Saturday, September 28, 2013

Yankees considering playing exhibition game in Panama

Report: Yankees considering playing exhibition game in Panama

Via Carl Campanile: The Yankees are considering playing an exhibition game in Panama to honor Mariano Rivera at some point in the future. “It’s not a done deal, but everyone wants it to happen,” said a source to Campanile.  “It would be a powerful tribute to Mariano in his home country. Can you imagine the reaction in Panama?”
Talks between Yankees officials, MLB officials, the players’ union, and the Panamanian government are underway. Rivera is “said to be thrilled” over the possibility, though it’s unclear if he would actually pitch in the game. I assume it would be played in Spring Training at some point, probably towards the end before the team heads to Houston for the series of the regular season. Needless to say, this would be extremely cool. Hopefully it happens.
Years ago (I can't remember the year, in the 1940s I think), the Yankees visited Panama.  ~~ Lou

Mariano Rivera wants to play center field before he retire

Mariano Rivera wants to play center field before he retires — Will the Yankees allow it?

David Brown 
Big League Stew
There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who approve of gimmicks in Major League Baseball and those who don't. And so, it is with such an understanding that The Stew without hesitation supports relief pitcher extraordinaire Mariano Rivera in his bid to play center field for the New York Yankees before he retires from the game forever Sunday in Houston.
While it's not exactly Bill Veeck sending little person Eddie Gaedel up to bat, or ageless Minnie Minoso getting a chance to play in his 11th decade (or whatever), MLB's all-time saves leader playing center for a day sounds like a lot of fun — for everyone.
Rivera has made no secret through the years that one of his fondest baseball dreams is to play center field, just like Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Bobby Murcer, Mickey Rivers and Bernie Williams did for the Bronx Bombers at one time. Well, maybe not just like them. Maybe more like Stan Jefferson.
The gatekeeper/ringmaster regarding this issue is Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, who has been a saint in dealing with a strange team in the clubhouse and the odd mixed signals from New York's executive branch. Hey, what's one more juggling act in the final days of the circus, now that the Yankees have been eliminated from the playoffs?
Girardi might be rolling his eyes on the inside, but he seems open to the possibility, via the New York Daily News:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Panama Hat

 Panama hats can still be bought cheap in Panama ~~ Lou  Following from the Internet


The Panama hat has a long and glorious history. Not only has it become an integral part of the stories of personalities like Napoleon, Theodore Roosevelt, Orson Welles, and Humphrey Bogart, the hat also has a legendary story of its own. So legendary, in fact, that the art of weaving a Panama hat was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists on 6 December 2012.

Essential Classics: The Panama Hat

The story of the Panama begins in Ecuador in the 17th century. Traditionally, the hats were made from the plaited leaves of the Carludovica palmata plant, known locally as the toquilla palm or jipijapa palm. They are lightweight, breathable, and ideally paired with summer-weight suitsmade of linen or silk.

The hat was imported to Asia, Europe, and the rest of the Americas through the Isthmus of Panama, earning it the name it is now known by. As it spread outside of South America, the Panama was featured at the World Fair of 1856 in Paris. In the mid-nineteenth century it was sported by the miners of the California Gold Rush, who frequently traveled to California via the Isthmus of Panama. And in the early 1900s, President Theodore Roosevelt of the United States sealed the fate of the Panama hat’s popularity once and for all, when he was photographed wearing one while visiting the construction site of the Panama Canal.

Today, the world’s most famous Panama hats are coming out of Alfred Dunhill and Borsalino. Dunhill’s classic is a roll-up Panama that can easily be folded into a small cylindrical bundle for traveling. Borsalino has become famous for its modern interpretations of the classic Panama style over the course of the brand’s 200+ year history. It takes six months for Borsalino to create just one Panama hat.

Essential Classics: The Panama Hat

In Popular Culture
The golden age of Hollywood saw the Panama hat appearing on stars’ heads both on and off screen. It co-starred alongside Clarke Gable in Gone with the Wind, Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird, Sean Connery in The Man Who Would Be King, and Anthony Hopkins in Hannibal. It has also appeared on the heads of many writers, including Mark Twain, Truman Capote, and Tom Wolfe. More recently, A-listers like Keira Knightly, Kate Moss, and Johnny Depp have all shown off their love for Panama hats.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

LAPT (Latin America Poker Tournament) Panama

LAPT (Latin America Poker Tournament) Panama at the Wyndam Veneto Hotel in Panama City: Oliveira On Top

One down.
After 10 levels of play, Day 1a of LAPT6 Panama is in the books. The internet books.
Two-hundred and one players started the day but only 52 survived. Leading the final 52 players is a Brazilian online qualifier, Marcos Oliveira.
PANA 2013-6354.jpg
Marcos Oliveira

