two Weeks of Special Activities For Members of the Bali Hyatt Family in Bali
In an annual event designed to show appreciation for its employees, the Bali Hyatt has again held its annual event – celebrated simultaneously with all employees of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts around the world.
Bali Hyatt's “Celebrating Our People” event commenced on June 9th and ended on June 21, 2013, featuring a range of activities, including cultural pursuits such as “banten” and “lawar” making competitions. The fun also included sporting competitions comprising table tennis, poco-poco dancing, canoeing, volleyball, billiards, basketball, ladies arm-wrestling, darts and futsal.
Bali Hyatt staff also participated in a painting contest and “4-in-1” activity where contestants followed a four-part cooking competition, cocktail-making competition, table setting competition and product knowledge quiz.
A Balinese priest was also invited to present spiritual guidance to the hotel’s staff.
To show appreciation for those members of the team who work the night shift, Bali Hyatt management used the celebration period to serve an early breakfast for hotel employees finishing their work night.
As part of Hyatt’s commitment to the community, employees also carried out a social visit to disadvantaged families in Gianyar and Tampaksiring to present donations from the hotel’s management and staff. The Resort’s employees also participated in a blood drive in cooperation with the Indonesian Red Cross.
The opening day of the two weeks of festivities was marked with a balloon release, games and competitions organized for the children of workers.
The final night of the special week on June 21, 2012, was a gala evening with a range of food stalls, door prizes, live music and a special Balinese comedy show presented at the Rinjani Hall, Bali Hyatt..
Connecting the Dots in Bali
Bali Press Reveals Local Businessman Who Invited Christiano Ronaldo to Bali at a ‘Mangrove Ambassador’ is Also Behind Controversial Plans to Reclaim Part of Benoa Bay Mangrove Area
DenPost quotes Professor Dr. I Gusti Bagus Wijaya Kusuma, chairman of the Center for Industrial and Energy Research at Bali’s Udayana University, as alleging that well known Indonesian businessman Tommy Winata is behind controversial plans to reclaim portions of Benoa Bay's mangrove forest.
Winata, an Indonesian businessman with various hotel and property holdings including the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel, is also the founder of the Artha Graha Peduli Foundation .
Professor Wijaya also told the press how in 2009 he was approached by a Dutch investor working with Indonesian interests and asked to prepare a study supporting the creation of man-made island in Benoa Bay. The well-know academic told DenPost that he adamantly rejected he offer, convinced that the reclamation project would destroy the environment and cause hardships on the public. “At the time, I refused the offer to undertake a study because the reclamation will cause great damage,” explained Professor Wijaya Kusuma.
Professor Wijaya said the areas targeted for reclamation involves Pulau Penyu and Pulau Pudut. These areas are slated for reclamation for the development of a new tourism zone comprising an F-1 race circuit and accommodation services.
“Before it was called the ‘Bali Marina Complex’ that would have a race circuit resembling F-1 in Monaco. The F-1 circuit will be located within the complex surrounded by a tourism development. This is a good concept, but why reclaim ocean areas that still are home to mangrove trees? Will they cut down the mangrove trees? If this is their plan, they could do this at Serangan Island. What’s more, the reclamation project at Serangan is currently stuck,” said Wijaya.
Wijaya questions the emergence of PT Tirta Wahanan Bali International who have commissioned a study undertaken by a division of Bali’s Udayana University. That study, according to the Professor, portrays the proposed reclaimed islands as tsunami barriers, a fact the academic finds peculiar given that Benoa Bay is an area much less at risk to tsunami that other areas of Bali, such as North Bali, the western side of Bali’s airport and Tuban.
Claiming arguments put forth by investors of creating tsunami barriers is merely window dressing, Wijaya adds: “That reason is not logical, There are many hidden plans by investors. Don’t let the public be fooled by the investor’s plans.”
Separately, The Jakarta Post reports that the company proposing to develop the reclaimed islands that will absorb between 400 to 600 hectares of Bali’s Southern Mangrove Forest is PT Tirta Wahana International, a company The Jakarta Post claims manages the Discovery Shopping Mall and Discovery Kartika Plaza in Bal.
