Friday, November 30, 2012

JW Marriott Resort Golf & Beach on Rio Hato beach, Panama

JW Marriott Resort Golf & Beach, Rio Hato (2 hour drive west of Panama City), see

Undate on Rio Hato airport construction

Source:  This airport will allow visitors direct access to resorts/hotels like DeCameron on the beach area 1 to 2 hour drive west of Panama City & the Tocumen Airport & also access to the Pedasi peninsular & it's beaches.  The David airport runway & terminal have also been extended & improved to allow international jet airliner access to this area near the Costa Rican boarder.--L.S.

Control Tower underconstruction
The new Rio Hato International Airport under construction
Municipal government in Anton demands payment of taxes, permit fees and a fine by the Costa Rican construction company
Work continues at the Rio Hato airport project, but... 
photos by Wendy Reaman, note by Eric Jackson
Meco, the Costa Rica-based multinational construction firm, is making slow but steady progress on its reconstruction of the World War II vintage US military airstrip at Farallon in Cocle province's Anton district into the Rio Hato International Airport. However, the company is in a dispute with the local government --- it claims that it is exempt from local taxes and the need to get local building permits. If the law actually means anything the company is probably wrong, and the city is threatening to stop work until taxes, permit fees and a $100,000 fine for non-payment of these are paid. It's a project dear to the hearts of the national government, including some of the real estate developers left in Martinelli's shrinking entourage, the Panama Tourism Authority and the seafood export business that the Papadimitriu family dominates and all of that diminishes the possibility that the city will actually shut the project down.

Panoramic view of the airport area

The Pan American highway will pass under the airport.  Since the airport was closed after World War II the highway had cut the airport in two, passed through the center of the airport where this tunnel is being built.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Living in Boquete, Chiriquí, Panamá

Living in Boquete, Chiriquí, Panamá by Lee Zeltzer from Arizona, USA (Boquete is in the mountainous area north of David near the Costa Rica Boarder, a popular retirement area for "senior" ExPat):
Posted: 19 Nov 2012 04:40 AM PST
Some people have given voice to the complaint that Boquete is too noisy. The Mayor seems to support them in their quest to close down bars and restaurants with live music. The Mayor however has provided us with a glaring exceptions, the Patriotic holidays and January Fair. Complaints about the marching bands and discos playing until three in the morning are from expats. Panamanians who also find sleeping impossible those nights know the drill and although they might not like the noise, they understand the reasons, these events inject money into the local economy.

In reading the Lonely Planet Thorntree Forum about Boquete I chanced upon a question from a person planning a Panama holiday. The question was simple, he asked, I am in my twenties and want to party, should I visit Boquete. The responses were few,  but a clear, no; Boquete is a drag, it’s a town for old people.
I might have more than sixty years under my belt but at times I still like to dance the night away or listen to a good band. We in Boquete have few options. Amigos is banned from having live music, Mikes Global Grill has to request permission weekly in fact the only two spots with dancing to live music are La Posada and Coca Cola. I like them both and apparently the local community does also,  La Posada is usually hopping on Saturday nights.
Boquete has a three phase economy. Agriculture  is in serious jeopardy with the US free trade agreement, residential tourism, the people who moved here and invest in the community and plain old tourism. We lack beaches, we lack the architecture of Imperial Spain, what we have is nature. The government of Panama is two faced on tourism. Panama spends a lot of money promoting Panama as a tourist destination and then the same government continues to pave the country, dam the rivers and desecrate the environment. The mayor of Boquete has been more consistent, he appears to do all things possible to discourage tourism.
Tourism is a potential replacement for the jobs to be lost in agriculture. For this evolution to happen Boquete needs better education for it’s young people and more noise! We need to have live entertainment for all age groups all week. Tourists of all ages are looking for a holiday, many of those of us who live here like entertainment options. The Patriotic holidays of November and Fair in January prove that when there is noise in Boquete we have tourists, with tourists comes money and the local businesses rejoice. Boquete needs more noise.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Panama's 10th Annual Jazz Festival

10th Panama Jazz Fest, Jan 14 – 19, Herbie “Watermelon Man” Hancock leads the line-up of Jazz artist.  I went last year & had a great time, I’ve been invited to be a volunteer this year.  Anyone interested in going to the Jazz Fest this year drop me an email at ?  For more info on the Jazz Fest see:

Theater Guild of Ancon updates

Theater Guild of Ancon Updates (Get your tickets now for Christmas at the Guild)

Theater Guild of Ancon Updates:


WHEN: November 29th, 30th & December 1st at 8pm
WHERE: Theater Guild of Ancon

2013 Membership

Get your 2013 Season Membership for only Adult: $60.00 and Student/Retired: $30.00 on the porch or contact us for more information.

