The Panama Canal spillway =

Material Information

The Panama Canal spillway = el Canal de Panamá spillway
Portion of title:
Parallel title:
Canal de Panamá Spillway
Alternate title:
Spillway del Canal de Panamá
Canal Zone
Canal Zone
Panama Canal Company
United States -- Panama Canal Commission
United States
Place of Publication:
Balboa Hights C.Z
Panama Canal
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
Biweekly[Jan. 6, 1984-1999]
Weekly[ FORMER <June 1966>-Dec. 23, 1983]
Physical Description:
37 v. : ill. ; 43 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Periodicals -- Canal Zone ( lcsh )
Periodicals -- Panama Canal (Panama) ( lcsh )
federal government publication ( marcgt )
periodical ( marcgt )
serial ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
Republic of Panama -- Canal Zone -- Balboa -- Balboa Heights
8.95 x -79.566667 ( Place of Publication )


Text in English and Spanish; Spanish text inverted.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
Vol. 1, no. 33 (Feb. 1, 1963)-Vol. 37, no. 26 (Dec. 30, 1999).
Issuing Body:
Issued by: Government of the Canal Zone <June 24, 1966-June 13 1969>; by the Panama Canal Company, <Aug. 13, 1976>-Sept. 14, 1979; by the Panama Canal Commission, Sept. 20, 1979-Dec. 1999.
General Note:
"Official Panama Canal publication."
General Note:
Imprint varies: Balboa Hights, <1966-1978>; Miami, Fla., <1979-1982>; Balboa Heights, Pan. <1983>-1999.
General Note:
Description based on: Vol. 5, no. 1 (June 24, 1966); title from caption.
General Note:
Vols. for 1994-1995 distributed to depository libraries in microfiche.
General Note:
Special "80th anniversary supplement" issue published on Aug. 12, 1994.
General Note:
Special ed. for 65th anniversary of the Panama Canal issued at end of Oct. 1979, is also a joint issue with: The News: authorized unofficial publication of the U.S. Armed Forces, Quarry Heights, Panama, and includes the text of the Panama Canal Act.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. This item may be protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. §107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact Digital Services ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
02582102 ( OCLC )
83642750 ( LCCN )
0364-8044 ( ISSN )

Related Items

Preceded by:
Succeeded by:
Faro (Balboa, Panama)

Full Text


Labor Day message from Administrator Gilberto Guardia F.

The observance of Labor Day on Monday, September 6, makes us particularly
mindful that the Panama Canal's highly skilled, dedicated work force is the most
important part of this tremendously successful enterprise. Deputy Administrator
R.P. Laverty and I share a deep sense of admiration, respect and appreciation for
all the fine men and women who have worked so diligently to ensure the efficiency
and safety of the Panama Canal.
Looking to the future, it is even more evident that a well-trained, dedicated work
force will remain paramount to the efficient operation of the Panama Canal and
essential to achieving a smooth transition of the waterway to full Panamanian
control in the year 2000. Accordingly, the deputy administrator and I take this
opportunityto encourage each of youtofurther develop your individual capabilities
and work together to improve the organization. We encourage you to continue
placing major emphasis on training to remain up to date in technological and
professional skills. We welcome suggestions as a valuable source of new ideas
leading to more efficient and cost-effective performance, and we are very pleased
with the steps being taken to improve job safety and to create a drug-free work
On this special day, we also recognize the vital role of labor organizations in
improving the working conditions of all employees. Your efforts in this regard have
contributed measurably to the Canal's success. We look forward to working
together toward the achievement of mutually beneficial goals.
The Panama Canal has remained an essential and modem transportation link
in the ever-changing world of international trade due primarily to the skill, commit-
ment and dedication of its employees. The deputy administrator and I are proud
of your achievements and confidently look forward to the future success of the
Panama Canal.

Health official warns:

Dengue brings intense suffering,

spreads quickly once established

Full house Photo by Jaime Fernandez
Three pieces of Dredging Division floating equipment being overhauled at the Industrial
Division -- barge 832 (in the drydock in the foreground), the drillboat "Thor" (to the rear and
left) and the dipper dredge "Christensen" (to its right) are joined by the floating crane
"Hercules" (behind the "Thor") and the suction dredge "Mind" (behind the "Christensen"),
makingitlookasiftheDredgingDivisionhadmovedits headquartersfrom Gamboato Mount
Hope. The "Hercules" was there to lift a spud, suspended from its hook, into the "Mindi."

Breakwater tower maintenance job completed

Northern District Maintenance Division
employees this week completed the annual
inspection and maintenance of the east and
west breakwater towers, performing repairs
valued at approximately $21,000. The tow-
ers, which support a flashing red light at the
end of the west breakwater and a green one
on the east, signal the entrance to and exit
from the calm waters of Limon Bay.
The 10-person crew, composed of rig-
gers, welders, cement finishers and struc-
tural iron workers, planned the work to
tackle both towers simultaneously. They
repaired or replaced steel parts, replaced
wood fenders with rubber ones, sealed the
trenches for battery cables and coated both
towers with protective paint. Using a new
epoxy product, they also made structural
repairs to the concrete bases. In spite of
heavy rainfall in the Atlantic area at this time
of year, they completed the estimated six-
week job in less than half that time.

"On the Atlantic side there are two
seasons -- a lot of rain and a little rain," says
construction and maintenance foreman
Joshua Knight, who oversaw the work. He
praises the dedication of Maintenance Divi-
sion employees and explains that the crew
remained flexible and worked according to
the weather. He says, "We don't let bad
weather stop us unless we can't do the work
The sheer height of the 121-foot towers
presented the major challenge. Employees
wore safety harnesses and made sure tools
were tied to themselves or to the tower so
nothing could drop onto the heads of those
working below. Says Knight, "For anyone
who has to work on a structure this high, the
challenge is to do it safely."
Knight also praises the Dredging Divi-
sion for its assistance in providing a launch

Continued on page 4...

By Joaquin Horna
People do not generally die from dengue
-- but the powerful flu-like symptoms may
make some almost wish they were dead.
Dengue hits its victims all at once. The
disease is characterized by high fever; severe
headaches; backaches; pain in back of the
eyes and in the joints, muscles and bones;
and, occasionally, a rash. The pain is so
intense that dengue is sometimes called
"breakbone fever."
Severe symptoms last from five to seven
days, but less-intense suffering continues for
a longer period. Dr. Richard A. Cheville,
chief of the Panama Canal Commission
Occupational Health Division, explains that
recovery may be associated with prolonged
fatigue and depression. "After the acute
illness is over," he says, "people may feel
very weak and tired and may not be able to
do their usualwork, sometimes for as long as
a month."
Dengue is rarely fatal, but it may kill
small children, the elderly or persons al-
ready sick with another disease.
Once established, the disease spreads
easily and can quickly reach epidemic pro-
portions. About a week after an Aedes
aegypti mosquito bites someone who is ill
with dengue, it is able to transmit the dis-
ease-carrying virus each time it bites a sus-
ceptible person during its three- to four-
week lifetime.
The three requirements for a dengue
epidemic are the dengue virus, the Aedes
aegypti mosquito and a susceptible popula-
tion. Two of these factors already exist in
The Aedes aegypti mosquito was acci-
dentally reintroduced into the country in-
side a shipment of used tires in 1985. Since
then, the degree of infestation has increased

each year, a condition that worsens during
the rainy season. Aedes aegypti infestation
has reachedsuchhighlevels inmanyPanama
City, San Miguelito and Colon neighbor-
hoods that a dengue epidemic could occur
very quickly following introduction of the
Cheville says that because the last signifi-
cant appearance of dengue in Panama oc-
curred nearly 90 years ago, virtually the
entire population is susceptible to the dis-
ease. "Nobody is immune," he explains.
The last ingredient for an epidemic-- the
virus itself-- is not present in Panama at this
time, but in recent years there have been
epidemics in Puerto Rico, Colombia, Cuba
and several Central American countries.
"It's a miracle we haven't had one here yet,"
Cheville says.
Health officials warn that the only way of
avoiding a dengue epidemic on the Isthmus
is for everyone to do his or her part to
prevent mosquito breeding. Removing any
potential water containers around your own
home is the best way to protect yourself and
your loved ones from this devasting disease.

Electric rates set to increase

The Panama Canal Commission resi-
dential electric rate is based on comparabil-
ity with Tennessee Valley Authority resi-
dential rates.
There was no rate change for 1993.
However, based on TVA rates for June,
Commission employee electric rates will
increase 3.6 percent effective with the meter
reading for October consumption.
The increase, on average, will be $4 per
month. It will be reflected in the December
6 pay statement corresponding to pay period
23, which ends November 27.

