1 2 Thursday, August 27, 2015 The San Juan Daily Star
2 GOOD MORNING The San Juan Daily Star, the only paper with 3 August 27, 2015 News Service in English in Puerto Rico, publishes 7 days a week, with a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday edi on, along with a Weekend Edi on to cover Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Today s Weather Tropical Storm Erika Tracking to Pass Just North of PR Tonight Initial Headwinds Expected Around Noon DAY High 83ºF Precip 100% Increasing Winds Wind: ENE at 21 mph Humidity: 85% UV Index: Extreme Sunrise: 6:10 AM Sunset: 6:46 PM Local Mainland Business Interna onal Viewpoint Cinemas Entertainment INDEX Night Low 76ºF Precip 100% Rain Showers No cias en Español Legal No ces Sports Games Horoscope Cartoons By MARIA MIRANDA SIERRA The National Hurricane Service (NHS) issued a Tropical Storm warning for Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and the Leeward Islands on Wednesday as Tropical Storm Erika approached the islands of the northern Caribbean. Erika s first effects or tropical storm conditions -- if the storm were to continue the same trajectory overnight Wednesday -- will be felt today around noon or earlier and on into the night. The first bands of rain are expected to arrive at around 7 p.m. today as Erika passes 10 miles north of Fajardo and Carolina. By 8 p.m. Erika is expected to be passing 10 miles north of San Juan. As of press time Wednesday, Tropical Storm Erika had maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (mph) with stronger tropical-storm wind gusts of 60 mph expected to be felt on the island, according to the NHS. Erika was moving west northwest at 17 mph according to NHS 5 p.m. bulletin. As of press time it was about 195 miles east of Antigua and 480 miles southeast of San Juan.. Erika is expected to remain a tropical storm with little change in strength the next 48 hours as it moves quickly to the west-northwest, according to the NHS. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 105 miles primarily to the east of the center. The NHS reported that Erika will move over or near parts of the Leeward Islands on Wednesday night and pass near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today. More specifically, National Weather Service (NWS) forecaster Ernesto Morales noted that tonight at 7 the center of the storm is expected to be 10 miles north of Fajardo. We are not focusing on the center of the system. We are looking at the system in terms of the amount of rain it will bring, Morales said. This is an event that will have wind, but we are going to focus on the rain. According to the NWS, Erika is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 3 to 5 inches with maximum amounts of 8 inches across portions of Puerto Rico today through Friday morning. Morales indicated that it is expected that the center of Erika will consistently remain 10 miles north of Puerto Rico through its path by the island. It s closer than originally anticipated, Morales noted. Once the center of the storm passes, then the largest concentrations of rain are expected to fall on the island tonight and into the wee hours Friday. Downpours from moisture associated with the system are expected to continue into Friday afternoon, Morales said. The system is quite large and we will see rain across the region. Morales added. Erika maintained the same path and intensity in all bulletins issued Wednesday, so it was expected that when the tropical storm passes by the island it will maintain maximum sustained winds of 45 mph with stronger tropical-storm gusts of 60 mph. Meanwhile, the Weather Channel reported that Erika was expected to remain a tropical storm with little change in strength the next few days as it moves quickly to the west-northwest. Tropical storm warnings have been expanded as far west as Puerto Rico, including the Virgin Islands and most of the northern Leeward Islands, the Weather Channel reported. Forecasters at the Weather Channel said the northern Leeward Islands may feel tropical storm-force winds by late Wednesday night into early today. Erika will then bring more rain to drought-stricken Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and tropical storm-force winds today and tonight. Weather Channel forecasters also noted that its strength may intensify to 50 mph by the time it passes by Puerto Rico today. Continues on page 4
