Owners of historic properties complain about high maintenace costs; Music, food, crafts and antique cars at Sigsig festival; New hiking routes established
Hola, Todos –
De El Mercurio del sábado, 26/11:
Sígsig alista el “Chobshi Fest” (Sígsig prepares for the “Chobshi Fest”) – Music will be the main thing at the “Chobshi Fest” on el 12/12 a las 14:00 in the Complejo Arqueológico Chobshi in Sígsig canton. There are 9 bands on the program, a motorcycle and classic auto show, a gastronomic zone, and a crafts fair zone. You can pay the admission fee at the city of Sígsig by bringing non-perishable food items. The Complejo Arqueológico Chobshi is 57 km. from Cuenca and 6 km. from the center of Sígsig.
Casas patrimoniales exigen alta inversión (Heritage houses require high investment) – The government requires owners of historic houses to maintain them in good condition in spite of the high costs of doing so. There is no policy of government help to preserve these properties since they are privately held. Cristóbal Sempertegui, an architect and researcher in historic preservation, explained that the cost of maintaining a historic building can be up to 50% more than maintaining a modern one. One of the factors that increases the costs is the difficulty of finding the historic building materials including adobe, wood, stone, clay, reed, roof tile, brass, plaster, marble and more.
Sempertequi proposed two options. The first that public investment to be recaptured in payments <sounds like a loan to me> or by occupation of the restored building for public uses for a set time. The second would be exemption from taxes and basic services. <At current tax rates, property owners who spent the money to fix the building would probably die before they made even a small percentage back in tax exemptions. Even if they were 21 when they fixed the building.>
The city has sent notices to owners of 170 buildings to maintain their properties and stop letting them fall into ruin. Of the 170, 145 are in bad shape, 21 are in ruins, and 4 are classified as inconclusive. Adrián Moscoso, a lawyer and public management specialist, felt the Cantonal Council should approve an ordinance establishing help and financial compensation in this area. With the political will, owners of historic houses could be helped since ownership of these buildings isn’t a benefit but a burden. A 2010 registry identified 3,400 historic buildings in the Centro Histórico.
Para diciembre se prevé la entrega de tres obras (Three projects expected to be delivered in December) – The traffic interchange on De Las Américas at the Choferes gas station, the Isauro Rodríguez bridge over the Yanuncay, and the La Compañía Bridge are expected to be delivered for use in late diciembre. The projects were supposed to have been completed between septiembre y noviembre, but were delayed due to winter and the strike in junio.
De El Mercurio del sábado, 26/11:
16 Rutas diseñadas para caminantes en Cuenca (16 Routes designed for hikers in Cuenca) – The “CaminAntes por los cerros ancestrales de Cuenca” project was developed by Daniel Orellana, an expert in geographic information, mapping, and movement of people. The project promotes physical activity and recovery of the collective memory since there are archeological vestiges of the Cañaris and Incas on the heights that ring Cuenca. These are hikes through a space and also through time. A total of 16 routes have been designed. The original goal was a pedestrian ring but that wasn’t possible due to reasons such as disorganized urban development and roads. The routes vary in difficulty from those accessible to families to those that are more physically demanding. The routes are published in the “CaminAntes” guide and available on line at www.caminantescuenca.org. You can also download GPS files and detailed PDF maps of each route and the AllTrails platform. Following are the 16 routes:
Rules for hiking.
1. LEAVE NO TRACE. Respect nature and the inhabitants. Leave nothing behind and take nothing with you.
2. Before leaving the house, review the recommendations for each route.
3. Enjoy the calm and silence of the route. Music doesn’t improve the hike, and makes it worse if the volume is enough to disturb people and animals living there.
4. Avoid dangerous situations. Stay away from crevasses or ravines, and don’t climb trees or walls.
5. To prevent injury, warm up before hiking.
6. Have fun on the walk.
De El Mercurio del domingo, 27/11:
Jardín Botánico suma 50 especies de cinco continentes (Botanical Garden adds 50 species from five continents) – The Botanical Garden received a donation of 50 plant species representing 5 continents from researcher José Luis Espinoza, on behalf of the “Viveres del Austro.” The donation was made Friday morning and included planting a cedar from Europe. Alisos, sauces, carpe, maples, magnolia, olmos, erytrhinas, (Alders, willows, hornbeam, maples, magnolia, elms, erytrhinas) and more were part of the donation. The plants went through a long process of adaptation in Cuenca with some doing better than others. Arces, abetos & piceas (Maples, spruces & firs) didn’t survive. <So give up on plans to import that ornamental maple that turned such beautiful colors in your garden in Maine. Here the color would be brown.>
Espinoza observed that Asian plants adapted better than European ones. The new plants have been planted on the edge of the Jardín Botánico from 24 de Mayo to the U. of Azuay (UDA). Over time they will form a green belt and noise barrier as well as a background bringing more color and contrast to beautify the city. Hours for the garden are Mon-Sun from 8:00-17:00. Visitors are asked to stay on the paths, don’t walk on the green areas, and don’t pick flowers and seeds.
De El Mercurio del sábado, 26/11:
Chola Cuencana tiene campaña por Navidad (Chola Cuencana has a Christmas campaign) – The current Chola Cuencana, Gabriela Guamán, presented the “Guaguas Felices” campaign to collect money and receive donations for children and seniors of limited means in the parishes of Cuenca. 21 representatives of the communities are in charge of receiving donations at the Juntas Parroquiales. You can donate toys (new or used in good condition), candy, clothing, cookies and non-perishable foods.
CNE adelanta acciones para el control del gasto (CNE takes actions to control spending) – <This is your civics lesson for the day.> The Unidad Antilavado (Anti-Money Laundering Unit) of CNE and the Unidad de Análisis Financiero del Ecuador (UAFE) are coordinating to work to control campaign accounts in the mid-term elections on el 5/2/2023. José Cabrera, spokesman for the CNE said there will be a pilot plan for accounting for campaign income and expenses during the campaign period from 3/1 to 2/2/2023. The candidates will report the amounts online as they occur rather than in a report 90 days after the elections. The CNE will also be able to report this data in real time to agencies such as the SRI, Attorney General, UAFE, and the Superintendent of Banks. <Do you think this will make campaign contributions and spending more transparent or only make it more difficult to hide corruption? At least Ecuador doesn’t have Russians hiding in the ether to elect their preferred candidate.>
The maximum amounts that can be spent by candidates were set el 4/8. For example, the campaign limits for prefects are $190,515 in Azuay, $956,070 in Guayas, $382,704 in Manabí, and $699,819 in Pichincha. For mayors, the limits are $805,470 in Quito, $800,3256 in Guayaquil, $179,420 in Cuenca, and $84,369 in Manta. The amounts are set by the number of voters. However, politicians are already advertising on billboards and social networks.
And that’s all for today so hasta ? –