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Monday, June 22, 2015

Puerto Rico News Digest For June 22, 2015


From The San Juan Daily Star:

Cancelling public hearings in light of urgency and agreement, senators from
all three parties have voted to immediately begin dredging the reservoirs and
taking other conservation and maintenance measures to ensure the island’s
drinking water supply in the future, the Senate announced Thursday. It is a
measure long overdue, and thrown into relief by the present drought threats
due to lack of rain and rapidly accumulating sediment. The vote on Senate
Bill 1047 Wednesday would create a precedent-setting public drinking-water
policy which has long been needed in Puerto Rico, according to Senate Natu-
ral and Environmental Resources Committee Chairman Cirilo Tirado, who
authored the bill. Bypassing public hearings, a precedent-setting move was
made Wednesday to establish public policy on the use and management of
reservoirs in Puerto Rico.


From The New York Times:

In one of the strongest bids yet for federal intervention into Puerto Rico’s fis-
cal woes, a member of Congress is calling for a control board to take over the
island’s beleaguered government. Representative Jeffrey D. Duncan, a South
Carolina Republican, sent a letter to his fellow lawmakers on Friday, urging
them for a solution to Puerto Rico’s financial problems that may result in “ma-
nagement changes” in the commonwealth. Mr. Duncan said Congress had the
authority to establish a control board in Puerto Rico, similar to the one it created
in Washington, D.C., in the mid-1990s.


From Telesur:

Puerto Rico’s teachers union went on strike Saturday in protest against the clo-
sure of 63 schools as part of education cuts, which were undertaken to save mo-
ney as the country experiences economic crisis. The affected students also parti-
cipated in the rally against the Education Ministry’s policy that leaves dozens of
teachers out of work for the next term beginning in August.   “This is detrimental
to education, because the necessities of the community, the investment in infras-
tructure in recent years, the technology, have not been taken into consideration,
and neither the parents nor the teachers have been consulted,” said Mercedes Ma-
rines, trade union leader.


From Caribbean Business:

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) confirmed late Friday that
three officials resigned their posts, adding that all of them are retiring  from the
financially troubled utility. Moreover, CARIBBEAN BUSINESS sources and
several local reports indicate that the utility’s executive director, Juan Alicea, is
also set to leave the troubled public corporation, although he has yet to present
his resignation officially. Consumer representative at  Prepa’s board, Carlos Ga-
llisá, has also acknowledged the imminent exit of Alicea. Governing Board Se-
cretary María Méndez Rivera, Finance Director Luis Figueroa Báez and Legal
Affairs Director Jorge Concepción resigned Friday, a spokeswoman of Prepa
confirmed, adding that they were retiring from the authority.


From News Is My Business:

Home goods retailer Anna’s Linens, which made its debut in Puerto Rico a
little more than three years ago, has begun its going-out-of-business sale as
part of a company-wide bankruptcy proceeding. Hilco Merchant Resources
& Gordon Brothers Group will be in charge of the closing, offering discounts
of up to 30 percent on all merchandise including sheets, bed pillows, comfor-
ter sets, bath and beach towels, bed and bath accessories, window treatments,
housewares, decorative home accents, storage, gifts and more.

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