Oliveira finished the day with 213,200 and will come back with the remaining players to play Day 2 on Friday at noon. Also joining the Brazilian pro are Team PokerStars Pro Chrstian De León and Leo Fernandez. While Fernandez and De León were the only Team Pros to make it through the day, several others started.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Gangs in Panama malls

From the internet:

Gang robberies increasing in Panama malls

WELL DRESSED gangs are  on the prowl Panama’s malls and supermarkets targeting shoppers who have made purchases and returned them to their car or even attacking their victims when they visit a washroom.
The bands have " modernized " their modus operandi , according to officials of the National Police including Javier Ortiz , head of the Directorate of Judicial Investigation ( DIJ ) in Balboa says La Prensa
The thieves surprise their victims in the bathrooms and hallways and quicly move in when they see open bags and purses , or luggage carts carrying packages.
They work in teams of two, three or four members , men and women , always well dressed
They rent cars or taxis to get around and operations are stepped up on weekends weekends , and pay days.
Thefts at shopping centers have increased, say officials but it is difficult to say by how much, because most of the victims do not report abuse.
Police say that one reason for the increase is that the security guards are too few to for the number of people who pack the malls.
Surveillance cameras, have identified some groups, but their members have returned again and again and shoppers are advised to take precautions to avoid becoming the next victims.
An executive of a supermarket chain told Newsroom of teams of three who rob purses or unzip pockets in backpacks. One identifies a potential victim, the second carries out the theft and disappears down the aisle and passes the stolen goods or wallet to the third member of the team. who quietly exits the store. If the middleman is searched he has no stolen property to support charges.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Panama inflation hits hard on lowest paid

From News Room Panama:

Panama inflation hits hard on lowest paid

THE 75 percent of households in Panama with incomes under $1,000 a month have been hardest hit by the latest inflation figures.

Food and beverages, up by 5.4 percent. showed the biggest increase in August. The cost of schooling followed, rising by 5.2 percent and health by 4.6 percent. The overall consumer price index increased 3.9 percent according to the Comptroller General.

Bless the people of Panamá

Saturday, September 14, 2013

U.S. 6th Air Force lost airmen memorial in Panama

Bob Taylor, WWII Army Air Corps aircraft mechanic on P-38s & P-40 in Panama during the war.  He is the organizer of the Antique Airplane Association and the Airpower Museum in Iowa see: & Caribbean Breeze II (CB II) an organization for member of the 6th Air Force during WWII which included Panama, central & south America & surrounding waters.  Interested people such as myself being born & raised in Panama are welcome to join Bob‘s CB II.  Bob “has a dream”, he wants to build a memorial to lost airmen who never came back from flights in the 6th AF & their remains were NEVER recovered.  This memorial would be located in the U.S. Veteran’s cemetery in Panama on what was the former Panama Canal Zone.  The administrator of the cemetery says they do NOT have funds for such a project, so Bob’s dream is to get permission to build a memorial, collect donation & build this monument.  Does anyone have any suggestions for Bob on how to proceed with this project?  Bob’s email address is:  Please help Bob see his dream to fruition.  Bob will be 90 this year, God Bless Bob & all our WWII vets & GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Colón, Panamá finally gets a modern airport

Colón finally gets a modern airport

The newly refurbished Enrique A. Jimenez Airport, in the Atlantic-side Colon province, was inaugurated on Friday August 30 by President Ricardo Martinelli. The works had a cost of $58 million and were carried out by the construction company Meco S.A, allowing landing by Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a capacity of 228 passengers.
The new airport, which was elevated to the international category, will be operated by Tocumen S.A.
It has modern finishings in the terminal building, electric stairs, a waiting room for passengers and a new control tower. The runway has been extended and now measures 2,700 meters long.
Enrique A. Jiménez International Airport
The modern Enrique A. Jiménez International Airport.
Captain Rafael Bárcenas, Director of the Civil Aviation Authority (AAC), said that “Colon province is an important economic and tourist epicenter because of the Colon Free Zone, without forgetting its beautiful beaches.”
The terminal building will have a capacity for 1,000 people entering and leaving the area during the rush hours and has space for car rental companies, duty free shops, restaurants, a cafeteria, administration offices, Customs and clinics with ambulances.
The airport has easy access to the Colon Free Zone and it is expected that international airlines will be interested in operating passenger and cargo routes there. There is also a possibility of charter flights coming from Central and South America to connect with the cruise ships that use the port of Colon 2000 as a home port.
The Enrique A. Jimenez Airport, before its conversion to a civil airport many years ago, was a United States Army (later USAF) military airfield, established in 1918. It was turned over to the Panama Canal Zone government in 1949, and was converted into a civil airport. United States control over the airport ended in 1979 with the turnover of the Panama Canal Zone to the government of Panama.
Barcenas also announced that the Scarlett Martinez Airport, at Rio Hato, will be inaugurated in mid September. Together with those in Colon and Chiriqui, they will improve the connectivity of the country and help transform Panama into the “Hub of the Americas”.
- See more at:

