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The ejidatarios , those who controlled the ejido , believed it did, and they sold the plots where many of Tulum's most popular hotels were built. These sales were only semiformal, though, with contracts of dubious legality, and the buyers often rented the properties out to third parties like Malleville. These titles are of questionable legality too, but for years none of this was a big deal, because, beautiful as it might be, the beach was too isolated and undeveloped to be worth much.

That changed when the diamonds appeared along with the flip-flops. The land soared in value. Denying any ties to Borge, the former governor of Quintana Roo, he also said that the methods his family used to seize the hotels were legal. The first seizures came in Perlman was evicted from two old villas said to have earlier belonged to Pablo Escobar. As she tells it, she had poured money into refurbishing them and was about to host a wedding when a man showed up and suggested that his boss was willing to resort to violence to stake his claim to the properties.

More takeovers, launched by a variety of parties, came in the years that followed. Locals brag that Tulum is an oasis of safety in Mexico, but with so much money now at stake, violence crept in: A lawyer fighting the evictions was shot to death in his office in ; the crime remains unsolved. Some hoteliers decided to protect themselves. Like Heredia he had heard about Tulum from Europeans—a British couple—and was immediately seduced. He moved there, bought some ejido land, built a few huts. All the while, he visited three courthouses a week to stay on top of the proceedings.

We sat watching the ocean. You get so used to the sound of the waves in Tulum, it was only later when I listened to the recordings of my interviews that I remembered how soothing it was. They told him his property was on a list and that he would soon be evicted, and while he didn't show me any documents, he said he negotiated to stay.

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Some of the seized properties have been resold. The Pablo Escobar villas were made into a hotel called Casa Malca, a higher-end take on the Coqui Coqui idea; Leonardo DiCaprio was rumored to be staying there at the time I was visiting. Big hotel chains couldn't invest because of the uncertain legal status of the beachfront, and that will remain true as long as the dispute continues. Of course, Tulum has changed. Many people I met seemed to be chasing a memory of its early days, when the place was quiet and truly dark at night. Tulum changed, though, because of its own success, in a way typical of such places.

In recent years people have started calling it Williamsburg by the Sea, after the overhyped neighborhood in Brooklyn. I wondered if, for Malleville at least, the demolition of Coqui Coqui wasn't a blessing in disguise. He was already hunting for the next unpolished diamond, and he had founded a few new hotels in lesser-known spots inland from Tulum.

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When I visited he was off in Bora Bora, planning his first location outside Mexico. I sent him an e-mail asking about the eviction, and while he expressed regret over the fate of his iconic hotel, he also betrayed a kind of locust's moral of cool. Type keyword s to search. By Alex Cuadros. Getty Images. The region's former governor Roberto Borge presided during a slew of evictions.

Flip-flops and diamonds was the style that came to define Tulum.

History of Stone Harbor ⋆ The Shore Blog

It is predicted that start up will begin on Thursday, April 27 th in the evening. Conditions will be monitored and updated if any changes are noted. The beach fill project has been suspended for the next one to two weeks. Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company announced that a port breast switch shaft on the dredge failed on Wednesday, March 29th. This will result in at least one week of repairs in safe harbor in Cape May before the dredge can continue working. Avalon beach paths remain closed in the north end south to 15th Street. Walters Marine is expected to begin work on beach paths on the new beachfront south to 13th Street in about one week.

There will be no substantive updates until the dredge is repaired and back in service in either Cape May or Avalon. The Army Corp officially agreed to the proposal from Great Lakes for the supplemental sand from 80th Street to th Street. When the bulk of the Avalon beach fill project ends in approximately five weeks, there will be a two day start to the next phase of the project.

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The sand will be placed on the Avalon beachfront first, before the work is conducted in Stone Harbor. The project in southern Avalon and from 80th Street to th in Stone Harbor should take no more than 23 days to complete after it begins. The anticipated end date would be June 17th.

Avalon and Stone Harbor officials attended the weekly beach fill project progress meeting in Avalon on Thursday, March 23rd. Is it unique? So again, most of the sand that you find in there is quartz. So desert sand, unfortunately, is completely useless to us as human beings for construction. So in the desert, those grains tumble and tumble and tumble over thousands of years, getting smashed, just banging full force into each other, which rounds off their corners and their angles and makes it quite a bit rounder and smoother than the sand that you find in the bottom of rivers or the bottom of lakes, which tends to be sharper and more angular.

So that desert sand, ultimately, is too round to stick together to build something out of.

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I could talk about concrete forever, as my listeners know, as they yawn as I talk about it. And sand is a major part of concrete, right? This stuff is so underappreciated. Like most people, I had never even thought about it before I started doing the research for this book. But concrete is literally the foundation of our modern civilization. A lot of people mix up concrete and cement. You mix up cement plus a whole lot of sand and gravel and let it dry, let it cure. And that gives you concrete. I had no idea that people steal sand right off a beach. We need sand. Like I said, concrete is the thing that our modern civilization is really made out of, right?

Every building, every shopping mall, apartment block being built anywhere around the world is made at least partly out of concrete. Also, all the roads, all the highways that connect all those buildings— also made of thousands and thousands of tons of sand. And we are using it at an unbelievable pace. But in fact, it is deadly serious business in India. And they get away with it by doing the same thing organized crime does everywhere. They pay off judges.

They pay off police to leave them alone. And if you really get in their way, they will kill you. Hundreds of people have been murdered over sand in the last few years, mostly in India, but also in other countries around the world. In Kenya, in Indonesia, a bunch of other places— tremendous violence connected with the sand trade.

There is considerable environmental damage that happens here in the US. But really, the worst stuff is happening in the developing world. I can tell you I get calls all the time now from reporters around the world who are starting to become aware of this issue and starting to look into it. One is, yeah, you can smash down concrete, crush it up, and reuse it to a certain extent. And that makes them unfit for certain purposes.

We have to take a break. Stay with us. This is Science Friday. And when I rudely interrupted Vince, he was telling us about recycling sand, recycling concrete to bring the sand out of it. So as I was saying, three reasons. We can recycle it. Imagine all the power, all the energy that it takes to run a machine that can smash concrete down into grains. So really, that sand, most of the time, is taken permanently out of circulation.

Lots of folks with calls. Mike in Mount Vernon, Washington. Hi, Mike. How does the sand vary from that like in outer space or in Mars, like asteroids?