Calderon: Rossello To Be Fully Investigated Viequenses Plan Capitol Protest $1m More For Nonprofits Most Wanted Galindo Picks Kansas EEC Proposes Educational Exchange Carolina Sewer Plant In State Of Emergency Serrano Asks FBI To Investigate Muñiz Varela VA Hospital Gets New $25m Tower
Calderon: Rossello To Be Fully Investigated
May 18, 2004
GURABO (AP) Gov. Sila Calderon said on Tuesday that the investigation being conducted by the Retirement Systems Authority into former Gov. Pedro Rossellos pension for 30 years of service would follow through until every inquiry had been satisfied.
However, Calderon pointed out that she wouldnt interfere in the investigation, which hopes to clear up whether Rossello did indeed merit pension benefits amounting to 30 years of public service in the sum of $52,500.
"What I understand is that the investigation has begun and will be carried through to its logical conclusion," said the governor while attending in police award ceremony.
She rejected claims by Rossello campaign staffers that the investigation in a personal vendetta.
"In my administration all citizens are measured with the same yardstick," said the governor, who supported Health Secretary Johnny Rullans investigation on the matter.
Rullan asked the Retirement Systems Administration to use every regulation against Pedro Rossello, who has failed to submit evidence of completion of 30 years of public service.
Rossello was able to secure his pension with certification from the Mental Health & Anti-Addiction Services Administration (MHAASA), which certified the nine months need for 30-year pension eligibility.
A pension of less than 30 years is subject to a $18,900 reduction in benefits annually.
Vieques Residents To Protest Outside The Capitol
May 18, 2004
SAN JUAN (AP) A group of Vieques residents will protest outside the capitol on Thursday demanding that the promises for better health care be are fulfilled.
The Committee for Rescue and Development of Vieques said the residents will demand the completion of a study on the existence of heavy metals in their bodies as well as an investigation into the high occurrence of cancer on the island municipality.
The group continues to claim that the poor health of the residents of Vieques is a direct consequence of the U.S. Navy military practices in the municipality for over 60 years.
"The 63 years of bombing has produced high contamination rate in our land, air and water. The health crisis of Vieques residents deserves urgent attention from our government," the Committee said in a written statement.
Vieques residents urged island residents to echo their demands by sending letters to governor Sila Calderon.
$1 Million More For Nonprofit Organizations
May 18, 2004
PONCE (AP) House Treasury Committee Chairman Francisco Zayas Seijo announced legislative contribution to nonprofit organizations would increase to $20 million for the next fiscal year.
Zayas Seijo justified the $1 million increasefrom $19 million $20 millionsaying that there still are few financial allocations for nonprofit organizations.
The legislator added that more than 500 nonprofitsamong them, Sor Isolina Ferre Center, Hogar Crea, and Teen Challengewould be eligible to receive the funds next year.
"These organizations help the government provide services that otherwise would not be available, efficient or effective; and they do so with less spending," said Zayas Seijo.
He also said the increase is meant to expand the number of nonprofit organizations that receive aid.
Pereira Discloses List Of Most Wanted Criminals
By WOW Staff
May 18, 2004
Correction & Rehabilitation Secretary Miguel Pereira disclosed a list of most wanted escaped convicts on Tuesday.
Heading the list is Juan Ramon Lopez Perez, who escaped from the Bayamon Detention Center on January 1979. At the time of his escape he was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder, weapons charges, and attempted murder.
Others wanted for murder were:
*Juan Ramon Lopez Perez, 59
*Miguel A. Rivera Matos, 23
*Samuel Lorenzo Gonzalez, 40
*Hector L. Marcano Cruz, 37
*Melvin Correa Correa, 25. .
Also wanted on robbery, drugs, and weapons charges are:
*Jose Martinez Rodriguez, 26
*Eddie de la Cruz, 23
*Rodolfo Rodriguez Agosto, 21
*Melvin Correa, 25
*Jose Diaz Muñoz, 26
*Jose Bayron Rabell, 27
*Joendry Santiago Luciano, 22
*Rufiño Rodriguez, 25
*Alexis Rodriguez Torres, 26
*David Sekerak Ledesma, 31.
*The Special Arrest Unit is on 24-hour alert and urges any citizen with information that may lead to the arrest of the fugitives to call (787) 759-6660.
Galindo Picks Kansas Instead Of Pitt
RAY FITTIPALDO PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE
May 18, 2004
Alex Galindo, one of the top unsigned high school basketball players in the country, finally decided where he will attend school in the fall. Galindo chose Big 12 Conference heavyweight Kansas over Pitt, Rutgers and Georgetown.
Pitt had recruited Galindo hard after he got out of his original commitment to UTEP in the wake of coach Billy Gillespie leaving for Texas A&M. Galindo visited Pitt first in late April and then visited Rutgers, Kansas and Georgetown.
