SIP President Resigns… Microsoft Expanding… Remembering Villalta, Good Corners… 1-Night SJ Stays Easy… More Boys… New Driver’s License Requirement OKd… Puerto Rican Beats… Prasa Nixes Increase Limit… Song Nonstop To NY, JetBlue Ponce-NY Route… HIV, AIDS Cases Declines… Dems Must Talk Family… Desahogo… Plane Parts Out Of Auction

Governor Regrets Resignation Of SIP’s Office President

June 20, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved. 

HUMACAO (EFE) — Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila on Monday said he regretted Crisanta Gonzalez’s decision to resign her post as president of the Special Independent Prosecutor’s Office (SIP).

Acevedo Vila said her nomination for a new term had already been sent to the Legislature, but that now he would look for a replacement.

"I have made several remarks regarding the fact that, in light of recent cases, the SIP’s work should be evaluated," the governor stated.

Acevedo also said he would proceed to fill the vacancy and that the evaluation of the SIP’s work would continue as planned.

On Sunday, Popular Democratic Party Rep. Jose "Conny" Varela urged Acevedo Vila to be prudent in his evaluation of the SIP’s Office.

Varela said that contrary to the governor’s perception, the SIP’s Office has had a 90% success rate in its prosecutions. He also said the office shouldn’t be labeled as inefficient because of a few notorious cases lost in court.

After learning of the San Juan Superior Court’s decision to acquit former Budget & Management Office Director Jorge Aponte–who had been accused of negligent disbursement of public funds–Acevedo Vila said he never believed Aponte should have been prosecuted. He also acknowledged that the SIP’s work, in general, has not yielded the expected results

Following Acevedo Vila’s statements, SIP’s Office President Crisanta Gonzalez submitted her resignation.

Microsoft To Expand Operations On Island

June 20, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved. 

HUMACAO (EFE) — Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila on Monday signed agreements to expand Microsoft’s and Model Offset Printing’s (MOP) operations in Humacao.

Microsoft’s expansion will consist of a new plant to be built in that municipality at a cost of $65 million.

The new building will integrate three innovative manufacturing technologies that will allow Puerto Rico to supply nearly all the CDs and DVDs for Microsoft’s commercial software sold in the continental U.S.

"This expansion proves Microsoft’s unequivocal support for our public policy to boost the economic development of the island," the governor said.

On the other hand, MOP will invest $18 million to expand its operations in Humacao. This project is expected to add 25 new jobs to the company, which already has 25 employees.

Remembering Villalta, Good Corners

June 20, 2005
Copyright © 2005
MIAMI HERALD. All rights reserved. 

Remembering Villalta

Although Ricky Quiles had sufficient reason to celebrate his victory against Javier Jauregui on Thursday night at Seminole Casino in Coconut Creek, the Fort Lauderdale resident couldn't help but reflect on Luis Villalta.

''He was in my heart the entire fight,'' Quiles said. ``We won this together. This is a victory for the both of us.''

Quiles and Villalta will forever be linked by tragedy. In February 2004, Quiles defeated Villalta in the same venue. Villalta collapsed in his dressing room minutes after the 12-round bout and died four days later.

Quiles' win against Jauregui, earning him an IBF lightweight title fight, was his first bout at the Coconut Creek facility since the Villalta bout.

Good Corners

He lost his undercard bout in Friday's show at Miccosukee Indian Gaming, but Puerto Rico's Carlos Perez had a noteworthy corner. Retired world champions Wilfredo Gomez and Wilfredo Vazquez, considered two of the greatest fighters from Puerto Rico, trained Perez for his bout against Kevin Hudgins.

Hudgins stopped Perez in five rounds.

One-Night Stays In San Juan Are Easy On Cruises


Knight Ridder Newspapers

June 19, 2005
Copyright © 2005
Wichita Eagle (KS). All rights reserved. 

Q: I'm planning a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a Caribbean cruise at the end of October. Any suggestions on places to stay for one night?

A: The Puerto Rico Tourism Company ( ) says there are three properties near the cruise ports, either within walking distance or a short cab ride from the ships. They suggest you look into the Milano Hotel ( ) on Fortalenza Street in Old San Juan and the Sheraton Old San Juan ( ) on Brumbaugh Street. The Sheraton runs about $159 a night in October, and the Milano, although it isn't fancy, costs less than $100 a night.

Sex Ratio Shows More Boys Than Girls

June 19, 2005
Copyright © 2005
PRWOW News. All rights reserved. 

Contrary to popular belief, each year more males than females are born in the United States, including the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico.

According to the findings of a new Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) report that examines total sex ratios at birth since 1940, an average of 91,685 more male babies have been born each year than females, a total of 5,776,130 over a 63-year period.

The total sex ratio is the number of male births divided by female births times 1,000.

The world fact book of the Central Intelligence Agency on Puerto Rico reveals a sex birth ratio of 1.05 males per each female. However, the overall sex ratio of the population between the ages of 15-64 is 0.92 male per each female.

