Puerto Rican Congress of New Jersey, Inc.
                           Puerto Rican Congress of New Jersey, Inc.

PRC personally gathers news of which they support and want to bring awareness to or feel certain current events are news worthy for you to be alert of.

http://thehill.com

US sees Puerto Rico as reservation with nothing to reserve

By Andres Cordova, opinion contributor

 

"One year after the Supreme Court’s decision in Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle, the enactment of The Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), the creation of a Oversight and Management Board and the initiation of bankruptcy-like proceedings under its Title III provisions in the Federal District Court in San Juan put to bed the argument that claimed any kind of uniqueness to the political relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States.

By now, it is clear that Puerto Rico is a territory under the plenary powers of Congress as provided by Article IV, Section III of the Constitution, without limitation or reservation." - thehill.com

Representative Vito Marcantonio (second from left) standing with a crowd of late registrants outside the register booth at 57 E. 111th Street in Manhattan. (Tom Cunningham/New York Daily News )

The Barrio Congressman: Vito Marcantonio and the Puerto Rican migration

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

Bring Medicare Tourism to Puerto Rico

The practice would be good for both the island's economy and the U.S. federal budget.

 

By Andrew G. Biggs

 

"The federal budget faces a problem: the rising cost of Medicare benefits. At $10,000 per beneficiary per year, Medicare is one of the largest costs facing the U.S. taxpayer. And it's growing as baby boomers retire and health costs increase. At the same time, the U.S. island of Puerto Rico faces a problem. Its government is effectively bankrupt, and the economy is contracting. Tourism receipts are below potential levels. Perhaps worst, over one-third of the island's doctors have emigrated to the mainland in the past decade, increasingly leaving Puerto Ricans without care.

But there is a policy that could help both the federal budget and the Puerto Rican economy. Not medical tourism, but Medicare tourism." -usnews.com

Luis Flores, a gynecology surgeon and the director of robotics at Bella Vista Hospital in Puerto Rico. Mariela Patron / Mariela Patron

Puerto Rico’s Exodus of Doctors Adds Health Care Strain to Dire Financial Crisis

by Mariela Patron

 

"SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico's struggling financial crisis has set off an exodus of medical personnel, leaving physicians with unmanageable patient loads and triggering a cascade of problems for patients and hospitals. The government, some hospitals and non-profits are offering incentives to try to keep or attract doctors to Puerto Rico as the situation worsens.

In the eight years between 2005 and 2013, 1,200 physicians and surgeons left Puerto Rico to live on the U.S. mainland, according to the Puerto Rico Statistics Institute. That amounts to 12 percent of the more than 10,000 medics and surgeons who worked on the island during that time. The exodus is still continuing now, with doctors often leaving better salaries, working conditions and resources." - nbcnews.com

The offices of Parallel18, a start-up accelerator in San Juan, P.R. The venture is part of a wave of entrepreneurialism among young people, some of whom have left good jobs on the mainland to cast their lot back home. Credit Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for

As Others Pack, Some Millennials Commit to Puerto Rico

By LIZETTE ALVAREZ

 

"SAN JUAN, P.R. — Two young graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology did the unthinkable last summer: They quit enviable jobs in New York and moved back to beleaguered Puerto Rico, bringing their plan for a start-up with them.

“People were like: ‘Are you crazy? Why would you ever do that? Go back way later; you’re basically going into a hellhole right now,’” said one of the graduates, Eric Crespo, 25, who helped create Lunchera, a fast-growing online food delivery and logistics company in Puerto Rico.

As the tide of Puerto Ricans leaving the island continues unabated, Mr. Crespo and his partner and college friend, Bryan Collazo, are part of a small but critical wave of educated millennials who are doing the opposite; they are choosing to return home or stay put on the island.

