1 2 Wednesday, September 2, 2015 Marine Diver Self-winding movement. Water-resistant to 300m. 18 ct rose gold case. Also available in stainless steel. U LY S S E - N A R D I N. C O M The San Juan Daily Star
2 GOOD MORNING The San Juan Daily Star, the only paper with 3 September 2, 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. Presidential Hopefuls Rubio, Clinton to Visit PR on Same Day Local Mainland Business Interna onal Viewpoint Entertainment Fashion INDEX No cias en Español Legal No ces Sports Games Horoscope Cartoons Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio is scheduled to visit Puerto Rico this week, officials said Tuesday. A spokeswoman told The Associated Press that the Florida senator will meet with supporters on Friday in the capital of San Juan. He is scheduled to attend a fundraiser before the rally. Rubio s one-day visit will coincide with that of Democrat Hillary Clinton. Clinton will use the campaign stop to reiterate her support for allowing the U.S. commonwealth to restructure its $72 billion debt through Chapter 9 bankruptcy, campaign spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa told NBC News online last month. Also she plans to share her vision for an economy that helps everyday Puerto Ricans get ahead, and stay ahead, Hinojosa said. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O Malley visited Puerto Rico last month, becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to make a campaign stop on the island this year. GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush arrived in late April for a fundraiser and a town hall meeting in which he endorsed the idea of statehood for the territory. Puerto Rico residents cannot vote in U.S. presidential elections but can participate in primaries. A growing number of Puerto Ricans have moved to the U.S. mainland as the island faces a 12 percent unemployment rate and struggles to emerge from a nine-year economic slump, with the governor stating that a $72 billion public debt is unpayable and needs restructuring. Almost 1 million Puerto Ricans live in Florida, with about 400,000 living in central Florida, according to the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at City University of New York. The center also estimates Florida will soon rival New York as the state with the most Puerto Ricans. As of 2013, about 5 million Puerto Ricans live stateside, almost 2 million more than the 3.5 million Puerto Ricans living on the island. Also on Tuesday, the New York Daily News reported that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will soon lead a delegation to Puerto Rico. The solidarity trip is expected to take place early this month and involve a group of financial experts and elected leaders, including City Council Speaker and Puerto Rico native Melissa Mark-Viverito, a source familiar with the developing plans told the Daily News. The idea is to go down, get an in-person briefing on their ongoing struggle, and find out how New York can help, practically and politically, the source said.
3 4 Wednesday, September 2, 2015 The San Juan Daily Star González Files Complaints Over Alleged Conflict of Interest Involving PREPA Oil Supplier By EVA LLORENS VELEZ House Minority Leader Jenniffer González filed complaints Tuesday with several law enforcement agencies against the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) for giving an $870 million contract to an oil supplier that has an apparent conflict with one of the companies that is advising PREPA on its debt restructuring. González filed the complaint with the Government Ethics Office, the Justice Department and the Commonwealth Comptroller. Free Point Commodities, the oil supplier, is a property of Stone Point Capital, which has Millstein & Co. as a minority investor. What a coincidence that the only beneficiary of this contract are the people who are advising on debt restructuring, González said. Millstein & Co. decided months ago to invest in Stone Point and use proceeds of the investment to bolster its principal investment business. CEO Jim Millstein -- who reportedly is also the CEO of Millco Advisors LP, which has worked as a restructuring adviser to the Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico -- said at the time that this investment from Stone Point comes at an important stage in the long-term development of Millstein & Co. I could not imagine a better partner to help us in the build out of our principal investment business, he said. Stone Point s track record in the financial services industry speaks for itself and we are honored to have them as a partner. Lawyer John Mudd denounced the alleged conflict on Monday. The media has told us that PREPA [Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority] has made a deal with Free Point Commodities LLC to buy fuel for its plants. It is clear from PREPA s press release that this contract was obtained through negotiations, not through a bidding process. So far, so good, Mudd wrote in his blog Mudd Law. The problem is that Stone Point Capitol has investments in Free Point Commodities LLC and in Millstein & Co. The problem is that Jim Millstein is also is the chief executive officer of Millco Advisors LP, and upon information and belief, also of Millstein & Co. The former has had many contracts with the PR Government Development Bank as a restructuring adviser. Mr. Millstein was also the MC of the PR government s presentation of Dr. Anne Krueger s report earlier this year. Mudd says Millco Advisors contract clearly states it must comply with the provisions of the Government Ethics Act. This means the Ethics Office of Puerto Rico would have jurisdiction over this issue and its head, attorney Zulma Rosario, has a well-deserved reputation for fairness and zeal in fulfilling her duties, Mudd said. A violation of the PR ethics law would entail possible civil and criminal liabilities for Millco Advisors or Mr. Millstein or both. Rosario said in written remarks said she will look into the matter.
