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    Default DR1 Daily News - Wednesday, 21 December 2016

    DR1 breaks for the Christmas holidays
    President Medina participates in SICA meeting
    Environment and Education ministers have a plan
    New fast toll lanes open
    Christmas safety operation
    Still time to renew marbete
    Venezuelans facing migratory problems in DR
    Tax Agency closes stores for tax evasion during Black Friday
    Keep your vehicle locked!
    Dominican convicts repatriated
    Founder of judo movement passes away
    Licey qualifies first in Baseball Championship
    Jandy Ventura on Wednesdays at Jalao
    Jazz concerts in December
    The New York Band Santiago Christmas concert
    Conjunto Quisqueya at Lucía 203

    DR1 breaks for the Christmas holidays
    As the saying goes: "no news is good news." With already the news stream down to a trickle, DR1 editors will be joining those off for Christmas holiday and begin the Christmas break starting on Thursday, 22 December 2016. Headline news will be gathered over the Christmas holidays through Sunday, 25 December 2016 and the compilation shared with readers in our Monday, 26 December issue.

    This is the season to be merry and we recommend readers check out the DR1 Calendar section for Christmas concerts. The DR1 Forums remain open for postings on news and events 24/7 at

    Merry Christmas to all!

    President Medina participates in SICA meeting
    President Danilo Medina traveled on Tuesday, 20 December 2016, to Managua, capital of Nicaragua, to participate in the meeting to transfer the pro tempore presidency of the Central American Integration System (SICA) from the Nicaragua to Costa Rica.

    Medina used the opportunity for bilateral and multilateral talks with the Central American presidents who attended the one-day regional event. The Presidency announced that Medina held a bilateral meeting with President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala. Medina returned late in the evening.

    Speaking in Nicaragua, President Medina said that the main concern of the region should be to combat poverty, protect the vulnerable and help these families to move out of poverty. But he stressed that economic stability in the medium and long term is necessary in the region to assure that the poor who have climbed up the economic ladder will not slip back into poverty. He said the main objective of the SICA is to create good jobs.

    “My proposal to you is that together we explore the best way so that our economies can be fully integrated into the new model of productive linkages that is transforming the way goods and services are produced in the world,” he said. He observed that global changes are affecting a wide range of products, including the textile, pharmaceutical, aviation and electronics industries.

    “I offer that we need to explore the paths to take the most advantage of this model in our region and with a focus on creating benefits for small and medium-sized companies in this process. I have focused my remarks on jobs, trade and climate change, but could have done so on migration, security and other issues, but the answer would have been the same: we need more and better integration,” he said.

    He called for the regional countries to work together to eliminate obstacles to competitiveness, committing to projects such as the development of a merchant marine for Central America and the Caribbean that he considered essential.

    Medina invited the Central American presidents to participate in the V CELAC Summit that will take place 24-25 January 2017 in Punta Cana, when the country will pass the pro tempore presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to El Salvador.

    The Central American Integration System (SICA) is the economic and political organization of Central American states created in February 1993, by Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. Belize and the Dominican Republic joined in 2000 and 2012, respectively.

    Medina traveled to Nicaragua accompanied by Administrative Minister of the Presidency, Jose Ramon Peralta; Foreign Relations Minister Miguel Vargas, his special assistant Carlos Pared Pérez and the head of Presidential Security, Major General Adan Cáceres.

    Also attending the Nicaragua meeting was Dominican government spokesman, Roberto Rodriguez Marchena, who had traveled earlier to Nicaragua.

    Environment and Education ministers have a plan
    The ministers of Education and Environment signed an agreement yesterday to insert more environmental education in all grades. Minister of Education Andrés Navarro signed for the Ministry of Education and Francisco Domínguez Brito for the Ministry of Environment.

    Activities will be developed jointly in order to create awareness in students of the importance of protecting natural resources and the environment. The new curriculum will go into effect in time for the next school year. The plan also contemplates creating protected green areas in schools, wastes management and efficient use of energy. Students will be taught about recycling, not littering on city streets and a range of activities that protect the environment.

    New fast toll lanes open
    The Ministry of Public Works (MOPC) opened on Wednesday, 21 December 2016, in time for Christmas traveling, additional quick pass lanes through the three toll booths in the eastern region.

    The extension and remodeling of the toll stations at La Romana, Coral I and Coral II are part of the work of RDVial works to expedite the flow of traffic on the highways and optimize drivers use of the electronic payment system. The system works by reading a sticker on the windshield of the vehicle. Those who purchase the pre-paid toll plans save travel time, especially during peak traffic times, and do not have to carry cash for paying the tolls.

    The pre-paid toll plans can be purchased at the toll booth offices of the main highways, as well as at the main offices of CardNet, RDVial, and others. Plans are available for individuals, families and businesses.

    More information is available on the website

    Christmas safety operation
    The Emergency Operations Center (COE) announced 37,721 people will be participating in the safe Christmas and New Year operations to reduce the number of road traffic deaths this year. The program includes civil defense volunteers, paramedics, and military, police, medical personnel, among others.

