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Edgar Wins Clemente Award… Water Strike Negotiations Resume… PR 2nd In Murder Rate For U.S. Jurisdictions… Vieques Civil Disobedience Case Returned To PR… More Acts Of Sabotage At ASA Facilities… Bhatia Outlines Plans For 1st 100 Days… Medications Monitored Under Patriot Act… New Program Will Help Heroin-Addicted Prisoners

Seattle DH Martinez Wins 2004 Roberto Clemente Award


October 26, 2004
Copyright © 2004 The Sports Network. All rights reserved. 

ST. LOUIS (Sports Network) - For the second year in a row, a member of the Seattle Mariners has captured the Roberto Clemente Award, as Major League Baseball awarded Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez the 2004 honor on Tuesday.

Starting in 1971, Major League Baseball has annually presented the award (formerly known as The Commissioner's Award) to the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team. The award was renamed to the Roberto Clemente Award in 1973 following Clemente's tragic death during a humanitarian mission to assist earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

``I grew up idolizing Roberto Clemente,'' said Martinez. ``Watching him play in the 1971 World Series is one of the main factors in me playing baseball. I have always admired him, as a player and a person.''

Martinez, a native of Puerto Rico like Clemente, received $25,000 toward Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. He is also involved in such charities as Children's Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

A seven-time All-Star with 309 career home runs and 1,261 runs batted in, the 41-year-old Martinez retired following the 2004 season as one of the most decorated designated hitters in baseball history.

Last season, Martinez's teammate, pitcher Jamie Moyer, captured the award. The only other Mariner to earn the honor was Harold Reynolds in 1991.

A panel of baseball dignitaries, including Vera Clemente and Commissioner Bud Selig, selected the winner from a list of 30 nominees, one from each Major League Baseball team.

Another Round Of Water Strike Negotiations Begins

October 26, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Representatives from the Independent Authentic Unoin (IAU) and the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority on Tuesday began to negotiate five articles in the collective agreement without much hope that the end of the strike would come this week.

Juan Ramos, president of the IAU negotiating committee, said they will discuss issues like subcontractors, complaint procedures, delegates and union representatives and other non-economic issues such as work hours.

"We are giving it our best effort. I don’t know if it will be resolved this week. We are going to negotiate these five articles," Ramos said as he entered Labor Department offices in Hato Rey.

On three of the articles that will be discussed Tuesday, the negotiations are advanced and the IAU already has counterproposals, while the other two articles are being negotiated from scratch, Ramos said.

The IAU began a strike Oct. 4.

Puerto Rico Ranks No. 2 In Murder Rate For U.S. Jurisdictions

October 26, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — With an average of 20.1 murders for each 100,000 residents during 2003, Puerto Rico maintained its No. 2 rank on the list of federal jurisdictions with the most murders per capita. However, the island saw a reduction in the total number of violent crimes and auto thefts.

The FBI announced this information in a report released Tuesday. The reports said that in 2003, there were 779 murders and homicides on the island, five more than were recorded in 2002. That means an average of 20.1 murders for each 100,000 residents, the same as in 2002.

The federal capital, Washington, D.C., occupied the first spot, with an average of 44.2 murders and homicides for each 100,000 residents, followed by Puerto Rico and Louisiana, with an average of 13.

However, at No. 32 Puerto Rico is lower than the majority of states in general statistics about violent crime - murder, homicide, rape and aggravated assault.

The FBI reported that on the island 11,885 violent crimes were committed in 2003, some 1,600 less than were reported in the year before, when there were 13,471. The average for each 100,000 residents for 2003 was 306.4 violent crimes. This category was also led by Washington, D.C., with an average of 1,608.

Puerto Rico also saw a reduction from 12,935 in auto thefts in 2002 to 12,211 in 2003, making it No. 31 out of all U.S. jurisdictions. The report said for each 100,000 residents there was an average of 314.8 auto thefts, in relation to 335 in 2002.

Washington D.C. again held the top spot, with an average of 1,757.

Boston Court Returns Vieques Civil Disobedience Case To PR

October 26, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston returned to the District Court of San Juan a case of three men charged with civil disobedience who were arrested in April 2002 for boating in a restricted zone near Vieques while the U.S. Army was conducting war exercises.

