Art Tarlow - Search For Murder Weapons, 2 Detained - Weekend News June 27th. 2010
Naked Protest At Encuentro, Cabarete
Canadian Dies In Cabarete While Chatting On Computer
Drunk German Has Gun Removed
Georg Slaus Jurgen Ignaszewski, 63, resident of apartment 2-D in Villa Liberación, got into a drunken brawl with a Dominican in El Batey, Sosua last Saturday afternoon. During the confrontation someone stole his gun, possibly to help avoid the interchange becoming fatal.
Models Replace Boxing
'Caribbean Casino and Gaming Corp announced today that ESPN has postponed the scheduled Fight Club Boxing Series until August 21, 2010 because of production scheduling problems. CEO Steven Swank is looking forward to the Investor Conference on June 25th and the Oppliny Fashion Show featuring top models from the Dominican Republic, professional Salsa Dancers and live entertainment on June 26th, 2010. Mr. Swank stated, "Occasionally, there are scheduling conflicts with events, however our location is a greatly desired place to hold events. Within a few days we have scheduled and promoted a great fashion show with top models, dancers and live entertainment. It will be here in Sosua Bay Location, and I am happy to offer it to the surrounding areas and our investors." ' The press release continues here:
'One dead, a little girl disappeared, and 750 person displaced as the result of the rains that have fallen over a large part of the country since the weekend, all caused by a tropical wave. The fatality is Argelis Diaz, 21, who drowned when he tried to rescue a 13 year old girl, only known as Vicky, who was swept away by the flood waters of the Arroyo Lebron, in the Nuevo Amanecer section, located around Kilometer 18 of the Duarte Highway. The tragedy occurred around 4:00 in the afternoon, and into the evening the Civil Defense team had not been able to locate the body of the young girl. Meanwhile, the Center for Emergency Operations (COE) also reported that 259 homes were flooded and seven of them suffered severe damage, five of them in San Juan de la Maguana, all from the rains.' The story continues in the English language version of Diario Libre:
Belgian Arrested In Bayahibe
Commando Units From Across Americas Compete At US-Sponsored Event In DR
Mission To DR
'When members of the First Baptist Church's Dominican Republic Mission Team first arrived to host a medical clinic in the Haitian sugar cane villages last year, hundreds of poverty-stricken Dominicans were already lined up waiting for their chance to get help. The pictures of the lines, taken during a trip last summer, touched Liz Zakrzewski and convinced her to help. That's why she and her children, Kristen and Jeffrey Zakrzewski, have been collecting extra medicine and vitamins that they will deliver when the team returns to La Romana, Dominican Republic, on July 2. Liz Zakrzewski, a broker for Coldwell Banker in North Haven, has turned her office into a drop-off point for the mission team's annual collection drive and she said Friday that the team will continue to collect donations from the public through July 1.' Read on:
Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club Expands In Punta Cana
'Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club with corporate offices in Puerto Plata on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic, has added Dream Suites by Lifestyle at Grand Oasis Bavaro, to its portfolio through the ongoing strategic alliance with Spain-based Globalia Corporation. The joint product is the second venture in Punta Cana, which also includes the adjacent Dream Suites by Lifestyle at Grand Oasis Punta Cana with 46 luxury suites. Dream Suites by Lifestyle at Grand Oasis Bavaro is located next to Cabeza de Toro Beach features large suites with designer-appointed décor, and includes six restaurants, six bars, adult and children’s swimming pools, fitness center and spa, casino, daily activities, nightly shows and nearby golf at the 18-hole Catalonia Caribe Golf Club.' The story continues:
Real Estate Marketmaker Announces DR Plans
'Today, the Paradise Is Mine Company, an international real estate marketmaker of luxury tropical real estate properties, announced its impending plans for the acquisition of hotel properties on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. “In response to the overwhelming interest of our investors in Latin America, we are acquiring properties and projects in this developing region” stated company spokesperson Daniel R. Du Pont III. "Now is the time to identify and capitalize on the opportunities the real estate market has presented. Now is when we have a prime opportunity to create wealth for our investors.” Du Pont further stated............. Paradise Is Mine has strategically targeted the north coast of the island but would not reveal the exact location of its acquisition targets.' The press release continues at the link..........doubtless some prankster will suggest rebranding to Paradise Is A Mine..................
A Money And Death Scheme
'A quick count of those cases which, because of their importance, were highly publicized shows that a total of 58 persons lost their lives in what the authorities call "death by decree". This number only includes the cases that happened between 2008 and up until now, and for which the National Police have arrested and prosecuted some 40 persons. Of these murders, in just seven cases in which the amounts paid were revealed, these totaled RD$2,887,000. The life of each of the victims, or their deaths, cost RD$30,000 or more..............For the president of the Dominican Society of Criminology, Wilfredo Mora, contract killing is no longer an isolated incident, but rather it has become a real industry in the country. This industry is based on "infamous individuals that are hidden because political power allows them to get easy money", according to the expert. Mora also blames the issue on "a moral deterioration that affects the people in the lowest strata, who will do anything for money". 'Read on:
Staten Island Academy Students Serving Others In DR
'When they left Staten Island, they were typical high-school seniors, waiting anxiously for commencement and planning to head off to college at the end of summer. But the Staten Island Academy students, members of the Class of 2010, who spent a week in the Dominican Republic volunteering at a boys' orphanage, returned home different people, their lives changed by an unforgettable experience.' More here:
Shelene Bryan And Skip1.org Help Build Kitchen For Haitian Orphans
'..............But now new problems were added to old ones. There were even more orphans to care for. Many had been moved from Port au Prince to safer areas, including inside the Dominican Republic. One school in particular, Lumbrera de Caballona in Santiago, now had over 100 children sharing three small classrooms. Worst of all, most of these children go through the day unfed. No breakfast, no lunch. Some are lucky to even get a meal at night. The Skip1 volunteers brought the children lunch the day of their visit. It was the first meal served at the school since it opened over three years ago. The teachers shared how the children often struggle to focus and learn because they are so hungry. The school had been trying to gather enough money to build a kitchen on site, but funds were non-existent.' The story continues:
Toddler Has Op In US
'A toddler who had blood flooding her lungs recently returned home healthy to the Dominican Republic after undergoing lifesaving heart surgery at Wolfson Children's Hospital, thanks to help from two organizations. Healing the Children and Patrons of the Hearts paid travel and medical expenses for 2-year-old Diosribel Santos and her mother, Diomaris Santos, to come to Jacksonville.' Read on:
Behind The Art Tarlow Murder - Weekend News June 20th. 2010
'Art Tarlow and a group of businessmen invested $1.8 million to build a luxury casino in the small Dominican Republic town where the Portland lawyer spent his winters for nearly a decade. When construction fizzled on the Sosúa Bay Grand Casino, the group moved to take possession of the boutique hotel put up as collateral. But June 10, the night before the court was to set an auction date, Tarlow was shot to death at his home..........Early pitches showcased a bright yellow stucco building with open-air walkways and iron trim. The 7,000-square-foot facility neighboring the resort was to include a ritzy casino, convention center, fitness center and two squash courts. The Sosúa Bay Resort's Web site still touts plans to build "one of the biggest casinos of the Dominican North Coast." To do that, the hotel operators needed money................But the project stalled, bogged down by several lawsuits. One questioned the ownership of the land where the casino was to be built. Another challenged who held the title to the Victorian House hotel that served as collateral on the deal, according to Mocarello documents. Further delaying the project was a long-running battle -- nearly bloody at times -- between Casciati and one of his former partners............By December, courts had established that the Victorian House and the neighboring empty lot with the half-finished casino would be auctioned in July, with an opening bid of $3.9 million. The hotel was valued at $5 million and the lot, $3.2 million, company documents show. The $3.9 million was to cover the initial $1.8 million investment as well as damages -- mostly years of legal fees -- and a separate $750,000 lien on the property............Family told police that Tarlow's most recent Mocarello files weren't in his home.' The full story can be read at the first link OregonLive.com. The auction of the properties was set for 9th. July 2010 and last Friday's El Faro carries a public announcement of the auction.
Edmonton Woman Sues Puerto Plata Hotel For $7.45 Million
'An Edmonton woman has launched a $7.45-million lawsuit after alleging she suffered carbon monoxide poisoning and her friend died while on a Caribbean holiday. According to a June 2 statement of claim, Boryana Saveva and Seyed Mosavi went on an all-inclusive vacation to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, on Nov. 28, 2009. Saveva, an accountant, alleges she and Mosavi checked in at the Barcelo Puerto Plata resort hotel, and that evening, she retired to her Prestige Class room and went to sleep. Her next recollection "was awaking several days later in hospital" suffering from serious injuries, including carbon monoxide poisoning, says the statement of claim. Mosavi, a male friend who also lived and worked in Edmonton, died as a result of the carbon monoxide poisoning, says the lawsuit against the hotel, the Spanish corporation that owns the hotel and the Flight Centre.' The story continues here:
Coke In The Squash
Serb Arrested In Puerto Plata With Stolen Jeep
Canadian Dies In Maimon
Canadian expat Louis Claude Joseph Cote Marleau, 77, died in his sleep at his home in Maimon last Saturday. The local friends and neighbours he usually met for breakfast went looking when he did not show up. Foul play is not suspected and none of his possessions were disturbed.
Vendors Block Hotel Entrance In Playa Dorada
Israeli At SD Airport Says He Has Explosives
New RD$20 Note
'The Central Bank of the Dominican Republic reported that on 1 July they will issue a new RD$20.00 bill which will be safer, cleaner and more durable. "The bill is a polymer and is neither fibrous nor porous, and so it will last three or four times what paper currency does, which makes it more convenient to print bills of lower denomination" says the press release sent to the media. The state entity says that the polymer bill is more hygienic since it absorbs less humidity, perspiration, and dirt; and the modern technology with which is it made allows the incorporation of more effective security measures that make it difficult to counterfeit.' Read on:
DR No Anti-Trafficking Improvements
'The Dominican Republic was downgraded to Tier 3 in the fight against trafficking in persons in a report by the State Department of the United States. The report says that the Government does not meet the minimum standards for eliminating trafficking in persons and is not carrying out significant efforts to do so.....The report suggests that in order to improve the efforts that are carried out against trafficking in persons, the Dominican Republic could implement several measures, such as increasing the efforts that it carries out to investigate, prosecute, and punish violators of the laws covering the trafficking in persons, especially those public officials that are involved in these crimes.' The story continues in the English language version of Diario Libre and the full report is at the second link. Predictably, the Minister of Foreign Affairs rejected the contents of the report. The Obama administration has informed 13 countries including the DR that they face possible U.S. sanctions for failing to meet minimal international standards.
New Gold Zone In DR
Local Doctor And Son To Search For 'Lost City Of Gold'
'Doctor John Mina of Lee County is a podiatrist by profession, but he's an explorer and adventurer at heart. Starting this Friday, Dr. Mina, his 17 year old son Tony, and eight other veteran explorers, will head into the jungles of the Dominican Republic, looking for a 'Lost City of Gold'. "When you have a passion to discover, only an adventure will quell it," Dr. Mina told WINK News. "It is a rush, very exciting, to un-earth something that no human hands have held for maybe 2000 years!", he added. The Mina's will fly to the Dominican Republic and will become the first foreigners, officially invited by the government there, to try to find the lost city of Bartholomew Columbus...........In addition to singing doo-wop, John Mina is a podiatrist, has five children, does community theatre, is a Rotarian, and a published science fiction author.' Read on!!
Body Evolution In Island Lizards
'Millions of years before humans began battling it out over beachfront property, a similar phenomenon was unfolding in a diverse group of island lizards. Often mistaken for chameleons or geckos, Anolis lizards fight fiercely for resources, responding to rivals by doing push-ups and puffing out their throat pouches. But anoles also compete in ways that shape their bodies over evolutionary time, says a new study in the journal Evolution. Anolis lizards colonized the Caribbean from South America some 40 million years ago and quickly evolved a wide range of shapes and sizes. "When anoles first arrived in the islands there were no other lizards quite like them, so there was abundant opportunity to diversify," said author Luke Mahler of Harvard University. Free from rivals in their new island homes, Anolis lizards evolved differences in leg length, body size, and other characteristics as they adapted to different habitats. Today, the islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Puerto Rico — collectively known as the Greater Antilles — are home to more than 100 Anolis species, ranging from lanky lizards that perch in bushes, to stocky, long-legged lizards that live on tree trunks, to foot-long 'giants' that roam the upper branches of trees.' The story continues:
Tourist Dies In DR
'Dwight A. Miller, 65, of Palm Beach died Tuesday, June 15, 2010, while vacationing in the Dominican Republic...........A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 19 at The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, 141 S. County Road. Funeraria Blandino in the Dominican Republic handled arrangements'. The obituary is here:
'One of two stowaways who survived a ride on a cargo ship from the Dominican Republic to Charleston a week ago is a veteran of the U.S. Court system. Eddy Martinez-Reyes, 41, was convicted in New York of selling a controlled substance in 1997 and sentenced to five years of probation, according to U.S. Attorney's' officials. Martinez-Reyes, also known as "El Baron," then was convicted of selling a controlled substance again in New York in 2005 and was sentenced to two to four years in prison, officials said. Martinez-Reyes faces up to 20 years in federal prison, three years of supervised released and a $250,000 fine on the new charge of re-entry of an alien after an aggravated felony conviction, according to prosecutors. Two other men arrived onboard the Mediterranean Shipping Co.'s ship Debra on June 12, including one found dead inside a container. Officials have not released that man's name or cause of death' More here:
Desires Hotels Adds New Property At Rio San Juan
Portland Attorney Art Tarlow Found Dead In Playa Chiquita Home - Weekend News June 13th. 2010
Manatee Off Long Beach
Haitian Child Killed In Sosua
3 Arrested Robbing Expat In Vista Del Caribe
Three young Dominican men were caught in the act of robbing the apartment of Udo Hanser, 47, a German expat living in Vista del Caribe. One had a key, it was not specified if this was some sort of master key or one specific to that apartment.