Artha Graha Peduli Foundation - a foundation connected with Tommy Winata and the Discovery Kartika Plaza recently bestowed the title of Mangrove Ambassador on Christiano Ronaldo and coordinated the tree planting ceremony attended by the Soccer Icon and Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on June 26, 2013.
A 73-page feasibility study prepared by a component of Udayana University reportedly supports PT Tirta Wahana’s plans to reclaim areas of Benoa harbor. The new islands would be accessible via the new Benoa – Nusa Dua toll way. The report is said to defend the project claiming the new islands will provide tsunami protection and would not negatively impact Bali’s ecosystem.
The Udayana feasibility study, however, is currently not available for review by the general public.
The governor is said to support the reclamation project, but promises to convene a blue ribbon committee of academics and community leaders to review the reclamation and development plan.
Opposed to the reclamation plan, the chairman of the Friends of the Earth (WALHI-Bali), Wayan “Gendo” Suardana points to the disastrous results of the failed reclamation project at nearby Serangan Island, seen by WAHLI as causing great damage to Bali’s environment.
Voluntourism in Bali
CNN Traveler Article by ABC’s Claire Shipman Recounts a Family Holiday as Volunteers with East Bali Poverty Project
In August of 2011 Bali Discovery Tours had the privilege of assisting in the travel arrangements for Claire Shipman, her husband Jay Carney and their two children, Hugo And Della.
Claire is well known in the U.S.A. as the Peabody Award-winning senior national correspondent on ABC’s Good Morning America while her husband, Jay Carney, works as Barack Obama’s White House Press secretary.
While in Bali we helped arrange a visit to the East Bali Poverty Project (EBBP) at Ban in North Bali run by David Booth. There, the Carney children enjoyed Indonesian Independence Day with the children of EBPP.
The Carney children were so inspired by their experience working with the kids of EBPP that they mounted a fund-raising activity back home in Washington, DC that successfully raised enough funds to buy new school uniforms for their Balinese friends.
Claire Shipman has just published a wonderful account of her visit with Hugo and Della to EBPP in CNN Traveler.
Bali Rotarians Honor Bali Police
Crime Fighting Plaque Given to Bali Police for Crime Busting
The National News Agency Antara reports that ten members of Rotary Club Canggu presented a plaque declaring appreciation to the Bali Police for their service in making the Island safe.
Patricia Jamieson a Canggu Rotarian from Ireland, said: “Six policemen from Badung recently were successful arresting two thieves and sending them to jail. So we have give then an award as a sign of appreciation.”
The plaque was received directly by Bali’s Chief of Police, Inspector General Arif Wachyunadi, during ceremonies marking the 67th anniversary of the Indonesian Police Force.
While crimes committed against foreign visitors is only one part of criminality in Bali, the police have taken stern action to instill foreigner’s confidence in the security situation.
Despite reports of recent criminal acts, most tourists feel relatively safe in Bali. An expatriate resident who has lived in Bali for 12 years told Antara: “I have heard of several criminal cases in Canggu, but generally I feel safer in Bali than I do in other courtiers in which I have lived."
Bali’s police chief expressed his thanks for the award given to him and his Bali forces by Rotary. At the same, he pledged to safeguard Bali from criminality in keeping with its role as a leading international tourism destination.
If We Could Talk to the Animals
Bali Safari & Marine Park to Host December International Conference on Animal Training and Enrichment (ATEC)
Bali will host the 1st Indonesian International Animal Training & Enrichment Conference (ATEC) to be held at Bali Safari & Marine Park December 1-5, 2013.
The conference, designed for professionals working with captive animals, will feature leaders in the area of animal training and enrichment.
Conference activities include workshops led by recognized international experts in the field of Animal Enrichment, presentation of cutting-edge research papers and fun-filled social networking opportunities - all headquartered at the Bali Safari and Marine Park located on the outskirts of Bali’s capital of Denpasar.
Affordable registration programs include attractive accommodation options and post conference tour options.
The complete program and registration information will be available on-line by mid-July 2013
This Will Get You Seeing Red
Plaga Introduces Cabernet Sauvignon to its Quartet of Affordable Wines for Sale in Bali
Following the introduction of its first three moderately priced table wines in April 2013, Plaga will launch its latest label – Cabernet Sauvignon.
