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Three Spanish — Language Newspapers Debut…Acevedo Vila Meets With Navy Over RR…Crime Guns Bought On Mainland…Half Of Special Communities Funds Allocated…Puerto Rico Heads To Athens Olympics… Stars To Deliver Message To Youth…RR Port Development Still Possible…Mercado Denies Existence Of Powell Memo

Three Spanish - Language Papers Debut

September 2, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Three new or expanded Spanish-language newspapers debuted Tuesday, testimony to the growing Hispanic market that has publishers and advertisers taking notice.

El Nuevo Dia, owned by the largest daily newspaper in Puerto Rico of the same name, began publishing weekdays in Orlando. Tribune Co. debuted its daily Hoy in Chicago and Knight Ridder's Diario La Estrella in Dallas/Fort Worth expanded from twice to five times a week.

Later this fall, Belo Corp.'s The Dallas Morning News will start publishing Al Dia six days a week and charge 25 cents.

The newspapers are the latest to cater to Spanish speakers: New York, Los Angeles and Miami already have their own Spanish-language dailies.

Publishers say the growth reflects the fact Hispanics are now the nation's largest minority group, numbering 38.3 million, or more than 13 percent of the U.S. population. In Chicago, Dallas and Orlando, Hispanics comprise at least 16 percent of the population.

``Our vision is to give the Hispanic community a voice and a means to get important information every day,'' El Nuevo Dia editor Jose Maldonado said.

At the same time, the group's buying power has increased nearly 30 percent over the past three years -- more than any other U.S. minority group, according to a University of Georgia report released last month.

``In Chicago, 70 percent of Hispanics prefer to read and speak in Spanish, they trust advertising more that they read in Spanish,'' said Digby Solomon Diez, Hoy's vice president and general manager. ``The marketers know this, and that's why they're calling us in and saying, 'Help us reach the folks, help us tailor our message to them.'''


On the Net:

El Nuevo Dia:

Diario La Estrella:

Hoy: http://www.holahoy.cominternet.nsf/(web)/index.htm

Acevedo Meets With U.S. Navy Officer To Discuss Roosevelt Roads

September 2, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) – Resident Commissioner Anibal Acevedo Vila will meet on Wednesday with Acting Secretary of the Navy Hansford T. Johnson to discuss issues related tot the possible closing of Naval Station Roosevelt Roads in Ceiba.

Acevedo Vila said he will take the opportunity to discuss with Johnson the Commonwealth decision to have an economic development plan for the future of the area.

The meeting will take place Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the Pentagon.

"In this meeting, my principal objective is to have the Navy know that if U.S. Roosevelt Roads is to be closed then it has to be done in an ordered matter, taking into consideration all the economic needs of the eastern region of Puerto Rico," Acevedo Vila said.

Crime Weapons Were Bought In The U.S.

September 2, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) – According to U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms statistics, more than 2,500 weapons purchased in Puerto Rico since 1999 and used in crimes were legally bought in the United States.

In addition, statistics show most of the weapons were purchased on the U.S. mainland and sent by mail to Puerto Rico.

"There are people who move to the United States and legally buy weapons; however, these weapons end up in Puerto Rico and we know that it is a lucrative business, Miami ATF spokesman James Higgins said.

Higgins said the ATF maintains a national database, that contains all details related to the purchase of firearms.

Government Allocates Half Of Special Communities Funds

September 2, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) – During the past year, the government has allocated $515.8 million of the Special Communities Trusteeship Fund to develop hundreds of projects in poor communities on the island.

Ramon Cantero Frau, chairman of the Trusteeship board, made the announcement in published reports Tuesday. The money, he said, is a little over half of the $1 billion allocated to the fund.

However, he acknowledged that only $10 million has been disbursed to implement the master plan to improve infrastructure in those communities.

Cantero Frau explained very few projects have completed the certification process needed to implement them.

The chairman noted the need for four to five times more money than is available in the trusteeship fund to truly eradicate poverty on the island.

Cantero Frau—who has assured the public he has not received payment for his work as the chairman—has presented his resignation from the board, which is expected will be effective Sept. 9, after which he will marry Gov. Sila Calderon.

He added that to ensure the plan’s economic stability, the local government has requested federal funds, and said it is possible that such agencies as the Rural Development Administration may allocate some money.

Puerto Rico Downs Canada To Head To Athens Olympics

By Chris Sheridan of Associated Press

August 31, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

Puerto Rico's basketball team is going to the Athens Olympics thanks to a pair of big men who dominated inside and a young point guard who stifled Canada's Steve Nash.

Jose "Piculin" Ortiz had a triple-double of 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, Daniel Santiago added 15 points, 11 rebounds and six assists and Carlos Arroyo held a frustrated Nash to just 10 points on 2-for-13 shooting as Puerto Rico defeated Canada 79-66 Sunday night in the third-place game at the Tournament of the Americas.

