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Toledo Confirmed As Police Superintendent… PR Celebrities Join To Aid Tsunami Victims… Making Strides At Polls… Ceiba Han’t Received RR Shutdown Money… Caguas Lobbies For New Train

Senate Confirms Toledo For Police Superintendent


February 10, 2005
Copyright © 2005
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – The Senate on Thursday confirmed Pedro Toledo as police superintendent by a vote of 21 to 1, based on his experience and his renewed commitment to fighting crime.

Three legislators – two from the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) and one from the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) abstained from the vote, and legislator Cirilo Tirado was the only vote against Toledo.

Toledo’s confirmation will surprise nobody, as the majority NPP in the Senate had expressed readiness to accept him from the beginning, based on his work as superintendent under the administration of Pedro Rossello (1993-2000).

The PDP, with a minority in the Legislature but control of the executive branch, also was anxious to give Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila his first Cabinet confirmation, and to demonstrate goodwill toward a shared government.

Technically, the Senate only confirmed that they support the confirmation of Toledo for the post. To formalize the procedure, Toledo and the governor must be officially notified.

The two PDP senators that abstained were Eudaldo Baez Galib and Sila Marie Gonzalez Calderon, and PIP Maria de Lourdes Santiago also did not vote.

PR Celebrities Join To Aid Tsunami Victims

February 10, 2005
Copyright © 2005
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – Well-known personalities such as boxer Felix Tito Trinidad, singers Victor Manuelle, Tego Calderon and Giselle, artist Antonio Martorell and television hosts Dagmar, Julian Gil and Desiree Lowry, among others, are joining together in a public service campaign to raise funds for victims of the tsunami that ravished several Asian countries on Dec. 26.

With the motto, "Form a Wave of Compassion" the group Auxiliaris Inc., founded by photographer Jose Jimenez, seeks the help of citizens to send help to Indonesia, one of the countries hardest hit in the disaster that claimed thousands of lives.

The humanitarian mission will be documented in images and video by Jimenez and his team.

On his return to Puerto Rico he will hold an exhibition to collect more funds for the organization.

The campaign will be shown on television and at Caribbean Cinemas theaters.

Making Strides At Polls

Our position: It's encouraging that bilingual voting is improving in Orange and Osceola.


February 10, 2005
Copyright © 2005
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

Kudos to Orange and Osceola counties, whose elections no longer will be under court supervision stemming from problems with bilingual voters during the 2000 election.

Orange County was lauded for significantly improving help for Spanish-speaking voters, including a 233 percent jump in bilingual poll workers. The federal Justice Department considers Orange a "model and guide" for others to follow, and the county should be proud of its efforts.

Osceola County also made big strides under the 2002 consent decree, though its Spanish-language efforts still aren't considered equal to those in English.

The biggest winners are Central Florida's Spanish-speaking voters, who confidently can go to the polls and get the help they need.

Ceiba Has Not Received Money Due After Rosie Roads Shutdown

February 9, 2005
Copyright © 2005
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – Almost a year ago, the government promised the town of Ceiba an allocation of $1.2 million to soften the blow when Roosevelt Roads naval base closed.

However, the money has still not arrived, said Ceiba Mayor Gilberto Camacho, on Wednesday.

"The law was established to make up for losses but the money has not arrived. We need it, if not we are in a deficit," he said at a press conference after meeting with Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila at La Fortaleza.

Camacho said that, due to government changes, Acevedo Vila must name a new committee to continue the project of redeveloping the base.

He criticized the plan established by the last administration for the development of the lands, that proposes privatizing the installation and leaving nothing to the municipality.

Caguas Mayor Lobbies For New Train

February 9, 2005
Copyright © 2005
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – Due to the accelerated housing construction and development in Caguas, the city’s mayor, William Miranda Marin, said Wednesday that it is imperative to create new transportation options, so he will continue to lobby for a train to connect the region with the metropolitan area.

Different from the current Urban Train, which now operates a route from Bayamon to Santurce on weekends, the train to Caguas would be lightweight but high-velocity, and would leave from a station in Cupey.

"If we don’t do this in three years the traffic congestion will be terrible," the mayor said at a La Fortaleza press conference after meeting with Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila.

The project would cost $300 million and would be financed with a combination of public and private funds. Its operation also would be managed by a private firm, in a concept similar to the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge that connects Rio Piedras with Carolina.

"It’s perfectly viable," the mayor said.

Currently, $15 million has been allocated for the design phase, which will be led by the French company Semaly.

The mayor acknowledged it will be difficult to find federal funds for the train in Caguas, as the United States’ current priority is defense and the war in the Middle East.

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