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Monday, September 16, 2019

The Puerto Rico Monitor Endorses Bernie Sanders For President

The Editor

















The Democratic Party Presidential nomination primaries in Puerto Rico take place on March 29th, 2020. While residents of Puerto Rico can't vote in the Presidential election, they can at least have a say in who gets to be the nominee for each of the two major parties. Those Puerto Ricans who are planning on voting in the Democratic primary would do well to use that voice to tell the Democrats that Bernie Sanders needs to be their nominee.

Senator Sanders is the only candidate who is calling for real help for Puerto Rico as it goes through its devastating financial crisis, and is also the only one who has committed to really following through on the desires of the Puerto Rican people regarding the island's relationship with the U.S. He is also for instituting common-sense government programs that nearly every other industrialized country already has: universal health care and free access to state colleges.

Unlike his primary opponents, Bernie Sanders is not owned by the financial industry, and does not take their money. Also unlike others, he is against involving the US (and Puerto Rico) in more unnecessary wars. Senator Sanders is the only candidate  that makes sense, both for the mainland and for its largest colony. A vote for Sanders can spare us more of the insanity and instability of Donald Trump, and also the calculating corruption of the other prospective Democratic nominees. He is truly a people's candidate who stands up for the little guy and the working class. His career in Congress more than proves that.

“When people are suffering and hurting, you don’t continue to squeeze them. We cannot allow Puerto Rico’s budget to be balanced on the backs of the most vulnerable people – working families, veterans, the elderly, children and the poor. It is not only morally wrong, it is also economically unsustainable.”   — Bernie Sanders

For more information on Bernie Sanders' positions on Puerto Rico, go to https://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-puerto-rico/. And for information on how to participate in the Democratic caucus, email partidodemocratapr@gmail.com or go to https://www.facebook.com/dpcpr/.



Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Hurricane Dorian

2 PM Advisory from the National Hurricane Center





















BULLETIN
Hurricane Dorian Intermediate Advisory Number 17A
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL052019
200 PM AST Wed Aug 28 2019

...DORIAN BECOMES A HURRICANE NEAR ST. THOMAS IN THE U.S. VIRGIN
ISLANDS...

...MULTIPLE OBSERVATIONS OF HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS IN ST. THOMAS...


SUMMARY OF 200 PM AST...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...18.3N 65.0W
ABOUT 0 MI...0 KM W OF ST. THOMAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH...120 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 13 MPH...20 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...997 MB...29.44 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

The Tropical Storm Watch for the Dominican Republic has been
discontinued.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...
* Vieques and Culebra
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* British Virgin Islands

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...
* Puerto Rico

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Puerto Rico

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next 6 to
12 hours.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible
within the watch area, in this case within the next 6 to 12 hours.
For storm information specific to your area in the United States,
including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor
products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast
office. For storm information specific to your area outside of the
United States, please monitor products issued by your national
meteorological service.

DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
----------------------
At 200 PM AST (1800 UTC), the center of Hurricane Dorian was located
near latitude 18.3 North, longitude 65.0 West. Dorian is moving
toward the northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h), and this motion is
expected to continue for the next day or two. On this track, Dorian
should continue to move near or over the U.S. and British Virgin
Islands this afternoon and then move over the open Atlantic well
east of the southeastern Bahamas.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 mph (120 km/h)
with higher gusts.  Dorian is forecast to continue strengthening
during the next few days over the Atlantic waters.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 20 miles (30 km) to the
north and east of the center. Tropical-storm-force winds extend
outward up to 80 miles (130 km) primarily to the east of the center.
An elevated weather station on Buck Island just south of St. Thomas
reported a sustained wind of 82 mph (132 km/h) and a gust of 111 mph
(178 km/h).

The estimated minimum central pressure from nearby observations is
997 mb (29.44 inches).


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
RAINFALL:  Dorian is expected to produce the following rainfall
accumulations:
Northern Leeward Islands...1 to 3 inches.
Eastern Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the northwest
Bahamas...4 to 6 inches, isolated 10 inches
Western Puerto Rico and the central Bahamas...2 to 4 inches
Coastal sections of the Southeast United States...4 to 8 inches,
isolated 10 inches. This rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods.

WIND:  Hurricane conditions are ongoing over portions of the U.S.
Virgin Islands, and are expected over Vieques, Culebra, and the
British Virgin Islands today.  Tropical storm conditions are
expected in Puerto Rico this afternoon and tonight.
Wind speeds atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains
are often up to 30 percent stronger than the near-surface winds
indicated in this advisory, and in some elevated locations could be
even greater.

