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ISSUE 41

WALTZ ON OVER TO LOMBOK!

SPECTACULAR DANCE IN LOMBOK

WHAT'S HOT

RINJANI STILL ERUPTING BUT CLIMBERS PERMITTED

NUSA ALAM OPENS SECONDARY SCHOOL!

INDONESIANS HEAD FOR THE POLLS 8 JULY

STRENGTHENING JAPAN-LOMBOK CONNECTIONS

LOCAL SCENE

LOCAL CHEFS DEMONSTRATE COOKING IN MOSCOW

SANTOSA HOSTS HUGE WEDDING

BALI BRACES FOR HIGHER ELECTRICITY RATES

KPK ASKED TO INVESTIGATE WEST LOMBOK OFFICIALS

BALI PRISONERS PROVE HARD TO HANDLE

SWIM IN KUTA'S TOILET

BRAD PITT BALI BOUND?

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WALTZ ON OVER TO LOMBOK!

Welcome to The Lombok Guide – Lombok's complete tourism paper and your guide to the best that the island has to offer. The Lombok Guide is published on Lombok every two weeks and contains valuable information for all visitors to our magical island.

As we go to print this issue, we're still buzzing about the Lombok International Dance Championships held in the ballroom of the Santosa Villas and Resort in Senggigi on 20 and 21 June. The performances by talented ballroom and Latin dance champions were truly world class. Read our feature article on page 10 for next year's dates.
This is the sort of event you would expect to see on stages in London or Moscow, so it's a fabulous coup that the Dance Championships are held in Lombok, rather than the nation's capital, Jakarta, or the better-known island of Bali. Congratulations to Marcel and Puri Mas Boutique Resorts for establishing such a prestigious event on Lombok's annual calendar!

High season is on the way and, judging from all indications, it's going to be a fantastic season in Lombok! This year's tourist arrival numbers are looking very strong and many hotels are reporting heavy bookings over July and August. The Gilis are sure to be very popular this season, particularly the top resorts on Gili Trawangan. If you don't have accommodation booked yet – better hurry!

Bali is already bustling so, if you want to escape to a less frenetic and more impressively beautiful tropical holiday destination, now is the time to visit Lombok!

To find out more, pick up a copy of The Lombok Guide from the locations listed on page 32 or visit www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself… like thousands of others, you'll be enchanted!

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SPECTACULAR DANCE IN LOMBOK

What do international dancing championships and a tropical island have in common? Strauss and Stravinsky, Salsa and sashay against a backdrop of swaying palm trees… this startling combination would not normally go hand-in-hand but, over the past five years, the island of Lombok has become an important destination in the world dancing arena.

On Saturday, 20 and Sunday, 21 July, Lombok was treated to a unique and spell-binding spectacle as champion dancers dressed in flowing gowns and glittering costumes took to the floor in the fifth annual Lombok International Dance Championships, sanctioned by the World Dance Council, the Indonesian Ballroom Dance Council and the Indonesian Sports Ministry.

This world-class event is the inspiration of Marcel De Rijk, owner of Puri Mas Boutique Resorts and Spa in Lombok and himself a past world dance champion. Marcel is also Vice President of the World Dance Council and spends part of the year travelling the world attending dance competitions.

Marcel has been single-handedly responsible for introducing ballroom dance to this beautiful tropical island just to the east of Bali. Living part of the year in Lombok, Marcel opened the Lombok International Dance Studio on the island around ten years ago and began teaching local and expat residents to dance. Each year, Marcel would host an annual party for his students and invite an international dance couple from Europe to perform at the event… and thus the idea for the Dance Championships was born.

Now in its fifth year, the Lombok International Dance Championships is a world-class event attracting international dance champions and competitors from 15 different countries, as well as adjudicators and judges from the world dance circuit.

This year, for the first time, new Amateur World Champions Eldar and Anna Dzhafarov from Azerbaijan (Europe) competed in Lombok, dancing in the Ballroom and Latin sections. This spectacular couple won the World Title in Ballroom Dance and Ten Dance last year. Top professional couple, Evgeny Ryupin and Yana Prokovskaya from Russia, who competed in Lombok last year, once again were crowd-pleasers in the Professional Latin Competition. They are among the top dance couples in the world and are finalists in the European Championships. Hong Kong Professional champions, Aleksander and Irina Zhiratkov dazzled the crowds in the Ballroom section. The fabulous pair have just returned from England where they finished in second place at the world famous Blackpool Dance Festival.