4 The San Juan Daily Star Wednesday, September 2, House Speaker Favors Control Board as Part of 5-Year Fiscal Plan By EVA LLORENS VELEZ House Speaker Jaime Perelló said Tuesday that the five-year plan should include the appointment of a fiscal control board to give certainty to creditors and attain credibility despite concerns by other lawmakers that such a board will interfere with the powers of the executive and legislative branches. The fiscal control board would be in charge of implementing and enforcing the plan. Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Rep. Luis Vega Ramos is one of several lawmakers who has said he wants to look closely at the so-called fiscal control board to make sure it does not interfere with the powers of the Legislature as stipulated by the Puerto Rico Constitution. I don t believe the board should enact taxes, but I don t have a problem if it is given the power to require information, obtain documents or cite people, he said in a recent interview. Although Perelló emphasized that he did not want to comment on the five-year fiscal plan, he expressed confidence it would be approved by the Legislature. A draft of the plan published by the STAR suggested that there will be a scaling back of workers rights, a hike in taxes and the elimination of subsidies to the University of Puerto Rico and to municipalities. That s going to come at some point to the Legislature because that is what gives certainty after negotiating with creditors, he said. The plan will be presented on Sept. 8 because of delays in completing it by Monday s deadline due to the passage of Tropical Storm Erika. Perelló said the Economic Recovery committee asked for additional time but that the important thing is that the document can be used to negotiate with creditors and help in the economic development of the island. After the negotiations, there will be bills that will come to the Legislature, the House Speaker said during the weekly meeting at La Fortaleza. What I visualize is for us to have the bill on the oversight board. I want this fiscal plan to serve as a basis for a negotiation. A draft of the plan, leaked to the STAR, sees $1 billion in total spending cuts, cuts to the island s teachers and other workers, which the government hopes will convince bondholders to agree to concessions as well. By signaling a willingness to impose tough measures, the administration hopes to close the credibility gap with creditors who feel alienated by Gov. Alejandro García Padilla s unpayable remarks regarding the commonwealth s $72 billion debt load and frustrated by a two-year delay in annual financial reports. Along with overhauling teacher pensions and reducing UPR subsidies, the draft proposed scrapping year-end bonuses for workers, extending probationary periods and reducing vacation in both the public and private sectors. But the measures are politically unappealing and some may require legislation. It is extremely difficult to usher legislation if you re trying to take away rights that are seen by people as being essential, and almost impossible to do it in a preelection year, Marcos RodrÍguez-Ema, former chief of staff under previous Gov. Luis Fortuño, and now a partner at private development group Puerto Rico Economic Development Co., told Reuters. Committing to reforms may not restore credibility if the proposals are not seen as attainable, said Francisco Cimadevilla, a San Juan consultant and head of communications firm Forculus. There may be some low-hanging fruit that creditors will believe can be done quickly, but for much of the reforms, probably not, Cimadevilla told Reuters. So the question becomes, what is the net effect of the things that can get done? Is it enough to get creditors to the table?
