Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Panama Blackout

News Room Panama:

Chaos as Panama hit by nationwide blackout

The blackout started at 2.47 pm and lasted until 6.38 pm. Some parts of Panama City were blacked out again for another hour starting a few minutes before 8 pm. That included Newsroom, which at that time had posted only one story.We closed for the night so those  looking for the headlines on Tuesday morning, were disappointed.
Schools, businesses, restaurants and some malls were closed,  and there was traffic gridlock across Panama City when traffic signals failed. Some locations found themselves without water as 52 water treatment plans shut down. Regular phone service disappeared and many cell phone services failed to function
The Electricity Transmission Company (Etesa) pointed to the failure of two power transmission lines damaged by burning sugar cane at the Santa Rosa mill in Llano Sanchez, Aguadulce,Cocle province as the cause of the problem.
The manager  of Etesa Marciscano Fernando said that after what happened, it was learned that there is an area where they are not complying with the regulations regarding burning. On Tuesday, he and other company personnel flew over the area by helicopter.
President, Ricardo Martinelli, wrote on his Twitter account that "Burning cane seems to be the cause of national blackout. Those responsible must be held accountable."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Miraflores Visitors Center

Miraflores Visitors Center, a must see when visiting Panama, I'm not sure where it fits in the priority list with Panama Viejo & Casco Viejo, but definitely in the top three sites to visit.  For more information see:  Miraflores Visitors Center website:  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Foley edges Goggin to capture Panama title

Foley edges Goggin to capture Panama title

By Sports Network | The Sports Network • Published February 24, 2013

Kevin Foley rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the final hole on Sunday to capture his first career victory at the Panama Claro Championship.
Foley carded a 3-under 67 in the final round at Club de Golf de Panama to finish at 8-under 272 for the tournament, which was a stroke ahead of third- round leader Mathew Goggin.
"If you had told me a year ago that I'd be standing here I probably wouldn't have believed you," said Foley. "I'd take it, but I wouldn't believe it."
Goggin entered Sunday with a 2-stroke lead, but recorded a double and triple bogey during his final round en route to an even-par 70.
Scott Brown (66) finished alone in third place at minus-6, while Scott Dunlap (68), Len Mattiace (69) and Roland Thatcher (71) shared fourth place at 6- under.
Goggin opened his day with a birdie at the first before briefly losing his lead to Thatcher with a double bogey at the third.
He quickly atoned for that misstep with birdies at the fourth and fifth, but a bogey at the ninth brought him back into a tie with Thatcher, who entered Sunday tied with Foley for second place, at minus-8 after Thatcher's birdie at the 10th.
Both players dropped out of the top spot on the next hole, however, as Thatcher recorded a double bogey and Goggin stumbled to a 3-over-par seven at the par-4 11th.
Their struggles at the 11th caused Foley to take sole possession of the lead with his steady play, as he recorded a pair of birdies -- at the fourth and seventh -- and 12 pars through 14 holes.
Foley then snapped a streak of seven straight pars with a birdie at the 15th to pull two strokes ahead of Goggin, but Foley slipped to a bogey at the 16th while Goggin poured in back-to-back birdies at the 14th and 15th to put the players in a tie for the lead at 7-under.
"I told my caddie after that triple that it wasn't over," said Goggin. "I figured it was going to be whoever played the last seven holes the best."
Thatcher, meanwhile, fell out of contention with a double bogey at the 11th to go along with consecutive bogeys at the 14th and 15th.
After Foley and Goggin traded pars at the 17th, Foley hit his approach to 15 feet at the 18th and converted on the decisive putt attempt to jump ahead.
Goggin followed right behind with a chance to force a playoff, but his second shot found its way into a bunker and he could not hole it from the sand, handing the victory to Foley.
"I knew it was going to be a shootout today because there were a bunch of guys lined up to start the day," Foley said. "It wasn't the windiest day, but with tough pin positions and the course getting firmer, I knew I just had to play smart and steady all day."
NOTES: Foley had not finished higher than fifth in his 17 previous starts ... Goggin won this event in 2011 ... Morgan Hoffmann withdrew prior to the start of the final round due to a stomach illness ... The Tour heads to South America next week for the Colombia Championship at Bogota Country Club, which Skip Kendall won last year with a 1-stroke victory over Andres Gonzales and Andrew Svoboda.