They are opening restaurants and bars, fueling start-ups and small businesses or jump-starting moribund sectors, like agriculture. They are motivated both by an urge to help lift Puerto Rico out of its quagmire, but also by a profound attachment to the island — its beaches and countryside, its friendliness, its intimacy and the tug of family." - nytimes.com

Jesus Emmanuel - lens.blogs.nytimes.com

In Puerto Rico, Love Lingers for a Deserted School

By David Gonzalez

 

"Thick tropical vegetation chokes the atrium and garden at the Lola Rodríguez de Tió High School in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Inside, the place is bereft of souls: The walls have holes where scavengers ripped out wiring and pipes, shafts of sunlight slice into the darkness inside classrooms where books, keyboards and pictures are strewn about haphazardly. This decay has been slowly erasing the physical space since the school closed in 2014, another casualty of Puerto Rico’s economic collapse.

 

This heartbreaking scene is enough to take a cue from Steely Dan and never go back to your old school.

But for Jesus Emmanuel Rodriguez Pichardo, who graduated here before moving to New York, it triggered intense emotions that kept him coming back to the deserted campus. During an extended stay earlier this year, he made the empty rooms and overgrown yards into a backdrop for large-format portraits of the place and the people who worked and studied there. The images speak to the immediate, emotional bond they had for it. But the shuttered school is a symbol in the larger drama that has played out in recent years as people educated here — and other schools on the island — have fled to New York or Florida.

 

“Why are these schools abandoned?” said Mr. Rodriguez Pichardo, 35, who goes by Jesus Emmanuel professionally. “They protect us from hurricanes if you have to be evacuated from your home. They are polling places. They are big and they are abandoned. Why not convert them into something with the community? It’s a lack of respect when you leave it closed and abandoned.” - lens.blogs.nytimes.com

pasquines.us
 

John McCain moves to repeal the Jones Act

by

 

"Senator John McCain introduced a bill that would repeal the Jones Act, or the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. The Jones Act requires that all shipments between US ports be made on US controlled, made, and manned ships. McCain believes that the law hinders free trade and increases costs for US consumers.

Originally created as a protectionist policy following World War I, McCain calls the policy “an archaic and burdensome law that hinders free trade, stifles the economy, and ultimately harms consumers.” This is not the first time he has attempted to repeal the Jones Act as well. In 2010, he introduced legislation similar to the current one that was not passed. In 2015 and 2016, he attempted to add amendments to the ends of other bills that would loosen the requirements for some ships, attempting to wave the build requirements for oil and gas tankers. None of his previous attempts at a full or partial repeal have been successful." - pasquines.us

Staff group photo of the Puerto Rican talent behind Parallel18. Ccourtesy of Parallel18

In Puerto Rico, Program Attracts Young Entrepreneurs, Sees Results

by Patricia Guadalupe

 

"A program that has attracted young entrepreneurs to Puerto Rico is seeing solid growth and is generating solid revenues and jobs.

Parallel 18, an accelerator program founded in 2015, offers $40,000 in funding, along with mentoring, consulting, and introduction to investors, to small companies who are looking to scale up and have not been in operation for more than three years. In exchange, the entrepreneurs live and work in Puerto Rico, and collaborate with local universities and mentor students. Parallel 18 takes its name from where the island is located on a map.

So far, the companies participating in the program have generated $14 million in sales, more than half of that on the island, and new jobs.

The island continues to grapple with a crushing debt of $70 billion and a decade of economic stagnation, but Parallel 18 executive director Sebastián Vidal says that entrepreneurship can be pivotal to Puerto Rico’s growth." - nbcnews.com

Puerto Rico and the politics of legal identity

By Andrés L. Córdova

"One of the side effects to the ongoing unraveling of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, its spiraling economic downturn and the growing migration of its population to the mainland, is that the issues concerning its political and legal relationship with the United States is coming to the attention of a larger audience that historically had not paid much attention to it. Although Puerto Rico has been a territory of the United States since 1898 as a result of the Spanish-American War, many still are under the impression that it is, if not a foreign country, at least foreign enough for it not to qualify as “American.”

Perhaps some still today would agree with Associate Justice Henry Billings Brown’s early and suspect characterization in Downes v. Bidwell (1901), that the island of Puerto Rico “[…]is a territory appurtenant and belonging to the United States, but not a part of the United States[…]”. Associate Justice Brown is also the author of the majority opinion in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which upheld the doctrine of separate but equal in cases of racial segregation. As recent as 2007 the Bush White House Report on Puerto Rico reiterated the proprietary nature of the territory."