Belgian Arrested In Luperon
The Acevedo-Sarita Murders
Police Captain Had Gun Robbed Whilst Swimming
Last Monday a police captain went for a swim at Long Beach, Puerto Plata and while he was swimming his regulation weapon was stolen, apparently by a 13 year old who then took flight. Swimmers of any occupation are advised that if they take a gun to the beach it should be handed to a trusted friend whilst they take a dip....
UNDP Report Shows Social Exclusion In DR
'A diagnosis presented yesterday by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) placed the Dominican Republic far from its goals of improvement in the areas of education and health, as well as in obtaining better levels of equality in the population and reducing poverty. The study-carried out at the request of the Minister of Economy, Planning and Development, Temistocles Montas-indicates in a general way the little progress being made in bettering the quality of life for Dominicans, the weakness of the social policies, and an economic growth that generates social exclusion. In the areas of education and health the study emphasizes the deficient quality and the low financing of these areas. In the presentation of this report, the coordinator of the Office of Human Development of the UNDP, Miguel Ceara Hatton, explained that this study also sets out the strengths of the Dominican State in these sectors and offers proposals for a 20 year program with the idea of improving these areas in a process of citizen empowerment.' The story continues in the English language version of Diario Libre:
Rights Commission Asks For Probe In 1994 Dominican Disappearance
'An Organization of American States human rights commission has asked a court to look into the 1994 disappearance of a Dominican Republic opposition leader shortly after he was taken into custody, the agency said Monday. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights filed an application last month with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to investigate what happened Narciso Gonzalez Medina , a university professor, columnist and opposition leader who claimed that electoral fraud had been committed in the 1994 presidential elections. State officials took him into custody on May 26, 1994. "In the days after that, he was seen alive and in very poor conditions in various security offices under the custody of officials of the state," the rights commission said in a release Monday. "To date, his fate or whereabouts are unknown, and no serious, diligent, effective investigations have been carried out to clear up the facts, identify those responsible, and impose the appropriate punishment. Sixteen years after the events, Narciso Gonzalez Medina is still disappeared, and the acts remain unpunished." ' More here:
Cornish Coastguards Help Rescue British Sailor Off DR Coast
Overweight Woman Returns To US On Dominican Military Plane
Dominican Pilots Wants Air Traffic Safety Probe
'Dominican pilots are calling for international experts to evaluate the country's air traffic control systems. Pedro Dominguez is chief of the Dominican Association of Pilots. He told reporters Wednesday that his group is urging the government to hire independent experts to analyze threats to flight safety in the tourism-dependent Caribbean nation. Dominguez asserts that local officials have too many economically driven concerns to properly evaulate air traffic safety. In a statement, the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute dismissed the pilots' concerns, saying "security of the Dominican airspace is totally guaranteed." A Dominican air traffic control group says local safety systems were never better.'
Palace Resorts Offer $1500 Promotion
'The Palace Resorts unmatched vacation experience fulfills every indulgence with the 1,500 Vacation Dollars promotion now through Dec. 23, 2011 at all 11 Palace Resorts properties in Mexico and Moon Palace Casino, Golf & Spa Resort in the Dominican Republic. Guests staying five nights or more receive $1,500 per room per stay, while guests staying three or four nights receive $750 per room per stay. With a room upgrade, guests can use up to $1,500 to choose an ocean view room or suite or the new Concierge Level and Family Level rooms. The Concierge Level includes guaranteed ocean views, nightly turndown service with petit fours and Comfort Menu, reserved beach chair with waiter service and other in-room amenities.' The press release continues here:
Deep Scan Vessel To Work With Deep Blue Marine In DR
'Oceanic Research and Recovery Inc. (PINKSHEETS: ORRV), a marine salvage and exploration company, today announced that the vessel Deep Scan will be going to the Dominican Republic to work on several different wreck sites in areas under concession to Deep Blue Marine. The Deep Scan is a special vessel uniquely designed and configured for shallow water surveying and excavation. There are several sites in Deep Blue Marine's new area where the special capabilities of the Deep Scan will be particularly useful.' The press release continues:
'Kids to Kids, a youth-led program of World Connect, is proud to announce it has awarded a grant to Alanna Hughes, originally from Marblehead, to support her work in the Dominican Republic. This grant will fund a project to create structured Saturday activities for children in a new community park. The project will provide sports equipment, activities focused on health and environmental education, art, games, and healthy snacks for the children. Hughes, currently serving in the Dominican Republic with the Peace Corps, is sponsoring this project in partnership with a community leader working on behalf of children. Money for Kids to Kids grants is raised by kids throughout the U.S. Who want to make a difference in the lives of less fortunate kids around the world.' Read on:
Edenorte Fired Employees Saga - Weekend News June 6th. 2010
Public Hospital Cleaned By Patients' Relatives
Relatives of patients at the Ricardo Limardo public hospital in Puerto Plata were so disgusted by the general dirt and insanitary conditions, that they took up a collection, bought cleaning materials and cleaned the hospital themselves.
Police Sergeant Arrested For Omar's Killing
Arrest 4 Years After Murder
Excess Of Hotel Rooms: Offers At US$22
The director of BlueBay Villas Dorada, Oscar Lora, has said that due to the increased number of hotels being built in the last five years and the smaller number of tourists visiting the north coast, hotel room prices have plummeted. Some are on offer at US$22 per night. Occupancy rates for June 2nd show Blue Bay at 81.59%, Barcelo 39%, Holiday Village 15.87%, Paradise 21%, Iberostar 62.59%, Oasis 57.36%, Viva 28%, Hacienda 53%, Gran Ventana 50%, Victoria Resort 28%, Casa Marina 56.88%, Puerto Plata Village 7.48%, Celuisma 32.62% and Fun Royale 15.76%. Playa Dorada and Sun Village are closed. These statistics appear at the second link.
Kiteboarding And Surfing Competitions, Malecon, Puerto Plata
Haiti Summit In Punta Cana
Suit Over Haitian Descendants
'Civil rights lawyers filed a case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on Tuesday challenging the Dominican Republic’s treatment of Dominican-born people of Haitian ancestry. Although Haitians have worked in the Dominican Republic for generations and their offspring had long been entitled to Dominican citizenship, in recent years the Dominican government has decided that the offspring of illegal immigrants are not Dominicans. The suit was filed on behalf of a Dominican-born man who has been denied a certified copy of his birth certificate.'
Mother's Day Chaos For President's Gifts (Paid For By Taxpayer)
Continuing in the Balaguer tradition, the President invited poor mothers to line up outside his home for cash handouts on Mother's Day. Some, babes in arms, started the line the night before. The first 50 were given envelopes with RD$3000 but........these ran out. Officials returned with envelopes with RD$1000 but..........these ran out. Finally they appeared with envelopes with RD$500 and recipients were annoyed they received the runt of the offerings. Naturally, chaos ensued.
Jorge Puello Extradition Hearing Postponed (Again)
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court postponed the extradition hearing on Jorge Torres Puello for a second time. This time he wasn't late (!) but the Court had to clear his two plaints before being able to proceed to the extradition hearing. Puello's first plaint, that his arrest was illegal, was dismissed as being inadmissable. His second plaint was a bail application and this will be heard on June 23rd.
Caribbean Re-emerges As Drug Corridor
'Five Dominicans killed for knowing too much about a drug lord. Spiking murder rates in Puerto Rico. Shootings in the normally paradise-like islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Long before Kingston, Jamaica, erupted in violence last week, the Caribbean was already becoming an increasingly dangerous way station for drug traffickers. With the United States and Mexico working to tighten their border, which is the preferred drug trafficking route, the Caribbean is “re-emerging as a corridor” for South American drugs to get to the U.S., said Dominican security expert Lilian Bobea.' More here:
DA Reveals How Agosto Built His Network
'Fugitive from United States' justice Jose David Figueroa Agosto managed to get the help of many people to carry out laundering operations of the money gained from serious crimes. One of the first persons he recruited was the Police Colonel Jose Amado Gonzalez Gonzalez who, thanks to his official duties, was able to cover for all of the illegal transactions until 3 September 2009............They say that through the use of his criminal network, the fugitive bought a series of assets without any of his identities appearing and so hiding the real identity of the ownership of the properties.' According to a piece in El Nacional, authorities have unearthed property to the value of US$500 million tracking back to Figueroa Agosto, including an apartment in Ocean One, Cabarete.
Senators Urged To Speed Up Refinery Sale
'El Universal reported that the executive branch of Dominican Republic has urged its senators to speed up the approval of a sales contract for a 49% stake in state owned Refinería Dominicana de Petróleo refinery to Venezuela. Dominican Republic made the request through finance minister Mr Vicente Bengoa, who met with the Senate's Committee on Finance, which is discussing the agreement. Mr Bengoa stressed the importance of the contract by saying that the Dominican government will retain 50% of the refinery's stakes. He added that Dominican Republic would receive USD 133.4 million in the purchase of 49% of the shares.'
IMF Statement On DR
'The early results of the authorities’ economic program have been impressive. There is a clear economic expansion and real gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have grown by 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2010 (year-on-year). Exports, imports, tax collections and private credit are expanding at healthy rates. While the 12-month inflation rate is above the 6-7 percent target of the Central Bank, this is mostly due to higher fuel and some food prices; core inflation (which excludes these prices) is still below 3 percent on an annual basis. It is expected that for 2010 as a whole, real GDP will grow between 5 and 5.5 percent, while inflation will be contained within the Central Bank’s target.' The press release continues here:
Sniffing Out The Solenodon
'Researchers from the UK and the Dominican Republic, with the help of a grant from the UK Government's Darwin Initiative, have embarked on a project called The Last Survivors , which they say could be our last chance to save the solenodon and hutia before they vanish from the forests forever.' 'Arguably the most exciting news is that we have had a BBC reporter and cameraman accompany us for a week while we were carrying out field work. Their time out here coincided with a visit from Dr. Sam Turvey (Zoological Society of London; EDGE) and Dr. Richard Young (Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust) which meant the BBC were able to get the whole “Last Survivors” team in action. Various reports have been produced and will be shown on the BBC website, radio and TV.' The story plus videos continues:
The Economics Of Coral Reefs
'This report looks at the economic and recreational value of the Dominican Republic’s coralline beaches, reef and mangrove fisheries, and ecotourism industry. We basically set out to quantify what the country stands to lose – in fishing, shoreline erosion, and tourism – if it does not take efforts to preserve its reefs. For example, the Dominican Republic depends on its beaches to attract tourists, but it’s the reefs that keep the shoreline from eroding. Without reefs, you start to lose your beaches, and this can have a huge impact on tourism. Our analysis finds that for each meter of beach a resort loses, the average per-person hotel room rate drops by about $1.50 per night. So if beaches continue to erode at the current rate, the Dominican tourism industry stands to lose $52-100 million in revenue over the next decade. It’s a similar story for fishing. The report estimates that the income from reef- or mangrove-dependent fisheries has decreased by 60 percent in the past decade – from USD $41 million to $17 million – because of pollution and overfishing. This trend endangers the livelihoods of many Dominican fishermen, and the country’s economy as a whole.' More here:
Trade With Guyana
'Guyana has undertaken its first agriculture trade outreach to the Dominican Republic. Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud, at the invitation of the government and private sector of the Dominican Republic, met recently with government and agro-traders.' The story continues:
'Security in Dominican airspace has fallen to a critical point over the last few months. It reached the point of registering 307 incidents just during last January. These incidents were due in large part to inadequate procedures, repeated violations of the airspace and the lack of coordination with military aviation. A report from the Incident Prevention Unit (ATS) of the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute (IDAC) of which Diario Libre has a copy, reveals that among other dangerous events in January there was a dangerous lack of separation between 4 airplanes, near collisions because of airplanes crossing each other's paths at the Las Americas San Isidro, La Romana and Punta Cana airports as well as incidents committed by the Dominican ATS system...........According to the report from the ATS during last January there were 63 "operational deviations" in the air over the North sector, 32 in the South sector, 32 in Punta Cana, 28 at Las Americas, 57 at El Higüero, 6 in Puerto Plata, 2 in Samana and 57 in the tower of Punta Cana.' Which, incidentally, does not total 307. More here:
WestJet Launches Service To Samana
'WestJet today announced the launch of new seasonal non-stop service between Toronto and Samana, Dominican Republic. The inaugural flight departs from Toronto's Pearson International Airport at 10 a.m. EDT today. "Samana is the one of the Dominican Republic's best kept secrets and WestJet is excited to bring Canadian travellers to this part of the island," said Hugh Dunleavy, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Planning. "The gorgeous blend of white, sandy coastline and lush rainforests provide ample opportunity to see the local beauty and culture of the Samana area. The popularity of the Dominican Republic is soaring with the addition of destinations to our ever-expanding Caribbean network, in combination with WestJet Vacations' reputation for offering low-cost, high-value vacation packages." WestJet will fly between Toronto and Samana once weekly until October 30, 2010.' Read on:
Helping A Baseball Team
'Boys in the Dominican Republic are playing baseball to stay out of trouble - and thanks to a few local organizations, they finally feel like a team..........The Santo Tomas team's coach was especially grateful for the matching shirts and hats because his youths had played as a team but had not worn the same colors.' Nuns living in a convent near the field started the team for the boys in hopes that it might insulate them from the crime of the city.' The story continues here:
Online Survey: Are Dominican Judges Trustworthy?