Read more here:

Friday, February 22, 2013

Panama Beaches ExPat Social

Panama Beaches ExPat Social:
We have a last minute confirmation that Don Winner of will speak at the Playacommunity Mixer at 11am. Don has lived in Panama for 20+ years, is knowledgeable about Panama’s crime reporting process and criminal system. He has been responsible for bringing a number of criminals to justice in Panama. Most of all, he understands Panama’s culture and is one heck of an interesting character. Come on out and meet Don at Paraiso Restaurant & Bar for the Playacommunity Mixer, Wednesday February 27 for 11 am.

Paraiso will host a $12 Lunch Buffet starting around 12pm. Mix, mingle and enjoy the lovely piano music of SILVARD.

Please RSVP to let us know you if you are coming:

Location: Paraiso Restaurant and Bar is located in Las Uvas, Panama - 3km up the road to El Valle de Anton in the area of Las Uvas, you will find us on the left hand side of the road with plenty of parking!

See you there.


Monday, February 11, 2013

GeoParadise & event in Panamá

A transformational festival for tribes of the world.
GeoParadise currently works in Central America, building bridges between ancient and modern tribes exploring ways of mutual cooperation.
Inspired by our mantra "Leave Positive Trace", we organize conscientious events and charitable programs, contributing to the positive transformation of our planet.
We bring indigenous and international communities together for regular Inter Tribal Symposiums called GLOBAL VILLAGE. They are fairly informal, an exchange of conversation, stories, culture and suchlike. There's also esoteric holistic therapies, workshops, art and cafes.
We also organize FREE FULL & DARK MOON GATHERINGS in paradise jungle, beach and island locations, attracting the psychedelic tribe to Panama and our Eco-cultural projects.
Once a year in a colorful amalgamation of ancient and modern the two come together in...  TRIBAL GATHERING
For more info & event in Panamá Feb 20 -26 see:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Two Expats Arrested in Coronado, Panamá, one with ties to Ed Moyna


Two Expats Arrested In Coronado - Possible Ties To Disappearance of Ed Moynan in Panama

  By DON WINNER for - Two members of the community of English speaking expatriates in Panama were arrested on Tuesday, 20 November 2012, at the El Rey supermarket in Coronado, as part of a police sting operation. Detectives from the Direction of Judicial Investigation (DIJ) arrested the German citizen Robert Streuder and the Canadian Todd Mayert, in response to a complaint filed by another Canadian expatriate over an alleged dispute related to a commercial property in the area. According to the allegations, Todd Mayert and the Canadian expatriate (complainant) were partners, and they owned a commercial property 50/50. Robert Streuder reportedly threatened or otherwise tried to coerce the Canadian to sell him his share of the property. Again, according to the complaint, Streuder supposedly was trying to force the Canadian to sell his 50% stake in the property for $20,000 and he made threats of violence if the Canadian refused to comply. Streuder told the Canadian to go to the El Rey supermarket in Coronado and told him to bring all of his papers to seal the deal. Todd Mayert, the partner and owner of the 50% stake in the property, was also present at this meeting. The police set up a "sting" operation, and were there at the scene, observing the meeting between the three men.
When the money and papers were exchanged, a 20 man police team moved in to arrest Streuder and Mayert. They were taken away under heavy custody. That was three days ago, on Tuesday. They both remain in custody today, and are reportedly going to be facing the prosecutor in La Chorrera this afternoon, to make sworn official statements with their lawyers present. At this point, I do not know if they have been officially charged with any crime, but they are clearly under investigation.
It is important to note Todd Mayert was the last person to report seeing the Canadian citizen Ed Moynan before he went missing on 8 November 2012. Not only did Todd Mayert admit to seeing Ed Moynan, he practically bragged about it to other members of the expatriate community in the Coronado area, so he wasn't trying to keep it quiet. In fact I called Mayert and spoke to him about his sighting of Ed Moynan, at the El Rey Supermarket late on the evening of 8 November 2012. Apparently, the detectives of the DIJ suspect Mayert might have had something do to with Moynan's disappearance. That would explain their "energetic" response to the complaint filed by the Canadian expatriate with regards to this land dispute.
Robert Streuder's friends have told me he denies the allegations being made by the Canadian expatriate who filed the complaint against him. Streuder and the Canadian supposedly met and reached a verbal agreement on the purchase of the property the day before, and left that meeting with goodwill and a handshake. He denies having threatened the Canadian or trying to coerce him in any way. And of course, he denies having anything to do with the disappearance of Ed Moynan.
But the fundamental fact remains unchanged. Todd Mayert, the last person to see Ed Moynan in Coronado, has been arrested, and is currently being interrogated by the detectives of the DIJ and the prosecutors of the Public Ministry.
Editor's Comment: Ed Moynan still has not been found. No one knows what actually happened to him on the night of 8 November 2012. The authorities are still investigating his disappearance, and they continue to search for the rental car he was driving, a gray 2012 Kia Rio with license plate number 975349, which has not yet been found. There are rumors (unconfirmed) that the car was found last night "burned out" in Gorgona. I do not believe that to be true, until confirmed, because there have been other false rumors about the rental car before, which turned out to be untrue. The search for Ed Moynan continues.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The New Panama Canal | Impact on Global Shipping and Relocation


