Temas Especiales

22 de Oct de 2020


Traffic jams in the flooded city

Readers were quick to respond to recent comments on the need for a government led initiative to improve driving habits and ease congesti...

Readers were quick to respond to recent comments on the need for a government led initiative to improve driving habits and ease congestion before total gridlock takes over in the streets of Panama. While all agreed that aggressive driving, failure to give signals, traffic light jumping, and illegal parking on busy roads, compounded by the diablos rojos were the main problems,several pointed out that pedestrians also make a contributin to the daily snarls

How come? Try this. You are driving along a a busy road and approaching traffic lights, green in your favor when, without warning two or more pedestrians blithely step onto the crossing. You brake, risking a tail-ender, and behind you the traffic stops and the taxis hit the horn. It’s a daily occurrence, plus the endless jay walking as pedestrians snake through traffic, ignoring the lights or marked crossings only a few yards away.

Any wonder that our pedestrian fatalities are more, per capita, than in any major city across the world.

Ask your mayoralty candidate what he plans to do about it.

A GOWN IN SEARCH OF A BALL (Cont.) Peope who applied for tickets for the British Ball, taking place at the Mirimar Hotel on Friday, are still awaiting a confirmation that no tickets are available. From a country where writing “thank you” cards was part of a child’s upbringing, it seems strange that in the age of computers no one could find time to hit the send button

EXPATRIATE PARDON. Among those seeking to benefit from the much abused Presidential pardon, as George W. Bush readies himself to ride into the Texan shadows, is Conrad Black

Yes, that very same Lord Black who gave up his Canadian citizenship so he could become a peer of the British realm, and who was sentenced to six years in jail for financial sins committed as head of the Hollinger newspaper empire. He was acquitted of other charges that could have seen him behind bars for 30 years or more.

So as he prepares for his first Christmas in confinement, he is hoping to find a quick release in his Christmas stocking. An inside tip from Santa: “Not much hope.” By the time Barack Obama finishes his first term, Black will likely have been released for good behavior, and carrying with him, the manuscript of another biography of a famous political leade

ANNUS HORRIBLIS. As the year draws to a close, President Martin Torrijos must be hoping that no more black clouds will shadow his remaining months in office. Among things that have given him a hard time are:

Media attention to his penchant for hopping on the presidential plane for another overseas jaunt, after his party criticized the former president for doing the same thing, recent attacks from Panama mayor Juan Carlos Navarro; The regular vigils in front of El Carmen cathedral, protesting militarization, the surfacing of the killing of a soldier by Daniel Delgado (DDD) Diamante, the then Minister of Justice and Government; the disappearing statues from Parque Omar, under the supervision of a close friend of the First Lady; floods in Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro, which cut short his sharing of time and champagne with the blue bloods of Spain;the collapse of the road linking Panama with Coronado and beyond; Polls showing that Ricardo Martinelli is leading in the race to replace him; the election of Barack Obama as U.S. president elect, likely ending dreams of a USA-Panama Free Trade Agreement

Not surprisingly, polls show that the president who for long enjoyed high approval ratings, has fallen dramatically in the eyes of the populace. But on the positive side work on the Cinta Costera is ahead of schedule, giving the President the opportunity of performing the opening ceremony in good time for the coming elections when his party will be striving to retain power.

MORE ON GRIDLOCK. A reader called to say that compared to an experience in England in the 60’s: “We ain’t seen nuffin yet.”That was when a town outside of London was completely shut down for over 8 hours, with no traffic moving.

It happened on a busy Saturday afternoon when the town was crowded with shoppers. A thunderstorm started, and hundreds of motorists rushed to their cars, many illegally parked. As they started to drive away complete gridlock set in and police were called in from miles around to try to unblock the jammed streets.

Panama’s turn could be next.