Management And 182 PP Edenorte Employees Fired - Weekend News May 30th. 2010
American Arrested At PP Airport
US citizen Richard Jackson O'Connell, 40, was arrested at Puerto Plata airport on Wednesday. He had in his possession 1.3 kilos of cocaine in 90 bags taped to his jeans and to incontinence pads he was wearing. His plan had been to board a JetBlue flight bound for New York.
Medical Help From US Military
Tenders Sought For La Piedra Rehoming But By Whom?
Montellano Mill Plagued By Past Debt
The Committee For the Re-opening of Ingenio Montellano cites past debt as being the stumbling block against attracting foreign investment in Montellano. Several foreign firms have, over the years, expressed an interest but the DR government still has not written off the past debt owed to Banco Central as a result of the Baninter collapse (Banco Central sequestered the associated properties including Ingenio Montellano). As a result of the impasse, Spanish investors moved their focus to Ingenio Porvenir in San Pedro de Macoris.
Punta Cana Ecological Festival
FLACSO Reports SD Violence Up 42%
DR 136th For Internet Speed
Beauty Queen Trades Crown To Be Deputy Mayor
'A beauty queen known as the Dominican Cinderella for her rise from humble roots is trading pageants for politics and will serve as deputy mayor of the region where she was born. Ada Aimee de la Cruz, who was the 2009 Miss Universe runner up, was voted to office on the ticket of Mayor Francisco Fernandez of the opposition Revolutionary Dominican Party in May 16 elections. She will represent Santo Domingo Norte, the country's fourth largest municipality with 445,000 residents. "I'm here to shatter the myth that beauty queens are airheads," the 23-year-old told The Associated Press in a recent interview.' Read on:
Child Predators In Haiti
'Smugglers have been spiriting Haitian quake orphans out of the country to become sex slaves in the Dominican Republic, authorities say. A Mountie just back from Haiti says authorities have uncovered so-called "safe houses," where predators hide children before whisking them over the border. The perpetrators pose as aid workers or even work for legitimate charities, specifically to gain access to children, RCMP Sgt. Lana Prosper told The Canadian Press. Investigators suspect some of those preying on desperate children in Haiti also peddled child-sex videos found online from Sri Lanka, Thailand and other countries after the 2004 tsunami. It's just a matter of time before videos of young Haitian quake victims surface, said Prosper, just home from a month in Haiti with a team from the Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.' More here:
Silsby Access To Own Children
'At Idaho businesswoman Laura Silsby's televised airport homecoming May 18 - after more than 100 days in a Haitian jail - she was enveloped by family, friends and media. She was also served legal papers. Silsby's ex-husband, Terry Silsby, is seeking sole custody of their two children. In court Tuesday, his attorney defended the decision to serve her at the airport. "There was no malice on behalf of my client," attorney Matthew Bohn told Judge David E. Day............Day took the attorneys into the judge's chambers to see if they could reach a compromise. They emerged with an agreement for a temporary schedule in which each parent would have the children every other week.' Read on:
DR Visa Programme Helps Quake Victims
'With emergency services out of action and hospitals destroyed, large numbers of civilians looked for care and shelter across the border in the Dominican Republic, where staff in hospitals and clinics have saved many lives and prevented many people from suffering permanent disability. But in some cases where the patient needs a long time to recover, relatives have been torn between remaining as a caregiver and returning to look for other relatives with the risk that they might not be allowed back into the country. In a bid to resolve this dilemma, UNHCR earlier this year asked the government of the Dominican Republic to grant one-year multiple entry visas on humanitarian grounds to such people. The government has responded by issuing visas to six people in recent weeks, including 29-year-old Kenel Erasme'. The story continues here:
Lifestyle Holidays Third Property
'Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club with corporate offices in Puerto Plata on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic, announces its third property launch as part of a strategic alliance with Spain-based Globalia Corporation, opening sales at Grand Oasis Punta Cana. The new joint product will be called Dream Suites by Lifestyle at Grand Oasis Resort Punta Cana, and will feature 46 studios and standard rooms. The Dream Suites by Lifestyle Punta Cana property is located next to Cabeza de Toro Beach and includes six restaurants, six bars, adult and children’s swimming pools, fitness center and spa, casino, daily activities, nightly shows and nearby golf at the 18-hole Catalonia Caribe Golf Club.' The press release continues here:
Red Bull In The DR
'Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari travelled to the Caribbean over the weekend for a Red Bull Formula One demonstration. Alguersuari wowed 200,000 spectators at the event held in the Dominican Republic's capital, Santo Domingo, on Saturday, before taking to the beach in the RB5 on Sunday. "It has been amazing to be in the Dominican Republic," the Spaniard told Red Bull's official website. "I am very happy that I shared this moment with the best audience ever. I enjoyed every minute on the track." ' Read on:
DR Students In Washington
'Eight students from the Dominican Republic are getting a taste of small-town life along the 49th parallel this month. The visit is part of an environmental and cultural exchange that sent eight Oroville High School students to the equatorial country in March. “Jarabacoa is a small city, but it is large compared to here,” said Mickeyla De Jesús, 14. The students speak Spanish and some English. The six girls and two boys — along with two Dominican teachers — are attending Oroville High School and working on ecology projects through the end of this month. They arrived May 11. The students are from one public school and one private Catholic school in Jarabacoa, a city of about 77,000 people in central Dominican Republic. Oroville’s population is about 1,700.' The story continues:
Selling Everything To Move To DR
'One Hendersonville family is selling everything they own and moving to another country, all for the sake of missions. Tony and Melissa Luther have already sold their Edgewater home. Now, they hope to sell everything left inside the house in a two-day estate sale that runs through Saturday. The Luther family plans to move to the Dominican Republic next month to work as missionaries..............The Luthers have three children; the oldest is 16-year-old Leslie, and according to her mother, the move was her idea..........Tony Luther will work in operations for New Missions while Melissa will serve as a missionary, hair stylist, teacher, counselor and any other area where there is a need. As with others, the Luther family must raise their own support or money to live on. Melissa said, "We need a several thousand dollars each month just to support our family. It isn't as inexpensive there as you might think." ' It appears that thus far they have raised pledges for half that amount and plan moving on June 15th. Maybe not quite how potential expats are advised to make the move but......to each their own. More here:
A Tenuous Connection For Real Estate?
'Dominican Republic property is set to benefit from a resurgence of low-budget buyers, due to the market's low prices and subsequent value for money...........However, recently reports have begun to suggest that lower-budget buyers are coming back into the overseas property market in the hopes of getting a better property for that budget than they could have before the crash -- many of them of course having postponed their plans to buy when the crunch came down. So far the reports have concerned European markets, with both Primelocation and Rightmove Overseas reporting substantial increases in searches for places like Cyprus, Bulgaria and Turkey. However, it is logical to assume that these reports will span outwards to low-cost destinations around the world, including Dominican Republic.' 'One of the cheapest places to buy property in the Caribbean the Dominican Republic's property market is thriving following the elimination of recent land ownership laws and the absence of property real estate taxes.' Readers are advised to proceed with caution! It would appear that the authors of the articles cited above and linked below, might not have actually visited the DR recently, let alone live here, nor seen the vast number of properties for sale nor examined the market in which very little is selling.
Election Results Challenged - Weekend News May 23rd 2010
Transportistas Strike Over Election Irregularities
MBI Foundation Helps Integración Juvenil
WiFi In Sosua
Two EdeNorte Staff In Court
American Arrested At SD Airport
Election Results Five Killed
'The toll from political violence that marred the Dominican Republic's legislative elections rose Monday to five dead and 13 wounded, local press reports said. President Leonel Fernandez expressed regret for the deaths Sunday but said they were "isolated acts of violence" and that voting was conducted normally. Press reports said the victims were all men shot to death in clashes between Fernandez's Dominican Liberation Party and the opposition Dominican Revolutionary Party.' More here:
Santiago Mayor To Face Corruption Charges
'A Dominican civic organization announced it will file a criminal complaint for corruption against the mayor of the country’s second-largest city, Santiago. Jose Enrique Sued, a political ally of the ruling PLD party, has been mayor of Santiago for 12 of the past 16 years. The Dominican Alliance against Corruption, or Adocco, said it will ask government prosecutors to charge Sued with misuse of public money. Adocco’s Julio Cesar de la Rosa Tiburcio said they have proof of Sued’s acts of corruption in the northern city, where, he said, “there is a blatant practice of nepotism.” “Financial disorder” also exists, along with the concession of lucrative public works contracts to people close to the mayor. Sued was defeated last Sunday in his bid for a third consecutive term, losing to Gilberto Serulle of the main opposition PRD party.' The story continues in the Latin American Herald Tribune:
Presidente Beer Taps ViVA Partnership
'Presidente Beer, a leading lifestyle brand in the Dominican Republic that is fast gaining popularity in the U.S., has tapped ViVA Partnership, a full service U.S. Hispanic and multicultural marketing firm, to create a substantial "buzz" within mainstream markets, helping advance the brand to a leadership position for imported Latin beers. Looking to a younger, adventurous market in the U.S. and the Caribbean, the client specified an online/offline grassroots campaign with emphasis on building consumer relationships via "interactive strategies." ' The press release continues here:
Ocean-bound Illegal Immigrants Foiled By Biometric ID System
'A combination of tougher policies, new biometric technology and groundbreaking interagency cooperation have helped slash the number of migrants from the Dominican Republic interdicted by the Coast Guard in the Mona Passage — from 5,014 in 2004 to 727 in 2009. The procedures have been extended to the Florida Straits, and with additional funding, they could be deployed elsewhere. Coast Guard officials have long been able to thwart many people’s attempts to enter the country illegally, but such interdictions have been a blunt-edged instrument that treated all migrants the same by simply sending them back home. Now in the Mona Passage, shipboard fingerprint scanners linked via satellite to homeland security databases allow officers to identify repeat offenders and others wanted for more serious crimes and respond accordingly. There is no counting the number of lives saved by the program's success in deterring Dominicans and a smaller number of people from Cuba, Haiti and elsewhere from risking a perilous two-day crossing of the 80-mile-wide passage, which often extends to a voyage of 100 or more miles from embarkation sites on the northeast Dominican coast.' Read on:
Grimace Or Smile?
