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  1. 8 points
    Why Planet Telecom is NOT renewing its advertising with Boquete.ning. We were solicited last night by the owners of Boquete.ning to participate in an advertising program. As current advertisers, we were expecting this, as our ad is set to expire at the end of the year. My response to them was unequivocal, and with the backing of Planet Telecom's shareholders, we responded, both via email, and on ning itself. Needless to say, our response on ning was quickly removed, and I was... eventually banned from the site. This speaks volumes about JLM's intolerance for dissent, and their absolute desire to control the message at all costs. Here's what we responded: We have been following very closely the development of Boquete.ning under the new ownership and management. Thus far, we have seen a vibrant, interesting and useful resource turn into a platitudinous and vacuous forum where all content remotely critical of the changes is treated with immediate censorship and "disappearance" under the guise of moderation. It has become, in our minds, a virtual North Korea. The misguided and expedient efforts to mold the content of ning speak of a general disregard for ning's most precious asset - its contributing members. Good friends and clients have been banned, others silenced. These are people who have lived here many years, and have contributed richly to both local and expat life in Chiriqui. Moreover, the overall member attitudes towards ning has shifted from "the place to be" to the dustbin of cyber irrelevance, in the inglorious company of Panama-Guide.com, bananamarepublic and others . It is Voltaire who famously said, "Monsieur l’abbé, je déteste ce que vous écrivez, mais je donnerai ma vie pour que vous puissiez continuer à écrire." Sadly, JLM Foundation has failed to heed those eternal words - words which encompass our philosophy and values. Whenever our company was criticized on ning or elsewhere, we respond - not with a surreptitious call to Lee to have the critical posts deleted (the vulgarity of such a gesture would be unimaginable), but with our candid explanation and response. This has garnered the respect of the community - and of our clients. We sincerely believe the new administration bears the responsibility for this deterioration. The advertising asset known as ning, has in our estimation been significantly impaired to a point of no longer being a viable platform for Planet Telecom. Please remove our ad at the end of the term.
  2. 6 points
    I was asked to contribute to this discussion having experienced firsthand the difficulty in obtaining justice for crimes against perpetrators under the current Panamanian Legal System. Forgive me, this is a long post. I no longer live in Chiriqui but I do occasionally read CL -- after all, I did live in Potrerillos for 15 years. This post is not meant “to put the frighteners” on expats it is more to enlighten and hopefully to bring about realization of the “the way things are”. It is not written in anger, it is written partially to thank those who saved my life and those who supported me throughout my months in hospital and beyond. Strangely enough I do not harbor hatred against the two teens who assaulted me. If it wasn’t for the attack I would not be living where I am now. I exchanged the mountains for the beach and ocean and for the happiness that living only four minutes’ walk away from your only child can bring. But having said that, it is frightening to think that the two teenagers are now at liberty to commit armed robbery again and next time their victim may not survive. I lived in Panama for 15 years, maybe two or perhaps three years after we moved onto our property and into our home I experienced a robbery. This was when things were still tranquilo in this area, when crimes were only crimes of opportunity and when criminal violence was extremely rare. A very presentable man, with new(ish) bicycle came to my house to ask if I knew where a “gringo called Mike” lived. I told him I did not. Little did I know he had been “scoping out” the house through the windows and seen my wallet and cell phone on the kitchen island. He got back on his bike and that was that – or so I thought as I returned to what I was doing in the family room. Several hours later, searching for my phone, I realized it and my wallet, were missing. The robber had apparently returned, entered the kitchen and quickly taken my wallet and cell phone. My dog did not bark as she had seen me talking to the man outside and I suspect had classified him as “a friend”. I had a photo of the man, he had committed several robberies in the area including the home of one of my neighbors. The man lived in David and the David police knew him well from his criminal history. I spent hours at the Municipio in Dolega giving a denuncia. My gardener and a neighbor were also required to go to the Municipio to give statements. I was summoned to the PTJ in David to look through ancient mug shot albums – even though I had a photo of the felon!! People had seen the man catching the bus from David, Dolega and Potrerillos. They remembered him because his bike had been loaded on to the roofs of the buses at times consistent with the robbery. There was no follow up by the authorities, the man was never charged or prosecuted and I heard nothing more from the police. After my husband passed away, I decided to downsize and put my home on the market. A year before the home invasion I was contacted by “Andy Singer” who said he and his Panamanian wife were planning to return to Panama to open a bed and breakfast and that my property seemed ideal for such a purpose. He asked several questions and I directed him to the website for my home where all of his questions would be answered. “Andy Singer” then told me he would like to view my property and could I give him my phone number so he could call me to set up an appointment. Something in my feeble brain gave out a warning signal. I decided to wait 24 hours before responding. In the meantime I checked further, as far as my limited knowledge of technology would allow, and discovered that though the emails were signed Andy Singer, ploughing through all of the extraneous information of the email source I came upon the writer’s address of “Billinlacarcel@...” or Bill in Prison. Another possible future scam for Wild Bill and his then cell mate Ozzie?? Obviously, with funding from relatives and friends, they are able to buy smart phones/tablets to allow them to check out possible future victims, or perhaps this was their way of “having a little fun”. Prison wardens in Panama jails are not law enforcement officers but are hired from outside the prison system. They are open too bribes. If a prisoner has the cash they can obtain whatever they want. This is a well-known fact. I reported the email to Lt. Castillo, who, at that time was head of the police department for Boquete and Dolega and who I had known for many years. He said he would come to my home to verify the email, take printed copies with him and call his contact at the David jail. He never arrived at my home, neither did he send another police officer. There was no follow-up, nothing was ever done. Lt. Castillo retired from the police force several months later. How long has “Wild Bill” been in prison awaiting trial – four, five years? There has still been no trial and therefore no justice for the families of the victims. In defense of the police of Chiriqui (and in the country as a whole), their hands are somewhat tied by the laws of Panama and their interest in the community somewhat dulled by their frequent repostings. It is extremely difficult to form a relationship -- police with citizens or citizens and police -- when the length of assignment to a location is pitifully short. I had many friends/acquaintances among the police community of the Dolega District, they would frequently come to my home to check on my husband and I, sit and chat, have a soda and cookies but I soon learned that a policeman who you thought would be “first on the scene” if something happened to you, would soon be posted to a different town or city. Captain Roberto Espinoza, as Bud himself said “He could retire later this year, but no firm decision has