Angeles City news From THEVILLE

Nov 2006

Last month I had a note that the new Pacific Breeze Hotel would open their main building (56 rooms) on 1 Dec.  I'm happy to report that it is on track and they are now accepting reservations through our office (reservations@theville.com ) or through Central Park. 

Their Annex is scheduled to open in April with another 56 rooms.  
 
Prices are still subject to change, but here is the current plan
  • Executive room  $48
  • Executive Plus Room with bathtub $50
  • Interior Room - Main building has 3 quiet interior rooms priced $50
  • Jacuzzi Suite - several styles ranging from  $65-75
  • Admiral Suite -  $90

 Location Map    

  • Quality USA elevator (Ground floor to rooftop)
  • All rooms have LAN internet connection.  Wireless available in much of hotel complex
  • Large Atrium with fountain
  • Poolside bar and recreation area with pool table
  • Huge pool with Jacuzzi and Waterfall feature.  In pool, underwater, sound system
  • Rooftop Jacuzzi party room  (will not make opening….but will be ready shortly thereafter)
  • Rooftop fitness room (will not make opening….but will be ready shortly thereafter)
  • One handicapped fitted room on ground floor, with elevator, all rooms are handicapped accessible
Around the Clubs

 

 

  • FIRE & ICE will open in a few days.  It will replace the Limited Edition club.  Limited Edition Hotel will remain open with the same name.
  • TOP HAT continues to be one of the better Perimeter Road clubs.  They open early in the afternoon, but the main group of staff start at 5 pm.
  • THE GENTLEMAN'S CLUB is another popular spot on Perimeter Road.  Now with over 30 dancers starting at 3 pm, you need to be there before 3:10 to get a good seat. After that you will be stuck in the corner where the dancers get dressed!
  • INSOMNIA remains one of my favorites.  They have the biggest drink glasses of any where in town.  And the drink is always mixed to perfection.  So many clubs in town pour warm Diet Coke into a glass of ice causing it to go flat, or worse yet they use the leftover from a can they opened yesterday!  None of that here. Fresh "Ice cold" mixers and a huge rock glass. 
  • HONEY KO's on Perimeter opens at 3 pm and is usually packed with the local EXPATS for the first 3-4 hours. 
  • BEDROCK is a overlooked club on Fields Ave.  Since it has been taken over by the Blue Nile Group (Technically Asian Fields) it has a great line up.  Now if we could just get them to open early afternoons when small intimate clubs like this are much nicer than the stadium sized Nero's.
  • GECKO's bar has a new look from the street. Nice Job Angelo.  And, for those of you that haven't been inside, they have one of the largest lineups of any small bar in town.
  • DMZ.  Last month I announced that the DMZ was for sale for $500,000.  Shortly after that there were signs of renovations.  Rumors of a sale were flourishing.  But, it appears that Tick is just sprucing the place up to try and get his price from a prospective buyer.
  • LOST IN ASIA opened near the Clarkton last month.  Time will tell if this club can survive with a 5 pm opening so far down the road from the entertainment area.  The few times I was in there since it opened I saw lots of customers disguised as empty seats.  Roadie's Truck Stop opening next door should bring more customers into the area soon. I'll bet the opening time is moved up in the next few months.
  • ROADIE'S TRUCK STOP  Roadslut & Joe Kerr (aka Greg from Blue Fox) have teamed up and are building a bar next to Lost in Asia.  This new club should open in December or early January.  Rumor is there will be no barfines or EWR's!  But, they may have "body guards" available for hire.
FIELDS AVE BARRIERS
  In mid October the city decided to put up barricades to prevent traffic from entering lower Fields Ave (Mac Arthur Highway to the intersection just before Margarita Station). For years the clubs have asked for this area to be made into a walking street, but the 24-hour no entry caused problems for many of the businesses inside the barricaded area (everything from ice deliveries to guys trying to check into hotels became a new logistics problem).  Within a short period the barricades were moved back two block from the north so only the heart of Fields Ave (Mac Arthur Highway to Sub Delicious & south to Wild Orchid) was a no traffic area.  When questioned, some city officials said it was due to a terrorist threat and the closure was directed by officials in Manila.  Impossible to believe that the businesses on Santos Street and Real Street are in danger of a terrorist threat, but places like the Roadhouse, Sub Delicious, Alaska Club, Insomnia & Margarita Station are in no danger! At the last meeting with the city (Thursday), the city officials said the barricades would not be removed until a new mayor was in office (May 2007).   At that, The Orchid Inn walked out of the meeting and said it was withdrawing from the ACTA (Angeles City Tourist Association).  Three more major bar groups also announced they would withdraw from ACTA. Unless the situation is resolved, this will mean the end of the Tourist Police (and a significant step back for Angeles City Tourism) as The Orchid Inn paid a large monthly sum to support the Tourist Police.

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With all the above to consider, the rumors "the barricades will come down today" has been stated by different EXPATS "in the know" every day for over a week.  Now, they say the barricades will come down and they will turn lower Fields into a one way street!  Boy that will trick those terrorists!

