DR1 Daily News - Monday, 2 October 2017


May 3, 2000
New Asset Assessment Ruling
World Bank extends disaster loan for immediate financing
Alert to be prepared for an earthquake in the DR
Fire destroys Plaza Lama warehouse on Duarte Highway
More on the aircraft that crashed in Venezuela, killing two
Authorities seize two airplanes in narcotics case
Champion sailor saves turtle at sea
His son could continue Pedro Martínez’s baseball legacy
Audrys Nin Reyes in Artistic Gymnastics World Championship
Pianist Jie Chen and the National Symphony Orchestra concert
Comedy at Teatro Las Mascaras
Caramelos de Cianuro at Hard Rock Live
Jarabe de Palo concert
Pablo Milanes at the Anfiteatro Puerto Plata
Treasures of Taino Art at Centro Leon

New Asset Assessment Ruling
The Monetary Board (JM) approved the Asset Assessment Ruling (REA) on Sunday, 1 October 2017. The new ruling is intended to stimulate an increase in bank lending to the private sector. The ruling had been under review since August 2016. The changes will enable an increase in bank credit for production, local consumption and exports. The changes are expected to generate new jobs.


World Bank extends disaster loan for immediate financing
The World Bank approved a US$150 million loan (Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option) to the Dominican Republic to provide immediate financing in the event of a natural disaster or a public health emergency. The Cat DDO is a flexible loan with a final maturity of 19 years, including a 12-year grace period.

According to a recent World Bank and Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development study, the economic impact of disasters in the country was estimated to be an average of US$420 million per year over the period of 1961 to 2014. The Dominican Republic ranks 27 out of 171 countries in the 2016 United Nations World Risk Index that ranks countries risks of natural disasters.

“The most important lesson from our experience in disaster response across the world is to invest in prevention and preparedness to be able to respond speedily when disaster strikes," said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Director for the Caribbean. “This is the first operation of its kind in the Caribbean, and focuses on a series of reforms to strengthen the government’s capacity for disaster risk management, climate adaptation, and financial resilience”.

The policy reforms supported under the Cat DDO will:
Incorporate disasters and climate-related risks into fiscal and debt management;
Enforce zoning regulations, building codes and safety standards for public infrastructures, in particular for schools and health facilities;
Strengthen flood and drought risk reduction measures as part of a comprehensive water resource management national strategy;
and further build resilience of public investments by integrating disaster and climate-related risk analysis into government programs.

Alert to be prepared for an earthquake in the DR
The director of the Seismology Institute at the state university UASD, Eugenio Polanco Rivera, is alerting all in the Dominican Republic that on any day now a major earthquake could affect the country. He explains the tectonic faults have 71 years of storing energy that eventually will need to be released, likely causing a major earthquake. The most recent earthquake and the largest to affect the Caribbean was one of 8.6 Richter scale that occurred in 1946.

He said it is necessary for residents to be aware of the high seismic risk of the country that is susceptible to slippage of the Caribbean plate and the North American plate and all regions of the country should take preventive actions.

Polanco said the most serious risk for the country is in the areas along the Septentrional Fault. There, the ground in Santiago, Puerto Plata, La Vega and San Jose de Ocoa are most vulnerable to a major shake given that soft soils in these areas amplify ground shaking. He said with exceptions such as Los Prados, and others, the capital city of Santo Domingo is built on solid rock soil.


Fire destroys Plaza Lama warehouse on Duarte Highway
A major fire totaled the inventory at the Plaza Lama warehouse located at Km. 13 of Duarte Highway. As reported, the fire began at around 4pm. More than 25 firefighting units and over 60 men from fire stations in Greater Santo Domingo participated in putting out the fire. Even a helicopter was used. As reported, several air drones flew over the fire to determine its origin. Likewise, six water trucks from the Santo Domingo Water Corporation (CAASD) and dozens of volunteers participated in the major effort. An intense rain that fell at around 9pm contributed to putting out the fire.

A major concern was that the fire spread to a natural gas station that is located next door to the warehouse. As reported, fortunately, the natural gas was stored in tanks that were mobilized.

The fire caused a major bottleneck on the Duarte Highway in the north-south direction. Metropolitan Transport Authority agents had to habilitate a detour to the other side of the road. No injured nor dead were reported in the incident.


More on the aircraft that crashed in Venezuela, killing two
Defense Minister Ruben Darío Paulino Sem said on Friday, 29 September 2017 that there were two aircraft and not one that departed from Dominican airports on 25 September with flight plans to Venezuela. Paulino Sem said that in one of the aircraft, now under investigation, traces of cocaine were found. Details on the second aircraft have not been given.

