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San Juan Mayoral Candidates Debate, Disagree… Aviary Commemorates Mayaguez Zoo’s 50th Anniversary…Ticket Center Sues Popular… "Autentico"… Aiming For Beltran… Hispanics Slow To Seek Treatment…Murder Musical Is Killed Off…Senate OKs Weapons Ban Resolution… Miss Salinas Crowned Miss PR Universe ’05… Strikers Get $300 From Union… Governor: PDP Doesn’t Defend Itself

San Juan Mayoral Candidates Debate, Disagree

By Leonardo Aldridge

October 18, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — More moderate in temper but without abandoning critical stabs, Jorge Santini and Eduardo Bhatia on Sunday night debated their respective ideas on health, economy, education and security, while Independent candidate Fernando Martin called the approach of both "twins separated at birth."

Santini, the current mayor of San Juan and a New Progressive Party member, defended his leadership and at the beginning of the televised debate he warned, "definitely, nobody has accepted what we have achieved, they are going to attack and make serious accusations." Later he asked for the opportunity to "continue to work in San Juan."

Bhatia, wearing a tie in the color of the Popular Democratic Party, tried to bring up his government proposals, but he did not waste any opportunity to bring up irregularities in the San Juan Municipal Hospital — where several deaths have occurred in the bariatric program — and criticize Santini’s position in favor of the sale of large weapons.

With 16 days until the election and conscious that the debate will be a unique opportunity, Bhatia asked for the vote of demographic groups such as women and independents.

Turning to Martin after the Independent senator proposed a plan for economic development in the capital, Bhatia said, "Fernando we can work on this idea together. I have good Independent friends that I want to integrate into the future government."

Santini said that his support of the sale of large weapons is not synonymous with an increase in delinquency and talked about projects in health, economic development, education and security that he will implement during his term, while ridiculing Bhatia’s proposals on subjects like drugs and the environment.

"The sport of firearms for a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard, like myself, is a sport that has nothing to do with crime," he said, and added that his grandfather and father practice the sport.

Martin said the proposals of both Santini and Bhatia on economic development for the capital were "twins separated at birth" adding that it was the same thing for education, they did not help the roots of the problems that have arisen in San Juan.

Aviary Opened To Commemorate Mayaguez Zoo 50th Anniversary

October 18, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

MAYAGÜEZ (AP) — As part of the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo in Mayaguez, the National Park Co. on Sunday opened an aviary where visitors can see 14 exhibitions on different types of birds.

The director of the National Park Co., Samuel Gonzalez, the mayor of Mayaguez, José Guillermo Rodriguez, Dr. Rivero and several legislators participated in the official opening of the new educational and recreational attraction, which was built in the zoo bordering the Mayaguez University campus at a cost of $2.9 million.

"This aviary will be a new attraction. The visitors can observe diverse birds such as macaws, parrots, doves, ibises, and flamingos in an environment similar to a humid tropical forest," Gonzalez said.

One of the exhibits at the new installation allows the public to have direct contact with the birds, and was built with stainless steel mesh that covers the trail visitors take, so the birds fly above them.

Ticket Center Files Suit Against Popular


October 17, 2004
Copyright © 2004
REUTERS. All rights reserved. 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ticket Center Inc., a ticketing service company operating in Puerto Rico, said on Sunday it has filed a $45 million lawsuit against Popular Inc., the parent company of Banco Popular.

Among the claims, Ticket Center charges that the bank used its ``overwhelming market power to force upon customers exclusive use of additional less-desired products and/or services, also available from other ticket vendors within a competitive market, to the detriment of competitors, such as the plaintiff.''

In a statement, David Chafey, Jr., Banco Popular de Puerto Rico's president, said ``the economic losses allegedly suffered (by Ticket Center) are the result of tendencies in the marketplace.''

``During the past eighteen months, Ticket Center has contacted various forums with the same allegations and has not being able to move forward,'' he added.


Agustin Gurza
Times Staff Writer

October 17, 2004
Copyright © 2004
Los Angeles Times. All rights reserved. 

Gilberto Santa Rosa

"Autentico" (Sony Discos)


This Puerto Rican vocalist is a living link to the great '70s era of salsa dura, or heavy salsa. But he's no relic. He's kept the flame alive while remaining fresh and forceful.

Santa Rosa brings to his work superb taste for songwriting, and this album is no exception. He's selected tunes by Cuba's Giraldo Piloto and Adalberto Alvarez and Puerto Rico's Pedro Flores and Johnny Ortiz, among others.

Logically, lyrics are critical to Santa Rosa, one of salsa's best soneros, or improvisational singers. His inventive phrases riff off the written verses with ease, imagination and fine timing.

Produced by Jose Lugo, the album uses two sets of top-notch studio musicians on a smorgasbord of Afro-Caribbean rhythms.

By the end, Santa Rosa has fully earned the CD title. Authentic, indeed.

