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June 3, 2008
  • Samana Airport opened to the public
  • Art in ceramics
  • Catch a movie while in Bavaro
  • Winter Baseball promises to be the best
Samana Airport opened to the public
The direct highway linking Santo Domingo and Samana opened to the public on Sunday June 1st. The 106km highway goes from Km. 20 on Las Americas Expressway (between Santo Domingo and Las Americas International Airport) to Cruce Rincon de Molinillo in the province of Maria Trinidad Sanchez, a short distance from Samana International Airport and about half an hour from Samana City. The new route will put booming Samana beach town Las Terrenas at just two hours from Santo Domingo. The shortcut costs RD$325 in tolls, but savings in fuel and time more than make up for the additional expense. The Ministry of Public Works says that the highway has cost US$150 million. It passes near Monte Plata, Bayaguana and the Los Haitises National Park, opening up many of these areas and their rivers and waterfalls for future adventure tourism-style development.
Art in ceramics
Expressionist works by painter Elsa Nunez are for sale in the form of an artistic ceramic dishware collection at Casa Cuesta stores on Abraham Lincoln Avenue and their newly opened branch at the Bella Vista Mall in Santo Domingo. The collectors' items are the latest in a tradition begun by Casa Cuesta in 2003. Earlier collections featured works by Dionisio Blanco in 2003, Guillo Perez in 2004, Candido Bido in 2005, Yoryi Morel in 2006 and Plutarco Andujar in 2007. The dishware comes in a set of four coffee cups, four dessert plates, two large decorative plates and four ashtrays.
Catch a movie while in Bavaro
The Palma Real Villas Shopping Village now includes a movie theater complex. Palacio del Cine opened in May to serve residents and tourists in the area. Three movie halls are open, with capacity for 45 spectators and equipped with Digital Dolby projection screens and state-of-the-art theater amenities. Ticket prices are also attractive as they are lower than admission for opening films in Europe and the USA. The Palma Real Villas Shopping Village is located adjacent to the Melia Caribe Tropical resort, in mid-Punta Cana.
Winter Baseball promises to be the best
Felipe Alou has announced that he intends to assemble "an invincible" Dominican team for the World Baseball Classic that opens on 5 March 2009 with first round games in Tokyo, San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Mexico City. The DR team will be playing the Netherlands, Panama and Puerto Rico at the Hiram Bithorn stadium in Puerto Rico from 7-11 March, but to be ready, Alou wants team members to join the local teams.
Alou says that the best way for the players to get in shape is to join the final weeks of the Dominican Winter Baseball Championship, which opens in mid-October. The regular season ends in December and playoffs are held in January with the finals in the first week of February. This announcement means it is likely that a larger number of Major League Baseball players who expect to make the Dominican team to the Classic will be playing from December through February at least.
The World Baseball Classic classifies the world's best 16 teams. In next year's tournament, the Dominican Republic, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Cuba, Mexico, South Africa, Canada, Italy, the US, Venezuela, the Netherlands, Panama and Puerto Rico will vie for the title, which was won by Japan in 2006.
Stadiums where games are played are located in Santo Domingo, Santiago (less than an hour's drive from Puerto Plata), San Pedro de Macoris (15 minutes from Juan Dolio and Guayacanes hotels), La Romana (15 minutes from Casa de Campo, 25 minutes from Bayahibe hotels), and San Francisco de Macoris (two hours from Samana). Arrangements can be made to attend the games.

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