'The true meaning of "devilish grimaces" in Caribbean artwork was lost in translation to the first European tourists and was in fact friendly and welcoming, scientists said yesterday. Early visitors to the Caribbean 500 years ago believed that the bared-teeth motif used in local arts and crafts was "an abominable expression, deformed and ferocious". But it is now believed that what Europeans mistook to be frighteningly aggressive was actually depicting a smile. Bridget Waller, of the University of Portsmouth's Department of Psychology, and Alice Samson, of Leiden University in the Netherlands, have analysed the artwork of the Taino culture of the Greater Antilles in the pre-Columbian Caribbean. They found that in the 1400s, visitors believed the bared teeth expression carved on to wooden seats and shells used in bracelets and necklaces was anti-Christian. But research of the culture of the Bahamas, Cuba and Hispaniola, published in the latest issue of Current Anthropology, has shown that the Europeans were unaware of the context of local art.' More here:
Junot Diaz To Pulitzer Prize Board
'Dominican-American novelist Junot Diaz has been elected to serve on the Pulitzer board, which awards the most prestigious prizes in journalism. Diaz, who won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" and teaches creative writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said Friday that it was an "extraordinary honor." "It certainly taps into the thing I love to do best, which is to read," said Diaz, who was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and immigrated to New Jersey as a child.' The story continues:
Missionaries To Build Church
'In June, Jessica and Terri King, Ed Koch and seven others will return again to Yaguate to help finish what they've started. The trip begins with two packed bags; one filled with personal effects, the other with supplies for the villagers, including food, eyeglasses and coloring books for the children.' Read on:
'Rotarians from Woonsocket and Providence are flying to the Dominican Republic Wednesday to help install water purification filters for 600 families in the village of Esperanza. “Here in Rhode Island, we take it for granted that when we turn on the faucet we will have clean water,” said Tony Mendez, a Rotarian and general manger of the Hispanic radio station Poder 110, who will be leading the six-member group. “Unfortunately, in the Dominican Republic, it is not that way. Usually, the water is not safe to drink.” ' The story continues here:
Church Hosting Garage Sale To Benefit DR
'Over the past seven-plus years, attendees of Stonecrest Community Church, 11 Technology Drive north in Warren, have been flying down to the Dominican Republic to build schools, medical clinics, libraries, houses, churches and assist the needy in any way possible. Last year, 54 people went on the trip, which yielded the completion of a medical clinic and library in the small town of Catalina, about 45 minutes southwest of the capital of Santo Domingo. This year, from July 31 to Aug. 8, as many as 60 churchgoers from Central Jersey again will make the trek to the nation that shares the island of Hispanola with Haiti.' More here:
Juan Luis Guerra Takes Bachata Around The World
'At first glance, the Japanese island city of Fukuoka, said to be the country's oldest city, is an unlikely hotbed for bachata -- traditional, romantic dance music from the Dominican Republic. But last year, after a 22-hour flight, Juan Luis Guerra found himself performing for an all-Japanese audience who danced and sang along, their voices breaking with emotion to the beat of a genre whose tales of heartbreak and lost love have earned it the moniker musica de amargue (bitterness music). Guerra, a veteran performer who has sold more than 20 million albums, was so moved by the experience that he wrote a song about it. "Bachata en Fukuoka," the first single from his upcoming album "Sondeguerra," is lilting and whimsical, not so much an homage to the city as a cross-cultural love story with music as the unifying element.' Read on:
Hotel Rooms In The Pipeline
'The Caribbean/Mexico hotel development pipeline comprises 133 hotels totaling 17,018 rooms, according to the April 2010 STR/TWR/Dodge Construction Pipeline Report released this week. Mexico reported the most rooms in the total active pipeline (10,852 rooms) and in the In Construction phase (5,336) among the countries of the region. The Dominican Republic (1,874 rooms) and Puerto Rico (1,445 rooms) also reported a significant number of rooms in the total active pipeline'. More here:
Cambodian Toddler Doing Really Well
'Socheat Nha, a 3-year-old Cambodian girl who was brought to the Dominican Republic for life-extending open heart surgery, is making a remarkable recovery. Last month, her father, Phin Ken, and supporters held their breath as doctors performed a risky and dangerous four-hour operation to mend a hole in her heart, called a ventricular septal defect. On Wednesday, she had her first post-operative assessment by Dr. Paul Grossfeld, a pediatric cardiologist at University of California Medical Center in San Diego. "She's had a very great surgical result and things look favorable for a long-term prognosis," the doctor said. "Basically, she's doing really, really well. It's like a new lease on life for her." ' The happy story continues:
Hostile Shareholders' Meeting - Weekend News May 16th. 2010
Last night the Mohawk Inn in Campbellville, Ontario played host to the Sun Village shareholders meeting. According to the hotel's website 'The historic Mohawk Country Inn & Conference Centre has a casual country atmosphere'. It was anything BUT casual last night. A report in the Hamilton Spectator clarifies that 'The media was barred from a shareholders meeting involving two companies run by Frederick Elliott and his son Derek, but shareholders told the media afterward of the financial pitch.............Morris Wright of Hamilton, who invested $130,000, was incredulous at the cash request. "Can you believe he's in there trying to raise more money to try and go back and salvage the properties?"he said. "One guy told them he wouldn't give them five cents." About 200 shareholders, from all across southern Ontario and as far away as Ohio and Florida, attended the meeting..............Shareholders described it as a nasty and hostile meeting and Elliott confirmed it was "difficult." Occasional shouting could be heard through the door.' Last weekend Judge Alan Gold had ordered unfettered access for the Miami Court's appointed monitor: 'A Miami judge presiding over a lawsuit that includes allegations of a $170-million Ponzi scheme has ordered a Flamborough businessman to provide the court with "unfettered access" to two shareholders' meetings scheduled to be held next week.................Earlier this week, Judge Alan Gold ordered the Elliotts to provide a court-appointed monitor with "unfettered access" via either teleconference or video conference to the shareholders meetings for EMI Sun Village Inc. and EMI Cofresi Developments Inc.' There is no word in the latest Spectator report as to whether the Miami Court was indeed able to video-record the fractious meeting.
Arrest Made For Murder Of Cabarete Swiss Resident
Canadian Tourist Robbed In Cabarete
US Coast Guards Paint School
Kiteboarding World Cup
'Viva Wyndham Tangerine Resort, located in Cabarete, Dominican Republic, is sponsoring the Kiteboarding World Cup 2010 by offering participating athletes special rates. The all-inclusive resort is also offering kiteboarding enthusiasts attending the June event in Cabarete a special rate. The Cabarete event marks the third of 11 stops on the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association's (PKRA) 2010 World Tour. The all-inclusive rates for participating athletes and Kiteboarding World Cup spectators at the Viva Wyndham Tangerine are from June 16 – 20. The rate for athletes is $40 per person, per night, double occupancy; the rate for event attendees is $55 per person, per night.' More of the press release here:
Undercutting In Oldest Profession?
Carmen Ibelka Sarante Rodríguez, spokeswoman for Dominican sex workers, says the market is being undercut by the arrival of Haitian prostitutes. Dominicanas charge from RD$150-300 up to RD$500 whereas Haitianas are charging RD$30, the article says. The paper offers no statement as to how much research went into verifying the accuracy of the article...
Armando Casciati On Stem Cell Treatment
'The initial concept of bringing what was once stereotyped as a controversial treatment to this hemisphere was based upon more than a year of research and the actual treatment and successful results of PLBI's President, Armando Casciati. After Mr. Casciati's treatment, he acquired the majority control of PLBI.pk, in an effort to accelerate the process of bringing stem cell technology to the Western Hemisphere. Mr. Casciati stated, "Entrepreneurs typically look merely for profit opportunities. I am proud to have found such an incredible life opportunity which will help serve the public with some of the latest technological advances in medical history. I believe our alliance with RNL Bio Company will prove to be a life changing opportunity for our clients, as it has been for me." The press release continues here:
Stem Cell Tourism
'Since Regenocyte began offering treatments in the Dominican Republic in February 2008its doctors have performed 75 of what it calls myocardial cellular regeneration procedures at a cost of $64,500 a pop — not a penny of which is covered by insurance. The process kicks off in Naples Florida with a blood draw; the blood is then immediately whisked by courier to the lab of Regenocyte's affiliateTheraVitae, in Tel Aviv, Israel for centrifuging and culturing. After a 5-day incubation period which increases the stem cells' numbers a thousandfold a TheraVitae representative boards a flight with the stem cells in a temperature-controlled tissue container and arrives in Santo Domingo on the morning of the procedure. Shuttling cells back and forth across six time zones and performing the procedure outside the United States allows the company to operate without interference from U.S. Authorities.' The story continues here:
Long Lines For Duplicate Cédulas
'As Friday midnight approaches, an increasing number of people have been going to the "cédula" (ID and voting card) issuing centers and boards to get copies of their "cédulas", for voting in Sunday's elections as well as making the most of the facilities put in place for the date. At the National District Board they report serving about 60 or 70 people per day in normal circumstances. However, lately they have been working with more than 400. A similar situation is taking place at the Office of the Second District and the Santo Domingo East Board. The number of military officers at the District Board was also noted; although they do not vote they were making the most of the availability of plastic to get their documents issued. According to reports from the Central Electoral Board, the duplicate cédulas have increased from 6,300 to 8,350 a day.' The story continues in the English language version of Diario Libre. Long lines were also observed at Puerto Plta's cedula office on Friday:
PRD Claims Wiretapped
Haitian Prosecutors Seek Prison Term For Missionary
Entrepreneur Mark Yellen Killed In Alabama Plane Crash
'Mark H. Yellen, a former Buffalo resident and Nichols School graduate who was an entrepreneur, consultant and real estate and software developer, died Monday evening in the crash of a single-engine plane in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Yellen, 40, was headed home to Memphis, Tenn., from the Dominican Republic, where he managed and developed real estate, when his 2005 Cirrus SR22 aircraft crashed while landing at Tuscaloosa Regional Airport at about 7:30 p.m., according to the Tuscaloosa News..........Yellen, who was voted "First to Make a Million" at Nichols, worked as a business consultant and developed real estate in Third World countries. His business in the Dominican Republic was a micro-loan and underwriting program for low-income families, according to his Web site...........Yellen, according to his online biography, also built Precision Real Estate, a development and investment company based in the Dominican Republic that, among other business ventures, operates the Mirabon at Playa Las Canas resort of high-end beachfront villas.' More here:
Caribbean Casino And Gaming Corp Discusses DR
'Caribbean Casino and Gaming Corp discussed the demographics and economics of the Dominican Republic in relation to the International Credit Crisis and its ability to grow while other countries continue to work through this recessionary period. CEO Steven Swank stated "The Dominican Republic continues to maintain a lower cost of living per capita with a middle class population that can afford to spend. The government and people are continually improving as the per capita income continues to rise." Read on, cautiously:
CanWest's Winnipeg Call Centre Headed To DR
New Runway For Punta Cana
Convicted Massachusetts Rapist Henry Valerio captured in DR
Valerio Worked Or Posed As A Cop In DR
Cayena Golf Club
Last Minute All-Inclusive DR Trip
Crossroads Mission - Weekend News May 9th. 2010
'The Broyles found their expertise in demand during their eight days in the Dominican Republic. “The first day we had a clinic, we had 70 people,” said Melissa. “The next day, we decided to walk around the village and people would just approach us, and they were ill. It wasn’t that they just wanted attention.” The doctors were based in Villa Ascension, a community of about 150 cinderblock houses established by Crossroads for Haitian refugees well before the earthquake..........The physicians worked part of the time in a clinic attached to the building where they were staying. They would also travel by bus to remote villages usually about a half-hour from Villa Ascension. They brought plastic bins full of antibiotics, saline and gauze and would set up clinics in churches and schools.' Read more of the story here:
Swiss Expat Killed In Cabarete
American Arrested For Child Porn In Puerto Plata
Tourists Drown In Cabarete And Cofresi
Pargue Luperon Inaugurated
Police Foil Attempt To Steal Expat's Jeep
Two Containers A Month To Spain
'The Attorney General of Spain estimates that Arturo del Tiempo Marques, who was not known to have any business ventures in this country, "exported" at least two containers a month of "marble" to Spain. It is presumed that in these shipments the owner of the Atiemar Tower disguised shipments of cocaine and other controlled substances. The Spanish authorities are convinced that the container in which 935 kilograms of cocaine were seized on 5 November in the Multi-Modal Port of Caucedo belonged to Del Tiempo. The man accused of sending the 1200 kgs of cocaine that were seized on 2 March in Spain is currently in prison in a jail in Barcelona, where he was sent by a judge together with his presumed accomplice Arturo Nuñez Sebria.' The story continues in the English language version o Diario Libre:
Interpol Arrests Italian In SD For International Drug Trafficking
Many See Drug Trafficking Widespread, Rising in Latin America
German Tourist With Embassy Emergency Passport Prevented From Leaving DR
Angelica Airehart, a German tourist, was prevented from leaving the DR for Munich on Tuesday because Migracion said she had a false passport. Should have checked with German Embassy since THEY issued it!! Earlier in her holiday Ms. Airehart was robbed & her passport stolen so she needed to get an emergency passport from the Embassy. On Tuesday although she was prevented from leaving, her suitcase wasn't so she was without clothes. Bit of a security risk, a case travelling without its owner???
Expat's Son Commits Suicide
Chavez Signs Refidomsa Deal
'Venezuela state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela or PDVSA, on Wednesday agreed to buy a 49% stake in the Dominican Republic's Refidomsa refinery, which can process 34,000 barrels of oil a day. Oil-rich Venezuela is already a major supplier of crude oil to the Dominican Republic, and the purchase of a stake in the Dominican's state-owned refinery will allow it to expand its role as a supplier of fuel in the Caribbean. Venezuelan officials have said the 49% stake is worth more than $130 million, but have indicated that Venezuela would pay it by shaving off some of the debt that the Dominican Republic has with Venezuela. The agreement was signed during a visit to the Dominican Republic by President Hugo Chavez, with PDVSA President Rafael Ramirez, who is also Chavez' oil minister, by his side.' Read on:
Chavez Visits A Friend
When Hugo Chavez visited the DR last week to sign the Refidomsa deal he might not have had time to visit the refinery but he made sure he had time to visit his friend, José González Espinosa president of the Partido de los Trabajadores Dominicanos (PTD). Hugo borrowed President Leonel Fernandez's car and drove himself, unannounced, to PTD headquarters where he had a coffee in a plastic cup and greeted the beggars outside the PTD offices. José González Espinosa introduced his neighbour, Miriam de Gautreaux who runs a cake shop next to the PTD office. She in turn gave Hugo samples of her cakes while he greeted all the staff and clients and she also gave him a signed copy of her husband's book (her husband is noted journalist Bonaparte Gautreaux Piñeiro). In response Hugo invited Doña Miriam to Venezuela to give courses in cake making to the workers' co-operatives. One imagines that such a visit is likely to have had a more profound effect on Avenida Bolivar where the PTD is situated, than any refinery visit!
Valpo Haitian Relief Fund Tops $45,000
' A teenage boy found living under a bridge in the Dominican Republic was recently reunited with his mother, who thought he died in the devastating earthquake in Haiti three months ago. Kristian Pruitt, marketing and communications director for Kids Alive International, said the boy was one of three boys between the ages of 14 and 16 who were found and brought to the Kids Alive campus in the Dominican Republic. Kids Alive provided food, medical care and clothing for all three until the government reunited one of the boys with his mother, who thought him dead in the rubble.............."They will keep trickling in (to Kids Alive facilities in the Dominican Republic) because there's not a lot for them in Haiti. So, they can come to the Dominican Republic to get help. There might be a steady stream of children that are lost and wandering around that we will be able to help for a long time." Kids Alive is expanding its campus in Haiti with help from funds raised in Valparaiso'. More here:
South African Cameraman Wanted In DR?