Aiming For Beltran


October 17, 2004
Copyright © 2004
THE MIAMI HERALD. All rights reserved. 

HOUSTON - Now that Carlos Beltran is about to complete his remedial work with the Royals and Astros and price himself out of Houston, the Yankees are expected to swoop in during the winter to pluck the outfielder off the free agent pile.

Beltran, who could command a multiyear package in excess of $100 million, has said he would welcome the chance to play in Yankee pinstripes.

''When I see an owner who cares about winning, I like it,'' Beltran said in obvious reference to George Steinbrenner.

Hispanics Slow To Seek Treatment, Study Finds


October 15, 2004
Copyright © 2004
. All rights reserved. 

Hispanics in the United States and Puerto Rico are less likely than non-Hispanics to seek and receive traditional medical care, which may be resulting in higher rates of diabetes and teen pregnancy, a study found.

The lack of medical care among Hispanics can be in part explained by cultural differences with doctors or nurses, language barriers and the complexity of health-insurance plans, said the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Hispanics in the United States and Puerto Rico were about twice as likely to have diabetes as white, non-Hispanics -- 9.8 percent compared with 5 percent, the study found. The gap was narrowest in Florida and widest in California, Texas and Puerto Rico, the study found.

Murder Musical Is Killed Off After Just One Week

By Nigel Reynolds Arts Correspondent

October 15, 2004
Copyright © 2004
Telegraph Group Limited, London. All rights reserved. 

The Daily Telegraph

THE ill-fated pounds 2 million musical Murderous Instincts, heavily panned by most critics when it opened last week, is to close after one of the shortest runs in West End history. The "salsa comedy murder mystery", produced by maverick American producer Manny Fox, ran through eight directors and many disagreements before opening last Thursday at the Savoy Theatre and will close on Saturday.

Murderous Instincts earned some of the toughest reviews in recent history. Almost alone, The Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer called it "fabulously bonkers" and said that it could become a cult hit if it could run long enough.

Senate Approves Resolution In Favor Of Weapons Ban

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

SAN JUAN (AP) — Despite the fact that the period in which to renew the ban has ended, the Senate approved a resolution in favor of keeping in place the Assault Weapons Ban.

New Progressive Sen. Norma Burgos was the only member of her party’s delegation to vote in favor of the proposal filed by Popular legislator Jose Ortiz Daliot, a newspaper reported Friday.

The possibility of extending the ban, approved by Bill Clinton in 1994 for a 10-year term, generated controversy when it was revealed that the New Progressive mayor of San Juan, Jorge Santini, supported its repeal and possessed at least 20 of the large weapons.

New Progressive Sen. Kenneth McClintock minimized the importance of the senate resolution because on Sept. 14 the period for extending the ban for civil use of assault weapons expired.

Miss Salinas Is Crowned Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2005

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

SAN JUAN (AP) — The contestant from Salinas, Cynthia Olavarría, on Thursday won the title of Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2005.

Miss Salinas won the crown over 29 other delegates and will represent the island at the international competition.

The winner was crowned by Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2004, Alba Reyes, who was second runner-up in the international competition in Quito, Ecuador.

The fifth semifinalist was the San Juan representative, Uma Blasini; the fourth was Miss Barranquitas, Yara Liz La Santa; the third, Miss Loíza, Wailani Córdova; the second, Miss Guaynabo, Neysha Pérez, and the first finalist was Miss Coamo, Mónika Candelaria.

During the evening Miss Corozal, Marisol Rodriguez, was recognized as Miss Congeniality and Miss Río Piedras, Waleska Robles, was recognized for the best hair.

Strike Workers Get $300 From Union

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

SAN JUAN (AP) — Representatives of the Independent Authentic Union of the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority delivered checks for $300 apiece to approximately 4,300 union members who are in their second week of the strike.

After 11 days of striking, the $300 represents not even half the biweekly salary of most of the union members, but workers celebrated the payment.

"I understand it is sufficient, and that in the IAU strike in 1974, workers did not get a cent," said office worker Jorge Figueroa, according to a newspaper.

The IAU implemented a strike vote on Oct. 4 over disagreements in negotiations for a new collective agreement. The main cause of discord is the health plan.

Governor Says PDP Does Not Defend Itself

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

SAN JUAN (AP) — Gov. Sila M. Calderon on Thursday criticized the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) for not defending the work of the government against attacks by the New Progressive Party (NPP) campaign.

The governor hinted that it is the job of the PDP to counteract the NPP’s campaign, and some PDP leaders have recognized that it has been effective in projecting the impression that allegedly the current governor "doesn’t do any work."

"They have had three months of negative TV campaigns that have not been answered," the governor said, referring to the PDP’s lack of response to statements against her administration made in NPP ads.

Also, the governor reiterated that her party’s candidate for governor, Aníbal Acevedo Vila, will be the victor in the November elections, and she backed the candidate by declaring that electoral polls show a virtual tie between him and his NPP opponent, Pedro Rossello.

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