been made at this juncture.” So, he may hold the position of Boquete Police Captain for a year or even less?? Not enough time to build relationships or form a sound knowledge of the community and the people who live in it. The local people are the ones who can help the most with leads and “inside information” which leads to an arrest. To give praise where praise is deserved, the police did catch two of the teenagers who attacked me. I don’t know how long it took, (I was aware of very little at the time), I think they were apprehended very quickly – but – the younger teenager, the one who stabbed me, was 14 years old and because the laws of Panama dictate that a person has to be 18 years old before they can be prosecuted, he received a slap on the hand and was released. Last I heard before I left Chiriqui, he was living with his father in the Boquete area. The second of my attackers, the one who shot me twice, I was told was 17. He was held for several months and the grapevine said that the police were hoping to keep him until his 18th birthday when he could be prosecuted. Now this is all “hearsay”, gleaned from police, translators, interviews, friends – I cannot swear that this is the truth. I have been told subsequent to my departure, that this young man has also been released. So to potential murderers are now back on the streets and living in the community. If these teenagers had tied me up and asked me where my wallet was, where the computer was, where my jewelry was – I would have readily told them but they broke into my house at 2:30 am, immediately stabbed and shot me without uttering one word and only questioned me while I was laying on the floor in a large pool of my own blood. They laughed as they walked down the driveway with their “haul”. They had stolen my cell phone so I couldn’t call for help, but fortunately that laughter I heard as they left made me angry, very angry and the adrenaline started flowing which enabled me to drive to a neighbor’s house, squeeze through a small space by the side of their gate and crawl up the driveway. My neighbor (a Panamanian so no language barrier) called the police and an ambulance. She called other neighbors who arrived in seconds -- the police responded quickly but my neighbors decided the ambulance was taking too long and loaded me into their truck to drive me to Mae Lewis. I owe my life to the Le Borgne’s, the Ferguson’s and the Kolm’s, it goes without saying to Dr. Cattan who performed the surgery and the care of Don Ray and Lilliam Williams after my release from hospital. Several weeks later, my doctor told me that the police had wanted to interview me while I was in Intensive Care when I was semi-comatose and with tubes inserted in every orifice – obviously I didn’t have enough orifices as the doctors had to create even more entry points for tubes. The police insisted on seeing me only to realize I was unable to hear or respond. However, as soon as I was able I was asked to give a statement -- two police detectives and a translator arrived by my bedside. I was released, after being in hospital for ten plus weeks and except for the last few days, with nursing care 24 hours per day. In early January I was required to attend an appointment with the government psychologist – I can only guess she was tasked with ascertaining if I was lying about the attack. Obviously, given the fragility of my appearance, the fact that walking was extremely difficult even with a walker, plus the surgical scar from breast bone to pubic bone, she determined that I had been the victim of a crime. Astute Lady!!??!! As JohnF13 said I was questioned two or three months prior to leaving Panama, I was also questions two other times, once more in the hospital and once while staying with Don Ray and Lilliam Williams. Each time was an ordeal for me, I had to relive the incident. Each time I felt as if I was the one under scrutiny and that there was doubt about the veracity of my story. I also received an “official document” requiring me to see a government doctor who would verify my medical condition. The letter received, which indicated I was to submit to an examination at a date and time to be notified, was dated incorrectly, December 2016 rather than December 2015. Apparently this caused a major malfunction in the machinery that drives the government offices involved in this case. Calls were made on my behalf several times and we made appearances at the appropriate offices twice to ask about the appointment for the examination. Each time we were told “you will be contacted when the doctor can schedule you”. I remained in the country until July 18th, 2016 over nine months after the attack. At no time was I nor the Williams contacted with a date and time for me to appear to be examined by the government doctor. My point is, that I was subjected to interviews and interrogations and psychological examinations at a time when my life and mental wellbeing hung in the balance – all for naught. The investigation team of the DJI was led by another officer I had known previously and who is also from Potrerillos, he had returned to the area after being posted to La Joya and Panama City for several years. He too had been to my home many times. The perpetrators were known, one was in custody, I presume there was evidence from fingerprints and leads on where they had disposed of my possessions (my computer was actually seen to be on-line) and yet I was never asked to identify the suspects either visually or from their voices. Visually I could not have done so, the violence happened too quickly and in the dark, I was then in pain and wallowing in my own blood, but I could have given a definite identification from their voices. I still hear those voices at 2:30 in the morning when I wake up in a cold sweat “¿Dónde está el dinero? Queremos más dinero, ¿dónde está?”. At no time was I requested by any member of the Policia Nacional nor the DJI if I would testify. At no time was it even suggested that the perpetrators would actually come to trial and that my testimony would be paramount in obtaining a conviction. At no time was I told I would be required to testify. At no time was I asked not to leave the country as my testimony would be necessary for the prosecution. In short, yes, the police appreciate brownies, I baked frequently for the police in Dolega and for the police who stopped by my house but, oatmeal cookies, butterscotch pie and brownies will only result in a happy smile from the recipients. The police are understaffed, underpaid and underfinanced. This leads to a lack of motivation to track down criminals or to put their lives at risk when they know full well that the laws of Panama negate any efforts they make to apprehend perpetrators of crime, however heinous the crime might be. The chance that criminals will see any prison time is slim to none. It’s fine to protect yourself, take all the precautions you can but the criminals are becoming smart. Do you have an automatic entry gate?? If not, perhaps you need one. Remember a couple of years ago there were one or two robberies when people were ambushed as they exited their cars to manually open their entry gates. They were then forced to open their homes and allow the robbers free rein. What is really sad is that the one person who could possibly have made a difference and fought for a change in the law and who initially headed protests and meetings, Diputada Athena Athanasiadis, diverted her interest to other, I can only assume, more deserving causes. Initially her anger was stirred and she became involved, I suspect, primarily because I lived only a two minute walk from her parents’ house, the home she was raised in. Her parents are definitely not “on a budget” and can pay for 24/7 security guards – I and most other retirees can not. Unless the law changes, violent crimes will continue to be committed and will escalate with little or no hope of retribution from the authorities on the perpetrators.
  3. 6 points
    Actually, still a lot of entertainment value here, as Olga desperately tries to present odd subjects, and a few of the remaining members respond with satirical offerings of their own - repeating Olga's ridicules line; "You must read and comment on this". Hahaha.....Richard Simmons, indeed....lol.....
