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Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 07:47 PM EDT

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TRICARE PATIENTS MUST BE ALERT AT THE END OF 2007!.

Healthcare

By Nadine S. Kellys de Cruz for Panama-Guide.com - Attention retirees and family members, the cycle of deductibles being taken from your doctors has begun. I am writing this article to inform you on procedures to follow if your doctor notifies you that your deductible was taken from him or her. This week, to be specific on Wednesday 14 November 2007, I received the first Explanation of Benefits from TRICARE, where the deductible of two separate patient’s had been taken from the attending physician. I immediately proceeded to call the patients. One of the patient’s informed me that they had a receipt for the “deposit” they payed at a local hospital. (more)

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Panama backs proposal to build $40 bln energy hub

Foreign Direct Investment By Andrew Beatty PANAMA CITY, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Panama is backing a private $40 billion proposal to make the country a regional energy hub, the latest in a string of similar initiatives, Vice President Samuel Lewis Navarro said on Tuesday. The project, put forward by Energias, a consortium led by Spanish firm Tecnicas Reunidas (TRE.MC: Quote, Profile, Research) and Singapore's Jurong Consultants Pte Ltd, would create two energy parks - one each on Panama's Pacific and Caribbean coasts. If the project gets financing and overcomes environmental concerns, it would include facilities to refine around 2 million barrels of crude oil a day. It would also include include liquefied natural gas import terminals and petrochemical production plants. (more)
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Four International Teams Vie For Panama Canal Locks Job

Canal Expansion C.J. Schexnayder for the Engineering News Record - Panamaxed out. Larger locks will mean larger vessels will be able to use the canal in 2014. On Friday, four consortia applied for qualification to build the $3.35-billion locks that will be the heart of the massive expansion to the Panama Canal. When completed, the new lock system will double the capacity of the historic waterway. "The locks project is the most important contract under the Expansion Program, and we foresee strong competition for the project," said Jorge L. Quijano, Executive Vice President of Engineering and Program Management with the Panama Canal Authority. (more) (Photo Credit: C.J. Schexnayder)
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Leslie Aldredge Hauls Ass for Ecuador

Expat Tales

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Leslie Aldredge, the expat from New York City who spent a couple of years living in Casco Viejo and then Boquete has moved to Ecuador. She is now working there as a real estate agent, or it would probably be more accurate to say that she continues to work "as" a real estate agent without proper licensing as she did here in Panama. Reportedly she has hooked up with some wealthy investors and is consulting for them. Leslie, who used "Senora PTY" as an email address, leaves behind a long string of people that she took advantage of, conned, burned, or stole from. I trusted her and she burned me. Michael Taylor trusted her and she (tried to) steal a car and laptop computer from him. (more)

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ANAM Investigating Massive Fish Poisioning

Panama NewsBy Melquíades Vásquez for La Critica - The thousands of fish other animals were supposedly killed by aerial crop dusting of rice cultivation in the communities of El Cacao, Arenas and Quebro in Mariato, in the Veraguas province. The incident is being investigated by Panama's National Environmental Authority (ANAM). Salomón Moreno, the Representative of the area of Arenas, said they presume prohibited toxic substances were used to fumigate the crops. For his part, Francisco Carrizo, the Regional Director of ANAM, said he is not ruling out the possibility of sanctioning those responsible.
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Rivera accepts Yankees contract offer

Sports Section
Mariano Rivera
Mariano Rivera
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera has told the team he will accept their three-year, $45 million contract offer, ESPN.com reported on Monday. The contract makes Rivera the highest-paid closer in baseball, eclipsing the average salary of $10.75 million the New York Mets are paying closer Billy Wagner. Rivera's 443 career saves is third on the all-time list behind Trevor Hoffman (524) and retired closer Lee Smith (478). He has also been a crucial component in the Yankees run to four World Series titles since 1996. The Panamanian right-hander with the easy motion and exploding cutter will turn 38 later this month. (more)
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Wanted By The FBI - May Be In Panama

