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Archive for the ‘Driving’ Category

Today the new Cinta Costera walkways along Ave. Balboa were packed with holiday goers (located on the Pacific Coast of Panama). This morning, hundreds of people walked, biked, jogged, played, skate boarded, roller bladed along the new walkways.

Today is the swearing in of the new Panamanian President Martinelli at the Atlapa Convention Center so it is a National Holiday in Panama (Canada Day as well- a holiday in Canada!).

SCROLL DOWN THE BLOG PAGE 2 STORIES TO MORE CINTA COSTERA PHOTOS.

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The New Cinta Costera in Panama City

The New Cinta Costera in Panama City

Check it out when you have time. A super new area to walk, run, or bike along Panama Bay (Pacific Ocean side of Panama). The traffic is much improved with a beautiful new bypass for Avenida Balboa in Panama City. Nicely designed and much needed additions to Panama City – more green space, more parking, and a bypass through Chorillo and Cinco de Mayo direct to Amador and the Bridge of the Americas, and reverse – direct to the highway to the Tocumen Airport (Corredor Sur).

Walkways and Bike Paths

Walkways and Bike Paths

Parking lots

Parking lots

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Nature in Panama, Traveling with Kids

Nature in Panama, Traveling with Kids

PANAMA HAS PLENTY TO OFFER FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES.

We live in Panama with a child, therefore I often get questions from readers coming to visit Panama on vacation, and even expats living in Panama about what to do with their kids on vacation. Here are my suggestions for both the younger set and teens; some great ideas for adults as well.


DON YOUR PIRATE HATS AND SET OFF ON A MEMORABLE FAMILY VACATION

Panama offers a new world and a wealth of natural, fun, experiences–and what an education for both the kids and the adults (but don´t tell them that part). From the engineering man-made wonder of the Panama Canal to an abundance of nature´s treasures. Many destinations are within a couple of hours from the bustling capital city, so there is no shortage of excursions and activities. Panama was key in the history and development of Latin America and took center stage as the location for numerous pirate vs. conquistador battles, as well as the land route for transfer of Spanish treasure from the Pacific coast bound for Spain.


FAMILY ACTIVITIES IN AND AROUND THE CITY

WALK CASCO VIEJO: The most historic neighborhood in Panama City, many elegant buildings are now being restored. It is a World Heritage site. Around and within the old Union Club in Casco Viejo, check out where the latest James Bond movie (Quantum of Solace) was filmed, showing in theaters November 2008. After touring savor some of the best ice creams in Panama from GrandClement. French owned and run, wonderfully unique and traditional flavours! Location: Central Avenue and 4th street. Not in the mood for ice cream, try a traditional Panamanian Raspado near the boardwalk (grated ice with flavorings). Or taste both! Note: The wonderful museum in Casco Viejo is very nice for the adults but not too interesting for most children.
PANAMA VIEJO: Visit the site of the first Panama City, its interesting ruins, museum and go souvenir shopping at their Artisans handicraft market. A World Heritage Site.
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE MARINE EXHIBITIONS CENTER (Centro de Exhibiciones Marinas): On Isla Naos, connected to Panama City by the Amador Causeway. The center has a museum with marine exhibits, two aquariums, and a nature trail through a small forest harboring sloths and iguanas. Open Tuesday to Friday 1 pm to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm. Nearby is the future site of the long awaited Museum of Biodiversity (2010).
RENT BIKES ON AMADOR CAUSEWAY: While you are out by Amador Causeway enjoy bike riding with your family. Rentals available from several locations where you can rent all types of cycles, from basic 5 speed bikes to lowriders to bicycles for 2 or 3, to pedal driven carts with a roof… From $2 per hour.
PARQUE OMAR: Once a private golf course, now the city´s largest park. Walk or jog around the some 5 km of paths shaded by large tropical trees. Parque Omar also has a simple gym, playground, tennis court, swimming pool, basketball court, soccer field, baseball field, outdoor halls, and a library. Various sports clubs meet there offering American Football and soccer, plus it offers a number of public events during the year. Located on Via Porras near the city center in San Fransisco. NOTE: Most city neighborhood parks have playgrounds.
PARQUE METROPOLITANO: A 655-acre wilderness park within the limits of Panama City. Offering trails, more than 250 species of birds and 40 types of mammals, it is also the site of a tropical research center. The visitors’ center is open 8 am to 4 pm daily.
ANCON HILL: The hill is a steep 654-foot hike but the reward is spectacular Panama City views; it is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the area with its giant Panamanian flag flying atop. When Henry Morgan sacked Panama City, his scouts used Ancon Hill to spy on the Spaniards.
It was under U.S. jurisdiction as part of the Panama Canal Zone for much of the 20th Century, and was never developed like most of the city. It is possible to see sloths, coatimundi, armadillos, Geoffroy’s Tamarins or deer on Ancon Hill which is now protected. It takes about 45 minutes, by foot, to reach the top from the parking area in Quarry Heights. Along the path you can see numerous species of vegetation and birds, including large number of orchids.
BOWLING: Enjoy bowling with a view at Sky Bowling, serving food and drinks by Bennigans on Avenida Balboa (in the Extreme Planet Building) or Bowling at Allbrook Mall.
EXPLORA PANAMA: A fun, science related, hands on, indoor learning experience for kids. http://www.explorapanama.org/ Tel: 230-3066 Area: Condado del Rey.
SHOPPING: An all time favorite, while MultiPlaza is a fabulous Mall with numerous high end and mid range shops you can also check out the more economical Allbrook Mall.
MOVIES: Although Hollywood movies offered in Panama arrive a bit later than North America it is a fun and inexpensive way to spend the evening. Price for a child and one adult is about $6 (not including the popcorn which will put you back the same or more). Many places offer kids animated movies in English only once a day if at all, so ask beforehand. There are plenty of cinemas in Panama, check the papers or ask at your hotel. Our favorite in the city is Extreme Planet, there are also cinemas at all the malls.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLE MARKETS: Check out tropical varieties of fruit and vegetables. Delicious and very economical. The market on the way to Casco Viejo is new. Located a couple of buildings from the fish market on Avenida Balboa. There is another older, large wholesale market but it is located in a rough area so we cannot recommend it for visitors.
LEARN SPANISH: Short-term, half days, and intensive Spanish-language courses are offered by a number of Spanish language schools in Panama City and also several locations in rural areas. Homestay programs are also available.