Having witnessed some of these couples performing last year, crowds clamoured for tickets to this year's event, held in the Ballroom at Santosa Villas and Resort in Senggigi. Even those not normally interested in ballroom dance can't help but be enchanted by the couples in tuxedos and flowing gowns floating and twirling effortlessly across the floor. The sexy costumes and seductive moves in the Latin section tell saucy stories that bridge any language barriers and leave the spectators bewitched.

Dance performances of this calibre are what you would normally expect to see in the top ballrooms of Europe. Set against the backdrop of the impressive Santosa Villas and Resort with its fountains and palms, the Dance Championships juxtaposition a glamorous cultural experience with a magical tropical location.

Many visitors to Lombok are now planning their holidays around this annual dance event, combining the chance to see truly world class dance performances with a relaxing break on a uniquely beautiful island. For those living within Indonesia, if the Lombok International Dance Championships isn't on your social calendar, it should be! Next year's Championships will be held on 3 and 4 July, 2010. Visit the website for more information: www.purimas-lombok.com/dance.htm

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I mentioned last issue that the Senggigi Plaza was becoming much more interesting with new shops opening over the past few months. Now Blue Market and Stylist Salon have made shopping in the Plaza even more enjoyable, opening a small open-air café in front of the two adjoining shops. Selling a good range of fresh juices, teas, coffees and light snacks, the café has comfortable seating arrangements and a large screen TV for customers to sit back and relax. Grab a drink and a snack while shopping for imported chocolates, snacks and other tempting goodies at Blue Market! You can also order drinks to consume in Stylist Salon while having your hair pampered. The professional salon offers massages, mani's and pedi's, cuts and styling, colouring and a range of other hair treatments, including a delicious one and a half hour hair spa to get your hair in top condition!

The Beach Club in Batu Bolong, near Café Alberto at the north gateway to Senggigi, is looking very good these days. New signage at the entrance makes finding this little gem of a hide-away so much easier. The garden is also looking fantastic with lots of lush palms, green lawns and flowering plants surrounding the beachfront pool and the three lovely bungalows. No wonder The Beach Club has become the “in place” for the Gili T crowd on breaks to the mainland! www.thebeachclublombok.com

We stopped in for lunch at the Meninting Raya Bungalows last week and were pleasantly surprised. This hotel, near the petrol station and opposite Meninting Regency housing complex in Meninting, is often overlooked on trips to and from Senggigi but the food is very good and remarkably low priced. A huge serving of the popular “Chicken Gordon Blue” (sic) with veges and fries is just Rp 35 000. Or try Meninting Fried Rice with chicken for Rp 17 500 or the Crispy Squid Rings with fries and salad at an unbeatable Rp 14 000! A great place for a pit-stop on the way to and from the cities!

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RINJANI STILL ERUPTING BUT CLIMBERS PERMITTED

Mt Rinjani, Lombok's famous volcano, continues to erupt but authorities have opened the mountain to climbers under strictly limited conditions.

People wishing to climb Rinjani and to witness the eruptions are permitted to trek to the shoulder of the mountain, but are not allowed to make the climb down to the Crater Lake or attempt the treacherous climb to the summit. Nor may trekkers camp overnight on the mountain at present.

Climber ascending the mountain from Sembalun on the eastern gateway are only permitted to reach Plawangan 2 (Sembalun Crater Rim Camp) at 2 639 metres. Climbers leaving from Senaru, the north gateway are only permitted to reach Plawangan 1 (Senaru Crater Rim) at 2 641 metres.

Clouds of hot steam, red hot stones and lava and poisonous gasses are still occurring within 3 kms of the eruption point, making the area extremely dangerous and strictly out of bounds to anyone on the mountain.

Trekkers are requested to not touch or interfere with monitoring equipment currently collecting data on Rinjani at Sembalun Plawangan. Climbers also must wear masks covering their nose and mouth, as well as volcanic dirt barrier eyeglasses or similar eye protection.

Caution is advised in cases of strong winds which can blow heavy clouds of ash for several kilometres and large eruptions which can throw hot stones outside of the restricted zone.

