Para ver esta página en español, oprima aquí.

Puerto Ricans Return Home To Vote… Transition Process Begins For Calderon… Teachers Say Vieques Schools In "Crisis"… Prepa Launches Back-Up Plant For Vieques…US Appeals Court Will Sit Locally… Health Dept. Says Water OK, Despite Strike…Las Américas Port $3m Under Budget… Rossello To Fight For School Vouchers

Puerto Ricans Living Elsewhere Return For Election

October 28, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Most flights to the island from cities with high concentrations of Puerto Ricans are full for this weekend, as many people are returning for the elections on Tuesday, representatives from travel agencies said.

Election leaders said that if the people are recorded in the Election Register already, the vote of Puerto Ricans who do not have residence or domicile — a place where they live permanently — on the island can not be avoided because the date limit for challenging them was May 15.

"I have noticed an awakening because maybe the election competition has been strong and people think their vote is very important. So, many families in Puerto Rico are helping their relatives come and support them with their vote," said Vivian Riollano, president of the American Society of Travel Agents.

The objection is the process through which the parties challenge a voter.

Transition Process Begins For Calderon Administration

October 28, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — With the compilation of reports on the situation of the 127 governmental departments, the transition process began for the administration of Gov. Sila M. Calderon as they prepare to give La Fortaleza over to whichever candidate wins the election on Tuesday.

The president of the Transition Committee, Secretary of State Jose Izquierdo, said that "no matter who wins" the elections they will provide the information and space necessary for the entering group.

"These are the instructions from the governor … because, as well as they are press conferences of the group entering complaining and the group leaving defending, it is important to have documents so that those entering an agency have an idea of what is happening," he told a newspaper.

Izquieredo said a new statute, signed in 2002, allows the departments to submit their reports on or before Oct. 31.

Teachers Say School Conditions On Vieques Reach "Crisis" Levels

October 28, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The Teachers Federation on Thursday criticized that condition of the public schools on Vieques, calling the situation a "crisis" and saying that the Education Department does not pay attention to the needs of the students or the faculty.

Jesús Delgado Rodriguez, secretary of the Education Union of the federation, also said in a statement that the parents and students in the Vieques public school system condemn the Education Department’s new academic evaluation method.

"At the Germán Rieckehoff high school, for example, the vocational program is totally abandoned, they don’t have materials and the director, Jose Vega, is frequently absent," the federation said.

Delgado Rodriguez made his statements during a tour of the schools on the island.

The union official said that in some schools there are classes with more than 30 students without adequate facilities and other schools that don’t have water service.

He also said that Vieques schools are lacking custodians and there are serious problems with discipline and school authorities don’t take action.

According to union data, as of Sept. 20 the middle school had more than 400 students with 40 teachers, Playa Grande elementary has 200 students and 25 teachers and German Rieckehoff high school has 400 students and 40 teachers.

The union also said that the Maria Simons elementary school has 500 students and 45 teachers, while the Monte Santo has 1509 students and 20 teachers.

Prepa Launches $8.2m, 6MW Back-Up Plant For Vieques

October 28, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Business News Americas ( All rights reserved. 

Puerto Rico's state power company Prepa has officially launched an US$8.2mn, 6MW diesel fired back-up generation system for the island of Vieques, the company said in a statement.

Vieques is connected to the main island via two underwater cables that run from the Punta Lima substation in Naguabo. Electricity is transported by only one of the two cables, as the second is a contingency measure.

The Vieques plant, which consists of two 3MW units, was built to ensure a reliable power supply for the island's 12,000 residents, and will only operate when supplies from the mainland are disrupted. The plant will be especially useful during the hurricane season, because as Vieques lies off Puerto Rico's east coast, it is one of the first areas to be hit, Prepa spokesperson Virginia Gómez told BNamericas.

Prepa is considering installing a third unit despite the just installed 6MW already being more than the island's current consumption. The additional capacity would cover anticipated demand growth, Prepa director Héctor Rosario said in the statement.

Boston Circuit Court Will Be In Session On The Island

October 28, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The First Circuit Court of Appeals of Boston will begin its fall session the second week of November in Puerto Rico in order to hear oral arguments in the cases in the Federal District Court on the island.

According to press reports, among the cases they will evaluate is that of former Rincon mayor Liborio Rubén Caro, convicted of extorting a city contractor.

The hearing is scheduled for the morning of Nov. 12, and lawyers for Caro as well as the federal attorney will have 15 minutes to make their arguments before the panel of appellate judges.

In four days, the judges will hear arguments in some 24 cases in the old Federal Court in Old San Juan.

$3 Million Surplus Remains After Construction At Puerto De Las Américas

October 27, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

PONCE (AP) — After completing the reconstruction and development work on the Ponce Port, headquarters of the Puerto de Las Americas project, there is a surplus of $3 million remaining.

Ramón Torres Morales, who manages the Ponce Port and was co-manager during the first phase of development, said he did not know if it had been decided what to do with the money, but he said it will be reserved for whatever additional work is necessary.

"The civil work, of construction, has reached $27.5 million. We don’t have to make the total of $40 million. The disbursements took us to $37 million, which is under the loan from the Governmental Development Bank by $3 million," he said.

Engineer Torres Morales said that payment for the architect, supervision and resident inspection, for the acquisition of a mobile crane and additional studies adds up to $4.5 million, which brings the total of the work to $32 million.

Health Dept. Says Water OK, Despite Strike

October 27, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The quality of water has not been affected despite the three-and-a-half week strike at the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (ASA), according to the studies done by the Health Department.

"Everything pointed out in the water quality is good and does not show a rise in the indicators, not even at the sites where there are interruptions in service," said Luis Manuel Santiago, the biostatistician and epidemiologist for the Health Department.

The press reported Wednesday that the "indicators" are related to reports about people with diarrhea and serve as a barometer of the quality of the water. Santiago said this information is supplied by the hospitals and clinics of the island to the Health Department.

The Independent Authentic Union began a strike on Oct. 4 over conflicts in the negotiations for their new collective agreement.

Rossello Would Fight For School Vouchers If Elected

October 27, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

PONCE (AP) — The New Progressive candidate for governor, Pedro Rossello, said Tuesday that if he is elected on Nov. 2, he will again try to implement a school voucher system.

The former governor defended the initiative, which allows parents to choose a school for their child without worrying about financial considerations.

"I think it is important to give this power to Puerto Rican families, so they can choose which school they think is best for their children. That is the aim of the education vouchers," Rossello said.

However, Rossello said the plan will still face legal hurdles before the program can be established.

He said he still does not understand why during his previous administration the Supreme Court prohibited the use of public funds for the education vouches saying that is some cases families could use the economic resources to send their children to private schools.

Self-Determination Legislation | Puerto Rico Herald Home
Newsstand | Puerto Rico | U.S. Government | Archives
Search | Mailing List | Contact Us | Feedback