Bali News Update Week 4.

Bali as a Bargain

U.K. Postal Service Holiday Money Report Declares Bali the Best Value for Money

 

An annual holiday money report published by the United Kingdom Post Office has declared the island of Bali as the best value for money for those seeking a holiday abroad. 

 

This year’s results which compare the cost for a “basket of holiday items” was affected to some degree by the declining value of the pound sterling against the euro, making it more expensive for Brits to visit a large host of neighboring nation on the European continent.

 

That state of affairs, however, was good news for Bali that ranked “best” among the top ten “cheapest” destinations for a holiday.

 

The rankings based on the purchase of a “basket of goods.”

 

10 “Cheapest” Holiday Destinations

Kuta Bali                                 £ 31.48

Algrave, Portugal                  £ 35.37

Prague, Czech Republic     £ 36.82

Kololi, Gambia                       £ 38.38

Sunny Beach, Bulgaria        £ 38.46

Costa de Sol, Spain              £ 39.14

Maramis, Turkey                    £ 40.87

Cape Town, South Africa     £ 41.81

Budapest, Hungary               £ 42.85

Hoe An, Vietnam                    £ 44.06

Meanwhile, the same survey also listed the 10 most expensive destinations for a holiday comparing the high-end of purchasing the same “basket of goods.”

 

10 Most Expensive Destinations 

Auckland, New Zealand          £115.06

Darwin, Australia                      £113.06

China Town, Singapore          £108.22

Beijing, China                            £103.76

Vancouver, Canada                 £ 89.77

Mauritius                                     £ 89.62

Jumeirah, Dubai                        £ 87.34

Tamarindo, Costa Rica            £  86.99

Rodney Bay, St. Lucia              £ 82.18

Sorrento, Italy                            £  80.89

 

French Connection X 3

Bali Law Enforcement’s Busy Week Dealing with Three French Nationals and their Narcotics Violations

 

A second Frenchman has been arrested by Bali police on narcotics violations in the space of just five days. Francois Giuly (48) was arrested at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport carrying 3 kilograms of methamphetamines, concealed in plastic bags within his checked luggage.

 

Giuly arrived on a Malaysian Airline flight on Sunday, January 19, 2014, from Kuala Lumpur on a flight itinerary that originated in Abu Dhabi.

 

Channel News Asia quoted the head of the Airport’s custom’s office as putting a value of US$511,000 on the drugs, a quantity sufficient to charge Guily with a capital crime punishable by death before a firing squad in Indonesia.

 

On the previous Wednesday, another Frenchman, Thierry Verchere, was apprehended at his residence in Bali with a large quantity of cocaine.

 

Rounding out the trio of Frenchmen in Bali news in connection with the narcotics trade was Micael Blanc (40) who was freed on parole on Monday, January 20, 2014, after spending the past 14 years in Bali’s Kerobokan prison for smuggling drugs into Bali. 

 

Blanc will remain in Indonesian under police supervision until July 2017 when his probation ends.

 

The Risk of Being Dangerously Shallow

Bali’s Mount Batur Water Depth Decreases from 200 to 80 Meters Due to Erosion and Soil Excavation

 

Poor development planning and control in the regency of Bangli is wreaking significant environmental damage on an area that includes the picturesque Mount Batur Geopark. 

 

A number of verdant hills in Bangli are being hauled away and sold as landfill for road and construction projects to feed the frenzied pace of developments across Bali. 

 

DenPost reports that Bangli’s Environmental Agency (BLH) is concerned the regency’s iconic Lake Batur is being silted into oblivion. Batur Lake’s depth is now measured at only 80 meters, substantially shallower that its former depth estimated depth of 200 meters.

 

The chief of BLG-Bangli, Gusti Laksana, said the disturbingly shallow measure of the lake’s depth is included in data provided by environmental experts drawn from universities across Indonesia. 

 

Those experts blame the silting of Lake Batur on soil and sand from landslides and soil excavation sites. The shallow lake is also resulting is rising shorelines placing once-fertile farming plots under water.

 

The academic experts analyzing the lake’s condition say that in order restore the lake to its original depth a massive dredging project is required.

 

Claiming the regency’s financial resources are insufficient to undertake the large-scale dredging required, government officials are hoping new investment in a golf course in the area will provide a tax base capable of financing a restoration of the lake.

 

A restoration of the lake’s carrying capacity for water has even wider implications for the water supply of low-lying areas of Bali whose water supplies are fed in part by the lake.

 

 

They Fought the Law and the Law Won

Police in Kuta, Bali Apprehend 68 Members of a Mass Organization Trying to Thwart Repossession of Hotel in Default

 

BeritaBali.com reports that 68 well-built men from one of Bali’s “mass organizations” unsuccessfully tried to wrest control of the Bali Kuta Residence on Monday, January 20, 2014. 

 

Bali police moved quickly and apprehended the 68 men who were taken by the Denpasar police for intensive questioning. 

 

The hotel is involved in a long-standing legal battle between its owners and banking officials trying to take possession of the property in connection with defaulted loan payments.