Police Uneasy Over People With Two Cedulas
'The National Police have stated openly their worry concerning the large number of alleged criminals that possess two "cédulas", the ubiquitous personal identification and voter registration card carried by all legal residents and citizens over the age of 16. The Police added that this has been demonstrated with the arrest of persons who commit crimes and with persons who have fallen in shootouts with the police. According to the institution, recently Eugenio Hernandez Paulino fell to police bullets as he tried to rob a branch of the Banco Popular in Boca Chica and then shot it out with police. However, it turns out that he also had a "cedula" in the name of Vidal de Jesus Matias Cruz. In a similar manner it was reported that in the assault on the Scotia Bank in Santiago, the Police found out that the principle suspect in the case, the bank guard on duty, Jose Antonio Ulloa Mendoza, had used another identification card, and now the police are investigating that person as well. Meanwhile, the Police spokesperson, General Nelson Rosario, cited the case of Ezequiel Manuel Santana Alcantara, who also is shown in the police archives with the name of Ezequel Manuel Santos (alias Santanita)'. More here:
IACHR Sues DR For Disappearance Of Narcisazo
'The Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) brought suit on Sunday against the Dominican Republic before the Inter American Court of Human Rights in the case of the disappearance of the university professor Narciso Gonzalez (Narcisazo), which occurred in May 1994. The decision comes 15 years after the presentation of a complaint at the IACHR on 1 July 1994, over the detention and later disappearance of Narcisazo, which was admitted in March 1998. The suit against the Dominican State was reported to Narcisazo's relatives and the lawyers of the Truth Commission, by means of a communiqué dated 2 May 2010 and signed by Santiago A. Canton, the IACHR executive director. The letter indicates that "the IACHR has filed a suit in the Case Num. 11.324, Narciso Gonzalez Medina, against the Dominican Republic, in the honorable Inter American Court of Human Rights in compliance with articles 51.1 of the Convention and 45 of the Regulations of the Inter American Commission".' Read on:
Haiti-bound Aid Workers Boost Dominican Economy
'The Dominican Republic's struggling tourism sector is getting a boost from aid workers passing through on their way to neighboring Haiti. Haydee Kuret is president of a Dominican hotel association. She says hotels in Santo Domingo have been full since an earthquake devastated Haiti's capital on Jan. 12. The association said Monday that hotel occupancy in the city is up 18 percent compared with the first three months of last year. The country also hosted more flights following the quake to accommodate travelers trying to work around bottlenecks at Haiti's main airport.' The story continues:
World Jazz Circuit - Latin America 2010
'The World Jazz Circuit--Latin America 2010 is an extraordinary event that offers a series of five jazz concerts of the highest level, which for the first time will take place in Latin America and will have world- class musicians playing at different venues in the region. In the case of the Dominican Republic the events will be presented by Jazz en Dominicana and sponsored by the Dominican Fiesta Hotel & Casino. This event has been recognized by the Ministry of Tourism as having a very high Cultural Artistic significance for the country............Why does every concert for the circuit start in the Dominican Republic? This is due to the fact that Santo Domingo has been chosen as the Cultural Capital of the Americas for 2010 by the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals, and in recognition of this well-deserved appointment, “the World Jazz Circuit--Latin America" will be initiating each concert tour of the circuit in Santo Domingo. So plenty of excellent music for Jazz lovers in Latin America as the World Jazz Circuit-Latin America 2010 initiates its first ever series of concerts in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on May 26th.' Read on:
Illegal Immigrants Caught Off Palm Beach
'In the dead of night, federal agents intercepted a boat loaded with illegal immigrants after a high-seas chase that ended 10 miles east of Palm Beach. Four of the 13 people hoping to sneak onto Florida soil last week previously had been deported from the U.S., according to a sworn statement filed Monday in U.S. District Court. The passengers, who came from Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, told immigration agents they paid between $2,700 and $8,000 to smugglers named "Yellow" or "Rambo." ' The story continues:
DR-Toronto Drug Connection
'Two alleged leaders of a notoriously violent Jamaican-based gang were arrested in a series of sweeps that police carried out in the city’s northwest end, CTV Toronto has learned. About 1,000 officers from a number of services executed 105 search warrants in the pre-dawn Monday raids. They detained more than 70 alleged gang members. Working with the Canada Border Services Agency, they also identified and seized 72 kilograms of cocaine in the Dominican Republic that was allegedly destined for Toronto............. Oliver “Twinky” Willis, another Toronto man, was arrested in the Dominican Republic in connection with the cocaine bust. Seven years ago, Willis had first-degree murder charges dropped against him in a Toronto court, after a witness refused to testify.' More here:
DR Archaeologist In Egypt Part Of Team Which Finds Ptolemaic King Statue
'Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a 2,000-year-old granite statue of a Ptolemaic-era king near what is believed to be the tomb of Egyptian Queen Cleopatra. A statement from Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities says the headless statue was discovered at the temple of Taposiris Magna, west of the coastal city of Alexandria. The ancient Egyptian temple is believed to be the burial site of Cleopatra and her lover, Mark Antony. The head of the Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, says the statue could belong to King Ptolemy IV. Hawass says it represents the traditional shape of an ancient Egyptian king wearing a collar and kilt. The archeology team, led by Hawass and Dominican archeologist Kathleen Martinez, has spent the last five years trying to locate Cleopatra and Mark Antony's final resting place. The Egyptian queen and her lover supposedly committed suicide after their defeat at the battle of Actium.' The story continues:
JetBlue To Punta Cana
'JetBlue will begin daily nonstop flights year-round between Punta Cana International Airport and New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) today and weekly nonstop flights on Saturdays from Boston's Logan International beginning this Saturday, May 8, 2010. A second, seasonal flight from Boston will also be added on Wednesdays beginning July 7, 2010.' Schedules can be found at the link:
'A one-day summit of leaders of the European Union (EU) and CARIFORUM states (Caribbean Community plus Dominican Republic) is scheduled for Madrid, Spain, on May 17...............President Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic, who holds the first rotating presidency of the EPA Joint Council, had committed himself to travel to Caribbean signatory countries to assess the state of implementation arrangements for the EPA. He, however, found it inconvenient and has suggested that there instead be allotted time on the margins of the scheduled Madrid Summit or what was planned to be the inaugural meeting of the EPA Joint Council.' Read on:
Electronic Bracelets Coming To A Location Near You
Rodeo Team Helps Hospital Project
'Marshall's post office has housed medical equipment in its fallout shelter since the 1950s and 1960s, and on Tuesday, May 4, it was removed and sent to a hospital in the Dominican Republic. South Kansas City Rotary Club member John Duffey oversaw the loading of the equipment by about 10 Missouri Valley College Rodeo Team members, who carried boxes big and small, heavy and light, up a long flight of stairs and into a waiting semi trailer. Equipment included surgical instruments, portable operating tables, pillows, blankets, surgical gowns, bedpans, towels, sterilizing equipment and "pretty much whatever it would take to set up an emergency hospital," said Duffey. Although hospitals in the United States would be unlikely to use this sort of equipment, he continued, "What we would consider obsolete here is sort of state-of-the-art down there." ' The story continues:
From Miami To Toronto - Sun Village Alleged Ponzi Scheme - Weekend News May 2nd 2010
'A father-and-son team from Flamborough and dozens of companies they set up in Canada, the U.S. and the Caribbean are facing lawsuits over an alleged $170-million US Ponzi scheme related to resort property investments in the Dominican Republic. The allegations against Derek Elliott, of Carlisle, and his father, Frederick, have surfaced in a Miami civil court case launched last year by more than 150 investors from across North America who allege they have lost amounts ranging from $10,000 to $940,000 US. The Elliotts, 38 of their companies and several other individuals are named as defendants in the lawsuit....................In Toronto, a $415,000 lawsuit was filed in February against the Elliotts and three of their companies, alleging they were operating a Ponzi-like scheme in connection with the vacation properties in the Dominican Republic. None of the allegations made in the statement of claim has been proven in court. A court hearing in the Ontario case is scheduled for May 11.' According to team Elliott on their investors' blog 'The sensationalized allegations and false information have all been proven wrong' (see fifth link). This reporter has made an extensive search of Court documents such as the Special Master's Interim Report and Judge Gold's report from the Miami case and wonders where credible documentation supporting the 'proven wrong' allegation might be found? The judge's last word on this seemed to be an onward referral to the SEC and the FBI.
Will The Park Be Inaugurated?
'British' Cannabis Farmer Caught Fertilising In El Mamey
British Man Allegedly Kidnaps His Baby From Quisqueya, SPM
According to Leydi Blanco, the father of her 2 year old baby, a British man called Luke Low, 36, kidnapped Emily Low Blanco from the home of her babysitter when Ms. Blanco was at work in Bavaro. The couple had been separated for nearly two years. The baby sitter said he arrived in a jeep with others and hit her when she attempted to stop him taking the child. Luke Low is 5 foot 10 inches tall, Caucasian and his left hand has been amputated. Anyone with information as to his and the child's whereabouts is asked to call Ms. Blanco on 809-523-1105 or 829-798-3898 or to call the Quisqueya, San Pedro de Macoris police on 809-523-0745. A photo of the child at 9 months of age can be seen at the link.
Jorge Puello Late For His Own Extradition Hearing
DR Sells $750 Million Of Bonds Due In 2021
'The Dominican Republic sold $750 million of bonds due in 2021 in the country’s first international dollar offering in more than three years. The notes, which have an average maturity of 10 years, yield 7.5 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The country will use proceeds to finance infrastructure projects and other sectors of the economy. The Dominican Republic returned to overseas debt markets for the first time since 2006 after Moody’s Investors Service raised the country’s credit rating this month on signs economic growth is picking up. The U.S. economic recovery is boosting tourism and remittances in the Dominican Republic, according to Aryam Vazquez, an emerging-markets economist at Wells Fargo & Co. In New York. “The macro situation in the Dominican Republic has stabilized considerably,” Vazquez said. The country is selling debt abroad because “conditions in the market are more bullish at this point, especially for Latin America,” he said. Moody’s raised the country’s rating one level to B1, four steps below investment grade, on April 22.' More here:
Fitch Rates DR's 2021 Global Bonds 'B'
'Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'B' rating to the Dominican Republic's USD750 million global bond issuance maturing in May 2021 (7.5% coupon). The rating is in line with The Dominican Republic's Long-term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'B'....................The Dominican Republic's ratings would benefit from stronger external liquidity and the maintenance of macroeconomic stability. By contrast, a sustained increase in external financing requirements, as well as a sharp decline in non-debt creating capital inflows or a return of capital flight which results in downward pressures on the peso and a continual erosion of international reserves would be credit negative.' Read on:
Exchange Rate Falls 20 Points In One Day
'The exchange rate tumbled on Thursday by about 20 points in just one day, going from a quote of RD$ 36.85 to RD$36.63 on the exchange market. The tumble came after the governor of the Central Bank, Hector Valdez Albizu, declared that there were no monetary or fiscal reasons to explain the increase in the dollar and that he would announce his decision to authorize the use of the available hard currencies if it were necessary, in order to keep the exchange market stable. Valdez Albizu reported that the Central Bank has an excellent position of reserves to back up and movement that increases the cost of a dollar, and so he recommended that the persons who have dollars should not bet that they will continue to rise.' More in the English language version of Diario Libre:
OAS And DR Sign Electoral Observation Agreement For May Elections
'The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Government of the Dominican Republic Friday signed an agreement on the work that the OAS Electoral Observation Mission will do for the general, congressional and municipal regular elections to be held in the Caribbean country on May 16, 2010. During the ceremony, held at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza highlighted the long relationship the OAS electoral observation missions have had with Dominican democracy, indicating that this would be the fourteenth election the OAS observes in that country.........The Electoral Observation Mission will be set up May 7 and will be headed by Mr. Adam Blackwell, OAS Secretary for External Relations; he will be accompanied by more than 50 international observers from 20 countries.' Read on:
Increasing Number Of Haitians Migrating To DR
'Some 200,000 Haitians have immigrated to the Dominican Republic since the catastrophic earthquake on January 12, an advisor to the Dominican Ministry of Economy said yesterday. Ramon Flores, a ministerial aide, said the statistics were collected by the United Nations to draw up its policy towards Haiti. Dominican authorities had previously expressed concern about a mass influx of Haitian refugees. There are already more than a million Haitian living illegally in the Dominican Republic.' The story continues:
Reefs And Mangroves Essential For Economic Growth In DR
'The degradation of coastal ecosystems, such as coral reefs and mangroves, could cost the tourism industry in the Dominican Republic nearly USD $100 million and threaten the livelihoods of Dominican fishermen who depend on these ecosystems for survival. Coastal Capital: Valuing Coastal Ecosystems in the Dominican Republic, a new report released today by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and Reef Check-Dominican Republic, offers a first-ever detailed view of the economic and recreational value of the Dominican Republic’s coralline beaches, reef and mangrove fisheries, and ecotourism industry. The report follows similar analyses for Tobago, St. Lucia and Belize.“Coral reefs and mangroves provide many valuable benefits or ‘ecosystem services’ to the people and economy of the Dominican Republic,” said Lauretta Burke, senior associate at WRI. “They help build beaches and slow erosion, draw millions of local and international tourists to the coasts, and provide habitat for valuable fisheries. However, these ecosystems are being degraded by pollution and overfishing – threatening both the local and national economy.” ' The full report is at the second link:
Tulane Researchers Call For Eliminating Malaria In Haiti And DR
'In an editorial in the May 2010 issue of the prestigious journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Tulane University malaria researchers urge action to eliminate malaria from Hispaniola, the last island in the Caribbean where the disease occurs regularly. On Hispaniola, home to the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, malaria is caused by a single mosquito-borne parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The authors say success in eliminating malaria from Hispaniola would demonstrate that it is possible to defeat malaria in other regions of the world where it remains a dire threat. There is also evidence in Haiti that the parasite is becoming resistant to chloroquine, an inexpensive treatment for the disease. Eliminating malaria now would save these impoverished nations from having to resort to more expensive drug therapies.' The story continues:
Fired Judge No Es Mi Culpa
'The fired interim judge for Permanent Attention for the province of Santo Domingo, Raul Rosario Hernandez, defended the order for release on a bail bond that he issued for Raul Serumberto Reynoso Mota, better known as Vantroi. "It has been an extemporaneous decision", said Rosario in reference to the removal from his post, taken by the Plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice, where he will go today to petition an investigation of his record. The ex-substitute Justice of the Peace in the town of Yamasa said that if acting according to what is set forth in the Penal Process Code is impudence, "well we have always been and will always be impudent". He assured the reporters that the Justice Department did not supply any elements of proof that would permit him to apply another coercive measure beside the bail bond. "At the moment of issuing the order, what the Justice Department handed me was an empty file and because of that there was nothing I could do". He argued that nobody explained to him that Reynoso Mota had been deported from Mexico and that he was tied to 51 crimes, among which were 36 murders.' Emboldening and disbelief ours! Perhaps the 'impudence' the ex-judge implied is missing the letter 'r'. It is surely the height of imprudence for a judge not to fully prepare himself before a hearing?