3 4 Thursday, August 27, 2015 The San Juan Daily Star From page 3 Erika s future track and intensity beyond Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands is highly uncertain, and may involve a track near the Bahamas this weekend and possibly parts of the Florida peninsula early next week, forecasters at the Weather Channel added. A tropical storm warning mean those conditions are expected within 36 hours. Erika is the fifth named Atlantic system of For the next couple of days, Erika will be moving into an environment with vertical wind shear and dry air, both general inhibitors for tropical cyclone intensification. According to the Weather Channel, Erika may face somewhat lower values of wind shear and dry air than did the former Hurricane Danny, but these negative factors, plus a potential future track over land in the Caribbean, complicate both the intensity and track forecasts. Due to Erika s fast movement, it s already forecast to arrive in the northern Leeward Islands tonight into this morning with potential tropical storm-force winds and heavy rain, prompting tropical storm warnings to be issued for the northern Leeward Islands, forecasters at the Weather Channel reported Wednesday afternoon. This will be the second time in less than three days a tropical storm will slide into the Leeward Islands, after Tropical Storm Danny did so earlier this week. As Erika pulls away from Hispaniola, it will start to encounter an environment more favorable for intensification, said AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski. Kottlowski said this was based on the projected track of Erika turning to the northwest and passing just north of both Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. If Erika yields to the increasing wind shear, much like Danny, Kottlowski stated that it would maintain a more westward track over the mountainous islands of the Caribbean -- a path that would certainly lead to its demise without any threat to the Bahamas or the mainland U.S. However, the latest indications Wednesday pointed toward Erika not experiencing the same fate of Danny and surviving the journey from the northeastern Caribbean to the Bahamas. If Erika can maintain a coherent core circulation after passing north of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, it has a chance of strengthening into a hurricane as it moves through the Bahamas and toward southeastern Florida Sunday night and Monday, Kottlowski added. Citizens are urged to verify all of the latest updates this morning, as these forces of nature can unexpectedly change in a matter of hours, and many times overnight. Sometimes they gain strength, other times they disorganize altogether. To get the latest updates on Tropical Storm Erika, citizens can check all local AM radio stations, morning TV broadcast news on Channel 4, the Weather Channel on Liberty channel 25 and online athttp://www.weather.gov and Coast Guard Readies Local Ports for Tropical Storm Erika By The STAR Staff The Coast Guard set Port Condition YANKEE at 6 p.m. Wednesday for all the ports in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico due to incoming Tropical Storm Erika. During Port Condition YANKEE (gale force winds are anticipated to make landfall within 24 hours), the ports in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are open to outbound vessel traffic only, while commercial inbound vessels are restricted from entering the port unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port. Vessels greater than 500 gross tons currently in port are to get underway and exit the port before the Captain of the Port sets Port Condition ZULU, which closes the port to all outbound and inbound vessel traffic. All other vessels authorized to remain in port are to take appropriate precautionary measures to secure their vessels. During Port Condition ZULU port operations will officially be suspended and the ports will be closed to all inbound and outbound vessel traffic until otherwise directed by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port. The Coast Guard anticipated setting Port Condition ZULU for the ports in the U.S. Virgin Islands at midnight Wednesday. Meanwhile, Port Condition ZULU were to be set at 2 a.m. today for the eastern and northern ports of Puerto Rico. All other ports in Puerto Rico will remain at Port Condition X-RAY until otherwise directed by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port. Following the passing of Tropical Storm Erika through the area, Coast Guard teams will conduct port assessments in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico prior to reopening any ports and returning to normal port operations.