Vol. XXXI, No. 18 Friday, September 10, 1993

~ ___ ~ _I CMOO-0-1_

--- -- I IC ~s
CI -i - -- -


I L,

The Panama Canal Spillway

Friday, September 10, 1993

Position Vacancy List
Applicants must have career or career-conditional status. Application forms must be submitted to the Employment and
Placement Branch (Building 366, Ancon) on Form 443, Application for Transfer, no later than seven days from the date
of this publication.
Persons selected for appointment to a permanent position and persons selected for testing-designated positions (TDPs)
will be subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment or permanent position change. Persons
already serving in a TDP will not be subject to urinalysis prior to a permanent position change.
For certain positions in one-grade interval series where there is no position in the normal line of promotion, in-service
employees may qualify with at least one year of specialized experience at the next-lower level or second-lower level of
the position.
Qualifications standards may be reviewed at the Panama Canal Commission Technical Resources Center (Building 38,
Balboa). For actions other than a promotion, modified qualifications will be used to qualify applicants when their
backgrounds include closely related experience that provides the skills necessary for successful performance.
The rates of pay reflect the minimum and maximum hourly base for the grades of positions advertised. Employees
selected will be placed in the appropriate grade, step and wage base in accordance with regulations.
Further information may be obtained from the Employment and Placement Branch (telephone 52-3583).
Lo- Va-
ca- can-
Permanent positions Salaries Unit tion cies
Criminal investigator, NM-12/13 ................ $19.31/$29.85 Inspector General P 1
Mail clerk, NM-31 2 (Driver's license required.) .... $5.52/$7.00 Admin. Services A 1
Office automation clerk, NM-4' (Knowledge of
Spanish desirable.) .......................... $6.04/$7.64 Fac. Mgmt. & Supp. P 1
Writer, NM-7/9 3(Bilingual) .................. $10.89/$17.31 Public Affairs P 1
Temporary promotion
(Not to exceed one year)
General engineer, NM-121 (Knowledge in at least
two of the following disciplines of engineering is
required: civil, environmental, mechanical or chemi-
cal.) ................................... ... $19.31/$25.10 Maintenance A 1

I Documentation that applicant meets special requirements must be filed in Official Personnel Folder or attached to
the application; otherwise, applicant will not be considered for the vacancy.
2 This position requires lifting, throwing, reaching and handling of parcels and mail sacks weighing up to 70 pounds.
3 Only PCC employees will be considered.
The Panama Canal Commission is an equal opportunity employer.

Suggestion awards

Versatile uniforms Photo by Jaime Fernindez
Happy about having solved the daily dilemma of deciding what to wear to work,
Logistical Support Division employees pose in their new uniforms. Employees from the
Purchasing and Contracts and Inventory Management branches selected several basic
wardrobe pieces in three solid colors and afloral pattern to make the uniforms versatile.

Training courses announced for month of October
The schedule of training courses that will be offered to Panama Canal Commission employees in October is provided
below. All will meet at the Panama Canal Training Center, except for the microcomputer classes, which will he held in
Building 717, Balboa. "Planning for Retirement" will be conducted in Spanish, with all other sessions in English.
Nominations should be submitted through training program managers by the suspense dates indicated.
In addition to the listed classes, individualized training packets on a variety of topics are available at the Multimedia
Center. Among them is "Introduction to Microcomputers," a prerequisite to the courses marked with an asterisk.

Course (and target audience) Dates
Supervisory Update: FECA and CSS ........... Oct. 4
Communications Skills Workshop .............. Oct. 5 7
Planning for Retirement (those planning to retire
within five years)............................ Oct. 12 & 13
Preparing for Supervision ..................... Oct. 13 & 14
Skills With Numbers ......................... Oct. 18-22
Supervisors' Update: Equal Employment Opportu-
nity ...................................... Oct. 19
Records Management (staff support personnel,
files custodians and records liaison officers).... Oct. 25-28
New Employee Orientation .................... Oct. 28
Microcomputer courses
Introduction to WordPerfect* ................. Oct. 12-14
Oct. 12-14
Norton Commander Workshop* ............... Oct. 20
Advanced WordPerfect Features: Tables (those
who have taken Introduction to WordPerfect) Oct. 21
Oct. 28
Introduction to dBase III Plus* ................ Oct. 25-27

8:00- 4:00
8:00- 4:00

8:00- 4:00
8:00- 4:00

8:00- 4:00

8:00- 4:00

7:30- 4:00
7:30- 4:00
7:30- 4:00
7:30- 4:00
7:30- 4:00
7:30- 4:00

Sept. 13
Sept. 14

Sept. 21
Sept. 22
Sept. 27

Sept. 28

Oct. 4
Oct. 7

Sept. 21
Sept. 21
Sept. 29
Sept. 30
Oct. 7
Oct. 4

What's happening

Thrice a winner Photo by Armando De Gracia
Communications Branch telephone mechanic Jose Northover proudly displays the
suggestion award he -'eceived for recommending the installation of stairs with
handrails in the area where the telephone cable connection box is located at
Miraflores Locks. The box is threefeet below the locks tunnel floor, and telephone
mechanics previously had to jump down to reach it. Pictured from left are
communications engineer Ludwig Dillman, telephone supervisor Steve Zimmerman,
Northover, Communications Branch Chief C.H. Harrill Jr. and Electrical Division
Chief E. D. Schnack. Northover also received separate suggestion awards for
designing a system of signs for use in lock tunnels to indicate the location of exits and
telephones and provide other information to enhance safety and for recommending
that designated telephone terminal boxes be used as storage points for maintenance
supplies in lock tunnels.

Protective device -

Logistical Support Divi- -
sion rigger worker Ro-
berto A. Bernal, right, ,"
shows forklift operator
Eladio Torrero the pro-
tective shells he suggested
forforklift hooks to mini-
mize punctures, losses
and other damages when
drums are lifted with the
sharp hooks. The sug-
gestion earned Bernal a
cash award.

Photo by Lina del C. Gonzalez

Gamboa Nature Fair
The Gamboa community will hold its
1993 Nature Fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday, October 2, at the community
center. For information, call Llori Gibson
(56-6384) or Sofia Broce (56-6378).

ICC tea
The Isthmian College Club will hold a
membership tea from 9:30 to 11 a.m.
tomorrow in the Bridge Lounge of the Fort
Amador Officers' Club. Reservations are
necessary and should be made by calling
Karin Gabrielson (28-0015) or Edna Rigby
(52-2439) during evening hours.

Mexican fiesta
The Association of Mexican-Panamanian
Women announces its "Kermesse Mexi-
cana" from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at
ATLAPA Convention Center. Among the
attractions will be Mexican food, Mexican
and Panamanian handicrafts and door
prizes. Tickets are available at Valent
Recreation Center (87-3007, 87-3058 or

Piano concert
The National Association of Concerts
announces a performance by Brazilian
pianist Edoardo Monteiro at 8 p.m.
September 14 at the ATLAPA Convention
Center's La Huaca Theater. The winner of
four international awards, Monteiro will
present works by Ludwig van Beethoven,
Heitor Villa-Lobos, Claude Achille De-
bussy, Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt.
Tickets are $20 or $5 for students.

"Agnes of God" tryouts
Director Carlos Williams is looking for
three women to star in the Ancon Theatre
Guild's production of "Agnes of God."
Tryouts will be held at 7:30 p.m. October 4
and 5 at the Panama Canal Training
Center, with the drama running from
November 19 through December 4. The
characters are Agnes, a nun still in her
probationary period who is suspected of
having murdered her own baby; the
psychiatrist tasked with determining if
Agnes is sane enough to be tried; and the
Mother Superior, who is grasping to find a
supernatural explanation for the tragedy.



Administrator. Panama Canal Commission

Associate Director

Director of Public Affairs


Deputy Administrator

Associate Director

The Panama Canal Spillway is an official biweekly publication of the Panama Canal Commission. Articles may be reprinted without further
permission by crediting the source. All material shbuld be submitted by 11:45 a.m. Thursday of the week before publication or by 11:45 a.m.
Wednesday if there is a holiday during the week of publication. Subscriptions for 52 issues are $6 by regular mail, $4 by regular mail for
students and $19 by airmail. Checks or money orders should be payable to the Panama Canal Commission. Call 52-3202 for further
:.: information or write the Office of Public Affairs. Panama Canal Commission, Unit 2300, APO AA 34011-2300 or Balboa Heights, Panama.

Page 2



Friday, September 10 1993

The Panama Canal Spillway

Page 3

Crocodile sightings increase at Canal; caution advised

By Joaquin Horna
Free food may be responsible for
changing the habits of some potentially
dangerous animals at the Panama Canal.
Starting last month, a crocodile has
abandoned its swampy west bank home
every morning to patrol the southern end of
Pedro Miguel Locks for 30 to 40 minutes,
unusual behavior for a creature that usually
shys away from human activity and hunts
at night.
Similar sightings have been reported at
Pedro Miguel Locks several times in the
past. Operations Supervisor Kenneth Mil-
lard remembers a crocodile that liked to sun
on the huge chain fenders there in the 1960s.
It is believed that this was the same animal
that locks employees tried unsuccessfully to
capture in the late 1970s after it had grown
to 14 feet. A wooden cage was set in the
water with tuna inside for bait; the crocodile

entered, ate the tuna and then tore the cage

Millard adds that another crocodile
showed up earlier this year in Pedro
Miguel's northernmost chamber and re-
fused to leave after the miter gates were
opened. On that occasion, a valve had to be
opened to create the current needed to wash
the beast out.
The Atlantic side has also had its share of
the excitement. A frequent visitor to Gatun
Locks has been named "Caiman Aguja" by
employees there after a specialist from
Panama's Institute of Renewable Natural
Resources (Inrenare) said it could belong to
the species bearing that name. "He grew
larger in each new report," Millard says.
Pedro Miguel lockmaster Robert McGuin-
ness has monitored recent crocodile ap-
pearances with binoculars and has seen the