- thehill.com

A man takes a selfie in the Puerto Rican neighbourhood of La Perla, where the video for the pop hit "Despacito" was filmed. (Photo: AFP/Ricardo Arduengo)
Tourists seeking 'Despacito' discover Puerto Rico's La Perla

 

"SAN JUAN: Something unusual is happening in La Perla, a poor barrio clinging to a steep hillside between Old San Juan and the sea where the video for the pop hit "Despacito" was filmed.

"The gringos are coming!"

Outsiders were afraid to venture in before, but since Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's megahit, tourists from all over the world are descending on the narrow streets that wind among La Perla's brightly colored houses.

"Despacito?" they inquire.

And the barrio's residents obligingly point out the locations where the video was filmed: The rocks facing the sea where Fonsi sings the refrain, the sea wall where ex-Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera strolls, the little plaza where men play dominoes - the tables and chairs just as they were in the video." - channelnewsasia.com

A woman waves a Puerto Rican flag during a protest against the referendum for Puerto Rico political status in San Juan, on June 11th, 2017. (Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/ AFP/Getty Images)

Puerto Rico as a Blueprint for Voter Engagement

Extraordinary efforts to bolster access to voting and participation in civic life have led to a high level of political engagement in Puerto Rico.
 
 

"A few weeks ago, at the San Jose airport on my way to participate in an international election observation of Puerto Rico's statehood referendum, the airline ticket agent asked me for my passport. This request surprised me: Puerto Rico is part of the United States, so a passport isn't required for Americans to travel there. But as I soon discovered, through my work on the election, this request shone a light not only on the complex, and at times thorny, relationship between the U.S. and Puerto Rico that has persisted for over a century, but also on what true voter access and democratic engagement might look like.

 

To understand the dynamics of the referendum, which was the fifth time since 1967 that Puerto Ricans voted on their future (to be a Commonwealth, independence, or statehood), it's helpful to look at the vote's connection to the past. A hundred years ago, an Act of Congress provided American citizenship to Puerto Ricans and increased their democratic self-governance. But today, Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico don't have all of the rights of citizenship. For one, Puerto Ricans residing on the mainland of the U.S. may vote for president, but the 3.5 million people who live in Puerto Rico can't, except in the primaries. Moreover, they don't have full voting representation in Congress. This status chafes many Puerto Ricans, and it often leads to small peculiarities and indignities. A woman, for instance, told me about an incident in which she and her daughter were lost late one night after renting a car at the airport in Miami. She was stopped by a police officer and asked to show her license. The officer told her that she isn't legally allowed to drive in the U.S. with a Puerto Rican license. I've heard many similar stories." - psmag.com

washingtonexaminer.com

Gov. Ricardo Rossello wants to put Puerto Rico on Congress' agenda

by

"Puerto Rico is throwing a wrench into the mainland's politics.

The Caribbean island's government held a referendum on June 11 to gauge public support in what was the territory's fifth-ever plebiscite on statehood, and the vast majority of voters said yes.

 

Since then, Gov. Ricardo Rossello has led the charge in Congress, making regular trips to Washington, where he has lobbied lawmakers to take up the issue.

But Rossello's request comes at a complicated time for the House and Senate. The Republican-led Congress has yet to achieve meaningful reform on issues President Trump promised to address in his first year: healthcare, tax reform, and infrastructure. Adding statehood for Puerto Rico to the agenda may not just be a far-off dream, but impossible in a body that has yet to prove it can get anything done.

 

The Washington Examiner sat down with the first-term governor at his D.C. office in late June to discuss his plan for the territory's latest try at statehood while it struggles to climb out of a $73 billion debt crisis." - washingtonexaminer.com

Top adviser to Puerto Rico governor resigns, 'in no way pressured'

by Nick Brown

"NEW YORK (Reuters) - Elias Sanchez, Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s liaison to Puerto Rico’s financial oversight board who has been criticized over his financial disclosures, resigned on Thursday.

 

    Sanchez, a trusted adviser to Rosselló who was effectively the face of the Puerto Rican government on issues concerning the U.S. territory's massive debt restructuring, said in an interview that he wanted to focus on opportunities in the field of law.

