NPP Invokes Legal Right To Choose A SIP For Acevedo Rivera Schatz Lambastes Pesquera, Challenges Him To Join Rossello Campaign Download Aguada A "Slice Of Americana" Tourism Plans Coamo Hot Springs Revitalization LMM Airport Hotel Reopens Santini Praises NPP With Public Funds PRT Ending Island Long Distance Calls Acevedo Claims Excellent Relations With Calderon
NPP Invoke Legal Right To Choose A SIP For Acevedo Vila
By Melissa B. Gonzalez Valentin of WOW News
July 6, 2004
New Progressive Party (NPP) Electoral Commissioner Thomas Rivera Schatz asked State Elections Commission (SEC) President Aurelio Gracia on Tuesday to refer the report regarding Popular Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate Anibal Acevedo Vila's alleged electoral law violations, to the Government Ethics Office and the Treasury Department.
"We believe there are also violations of the Government Ethics Law and the Internal Revenue Code," Rivera Schatz said.
The NPP electoral commissioner also informed Justice Secretary Anabelle Rodriguez that the party will invoke the right to appoint and pay for the special independent prosecutor who should investigate the case in the eventuality that Rodriguez decides that there is enough evidence to refer the SEC findings for further investigation.
The electoral commissioners of the NPP, the PDP, and the PIP will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday to discuss the report that the SEC Electoral Auditor Luis Mendoza presented last week in which he concluded that Acevedo Vila may have violated the Electoral Law when he accepted up to $30,000 from Richard Machado.
The PDP has insisted on their version that Machado--who was a pre-candidate for San Juan mayor--gave the money in 1999 to help the PDP pay for its lobbying efforts against the Young Bill that was meant to solve the status issue of the island.
PDP Electoral Commissioner Gerardo Cruz said the Electoral Law is clear in that the state cannot regulate nor limit donations to a political party unless it is for an electoral event in which the government has had to invest money.
As a former SEC president, NPP Campaign Committee Chairman Juan R. Melecio declined to comment on that argument and reminded the press that he has disassociated himself from the SEC for several years now.
"If you are asking me to issue an adjudication based on what they said, I honestly cannot do that," said Melecio, who noted his trust in the integrity and capacity of his successor Gracia to make the right decision.
Should the three electoral commissioners fail to reach a consensus, it will be up to Gracia to make the final ruling.
Rivera Schatz reminded the press that it was the governing PDP that amended the Electoral Law to create the position of the electoral auditor who concluded that Acevedo Vila committed the violations.
"Those who have been investigating this issue are people who were chosen by the consensus of the three electoral commissioners. So they are deciding freely and in accordance to the law," Rivera Schatz concluded.
Rivera Schatz Summons Pesquera To Join Rossello
July 6, 2004
SAN JUAN (AP) New Progressive Party (NPP)Electoral Commissioner Thomas Rivera Schatz lambasted his former boss Carlos Pesquera on Monday and summoned him to join former Gov. Pedro Rossellos campaign.
"A true leader has no resentment, no complex. A true leader integrates himself and has vision of the future, thinks, gathers, and is positive and that is the difference between a true leader and one that isnt," said Rivera Schatz.
In addition, he challenged Pesquera and his followers to say whom they will vote for in the general elections on November 9.
"I ask Carlos Pesquera to publicly state who his candidate for governor in the general elections is I ask that of Edwin Mundo too. I want them to say if they are going to vote for the NPP in the general election, I trust they will vote for the NPP, but I want them to publicly say so," said Rivera Schatz.
He said both Pesquera and Mundo should say if they favor the initiative of a group of people who have to posted signs that read "Pesquera was right" all over San Juan.
Aguada Among Top Tiny Towns
By Jody Genessy Deseret Morning News
Deseret Morning News
July 6, 2004
Aguada, Puerto Rico is a "slice of Americana" and one of the country's "Top Ten Small Towns," according to Screensavers.com. The online pop-culture monitor ranked Henniker, NH No. 1. The Web site also recognized Boothbay Harbor, ME; Weekapaug, RI; Grand Falls, ND, Priest Lake, ID, Park City, UT, Pahrump, NV; and Cantwell, AK. Aguada placed ninth on the list, with Sault Sainte Marie, MI, rounding out the Top 10.
The rankings were based on how many times each city's computer image postcard was downloaded from the site's Small Town USA index. Aguadas screensaver can be downloaded free at www.screensavers.com.