  4. 6 points
    I recently became aware of the following article by Eric Jackson on his Panama English News site. I am posting it here not to provoke a conflagration or to disparage particular persons but because it is a historically based, provocative perspective on how certain types of expatriates have affected and potentially could affect this country. OPINION - Eric JacksonColonization: a touchy subject that Panama should not just ignoreIn collaboration with some Panamanian law firms, “offshore asset protection” outfits and real estate salespeople, plus another American named Daniel Daves, Wiles has prompted a migration to Boquete of Americans who believe in these primitive sorts of hatreds and are prepared to evade the immigration, labor and weapons laws of the Republic of Panama. Quotations by Rick Wiles, graphic by The Advocate. October 20, 2015 (The Panama News) By Eric Jackson Take the Wayback Machine to Panama City in 1856, when the California Gold Rush was still underway, the Dred Scott case was percolating in the American courts toward the next year’s decision that would do so much to provoke a bloody civil war, and this gringo named Jack Oliver thought it appropriate to steal from an Afro-Panamanian fruit vendor, and to introduce a gun into the argument when the vendor objected. Dozens of people, mostly Americans, were killed and the first of several US military invasions of Panama ensued. Fast forward to 2014. This gringo named Sage Million was one of the “sovereign citizens” who colonized the El Volcan area. The sovereign citizens have many variations on a rap that began with a white supremacist group that calls itself the Posse Comitatus (not to be confused with a US law of that name). That routine originally went that because the rebellious states of the old Confederacy were obliged to adopt state constitutions that ratified the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the US Constitution as a prerequisite for readmission to the Union, those amendments and all US constitutional changes that came thereafter, and the very existence of the federal government. and the things that it does and has done, are illegitimate, null and void. Consider that the 13th Amendment abolished slavery to know how reactionary that is. Consider that the 14th Amendment provides among other things that every person born in the United States is a US citizen to know how reactionary Donald Trump is. But there are other strains of sovereign citizens who say that it wasn’t until the 17th Amendment in 1913, which provides for direct election of US senators, or the 1934 Gold Reserve Act, that the national government became “unconstitutional.” In any case, the sovereign citizen rap is that by the time that Hawaii became a state in 1959 everything that the US federal government did was illegitimate. That being so, Mr. Million figured, Hawaiian statehood and Hawaii’s state laws are illegitimate, ESPECIALLY the one giving rise to the warrant for his arrest for allegedly having sexual relations with a 10-year-old girl. He also considered himself so personally sovereign that Panamanian and Costa Rican borders didn’t apply to him. In the course of an illegal border crossing Panama’s SENAFRONT arrested him and the US embassy notified Panama of the state warrant for his arrest. Just one short-eye perv who’s a bit crazier than most? Well, that too, but Sage Million had both open and silent supporters in the gringo community here. That’s scary, because some modern-day Jack Oliver who considers that young cholas have no rights that a white gringo is bound to respect could rather quickly inflame the deadliest of passions. A mob enraged about something like that may not inquire about what sort of American they would be attacking, especially if the ultra-right element of the gringo community shoves its way in front of the TV cameras and represents itself as the voice of all Americans here. So is it just a matter for amusement when dozens of American families heed a call by Rick Wiles and Daniel Daves to drop everything in the USA and head to Panama, and then they start to show up in Boquete? Consider that they are not just urging senior citizens to come retire here. Many of the people who have come to Boquete due to the urging of Wiles and Daves are working age Americans who are not millionaires and won’t qualify for pensionado, investor or special professional visas. They are coming here intending to violate Panamanian labor and immigration laws. And what about the advice that Daves gives his followers about protecting themselves? He not only says that every “Christian” of his variety ought to be packing a gun, he’s advising people to get portable anti-aircraft weapons to shoot down drones. Panama is conflicted about gun policies at the moment, and perhaps our Security Minister Rodolfo Aguilera is so far off the deep end as to like the idea of foreigners who are illegally here carrying surface-to-air weapons around. Were the National Police interested in a military coup, that sort of thinking around the cabinet table would be a readily available excuse. But although I think that Aguilera gets his information from Hollywood fiction to an extent unacceptable in a Panamanian government minister, I don’t think he’s for gringo fanatics going around Panama armed with weapons of war. But hey — just because Panamanian law provides that preaching ethnic, political, racial or religious hatred is a deportable offense if a foreigner does it, our gay, lesbian and transgendered citizens are “fair game” here. In Panama it’s “legal” to hate queers. Plus, one of the questions that is not looked into during this country’s immigration procedures is whether the applicant suffers from paranoid delusions. Set aside all of the creepy xenophobia that comes from legislator Zulay Rodríguez’s mouth — but all resident gringos should be aware of the threat that it represents in the presence of American extremists in Panama. And for those of us who are citizens, whether or not duals like me, there is a duty to Panama’s sovereignty — not only from hostile nations but also from individuals who consider themselves to be sovereign powers superior to the Panamanian people and to the flawed republic that happens to be the only one we have. Balance those things against the universal human right to believe in whatever stupid thing that you want to believe. It’s not the first occasion for Panama to balance such considerations. But I think that if Wiles or Daves are found in this country, they should be arrested for illicit association to violate a number of Panamanian laws, and that all of their followers who have come here or seek to come here should be carefully examined on an individual basis. Panama really needs a better defined and more consistent policy about these sorts of colonizations.
  5. 5 points

    until

    Marcelyn and I were participants in ARF's Thanksgiving Day event at the Animales Building. There was a LOT of VERY GOOD food, great conversations, visits with friends, etc. We estimate there were about 70 guests and maybe 15 worker-bees taking care of setting up, tending to the guests, etc. The background music was nice, and not so loud as to intrude into the conversations. The pecan pie was simply outstanding. Kudos to that chef! But I also do not want to take away from any of the other food items. I sampled all the food choices, and there was nothing to apologize for on that front. An unexpected plus for us was that we finally got to meet Beth Abrahams (it is kind of a long story, don't ask). Beth Abrahams We also got to catch up with all of the latest travels and happenings of our friends who were at our table. Met a few new people, etc. There simply was nothing that we could fault (not our goal anyway). This is the way things should be done, and ARF did it with all of their wonderful volunteers. If someone found fault with something yesterday, then I would chalk them off as being a token curmudgeon. Thank you ARF! GREAT JOB!!!! Thank you to all who helped make yesterday's Thanksgiving Day celebration such a huge success, and special thanks to N&N: I will close with: we all have a lot to be thankful for.
  6. 5 points
    Danielle It is interesting your response. My age and experience let me understand peoples writting because it reflects, in most of the cases, the way the person thinks. First. I would like that you send me only one, just one proof, that I posted a disrespectful comment of anybody here, on Boquete.Ning or any other forum. So if you dont know me you cant talk about me. So this is the first lie you are writting and implying. I am not an expat. That is right. I am not living in Boquete, that is right. But I am a panamanian citizen and this is my country so I think that I cant participate in any forum I would like. You dont know. You dont know if I have family living in Chiriqui. You dont know if I have family or relatives living in Boquete. If you can read you should notice that most of my posting have the goal of helping expats living in this, my imperfect country, how to understand things, procedures, culture, customs, laws, etc. So I dont think that you are the person who has a right to disqualify me to post and participate in this forum that is located in my country. In my more than 4 years of being posting in Boquete and Chiriqui forums I have always received good words of the owners of the forums. I did exchange calls and personal email with Lee Seltzer. I know PERSONALLY the owner of this forum. So I am sorry if you dont like me be around because you are disqualifying me to be here.
  7. 5 points
    What I like about this is that I see the community very well interested in the project and participating actively with the authorities when a concern and doubts arise. People have become the Project's inspector. That is good. It is the way to address any problem that could affect the good performance of the project in the future. The contractor is aware that people are concerned and vigilant of the work they are doing. All of you keep doing it. I have seen in other parts of Panama that people do not participate in checking the projects and denouncing anything bad happening and then start complaining when the job is finished and very difficult to address the problem. Good Job!!
