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Show Tracks Boston's Puerto Ricans…Rossello’s Tax Returns Raise Residency Doubts, PDP Challenged To Take Him To Court…Two Dead, Several Injured In Bayamon Prison Riot…Spc. Jocelyn Carrasquillo Killed In Iraq…Vieques Little Missed By Navy…Treasury Hopes To Collect $1b…Calderon Pays Tribute To Terrorist Victims

A Photo Show Tracks Boston's Puerto Ricans Over 29 Years


March 17, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved. 

The Boston Globe

One photograph shows the muchacha (young girl) with her hair drawn back in a ponytail so tightly that it tugs the corner of her eyes as she watches a Boston Puerto Rican festival parades.

Another shows youngsters marching downtown to protest US bombing exercises in Vieques, an island off Puerto Rico, in 2001. And one depicts a group of young women listening to another playing the guitar at South End's Villa Victoria housing development in 1975.

The photographs are part of a 71-piece exhibit called "A Community in Progress Puerto Ricans in Boston: A Photo Essay" on display at the Healey Library at UMass at Columbia Point. The collection, which captures festivals, parades, marches, and everyday slices of Boston's Puerto Rican community, was snapped by Angel A. Amy Moreno, a professor of history at Northeastern University and Roxbury Community College. He is also a member of the Boston School Committee and, apparently, a photo enthusiast.

The exhibit documents "the first Latino or Hispanic community that came over and settled in the South End," said Moreno, who moved to Boston in 1975 to pursue a doctorate at Boston University. It was then that he began photographing Puerto Ricans in the Hub and chronicling the community as a part-time reporter for El Mundo, the Spanish-language newspaper.

The exhibit "shows the struggles of the community, the suffering as well as the highlights and celebrations," Moreno said. "It shows how we were when I arrived in 1975."

Some of the photographs include local political leaders before they became who they are today. They include Jorge Hernandez, the late Hispanic activist for whom a center is named at Villa Victoria. The exhibit runs till March 29.

Rossello’s Income-Tax Forms Raise Doubt Over His Residency

March 16, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — When former Gov. Pedro Rossello worked as a university professor in Virginia, he filed his 2001 and 2002 income taxes forms as a nonresident of Puerto Rico.

Although his attorney Luis Berrios couldn’t explain Rossello’s tax statements, and why he didn’t pay taxes in Puerto Rico for his Virginia income, he argued that the address on the income-tax forms was the former governor’s Guaynabo home.

"Pedro Rossello not only has maintained a legal residence in Puerto Rico all his life but also has kept a home in Puerto Rico all his life," Berrios said.

The newfound information about Rossello’s income-tax forms raises anew doubts over the legality of the former governor’s candidacy. The Puerto Rico Constitution establishes that to run for governor, candidates must have lived in Puerto Rico for five years prior to being elected.

During 2001 and 2002, the former governor lived in and worked as a university professor in Virginia.

Meanwhile Treasury Department Secretary Juan Flores Galarza said that to be considered a legal resident of Puerto Rico, Rossello must have spent at least 183 days of each calendar year on the island.

On Aug. 1, 2003, the State Elections Commission certified Rossello as a candidate who complied with all requirements to be a gubernatorial candidate.

Both the New Progressive and Popular Democratic parties have scheduled a noon press conference Tuesday to discuss Rossello’s income-tax forms.

Rivera Schatz Challenges PDP To Take Rossello To Court

By Melissa B. Gonzalez Valentin of WOW News

March 16, 2004
Copyright © 2004 WOW NEWS. All rights reserved. 

New Progressive Party (NPP) Electoral Commissioner Thomas Rivera Schatz urged the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) to challenge the gubernatorial candidacy of NPP President Pedro Rossello if they think they have a case against him.

"I dare them to take this to court and accuse Rossello of perjury. We will prevail not only in court, but also at the polls," Rivera Schatz said during a press conference at NPP headquarters in Hato Rey on Tuesday.

Rivera Schatz issued his statements in reaction to a Monday-night TV news report. According to the report, Rossello committed perjury when he allegedly submitted contradictory information to the Treasury Department and the State Elections Commission (SEC) regarding his official place of residence.

The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico states that only a person who is 35 years or older, a U.S. citizen, and a resident of Puerto Rico for five consecutive years previous to the election can run for governor of the island.

Rossello filed his local income tax report as a non-resident in 2001 and 2002 when he was living in Virginia and teaching at a nearby university. However, he declared at the SEC that he had maintained official residence in Puerto Rico for the previous five years.

Rivera Schatz said this doesn’t constitute a problem and isn’t perjury, because the Puerto Rico Supreme Court has ruled in the past that a person can keep his official residence in Puerto Rico while temporarily living on the U.S. mainland.

"He was living there because of his job, but he maintained his accountant and his right to vote in Puerto Rico, as well as his family and professional ties to the island," Rivera Schatz said.

The NPP electoral commissioner reminded the press that SEC President Aurelio Gracia has already certified Rossello as a bona fide candidate who has complied with all requirements to run for governor.

"His intention has always been to remain a resident of Puerto Rico," he added. However, for tax purposes, he had to file his report as a Virginia resident while he was working there during those two years. The NPP electoral commissioner also said Rossello entered his Puerto Rico address as the main address on all his income tax reports which include federal, state, and local income tax reports.