Crime & Punishment

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Donald John Manning and his accomplice, Joseph Wayne McCool, are being sought for their alleged involvement in a ponzi scheme that was based out of Mesa, Arizona. Sometime before February, 2004, Manning and McCool allegedly conspired with another individual, who has since been arrested, to operate The Brixon Group, Ltd., which fraudulently solicited millions of dollars from the public. Manning and McCool solicited and induced members of the public to invest approximately $10 million in Brixon by making fraudulent and misleading representations concerning how the money would be used, the rates of return, the security of the investments, and their own qualifications to conduct such investments. (more)

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Global Energy Companies Converging on Panama

Infrastructure Upgrades By Jerónimo Ramírez U. for La Estrella de Panama - Today Panama becomes a power capital. For the first time representatives from leading companies of the petroleum and energy industry such as BP (British Petroleum)¸ Horizon Terminals Ltd¸ Petrobras and others will be meeting here to learn about the "Centro Energético de Las Américas" (CELA) (Energy Center of the Americas) project, which involves the construction of an Oil and Petrochemical Industrial Park on Panama's Atlantic coast. (Editor's Comment: Check out this link for more information about this huge project.)
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Next Charity Expat Social on 26 November 2007 at Rino's

Groups & OrganizationsDear Supporters, We are pleased to announce the next gathering of Charity Ex-Pat Socials, to benefit several different local causes, which will be held at Rino's Restaurant which is located on Via Federico Boyd, at the junction with Calle 50, on Monday 26th November from 6.30pm. Everyone is welcome, there is never an admission charge. For those wishing to come by car, ample parking is provided and there is also a valet service provided. As always, there will be a cash bar. Smoking is permitted on one of the restaurants balconies. For your minimum donation of $10 you will enjoy a great buffet style dinner. Remember $10 is the minimum donation, if you are able to give more please do so. Come along and meet new expats, enjoy the delicious food and help those who have nothing. We look forward to seeing you and thank you for your continued support and generosity. Finally, if you know of anybody who would like to receive this and other emails from Charity Ex-Pat Socials, please feel free to forward it to them. If you would like to have your name removed from our email list, please respond to this email and use REMOVE ME in the subject header. If you would like to be added to the list please send an email to info@charityexpatsocials.com with the reference PLEASE ADD ME. Your email address will NEVER be shared with anybody else. Best wishes to all, Lynda, for and on behalf of Charity Ex-Pat Socials - www.charityexpatsocials.com
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CSS Will Sell 46 Properties To The Highest Bidder

Real Estate By Santiago Cumbrera for the Panama America - At least 46 properties controlled by the "Disability, Old Age, and Death" program (IVM) of the Office of Social Security (CSS), valued at more than $215 million dollars will be sold to the highest bidder, under the argument that they should take advantage of the current "real estate boom." The initiative looks turn the IVM program around and to create some income from the program which has shown a sustainable deficit in recent last years. So far they have sold twelve properties. The one with the greatest tourist potential is located in Las Uvas of San Carlos (77 hectares) for $24.1 million dollars. Indeed, the approval for the sales contract was published yesterday in the Official Newspaper in favor of the company Fontcalent, S.A. (more)
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Public Doctor's Strike in Panama Entering 15th Day

Protests & Demonstrations By Eliana Morales Gil for La Prensa - After four hours and 15 minutes of negotiation, striking public doctors in Panama left the meeting which was held in the offices of Panama's Attorney General at 9:15 pm last night to announce they had condensed their proposed 25 points of discussion down to ten, and that of those they discussed seven last night. Julio Garcia Valarini, of the National Medical Negotiating Commission (Comenenal), said that, among other issues, they discussed job security for the doctors. Today they should discuss everything related to the National all the related one to the labor model of the National Health Coordinator model, work schedules, and wages. (Photo Credit - LA PRENSA/Jorge Fernández)
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Talking turkey: Ben Franklin way off base

Panama News By DARRYL LEVINGS for the McCLATCHY-TRIBUNE - Ben Franklin. Inventor of bifocals and the lightning rod, signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and, let’s face it, a bit of a turkey. I mean, really, to propose the American wild turkey as our national emblem. As in the wisdom of the schoolyard: Takes one to know one. What would have happened if the old man had gotten his way? I mean, you shouldn’t eat your national emblem, should you? Yes, the Japanese have the pheasant, but they’ll eat anything, even whales. There’s a reason national symbols are often fierce don’t-mess-with-me carnivores, like big cats and raptors. They eat you. You don’t eat them. (more)
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Central America: Energy profile