Wine & Cheese Night/General Assembly

WHEN: January 12th, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Theater Guild of Ancon

What: Join us for Postulating and voting for new TGA Board of Directors. Only Members are eligible to become a Board Member Wine and cheese to follow elections

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter:

Theater Guild Email:

Ottawa News, more on missing Candian, Ed Moynan who was living in Panama

Ottawa Sun News:

Family of Ottawa businessman missing in Panama hire PI
By ,Ottawa Sun
First posted: | Updated:
Ed Moynan
Ed Moynan has been reported missing in Panama. He is the retired former owner of Centennial Glass in Ottawa. (Facebook image)

As rumours swirl about the disappearance of former Ottawa businessman Ed Moynan, the family has hired a PI to help get to the bottom of it all.
Ed Moynan, 68, the retired former owner of Centennial Glass, disappeared Nov. 8 in the beachfront community of Coronado, Panama.
His wife, Louise, was visiting Ottawa at the time, which is why the disappearance wasn’t reported sooner. Their son Alex Moynan said she has returned to Ottawa again and has hired a private investigator to work the case as police continue to search for Ed and the rented Kia he was driving.
Panamanian investigators searched Ed Moynan’s home Nov. 15 and believe the case is suspicious because they found it in disarray — items missing and his eyeglasses broken. journalist Don Winner continues to follow the case closely.
He said there were two arrests on Nov. 20, but it’s not known if either man has been charged. The men were arrested at the El Rey supermarket in Coronado — the place where Moynan was last seen. In fact, according to Winner, the man who reported seeing Moynan there on the night of Nov. 8 was one of the men arrested. Like Moynan, the man is a Canadian ex-pat.
The other man is German.
Moynan’s house is only a few minutes drive from the supermarket.
Winner said the men were picked up in relation to a business dispute but the manner in which they were arrested leads him to believe there’s more to it.
“It’s not normal to have a 20-person SWAT team come in for a business dispute,” he said.
Winner said there is a bit of coincidence at play with the two men — both are involved with a business that Moynan considered buying more than a year ago.
“He decided not to buy the property,” Winner said.
The journalist said he’s been overwhelmed with calls and “tips” about Moynan’s disappearance.
“I’ve had 6 or 7 phone calls today,” he said. “The rumour mills are going crazy.”
He’s been told Moynan’s body was found in a burned-out car on three separate occasions — all false alarms.
“Police did find a burned out vehicle, but it was a Panamanian guy in a pick-up,” he said. “And there’s another Canadian missing on the other side of Panama which everyone thinks is connected, but it’s not. I’m following both investigations.”
There is a Facebook group called “Find Ed Moynan” which has attracted 368 followers.

Ship almost hits Gamboa Bridge in Panama Canal

Source Panama_Guide
Video of ship almost hitting the Gamboa Bridge:

Gamboa is midway on the Panama Canal, and is home of the Dredging Division that keeps the Gatun Lake area open.  This bridge is the only land route from Gamboa to the rest of Panama and crosses the Chagres River at that location.

Disaster Averted - Panama Canal Ship Almost Smashes Into Gamboa Bridge (Video)

Canal Daily OperationBy DON WINNER for - The ships that transit the Panama Canal on a daily basis can be difficult to handle. Yesterday afternoon a bulk carried named the "Pacific Bless", 32300 tons, nearly slammed into the bridge over the Chagres River in Gamboa, and the incident was caught on video.The ship was Northbound in the Panama Canal, and has just about to clear the area of the Culebra Cut and head off through Lake Gatun. For some reason the pilot lost control of the vessel, and it veered to starboard (right), and was heading right towards the bridge.
The pilot ordered full reverse and dropped the starboard anchor, in an attempt to halt the ship as quickly as possible. In the video below, you can see the smoke pouring from the front of the ship, thanks to the emergency deployment of the anchor.
The ship came to a halt and then slowly backed away from the bridge, with about one meter to spare.

