City bus system in crisis, service could end this week; Last week for first vaxxes; New civil registry office opens; Lost cyclists found alive; Fire season starts
Hola, Todos –
TAMARA, en el Olimpo (TAMARA, on Olympus) – Tamara Salazar won a silver in the 87 kg. division in Olympic weightlifting. <The only way I knew it was for weightlifting and not something like boxing was because there was a picture.>
Amplían plazo para primeras dosis (Term for first doses extended) – Last week the MSP (Ministerio de Saluid Pública) announced that between 2-31/8, priority will be given to people who are receiving their second doses. However, Zone 6 made the decision to extend the period for 1st doses for a week, until 8/8, at all vaccination sites for people over 16, adolescents from 12-16 with aggravated illnesses, and people who are in a condition of limited mobility. <I wonder if that would include backpackers from wealthy countries on adventure vacations?> There are 20 sites in Cuenca open from 8-17:00. At the same time, administration of 2nd doses will continue according to the date on the vaccination carnet with the location the same as where you received your first dose including business sites. <Try going to www.elmercurio.com.ec for the list of sites.>
Veeduría por la vida informa porcentajes de inoculación en la Zona 6 (Oversight for Life reports inoculation percentages in Zone 6) – Teresita Bermeo, coordinator for the Veeduría por la Vida which was created to follow-up on the Plan de Vacunación, said as of 30/72021, 2,337,059 of the population is completely vaccinated with both doses and 6,547,821 have received their first dose. As for Azuay, 75.64% of the population has had their first dose with 24.04% completely vaccinated. In Cañar, those figures are at 62.23% and 17.34%; and in Morona Santiago, they are at 49.54% and 16.10%.
Déficit obliga suspener servicio de buses (Deficit forces suspension of bus service) – Urban buses have a 50% deficit – a result of low passenger demand, increase in diesel prices, and the Tranvía. <Maybe if the buses were as smooth and timely a ride as the tram?> This insustainability will bring a suspension of service this week; since the Municipality announced that the fare review would depend on the Government’s decision on fuels. José Ochoa, a member of the Diez de Agosto company said that diesel costs $40/day without counting the costs of maintenance and drivers’ salaries. On top of this is a bank loan of about $120,000 owed for new buses. <And we all know that banks don’t give out money for free.> Before the pandemic, daily income was $800 per unit and currently it is not even $500. Daily ridership has decreased 60% from the 890 before. This has caused some owners to put their buses up for sale.
For Milton Wilches, president of the Compañía Cuencana de Transporte Urbano (Comcuetu.S.A), demand is the aspect with the most effect. Transportistas hoped that with the compliance with renovating the fleet and 30 other promises, the fare would be $.34. But the pandemic arrived and the bus companies have been subsidizing urban transport and now there is no more money. Last viernes, the Cámara de Transporte de Cuenca (CTC) sent a letter to the mayor saying because of the impossibility of paying for them, they would give the buses to the City. The letter also expressed discontent with the pace of revising fares. Manolo Solís, president of the CTC said lack of resources would mean suspension of services this week <Is that a threat or a definite action?>, and reduction of the fleet which would wind up parked in their garages.
Diego Morales, councilman and president of the Comisión de Movilidad del Concejo Cantonal de Cuenca, said that the low demand is due to the pandemic and is a factor outside of the municipality. As for fares, he said the city couldn’t establish a fare until the Gobierno Nacional fixed the price of fuel. He gave a hypothetical case that if fuel prices continued to rise there would be continual requests to raise fares. As for suspending service, EMOV, as the agency with control, could start a process that would end in withdrawal of the title of operation from the bus companies. Morales also reported that the subsidies owed to the transportistas have been paid.
Agencia de Registro Civil funcionará el 18 de agosto (Civil Registry Agency will work on August 18) – The new Registro Civil office in the Parque La Libertad (between calles Eugenio Espejo y Nicanor Merchán) will open el 18/8. Services at the office will include cedulizations for Ecuadorians and foreigners, electronic signatures, updating registry information, registering births and deaths, and issuance of certificates and completed items.
Municipio repondrá áreas verdes (Municipality will replace green areas) – Neighbors in the San Marcos development and around Tres Puentes have reached an agreement with the city to stop removing green areas and trees as part of the construction of ciclovías along 27 de Febrero y Primero de Mayo. The city had been planning to build plazoletas for bathrooms and food stalls in the area where there are currently childrens’ play structures. The agreement calls for replacing the play equipment, planting 10 trees for every one that was removed, and replacing the planters that were torn out.
Incendio consume 70 hectáreas de vegetación (Fire consumes 70 hectares of vegetation) – A fire in the Fodopamba sector of San Fernando cantón consumed 70 hectares. Authorities called for citizens to not burn vegetation. <Finally – the rainy season has ended and the fire season has started – at least in the newspaper.>
Localizan a 7 extraviados en Tutupali (7 people lost in Tutupali were found) – 911 was alerted that 7 motorcyclists were lost in the Tutupali sector of Cuenca on a motorcycle ride. They were reported missing on Sunday night. The fire department conducted the search and treated the riders for mild hypothermia. <I imagine anyone riding around in the mountains on a moto would have been pretty warmly dressed anyway. I’m surprised they weren’t found by somebody’s dog.>
Cierre de vía (Road closure) – The Gobierno Provincial del Azuay and the Municipalidad announced the closure of the road to the Infiernillos sector. The reason was to stop illegal mining in the upper parts of the cantón which affect the río Santa Bárbara.
Nabón “blinda” áreas protegidas (Nabón “shields” protected areas) – An ordinance takes effect in Nabón to protect areas of water recharge and those ecosystems against the expansion of agriculture and livestock, especially in the upper parts of the hills. Landowners above 3,000 m.s.n.m (metros sobre el nivel del mar – meters above sea level), at the frontier of agricultural and livestock expansion need to file a managemnet plan with the Ministerio del Ambiente, Agua y Transición Ecológica to keep working the land. With an approved plan, they can work 30% of the land with 70% under conservation. Below 3,000 m.s.n.m., they need to file a plan with the Municipio de Nabón and can work 60% of the land, leaving 40% for conservation.
Descuentos y compras –
Recall announcement – GM announced that owners of Chevrolet Spark GT and BEAT, model years 2019 and 2020 should get their cars checked out for a weak weld on the left rear suspension arm which could separate from its base. For more info, call the Chevy Call center at 1800 243876 or email them at email@example.com.
And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –
Editor’s note: Jeanne’s Periodico is a translated digest of news from the Cuenca daily newspaper El Mercurio. If details, such as event dates and times, do not appear in the translation, they did not appear in the newspaper (please don’t ask her for them). The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.