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Daily News - 23 February 2000

American Eagle could fly to Samana and Barahona
Minister of Tourism Felix Jiménez met with American Eagle executives to discuss the possibility of that commuter airline flying into the Barahona María Montez International Airport and the Samaná Arroyo Barril International Airport. The flights to both Barahona and Samaná airports would be from Puerto Rico.
A delegation of the top American Eagle executives, Jacques J. Vachon, president; Vicente Hernández, regional director; César Castillo, general manager, and Carlos Beltrán, director of sales and marketing met with the Minister of Tourism. Jiménez said that in order for the flight to be a success, preparatory work needs to be carried out so that Dominican and Puerto Rican tour operators, as well as Dominican hoteliers can prepare packages that are attractive to Puerto Rican tourists. It is expected that the flights will also be used by the thousands of residents in those areas and by Dominican expatriates when returning to their hometowns. The American Eagle flights would bring these closer to their hometowns. At the present time, passengers heading in that direction have to use either the Santo Domingo (Las Americas) or Puerto Plata (Gregorio Luperón) airports, that place them a three to four hour car ride away from their final destination.

Private generators expected to honor their part of the agreement
Alejandrina Germán, Secretary of the Presidency, said that the agreement that the Dominican government reached with the private power generators was only pending their signature. The president of the Follow Up Committee of the Power Sector, told the Listín Diario that President Fernández does not contemplate a new meeting with the generators. News stories say that the generators are threatening with going off line if the government does not increase payments offered as per the last agreement. She confirmed the government offered to pay US$40 million of a US$102 million debt, and establish mechanisms to pay what would be left pending. She said the government has been making payments as stipulated and the private generators have been receiving these monies. She said that she expects the generators to honor the agreements.
News stories have carried versions that the private generators, mainly Smith Enron, AES Dominican Power, and CEPP would shut down if the government does not make larger payments than what was established in the last meeting with the President. These shut downs would increase the present hours of blackouts.
The executive director of the Association of Foreign Enterprises (ASIEX) said that the debates will not affect foreign investment, as at the end the government pays.

More payment demands
The general manager of Proaseo (former Dixi Sanitary Services), Jorge Costa Surribas demanded payment of RD$220 million in arrears from the government and the Municipality of Santo Domingo. He said the central government owes RD$150 million and the city government RD$70 million. The government recently transferred the garbage collection contract to the municipality.

US Deputy Secretary of Agriculture to visit
The Deputy Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, August Schumacher will visit the DR this weekend. Schumacher will be in the DR for three days, starting Thursday, 24 February through Saturday, 26 February. On his agenda are field trips to Constanza and San Francisco de Macoris. His host in the DR will be the Minister of Agriculture, Amilcar Romero.

Political parties criticize JCE for not meeting deadlines
Delegates from the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano, Partido de la Liberación Dominicana and Partido Reformista Social Cristiano criticized the technical management of the Junta Central Electoral for not meeting the deadline to hand in the first half of the voters list. When the party delegates visited the JCE yesterday to receive the list, they were received by Gilberto Cruz Herasme, director of Elections, and Huascar Frías, director of Informatics, who explained they were not able to meet the deadline because they are still missing some equipment to give the list a final touch up. Cruz nor Frías were available for comment to the press.
Furthermore, the PLD returned the "Archivo Maestro de Cedulables", the control of the persons registered to vote, to the JCE. According to the PLD, the JCE list is incomplete. More than 854,000 of those that have registered to vote are not in the provided list, says the PLD.
The JCE has the following deadlines:
Delivering of the voting cards to voters that have requested these ­ 29 February
Deadline for the registration of alliances between political parties - 2 March
Deadline for the registration of candidacies - 16 March
Deadline for handing in of 100% of the voter's list with photo inserted - 20 March.
Date of the presidential election ­ 16 May

Three children die after birthday fire tragedy
Three children have died as a result of severe burns received following a fire in the El Tamarindo slum town of Santo Domingo. El Tamarindo, near Hainamosa, is a town of shacks created to house those left homeless following Hurricane Georges. The deceased children were celebrating a birthday party in one of the shacks that collapsed due to the excess weight of those celebrating in the house. The collapse caused a tube of gas of a stove to disconnect resulting in a fire that caused multiple burns to several of the children and the adults that tried to rescue these. Victims were five and ten year olds. They had been in the intensive care unit of the Robert Robert Reid Cabral Children's Hospital. In the past two months, five persons have died due to fires in the slum town.

Juan Luis Guerra in the Grammy Awards tonight
Tune in to watch the Grammy Awards tonight at 9 pm. Color Visión, Channel 9 will transmit the US National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences ceremony (see http://www.grammy.com). Dominican composer/song writer Juan Luís Guerra is competing for the Latin Pop award with his CD "Ni es lo mismo, ni es igual". His competitors are Rubén Blades ("Tiempos"), Maná ("MTV Unplugged"), Luis Miguel ("Amarte es un placer") and Jaci Velásquez ("Amarte es un placer"). Guerra flew from Santo Domingo to Los Angeles to attend the ceremony. Guerra won a Grammy for his "Bachata Rosa" CD in 1991.
Guerra recently returned from being the opening number at the Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar in Chile.

45 Dominicans to Sydney Olympics
José Joaquín Puello, president of the Dominican Olympic Committee, said that the Dominican Republic expects to send a 45-person delegation to the Sydney, Australia Olympic Games. This will be the largest Dominican delegation ever to an Olympic Games. The large delegation is because Santo Domingo is the site of the 2003 Pan Am Games. The final number of the delegation still depends on the athletes qualifying. Puello said that so far, only judo has qualified. The Dominican judo team will be training in Barcelona as of March. Athletes Eleocadia Vargas, Juan Carlos Jacinto, Jose August, Eugenio Vasquez and Jose Vicbart Geraldino have qualified to compete in the Sydney Olympics. The athletes that may represent the DR in weight lifting, boxing, track and field have yet to be determined.

Boston Red Sox vs Houston Astros in SD
The Dominican Professional Baseball League announced that tickets to attend the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros Major League baseball exhibition team to be held in March in Santo Domingo are already for sale. The tickets to the Saturday, 11 March and Sunday, 12 March games will cost RD$1,000 box, RD$600 AA box, RD$350 preferences and RD$50 bleachers. These are the highest prices ever charged for an event in the Quisqueya Ball Park where the event will be held. The Quisqueya Ball Park has capacity for 20,000 fans. The event organizers say that Dominican Major League stars, Pedro and Ramón Martínez, Juan Peña, José Offerman, Wilton Veras will play for Boston. José Lima, Moisés Alou, Octavio Dotel and Tony Eusebio will play for the Astros. Fans will be also able to watch star players such as Nomar Garciaparra (Boston) and Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio (Houston).
Of the 1,411 box seats, 1,200 have been reserved by the Major Leagues. Only 211 are left for sale to the general public.
This is the second time Major League exhibition games are held in the DR. Last year, the NY Mets and the Expos Montreal played two games.

Update on the Independencia Bicycling Race
Chris Frederick of the Miami bicycling squad won the third stage of the Vuelta Ciclística Independencia Nacional, a major cycling event in the Caribbean. Dominican cyclist Wendy Cruz of the Alico-DR team who had won the first and second stage of the competitions came in 49th.
Frederick posted a time of 2:58.20 for the 120 km trek from La Romana to Santo Domingo. Abraham Emile, representing the Association of Dominicans from NY was second, and Robert Lee, from Miami, was third.
Today, the competitors will go north. The course will take them from Santo Domingo to Bonao (89 kms) in the morning and then from La Vega to the San Cerro and on to Jarabacoa (75 kms). The grueling competition is taking cyclists through most of the DR (1,145.4 kilometers) from 20-27 February. It is an officially sanctioned International Cycling Union race.
For web site international coverage on this event, see
www.cyclingnews.com or the International Cycling Union site at www.uci.ch
International teams have come from St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Curaçao, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Panama, Honduras and several US states (New York, Florida, Illinois and Texas). Fourteen DR-based teams are also participating, for more than 200 cyclists. The race schedule is as follows:
Sunday, 20 February: 11 am. Closed circuit around Mirador del Sur Park (144 kms). Winner: Wendy Cruz (Dom)
Monday, 21 February: 10 am. Santo Domingo-Boca Chica-San Pedro de Macorís-La Romana (116 kms). Point of departure: Ministry of the Armed Forces-Plaza de la Bandera. Winner: Wendy Cruz (Dom)
Tuesday, 22 February: 9:30 am. La Romana-San Pedro de Macorís-Santo Domingo (120 kms). Point of departure: Parque Duarte in La Romana. Winner: Chris Frederick (Miami)
Wednesday, 23 February: 9:30 am. Santo Domingo-Bonao (89 kms). 3 pm. La Vega-Santo Cerro-Jarabacoa (75 kms).
Thursday, 24 February: 9:30 am. La Vega-Bonao-Piedra Blanca-Cotuí-Pimentel-San Francisco de Macorís (150 kms)
Friday, 25 February: 9:30 am. Santiago-La Cumbre-Puerto Plata-Imbert-Navarrete-Mao (160 kms)
Saturday, 26 February: 9:30 am. Closed circuit Monumento a los Héroes de la Restauración in Santiago (120 kms). Sunday, 27 February: 9:30 am. Santiago-
Bonao-Villa Altagracia-Santo Domingo (158 kms.)

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