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Governor, Leaders Give Thanks On Thanksgiving …Las Americas Port Gets Preliminary EPA Nod…Sanchez Nominated For Federal Bench…Burgos Supports Acevedo Vila’s Trip To Iraq, Cordero Urges Him To Resign As Resident Commissioner…'Hi To My Family In Puerto Rico'

Governor And Leaders Give Thanks On Thanksgiving

By Melissa B. Gonzalez Valentin of WOW News

November 27, 2003
Copyright © 2003
WOW NEWS. All rights reserved. 

In an attempt to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday politics in Puerto Rico, Gov. Sila Calderon and several other leaders took time off to reflect upon what they plan to give thanks for this Thanksgiving Day.

The governor–who left the island on Tuesday for the holiday break–said in a prepared statement that she wished Puerto Rican families would be able to spend a relaxed Thanksgiving Day weekend in unity to prepare for the Christmas holiday.

"We equally give thanks because we have been able to find stability following the recent rain and because together we have been able to overcome these difficult moments," Calderon said.

San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini urged the people to celebrate Thanksgiving Day in peace and to do good works for their neighbors.

"This day is a very special opportunity to reflect upon the infinite blessings we have received from our Creator throughout the year," Santini said.

Meanwhile, at the Capitol, legislators from the island’s three political parties also told WOW News what they plan to give thanks for–and to pray for–this year.

Here’s what they had to say:

"Thanksgiving is a daily thing. Besides from giving thanks for my life, my health, and my family, I always ask for a world and a country of peace," said Rep. Victor Garcia San Inocencio of the Puerto Rican Independence Party.

"I will give thanks for the health of my family, for the good grades that my children get at school, and for the opportunity that the New Progressive Party electorate has given us in the primary to serve Puerto Rico for four more years. I also give thanks because we are starting to see signs of hope that things may change," said Sen. Kenneth McClintock of the New Progressive Party.

"We’ve been celebrating my father’s health since August. We’ll be together on Thanksgiving Day," said Popular Democratic Party Sen. Jose Luis Dalmau, whose father is a heart attack survivor.

EPA’s preliminary backing of the Port of the Americas

November 27, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Secretary for Business and Development Milton Segarra informed on Wednesday that the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has confirmed its preliminary backing for the Port of the Americas, currently under construction in the southern region.

"The EPA’s endorsement is one of the most important steps in the entire development process of the Port of the Americas", Segarra said in a press release.

Segarra, who presides over the Port Authority's Board of Directors, said that the endorsement will allow the project to begin immediately, after the Military Corps of Engineers issues the dredging permits by mid 2004.

An estimated 5.4 million cubic meters of sediment will be removed from the navigation channel in the Bay of Ponce. This sediment will later be deposited in an area in the Caribbean to be chosen by the EPA. The chosen location will be approximately 2.4 miles south of the Port of Ponce, said Segarra.

The government official maintained that the EPA’s endorsement is based on studies of the Port of the Americas, which cost approximately $1 M.

Chester County Judge Nominated For Federal Bench

November 26, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House has nominated a Chester County judge to replace a longtime federal judge who died last spring.

Chester County Court of Common Pleas Judge Juan R. Sanchez, a native of Puerto Rico, would replace U.S. District Court Judge Jay C. Waldman in Pennsylvania's Eastern District. Waldman died of cancer in May, a month after the White House nominated him for a seat on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Sanchez, 47, moved to the United States as a youngster and graduated from high school in the Bronx, N.Y. He earned his undergraduate degree from City University of New York and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania law school in 1981.

He worked two years as a staff attorney in Chester County's legal aid office before serving 14 years as a trial attorney in the county's public defender's office. He was elected to his 10-year term on the common pleas bench in November 1997.

Sanchez also worked a year as a trial lawyer in civl court at the firm MacElree, Harvey, Gallagher, Featherman & Sebastian in Exton. He is divorced and has two children.

Burgos Endorses Acevedo Vila’s Trip To Iraq

November 26, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

MAYAGÜEZ (AP) — New Progressive Party Sen. Norma Burgos once again distanced herself from her party and came out in support of the trip to Iraq by the opposition party’s gubernatorial candidate, Resident Commissioner Anibal Acevedo Vila, to spend Thanksgiving Day with Puerto Rican soldiers there.

"Whether we like it or not, there are Puerto Rican troops who will feel comforted by Acevedo Vila’s presence in the middle of combat in a very risky place where several people have lost their lives," Burgos said.

NPP leaders, including gubernatorial candidate former Gov. Pedro Rossello, have criticized the resident commissioner’s trip, arguing it is politically motivated.

However Burgos, who won the most votes for the at-large Senate post in the November 9 primary, is known for saying things as she sees them.

"That is why they respect me and support me," Burgos said.

The senator added that while she was in prison for two months for trespassing on federal land in Vieques, Acevedo Vila’s support was a great help.

"This is very important support, and I can say so because I spent 60 days in prison and when Anibal came to visit me, I was very pleased," Burgos said.

"I believe that his visit to Iraq to go and cheer our troops is very well-made," Burgos added.

Cordero Urges Acevedo Vila To Concentrate On Campaign

November 26, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

PONCE (AP) — If Anibal Acevedo Vila doesn’t quit his post as resident commissioner in Washington to concentrate fully on his political campaign for the governorship, the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) will lose the general elections of 2004, Ponce Mayor Rafael Cordero Santiago said Wednesday.

"In my opinion, Anibal should abandon the resident commissioner post and dedicate himself to politics because [New Progressive Party gubernatorial candidate Pedro] Rossello is campaigning in Puerto Rico seven days a week," Cordero said.

"Acevedo Vila is campaigning two days a week and he is not going to win that way," the mayor said.

Cordero, who is a member of the PDP governing board, said a gubernatorial campaign has to be conducted on a full-time basis.

In the past, Acevedo Vila has declined to resign as resident commissioner.

Hi To My Family Back In Puerto Rico

November 25, 2003
Copyright © 2003
National Broadcasting Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 

NBC News: Today

Mr. EDWARD RODRIGUEZ: Hi. My name is Private Edward Rodriguez from 11 CAV Falcon Troop. I want to say hi to my family back in Puerto Rico, especially to my nephew Miguelito, my niece Adriana and my son Derek who's back in Germany. Thank you.

Mr. LOCKWOOD: Hi. I'm PFC Lockwood with Falcon Troop 11 CAV. I'm stationed in Iraq. I'd just like to give a shout out to my family and my friends in St. Paul, Minnesota. Hi. I miss you and love you.

Mr. DAVID RODRIGUEZ: Sergeant David Rodriguez, Falcon Troop 11 CAV. My hometown was Beeville, Texas. I'd like to say hi to my wife. I miss her, I love her. Hello to my family members. Miss y'all and love y'all. Can't wait to see y'all.

KATIE COURIC, co-host:

Some brave US soldiers sending greetings to their loved ones back home. We're sure they're particularly missing their families at this time of year and wanted to give them an opportunity to send their good wishes.

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