FAMILY ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE THE CITY

THE PANAMA CANAL: and its Museum at Miraflores Locks. The Museum is quite child friendly and the big ships are impressive to watch as they travel through the locks. About a 30 minute taxi ride from downtown Panama City.
TRAIN RIDE ALONG THE CANAL TO THE COLON: http://www.panarail.com Prearrange a bus or Taxi to take you back by road or first on a tour to historic Portobelo Town on the Caribbean.
BOAT TRIP ON THE PANAMA CANAL: Take a day trip on the Panama Canal by boat. See my “Activities” page in this blog.
TABOGA ISLAND: take the scenic ferry ride along the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal from Amador to Taboga (under 1 hour) for a few days to relax; spend the days at the beach and overnight at B&B Cerrito Tropical (oceanview beside the rainforest) – other activities that can be organized at Cerrito include fishing with a local from Taboga (reserve excursions in advance please), take a boat ride around the island to see the Brown Pelican Reserve, go snorkeling on a wreck, hand painted manicure and pedicure designs, hiking on trails that pirates and conquistadors used, practice Spanish with a tutor (advance notice required) and swimming at Playa Honda (which has very little current and nice for building sandcastles and beachcombing).
MONKEY ISLAND AT GAMBOA RAINFOREST: spend a couple of hours in a boat around protected islands beside the Panama Canal teeming with wildlife and monkeys that come to the boat for snacks.
RAINFOREST EXPERIENCE: The Panama Rainforest Discovery Center; http://www.pipelineroad.org/index.php?lang=en
SUMMIT BOTANICAL GARDENS AND ZOO: About 20 minutes from Panama City, six miles (10 km) past the Miraflores Locks. The gardens contain 15,000 plant species and nature trails. The zoo’s main attraction is the compound housing Panama´s national bird, the Harpy Eagle (endangered). Hours are 8 am to 4 pm on week days and 8 am to 6 pm on weekends.
PARQUE AQUATICO, AVALON RESORT: Water Park, 30-40 minutes from Panama City on the way to Colon in Las Cumbres. Open 2 days a week Saturday and Sunday only. $8.50 pp. (507) 268-4499
PARQUE SOBERANIA: This large park borders the Panama Canal and has several hiking trails through the rainforest, including the 11-mile Camino del Oleoducto (Pipeline Road), which attracts bird-watchers from around the world.
ISLA BARRO COLORADO: Barro Colorado Island in the middle of Gatún Lake was formed when areas were flooded during the building of the Panama Canal. The island is home to numerous plants and animals and is used as an outdoor laboratory by Smithsonian tropical research scientists. Barro Colorado can be visited on small-group tours given by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Tel: 507-227-6021/6022 in Panama City for information.
CANOPY RIDE AND HORSEBACK RIDES IN EL VALLE: The mountain town just 77 miles (124 km) from Panama City El Valle is famous for its Sunday market, gardens, nature walks, and pre-Columbian petroglyphs. The Canopy Ride takes adventurers on an exciting experience through the rainforest canopy. The Canopy Adventure is in El Valle near Chorro el Macho, a 195-foot-high (60 m) waterfall. http://adventure.panamabirding.com/#top, horseback riding can be found on the town streets, just ask when you arrive for directions. El Valle also has a small zoo and botanical garden with an amazing bird collection. Near the zoo there is a small family run serpentarium.
ISLA GRANDE EXCURSION: Located on the Caribbean Coast, 1-2 nights is perfect. Try Bananas Resort for a family get away. They offer a bus service from the city as well. We recommend that you take the bus because the drive is difficult on bad roads.