The fact book on Puerto Rico also shows that females have a longer life expectancy at birth than males. The life expectancy for males is 73.67 years and 81.77 years for females.

According to the CDC, the sex ratio at birth is an important demographic indicator. It affects critical demographic measures. For example, the ‘‘doubling-time’’ of a population (the number of years required for the population to double its size given a rate of population growth) rises as the ratio of males to females at birth increases.

This data is also necessary to understand trends in infant morbidity, such as low birth weight and mortality, since male infants are more susceptible to illness and have higher infant mortality rates, including rates of Sudden Infant Death syndrome, than females. The ratio of males to females at birth has been used to assess the impact of environmental factors on the endocrine system and reproductive health of humans.

House OKs Additional Driver’s License Requirement

June 18, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (EFE) — The House of Representatives on Friday approved a bill to require 16 and 18 year-olds either their high school diploma or proof of their enrollment in order qualify for a driver’s license.

The bill is an amendment to the Puerto Rico Transit Law.

The House also approved a bill to authorize the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture to impose fines on those who either violate or fail to comply with its rules.

On another note, the legislative body okayed a bill to provide citizens with updated information on all official trips by agency directors, cabinet members, and legislative members, that are paid with government fund.

Puerto Rican Beats

June 17, 2005
Copyright © 2005
HARTFORD COURANT. All rights reserved. 

Juan Fuentes-Vizcarrondo captures the musical culture of Hartford´s Puerto Rican community in an exhibit entitled Rhythm of a Community ( Ritmo de un Pueblo ). Examining the local Puerto Rican community´s struggle to retain its cultural identity during the 1970s and ´80s, Fuentes-Vizcarrondo´s photographs capture musical dignitaries like Tito Puentes, Ray Barreto and Danny Rivera along with a handful of local musicians. His work has been displayed locally, nationally, and in Puerto Rico. Fuentes-Vizcarrondo´s Rhythm of a Community will be on display at the Director´s Gallery, 2 Holcomb St., Hartford. (860) 547-1426 ext. 7413. -- Kelly Hayes

Prasa Objects Bill To Limit Rate Increase

June 17, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (EFE) — The Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority (Prasa) on Friday opposed a legislative bill that, if signed into law, would limit Prasa’s water rate increase to local residents.

The bill would impede Prasa from increasing water rates by more than 10% per year.

Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association endorsed the bill, which would also prevent Prasa from increasing its rates by more than 50% in a 10-year period, unless previously authorized by the Legislative Assembly.

Association members said Prasa should first work on adjusting its payroll before proposing a 100% increase in water rates to local clients.

Prasa Executive Director Jorge Rodriguez said the 100% increase is necessary to solve its current financial situation. Right now, water rates stand at $1.20 per cubic meter.

Rodriguez noted the corporation’s efforts to cut expenses are not enough.

However, he said he would eventually present incentives for Prasa clients.

Song Launches Nonstop Service To NY

June 17, 2005
Copyright © 2005
PRWOW News. All rights reserved. 

Delta Air Lines’ low-fare air service, begins nonstop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marin Airport (SJU) on Saturday, June 18.

The inaugural flight departs JFK at 6:30 a.m. and is scheduled to arrive in San Juan at 10:14 a.m. The first flight from San Juan departs at 11:20 a.m. and is scheduled to arrive at New York at 3:11 p.m.

Starting June 19, Song will offer a second daily nonstop from San Juan to JFK at 7:00 a.m. with a scheduled 10:51 a.m. arrival and from JFK to San Juan at 4:30 p.m. with an 8:18 p.m. scheduled arrival.

"San Juan is one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful travel destinations. We are thrilled to offer customers traveling between New York and San Juan the convenience of our new, daily nonstop service," said Joanne Smith, president of Song.

Song’s new service between JFK and San Juan will feature the wide array of on-board amenities that distinguish its brand from other air service. Song’s in-flight entertainment system is the most innovative of any low-fare service, offering personal seatback video monitors that provide: 24 channels of live, DISH Network television; digitally-streamed MP3 programming that allows customers to create individual play lists of 32 songs at their seat from an inventory of more than 1,600 songs; 10 movies available on-demand, allowing customers to start and stop the film at their leisure; a suite of 11 video games; and a popular interactive trivia game that allows passengers to compete against one another.

Song also offers daily nonstop service between San Juan and Orlando and direct daily service between San Juan and Boston. From New York’s JFK Airport, Song offers nonstop daily service to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale and Nassau, Bahamas.

JetBlue Inaugurates Ponce-New York Route

June 17, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved. 

PONCE (EFE) — JetBlue airlines inaugurated its services at the Merceditas Airport in Ponce with the arrival of Flight 740 from New York on Friday.

The resumption of its commercial flights between Ponce and New York is expected to considerably increase the tourism activity in the southern part of the island, said Terestella Gonzalez Denton, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.