Like its very successful antecedents – Plaga Sauvignon Blanc, Plaga Chardonnay and Plaga Rose – Plaga Cabernet Sauvignon, the first red wine in the Plaga range, is made from imported grapes that are fermented in Bali. This process provides a response to Indonesia’s onerous tax levies on imported wines and spirits that allow an affordable and highly palatable wine to be sold on the local market.
Touted as “bold, fruity and powerful” Plaga Cabernet Sauvignon is produced from Western Australian grapes.
Tasting Notes: Plaga Cabernet Sauvignon
Bold, fruity and powerful, with a ruby-red color reminiscent of young Italian wines. A complex aroma blends red fruits such as berries and plums, with hints of black pepper and spices. Oak aging introduces memories of vanilla and coffee. Young, fruity and soft on the palate, a delicate wine with good structure and a taste that is fresh, round and well balanced. A friendly wine with a long pleasant finish.
Inexpensive by local standards in Bali, Plaga Cabernet Sauvignon hits the market on July 8, 2013, at Rp. 129,000 (US$12.90) per bottle.
Bali Holiday Interrupted
Five Tourists Badly Injured in North Bali Bus Roll-Over
Five people from Jombang, East Java, are in critical condition in North Bali hospitals after the tourist bus in which they were traveling overturned near the Gitgit waterfalls in Buleleng on Saturday, July 6, 2031.
Two of the injured were warded at the Kertha Usada Hospital in Singaraja while 3 other were placed in the care of the intensive care unit of the Buleleng General Hospital in Singaraja.
Suara Karya reports that the bus, driven by Ahmad Rudi (45), overturned while crossing over the mountain range after visiting Lake Beratan in Bedugul in Bali’s mountain-lake district.
The brakes of the bus are believed to have failed while the bus was traveling the steep and winding roads near Gitgit. As a result, the bus with 37 passengers aboard struck a large tree before rolling over.
In addition to the 5 sent to hospital, many of the remaining passengers suffered minor injuries in the incident requiring treatment at area hospitals.
Are We Not Worthy?
Opening Date and Tariff for Bali’s New Toll Road will Only be Known after July 25, 2013
When, exactly, Bali’s new toll road connecting Benoa – Ngurah Rai Airport - Nusa Dua will open and what it will cost to travel Bali’s first toll road remain uncertain.
While Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is expected to formally inaugurate the road on July 13, 2013, the actual opening of the road to traffic may be sometime later.
The State News Agency Antara says that roadworthiness tests will only be completed on July 25, 2013.
But that does not mean the road will immediately open on that date. Drajad Hari Suseno, the spokesman for the roadway’s operators PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol, said: “One the road worthiness tests are done, only then can we seek approval of the tariff for the roadway.”
Drajad said the Ministry of Public Works, the Ministry of Transportation and the Indonesian Police would carry out the roadworthiness certification. The official tariff to be charged the public will be set by the Minister of Public Works.
PT Jasa Marga Bali Tol has already proposed a tariff for four-wheeled vehicles of Rp. 10,000 (US$1.00) and for motorcycles Rp. 4,000 (US$0.40).
Among the areas to be reviewed in determining the roadworthiness of the Bali toll road is the conformance of the road’s design with existing regulations, demarcation and signage and the finishing of the road surface.
Drajad also explained that wind speed monitors are being installed on the road, permitting the road to be closed to motorcycles or cars if wind conditions make the road unsafe for vehicular traffic.
Standing on Shaky Ground
Moderate Earthquake Startles Bali and East Java Residents on Monday, July 8, 2013
A Moderate earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale at around 10:13 am Bali time on Monday, July 8, 2013.
The epicenter for the tremor was off the southern coast of Java, 112 kilometers southeast of Malang.
Building shook for 10-20 seconds in most of South Bali and East Java sending some into the streets in panic.
The relatively shallow earthquake, estimated to have occured at a depth of 10 kilometers below sea level, did not reslt in a tsunami.
While mild panic was precipitated by the tremor, there were no early reports of injuries or property damage associated with the seismic event.
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