The New Panama Canal | Impact on Global Shipping and Relocation

Now under construction, the 21st century version of the Panama Canal will bear little resemblance to the one that was completed in 1914. Considered a modern marvel in its day, the original Canal will soon be an anachronism. In its place will be a behemoth of a passageway, the current expansion of which is estimated to cost Panama US$5.25 billion. When complete, the Canal’s two new levels of triple locks will double its existing capacity to accommodate mammoth container ships nearly 100 feet tall and as long as aircraft carriers.
How will the new Panama Canal affect assignees and the companies relocating them?
It’s very likely we’ll see a decrease in shipping costs globally for things like household goods. Modifications to existing shipping routes will also likely be a result of increased traffic at the Panama Canal and improvements at other global ports to compete for business. This could lead to quicker or slower delivery times depending on how the situation normalizes.
Who is responsible for designing and building the Panama Canal?
The work is being carried out by a loose alliance of international players. “The 16 lock gates … were designed by the Dutch and built by Italians,” reports The Washington Post. “Beginning next month, they will be lifted onto a barge by Belgians and shipped by South Koreans to Panama in a project managed by the French.”
The expansions to the Panama Canal will affect shipping worldwide.
What does this all mean for the ports of the world?
In addition to Panama itself, which looks to recoup much of the funds outlaid for the work via the collection of tolls from users, ports around the globe are scrambling to be ready to accommodate the gigantic new container vessels that are the future of global shipping. In the U.S., port cities are spending between US$6 and US$8 billion to upgrade their ability to host the new class of vessels, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. For example:
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, whose port has sufficient depth for the “Super Panamax” megaships, will pay US$1 billion to elevate the Bayonne Bridge so the huge ships may pass beneath it.
- In Miami, the US$2 billion DeepDredge harbor project will enable use of the megaships, but two new US$600+ million tunnels are needed to truck goods in and out of the port.
- In Norfolk and Baltimore, the harbors are deep enough for the new ships, but ancillary land-based transportation routes need drastic upgrades to be up to the task of transporting goods into and out of the area.
Around the world, says the Post, “Ports in the Bahamas, Jamaica, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic are rushing to upgrade in hopes the ships will enter their harbors, too.”
Learn more at our Cartus eLearning sessions
The changes to the Canal as well as a variety of other issues related to international/worldwide household goods shipping will be discussed in an eLearning to be held at the end of February in each Cartus region. I will join Gemma Perry in EMEA on February 26; Patrick Keery in the U.S. on February 27; and Louise Grace in Asia Pacific on February 28. In each presentation, we’ll cover key topics as well as best practices in the HHG industry. I hope you can join us.
( If you have not received an invitation to this event, and would like to attend, please send your request to
Contact this contributor at

Friday, February 8, 2013

Book on life in the old Panama Canal Zone

Book on life in the old Panama Canal Zone written by a person who was raised there:

MY PARADISE LOST: Misadventures to manhood in the Panama Canal Zone. By Brian W Allen. Brian Allen can’t go home again. There were no rich, no poor, and no unemployment in the Panama Canal Zone. Yet his utopian town was nullified by treaty, bulldozed to the ground, and the dead have been exhumed. Brian tells his story, warts and all, with humor and compassion. My Paradise Lost is about a boy growing to manhood in the last golden years of the Canal Zone, the turbulent '60s and '70s. It was an innocent, Huck Finn in the rain forest existence. His township of Coco Solo was a blue collar world of mangoes and maids, exotica and history. Misadventure abounds, get lost in the swamp, tip the stripper, and poke the jaguar. Teen romance is just as awkward in paradise as anywhere. There is parental conflict, life, death, and the ghost of Jim Crow nationalistic racism. At the best time of his life, Brian is involved in a fatal car accident that puts him in the custody of the intimidating Guardia Nacional. His fate rests in the courts of a dictatorship whose El Supremo is bent on sovereignty over his Canal Zone home. You will feel the tropical sun, splash in the canal, ache for love, and cry for the dead. Photos and popular local recipes are included. Available on Amazon/Kindle

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Carnival Warning applies to all people