PORTOBELO: An interesting historical day trip from Panama City to the Caribbean coast. Visit the market that was center of trade in the America’s has been restored and there is and its small museum. There is also a visitor’s center in the town and a small artisan market.The Portobelo church has the black Christ statue. Lots of ruins and cannons and a beautiful harbor. You can rent pangas from there to take you out to private beaches and there are also, a couple of nearby dive places. A very, very quiet town.
FORT SAN LORENZO: Visit this historic fort on the Caribbbean side: http://www.sanlorenzo.org.pa/
SAN BLAS ISLANDS: Kuna indigenous people experience; 1-2 nights recommended. Archipelago of about 350 islands off Panama’s Caribbean coast. The San Blas Islands are home to the Kuna Indians, a unique indigenous people who retain many of their ancient traditions. The islands can be reached on a short airplane ride from Panama City.
EMBERA INDIGENOUS PEOPLE: Visit the Embera peoples´ village for the day. Boat ride up the river, swimming at a waterfall, hand painted tattoos (temporary), visit their village and learn about their traditions.
ISLA COIBA: Take a trip to Isla Coiba, one of Panama´s best underwater areas for diving or snorkeling, spot sharks, turtles, rays, numerous species of beautiful tropical fish. It is quite far from Panama City so allow several days for the excursion. Isla Coiba was once the site for a large prison and there is simple accommodation available, as well on the coast in the nearby towns you can find several offerings.
VOLCAN AND BOQUETE: Mountainous areas offering a complete ranges of options as well such as touring a coffee plantation or hiking in the mountains or river rafting on the Chiriquí River.
WILDLIFE RESCUE CENTER PARADISE GARDENS: BOQUETE. Enclosures for birds and animals set in 4 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens. Visitors have the opportunity to interact with some animals, especially monkeys. They also have kinkajous, several big cats, lots of parrots etc. etc. They concentrate on rehabilitation of animals with a view to returning them to the wild. Open every day except Monday from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is by a donation of $5 per adult. Children, no charge but they must be accompanied by an adult. Tel: 6615 6618, email; junglefotos@yahoo.com
SURFING: El Palmar in San Carlos (rentals available as well as lessons from a couple of locations): http://www.elpalmarsurf.com/?gclid=CMKX-snBuZUCFQukHgod2FJBQg, http://www.nomadsurfers.com/English/Panama/panama_sancarlos.htm
FISHING: Panama offers some of the best deep sea fishing in the world. A number of deep sea fishing companies offer tours out of the city plus there are several others along the Pacific Coast. If you don´t want to spend a lot, buy inexpensive rods at Do It Center or Abernathy (there are other locations in Panama City as well which sell gear) and head out to Amador Causeway where there is a public fishing pier. Or head for Taboga Island and fish off the pier or beach. There are also several small operators offering fresh water fishing in Lake Gatun, near Gamboa.
PACIFIC BEACHES: Dozens of idyllic white sand beaches line the Pacific Coast. Be very careful when swimming. There are very few lifeguards in Panama and currents can be strong, on both the Pacific and Caribbean sides. The drop offs on the Pacific side can be quite steep.

OTHER ACTIVITIES: Panama has 1800 miles (2850 km) of Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, there are numerous outdoor activities possible. Panama offers thousands of islands and coral reefs and 12 national parks. Many activities can be done independently, contacting a local guide or tour operator may make arrangements simpler. But some guides and operators will not work with businesses who will not pay them commission.
Suggestions for additional activities include: Swimming, Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Surfing and Windsurfing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Sea Kayaking, Bird Watching, River Rafting, Cycling, Deep-Sea Fishing, Golf.