 

Hundreds of uniformed police created a blockade outside the Hotel complex to help enforce a court ruling authorizing the seizure of the asset. The members of the “mass organization” attempting to thwart the execution of the court’s order clashed briefly with police who took the men into custody.

 

After questioning by police the men were released.

 

Raising the Roof in Bali

Ceiling Panels Falling Down at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport

 

Strong winds and shoddy construction caused large sections of ceiling panels in the drop-zone for international departures at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport to fall on Tuesday, January 21, 2014.

 

Quoted by Beritabali.com, the Communications and legal affairs officer of PT Angkasa Pura I, Shively Sanssouci, said: “We do not actually know when this happened. The location was in the drop-zone for international departures."

 

PT Angkasa Pura I is the State-owned company that manages the Bali airport.

 

Sanssouci reported that no injuries occurred as the result of the falling ceiling, which apparently occurred during a quiet period at the terminal.

 

Continuing, Sanssouci said: “This happened because Bali has been swept by strong winds. The atmosphere (at the airport) was quiet when it happened. The airport is still under renovation and (at the time of the incident) flight activity was relatively quiet."

 

The area of ceiling affected covered six sheets of plywood. 

 

Airport officials are still investigating the incident.

 

“The airport authority can confirm that no major disruption occurred because of the incident,” claimed Sanssouci.

 

The collapsing ceiling is the latest in a growing list of mechanical and planning failures at the airport where a massive multi-renovation program is slated to be completed in April 2014.

 

Visual Flight Rules

Bad Weather and Visibility Forces Lion Air Flight to Divert from Kupang to Bali

 

A Lion Air flight on route from Surabaya to Kupang was forced to make an emergency precautionary landing in Bali on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, due to deteriorating weather conditions.

 

As quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Edy M. Yakub, a passengers on the flight said: “The emergency landing happened because the pilot’s field of vision was reduced to only 800 meters, below the minimum standards for safe flight of 2.5 kilometers.”

 

The Boeing 737-600 operating flight JT 629 left Surabaya at 1:00 pm and was scheduled to land in Kupang at 3:50 pm when it was forced to turn back from Kupang to make an emergency landing in Bali at 5:00 pm.

 

Lion Air reportedly refused allow the 230 passengers on board the aircraft to disembark while in Bali.

 

The passengers, after sitting on the aircraft for more than 7 hours since its departure from Surbaya, eventually departed Bali at 8:10 pm destined for their original destination of Eltari Airport in Kupang.

 

Boogie, Boogie Down

Earth, Wind and Fire Experience with Al McKay at Mozaic Beach Club in Bali - One Night Only - Thursday, March 6, 2014

 

One of the world’s most legendary musical groups - Earth, Wind and Fire Experience featuring Al McKay  is coming to Bali tol perform at the Bali Live Festival and in a special performance on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at the Mozaic Beach Club.

 

Al McKay, widely regarded as a giant in the U.S. music industry, leads Earth, Wind and Fire Experience.

 

Born in New Orleans into a musical family, McKay picked up a guitar at five-years of age, an instrument he seldom left untouched until his first stage appearance at the age of 18.

 

A recognized musical prodigy, McKay was soon sharing the stage with the likes of Ike and Tina Turner, Sammy Davis Jr., Andy Williams, Pearl Bailey, The Silvers and Issac Hayes.

 

In 1973 Al McKay was recruited to join a freshly-minted band based in Chicago called “Earth, Wind and Fire.” What happened next became musical history in the making. Al blazed trails with the band until 1981 when he took leave after co-writing enduring hits like “September” and “Singasong.”

 

Re-emerging on the performance scene in the early 1990s, Al has fronted for a number of groups presenting new sounds in combination with the evergreen classics of Earth, Wind and Fire.

 

In Bali, Al McKay and his band will perform hits from Earth, Wind and Fire’s incomparable songbook.

 

Sharing the evening are guests DJs Stevie G and Jonathon Yeo.

 

Ticket Information

Rp. 750,000 (US$60) for general admission in the downstairs area of the Mozaic Beach Club.

Rp. 1.3 million (US$ 104) for the upstairs VIP area.

Rp. 15 million (US$1,200) for a special gazebo package for up to 10 guests and includes two bottles of Ketel One Vodka

For more information and to order tickets contact [Email Mozaic Beach Club]  

 

Many Happy Returns and Goings

Sriwijaya Air Adding Flights to Serve Chinese Market to Bali Over the Lunar New Year Holidays

 

Indonesian Airline Sriwijaya Air is offering daily flights between Bali and three Chinese cities: Hangzhou, Ningbo and Nanjing.

 

The flights are part of a short season offering intended to meet higher demand over the Chinese Lunar New Year period and will operate through February.

 

The flights are being operated by Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft with seating configurations to accommodate 175 passengers, including 8 executive class seats.

 

The airline is projecting flight loads of 85% for the short-term operation.

 

The announcement comes as the Indonesian government has set a bold goal of 3 million Chinese tourists to Indonesia in the coming year. This will  be an increase from the approximate 800,000 Chinese visitors that came to Bali in 2013.

