Thursday, October 31, 2013

More on delay of opening of the 3rd locks Panama Canal

Another report on delay of opening of the 3rd locks from HAPPY HALLOWEEN to all:

Another delay hits Panama Canal expansion project
Panama Canal expansion

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced another delay of three months for the completion of the canal’s expansion, pushing back the start of commercial transits to the fourth quarter of 2015.

In its third quarter report ACP said that the delay resulted from the fact that the consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal that is building the third set of locks, will deliver the Atlantic locks on 31 March 2015 and the Pacific locks on 30 June 2015, previously scheduled for early 2015 and April 2015 respectively.

Those new dates do not include the testing trials of the locks which should take three months and put back the opening of commercial transits, originally forecast for mid-June 2015, to the last quarter of 2015.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Veterans Appreciation BBQ by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post at Amador, Panama

From American Society of Panama FYI:

Item of Interest: Veterans Appreciation BBQ by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post 3835
Note: "Items of Interest" sent out by the American Society to its membership are activities, news bulletins or items/events not sponsored by the American Society but deemed of interest to our community.

Asunto: Veterans Appreciation BBQ

To honor our veterans and active duty military personnel, here in Panama.  The VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post 3835 is hosting their 2nd Veterans Appreciation BBQ, in which all veterans and active duty military personnel can enjoy a BBQ meal absolutely FREE!!!  You will only have to show proof of being a veteran or active duty (ID card, DD 214, VFW card, etc.).

The details are as follows:

Date: November 11th (Veterans Day)
Place: Balboa Yacht Club (Amador Causeway)
Time: 1:00-4:00

Family members and/or guests can enjoy this delicious bbq meal for a donation of $5.00.

In addition there will be a
Veteran's Day Ceremony

Date: November 11th
Place: Corozal American Cemetery
Time: 9:00 am

Anita C. Littesy

New canal locks completion date extended 9 months to approx June 2015

From the internet:

Canal expansion completion date extended 9 months


ALL CHANCES of a linking of the Panama Canal expansion to the 100th anniversary celebration of the opening of the Canal seem to have evaporated with the news that the completion date has been extended until June 2015.

The information comes in the latest quarterly report released by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). The original contract completion date was October 21, 2014,

This means that the project of the third set of locks will be completed nine months later than the date agreed in the contract between Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) and the ACP, at a cost of $3.2 billion.

The construction of the locks was delayed because concrete mixtures originally presented by GUPC "did not meet required specifications"

The consortium submitted a claim for $588 million in additional costs in the works, caused by the delay in the rejection of the concrete mix.

This action was denied by the ACP which sent the dispute to a settlement body agreed by the parties to resolve their differences.

Fun Events in Panama

From the internet, fun in Panama FYI & FYI 2 the Theatro Teatro is across the street from the Reba Smith super mercado on the Tranistmican near the Lung Fung restaurante -- good stop before or after a play.  I have enjoyed plays at the ABA in the past. :

Los Trapos Sucios Se Lavan En Casa / Dirty Laundry Stays at Home

WHERE:  Teatro ABA, Panama City
WHEN: October 17th through December 1st

COST/TICKETS: Tickets $10.00 in advance, $12.00 at the box office
DESCRIPTION: Every family has its secrets, and we try to keep them at home! This hilarious comedy tells the story of a family and their secret, but what is it? Suspense and mystery will keep you guessing from beginning to end!

phone 260-6316.
Kids Halloween Party
Fun for Kids

WHERE:  Smile Factory, Albrook Canal Plaza, Panama City
WHEN:  October 30th, 4:00 p.m.

COST/TICKETS: $15.00 per child

DESCRIPTION: Bring the kids in their costumes to enjoy all the toys, attractions and surprises

phone 398-9608.d
Halloween Costume and Pumpkin Carving Party
Food & Drink / Fun for Kids

WHERE: The Dock Restaurant, Shelter Bay, Colon Province
WHEN: October 31st, 4:00 to 9:00 p.m.

COST/TICKETS: Not listed
DESCRIPTION: Come on out to the marina for a costume contest, pumpkin carving, special treats and maybe a few tricks
email or phone 433-0471.

Halloween Party
Food & Drink

WHERE: Restaurant La Casa Del Risco,Hacienda Los Molinos, Chiriqui Province
WHEN: October 31st, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

COST/TICKETS: Per the special menu
DESCRIPTION: Be creative, be scary, or be funny and you might win a prize!
phone 730-8313 or 6676-0653.
Halloween Party with Marco Carola
Music / Dance

WHERE: Habana Panama, Casco Antiguo, Panama City
WHEN: October 31st, 10:00 p.m.

COST/TICKETS: Tickets $45.00 and $65.00

DESCRIPTION: Marco Carolo has become one of the top techno music experts in the world and comes to Panama for an unforgettable party experience!

phone 212-0152 or 6228-4189.

Jungleween Halloween Party Family Fun                
Fun for Kids / Food & Drink
WHERE: La Jungla, Palmira, Chiriquí Province
WHEN: October 31st, 4:00 to 9:00 p.m.

COST/TICKETS: Kids $3.00 in advance, $5.00 at the door, Adults $5.00 or $8.00

Buffett dinner, costume party, crafts for kids, baby sitting, music, trick or treating, haunted hostel and more! All proceeds go to feed and take care of the animals at La Jungla refuge.

phone 6968-6010.

