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Rossello Committed To Keeping Ft. Buchanan Open…Calderon Halts New Penal Code…Voices Of Puerto Rico…Arecibo ''Sees'' 7 Times More Sky…Notre Dame Honors Luis Haddock…Siaca Outpoints Mundine For Title…Simon Buys Plaza Carolina…Perez To Make Film On Puerto Rican Day Parade

Rossello Committed To Keeping Buchanan Base Open

By Melissa B. Gonzalez Valentin of WOW News

May 6, 2004
Copyright © 2004 WOW NEWS. All rights reserved. 

In the face of a possible shutdown of Buchanan military base in Guaynabo, New Progressive Party (NPP) gubernatorial candidate Pedro Rossello on Thursday said he would do everything in his power to keep the base open.

He also lambasted Popular Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate and Resident Commissioner Anibal Acevedo Vila for downplaying the situation.

Rossello pointed out that Acevedo Vila had assumed a similar position in the past regarding the shutdown of Roosevelt Roads naval base in Ceiba.

"History has proved his statements wrong. They were unfortunate and a big mistake," Rossello said to a question asked by WOW News during a press conference in Hato Rey.

Rossello added that he is already in conversations to make Buchanan a recruitment center for the National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve.

He noted the U.S. Army Reserve’s emergence as the most important federal military agency on the island following the withdrawal of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army South from Puerto Rico.

"Our position is that we will do everything we can to keep it open, just as we successfully did in the previous Base Realignment & Closure (BRAC) process," Rossello said.

In 2002, Gov. Sila Calderon had said she doubted the withdrawal of the Army South from Buchanan would make a dent in Puerto Rico. Rossello held the Calderon administration responsible for making Buchanan more vulnerable to a definite shutdown.

As reported in CARIBBEAN BUSINESS, U.S. Army South was transferred to Puerto Rico in 1999 under the Rossello administration and employed more than 1,200 people on the island, some 755 of them civilians. In addition, its annual contribution to the local economy has been estimated at more than $160 million.

Governor Halts New Penal Code

May 6, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – Governor Sila M. Calderon reiterated on Thursday that the New Penal Code was conceived by the Legislative Branch and said that she had asked the Senate President time to review it before approving it.

The Governor said that sentences and environmental crimes should be evaluated more extensively and said that a focus group made up of legislators and government officials of the Executive Branch was created to this end.

"This is a project of great significance, a revision of our penal code requires wide analysis of all its parts. As Governor, I want to make sure that I treat this bill with the attention that such a fundamental measure disserves," said Calderon at a press conference in a Rio Piedras school where she was inaugurating an Internet system.

She denied allegation that the halt was a reaction to New Progressive Party (NPP) opposition to the new Penal Code, who claim’s it would reduce prison sentences when it goes into effect.

Voices Of Puerto Rico

May 6, 2004
Copyright © 2004 The Hartford Courant. All rights reserved. 

SATURDAY -- Glaisma Pérez-Silva, a Hartford poet, will present her work chronicling the migration experience, Saturday, 8 p.m. at Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor St., Hartford. The program, "De lo Erótico a lo Étnico," will be presented in Spanish.

The program recognizes African ancestry in Puerto Rico.

Tickets are $15 at the door, $12 in advance and for members. Information: 860-232-1006.

Arecibo ''Sees'' Seven Times More Sky

May 6, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Canberra Times. All rights reserved. 

CSIRO-built equipment has been installed on the world's largest radio telescope on the island of Puerto Rico. The $1.4 million instrument is described as ''essentially a camera that uses radio waves instead of light to make pictures of galaxies and gas clouds in space''. Last month it was trucked to the Arecibo telescope, a 305-metre diameter dish set into the ground, and winched on to the receptor platform 150 metres overhead.

The instrument lets the telescope ''see'' seven times more sky each time it looks. Arecibo Observatory is operated by Cornell University under a cooperative agreement with the US National Science Foundation.

Luis Haddock Honored With Byron V. Kanaley Award

May 5, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Official College Sports Network via M2 Communications Limited. All rights reserved. 

The third annual O.S.C.A.R.S. (Outstanding Student-Athletes Celebrating Achievements and Recognition Showcase) honored student-athletes that competed on athletic teams at Notre Dame during the 2003-04 campaign.

Five student-athletes were presented with the Byron V. Kanaley Award [including] tennis player Luis Haddock (Caguas, Puerto Rico).

The Kanaley Award, chosen by the University's Faculty Board on Athletics, is the most prestigious honor presented to student-athletes. [It] has been given each year since 1927 to senior monogram athletes who have been most exemplary as both students and leaders.