 

Dreams Built on Shifting Sands

Many Resorts and Hotels Suffering the Eroding Consequences of Building Too Close to Bali’s Shoreline

 

The chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association for Bali (PHRI-Bali), Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati (Cok Ace), has admitted to Beritabali.com that the overdevelopment of seaside hotel projects is contributing to beach erosion in Bali. 

 

Cok Ace said the strong attraction of operating beachside hotels has resulted in a majority of the estimated 78,000 hotel rooms in Bali being located near the island’s beaches.

 

The PHRI chairman’s comments were made at a discussion on beach abrasion held in Denpasar on January 19, 2014.

 

Cok Ace also admitted that efforts to prevent beach erosion being undertaken by hotels in Bali do not manage to solve the problem, often only shifting the erosion to a different part of the shoreline.

 

Because of this, Tjok Sukawati is calling for a holistic approach by private and public sectors in trying to thwart beach abrasion.

 

Data from the Department of Public Works state that 88.3 kilometers of a total 437.70 kilometers of shoreline in Bali is suffering some degree of serious erosion. This is down from 181.7 kilometers of eroded beach reported in 2009, with 93.35 kilometer of beach erosion now halted by efforts undertaken by the Department of Public Works.

 

Officials are prevented from taking a comprehensive approach to halting beach erosion in Bali because of a lack of funds needed to undertake reclamation projects, necessitating that present efforts only concentrate on southern shorelines most under threat and of the greatest economic importance to Bali’s tourist industry.

 

Also contributing in a major way to beach erosion is the disregard for zoning and building rules shown by many hotels and resorts who build too close to the high water mark and then suffer the predictable consequences of such poor decisions.

 

Bali Refusing to Spend on Marketing

Bali Government Accused of Economizing on Tourism Promotion

 

The successful promotion of tourism by the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD-Bali) is dependent on funding from the government. 

 

Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati (Cok Ace), who leads BPPD-Bali, warned that reduced budgets from the provincial government lessen the focus of the Island’s marketing efforts.

 

The provincial government of Bali has allocated only Rp. 1.5 billion (US$120,000) for tourism promotion in 2014. This compares to Rp. 4 billion allocated in 2010.

 

Cok Ace told Bisnis Bali that the BPPD-Bali had developed a detailed promotion program that would require funding from both the government and the private sector.

 

Given the current lack of funding, Cok Ace sees tourism promotion in 2014 as suffering from the same problems as past years – lacking focus and being only partially effective.

 

The BPPD official. who also serves as the head of Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), complains that the Bali Tourism Promotion Board lack the power to unite the private tourism sector without accompanying funding from the government.

 

Raining on Klungkung's Parade

Klungkung Cancels Ogoh-Ogoh Parades to Celebrate the Bali Hindu New Year

 

Official in Bali's eastern regency of Klungkung have opted to play it safe and cancel traditional ogoh-ogoh celebrations on the eve of Nyepi, March 30, 2014. 

 

As reported on balidiscovery.com Politics – A Topic Best Avoided,

Election officials in Bali have expressed concerns that the traditional ogoh-ogoh displays of Papier-mâché floats carried aloft on the shoulders of young men to mark the transition to the Hindu New Year on March 30, 2014, might ferment political unrest and insurrection just before the legislative elections scheduled 10 days later on April 9, 2014.

 

Tahun Isaka 1936 that dawns on March 31, 2014, will be welcomed this year in the eastern Balinese regency of Klungkung without the preliminary celebrations of ogoh-ogoh parades. 

 

I Ketut Rupia Arsana, speaking on bahalf of Klungkung's traditional villages (Desa Pakraman) in the NusaBali, said, "It's been agreed, there will be no ogoh-ogoh competition."

 

Arsana explained that the decision to cancel ogoho-ogoh festivities this year was a decision agreed with culture and tourism agencies (Disbudpar) of the government.

 

If any ogoh-ogoh activities do take place this year in Klungkung they will be no competition between villages with parades strictly confined to the village in which the ogoh-ogoh is made. And then, any ogoh-ogoh made for local entertainment must be free of all political attributes - including party symbols and the likeness of political candidates or political figures. 

 

Local officials are calling on religious leaders, traditional community representatives and politicians to avoid mixing politics and religion during the celebrations leading up to the official day of silence - Nyepi on March 31, 2014.

 

An Enlightened View

Illegal Structures Threatening Kintamani's Potential as a Tourism Destination

 

A large number of unlicensed and illegal buildings are obstructing the picturesque panorama provided by the caldera of Bali's Mount Batur. 

 

Long tolerated under the guise of local businesses, local residents at Kintamani are now calling on officials to take steps against these eyesores obstructing the view of Mount Batur and the adjoining volcanic lake. The chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bangli), Ketut Putranata, told NusaBali, "There are many illegal buildings standing there when in fact the tourists coming to Kintamani are tourists seeking nature." 

 

The PHRI-Bangli chairman complained that his organization lack any enforcement powers against the illegal structures standing along the caldera’s edge.