Infrastructure Upgrades Energy Publisher.com - Although Central America has limited energy resources, it is important to world energy markets as a transit center for oil via the Panama Canal and as a potential energy transit center between North and South America. With hardly any domestic hydrocarbon reserves, Central American countries rely heavily on imported oil for their energy needs. The countries of Central America, including Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, have traditionally been dependent upon agricultural exports for a large portion of their economic activity. However, in recent years, these countries have begun to diversify their economies towards manufacturing and tourism. As a result, the countries have been especially affected by high world oil prices in recent years. Partially offsetting this, many have been able to secure preferential pricing for oil from Venezuela and Mexico. Central America does have a large amount of installed hydroelectric capacity, but the region still relies upon imports for some three-fourths of its total energy consumption. (more)
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New Seafreight service

Cars & TransportationMiami-operated Seafreight Line Ltd. announced commencement of weekly, fixed-day service to Manzanillo International Terminal, Panama, and Cap Haitien, Haiti. The new service began with first vessel calls on Tuesday, October 30 and Thursday, November 1, respectively, with continuing same fixed-day weekly calls thereafter. The company announced that it had appointed C.B. Fenton Panama and CAP Shipping S.A. Haiti as agents in those respective markets. Growing trading partner - "This is an exciting time for us as we continue to expand the services that we can offer to our clients. Panama is a traditional and growing trading partner within our area and our schedule will present great opportunities for cargo to and from Panama with very attractive transits," a carrier spokesperson reported. "Cap Haitien is a growing port serving the north coast of Haiti and has great potential opening up a new opportunity for that country." (more)
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Hemet couple who completed mission ready for next journey

Expat Tales By GAIL WESSON for The Press-Enterprise - HEMET - When Dr. R. Michael Duffin wanted to set up a solo ophthalmology practice, he looked at urban areas but his two uncles persuaded him to check out Hemet, where they had dental practices. That was 25 years ago, and as Duffin and his wife, Gaye, closed the Hemet chapter of their lives last week, they reflected on their church and community service, his surgery practice and their humanitarian and religious trips abroad, most recently for three years in Panama. On Saturday, they left to make a new home in Sandy, Utah, closer to some of their adult children. R. Michael Duffin, 58, will teach residents in training and see patients at the University of Utah's Moran Eye Center. (more)
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Another Email Supporting Rex Freeman

Expat TalesHello Don, it has come to my intention that there are accusations against Rex Freeman. I was drawn to write some lines about this, because I'm a long participant in internet business and I have experienced that most is unreal, betraying, ripping off and not honest. Rex Freeman and his VRG Group with the VRG Guaranty seems from my perspective completely different! He is caring and stands for mistakes which happens allover. Some close down their business when they have made mistakes or met the wrong decisions, Rex chooses to be responsible for losses others have experienced through his advice. I was involved in the automatic trading with VRG and I have lost nearly all my invested money. Rex has without hesitation paid back all my losses which was over 1000.- US$. I have never experienced something like this and what I feel is the VRG Group a very special occasion to get in contact with the right people and the right information. By the way beside a club fee you have to pay to VRG, what is normal, was all trading handeled by a normal broker and VRG has had no access to the invested money in any kind. The only fee which was deducted from earnings was for the developper of the software, which was in the end recognised as a failure. Nobody is perfect and things which look beautiful for a while can turn around... I hope I could contribute something worthful to the discussion. If you look at someone you can always find mistakes, the way to be in life should be the sight on the things which are constructive and loving. Rex is fulfilling this task in a very special and unique way! Best regards SHW Corporation
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Third Week of Panama Health Strike

Protests & DemonstrationsPanama, Nov 19 (Prensa Latina) Striking public health physicians and the Panama government, in a standoff for 14 days, began Monday without any sign of resolving the conflict, while patients prepare a demonstration demanding prohibition of health sector strikes. Some 5,000 doctors of the Health Ministry (Minsa) and Social Security (CSS) ended outpatient consultations and surgery on November 6, demanding a 60 percent increase in their salaries. In the course of negotiations, the physicians reduced their demand somewhat, but added that of a written government commitment not to privatize the health system and annulment of two laws which -in their criteria- allows contracting welfare services to private companies. (more)
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Shots Fired at Prison Director's House