  8. 5 points
    My husband died in Hospital Chiriqui on June 22, 2016. Fortunately, I had attended the class sponsored by Boquete Hospice and Heath Care Foundation on the subject of how to prepare for death in Panama so as to satisfy government requirements and facilitate arrangements required of one's next of kin or designated representative. On the whole, the procedures are as outlined by Hospice, and I encourage everyone who has not already to retrieve the various forms from the Hospice website [www. boquetehospice.org/ ], complete them, and put them where they are available to whoever will be handling your affairs following your passing. I will concentrate in this post on procedures I found to be somewhat different from the advice given by Hospice and on those which I found to be extraordinarily important. The importance of having a "living will" cannot be overstated. My husband was hospitalized for 16 days, in and out of intensive care. On day 12 or thereabouts, he was moved from intensive care back to his room in a regular ward, and the doctor informed me that all his organs were failing and that he would not recover. Nevertheless, he was hooked up to a ventilator, and kidney dialysis was scheduled for later that day. He was on intravenous morphine and was unconscious, and had been for several days. I produced his living will, the doctor perused it carefully and checked with hospital administration/legal. The hospital agreed to honor it. My husband died peacefully--still unconscious and still on morphine--four days later. Gracias a Dios, I had gone to trouble and expense of having living wills for both of us drawn up by our lawyer less than a year previously. It is my understanding that only living wills that are in Spanish and that are executed by a lawyer--with all the appropriate embossing, stamps, and signatures--are honored by the Panama medical community. Don't put this off, and, however tight your budget may be, find the money in it to pay for this important document. I found the Hospice written materials somewhat unclear about two documents required for the funeral home and the Electoral Tribunal. The funeral home will issue the death certificate, but only upon the presentation of a different certificate or declaration of death issued by the attending physician. Sometimes, I understand, the doctor himself will deliver this declaration to the funeral home, particularly in Boquete. In my case, where the death was in a hospital in David, I was responsible for getting this declaration from the doctor and taking it with me to the funeral home. Perhaps routinely or perhaps fortunately, my doctor had it prepared and waiting for me at the nurse's station in the hospital. I took it, as well as other paperwork recommended by Hospice, to the funeral home (Funeraria del Retiro, in my case), where I graciously was met by Pedro Gonzalez, my insurance agent, who served as translator and witness. (My son also was with me, but he was ineligible to service as a witness because he is not a resident of Panama.) I paid for the services of the funeral home, the cremation, and copies of the death certificate (in cash), signed some papers, and was on my way in just over 30 minutes. The funeral home handled all the paperwork with the Tribunal Electoral, so these steps as outlined by Hospice were unnecessary. After I reported the death to the U.S. Embassy in Panama City, the Embassy sent me multiple copies of a document entitled "Report of the Death of an American Citizen Abroad." This is invaluable when dealing the entities in the U.S. (insurance companies, banks, credit card companies, etc.) because it is in English. The Embassy took the necessary steps to stop social security payments. Finally, I would like to put in a plug for having maximum insurance coverage. I never saw the bill (and don't want to) because my insurance paid it in full directly to the hospital. It had to have been enormous, particularly since my husband spent so much time in intensive care. As an example, I noted on the bottle of morphine that it costs $500, and I'm sure he received more than one bottle intravenously over a 24-hour period, and he received morphine for at least 12 days. It's my understanding that the public hospital does not provide morphine free of charge, so without adequate insurance or cash reserves, a patient may undergo substantial suffering. The care at Hospital Chiriqui was excellent, particularly in intensive care, and the two doctors handling my husband's case were superb. They were available at any time, were communicative, were forthright, and were very caring. All of this relieved much of the burden that accompanies so emotionally draining an experience. In short, because we decided to make the financial sacrifice and purchase good health insurance, both my husband's suffering and my own were greatly ameliorated. I would be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to thank the Boquete community for all of its support via phone calls, emails, and personal visits. And a special thanks goes to my friends who brought food to the house so that my son and I could return home to a good meal after a long, trying day at the hospital. I have endeavored to thank folks individually, but it's likely that someone was missed. So a heartfelt thanks to everyone for being so kind and supportive.
  9. 5 points
    Dear Bonnie, It strikes that one of the most important aspects of existence in life is a fundamental recognition of the simple fact that our time here on this beautiful earth is limited; that for each and every one of us, one journey ends, and the sendero to the next begins in a place we cannot know and will never fully understand. In my own reckoning, to pursue life and living is to pursue dignity and honor, and your actions and your words demonstrate the very essence of honor and dignity as you and your loved ones face the difficult realities of your beloved husband's passing. May I be so bold as to salute your grace and aplomb in this most trying of times, and may the strength of your character sustain you with ease and grace in those moments when you most need them. With deepest respect, Dav
  10. 5 points
    Dear People, I'm so sorry to have omitted important information, when posting news of Parmigiano's 35% discount for lunch dishes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, ending June 30, 2016. Beverages are not included in this offer. This offer cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. Parmigiano Restaurant is located in Boquete, diagonally across from Sugar and Spice, on the right side of the road, just after The Fish House, when leaving town and driving toward David. Conversely, it is approximately 300 meters after Hotel Fundadores, on the left, when entering Boquete, driving from David. I take full responsibility for this oversight. 'Twasn't Penny's doing or Parmigiano's, for that matter. I wrote the blurb and posted it. Thank you for your patience. Barbara Phillips, Alto Dorado, Boquete, Chiriqui, Panamá.
  11. 5 points
    Best Wishes at New Year's are generally directed at another person's health and prosperity, and I pass them on to all. Mine often include a word or two about all of humanity living in peace and harmony, and I pass those on to you, too. Perhaps not my best, but maybe one of my better wishes this year, is for less acrimonious and non-productive content to be posted by all members of the local online community. I'm passing that on as well.
  12. 5 points
    My thoughts were that the poster was simply doing a parody of the direction Ning had taken. He had another post about a guy who started dealing in marijuana to get enough money to buy his girlfriend a boob job. I might be wrong about it being parody, but I don't think so. I also think that Olga must be getting paid by the word. I pity her husband if the incessant babbling is her normal persona.
  13. 5 points
    Hey, this wouldn't be a real discussion without a counterpoint or two, so I will offer up some. Ahh, I can almost feel the negative reputation votes getting ready to smother my good name ;-) This topic peaked my curiosity so I checked Ning to catch up on the happenings there. For sure, that woman can talk and talk and talk and talk. I got a serious headache reading through all of it. But, then I realized that she's generating lots of discussion and I'm sure the hits on the site are going up again. And, even better, I could hardly find any juvenile comments from Ambreen or the the shills they were using in September and October to make happy happy happy time. So, I guess what I'm saying is that I think Olga is what the site needed to survive. She's got boundless energy and is stimulating a lot of discussion. It may be useless discussion, but nonetheless it's active. OK, I can't wait to see if my cumulative reputation will still be green when I wake up in the morning.
  14. 5 points
    Thanks Woody. Like I said in the intro, this is something we've been looking at for a long time. But when people like Fran Hogan, Don Ray Williams et al, are banned from the site for saying things that don't mesh with the owner's point of view, there's a problem. I've known Fran since I moved here in 2006, and I've read Don Ray since probably 2004-2005. These are reasonable people with only the best intentions in mind. Both have contributed greatly to well-being of the province. I understand that some online behaviour can become problematic, so I can sympathize with the challenge of moderation. Sadly, we need to have some level of control over the more outrageous expressions online. This is where a steady hand at the helm is necessary for people to feel comfortable in the forum - whilst encouraging free expression. In terms of our decision, we initially bought this ad as part of a Bid4Boquete auction, Lee had donated the ad space, and we bought it, with the $600 fee going to Bid4Boquete. Our feeling was therefore that JLM was not profiting financially from our advertising, so there was no major moral quandary for us. Having said that, the perception among users would be different - and that needed to be reconciled with the fact that we had paid for advertising, and were getting some value from it. I really appreciate your feedback, and your business.