Rossello appointed Christian Sobrino Vega, president of Puerto Rico's Government Development Bank (GDB), as Sanchez's replacement on the board. In a statement, the governor called Sobrino "instrumental in the success of our administration."

 

Puerto Rico is in a historic economic crisis, with $72 billion in debt it cannot repay, a 45 percent poverty rate, and insolvent public pensions. Its finances are under the oversight of a federal board that has been given the task of helping the island craft and follow a blueprint for its fiscal turnaround.

 

As Rosselló’s delegate on the board, Sanchez, a former lobbyist, had become a favorite target of investors unhappy with potential cuts to debt repayment.

Specifically, Sanchez was disparaged for his financial disclosure forms - a requirement of all board members. According to critics, he did not provide enough information on the forms about his sources of income and potential conflicts of interest related to his role on the board." - reuters.com

ahoranews.net

La Democracia No Existe en Puerto Rico

By Dr. Edgar León

 

"Solo con enumerar la suma de los factores podemos llegar al resultado que se puede experimentar cuando aplicamos la verdadera definición de una democracia. Según el diccionario se define como “Sistema político que defiende la soberanía del pueblo y el derecho del pueblo a elegir y controlar a sus gobernantes.” Si aplicamos esta definición a la condición democrática de Puerto Rico podemos concluir que no cumple cabalmente con la definición.

Primero, no tenemos soberanía alguna debido a que no controlamos las aguas, los recursos naturales, las comunicaciones, ni la transportación aérea de la isla.

 

Segundo, tenemos un bloqueo disfrazado con la Ley de Cabotaje impuesta por los Estados Unidos el cual ahoga y restringe el comercio local por el alto costo de usar solamente los barcos americanos.

Tercero, tenemos dos sistemas judiciales que no necesariamente están bien definidas en cuanto a quien le toca aplicar la ley. Sabemos que la ley federal usualmente tiene mucho mas éxito que la local en cuanto a los casos procesados.

Cuarto, un ciudadano americano en Puerto Rico pierde totalmente sus derechos y se le quitan las ayudas y beneficios a las que tiene derecho simplemente porque Puerto Rico esta bajo una dictadura del Congreso de los Estados Unidos." - AhoraNews.net

Exodus From a Historic Puerto Rican Town, With No End in Sight

By FRANCES ROBLES

 

"LARES, P.R. — This picturesque mountain town, renowned for its rich coffee, peculiar ice cream and a historic, if short-lived, rebellion, now has a far less welcome distinction.

On an island where about 400,000 people have moved away since the 2000 census, Lares lost the highest percentage of its residents — almost a quarter of its population since the census. The downtown plaza that marks the route that rebels took in 1868 to wrestle free from Spain’s colonial grasp is now surrounded by abandoned storefronts. Handwritten signs offering battered buildings for rent or sale have become the hallmark of a city struggling to keep pace with a continuing exodus.

 

Even Heladeria Lares, the celebrated ice cream parlor where tourists and locals alike once lined up to savor frozen treats with eccentric flavors like rice and pigeon peas, garlic and codfish, has suffered a drop of 30 percent in business this year, as an increasing number of the town’s 26,000 residents face foreclosure on their homes, cannot find jobs and take off for the mainland United States.

“It’s nurses, teachers, doctors, firefighters. The dentist left,” said Elvin Cuevas, who manages the Lares Department Store, which offers furniture and jewelry, but does not sell much of either. “The two police officers who for years guarded that corner right there are in Texas. One day, they were gone.”

 

Lares’s decline, following the long descent of its agricultural economy, could be a harbinger for Puerto Rico as it braces for the reverberations of its economic morass. A few thousand Puerto Rican teachers could be losing their jobs this fall when the government closes 167 schools, four of them in Lares. Pensioners are bracing for pay cuts, while the sales tax has risen to 11.5 percent. Businesses are struggling to keep their doors open." - nytimes.com

In this July 7, 2017 photo, a monkey stares out from its enclosure at the Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. The economic crisis afflicting Puerto Rico for the last decade has also taken a toll on the island’s only zoo, with critics saying i

Puerto Rico economic crisis hits island’s only zoo

 

"MAYAGUEZ, Puerto Rico — The economic crisis afflicting Puerto Rico for the last decade has also taken a toll on the island’s only zoo, with critics saying it is sorely understaffed and struggling to care for its animals on a limited budget.