 

Putranata, who hails from Kintamani, said local officials refuse to take strong action against the owner of the illegal structures. As a result, the natural beauty of Kintamani is being degraded by the illegal structures that house accommodation and restaurants.

 

The PHRI-Bangli chairman called for a halt to new restaurants at Kintamani in order to preserve a quality presentation and quality product for Kintamani visitors.

 

Meanwhile, the head of the Culture and Tourism Service for Bangli, Wayan Adanyana, admittted that the problem depicted by Putranata was very real. He accepted that the unregistered and unlicensed buildings obstruct the panoramic view of Mt. Batur and Lake Batur. Describing the problem as "classic," Adnyana washed his hands of the problem, claiming enforcement was a matter for the regency's licensing authority.

 

A Temporary Salvation

Crocodile Found in River Near Ubud Dies One Day After its Removal to The Bali Zoo

 

A 2-meter long crocodile captured at Banjar Juga at Mas, near Ubud and sent to the Bali Zoo has died.

 

As reported by balidiscovery.com, After a While, Crocodile local villagers using the Wasan River near Ubud became terrified when a crocodile began to occasionally appear while they were fishing or washing in the river. 

 

A massive search of the river and surrounding areas by locals, police and animal welfare officials eventually found the large reptile holed up in a small cave. 

 

Thought to be a pet let loose in the area by its former owner, the crocodile was subdued and sent for safe keeping to the Bali Zoo.

 

Unfortunately, the animal died on Saturday, January 18, 2014, one day after its arrival at the Zoo. 

 

An autopsy performed at The Bali Zoo found that the crocodile had suffered a bullet head wound near its eye which, together with the severe stress occasioned by its capture, precipitated the reptile's death.

 

The source of the bullet wound remains a mystery.

 

The dead reptile was determined to be an estuarine crocodile estimated to be 4-5 years of age.

 

Monumental Surprise

Denpasar Building Monumental Statue at Intersection of Bypass and Jalan Ida Bagus Mantra Near Tohopati

 

Bali Post reporting that Denpasar’s Hygiene and Parks Department (DKP) is preparing to construct a huge statue depicting a scene of the Hindu epic Ramayana has solved the mystery in connection with a large stone podium now under construction at the three-way intersection of Jalan Ida Bagus Mantra and Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai.

 

The Titi Banda Lanjut Statue will completely dominates the three-sided garden located at the intersection and relate a scene in which Rama, surrounded by a troupe of monkeys,  is building a bridge to Alengka.

 

The podium for the statue now nearing completion, was built at a cost of Rp. 1.8 billion (US$144,000) and paid for from the 2013 municipal budget.

 

The next phase of building the 15-meter high monument will cost another Rp. 5.4 billion (US$432,000) to be paid from the 2014 budget and is expected to be completed by October of this year.

 

Meanwhile, NusaBali reports that the project is drawing critical fire from the Denpasar Municipal legislature (DPRD-Denpasar) who is complaining they have been bypassed in the rush to build the monument. Commission B of the DPRD-Denpasar is calling on Denpasar administrators to work more closely with local lawmakers to ensure proper supervision and transparency in the execution of major projects.

 

Mayun Komala Putra, a member of Commission B said: "We regret that lack of coordination. We were told nothing and then suddenly (we hear of) this new projecy." 

 

He also protested the high cost of the statue, put at Rp. 5.4 billion, adding: "This is a large budget. In the future we pray for better coordination."

 

Putra took the occasion to point to other projects including drainage work that were not coordinated with the DPRD-Denpasar making supervision of such projects problematic. 

 

Joining the chorus was another Commission B member, I Wayan Kariarta, who decried the lack of transparency and the failure to hold public hearings regarding the new statue.

 

Municipal authorities said document to tender the project are now in hand, a process to be handled the procurement division of the Denpasar government.

 

An End to Kidding Around in Bali

Bali Police Seizing Motorcycles from Underage Drivers

 

Frustrated by the failure of past efforts to dissuade Junior High School students from illegally driving motorcycles to and from school, the Bali police in Gianyar set up roadblocks on Saturday, January 18, 2104, that resulted in the seizure of 15 vehicles.

 

DenPost quotes the head of traffic control from the Gianyar Police District, Ni Luh Putu Sugiartini, who said: "We tried a number of ways to make the students aware that they should not be driving motorbikes. Recently there have been accidents involving students."

 

The legal age for obtaining a motorcycle license in Indonesia is 17-years, yet many Junior High School students below that age bring motorcycles to and from school. One major junior high school in Denpasar is surrounded every day by hundreds of motorcycles when classes are in session.

 

The roadblock conducted in Gianyar involved tens of traffic officers and ran for one hour from 6:30 am on the Saturday morning. The students stopped by police were cited by police for the underage operation of a motorcycle and for failure to wear crash helmets. 

 

In what is planned as the first in a series of roadblock, police seized the illegally driven motorcycles and summoned parents had to pledge to stop their children from future violations of the law before the vehicles were returned to their possession.

