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Friday, November 1, 2013

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Martha McNabb

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Takes 2nd at the 2013 Bisbee

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Black and Blue


Real Estate

Once again our own Martha McNabb showed the boys how to fish, taking 2nd
overall with a 525 lb Blue at the Bisbee and winning the most prize money. In fact it
was ladies day on the podium as Linda Williams took first place with a 774 lb Blue,
the largest ever boated by a female angler in the B&B. Read more here on the
Bisbee web site.

Bob Farmer

Roadrunner Cafe

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The Baja

Congratulations Martha and crew!!


Labels: bisbee black and blue, martha mcnabb
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Blog Archive

2013 (6)
November (1)
Martha McNabb
Takes 2nd at the
2013 Bisbee Black
September (1)
April (1)
February (2)
January (1)
2012 (20)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mexico's Electric Subsidies

Article taken from "The Baja Insider"
Mexico's Residential Electric Subsidies - Looks
like they will stay
The people of Mexico have enjoyed a
variety of subsidies including gasoline
and electricity. The World Bank and
some Mexican legislators say the
subsidy promotes waste and is too
expensive for the state.
In Mexico there has been for decades, a
very juicy subsidy to residential electrical
bills and to industrial high volume
users. Over the past decade the
The Latest News...
Updated August 8, 2013 Good news! The cost of this subsidy to the Mexican
federal government has been
President of Mexico, Pea Nieto has
growing at a significant rate. But by
decided that the temporary electrical
subsidy will stay, for now. The sliding scale law, written into the legislation
establishing any subsidy in Mexico
will most benefit the poor, as the most


electricity you use, the smaller the subsidy

The Baja California Sur customer will
continue to save 17% to 43% of their
electric bill through this subsidy.
North Americans use an average 10 times
more electricity per citizen than do
Mexicans, in a large part to the relative
cost of electricity in Mexico and lower
average income levels.

is the important word 'temporary'.

Now, there is legislative move afoot
to reform or remove the current
subsidy schedule
In 2009 the World Bank released a
white paper recommending that
Mexico's residential electric
subsidies be entirely scrapped. In
2009 the average U.S. customer
was paying $0.096 per kW/hr and
the average Mexican customer was
paying $0.090 per kW/hr, both enjoying some of the cheapest electricity in the
world. Removal of the subsidies would rocket Mexico to the other end of the cost
scale, with countries like Japan and Germany, which paid close to $0.20 per kW/hr.
(Note: This is not the electric rate; it is the price the average residential customer
paid in these countries, including subsidies, supports & including the HVD in
Mexico) The vast majority of electricity in Mexico is generated by diesel thermoelectric plants and the cost of the fuel has risen more than 75% in the 7 year period
preceding the study. Fuel costs risen even further since 2009. Nearly all of the
electricity on the peninsula is generated by this method and demand for electricity
has risen even more sharply here, as the 'Gringo Invasion' has resulted in a
dramatic increase in demand; to power air conditioners and our more consumptive
culture. This, of course, is in addition to the explosive growth of the peninsula within
the Mexican community and the growth of the middle class, who also desire to
sleep in air conditioned comfort.
The World Bank recommended improvements in the efficiency of CFE, the national
power company and a LPE, the Mexico City electricity provider. They
recommended modernization of the infrastructure and business management of the
system to result in a 20% cost per delivered Kw/hr. But with a double edged sword,
the side that cuts the consumer was the removal of all subsidies.
In an attempt to make a silk purse of a sow's ear they stated that electricity was 'too
cheap' in Mexico, promoting waste, and not stimulating the use of more expensive
but energy saving technology. That this over use was adding to environmental
abuse and climate change. Raising the cost of electricity would promote greater
conservation. However, it is important to remember that if your yearly income
contains less than 10 decimal places to the left, the World Bank is probably not on
your side, despite their "Madison Avenue" tag line.
Why is this happening
For several decades
Mexico has enjoyed cheap
energy and brought in
significant national income
from petroleum, which
supported generous social
programs which in turn
have brought strong growth
to the Mexican economy. Income taxes are less than 1/2 that of the U.S. for a
majority of the working class.
Subsidies have supported fuel prices, electricity, and health and infrastructure
expansion. These investments are paying off, this year Mexico is expected to have
2 to 3 times the economic growth of the United States, which has a different idea
as to where to spend money.
Those oil riches are coming to an end. In the next few years Mexico will pass from
being an oil exporting country to an oil importer. Mexico is beginning to tighten the
belt before they run out of rope.
By then end of the decade Mexico will also enter the exclusive club of being one of
the ten most powerful economies on the planet. It is unclear whether removing
subsidies will accellerate or delay this progress. Just that much more of the burden
of progress will shift to the poor can not be debated.
What would be the impact on the economy in Mexico?
No party to this plan denies that removing the subsidies
would most dramatically impact the poor. Nor does any
party to this plan deny that it would curtail use masquerading as conservation. Everyone also agrees
that the 20% cost savings would be a wonderful thing, but
the electrical workers are a strong force, and unlikely to
give up wages or the juicy and wasteful perk of free
electricity for employees. Management rarely gives up
anything. Savings would most likely come from an upfront investment to make the system more efficient.
Who would be forced to give up something, would be
every economic level of consumer below the mid-line. A
local newspaper suggests that if you are paying $500 pesos ($40USD) per month
now your Baja power bill would jump to $1800 pesos ($141USD) with the removal