Crime & Punishment

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Over the weekend someone fired several shots at the house of the Director of the Panamanian Prison system Luis Gordón. This happened twice, once Saturday evening and another early morning Sunday. Both times the bullets impacted the outside of his house. Luis Gordón is the new director of the prison system who has been trying to "bring order" to a system which has been plagued by escapes recently, and his programs and policies have been very unpopular among those who are locked up.

Copyright 2007 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Kidnapping / Carjacking in Panama City

Crime & Punishment

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This weekend a man was kidnapped while sitting in his car. He came out of a bar at 2:30 am (late Saturday night, early morning Sunday) and was jumped by three armed men who tied him up, put him in the trunk of the car, and spent the rest of the night driving around. The victim managed to put his cell phone down his pants and eventually got free enough to call his family to let them know what was going on. The police found him in the trunk of his car at 11:30 am on Sunday morning near the Edison Plaza on Tumba Muerto where the kidnappers had abandonded him.

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Pasco Suing Panamanian Government for $10 Million

Law & Lawyers By Rafael Pérez G. for La Prensa - The history of the P&P real estate development company, owned by Carlos Eduardo Pasco Henríquez, and his housing development project which has been protested by environmental groups because they said it encroaches on the Camino de Cruces National Park, has taken another turn. Pasco has sued the Panamanian government for damages arising after the old Inter oceanic Regional Authority (ARI) awarded lot number CL-35 on Clayton to him which he purchased at auction. Pasco is suing for $10,542,226.23 and his claim was admitted by the Third Room of the Supreme Court which is under the control of Judge Víctor Benavides, but the decision to admit the case has been appealed by the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Administration. (more)
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2008 Panama Jazz Festival

Bands & Music Jazz Police - Founded by Panamanian pianist Danilo Pérez, the Panama Jazz Festival, which celebrates its 5th birthday January 21 - 26, 2008 was created in order to exchange cultural experiences between the best musicians in the world and the Panamanian people. Perez’s vision has guided the growth of the festival, which while continuing to bring top tier international artists to perform in ticketed and free events, now has as its inextricable center the need to address music education. According to Pérez, “Each year we have been expanding the educational aspect of the Festival, bringing in more notable musicians as master teachers, additional major educational institutions, growing the audition process, reaching out to the most needy communities in Panama and increasing the amount and kind of scholarships, and the cultural opportunities we are able to make available to the young people of Panama. (more)
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Expat Studying Snakes in El Cope

Expat Tales(AP) - Julie Ray started out studying insects. But when she was a college freshman, the macular degeneration that made her mostly blind in the right eye struck her left eye, as well. That eye was left mostly colorblind and with blurred vision, making it hard to work on small things. So she found something bigger than bugs to concentrate on: snakes. Now she’s working on her Ph.D. in ecological sciences at Old Dominion University and trying to establish a research center in a jungle in Panama. She has spent 15 months there during the last two years, living in a small house without running water in the village of El Cope. Because she can’t see well enough to drive, a driver takes her into the jungle at night, when snakes are active. (more)
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Striking Doctors Want to Restart Negotiations "From Zero"

Protests & Demonstrations By Ohigginis Arcia for the Panama America - Striking doctors in the Republic of Panama who work for the public health system and who have been on strike for thirteen days told government negotiators they want to restart negotiations "from zero" because they are not satisfied with any of the agreements reached so far. In addition doctors presented 25 issues to be analyzed by the government negotiators, among which is a proposal for the creation of two negotiating commissions. One commission is to discuss administrative subjects and another to discuss wages. The decision by the doctors bothers Panama's Health Minister Rosario Turner, who said that to want to restart the negotiations "from zero" is an irresponsible proposal. (more)
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SMN Detains Thirty Illegal Chinese Aliens

