McClintock Turns Down Motion On Senate Presidency… Fortuño Says ‘08 Talk Premature… Rossello: Senate The Center Of The Government, Marchers Back Him… Billboard Proliferation Costs Million$ In Fines… Puerto Rico Beats Canada… Hanging At The Vine… Berastain HHS Minority Health Advisor… Congress To Analyze El Yunque Legislation… Santini Favors Cruise Incentives

McClintock Turns Down Tirado’s Motion On Senate Presidency

April 25, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (EFE) — Senate President Kenneth McClintock on Monday did not pass a motion presented by Popular Democratic Sen. Cirilo Tirado to reaffirm a vote of confidence for the senate leader.

McClintock said during the legislative session that the Senate regulations establish votes on the president of the body occur in the inaugural session, to elect the president and also in the case of resignation, removal or death.

The senate leader said that none of the three instances had occurred so that he "won’t proceed to carry out a vote on the Senate presidency."

Tirado argued for the motion because he said "it is already time that the Senate expresses individual votes" about the fight for the Senate presidency. The president of the New Progressive Party, Sen. Pedro Rossello, hopes to take the position from McClintock.

Fortuño Says It’s Not Yet Time To Talk About 2008 Elections

April 25, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (EFE) — Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño said Monday that it is not yet time to start talking about the 2008 gubernatorial elections.

Fortuño denied that he had authorized a plane with a banner reading "Fortuño for Governor" to fly Sunday over Hato Rey, where a march to support Pedro Rossello for the Senate presidency was under way.

The resident commissioner said in radio broadcasts that he did not authorize, nor solicit, the plane to fly over Hato Rey, and said he did not have any knowledge of someone doing so on his behalf.

Hundreds of Rossello supporters marched down Roosevelt Avenue on Sunday.

Fortuño said nobody consulted him or his team about the plane, which he said was inappropriate for the time and place.

Fortuño said that when he decides whether he will run in the election or for some other position, he will announce it personally.

Rossello: Senate Will Be The Center Of The Government

April 25, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (EFE) - Arecibo District Sen. Pedro Rossello challenged Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila on Sunday after declaring that the Puerto Rico Senate would be the center of the government.

Rossello said the Legislative Assembly, which the New Progressive Party (NPP) controls, will succeed in its effort to help Puerto Rico become the 51st state of the United States.

The NPP President downplayed Acevedo Vila’s veto of the substitute status bill.

Rossello said the governor is not a man of his word and reassured his followers that the veto will not prevent the NPP from achieving its goal.

Hundreds March In Favor Of Rossello

April 24, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (EFE) — Hundreds of Pedro Rossello followers gathered in front of the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Hato Rey on Sunday to march in favor of the New Progressive Party (NPP) senator, who wishes to preside over the Puerto Rico Senate.

NPP Sen. Kenneth McClintock is the current president of that legislative body.

Several demonstrators carried large U.S. flags and posters with messages of support for the Arecibo District senator.

One of the posters read ‘Pedro 2008 or nothing.’

The police on Roosevelt Avenue blocked the traffic going to Hato Rey.

The march, which was called by NPP Canovanas Mayor Jose "Chemo" Soto, was scheduled to depart from the Hiram Bithorn Stadium at 2 p.m. and to arrive at the NPP headquarters a few hours later.

The former governor who lost the gubernatorial race in 2004 has threatened to resign his presidency at the NPP if he doesn’t become the new Senate president.

Billboard Proliferation Costs Millions Of Dollars In Fines

April 24, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (EFE) — The proliferation of billboards along the main roads of the island has cost the local government $11 million in federal fines.

New Progressive Party (NPP) Rep. Jose Chico denounced the situation during a public hearing this weekend. Chico said the worst part of it is that neither the Highways Authority nor the Permits & Regulation Administration has the power to immediately solve the problem.

Chico, who chairs the House Socioeconomic Development & Planning Committee, said there are billboards at almost every bus stop that violate local and federal laws.

The NPP legislator added that these billboards get in the way of people in wheelchairs and consume too much electricity. The money to pay for that electricity is coming out of the taxpayers’ pocket, he said.

Puerto Rico Beat Canada In Final For American Zone

April 24, 2005
Copyright © 2005
Xinhua News Agency. All rights reserved. 

MONTEVIDEO, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The women's tennis team of Puerto Rico, defeated Canada Saturday 2-0 in the final of the American Zone I of the Federation Cup, held at Montevideo.

The Puerto Ricans won the two single's matches and by mutual agreement of the captains the doubles match was not played.

With their victory, the Puerto Rican team qualified to play a repechage series in September for a ticket in World Group II of Federation Cup, disputed since 1963.

In the tournament also participated the national teams of Brazil, Uruguay, Cuba, Mexico, Bolivia and Paraguay.

Hanging At The Vine

April 24, 2005
Copyright © 2005
. All rights reserved. 

Going to P.R.? When you've had your fill of cocina criolla -- arroz con gandules, pasteles, lechon asado -- make your next stop the 416-room Ritz-Carlton, San Juan Hotel, Spa & Casino, Isla Verde, which has quietly renovated its main restaurant, The Vineyard. The cuisine is a luxe medley of Californian-Med amid a calm yet stately, mahogany-accented setting; the wine list is lengthy. Entrees from $28.

And May 25 and 26, the Ritz will be vogue central when the tents rise outside for Puerto Rico Fashion Trends, the Isla del Encanto's version of Bryant Park.

Details: The Vineyard, 6961 Ave. of the Governors, 787-253-1700. Call hotel for fashion event details.

HHS Secretary Appoints Advisory Committee On Minority Health

April 22, 2005
Copyright © 2005
Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.. All rights reserved. 

U.S. Health & Human Services Documents

Health and Human Services Department Press Releases

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced the appointment of eight members to serve on the Advisory Committee on Minority Health. The committee will advise the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on improving the health of racial and ethnic minority groups and on the development of goals and specific program activities for the department's Office of Minority Health.

"Our goal is to eliminate health disparities and improve health outcomes for all Americans," Secretary Leavitt said. "The expertise this group brings will go a long way toward helping us meet that goal."

The next meeting of the committee, on April 25-26, will include presentations on the status of racial and ethnic health disparities, research challenges and opportunities, improving service delivery to better address racial and ethnic disparities, and the role of prevention in improving health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities. The committee will meet at the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda, Md., on April 25th from 1: 00 p.m. until 5: 00 p.m. and on April 26th from 9: 00 a.m. until 5: 00 p.m.

Leo MacKay, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer, ACS State Healthcare, Atlanta, Ga., has been appointed as Committee Chairperson.

The other new Committee members are:

Joseph Kevin Villagomez, M.A., Counseling Psychologist, Department of Public Health, Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Cheryl Killion, B.S., M.S., M.A., Ph.D., Research Associate Professor, Center for Minority Family Health, Hampton, Virginia

Edna M. Berastain, M.B.A., Executive Director of Latinos/as, Contra SIDA, Hartford, Conn.

Ms. Berastain serves as executive director of Latinos/as Contra SIDA (LCS). LCS provides comprehensive services for at-risk individuals, particularly those disproportionately impacted within the Hispanic, African-American, and Caribbean populations. Prior to becoming executive director of LCS she served as assistant commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Public Health. She also served as the director of the Connecticut Regional Office of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration and the executive assistant to the Mayor of the City of Hartford.

Inam Ur Rahman, M.D., President and Founder of the Diabetic Clinic, Honolulu, Hawaii

RADM Kermit C. Smith, D.O., M.P.H. (Ret), Former Chief Medical Officer, Indian Health Service (IHS), Tucson, Ariz.

Adrienne Laverdure, M.D., Medical Director of Family Health, Peter Christensen Health Center, Lac Du Flambeau, Wis.

Valerie Romero-Leggott, M.D., Assistant Professor/Director of Cultural & Ethnic Programs, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Friday, April 22, 2005

Contact: Office of Minority Health - (301) 443-5224

Congress To Analyze El Yunque Legislation

April 22, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved. 

San Juan, (EFE)--Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño today said his first proposed law presented to the U.S. Congress, which aims to protect 10,000 acres of the Caribbean National Forest, will be discussed in public hearings May 11.

According to a written communiqué from the resident commissioner's office, Congress' Forest Subcommittee is expected to analyze the measure.

Fortuño added the legislative measure would designate El Yunque's El Toro area as a Wildlife Sanctuary, guaranteeing the site will be protected for future generations.

Fortuño, who will participate actively in the public hearings as a member of the Resources Subcommittee, said "This bill, which is important for ensuring the protection of the island's natural resources in the eastern region, will contribute enormously to the preservation not only of some endangered species, but also the native flora in the region."

The resident commissioner said he believes the bill will be approved since it seems to be a priority of the subcommittee, which decided to discuss it early in this session of Congress.

Santini Favors Cruise Incentives

April 22, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved. 

San Juan, (EFE).- San Juan Mayor, Jorge Santini, said he favors House of Representative’s Project 1217, which proposes to give incentives to the cruise ships that arrive in Puerto Rico.

A press release said, this measure works to establish "Fondo Especial de Incentivos de Barcos Cruceros" appointed to the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, with the idea of establishing a long-term incentive plan.

The plan is oriented to stimulate the arrival of cruise ship to the Island, increase the number of passengers and increase the opportunities of local dealers", he said.

"As a base harbor of some cruise lines, the Municipality economy receives a direct and positive impact of the more than 1.3 million passengers that disembark at port", added Santini.

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