Katherine Gaillard writes of construction days

Part 13: The dying jungle

S Even at the time
the French were
S working at building
a canal through
Panama, plans in-
cluded damming the
Chagres River to create a high-level lake
on which ships could sail most of the way
across the Isthmus. Such a lake would
obviously lessen the amount of excavation
needed to create a canal channel, especially
through the rugged Continental Divide.
The American canal construction effort in-
cluded a similar plan, and the artificial
lake formed by damming the Chagres
River was named "Gatun." When Gatun
Lake began to fill and cover the
countryside with water, the loss of
portions of the beloved jungle was keenly
felt by Katherine Gaillard, wife of Canal
builder Col. David du Bose Gaillard.
This jungle, which had been my happy
hunting ground and which held for me such
a vivid personality, was doomed by the
plans of the engineers to be submerged by
the impounded waters of the Chagres River.
With the completion of the Gatun Dam, a
lake would be formed, with a level of 85 feet
above sea level and through which would
run the line of the Canal.
It had been necessary to relocate the
Panama Railroad on higher ground, and
the little villages lying along the line of the
road upon the banks of the Chagres had
one by one been removed. The inhabitants
had gone very reluctantly into the far better
houses given them by the Isthmian Canal
Commission, for they vehemently protested
that they felt no fear of that water whose
coming had been spoken of for many years,
first by the French and now by the
Americans, but which had never come.
I was away from the Isthmus, in London,
when the water began to rise, but upon my
return, on my first opportunity, I went with
Col. and Mrs. Sibert for a trip on the newly
formed Lake Gatun.
By that time the water had risen to 57 feet
and the lake had spread out over many
square miles, sending insinuating fingers of
water in between the surrounding hills. In
this water the jungle was drowning!
The pallor of death already lay upon
it-it was gray and the gray was creeping up
from the water's edge into the surrounding
green hills, where in a well-defined line the
trees were slowly dying. In the lake there
were many places where all the trees were
dead. Standing bare and gray they made a
forest such as Dore (a French illustrator
and painter) might have drawn. The gaunt
lopped-off limbs, from which all the small

branches had fallen, seemed to me, in my
sympathetic understanding of the jungle, to
be raised to Heaven in helpless supplication,
mutely questioning the wherefore of this
water, coming not from above as usual in
lifegiving draughts, but from below in
suffocating quantities and from whose
depths came the charnel-house odors of
death and decay.
In the shallower waters the life struggle
was still going on. Some trees showed
vividly green against their dead companions.
Others were beginning to fall into decay,
and the clustering epiphytal growth on their
branches was letting go of the no longer
living wood. Bunches of orchids were
hanging head down, held by a single root.
Giant philodendron and monstera were
trailing low with yellowing leaves. Many of
the palms were still alive, their great green
fronds swishing back and forth in the
eddying water like poor chained wild
creatures. Here and there in the open deeper
stretches of the lake, still towering seventy
or eighty feet above the water, stood many
of the giant trees mourning in sorrowful
isolation their lesser companions gone from
Hundreds of green islands, once forming
a part of the swamps higher up the lake,
had become unmoored from their founda-
tions and were floating down with the
current, eventually going over the spillway
out into the Atlantic Ocean. Upon some of
these islands were animals, which trapped
by the water and unable to swim, had not
escaped to the mainland and were quietly
and unwittingly going to their doom.
On the trip that day our boat nosed its
way through these islands or went crashing
through the treetops upon many of which
were blossoming orchids. As this was the
exact location of many of my jungle trips, it
may have been these very trees up which I
had so often wistfully gazed dreaming of
being able to see the orchids like this, face to
face. They were there now and.I had only to
put out my hand and take them, but I could
not! It was like taking flowers from a grave!
For in the few living things left I seemed to
see the last dying gasps of some poor mute
creature caught unaware in a trap, a trap
whose first appearance must have been
greeted with joy, for all jungle things love
the water. But when it had risen higher and
higher in strangling quantities the joy must
have given way to outraged surprise and
later to despair as they bowed their heads
and died.
It was.awesome, this dying jungle!
I do not like to think of it, nor of all those
lovely things lying dead at the bottom of
that lake, nor of that absolute silence which
lay over it all-the silence of Death.

Watching for crocs Photo by Armando De Gracia
Lockmaster Robert McGuinness, left, and Operations Supervisor Kenneth Millard
survey a swampy area near the southern end of Pedro Miguel Locks where a

crocodile has been seen cruising lately.

latest visitor circling approaching ships. "He
can really move fast when he is interested in
something," McGuinness reports. Millard,
who hunted small caimans as a child until
he ran into a big one, says the pilots on
board transiting vessels have also noticed
the crocodile. "We know," he answers when
a sighting is reported over the radio. "He
lives here."
Local crocodiles can grow to be 16 feet
long. They are more aggressive than
caimans, which are also found here, but
grow no larger than 5 feet. There are no
alligators in Panama.
Crocodiles live near the mouths of rivers
and in coastal mangrove swamps, where the
water provides a source of both protection
and food and the sandy beaches offer a site
for laying eggs. Although a female can lay
40 eggs each year, many of the eggs and
young hatchlings are eaten by other
animals. Hunted in the past for their skin,
crocodiles have almost disappeared from
many parts of the world, but are now
protected by Panamanian, U.S. and inter-
national laws.
With lifespans of up to 70 years,
crocodiles are territorial animals-the big
ones chase the smaller ones away from the
food supply. They can live a long time
without food-sometimes eating only once
every two or three months. In fact, a large
adult crocodile could live a whole year
without eating at all, but they are
opportunists who will not miss a chance to
eat if food presents itself.
Crocodiles feed primarily on fish, but
might catch and kill anything else in the

water that makes splashing noises. About
four years, ago, one attacked a large dog
that was swimming near a place where local
fishermen throw scraps into the water.
There have been very few reports of
crocodile attacks on humans in Panama,
and the animals have had negligible impact
on Panama Canal operations. "We have
coexisted with them without problems for
many years," says Locks Division Chief
Jorge Quijano.
However, Dr. Nathan Gale, chief of the
U.S. Army veterinary clinic at Corozal,
advises Panama Canal Commission em-
ployees to exercise caution around crocodiles.
The animals are attracted to the locks
because currents and ship movements there
often kill off fish, providing crocodiles with
a free lunch. They are also drawn to piers
where fisherman fillet their catch and throw
the remains into the water. "They become
less afraid of people because they are
interested in the food," Gale explains,
adding that recent daytime sightings and
boldness on the part of crocodiles indicates
a change in their normal behavior. He
suspects that the availability of food has
caused this change.
Although crocodiles can stay underwater
for an hour, they cruise on the surface and
are easily spotted. They tend to be afraid of
loud noises and can generally be scared
away by smacking the surface of the water
with the flat side of an oar or by throwing
cherry bombs into the water. It normally
does little good to trap and remove a
problem crocodile from an area, because
another is likely to move in afterward.

80th anniversary Photo by Richard Home
Members of the Abou Saad Temple gather around a commemorative bronze plaque
on the centerwall of Miraflores Locks as they observe the 80th anniversary of thefirst
Shrine initiation ceremony in Panama. Held on September 1, 1913, the ceremony
took place in the empty upper chamber of the west lane at Miraflores.

The Panama Canal Spillway

Friday, September 10, 1993

Water tower project completed without accident

By Susan K. Stabler
The Maintenance Division re-
centlycompleted a$600,000 project
to replace all the structurally dam-
aged sections of the two red-and-
white-checkered water towers in
Mount Hope, each of which holds
a million gallons.
Workers take pride in having
completed the job without a single
accident. Construction and Main-
tenance General Foreman Basil
Wilkinson explains, "It was a highly
dangerous operation that took a
lot of specialized safety equipment
and rigging." Those involved say a
recent accident during a similar
project on the water tower near the
Coco Solo Army Health Clinic
served as a grim reminder of how
potentially dangerous thework was.

Safety first

Structural iron worker Francisco
Macias and the other Maintenance
Division employees who recently
completed repairs to the two Mount
Hope water towers made safety a
high priority duringthe project. The
T-shirtwom by Macias, which reads,
"Our aim no accidents," was
presented to him by the division
afterhe was named employee ofthe
month, an honor based upon his
safety record.
Photo by Susan K. Stabler

The Mount Hope job, which
began in January, included repair-
ing or replacingthe stairs, columns
and supports and painting all the
new sections with anti-rust paint.
Approximately 30 employees --
welders, structural iron workers,
crane operators, riggers and paint-
ers -- did the work.
Each day began with a 15-
minute safety talk. Welder leader
Jos6 Forero, the project foreman,
constantly reminded the employ-
ees, "Pay attention to your co-
workers, and if you see them doing
something unsafe, call it to their
attention." Structural iron worker
Monico Zorillo says, "Everyone
depended not only on their equip-
ment, but on each other."
One of the most interesting
parts of the job, according to
Forero, was removing the stairs
and stairway platforms and fabri-
cating and installing new ones.
Comprised of 33 steps each, the
four stair sections and their plat-
forms wrap like a giant spiral stair-
case upward around the base of the
The employees took pride in
removing and reinstalling the stairs
with no outside help. Structural
iron worker Fidel Rodriguez says,
"We hoisted them ourselves in
whole sections with a winch be-
cause you couldn't use a big crane
in this area." Forero adds, "We
started with the stairs so we'd have

the use of the new ones during the
rest of the project."
Another source of pride was
the fabrication and installation of
the new braces -- a total of 456
between the two towers. Forero
says installing them was one of the
most difficult aspects of the job
because they crisscross between
the steel columns and are critical
to the structural strength of the
The Maintenance Division also
fabricated many large turnbuck-
les, pins, screws and connection
One look at the towers tells you
that a lot of the work was done at
high altitudes. Zorillo says, "No
one could ever work at that height
alone -- and you had to have radio
communications at all times." He
adds, "You were always tiedby two
ropes so if one gave way, you had
the other."
Despite the potential for dan-
ger, however, the employees in-
volved discovered that working
atop a million-gallon water tower
gave them a million-dollar view.
They feasted their eyes daily on a
panorama of the very areas the
towers served.
"We're very satisfied with our
work," says structural ironworker
Francisco Macfas, and Wilkinson
explains why. "These towers will
last for the next 100 years," he