 Also see: 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Panama InterNations ExPat next event

InterNations Panama City November Get-Together - Winter's over!
See & consider joining this group

Join us at the newly reopened and pretty hip AltaBar Terraza for some drinks and good conversations! A choice of three welcome drinks2x1 drinks until 10:00pm, and free entrance to the club to continue the party, are being offered to all attendees!

As usual, Albatross members join for free!
InterNations Panama City November Get-Together - Winter's over !
Location:AltaBar Terraza
Date:Thursday Nov 29, 2012  19:00
Host:Diana & Marcela

U.S. Air Force history in Panama

From Wikipedia:

United States Air Forces Southern Command

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
United States Air Forces Southern Command
United States Air Forces Southern Command.png
USAF Southern Command emblem
CountryUnited States of America
BranchUnited States Air Force
TypeMajor Command
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
  • World War II
American Campaign (1941–1945)
Hubert R. Harmon
The United States Air Forces Southern Command is an inactive Major Command of the United States Air Force. It was headquartered at Albrook Air Force BaseCanal Zone, being inactivated on 1 January 1976.
Formerly designated as Sixth Air Force, the command's mission was the defense of the Panama Canal and for USAF relations, including foreign militarysales (FMS) and disaster relief assistance, with the Latin American nations. The command supported disaster relief to countries such as Guatemala, Jamaica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Colombia. It also assisted nations in Central and South America in purchases of United States military aircraft and trained their technicians in logistics and maintenance for the aircraft.




[edit]Pre-World War II activities

Sixth Air Force (1942–1946) Emblem
Caribbean Air Command (1946–1963) Emblem
The first United States air units arrived in the Canal Zone in February 1917, with the 7th Aero Squadron being organized on 29 March at Ancon. It was equipped with Curtiss JN-4 "Jennys" and Curtiss R-3 and R-4 floatplanes.
The squadron initially came under the control of Headquarters, U.S. Troops, Panama Canal Zone, and beginning on 1 July 1917, Army aviation units were assigned directly to the Panama Canal Department, which was the senior United States Army headquarters in the Canal Zone. During World War I, the 7th Aero was assigned to patrol for German U-Boats offshore of the Canal Zone under direction of Coast Defenses of Cristobal, from 1 June – 15 November 1918.
The 7th Aero Squadron was assigned to several fields during 1917 and 1918, those being Corozal (16 April); Empire (May); Fort Sherman (29 August); Cristobal (March 1918) before finding a permanent home at Coco Walk, which became France Field in May 1918.
A second permanent army airfield, Albrook Field, opened in 1932 due to France Field becoming too small for the numbers of aircraft being assigned to the Canal Zone, as well as having a poor landing surface; offering no room for expansion, and providing little defense for the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. A third airfield, Howard Field was built on the Canal Bruja Point Military Reservation, opening on 1 December 1939. By 1940, a rapid increase in the number of flying squadrons in both the Canal Zone as well as in Panama as a result of the pre–World War II mobilization of the Air Corps warranted a new organization, and thePanama Canal Air Force was created as a major command. After several organizational changes and the establishment of the United States Army Air Forces in 1942, Sixth Air Force became the controlling Air Force command authority for USAAF activities in the Caribbean, as well as in Central and South America. Through all these redesignations it was part of the Caribbean Defense Command, (10 February 1941 – 1 November 1947), which was the senior United States Army headquarters in the Canal Zone. The Caribbean Interceptor Command, was the Air Force component (10 February 1941 – 17 October 1941) of the CIC until being inactivated and replaced by VI Interceptor Command.

