Hola, Todos –
De la pagina cultural –
Alianza Francesa y hotel Sheraton – These two entities have signed an agreement to promote artistic activities. The Alianza will be able to mount free events this year. Three of these are a jazz concert with an internacional band in marzo, a theater show with music and piano for Europe Week in mayo, and a theater production in Spanish with a French director in octubre.
Exposición – Visual Arts student Carolina Palacios opened her show, “Bestiarium Fossilis” Thursday. The show includes a bestiario (bestiary), a book with illustrations of fabulous beasts as was popular in the Middle Ages, and small clay sculptures inspired by fossils. The exhibit will run until 20/2 in the Galería Arte Ahora in El Vado.
A literary evening with PEN – This literary event included a roundtable, poetry recital and music. The event explored the role of journalism in society and the exercise of free speech. It was in the Centro Cultural Arebol (Mariscal Lamar 17-49) a las 18:30. <I was all the way through the translation before I realized it was Thursday.>
Del cuerpo del periodico –
Exposición artesanal – There will be an expo for el Día de Amor y Amistad (Day of Love and Friendship) Friday with 50 craftsmen showing products made from straw, metal, wood, ceramics, and cloth as well as ornamental plants and traditional foods. It is at the Portal Regional Artesanal de Cuenca (PRAC).
Carnaval en Quingeo – The parish will celebrate Carnaval which will feature the capulí (local cherry) in dulce and in a colada called pucha perro. The fiesta is scheduled to start el 23/2 a las 9:00 with a parade of comparsas and decorated cars. At 11:00 there will be a contest of couplets of Carnaval, at 12:00 a gastronomic fair and election of the best dish, and at 13:00 the biggest Carnaval table in the world, and ending with a dance.
Otras cosas –
Titular – Dispuestos a negociar un acuerdo comercial (Willing to negotiate a commercial agreement) – Presidents Moreno and Trump met at the White House and talked about trade agreements, security issues and narcotics trafficking. Moreno says he is “very happy” the outcome of the meeting and Trump’s commitment to advance trade and investment agreements. <I wonder who the guy who pushes Moreno’s wheelchair is? Always the same person. And what kind of security clearance does he have?>
One fare card for bus and tram – The Consejo Cantonal approved a reform to the ordinance governing the commercial operation of the Tranvía that would allow one fare card for the bus, tram, and bici pública systems. This puts the council on the path to determining the fares and it’s possible that will be be done by the end of the month. The plan is to have the tranvía operating commercially by julio, 2020. The reform would also allow different fares with possibly 30-35 cents for frequent passengers, an integrated fare for the users of the current #100 bus line and single use tickets for up to $1.00, mostly for tourists. The integration of the bus and tranvia lines would be done gradually with the #100 bus that feeds the tranvía from Baños and Ricaurte first. The bus card readers would be converted to be compatible with the tranvía.
Sanctions for misuse of the tranvía system were also approved. The fines would range from 5% of the SBU (salario básica unificada, or $20) for not respecting preferencial seating for vulnerable groups, 30% or $120 for fare evasion and damaging train interiors, to 50% or $200 for sexual assualt or violent acts in the trains. <So does this count as progress even though a fare still hasn’t been set?>
Sewage treatment plant – The Municipio de Cuenca has received the endorsement from the Gobierno Nacional to finance the Planta de Tratamiento de Aguas Residuales de Guangarcucho. Contracts for a $30 million loan from the Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina (CAF) and the same amount from the Banco Europeo de Inversiones (BEI) have been signed and will be funded once requirements have been met. This should be done in the next 6 months. Once all the requirements have been completed by the end of julio, the project will be put out for bid. The balance of the total cost of $70 will be funded by ETAPA which will buy and prepare the land and do the studies and designs. Construction is expected to take 2 years with another 6 months to put the plant into operation.
There is $6 million in the budget to revamp the current treatment plant which is operating at close to its maximum capacity of 1,800 liters per second. It is currently processing between 1,730 & 1,780 l/s. The new plant will be able to process 1,200 l/s which is the equivalent of about 40% of the wastewater generated in Cuenca. The solid material, about 80 cu. meters per day, will be taken from the Guangarcucho plant to the landfill at Pichacay for the first 3 years where it will be thermally dried and can generate energy which will provide rédito (income – our word for the day). Another alternative is it can be sold as a fuel. <Full circle back to dung fires for fuel, only this time around it’s human poop and not camel poop.>
New cancer detection center – The Centro Integral de Patología Mamaria (CIPAM – Integral Center of Breast Pathology) will open this month in the basement of Tower 3 of the hospital Monte Sinaí. It will be the first facility in the country for early detection of breast cancer allowing detection of tumors before they become cancerous. Currently, there are 300 new cases of breast cancer in Azuay each year, which are normally not detected until they are at an advanced stage. The center is talking to the directors of Seguro Social to become an outside service provider so IESS affiliates can get free mammograms.
New toll road – Currently the south entrance into Cuenca is crowded and not really able to cope with the thousands of vehicles that use it. The city and Ministerio de Transporte y Obras Públicas is ready to construct a new road with a concession to a private company which will charge un peaje (toll). The tollway planned between Cumbe and calle de la Ópera, will go through Turi and Tarqui and cost more than $180 million. The schedule calls for signing a contract with the concessionaire this year after which the contractor will review the studies prepared by the U. of Cuenca, and then start the work. Construction could start by the end of the year, but that is not certain. The construction period will be between 1 and 1-1/2 years. Meanwhile, there will be an informational phase to let people know about the project, especially those landowners on the path of the new road.
Drunk driver – A bus driver was arrested yesterday on av. De Las Américas in the Feria Libre sector after passengers reported he was drunk. The bus was on the Corazón de Jesús-Punta Corral line. If convicted of driving with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.1 grams per liter of blood, the driver would lose 30 points off his license and spend 90 days in prison.
Descuentos y compras –
Mall del Río – Valentine’s Day dinner buffet with a glass of champagne – Convention Center – live music starting at 20:00 – $19.99 plus tax – reservations at 2881 477, www.convencionesdelrio.com, facebook ccmalldelrio.
And that’s all for today so Hasta la próxima semana –
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.