Industrial Training Branch invests in automotive lab

By Yira A. Flores
The Panama Canal Commis-
sion Industrial Training Branch
has invested a great deal in im-
provements over the last year, and
the newautomotive laboratory has
been one of the main beneficiaries.
Instruction in basic mechanics has
been enhanced considerably by
switchingfrom a textbook approach
to a hands-on system using state-
of-the-art training aids. Special-
ized courses cover each of the com-
ponents ofan automobile, and com-
puters, manuals, new equipment
and other tools help to facilitate
Whether presented by contract
or in-house instructors, courses are
adapted to meet the Commission's
needs. Training instructor Bill
Gonzalez says, for example, that
one of the General Motors Corp.
fuel-injection systems was modi-
fied to cover the system used on
Dredging Division launches and
that a number of technicians from
the division have already been
Since they play a crucial role in
the learning process, the instruc-
tors themselves also receive spe-
cialized training. They regularly
update their knowledge to stay
certified inthe specific courses they
As for equipment, one of the
new learning tools is a hand-held
scanner that allows a technician to
read whatever information is stored
in a vehicle's computer. It also
directs input to the computer to
activate different simulators, such

as those for the fuel-injection sys-
tem, anti-lock brake system and
ignition system. Gonzalez says the
scanner enables a mechanic to re-
solve several different problems
simultaneously, while those using
conventional methods typically fo-
cus on only one problem at a time.
Gonzalez adds that because
electronics has become an essen-
tial part of mechanics, the branch
now offers training in that field.
"Ten years ago, there was nothing
electronic about brakes and trans-
missions," he explains, "but today
everything about them is elec-
A major improvement at the
automotive laboratory has been
the establishment of an informa-
tion network with General Mo-
tors, one of the main suppliers for
the Commission'svehicle fleet. The
network enables technicians to get
information and solutions to prob-
lems from the automakerwithin 48

Breakwater tower

and crew to the Maintenance Divi-
sion for the duration of the job and
the Industrial Division for provid-
ing overnight sheltered mooring
space for the launch and protec-
tion for its contents. Being able to
store tools and equipment on board
the launch minimized the time it
took to set up and clean up at the
beginning and end of each day. "It
cut our overallwork in half," Knight

hours. Plans are under way to
establish contacts with the other
major automakers.
Through theyears, the Appren-
tice School has helped keep the
Panama Canal operating efficiently
by developing needed craft skills in
the work force. According to In-
Chief Pedro Pinz6n, it expanded
from a school exclusively for ap-
prentices into a complex that is
now also providing technical train-
ing to employees under the up-
ward mobility and journeyman
enhancement programs. In addi-
tion to the automotive laboratory,
it includes a welding laboratory, an
electronics laboratory and a multi-
media center.
The branch also provides con-
sultant and certificationservices in
the coating and corrosion, hoisting
and rigging, welding and plumbing
fields as well as trade certification
tests in various crafts.

r . .continued from page 1

Like laundrythat gets dirty soon
after it's washed, the towers need
regular attention. Perched at the
very ends of the breakwater, they
never get a break from the con-
stant assault of wind, rain, ocean
spray and crushing waves. Besides
the annual inspection, repairs and
painting that were just completed,
they also receive a second painting
each year with another coat of
protective paint.

Automotive simulator Photo by Jaime Fernfndez
Heavy equipment mechanic apprentices Agustin Rodrguez, left, and
Antonio Delis use some of the new equipment at the Industrial Training
Branch to resolve a fuel-injection problem.

Deadline announced for candidates interested
in nomination by administrator to U.S. academy

The Panama Canal Commis-
sion administrator may nominate
up to ten candidates for each of two
vacancies for appointment to the
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
Candidates will be selected by com-
petitive examination for the gradu-
ating class of 1998, entering the
academy in July 1994.
To be eligible for nomination
by the administrator, applicants
must be U.S. citizens and the chil-
dren of U.S. residents of areas and
installations in the Republic of
Panama made available to the
United States pursuant to the 1977
Panama Canal Treaty and related
agreements or the children of U.S.

or Panamanian personnel of the
U.S. government (including the
military and the Commission) who
reside anywhere in Panama.
Application forms are available
in the principals' offices of the
Balboa High School and Cristobal
Junior-Senior High. They should
be completed by October 22.
The nominations committee
will meet at 9 a.m. November 19 to
review files and interview the ap-
plicants. All candidates should
report to the Engineering and Con-
struction director's office (Room
343 oftheAdministration Building
in Balboa Heights) at 8:30 that

Page 4

Mensaje del Administrador Gilberto Guardia F. en Dia del Trabajo
La celebraci6n del Dfa del Trabajo, el lunes 6 de septiembre, nos hace parti-
cularmente conscientesde que la altamentediestra y dedicadafuerza laboral del
Canal de Panama es la parte mas importante de esta empresa tremendamente
exitosa. El Subadministrador R.P. Laverty yyo compartimos un profundo sentido
deadmiraci6n, respetoy aprecio portodos los buenos hombres y mujeres que han
trabajado tan diligentemente para asegurar la eficiencia y seguridad del Canal de
Mirando hacia el futuro, es aun mas evidente que una fuerza laboral bien
preparada y dedicada sera vital para la eficiente operaci6n del Canal de PanamA
y esencial para alcanzar una transici6n sin traumas de la via acuAtica al absoluto
Control panamefio en el aio 2000. Por lo tanto, el subadministrador y yo
I' aprovechamos esta oportunidad para motivarlos a cada uno de ustedes a
S' A' desarrollar aun mAs sus capacidades individuales y a trabajar juntos para mejorar
la organizaci6n. Les exhortamos a continuar poniendo mayor 6nfasis en el
Sadiestramiento para mantenerse actualizados en los adelantos tecnol6gicos y
profesionales. Invitamos las sugerencias como una valiosafuente de nuevas ideas
que conduzcan a un desempeio mas eficiente y econ6mico, y nos sentimos
complacidos con los pasos tomados para mejorar la seguridad laboral y crear un
ambiente de trabajo libre de drogas.
En este dia especial, tambi6n reconocemos el papel vital delas organizaciones
laborales en mejorar las condiciones de trabajo de todos los empleados. Sus
esfuerzos tambi6n han contribuido significativamenteal exitodel Canal. Deseamos
trabajar conjuntamente hacia el logro de metas mutuamente beneficiosas.
El Canal de PanamA se ha mantenido como un esencial y modemo eslab6n
del transporte en el siempre cambiante mundo del comercio internacional en gran
parte por la destreza, compromiso y dedicaci6n de sus empleados. El
subadministrador y yo nos sentimos orgullosos de sus logros y esperamos con
confianza los Axitos futuros del Canal de Panamd.

Advierte oficial de salud:

Dengue produce gran sufrimiento,

se propaga rapido cuando aparece

Trabajos industriales Foto por Jaime Fernandez
Tres equipos flotantes de la Divisi6n de Dragado que estdn siendo reacondicionados -- la
barcaza No. 832 (alfrente, en el dique seco), laperforadora "Thor" (atris, a la izquierda) y
la draga "Christensen" (a la derecha) aparecen junto a la grfa "Hercules" (atras de la
"Thor") y la draga "Mindi" (atrns de la "Christensen"), dando la impresi6n que la Divisi6n
de Dragado ha mudado sus oficinas de Gamboa a Mount Hope. La "Hircules" ayudaba a
colocar elgran componente que cuelga de su gancho en la "Mindi".