According to the Head of the Centre for Vulcanology and Disaster Mitigation, Surono, eruptions are still taking place, with ash and red hot materials falling in the caldera, and softer ash exiting from the area around the caldera.
People in the area are witnessing “strombolian eruptions” (seen at night as rose coloured fireworks). Seismic activity (earth tremors) is still being recorded at regular intervals.

Pursuant to data analysis and earthquake activity from 7 May until 16 June 2009 the status of the activity is classed as Alert Level II, meaning there may not be any activity within a radius of 4 km from the Baru Jari eruption point.
Mt Baru Jari (2 363 meters) is the smaller active volcanic cone located alongside the lake in Rinjani's caldera. The small volcano started erupting on 2 May this year and thus far has created a lava flow into the lake measuring about 100 m long and 600 m wide.

Climbers must be accompanied by experienced guides who know the mountain and are briefed by the Department of Volcanology regularly. Local Government will be posting notice-boards with trekking conditions at Senaru and Sembalun. People in the region are also reminded that there is a danger of flooding if a large eruption causes an overflow of Lake Segara Anak (in the caldera) into the nearby Kokok Putih River.

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NUSA ALAM OPENS SECONDARY SCHOOL!

Change is in the wind at Sekolah Nusa Alam. For one thing, the school has a new international principal: Gregg Renneberg. Gregg moved to Lombok in January with his family to take up the position of international principal at Sekolah Nusa Alam and, as we found out when we visited, the school is about to open a senior-secondary department.

Sekolah Nusa Alam, the only genuine international-standard school in Lombok, has earned a well-deserved reputation for excellence – and it is about to get even better! Established in January 2000, the school has grown from an original enrolment of six children to the current enrolment of over 100. The school provides education to expatriate and Indonesian children from Kindergarten to Year 9. Year 10 will start in July 2009, when the school opens its new senior secondary department, with hopes to expand its enrolments to over 200 in coming years.

Sekolah Nusa Alam's new principal, Gregg, has been teaching for over 28 years; 16 of these in leadership roles in secondary schools in Canberra and Sydney. He and his wife, Leigh, also spent two years with their family at Jerudong International School (Kindergarten to Year 12) in Brunei where their son, Jacob, was born. Jacob has joined Grade 4 at the school. Leigh is also a teacher, with a background in special education, student services and art education.

When we recently visited the school in Montong to find out what is going on, we met up with Gregg and Mark Heyward, one of the founders of the school, who showed us around the campus. Sekolah Nusa Alam is a beautiful, purpose-built school surrounded by green fields, located near the beach between Mataram and Senggigi. Mark's pride was evident as he spoke to us about the history of the school.

“We originally established Nusa Alam so that we would have a good quality school for our children in Lombok,” explained Mark, an international education consultant. “My own children, Rory and Harry, are in Grade 1 and 4. I know about education. It's my profession – my life! And I know that, without Nusa Alam, I would not be able to live in Lombok with my family.”

But what happens when children reach senior secondary level? Up until now, the school has only provided classes up to Year 9 (SMP 3). After that families who want a quality education for their children have to move away from Lombok or send their children abroad for education. But all that is about to change! In July this year, the school will offer Year 10 classes: progressing to Year 11 and 12 in subsequent years.

“Children will be able to stay in Lombok and attend an international standard school from Kindergarten right through to Year 12” said Gregg. “We are developing a continuous, seamless curriculum, so that parents keep their children at home, close to their care and protection. They can feel comfortable keeping their children at a quality school here in Lombok, right from pre-school through to matriculation, further study or work here or overseas. A curriculum that delivers in a number of key areas: achieving breadth and depth to skills of literacy and numeracy, computer technology and, particularly, English proficiency. Children should acquire the ability to use their languages English and Indonesian – in whatever context that they find themselves. The aim is for the students to be fully bilingual.”

“I expect that by the time students leave Sekolah Nusa Alam in Year 12, they will be mature young adults, English-proficient and with results that will get them what they need to follow their pathway. To have choices about which pathways they have after they leave school.”

Starting this year, the school will introduce the Cambridge Curriculum from the United Kingdom. “The International Certificate for General Secondary Education (ICGSE) is for Year 9 and 10,” explained Gregg. “After that, they go on to Cambridge A Levels for Year 11 and 12.”

“The Cambridge Curriculum, which is recognized all over the world and is already well established in some international and national plus schools in Indonesia, is ideal for our school,” he said. “Students can follow their own pathway and will gain the international certification they need for the future.”