 

Ni Luh Putu Sugiartini, speaking on behalf of the police, called on parents to prevent their children from operating motorcycles before they are legally licensed to do so, saying underage children lack the emotional stability to operate such machinery.

 

Bali with a Vacant Look

Bali Government Criticized for Destroying Family-Owned Hotels by Issuing Too Many Permits for New Hotels

 

The vice-chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Nyoman Suwidjana, has told Bali Post that the onslaught of new hotel rooms in Bali is far outstripping any increase in visitor numbers. 

 

"The total number of rooms is tending towards oversupply and that is affecting hotel tariffs. This threatens the Bali tourism industry that is already underpriced, placing further pressure on pricing," said Suwidjana on Monday, January 20, 2014. 

 

The PHRI official said the uncontrolled growth in new hotels in Bali is causing larger, new hotels to indulge in practices that steal existing market shares once enjoyed by small hotels, many of which are owned by local Balinese.

 

Elaborating further, Suwidjana said: "The local hotels have been operated from the beginning by local owners who have made many contributions to the growth of Bali tourism. Now the continued existence of hotels owned by local people is threatened with displacement by hotels owned by investors from outside Bali."

 

Suwidjana described the current market condition as the equivalent of "cannibalism."

 

This effect of unbridled hotel growth was confirmed by the Honorary Consul of Russia in Bali, Chairul Nuku Kamka, said visitors are now able to obtain discounts on every class of hotel in Bali. 

 

Kamka called on the government to reduce the number of permits granted for new hotels. "It's pointless to have so many hotel rooms in Bali when many of those rooms remain empty. When rooms are empty, the hotel's management will be unable to provide for the welfare of their employees." he said.

 

The Russian Honorary Consul said permits for new hotels must be based on careful surveys on the number of tourist arrivals to Bali.

 

Attention Shoppers: The Store is Closing

Tiara Grosir Ordered to Vacate Jalan Cokroaminoto Site Following Supreme Court Ruling

 

The municipal government of Bali's capital city of Denpasar is calling on the local supermarket chain Tiara Grosir to quickly obey a final ruling by the Indonesian Supreme Court and vacate its premises on Jalan Cokroaminoto.

 

The head of public relations and protocol for the Denpasar government, Ida Bagus Rahoela, has called on the management of Tiara Grosir to submit to the orders of Indonesia's highest court. What's more, Rahoela insists that the Court's decision means Tiara Grosir's occupation of the Jalan Cokroaminoto site has been unlawful since 2009. 

 

The continued use of the building now that the Court has rule in the municipality's favor opens Tiara Grosir to further legal complications if they continue to occupy the site.

 

The decision of the Supreme Court allowing the Denpasar municipality to evict the supermarket ends a protracted legal battle between the grocer and the city. 

 

The Cokroaminoto branch of Tiara Grosir employs 700 people in the market space leased from the municipality for the past 20 years. That lease ended in 2009 with a decision by the city government to resume the space for another use by the general public.

 

Employees working at the Tiara Grosir branch on Jalan Cokroaminoto told Bali Post that they have yet to be informed of the Supreme Court ruling by the market's management and are continuing to report to work each day per usual.

 

A Battle on Standing Water

Highest Rates of Dengue Fever Infections Located in South Denpasar

 

The rainy season accompanied by high temperatures are blamed for an increase in the number of Dengue fever cases in Bali's capital city of Denpasar. 

 

The capital's high population density facilitates the easy spread of Dengue and have recorded already 36 cases in Denpasar, halfway through the month of January 2014.

 

Municipal health officials have identified South Denpasar as a pocket of Dengue fever infections. Sri Armini, head of the Denpasar Public Health Service, told Bali Post, "South Denpasar is an area with many repositories of standing water that become the nests for mosquitoes."

 

To prevent an increase in the number of cases of Dengue fever, Armini wants Denpasar residents, particularly those living in South Denpasar, to cover and clean all water receptacles, bury all garbage and trash, and dispose of all abandoned tires that serves as water accumulation points and could become mosquito nests.

 

Bathroom areas are favorite breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that spread Dengue, therefore demanding  special attention to toilets and basins of "bak mandi." Residents should also look for any standing water within a radius of 100 meters from their homes, including discarded tires and empty tin cans now holding rainwater.

 

Fogging by Denpasar health officials is limited to neighborhoods in which cases of Dengue fever have been confirmed. 

 

In 2103 two people died from Dengue fever in the city of Denpasar, a reduction over the number of fatalities in previous years.

 

Waiting for the Bus

Trans-Sarbagita Feeder Bus System Suspended During Bidding Process for 2014 Operations

 

The fleet of feeder vans that provide suburban connections to the armada of buses that serve Bali's Trans-Sarbagita Bus System are temporarily out of service pending reappointment in the bidding process now underway by the Provincial Procurement Office (ULP).

 

Bali Post expects the tendering process to conclude shortly, allowing the feeder buses to resume service in February.

 

Ketut Adi Pradnyana of the Denpasar Public Transport Office confirmed that the coming contract will be for a full year of service for which Rp. 5 billion (US$400,000) has been earmarked to support the feeder bus line of 56 vans.