SURF:   Swells are expected to increase later today across the U.S.
and British Virgin Islands and along the southern coasts of Puerto
Rico and Hispaniola, and they could cause life-threatening surf and
rip current conditions.  Please consult products from your local
weather office.

NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
Next complete advisory at 500 PM AST.
$$
Forecaster Avila











A map of storm shelters in Puerto Rico available ahead of #Dorian can be found at this link:



Monday, July 22, 2019

Puerto Rico Grinds To a Halt

GENERAL STRIKE DEMANDS ROSSELLO RESIGNATION

Photo by Twitter user @jorge32389






















Thousands of Puerto Ricans are pouring into the streets today to demand the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló after the revelation of screen captures of chats with his advisors and cabinet members on the Telegram app. Rosselló has resigned as president of his party, the PNP, and has said that he will not run for reelection in 2020, but he refuses to step down as Governor.

Protests have rocked the archipelago for the better part of the last two weeks. But today's demonstrations are expected to be the largest yet, possibly the largest in Puerto Rico's history. As of the time of this writing, Las Americas Expressway was already shut down due to the crowds, and thousands are gathering at Hiram Bithorn Stadium for a march later today to Jesús Pinero Avenue.

Other marches and protests will be taking place across Puerto Rico, and protests are expected in front of the Governor's mansion -- La Fortaleza -- in Old San Juan.

Keep up with the latest by checking out the Puerto Rico Monitor's Twitter feed. Live video
of today's events  from WAPA TV will be available below all day today.





Tuesday, July 16, 2019

PUERTO RICO GOVERNMENT IN CRISIS

GOV. ROSSELLO IN HOT WATER OVER LEAKED CHATS



The government of Puerto Rico was thrown into turmoil starting on July 8th, when screenshots of chat sessions involving Governor Ricardo Rosselló on the Telegram application where made public. A few more pages where released the next day, and on July 13th, 889 pages of the chat screenshots were released by the Center for Investigative Journalism. The chats in question happened during December 2018 and January 2019.

The chat screens included several troubling statements, slurs, jokes and threats made by several of the chat participants: the Governor, Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marín, Public Affairs Secretary Ramón Rosario, legal counsel Alfonso Orona, CFO Christian Sobrino and lobbyist Elías Sanchez, among others. 

The chat scandal comes just days after the arrest of former PR Education Secretary Julia Keleher and other Rosselló administration officials on corruption charges

Some of the highlights from the chats:

  • Participants joked about killing San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.
  • Homophobic slurs and other insults where used against member of the press, political opponents and celebrities like Ricky Martin.
  • Insults against the federal Financial Control Board that oversees the island's finances.
  • Mockery of the Governor's neighbors in Cayey -- where Rosselló has a vacation home --  and their poverty.
  • Jokes about the backlog of dead bodies in Puerto Rico's forensic science center.
  • Coordination of actions by online trolls on behalf of the Governor, rigging of online polls and    collusion with journalists in order to receive favorable coverage.
  • Jokes about the weight of a Rosselló campaign volunteer.
  • Directive by Rosselló to "sic" the police on or jeopardize the employment of political rivals.
  • The Governor expressed a desire to "take care of" Arnaldo Claudio, the federal monitor assigned to oversee Puerto Rico's troubled police force.


The full text of the chats (in Spanish) is available as a pdf at this link. 

Some of the most controversial remarks, translated to English, can be found here.

Numerous politicians, celebrities and private citizens have called for the Governor's resignation. So far, he refuses to step down, although some cabinet officials involved in the chats have announced their resignations. Widespread anti-Rosselló  protests have rocked the city of San Juan, starting the weekend of the chat revelations and continuing into this week.


For ongoing updates on the political crisis and the protests happening  in response to the chat scandal, keep an eye on our Twitter feed. The latest headlines and updates can also be seen on the ticker at the top of this page.





Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Puerto Rico News Digest For March 6, 2019


PUERTO RICO UNDER DROUGHT WATCH


Puerto Rico's water utility (AAA) has indicated that the municipalities of Adjuntas, Caguas, Coamo, Lares and Naranjito could be facing water rationing in the near future if the current dry pattern prevails over the area, according to AAA Vice-President of Operations Doriel Pagán. However, the agency has stated that this is not likely to happen in the immediate future, and that no date for water rationing has so far been set.

The US Drought monitor has placed 30% of Puerto Rico's territory in the moderate drought category, while 80% of the archipelago is said to face atypical drought conditions.