Reminder for U.S. Citizens during Carnival:
Reminder for U.S. Citizens during Carnival
The U.S. Embassy in Panama City reminds U.S. citizens that as the Carnival holiday approaches in Panama next week, there are several precautions U.S. citizens in Panama may take in order to ensure a safe and secure holiday.
Crime and Safety
As you are out and about enjoying the festivities, please remember that criminals are also out and about looking for targets. Unfortunately, there is always an increase in thefts and robberies during holidays. Please make sure you are not making yourself an easy target:
·         Be aware of your surroundings and watch for suspicious activity that indicates you are being targeted. If you note suspicious behavior, go somewhere safe, such as inside a store or mall and point out the person you are concerned about to security personnel.
·         Keep control of your purses, wallets, passports, and other belongings. 
·         Be mindful that disturbances such as loud arguments, people bumping into you, or people dropping things near you may actually be used as distractions to allow someone to steal from you. Ensure you still have everything after someone bumps into you.
·         If you are the victim of a crime, please make sure you report it immediately to the local Panamanian authorities so that they can begin their investigation.
·         If you need to replace a lost or stolen passport, you may come to the embassy during our regular workday to purchase a replacement. The embassy will be closed Friday, February 8 in the afternoon, the weekend and on Tuesday, February 12 only. Regular hours are 8:00 -12:30 and 1:30 to 3:00 on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and 8:00-12:00 on Wednesday and Friday. Appointments may be made on line and are appreciated.
For updated information on the security situation in Panama, please contact the American Citizen Services Unit of the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy at (011)-507-317-5030.  The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located in Clayton, Building 783, in the Clayton section of Panama.  The Embassy web site is and e-mails should be addressed to  The after-hours and emergency phone number is (011)-507-317-5000.

For up-to-date information on security, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site at  Further information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Panama are encouraged to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in case of an emergency.

Panama Airlines: Copa Holdings reports 4Q net income of $86.6 million, $326.5 million for 2012

Copa Holdings reports 4Q net income of $86.6 million, $326.5 million for 2012

by Bruce Drum
Copa Holdings, S.A. (Copa Airlines and Copa Airlines Colombia) (Panama City) has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2012 and the full year of 2012.
  • Copa Holdings reported net income of US$86.6 million for 4Q12 or earnings per share (EPS) of US$1.95, as compared to net income of US$104.4 million or EPS of US$2.36 in 4Q11.  Excluding special items, Copa Holdings reported an adjusted net income of US$89.3 million or adjusted EPS of $2.01, compared to adjusted net income of US$85.3 million or adjusted EPS of $1.93 in 4Q11.
  • Net income for full year 2012 reached US$326.5 million or EPS of US$7.35, compared to US$310.4 million or EPS of US$6.98 for full year 2011.  Excluding special items, however, Copa Holdings would have reported an adjusted net income of US$336.1 million or EPS of US$7.57, compared to adjusted net income of US$314.1 or adjusted EPS of $7.06 for full year 2011.
  • Operating income for 4Q12 came in at US$104.3 million, representing a 6.5% decline from operating income of US$111.5 million in 4Q11, mainly as a result of a 3.7% drop in unit operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) and a 6.3% increase in the all-in price of jet fuel.  As a result, operating margin for 4Q12 came in at 17.4%, or 4.5 percentage points below 4Q11.
  • The Company reported operating income of US$402.5 million for full year 2012, representing an increase of 4.6% over operating income of US$385.0 million in 2011.  Operating margin for full year 2012 came in at 17.9%, as compared to an operating margin of 21.0% in 2011.
  • Total revenues for 4Q12 increased 17.7% to US$599.8 million. Yield per passenger mile decreased 4.1% to 17.1 cents and RASM came in at 13.5 cents, or 3.7% below 4Q11.  However, on a quarter over quarter basis, both yields and RASM remained relatively flat over our third quarter high season, declining only 0.9% and 0.2%, respectively.
  • For 4Q12 consolidated passenger traffic grew 23.7%, led by international traffic growth which expanded a robust 26.0%.  At the same time, consolidated capacity grew 22.3%, led by a 24.4% increase in international capacity.  As a result, consolidated load factor for the quarter increased 0.8 percentage points to 75.7%.  For full year 2012, consolidated load factor came in at 75.4%, down 0.9 percentage points from 2011, on 24.1% capacity growth.
  • Operating cost per available seat mile (CASM) increased 1.8%, from 11.0 cents in 4Q11 to 11.1 cents in 4Q12 as a result of an increase in the all-in price of jet fuel.  However, CASM excluding fuel cost decreased 1.3% from 6.9 cents in 4Q11 to 6.8 cents in 4Q12, as a result of lower labor, maintenance and distribution unit costs, which were partly offset mainly by higher passenger servicing costs and other administrative expenses.
  • Cash, short term and long term investments ended 2012 at US$720.5 million, representing 32% of the last twelve months' revenues.
  • During the fourth quarter, Copa Airlines took delivery of two Boeing 737-800s and returned one leased Boeing 737-800 aircraft.  As a result, Copa Holdings ended the year with a consolidated fleet of 83 aircraft, composed of 18 Boeing 737-700s, 39 Boeing 737-800s and 26 Embraer-190s.
  • During the fourth quarter, Copa Holdings and Boeing agreed to reschedule four future B737-800 aircraft deliveries (2 firm and 2 options).  As a result, the company now has eight firm deliveries of Boeing 737-800 aircraft and four lease expirations of B737-700 aircraft for 2014.
  • For 2012, Copa Holdings reported on-time performance of 85.5% and a flight-completion factor of 99.6%, maintaining its position among the best in the industry