[edit]World War II

32d Pursuit Squadron P-36 Hawks at Ponce Field, Puerto Rico, 1941
An A-7D of the 355 TFS/354 TFW takes off from Howard AFB in the Panama Canal Zone during a 1977 deployment.
In early 1942 the German NavyKriegsmarine, began anti-shipping operations using U-Boats in the Caribbean. The subs sank several tankers in the harbor at San NicholasArubaand even shelled an oil refinery on the island. It's important to note that the refineries at the island of Aruba and Curaçao possessed oil from wells in Venezuela and counted for one-third of the Allies supply of gasoline.
The first wartime mission of the newly created Sixth Air Force was to perform antisubmarine operations in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico areas and to cover Allied shipping convoys in the area. The Sixth Air Force expanded throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, stationing units from Cuba in the north to British Guiana and Surinam on the northern coast of South America to protect the Venezuelan oilfields. Air bases were established along the western coast of South America, in Peru, Ecuador as well as in theGalápagos Islands, Panama, Guatemala and Costa Rica.[1] In order to protect the vital Air Transport Command South Atlantic Air Route to Europe and North Africa, Sixth Air Force combat units were stationed in Brazil to patrol the South Atlantic air routes.
Sixth Air Force had the responsibility for tracking down submarine wolfpacks, which consisted of groups of three of more subs attacking Allied shipping using a strategy now known as "Search and Destroy". As most shipping in the Caribbean was not in defensive convoys, aerial surveillance of the area was crucial to their safety. However, in the fall of 1942 the German Navy changed tactics and reduced their submarine activity in the Caribbean region to concentrate its activity on the North Atlantic convoy route and the approaches to northwest Africa. With the withdrawal of submarines from the Caribbean region the Sixth Air Force concentrated its efforts as a striking force on its primary function of guarding against possible attacks on the Panama Canal.

[edit]Post-war mission

With the end of the war, most of the wartime Caribbean air bases used for antisubmarine patrols were returned to civil authorities in late 1945 or early 1946. The Lend-Lease air bases from Great Britain, which were on 99-year leases were reduced to skeleton units and used largely as MATS weather stations. They were all closed for budgetary reasons in 1949.
The postwar Sixth Air Force, redesignated Caribbean Air Command as part of the 1946 USAAF reorganization, and its successor units returned to its prewar mission, the defense of the Panama Canal; support for friendly Latin American air forces, and to provide support to Latin American nations engaged in anti-communist activities during the Cold War. Howard Air Force Base became a focus for military air support, with many surplus USAF aircraft being transferred to Latin American air forces there, as well as the establishment of the Inter-American Air Forces Academy, which provided technical training and education for airmen and officers from approximately 14 Latin American countries.
In the post Vietnam War drawdown of the USAF, the United States Air Forces Southern Command was inactivated in 1976 for budgetary reasons. Most of its functions and resources passed to the Tactical Air Command, which established the USAF Southern Air Division (later 830th Air Division; Air Forces Panama) as the USAF component of the United States Armed Forces in the Panama Canal Zone.


  • Established as Panama Canal Air Force on 19 October 1940
  • Activated as a Major Command on 20 November 1940
Redesignated as Caribbean Air Force on 5 August 1941
Redesignated as 6th Air Force on 18 September 1942
Redesignated as Caribbean Air Command on 31 July 1946
Redesignated as United States Air Forces Southern Command on 8 July 1963
  • Inactivated as a Major Command on 1 January 1976
  • Activated as Air Forces Panama on 1 January 1976

[edit]Units assigned

  • Commands
VI Bomber Command, 25 October 1941 – 1 November 1946
VI Interceptor Command, 17 October 1941
Redesignated as: VI Fighter Command, May 1942 – October 1943
XXVI Fighter Command, 6 March 1942 – 25 August 1946
XXXVI Fighter Command, 21 August 1942 – 30 April 1943
VI Air Force Service Command, Undetermined
Antilles Air Command, 11 July 1941 – 22 January 1949
  • Wings
6th Fighter Wing, 25 August 1946 – 28 July 1948
13th Composite Wing, 1 November 1940 – 25 October 1941
19th Composite Wing, 25 January 1933
Redesignated: 19 Wing on 14 July 1937
Redesignated: 19 Bombardment Wing on 19 October 1940 – 25 October 1941
23d Fighter, 25 April – 24 September 1949
24th Composite, 1967–1976
36th Fighter Wing, 2 July 1948 – 13 August 1948
Attached to 6th Fighter Wing, 2–28 July 1948
5700 Composite, 1948–1949; Air Base, 24 October 1954 – 8 November 1967
  • Groups
25th Bombardment Group, 1 November 1940 – 25 October 1941
32d Pursuit Group, 1 January 1941 – 18 September 1942
36 Pursuit Group (Interceptor), 3 June – 25 October 1941
37th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), 19 November 1940 – 18 September 1942
53d Fighter Group, 1 January – 6 March 1942
  • Squadrons
4th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 25 August 1946 – 1 February 1948
20th Troop Carrier Squadron, 5 May 1945 – 17 June 1948
Attached to: 314th Troop Carrier Group [later, 314th Troop Carrier Group, Heavy; 314th Troop Carrier Group, Medium], c. November 1946-16 June 1948