 

In 2014 passengers paying to ride Bali's Trans Sarbagita Service pay Rp. 2,000 per person (US$0.16) while student ride for free. 

 

The Trans-Sarbagita Bus System now averages 1,250 passengers each day, 30% of which are students.

 

Plans are now under review to add four new routes in 2014:

Sanur to Petitienget

Sanur to Nusa Dua via the Mandara Toll Road

Mengwi-Ubud-Denpasar-Benoa

Tanah Lot - Munggu - Kerobokan - Ngurah Rai Airport 

Facebook Link for Trans-Sarbagita Bus System

 

Violators will be Ticketed

Bali Police Declare No Parking Zones in Selected Areas of Kuta to Reduce Traffic Congestion

 

In order to reduce traffic congestion in the Kuta area of Bali, a joint resolution between police, traffic officials, local government and community representatives has declared parking is prohibited in certain areas of Kuta, Bali effective Friday, January 24, 2104.

 

Quoted by DenPost, I Nyoman Resa, head of the Kuta Police Precinct, said the areas that will be now be free on on-street parking for automobiles are:

Jalan Pantai Kuta

Jalan Raya Kuta 

Routes lead to Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport

Motorcycles will continue to be allowed to park on Jalan Pantai Kuta with other vehicles directed to park in the underground parking facility at the Beachwalk Shopping Complex. 

 

Violators of the new parking rules  will be ticketed.

 

On Jalan Raya Kuta parking will be prohibited in front of the popular shopping stop at Joger. Traffic will be diverted to Wisma Bima. Vehicles will only be allowed to stop to embark and disembark passengers. Police also have plan to install traffic cones connected with small ropes to prevent parking. 

 

Police have said they will issue tickets to violators of the new anti-parking rules, a step to be supplemented by foot patrols each evening between 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen

Mysterious East Bali Stone Monuments Celebrate Male and Female Sexuality

 

Two large stones that have sudenly appeared near the surf of at Pantai Ujung at the village of Tumbu in Bali's regency of Karangasem - said to resemble Lingga and Yoni ( respectivley the male and female reproductive organs) - are making headlines in the Bali press. 

 

The large stone objects have been removed from the beach and installed on another location of the beach normally reserved for melasti ceremonies.

 

Villagers have long been aware of the "pair" of matching stone symbols revealed by shifting sands. When a beach preservation project got underway members of the community approached a contractor undertaking the reclamation to assist in the relocation of the massive stones. 

 

Now standing in its new location on Ujung Beach, local villagers are according the stones sacred status by draping the megaliths in symbolic cloths and surrounding them with traditional offerings. Villagers see the appearance of the stones as a positive sign for Kerahayuan Jagat - the safeguarding of the natural environment.

 

Speculations continues in some quarters as to whether the uniquely shaped stones are the product of a natural process or, if at some point in the distant past, were crafted by human hands.

 

Bad Signs, Ill Omens

Officials Removing Large Billboards on Eastern Approach to Bali Airport Threatening Aviation Safety

 

Badung regency officials in Bali are forcibly demolishing three large billboards located near the eastern end of the sole runway at Ngurah Rai International Airport.

 

The billboards are objects of formal complaints by PT Angkasa Pura I - the managers of the adjacent airport, who claim that because of their location and height, represent a threat to aviation safety. Moreover, after a review by the regency's licensing and permit office it was determined that the three billboards were installed illegally.

 

Upon confirmation of that the signage was illegal, Badung's regent Anak Agung Gde Agung issued instructions to demolish the offending billboards and, at the same time, to review the legal status of all billboards standing in various areas across the southern regency.

 

The three billboards to be removed are owned by three advertising companies: Warna Warni, Visual Mandiri and Tri Bakti.

 

Badung enforcement officers are now summoning all advertising companies installing billboard in Badung regency in order to review and quantify the number and legal standing of such signage.

 

As reported by NusaBali, Badung enforce officials will turn a selective "blind eye" to the large amount of political banners and billboard cropping up on every road and intersection. Officials say they can only take firm action and remove political signage if authorized to do so by the Elections Commission (KPU).

 

A Decision Without Appeal

Bali-based Spiritualist Anand Krishna's 2.5-Year Prison Sentence Affirmed by Indonesian Supreme Court

 

The Indonesian Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by spiritual leader Anand Krishna against a sentence of 2.5 years in prison on a conviction of sexual molestation of a female follower.

 

The Supreme Court website formally announced the rejection of the appeal by Krishna who operated from a base in Bali prior to his incarceration.

 

The Supreme Court made its ruling on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, in a session headed by chief judge Dr. Artidjo Alkostar with judges Dr. Salman Luthan and Sri Murwahyuni also presiding. 

 

The controversial case has traveled a circuitous course through the Indonesian legal system. On November 22, 2011, the South Jakarta District Court declared Krishna free of all charges. Despite arguments that a compete acquittal by the Court was not subject to judicial review, prosecutors did appeal the decision eventually overturning the first verdict and ruling that Krishna be sent to prison for 2.5 years.