  15. 4 points
    Please. A lady is a lady and a gentleman should always have good words and compliments to ladies in a very respectul way. It doesnt have to do with any "dating" situation. It is only being and behaving like a gentleman under the presence of a lady and should not be seen as a personal approach. of any means
  16. 4 points
    To clarify - yes we were both single when we got married. We had a choice of getting married in the US, in Colombia or in Panama. Colombia was the easiest, least expensive and least complicated as far as paperwork. When it comes to a resident visa in Panama, the marriage is only important in the fact that it is needed to prove that my Panama company (Friendly Nations Visa via my Panama S.A.) is what is providing the income. Neither of us are pensionados and she does not qualify for any other type of visa. My point was that in order to get the paperwork to prove our marriage in Colombia, we would need to go to Colombia to get it and upon returning they will not let her enter the country. So the lawyer suggested that if we could not return with the paperwork, then we should essentially lie to Panama and get married here again as if we were single. This goes to my point that yet another so called reputable lawyer's answer is for us it to lie and create false paperwork to get around what should be a simple trip to get proof of marriage. This is the system here. Lie, cheat, get around the rules and play the game. I did it before for 5 years because I was naive. I am smart enough now to know that Panama is going to keep changing the rules with new decrees. What the Panama and the lawyer tell me today will not be what the facts tomorrow. Admittedly we are in an unusual situation. Looking at her passport it appears she has been border hopping for the last year. In fact we were merely dating and travelling between the two countries until we finally got married a few months ago. The lawyer had no answer when I asked what the difference was between visiting often and border hopping. Everything we did for the last year was legal and within the laws, rules and decrees at that time. Our visits were always in one country or the other for at least a month length - not a 3 day hop. Is there a way for us to go thru the system and get her a visa? Yes. The cost is estimated at $5,000+ due to various circumstances. There is no simple way for Panama to look at my residency for the last 8 years and then give her a spousal visa for some additional fee. On the other hand, Colombia looks at me as her new husband and says I can have spousal visa for about $200 (effective immediately) and then permanent residency and dual citizenship after 3 years. The process is a few hours long and my passport is updated within a week or two. As one lawyer told me - Panama sees the border hoppers as a great deal of money if it can just force them into a visa process. And I do not disagree that people should be here legally. I have proudly showed my papers at every checkpoint and admired the country for making sure people were legal. My complaint is that they are punishing the very people who want to go thru the process, such as my wife. Don't get me wrong, I love my life here and I have fought hard to be here legally. As I said in my original post, I am raising the white flag. I have lived here and been a supporting member of the community. I have employed dozens of Panamanians and given to the country in many ways. I have changed as Panama evolved and sought to always be honest and forthright. Panama is asking too much. The lawyer sharks are circling ready to lie and cheat with promises of a simple visa that is just a mirage. I think I will swim somewhere else, thanks...
  17. 4 points
    In my role as one of two U.S. Wardens in Boquete, I have observed first hand the consequences of gringos having no health insurance. Only today I dealt with a case of a man being taken to Hospital Mae Lewis with a heart attack only to be transferred to Hospital Regional when it was discovered he had no insurance. He also had not registered to make his veteran's benefits potentially responsible for some of the costs. I encourage each and every one of you who has opted not to have health insurance to pay a visit to Hospital Regional to observe what your care would be like were you to suffer an accident or illness requiring hospitalization.
  18. 4 points
    I invite you all to take a look at this link from Best Places in the World to Retire: https://bestplacesintheworldtoretire.com/stories?view=entry&id=328 This is a come-on article, advertising that health insurance for tourists is free. This hasn't been true for over two and a half years. Only at the end of the article is there an "editor's note" that this insurance is no longer available. If you were honestly trying to disseminate information helpful to persons thinking about visiting or retiring to Panama, as all these sites represent, why would you publish an article with out-of-date facts? Of what possible good, I ask, is this information inasmuch as it no longer applies? I've said it before, and I'll say it again: what these folks do to make a buck is unconscionable.
  19. 4 points
    As far as the invasion of Marion's home goes and her subsequent attempted murder, I do not think anyone has been prosecured for it even though the police caught at least two of the perps. Just prior to Marion leaving the Country she was called back in by DIJ for a further "interview" and she did mention that she was uncomfortable with the way it was conducted. I would suspect, that since she has gone to Mexico, that nothing further will be done. This was my first (and so far only) introduction to Panamanian detectiving and as a retired police officer I was not terribly impressed. It seemed to me that everything was about "process" and not much about investigation. Lots and lots of police officers on scene, many at the hospital, numerous long interviews done where the preamble to the interview ( both verbal and written) seemed to take much longer than the interview itself. I couldn'd help getting the impression that everything was being done for show. Given that experience, I would not trust the Panamanian police to investigate and prosecute expat crimes. Yes, there are a ton of people in the David jail, but for what, exactly? Seems to me most of them must be on remands waiting for trial, heck if Wild Bill hasn't been tried yet after admitting murders it does not bode well for a contested prosecution. I guess all of the above can be distilled down to "you are responsible for your own safety". Indeed, this isn't Kansas, or Canada, or Britain. Look after youselves and take care.
  20. 4 points
    For many of us here Danielle who have resided here close to a decade or more, the .NING site was the respected go-to spot for information for new residents and as well those looking to be new residents. The help that came from the site was enormous. Sadly Lee Zeltzer passed away and the site changed hands. With that came the ousting of many of the old guard posters on the site...respected folks in our community! I guess for those of us that were ousted or left voluntarily because to that ousting, we still have some nostalgia for what we remember as Lee's .Ning. Many of us go back from time to time to see what's new there. To see what is left in print on .NING which is so hateful towards a group of people gets a reaction from us. Antisemitism. Lee Zeltzer who founded and ran the site was born Jewish. He'd not let that kind of diatribe fly...we all know that, whether it be anti-Jewish or anti-anything that denigrates a group of people ...it just would not fly with him. So of course we all react. It's only natural.
  21. 4 points
    Excuse me, but Rogelio Bellido is an online friend for many years and is a member of this site, as equal as any other. There is no import as to his nationality or place of residence. His comments and input are appreciated by me no matter where he posts them.
