Unwanted Year End Fireworks
Kuta Hit by Two Fires on Last Weekend of 2013. Four Sent to Local Burn Unit
Bali News: Unwanted Year End Fireworks
(12/30/2013) On the weekend between Christmas and New Years, Kuta, Bali was plagued by two fires.
On Friday, December 27, 2013 at 11:30 pm, a fire on the second floor of the Tirta Dewi Mart on Jalan Dewi Sartika caused some panic for guests in the adjoining Green Garden Hotel.
The fire that destroyed the mini-mart was contained by firefighters but saw hundreds of guests at the adjacent hotel momentarily evacuated as a precautionary measure.
No injuries were reported in the Tirta Dewi Mart fire.
On Sunday, December 29, 2013, a private home on Jalan Mataram, Gang Kelapa Buntu 4 in Kuta, that also served as the kitchen for a nearby Kuta suckling pig (Babi Guling) restaurant, caught fire resulting in serious injuries and substantial property damage.
A gas tank used by the restaurant reportedly exploded destroying the home and business of Nyoman Suastika. In the blaze four motorcycles were destroyed and four people suffered burn injuries.
The fire started at 6:00 am on Sunday while residents of the structure were busily preparing Babi Guling for that day’s sales. Six staff working in the kitchen smelled leaking gas.
Fearful there might be an explosion, one of the staff cut the electrical power to the building. At the same time, however, two workers were cooking suckling pig over an open fire that ignited the leaking gas.
Four people working near the fire suffered burns over large areas of their bodies before making good their escape from the burning building. The blaze quickly spread to the living area of the small building.
Lost in the fire were four motorcycles and Rp. 40 million (US$3,400) in cash.
Firefighters brought the blaze under control by 8:00 am.
The injured are Ni Made Sorni (47), I Nyoman Sukarsa (40), I Ketut Nada (40), and Ni Ketut Kusiani (40) are receiving treatment at Bali’s Sanglah General Hospital. The attending physician said the injuries were “grade B” meaning burn wounds are covering between 17% and 35% of their bodies.
The victims have also suffered damage to their respiratory systems.
All remain under intensive care by Sanglah’s General Hospital Burn Center.
Turkmenistan Student Arrested for Theft
Turkmenistan Girl Arrested for Walking Out of Bintang Supermarket with US$86 in Goods
(1/1/2014) Anjelika Rizaeva (21) from Turkmenistan spent New Year's Eve behind bars at the Kuta Police Precinct after being arrested for thievery at the Bintang Supermarket in Seminyak on Saturday, December 28, 2013.
Anjelika, also known as Anzhelika, list her profession as a "student."
She came to the Bintang Supermarket with her older sister Sura (30) on the Saturday before New Year's Eve.
The two women list their place of residence in Bali as the Perum Puri Gading No. 29, Jimbaran.
Police say the women were stopped as they left the supermarket and tried to evade questioning and inspection by security guards. When police were called to the store the women were found trying to hide in a nearby location.
Brought to the Kuta Precinct, police found in Anjelika's possession items from the Supermarket with a value of Rp.1,034,545 (US$86). The items included spices and various food products.
Quoted in DenPost, Wahyu Setyo of the Criminal Division of the Kuta Police said the facts of the case continue to be investigated.
The criminal code (363 KUHP) provides for up to five years imprisonment for theft.
Battening Down Bali’s Hatches
Security Measures Increased In Bali Following Shooting Of Six Suspected Terrorists In Java
(1/1/2014) The State News Agency Antara reports that security measures have been intensified at a number of gateways to the Island of Bali following the shooting of six suspected terrorist in West and Central Java on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
Gede Alit Widana of the Bali Police Operations Division, speaking at a discussion in Denpasar on Thursday, December 2, 2014, said, "We have taken a number of anticipative steps, including mapping, in cooperation with National Police Headquarters, the known movements of the terrorists."
Widana explained the Bali police will increase their supervision of the movements of people and goods at main ports such as Gilimanuk (West Bali) and Padangbai (East Bali).
He said members of neighborhood watches and community protection groupings, and village heads are now working with police to prevent any terrorist activities in Bali.
Over the New Year's period a massive police actions saw a shoot out between police and suspected terrorists at a private resident in Ciputat, West Java,
In that gun battle, six men, believed to be terrorists, were shot dead by police while another man was taken into custody.
Police also arrested another man believed to be involved in terrorist in Banyumas, Central Java on Monday, December 30, 2013.
Police have also searched know addresses of the men taken under arrest.
Local Tourism Leader Says Condition of Airport Damages Bali Tourism Promotion
Bali News: Terminal Atrocity
(12/30/2013) The vice-chairman of the Indonesian Tourism Association (GIPI-Bali) is decrying the abysmal conditions at Bali’s still-under-renovation Ngurah Rai International Airport.