5 6 Wednesday, September 2, 2015 The San Juan Daily Star Electronic Voting System Selected for PR By EVA LLORENS VELEZ Dominion Voting has been selected as the voting system vendor for Puerto Rico. Dominion Voting and the Puerto Rico State Elections Commission (SEC) entered into a contract agreement for the provision, delivery, installation, support and maintenance of Dominion s Democracy Suite voting system, a leading secure, transparent, accessible and efficient elections technology platform, certified by the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission to 2005 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines. Dominion was the only company that participated in the bidding process at the SEC. Another company was unable to file its proposal on time and went to court but lost. According to the company, the comprehensive Democracy Suite system offers several unique features to enhance the voting experience and process in Puerto Rico. Transparency will be improved through the use of AuditMark, an exclusive patented Dominion technology that provides a clear ballot-level audit trail, without compromising the confidentiality of the voter s ballot. This feature not only ensures that voter intent is accurately captured, the company said in a statement Monday, but also provides a platform for ballot adjudication and review should it be necessary. The Democracy Suite system, used widely across the United States and Canada, will also allow the SEC to rapidly report unofficial results at the end of Election Day, thanks to the use of secure, encrypted results transmission from the polls to the central SEC office, the company said. The Democracy Suite system purchased by the SEC includes 6,075 ImageCast 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!! 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At the contract signing, John Poulos, president and CEO of Dominion Voting, said We are greatly honored that the SEC selected Dominion Voting as their partner of choice for elections in Puerto Rico, and By MARIA MIRANDA SIERRA we look forward to working closely together in the years to come. SEC President Liza García Rivera declared that Election modernization is an important and complex task, which is why the SEC is very pleased to enter into a contract with Dominion Voting. Their state-of-the-art elections technology and excellent track record as a reliable and professional vendor will help enhance the voting experience and the overall electoral process in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, she said. Pierluisi, Mayors Assessing Post- Erika Disaster Recovery Needs Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi has been in contact with mayors throughout Puerto Rico to assess the situation in their respective municipalities following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika, and to reiterate that his congressional office is at their disposal to assist with any needs and in communicating with federal agencies charged with disaster recovery and assistance missions. The passage of Erika was much weaker than originally expected, thank God. However, in areas that experienced high winds there are houses without roofs and streets that remain blocked by debris, Pierluisi said Tuesday. My congressional office has been in contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) since the previous Tropical Storm Danny was still developing. FEMA has assured us that they are ready to attend to the situation on the ground if needed. Pierluisi s office is in direct communication with various high-ranking FEMA officials, including Jerome Hatfield, the Region 2 administrator for FEMA, Alejandro de la Campa, the Caribbean Area division director, and Andrew Blaylock, the congressional liaison. FEMA s teams are currently deployed in Puerto Rico, St. Croix and St. Thomas. Additionally, FEMA has assigned a liaison officer in the emergency operations center on the island to coordinate any requests for assistance that might arise. Every mayor or state agency that needs help from any federal agency can count on me and all of my congressional staff, Pierluisi added. La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Víctor Suárez on Tuesday said that within the next few days a full list will be ready to be sent to FEMA to ask for assistance for eight municipalities that experienced damages from the storm. The towns on the list are Jayuya, Adjuntas, Maricao, Las Marías, the Castañer sector of Lares and some sectors of Utuado, the north of Yauco and Ponce, Suárez said.
6 The San Juan Daily Star Wednesday, September 2,
7 8 Wednesday, September 2, 2015 The San Juan Daily Star Rosselló Nevares to Hold Alternative Convention in November By MARIA MIRANDA SIERRA With the New Progressive Party (NPP) not holding its annual convention for the second straight year, gubernatorial hopeful Ricardo Rosselló Nevares announced Tuesday that he has organized an event called Convention: Building a New Puerto Rico to be held Nov. 6-8 at a hotel in Fajardo. The announcement comes after the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) was forced to postpone its own convention, which was slated to be held last weekend at the same hotel due to the passing of Tropical Storm Erika. The PDP convention will now be held at the same location Oct Historically, both political parties have held their annual conventions around this time of year, but the NPP hasn t staged one for the past two years. Although Rosselló Nevares hasn t officially announced his candidacy, he did tell the STAR last week that on Sept. 20 he will be making a major announcement at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan centered on building a new Puerto Rico. On Sept. 20 I will make a big announcement, but I will also continue discussing the Plan for Puerto Rico, he said in a radio interview Tuesday morning, Political analyst and former PDP lawmaker Ferdinand Pérez said political conventions, especially those held the year prior to the general elections, are important because they are usually where official candidacies are announced and the party gains strength as candidates gather further support from the party s grassroots. In a radio interview on Tuesday, Rosselló Nevares said that at the event he will continue developing his Plan for Puerto Rico political platform that will define his first run for a political office. He said he will also be talking about his Statehood Agenda, in which he will note the initiatives he will take to achieve statehood for the island. Rosselló Nevares told the STAR that he plans to put an end to Puerto Rico s territorial status through the Tennessee Plan. The convention Rosselló Nevares is organizing will be held just a few weeks after he is expected to announce his intention to run for governor under