Gonzalez Denton said Jetblue operations in Ponce would represent an economic boost of $6.3 million a year. The operations are expected to create 40 direct jobs.

JetBlue also provides services at the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in Carolina and the Rafael Hernandez Airport in Aguadilla.

Ports Authority Executive Director Fernando Bonilla said he hopes to finish improvements to the Merceditas airport facilities in September.

An additional flight may be available in Ponce within the next six months, he said.

However, Bonilla said the Authority has been negotiating with other airlines that are also interested in starting operations in Ponce.

Number Of Local HIV, AIDS Cases Declines

June 17, 2005
Copyright © 2005
PRWOW News. All rights reserved. 

The Puerto Rico AIDS Surveillance program has reported a decline in the number of new HIV cases on the island, said Trinidad Garcia, director of the Health Department’s Program for the Prevention of HIV, AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

According to recent data, the number of newly diagnosed HIV cases went down from five new cases per day in 2003 to 3.5 new cases per day in 2004.

The program director also reported a decline in the number of patients who developed the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

Garcia said most HIV patients are drug users (42.8%). Heterosexual contact is the second most common form of transmission (32.9%), followed by homosexual contact (10.4%).

She urged the public to participate in the activities what will be held on June 27 at each of the department’s 100 centers throughout the island to mark the National HIV Testing Day. The activities will start at 8 a.m.

Garcia said people may dial 1-800-981-5721 for more information.

LA Mayor-Elect Says Dems Must Talk Family


June 15, 2005
Copyright © 2005
ASSOCIATED PRESS . All rights reserved. 

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Democrats must talk more about family values if they want to keep the support of Latino voters, Los Angeles' newly elected mayor said Wednesday.

Republicans were able to gain Hispanic votes in last year's presidential election because they focused on religion and seemed comfortable with Latino voters, Antonio Villaraigosa told reporters at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Convention.

"They recognize something Latinos have in common with everybody else. I think Republicans do a better job of speaking to matters of the heart," the Democrat said.

Villaraigosa said Democrats need to take the discussion beyond the issues of gay marriage and abortion. He mentioned the homeless, health insurance for children and improving education as issues that should be addressed as part of family values.

Villaraigosa became Los Angeles' first Latino mayor since 1872 when he beat incumbent James Hahn last month. The election saw a record 25 percent Hispanic voter turnout, though blacks and left-leaning whites also spurred his victory.

"It wasn't just a black-brown coalition," said the mayor-elect, who added that he will continue to try to unite a city that has faced racial clashes in the past. During his campaign, he emphasized that he wanted to be the right candidate for every resident in the city and not just a Latino candidate.

Villaraigosa, the son of Mexican immigrants and a city councilman, takes office in July.



June 17, 2005
Copyright © 2005
MIAMI HERALD. All rights reserved. 

Desahogo (Rant), the latest album from Latin hip-hop pioneer Vico C, is a brilliant tongue-lashing set to the mouthwatering rhythms of reggaeton.

In the most accomplished tracks, he scolds those responsible for the social ills of his native Puerto Rico: corrupt politicians, hypercritical churchgoers, aloof parents, abusive husbands and unscrupulous corporations.

Vico C paints an accurate and devastating picture of the deep problems corroding Puerto Rico's society in these sharp and insightful protest songs, such as the title track, Esta es la esquina (This is the street corner) and Tu corazón ya no aguanta pela (Your heart can't withstand another beating.)

Still good but not as engaging are a handful of songs in which Vico C upbraids fellow reggaeton artists for verbally attacking him and for promoting sex and violence. Also included are several intimate songs that seem a bit out of place.

The music is varied and prismatic, an accomplishment in reggaeton, a mixture of Jamaican dancehall, hip-hop and Latin rhythms that many in the genre have dumbed down to a thumping drum beat with a Latin bounce. Here Vico C shows how rich this genre, born in Puerto Rico, can be when approached creatively. Helping along are guest rappers La Mala Rodríguez, Ivy Queen and Eddie Dee.

Plane Parts Removed From Auction

Leland's Removes Clemente Items

June 17, 2005
Copyright © 2005
Contra Costa Times. All rights reserved. 


Baseball Leland's, a sports auction house that had been accepting bids for parts from the DC-7 that Roberto Clemente died in 32 years ago, agreed Thursday to remove the items and donate one of them, a propeller, to the Sports Museum of Puerto Rico.

The other item, a lightweight metal chunk, will be returned to the seller.

The chunk of the aircraft had been bid up to $2,196 and the propeller to $1,948. They were part of an online sports auction that will continue until June 24.

Clemente, a star for the Pittsburgh Pirates, died on Dec. 31, 1972, when the plane he was in crashed after takeoff from San Juan. The plane was headed to Nicaragua with supplies for earthquake victims.

"They're not sorry about what they did," the star's son, Roberto Clemente Jr., said of Leland's. "They told me over the phone that they didn't mean to do this, so they never should have touched the items. They were only in it for the money."


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