 

Conditions at Dr. Juan A. Rivero, a 45-acre zoo featuring over 300 species in the western coastal town of Mayaguez, have deteriorated so far as to catch the attention of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which cited dozens of violations at the park in its most recent report from this spring.

They included a distressed cougar housed in a tiny enclosure; a lack of working fans for camels and deer exposed to tropical heat; expired food and medicines; and a tiger that inspectors said was underweight and had not had any medical exams or lab tests for two years.

“It makes you want to cry,” said Susan Soltero, an animal activist appointed to a newly formed government committee charged with investigating conditions at the zoo. “This is unacceptable to me as a human being.”

 

The tiger mentioned in the USDA report suffered from kidney failure and other health problems and was euthanized last month, around the time that five lion cubs also died. Four were crushed by their mother after a worker did not properly separate her from the cubs, according to Marilyn Arce, the zoo’s part-time veterinarian, and the fifth was asphyxiated while being fed." - washingtonpost.com

bloomberg.com

Big Money Is Buying Up Puerto Rico’s Risky Real Estate

By Jonathan Levin

 

"Distressed-mortgage investors are descending on troubled Puerto Rico. There are big names among them: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Perella Weinberg Partners and TPG Capital. What’s luring them is the opportunity to scoop up home loans and foreclosed properties for pennies on the dollar.

 

The gambit could certainly work out -- many of the homes, after all, have spectacular views of the Caribbean that could be pitched to well-heeled Americans -- but long-time Puerto Rico investors see trouble ahead. Chief among their concerns: bidding wars are breaking out for the loans at the same time that their quality is deteriorating. It’s a tell-tale sign that the market is getting frothy and that turning a profit could prove tricky on an island where the government is mired in default, the economy has been contracting for a decade and foreclosure is a long and cumbersome process.

 

“A lot of competitors came in,” said Sam Kirschner, an investor with New York-based CPG Real Estate, which partnered early on with Goldman and Perella Weinberg. “A couple banks started hiring brokers, and our phone lit up. And all these hedge funds -- we were getting calls from 10 hedge funds a week, saying we would like to partner on such and such a portfolio.”" - bloomberg.com

PROMESA and Puerto Rico’s political future

By Andrés L. Córdova, Opinion Contributor

 

"Two important events have occurred in Puerto Rico in the last couple months that should be noted. First, on May 3, 2017 the Oversight and Management Board created by the federal legislation PROMESA, filed in Federal District Court of Puerto Rico under its Title III provisions for the protection of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico from its bondholders and creditors.

This bankruptcy-like proceeding under Judge Laura Taylor Swain promises to be a hard and complex litigation for all parties involved. Second, on June 11, 2017 a plebiscite on the various status options for Puerto Rico was held in which statehood was overwhelmingly favored by a third of able voters, notwithstanding the incoherent call for abstention by the opposing political parties and the bloated voting lists.

Although at first glance apparently unrelated, both events need to be seen as interrelated pieces on the ongoing puzzle that is Puerto Rico’s political status question and fiscal and economic spiraling downturn.

As we know, political and legal processes and economic conditions affect one another, at times in unforeseen ways. In July 2016, Congress legislated PROMESA to create an Oversight and Management Board, expressly based on the authority provided by Article IV, Section 3, of the United States Constitution." - TheHill.com

(Photo: Jennie Miller, Detroit Zoo )

Detroit Zoo sending 5,600 tadpoles to permanent vacation in Puerto Rico

By Bill Laitne

 

"DETROIT — With frogs and toads reeling worldwide from environmental threats, the Detroit Zoo is breeding endangered ones by the thousands.

The latest success in the zoo's amphibian bedroom? Zookeepers raised exactly 5,635 tadpoles — offspring of the endangered Puerto Rican crested toad, according to a news release. And those tads are getting what many humans might like: a one-way ticket to life in the Caribbean.