In an article in The Bali Post, Bagus Sudibya, who also owns a range of travel companies, complained:
Confusion at baggage collection conveyors due to a lack of proper signage.
The general condition of the domestic arrival hall (still under renovation) that is dirty and run down. Ceiling tiles are missing due to leaks in the ceiling.
Waiting rooms that are very small.
The public toilets smelling of urine.
Sudibya, while acknowledging that the terminal was not yet completed, questions if it was fair to make passengers suffer such dire conditions.
He warned that the present state of the airport could damage the image of Bali tourism, especially in the midst of a boom in both domestic and international arrivals over the Christmas and New Years Holiday period.
The GIPI vice-chairman asked: “What impression are we giving to visitors who arrive in such conditions when, in fact, we have worked so hard to promote Bali to tourist visitors? We urge them to come, but when they arrive they are greeted by views such as this.”
He called on the airport’s managers to take carrying capacity into consideration in the day-to-day operation of Bali’s air gateway. What's more, Sudibya said he also encountered a traffic jam of several hours’ duration when he tried to leave the airport.
When a spokesman of PT Angkasa Pura I, the managers of the Airport, was asked to comment, he said: “Yes . . . it’s an ongoing project and there’s sure to be inconveniences, but we are doing our best to overcome them.”
The spokesman, Alfasyah, denied that there was a lack of adequate signage at baggage conveyers. He said all the baggage conveyor indicators were fully functioning.
Less Traffic Jams in Bali in 2014
Bali Prepares to Computerize it Busiest Traffic Lights
Bali News: Less Traffic Jams in Bali in 2014
(12/29/2013) The Badung Regency Transportation, Communication and Information Agency (Dishubkominfo) has plans in 2014 to install Area Traffic Control Systems (ATCS) on a number of traffic lights operating at South Bali’s busiest intersections.
The automated control systems that change traffic light intervals depending on actual traffic flows are predicted to help reduce or eliminate congested conditions in a number of areas in Bali.
The Badung Dishubkominfo has allocated Rp. 4.4 billion (US$367,000) to purchase ATCS in areas surround Kuta.
The installation of an undisclosed number of ATCSs in South Bali will take place in phases.
As a preliminary step to the ATCS installation, a fiber optic network is also being installed that will allow the system to interconnect and exchange traffic information.
Bali Gets a New Theater
Bali’s Capital City of Denpasar has a Brand New Cineplex Movie Theater
Bali News: Bali Gets a New Theater
(12/29/2013) Owned by the Metropolitan Government of Denpasar, the Denpasar Cineplex formally opened on Sunday, December 29, 2013.
Denpasar’s Mayor IB Rhai Dharmawijaya Mantra, municipal leaders and members of the community attended the opening, timed to coincide with the Denpasar Festival.
The theatre is located in the Pasar Lokitasari Complex – a market complex that is also home to 44 small business kiosks. The Market also features a lift and basement parking and is located on Jalan MH Thamrin in downtown Denpasar.
PT Denpasar Cineplek offers three separate theaters – one reserved exclusively for VIP presentations. The two “economy” theaters will accommodate 90 viewers while the VIP room will seat 50.
Those attending the economy class theaters will pay Rp. 50,000 (US$4.20) a ticket while VIPs will pay Rp. 75,,000 (US$6.25) Mondays through Thursday.
Prices increase on the weekend when the theater will charge Rp. 60,000 (US$5.00) for economy seating and Rp. 100,000 (US$8.35) for VIP for shows on Fridays through Sundays.
Jalan Thamrin Level III
Information and Reservations: +62-(0)361- 8497688 or ++62-(0)361-8497687
Straight Flush Trumps a Full House
Expensive Public Toilet Project Along Kuta Beach Unable to Open Due to Lack of Water Supply
Bali News: Straight Flush Trumps a Full House
(12/29/2013) Five brand new public toilets reportedly built to a “high international standard” and installed along Kuta Beach will not be available for use during the busy New Year Period when the beach will be invaded by thousands of tourists.
The new toilets have been formally finished and handed over by Badung Tourist Office to the Traditional Village of Kuta who has been designated to manage the facility.
The cost of the project that created 5 toilets was Rp. 2.2 billion (US$183,000).
The problem preventing the use of the new toilets is the lack of a dependable water supply.
Discussions are now reportedly underway between the State Water Board (PDAM) and the Kuta Village.
Because the new toilets cannot be activated without a water supply, portable toilets have been installed along the beach as a temporary measure with visitors asked to pay Rp. 3,000 (US$0.25) to use the bathrooms.