Haddock has been a four-year contributor in the Irish singles lineup, playing in the top four positions throughout that span and manning the top spot the last two seasons. In 2003-04, he has posted career-high national rankings in both singles and doubles, at 57th and 14th, respectively.

A two-year captain, Haddock was named team MVP this season.

Haddock is a former Puerto Rican singles (2001) and doubles (2000) national champion, as well as a six-time Davis Cup participant. A member of the Academic Honors Program and a Dean's List honoree on five occasions, he will graduate with a degree in pre-professional studies from the College of Arts and Letters.

Siaca Beats Mundine On Split Points Decision

By Mike Corder of Associated Press

May 5, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. 

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Manny Siaca of Puerto Rico won the World Boxing Association super middleweight title when he beat champion Anthony Mundine of Australia in a 12-round split points decision Wednesday.

Siaca, 28, sent Mundine to the canvas twice - at the end of the second round and again in the sixth, to win his 18th professional fight - 16 by knockout - along with four losses.

Japanese judge Takeshi Shimikawa scored the fight 114-113 in Mundine's favor, while Sweden's Mikael Hook and South Korea's Shim Wang-sup both had the challenger winning 115-113.

"Really I thought I won . . . I thought I out boxed him," Mundine, who is also 28, said after the fight. "I became a champion and I'll take the loss like a champion."

It was the second defense of Mundine's title. The Australian fighter's last bout was on Jan. 19 when he recovered from a knockdown - also in the second round - to stop Japan's Yoshinori Nishizawa in the fifth round at Wollongong, Australia.

Former professional rugby league player Mundine won the vacant WBA crown with a unanimous decision over Antwun Echols of the United States last September.

Mundine now has a record of 20-2 with 15 knockouts.

Siaca, who entered the ring wearing an Australian Wallabies rugby union jumper, weighed in at 75.9 kilograms (166.98 pounds) while Mundine was at 75.8 kilograms (166.65 pounds).

Siaca is the first Puerto Rican to win a title at super middleweight.

"It was a close fight," said Siaca. "He's a great champion . . . he can be champion again."

"He's very fast. I never thought he would be that fast."

Mundine declined to attend the post-fight press conference. However, his father and trainer Tony said Anthony would remain in boxing and seek a rematch with Siaca.

"We're going to try to get a rematch," Tony Mundine said. "I can't say too much until I have spoken to the WBA."

Before the fight, Mundine was advised against taking a painkiller due to an ankle injury sustained in training last week, and Siaca was angered by an enforced late change of referee.

Mundine visited doctor Martin Raftery mid afternoon for a final check on his sprained right ankle ligaments.

Raftery reiterated the ankle would not be 100 percent, but warned Mundine of the potential adverse affects of having any kind of anesthetic.

"Some people have suggested he should have an anesthetic, but that could lead to a lack of coordination," Raftery said.

The Siaca camp contacted WBA president Gilberto Mendoza in Venezuela to register their displeasure at the late refereeing change after Panama's Guillermo Pineda failed to reach Australia in time.

A severe storm in Los Angeles delayed Pineda's connecting flight, making it impossible for him to reach Australia in time.

Experienced American official Raul Caiz, who was one of the judges appointed to the bout, was subsequently promoted to referee by fight supervisor Shim.

Shim took over the vacant judge's spot with Australian Derek Milham stepping into the supervisor's role.

The crowd of about 7,000 included several sporting stars, among them former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh, and former Prime Minister Paul Keating.

Plaza Carolina Sold For $309 Million

By Taina Rosa of Caribbean Business

May 5, 2004
Copyright © 2004 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All rights reserved. 

Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group has purchased Plaza Carolina for $309 million. The shopping mall -the second largest in Puerto Rico- was purchased from a partnership comprised of the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the State of Michigan Treasury.

Plaza Carolina receives over 30,000 visitors per day, according to company sources.

Plaza Carolina comprises 1.1 million square feet and is anchored by JCPenney, Sears, a supermarket, a 12-screen movie theater and four junior anchors.

Built in 1978, Plaza Carolina generates total annual sales of approximately $275 million and sales per square foot of more than $450. The center has maintained a 98% average historical occupancy rate over the last five years.

Simon Property Group has real estate in 37 states, Canada, and Europe.

Perez To Make Film On Puerto Rican Day Parade

May 5, 2004
Copyright © 2004 World Entertainment News Network. All rights reserved. 

Rosie Perez has signed up to direct and executive produce her first ever documentary on New York's Puerto Rican Day Parade.

The Fearless star has teamed up with cable network the Independent Film Channel to make the film about the huge summer festival, which she has participated in on many occasions.

She says, "It's the largest parade in the nation, but what I'm really gonna talk about is the political-cultural relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States, because Puerto Rico's like a modern-day colony, if you will, and there's a lot of controversy."

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