A Real Adventure
'Real School teachers Martin Mackey and Page Nichols and students Nick Fanning and Steven Garrett returned April 3 from an eye-opening week of new experiences in the Dominican Republic. "It's was worse than I thought it'd be," said Garrett, a junior. "It definitely opens your eyes and makes you appreciate different things like electricity, running water, and everyday things we take for granted." "I think it was a catalyst for positive change for our students, just seeing people with so little. Yet, they were content," Mackey said. "It was a pretty profound experience."...........This year and last, students have been working at the Good Samaritan Hospital in the city of La Romana, Dominican Republic.' More here:
Cambodian Girl Released From DR Hospital
Student-Led Mission Raises $15,000
'A group of 37 students, doctors, nurses and chaperones have just returned from Burke Catholic’s latest mission to the Dominican Republic, where they carried in more than 1,800 pounds of medical and school supplies for Island Impact Ministries. According to organizer and John S. Burke High School guidance counselor Audrey Clarke, this was the school’s third trip to the DR and its most successful (having raised more than $15,000 in donations). “Island Impact in the DR was founded by my college room mate, Kelli Nelson, and her husband, Rob, over 8 years ago,” Clarke recounted. “They met while serving the people of Haiti during the 1990s. Kelli is a nurse and Rob a minister. When they had their own family, the decided to begin a medical outreach ministry in Sosua, DR.' Read on:
Couple Helps Haitians Heal
'The ecological difference between Haiti and the Dominican Republic is starkly visible from 32,000 feet. The Dominican Republic, on the eastern half of the island the two Caribbean countries share, is beautifully green. It’s neighbor to the west, Haiti, is brown, thanks to clear cut forests and a decimated ecosystem. This was the first thing Dr. Jack Frankeny and his wife, Beverly, noticed.' More here:
Non-Profit Threatened With Lawsuit
'A local non-profit is being threatened with a lawsuit. At issue is an award-winning documentary that it wants to show during its first-ever film festival. The South Austin store, Ten Thousand Villages, is nearly 2,000 miles from the pristine shores of the Dominican Republic. But the threat of a lawsuit makes it feel as if it's next door. "We're essentially being bullied for doing something that is entirely legal just because somebody doesn't want us to talk about it," said Sharon Matheny. Matheny is on the board for the non-profit store. She says as soon as Ten Thousand Villages advertised that the documentary The Price of Sugar, based in the Dominican Republic, was set to be shown at the first Fair Trade Film Festival, they got a letter. The letter was from a law firm representing the family criticized in the documentary. It threatened to sue for defamation if they showed the film. She says they're not the first.' The story continues:
Presidential Visit To Puerto Plata - Weekend News April 25th. 2010
German Resident Dies
French Child Allegedly Raped In Cabarete
A 21 year old male employee of Viva Wyndham Tangerine Hotel in Cabarete has been arrested for the alleged sexual violation of a fifteen year old French girl, who is not named in the newspaper report presumably for legal reasons. Her father, a guest at the hotel, is named in the report. The medical examiner confirmed injuries to the girl's genitalia.
Poll Gives PLD 3% Over PRD
'The president of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD), Miguel Vargas Maldonado, revealed yesterday that in spite of the fact that they are fighting an uphill battles with the government party, because of the use of state funds, a poll by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, puts the PLD in a tight race in the Senate with just a slight lead of 3% (49%-46%). He made it clear that in the case of the deputy races, the field work by the pollsters showed that the Dominican Liberation Party is leading with 47% against the PRD's 45%. He said that the poll was carried out by the research and election consultant firm from Washington, D. C. All over the Dominican Republic at the end of last March and that it was not done province by province.' More here:
Cyclist Grullon Killed
DR To Sell Benchmark Bonds Overseas
'The Dominican Republic plans to sell dollar bonds in the country’s first international dollar offering in more than three years. The country, which hired Barclays Plc and Citigroup Inc. to arrange the offering, will begin meeting with bond investors April 23, said the person, who declined to be identified because terms aren’t set. Benchmark typically means a sale of at least $500 million. The Dominican Republic is tapping overseas debt markets to take advantage of its lowest borrowing costs since January 2008. The extra yield investors demand to own the country’s dollar bonds instead of U.S. Treasuries narrowed to 3.22 percentage points on April 15 from 4.05 points at the end of last year, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.' More here:
2010 Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange
'The Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE), held at Moon Palace in Punta Cana from April 19-21, drew hundreds of international tourism buyers, tour operators and media to the Dominican Republic (DR) to conduct business and book future travel from around the world. During the week's events, the DR Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier Garcia noted that non-resident visits to the DR have increased each month since September 2009. "This year alone, DR tourism was up 3.2 percent in March (including a 12 percent increase in U.S. Visitors), 2.14 percent in February and nearly six percent in January," he said.' The press release continues here:
Hillsborough Charity Group Has Big Plans For DR
'In the Dominican Republic, a poor nation that shares the island of Hispanola with earthquake-ravaged Haiti, such sports complexes do not exist. Baseball is the sport of choice in the Dominican Republic, but children are forced to play on fields littered with garbage, animal waste and other often-dangerous materials as there is no sanitation service across much of the country. But the children play anyway — joyfully. That combination of need and pure happiness has caught the attention of a group of Central Jersey residents that for years has been traveling to the Dominican Republic on missions trips with their church.' More here:
Heating Up Off Casa De Campo
'The docks of the Casa de Campo Marina in the Dominican Republic were buzzing as competitors completed sail measurement, weigh-ins and registration in advance of the start of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, staged from 21 - 24 April. This past weekend, teams had two days of ‘practice’ and a chance to eye the competition in the Pre-Worlds which, after five races, saw Lisa & Martin Hill’s Estate Master (AUS) coming out on top. On hand in Casa de Campo is the defending Rolex Farr 40 World Champion, Barking Mad (USA). Owner/skipper Jim Richardson and tactician Terry Hutchinson are returning with many of their prior Worlds crew'. Read on:
Cambodian Toddler Recovering After Surgery In DR
'A Cambodian girl taken from her homeland to receive life extending surgery was resting comfortably after a four-hour surgery performed in the Dominican Republic. Socheat Nha, who turned 3 years old Wednesday, survived a tricky operation to repair a large hole in her heart and also had work done on the pulmonary artery that connects the heart ventricle to the lungs. Although Dr. Rodrigo Soto, who performed the procedure, said the next 48 hours remain critical, he did say Socheat left the operating room in good condition and that in some ways her condition was not as bad as initially feared. Soto, a surgeon from Chile working for the International Children's Heart Foundation, said he closed the hole, called a ventricular septal defect. Socheat, however, might need more work done in 6 to 10 years on her pulmonary artery, he said. If she gets through the recovery period without incident, "she should be able to grow, put on weight and live a normal life." ' The story continues:
Shoes For Orphans
'A children’s clothing consignment shop in Bath is teaming with a local missionary group to provide shoes for needy children in a Dominican Republic town. Buy Low Baby, located in the Bathport building on Commercial Street, is offering discounts in exchange for donations of “gently used” children’s shoes from now until May 2. For one pair of shoes, the store is offering 10 percent off an entire purchase made during Bath’s citywide MayFair yard sale event, May 1 and 2. A second pair of shoes earns a 20 percent off coupon, and three or more pairs garners a 30 percent discount. The shoes donated will be taken to the Dominican town of Nieba by members of the Pathway Vineyard Church’s teen missionary group, who are planning a trip there in July. “Somebody from the group had approached me to ask if we had any shoes left over, and I thought we could make this a community event,” said store owner Morgan Jamison. Jamison began promoting the “Shoes for Nieba” project through fliers and the Buy Low Baby Facebook website, and started accepting donations Thursday.' More here:
Grand Opening of The Palace at Playa Grande
'Access Hotels & Resorts announces the opening of its latest premier resort, The Palace at Playa Grande. The exquisite villa, nestled between a pristine white sand beach and virgin rainforest overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is located on the north coast of Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic. The Palace offers guests serene, exclusive and personalized experiences that are unparalleled in luxury and service...............The Palace boasts 13 guest accommodations that range from majestic Oceanfront Cliffside suites, Royal Oceanfront suites, Garden Suites to Superior/Deluxe guestrooms. There is a full service staff, including butler service, concierge and an executive private chef who all cater individually to guests’ requests.' The press release continues here:
Juan Luis Guerra In New Orleans
'Juan Luis Guerra has shared stages with some of Latin music's biggest names, from Colombian musician Juanes to Miami-based singer Gloria Estefan. But few things get the platinum-selling Dominican merengue star giddier than the thought of coming to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival this weekend, mingling with jazz and blues artists and playing in front of what's expected to be throngs of Hispanic attendees.' Read on:
Michel Camilo Pianist And Investor
'After pianist Michel Camilo plays the last song and his fans stream out of the Blue Note, he switches to his other keyboard, a laptop computer, to check his investment portfolio. As passionate an investor as he is a pianist, Camilo says that while his portfolio is currently up 15 percent in the recession, he has had better than 20 percent annual returns many years. Last year his portfolio had a 41.9 percent return. He’s bullish about the Miami-based Fairholme Fund, which has had a 64 percent return during the past year.' The story continues:
DR Added To Compensation Survey
'Salary.com, Inc. a leading provider of on-demand talent management, payroll and compensation solutions, today announced that the IPAS Global High Technology Compensation Survey now reflects salary data for 90 countries. Countries such as Bangladesh, Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Dominican Republic have recently been added by IPAS survey participants, increasing the high tech survey's global reach for compensation data.' More here:
Dragging Up An Old Ill?
Vaca Turista In Puerto Plata - Weekend News April 18th. 2010
US Coastguards Help In Montellano
Canadian Suspect Named, Released And Returns To Canada
New JME Building
Cambio Manager Killed In Sosua
German Robbed In Montellano
Last weekend a retired German living in Gran Parada, Montellano, Hans Stoma, aged 63, was robbed of a quantity of Euros by an assailant who approached him in a colmado and asked to speak with him at his home. Mr Stoma complied, went home and was robbed. He suffered wounds to the head.
Canadians Robbed In Sosua
US Citizen Dies On Landing At PP Airport
Sometimes Local Politics Can Get Heated!