HOLIDAYS AND EVENTS
Carnival: The biggest event of the year in Panama is Carnival, celebrated during the four days leading up to Ash Wednesday. Music, costumes, dancing, and a large parade in Panama City all form part of the festivities. Many visitors escape the craziness and head for the interior or Taboga Island. All main villages and towns have their own celebrations but much more subdued than the city.
Semana Santa (Easter Holy Week): An important time for religious processions and events. Taboga Island has its own walking processions and event at the second oldest church in the western hemisphere.
Black Christ Ceremony: On October 21, thousands of religious pilgrims descend upon Portobelo for the Black Christ ceremony.
Boquete Fair: There is a 10-day flower and coffee fair (Feria de las Flores y del Café) in Boquete every January.
November Holidays: November is a month full of National Independence Holidays and parades, if you are traveling during November be sure to check your dates and what holiday is happening.
December: The month of December often has a Santa Claus parade for the kids which is quite nice, and many large companies put up gorgeous lighted displays for the holidays. Malls will often have a Santa as well as special events. December 8th is Mother´s Day in Panama, restaurants can be very busy. Christmas is a family time in Panama , traditional turkey can be found in major hotel restaurants and a few independent restaurants. New Years Eve offers numerous events which change annually. On Taboga there are family groups and couples coming to the island to enjoy the holidays at the beach on a toned down scale. There are some fireworks and fisherman set off noisy “tuna bombs” to scare away the evil spirits.
Jewish Holidays: Although Panama is mainly a Christian country there are many Jewish Panamanians who own businesses. Jewish holidays are celebrated and on the major holidays some businesses and offices may be closed.

GETTING AROUND: Panama has good roads and a well-developed intercity/regional bus system. However, Panama City’s public transportation is poor and often unsafe. We cannot recommend it for visitors traveling to Panama City. Taxis are inexpensive and the best way to get around town, for under $5 you can get almost anywhere in the city and outskirts. Ask your concierge how much should you pay and they will give you an idea. All the major rental car agencies operate in Panama City. There are a number of small airlines offering numerous flights to outlying areas from Allbrook Airport.

WEATHER: Located only nine degrees north of the equator, Panama has a tropical climate with a green and a dry season. The tourist season is year-round. The dry season, from December through April is the most comfortable time to visit is the busiest. Panamanian school children have their summer holidays during those months. The green season is also nice and the temperature can be cooler because of the cloud cover, expect some afternoon rain and humidity during the green season. The islands offshore experience a slightly different climate for example Taboga Island where we receive less rain than the mainland during every season and often have cooling sea breezes.
Temperatures in Panama City rarely go below 75º F (25º C) and highs can exceed 90º F (32 ºC). Mountain towns such as El Valle and Boquete are considerably cooler than lowland areas. Panama’s Caribbean coast receives much more rain than its Pacific side. Panama lies below the main path of hurricanes.

HEALTH AND SAFETY: Panama is a relatively healthy and safe country to travel in. However, malaria, dengue fever, hepatitis A, rabies, and yellow fever do present some risk for visitors. Discuss vaccinations with your doctor before leaving home. Tap water is potable in Panama City. Drink bottled water outside the capital. If you or the kids get sick during your stay, don´t hesitate to go to one of the major clinics. Medical services are very reasonable here and excellent. The pharmacies will also be quite helpful and a number of medications are available for sale over the counter. Bring any medicines you or your kids are accustomed to because some familiar brands cannot be found here.

Panama has created a special tourism police force to help protect visitors. Rural areas are generally safe, but there are several areas within Panama City which you should be cautious of: robberies have occurred in the Casco Viejo and Panama Viejo areas of Panama City. The entire Chorrillo area of Panama City should be completely avoided. The port city of Colón (1 hour from Panama City on the Caribbean coast) is dangerous for tourists (except for the Zona Libre).
TIP: Look for a taxi driver who is recommended by your hotel or someone you know, ask him what he will charge by the hour and have him stay with you for the day (about $10 per hour). It can be well worth it, especially if you are in Casco Viejo where there are few taxis to be found.

Use common sense and do not travel or walk alone wearing a lot of jewelery, large expensive bags, obvious cameras and electronics (cell phone and Ipods). When in public areas keep purses on your knee or over your shoulder. Jeans and pants with pockets are the favorite street wear in Panama.