4 The San Juan Daily Star Thursday, August 27, Fiscal Plan Includes Broadscale Tax Reform By EVA LLORENS VELEZ Eduardo Bhatia The government may hike and broaden consumption taxes, update the property tax regime that currently uses valuations from decades ago, bar tax amnesties and reform the corporate tax regime as part of its proposed five-year fiscal adjustment plan. The information is contained in a draft of the five-year fiscal plan leaked to several media outlets including the STAR. Senate President Eduardo Bhatia told Foro Noticioso that while he has not seen the plan, the important thing is to make Puerto Rico more competitive. We have a lot of ideas in a document, but I have not seen it, he said. The proposed draft calls for implementation of the increase in the sales and use tax and the completion of the transition to a broad-based valueadded tax. The language suggests that more items will end up paying consumption taxes. The plan also calls for an update of the property tax registry and valuations that date back to the 1950s. While the document says the corporate tax regime should be changed, the plan does not say how. It also says the government should restrict the use of tax amnesties. In the area of infrastructure reform, the plan calls for the implementation of a five-year, $1.5 billion, selffunded capital expenditure plan. The investment plan will be subject to the approval of an oversight board that will be in charge of enforcing the five-year fiscal adjustment plan. In the area of institutional reforms, the plan calls for a reform of budgetary rules, the consolidation of agencies, and the imposition of a consensus revenueestimating process. It also calls for proper budgeting of income tax refunds. Treasury Secretary Juan Zaragoza said he did not want to go into details of the plan. We are waiting for the final announcement, he said. Zaragoza said the report by economist Anne Krueger points the direction in which the government should go. He acknowledged that Law 66, the Fiscal Sustainability Act, may be extended as reported by the STAR and other media outlets. He also said there are 30 to 40 different projects related to agency consolidation in the area of technology, personnel and management, among others. BRINGING the CARIBBEAN CLOSER with GREAT LOW FARES
5 6 Thursday, August 27, 2015 The San Juan Daily Star Rain from Danny Buys Carraízo Water Customers Some Time By MARIA MIRANDA SIERRA The rain generated by the remnants of Hurricane Danny mainly benefited the Carraízo reservoir in Trujillo Alto and the Río Blanco reservoir in Naguabo, but it was not enough to bring these bodies of water out of the critical condition they are in as their watersheds remain under extreme drought conditions, Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRA- SA) press spokesman Norma Muñoz said Wednesday. Carraízo, which has been closing in on non-operational levels, gained some 30 centimeters of water, according to PRASA s website. The website, which highlights each reservoir s water level. is updated each day at 5 a.m. The increase comes after around 1.5 inches of rain were recorded in Carraízo s basin, according to the U.S. Geological Service (USGS). The increase was registered even as water was drawn from the reservoir to supply Zone A customers under the rationing plan on Tuesday. This is positive news for Carraízo, Muñoz said. Nevertheless, Carraízo continues to be placed under control levels, standing at meters of water. PRASA President Alberto Lázaro, meanwhile, said in a radio interview that Carraízo would have to gain between two and two and a half meters of water before the rationing plan that has customers with just two days of service per week can be scaled back. This would mean that Carraízo would have to reach an adjustment level of 36.5 meters. Currently, some 140,000 PRASA clients residing in Trujillo Alto, parts of San Juan, Carolina, Canóvanas and Gurabo receive their water supply from Carraízo. Meanwhile, the Río Blanco re- a half-inch of rain at the reservoir, the water level at the dam went down by nine centimeters. Lázaro noted that La Plata North sector did have potable water service Tuesday, which could account for the drop. The situation at La Plata is now more critical than Carraízo. It s closer to reaching out-of-service or non-operational levels. It s only 3.67 meters shy of being out of service, Lázaro said, adding that if sufficient rain doesn t fall with the passage of Tropical Storm Erika tonight and tomorrow, a third CARPET WE ARE YOUR INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANING SOLUTION RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIES We Eliminate.. Bad Odors from Your Home (Like tabacco, cigarettes, smoke) Dust Mites is one of ASTHMA sufferers worst enemies!! We Steam Clean Your Matressess and Eliminate Dust Mites (AntiAllergen Treatment Available) We Steam Clean your Furniture and Draperys (Dry in 45 mins.) Carpet Cleaning (No Blower Needed) Carpet Sales, Repair and Installation Steam Clean your Oriental Rugs (No Buffer) Clean and Sanitize Your Air Conditioning Duct System Mold and Mildew (Remediation) Fire Restaurations Water Damage 10% Off Discount - Only in Cleaning Services (Until August 30, 2015) For More Information Call Us (787) (787) (787) servoir in Naguabo was close to reaching the last phase of operational adjustment, but the remnants of Danny extended the reservoir s life and for now clients that receive their water supply from this dam will not be entering a rationing plan, Lázaro said. The Río Blanco reservoir increased by some 25 centimeters after two inches of rain were recorded in its basin. Its water level now stands at meters and remains at operational levels, one notch above adjustment level, under which rationing would kick in. La Plata reservoir, unfortunately, didn t benefit from what was left of Danny. Although the USGS did record phase of the rationing plan will be implemented. It will be very similar to the rationing plan at Carraízo, with two days of tap water, the PRASA chief said. La Plata currently stands at meters. When it falls to 31 meters it will be out of service. La Plata supplies water to some 180,000 clients in the towns of Bayamón, Guaynabo, Toa Baja, Toa Alta, Cataño, some parts of San Juan, Corozal and Naranjito and a housing complex in Dorado. Consumers are currently on a rationing regime consisting of one day with and two days without water service.
