Cuenca-bound flight depressurizes, Students evacuated from China, Correa bribery trial underway, Pet services for rural areas

Feb 19, 2020 | 1 comment

Martes, 18/2/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

Exhibits at CCE – Works in hierro pavonado (blued iron) by Carlos Pauta are in a show and sale in the Galería de Oficios of the Casa de la Cultura next to the theater. On the basement level is the Fab Lab which is a design lab and sales area next to a cafetería.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Gestionan crédito en Medio Oriente (Negotiating credit in the Middle East) – The Municipio is hoping to get a $50 million loan from the Banco de Desarrollo del Ecuador (BDE) for projects under the Cuenca Unida project. This plan was called Barrio para Mejor Vivir during the previous administration and was mainly for road paving. Current Mayor Palacios is trying to get a $100 million loan from a Middle Eastern foundation which works the Asociación de Municipalidades de Ecuador and the Consorcio de Gobiernos Autónomos Provinciales del Ecuador.

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The bribery trial against former president Rafael Correa and 21 others continues in Quito.

The mayor said that there are at least 300 km of dirt roads in the urban part of Cuenca which would cost $300 million to pave. He said that it was because the planning of the city hasn’t been done adequately. He wants the council to approve the Plan de Desarrollo y Ordenamiento Territorial (PDOT -Development Plan and Territorial Ordering) and the Plan de Uso y Gestión del Suelo (PUGS – Land Use and Management Plan) approved in abril or mayo. A commercial engineer and advisor to the GAD pointed out that there is a total debt limit of 200% of the income of a municipality and an annual limit of 25%. <Hello? A plan isn’t the same thing as a budget much less income.>

Coronavirus – 5 of the 8 Ecuadorian students that were in Wuhan, China, will be evacuated to Kiev, Ukraine where they will be quarantined for 14 days before they return home. The 3 other students opted to stay in Wuhan and continue with the security protocols that have been established in that city. There were several reasons for the delay in evacuating the students who wanted to leave. Agreements with other countries fell apart when those nations decided to evacuate only their own nationals. Evacuating the students by land to another province in China and taking them in an Ecuadorian plane was discarded. That plan couldn’t comply with technical and sanitary requirements for arriving in China and making stops in other countries.

Proposal to increase bus fares – The Sindicato de Choferes Profesionales del Azuay is proposing to eliminate the 50% subsidies on urban buses and increase fares to unblock the disagreement between the city and the Cámara de Transporte (CTC). <Heads – I win, tails -you lose?> With this proposal, the CTC would assume responsibility for covering the 50% discount fares. <I’d want to see both sets of books before agreeing to this arrangement, and get the $5 million overpayment returned to the city first.> CTC’s plan B if the fare increase isn’t enough is to eliminate taxes on tires, parts and oils for the organization.

A lawyer for the guild said that the private sector isn’t where the subsidies should come from and that money should come from the public sector. <Maybe I misread their proposal to take on the subsidy if they got a fare increase.> He also said that this money allowed the improvement of the fleet and the purchase of handicapped accessible buses. <So they must have over collected for preferential fares if they had extra money to put into buses. And I thought the money for new buses was supposed to come from the fare increase from 25 to 31 cents.> He also said it was difficult to count the number of trips taken by priority groups since fares were paid by both a card and in cash. <Couldn’t you program the fare box to count how many times the lady says “gracias, tarifa discuenta” or whatever it is she says?)>

Sobornos 2012-2016 – On the 4th day of the trial against Rafael Correa and 20 others for cohecho (bribery=soborno), a witness confirmed that he deposited $6,000 to an account in the name of the ex-president. Ex-Pres. Correa responded via Twitter that it was a loan which was paid back in monthly installments of $500. So far, 14 of 166 witnesses have appeared.

U. of Cuenca employment contracts – The Comptroller’s office <They’ve been mighty busy lately.> found inadequate documentation for the competition for positions at the U. of Cuenca, hiring practices that did not follow the annual plans of Human Resources, and inadequate procedures in controlling attendance and permanencia (permanence/ residency/ tenure?) for administrative and academic staff from 1/1/2015 to 31/12/2018.

LATAM flight – Flight number 1405 on the Quito-Cuenca route el noche de domingo (Sunday night – but you should know those words by now) had a problem with depressurization of the cabin, but was able to land at the Mariscal La Mar airport without a problem. Both the Cuenca Fire Department and the aeronautical firefighters were mobilized to cope with any possible emergency.

Repair shops – In spite of the consumerism that is affecting society, there are still people who opt for repairing over throwing things out and buying new. And there are still people who repair things. Medardo Torres has a workshop at calles Vargas Machuca y Sucre and repairs major appliances and small appliances such as microwaves, blenders. irons, and hair dryers at economic prices because if the costs to repair are too high, clients prefer to a new appliance. He noted that appliances now are poorer quality, only lasting 3-4 years. In the past a refrigerator, for example, lasted 30-40 years. <I’m in that generation that expected to have to buy at most 2 washers, ref’rs, etc. in a lifetime and not a new one every 4 years when the color went out of style.>

Pablo Arce is the owner of Servilab on Don Bosco in the Tres Puentes sector. Most of his work is repairing calefones (water heaters) and washers. For calefones, the most common problem is wear on the membranes which cost an average of $25 to change. The most common washer repair is replacing the pump at an average cost of $35. He also carries used appliances with ref’rs for $80. He keeps his prices low to keep his customers.

Pet control campaign – A campaign was presented yesterday by the Provincial Government of Azuay with its Environmental department and a network of animal benefit organizations led by ARCA. The campaign to sterilize and deworm domestic animals will start in March and run for a year. In Cuenca there are 20,000 animals – 18,000 dogs and 2,000 cats – in public spaces who need care. The province is investing $67,000 and the support of the animal welfare groups is valued at $56,000. The campaign will be in the rural areas of the whole province with mobile brigades. <Think MASH only with 4 footed patients. And I will be there, sterilizing surgical instruments, petting dogs, and saying hi to their owners.>

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne
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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. The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.

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