PACK YOUR DAY BAG: travel everyday with sunscreen, mosquito spray, hats, packable rainjacket and bottled water. If you will be spending a lot of time in the water at beaches, pack a small bottle of vinegar; it is often helpful with jellyfish stings. In even in the smallest Chinese minimarket you can find snacks, but maybe add some granola bars to your day bag so you are not dependent on street food.
KEEPING KIDS ENTERTAINED: Things in Panama tend to move slower so include something to do for today´s kids who are used to being entertained all the time–it really depends on the age but a general list for ages 5 and up could start with: inexpensive digital camera, binoculars, sketch pad or journal with colored pencils, deck of cards, Spanish beginners dictionary and so on.
An excellent suggestion just came in, in fact my son´s teacher in Japan once asked him to write a story about Panama and keep a journal. Contact your children´s teachers before you leave to find out if there is anything they will be studying that would have a connection with your destination, for example: rainforest, biodiversity, animals, climate, oceans, indigenous people, Caribbean slave history, Spanish history, pirates and so on.

NOTE ON TRAVEL WITH STROLLERS:
City sidewalks are not well maintained and mostly have no stroller/handicapped, so travel with the most portable stroller you have or opt for a baby carrier.

NOTE ON TRAVEL WITH BABYSITTERS:
Panamanians love kids and most hotels can arrange to have one of their staff to babysit, and some exclusive hotels have Nannies.

If you have any questions or ideas to be added to this article please feel free to add a comment at the bottom of this article. For more information on Taboga Island, please visit my other website: www.cerritotropicalpanama.com, or contact me at info@cerritotropicalpanama.com

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license

I have just completed the process of getting my driver´s license for Panama. The following rough guide may be helpful if you are about to apply, or already have a temporary license. Please call or visit Sertracen with your present license and passport before you begin to ensure that you have the correct procedure as it does seem to vary. Their contact info is below.

I am of the understanding that Canadians and Americans who are tourists can drive in the country with their licenses for the length of their tourist visa. Being in process of getting your residency visa does not count, at least my lawyer insisted I go and get a temporary license to drive here and which is a similar process to getting the permanent one. I do not know about other countries but the regulation is probably it is the same.

I have the experience of getting both types of licenses which are basically identical with the exception of the validity. When we recently got our permanent residency I went to apply for my new, 4 year driver´s license.

My version of getting your license is fairly confusing probably because last year they changed their system. This year it was much simpler.

So to be clear on what I had to do, I first applied for a temporary license last year, and months later a permanent one. Be patient, this will take at least a day and two days in my case.

Note: Last year, I was told to first go to the Transisto Office on the way to Tocumen Airport, this was apparently to make sure I had no outstanding tickets and to input my data into the system, then I had to wait 24 hours for my data to be in the system. Even though computerized, it can be pretty slow.

Please ask Sertracen first what they require. Have someone who speaks Spanish call them and ask, or go together. Sertracen is a privately owned company and are pretty well organized so the experience should be painless but since regulations and requirements seem to change fairly frequently, and are different for various countries, best to check with them. They are located on the street behind Rey supermarket just behind Allbrook Airport. Drive off the main road into the street to enter Rey parking lot, take a left (still heading for the parking entrance) but then then a right, drive about 3 seconds on that street and you should see a new Sertracen building on the right.

So in general for Panama, the documents required are:
-Resident Card (or tourist visa if applying for a temporary license)
-Passport
-Driver’s License from Country of Origin
-Blood Test
-Glucose Test

1. You need a blood and glucose test. Fast the night before and then go to a medical lab and ask for a test for driver´s license, “licencia de conducir.” My test was about $20.

In the end it turned out that I did not need step 2 or 3 because I already had my temporary Panamanian license so please double check with Sertracen.

2. You must notarize or apostille your foreign driver’s license. I did that at my Canadian embassy, which costs $50 and was ready the next day.

3. Then that letter had to be authenticated. After the embassy I went to the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores which is at Plaza Edison, on the Tumbo Muerto side, corner of Via Brasil and Tumba Muerto.

-Get in line there and tell them you need your notarized copy of your driver’s license to be authenticated. I was told to return in 3 hours to pick up the authenticated document with my receipts and stamps (instructions below).

-You will receive a slip to deposit $2.00 at the Banco Nacional de Panama which is in Edison Plaza as well, bring back that reciept to the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores. At the same time, you need to buy from Banco Nacional 2 – one dollar stamps (“estampillas”) The stamps can also be purchased from the same bank teller where you deposit the $2.00. Or outside the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores there is usually a man selling the stamps in case you forget.