    General Juan Manual Mendez, of the COE and Civil Defense director, Major General Rafael de Luna Pichirilo; the Deputy Minister of the Armed Forces, Matos de la Cruz and other assistance organizations gave a press conference to also announce that there will be 1,631 aid posts at critical points, 132 ambulances, three helicopters, 90 immediate response units, 30 tow trucks, 30 mobile workshops, nine regional command centers and 30 bus units in service during the holidays.

    General Mendez explained that the operation would be conducted in two stages with the first from 23 December 2016 at 2 pm until 25 December at 6 pm, and the second from Friday 30 December at 2 pm to 1 January 2017 at 6 pm.

    The safety plan is coordinated by the Emergency Operations Center (COE) with the participation of the Presidency and the Ministry of Interior and Police, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Defense, Social Plan of the Presidency, 911 Emergency System, Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel), National Police, Metropolitan Transport Authority (Amet), Red Cross, Civil Defense, among others.

    Last year, data for the 2015-2016 Christmas-New Year holiday season, showed that there were 41 fatalities.

    Still time to renew marbete
    The Tax Agency (DGII) is reminding vehicle owners that they have until Friday, 6 January, to renew their vehicle registrations (marbete) that authorize vehicle circulation in 2017. The DGII recommends vehicle owners to take advantage of the lack of lines during these Christmas days.

    The DGII said that this year, more than 62,000 persons have renewed their stickers using the online facility. However, the agency noted that the online registration program expired on 16 December 2016.

    Vehicle owners who have not renewed their registration, will not be allowed to drive their vehicles in the country.

    The Metropolitan Transport Authority (Amet) reminds vehicle owners that as of 7 January 2017, anyone driving without the renewed sticker will have their vehicle impounded and will be obligated to pay a RD$900 penalty (in addition to the cost of registration renewal).

    With the deadline closing in, still around half of the 1,196,812 vehicles need their stickers renewed. The renewal process began on 3 October 2016.

    Venezuelans facing migratory problems in DR
    The president of the Association of Venezuelans in the Dominican Republic, Roman Briceño has complained that there have been cases of employers who contract Venezuelans who do not have legal status here and when it is time to pay the Venezuelans their due wages, the employers notify the Migration Agency of the irregular immigration status of the affected workers simply having to avoid paying immigrants.

    Briceño observed that what used to happen to the Haitians is now happening to Venezuelans. The Dominican Labor Code protects illegal workers from employer abuse, offering the same benefits as a legal worker if a claim is placed with the corresponding authorities.

    Briceño nevertheless complained that in many cases the employers are getting away with these abuses aimed at Venezuelans and the employers have not been penalized.

    He called for Dominicans to have solidarity with the Venezuelans. He said most Venezuelans have had to migrate due to the political situation in Venezuela.

    Being interviewed on Channel 7, Enfoque Matinal from CDN, Briceño said that Venezuelans have also been arbitrarily arrested. He spoke of cases of Venezuelans having been held for three days after which they are released with the authorities admitting that they had erroneously arrested the Venezuelans.

    He said many of those caught here illegally have been detained at the Detention Center in Haina prior to their deportation. For those who are to return to Venezuela, the association has had to provide travel funds because the individuals and their families affected are cashless.

    Most Venezuelans enter on a tourist visa. Briceño advocated that for those who find work, the tourist cards be extended for 12 months. Nevertheless, the Venezuelans, once here, are finding out the hard way that to get an extended work visa, they have to return to Venezuela and from there start the migratory process. This is costly and difficult. Moreover, he said there are many cases where the Venezuelans change employers, and then they have to start the work visa process all over again.

    Briceño confirmed there were more than 25,000 Venezuelans living in the country and around 50,000 who travelled here frequently to buy products. He said many are traveling here to evaluate the country as an option for them to relocate.

    Tax Agency closes stores for tax evasion during Black Friday
    The Tax Agency (DGII) announced it shut down 10 stores in Greater Santo Domingo after DGII inspectors found evidence that these businesses had been evading paying taxes during the Black Friday sales day. Penalties were then levied on the stores that had not paid the required taxes. While the DGII did not send the press a list of stores, it sent photographs of the stores Omega Tech and Luminatti.

    The tax agency says that the stores closed sold textiles, jewelry, clothing, electronic equipment, beauty products, lighting products and cell phones.

    Keep your vehicle locked!
    A video has gone viral on social media showing a van being assaulted during a traffic jam in Santo Domingo. What is obvious is that the driver of the vehicle did not lock the back of the van.

    The video shows brazen thieves removing boxes supposedly containing governmental Christmas dinner items from the back of the vehicle as the latter moves on in the traffic. The boxes are for donating to the poor as part of the governmental social plan.

    Dominican convicts repatriated
    Yesterday, Tuesday 20 December 2016, a group of 62 Dominicans arrived at Las Americas International Airport having been deported from the United States and having completed their jail sentences. Thirty-three of the repatriated convicted criminals had served sentences for drug trafficking and 29 for other crimes including fraud, homicide, robbery and assault, kidnap, rape and arson.

    They were escorted by five federal agents who handed them over to Migration Agency (DGM) and other security officers.