6 The San Juan Daily Star Thursday, August 27,
7 8 Thursday, August 27, 2015 The San Juan Daily Star La Plata Dredging Resumes in Earnest After Rain Delays By MARIA MIRANDA SIERRA The dredging of La Plata Reservoir in Toa Alta continued at full speed Wednesday morning after some setbacks Tuesday due to the much needed rain caused by the remnants of Hurricane Danny. A lot of sediment has been extracted in the past week and a half in a combined effort by three municipalities that so far has been deemed successful. The efforts of the mayors from different political parties who have set their political differences aside to better serve their constituents are helping the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) extend the reservoir s life. Fourteen trucks sent by Toa Alta Mayor Clemente Agosto, Bayamón Mayor Ramón Luis Rivera and Toa Baja Mayor Aníbal Vega Borges had extracted much sediment in a short period of time Wednesday morning, once dredging resumed at 7 a.m. Almost half a million cubic feet of earth has been removed from the reservoir s shoreline in about a week and a half. Puerto Rico needs us to advance in the dredging of La Plata, Agosto said. For each cubic meter of earth that REAL ESTATE FOR SALE Residential, land and commercial properties available for sale in multiple locations For more information, please scan the QR code for a link to FDIC Real Estate and Property Marketplace Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation For more information on these and other FDIC real estate for sale, please contact: RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES Prescient Inc. (786) ext: 415 WESTERNLAKE VILLAGE I, MAYAGUEZ Asking Price - $98,550 CONDO 3BR 2BA URB REPARTO ANAIDA, PONCE Asking Price - $145,000 SFR 3BR 2BA MONTE DE LOS FRAILES, GUAYNABO Asking Price - $180,000 CONDO 3BR 2.1BA 350 ESCORIAL STREET, SAN JUAN Asking Price - $630,000 TWO STORY COMMERCIAL BUILDING WITH SIX UNITS COMMERCIAL & LAND PROPERTIES Quantum Partners (787) we remove, it is space for one cubic meter of water, and for each meter of water one family can be supplied for one day. Thank God, the effort has been successful as the other municipalities joined efforts the project is starting to bear fruit and we have been able to see the successful work that is going on. Dozens of municipal workers from the three neighboring towns have been activated to work on the dredging project. Cataño is expected to join the effort shortly, but the mayors of Guaynabo, Naranjito, Gurabo and Vega Alta -- towns also served by the reservoir -- have not yet responded. The mayors are also waiting for PRASA to amend the existing permit to conduct this kind of work and for the private sector to also join the effort so they too can extract the dirt and keep it for future construction projects, among other purposes. But the rain the reservoir very much needs held things up Tuesday, making it difficult for trucks to move on the muddy, slippery terrain. On Wednesday, municipal workers from the three aforementioned towns were trying to expedite the dredging prior to the probable arrival of Tropical Storm Erika sometime after 11 a.m. today if it continues on the trajectory observed on Wednesday. We are trying to fix the trails so the trucks can go down and not get stuck in the mud, because that creates additional problems, Emergency Management Official José Reyes explained. And we have to create another trail to make it faster and so that more trucks can go down, rather than one by one. Last week, some 850 trucks had left the area filled with dirt to be deposited in garbage dumps near La Plata that will be used by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) for a planned recreational zone. Work usually ends at 5 p.m. but on Tuesday, due to the rain and muddy terrain, municipal workers knocked off at 3 p.m. On Wednesday an additional 60 trucks 20 from each participating municipality were sent to accelerate the process. Work started at 7 a.m. and ran through 5 p.m. to make up for the lost time on Tuesday. In total, Agosto said, some 920 trucks have been sent by the three towns to dredge the La Plata s shore in the past week and a half.