CULEBRA REELS FROM TRANSPORT INTERRUPTIONS

From The San Juan Daily Star:

"Fortunato Vizcarrondo, a resident of Culebra, denounced on Tuesday that in the island municipalities they are currently living “as if in the hurricanes”, due to the problems with the Maritime Transport Authority (ATM) ferries, which have caused a shortage of products and goods, including gasoline."



LESS MONEY FOR PAN PARTICIPANTS

From El Nuevo Dia:

"1.35 million Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) participants in Puerto Rico are getting smaller checks, and in some cases that represents a third of what they usually received..."


BOARD OKAYS CONVERSION TO NATURAL GAS

From Caribbean Business:

"The Financial Oversight and Management Board and the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau have given the  green light to a contract with New Fortress Energy LLC for the supply of liquefied natural gas 
(LNG) and conversion of units 5 and 6 of the San Juan Combined Cycle Power Plant..."


TOURISM CO. LAUNCHES PLAN TO BOOST TRAVEL

From  News Is My Business:

"Looking to strengthen the island’s tourism industry, the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. has launched a educational campaign to inform the public about the benefits provided by agency-certified travel agencies certified when planning trips or vacations..."



Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Puerto Rico News Digest For January 9, 2019


PR FBI CHIEF: ISLAND FACES "CRISIS OF VIOLENCE"



From CBS News:

"The top FBI official in Puerto Rico said the island is facing a "crisis of violence" and has asked the agency for more personnel and resources from the U.S. mainland. In an interview with local radio station NotiUno630 Wednesday morning, Special Agent in Charge Douglas Leff said no other agency field office in the country is facing what his San Juan office is facing in terms of crime..."


GONZALEZ TO INTRODUCE NEW STATEHOOD BILL


From El Nuevo Dia:

"Resident Commissioner in Washington Jenniffer González plans to introduce a new pro-statehood bill in the House. However, for the legislation to be addressed during this Congress, the government of Puerto Rico would have to hold a "statehood: yes-or-no" referendum this year..."


AGRITEK GETS POT LICENSE


From News Is My Business:

"Agritek Holdings Inc., a real estate investor for the cannabis sector in the United States and Canada, announced that its licensee and partner, 1919 Clinic, has received its final approval from the Puerto Rico Department of Health to begin operations under the medicinal cannabis program..."


NY TIMES NAMES PR TOP TOURIST DESTINATION


From Caribbean Business:

"Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares was pleased Wednesday with the New York Times(NYT) having selected the island as its top recommended travel destination this year. “Once again, we see rewarded the effort we have made to present Puerto Rico to the world as a world-class destination, to present the attractions of our beautiful Island, as well as highlighting the resilient nature of Puerto Ricans..."


TEACHER SHORTAGE ON HORIZON AS MANY RETIRE


From The San Juan Daily Star:

"About 65 percent of local public school teachers are near the average age for retirement, yet there are not enough qualified candidates in the island to replace them, Teachers Association President Ada Diaz said Tuesday..."


Monday, December 10, 2018

Puerto Rico News Digest For December 10, 2018

ARREST WARRANT SOUGHT FOR PEDOPHILE TEACHER


The federal probations office has asked the Department of Justice to issue an arrest warrant for former teacher Yaira Cotto Flores, who earlier this year was found guilty of having sexual relations with a 14-year-old student in 2016. She began communicating online with the student in 2015, and early the following year took him to a motel, where they had intercourse.

Cotto Flores was due to turn herself in to the federal Bureau of Prisons today so that she could start serving her 10-year prison sentence in Alabama, which would be followed by 8 years of probation. The teacher has failed to turn herself in on more than one occasion, and according to her husband, she has been seeking mental health treatment.


ROSSELLO NOT SAYING HOW HE'S PAYING FOR BONUS

From El Nuevo Dia:

"Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares said that the Christmas bonus to public employees will not threaten the government payroll spend during the last months of the fiscal year. However, the  governor offered little or no information regarding the "savings" that his administration reached to offset this $ 85.3 million disbursement..."

NO PROBABLE CAUSE AGAINST WANDA VAZQUEZ

From The San Juan Daily Star:

"In an unprecedented process, First Instance Court Judge Yazdel Ramos late Friday dismissed all three charges presented by the Independent Special Prosecutor Panel (PFEI, its Spanish acronym) against Secretary of Justice Wanda Vázquez, indicating the evidence presented did not show probable cause for arrest..."


PR HOUSE TO REQUEST JONES ACT EXEMPTION

From Caribbean Business:

"Puerto Rico Rep. José Aponte Hernández will ask the new U.S. Congress to study a request made this weekend by the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL), that Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Alaska be permanently exempted from the cabotage law known as the Jones Act..."