    They have completed sentences from eight to fifteen years in jail in different penitentiaries across the US and were taken from the airport to the Refugee Center in Haina to be processed and either handed over to their families or placed in the Dominican justice system should they have outstanding warrants here.

    So far this year, 2,130 Dominicans have now been returned to the country from the United States, having completed their sentences, more than half for drug trafficking.

    Founder of judo movement passes away
    Mamoru Matsunaga, the Japanese immigrant who is credited with being the founder of the practice of judo in the Dominican Republic, passed away early on Tuesday, 20 December 2016 at the age of 81. He originally came to the Dominican Republic to work as a fisherman in 1957, part of the forced migration that brought dozens of Japanese families to the Dominican Republic and that set up residence in Dajabón, Pedernales and Jarabacoa.

    Almost from the start, Matsunaga shared his knowledge of judo creating the first center at the Gimnasio Camila in Santo Domingo and later becoming the instructor of thousands at his Matsunaga Dojo, the National Police and the Armed Forces.

    A year ago he was elevated to the rank of 9th Dan, an all red belt of which there are few in the Western Hemisphere.

    His early judo students included Thimo Pimentel, Maximito Gómez, Luis Midence (a contributing editor to DR1 Daily News), Moisés Abkarian, and Tony Wittkop, among other legendary judo athletes. He was recognized as an Immortal of Dominican Sports.

    He is also the creator of the iconic Japanese Garden at the National Botanical Gardens in Santo Domingo.

    He was married to Michiko, with whom they had the songs Chikayoshi, Yuyi, Minoru, Norio and Hiroschi.

    The wake took place at the Blandino Funeral Home on Av. Abraham Lincoln on Tuesday. On Wednesday, 21 December at 10am, his casket will be viewed at the Casa Nacional del Judo in the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center where he will be honored for his contributions to the sport. Afterwards, his body will be cremated.

    Licey qualifies first in Baseball Championship
    To the delight of the Licey Tiger fans, Boston Red Sox stand-out Hanley Ramírez returned to the Licey lineup, going 1 for 5, stroking a double in the game on Monday, 19 December 2016, helping Licey secure first place in the Dominican Winter Professional Baseball Championship. Ramírez has promised to play until the end of the season, as a warm up for his participation in the World Baseball Classic in March 2017.

    In his debut in the local league and playing to a full house at the Estadio Quisqueya-Juan Marichal in Santo Domingo, the Licey defeated the Aguilas 2-1.

    The game was decided in the 11th inning by a hit to the left field by Rymer Liriano. Licey during this year’s regular season defeated the Aguilas 8-2.

    The Gigantes have also qualified, but the two other teams that will play in the upcoming round robin are yet to be determined.

    As of Tuesday, 20 December 2016, the Gigantes del Cibao lead with 26 wins and 21 losses. Tigres del Licey follows with 26-22 (half a game behind), Estrellas Orientales are 23-24 (23-24 games behind), Aguilas Cibaeñas 23-25 (3.5 games behind), Leones del Escogido 23-25 (3.5 games behind), and Toros del Este 22-26 (4.5 games behind). Regular season games are still scheduled for Wednesday, 21 December and Thursday, 22 December.

    Follow championship happenings at

    Jandy Ventura on Wednesdays at Jalao
    Merengue singer Jandy Ventura is booked for Wednesday evenings at Jalao in Parque Colon in Santo Domingo's Colonial City starting on Wednesday 30 November through the month of December. Jandy Ventura will be announcing special guests for each performance. Ventura is the son of legendary merengue singer Johnny Ventura.

    Jazz concerts in December
    One of the most pleasant spots in Santo Domingo, the Fiesta Sunset Jazz at the rooftop nightclub of the Dominican Fiesta hosts live performances by jazz bands every Friday as of 8:30pm.
    The program for December is:
    Thursday, 22 December: A Green Christmas with Frank Green & Jazz´tabueno
    Thursday, 29 December: Farewell to 2016 with Benny & the Cupids

    The New York Band Santiago Christmas concert
    The New York Band will be playing merengue at the Gurabito Country Club in Santiago on Friday, 23 December 2016 and at the Club Casa Puerto Rico in La Romana on 25 December, Christmas Day.
    The group is known for its best-loved hits including "Colé," "Zombie," "Si tú eres mi hombre," "Dame vida" and "Corazón de azúcar."

    Conjunto Quisqueya at Lucía 203
    Dance merengue with the Conjunto Quisqueya at Lucía 203, the bohemian restaurant/bar in the Colonial City on Thursday, 22 December 2016 from 10pm.

    “La Tradición del Mesón” presents Javish, Addy, Chucky and Elías playing the favorites: "Bebo Hoy, Bebo Mañana", "La Juma", "Parranda Quisqueya", "Trulla Navideña", "La Banda Borracha", among other classic traditional merengues. Lucía 203 is located at Calle Hostos 203, in the Colonial City.

    Tickets are for sale online at Ticket Express (RD$1,250 pre-sale) and RD$1,500 at the door.

    For information on upcoming events:

    Archived News stories:

    Archived Travel News stories:
    Last edited by Dolores; 12-21-2016 at 09:34 AM.


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