As the bell rang and the sound of children's voices filled the air, it was time to leave. Gregg smiled as he looked out on his charges.

“You know, as a teacher, you don't get feedback on the spot,” he reflected, “but sometimes many years later you meet up with students and they tell how you gave them a positive perspective on life. You opened them up to their own potential; gave them a view of the future that they didn't have previously. Its like opening a book on their own lives, isn't it?”

So, parents can now relax! No need to stress about where to send the children next… Sekolah Nusa Alam is opening Year 10 classes in July. Good news indeed for Lombok!

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INDONESIANS HEAD FOR THE POLLS 8 JULY

The Indonesian presidential and vice-presidential elections will take place in less than two weeks, on 8 July 2009.
Election campaigns throughout the nation have been taking place since 2 June, featuring both mass rallies and extensive battles for votes waged in the mass media.

The Commission for the General Elections (KPU) will allow the campaign in the mass media to run until 4 July, with the “mass meeting” phase of the campaign underway from 13 June.

This schedule is at some variance with that set forth in the presidential election rule number 32 of 2009. Those rules stipulated that the campaign would only be allowed from 12 June until 4 July, 2009. A KPU spokesman said the change in the rules was permitted because of the quicker-than-expected completion of the verification process for presidential and vice presidential candidates.

The line up of candidates competing to lead Indonesia for the next five-year term are:

- The Indonesian Democratic Party, with incumbent president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and former Bank Indonesia President Boediono for the vice president's slot.

- The Golkar Party, who will field the current Vice-President Jusuf Kalla for the nation's top post with former army general, Wiranto, for the number two job.

- The People's Democratic Party for Struggle will run former president Megawati Soekarnoputri in a bid to regain that job with Probowo Subianto, a retired Lt General, seeking the vice-presidential post.

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STRENGTHENING JAPAN-LOMBOK CONNECTIONS

As part of their on-going programme of promoting Lombok internationally, six General Managers – all members of the Lombok Hotels Association (LHA) – visited Japan in June on a positive mission to promote Lombok as the preferred destination for Japanese travellers.

The visit was a follow-up after a FAM Trip organised by Garuda Mataram General Manager, Fredrik Kaseipo, and his Japanese colleagues in conjunction with the LHA. More than 30 Japanese travel agents visited Lombok in May this year.

At the invitation of Mr Riza Perdana Kusuma, General Manager of Garuda Nagoya, the LHA members visited Nagoya and Tokyo this month, meeting with travel agents from both cities. An informational movie about Lombok Island was presented to the agents, together with table top presentations by the resort managers.

Posters, maps, The Lombok Guide 2009 Magazine and “Visit Lombok Sumbawa 2012” badges and bags were given out to the agents, together with brochures about Lombok that had been translated into Japanese and printed by the LHA especially for this promotion.

It is well know that thousands of visitors from Japan travel to Bali for their holidays annually and now, with comfortable Garuda flights from Tokyo and Nagoya direct to Bali several times per week, combined with an efficient Garuda connection between Bali and Lombok every day, it is a simple journey for Japanese travellers to visit Lombok.

The General Managers were met with warm hospitality from the Garuda teams at Nagoya and Tokyo, and together they are now planning promotions in both cities to advance Japanese tourism to Lombok. Garuda Japan are serious about promoting Lombok and are planning many new ideas and concepts that will encourage Japanese visitors to choose Lombok.

The three day trip was a huge success and a return trip is planned for later this year in order to keep up the momentum.

The Lombok Hotels Association wishes to acknowledge the kind support of Garuda Lombok and Garuda Nagoya for their assistance in making this promotional visit to Japan possible. (Report contributed by Sara Sanders, GM, Puri Mas Boutique Resorts.)

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LOCAL SCENE

DANCE CHAMPIONSHIPS @ SANTOSA

Guests were enchanted by the dazzling performances at the Lombok International Dance Championships in the ballroom at Santosa Villas & Resort

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LOCAL CHEFS DEMONSTRATE COOKING IN MOSCOW

Two talented chefs from Senggigi Beach Hotel in Lombok recently travelled halfway around the world to take part in Indonesian cooking demonstrations in Moscow.

