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  2. We need someone who is going to the U.S. in the next couple of days to take the mail and dump it into a U.S. mail box. It's just a small bag. We thought we had someone but he failed to pick up the mail. We collect US and Canada bound mail every Tuesday morning in front of the BCP theater between 9 and 11:30 If you can take the mail, please email pjbarrett@aol.com Thanks so much. Penny
  3. For those like me who are not familiar with the impact of sun spot activity and our local weather, could someone please enlighten me? Part of me now questions whether the global warming thing is really about sun sport variations or cycles (or whatever they are called). I hope the moderators don't slam me for taking this in a new direction.
  4. For those wanting more information about the "Blue Apple" corruption scandal, we are opting to provide a cross-reference here rather than merge the two topics. Please see:
  5. Smart move on the part of Global Bank to be proactive by issuing this statement, imo.
  6. Today
  7. Never mind, I fund it. It reads in English as follows: https://www.tvn-2.com/nacionales/Global-Bank-senalamientos-Ministerio-Publico_0_4941255945.html Tweet Share on Facebook Share by email Global Bank defends itself and rejects accusations from the Public Ministry BY EDITORIAL STAFF OF TVN NOTICIAS 01/15/2018 - 11:24 PM On the night of this Monday, January 15, the Panamanian bank Global Bank, through a statement, rejected the Public Ministry's statements related to the "Blue Apple" case and stated that they complied with all protocols and regulations in the country. Related Former MOP and Miviot officials involved in the 'Blue Apple' case "For the case" Blue Apple Services "and other companies, where the factoring activity carried out by our subsidiary Factor Global is mentioned, we wish to clarify that the contracts subject to such commercial exercise were the result of State tenders duly awarded and endorsed." , says the company's statement. According to the investigation carried out by the Public Prosecutor's Office, through the factoring activity in which the Panamanian bank is mentioned, there was a movement of money that supposedly came from the payment of bribes by construction companies to ex-employees of the Ministry of Finance. Public Works and Ministry of Housing during the years 2011 and 2012. "At no time, Factor Global discounted invoices from" Blue Apple Services "or from other companies cited in the process. All the discounted bills were from government entities. Checks written by clients were honored and instructions were issued for the issuance of checks in favor of third parties, "stresses the bank with Panamanian capital. Global Bank affirmed that it has collaborated with the authorities in the investigations it carries out and that they are open to continue contributing in the process of the investigations that are carried out.
  8. Do you have a link to this article, would like to translate it into English?
  9. Jim, gasp, you don't mean to imply that the SUN has any bearing whatsoever on climate change? Quel horreur.....
  10. You're All Invited

    It's our Birthday and you ALL are invited to the party! Friday, January 26, 1 to 3 PM The Boquete Knitters and Quilters turn nine years old next week and we are celebrating! Drop by the Fundacion Pro Integracion (Handicap Foundation) in Alto Boquete, located across the highway from Gluten-Free Gold Bakery and Chop Sticks Restaurant. We will have cupcakes and punch and be showing off some of our work. Please come help us celebrate on Friday, January 26!
  11. Top 10 Boating accident causes: 1. Operator Inattention (#2 cause for fatalities) – Staying attentive at all times while boating is critical as a boat operator. Being the main cause of accidents proves the ease of distraction while boating. 2. Improper Lookout (#7 cause for fatalities) – Similar to operator inattention, not properly having your surrounding visible is the second highest cause of boating accidents. A boat operator needs to have unobstructed views around the vessel to ensure a clear path. 3. Operator Inexperience (#5 cause for fatalities) – Boating does not require much education, by law, therefore many operators are not experienced or educated properly. Not only is it a good idea to take a boating education class but building up experience operating a boat is absolutely necessary. 4. Excessive Speed (#6 cause for fatalities) – Maintaining a safe speed, depending on many factors, is imperative for turning and avoiding other vessels. 5. Machinery Failure (#9 cause for fatalities) – Maintaining a boat is a large part of ownership responsibility. Being the 5th cause of boating accidents proves the importance of keeping a well maintained vessel. 6. Alcohol Use (#1 cause for fatalities) – – Even though alcohol related accidents comes in as the 6th leading cause it remains the #1 cause of fatal boating accidents. 7. Navigation Rules Violation (#8 cause for fatalities) – Believe it or not, boating has proper navigation rules. Knowing these rules can save your life from a head on collision. 8. Force of Wave or Wake (#10 cause for fatalities) – Weather related waves or artificially caused wakes from other vessels can be tragic if not navigated properly. Understanding how to proceed over these will prevent anything from passenger ejections to full role overs. 9. Hazardous Waters (#3 cause for fatalities) – Many types of hazardous waters can be the culprit of a boat accident. If boating on a holiday weekend thousands of boats can cause congestion to the point of highly dangerous waters. Strong currents, shallow water, rocks, and many other hazards can cause a major accident. 10. Weather (#4 cause for fatalities) – Knowing the forecast and closely monitoring the skies while boating is a must for boaters. The dangers that can arise from a severe storm, especially on a large bodies of water can be disastrous. Some weather storms are powerful enough to capsize smaller vessels leaving passengers in extremely dangerous situations.