 

While trying to exhaust every legal avenue to avoid imprisonment, Krishna took refuge in Bali until he was eventually forcibly removed from his Ubud meditation center and sent to Cipinang Prison on the outskirts of Jakarta on February 16, 2013.

 

Defenders of Krisha have cast an international media spotlight on the secularist champion and author of more the 150 books who insist charges that Krishna hypnotized and molested a student are insupportable and were trumped up to silence Indonesia's leading spokesman for religious tolerance and pluralist.

 

Under procedures in place within the Indonesian penal system Krisha could be eligible for early release after serving half of his sentence, a point to be reached in May-June of 2104.

 

Sharing Smiles, Saving Face

Rotary Club Bali Seminyak Hosts ‘Have a Heart’ at Cocoon Beach Club on Saturday, February 22 in Support of Bali Smile Foundation

 

Join a somewhat belated Valentine’s celebration on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at the Cocoon Beach Club, Jalan Double Six, Seminyak, Bali and support the outstanding work of the Smile Foundation of Bali - now in its 8th year of helping local children to get cleft and cranio-facial medical treatment. 

 

The “Have a Heart” charity event offers a welcoming cocktail, a three-course dinner, entertainment, auctions – both live and silent, and extravagant raffle prizes.

 

Organized on behalf of the Smile Foundation by The Rotary Club of Bali Seminyak – the evening will celebrate eight years of helping nearly 2,000 people afflicted with cranio-facial deformities or injuries. Along the way, some of the world’s top talent in the field of facial reconstruction and surgery have shared the skills and expertise with Balinese medical professionals allowing the Smile Foundation to develop medical services that touch the lives of even more needy patients in Bali.

 

Mary Northmore-Aziz, founder and chair of the Smile Foundation of Bali says: “This will be a wonderful evening and we really appreciate the support of the whole community. Rotary Seminyak have worked tirelessly to make this event a resounding success and it will help us to spread even more smiles."

 

Northmore-Aziz founded the Bali Smile Foundation to assist doctors and the medical establishment to develop services to help low-income people in remote areas to have access to life-enhancing and life-changing surgery and follow-up treatment. Patients come from Bali, Lombok, and the island to Bali’s east. In Bali the “Smile House” provides accommodation to patients and an escorting parents during the treatment process at local hospitals.

 

Mary Northmore-Aziz’s work on behalf of the children of Bali was recognized directly by HRH Queen Elizabeth II in 2011 then she was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) at Buckingham Palace. Viewing the honor as a tribute to her team, Mary says: “It takes a big committed team to make this work – staff, doctors and health workers, outreach workers, volunteers at the Ubud Smile Shop and of course, donors, among whom the Rotary Club of Seminyak are a major help. By selling pre-loved goods The Smile Shop raises funds which cover admin costs so all donor money goes directly to patient expenses.”

 

Join the “Have a Heart” night on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at the Cocoon Beach Club. Cocktails start at 6:30 pm with dinner and other festivities starting at 8:00 pm.

 

Tickets covering a welcome drink, dinner and entertainment cost Rp. 850,000 (US$68).

 

Tickets can be purchased at Cocoon, Biasa Seminyak and Sanur, Harris Hotel Kuta Beachwalk and the Smile Shop in Ubud. 

 

Seating is strictly limited to 160 guests with tickets sold on a first-come-first-served basis.

 

For more information call Rotarian John Glass at ++62-(0) 82146323517 or [Email] 

 

Bali Triathlon Postponed Due to Elections

8th Edition of Bali International Triathlon Postponed Until June 2015

 

Despite much touted plans by the Government of Bali to brand the Island as the “island of sports." any sport barding plans will go be put on hold for 2014 – at least as far as road-based sporting activities are concerned. 

 

Organizers of the Bali International Triathlon scheduled for June 22, 2014, have received formal notification from the Bali Police asking that the 8th edition of the event  be postponed until the Indonesian Presidential Elections 2014 are concluded.

 

With the presidential election process only coming to a formal end with the swearing in of Indonesia's next president on October 20, 2014, the organizers of the Bali International Triathlon have been compelled to reluctantly postpone the next race until early June 2015.

 

Run every year since 2007, the Bali International Triathlon has grown with each successive event over the past seven years. In 2013, more than 1,000 participants came to Bali to participate in the race.

 

The Bali race – based in Jimbaran Bay – comprises a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 40-kilomter bike race through South Bali, and a 10 kilometer foot race. A sprint distance division covering half the longer distance and a 5-kilometer "fun run" also form part of the Bali Triathlon.

 

Commenting on the decision to postpone, Arie Sukirno, Managing Director of Bali Discovery Tours and co-founder of the Bali event with Generic Events (USA) and Robb Strom, said: “The letter from the police came as a complete surprise, especially after a series of ongoing meetings with regency and police officials held to discuss preparations and operational plans for the coming race.”