Do Not Enter
The Ins and Outs of Traffic in Kuta, Bali on New Years Eve 2014
Bali News: Do Not Enter
(12/29/2013) Police will close a number of roads in Kuta and alter traffic directions on other streets in order to accommodate the massive crush of vehicles and people who traditionally flock to the Bali’s most popular beach area to mark the passage of the year.
Police will close a number of roads leading into Bali starting at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, December 31, 2013.
The roads leading into Kuta slated for closure are:
The intersection at Merta Nad
Jalan Dewi Kunti
Jalan Patih Jelantik
The Kuta Traffic Light
The one access that will remain open to Kuta is via the Ngurah Rai Statue at the Bali Airport.
Inbound Traffic to Kuta
Traffic coming from the north (Kerobokan and Jalan Iman Bonjol) will be diverted to the Sunset Road, the Dewa Ruci Underpasss, Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai, Bali Airport, Jalan Raya Tuban, Jalan Raya Kediri and Jalan Dewi Sartika.
Traffic coming from the east (Sanur) will be diverted to the Dewa Ruci Underpass, Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai, The Ngurah Rai Monument roundabout, Ngurah Rai Airport, Jalan Raya Tuban and Jalan Dewi Sartika.
Traffic coming from the south (South Kuta) will be diverted to Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai, the Ngurah Rai Monument round-about, The Ngurah Rai Airport, Jalan Raya Tuban, Jalan Raya Kuta, Jalan Kediri and Jalan Dewi Sartika.
Outbound Traffic from Kuta
People leaving Kuta will be diverted via Jalan Raya Kuta, Jalan Setiabudi-Dewa Ruci Underpass, Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai in a northerly direction to Jalan Raya Kuta, Jalan Sunset Road and Jalan Iman Bonjol.
People leaving Kuta from Legian Kaja and Seminyak will be diverted via Jalan Nakula, Jalan Kunti, Seminyak Utara and Jalan Sunset.
Go to Work Early!
Those working at businesses and hotels in Kuta or guess staying at these hotels are being urged by police to enter Kuta well in advance of 4:00 pm, prior to the formal closure of these roads.
Police in cooperation with local communities are establishing satellite parking at:
Jalan Patih Djelantik – Dewi Sri (Toll Truck on standby)
Sentral Parkir (Toll Truck on standby)
Dewa Ruci Underpass
Intersection at the Pasar Seni Kuta (Ambulance on standby)
Krisna Oleh-Oleh (for bus parking)
Panin Bank (VVIP motorcycle parking
Ace Hardware (for 150 cars)
Lapangan Tri Sakti (500 motorcycles)
Krishna Oleh Oleh on Jalan Sunset (Bus parking)
The chief traffic officer from the Denpasar Police Precinct, I Nyoman Nuryana, announced the modifications in traffic and parking scheme on Monday, December 23, 2013.
Bric-a-Brac as Briquettes
Souvenir and Handicraft Storage Building in Sukawati Burns
Bali News: Bric-a-Brac as Briquettes
(12/28/2013) A storage facility for Balinese gifts and souvenirs on a side street connecting the community of Celuk with the Sukawati Traditional Market in Gianyar burnt down at mid-day, Saturday, December 28, 2013.
As reported by the State News Agency Antara, the fire caused structural and stock damage in the hundreds of millions of rupiah. The company that operates the Buah Tangan Bali Souvenir Shop owned the storage facility.
No injuries were reported in connection with the blaze.
Yulianti, the owner of the building, said she did not yet know the cause of the fire.
A husband and wife team of M. Aris and Eka Mulalasari supervised the building.
Two fire trucks responded to the fire that took two hours to bring under control. The fire is also blamed with causing a multi-jam traffic jam on the road connecting Sukawati and Denpasar.
The Sukawati Police Precinct continues to investigate the incident.
Local Flavors to Dominate
Bali Capital of Denpasar Prepared to Require Hotels and Accommodation Providers to Offer a Range of Local Cuisine
Bali News: Local Flavors to Dominate
(12/28/2013) Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports that the Municipality of Denpasar will soon make it mandatory that 10% of all food dishes sold by hotels to be comprised of traditional local cuisine.
The Mayor of Bali’s Capital, Ida Bagus Rai Dharmawijaya Mantra, on Friday, December 27, 2013, explained the coming ruling requiring traditional food be offered at breakfast, lunch and dinner, adding: ??“I’ve talked directly to hotel managers about this in a recent meeting before I sent the announcement, but we need a stricter regulation to ensure their compliance.”
The ruling will affect 23 starred hotels, 196 non-starred hotels and 65 homestays comprising nearly 8,000 rooms.
The move is being promoted as a mean of supporting local culture and the local businesses that will supply the ingredients for the local cuisine mandated by the ruling.