  12. LaPrensa carried this front page report today about the ownership of the Trump Hotel wanting management changes due to alleged financial misconduct. https://www.prensa.com/economia/disputa-Panama-organizacion-Trump-Hotels_0_4942005770.html The source was this AP report. Jan. 16, 2018 12:40 AM ET Panama Hotel votes to drop Trump _ but his company won't go By JEFF HORWITZ, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — An attempt to oust President Donald Trump's hotel business from managing a luxury hotel in Panama has turned bitter, with accusations of financial misconduct. Trump Hotels is contesting its firing, and its staff ran off a team of Marriott executives invited last month to visit the property during a search for a new hotel operator, according to two people familiar with the matter. After the owners' association accused Trump Hotels of mismanagement and financial misconduct in a $15 million arbitration claim, the company owned by the president fired back with a $200 million counterclaim and refused to turn over the property's financial records. When a team from Marriott International Inc. came to the property at the invitation of the hotel's majority owner, Trump staff asked them to leave, according to the two people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss publicly what happened behind the scenes. The head of Trump Hotels, Eric Danziger, also called Marriott chief executive Arne Sorenson to complain about the visit, the two people said. Marriott generally steers clear of properties facing ownership and management disputes. But the call from a senior Trump executive to the CEO of Marriott, which manages more than 6,000 hotels, raised the awkward matter of how American companies interact with a business owned by the president. Marriott, like most major international companies, has significant business and public policy interests before the Trump administration. Federal employees who travel and hold government conferences pay to use its properties, and Marriott has been lobbying the administration and Congress over U.S. tourism, trade and legal restrictions against property ownership in Cuba, disclosures to consumers about resort fees, and other issues. Trump Organization general counsel Alan Garten said the call was not intended to pressure Marriott. "We have a great relationship with Marriott," Garten said. "They were appreciative that we let them know that we have a valid contract." A spokeswoman for Marriott declined to comment. The matter highlights potential ethics concerns raised by Trump's decision not to divest himself from his businesses, said Larry Noble, head of the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington-based public interest group that studies issues of democracy. "I don't know if they've got a valid contract or not," Noble said. "But if you're a big company, you'd really have to think twice before getting into a fight with one of the president's companies." Since Trump took office, Trump hotels in New York and Toronto have quietly reached deals to separate themselves from Trump's brand. But the Panama dispute is shaping up as a brawl. In a letter to fellow owners, the investor leading the hotel owners' board of directors accused Trump Hotels of "gross mismanagement, breaches of contract, conversion and breaches of fiduciary duties." Conversion is a legal term for the misuse of someone else's property for one's own gain. "Our investment has no future so long as the hotel is managed by an incompetent operator whose brand has been tarnished beyond repair," Orestes Fintiklis, the managing partner of Miami-based Ithaca Capital Partners, wrote in the letter. Trump Hotels, he wrote, "is refusing to maintain its last shreds of dignity and peacefully vacate our property." Fintiklis did not respond to emails from the AP seeking comment. Trump Hotels accused Ithaca of deceiving its fellow hotel owners and illegally terminating the Trump contract. "Unfortunately, it is YOU, the unit owners, who will ultimately be the ones to bear responsibility for the bad acts of Mr. Fintiklis and his cohorts," said Trump Hotels executive vice president Jeff Wagoner in an earlier letter to the owners last week. Rising 70 stories in the shape of a wind-filled sail, the Trump hotel promised investors a chance to become the part owner of one of Central America's finest hotels. It has struggled to sell units after its completion in 2011. Occupancy rates are low enough that some owners receive no income from their properties and must reach into their own pockets to pay maintenance costs. The effort to remove Trump hotels from managing the hybrid condo-hotel units on the property began last year, after Ithaca Capital Group purchased 202 unsold hotel units from the building's struggling developer. After buying the units in August, Ithaca and the other owners voted in November to fire Trump's directors, clearing the way for terminating Trump's contract and the $15 million arbitration