  • Permanent
Albrook Air Force Station, Canal Zone, 1932–1976
France Air Force Base, Canal Zone, 1917–1949
Howard Air Force Base, Canal Zone, 1939–1976
Rio Hato Army Air Base, Panama, 1931–1948
Borinquen (later Ramey) Air Force Base, Puerto Rico, 1936–1971
(Assigned to Strategic Air Command, 26 May 1949)
  • Wartime/Lend-Lease
Aguadulce Army Airfield, Panama, 1941–1945
Anton Army Airfield, Panama, 1943
Arecibo Field, Puerto Rico, 1941–1943
Atkinson Air Force Base, British Guiana
APO 602, Antilles Air Command, 1941–1948
Batista Army Airfield, Cuba, 1942–1943
APO 632, Caribbean Base Command, Transferred to Air Transport Command, June 1943
Beane Air Force Base, Saint Lucia, 1941–1949
Belém Army Airfield, Brazil, 1941–1945
Benedict Army Airfield, Saint Croix, 1941–1942
Calzada Larga Army Airfield, Panama, 1942–1944
Camaguey Air Base, Cuba, 1942–1944
Carlsen Air Force Base, Trinidad, 1941–1949
Chame Army Airfield, Panama, 1942–1945
Coolidge Air Force Base, Antigua, 1941–1949
Saint Thomas AirportSaint Thomas, 1942–1943
Dakota Army Airfield, Aruba, 1942–1944
APO 811, Antilles Air Command
David Army Airfield, Panama, 1941–1945
Edinburgh Field, Trinidad, 1942-1949
APO 687, Antilles Air Command

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute weekly seminar schedule

STRI Tuesday afternoon seminar for November 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm in the Earl S. Tupper auditorium:  
Speaker: Richard Cooke, STRI
Title:  Mid-Holocene human settlement of Pedro González Island, Pearl Island archipelago, Panama (5550-4900 BP [6100-5600 YA]). Relation to sea level change, and interactions with fauna
Upcoming seminars:  

December 4:  Ken Feeley, Florida International University
Running from the heat:  Can tropical trees shift their distributions to remain at equilibrium with climate?

December 11:  Camilo Zalamea, University of Illinois
Cecropia growth pattern periodicity: could a Neotropical genus be a good biological clock to estimate the age of recently disturbed areas?

On December 18 and 25 STRI there will be no seminar due to Holiday Season.
Next seminar will be on January 8nd, 2013

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

University of Arkansas to Launch MBA Program in Panama :

University of Arkansas to Launch MBA Program in Panama

  • by Mark Carter
  • Posted 11/19/2012 09:24 am
  • Updated 1 day ago
The Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas will launch a new MBA program in Panama beginning in March and will continue its entrepreneurship certificate program there, it announced Monday.
The program is a collaborative effort between the UA, the Arkansas World Trade Center in Rogers and the Panamanian government. Started in October 2011, the certificate program teaches Panamanian entrepreneurs how to start a successful business.
"Developing such skills in local entrepreneurs can make a big difference to emerging economies such as those in Panama," said Vikas Anand, the interim MBA director for Walton College, in a news release. "Programs such as this certificate are a testimony to the expertise of our faculty."
Anand said Walton College faculty members have benefited from the program.
"Continuous exposure of our faculty members to students in countries such as Panama further increases their insights into how individuals think and transact business in different cultures, and this further augments the richness of their instruction here at the Walton College," he said.
Marion Dunagan, assistant dean for graduate programs at the Walton College, said some of the college's best faculty members are involved with the program, including Carol Reeves, associate vice provost for entrepreneurship and a professor of management in the business college.
Reeves said the caliber of the students in Panama far exceeded her expectations.
"Panama plays an important strategic role in the world’s economy, with the Panama Canal impacting shipping for many international companies," Dunagan said. "The experience Walton faculty gain by teaching in this environment is invaluable as we work toward the globalization of our curriculum in both graduate and undergraduate programs."
Panama has one of the world's fastest growing economies and is expected to play an increasing role in international trade.