Bali: Australian Domestic Tourist Destination?
Worth Sharing: Who Invited You to Bali?
Bali News: Bali: Australian Domestic Tourist Destination?
(12/30/2013) The Guardian, in an article first published by The Conversation – part of the Guardian Comment Network, featured a thought provoking composition written by academic Angleszka Sobocinska asking “Who invited you to Bali?”
Sobocinska is deputy director of the National Centre for Australian Studies. Her academic background is in history, specializing in the cultural history of Australian-Asian relations, the history of travel and tourism and development.
Who invited you to Bali?” questions basic premises of the international tourism industry and explores the cultural degradation mass tourism brings to a destination.
Taking Bali as a specific case-in-point, Australians constitute 25% of all foreign arrivals to Bali where, she suggests, tolerance and resiliency may be coming to an end as cross-cultural, environmental and social tensions are on the rise.
She also looks at growing demands on limited natural resources, such as water, on an increasingly thirsty Island where 65% of Bali’s water is consumed by tourism. As a result, rivers and rice fields are drying up and salt water intrudes into a rapidly diminishing water table. Meanwhile, developers eye how to turn a profit from the Island's mountainous lakes – Bali’s last vestiges of fresh water.
Also examined by Sobocinska is the rapid loss of agricultural land to tourism development, estimated to be disappearing in Bali at the annual rate of 1,000 hectare. Also under severe strain is Bali's electrical grid where an estimated 50,000 Balinese households sit in absolute darkness watching, from the distance, the after glow of luxury villas and hotels.
Is Tourism the New Form of Colonialism?
On a more basic and perhaps crucial level, the Author raises question of cultural degradation, questioning how her fellow Australians and others have turned certain parts of Bali into a sordid and tawdry domestic destination.
What Bugs us in Bali
Bali Travelers Urged to be on the Alert Chikungunya for Outbreak During Island’s Rainy Season
Bali News: What Bugs us in Bali
(12/28/2013) Western Australian media and Bali Health Officials are warning of a threat of the chikungunya virus during the rainy season now taking place on the Island.
The Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) quotes the head of the Bali Health Office, Ketut Suarjaya, who confirms cases of chikungunya have been found in the regencies of Klungkung and Gianyar.
A mosquito-borne blood virus, the symptoms of chikungunya include crippling joint pain, fever, headaches, nausea, fatigue and rashes.
The joint pain accompanying the disease can last for several days and is often so debilitating that it sometimes contorts the body of its victim. While the pain may persist for several months, recovery is typically complete.
The media of the disease are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, also associated with the spread of dengue fever.
Medically, chikungunya is considered less dangerous than dengue fever.
Cases of chikungunya have been confirmed in Indonesia in Bali, West Sumatra, Central Java and West Java.
Western Australian Health Officials have recorded 51 cases of chikungunya in 2013 saying more than 90% of those cases were wholly attributable" from people who had been to Bali.
This is a huge spike in chikungunya cases reported in Western Australia, where only 31 cases of the disease were reported for the entire period of 2008-2012.
Precautions include fogging, insect repellents and the elimination of water catchment situations in which the mosquitoes breed.
A Voluntary Tax?
Governor Planning to Repitch US$10 Heritage Tax as a ‘Donation'
Bali News: A Voluntary Tax?
(12/28/2013) Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika says his plans to introduce a US$10 heritage tax on every foreign visitor starting in 2014 is being delayed by
Governor Pastika quoted by the State News Agency Antara said, “There’s a legal problem there, so the (the heritage tax) cannot be put into effect.”
The governor’s comments were made at the end of the December monthly town hall meeting held on Saturday, December 28, 2013.
Pastika said a legal conflict exists, as the current framework of the law does not allow the province to impose additional taxes.
“A tax is not allowed. But if it is termed a donation that would be voluntary and the amount requested (for donation) is not stipulated,” explained Pastika.
Because of the limitations on new taxes, the governor’s office is undertaking corrections in the proposed “heritage contribution” so it does not create legal complications.
The intention of the governor is to use the amount donated to protect cultural objects and also provide insurance coverage for tourist visitors who fall sick, have an accident or die while on a Bali holiday.
“This means that not all the money collected will go to the government, while another portion goes to people who have accidents, are sick or die. When tourists dies we now have problems returning the remains,” the governor explained.
The governor admitted that most tourists have insurance, but that coverage sometimes does not extend beyond the borders of their home country. When illness and accidents take place the money collected from the proposed donations would be use to assist international visitors.
Governor Pastika defended his idea of a heritage donation, saying such schemes are already in operation in other countries.
The governor said it was not possible to secure a portion of the US$25 visa-on-arrival fee charged most foreign visitors because that would require a change in the current law.
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