Immigration IssuesBy Rafael Pérez G. for La Prensa - At least thirty Chinese illegal aliens were arrested yesterday afternoon by Panama's National Maritime Service (SMN). They were detained on Isla Melon, located four nautical miles south of Veracruz in the district of Arraiján. They were transferred last night to Pier #3, located on the old base of Rodman, the primary headquarters of the SMN. The preliminary investigations look to determine if the Asians intended to enter Panama illegally or if they were in transit.
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Yet Another Email In Support of Rex Freeman

Money Matters

Don, I have met Rex Freeman on 4 occasions and believe him to be a man of complete probity and integrity. Here's why. Two years ago I had a Forex trading account which was being operated for me by an automatic trading system which was then being operated by the Venture Resource Group. To cut a long story short, the automatic system did not perform as expected and my account suffered some draw down. At this point, Rex issued the terms of his "VRG Guarantee" under which he undertook personally to share in the risk and recompense for any further loss. The automatic system never did recover the losses and I am happy to say that Rex very quickly honored the terms of his guarantee to the tune of several thousand dollars. (more)

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Rex Freeman Responds to Allegations (Again)

Money Matters

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Rex Freeman responds here to the allegations of Joshua Anay I published last week. If you're bored by all of this back and forth about Rex Freeman you already know enough to press on to the next article or to find something more interesting to read. So far it seems to me that "everyone makes some enemies" along the road, and Rex Freeman is no different. There are a handful of people who are out to do as much harm as possible, and Joshua Anay was apparently fired for cause. And again, I still have not received an email from someone telling me "Rex Freeman Ripped Me Off" ... (more)

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Another Gringo Targeted for Home Invasion Robbery Near Cerro Cama

Crime & Punishment

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I just got a telephone call notifying me that another gringo was targeted for a home invasion robbery last night, also in the area of Cerro Cama. This victim lives about halfway between the highway and Cerro Cama. The assailants entered through a back bedroom and stole everything the person owned. And get this - he's legally blind and they even stole his glasses. I'm going up there tomorrow to check out both scenes, but in the meantime if you live anywhere near the beaches upgrade your security posture, now. Make yourself the hardest nut to crack. For example, both of these most recent victims did not have bars on their windows, and that would have either prevented the attack or at least slowed them down somewhat. More later...

Copyright 2007 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Consular Corruption Case Discovered Implicating Niece of Alvin Weeden

CorruptionBy Santiago Cumbrera for the Panama America - The main person implicated is the niece of the former Comptroller of Panama Alvin Weeden. The former Consul for Panama in Indonesia presumably received more than $73,000 without having worked. In recent weeks the Comptroller's Office has denounced several similar cases. Virginia Weeden de Acosta, the former Consulate of Panama in Jakarta, Indonesia, will have to respond before the Public Ministry and the Direction of Patrimonial Responsibility (DRP) for alleged economic damages of $390,388.10 she caused to the state while holding this position between 1999 and 2004. (more)
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Heavy Rains in Panama City Yesterday

Weather La Prensa - Localized flooding caused by heavy rains might be a big problem for adults, but for this group of children in Curundú it is an opportunity to have fun. Yesterday at around 12:00 noon a heavy downpour caused flooding at the intersection of Calle 28 and Ave. Antonio Clement, in front Juan Demóstenes Arosemena stadium. The children decided to go swimming in the water without considering the possible health risks. Residents in the area say the water started backing up in the area after work was done on the sewage system. (Photo Credit - LA PRENSA/Carlos Lemos)
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How to Get a Driver’s License in the Republic of Panama

Cars & Transportation

By MONA M. SUTHERLAND for Panama-Guide.com (P.S. It makes the DMV look like a piece of cake!) - I just had the pleasure of obtaining my Panamanian driver’s license. Actually, that is not entirely true. The little plastic card is not yet in my manos, but I have managed to jump through most of the bureaucratic hoops. While driving to the Azuero Peninsula, I got pulled over and did not have a Panamanian license, much to my lawyer’s dismay, since she has urged me again and again to get it. However, after having sat in migracion and the seguro social a time or two, I was not jumping at the opportunity to park myself for hours in a government office. Besides, I am from California! We are crazy drivers anyway and fit right in here! ;-) (more)

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