Termina mantenimiento de faros en rompeolas

Empleados de la Divisi6n de
Mantenimiento del Distrito Norte
culminaron esta semana la inspecci6n anual
y mantenimiento de los faros de los
rompeolas este y oeste, reparaciones
valoradas en unos $21,000. Los faros, que
sostienen una luz roja intermitente al final
del rompeolas oeste y una verde en el este,
marcan la entrada y salida de las calmadas
aguas de la Bahia de Lim6n.
La cuadrilla de diez aparejadores,
soldadores, repelladores de cemento y
trabajadores de estructuras de hierro
programaron la reparaci6n de ambas torres
a la vez. Repararon o reemplazaron partes
de acero, reemplazaron defensas de madera
por unas de caucho, sellaron las zanjas para
cables y cubrieron ambas torres con pintura
protectora. Conunanuevasoluci6n,tambi6n
repararon la estructura de las bases de
concreto. A pesar de las fuertes lluvias
AtlAnticas en 6sta 6poca del aio,

completaron el proyecto de seis semanas, en
menos de la mitad del tiempo estimado.
"En el Atlantico hay dos estaciones --
mucha lluvia y poca lluvia", dice el capataz
de construcci6n y mantenimiento Joshua
Knight, quiensupervis6 la obra. El reconoce
la dedicaci6n de los trabajadores y explica
que la cuadrilla permaneci6 flexible y trabaj6
segfin el clima. "No dejamos que el mal
tiempo nos detenga a menos queno podamos
hacer el trabajo con seguridad", dice.
La altura de 121 pies de las torres fue el
mayor reto. Los empleados usaron arneses
de seguridad y ataron las herramientas a sus
cuerpos o a la torre para que nada cayera
sobre las cabezas abajo. "Para cualquiera
que tenga que trabajar en una estructura tan
alta, el reto es hacerlo en forma segura",
dice Knight.
Knight tambi6n reconoce a la Divisi6n
de Dragado por su ayuda al proporcionar
Continuta en pdgina 4...

Por Joaquin Horna
La gente no suele morir de dengue --
pero sus poderosos sintomas parecidos a la
gripe pueden hacer a algunos casi desear
estar muertos.
El dengue ataca a sus victimas de
inmediato. La enfermedad se caracteriza
por fiebre alta; dolor de cabeza fuerte; dolor
de espalda; dolores atras de los ojos y en
articulaciones, mtsculos y huesos; y,
ocasionalmente, erupciones. El dolor es tan
intenso que algunas veces se llama al dengue
"fiebre rompe hueso".
Los sintomas severos duran de cinco a
siete dias, pero los sufrimientos menos
intensos se prolongan por mis tiempo. El
Dr. Richard A. Cheville, jefe de la Divisi6n
de Salud Ocupacional de la Comisi6n del
Canal, explica que la recuperaci6n puede
venir acompaiiada de fatiga y depresi6n
prolongadas. "Luego de la afecci6n aguda",
dice, "la gente puede sentirse muy d6bil y
cansada e incapaz de realizar su trabajo
usual, algunas veces hasta por un mes".
El dengue raramente es mortal, pero si
puede matar a niiios pequefios, ancianos y
personas que ya padecen otra enfermedad.
Una vez establecida, la enfermedad se
riega fAcilmente y puede alcanzar rapido
proporciones epiddmicas. Casiuna semana
despu6s de que un mosquito Aedes aegypti
pica a un enfermo de dengue, es capaz de
transmitir el virus portador de la enfermedad
cada vez que pica a una persona susceptible
durante sus tres o cuatro semanas de vida.
Los tres requisitos para una epidemia de
dengue son el virus de la enfermedad, el
mosquito Aedes aegypti y una poblaci6n
susceptible. Dosde estos factoresyaexisten
en Panama.
El mosquito Aedes aegypti fue
reintroducido por accidente al pais en un
embarque de llantas usadas, en 1985. Desde
entonces, el grado de infestaci6n ha crecido

cada afio, situaci6n que empeora en la
estaci6n lluviosa. La infestaci6n de Aedes
aegypti ha alcanzado niveles tan altos en
muchasbarriadas de Panama, San Miguelito
y Col6n que una epidemia podria producirse
con rapidez tras la introducci6n del virus.
Cheville afirma que, en virtud de que la
fltima aparici6n significativa de dengue en
Panama ocurri6 hace casi 90 aiios, virtual-
mente la poblaci6n entera es susceptible a la
enfermedad. "Nadie es inmune", explica.
El iltimo ingrediente para la epidemia--
elvirus mismo-- no estA presente en Panama
en la actualidad, pero en afios recientes se
han producido epidemias en Puerto Rico,
Colombia, Cuba y varios pauses
centroamericanos. "Es un milagro que no
hayamos tenido una aquf atn", dice Cheville.
Las autoridades de salud advierten que
la finica manera de evitar una epidemia de
dengue en el istmo es que todos colaboren
para eliminar los criaderos de mosquitos.
Remover cualquier recipiente de agua
alrededor de su hogar es la mejor manera de
protegerse usted y sus seres queridos de esta
devastadora enfermedad.

SubirM tarifa el6ctrica

La tarifa de electricidad residencial de la
Comisi6n del Canal se basa en una
comparaci6n con las tarifas residenciales de
laAutoridad del Valle de Tennessee (TVA).
No hubo cambio en la tarifa para 1993.
Sin embargo, en base alas tarifas de la TVA
para junio, la tarifa de electricidad de los
empleados de la Comisi6n se incrementaran
3.6 por ciento, efectiva desde la medici6n del
consumo de octubre.
El incremento promedio serA de $4 al
mes y se reflejara en el talonario de pago del
6 de diciembre periodo de pago 23), el cual
termina el 27 de noviembre.


Vol. XXXI, NQ 18 Viernes 10 de septiembre de 1993


Spillway del Canal de Panama

Viernes 10 de septiembre de 1993

Lista de Vacantes
Los solicitantes deben ser empleados de carrera o de carrera condicional. Los formularios de solicitud deben
presentarse al Ramo de Empleo y Colocaciones, Edificio 366, Anc6n, en el Formulario 443, Solicitud de Traslado, a mas
tardar siete dias despu6s de publicado este aviso.
Aquellos que sean escogidos para un puesto permanente o para un Puesto Designado para Prueba al Azar por Drogas
(TDP) tendrAn que someterse a una prueba de urinAlisis para descartar el uso ilegal de drogas antes del nombramiento o
del cambio de posici6n permanente. No se exigira el urinAlisis a los empleados que ocupen un puesto sujeto a prueba por
drogas y anteriormente se hayan sometido a dicha prueba.
Para ciertas posiciones en series de un grado de intervalo, en donde no hay posiciones en la linea normal de promoci6n,
los empleados en servicio podran calificar con al menos un afio de experiencia especializada en uno o dos grados
inferiores al de la posici6n.
Los solicitantes podran repasar los requisitos de cada puesto en el Centro de Recursos Tecnicos de la Comisi6n del
Canal de Panama (Edificio 38, Balboa). Aquellos que, por raz6n de su experiencia, posean las pericias y habilidades
necesarias para ejercer el puesto exitosamente seran calificados en base a requisitos modificados. Esto no se aplica si se
trata de un ascenso.
Las tarifas de pago abajo citadas son las tarifas minimas y mAximas de pago por hora correspondientes a los grades de
las vacantes anunciadas. Los empleados seleccionados parallenar una vacante serAn colocados en el escal6n, grado y.
tarifa bAsica salarial correspondiente, de conformidad con los reglamentos.
Para mayor informaci6n, comuniquese con el Ramo de Empleo y Colocaciones, Ilamando al 52-3583.

Puestos permanentes
Investigador criminal, NM-12/13 ................
Oficinista de correos, NM-31 2 (Se requiere licencia
de conducir.) ...............................
Oficinista de automatizaci6n, NM-41 (Conocimiento
de espaiol es deseable.) ......................


Inspector Gral.

$5.52/$7.00 Servicios Admtivos. A

$6.04/$7.64 Adm. y Apoyo P
de Instalaciones

Escritor, NM-7/9' 3 (Bilingiie)................... $10.98/$17.31 Ofic.deInformaci6n P 1
Ascenso temporal
(Maximo de un aiio)
Ingeniero general, NM-12' (Se requiere saber al
menos dos de las siguientes disciplinas de la
ingenieria: civil, ambiental, mecAnica o quimica) $19.31/$25.10 Mantenimiento A I
I La documentaci6n que pruebe que el solicitante Ilena los requisitos especiales debe adjuntarse a la solicitud o incluirse
en el expediente oficial de personal; de lo contrario, no se considerari al solicitante para la vacante.
2 Esta posici6n requiere levantar, arrojar, alcanzar y manejar paquetes y sacos de correos de hasta 70 libras de peso.
3 S61o se considerari a empleados de la Comisi6n.
La Comisi6n del Canal de Panama es un empleador que se ajusta a la Ley sobre Igualdad de

Sugerencias premiadas

Triple ganador Foto por Armando De Gracia
El mecdnico de telefonos del Ramo de Comunicaciones Jose Northover ensefia
orgulloso el premio por sugerencia ganado .por recomendar la instalaci6n de
escaleras con pasamanos para la caseta de conexi6n de telefonos en las Esclusas de
Miraflores. La caseta se encuentra trespies bajo elpiso del tzinel de las esclusas, y los
mecdnicos de telefonos tenian que brincar para llegar ahi. Desde la izquierda
aparecen el ingeniero de comunicaciones Ludwig Dillman, el supervisor de telefonos
Steve Zimmerman, Northover, eljefe del Ramo de Comunicaciones C. H. Harrill Jr.
y eljefe de la Divisi6n de Electricidad E. D. Schnack. Northover tambidn recibi6
otros premios por sugerencias por disehar letreros para los ttineles de las esclusas
indicando salidas, telifonos y otra informacidn para aumentar la seguridad, y por
recomendar el uso de algunas casetas de teldfonos para guardar suministros de
mantenimiento en los tuineles de las esclusas.

Aparato protector

El aparejador de la Divi-
si6n de Apoyo Logistico
Roberto A. Bernal, dere-
cha, muestra al operador
de montacarga Eladio
Torrero las capas protec-
toras que sugiri6 para los
ganchos de montacargas
para minimizar perfora-
ciones, ptrdidas y otros
dapios a los barriles. La
sugerencia le hizo acree-
dor a Bernal a un premio
en efectivo.

