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Friday, October 2, 2015

Puerto Rico News Digest For October 2, 2015


The Carraízo water reservoir's level dropped dramatically overnight once
again, leaving it less than a meter away from the reestablishment of water
rationing for households served by the lake. Carraízo dropped 11 centime-
ters, to settle at 37.93 meters at 5:00 AM today, according to AAA, Puerto
Rico's water utility. Once it reaches 37 meters, a 24-hour water rationing
program would have to be started again for Carolina and Trujillo Alto, as
well as parts of San Juan, Canóvanas and Gurabo. Copious rains a few
weeks ago had raised the water level enough that rationing could be called
off, but the last couple of weeks have seen little rain over the area, taking
the situation back to square one.


From The San Juan Daily Star:

"Corruption has become so widespread and commonplace that there are
thousands of people in Puerto Rico engaged in corrupt acts, according
to a Civil Rights Commission report. Corruption is closely related to
civil rights because it is anchored to a number of activities that affect
government coffers and services to the people, according to the report
titled “Human Rights and Corruption” that was entrusted to attorney
Víctor Rivera Hernández, former representative Víctor García San Ino-
cencio and the late former Police Superintendent Pedro Toledo, who died
several years ago. Since the study began in 2009, Puerto Rico has been
shaken by acts of corruption including the case of former Sen. Jorge de
Castro Font and revelations about schemes involving the private sector,
federal arrests of offi cials who use the U.S. mail to facilitate the entry
of weapons and drugs, the arrests of some 100 police offi cers for protec-
ting drug traffickers, the arrests of more than 500 residents in Lares for
committing insurance fraud, as well as allegations of corruption against
mayors, public officials and government contractors..."


From Caribbean Business:

"The Summit on Puerto Rican Affairs will hold its annual meeting in Or-
lando this year. The summit, which is slated for Oct. 14, is expected to
host guests from Florida, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., Georgia, Cali-
fornia and Illinois at its workshops, as it has in past years. Bond Buyer re-
ported Thursday that retired Detroit bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes and
three U.S. House members will participate in the two-day meeting in Flo-
rida “to come up with some solutions to address Puerto Rico’s fiscal and
health care crises...


From News Is My Business:

"The Puerto Rico Energy Commission issued a resolution Thursday deny-
ing a petition by the National Public Finance Guarantee Corp., which in-
sures $1.4 billion in Puerto Rico Electric Authority bonds, for a rate review
and establishment of a temporary rate increase of at least 4.2¢ per kilowatt
-hour. National, the successor in interest to MBIA Insurance Corporation,
filed the request on Sept. 17, asking for the PREC to also order PREPA to
respond to the petition within 14 days of service, and to complete the con-
solidated rate review proceeding within four months of the filing of Natio-
nal’s petition..."


From The New York Times:

"A new front opened in Puerto Rico’s debt battle as the island’s powerful
Government Development Bank went to court, seeking $400 million in
local property tax revenue it said was being illegally held by a local collec-
tion agency. The development bank said the money was crucial to its abi-
lity to make coming payments to bondholders. The agency that collects pro-
perty taxes on the island, the Municipal Revenue Collections Center, or
CRIM, appears to have the $400 million in hand. But its board decided late
in June not to release the money to the bank. The development bank, which
handles Puerto Rico’s borrowing and cash flows, said the move was illegal
and asked the Superior Court in San Juan to require the agency to turn over
the money. The legal documents were filed Wednesday night..."

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