The federal appellate court said the San Juan judge Aida Delgado erred in not allowing an hearing on evidence that would have questioned the regulation of the zone.

The press reported Tuesday that the defense of brothers Pedro and Cacimar Zenón Encarnación and of Regalado Miró Corcino requested the hearing to show that the Army interfered with the Vieques fishing industry by limiting the waters where they could sail during war exercises.

Delgado sentenced the brothers to four months in jail and Miro Corcino to 45 days, but none of them has started their sentence pending the appeal.

More Acts Of Sabotage At ASA Facilities

October 26, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Police said Tuesday that there had been alleged acts of sabotage on electrical panels at Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (ASA) facilities in Yabucoa, Guanica, Caguas and Aguas Buenas.

Police said they did not know who set fire to three distribution panels that supply power to the ASA facility in Limones in Yabucoa, causing that town, and several other rural areas, to be without water.

Agent Eduardo Andino said that someone broke the electric panel and pipe cover at ASA facilities in Ensenada de Guánica. They also changed the locks to the installation’s gates and broke the gate of the chain-link fence.

Police also don’t know who cut the wires to a distribution panel that supplies power to the Princo fire station, located on Highway 1 in Caguas. The same thing also occurred at the fire station on Highway 797 at the Jagüeyes neighborhood in Aguas Buenas, he said.

Bhatia Outlines Plans For First 100 Days

October 25, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The Popular Democratic candidate for mayor of San Juan, Eduardo Bhatia, Monday presented 100 initiatives that he would give priority in the first three months of his administration, if he is elected.

His first efforts would be to establish the basics of his main proposals in the areas of health, education, security and democratic participation, among others.

"Starting in January, I am going to undertake a race with San Juan residents to advance all the initiatives that have come to be presented during these past months," he said in a press conference.

Among the initiatives in the area of security are to establish a police force for San Juan alone, formalize a disarmament plan and prohibit the sale of large weapons.

In education, he highlights the creation of the San Juan Board of Education and will propose legislation that would encourage students to stay in school until they graduate.

In the area of citizen participation, he will send the Legislature a project that would allow San Juan residents to directly choose their assembly representatives and will create a mechanism to hold municipal referendums.

Under Patriot Act Federal Authorities Can Monitor Puerto Rican Medical Prescriptions

By Jose Fernandez Colon

October 25, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

PONCE (AP) — The president of the Civil Rights Commission, Palmira Rios, on Sunday denounced the fact that federal authorities are monitoring medical prescriptions in Puerto Rico under the Patriot Act, which has been applicable on the island since 2002.

Rios said this practice violates the privacy rights of Puerto Ricans that suffer from any type of health condition and also violates the federal HIPAA act.

"Under they theory they could be used for bioterrorism or that they produce illnesses they are monitoring the medical prescriptions in Puerto Rico to see if there are any patterns of types of infection, and this infringes on the right to privacy," Dr. Rios said.

She said although the HIPAA act exists to protect patients’ rights, federal security authorities are not subject to this statute.

Rios requested that pharmacy owners and pharmacists communicate with the Civil Rights Commission to be trained on how to protect the privacy of their patients.

She said the Patriot Act could "undermine the right to strike," that local unions have, as has occurred recently with the FBI intervening in the conflict between the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority and the Independent Authentic Union.

Rios said the Puerto Rican union movement should study the details of the issue.

She said the Patriot Act, "cuts the civil rights of Puerto Ricans."

New Treatment Program Will Help Heroin-Addicted Prisoners

October 25, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The Drug Control Office announced Monday the start of a outpatient treatment program with methadone for prisoners addicted to heroin.

The program, called "The Door to Graduate from Addiction" will assist 98 prisoners, from the annex known as Las Malvinas in the Rio Piedras correctional complex, according to the director of the Drug Control Office, Luis G. Zambrana, and Correction and Rehabilitation Secretary Miguel Pereira.

"This project owes thanks to the interest, perseverance and promise of Pereira in establishing the basics to provide treatment alternatives to prisoners addicted to heroin.

"We begin with this group and we hope that in a reasonable period of time they can benefit most of the sick prisoners that choose methadone as an alternative to treatment," he added.

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