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      Software Upgrade and Possible "Profile Update Needed" Notification   07/23/2017

      The software that drives our Chiriqui.Life website underwent an upgrade earlier this afternoon. This upgrade includes several functionality enhancements that are being scheduled for roll-out in the future. Additionally, there are some cosmetic changes that may become apparent to our regular CL members. For instance, you may now see more details about who and why someone "liked" something that you have posted. One undesired side effect of this software upgrade is that some CL members may see a message when first logging onto CL to the effect that their profile is only partially complete, and that it needs to be completed. Here is one version of that dialogue -- note the part that is highlighted in read. There are two ways to get rid of this dialog. One is to complete your profile, which basically means to provide information in the text box that is "About Me". The other method is to click on the "Dismiss" link, which is not prominently displayed but visible in the upper right area of the message that is highlighted in red. Either method will work. We regret if this is an inconvenience, but it is something over which we have no control.   To provide general feedback or ask for help regarding Chiriqui.Life, please leave a posting in Problems, Feedback and Suggestions or email support@chiriqui.life or private message to @Admin_01.  
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      Enhanced Reputation ("Like" and "Dislike") Functionality Here on CL   07/24/2017

      With the recent software upgrade, CL now has a slightly enhanced and more descriptive "reputation" functionality. The reputation is what CL members can click in the lower right corner of each posting (forums, blogs, calendar events, etc.) to indicate their "like' or "dislike" of that posting. This functionality, previously known as a member's "reputation", has been enhanced and is now known as a member's "reaction". Instead of having only two choices ("like" or "dislike", represented by a +1 or -1), there now are seven different "reactions" that a member can express, including the simple "Like" and "Dislike". As was the case previously with reputations, Administrators of this website cannot be given reputation/reaction, however Moderators can, just as all regular members can. Here in graphic form is the complete list of options in word and emoji form, along with the associated numeric value: The "Like" and the "Upvote" and the "Downvote" are essentially the same as the prior "like" and "dislike" reputation. Those are similar to what is available on some of the larger social media, such as Facebook. As in the past with reputation, the use of reactions is optional. Reputations (now "reactions") are not favored by everyone. Prior feedback indicates approximately 30% of CL's members prefer that "reputation" [and now "reactions"] be disabled. However, the majority of CL's members prefer having the ability to indicate their "like" or "dislike" of a posting. The new, enhanced functionality means simply that CL members have more granularity as to what they can indicate to the viewers. If anyone would like to see additional "reactions", please contact CL management, and include a short discussion of what you would like to see and perhaps an emoji to suggest that reaction. Two new reactions that have already been suggested are "I agree" and "I disagree", which might be expressed respectively with green check mark (or thumbs up) and red X-mark (or thumbs down) style emoji. The reactions functionality is currently configured to display who expressed that reaction. If there is sufficient feedback, we can hide the member's Display Name, and show only the cumulative reactions.           To provide general feedback or ask for help regarding Chiriqui.Life, please leave a posting in Problems, Feedback and Suggestions or email support@chiriqui.life or private message to @Admin_01.  

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Mary D    1

Yesterday we went to pay our annual water/garbage bill in Boquete. We were told that the rate was $180-almost triple what we paid last year. My husband is fluent in Spanish and asked them several times why it was so high. She said all the rates went up. Finally after much discussion and after jubilando discount and early payment, we paid $101. Then we spoke with our Panamanian neighbor and he said he paid approximately $64. My husband went back inside to ask them and another Panamanian was paying $64 also. The girl then told him that we had to pay more because I was a "gringa"-the bill was in my name. She suggested we talk to the alcadia-so we did. He said "no" that was a mistake (the high amount). So we went back to the payment office with the alcadia's secretary. They cancelled our previous payment and reprocessed it-for $64 (after the 2 discounts). When we were in the mayor's office, there were 2 women from Santa Lucia (not native Panamanians, one had been here for 40 yrs.)Who were also very upset with the high rates. It seems if you live in a "residetiale/urbanizacion/private community"that they are trying to charge more. And they assume most of these residents are "gringos" and can pay without question. This seems like discrimination to me, and that's illegal here. We don't live in a private community, but they don't ask and there's no indication on your bill where you live. If you live in a private community, do they charge a different rate for the Panamanians and for the foreigners who live there? So watch and question your bill!

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TwoSailors    83

BTW...That is absolutely outrageous..

31 minutes ago, Mary D said:

The girl then told him that we had to pay more because I was a "gringa"-the bill was in my name.

Did you get her name? 

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Brundageba    306

Thanks for the heads up....

It's one thing if rates have increased across the board...another if it's one rate for you and another for him..

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Keith Woolford    297

Rates for water service and garbage collection in the District of Boquete are determined by location, not by nationality.

When I'm at the Tesoreria on Tuesday I will obtain a copy of the rate guide and post it here.

Edited by Keith Woolford
  • Upvote 3

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JudyS    168

I went to the tesoria to pay my for garbage collection for the year.  I had a hand-written note with me that I got from the clerk there in November.  It said my rate for 2017 would be $24.40.  When I went to pay, the current clerk consulted a chart (as Keith said, it showed different rates depending on where you live).  I couldn't see what rate she was looking at, but the bill ended up being $40.50 (just for trash - I pay for water somewhere else).  I asked her if the rates went up, and she said they did.  That is quite a rise though, from $24 to $40. 

