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President Granger calls for greater transparency, says proposed rates too burdensome

first_imgParking meter project…Jagdeo calls for scrapping of initiativeA head of his address to the Councillors of the Georgetown Municipality next week, President David GrangerPresident David Grangerhas called for greater transparency to prevail in relation to the highly-controversial parking meter project which, according to City Councillors, is shrouded in secrecy.The President also expressed concerns of the proposed rates for parking being too burdensome on citizens.State Minister Joseph Harmon disclosed on Wednesday that in light of mounting concerns over the initiative, Cabinet ordered that the contract between the Town Council and National Parking Systems/Smart City Solutions (NPS/SCS) Inc be reviewed by the Finance Ministry and Attorney General’s Chambers.Harmon had cautioned that Central Government is limited in its intervention since it is undemocratic and outright unlawful to interfere in matters under the remit of the City Council.Prompted for his take on the situation, the President during the taping of his weekly telecast, the “PublicParking meterInterest” on Thursday, said he is deeply concerned about the issues being raised in relation to the project.“Obviously we want to protect the national interests…I am disappointed that there are members of the public who feel they were not consulted…The whole purpose of having democratic elections is to have democratically run councils,” Granger stated.He noted that his Government cannot do much but insisted that transparency and accountability prevail.“As far as the Government is concerned, we would insist that there is greater transparency…we cannot overrule the council which is a legal body but we can ask for transparent procedures to prevail,” he stated.In his address to City Council next week, the President plans to also urge the Council to continue in its efforts to foster urban renewal.These include the sanitation projects, cleaning of canals, solid waste management, the clearing of D’Urban Park, among others.Granger said he will also urge the Council to focus on developing housing programmes in a joint effort with the Housing Department.“I would also urge them to look at minimising slums and squatter settlements, together with Central Government to embark on a programme of housing which would help indigent families move out of theOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeoblighted areas of the town and go into decent housing,” he stated.Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has joined many in calling for the parking meter programme to be scrapped immediately.During a news conference on Thursday, Jagdeo explained that apart from the controversial nature of the project, the proposed fees are extremely exorbitant and will only add to the financial burdens of the people of the country.Since the signing of the contract for the Parking Meters Project, many persons, including councillors, over the past weeks have raised concerns about the lack of transparency in the deal, which they claim appears to be a shady one indeed aimed at exploiting the local populace.Reports indicate that some 300 parking meters will be installed across the city, charging $125 every 15 minutes for an expected yearly income of approximately $100 million to $200 million.Moreover, minibus and taxi operators will be expected to pay $100 every time they park in their respective parks.Those employees who park outside their offices for eight hours per day will end up paying roughly $80,000 every month.burdens of the people of the country.Since the signing of the contract for the Parking Meters Project, many persons, including councillors, over the past weeks have raised concerns about the lack of transparency in the deal, which they claim appears to be a shady one indeed aimed at exploiting the local populace.Reports indicate that some 300 parking meters will be installed across the city, charging $125 every 15 minutes for an expected yearly income of approximately $100 million to $200 million.Moreover, minibus and taxi operators will be expected to pay $100 every time they park in their respective parks.Those employees who park outside their offices for eight hours per day will end up paying roughly $80,000 every month.last_img read more