New Resort in Panama

Tell them Panama Lou sent you! {:<)

Panama: The Resort at Isla Palenque Opens February 14

Adjacent to a national marine park in Panama’s Gulf of Chiriqui, Isla Palenque is a 400-acre jungle island where a new luxury resort is set to open next week. The first guests arrive February 14. The owners say that ” The Resort at Isla Palenque represents Central America’s only private island ecoresort with sustainability at its core and a menu of amenities to rival those of the best luxuryhotels worldwide”.
From the environmentally sensitive design, which has been honored by the IUCN for biodiversity conservation, to its luxurious offerings, every aspect of the resort celebrates Isla Palenque’s natural beauty and privileged location.
“Isla Palenque was almost completely wild when we acquired it,” sayid Benjamin Loomis, visionary entrepreneur behind The Resort at Isla Palenque, “and our low-impact design nestles the rooms and residences into coastal jungle areas overlooking the uninhabited archipelago beyond, encouraging guests to respect the surrounding wilderness while basking in its surreal beauty.”
The accommodations will integrate with their surroundings by way of passive design strategies that succeed in perching the rooms among ten-story jungle trees, offering views into the canopy and Chiriqui Gulf through floor-to-ceiling windows and slide-away glass doors. Local guides lead guests through the island’s five distinct ecosystems and into the surrounding Gulf for island-hopping, snorkeling, sportfishing and diving.
The rich biodiversity of the Gulf of Chiriqui and its jungle-covered island gems makes for colorful and poignant exploration: humpback whales frequent the Gulf in summer, and thousands of other native and migratory species dazzle travelers both above and below the surface. Across the Chiriqui Gulf from Isla Palenque lies Coiba National Park, where scientists of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute study a proliferation of previously undiscovered species, earning comparisons to the Galapagos Islands.
The Resort at Isla Palenque’s efforts to preserve the region’s pristine quality extend beyond the island’s volcanic shores.
“By developing Isla Palenque as a luxury resort, we not only assure the economic sustainability of our own endeavors, but also provide for our ongoing efforts in the surrounding community to curb destructive practices and support local people who have been living harmoniously within these wild environments for centuries,” said Loomis.
The resort team is currently amid final preparations to welcome guests of its soft opening on February 14.
The Resort at Isla Palenque,

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"What's Going on in Panama Special breakfast speaker" at the Riu Hotel

A Must Hear to Stay Informed About What's Going on in Panama Special
breakfast speaker on Tuesday February 19, 2013 at 7:30am - 9:30am.

We invite the English speaking community of Panama to join us in
welcoming Licenciada Ana Matilde Comez, Former Attorney General of
Panama, our guest speaker in the Berlin Salon of the Hotel RIU on 50th
street (Across from St George's Bank)

Licenciada Ana Matilde Comez's work in the private sector has
included ligating and consulting for USA-AID in the program for
improvement of the Hydrographic Basin of the Panama Canal, and the
position of Vice-President of Legal Affairs for The Authority of The
Oceanic Region (Early Panama Canal, Authority) and was Executive
Director of The Truth Commission, formed to investigate the crimes of
the military dictatorship.

The Breakfast will be a buffet for $17 payable in cash at the door.
There is Gratis but obligatory "Valet Parking" requiring only a
$1.00 tip to the parking attendant.
A 50/50 Raffle opportunity is optional at the door for a $5.00 donation
per ticket.
The event is Sponsored by the Republican&#39;s Abroad of panama
YOU MUST RSVP to by February 15, 2013.
The buffet menu will be sent by request

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]