  22. 4 points
    Yesterday, July 31, Anouk (our 2 year old rescue Husky) was scheduled for the Amigos de Animales spay/neuter clinic. We arrived an hour and a half earlier than the appointed start time and discovered other pet owners with their animals already waiting in the parking lot. Anouk was excited. A novel car ride, no food or water since last evening, and other dogs barking caused her to jump around inside the vehicle. Not an easy task trying to calm her. Finally she takes a nap. We were fortunate to be assigned a low number for the surgery line. Bud waited in the registration area and I stayed with Anouk in the car. Some drivers came speeding into the lot and parked close to the building to unload their crates containing dogs and cats. The scene that caught my attention and touched my heart was the Indigenous family that walked to the clinic with the little boy carrying his special pet dog. At the appointed hour, volunteers put equipment (e.g., cages, etc.) in place, opened the doors, and the program began. First step was a short registration procedure, which Bud took care of while I sat with Anouk in the car. Lots of people, noisy animals, and all kinds of activity -- but well organized. I was impressed how helpful and friendly all volunteers and team members were. Mr. Huff (don't know his first name) explained the routine. We watched and accompanied Anouk as she started through the process. That the helpers knew their role and the routine of animals moving along the surgery line was obvious. A well organized and trained staff of people were at their assigned stations, starting with Dra Chely administrating the anesthesia, others shaving the animal before surgery, tattooing the letter "S" in the animal's ear, hand carrying the dog or cat to the appropriate surgery table for the operation, and then making certain each patient received an injection of vitamins and antibiotics before receiving individual monitoring and rubbing on the "wake-up" blankets. Dra "Ingrid" (don't know her full name) was the vet that operated on Anouk. Sigrid was the attendant who took good care of Anouk at the recovery station, petting her, checking vital signs, etc., until Anouk was awake enough to go home. A "trolley" carried our 40 plus pound dog to our vehicle and placed her (half asleep) in the back of the SUV for the trip home. Anouk doesn't like it, but after getting her home we placed a bonnet (parabolic collar) around her neck to keep her from scratching or licking her wound. We had already purchased such a collar at Melo based on recommendations of some friends. We hope this helps in the healing process. Now the job is trying to keep her quiet (no cat chasing) for the next several days! Here are some pictures that Bud took with his iPhone during our time at the Clinic. The shaving/preparation station. (That is Anouk, out like a light). The tattoo station (that is not Anouk, but another pet, and another awaiting the procedure). Anouk on the operating stand with Dra "Ingrid" and a helper. Some of the volunteers at the recovery station with a small kitten. Magaly, part of Anouk's "rescue team". Magaly is super nice and so helpful. (Well, actually all the volunteers were wonderful!) Magaly is very special to us because she is one of the people who brought Anouk into our lives. Marcelyn looking after Anouk at the post-surgery clean up station, and also where some shots are administered. Sigrid helping bring Anouk back to the real world, and checking vital signs, etc.
  23. 4 points
    If I run across reports of local or regional current events, I'm inclined to take a few minutes to share with others. It's information.
  24. 4 points
    Hello: MarieElanie yes it is very probable there will be biometric data collected. Price depends on the nationality. To make it simple: 1- Those who travel to Panama with an air ticket, and do not require visa, Decree 167 attached states it is $517.00. 2- For those that require stamped visa in Panama's Consulate abroad before entering Panama, those will pay $1,022.00, and 3- Those who require stamped Visas to enter Panama after verification by Panama's Homeland Security Council, those are restricted nationalities (Cuba, India, China, etc) those pay $2,102.00. Reading thoroughly Decree 167 of 2016 already states that when this 2 year permits expire, ID's may be extended with requirements based on Executive Decree 169 of 2015 (which has almost the same requirements and prices). But, eligibility seems to depend on having entered one year before June 3 of 2016 to Panama. As I said before the government has not clarified the matter. Give me your like, if this helped will ya? Carmen Pan Global Legal Services
  25. 4 points
    Danielle/Olga With all the due respect I dont think that having lived some years in Panama and having been married with a Panamanian give her the truth about Panama and Panamanians. She has written so many things that are not correct, biased and with wrong and false information. I did posted a couple of times some corrections of her posting but .... looks like she didnt like it to much. That is why I did mainly participated at Boquete.Ning. Just to clarify facts and information given wrongly to the members. But you know what I got tired of this and did not really care any more. I was one of the couple of real panamanian participating at Boquete.ning giving information, facts and help to many members of NIng.
  26. 4 points
    Vietnam 45 years and 20 days ago I came home. Would I do it again? NO WHY? This war had nothing to do with our national interest or in defense of our nation. Unjustified wars kill innocent soldiers and civilians. Are there justified wars? Yes. 45 years and 20 days ago I came home to the USA. Too many sleepless nights with nightmares in the past 45 years. Have a nice memorial day everyone. LikeShow more reactions CommentShare
  27. 4 points
    Under Lee's guidance, participation, collaboration, and even dissension were encouraged which provided a wealth of information and a broad spectrum of opinion. All of which made .ning a true community forum, imo. I also miss our always friendly chats and verbal jousts that were exchanged when we would bump into each other.
  28. 4 points
    Silence was a great indicator that something was wrong. No emails or phone calls came from our long time friend. We were unable to communicate with him in any way. Just recently, we saw a post on another site, that forced us to realize our greatest fears. Our friend had passed. The purpose of this message is to memorialize Joe Sudol, in the best way we can. Although Joe lived in the area for much longer than many of you, he was not well known. Joe had a few close friends, but did many things for people in the community that went unnoticed, by his own design. One example of this was a young man that did yard work and wanted to attend the police academy. At that time, the candidates needed to pay for their own uniforms, as well as other expenses. Joe and another man got together and provided these items. What seemed like a long time passed, and Joe being Joe, began to wonder if he had been taken. One day, he was told that someone was at the gate to see him. Joe approached the gate to find a newly installed member of the local police force, grinning at him. While Joe would never purchase a drum for a school age child, claiming there were far too many already, Joe silently did more than his share, in a very direct manor. When my friend Alison gave me a sad example of the need for shoes, for school age children. Joe helped me to deliver the containers of shoes that my husband and I shipped in our container. Many were handed out through the dental unit through Mario and Linda, but Joe knew the need on the back roads. Many shoes were tried on and handed out via the tailgate system of our pickup truck. Joe also enlisted the help of Rod, who owned a shoe factory, in bringing in shoes to help our "soles for souls" project. Joe helped me get settled into our new home, while Jim was back in Missouri for the first six months. He taught me how to shop, showing me the ropes of David. He mowed, hung pictures and taught me how to cook in the Panamanian style. He showed me how to plant my first pineapple top and later shared it with me. Joe loved nature, feeding dogs and hawks alike. He had a special love of hawks and claimed he never observed them taking out birds, sharing their space, as the hawks were well fed. Joe knew all the out of the way places to fish and enjoyed going there on his own. He loved the beaches. He loved the people. He loved life. He and I shared a history of retiring from teaching. Financial planning was another one of his professions, in later years. Joe enjoyed that back roads on his motorcycle and would travel into areas most expats had never seen. If you had discussions with Joe, you know that you were not likely to change his opinion on anything, anytime soon. Hopefully, he approves this memorial and is smiling down, with a good cigar in his mouth. Kira and Chelsea, I know he will live on forever in your hearts. With the best of memories, friends Abby and Jim Lofgren
  29. 4 points
