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Incoming Panama City Mayor Plans Beaches On Panama Coastal Strip

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Incoming mayor plans beaches on Panama coastal strip


A BEACH beyond the fountains?

Posted 17/05/2019

Panama's mayor-elect  Jose Luis Fábrega wants to wind the clock back and have a clean public beach in the middle of the capital city.

One of his principal projects, when he takes office, will be the rescue of beaches reports TVN.

"In the Cinta Costera we have a very large area, the idea is to be able to rescue and save it so that the public has a public beach. This was already done in Barcelona, Spain. You can do the project between 14 and 18 months from the moment you give the order to proceed until the time the work is completed, "said Fábrega.

The Panama Sanitation Program, which started in the bay, has been improving sanitary conditions in Panama, San Miguelito, Arraiján and La Chorrera for around 20 years, through the collection and treatment of wastewater that, together with the garbage, have polluted rivers and beaches. Recovering the water quality of rivers like the Matasnillo takes years. "In the case of what the mayor-elect proposes, we have to meet to understand the scope of the project and see how it aligns with the Sanitation Program," said Roberto De Leon, coordinator of the sanitation project.

Between 1920 and 1940 it was common to see beaches in the area of San Felipe and Bella Vista crowded with people says Osvaldo Lezcano who shares on a website where he shares a material referring to yesterday's Panama. "In the photographs of the late nineteenth century, early twentieth century, you can see how people went to what is now the Miramar, Bella Vista, La Exposición neighborhood. Those places were frequently full on weekends. The bay was clean, it was regular to see boat trips, especially for Zonians, "said Lezcano.



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Cleveland Ohio cleaned up it's sanitary landfill that was on the shore of Lake Erie right a stones throw from Cleveland central.   It was a smoldering hell.  It became an Airport that is now a degraded strip of asphalt from disuse.  They now ponder what to do with it?  I'm sure nothing a tax dollar can't solve...for a time.

Imagine a smoldering landfill on fire right on the Lake wafting greyblack smoke into Cleveland....    Right, Clevelanders were real happy to have it flattened and turned into an airport. Hats off to Panama City for the proposition to restore a once beautiful shoreline.  Next a plastic recycling plant !


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New mayor  bets on Panama City sandy beaches


Mayor Fabrega

Posted 22/07/2019

Panama’s former Mayor, Jose Isabel Blandon nailed his flag to the upgrading of some of the city’s thoroughfares like Via Argentina,  Calle Uruguay, and Via Espana. Two of the projects, still unfinished led to business bankruptcies,  flooding, compensation claims, and court cases.  The third was condemned by engineers and citizens for is poor design, more flooding, and links to the Odebrecht company, which left the  Blandon flag in tatters and helped ensure he went from favorite to an also-ran in the last presidential race.

The capital’s new mayor, José Luis Fábrega’s, flagship project is the recovery of the city's beaches which has been greeted with skepticism in some quarters, but he’s forging ahead.

On Monday,  July 22 he announced that in the coming days he will make the call to the companies interested in the project, which should start with an environmental impact study.

He said that the objective is for citizens to have access to public beaches in the capital, as in prominent cities of the world such as Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil; or Barcelona, in Spain.

Tomás Sosa, director of Special Projects of the Mayor's Office, said that the execution schedule of the beach recovery project is planned for completion in September 2022.

If the project runs at the same speed as Blandon’s street revitalizations,  the sands of time will have eaten up Fabrega's term.



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Panama beach project faces sanitation challenge


The mayor's dream project

Posted 28/07/2019

The ambitious proposal of Panama  Mayor José Luis Fabrega mimicking Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro to recover a beach on the city waterfront. has put a spotlight on pollution levels and garbage in the Bay and rivers running into it.

 The beach would run between Bella Vista and Calidonia, at a cost of $120 million, has sparked a debate as Fábrega plows ahead with the intention of having the beach ready in 2022.

The last time the population the coastal area for recreation was in the early 1960s

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Stanley Heckadon says the proposal is technically viable since there has been some advance in the sanitation of rivers in Panama City.

The first stage  of the  sanitation program for  the city and the Panama Bay has  been  18 years in the making   with the first stage, from San Felipe to Tocumen airport, with a  billion-dollar investment

The scientist explained that the marine waters come from east to west, that is, from Tocumen towards the center of Panama City, and all those waters have to be treated.

cartoon_(1).jpg “The important thing is sanitation…, I think that for the city of Panama to recover its beach, which was lost in 1960, would add to people's quality of life,” he said adding that if it is not done at this time, pollution will be greater in the coming decades.

, Tatiana de Janon, former head of the Sanitation Program, said that the water quality of the bay has already improved greatly, and will continue to improve with the work they have to continue doing sanitation in the basin of the Matasnillo river and the areas of Calidonia and Bella Vista.

"I think it's an excellent project for citizens to appreciate the sea even more and take better care of it, not throwing garbage on the street or in the rivers," he said.

He said that the recovery of the beach will depend on how much the City Hall works hand in hand with the sanitation program; of the support given by the Government to it; that sewage systems continue to be operated with the same quality level of quality they had so far; and that the authorities have a comprehensive education and trash plan.

Current reality
Rafael Díaz, head of the Coordination Unit of the Sanitation program of Panama, said that said the entity is in total readiness to act to help the mayor’s project.  but the definitive solution to clean up the Matasnillo river basin, which flows into the  Bay. must be taken into consideration.