of the subsidy. (when calculating your price increase it is not linear, the subsidy
decreases with usage, until you reach the 'high volume user' category)
In an economy where the growing middle class has become accustom to air
conditioning, 56 inch TV's and electric blenders, there would be a significant
number on the fringe of each of these 'luxuries' that would have to give them up.
This would result in a drop in sales of these products and a further reduction in VAT
tax revenue to the Federal government. Not to mention the increase in hot, sweaty,
sleepless and disgruntled Mexicans, who felt their path forward being obstructed.
With the removal of the fuel subsidies already in progress and this proposed
electric rate increase it will be a lot for some economic strata to absorb.
What does it mean for Baja?
If you were to turn off the electricity La Paz
would likely dry up and return to a dusty
little frontier pueblo with no industry and a
handful of wealth oriented, self-powered
tourists enclaves. Although no one is likely
to throw the switch on the state just yet,
politicians are already vocal about the
damage this subsidy change could mean to
people of our state. The broad picture is
painted as the impact on the poor, to which
the mere use of electricity would become a luxury. When a decent working class
job for a Mexican in La Paz brings in $300 to $600USD per month, a big price jump
in electricity will take a huge bite from personal spending power.
For North Americans living in most parts of Baja California Sur the air conditioning
comes on in the afternoons in April and is running full time from June to October.
My air conditioning system usually gets shut down for the year about mid
November. For me and many others, air conditioning is an essential for
surviving/enjoying life in our region through the summer months.
Water is another life giving essential, which is becoming increasingly dependent on
electricity. Production of water through current desalinization techniques is very
energy consumptive, as any cruiser will tell you. With every Baja Sur municipality
now using desalinated drinking water within their jurisdiction, water prices will rise
In Baja California Sur most of our electricity currently comes from diesel
generation. (although another 800mW solar plant is in the works) Anyone with an
eye to the future knows that our electric rates are destine to climb steadily as
petroleum prices rise, but the subsidy removal would create a much larger single
jump in the immediate future.
With the majority of North Americans investing in Mexico to retire on fixed incomes,
the increased cost of electricity and our Gringo consumptive needs, the cost
savings of moving to Mexico would be significantly lessened.
The real estate market in Baja has endured these past few years, subsisting mostly
on sales to Mexican nationals, where home financing has actually become easier in
many respects. Some real estate projects have failed, while others hang on by their
fingernails, awaiting a new wave of North American buyers to which their product is
With travel prices increasing; with appliances, electronics and groceries costing
more than most U.S. locations and now fuel prices approaching equivalency,
removing additional cost advantages to North American retirees will not benefit
southbound investment. With the bulk of the expatriates choosing the states of Baja
California and Baja California Sur to make home, part or full time, this may have a
dramatic regional impact.

Labels: baja electrical subsidies, Mexico's electric subsidies

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Meet the Jack Queen

Bonnie Herter is now officially the Jack Queen.

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Nice Fish Bonnie!

Labels: bonnie herter, meet the jack queen

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

1st Annual Roadrunner Cafe 5k Run

Labels: 5k run, roadrunner cafe 5k

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Second Annual Los Barriles Mardi Gras Parade

First let me confess: I was in La Paz all day and missed the parade. Fortunately, I
have some photos from my friend June and found a great video on YouTube by
Bernadette. So if you missed it like I did, here you go.

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Go Pro View of Los Barriles Mardigras Para

Labels: 2013, los barriles, mardi gras parade

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Roadrunner 5k Beach Bash

Road Runner Cafe Beach Bash 5K/1K is March 23, 2013. There are two
categories: shoed and barefoot. The race start is at Buena Vista Public Beach

Park. The course for the 5K will follow the beach to the turn arround at the Costa
Brava road entrance to the beach. Proceeds go to help students pay for high
school education. There are many age group divisions, many prizes. If you
register by Feb. 15th. you are guaranteed a T-shirt. Pre register at Road Runner
Cafe. We encourage children 12 & under to run in the beach 1K. Entry fee for
5K: 100 pesos for 1K 20 pesos. Join me in our first informal training run at Costa
Brava Road beach entrance on Thurs. Jan. 31st. at 8am. RSVP for training run:

Labels: 5k run, bcs, los barriles, los cabos, March 2013, mexico, Roadrunner beach bash,
roadrunner cafe, tshirt
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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Our Friends Who Moved to Los Barriles

Our friends Larry and Cheri have
finally retired and moved into their
house in Buena Vista. We dove up
and accompanied them down the
highway since it was their first time.
They are thrilled to be here and have
wasted no time getting involved in
the community. Larry sings at the
open mic at Roadrunner and has
landed a part in the upcoming
Shakespeare play.
Cheri is an artist and an art therapist.
She quickly found willing art subjects
in our cute little burros. I love her art
and here are a few drawings she
shared with me.

Labels: art, art therapist, burros, larry and cheri, los barriles
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