    I was in a taxi in Panama City trying to talk to the driver. I had only lived in Panama a few months at the time and the driver spoke as much English as I spoke Spanish. Not much, but some. I tried to tell him that the drivers in Panama City were crazy and that I was afraid to drive my own car. I told him:"Tengo mierda." He slapped his leg and laughed. "Shiit," he said. "Shiiiiiiiiiiit!" Mierda means shiit. Miedo means afraid. I have lots of other stories of how not to speak Spanish. I can't tell you the number of times that I said something that I thought was Spanish and a Panamanian had no idea what I was trying to say. Learning a new language is both painful and funny. And valuable, if you are planning to live here. I recognize that the younger you are, the easier it is to pick up a new language. The younger you are, the easier it is to pick up anything. Dancing, cooking, skiing, reading, and algebra. OK, maybe not algebra. Only geeks pick up algebra easily. I think people who learn algebra easily have a genetic abnormality that allows them to absorb fairly useless information and then find a way to make it usable. But I digress. Speaking Spanish helps you navigate life here in the restaurants, stores, and community. You can order food, ask directions, tell someone you need help, and tell your workers what you need done. You can chit-chat on the corner with Boqueteños you have met instead of just saying "hola" and quickly walking on. The Boqueteños will respect you for speaking Spanish. Even if you can barely get your idea across, you are trying. You are valuing them enough to make the effort to learn their language. Believe me, it goes a long way (even if you have to use Charades and Spanglish.) Now that you are motivated, where do you start? There are teachers or schools here who will get you on the right path. I've seen private teachers advertise on Boquete News. Habla Ya usually offers reduced rates in September. Duo-lingo is a free online language program and it is pretty good. I've heard good things about Rosetta Stone. The big difficulty with these programs is making yourself do it every day. For those of us who don't don't commit to adhering to a daily schedule, it won't work. If you're paying someone to teach you, you'll most likely show up. When I first got here, I took an immersion class. I spent five hours a day taking individual lessons in Panama City. My favorite Spanish phrases were: "No entiendo." or "Como se dice?" I experienced huge headaches on a daily basis. I often cried out of frustration. I learned a lot of Spanish. It was a wonderful experience. Here's some other ways to teach yourself the language. * Read children's books in Spanish. * Listen to Spanish songs. Play one song over and over until you can pick out the words. i especially like Besame Mucho. La Bamba is also popular. * Force yourself to speak to the Boqueteños in town. Expect to be misunderstood or have a good laugh at your own expense. It's a bonding experience. * Pay a local to talk to you for an hour. You are not paying for a teacher, just someone to practice with, so you can work with any native speaker. * Watch telenovelas on TV. The actors speak more slowly and clearly than Boqueteños do. * When watching shows in English, use Spanish sub-titles. This will help you learn new words. It is how I learned that "cabron" and "Cabra" mean two different things. One of these words isn't something you want to call a man. At least not to his face. * Check this out on you-tube. It recommends You Tube videos to learn Spanish. https://www.brainscape.com/blog/2011/04/youtube-channels-learn-spanish/ * Learn the most common nouns, verbs and phrases first. Practice them throughout the day. Put stickies around the house with your new words on them so you see them all the time. Think of how a child learns their language- through repetition. You will need to learn and say a new word over and over again until your brain can spit it out again easily. Laugh at yourself and your mistakes. Don't give up. Rendirse es para los cobardes. Giving up is for sissies.
  30. 4 points
    Keith, with regard to your last sentence: as the Brits would say "spot on, chap". There are some interesting "lessons to be learned" here on the part of the organizations that work on security matters. There is the immediate "news" type reporting that would have few details, and be as close to real time as possible. Some people would dismiss this kind of reporting, but I submit that there is value in the "news" kind of report for two basic reasons: to alert people in the area to be on guard for their own security, and/or if alerted early on and someone hearing the report was in the area, then perhaps they might see something of interest that could be valuable (the direction of a certain car leaving at high speed, for example). After the "news" type immediate reports, then there are investigations, and all the other kind of reports that people talk about. One thing that Rodny has been very good about is his alerts. They may not be perfect, but they are better than nothing. AaC and RD, among others, get to decide how they operate and what their policies are, and should do so given concerns about privacy and statutory requirements, etc. But I remain firm in my opinion that "news" reports (aka alerts) of criminal activity are of value and I wish to see them. And then I really am dreaming here by wanting every crime to be reported in the public domain. My opinion is that such information would result in a huge public support for better resources for the police, and better laws for them to work with as tools to keep us as safe as can be reasonably expected. The bottom line, however, remains that each of us is responsible for our own security. No police person can ever be at a crime scene "in time", even if they had a vehicle that traveled at the speed of light. The one exception to the speed of light rule would be if the police person is the victim or just happened to be at the scene when it started. Faster alerts with as much information as possible are in the public interest.
  31. 4 points
    Kudos to Dottie for getting the title renamed and simply saying "I see your point... sorry". It is so refreshing to be able to have a discussion with different points of view without the bitterness and attacks. Virtual pat on the back and gold star Dottie. I like this place.
  32. 4 points
  33. 4 points
  34. 4 points
    A friend sent me this article today about the trials and tribulations of expatriation. I thought perhaps we all could benefit from reading it. http://www.thecultureblend.com/?p=2473
  35. 4 points
    Be assured, there is a growing number of people who are very interested and concerned about the influx of hustlers disguised as Christians.
  36. 4 points
    I find it interesting too, Bud, as there is a lot of interest in this locally. I'm inclined to think that, given the short attention span of many people, the article may have been too long to spark their interest. Another possibility is that folks are afraid of ruining afoul of the forum rules in responding since this topic has generated such strong feelings. It is possible to discuss the issue without getting into personal attacks. And I think Mr. Jackson's history lessons are an essential element when considering the influx of evangelicals or Endtimers to our community. Those who have taken a live-and-let-live attitude toward these people should be fully aware of the threat that such extremists pose to the rest of us. Mr. Jackson suggests that their coming here in droves is not a matter of amusement because, and I quote, The writer offers examples of how this type of activity on the part of radical expatriates, who consider themselves to be sovereign powers exempt from Panamanian laws, threatens us all if and when they gain the attention they are seeking because they may come to be seen as representative of expats in general.
  37. 4 points
    For the record, JLM has offered to put our ad back up on Boquete,ning. We politely declined. We will use future marketing funds to sponsor Lance Armstrong on his next Tour de France competition.
  38. 4 points
    In the time it took to place FOUR posts on Ning, Planet Telecom's Response to NING advertising Renewal was gone.....vanished. Try figure how non-Boquete conspiracy theory essays that have not one iota to do with life here in Boquete can last 4 pages...and with the urging of the ole guard to moderate that diatribe over there. Ambreen seemed to enjoy being asleep at the wheel with such posted content and replies. Well I guess she is guarding the nest now. Al's was zapped in a millisecond. Chica's insertion of a letter promoting Ning's advertising written by Ambreen Ghazi contains mis-information to prospective advertisers I'd say. Advertisers will leave as quickly as we all did, watch. Thy will follow Alain's Planet Telecom out.
  39. 4 points
    GREAT article !!! Very well written and so very true. You'll be caught by surprise. The very folks you thought would die with you here will be leaving next year....the best of friends go. The newest ones can be at your throat in a second because they have "better ides", "better ways of doing stuff' and can't stand the way you think or do things. ( you've become "local") In time if you stay ...you slow down, you become a bit more tolerant, you roll with the punches and get over being upset about stuff here quicker. So much of it really doesn't matter. In time we forget about the conspiracy theories we talked about all the time and they don't matter either. Suddenly what matters is the beauty of the sunrise and sunset, good health, fresh air, a loving husband, great neighbors and a sweet dog. You stay....you're content. Life's good.
  40. 4 points
    Pretty soon most of us who have been around the longest and therefore have the best information and advice to offer will be gone from boquete.ning. That's a loss not only to ning but also to newcomers and to those exploring Boquete as a possible retirement destination. It looks as though it soon will enter the ranks of International Living and other publications that unconscionably, unethically entice people abroad without being honest about the realities.
  41. 3 points
    I also got some private messages validating what I said, but I saw how I could have misinterpreted the comments. That's why I posted the story about the woman who worked at Home Depot, to acknowledge that things aren't always as they appear. I'm glad you cleared that up Bud, because you aren't the kind of person who would blame the victim, so I was puzzled when I read that. That and a couple of similar comments bothered me so much, I finally had to say something, because I was thinking, "Please people, don't go there!". Sorry I misunderstood you.
  42. 3 points
    Bonnie, This was a very interesting report which focused on US funding the effort to reduce narco trafficking and crime associated largely with gun/narco trafficking and gangs in Central American Countries. What I found interesting was a somewhat weak evaluation of the effectiveness of the effort to shower money and assets this way to reduce these problems. Bottom line seemed to be this: Unless each individual country takes initiative to improve the underlying conditions that lend to crime ( improved education, rehabilitation efforts) crime will persist. That report substantiated that. I know there has been an effort in Panama to provide more Juvenile detention and rebab facilities and increase the capacity of jails; but this effort strikes me as weak and limp in view of what we are observing in the last several years. Unless the judicial system in Panama becomes more efficient, the jail overcrowding reduced, the juvenile detention centers with rehab capability increased ....problems will continue. Education and opportunity for underprivileged youth has to be addressed. Foreigners who elect to choose to become permanent residents of any one of these countries, should take a sober look at this situation. If they decide it's their cup of tea, then personal security should be way high on their list of priorities. Crime has gone from stealing a rake you left outside to entering your bedroom at 2:30 am to stab and shoot you in order to garnor a few bucks and your available stuff.
  43. 3 points
    I think the hype is unconscionable. Among its worst aspects are that many people end up in financial ruin after selling everything and moving only to discover living abroad unsuitable for a variety of reasons seldom addressed in the hype. Then, they often lose money or haven't sufficient money to return home. Another issue is that the hype encourages people to expatriate who should never live in a foreign country. In my role as U.S. Warden, I received a call on Christmas Eve about a U.S. expat who had suffered a stroke and, having no insurance, was in Hospital Regional. Her husband, who suffers from dementia, had wandered into a neighbors' house. These folks should be home where family and/or social services would have helped them.
  44. 3 points
    Marcelyn and I recently came across a new, small and cozy restaurant at Plaza San Francisco. The name is "The Garden". It is located immediately to the right of Mort's Bakehouse. Plaza San Francisco is becoming a "happening place". And plenty of parking. We have been to The Garden twice, and both times were pleasant experiences. The Garden is not a typical restaurant where you go in, sit down (or wait to be seated), and then order from a menu. There are menus, but ordering is more cafeteria style. You go to the end of the food line (farthermost point from the front door) and go through various stations to order drinks, salads, soups, veggies, main courses, etc. They have many of what we would call healthy foods, such as protein drinks, vegan dishes, organic salads, etc. Be forewarned that the food is excellent, and the servings are large. At our second visit, some friends joined us and their orders included a smoked trout plate (which was described as the best he had ever had, and she ordered a wonderful chicken, rice, and black bean plate, with an enormous salad). Hours of operation are Mondays to Fridays from 9:00AM to 5:00PM, and the lunch menu (salads, soups, baked potatoes, hamburgers, etc.) starts at 11:00AM. Currently closed on weekends. The prices are very reasonable, and the ambiance is warm and inviting. The wall mural adds so much to the dining experience. The operators are Andrew Foote and his wife Romsey. The decor was well planned and executed to give one the feeling of being in a garden (hence the name The Garden). The Garden also sells fresh seafood. They are wanting Panamanians to bring their products in for display, such as honey, aprons, coffees, etc. -- locally made, produced, and grown items. Here are some pictures that Romsey made available to us:
  45. 3 points
    Certainly gets my attention ! Just blasting through a huge glass window at a moving target ...then shooting again ( most likely) is horrifying. Makes you realize how very vulnerable we are here and as well makes us give pause to think about how our future might look moving forward. ( we're not getting any younger !) Until this last one, we NEVER discussed selling and leaving. Now we consider it. I doubt we will for as long as we are active surfers here....but at this point departure is up for grabs on the discussion table. Keith Woolford told my husband and I to get the DVD "City of God" and look at it. True stories about the youth gangs surrounding Rio in Brazil. We did get it and I can say it was an eye opener . All of a sudden you get a glimpse of the mentality of these kids and the evolution of lawlessness. It's BIG TIME serious business and not to be taken lightly. If this country does not do something quick, it will be very difficult to unravel here. Rio is the example of just that.
  46. 3 points
    I will explain this pic that talks about problems in communication in any project 1. How it was explained by the customer 2. How it was understood by the project leader 3. How it was designed by the Analyst 4. How the product was programmed 5. How it was described by the business consultant 6. What is actually documented of the product and the project 7. What has been installed for the operation 8. What was charged or invoiced 9. The product support 10. What the customer really needed. COMMUNICATION IS A MUST.
  47. 3 points
    Keith asked what signs I see. I see the business I am part owner of (Chiriqui Storage) almost totally full and we're buying new containers as fast as we can afford them. I see new subscriptions at News.Boquete coming in a a rapid rate. I see traffic jams everywhere in town (and I've been her for 12 high seasons) I hear people talk abut the tight rental market. I see attendance at the BCP market and meetings higher than ever; and also at the Sunday flea market in Dolega. These are the signs I see.
  48. 3 points
    It is reported that Marion Clamp has been released from Hospital -- may we presume upon her own recognizance?!? Let the real healing begin!! It is the good in this World that awaits you, Marion. Persevere! Love, Dav
  49. 3 points
    FEEL FREE TO COPY AND USE
  50. 3 points
    I just received a notice that we should as a group of US citizens, voice our concerns to the US embassy here that we are subject to crimes committed against us. My take? My take is...they will say to you " You are no longer in Kansas. We have no authority here. Register with us and we can send you notices and can inform your next of kin if you are in a bad way here. Otherwise we can only sympathize and offer you our empathy that you are living in a country where crimes are committed against you" I say this because we got the same exact speech from an embassy rep who in fact did come to our home up in the mountains of Colombia back n the 70's. Bill and I had bought a home in Colombia. A mountain hut basically. We were in our 20's then. On a border run to renew our visa, I was taken off the street by a policeman and ushered into the station and into a back room and told to strip naked before the cleaning lady. I found it a bit of an un-nerving experience to tell you the truth...(and so did the cleaning lady I might add!) We were let go but wrote to our US congressmen. The result was the visit. The US Embassy guy said in essence: "you are on your own here... If you find yourself in jail, we can bring you a Reader's Digest"....his exact words ! Keep in mind, we were hippys, pot was all new and all so prevalent in Colombia. He was just saying ..."watch your peas and Qs !" OK so now we are ole farts on Soc Sec with a house and cars. I suppose we "look rich"...hey we ain't. That said if the Embassy guy were to visit us today he'd say....."Gringo ole fart, watch your peas and Qs" What stuck was...."you are on your own here" Don't kid yourself. The US government is NOT the Panama Rep govt. You live here and are at the mercy of the system as it exists. Better just hunker down, low profile it...secure yourself and stay safe...as safe as you possibly can. That means staying informed...and protected, and never let down your guard. ....just sayin and only my take on that recent notice.