the NPP insignia. It is also being convoked at a time when the NPP determined not to hold its annual convention. The reasons given by NPP Electoral Commissioner and former NPP Director Jorge Dávila last June were that it was never planned and that we are concentrated on supervising the PDP government, which continues to put its hands in the pockets of the people. The STAR tried to obtain a fresh comment on Tuesday, but Dávila was not immediately available as of press time. Rosselló Nevares explained that the convention will serve to discuss different topics and set up a clear and compelling platform for a path toward building the new Puerto Rico. When asked if he thought the NPP was making a mistake by not holding a convention this year, Rosselló Nevares said conventions are spaces where the people from the party and supporters can see what [the party and its leaders] have done so far. They [supporters] can speak with the party s leadership. They can have direct contact and exchange ideas, he added. The [political] party that started this custom in Puerto Rico was the NPP, and it isn t a space that we should leave empty, especially before the existing thirst and hunger for new alternatives, for a new path for Puerto Rico. We are going to use this space that represents three years after the outcome of the referendum, which resulted overwhelmingly in favor of statehood, and one year before the general elections, where without a doubt we will have one of the biggest electoral triumphs in the history of Puerto Rico. Although he didn t offer details on what other NPP leaders will be speaking at the convention, in all likelihood, those who show their support on Sept. 20 will probably be participating in the convention. In a separate radio interview Tuesday, NPP Secretary General José Aponte said it does no good or bad for NPP leaders and/or supporters to attend the Rosselló Nevares event, which he compared to a fraternity or sorority convention or the annual convention held by the Puerto Rico Industrial Association (PRMA) or the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Those who want to hold a convention I want to be clear that this is not the NPP convention, Aponte said. Aponte added that political conventions are convoked by the party s formal structure and not by a sector or individual. The NPP made a prudent determination, in view of the fiscal crisis Puerto Rico is facing, the crisis all Puerto Rican families are living through, to not hold a convention, the secretary general said, adding that annual conventions have seldom resulted in any monetary gains for the party. He added that since the event is not an official one, NPP leaders should not attend in their party-related capacity, but rather should participate as private individuals.
8 The San Juan Daily Star Wednesday, September 2,
9 10 Wednesday, September 2, 2015 The San Juan Daily Star SJ Cop Held on Human Smuggling Charge By MARIA MIRANDA SIERRA U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce McGiverin authorized a criminal complaint charging San Juan municipal police officer Luz Zoraida Rojas with one count of human smuggling, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico Rosa Emilia Rodríguez announced Tuesday. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) is in charge of the investigation. According to the information in the affidavit submitted in support of the criminal complaint, on Aug. 24, Rojas established communication with a Source of Information requesting assistance to smuggle a friend from Antigua to Puerto Rico. Rojas had previously engaged in communications with other people in an attempt to make a deal for the venture but did not agree with the price of $3,000 established by the alleged smuggler, Rodríguez said. The investigation conducted by the ICE-HSI revealed that on Aug. 25, Rojas agreed with an undercover agent, who she believed was a smuggler, to bring her Dominican friend from Antigua for $2,800. Then on Aug. 28 Rojas met with the undercover agent and after paying $1,800 for the smuggling, she was arrested. The investigation also revealed that Rojas stated that she was working on building a case against transporters to later turn it over to pertinent agencies. HSI special agents were able to confirm with the San Juan Municipal Police that Rojas was not working on any authorized operation at the time of her arrest. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Erbe. If convicted Rojas faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. PR Entities to Receive $12 Million in Federal Health Grants By MARIA MIRANDA SIERRA Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi announced on Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is awarding multiple grants totaling over $12 million to various government entities, universities and non-profit organizations on the island. More specifically, the HHS is awarding over $5 million to support Head Start and Early Head start programs in Puerto Rico. The Youth Services Center in Arecibo, or Centro de Servicios a la Juventud, will receive over $2.7 million, while the municipalities of Toa Baja and Barceloneta will each receive over $1 million. In addition, the governor s office will receive $175,000 for its Head Start State Collaboration Office, whose purpose is to improve coordination efforts among Head Start and Early Head Start providers throughout the island. In addition, the HHS is awarding over $4.4 million to the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) under the Biomedical Research and Research Training Program. The grant will fund basic research at the UPR to establish the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention, while training the next generation of scientists. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is awarding $2.3 million to the local Health Department under the Preventive Health and Health Services Grant. The funding is flexible, and is used by states and territories to address their unique public health needs in innovative and locally defined ways. Finally, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), an umbrella department within the HHS, is awarding over $520,000 under the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service Grant Program. This funding will be used to provide mental health services and to assist children dealing with violence and trauma. The Sanos Corp. in Caguas will receive $270,000, Caribbean Central University in Bayamón will receive $125,000, and the UPR Río Piedras campus will also receive $125,000. These HHS federal funds will improve the services that Puerto Rico can provide to our residents in a range of areas, including early childhood education, medical research, preventive health services, and substance abuse and mental health treatment, Pierluisi said.