Since 2006 they have been coordinating the development of works to eliminate the sources of pollution in the Bay including the design and construction of the Balboa Avenue coastal interceptor system and the construction project for the improvements to the sanitary sewer system of Punta Paitilla and Punta Pacifica, in the San Francisco district.



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Panama Beach project consultation delayed


The mayor's dream

Posted 21/01/2020

The citizen consultation on Mayor José Luis Fábrega’ s  $120 million project to bring  reaches back to Bella Vista and Calidonia  has been moved back

Initially it was  reported that the consultation would take place on Monday, February 17, four days after the start of Carnival..

But on Tuesday. January 21 - via social networks – it was announced that the consultation will now take place on Wednesday, March 11 at 5:00 pm at the Gladys Vidal Theater, in the Hatillo building.

The consultation is carried out in accordance with the Decentralization Law.

On the beach revitalization project, the Mayor's Office of Panama must make another citizen consultation, this time in relation to the study of environmental impact, category 3 , which is mandatory for the development of the project. It has faced opposition from some citizens who believe the money could be better spent.

The recovery15 works will cover 1.8 kilometers, from the Matasnillo River to the Seafood Market, and the artificial beach will have sandbanks 10n km offshore.



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Panama close to bathing beach by 2022 - Mayor


Posted 28/01/2020

Undeterred by skepticism in some quarters Panama’s mayor José Luis Fábrega continues to express his faith in returning a beach suitable for bathing to the city he rules.

On Tuesday, January 28  he said that “at the rate that it is being worked on,” the beach recovery project ma be completed in 2022.

Fábrega presented his investment plan for 2020, in which he will manage a budget $292 million budget.

“We are working with Sanitation of the Bay, Miambiente [Ministry of Environment] and, believe me, that by 2022, in the rhythm that we are working on and with the urgency that the Government of President [Laurentino] Cortizo has given to sanitation, we are going to be close to having bathing beaches, ”he said.

The citizen consultation on the beach recovery project in Calidonia and Bella Vista - estimated at $120 million - will be held on March 11.

Regarding the disarray on Calle Uruguay Street, Fábrega said that the work undertaken in the management of Mayor José Blandón (2014-2019) began without plans.

“It hurts me that the past administration acted irresponsibly. In the case of Calle Uruguay, the plans were presented at the end of 2018. They began to do the work without having plans,  operating by trial and error, ”he said.

He added that they have taken over the projects that the past administration s initiated, and no matter what their intention is to conclude them.

Fábrega said that $2.6 million will be allocated to social works, which includes care for the homeless and older adults, among others.

In the sports area, he highlighted the investment of $670 thousand in infrastructure repairs of swimming pools, gyms and stadiums.

Other investments will be in municipal infrastructure and services ($492,638), environmental management (49,000, digitalization of services ($463, 000) and citizen security ($1 million)



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Public consultation on Panama beach project will have free vote


Posted 06/02/2020

The March 11 public consultation on the future  of the Mayor’s Panama Beach  project  for the recovery of public spaces and beaches in Bella Vista and Calidonia, will be binding and will have a free voting mechanism supervised by the Electoral Tribunal

The information was released Thursday by Mayor, José Luis Fábrega  who stressed that on that day all residents of the district of Panama will have the right to vote

Thw $120 million project is the brainchild of  Mayor  Fábrega, who argues that those who oppose the project are in social networks and the media. 

Given this, he states that a public consultation will be held with voting included, to ensure transparency both in the process and in the development of the work.

He said that to avoid speculation  “We went to the Electoral Tribunal and asked them to take charge of the vote so that it is not said that Mayor Fábrega manipulated the process. In addition, we will have notaries who certify the electoral process. Who can vote? Residents registered electorally in the district of Panama. The consultation begins at 5:00 pm.  Anyone  arriving  later will not be able to vote.”



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New date for citizen consultation on the city beach project


Posted 11/02/2020

The  date and venue of the citizen consultation on the Panama Mayor’s plan to create beaches on the Bay of Panama have been changed.

The new date is  March 12, at the Vasco Núñez de Balboa Convention Center, in the Panama Hotel at 5 pm according to the Municipality of Panama,  Twitter account. The announcement comes a day after the authorities of the capital city, including Mayor José Luis Fábrega, met with personnel of the Electoral Tribunal (TE), which will supervise the consultation. 

A statement from the Mayor, released Monday, February 10, announced that Fábrega, and the architect Tomás Sosa, Project Director of the Municipality of Panama, presented the project to TE authorities.

"We have made more than 47 presentations in guilds, open consultations, presentations in more than 18 districts of the city of Panama," said Fabrega also explained to those who were in the meeting, which the project covers three fiscal periods: 2020 with a budget of $30 million; and the period 2021 and 2022 with  45 million each, calculating that the investment will be recovered in less than mayor at the meeting.20 years. "This work will generate new businesses will generate new jobs, it will be required to have emergency personnel and personnel to maintain and clean these beaches, "said the Mayor.
 The work costs $120 million, and provide  1.8 kilometers of beach.



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I don't think this is a very good idea.  This isn't restoring natural beaches.  There aren't any there.

More importantly, the bay is a dead zone.  Pollution and runoff from the city will continue to contaminate the bay.  This isn't unique to Panama, by any means.  All coastal cities do it to some extent.  But because of the configuration of the bay, wave action is minimal and the water is more stagnant.  Hence, the dead zone and why the waters will always represent a potential health hazard to beach visitors.

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