Rivera Schatz added that Rossello’s income tax reports are public documents which are open to anyone who wishes to verify that information.

Two Dead, Several Injured In Bayamon Prison Riot

March 16, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Two inmates were killed and another four were hurt in a riot at the Bayamon Regional Prison on Tuesday, Correction Department officials said.

"One of the inmates died at the institution and the other died while receiving medical attention," Corrections Secretary Miguel Pereira said in a prepared statement.

The riot was started during recess by inmates whose participation in rehabilitation programs had been revoked, said Corrections Deputy Administrator Gil Rodriguez.

"Everything is now under control and back to normal," said Rodriguez as ambulance and police sirens could still be heard on the premises of the Bayamon prison.

Two of the injured inmates are reportedly in critical condition and have been transferred to the Rio Piedras Medical Center. The other two injured inmates receiving treatment in prison.

The weaponts used in the riots had been made in secret by priosoners.

Following the outbreak, Correction officers found and confiscated 40 homemade shanks.

Rodriguez said authorities have yet to determine the cause of the riot, but noted that it could have been gang related.

Family Says National Guardsman From Goldsboro, Spc. Jocelyn Carrasquillo, Killed In Iraq

March 15, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (AP) - A National Guardsman from the Wilmington-based 120th Infantry Regiment has died in Iraq, his family and Gov. Mike Easley said Monday. The family was awaiting the return of the man's twin brother from combat.

Spc. Jocelyn "Joce" Carrasquillo, 28, died Saturday when his convoy hit a land mine, his older brother Luis Carrasquillo said.

"He was always smiling," he said. "He was having a good time, fighting for our country. He was definitely not scared to be there."

Luis Carrasquillo, whose family is originally from Puerto Rico, added that the twins' birthday is March 31 and that Joce Carrasquillo had called their mother March 10 for her birthday.

"He looked after his mother. He pretty much refinanced her house before he left," he said.

Easley confirmed the death in an interview with The Associated Press.

Joce Carrasquillo had served in the National Guard for seven years while working and studying occupational therapy and massage therapy. Clark said Joce Carrasquillo volunteered his skills at nursing homes in his free time.

He deployed for the first time three weeks ago.

"We will miss Spc. Carrasquillo," said Brig. Gen. Danny Hackman, commander of the North Carolina National Guard's 30th Heavy Separate Brigade. "His passing will affect us all, but serves to increase our resolve to succeed in our mission."

His twin brother, Ronald Carrasquillo, has been stationed in Iraq for more than a year. He is a deputy with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office and an Army reservist.

Vieques Little Missed In New Navy Combat Scheme

By Bill Kaczor of Associated Press

March 15, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

ABOARD THE USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (AP) - The closure of a bombing and gunnery range on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, which played a lead role in Navy training for a half-century, has been little missed or lamented during the first major test of its replacement.

An aircraft carrier strike group of eight warships will for the first time Wednesday complete a live- and simulated-fire training exercise fully utilizing bases and weapons ranges across the Southeast United States that comprise the Navy's new Training Resource Strategy.

"The training is much, much better now," said Capt. Mark Guadagnini, commanding officer of Carrier Airwing Group 17. The 46-year-old Long Beach, California, native participated in a dozen exercises at the Vieques range before it was closed last year.

"The quality of training we're receiving today as compared to two years ago is, I would say, 50 to 60 percent better," Guadagnini said. "It's more intense and that will carry over longer."

Instead of one small target, Navy pilots now take aim at targets in a series of ranges from Virginia to Florida.

"Vieques was a very isolated, one-stop shop range," said Cmdr. Jeff Haupt, executive officer of Fighter Attack Squadron 34 and another veteran of training on the island.

Treasury Department Hopes To Collect $1 Billion

March 15, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — One month away from the deadline to file income tax forms, Treasury Department Deputy Secretary Rebecca Vargas announced plans to open eight centers at several shopping malls where department employees will help citizens fill out their tax forms.

Vargas hopes to collect $1.1 billion this year, which represents a $35 million increase when compared with the amount collected last year.

The centers will be located at Plaza las Americas of San Juan, Ponce Mall, Plaza Carolina, Plaza del Carmen in Caguas, Santa Rosa Mall in Bayamon, Beltz Mall in Canovanas, Mayaguez Town Center, and Plaza Atenas of Manati.

All centers are to be fully operating by the end of the week.

The centers will remain open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until April 2. After that the centers will be open until 7 p.m. They will remain closed on Good Friday.

Calderon Pays Tribute To Victims Of Terrorism In Spain

March 15, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Gov. Sila Calderon expressed her condolences to the people of Spain living in Puerto Rico on Monday morning during an ecumenical memorial service for the 200 people killed and the over 1,500 wounded during Thursday terrorist attack on Madrid.

"What happened in Madrid on March 11 hurt us all. It doesn’t matter were we live, it doesn’t matter what differences we might have; we all cried with Spain last week," said Calderon.

Calderon invited Spanish citizens, government officials, and members of the church to participate in Monday’s service act.

The Puerto Rican and U.S. flags waved at half-mast at all gubernatorial offices as a sign of mourning for the terrible attack.

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