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NPP Res. Comm. Candidates Defend Statehood…El Josco Says Yes To Naked Guys Singing’, Fed. Courts Say No…Orchid Honors Ricky…Jaxport Hosts P.R. Trade Summit…CB Richard Ellis Selected For RR Plan…Calderon: Police Shouldn’t Censor Musical…Gov’t Intervenes In New Parties Lawsuit…SEC Certifies 714 Candidates, Few Women File…AA To Fly LA/SJ

NPP Resident Commissioner Candidates Defend Statehood

August 10, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Three of the four New Progressive Party (NPP) pre-candidates for resident commissioner said the opening to this competition was caused by the gubernatorial primaries, according to published reports.

"That encourages us to run. What most discourages someone from running is when there is a decision taken by the party. This time you’re not challenging the party because from the gubernatorial candidacy there has been a genuine opening," Sen. Miriam Ramirez de Ferrer said.

Former Sen. Charlie Rodriguez said the post has acquired greater importance in the past few years because each day the Congress approves laws that apply to Puerto Rico "and because the mistaken perception exists that the people of Puerto Rico seeks to separate itself from the United States."

He said the continuous absences of Resident Commissioner Anibal Acevedo Vila send the message that Puerto Rico does not have interest in developing and maintaining the relationship.

Meanwhile, the last one who entered the race, Luis Fortuño, said there are several reasons. "One of them is the prominence in the past few years given to matters related to the relationship between Puerto Rico and Washington," Fortuño said.

He also said the U.S. national parties are giving much importance to Hispanic issues and that could also raise a special interest.

'Naked Guys Singing' To Be Presented At El Josco

By Manuel Ernesto Rivera of Associated Press

August 10, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

After two cancellations backed by judicial decision, the musical "Naked Guys Singing" will be presented Friday at El Josco Theater in Santurce.

However, the producers of the musical indicated that they will continue appealing the court for an appearance at the Tapia Theater in Old San Juan.

"Out of respect and deference to the Puerto Rican public, the deference that the municipality of San Juan did not have for this group of artists and the general public, we will move our production to El Josco while the courts resolve our legal process that we have brought to defend our right of free expression and the right of the interested public to free thinking," Raymond Gerena said in a press conference at El Josco.

Gerena and the musical’s other producer, Ulises Rodriguez, assured that they have not abandoned their right to present at the Tapia Theater after signing a contract with the municipality of San Juan.

Rodriguez indicated that his wish to continue with the lawsuit against the municipality of San Juan and its mayor, Jorge Santini, is not a whim but a question of rights.

Federal Court Says No To ‘Naked Guys Singing’

August 9, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — After two cancellations, the obstacles to present the musical "Naked Guys Singing" continued Friday when a federal judge denied a petition of the producers to present the show in the Tapia Theater, where it was scheduled to begin Thursday.

The producers’ attorney, Maria de Lourdes Otero, asked U.S. District Judge Carmen Consuelo Vargas de Cerezo to allow the show to go on because if not, the right of free expression granted in the Constitution would be violated.

The judge denied the petition based on the doctrine of deference of the federal court to the local courts, which prevents the federal court to judge a matter that is still being seen in state court.

The musical has been cancelled twice, and on Thursday, municipal police prevented people from entering the theater to see the show.

Orchid Honors Ricky Martin

-- Wire reports

August 9, 2003
Copyright © 2003
WIRE REPORTS. All rights reserved. 

The Singapore Tourism Board honored Ricky Martin by naming a yellow orchid speckled with crimson spots after him.

"Hello, sexy, how are you?" the singer, 31, asked the dainty flower during the naming ceremony Friday at Singapore's downtown Botanical Gardens. "You're supposed to talk to your plants, right?"

The Renaglottis Ricky Martin is a hybrid of the Renanthera bella and Trichoglottis loheriana, both indigenous to Southeast Asia, the tourism board said. It produces small star-shaped flowers year-round.

Bridge To Present At Puerto Rico Trade Summit

August 8, 2003
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ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 8, 2003--Trailer Bridge, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRBR) today announced that John D. McCown, Chairman & CEO, will speak at the August 21 Puerto Rico Trade Summit sponsored by the Jacksonville Port Authority. Other speakers will include U.S. House Representative Corrine Brown, U.S. House Representative Ander Crenshaw, Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico Anibal Acevedo Vila, Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood, Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico officials and various manufacturers.

"We congratulate Jaxport on hosting this timely full day conference. It's an excellent learning opportunity for manufacturers and shippers on an important, dynamic market. Among other economic measures, many of America's best-known retailers have their single highest grossing stores located in Puerto Rico. We're encouraging our customers and prospects to attend.

For more information regarding the Puerto Trade Summit, please contact Jaxport's Debbie Lofberg, Director, Corporate Performance, at (800) 874-8050.

CB Richard Ellis Selected For Roosevelt Roads Plan

By Marialba Martinez of Caribbean Business

August 8, 2003
Copyright © 2003
CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All rights reserved. 

