lifestyle

Also in this section:

Bright lights and blackouts
Easter sunrise service at the Afro-Antillean Museum
Easter Procession in San Carlos
The Way of the Cross in Pese
Panama Historical Society meets April 2
Canadian Association Calendar
Cayuco season records
A break from winter with rebels in Burma
Cool Internet Sites
Scenes from the end of the Ocean-to-Ocean Cayuco Race
Canadians and friends gather in Veracruz
Abou Saad Shrine raises funds for kids with special medical needs
Howard University students do charity work in Penonome
Sunrise from Punta Paitilla
El Polvorin
Pink Scallop Ceviche

 

 bright lights of Panama City
photo by Eric Jackson

Bright lights and power outages
by Eric Jackson

It is written:

Government announces
Electricity blackouts in 45 days if consumption doesn't go down
(headline in El Panama America, March 26, 2008)

Isn't that odd?

The lead story goes on to say that, despite the reservoirs behind the hydroelectric dams that provide almost all of Panama's electicity being a few meters higher than normal, Minister of Canal Affairs and president of the Energy Secretariat Dani Kuzniecky warns us that we are facing an imminent energy crisis.

Meanwhile, the reporter had the template for this story and this section about three-quarters done --- but alas, not saved --- when the power went out the same morning that said story appeared and didn't come back for more than half an hour.

(This, while working on the finally repaired computer in The Panama News office in Perejil. But in the days working on the other computer in the Interior, for weeks we had been plagued by split second power outages, a minor annoyance when using a word processing program that automatically saves work every now and then so one never loses more than a paragraph or two, a real pain when working on a web design program that has no such automatic saving feature and one has not interrupted the train of thought to save.)

So, the Torrijos administration gave the power utilities a huge rate increase, our reservoirs are higher than usual as the rainy season approaches, we've been getting these constant power outages for months --- and now the politicians are blaming the public and telling us that if we don't get our act together we're going to start having power outages?

Hey, aren't the government types the ones who set an example through their dress codes that pretend that this is Canada and mandate the wearing of coats and ties in the air-conditioned places where high level public business is done, instead of dressing like Panamanians in guayaberas and turning the air conditioning down?

Yes, we all know. The government can and surely will plead that the electricity business is private now, thanks to things that a previous PRD administration did. However, the government still owns a large stake in the business and still holds the power of regulatory control.

People really should save electricity, and it's reasonable for the government to remind us to do so. However, there's more to the story than that and a lot of voters are likely to blame persons other than themselves if the current blackout situation continues, and much more so if it gets worse.


Also in this section:

Bright lights and blackouts
Easter sunrise service at the Afro-Antillean Museum
Easter Procession in San Carlos
The Way of the Cross in Pese
Panama Historical Society meets April 2
Canadian Association Calendar
Cayuco season records
A break from winter with rebels in Burma
Cool Internet Sites
Scenes from the end of the Ocean-to-Ocean Cayuco Race
Canadians and friends gather in Veracruz
Abou Saad Shrine raises funds for kids with special medical needs
Howard University students do charity work in Penonome
Sunrise from Punta Paitilla
El Polvorin
Pink Scallop Ceviche

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