$1.5 Million Investment To The Coamo Hot Springs
By Jose Fernandez Colon of Associated Press
July 6, 2004
SAN JUAN (AP) The Puerto Rico Tourism Co. announced on Tuesday a plan to revitalize the Coamo Hot Springs and to promote the new trend of physical health tourism on the island.
Puerto Rico Tourism Co. Executive Director Jose Suarez and Coamo Mayor Juan Garcia announced there would be a $1.5 Million investment to improve existing facilities and to build a brand new pool for disabled visitors.
"We want to promote physical health tourism, which is an increasingly popular trend while at the same time expand the scope of our attractions offered to internal tourist as well as foreign visitors," said Suarez.
Suarez also said that to promote tourism in the region the Tourism Co. had created a series of micro-companies in collaboration with the community to promote Coamos natural and cultural attractions.
"We have sale representatives concentrated in the Caribbean region promoting Puerto Rico as a destination to receive quality healthcare in our area," he added.
He highlighted the Coamo Hot Springs are visited by over 182 people daily and is a popular destination for those seeking physical health tourism.
Among visitors to the Hot Springs are the elderly, people suffering from chronic arthritis and other bone ailments, while others attend as part of rehabilitation for some type of physical injury.
Suarez affirm that the revamping would begin in August and would last a year but that the facilities would remain open.
He added that the funds for the project were provided by a legislative bill.
Government Reopens LMM Airport Hotel
July 6, 2004
SAN JUAN (AP) Ports Authority Executive Director Miguel Soto Lacourt announced on Tuesday the reopening of the Luis Muñoz Marin Airport hotel.
Soto Lacourt said the government invested $6.6 million remodeling the hotel. The project helped create 100 jobs, he said.
"By reopening this hotel, we upgrade the service of the Luis Muñoz Marin Airport, which is the most important airport facility in the Caribbean," Soto Lacourt said in a press conference.
The hotel partially opened on Friday with only 30% of its 125 hotel room capacity operational.
Public Funds Used In San Juan To Praise The NPP
July 6, 2004
SAN JUAN (AP) Despite the Commonwealth Comptrollers recent finding regarding funds used to celebrate anniversaries of events, the municipality of San Juan spent $50,000 in public funds to honor leaders of the New Progressive Party (NPP) during Sundays Fourth of July celebration.
The ceremony was allegedly in memory of President Ronald Reagan, but San Juan mayor Jorge Santini never mentioned him.
Santini used his speech to attack the Commonwealth and included praises of the NPP gubernatorial candidate Pedro Rossello.
"The Commonwealth that Don Luis Muñoz Marin dreamed of doent exist. Even if we call it by a different name, it is a territory under the leadership of the U.S. Congress, a status with no possibilities to grow," Santini said.
The mayor of San Juan received one of his largest standing ovations when he made reference to phrases such as "it can be done," and "route of progress" of campaign slogans from Rossello who was sitting next to Santini.
PRT To Rule Out Long-Distance Calls In The Island
July 5, 2004
SAN JUAN (AP) If you live in San Juan or any other town in the metropolitan area, you should know that in a few months, calling other municipalities will not have an extra cost as the Puerto Rico Telephone (PRT) is working to eliminate the charge, said PRT President Cristina Lambert.
Lambert said that the elimination of the charge is necessary because of the strong competition posed by mobile phones.
Lambert said there are an estimated 1.6 million mobile phone users who can call any town at no extra charge compared with 1.3 million PRT clients.
Lambert said Puerto Rico will soon become a single calling zone.
"The initiative will be completed in the coming months. I cant give you a date at this moment but that is what our clients want," Lambert said.
No Date On When Calderon Will Join Acevedo Vila
July 5, 2004
SAN JUAN (AP) Alleging strategic reasons Popular Democratic Party (PDP) President and gubernatorial candidate Anibal Acevedo Vila declined to say when Gov. Sila Calderon will join his campaign, but claimed relations between the two are excellent.
The Resident Commissioner said he was not surprised by Calderons greeting during the official celebration of the Fourth of July when she only shook his hand when she would usually greet whim with a hug.
"We have an excellent relationship. We were together during the activity," Acevedo Vila said.
Relations between Calderon and Acevedo Vila were at their worst last year when he opposed the designation of former Secretary of State Ferdinand Mercado as Chief Justice of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court.