Off the eaten path Corderos Bar

first_imgRelated posts:Off the eaten path: Bar y Restaurante Rio de Janeiro Off the eaten path: Bar La Selegna Off the eaten path: Pad Thai Off the eaten path: The best of 2018 I’ve already highlighted what I think are the top three chifrijos in Costa Rica. Doing so was one of my first orders of business when I started this column.At the end of the day, chifrijo is the shining star of Costa Rica cuisine. My hunger for it will never be fully satisfied. The search for the best one in Costa Rica will always continue.But this week, I might have found its origin.Before a soccer game at the Ricardo Saprissa stadium last week in Tibas, I walked into the nearby Cordero’s Bar with my boys. It looked like my kind of place: a small hole in the wall with a dimly lit bar – or cantina as they are referred to in Spanish.The owner, Miguel Cordero, has been the owner of this family business since the very beginning and claims to have invented the chifrijo, right there, at Cordero’s Bar.I am not able to confirm that, but I don’t doubt the guy. The story of the alleged chifrijo invention is on the first page of the five-page menu. The history of the chifrijo according to Cordero’s Bar. (William Ayre / The Tico Times)In summary, in October of 1979 while in the kitchen at his bar, Don Miguel mixed together a little of everything that he had on hand and served it in a single bowl. He enjoyed it so much that he made a second one for a customer. Obviously, the rest is history. The name chifrijo is a combination of Chi from chicharron, chile and chimuchirri and Frijo for frijoles.The dish is now widely popular with many versions or “imitations” across the country. Most include a base of white rice and a topping of avocado as key ingredients. At Cordero’s, their chifrijo has neither. That’s how it should be, says Don Miguel.The chifrijo at Cordero’s Bar has perfectly cooked red beans, a generous amount of delicious fried pork, fresh tomato pico de gallo and a top-secret house sauce that they say makes all the difference.They’re very serious about the top-secret part too. I couldn’t get a single ingredient out of them and am ashamed to admit, I was not successful in guessing either.I literally have no idea what’s in it, but it tastes good. As always, I like to top mine off with a brave serving of the house-made hot sauce or pickled chilis. It adds a welcome touch of spice. On the side, as always, are tortilla chips. The chifrijo at Cordero’s Bar. (William Ayre / The Tico Times)Don Miguel not only claims to have invented the chifrijo, but he also owns the trademark to the word. It’s caused backlash for him after it became public knowledge that he had served a handful of other local bars with a legal notice for using it on their menus. I say if the man really did invent the dish and name it himself, then why not? More power to him.Though this is ‘the house of the chifrijo’, the food menu at Cordero’s Bar also highlights most other local bar food staples like olla de carne, ceviche, mondongo, and dados de queso. It also has as a selection of soups, rices, pastas, salads and desserts. For the place’s small size, the menu is quite expansive. I never tried anything besides the chifrijo, I like to stick with what works.Cordero’s Bar also has antique relics covering the walls. It could almost double as a museum. It’s been open for more than 30 years and has amassed quite a collection of old beer brand signage, as well as Coca-Cola glassware from every World Cup tournament dating back to the turn of the century.Additionally, there are framed photos of La Sele squads from before I was born around the restaurant. There are also different black-and-white photos of the owner with various politicians. At least, I think they’re politicians. Shame on me. I didn’t recognize any of them. The inside of Cordero’s Bar. (William Ayre / The Tico Times)These collectibles give the bar a lot of charm. The dark wood finishing does too. For me, a bar like Cordero’s is of historic significance, leftover from another time, and needs to be conserved.Prices per plate of food average around 2,500 colones (about $4), with the chifrijo surprisingly being one of the more expensive options at 3,700 colones (about $6). Drinks are cheap here too, as expected, with an Imperial beer costing 1,200 colones (about $2). Prices include all taxes. Portions are smaller, bocas style. Major credit cards are accepted.Cordero’s Bar is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. until midnight. They close earlier, at 8 p.m., on Sundays. The bar is located on Avenida 53, 275 meters east of Pali, in Colima de Tibas. Street parking is easily available. Search “Cordero’s Bar” in Waze or Uber to arrive conveniently. William Ayre is a Canadian born chef and restaurateur who has spent the last half of his life doing business in Costa Rica, where he now considers to be home. Inspired by Anthony Bourdain, Ayre’s passion of experiencing different cultures through food has taken him to 35 different countries over five continents. Whether it’s a 20-course meal at a fine dining restaurant in Toronto, or cantina hopping in search for the best chifrijo here in San José, he fits in just fine. Facebook Commentslast_img read more