EDITORS NOTE: Terrorism is a serious thing in our current time. But, just like you don't say things like "bomb" on an airplane, individuals, especially government officials should never say there is a terrorist threat when they are really trying to accomplish some obscure political agenda.  The whole Fields Ave barricades episode just doesn't stand up to an effort to prevent a terrorist incident.  Under pressure from trike drivers and businesses the original "protected area" was quickly reduced by about 50%.  Margarita Station, undisputedly one of the biggest and busiest establishments on the strip, was never in the protected area (even when it was full of US Marines the day after the barricades were installed).  Hopefully, someday we will learn the real reason for the barricades.  A walking street would be nice for tourism, but even in places where it is successful (like Pattaya) the street closure is only during peak nighttime hours. The street is open in the day time so establishments can be serviced.

TRICARE FRAUD IN THE PHILIPPINES
  Who could have guessed?  Well, that is simple. The answer is "Every retiree that was using Health Visions!"  They all knew they were required by law to pay a percentage of the bill, but Health Visions paid 100% just to get their claim.  I voiced my concerns about Health Visions and PIH when they opened and other individuals disagreed with me and continued to sign their bills.

The US Government is now going after the director of Health Visions. Wonder if the next step will be to make all the retirees pay 25% of the inflated claims submitted by PIH and Health Visions?

October 18, 2006         Peter M. Jarosz          Assistant U.S. Attorney

Madison, Wisconsin – Erik C. Peterson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced the unsealing of a seventy-five count indictment yesterday charging Thomas Arthur Lutz, DOB 04/24/1967, of Olongapo City, Republic of the Philippines, and the Health Visions Corporation, a Philippine corporation, with defraudingthe federal TRICARE program.

The indictment had been previously returned by a federal grand jury sitting in Madison on July 13, 2005, and was unsealed in conjunction with the appearance of Lutz in Guam, after his arrest in the Republic of the Philippines.

TRICARE, formerly known as CHAMPUS, is the Department of Defense's worldwide health care program for active duty and retired uniformed services members and their families.

According to the indictment, between October 1, 1998 and August, 2004, Lutz and the Health Visions Corporation devised a scheme to defraud the federal TRICARE program.

Specifically, as part of the scheme, Lutz on behalf of the Health Visions Corporation entered into a kickback agreement with a medical provider in the Philippines in which the provider, at the request of Lutz, paid 50% of the amount of the bills for medical services rendered to TRICARE patients referred by Health Visions back to the corporation.

In addition, Health Visions and Lutz inflated the bills of other providers by one hundred percent or more before submitting the bills for payment by the United States Government.

The defendants also created a sham insurance program to circumvent TRICARE's requirement that beneficiaries pay a deductible and cost share, and they also submitted fictitious and fraudulent TRICARE claims falsely claiming that beneficiaries had been hospitalized and had been rendered services when, in fact, they had not.

The indictment also seeks forfeiture of more than $900,000 owed to the government.

Lutz and Health Visions Corporation are specifically charged with 32 counts of mail fraud, 41 counts of filing a false claim, one count of conspiracy to violate the laws of the United States, and the forfeiture count.

If Lutz is convicted, each violation of the mail fraud statute carries a maximum sentence of twenty years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The conspiracy and false claim counts each carry a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

The Health Visions Corporation, if convicted, is subject to a fine on each count of conviction of $500,000, or, in the alternative, potentially two times the amount of gain to the defendant or two times the loss to the government.

The charges were the result of an investigation by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service of the Department of Defense's Office of Inspector General, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service.

The charges were brought in the Western District of Wisconsin because Wisconsin Physicians Service, the fiscal intermediary which processed and paid these alleged fraudulent claims, is located in Madison, Wisconsin which is in the Western District of Wisconsin. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter M. Jarosz and Daniel J. Graber.

You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

RIP  Sadly we lost two long term EXPATS from the Angeles Community this month.
 
[I covered this briefly in last months newsletter, but I wanted to mention it again with several photos of Hans]  Hans Braun died this month from respiratory problems.  He knew he was ill and did as many Angeles EXPATS do, he waited too long to head for the hospital.  Hans was an AC landmark. He had worked in many clubs including Cleopatra, Kitten Club, Viper, Angeles and many more.  The only "papasan" that would often buy a ladies drink to introduce me to some new girl in his club.  And anyone that met Hans will remember how he loved to shout a round of those B-52's!  I've personally lost a good friend.  I'll miss his gravelly voice greeting me and his mischievous smile as he ordered yet another round of B-52's.
Another long time EXPAT, Gary Wiley, known on the various Angeles Boards as Vegas Gary died on 23 October from liver problems.  As with Hans, Gary knew he was ill and refused to see medical assistance.  Reportedly his girlfriend called an ambulance and he refused to get in the ambulance and go to the hospital.
Sadly both of these EXPATS fit into a too common Angeles city EXPAT mold:
  • They died way too young
  • They ignored their health.  Hans had asthma and yet he chain smoked (not to mention he could drink most of us under the table) and Gary drank heavy despite knowing he had liver problems.
  • Both waited too long to seek medical attention. 
  • Both left behind loved ones with no means of support.  Hans had a teenage daughter and Gary had a long term girlfriend
NEWS CLIPPINGS -- Thanks Rick.  If you see a good news article, send it to manager@theville.com

Pride & dignity in the dump

Now illegal for Philippine businesses to charge extra if you use a credit card!

 

Another new mall to be built in Angeles

 

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The index contains some police/crime articles not in the recent newsletters