THE STAR ALMANAC
PANAMA. In the tradition of the famed Farmers’ Almanac , and the Panama Star here are some of the predictions for 2009 compiled by our ...
PANAMA. In the tradition of the famed Farmers’ Almanac , and the Panama Star here are some of the predictions for 2009 compiled by our editorial staff and contributors. If many are proved wrong, that could be a benefit to us all.
Visiting or resident Canadians brought up to apologize before bumping into someone, will continue to put disposable cups and serviettes into the nearest trash can, after looking in vain for recycling bins.
Bus and car passengers will continue to throw their garbage, onto the roads.
The national recycling programs and clean driving programs will be launched with much fanfare. Neither will be enforced.
Retailers and restaurants who raised their prices because of high gasoline prices, will not reduce them.
Some speculators who have placed deposits on some of the over 14,000 empty apartments in Panama, with the intention of flipping them will lose their shirts.
As the construction boom slows down the jobless rate will increase.
SUNTRACS and FRENADESCO will demonstrate and march to the Presidential Palace.
The public will anxiously be awaiting the next edition of Latin American Idol, so they can donate their dollars to the bank accounts of the organizing businesses to propel any Panamanian candidate forward.
With the resignation of Mingthoy Giro , this year’s carnival will avoid some of the snafus of past years. The machine for copying passes for residents will function, but if it does break down, someone will know where to find a store that does photocopying. There will be four days of increased traffic fatalities. Thousands of condoms will be distributed and there will be an increase in the birth rate in the fall.
The yeye crowd, with or without class, intelligence or looks, will continue to throng the flesh pots of the Calle Uruguay area, purchase drugs under the eyes of the police, and drive home drunk.
Medical workers will continue to oppose the merging of CSS and Ministry of Health services.
The poor will continue to line up at clinics as early as 4 a.m. in the hope of getting treatment.
The better off will attend private hospitals and clinics, and sit patiently waiting for hours for doctors who overbook, or don’t show.
The Ministry of Health, will release its $500,000 report on the study of the nation’s dental health, valiantly carried out by underpaid dental staff in early 2007.
Our Man will continue in his cantankerous ways. Author Phil Emondson will castigate car makers and those who want to bail them out. Eric Jackson will attack all and sundry who wield power unjustly and < Caroline and Fatima Asvat will keep a watching eye on the social, dining and wining scene.
NEVER ENDING STORIES
Relatives of the 18 people who died and those badly injured in a burning bus in Panama in 2006 will still be waiting for compensation. No one in high office will be dethroned.
Relatives of nearly 150 people who died from Diethylene poisoning after taking CSS medicine will still be waiting for compensation and justice. No one in high office will be punished.
Low level investigation into the disappearance of the statues from a Parque Omar storage facility will continue. The park’s administrator, Mingthoy Giro , friend of the first lady, will continue in office.
Perennial mayoral candidate Miguel A. Bernal will put up a great fight and be supported by many thinking citizens, tired of 8 years of laissez faire governance by a mayor more interested in a presidential office than the city. But in the end the party machine will propel ? to office.
Politicians of all stripes will continue to promise security, transparency and jobs.
Panamanians will hold their noses and vote in the May elections.
President Martin Torrijos will proudly perform the official opening of the Cinta Costera (Coastal Strip) before leaving office to nurse his dreams of returning to the Presidential palace in 2014.
Politicians of the ruling party who have been rejected by the electorate will be found “useful” jobs or botellas before the present administration leaves office.
The message of presidential candidate Ricardo Martinelli that “people in the assembly arrive poor and leave rich” will resonate with the middle class but fall on deaf ears with the workers, and the corruptible.
The Balbina Herrera camp will continue to spread rumors about the mental health of Martinelli , and play down her previous ties to dictator Manuel Noriega.
Noriega will continue his U.S. court battle, to avoid deportation to France to serve a 10-year sentence. PRD politicians who were once connected with the dictator will be looking over their shoulders and praying that he takes a plane to the City of light.
Elected officials will continue to import duty free high priced vehicles like Ferraris, and transfer ownership to friends and relatives, without official censure.
The security services will continue the U.S. backed failing “war on drugs”, and dress more “serve and protect” police officers in Rambo style battle fatigues. Meanwhile crime on the streets will increase, and the gangsters in Panama’s red areas will be undeterred at the prospect of an extra couple of years in jail for carrying a gun.
Cashiers at Riba Smith “fast” check outs will continue to serve customers who arrive with 20-30 items.
Electricity service will continue to be expensive and there will be threats of brown outs and blackouts during the dry season but, the increase in the use of air conditioners will slow, as work ceases on some new developments.
Franz Wever will remain the czar of Panamanian baseball, in spite of past transgressions, and fellow sports administrators will remain too chicken to turf him out.
Irving Saladino will continue to set an example of personal endeavor to all of his “paisanos” (fellow country folk) and will be a beacon of light in the darkness of administrative corruption.
Entrepreneur and developer Sam Taliefero will continue to chastise those at the helm of the government tourism campaign, question their definition of tourists, and bemoan the lack of attention to the Interior, meaning Chiriqui (where he lives). Nothing will change.
Tourism czar Ruben Blades will sail off into the Hollywood Sunset, proclaiming that the lack of security for tourists is a media challenge.
As the economy stumbles, fewer people travel and more hotels open in Panama, there will be a glut of hotel rooms.
President Martin Torrijos will continue his record breaking presidential flights to the countries far and near.
The traffic snarls will get worse and traffic police will continue to ignore jay walking, vehicles that jump lights, motorists who think pedestrian crossings are just street decorations and cars illegally parked only meters away from a parking lot.
Taxis will continue to refuse to take passengers who are not going somewhere the taxi driver wants to go.
Hundreds of taxis will fail to meet the extended deadline for getting their cars painted yellow.
There will still be Diablos Rojos on the streets. They will break down regularly, belch black smoke, race each other, illegally pick up passengers on the corridors, block intersections, carry too many passengers and generally disobey traffic laws while continuing to kill and maim citizens.
People in high office holding permits for buses, will collect thousands of dollars as “compensation” for the city getting a new transportation system.
Unthinking (selfish) customers of Riba Smith in Bella Vista, will continue to park illegally on the road fronting the store, blocking traffic in both directions. Security staff and management will take no action.
The chattering masses will continue to use cell phones while careering through the city streets, safely hidden behind their super darkened windows.
Parking on yellow lines and in front of fire hydrants will be ignored by traffic police, along with illegal left turns and drivers ignoring pedestrian crossings.
Diablos Rojos will continue to break down, and impede traffic while their owners look forward to receiving $25,000 for what in many cases is semi-mobile scrap metal.