The Department of Economic Development & Commerce (EDC) chose CB Richard Ellis Consultants to design a master plan for the development of the Naval Station Roosevelt Roads (NSRR), said EDC Secretary Milton Segarra.

"The committee [that met to choose a firm] had the opportunity to meet with the consulting firms and evaluate each of the proposals," said Segarra. "The final selection was CB Richard Ellis, which has experience and the necessary resources to help us develop the NSRR master plan."

Within 30 days, CB Richard Ellis should be turning in a preliminary report about NSRR’s economic development followed by the final master plan recommendations three months later. As part of its proposal, the company will be working on the economic development plan with a local firm called Puerto Rico Management Economic Consultants.

All three companies asked by EDC to prepare proposals for this project--Colliers International, Grubb & Ellis, and CB Richard Ellis– have current economic development projects’ contracts with the EDC or Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co. (Pridco) and prior experience working with base closings.

CB Richard Ellis is the company responsible to market Ponce’s Port of the Americas value-added component. Closed military base projects handled by CB Richard Ellis include El Presidio (San Francisco, CA), Fort Ord (Monterrey, CA), Naval Station Barber’s Point (Honolulu, I), Naval Station Treasure Island (San Francisco, CA), and Marine Corps Air Station El Toro (El Toro, CA).

Governor Does Not Believe Police Should Evaluate Musical

August 8, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Gov. Sila Calderon indicated Friday that police officers should not evaluate the artistic merits of theatrical works.

However, she avoided commenting on the controversy over the cancelled musical "Naked Guys Singing," claiming that the case is in the hands of the courts.

"The function of the police is not to evaluate the artistic merits of any theatrical or artistic piece. The police have one function, one responsibility, to prevent and be present in places where a criminal act could happen," she said in a press conference in Salinas.

"That [evaluating the musical] is something that pertains to the courts," was all Calderon would say when questioned about Police Superintendent Victor Rivera Gonzalez’s warning that he would send undercover agents to the musical in response to concerns from fundamentalist activists.

Denying that she had given instructions to the superintendent about the musical, the governor alleged that Rivera Gonzalez’s intention is "to preserve peace and tranquility."

Government Intervenes In Lawsuit On New Parties

August 8, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The Puerto Rico government has asked the federal court to limit the reach of a preliminary interdiction that obligates the State Elections Commission to receive petitions for registering new parties without certification by a notary.

The government also requested that the interdiction be clarified that it is a provisional remedy, issued by U.S. District Judge Daniel Dominguez, according to published reports.

In its petition, the government reiterated its arguments that the federal court does not have jurisdiction to decide on the lawsuit filed by the Citizen Cleaning Party because the controversy about the notarization was adjudicated in state court.

"It is not necessary for the federal lawsuit to formally seek to invalidate the state sentence. It is sufficient that the federal lawsuit defeat or deny the state sentence in substance, for example, if the federal complaint prevails only because the state court incorrectly decided the controversy," Justice Secretary Anabelle Rodriguez said, in the name of the government.

Dominguez had declared the requirement to notarize the petitions to register new political parties as unconstitutional.

SEC Certifies 714 Candidates

August 8, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The State Elections Commission (SEC) certified 320 New Progressive Party (NPP) candidates, 244 Popular Democratic Party (PDP) candidates, 134 Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) candidates, and 12 independent candidates for the 2004 general elections.

However, many of the 714 candidates will have to win a primary in order to become the official candidate for an elective post in 2004.

A total of 81 NPP candidates will go to the primaries, while 56 PDP candidates will do the same.

No primaries will be held within the PIP.

An SEC report revealed that the NPP will hold primaries in 35 municipalities, while the PDP will do so in 23.

NPP President Carlos Pesquera and former Gov. Pedro Rossello will head the island’s first gubernatorial primary, while the PDP has only one candidate for that post.

Four candidates will face each other in primaries for the NPP’s post of resident commissioner.

Meanwhile, 179 NPP and 166 PDP candidates will run for legislative posts.

Specifically, 21 NPP and 10 PDP nominees will run for an at-large post in the Senate, and 19 NPP and 10 PDP candidates will seek at-large posts in the House of Representatives.

Few Women Enter Electoral Race

August 8, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — A State Electoral Committee report revealed that only 90 out of the 714 certified candidates are women, which is equivalent to 12.6% of the candidates.

There are 40 New Progressive Party female candidates, 26 women will run for posts in the Popular Democratic Party, and 24 will do so for the Puerto Rican Independence Party.

American To Begin Nonstop Service Between Los Angeles, Puerto Rico

August 7, 2003
Copyright © 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - American Airlines announced Thursday that it will begin nonstop weekend service between San Juan and Los Angeles in December.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline will fly the route with a Boeing 767 aircraft with capacity for 213 passengers, American spokeswoman Minnette Velez-Conty said.

The service, which will operate once Fridays, twice Saturdays and once Sundays, begins Dec. 19.

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