-Bring the deposit slip and stamps back to the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores and hand them in to the desk to receive your document.

Note: In my case I purchased the $2 stamps from the man outside the door before I went in the the Ministerio the first time, and the woman in the Ministerio showed me where to place them on the document.

4. Head for the Sertracen office in Albrook. Take a number, and you will be called, then they will review your documents. They will ask for a photocopy of your documents which they can make for a few cents. Then you will wait in another area and wait for your number and then you will be sent to another area to wait for your hearing and vision test, then to the cashier to pay $40, and receive your card!

Tangent: I once had to get my driver´s license in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles which was more difficult, and also Japan which was a breeze because like here they just transfer the license after a couple of minor tests, but it is not the same for some. My friends who were not from Canada (I think some European countries may be the same) applying for their Japanese driver´s license had to pass a driver´s test in Japan. Most of them failed at least once, so did the Japanese!

Note: to drive a motorcycle or commercial vehicle in Panama you need a special license.

Sertracen

Allbrook (there is a map on their website)
Tel: 315-0000
Website: http://www.sertracen.com.pa/

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radio

There are some big changes going on at Ultra Stereo FM 98.9 right now as Bob Stiff has left the radio station. He left Drive Time about 6 weeks ago, and Friday the 13th finished with “Coffee With Bob and Friends”. Mel will continue with the morning program “Coffee with Mel” while Paul May has taken on Drive Time, developing the show into something a little more structured. He has divided the three days into three different themes.

Tuesday – Current affairs (Co-hosted by Joe Varella)
This show is about what’s been happening in Panama and around the world since the last Drive Time show the Thursday before. When possible Paul will have a guest journalist come in from one of the newspapers or blogs to give us an update on the latest happenings. From here they continue the conversation on the “hot topics of the week” with audience interaction. In the last segment of the show they endeavor to summarize the discussion and always end on some kind of positive outcome/solution.

Wednesday – Our Changing World (Co-hosted by Michael Brown)
Our Changing World encompasses information and discussion on a wide variety of topics from people to the environment, attitudes, lifestyles, governments, families, etc. When possible Paul will have a guest come in for either an interview or a presentation about something in which they have a good working knowledge of and is of interest and interesting to our listeners, based on the Our Changing World theme. This interview/presentation is followed by audience interaction with questions, comments and discussion.

Thursday – The Success Factory (Co-hosted by Donna Wilkins)
The Success Factory theme brings content that revolves around success in life. Everything from a positive mental attitude, setting and achieving goals, motivation, self awareness, balance, personality, and a 100’s of other topics you can see on Paul´s web page. Paul takes a light hearted look at different aspects associated with improving quality of life. His guest interviewee/presenter is usually someone who has a success story to tell or perhaps and expert in some relevant field, as long as they have a positive motivating and uplifting story to share. This interview/presentation is followed by audience interaction with questions, comments and discussion.

Program schedule:

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5pm to 6:30pm

Contact Drive Time:

Email: office@clubdu.com
www.fmultrastereo.com
Call the show: 263-5365

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Cinta Costera Worksite, part 1.

The streets of Panama City are often plugged solid during the day. One road in particular is a headache, Avenida Balboa and its connecting streets. Living near Avenida Balboa I have a bullseye view of the new road expansion. While the future road will be a blessing if it is anything like the attached YouTube video below, and although the crews are working diligently, the project won´t be completed soon enough for anyone trying to drive through the area. When the huge landfill in the Panama Bay started we were thrilled that the crews were working all night, and during the day when there is peak traffic there was very limited action. Still even with the majority of work at night, there are a number of bottleneck areas on the main road and a major blockage and confusing detour at the end of Balboa near Cinco de Mayo.

Road Work Cinta Costera

Where there were police officers during day hours to help pedestrians cross the crosswalks because drivers of cars and particularly SUVs seemed like they would rather hit pedestrians than slow down, now there are uniformed crossing “guards” employed by the contractors (I think) who are quite serious about their jobs. It slows down traffic even more but people can cross safely now without of being hit by a car.

Cinta Costera Work Site During the Day
The ambitious project not only promises to relieve traffic but will offer the added benefit of a modern seaside city park. (a new place to walk the dog and play amongst traffic:)

We were told that it would be completed during President Torrijos´ term which is over in 2009 but it is a huge project and many residents are doubtful that it will be completed on time… perhaps it is on Panama time?

http://cintacostera.com/

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