 

Sukirno added having to postpone the race for security reasons was “both bittersweet and ironic” given that the motivation for creating the first Bali Race in 2007 was to demonstrate to the world that Bali was safe following the second Bali terror bombing of 2005.

 

Refunds are being arranged for all those already registered and paid for the 2014 race.

 

Sukirno, demonstrating the same grit and determination that has made the Bali International Triathlon an award-winner event on the international sporting calendar, said: “We have every intention of returning with the 8th edition of the Bali International Triathlon in June of 2015 – bigger and better than ever."

 

Visit the Bali International Triathlon Website for updated information.

 

Deadly Strom Hits Bali’s North

Sudden Storm on Thursday, January 23 Causes Havoc, Killing 4 and Injuring 3 in North Bali

 

Flooding and landslides that have affected parts of Buleleng in North Bali on Thursday, January 23, 2014, are being blamed for 4 deaths and 3 injuries, as reported by NusaBali.

 

Two of the fatalities occurred in a single vehicle overwhelmed by a landslide that swept the car and its passengers into a 30-meter deep ravine. 

 

The accident happened on the main road connecting Singaraja to Denpasar via Kintamani. The car was swept off the road in the village of Mangening at Kubutambahan in Buleleng. Dead are I Putu Wijana (46) of Sangket village in Buleleng and his companion I Made Sudarsana (40) from Tegalalang in Gianyar. The accident occurred at 5:00 pm on Thursday when the men were traveling to Tegalalang. The depth of the ravine and landslide conditions only allowed rescuers to retrieve the men’s bodies at 7:00 am the following morning.

 

The two other fatalities claimed the lives of Ni Kadek Sri Ayu Padmini (19), a student of STKIP from Bebetin Village in Buleleng, and Ni Made Ayu Budi Utami (14) from Lokapaksa Village also in Buleleng.

 

Padmini was found dead in the middle of a rice field near her home at 11:30 pm  on Thursday night, swept to that location by landslides and rushing flood water. The motorcycle she was riding at the time of the mishap was recovered on Friday morning.

 

Made Ayu Budi Utami perished when a wall at her home toppled down and killed her on Thursday evening at 10:00 pm.

 

The three injured due to extreme weather in North Bali were I Putu Kasta (40), Ni Komang Wartini (36) and Ni Luh Putu Arini (16). The three were respectively the father, mother and sister of Made Ayu Budi Utami and were all injured when the same building collapse that killed Utami.

 

The rains and winds that struck North Bali also affected Bangli, Tabanan, Gianyar and Badung.

 

The floods in the area are blamed for the destruction of 18 homes and two motorbikes in four separate villages.

 

Bali Daily says “scores of houses were swept away" in Petemon and Pengastulan villages by the surging water from the nearby Tukad Saba River.”

 

OZ Travel Jitters

Recent Poll Shows Australians Doubtful About Safety and Medical Services in Bali

 

A report published in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) on January 25, 2014, saying two-thirds of Australian think Bali is not a safe holiday destination, is certain to cause concern to Bali’s tourism sector.

 

The SMH article also revealed that 20% of those who responded to the survey were not confident they would receive proper medical care if they were injured or got sick in Bali.

 

The report comes on the heels of the high profile sudden death of a Queensland woman and her teenage daughter after falling ill in East Bal on January 4, 2014. The survey was undertaken in mid-January.

 

The wide-ranging survey also expressed Australian doubts that they would receive fair treatment from the Indonesian police or court system if they encountered legal problems whilst on holiday in Bali.

 

The poll was conducted by UMR against a random sample of 500 Australians.

 

Among the specific results of the survey:

21% of those interviewed said they had visited Bali in the past.

64% of those who had visited the Island saw Bali as a safe place.

35% or one-in-three saw Bali as unsafe.

72% of the people who have not traveled to Bali said they thought the island was unsafe.

As a subgroup in the survey, 69% of the women had “reservations” about Bali as compared to only 60% of the men who expressed reluctance.

Overall 32% of those who responded thought Bali was a safe destination to visit.

Only 27% of those surveyed felt proper medical service was available in Bali.

Among those who had visited Bali, the number who felt proper medical care was available rose to 50%.

In 2013 some 900,000 Australians visited Bali, making it the largest source of inbound tourists to the Island

 

Bali Sea Patrols

Bali Water Police Intensifying Patrols and Surveillance to Prevent Terrorist Activities

 

The Bali Water Police have increased patrols on the water approaches to the Island Province in order to anticipate and prevent terrorist attacks.

 

The director of the Bali Water Police, Commissioner Tubuh Musyareh, quoted by the State News Agency Antara, confirmed sea patrols had been increased covering a distance of 3-miles out from the shore using C3 patrol boats. 

 

Two C3 boats are have been assigned to each of the Bali police sectors (Polres).

 

At the same time, police are cooperating with port authorities in anticipation of any terrorist activities.

 

Meanwhile, police working from Jembrana and Karangasem are on alert to monitor any unusual water crossing activities from adjacent islands to the west and east of Bali. Small, informal ports are also under a heightened state of scrutiny by the Bali police.

 

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com.

 
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