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Debby Skirts Puerto Rico

FBI File Describes Campos As "Serious Threat"

Rossello Activates Prstar.Net Government Network

Debby Skirts Puerto Rico, Causes Widespread Flooding

August 23, 2000
Copyright © 2000 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Hurricane Debby did not touch land Tuesday, but the heavy rains it dumped on Puerto Rico damaged several bridges and dozens of public roads, causing public schools and the government to virtually shut down, officials reported Wednesday.

Education Secretary Victor Fajardo said most schools had not held classes because of the weather.

Labor and Human Resources Secretary Aura Gonzalez said absenteeism among public workers reached 50% to 60% on Wednesday.

The number of people seeking shelter at government shelters throughout the island was reported at 151, said State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Director Miguel Santini.

Meanwhile, the floods caused roads and bridges to become impassable, and also resulted in mudslides in the municipalities of Bayamon, Cataño, Toa Baja, Toa Alta, Naguabo, Yabucoa, Juncos and San Lorenzo.

On a positive note, officials reported that the heavy rains boosted the water levels at the island's two main reservoirs, Lake La Plata and Lake Carraizo, which had seen drops in their levels because of the dry weather.


FBI File On Albizu Campos Describes Him As "Serious Threat"

August 21, 2000
Copyright © 2000 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - The file kept by the FBI on Nationalist Party leader Pedro Albizu Campos described him as an educated man that became a headache for the U.S.

Documents in the FBI file state Albizu Campos was the illegitimate son of a Spanish businessman and a black woman, and that he studied at Harvard. He became a lawyer and president of the Nationalist Party.

Published reports state that the federal government followed his every step during most of his life.

In Albizu Campos' file, which was started 30 years ago, the FBI describes him as a "serious national security threat." He is portrayed as someone who studied stateside but betrayed the U.S. and fought for Puerto Rico's independence.


Rossello Activates Prstar.Net Government Network

By Proviana Colon Diaz

August 18, 2000
Copyright © 2000 PuertoRicoWOW News Service. All Rights Reserved.

SAN JUAN — Gov. Pedro Rossello on Friday activated the government's Internet network, dubbed, that will eventually interconnect 131 government agencies and promises to modernize and speed up government services to all citizens.

The 24-hour, seven-days-a-week system will enable citizens to access all electronic pages of government agencies to exchange information and obtain services.

Rossello said Puerto Rico had lagged behind the process of "embracing the new technology." Therefore, he encouraged the idea of creating a computerized network.

"PRStarNet uses the most advanced technology and in some areas it is a pioneer. That leadership must not be lost because it shows our professional ability and serves as an impulse for the development of many other areas in our society's commerce and economy," Rossello said.

At an estimated cost of $90 million, the network also will provide Internet access for connected agencies, including all 78 municipalities. The remote Castañer community has also been connected and will also benefit from the Internet service. Also wired and receiving cybernetic services will be the island's 332 public housing projects island and 1,536 public schools through the Department of Education.

The net also will incorporate e-mail "as a tool for public employees in the performance of their duties and so they can exchange the necessary data in the decision-making process," according to a written presentation made by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in charge of creating the net.

As of Friday, an estimated 60% of the network is operating, OMB Director Jorge Aponte said.

Although only 15 municipalities are hooked up to the system, by the end of the month all 78 municipalities will be connected. All municipalities have the system installed and working at a local level, Aponte said.

Like any other electric device, the network is subject to failures during a hurricane, but measures are being taken to install antennas that will sustain 110 mph winds, said Aponte.

The government's network includes an operations center at the Minillas Government Center in Santurce as well as six signal distribution nodules, which are the main part of the net.

Aponte said he was satisfied with the network because he believes it will improve the delivery of services for island residents.

"The network is supported by fundamental concepts that include values such as to move information instead of people; fast and secure access to government services; sensitivity to the environment; and the provision of efficient and cost effective services to increase Puerto Rico's productivity and competitiveness," Aponte said.

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