Friday, September 6, 2013

Missing Americans in Panamá request

Posted by request of Debra Manos:

Sí alguien tiene cualquier conocimiento de FRANK FUERNKRAZ (visto por ultima vez 30 Oct de 2012) visto por última vez en Bocas del Toros o ROBERT ELHERT (visto por ultima vez el 21 de junio de 2013) desaparecidos en Bocas del Toros o ciudad de Panamá??? Por favor mandenme un mensaje en privado, yo viví en Panamá durante finales de los 1960s, ahora estoy en SC y en contacto con un servicio de investigación trabajando en esto para las familias - apreciada toda la información. Ningún detalle es demasiado pequeño & puede ser de grande ayuda. Gracias.
Debra Manos, Huger, SC (843)336-3744,

DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY KNOWLEDGE OF FRANK FUERNKRAZ (last seen 30 Oct 2012) last seen in Bocas del Toros OR ROBERT ELHERT (last seen 21 June 2013) missing from Bocas del Toros or Panama City???? Please PM me, I lived in Panama during the late 60s, am now in SC and in contact with an investigative service working this for the families - all information appreciated. No detail too small & may help. Thanks in advance! Debra Manos Huger, SC USA (843) 336-3744

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Bocas del Toro, Panamá home invasion

From an ExPat internet group:

Bocas del Toro home invasion:

I must report that we have had our first home invasion here on Isla Carenero. It happened last Saturday night at about 7:00PM at Ron and Joan Bergmans just passed the Cosmic Crab. Three masked men quietly came in through an unlocked door forcing Joan to be quiet in the living room. Ron was lying in bed when he was attacked with the robbers using clubs. He was struck on the head and as he was trying to protect himself struck several times on his wrist. They only took an Iphone and escaped – they left his bill fold in full view and other electronic devices sitting around. After getting composed, they called the neighbors for help and I called the policia. The response was within 5-10 minutes of calling which I think is very good. The policia were quick to determine what had happened and checked the area and did a quick examination of the house. A major concern was the injuries Ron and Joan had sustained. After a quick lock down, they were transported to the ER at the hospital. Ron had about 8 stitches in his scalp and had a wrist x-ray. He had a fractured wrist that required surgery, so they then went to the hospital in Changuinola. He had surgery on his wrist the next morning by their orthopedic surgeon and was checked for a concussion. With a lot of bruises, very tired, wrist in a cast, but in good shape otherwise – they returned home Monday afternoon. In summary, this was a horrible happening and has disturbed everyone. The policia response was as good as could be expected any where – particularly from one island to another. A member of the JID accompanied the policia and will personally handle the case. The response at ER was also very fast and effective. Changuinola was expecting them and took Ron in immediately. The Vasques’s are following the model of their mother, Joann, with Virginia going over to Changuinola with them. Joan was installed in Virginia ’s brother’s house, the head of Chiquita in Panama , while Ron was in the hospital. Our neighborhood watch held a meeting on Monday morning with Sgt. Sanchez and three other policia, including the JID who will be in charge of the investigation. We reviewed all that had happened and Sgt. Sanchez presented what the policia and the JID would be doing next. It is going to be a difficult case, but they are already beating the bushes for leads. As Bocas is getting more tourists and those celebrating the holidays from the adjacent areas, suggests that this was not done by locals. The lack of picking up valuables laying around suggests this was done by amateurs. However, they must have known the Bergmans schedules that could only have been acquired by observation over a period of time. What can we do then to protect ourselves? First, be reluctant to have your doors unlocked – make sure they are locked after dark. Have a dog - a barking dog is a good deterrent. Have a phone list of all neighbors and emergency numbers right by the phone. Pepper or wasp sprays might yield some protection. A loud horn or other high sound device could be used to alert the neighborhood. Of course, we have to be alert and watch for abnormal behavior – particularly someone who shows a lot of interest in what you are doing. There is no question that this case has a very high priority and a lot of policia time will be devoted to the solution. The case has strong political support as well – Bocas can not sustain this barrier to growth in tourism.

COPA Airlines is grows its Panamá City (PTY) hub

From the internet BangaloreAviation:

COPA Airlines is grows its Panamá City (PTY) hub

by BA Staff Already one of the world's fastest growing airlines, Central American Star Alliance carrier Copa Airlines is growing its hub at Panama City's Tocumen International Airport further this winter by increasing frequencies to several destinations. 