"Bolstering the population of these amphibians in their natural environment is a triumph for conservation," said Dr. Ruth Marcec, director of the National Amphibian Conservation Center. These tadpoles were to leave the zoo in Royal Oak on Wednesday for release into the wild at Puerto Rico's El Tallonal biological reserve, zoo officials said.

Those tadpoles will join the more than 47,000 previously produced at the zoo in its decade-old and award-winning National Amphibian Conservation Center. The breeding program for the Puerto Rican crested toad began in 1999, according to a news release Wednesday." - usatoday.com

Puerto Rico amends tax incentive laws to lure more investors

By Associated Press

"SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Puerto Rico's governor has signed several amendments to laws meant to lure more investors and attract new companies amid a deep economic crisis.

One of the amendments signed by Gov. Ricardo Rossello requires $5,000 a year in donations to nonprofits to qualify for a break on capital gains taxes. He also expanded a program that gives tax incentives to companies that move to the island and export their goods or services." - .dailymail.co.uk

ganjapreneur.com

Puerto Rico Gov. Signs More Comprehensive MMJ Bill

By TG Branfalt

"Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has signed a bill legalizing a more comprehensive medical cannabis system in the U.S. territory, which will allow people with cancer and 14 other qualifying conditions broader access to medical cannabis products, MedicalXpress reports. The previous governor, Alejandro García Padilla, legalized medical cannabis through an executive order; however, Rosselló said the new regime creates a more effective legal framework for patients and the industry.

Rosselló, who holds a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, said the legislation “recognizes medical cannabis as an alternative medical treatment, while maintaining all safeguards to protect the general public.” - ganjapreneur.com

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) building stands in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Friday, April 29, 2016. Erika Rodriguez—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Puerto Rican Power Utility PREPA Files For Bankruptcy

Reuters

"The Puerto Rico power utility PREPA, ladden with a $9 billion debt load, has filed for a form of bankruptcy, Puerto Rico's primary fiscal agent said on Sunday.

The Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF) said PREPA power had filed in the United States District Court of Puerto Rico for protection under Title III of the 2016 Puerto Rico rescue law known as PROMESA, which gave Puerto Rico and its agencies access to a workout process akin to U.S. bankruptcy.

 

"I believe that the Title III filing will provide PREPA the tools necessary to assure its uninterrupted operation and achieve a successful restructuring," said Gerardo Portela Franco, Executive Director of AAFAF

 

PROMESA was created to help Puerto Rico emerge from a crisis marked by $72 billion in debt, a 45 percent poverty rate on the island and insolvent public pensions. Some public entities, including Puerto Rico's central government itself, have already filed Title III cases." - fortune.com

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello at a news conference about the June 11 vote in favor of U.S. statehood June 15, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Puerto Rico Ends Toxic Dumping of Coal Ash, But Increases Its Commercial Use

“This law is one step forward and two steps back,” said one environmentalist.

 

By, Yessenia Funes

 

"Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rossello signed a law yesterday (July 4) to ban coal ash from the U.S. territory’s landfills. He does plan, however, to export the toxic byproduct of coal combustion after converting it to construction material.

This move comes after much pressure from environmentalists in the territory’s southern region who have been protesting coal ash since 2014. The new law leaves them unsatisfied, as they would prefer that the governor ban the use of the substance outright.

Coal ash is produced in coal-fired power plants. The byproduct contains dangerous contaminants like mercury, cadmium and arsenic, per the EPA. If not disposed of properly, coal ash can leach into waterways, drinking water and the air. Then, ultimately, it can harm human bodies.

Tensions in Puerto Rico grew toward the end of 2016 when activists staged large-scale protests in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, where Applied Energy Systems (AES), the energy company transporting the coal ash, would dump the substance. In November 2016, Latino USA reported, protests led to more than 60 arrests. One protest is ongoing, reports The Associated Press, and it is keeping trucks carrying coal ash from reaching a landfill in Peñuelas." - colorlines.com

Puerto Rican native Ivan Rodriguez will help with an effort for statehood. AP Photo/Schuyler Dixon

Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez recruited to ask for Puerto Rico statehood

Associated Press
 

"SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Puerto Rico's governor has recruited retired baseball star Ivan Rodriguez to help argue for statehood for the United States territory.