YEP! Halloween Party
Music / Dance / Food & Drink  

WHERE: Barlovento Terrace Bar, Casco Antiguo, Panama City
WHEN: October 31st, 7:00 p.m.

COST/TICKETS: $5.00 for Gals, $10.00 for Guys

DESCRIPTION:  Young Expats in Panama annual Halloween bash with costume contest and lots of fun activities

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

China to build a canal through Nicaragua

From the internet:

China building a canal through Nicaragua; Panama can shove it

Chinese billionaire Wang Jing has been granted a 50-year concession in Nicaragua in which to build an Atlantic/Pacific canal, because Panama's was far too mainstream. Wang, who heads a Hong Kong-based infrastructure group, has announced plans to begin construction in 2014 and finish by 2020.
The canal will cost some US$40 billion dollars, but that's not even the hardest part. Nicaragua still recognizes Taipei as the capital of China, and it's really awkward, as South China Morning Post reports:
Nicaragua switched diplomatic recognition from Beijing to Taipei in 1990.[...]
Wang Jing, 41, said the project was "strictly commercial".
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing also stressed it was not a government-backed project. Still, given the delicate nature of the project and the relationship between Nicaragua, Beijing and Taipei, it could have wide geopolitical implications.
Nicaragua is one of the 23 countries that recognise Taipei instead of Beijing. The tour happened three weeks after Nicaraguan foreign minister Samuel Santos Lopez angered Taipei when he referred to Taiwan as China-Taiwan in a statement.
Delegation member Francisco Telemaco Talavera Siles, the president of the National Council of Universities, said: "We are in a special moment in China and in Nicaragua. We are starting a new historical phase that is going to see closer relations."
If/when the canal is completed, it will be 178 miles long; way bigger than Panama's sad, forgotten 48-mile trickle.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

ATM/CLAVE problems in Panama

ExPat forums are reporting problems at ATM location, the ATM is charge $2 - 6 for a transaction & not dispersing money.  Here is a recently post from an ExPat forum:

More on ATM/Clave problem in Panama from ExPat news, anybody in Panama have more info?:

Does anyone know if this has been fixed? I am already $1400 down and hoping for this to be refunded to my account. I don't want to make this figure larger so was hoping to find out the issue was fixed before going to the ATM again. BTW - I used a debit card from a Caribbean bank and also a HSBC cc (mastercard) from the UK. Both had the same issues.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Report on recent crime in Boquete, Panama

From a Boquete blog:

Caesar Sherrard one of the founders of Alto al Crimen in Boquete spoke about the increasing crime problem in Boquete.

Caesar made his point that the driver on increased crime in the increased cost of living without commensurate increase in salaries. When people earning $16 a day cannot afford to house and feed their families, some will resort to any means to do fulfill the need.
Boquete has a small police force which has about 15 officers on patrol for the entire district, and that is to cover 24 hours a day seven days a week. So maybe five on the street at any one time. The population according to the 2010 census was 22,435.[1]The district covers a total area of 488,4 km². Those police paid about $690 a month in wages try to do the best they can with one patrol car and occasional motorcycle support. They cannot prevent crime, they have a difficult time investigating crime.
Before you start asking for more police think about how much tax revenue the government earns from you.
Crime in Boquete is mostly amateur, now a bit enhanced by some gangs from David using the new highway that makes escape easier and faster than before. The solution to crime in Boquete is not the police. The solution is a smart population and proactive preparation. The message is be a hard target.
Most crimes here are crimes of opportunity, theft of visible high value items through open windows, unlocked doors or penetration by local workers who observe patterns of availability. Caesar made the point that most neighborhoods here, unlike the US and Canada are economically mixed. You might have a home that cost $200,00 built next to a tin shack. This economic disparity coupled with television sold examples of the good life motivates crimes.
There have been a few high profile home invasions here and in Volcan. These are usually groups of armed men who beat their victims. Sometimes they are caught, sometimes prosecuted, sometimes convicted and sometimes jailed. None of this helps the victims.
The solution is to harden your home. There is a reason even poor locals have bars on their windows and doors. There is a reason even poor locals have dogs and fences. The defense perimeter of your house is your fence. No one should be allowed into your fence without permission. Alarms, dogs, bars, automatic flood lights and fences are all perimeter defenses that make your home a hard target, unless you have been targeted the bad guys will pass you up for something easier.
The vocal advice from Caesar was, you are not in Kansas anymore. Unless you are willing to secure your own home you should leave now before you become a victim and statistic.
Discussion went on to the questions of guns and laws about guns in Panama, again this is not Kansas. You need a license to own a gun and then you need to find a gun. Panama is not currently importing guns so legal guns are expensive and need to be resale from another licensed gun owner.
Bottom line is you and you alone are responsible to secure your home and protect yourself. The police cannot protect you, even if they capture the perpetrators it will not undo the crime and terror of being violated.

Monday, October 14, 2013

New Rio Hato Pan American highway tunnel floods

From NewsRoom Panama

New airport tunnel flooded

THE NEW TUNNELfrom the airport in Rio Hato,Cocle Province, looked more like a water pipe on Sunday, October 13.
Blocked drains after heavy rain in the area.forced diversion of traffic by the National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) released we proceeded to divert traffic.
The rain also caused flooding in Howard and Rodman as streams overflowed said SINAPROC.