Chef I Gusti Lanang Dwija Putra (Chef Lanang) & Chef Lahmudin from Senggigi Beach Hotel prepared two different menus for guests to enjoy at the culinary expo, as well as demonstrating Indonesian cooking styles and flavours from the “Spice Islands” during the week-long event. One menu featured Bebek Betutu (Roasted Duck wrapped in banana leaves), Sop Konro, Lumpia Hitam (Black Spring Rolls) and Chocolate Layer Cake. The second menu comprised Sate Rembiga (beef satay with chilli and palm sugar), Green Curry (Indonesian style), and Kwetiau (spicy flat noodles).

The “Indonesian Culinary Week” took place at the Swiss Hotel in Moscow from 25 May to 3 June 2009, as part of a diplomatic cooperation between KBRI (Womens' Association) Moscow, Depbudpar (Culture and Tourism Dept) and the Indonesian Aerowisata group. The Indonesian Department of Culture and Tourism has targeted a goal of attracting one hundred thousand Russian tourists to Indonesia in 2009.

According to Indonesian Ambassador to Moscow, Hamid Awaludin, food diplomacy represents easy communication which does not need debate or language skills. “Food represents the culture, properties and habits of a nation, and can strengthen links between nations,” he said at the opening ceremony. “We would never finish tasting the exotic uniqueness of Indonesian cookery, which encompasses more than three hundred ethnic styles from over seven thousand islands.”

The opening ceremony included a lunch attended by Russian functionaries and entrepreneurs, as well as journalists and guests from Café Swiss. During the week, hotel management were flooded by reservations from people wishing to witness the cooking demonstrations and sample the tastes of Indonesia.

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SANTOSA HOSTS HUGE WEDDING

The Santosa Villas and Resorts hosted one of the biggest weddings ever in Lombok on 14 June, 2009, causing traffic delays to and from Senggigi.

The wedding of a well-known figure in Mataram was attended by between 2500 and 3000 guests, many of whom were VIP guests from Lombok, Bali and Java.

The reception was held in the Resort’s garden, alongside the swimming pool, where guests enjoyed a sumptuous buffet and listened to music by MC Olga Syahputra and  crew from Jakarta. They were also entertained by European music, and Arabian singing and dancing.

The magnificent resort in central Senggigi was transformed into a fairy tale wonderland for the wedding, decorated with 1000 fresh lotus blossoms and with 1000 candles flickering throughout the gardens.

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BALI BRACES FOR HIGHER ELECTRICITY RATES

Electricity rates for customers on the Indonesian islands of Java and Bali are likely to be higher than elsewhere in the Republic if current plans to introduce regional electrical tariffs are enacted by the government.

The Director General of Electricity and Energy Consumption (LPE), from the Department of Energy and Natural Resources (ESDM), Jacobus Purwono, told Bisnis Indonesia that he is in the process of reviewing a final draft of a new electricity regulation. Purwono said: “The plan will introduce a new regional tariff, based on regional tariff rate system. Java-Bali electrical rates will be higher when compared with other regions.”

The new regional tariffs, according to Purwono, will be based on a formula that considers the quality of electrical service provided to each region in combination with the economic strength of the people living in each region. He also explained that electrical service in Java and Bali consumes 80% of the Sate Power Board's (PLN) attention and, as such, should cost more for consumers living in those areas.

Conversely, those regions of the nation suffering power deficits and experiencing frequent interruptions in electrical service will enjoy a lower, subsidised PLN tariff.

The ultimate goal of the new tariff scheme is to reduce the level of subsidies paid by the government to consumers by having well-supplied electrical customers help cover the cost of providing power to more disadvantaged regions.

The new regulations governing electricity supplies will also open the opportunities for private companies to produce electrical power and sell it to PLN.

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KPK ASKED TO INVESTIGATE WEST LOMBOK OFFICIALS

The West Nusa Tenggara Legal Aid Institute (NTB LBH) has urged the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to investigate West Lombok regency officials for their alleged involvement in a graft case worth around Rp 14 billion (US $1.3 million).

NTB LBH Chairman, Umar Ahmad Seth, said the commission had earlier detained PT Varindo Lombok president director, Inti Izzat Hussein, as a partner of the regency in developing 13 new offices.

“The corruption court in Jakarta had also sentenced Izzat to several years in prison. Aside from being found guilty of corruption, the court's verdict in April also mentioned gratification. Izzat was said to have given funds to certain officials,” Umar said.

The Jakarta High Court also upheld the verdict in its decision on 27 April this year. West Lombok Regent, Iskandar, had been named a suspect in the case but the court released him because of his poor health condition.