Ricardo Rossello on Monday appointed the Hall of Famer to a commission charged with going to the U.S. Congress to demand statehood.

It's a strategy Tennessee used to join the union in the 18th century.

Other members include two former Puerto Rico governors and a former president of the island's Senate.

Rossello said late Monday that Rodriguez would provide a nonpartisan perspective.

The appointments come nearly a month after Puerto Rico held a referendum in which 23 percent of voters participated and more than half-a-million chose statehood. U.S. Congress has to approve any changes to Puerto Rico's political status." - espn.com

In this June 22, 2017 photo, architect Andy Rivera looks up at an abandoned building in the historic part of Puerto Rico's capital, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The U.S. territory's prized historic buildings are falling apart as a debt crisis and enduring ec

Puerto Rico struggles to save historic buildings amid crisis

CREDIT: Getty Images

Why Entrepreneurs Should Move to Puerto Rico

the tax benefits are quite strong

"When you make a list of thriving economic hubs and the top places to start a business, Puerto Rico usually isn't mentioned. The country has over $70 billion in debt with no concrete repayment plan in place, imports over 85% of its produce, and Puerto Ricans pay up to three times as much for their energy as the average American. To make matters worse, Puerto Rican nationals are leaving for the continental US at record-breaking rates.

On the surface, it hardly sounds like the ideal place to grow your business, much less move to.

- but you know what they say about judging a book by its cover.

The Puerto Rican government hopes to solve its economic problems by luring entrepreneurs to the country and reinventing it as a knowledge-based economy, like Singapore has done over the past decade. Their offer to entrepreneurs, some of the most friendly tax laws on the planet and a growing market of skilled scientists and engineers." - inc.com

Puerto Rico filed a bill for statehood:

Highlighted News

Pro-statehood supporters await the arrival of Puerto Rico’s new governor at the seaside Capitol in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. Ricardo Rossello was sworn in Monday as the U.S. territory prepares for what many believe will be new austerity

Puerto Rico files bill in quest to obtain statehood by 2025

 

"SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico’s new representative to the U.S. Congress filed a bill Wednesday that would turn the island into the 51st U.S. state by 2025.

 

The bill is the first step in a renewed quest for statehood that is to include a referendum letting Puerto Rico voters choose between independence and statehood, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez told The Associated Press.

 

She filed the bill less than a day after she was sworn in as Puerto Rico’s first female congressional representative, saying she aims to secure equal treatment for the more than 3 million U.S. citizens living in the U.S. territory.

 

“We are treated as second-class American citizens,” said Gonzalez, a Republican who once served as speaker of the island’s House of Representatives.

 

The bill also aims to relieve a decade-long economic crisis that has sparked an exodus of more than 200,000 Puerto Ricans to the U.S. mainland in recent years. If Congress ultimately accepted Puerto Rico as a state, the island would receive roughly $10 billion in additional federal funds a year, Gonzalez said." - The Washington Post

Highlighted News

Puerto Ricans fleeing island's troubles find an unlikely haven: Camden
by , Staff Writer

Ramon Colón felt trapped in Puerto Rico.

He was making $7.55 an hour working in hospital maintenance. His wife had lost her job when her employer went out of business. Colón was forced to switch his teenage children to a public school because he could no longer afford private school tuition on the island.

"I tried to stay in Puerto Rico and contribute with my grain of sand to help the island, but like many others I was forced to abandon ship," said Colón.

 

So he moved in February - to Camden.

The city may be beset with problems, but that's not how Colón, 39, sees it: "Over there I was surviving, here I am living."

-philly.com

Press Release News & More:

View the letter form Democrat candidate for President Bernard Sanders to Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew.

Below:

Pierluisi Seeks Federal Assistance for Puerto Rico Due to Drought
Urges Defense Department to explore options to deliver water to Puerto Rico; urges Governor to seek FEMA assistance.

Aug 12, 2015
Press Release
San Juan, Puerto Rico-Resident  Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi wrote a letter:

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