Russian Foster Child Abandoned In DR
'Russian diplomats and special services are trying to return to Russia a 12-year-old boy who has been living for several years in the Dominican Republic, presumably after being abandoned by his Russian adoptive parents. "Officers of Russian security agencies, along with Interior Ministry officials, are now charged with returning a 12-year-old Russian to his homeland," a high-ranking source in a Russian security service told RIA Novosti..............Russia's ombudsman for children's rights Pavel Astakhov told RIA Novosti that he was ready to “personally” take the child to his home country. However, he said, Russia’s child protection services had not prepared the documents requested by the Dominican side........Vesti FM radio said the boy, identified as Diego Sollogub, was adopted from a southern Russian city of Kalach-on-Don. Later the adoptive family took the child to the Dominican Republic and returned to Russia, where they were detained by Russian police on suspicion of drug trafficking. After a while, a Dominican family caring for Diego took him to a local orphanage. "In January 2009 they [the adoptive parents] were deprived of parental rights, the adoption was canceled and the boy received the status of a child without parental care. He is currently in an orphanage in the Dominican Republic and our vice consul in Venezuela keeps in touch with him," Astakhov said on Vesti FM. Investigators said the adoptive parents did not transfer the boy to a Dominican family, but sold him for drugs' More here:
DR Deports 300 Foreigners In Last 6 Months
'Immigration Agency director Sigfrido Pared today revealed that 300 foreigners have been deported from the Dominican Republic in the last six months, who were hiding out here after committing various crimes in their country. He said the deportations cost Immigration 1.5 million pesos monthly and include citizens from Germany, Spain, France, U.S., Canada, Peru and others. The official said the foreigners have broken the country’s laws, others have overstayed their visa and others are wanted in their respective countries, which alert the Dominican authorities.' Read on:
63 Year Old Woman Floors Attacker
Enemies: A Love Story
'After centuries of rancor, the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people may finally make friends of these neighbors. Before the quake anti-Haitian violence had reached fever pitch: Haitian migrants were routinely lynched, burned and beheaded in the Dominican Republic. But in the wake of this most recent tragedy Dominicans responded promptly and with great charity to their Haitian neighbors. They threw open their borders to Haitians in need of medical care, halted the deportation of thousands of illegal Haitian immigrants and sent millions of dollars worth of urgently needed supplies—along with debris-removing heavy equipment and an army of volunteers to use it.' The story continues in Newsweek:
Bahamian Pilots Jailed In DR
'Two pilots accused of trafficking Dominican migrants bound for the United States were ordered Friday to remain in jail until their trial in eight months. Kennett Courdero Whymns and Marvin Dennis Cabral,both from the Bahamas were arrested last week and accused of trying to fly five people to the Turks and Caicos Islands with false documentation. The migrants were carrying fake visas and passports and each paid roughly $20,000 for the trip to Providenciales where they were to board a boat to the U.S.prosecutor Yenny Reynoso said. The pilots previously organized at least five similar trips, Reynoso charged.' Read on:
Surgery Delayed For Conjoined Twins
'Paediatric specialists in the Dominican Republic say they will not try to separate conjoined twins for nine months. Twins Teresa Maria and Maria Teresa, who are joined at the stomach, were born by caesarean section just over a week ago. Doctors at the Roberto Reid Cabral hospital in Santo Domingo said that they would evaluate the best way to approach separating the pair in the course of the next nine months. Some local media reports said that Margarita Cedeno, wife of Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez, had said her office would cover the medical costs of the separation. The babies, who are said to be healthy, share a liver.'
Children Help Cambodian Toddler Bound For DR Surgery
'On Saturday a Cambodian toddler and her father embark on a trip for perilous but potentially life-extending surgery in the Dominican Republic. They take with them the hopes and prayers of a community of supporters. Before Socheat Nha and her father Phin Ken took to the skies they were given yet another emotional lift from well-wishers. Sisters Julie,13, Joanna,11, and Jill, 10, Ung decided they wanted to help Socheat after following her story. The three first decided to break into their piggy banks and make an offering. Then since they were on spring break with not much to do the girls created posters, decorated a donation box and decided to go door-to-door to raise funds for Socheat's surgery and travel for open heart surgery.' The story continues:
Apple Vacations CEO Recognised
'John J. Mullen, CEO of Newtown Square-based Apple Vacations, was recently honored by the Dominican Republic's Ministry of Tourism for his outstanding contribution to tourism. Mullen founded Apple Vacations, one of the country's largest tour operators and holds interests in USA3000 Airlines and AMResorts, a provider of hotel sales, marketing and brand management services to resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean. A private ceremony in Mullen's honor was held on March 26 in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic. The event was presided over by Francisco Javier Garcia, Minister of Tourism and attended by many high level dignitaries including Leonel Fernandez, President of the Dominican Republic. Sr. Garcia praised Mr. Mullen for his pioneer efforts in recognizing the enormous potential of the Dominican Republic as an ideal vacation destination for American tourists.' The press release continues here:
Suspended West Miami Mayor Loses Re-election Bid
Corales Golf Club Overwhelms The Senses
'Whether it’s the quality of the light, the effect of the sea or simply the sharpness of the design,there’s something about Corales Golf Club that is just overwhelming. Of course golf is always fascinating when played on land that touches the sea. Here on the eastern shore the game is additionally blessed by tropical warmth and the stark crystalline blue that’s tossed back and forth between the sky and the Caribbean Sea. The same heat in a desert climate would be searing and oppressive because there the dominant tones are flash white, red and ocher. But along this coast the sensory experience leans toward the cooler side of the color wheel. Instead of shimmering in some torpid heat shapes assume a steely coherence and lucidity that is calming, peaceful and stable. It takes a designer’s eye to plan all of this and the considerable virtue of Corales is that the team involved course architects, artists and visionaries. Tom Fazio and his associate Tom Marzolf did the golf course but the setting – the palette of plant materials and its juxtaposition of turf against rocky shoreline – was the deliberate choice of the principals of the 15000-acre Punta Cana Resort. That includes fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, singer Julio Iglesias, pioneering Dominican land planner Frank Rainieri and former labor attorney Theodore Kheel.' Read on:
3 Years For Returning To US
'A Central Falls man who was deported to the Dominican Republic in 1999 after his conviction on a drug charge has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for illegally re-entering the United States. Federal prosecutors say 42-year-old Elvin Cruz Then also received three years of probation at the end of his prison sentence on Tuesday, and faces deportation again. Authorities say Then was arrested by Rhode Island State Police in Cranston in May 2009, with cocaine in a hidden compartment in his right sneaker. He had been sentenced to nearly four years in prison following a 1996 conviction in North Carolina for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. Then also faces state charges in Rhode Island, including drug possession with the intent to distribute and identity fraud.'
Sunridge Builds On Successful Meetings In DR
'Sunridge International announced today, that with the completion of two very successful meetings in the Dominican Republic last month, it has been given the opportunity to present its patented Pneumatic Trabeculoplasty treatment (PNT) at the upcoming Sociedad Dominicana de Oftalmologia conference that will be held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, June 3-6th.....Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness, affecting over 70 million people worldwide. PNT has been proven (through studies completed over the last 10 yrs) to be a safe, effective, non-invasive and a cost effective alternative for treatment for glaucoma and ocular hypertension. The 2-minute treatment has been developed, patented, and distributed by Sunridge International, wholly owned subsidiary, Ophthalmic International'. The press release continues here:
Nine Year Old Sets Sports Fishing Record In DR
'Jack MacCluskey, a mere 9 years old, became the youngest fisherman to catch all species billfish during the Dominican Republic's Royal Slam competition, local press reported on Sunday. MacCluskey's achievement is the entry requirement for the Slam, which takes place off the coast of resort city Cape Cana. Because of the extensive travel it involves, only 100 people worldwide have achieved the target, which took MacCluskey 10 months. The nine fish species are the spearfish, the swordfish, the black marlin, the striped white marlin both the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean versions of blue marlin and sailfish. He completed his record this weekend by capturing two fish in two nations: a swordfish off the Florida Keys in the United States and a striped white marlin off the coast of Cape Cana in the Dominican Republic. MacCluskey breaks a record set by Wes Davis, who was 10 when he set the record. The president of the Cape Cana council of directors, Ricardo Hazoury, congratulated young Jack for his achievement and said he was an example to be followed in the fishing world.' More here:
Medical Care Mission To DR
'Just outside an orange grove near a village in the Dominican Republic, blankets hung between trees to shield a makeshift medical clinic. Surrounded by a villager’s donated kitchen table, cardboard boxes and duct tape, a group of local nursing students helped bring healthcare to natives with scarce medical access. There were sugar cane workers with machete knife wounds. Four year olds with hernias. Some had parasites, lice and skin infections. Some were malnourished. All were devastatingly poor. The University of Michigan-Flint group who traveled to the third-world country in late February had been prepared to see Haiti quake survivors, many who reportedly crossed over the border for medical assistance. But most of the 504 patients the service group helped in just eight days were not injured from the next-door tragedy.' Read on:
Regional (And National) Internet Outage - Weekend News April 11th. 2010
Frenchman Found Hanged In Nagua
Last Sunday a French resident of Nagua, Francois Jean Paul Dubuet, 59, was found hanging from a tree in an apparent suicide. According to his girlfriend, he had no financial problems but he had been under pressure from a family who had accused him of having a relationship with their daughter and who were asking for RD$2 million not to report the matter to the authorities. Police reported that two weeks earlier M. Dubuet had been the subject of an attempted home invasion.
No Water In Torre Alta
Hotel Occupancy After Easter
The Puerto Plata hotel occupancy rate for Monday April 5th, the day after Easter Sunday was as follows: Grand Oasis Marién 100%, Iberostar Costa Dorada 78%, Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa 63%, Hotel Puerto Plata Village 22%, Holiday Village 20%, Viva Wyndham 54%, Celuisma Playa Dorada 26%, Paradise 72%, Gran Ventana 75%, Barcelo 61%, Blue Bay Getaway 69%, Victoria Resort 44%, and Fun Royal Tropical 33%. Occupancy rates for Sosua and Cabarete hotels can be found at the links below:
Quebecoises Living In DR Still Feel Safe
'Despite the murders of two of their fellow countrymen since the beginning of 2010, Quebeckers living in the Dominican Republic still feel safe, calling the two homicides "isolated incidents." On Jan. 1, Jean Gagne, a 41-year-old from Quebec, was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest in a villa in Sousua, near Cabarete. Then last Thursday, Louise Gaudreault, 54, was found dead in her ranch in the Cabarete region after being attacked with a pair of scissors. Even if these crimes were committed only a few kilometres from their homes, the Quebeckers don't feel at risk. They also feel the same about one particular thing, and that's that there really is not much of a difference between wandering the streets of Puerto Plata or Cabarete at night and doing the same in Montreal. "I don't intentionally try to find myself in small areas that are dark and isolated, that's obvious," said Estrie, Quebec native Jean-Paul Page during a phone interview. "But when you are in a foreign country, by instinct, you are more careful." ' The story continues at the links below. On Thursday Montreal papers carried news that a man from Quebec had been arrested; the suspect reportedly held Mme. Gaudreault responsible for the death of a friend, who was electrocuted this winter while doing renovations at the deceased woman's home. By Friday, the fingerprints of this man, who had left threatening messages on Mme. Gaudreault's phone, were being checked.
German Robbed In Cabarete
IMF Completes First Review
'Performance of the Dominican Republic economy has been satisfactory under the Fund-supported program, and the authorities’ generous response to the Haitian earthquake is praiseworthy. A substantial fiscal stimulus, supported by an accommodative monetary policy, has served to mitigate the adverse effects of the global crisis and start a recovery. Progress has been made on structural reforms, including on developing a strategy to reform the electricity sector that aims at eliminating indiscriminate subsidies while significantly improving service to all clients. “The authorities remain committed to the program’s objectives and policies. Strong program implementation will enhance the government’s credibility, and support a successful placement of bonds in international markets, which is an important component of the authorities’ financing strategy. “Under the program, fiscal policy will shift from an expansionary stance to consolidation in the second half of 2010. Full implementation of the government’s investment program and control of current spending will help support a sustained recovery.' More here:
Love Lost And Love Found For Mother And Son
'They sit side by side in a hotel room in the Dominican Republic, he in combat boots and fatigues with a maple leaf on his right shoulder, she in a pretty polka-dot dress. J.P. Menard was five years old when his mother allowed him to be adopted by relatives in New Brunswick, believing a better life awaited him outside of Haiti. He is muscular and handsome now and a member of the Canadian Forces; she is 62 and graying and her eyes betray a lifetime of hardship. After 29 years apart, they were reunited last month in the most extraordinary of circumstances. He was a soldier dispatched to lend a hand in the impoverished country where he was born. His mother is one of hundreds of thousands of victims of the earthquake that flattened the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. As he begins telling their amazing story, Marie-Josée Robillard reaches over and clasps her son's hands, strokes his face and buries her chin in his neck. "Twenty nine years is a long time," Menard, now 34, says quietly. "Right now, it really still hasn't even hit me yet. It is almost like I am dreaming." After three decades of separation, J.P. Menard saw his mother for the first time on March 7. She was napping, exhausted after a harrowing journey out of Haiti, when he slipped into her hotel room in Santo Domingo and gave her a soft kiss on the forehead.' Read the rest of this amazing story here:
Puello To The US?