Foto por Lina del C. Gonzilez

Uniformes versitiles Foto por Jaime Fermnadez
Felices tras haber solucionado el dilema diario de decidir qud vestir en el trabajo, un
grupo de empleadas de la Divisi6n de Apoyo Logistico exhibe sus nuevos uniformes.
Personal de los ramos de Compras y Contratos y Administraci6n de Inventarios
seleccion6 varias piezas bdsicas en tres colores s6lidos y patronesflorales para hacer
los uniformes mds versdtiles.

Anuncian cursos de adiestramiento para octubre
Los siguientes cursos de adiestramiento estarAn disponibles para los empleados de la Comisi6n. Todos se ofrecerin en
el Centro de Adiestramiento del Canal de Panama, con excepci6n de las clases de microcomputadoras, que se darAn en el
edificio 717 en Balboa. El curso sobre "C6mo Planear su Jubilaci6n" se darA en espaiiol, y todas las demas clases serAn en
ingles. Los gerentes de programas de adiestramiento deben enviar sus nominaciones antes de la fecha tope para nominar a
los empleados para estos cursos.
Ademas de los siguientes cursos, en el Centro Computarizado de Adiestramiento se ofrecen paquetes de cursos
individualizados sobre una variedad de temas, entre ellos, la "Introducci6n a las Microcomputadoras", que es
prerequisito para los cursos marcados con un asterisco.
Curso (y grupo al que se asigna) Fecha Hora Plazo
Actualizaci6n sobre FECA y CSS para Supervisores 10/4 8:00- 4:00 9/13
Taller sobre la Comunicaci6n ................. 10/5-7 8:00- 4:00 9/14
C6mo Planear su Jubilaci6n (para los que piensan
jubilarse en cinco afios) ..................... 10/12-13 8:00- 4:00 9/21
C6mo Prepararse para Supervisar .............. 10/13-14 8:00- 4:00 9/22
Pericia con los Nimeros ...................... 10/18-22 8:00-10:00 9/27
Actualizaci6n para Supervisores: Igualdad de Opor-
tunidades de Empleo ....................... 10/19 8:00- 4:00 9/28
Administraci6n de Archivos (para personal de ofi-
cina, custodios de archivos, y oficiales de enlace
de archivos) .......................... ..... 10/25-28 8:00-11:45 10/4
Orientaci6n para Empleados Nuevos........... 10/28 8:00- 4:00 10/7_
Cursos de Microcomputadoras
Introducci6n a WordPerfect* .................. 10/12-14 7:30- 4:00 9/21
Taller de Norton Commander* ................ 10/20 7:30- 4:00 9/29
WordPerfect Avanzado: Tablas (para quienes hayan
tornado Introducci6n a WordPerfect) ......... 10/21 7:30- 4:00 9/30


Introducci6n a dBase III Plus*................

Eventos locales

Feria de la naturaleza
La comunidad de Gamboa tendri su
Feria de la Naturaleza 1993 de 9 a.m. a
4 p.m. el 2 de octubre en el centro comunal.
Para mis informaci6n, llame a Llori
Gibson (56-6384) o Sofia Broce (56-6378).

Actividad del ICC
El Isthmian College Club realizard
mafiana un t6 de membresia de 9:30 a
11 a.m. en el Sal6n de Bridge del Club de
Oficiales de Fuerte Amador. Se deben hacer
reservaciones llamando a Karin Gabrielson
(28-0015) o Edna Rigby (52-2439) en la

Concierto de piano
La Asociaci6n Nacional de Conciertos
anuncia la presentaci6n del pianista brasi-
lefio Edoardo Monteiro a las 8 p.m. el 14
de septiembre en el Teatro La Huaca del
Centro de Convenciones ATLAPA. Gana-
dor de cuatro premios internacionales,
Monteiro interpretard composiciones de
Beethoven, Villa-Lobos, Debussy, Wagner
y Liszt. Los boletos, a $20 y $5
(estudiantes), pueden obtenerse en la
Libreria Argosy o en la asociaci6n (25-4951).


Administrador. Comisi6n del Canal de Panamd
Director de Re
Director Asociado

7:30- 4:00
7:30- 4:00

Fiesta mexicana
La Asociaci6n de Mujeres Mexicano-
Panamefias anuncia su "Kermesse Mexica-
na" el domingo, de 11 a.m. a 8 p.m. en el
Centro de Convenciones ATLAPA. Las
atracciones incluyen comida mexicana,
artesanias de ambos paises y premios de
entrada. Los boletos pueden obtenerse en el
Centro Recreativo Valent (87-3007, 87-3058
o 87-4109).
Audiciones para
"Agnes de Dios"
El director Carlos Williams busca tres
protagonistas femeninas para la producci6n
del Theatre Guild de Anc6n, "Agnes de
Dios". Las audiciones se realizaran a las
7:30 p.m. el 4 y 5 de octubre en el Centro
de Adiestramiento de la Comisi6n del
Canal, y la obra se presentari del 19 de
noviembre al 4 de diciembre. Los persona-
jes son Agnes, una monja en su periodo de
prueba sospechosa de haber asesinado a su
propio beb6; la siquiatra encargada de
determinar la salud mental de Agnes para
ser juzgada, y la Madre Superiora, quien
trata de dar una explicaci6n sobrenatural a
la tragedia.

*laciones Plblicas
Director Asociada

El Spillway del Canal de Panama es una publicaci6n oficial quincenal de la Comisi6n del Canal de Panama. Los articulos que en ella aparecen
pueden ser reproducidos sin pedir autorizaci6n. ,inicamente acreditando la fuente. Toda colaboraci6n debe ser entregada antes del mediodia
del jueves anterior a la semana de su publicaci6n, o antes del mediodla del mitrcoles si hay algon dla feriado durante la semana de publicaci6n.
Las subscripciones de 52 ejemplares cuestan $6 por correo regular, $4 por correo regular para estudiantes y $19 por correo akreo. Envle
cheque o giro postal a favor de la Comisi6n del Canal de PanamA. Para mayor informaci6n, lame al 52-3202 o escriba a la Oficina de
Relaciones Pdblicas de la Comisi6n del Canal de Panama., Unit 2300, APO AA 34011-2300 o Altos de Balboa, Panama.

Piaina 2

_ _ --

s enreiV 10 de septiemb 3

Spillway del Canal de Panama

Aumenta aparici6n de cocodrilos; se aconseja precauci6n

Por Joaquin Horna
La comida gratis puede ser responsable de
cambiar los habitos de animales poten-
cialmente peligrosos en el Canal de Panama.
Desde el mes pasado, un cocodrilo ha
abandonado su pantanoso hogar en la
ribera oeste para recorrer el extremo sur de
las Esclusas de Pedro Miguel de 30 a 40
minutos cada mafiana, un comportamiento
inusual para una criatura que suele eludir la
actividad humana y cazar de noche.
No es la primera vez que estos animales
visitan las Esclusas de Pedro Miguel. El
supervisor de operaciones, Kenneth Mil-
lard, recuerda un cocodrilo que solia tomar
sol sobre enormes cadenas protectoras que
habian ahi en los afios 1960. Se piensa que
6ste fue el mismo animal que los empleados
de las esclusas intentaron capturar sin 6xito
a fines de la d6cada del 70, para cuando
media 14 pies. Se coloc6 una jaula de
madera en el agua con una tuna de cebo; el
cocodrilo entr6, se comi6 la tuna y destroz6
Millard afiade que otro cocodrilo se
apareci6 a principios de este afio en el
extreme norte de la camara en Pedro
Miguel y rehusaba salir cuando abrieron las

compuertas. En esa ocasi6n, hubo que abrir
una vilvula para crear la corriente necesaria
para desalojar a la bestia.
El lado Atlantico tambi6n ha tenido su
parte de la emoci6n. Un visitante regular de
las Esclusas de Gatun fue bautizado
"CaimAn Aguja" por los empleados, luego
de que un especialista del Instituto Nacional
de Recursos Naturales Renovables afirm6
que podia pertenecer a esa especie. "En.cada
nuevo informe lo describian mas grande",
dice Millard.
El maestre de esclusas de Pedro Miguel,
Robert McGuinness, ha seguido los re-
corridos del nuevo cocodrilo con bino-
culares y lo ha visto nadar alrededor de las
naves que se aproximan. "Se puede mover
con mucha velocidad si algo le interesa",
informa McGuinness. Millard, quien de
nifio cazaba caimanes pequefios hasta
tropezar con uno grande, dice que los
practices a bordo de las naves en transito
tambi6n han visto al cocodrilo. "Ya
sabemos", les contesta cuando lo reportan
por la radio. "El vive aqui".
Los cocodrilos locales pueden crecer
hasta 16 pies. Son mas agresivos que los
caimanes, que tambi6n viven en el istmo

Katherine Gaillard escribe cronicas del Canal

Parte 13: La selva moribunda

Azun durante la
construcci6n del ca-
nalfrancqs, lospla-
nes incluian repre-
sar el Rio Chagres
para crear un lago
alto donde los barcos pudieran navegar la
mayor parte de su travesia transistmica.
Tal lago disminuiria la cantidad de
excavacidn necesaria paraformar el cauce
canalero, especialmente a traves de la
escabrosa division continental. El esfuerzo
de construccidn norteamericano tenia un
plan similar y el lago artificial, formado al
represar el Chagres, se llamd "Gattn'"
Cuando el Lago Gattn comenzd a llenarse
e inund6 los campos, la perdida de partes
de la amada selva fue profundamente
sentida por Katherine Gaillard, esposa del
Col. David du Bose Gaillard.