The United States played Argentina in the gold medal game later Sunday.

Dominating the game throughout, Puerto Rico avenged a homecourt loss to Canada four years ago that kept it out of the Sydney Olympics.

The players held a spirited celebration at midcourt, jumping up and down while holding the island commonwealth's flag as a sellout crowd roared in appreciation.

Ortiz, the 39-year-old national team stalwart, shot 10-for-18 from the field, blocked seven shots and had three steals. Santiago shot 7-for-12, Arroyo had five assists and Larry Ayuso added 15 points to send Puerto Rico back to the Olympics for the first time since 1996.

Rowan Barrett had 18 points for Canada, which fell behind in the first quarter with Nash trying to force the offense and never recovered.

Nash's shot selection was terrible in the first half as he went just 1-for-9, with many of the shots missing badly. He also spent time complaining to the referees, who have allowed the teams in this tournament to play an extremely physical brand of basketball.

It may have been Nash's final game for Canada, which he has represented in international competitions for 11 of the past 12 years. Canada will not play next summer and does not have a major international competition until the 2006 World Championships in Saitama, Japan.

Canada had a pair of 3-pointers at the start of the fourth quarter to pull to 66-53, but Ayuso answered with a 3 from deep in the right corner.

A 3-pointer by Eddie Casiano and back-to-back baskets by Ortiz made it 77-58 with 2:04 left. With one of Puerto Rico's assistants demonstrably urging the crowd on, the celebrating lasted for the rest of the game.

Stars To Take Message Of Overcoming To Youth

By Damaris Suarez Lugo of Associated Press

August 31, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

Famous stars in the Puerto Rican artistic and sports arenas will return to the schools to share with students some of their experiences and how they battled the conflicts they faced to get to where they are today.

Andy Montañez, Tito Auger, and Eric Landron will be some of the dozens of personalities who will use their lives to serve as a model for the young people as part of the campaign "From you to you. . .dreaming with our heroes," sponsored by the Youth Affairs Office.

"We have to take a campaign to create awareness, to promote a touch of consciousness in the Puerto Rican young people that we have to defend our places of recreation," agency Executive Director David Bernier.

According to the official, it is imperative for the youth to "seize" these public spaces, where in many cases, delinquents rule.

Bernier, who is a Panamerican medalist, said the campaign seeks to take a message of overcoming and confidence in themselves and their abilities, which will help them define their objectives and goals in their lives.

The agency’s initiative surges as the crime sigue peaks before the continuous wave of murders, mostly young people.

Development Of Port In Roosevelt Roads Not Discarded

August 31, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) – The Calderon administration has not discarded a commercial cargo port in Ceiba in the land now occupied by the Roosevelt Roads Naval Base, Economic Development & Commerce Secretary Milton Segarra said.

However, it will probably not be a mega transshipment port, as suggested by former Gov. Pedro Rossello.

"Nothing has been discarded, and the facility could become a port, and that is why we have contracted a private company to present a master plan that will give us suggestions for the adequate use of these 8,600 acres of land," Segarra said in published reports.

The official reminded that 4,000 of these acres are wetlands that "are out of the panorama of industrial or commercial development."

"There is an airport, a marine, a recreational marine, and new cargo ports, but it’s a facility that doesn’t have extensive depth, and a transshipment port cannot be developed there," he said.

"The facilities in Ceiba cannot be a transshipment port of the dimension we are considering in Ponce, unless a million-dollar transformation takes place, which would put the government in a very difficult position," Segarra added.

Mercado Denies Existence Of Federal Deauthorization

By Damaris Suarez Lugo of Associated Press

August 31, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

Secretary of State Ferdinand Mercado said no document of the federal government exists that deauthorizes Puerto Rico’s efforts to participate in the IberoAmerican Summit to be held in November in Bolivia.

"We have not been given a denial," Mercado said Saturday while reacting to public criticism that the federal government has tried to impede the local government’s initiative.

"All our international efforts have been consulted, and we maintain an excellent relationship with the U.S. Department of State," he said.

Published reports recently alleged that U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell ordered his ambassadors in Latin America through a letter to detain the lobbying of the Calderon administration to participate in the next IberoAmerican Summit.

"That letter does not exist; I have never seen it. There is no written nor verbal proof that the position of the U.S. Department of State was what was published and speculated about," said Mercado, assuring that the government has tried in vain to confirm the existence of the letter.

Mercado attributed the report, in which anonymous sources were quoted, to "the discomfort of certain sectors of partisan politics with the success the Puerto Rico government has had in terms of recognition of its insertion in the international community."

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