The Corruption Court had also ordered Izzat to pay Rp 200 million in fines and Rp 13.8 billion in restitution.
The case revolves around a land-exchange deal involving the West Lombok regency administration and its partner PT Varindo Lombok Inti (VLI), a company directed by Izzat.

Under the office-exchange deal, struck between 2004 and 2005, the headquarters of the West Lombok administration moved to an office complex far outside of Mataram.

The administration swapped its office buildings and land spanning 7.6 hectares on Jalan Sriwijaya, Mataram for a newly built 13 office-building complex in the rural Gerung district, near Lembar.

The deal stipulated the administration should pay Rp 32 billion for its new residence, but an ensuing KPK assessment found that the true value of the offices had been Rp 19 billion.

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BALI PRISONERS PROVE HARD TO HANDLE

Bali Police officials attempts to undertake a drugs and narcotics sweep of Kerobokan Prison on Thursday, 19 June 2009, collapsed when angry inmates refused the order of armed police personnel to return to their cells.

According to local press reports, some of the prisoners verbally abused and threw stones at the contingent of three truckloads of armed police drawn from the police's mobile brigade together with narcotics and intelligence officers from the Bali police headquarters.

Fearing injuries on both side if police pressed ahead with the sweeping raid, police decided to withdraw to plan their next move to curb rampant drug usage at Bali's largest, overcrowded prison facility.

One lead officer in the raid told Kompas.com that he suspected plans for the raid had been leaked in advance to the prisoners allowing them to organize a unified resistance.

Past raids by police at the prison have uncovered drugs, weapons and illegal cell phones.
A showdown between prisoners and police looms as a police spokesman pledged that the raids will be rescheduled in the near future.

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SWIM IN KUTA'S TOILET

Bali's Badung House of Representatives (DPR-Badung) is pressing a number of Bali agencies to take the necessary steps to stop hotels, restaurants and businesses in the Double Six - Legian - Seminyak area from discharging raw sewage into surrounding drains, rivers and, eventually, Bali's Sea.

Wayan Suyasa of Commission B of the DPR-Badung was quoted in NusaBali, calling on the Badung Environmental Agency (BLH) to urgently determine the source of pollution in the area. According to Suyasa, “What's clear is that an investigation must be undertaken at the location. The (current) condition is worrying. The BLH must visit hotels and restaurants suspected of discharging sewage and, if proven to be violators, action must be taken against them.”

The North Kuta legislator blames the raw sewage discharging onto Kuta's famous beach as being caused by hotels and restaurants in the area that are ignoring regulations which require every place of business to have its own sewage capture and treatment system. For hotels and new investments, in fact, licensing requirements require detailed environmental impact plans and facilities to handle any sewage produced by each enterprise.

A visit by lawmakers to the seaside gutter on the edge of Jalan Double Six shocked the group, who saw evidence of both kitchen-chemical waste and raw human sewage flowing into the waters of the popular public beach.

As reported by NusaBali, while inspecting the area surrounding the nearby Puri Naga Hotel, Suyasa proclaimed that the hotel was sending its dirty dishwater to a nearby drain. This charge was denied by a staff member of the hotel who opened a cover over a local drain showing waste flowing from locations even further to the north.

Suyasa promised to call the Chief of the LBH, Putra Suteja, to obtain his explanation for the sewage discharge. Showing his growing frustration, Suyasa complained, “This problem has gone on for years without resolution.”

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BRAD PITT BALI BOUND?

Will Brad Pitt pop by Bali to visit the set of “Eat, Pray, Love”?

Local society gossip mongers in Bali are busy speculating as to whether the Hollywood celebrity will find time in his busy schedule to visit Bali before the close of 2009.

The Hollywood heart-throb, in addition to his busy career as an actor and social activist for affordable housing, is also an owner of “Plan B Entertainment” which is backing the Columbia Film “Eat, Pray, Love” now in production.
Based on the best-selling novel by Elizabeth Gilbert, the film is being shot in Italy, India and Bali. Cast to appear in the movie are Julia Roberts, Richard Jenkins and Javier Bardem.

The Bali portion of the film will commence with a five week filming schedule in Ubud later this year.

Brad Pitt fans are hopeful that star turned producer will visit Bali to keep tabs on his latest theatrical investment.

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