claim against Trump Hotels. Not all the hotel unit owners were represented at the meeting, but those contacted by The Associated Press support the effort to fire Trump. "They wanted to remove him quietly," said Al Monstavicius, a retired Nevada doctor who owns a penthouse hotel unit in the building, of Ithaca's efforts. "That didn't work." Monstavicius said Trump's statements regarding Mexicans and his determination to strip hundreds of thousands of Central Americans of their protection from deportation have made Trump's brand toxic in Panama. Occupancy in recent days — considered peak high season — has ranged from 26 to 28 percent, according to Trump Hotels figures. Overbuilding and general weakness in the Panama hotel market have contributed to problems. Trump's team said it was proud of the hotel's financial performance. It told owners Trump's hotel has outperformed its peers for 81 of the last 84 months, but Finktiklis dismissed the claim as "simply delusional." The hostilities extended to Ithaca's invitation of Marriott executives to the property. "We were obviously concerned about their presence there," Garten said, adding that he believed Marriott did not know of the circumstances. The heart of Trump Hotels' claim against the hotel owners is a February 2017 agreement. When it bought 202 units, Ithaca agreed not to act "in any manner adverse to the interests of Trump Hotels." In his letter, Fintiklis acknowledged the language in the agreement but said mismanagement and misconduct by Trump Hotels rendered it invalid. If the owners in Panama succeed, it won't be the first time that Trump has been ousted there. In 2015, amid the early months of Trump's presidential campaign, the owners of apartments in the same building voted to fire Trump's management company over budget issues and allegations of misspent funds. Since then, the property's overall finances have improved. Its annual deficits, which exceeded $1 million, have since turned into a surplus, according to financial documents provided to the AP by an owner. Associated Press
  13. These reports serve as a good advisory to review carefully a launch before use in Bocas de Toro. Check to make sure all safety equipment is aboard ie: lifejackets, anchors, paddles, bailers, flares. Look the Captain right in the eye and ask for his qualifications.
  14. The current sun cycle is extremely weak, and is predicted to weaken further, i.e. with a much reduced number of sunspots. The graph issued by NOAA measures the sun's energy output, and I note the much lower recent peak in 2014 compared to the peak back in 2002-3. The last cycle low occurred in the 2008-2010 time frame, which happens to be the time when the Panamonte bridge was taken out and other flood events occurred. The way to bet is for very tough winters in the next few years in the Northern Hemisphere.
  15. I have Amazon Prime. It doesn't help with books and movies that aren't free, and I'm picky about what I read and watch.
  16. It definitely depends on where you plan to live. Planet Telecom is about the only ISP if you are in the "sticks", and it is much slower and more expensive than Cable Onda. I can't get Cable Onda, but, in my area we have great water, security and it's quiet. Make a list of your priorities, and then talk to everyone in the neighborhood for the "real story" on any problems in a particular area with services. There are lots of rumors, but things change here all the time, so get the latest from actually residents in an area. I use Cable and Wireless phone, the $20/month plan, and it has been pretty good, rarely out (once in 6 months for a few hours?). Cable and Wireless are advertising some new package of internet and phone, you might want to see if that works for you, and if it's available in the areas you are looking.
  17. These are the requirements for getting a boat Captains license in Panama: ( I wonder how many actually go through this and how strongly it is enforced?) Note No mention of insurance or inspection of boats. Requirements: 1. Certificate of course completion of “Basic Course for Mariners in National Waters * 2. Certificate of Good Health from a doctor or clinic 3. License fee paid to Banco Nacional 4. Form completion at AMP, finger prints, photo, signature * If you hold a current USCG license, this course certificate will be issued to you without taking the course. Of course, a fee still must be paid.
  18. Visit Mom at the Bcp tuesday market with our frozen soups and meals. Try our fresh baked breads and sweets. We are on the highway going to David. Just past the Texaco gas station on the right hand side.
  19. TCT Trading is the entity of Daniel Ochy responsible for the abandoned six square mile scar on the side of Jaramillo Abajo which was previously part of the Rodriguez family farm.
  20. Food Boquete

  21. http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/captain-boat-three-deaths-impaired
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