Para ver esta página en español, oprima aquí.

Measures To Shore Up Economy Announced

Flares Fired At Navy Helicopter

Little Time To Repeal Referendum

Another Army Reserve Command Mobilized

Calderon Says Navy Should Leave Vieques

Koch Endorses Ferrer

Caffeine OK’d To Combat Hawaii’s Coqui’s


Calderon Announces Measures To Shore Up Economy

By Ken Oliver-Mendez

October 4, 2001
Copyright © 2001 Caribbean Business. All rights reserved.

Gov. Sila Calderon announced Thursday a series of measures designed to shore up the island's suffering commercial aviation and tourism sectors. The chief executive also signed into law a series of six economic development bills.

The measures were presented during a meeting with over 300 private sector and labor leaders, the purpose of which was to increase government and private efforts to soften the impact of the economic downturn that has intensified since the terrorist attacks on the United States last month.

Topping the latest Calderon administration initiatives was a legislative proposal to reduce fuel taxes paid by airlines serving the island by 50% for a 90-day period. The Ports Authority has also reduced landing fees for commercial airlines.

The Labor Department and Tourism Co. will implement a wage subsidy plan for hotel industry employees, in order to prevent further layoffs. Hotels will also benefit from a 90-day long 20% credit on their electric bills.

The Tourism Co. will also purchase 10,000 airline travel tickets that will be used for a marketing campaign to feature cut-rate airfare and hotel packages.

The governor also announced that construction of public works projects is advancing ahead of earlier projections.

Flares Fired at US Navy Helicopter

October 4, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

VIEQUES, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Protesters on two small boats fired flares at a Navy helicopter during training exercises off the Puerto Rican island of Vieques Thursday, the Navy said.

Two flares were fired at the SH-3 Sea King helicopter as it chased the boats in a restricted area off the island, said Lt. Cmdr. Katherine Goode, a Navy spokeswoman.

The flares missed, and no one was hurt. There were no arrests, Goode said.

Current exercises began Sept. 24 and some protest groups have stayed away since the Sept. 11 terror attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

Activist Aleida Encarnacion said, however, the two boats involved in Thursday's activities carried at least six protesters. She said her husband, anti-Navy activist Carlos Zenon, directed the protest action.

Meanwhile, about 200 Vieques residents marched to demand the Navy's withdrawal from Vieques as part of a one-day strike, disrupting some businesses, government officies and schools.

Congress Has Little Time To Repeal Federal Referendum

October 4, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - The conference committee of the U.S. Congress in charge of deciding whether to keep the directive to hold a federal referendum on the future of the military practices in Vieques is faced with a true run against time, since there isn't much left before the referendum takes place Nov. 6, according to published reports.

Legal advisors of the Armed Forces Committee in Congress admitted the possibility of not being able to reach a consensus on the bill that authorizes the defense budget, in which the Vieques debate was included, before Nov. 6.

"We don't have much time," said Mike McCord, Democratic advisor for the U.S. Senate Military Preparation Subcommittee, whose members are in charge of the Vieques issue in the conference at the House of Representatives.

McCord said the traditional conference to work on a bill of allocations for the Department of Defense may last a month, and the bill would then have to be converted into law by President George W. Bush.

Another Army Reserve Command Mobilized

October 3, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - The 65 regional command of the U.S. Army Reserve announced Wednesday the activation of the 301 Company of the 338 Battalion Military Police at Fort Buchanan.

The members of the battalion specialize in providing protection and security services at military facilities, according to a news release.

The unit to be mobilized is comprised of 100 people who have already begun preparations for the activation.

This is the second unit of Puerto Rican reservists to support the efforts of Operation Noble Eagle.

Governor: Navy Should Leave Vieques

October 2, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Puerto Rico 's governor insisted Tuesday that the Navy must stop training on its Puerto Rican bombing range no later than 2003, despite a pending House bill that would allow the Navy to stay longer.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to Washington, Gov. Sila Calderon said she supports President Bush's decision to quash a November referendum that would ask residents of Vieques island whether the Navy should stay or go.

She also urged that a firm date be set for the Navy's withdrawal. Bush said before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that the training would stop by May 2003.

A House defense bill approved last week, however, would let the Navy stay until a comparable site is found. The House and Senate are to work out a compromise law soon.

Calderon said she sees "a real threat" by some in Congress to let the Navy and Marines use Vieques indefinitely. "This is the real danger that is hanging over Vieques , and for us it's unacceptable," she said.

Calderon said all parties recognize the situation has changed for Puerto Rico , a U.S. commonwealth, after last month's terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

"Our position has to be based on a dramatically different reality, which is the national unity against terrorism," she said.

In a nonbinding referendum in July, 68 percent of Vieques voters said the Navy should leave immediately.

Koch Endorses Ferrer

October 2, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The New York Times. All rights reserved.

The two Democrats facing a runoff next week for their party's nomination in the New York City mayoral race won major endorsements today.

Mark Green, the city's public advocate, was endorsed by his former rival for the Democratic nomination, Alan G. Hevesi, the city's comptroller.

But the rival campaign of Fernando Ferrer swiftly trumped Mr. Green's news, as Edward I. Koch, the former three-term Democratic mayor, endorsed Mr. Ferrer.

Mr. Koch said he decided to support Mr. Ferrer after the candidate rejected Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's appeal for an extension in his mayoral term by several months. Mr. Green agreed to Mr. Giuliani's plan.

"To me this is unbelievable," Mr. Koch said. "I was extremely pleased that Freddie made the proper judgment, which was to say no."

Mr. Koch added, "He was tough enough to stand up to Giuliani when Mark Green folded."

The endorsement by Mr. Koch could prove particularly valuable because it could ease the effort by Mr. Ferrer, who is seeking to become New York's first Puerto Rican mayor, to draw more white votes in the runoff.

In the Sept. 25 primary, Mr. Ferrer drew just 7 percent of the white votes.

Mr. Ferrer also has the support of two unions known for the kind of get-out-the-vote operations that could prove vital in the runoff: District Council 37, the 125,000-member union of municipal employees and 1199/S.E.I.U., the health workers' union.

EPA Approves Use Of Caffeine To Combat Coquis In Hawaii

October 2, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

HONOLULU (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of caffeine to control the coquis in Hawaii, state officials said Monday.

The state Department of Agriculture had requested an exemption from the federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act after tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicated that caffeine was an effective agent in killing the tiny coqui, a species originally from Puerto Rico known for its piercing calls.

The frogs are beloved in Puerto Rico, where last month the government asked U.S. authorities to halt the effort to eradicate them in Hawaii.

A state agriculture official said efforts on the big island of Hawaii to eradicate the coqui may have to be abandoned because it has become so plentiful.

Efforts will be directed at Oahu and Kauai, where there is a better chance for containment.

Self-Determination Legislation | Puerto Rico Herald Home
Newsstand | Puerto Rico | U.S. Government | Archives
Search | Mailing List | Contact Us | Feedback