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Roger B    215
13 hours ago, JudyS said:

I went to the tesoria to pay my for garbage collection for the year.  I had a hand-written note with me that I got from the clerk there in November.  It said my rate for 2017 would be $24.40.  When I went to pay, the current clerk consulted a chart (as Keith said, it showed different rates depending on where you live).  I couldn't see what rate she was looking at, but the bill ended up being $40.50 (just for trash - I pay for water somewhere else).  I asked her if the rates went up, and she said they did.  That is quite a rise though, from $24 to $40. 

Judy

In Panama City my rates of garbage is higher because of the place I live.  It is high because in some way we are subsidizing or having solidarity with the people living in poor neighborhoods in Panama that have a lower rate.  It has to do with places or neighborhoods not by nationality.

I am not sure but you should investigate why the increase was so high.  

 

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Keith Woolford    297

Despite today being an official holiday, the new compactor truck just picked up garbage here in Brisas Boqueteñas. We certainly can't complain about the service.

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Brundageba    306
54 minutes ago, Keith Woolford said:

Despite today being an official holiday, the new compactor truck just picked up garbage here in Brisas Boqueteñas. We certainly can't complain about the service.

Yup...we were surprised they were working on a holiday !   We finally caught up with them today. The new truck is so quiet, we've missed the guys Christmas and New Years in order to hand them a few bucks in an envelope as a Holiday thank you.  These guys really do a fine job and we sure do appreciate that.    

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Keith Woolford    297
5 hours ago, TwoSailors said:

Keith,

Were you able to get a rate card at the Tesoreria?

 

No, although I inquired. It seems that the 2017 rates for all areas have not been finalized yet. I'll keep on it.

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Bud    118

Thanks, Keith. I am delaying the payment of our 2017 municipal garbage bill until after reading what the "official" rates are. Please post here as soon as there is something to report.

Our water bill is not through the city, but rather Acuaducto de Alto Lino, and so I am now curious what will happen there. I'm considering asking for a copy in writing of their billing rate table.

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Penny    172

I paid my water bill today to the Jaramillo Arriba water system today. The bill was the same as it's always been -- $32.80 total for two houses. This represents a discount for paying the entire year in January. I'm happy about this amount having come from a place that the water bill was $60/month for one house in Michigan in 2002.

Last year my garbage rate paid to the Municipio went way up. The reason given was that I was a gringo and put out more garbage. The new rate was $32.40/year for each of my two houses. I paid it without arguing the gringo question because it's still way less than the $6/week I was paying in 2002 in Michigan. And, maybe it's true that I do put out more garbage. However, I know for a fact that many Panamanian pedestrians bring their garbage from farther up the hill and dump it into my container.

Let's just keep it in perspective folks.

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Keith Woolford    297

There's a misunderstanding here somewhere.

'Gringos' do not pay more for collection because they have more garbage, or for any other reason. Rates are set by zone.

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Penny    172

What Keith says may well be true, but I live in a basically Panamanian neighborhood and went with my Panamanian neighbor to pay and she paid half of what I paid and the explanation was that it was expected I would generate more garbage. This was last year. We'll see what this year brings. Still cheap and I'm still happy.

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Penny    172

I paid twice as much as my neighbor on each house. Still cheap !!

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JudyS    168
13 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

Not surprised you paid twice what your neighbour did.

You have two houses.

I have just one house, and one person, and I paid more than Penny did for water.  Different district though. 

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Keith Woolford    297

The folks at the Treasurer's office were dismayed when they heard that some people felt they'd been the object of discrimination or overcharged.

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Roger B    215
On 1/13/2017 at 10:58 AM, MarieElaine said:

Are there discrimination laws in Panama?

Yes.  There are.  Never been a problem.  It is getting improved every legislature.  It is clearly stated at the Constitution.  Last project of law will enhance those related to gay and lesbian persons.  

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Bonnie    390

I find it hard to believe that most Panamanians can afford these increased rates. Whatever the law and the chart says, it appears that different rates are being applied to different people. Someone needs to get to the bottom of this. I have a private garbage service and a different water junta, and I pay still different amounts. My water bill last year was $132 (and I get hit up every now and then for special repairs), but who wants to p.o. the water administrator? I feel confident that my Panamanian neighbors don't pay this much; they couldn't afford to. I pay $1 a week for garbage pickup, left by the trash receptacle on pickup day.

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MarieElaine    27
23 hours ago, Roger B said:

Yes.  There are.  Never been a problem.  It is getting improved every legislature.  It is clearly stated at the Constitution.  Last project of law will enhance those related to gay and lesbian persons.  

I think that we should start citing this law when we are told to pay more because we are expats.

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Roger B    215
1 hour ago, MarieElaine said:

I think that we should start citing this law when we are told to pay more because we are expats.

Marie Elaine

 

All of you.  Legal residents of Panama with your Cedula and Visa are protected by our constitution and you have the same rights and benefits of all citizens in this country.  The article of the constitution that talks about it is:

Article 19.  There will not be privileges or preferences neither discrimination by reason of race, place of birth, disability, social class, sex, religion or political ideas.  

 

So laws, taxes, fees, etc must be the same for everybody in the same condition.  So in many cases some fees are based on the place you are living but they shouldnt be based on your nationality.  If you are a legal resident they should give you the same rate.

 

 

 

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Keith Woolford    297

I'm confident that there are reasonable (although maybe not logical) explanations for differences in rates and I'll stay on it.

This is the "get real" look I got when I mentioned discrimination had been suggested.

image.jpg

Edited by Keith Woolford

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