San Jose (CR) - 8th daily flight introduced from 3rd October using Boeing 737-700 equipment, with schedule as below: CM116 ~ PTY-SJO ~ D:1526  A:1546 ~ 73G ~ Daily CM115 ~ SJO-PTY ~ D:1804 A:2020 ~ 73G ~ Daily 

Kingston - service increases from 3x weekly to 4x weekly from 16th December on Embraer E190 equipment 

Montego Bay - service increases from 4x weekly to 5x weekly on varied equipment from 11th December 

Punta Cana - service increases from 25x weekly to 30x weekly from 14th December (up to 32x weekly from 1st February 2014) 

St. Maarten - service increases from 2x weekly to 4x weekly using E190s from 12th December 

Charlottetown - service increases from daily to 11x weekly - See more at:

Gamboa weekly seminar

[Gamboa seminars] Next Gamboa Seminar

Please join us in the schoolhouse for the following seminar:
* Monday, September 9, 2013 - 4:00pm
Susan Finkbeiner (University of California, Irvine)
Deconstructing visual signals in social butterflies
Abstract: In this study I address the adaptive function of
communal roosting in passion-vine butterflies, how this behavior is
associated with visual ecology, then I examine the contributions of
various visual signals used for predator and conspecific recognition.

Feel free to forward this notice to anyone who you think would be interested.

see you there!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Casco Viejo Parking dispute leads to shooting

From the internet:

Casco parking dispute leads to shooting:

THE IMAGE of Panama’s historic Casco Viejo already suffering under delayed street repairs, government seizure of “non-developed” properties and encirclement by a six lane highway, has received another blow … a shooting

The close knit community, including a large body of expats is concerned about a recent incident when a visitor to the old city was shot during a dispute that started with a second demand for $5 for parking and ended up with an attempted pistol point robbery.

The driver gunned the engine and drove away from the robbers, but not before one of the occupants was shot, and although out of hospital a bullet is permanently lodged in a bone.
AVAC, the local community and Friends of Casco association has been handling messages from concerned residents, negotiating with the police. Providing updates and arranging meetings.

There have been previous flurries of emails reporting thefts and concerns overt he activities of bien ciudados, and in an area that included the presidential palace there appears to be a police office on every corner.

In the past there have been stories true or apocryphal, of the lid being kept on street robbery reports, for fear of damaging the areas image as a safe place to live and invest.

The lid was lifted off the latest incident with a rush to Facebook ( allegedly even before  it was reported to police) and a follow up by Panama’s pre-eminent tourism weekly The Visitor/ Visistante.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Next U.S. Navy League meeting in Panama City

Next U.S. Navy League meeting in P.C.:

Next Nl Dinner -- Col. Court Prisk Egypt, Syria, and related topics...

Please plan on joining us for an update on events in Egypt from Col. Court Prisk, US Army Ret.

From December 1979 through May 1981 he was Chief -- Plans Division, Middle East and Africa, J-5, Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. When the late General H. "Stormin' Norman" Schwarzkopf, Jr. was ordered to prepare for the first Gulf War, they dusted off Col. Prisk's plan for the invasion of Iraq and Operation Desert Storm.

He is the co-author of "A Strategic View of Insurgencies: Insights from El Salvador" with Max G. Manwaring.

Col. Prisk has been touching base with his old friends so he will also be able to shed some light on Syria for those inclined to ask.

Date: September 10
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Hotel Le Meridien
Price: $30 including glass of wine
RSVP to this email before 12:00 noon on the 9th, please.

Expropriation of non-developed properties in Casco Viejo

From the internet:

Expropriation of non-developed properties in Casco Viejo

SPECULATORS who buy up old buildings in in San Felipe and sit on them waiting for prices to climb, are under the gun.
The National Institute of Culture (INAC) has opened condemnation proceedings against multiple property owners in Casco Viejo.
People who have received notices are critical because they claim INACdoes not comply with due process and does not have a plan to value historic structures.
La Prensa lists a recent case of the expropriation of a property in West 11thStreet, owned by the Panamanian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.

The measure was adopted by 143-2013/DG/DAJ Resolution of May 7, 2013, for reasons of neglect and lack of a restoration plan.
An official source revealed told La Prensa that since the beginning of the current administration condemnation proceedings have been opened against owners of 25 historic properties inthearea.
However, many building owners complain that they are not notified and they claim the rules are not applied to everyone equally

According to Article 48 of the Constitution, only "for reasons of public utility or social interest as defined in the law,may  there  be expropriations by special trial and compensation".