'A man who acted as a lawyer for U.S. missionaries accused of kidnapping 33 Haitian children after the devastating earthquake will face a hearing this month on a U.S. extradition request, an official said Monday. It had been unclear whether Jorge Puello would be extradited to the U.S., where he is wanted on smuggling charges, or El Salvador, where authorities allege he led a prostitution ring. Gisela Cueto, an assistant general prosecutor for the Dominican Republic, told The Associated Press on Monday that Puello will face extradition to the U.S. at an April 28 hearing even though the El Salvador charges are more serious. She said the Central American nation did not complete a formal extradition request.' More here:
'The commission that is investigating the mysterious flight of an airplane that left last month from the Joaquin Balaguer International Airport at El Higuero, with Port-au-Prince as the primary destination, and which in mid-flight turned towards South America, is also looking into the disappearance of another plane that entered the country in the month of December and has disappeared "as if by magic". The missing plane is a Cessna C-210 (tail number N2066S), which arrived in the country through the Cibao International Airport on 7 December last year coming from Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos. The aircraft made some flights between Santiago and El Higuero on 11 December that were considered "suspicious". On 12 December the plane flew from El Higuero to Santiago and from that date forward it has disappeared and there is no sign of it leaving the Dominican Republic. The case is related to the mysterious flight of last 7 March that left headed for Haiti, but which changed course towards South America, since both planes entered the country piloted by the Colombian Adolfo Rodrigo Vasquez.' Read on in the English language version of Diario Libre:
Risky Surgery For Cambodian Toddler 'Is A Go'
'On the heels of a sudden outpouring of support, it looks as if a Cambodian girl will have a chance at risky, but potentially life-extending surgery after all. A week after the founder of a local nonprofit worried that his fledgling group would not be able to raise the money needed to complete its mission of providing open-heart surgery for 3-year-old Socheat Nha, the group's fortunes have turned. Now hotel and plane reservations have been made to travel from Long Beach to the Dominican Republic, where the operation will take place around April 18, a payment has been made to the hospital and Peter Chhun is finally able to exhale. It has been a tumultuous path, but with several recent donations and a promise by Congresswoman Laura Richardson's office to assist Hearts Without Boundaries, in the words of Chhun "it's a go." ' The heart-warming story continues here:
Norwegian Pearl In Samana
'If there is one port where an excursion is highly recommended on this itinerary, it is today. Samana is a tiny village—so small that only one shop is on the port shopping list—yet nearby are wonderful beaches and ecological treasures. Mel chose a Caves & Mangroves Exploration tour, which is just a bit too much sun for me, so my day was spent relaxing on board all morning and a bit of wandering ashore in the afternoon. For beach lovers, the excursion to nearby Cayo Levantado is well worthwhile. The private beach property is beautifully maintained and features arts and crafts shops, water toys for rent, and a delightful folkloric show.' Read on:
Off Season Sugar Cane Workers
'Google the phrase "Cabarete, Dominican Republic" and you'll find links for "windsurfing," "kiteboarding," and an "Eco-sensitive beach front boutique hotel." Venture beyond Cabarete's resorts and you'll find a real city with real people, most of whom will never have the means to enjoy those luxuries. Dominicans and Haitian-Dominicans live in separate communities in and around the area's sugar plantations, where they find work as cane cutters. Tensions exist between the groups—over housing, labor, and a number of other social problems that accompany economic hardship—and the area can be a object lesson in wealth disparity. "One takeaway was just how relative everyone's situation is," says the photographer Youngna Park, whose visions of off-season sugar cane workers offer a glimpse of everyday plantation life.' The pictures continue:
Canadian Woman Alleges She Was Drugged And Raped
'Karen finally woke up naked and drugged in a strange room in the Dominican Republic, with three of her kidnappers asleep nearby. As quietly as she could, she found her clothes and ran for her life. The 38-year-old Mississauga waitress had gone on holiday to an all-inclusive Dominican Republic resort, looking for some fun and sun and a chance to get away from her problems. Instead, she says she was kidnapped from a bar in Puerto Plata, drugged, robbed and raped on her last night in the country. “I don’t want anybody to go through what I went through,” says Karen, explaining why she is coming forward. “People need to be told.” She has just come from her appointment at Trillium Health Centre where she sees a sexual assault counsellor at least once a week since returning traumatized last month from her holiday. She is also on antiretroviral medication until bloodwork can confirm whether she contracted HIV or not from her attackers.' More here, whether it is credible as written is for the discerning reader to......discern.:
Bermudian Man Shot And Killed In Luperon - Easter Weekend News April 4th. 2010
'A well-known Bermuda sportsman was shot and killed during his 35th birthday celebrations in the Dominican Republic. Ricardo 'Ricky' Tucker was visiting the Caribbean island when he fell victim to gun violence late Saturday night (of last weekend). His widow, Mandisa Tucker, received the devastating news at 1.30 a.m. Sunday morning when she was told that her husband of eight years and partner of 15 had been murdered. Speaking to this newspaper yesterday in the family's Dockyard home, the 35-year-old said she will remember her husband's constant smile and vibrant personality. "He was shot at a party for his birthday. I am not sure if it was that night but he died that morning." .............Asked if she knew anything of the details surrounding her husband's death, Mrs. Tucker said: "There is no confirmation on why he was shot. I'm in the process of working on that now. We were told by his cousin who lives down there that somebody had to come down there to have the process set in motion. We have to determine if that is necessary." ' The story continues in the Royal Gazette. All of the Dominican papers state that Ricardo Tucker went to a birthday party with a girl, Marlene Disla, whose ex-boyfriend Erickson Estévez turned up and without a word fired two fatal shots at the deceased before kidnapping Marlene Disla and fleeing. The papers also reported that police were looking for the alleged perpetrator and the girl. Later in the week they had not been found but what allegedly had been found was one and a half pounds of marijuana in Mr. Tucker's suitcase. Some papers reported that the birthday party was in fact for Marlene Disla. It would appear that the alleged perpetrator, Erickson Estévez, is the brother of Fiordaliza Estévez, director of the municipal district of El Estrecho, Luperón, ex PRSC diputada, and current candidate for deputy Mayor of Luperon.
Canadian Expat Knifed To Death
Happy Easter! Don't Visit Costambar
Quilting At The Meeting Place
Italian Tourist Robbed In Barahona
Ukranian Arrested In Drugs Bust
Arturo Del Tiempo Was Honorary DR Police Agent
Another Spaniard Detained And Released?
The same event reported differently! According to the Latin American Herald Tribune 'Dominican authorities arrested, questioned and then later released a Spaniard linked to the shipment of 1,200 kilos (2,643 lbs.) of cocaine seized early this month in eastern Spain. Juan Antonio Hidalgo de Moya, the administrator of the Startmarble company, was arrested Tuesday after investigators determined the cargo containing the drugs was shipped from the Dominican Republic by that firm. Dominican prosecutors initially accused Hidalgo de Moya of participating in a network allegedly directed by Spanish businessman Arturo del Tiempo Marquez, to whom the shipment is attributed and who has been under arrest in Barcelona since March 9. However, Dominican authorities released Hidalgo de Moya on Wednesday, and the National District prosecutor’s office said that although the Spaniard was questioned for several hours, he was let go because no “merits” for keeping him in jail were found.'
According to the English language version of Diario Libre 'Another Spaniard that administered a business that was supposedly responsible for sending 1.200 kgs of cocaine to Spain has been arrested. The cocaine was seized on 2 March from Arturo del Tiempo Marquez, and his alleged partner was arrested yesterday by the District Attorney for the National District. Juan Antonio Hidalgo de Moya, administrator of the Startmarble Company, is being held at the jail of the Palace of Justice in Ciudad Nueva. District Attorney Alejandro Moscoso Segarra told reporters that in the next few hours the coercive measures would be drawn up and requested in court. The District Attorney for the National District assured reporters that the company belonging to Hidalgo de Moya sent the container with the double flooring that hid the cocaine disguised as surplus matériels that were left over from the building of the imposing Atiemar Tower. According to the Justice Department, during a search carried out at the company, investigators found documents that provided evidence of the ties between that company and Prado Universal, the alleged owner of the 1,200 kilograms of cocaine seized from del Tiempo Marquez in Spain.'
Juan Antonio Hidalgo de Moya was in fact released according to a report in Diario Libre the following day. The reason given was insufficient evidence to link him to the case. The general assumption is that he is collaborating with police enquiries in such a way as to net bigger fish.
EQ False Alarm
Red Tape Idles Aid Trucks At Haiti's Border
'After six days of waiting at Haiti's border, Mario Polanco was losing patience with the red tape holding up his truck full of earthquake relief supplies. Polanco drove the equipment for the International Committee of the Red Cross 11 hours from a port in the Dominican Republic, only to have the Haitian customs agent find one problem after another with his paperwork. As he waited in the shade of his truck's cab in this dusty border town, dozens of others were lined up behind him. "I don't know why they are making it so difficult on people," Polanco said. For more than six weeks following the Jan. 12 earthquake, Haiti left its border with the Dominican Republic open to speed the delivery of aid. As the government now reasserts control, the return of bureaucracy is leading to delays as trucks idle for days. One day this week at the customs office at Malpasse, the Haitian town across from Jimani, a single agent was processing a caravan of trucks, including Polanco's, that stretched for two miles (three kilometers). In the line were rice, beans, canned food, construction materials and ambulances — all desperately needed in Haiti. "We haven't been able to distribute food for two weeks," said Paloma Rivera, an official with Quisqueya in Action, a nonprofit Dominican organization that is feeding some of Haiti's homeless quake victims.' More here:
GOL To Begin Regular Flights To Punta Cana
'GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. the largest low-cost and low-fare airline in Latin America will launch scheduled flights to a new international destination: Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The flights which have already been approved by the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) and other competent authorities will begin on April 3. The Company has already been flying chartered flights to Punta Cana. "We identified substantial passenger demand for this destination which has a strong tourist appeal. In addition to serving Brazilian holidaymakers and attracting people from Caracas where we will begin selling flights to the Dominican Republic shortly, we will be increasing the daily utilization rate of our aircraft" declared Leonardo Pereira,GOL's Executive Vice President. Details of scheduling can be found here:
Ferries Del Caribe To Suspend Passenger Service
'Ferries del Caribe will "temporarily" shut down their passenger service between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic next 15 April when it plans on making their last trip from Santo Domingo. According to what she told Diario Libre, Liana Peña, the executive vice-president of the company, the measure will be until they can resolve the impasse that they have with the administration of the Port of Mayaguez, where the company has its terminal on the neighboring island of Puerto Rico. The news, which has still not been officially released by the company, has created unrest among the people that use the service and among the Dominican that directly or indirectly earn their living with the Ferry..........the vice-president of Ferries del Caribe made it clear that they would continue freight service through their franchise with Marine Express and that they would protect the employees of the freight service.' Read on:
Blackfeet Teens Teach Dominican Orphans
'Riel LaPlant went to the Dominican Republic to teach orphans English but he left learning something far more valuable from a young teen named Fabio. Having spent a few years working for his family on the farm Fabio was a few years older than his fellow students. He had few possessions yet every day he greeted LaPlant with a huge smile. "He had a real willingness to learn" LaPlant said of his new Dominican friend. "He was working hard to make things better for himself. It opened my eyes a little — to be grateful. As Americans we have a lot." Nine Blackfeet Academy students just returned from a weeklong trip to the Dominican Republic where they spent hours teaching children and working to improve the orphanage they lived in.......Though they share a similar history the Dominican orphans had never seen a Native American before and few of the Blackfeet Academy students had been to a foreign country before — those that had went to nearby Canada.' The story continues here:
Medical Mission To DR Organized by Doctors Of Cuban Association Of The Order Of Malta
'During the weekend of March 18th to 22nd the first semiannual medical mission of 2010 to the Hospital Manuel J. Centurion at ILAC Center Licey al Medio medical facility in the Dominican Republic was undertaken under the leadership of Doctors Jorge Echenique MD and José Joaquín Centurión MD both Knights of Malta and members of the Cuban Association residing and practicing in South Florida. They were also under the spiritual guidance of father Fernando Heriaa Conventual Chaplain ad honorem of the Cuban Association. As it has been the case for the past several years 32 participants: doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other volunteers including their 30 heavy duffel bags of medical supplies flew with the collaboration of American Airlines to the Dominican Republic from Miami Florida. Their mission was to give medical assistance to more than 850 patients in this poor area just a few miles outside Santiago de Los Caballeros, the second largest city in the country. The doctors included specialists in cardiology, pediatric medicine,urology,dentistry and internal medicine.' More here:
Local mission group headed to DR
'A local mission group organized by Western Avenue Baptist Church will leave all the pastel-colored candies and chocolates behind this Easter to work in an orphanage and in medical clinics in the Dominican Republic. Once they arrive on the Caribbean island shared with Haiti, the 16 missionaries will divide their time between working in medical clinics, helping the poor and working at the Casa de Luz orphanage near Santo Domingo. Teenagers and adults from Saint Philip the Apostle Catholic Church and Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church are coming to help out as well.' Read on:
John Duarte Sentenced To 18 Months
'Former priest John Duarte begged for forgiveness Thursday as he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for sexually abusing adolescent boys at the mission he founded in Haiti. A tearful Duarte told Justice Bruce Thomas that he went to Haiti “for all the right reasons, but in the middle of it all, I got lost.” Duarte asked for forgiveness from his family and friends, the people of Haiti and “especially the victims and all those who feel betrayed.” The Windsor missionary, who was arrested in the Dominican Republic and originally charged with nine counts of sexual exploitation in October for sex crimes committed in the impoverished fishing village of Labadie on Haiti’s north coast and the country’s capital of Port-au-Prince, pleaded guilty to three counts in Superior Court. Duarte, 44, entered his plea as a result of a deal reached between the Crown and defence lawyer Andrew Bradie. Duarte, who has spent five months in custody, will be given credit on a two-for-one basis for each day spent in pretrial custody. He will be released in eight months or less.' The story continues:
Lawrence Welcomes 'La Primera Dama'
'In the Dominican Republic, she is "La Primera Dama," the first lady of that Caribbean country. But last night, Mayor William Lantigua introduced Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez as "Margarita," a humble, simple woman who wanted to learn more about Lawrence, which today is home to many Dominican immigrants, including the mayor himself. Wife of Dominican President Leonel A. Fernandez, the first lady arrived in the city late yesterday afternoon. She first toured the city's new $110 million high school and later spoke to a packed City Council chamber at City Hall. A combination of residents, city councilors and employees and the media filled the room as Fernandez spoke of her strong interest in education, technology, children and helping the poor. Her husband's term expires in 2012 and when asked if someday she might run for president, Fernandez said she'd continue focusing on her duties as first lady and stressed her devotion to her country and its people.' Read on: