Eleven NPP Senators Favor Rossello, Burgos Backs Him… De Castro Support Withdrawn, Party Expulsion Sought… SJ Gets $47M Private Investment… Ivan Dejesus?… Police Search Procedures Scrutinized… Support FAIR Act… CUCA: UPR Rio Piedras Chancellor Lies… Negotiations For Senate Helm Confirmed, Can’t Be Shared

Eleven NPP Senators Favor Rossello

May 26, 2005
Copyright © 2005 EFE. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (EFE) — New Progressive Party (NPP) Arecibo Sen. Pedro Rossello was favored over Kenneth McClintock to preside the Senate in an 11-0 vote with one abstention from Sen. Hector Martinez.

The senators made the decision in a special caucus Thursday night.

Rossello said he would request that the Senate presidency be declared vacant in the next Senate session on Tuesday.

"I believe my fellow senators will abide by the caucus decision," Rossello said.

Burgos' Support For Rossello Is Official

May 26, 2005
Copyright © 2005 EFE. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (EFE) — New Progressive Party (NPP) Sen. Norma Burgos has confirmed her support for NPP President and Arecibo Sen. Pedro Rossello’s bid for the Senate helm on Thursday.

Burgos told reporters that she has officially decided to abide by the decision of the NPP’s general assembly, which on May 15 favored Rossello over Kenneth McClintock for Senate president.

The legislator said Article 8 in the NPP rules states that all party members are obligated to abide by the decisions reached in a general assembly.

So far, Rossello has the support of NPP Sens. Carlos Pagan, Luis Daniel Muñiz, Lornna Soto, Margarita Nolasco, Jose Garriga Pico, and now Burgos.

Support For De Castro Is Withdrawn

May 26, 2005
Copyright © 2005 EFE. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (EFE) — During Thursday’s legislative session, New Progressive Party (NPP) Sen. Jose Garriga Pico filed a motion to withdraw the delegation’s support for current majority leader Jorge de Castro Font.

Garriga Pico also proposed that NPP Sen. Margarita Nolasco act as interim majority leader until the caucus elects a successor.

Garriga Pico’s statements were applauded at the Senate floor.

Senate President Kenneth McClintock said he acknowledged the motion, but that the change wasn't official because he had yet to meet with the NPP caucus to decide the issue.

The statement was signed by 10 NPP senators: Pedro Rossello, Carlos Pagan, Jose Emilio Gonzalez, Lornna Soto, Luis Daniel Muñiz, Roberto Arango, Norma Burgos, Carmelo Rios, Margarita Nolasco, and Garriga Pico.

Rivera Schatz To Request De Castro’s Expulsion

May 26, 2005
Copyright © 2005 EFE. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (EFE) — New Progressive Party (NPP) Secretary General Thomas Rivera Schatz on Thursday said he would request that the party directorate expel Senate Majority Leader Jorge de Castro Font from the NPP.

Rivera Schatz said his petition results from a series of incidents which have hurt the party’s image.

The also NPP Electoral Commissioner criticized De Castro Font’s unruly behavior and total contempt for party rules.

Rivera Schatz said he has received numerous complaints from party members who want De Castro Font gone from the NPP.

"This isn’t about silencing those who think differently. Our party allows internal discussion. However, once an institutional stance has been taken, everyone must abide by it," he said.

Senate Amendment May Affect De Castro Dispute

May 26, 2005
Copyright © 2005 EFE. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (EFE) — An amendment to Senate rules was approved by a 15-6 vote Thursday to prevent the posts of majority leader and Rules & Calendar Committee chairman to fall on the same person.

NPP Sens. Norma Burgos, Jose Garriga Pico, Jose Emilio Gonzalez, Margarita Nolasco, Lornna Soto, and Pedro Rossello voted against it.

Prior to the amendment, New Progressive Party (NPP) Sen. Jorge de Castro Font occupied both positions.

Now, Senate President Kenneth McClintock has designated De Castro Font as chairman of the Rules & Calendar Committee.

The committee is in charge of the Senate’s session agenda.

This change would impede someone else from chairing the committee if De Castro Font is dismissed from his post as NPP majority leader.

According to press reports, a group of legislators loyal to NPP President and Sen. Pedro Rossello has offered Sen. Jose Garriga Pico to become the new majority leader.

This move is part of a dispute over the Senate helm, which Rossello intends to wrest away from McClintock.

Rossello has called a special caucus to order at 6 p.m.

Private Company To Invest $47 Million In San Juan

May 26, 2005
Copyright © 2005 EFE. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (EFE) — Economic Development & Commerce Secretary Jorge Silva Puras on Thursday announced the beginning of a construction project in Old San Juan.

The project known as Harbor Plaza is part of a plan to develop Old San Juan’s Waterfront.

The Lands Administration will develop the project with a private investment of $47 million.

Silva Puras said the $27.5 million the government invested for the acquisition of land at La marina and Capitolio Sur from 1986-1992 has generated a private investment of approximately $192 million.

"These numbers show that each dollar the government invests generates seven dollars in private investments. We expect this to continue as we develop other plots near the Treasury Department and the Shearaton Hotel," Silva Puras said.

Whatever Happened To... Ivan Dejesus?

Kevin Mulligan

May 26, 2005
Copyright © 2005 PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. All rights reserved. 

Then: Phillies speedy, strong- armed shortstop 1982-84, member of 1983 National League champions... Succeeded Larry Bowa as Phillies' regular shortstop... A .254 career hitter... At 5-11, 175, played 15 seasons with seven teams in the majors, 1974-88, finishing in July 1988 with the Detroit Tigers... Best year, 1979 with the Cubs (.283, 180 hits)... Native of Santurce, Puerto Rico.

Now: Manager of Salem (Va.) Avalanche, Double A affiliate of the Houston Astros... Managed the Astros' Lexington Legends in the Class A South Atlantic League (68-71) last season... Age 52... Named Astros Player Development Man of the Year in 2004... Previously managed in the Los Angeles Dodgers' (1990-91) and Seattle Mariners' (1992) minor league systems.

Hate to remind you, but: Who can forget? DeJesus was acquired from the Cubs in 1982 for Bowa and a 21-year-old rookie named Ryne Sandberg, a 20th-round Phillies draft pick who was called up and played in just 13 games for the Phillies in 1981. The following year with the Cubs, he had 172 hits in 635 at-bats and never stopped. Two years later, he was National League MVP. Oh, and he won every NL Gold Glove at second base from 1983 to '91. Did we mention his 2,386 career hits, 1,061 RBI and 282 homers? Or that he's in the Hall of Fame?

DeJesus/Phillies trivia: DeJesus was succeeded as the Phillies' starting shortstop in 1985 by Steve Jeltz.

Police Chief To Investigate Search Procedures

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

SAN JUAN (EFE) — Following the death of an agent during a police search in La Perla on Wednesday, Police Superintendent Pedro Toledo said he would examine search procedures to make sure the situation doesn’t happen again.

"We will go over the training and procedure used in these cases to make sure this doesn’t happen again," said Toledo.

Wayne Muñiz Caro, 27, was killed by one of his own team while conducting a search at La Perla, in San Juan.

Muñiz Caro had a little girl and a baby on the way.

The Police chief said apparently, one of the agents thought Muñiz Caro was someone else pointing a gun and shot him.

"That is irregular and it shouldn’t happen," Toledo stated.

Toledo said the agent who shot Muñiz Caro was very affected by the fatal incident.

Support FAIR Act

May 25, 2005
Copyright © 2005 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved. 


Roll Call

I read with interest the recent Guest Observer column by Ilir Zherka ("Improve the D.C. FAIR Act, Then Pass It," May 19). While I join in commending Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) for the introduction of the District of Columbia Fairness in Representation Act, I strongly disagree with his observation that the bill needs to include some form of representation in the Senate.

This suggestion fails for several reasons. The most important being the idea is a complete nonstarter in the Senate. Our office has spent considerable time discussing the Davis bill on both sides of Capitol Hill, and I can tell you that no one on the Senate side we have visited with has any enthusiasm for representation in the Senate for the District at this time in any form. As to current legislation, both Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) would say the No Taxation Without Representation bill they introduced has no chance of becoming law in the 109th Congress.

As to the notion of a Delegate in the Senate for the District, that is not only going nowhere, but starts into some murky waters regarding the territories and their demands for a Senate Delegate. Had Zherka done his homework he would know that Puerto Rico has been pushing for such a seat for some time.

The people of the District and most of their elected officials support the Davis bill just as it is. We want to move on to Judiciary Committee hearings with no distractions. We have a lucid, persuasive, reality-based strategy for moving this legislation. This is not time to risk the orchard in hopes of getting one more apple.

Shadow Rep. Ray Browne


CUCA: UPR Rio Piedras Chancellor Lies

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

SAN JUAN (EFE) — The group of students who oppose the tuition increase at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), also known as CUCA by its Spanish acronym, said Rio Piedras Chancellor Gladys Escalona lies when she blames the student strike for the cancellation of this year’s graduation ceremonies.

Aleksivan Calderon, a Social Sciences student who is a candidate for graduation, said in a prepared statement that the real reason behind the cancellation was the institution’s incompetence in managing the budget and the semester program.

"The chancellor has had plenty of time to reschedule the graduation ceremonies. This is just an excuse," Calderon said.

CUCA students said the cancellation of graduation ceremonies is meant to demoralize students who have been fighting the tuition increase.

"Students shouldn’t be penalized for their incompetence," he added.

CUCA has urged the college community not to be deceived by what they believe to be administrative scams.

NPP Senators Confirm Negotiations For Senate Helm

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

SAN JUAN (EFE) — New Progressive Party (NPP) Sens. Hector Martinez, Roberto Arango, and Carmelo Rios on Wednesday confirmed rumors of negotiations to solve the dispute over the Senate helm.

Senate President Kenneth McClintock has so far denied that possibility.

Arango said they would continue to work towards a solution.

Rios added that the controversy over who should be Senate president should hopefully end this week.

NPP President Pedro Rossello, who is also senator for the Arecibo district, has already been confirmed by the party’s general assembly as the one who should preside the Senate.

But McClintock has insisted on not giving up his post.

Baez: Impossible To Share Senate Helm


May 25, 2005
Copyright © 2005 PRWOW NEWS. All rights reserved. 

Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Sen. Eudaldo Baez Galib on Wednesday said he believes it would be impossible to share the post of Senate president as a means to end the dispute over the Senate helm.

"In terms of parliamentary procedure, it would be impossible. The only place where a pro-tempore Senate presidency exists is in the United States. Politically speaking, these are two separate positions," Baez Galib said.

These positions would be comprised of a Senate president in charge of the administrative aspect, and a second president in charge of the legislative aspect.

New Progressive Party (NPP) President Pedro Rossello, who is also senator for the Arecibo district, was confirmed by the party’s general assembly as the leader who should be at the Senate helm.

But Senate President Kenneth McClintock, however, has repeatedly said he will not give up his post.

When asked whether he thinks Rossello may be able to wrest the Senate presidency away from McClintock, Baez Galib said that "in Puerto Rico, anything can happen."

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