8 The San Juan Daily Star Thursday, August 27,
9 10 Thursday, August 27, 2015 The San Juan Daily Star NY Fed s Dudley Urges Congress to Pass PR Bankruptcy Bill By EVA LLORENS VELEZ Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William C. Dudley urged Congress Wednesday to pass a bill that would allow some agencies of Puerto Rico to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, according to several mainland U.S. outlets. I think that would be helpful, because it could help facilitate an orderly restructuring of their debt, something that is probably going to turn out to be necessary, said Dudley, whose district includes Puerto Rico, at a press briefing in New York Wednesday. While such restructuring might not be easy, the risk of Puerto Rico s troubles spreading to the rest of the country is pretty low, because the problems are unique to the island and already reflected in the prices of the commonwealth s securities, Dudley said as reported by Bloomberg. His remarks come on the heels of the island government s appeal to the U.S Supreme Court of a ruling that declared a local bankruptcy code for certain public corporations unconstitutional because of pre-emption. The government is also lobbying for approval of the Chapter 9 bankruptcy amendment, which has been rejected by the Republican-dominated Congress. William C. Dudley A Congressional Research Service report also recommends the approval of the bill. Puerto Rico is in a deep slump and its economic outlook remains uncertain, though employment appears to have steadied in recent months, Dudley said in prepared remarks Wednesday. Puerto Rico s weak economy coupled with a fiscal crisis means its economic outlook remains uncertain as it struggles to address its unique set of problems, he said. Puerto Rico officials are working on a proposal that would reduce its $72 billion debt load after Gov. Alejandro García Padilla in June said the commonwealth was unable to repay all of its obligations on time and in full. The Public Finance Corp. Aug. 3 failed to make a full $58 million debt-service payment to investors, the first default for a Puerto Rico entity. The island is currently preparing a five-year fiscal plan slated to be ready by Aug. 31, which proposes ample cuts in government, labor reform, consolidation of agencies and more taxes. House Energy Panel Chair Dismisses Rosselló Gas Pipeline Proposal as Unrealistic Ricardo Rosselló By EVA LLORENS VELEZ Jesús Santa Rodríguez, chairman of the Special House Committee on a New Energy Policy, said the pipeline proposed by gubernatorial candidate Ricardo Rosselló that would bring natural gas from the mainland United States is unrealistic and would be a major mistake. Santa said the pharaonic project Rosselló proposes is not economically feasible. Rosselló, who is expected to announce his gubernatorial candidacy under the New Progressive Party banner on Sept. 20, proposed in a television program the construction of a pipeline that would bring natural gas from the mainland to reduce energy costs despite problems in the past with similar proposals. He said the pipeline would not be buried. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) has already received the green light from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to allow Excelerate Energy to site, construct and operate the proposed Aguirre Offshore GasPort Project. The proposed project is a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal with the same capabilities as a land-based terminal. The terminal will consist of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), minimal infrastructure to moor the vessel, and a subsea pipeline to deliver the gas onshore. The facility will provide fuel to PREPA s Central Aguirre Power Complex. A fuel cost reduction and environmental improvements, such as improved air quality and reduced barge traffic in the environmentally sensitive Jobos Bay, are expected. He is in a primary and is proposing these pharaonic projects that are not viable, Santa said about Rosselló s proposal. You are never going to be able to pay for such a project with the amount of plants that will use the gas here. He needs to be realistic. Similar projects have been proposed in the past, including an underwater sea cable that would bring electricity from the Dominican Republic.