Keith Woolford

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About Keith Woolford

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    the CAR guy
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  • Real Name:
    Keith Woolford
  • Reason for registering:
    Live and/or work in Chiriqui
  • Location of primary residence:
    In Chiriqui
  • Birth (home) country:
    Canada

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  1. This is an excellent short video, in English, about the Carnaval Queen competition in Las Tablas, created and shared on Facebook by Dan Usher. I went into Carnaval in Las Tablas, Panama thinking it was just going to be one EPIC party. Little did I know there would be an intense rivalry, fires that reached the sky and citywide water fights all in the name of tradition. It fascinated me enough to stop partying for a minute and set out to understand what was going here. So I made this video that attempts to explain the beautiful insanity that is Carnaval.
  2. This photo shows that a motorcycle was completely destroyed. It has since been reported that the operator, a 22 year old local resident of Alto Boquete was killed.
  3. Coincidentally or not, there's been some action this week at the site of the old Las Ruinas in Alto Boquete.
  4. The inaugural Wingo flight from Cartagena arrived at Aeropuerto Panama Pacifico the other day.
  5. Telemetro's FlyCam page boasts a number of videos of Panama's major attractions and areas. Among other things, they look to be useful for previewing a visit, or to understand the traffic flow in an area. They appear to have been filmed using drones. http://www.telemetro.com/nacionales/flycam/
  6. This 2012 NY Times piece on Abe Lincoln's plans for Panama and Chiriqui is certainly an interesting little read. disunion Lincoln’s Panama Plan By RICK BEARD August 16, 2012 On Aug. 14 1862, Abraham Lincoln hosted a “Deputation of Free Negroes” at the White House, led by the Rev. Joseph Mitchell, commissioner of emigration for the Interior Department. It was the first time African Americans had been invited to the White House on a policy matter. The five men were there to discuss a scheme that even a contemporary described as a “simply absurd” piece of “charlatanism”: resettling emancipated slaves on a 10,000-acre parcel of land in present-day Panama. Lincoln immediately began filibustering his guests with arguments so audacious that they retain the ability to shock a reader 150 years later. “You and we are different races,” he began, and “have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races.” The African-American race suffered greatly, he continued, “by living among us, while ours suffers from your presence.” Lincoln went on to suggest, “But for your race among us, there could not be war,” and “without the institution of Slavery and the colored race as a basis, the war could not have an existence.” The only solution, he concluded, was “for us both … to be separated.” The president next turned to what he wanted from the five-man delegation. It was selfish, he suggested, that any of them should “come to the conclusion that you have nothing to do with the idea of going to a foreign country.” They must “do something to help those who are not so fortunate as yourselves,” for the colonization effort needed “intelligent colored men” who are “capable of thinking as white men, and not those who have been systematically oppressed.” In asking them to “sacrifice something of your present comfort,” Lincoln invoked George Washington’s sacrifices during the American Revolution. He then asked for volunteers. “If I could find twenty-five able-bodied men, with a mixture of women and children,” he said, “I think I could make a successful commencement.” It is hard to imagine what Lincoln’s guests, all well-educated, well-to-do leaders of Washington’s African-American community, made of this presidential monologue. Edward Thomas, the delegation’s chairman, merely promised to “hold a consultation and in a short time give an answer,” to which Lincoln replied: “Take your full time — no hurry at all.” Lincoln, like several other antislavery Republicans and activists, had a long, deep attachment to colonization. Proponents of colonization included two of Lincoln’s political heroes, Thomas Jefferson and Henry Clay, as well as John Marshall, James Madison, Daniel Webster and even Harriett Beecher Stowe. Since its founding in 1816, the American Colonization Society had sought to relocate free blacks to Africa, where, it was argued, they would enjoy greater freedom. Dominated by planters and politicians from the Upper South whose commitment to slavery was suspect, the A.C.S. enjoyed only modest success: between 1816 and 1860, the organization transported around 11,000 blacks, most of them manumitted slaves, to Africa. By contrast, as many as 20,000 African-Americans left of their own accord during the American Revolution and thousands more found their way along the Underground Railroad to Canada during the first half of the 19th century. “For many white Americans,” the historian Eric Foner has written, “colonization represented a middle ground between the radicalism of the abolitionists and the prospect of the United States’ existing permanently half slave and half free.” Needless to say, few blacks agreed, seeing colonization efforts as, at best, a distraction from abolition and, at worst, a form of slavery by other means. Opposition did nothing to diminish Lincoln’s belief in the merits of colonization. As early as April 10, 1861, two days before the bombardment of Fort Sumter, the new president met with Ambrose W. Thompson, head of the Chiriquí Improvement Association, to explore the creation of a colony for emigrants in Panama, where newly arrived emancipated slaves would earn a living by mining coal for the Navy. Gideon Welles, the secretary of the navy, opposed Lincoln’s scheme, but three other members of the cabinet — Interior Secretary Caleb Smith, Postmaster General Montgomery Blair and Attorney General Edward Bates — supported the plan. As the war progressed, Union policy makers faced increased pressure to develop strategies for how to manage the growing number of slaves who fled to Union lines, were freed by the advancing federal armies or were emancipated by federal legislation, like the two confiscation acts or the abolition of slavery in the nation’s capital and the federal territories. When Congress passed the District of Columbia Act emancipating slaves in Washington in April 1862, it also appropriated $100,000 to resettle “such free persons of African descent now residing in said District, including those liberated by this act, as may desire to emigrate.” Two months later, Congress appropriated an additional $500,000 to colonize slaves whose masters were disloyal to the United States. And on July 16, the House Select Committee on Emancipation and Colonization recommended $20 million for settling confiscated slaves beyond United States borders. No doubt buoyed by these signs of Congressional support, Lincoln pushed forward with the Chiriquí plan and instructed Mitchell to arrange the Aug. 14 meeting. The five delegates included Edward Thomas, the delegation chair and a prominent black intellectual and cultural leader; John F. Cook Jr., an Oberlin-educated teacher who ran a church-affiliated school; Benjamin McCoy, a teacher and the founder of an all-black congregation; John T. Costin, a prominent black Freemason; and Cornelius Clark, a member of the Social, Civil, and Statistical Association, an important black social and civic organization that had recently sought to banish several emigration promoters from Washington. Mitchell’s own views on the desirability of colonization mirrored those of the president he served. The delegates he recruited were not at all convinced. The men had been wary of the president’s intentions and had agreed to attend only after adopting two resolutions criticizing the plans, as a way to provide political cover. Lincoln’s strategy at the meeting prevented any of these men from voicing their own opinions on the matter of colonization, and the delegation never responded formally to Lincoln’s plan. Nevertheless, the publication of Lincoln’s remarks at the meeting generated a furious response from all corners of the anti-slavery world. To Senator John P. Hale, a Radical Republican from New Hampshire, “The idea of removing the whole colored population from this country is one of the most absurd ideas that ever entered into the head of man or woman.” Lincoln’s treasury secretary, Salmon P. Chase, wrote in his diary, “How much better would be a manly protest against prejudice against color! — and a wise effort to give freemen homes in America!” On Aug. 22 William Lloyd Garrison editorialized that “the nation’s four million slaves are as much the natives of this country as any of their oppressors,” and two weeks later The Pacific Appeal noted that Lincoln’s words “made it evident that he, his cabinet, and most of the people, care but little for justice to the negro.” And Frederick Douglass said that “the President of the United States seems to possess an ever increasing passion for making himself appear silly and ridiculous, if nothing worse.” Lincoln’s hopes for the Chiriquí venture barely outlasted the summer. On Aug. 28 he accepted an offer from Kansas Senator Samuel C. Pomeroy to organize black emigration parties to Central America, and on Sept. 11 he authorized Caleb Smith to sign an agreement with Thompson advancing money to develop the mines. But on Sept. 24, two days after issuing the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln abruptly suspended Pomeroy’s operation. The Chiriquí venture was, in retrospect, doomed from the start. Ambrose Thompson’s title to the coal lands proved questionable, and a report by the Smithsonian Institution’s Joseph Henry found that the Chiriquí coal was almost worthless as fuel. Several Central American governments also opposed the plan: Luis Molina, a diplomat representing Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, characterized the plans as a thinly disguised effort to make Central America the depository for “a plague of which the United States desired to rid itself.” The failed venture hurt hundreds of people who had volunteered to go on the first trip. “Many of us have sold our furniture” and “have given up our little homes to go,” wrote one emigrant. The uncertainty and delay are “reducing our scanty means” and “poverty in a still worse form than has yet met us may be our winter prospect.” In response, Lincoln could do no more than ask for their forbearance. After issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, the president never again issued any public statements on colonization Follow Disunion at twitter.com/NYTcivilwar or join us on Facebook. Sources: Frederick Douglass, “The President and His Speeches,” Douglass Monthly, September 1862; Paul D. Escott, “What Shall We Do With the Negro? Lincoln, White Racism, and Civil War America”; Eric Foner, “Lincoln and Colonization” in “Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World”; Doris Kearns Goodwin, “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln”; Harold Holzer, “Emancipating Lincoln: The Proclamation in Text, Context, and Memory”; Abraham Lincoln, “Address on Colonization to a Deputation of Negroes, August 14, 1862” in “Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln,” vol. 5; Kate Masur, “The African American Delegation to Abraham Lincoln: A Reappraisal,” in Civil War History, vol. 56, no. 2; James Oakes, “The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics”; Benjamin Quarles, “The Negro in the Civil War”; Michael Vorenberg, “Abraham Lincoln and the Politics of Black Colonization,” in Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, vol. 14, Issue 2, Summer 1993. Rick Beard is an independent historian and coordinator of the Civil War Sesquicentennial for the American Association for State and Local History.
  7. Follow-up story from TVN today. Following in the footsteps of the American killed in Bocas del Toro Por Elizabeth González 22/02/2017 - 8:35 PM The murder of the American tourist Catherine Johannet in Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro not only shocked the world, also changed the island. Rosendo Grenald, who lives just meters away from the hostel where Johannet stayed, said that now the island is full of policemen. He hoped that the security is maintained. "A week and a half that the crime occurred. Have gotten more police, which I wish to remain forever," said Grenald. According to reports, Catherine Johannet, graduated two years ago in literature at the University of Columbia, came to Isla Colon the past 31 january, and stayed at a hotel in the town. In that the locals feel affected by what happened, they did not want to give interviews. Simply stated that the young tourist arrived with another girl, whom he met in San Blas Islands. The last time she was seen in the hostel, on Thursday, 2 February, left alone in the direction of the Red Frog Beach. Her belongings were left in the room, but she never came back. When we bought tickets to go by boat to the beach red frog, we found out that there are two ways that used by tourists to arrive. You can pay $7 on a motorboat to go up to a point called 'shortcut', then pay other $5 to enter through a private trail, but short and well tilled, by which there is a safer and more comfortable access to Red Frog Beach. However, according to a contributor to a company that offers budget trips by boat to save $, tourists prefer to pay $3 the journey to Bastimentos and from there walk along a wooded path to Playa Wizard. Already in Playa Wizard, there is another trail wooded walking up to Red Frog. This option of $3 was used Catherine, a decision that may have cost her her life. There are reports that she was filling her water bottle in a local tienda. However, no records show that she was hosted in a hotel of that island. The representative of sufficiency he is upset because according to him, has not told the truth of where it was found the body. "This did not occur at Wizard, it was on the path between Red Frog and Second Beach. I don't know what is the intention of harming the image of Wizard, unless it's to protect the big business of Red Frog," said Ashburn Dixon, representative of Bastimentos. With this observation, we walk toward the Red Frog Beach, from the village of Bastimentos. In fact, it is a wooded path and solitary, a long stretch, in which there are no signs, or vigilantes, or facilities for walking, despite the fact that there are about 100 tourists per day, It was in one of the trails to Red Frog found on Sunday, 5 February, 3 days after missing, the lifeless body of Catherine was located with a blow to the back of the head, and had been strangled with the pareo that covered her bathing suit. On the path, we found a surgical glove and needles, so close to the Red Frog beach that from there was heard the sound of the waves. Once on the beach, now yes, there were many policemen caring for tourists. An official source reported that to date there are still no detainees. The lines have only been made by research. It has not revealed the motive for the crime, but suspicion about a Mexican citizen was ruled out . Meanwhile, daily searches are performed in Bastamientos. It is assumed that the murder occurred when she intended to return to the town of Bastimentos to take the boat toward the Colon island. The owners of Lodgings and Hotels shared that tourism has been severely affected. Unfortunately this tragedy had to happen to have changes. "It was almost impossible to get police units," said the mayor of Isla Colon Martin Downer. "But since last Monday, they sent 40 police officers", he said. Johannet Catherine was the daughter of a diplomat in New York City. She was 23 years old, had already been in 6 continents several countries, documenting his experiences in his Instagram account. Before coming to Panama, had been in Vietnam, where he worked for more than a year as a teacher. A girl laughing, that in his innocence, he wanted to see the world, and in this attempt ended strangled in an island with beaches. His latest picture on Instagram is, ironically, a picture from the Islands of San Blas. In it she said she had found Paradise
  8. The folks from Alto Dorado are constructing this centre. Melissa or Jonathan Call should be able to provide more details.
  9. Colombian businessman to remain in custody in Miami until money-laundering trial February 19, 2017 10:33 AM http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article133705059.html For the second time since being extradited in January, Colombian-Panamanian businessman Nidal Waked Hatum has failed to persuade a federal judge in Miami to free him on bond so he can be with members of his family while his money laundering case unfolds. In a ruling last week, U.S. District Judge Robert Scola denied Waked Hatum's request to revoke the previous order by a duty magistrate judge who rejected the defendant's original request for bail. Scola's decision means that Waked Hatum will have to remain in custody until his trial, which has tentatively been scheduled to begin Oct. 30. Frank Tamen, the U.S. prosecutor assigned to the case, told the court that the government needs 10 days to present its case against Waked Hatum, while the defendant's lawyer, Norman Moscowitz, said he would need two to three weeks to present his evidence to the jury. Waked Hatum, 45, has pleaded not guilty to charges of "knowingly and willfully" engaging in financial and monetary transactions designed to conceal drug-trafficking proceeds. The duty magistrate at the time, John O'Sullivan, denied Waked Hatum's bond request. Born in Colombia, Waked Hatum, lived in Panama where he had businesses and citizenship, as well as having a passport from Spain and residence in Canada. Waked Hatum’s multiple passports and apparent access to money swayed both O'Sullivan and later Scola to deny release on bond. Tamen, the prosecutor, repeated these reasons in a court document for Scola's consideration at last week's hearing on the second bond request. “To begin with,” Tamen wrote in his filing, “it should be noted that the defendant is an alien who holds citizenship in three foreign countries and residency in a fourth, but who has no ties to the United States. His wife and children are similarly citizens of foreign countries, and his wife has been denied admission into the United States. Such factors create an obvious incentive to flee.” Tamen also noted in his filing that federal immigration authorities have issued a “detainer” on Waked Hatum. “If he were to be released from FDC Miami [the federal detention center downtown] he would immediately be transferred to immigration custody at the Krome Detention Center,” Tamen wrote.
  10. Emergency Light, Luz de Emergencia, Luz de Bateria I believe there were some installed similar to those pictured below in the BCP auditorium, although I did hear a rumour once that they were turned off because of interference with performances.
  11. When faced with repeated interruptions to electrical service people have multiple choices. 1/ Equip themselves to ride out the interruptions 2/ File a complaint with the supervising authority 3/ Bitch about it on the Internet A bit of preparation allowed me to watch an entire NHL hockey game from start to finish last night, uninterrupted. The Toronto Maple Leafs won in Overtime.
  12. Drivers in Chiriqui asked to Decrease Speed Por Demetrio Ábrego (Correspondent) 21/02/2017 - 2:00 PM http://www.tvn-2.com/videos/noticias/Piden-conductores-Chiriqui-moderar-velocidad_2_4695300471.html The director of Transit Operations in the province of Chiriqui, Mario Castillo, asked drivers to adjust the speed and operate in a prudent manner, in accordance with the Transit rules (Reglamento de Transito), in order to avoid continued accidents involving fatalities on the roads of this region of the country. Castillo indicated that there has been an increase in the number of police in the roads, operating in mobile and stationary posts, but accidents continue to occur, especially on the Pan-American Highway. He assured that speed, recklessness, and not following traffic signs are the main causes of accidents, and it is expected that the figures for deaths are very similar to those of last year. The official announced that starting in the next few hours Transit officials are going to increase the number of operating units on the roads, with very strict regulations for drivers who do not want to follow the rules. In just the past 72 hours have been three deaths from traffic accidents, one in Tole, another in Gualaca and one in Bugaba.
  13. Parque Metropolitano Butterfly Garden inaugurated with samples of more than 30 native species Catherine Perea| 20 feb 2017 02.19pm The city of Panama already has its first butterfly garden in the Parque Natural Metropolitano, which seeks to bring the nature to the citizens. The Butterfly Garden can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday, at a time of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, and the cost of entry will be of B/.1.25 for children, B/.2.50 adults and B/.5.00. With a sample of more than 30 native species of the country as the blue morpho butterflies, and the owl butterfly Heliconius. These spaces can be explored freely or to follow a guided tour that lasts about fifteen minutes, which explains to visitors about the varieties of butterflies, show their larvae, pupae and identify specific plants which are frequented by each species. The project was carried out after an alliance between the Mayor's office of Panama, the private sector, the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Nature Park and the Ministry of the Environment (MiAmbiente). The mayor, José Blandón said that the space is a tribute to the capacity for change of these insects. Blandón further noted that "we want to make reality to make greater use of the spaces that the city has, and that more people especially children and young people learn much more of the diversity that characterizes our country." This is the second mariposariom being the first of the Embera Community Tusipono, in the Chagres National Park, known as the laboratory of the Butterfly Garden. http://www.telemetro.com/lasbuenasnoticias/Inauguran-Mariposario-Metropolitano-especies-nativas_0_1001300404.html