Esta selva, que habia sido mi feliz terreno
de caceria y la cual tenia para mi una
personalidad tan intensa, fue sentenciada
por los planes de los ingenieros a yacer
sumergida por las aguas del Rio Chagres.
Al terminar la Represa Gatfin, se formaria
un lago a 85 pies sobre el nivel del mar, a
trav6s del cual correria el Canal.
Fue necesario restablecer el Ferrocarril
de Panama en terrenos mAs altos, y las
pequefias villas a lo largo del camino sobre
las orillas del Chagres fueron removidas
una a una. Los habitantes se habian
marchado reacios a mejores casas ofrecidas
por la Comisi6n del Canal Istmico, ya que
ellos protestaban por no tener miedo al
agua, cuya llegada habian anunciado por
muchos afios, primero los franceses y ahora
los norteamericanos, pero nunca habia
Yo estaba lejos del istmo, en Londres,
cuando el agua empez6 a subir, pero a mi
regreso, en la primera oportunidad, fui con
el Col. y la Sra. Sibert a un recorrido por el
reci6n formado Lago Gat6n.
En ese momento, el agua habia subido a
57 pies y el lago habia cubierto muchas
millas cuadradas, enviando sefiales insi-
nuantes entre los cerros cercanos. La selva
se estaba ahogando en esta agua!
La palidez de la muerte ya estaba sobre
ella-estaba gris y lo gris se acercaba
sigilosamente desde la orilla a los cercanos y
verdes cerros en donde los arboles morian
lentamente. En el lago habian muchos
lugares en donde todos los drboles estaban
muertos. Estaban desnudos y tristes, un

bosque tal y como Dore (el ilustrador y
pintor francs) lo hubiese dibujado. Las
ramas demacradas y peladas parecian
levantarse hacia el Cielo en suiplica infitil,
preguntando mudas por qu6 esta agua que
venia, no de arriba, como era usual en el
juego de la vida, sino de abajo y en
cantidades asfixiantes, y de cuyas profun-
didades salia el olor a muerte y decadencia.
En las aguas menos profundas la lucha
por la vida continuaba. Algunos drboles
permanecian verdes en comparaci6n con
sus compafieros muertos. Otros empezaban
a pudrirse y los racimos de epifitas en sus
ramas se soltaban de la madera sin vida.
Montones de orquideas colgaban soste-
nidas por una s61a raiz. Filodendros y
monsteras gigantescos colgaban bajas con
hojas amarillentas. Muchas de las palmas
ain vivian, sus grandes pencas verdes
movi6ndose hacia atras y adelante en las
arremolinadas aguas como pobres criaturas
salvajes encadenadas. Aqui y alli en los
abiertos y profundos estrechos del lago, aiin
altisimos a 70 u 80 pies sobre el agua,
permenecian muchos Arboles gigantescos,
guardando luto por sus compafieros peque-
fios ya cubiertos.
Cientos de verdes islas, una vez parte de
pantanos mas altos que el lago, se
desprendieron de sus bases y flotaron
corriente abajo hasta llegar al vertedero y,
de ahi, al Atlantico. Sobre algunas islas
habian animales atrapados por el agua que,
sin saber nadar, no pudieron escapar hacia
tierra firme e iban quieta e inconscien-
temente hacia su muerte.
En el recorrido de ese dia, nuestra lancha
encontr6 algunas de estas islas o chocaba
con las copas de arboles sobre las cuales
habian orquideas florecientes. Este era el
lugar exacto de muchos de mis viajes a la
jungla, y en estos Arboles sofiaba con
frecuencia poder ver las orquideas como
ahora, cara a cara. Alli estaban ahora y s6lo
tenia que sacar mi mano para agarrarlas,
pero no podia! Era como tomar flores de
una tumba! En las pocas cosas que
permanecian vivas me parecia ver los
fltimos jadeos de muerte de las pobres
criaturas atrapadas en una trampa, una
trampa que vista por primera vez debi6
haber sido recibida con gozo, ya que todas
las cosas de la selva aman el agua. Pero
cuando 6sta aumentaba y aumentaba en
grandes cantidades, la alegria di6 paso a la
sorpresa y luego a la desesperaci6n cuando
inclinaban sus cabezas y morian.
Era asombrosa esta selva moribunda!
No me gusta pensar en eso, ni en todas
esas cosas lindas que yacen muertas en el
fondo del lago, ni en el silencio absoluto que
lo cubre todo-el silencio de la Muerte.

Observando cocodrilos Foto de Armando De Gracia
El maestre de esclusas Robert McGuinness, izquierda, y el supervisor de operaciones
Kenneth Millard vigilan el drea pantanosa cerca del extremo sur de Pedro Miguel
donde recientemente se ha visto a un cocodrilo rondando.

pero no suelen crecer mas de cinco pies. En
Panama no existen lagartos.
Los cocodrilos viven cerca de las bocas
de los rios y en los manglares pantanosos
costeros, donde el agua les ofrece protecci6n
y alimento y donde encuentran playas
arenosas para enterrar sus huevos. Aunque
una hembra puede enterrar 40 huevos cada
afio, muchos huevos y reci6n nacidos son
devorados por otros animales. Cazados en
el pasado por su cuero, los cocodrilos casi
han desaparecido de muchas partes del
mundo, pero ahora son protegidos por leyes
panamefias, estadounidenses e intemacionales.
Con periodos de vida de hasta unos 70
afios, los cocodrilos son animales terri-
toriales-los mas grandes ahuyentan a los
pequefios de los suministros de alimentos.
Pueden vivir mucho tiempo sin comida-
algunas veces comiendo una sola vez cada
dos o tres meses. De hecho, un cocodrilo
adulto de gran tamafio puede vivir un afio
entero sin comer nada, pero son oportu-
nistas que aprovecharan para comer la
comida que se presente.
Los cocodrilos comen principalmente
peces, pero pueden atrapar y matar
cualquier otra cosa nadando en el agua.
Hace como cuatro afios, uno atac6 un perro
grande que nadaba cerca de donde los
pescadores locales tiran los restos de sus
pescas al agua. Han habido muy pocos
informes de ataques de cocodrilos a
humanos en Panama, y estos animales han
tenido un impacto nulo en las operaciones

del Canal de Panama. "Hemos coexistido
con ellos sin ningin problema durante
muchos afios", dice el jefe de la Divisi6n de
Esclusas, Jorge Quijano.
Sin embargo, el Dr. Nathan Gale, jefe de
la clinica veterinaria de Corozal, advierte a
los empleados de la Comisi6n del Canal a
que tengan mucho cuidado cerca de
Los animales son atraidos a las esclusas
donde las corrientes y los movimientos de
las naves con frecuencia matan peces,
ofreci6ndoles una comida gratis. Tambi6n
son atraidos a los muelles donde los
pescadores filetean su pesca y tiran los
restos al agua. "Se vuelven menos teme-
rosos de la gente porque les interesa la
comida", explica Gale, afiadiendo que las
recientes rondas diurnas indican un cambio
en el comportamiento normal de los
cocodrilos. El sospecha que la disponi-
bilidad de comida es la causa de este
Aunque los cocodrilos pueden mante-
nerse bajo el agua hasta por una hora,
nadan en la superficie y se pueden ver con
facilidad. Suelen sentir miedo de los ruidos
fuertes y generalmente se pueden ahuyentar
golpeando la superficie' del agua con la
parte plana del remo o tirando bombitas
acuaticas. Normalmente no es buena idea
atrapar y remover a un cocodrilo proble-
matico de un Area, ya que otro pronto
estara listo para ocupar su lugar. Vigilando
al cocodrilo

Conmemoran aniversario Foto por Richard Home
Miembros del Templo Abou Saad se retunen alrededor de una placa conmemorativa de
bronce en el muro central de las Esclusas de Miraflores al celebrar el 800 aniversario de
la primera ceremonia de ingreso Shrine en Panam6. La ceremonia se realiz6 el 19 de
septiembre de 1913 en la cdmara vacia de la via occidental de Miraflores.