Galindo, a 6-foot-6 forward from Puerto Rico who played this past season at St. Benedict's Prep in New Jersey, is the No. 65-rated senior in the country according to Rivals.com.
Louvre Interested In Educational Exchange
By Laura Rivera of Associated Press
May 17, 2004
SAN JUAN (AP) The president and director of the Louvre Museum in France Henry Loyrette on Monday expressed his desire to promote educational exchanges between Puerto Rico and the European community.
Loyrette, who is in Puerto Rico until Thursday, made his declaration during an activity related to International Museum Day, which is observed on May 18th, hosted by San Juan mayor Jorge Santini in an assembly of the Puerto Rican Museum Association.
"During my visit to Puerto Rico I would like to bring together the youth of our two countries. We are not simply talking about exhibitions but of educational exchanges, we have a lot to learn from each other," said Loyrette in a press conference at the San Juan Museum.
Loyrette cited exchange programs which bring French children to New York to view museums and vice versa.
"It is project we can work on together: bringing French students here and taking Puerto Rican students to France," added Loyrette.
Santini offered San Juans Museum resources as a way to establish a working relationship with the prestigious French institution.
Loyrette will address the Puerto Rican Assembly Of Museums about the Louvre in the San Juan Museum.
Serrano Calls On FBI To Investigate Muñiz Varela
May 17, 2004
SAN JUAN (AP) 25 years after the murder of Carlos Muñiz Varela, United States Congressman Jose Serrano announced that he will petition the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to reopen the murder investigation, at the request of the victims family.
Serrano, representative from New York, said on Monday that he will send a letter to FBI headquarters requesting that they reopen the investigation into the murder of Muñiz Varela, a Cuban travel agent who died from multiple gunshot wounds April 28th 1979 in Rio Piedras.
"Im familiar with the case," said Serrano to newspapers referring to a letter he had received from the Friends and Family of Carlos Muñiz Varela Commitee.
The victims family claims that the murder was perpetrated by members of the extreme right who were opposed to trips to Cuba organized by Muñiz Varela in the hope of bringing Cuban exiles and their families closer together.
"The death of Carlos Muñiz Varela is a perfect example of political crime in Puerto Rico. Carlos was a victim of an attack financed and planned by extremist elements in the Cuban exile community in Puerto Rico," said Raul Alzaga Manresa, who co-owned the Varadero Travel Agency with Muñiz Varela.
A similar letter was sent to Luis Gutierrez, Democratic Congressman representing Chicago, who, while visiting Puerto Rico, gave his support for reopening the investigation.
Serrano is the democratic leader of the Budgetary Assignments Sub-committee which oversees budget allocations for the Department of Justice, who oversees FBI operations.
Sewer Plant In Carolina Declared In State Of Emergency
May 17, 2004
SAN JUAN (AP) The Board of Directors of the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority(Prasa), declared that the aqueduct plant of Carolina is in a state of emergency.
The Boards president, Juan Agosto Alicea, said on Monday that with this decision they are using for the first time the new powers given to the organization by the Law 92 of March 31, 2004.
" Declaring this plant in state of emergency allows us to take immediate corrective measures, which this plant requires to retain the 301 H waiver", declared Agosto in a press release.
According to Agosto, the state of emergency declaration was made in coordination with the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).
"The state of emergency will allow us to make the improvements as fast as possible, and we are sure that once the situation is over, well have a plant functioning at the level which the applicable laws and regulations", require said Agosto.
The sewer plant of Carolina is a primary plant which operates with an EPA waiver. Five other primary plants receive this waiver.
For the waiver to be received the plant has to demonstrate that the treatment that the waters receive is high enough in quality to guarantee protection to public heath and to the environment.
"Since July 2003, the Board had been collecting information about what was happening at the plant and how to correct the obstacles. Now we have at hand the instruments to act with the haste the situation requires", added Agosto.
He also said that if the requirements of the waiver were broken, the cost to make it a secondary plant would be over $200 millions.
The declaration of emergency will allow Prasa, among other things, to use internal and external resources quickly to make the repairs and replacements to improve the level of operation of the plant.
In this way, indispensable pieces of equipment can be replaced and repaired, if they have been identified as useless or badly deteriorated.
New Tower For Veterans Hospital
May 17, 2004
SAN JUAN (AP) The Secretary of Federal Veterans Affairs Department , Anthony Principi, announced on Monday the construction of a new tower in the Veterans Hospital in Rio Piedras.
While making the announcement, Principi said that Puerto Rico will be well equipped to handle returning veterans from the war in Iraq.
"These changes will create greater access to services for veterans on the island," he said while praising Puerto Rican participation in the US military.
Principi said that over 64,000 veterans were treated in Puerto Rico in 2003, and that the Veterans Affairs Department spent $763 million in Puerto Rico.
Resident Commissioner Anibal Acevedo Vila thanked the Secretary for his support in gaining the $25 million needed for the towers construction.