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Calderon Claims She Put Puerto Rico On The Right Track… Roberto Clemente Jr., In Tribute To Dad, Sending Aid To Tsunami Victims… Arroyo Is Not To Blame

Calderon Assures She Put The Country On The Right Track

December 30, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP)--During her thank-you message, Gov. Sila M. Calderón said she felt pleased with her administration and confident her work helped put the country on the "right track."

In her message, transmitted Wednesday on local television, the governor sustained that her four-year term will be remembered in history as a period where citizens claimed their right to change the government and it’s priorities.

"History will judge this four years as time when Puerto Rico stood up and said ‘enough already.’ ‘Enough already’ against corruption and government that only thought of itself instead of the people. ‘Enough already’ of ignoring poverty in which so many Puerto Ricans live. ‘Enough’ with all the barriers that prevent us from getting ahead," she said.

At the same time, she thanked all citizens for helping develop the projects established during her administration.

As she indicated in other forums, Calderón constantly alluded to the work of her predecessor Pedro Rosselló, and referred to the ending of corruption as one of her great contributions

Roberto Clemente Jr., In Tribute To Dad, Sending Aid To Tsunami Victims


December 30, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 

NEW YORK (AP) - The son of baseball great Roberto Clemente is sending money and 2 tons of clothing and medical supplies -- originally destined for Nicaragua to honor his late father's ill-fated humanitarian flight 32 years ago -- to south Asia's tsunami victims.

"My father always said, `If you have an opportunity to make things better and you don't then you are wasting your time on earth,'" Roberto Clemente Jr. said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from Puerto Rico on Thursday.

On Dec. 31, 1972, the Hall of Fame outfielder who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955 to 1972 was killed when his plane crashed while carrying supplies from Puerto Rico to victims of earthquake-torn Nicaragua.

For the past several months, Clemente Jr. had been raising money and collecting supplies to re-enact his father's unfinished mission on this New Year's eve to bring closure to his life.

But inspired by his father's humanitarian spirit, Clemente Jr. canceled that ceremonial flight and will divert the 2 tons of supplies and $18,000 earmarked for charities in Nicaragua to earthquake victims in south Asia.

"I decided to hold off on that flight to help the people who really desperately need it right now," said Clemente Jr., 39, of New York City and a commentator on ESPN cable television. "This is my upbringing and the legacy of my mother and my father to help others."

Clemente Jr. was 7 when his father was killed. He said the death still haunts him because he had a premonition of his father's crash and pleaded with him not to get on the plane.

"I carry the guilt to this day of not doing enough to stop him," Clemente Jr. said. "He said, `Don't worry, I'll see you when I get back.'"

Clemente's cargo plane crashed off the coast of Puerto Rico shortly after takeoff apparently because it was too heavy with supplies, his son said. His body was never recovered.

When Clemente Jr. turned 39 this year -- his father was 38 when he died -- he decided it was time to re-enact his father's "flight for humanity" to complete his mission.

He teamed with Project Club Clemente, a New York organization dedicated to the ballplayer's humanitarian projects, and held a dinner dance and food drive to raise money for the flight on the 32nd anniversary of his father's death.

While he was in Puerto Rico finalizing plans, the earthquake and tsunami hit in southern Asia -- on the same day the earthquake rocked Nicaragua in 1972. He said he feels this is an omen.

He said he is spearheading a campaign with the help of the American Red Cross in Puerto Rico to help the victims of south Asia.

Clemente Jr.'s brother, Luis Roberto Clemente, said he considered it "a blessing."

"I believe we collected all these things for a reason," he said, "and now my dad is telling us to bring them to the people who need it."


Donations can be made in Clemente's name to: the International Disaster Fund, American Red Cross, P.O. Box 9021067, San Juan, PR 00902.

Arroyo Is Not To Blame

December 30, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Deseret News Publishing Co. All rights reserved. 

Deseret Morning News

I'm not a basketball coach. And I'm sure coach Jerry Sloan knows more about basketball than I do. But I am Puerto Rican and may be biased in favor of Carlos Arroyo.

Coach Sloan is unjustly trying to blame Carlos for the poor performance of the Jazz [basketball team] in the last 20 games.

Carlos is a young basketball player who -- two years ago -- I didn't think had the talent to become an elite NBA player. Notwithstanding, the Jazz signed him to be the backup point guard. When John Stockton retired and Mark Jackson was traded, Carlos took over. He had a very good pre-season. Unfortunately, he injured himself in the last preseason game against the Knicks. While he was on the injury list, instead of giving him confidence about his role, coach Sloan said he would have to earn his starting position when he got back. He did that. But now that the Jazz are struggling, coach Sloan blames Carlos.

When things go wrong in professional sports, the coach -- not the players -- bears the responsibility.

It's time for the Jazz to wake up.

Pedro A. Padilla
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

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