Pagina 3

viullev -'o -rm UN, --- -rl-- i -


Pagina 4 Spillway del Canal de Panami Viernes 10 de septiembre de 1993

Completan reparacion de torres sin accidentes

Por Susan K. Stabler
La Divisi6n de Mantenimiento
termin6 hace poco un proyecto de
$600,000 para reemplazar las
secciones dafiadas en las
estructuras de los dos tanques de
agua pintados como tableros de
damas en Mount Hope, cada uno
con capacidad para un mill6n de
Los trabajadores sienten
orgullo por haber culminado el
trabajo sin accidentes. Basil
Wilkinson, capataz general de
construcci6n y mantenimiento,
explica: "Fue una operaci6n
peligrosaque requiri6usarmuchos
equipos y aparejos de seguridad
especiales". Los involucrados dicen
que un accidente durante un
proyecto similar en el tanque de

Para el trabajador de hierro
estructural Francisco Macias y los
otros empleados de la Divisi6n de
Mantenimiento que acaban de
reparar las dos torres de agua de
Mount Hope, la seguridad fue
prioridad durante elproyecto. La
camiseta que viste Macias, con el
lema "Nuestra meta -- ningan
accidente' le fue entregada por la
divisi6n trs nombrarlo empleado
del mes, un honor ganado por su
record de seguridad.

agua cerca del Hospital de Coco
Solo sirvi6 como triste advertencia
del peligro potencial de la obra.
El trabajo en Mount Hope, que
comenz6 en enero, incluy6 reparar
y reemplazar escaleras, columnas
y soportes, y pintar todas las
secciones con pintura anticorrosiva.
Unos 30 empleados, incluyendo
soldadores, trabajadoresde hierro,
operadores de gruia, aparejadores
y pintores, hicieron el trabajo.
El dfa se iniciaba con una charla
de 15 minutos sobre seguridad. El
lider soldador Jos6Forero, capataz
del proyecto, recordaba siempre a
los empleados: "Miren a sus
compafieros y si los ven haciendo
algo inseguro, diganselo". El
trabajador de hierro estructural
M6nico Zorrillo, dice: "No s6lo
dependiamos del equipo, sino de
los demas".
Una de las partes mis
interesantes del trabajo, segfin
Forero, fue remover las escaleras y
sus plataformas y fabricar e instalar
otras nuevas. Con 33 escalones
cada una, las cuatro secciones de la
escalera ysus plataformas se doblan
hacia arriba como una gigantesca
escalera de caracol alrededor de la
base de la torre.
Los empleados orgullosamente
removieron y reinstalaron las
escaleras sin ayuda externa. "Las
levantamos nosotros mismos en
seciones enteras usando un tomo
porque no se podia trabajar con
una gria grande en esa area", dice

Invierten en laboratorio automotriz de adiestramiento

Por Yira A. Flores
El Ramo de Adiestramiento
Industrial de la Comisi6n del Ca-
nal de Panama ha invertido mucho
en mejoras durante el (ltimo afio,
y el nuevo laboratorio automotriz
ha sido uno de los principales
beneficiarios. La ensefianza de la
mecAnica basica ha sido mejorada
considerablemente cambiando el
libro de texto por un sistema
practice usando t6cnicas
avanzadas. Cursos especializados
cubren cada una delas partes de un
auto, y computadoras, manuales,
equipo nuevo yotras herramientas
facilitan el aprendizaje.
Ofrecidos por contratistas o
instructores locales, los cursos son
adaptados a las necesidades de la
Comisi6n. El instructor Bill
Gonzdlez, por ejemplo, dice que
uno de los sistemas de inyecci6n de
combustible de la General Motors
fue modificado segfn el sistema de
las lanchas de la Divisi6n de
Dragadoyquevarios t6cnicosdela
divisi6n ya han sido adiestrados.
Ya quejuegan un papel vital en
el proceso de aprendizaje, los
instructores tambi6n reciben
adiestramiento especializado. Con
regularidad actualizan sus
conocimientos para mantener su
certificaci6n en los cursos
especificos que ofrecen.
Respecto al equipo, una nueva
herramienta de aprendizaje es un
dispositivo manual que permite al
t6cnico leer cualquier informaci6n
sobre un vehiculo almacenada en
la computadora. Tambi6n dirige
la informaci6n a la computadora
para activar diferentes simuladores,
como los de los sistemas de
inyecci6n de combustible, de frenos

anticierre y de ignici6n. GonzAlez
dice que el dispositivo permite al
mecanico resolver varios proble-
mas a la vez, mientras que usar
m6todos convencionales s6lo
permite enfocar un problema.
Gonzalez afiade que, como la
electr6nica se ha convertido en
una parte esencial de la mecAnica,
el ramo ofrece ahora
adiestramiento en ese campo.
"Hace diez afios no habia nada
electr6nico en los frenos y las
transmisiones", explica, "pero hoy
todo eso es electr6nico".
Una mejora importante en el
laboratorio automotriz ha sido el
establecimiento de una linea de
comunicaci6n con la General Mo-
tors, uno de los principales
proveedores de vehiculos de la
Comisi6n. Esto permite a los
t6cnicos obtener informaci6n y
solucionar los problemas
directamente con el fabricante en
s61o 48 horas. En la actualidad,
planean establecer contacto con

otros fabricantes de autos.
A trav6s de los afios, la Escuela
de Aprendices ha contribuido a la
operaci6n eficiente del Canal de
Panama desarrollando habi-
lidades t6cnicas necesarias en la
fuerza laboral. Segun el jefe
asistente del Ramo de Adies-
tramiento Industrial, Pedro Pinz6n,
se ha expandido de una escuela
exclusivamente para aprendices a
un complejo que ofrece
adiestramiento t6cnico a
empleados permanentes bajo los
programas de movilidad
ascendente y actualizaci6n.
Ademas del laboratorio
automotriz, cuentan con un
laboratorio de soldadura y un
centro de multimedios.
El ramo tambi6n ofrece
servicios consultivosycertificaci6n
enloscamposde capasycorrosivos,
levantamiento con gr6as y apare-
jamiento, soldadura y plomeria, y
ofrece pruebas para certificaci6n
comercial en varios oficios.

una lancha y tripulaci6n a la
Divisi6n de Mantenimiento
durante el trabajo, y a la Divisi6n
Industrial porproporcionar espacio
techado en el muelle para guardar
la lancha en las noches y proteger
su contenido. Guardar las
herramientas y equipo a bordo de
la lancha redujo el tiempo de
preparad6n y limpieza al inicio y
final de cada dia. "Cort6 nuestro
tiempo a la mitad",-dice Knight.

Como la ropa que se ensucia
despu6s de ser lavada, las torres
necesitan atenci6n regular.
Ubicadas al extremo de los
rompeolas, nunca descansan del
constante asaltodelviento, la lluvia,
el agua del mar y las fuertes olas.
Ademas de la inspecci6n, repa-
raci6n y pintura anuales reci6n
completadas, recibenuna segunda
capa de pintura protectora cada

Alta tecnologia Foto por Jaime Fernindez
Los mecdnicos aprendices de equipo pesado Agustin RodnIguez, a la
izquierda, y Antonio Delis usan algunos de los equipos nuevos en los
talleres delRamo deAdiestramiento Industrialpara resolverunproblema
de inyecci6n de combustible en un motor.

Anuncian plazo para candidatos interesados en
ser nominados para academia maritima

El administrador de la
Comisi6ndel Canal podra nominar
hasta diez candidatos para cada
una de las dos vacantes para la
Academia de la Marina Mercante
delosEstadosUnidos. La selecci6n
se hara por exAmenes competitivos
para la clase graduanda de 1998,
que ingresara a la academia en
julio de 1994.
Para ser elegible a la
nominaci6n del administrador, los
solicitantes deben ser ciudadanos
estadounidenses e hijos de
estadounidenses residentes en
areas e instalaciones en la
Repfblica de Panama usadas por
los Estados Unidos segOn el
Tratado del Canal de 1977 y
acuerdos relacionados, o hijos de

personal estadounidense o
panamefio del gobierno de los
EstadosUnidos (incluyendomilitar
y de la Comisi6n) residentes en
cualquier parte de Panama.
Las solicitudes estan dispo-
nibles en las oficinas de los direc-
tores de las escuelas secundarias
de Balboa y Crist6bal. Deben
devolverse antes del22 de octubre.
El comit6 de nominaciones se
reunird el 19 de noviembre a las 9
a.m. para revisar los expendientes
y entrevistar a los solicitantes.
Todos los candidatos deben
presentarse a la oficina del direc-
tor de Ingenieria y Construcci6n
(Oficina 343 del Edificio de
Administraci6n en Altos de
Balboa) a las 8:30 esa maiiana.

Foto por Susan K. Stabler

Faros de rompeolas ... viene depdgina 1


el trabajador de hierro estructural
Fidel Rodriguez. "Comenzamos
con las escaleras para poder usar
las nuevas durante el resto del
proyecto", afiade Forero.
Otra fuente de orgullo fue la
fabricaci6n e instalaci6n de los
nuevos tirantes -- un total de 456
entre ambas torres. Forero dice
que instalarlos fue un aspecto muy
dificil del trabajo pues se
entrecruzan entre las columnas de
acero y son critics para la
resistenciaestructural delas torres.
La Divisi6n de Mantenimiento
tambi6n fabric muchas hebillas,
pinzas, tornillos grandes y piezas
de conexi6n.
Un vistazo a las torres indica
que gran parte del trabajo se hizo
agran altura. "Nadiepodia trabajar
en alturas solo -- y debiamos tener
comunicaci6n por radio en todo
momento", dice Zorrillo. Y afade:
"Siempre estabamos atados con
dos sogas por si una se rompia".
Sin embargo, a pesardel peligro
potencial, los participantes
descubrieron que trabajar sobre
un tanque de agua de un mill6n de
A diario festejaron su vista con un
panorama de las mismas areas
abastecidas por los tanques.
"Estamos muy satisfechos con
nuestrotrabajo", dice eltrabajador
de hierro estructural Francisco
Macias, y Wilkinson explica por
qu6. "Estas torres duraran los
pr6ximos 100 afios", predice.