The authorities at the La Romana International Airport identified the two pilots of the Aero Commander as Dominican pilot Avelino Astacio Santana, and copilot Diego Armando Leon Rivera, of Colombian nationality. The authorities said that the AC-50, registration HI-560 presented a flight plan for Maracaibo, Venezuela. The plane had been parked at the La Romana airport from where it had arrived five days before from the Aeropuerto International La Isabela (AILI).

As reported, the aircraft had crashlanded in Venezuela, killing two people that reportedly were lighting the way for the clandestine landing. Those who flew in on the plane, including the pilots, fled the scene.

Diario Libre says their sources reveal that the investigation into the flight and crash has already led to the arrest of 10 persons - all are employees at the AILI and LRM airports.

Brigade General Aracenis Castillo de la Cruz, director of Specialized Corps for Airport and Civil Aviation Security (CESAC), in turn said the pilots filed a flight plan for Caracas, Venezuela. He did not reveal details of the occupants of the plane. There is speculation the airplane transported a person who has a judicial case pending in the Dominican Republic.

Authorities continue to investigate who were aboard the Aero Commander 500 that crashlanded on the out-of-service airfield in Dabajuro, Falcon state in Venezuela, killing the two persons identified as Kelvin Wiliam Leal and Venezuelan police officer Enmanuel Ferrer.


Authorities seize two airplanes in narcotics case
The authorities of the Attorney General Office and the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) seized Boeing and Piper airplanes as part of an investigation to explore ties between the aircraft and a Colombian, Jorge Hernan Zapata Villa, who is in pre-trial custody for his alleged ties to a shipment of 800 kilograms of cocaine seized in July 2017 in Boca de Yuma. Others under arrest in the same case are Colombians Domingo Polo Polo, Samir Guerrero Ruda, Carlos Ivan Ortega Castellanos and Max Abraham Dossman, as well as Dominicans Juan Elpidio Olivares Mella, Wilkins Miguel Fernández Contreras and Francis Espino Abud.

The Boeing airplane, registration XA-UJC, was seized at Las Americas International Airport (SDQ), while the Piper aircraft, registration HI-913 was seized at the La Romana International Airport.

The investigation is being carried out by the prosecutors’ office of the La Altagracia province and the Specialized Prosecutors Department of Anti-Asset Laundering and Terrorism Financing, with the collaboration of the DNCD and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the United States.

The men are suspected of being involved in a network that operated out of an undisclosed location in eastern Dominican Republic to introduce large shipments of drugs from South America, utilizing yachts and private airplanes.


Champion sailor saves turtle at sea
2003 Panamerican Games bronze medallist, sailing champion, Dominican Raul Aguayo sighted and participated in the saving of a turtle at sea that was trapped in a net along the coast off Boca Chica. When training at sea on board the Risky Business (an Olson 30), Aguayo and others on board noticed the turtle that could hardly swim as it was tangled in a plastic net. Aguayo explained he had to recycle three times, and fortunately did not lose sight of the turtle. Aguayo and crew were able to grab the net and rescue the turtle that was located near the Multimodal Caucedo Port and later released back to sea.

Aguayo urged Dominicans to be more aware of the risk to the health of key marine species and ecosystems when people toss waste into the sea. “All sea creatures deserve to live. It is up to us to protect their habitats,” he pleaded.


His son could continue Pedro Martínez’s baseball legacy
Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez proudly looked on as his son Pedro Martinez Jr (Pepo) was signed on Wednesday, 24 September 2017, by the Detroit Tigers. Pepo Martinez is the son of Martinez and his first wife, Sandra Mena. He was signed by Al Avila, son of Rafael Avila, the scout who signed his father and uncle Ramon Martinez.

The announcement was made in Santo Domingo during a press conference with the Martinez family and Tom Moore, director of international operations for the Tigers organization.

As reported by ESPN, sources say Martinez is believed to have received a US$800,000 bonus, in addition to student fees, for signing a minor league deal with the Tigers as a third baseman.

After signing, Martinez said: "I wanted to be a professional player and extend the Martinez dynasty. Being part of the Martinez family is a motivation for me. I don’t feel any pressure to uphold the Martinez name. Now I'm going to focus on my career and try to make a name for myself.”

Martinez will graduate from high school from Colegio New Horizons in Santo Domingo in 2018.

Two-time Cy Award winner Pedro Martinez commented: "Today, I feel very proud to be a father, and I am very happy for my son, and thank God for allowing the Martinez legacy to be spread in baseball," he said.


Audrys Nin Reyes in Artistic Gymnastics World Championship
Watch for Dominican Audrys Nin Reyes who is in Montreal to compete in the 47th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships that will be held in Montreal from 2-8 October 2017. He is competing against the best of 80 countries and over 500 athletes.

Follow his performance at:

Pianist Jie Chen and the National Symphony Orchestra concert
The National Symphony Orchestra 2017 Concerts Season continues at the National Theater with the performance on Wednesday, 4 October 2017 at 8:30 pm, of pianist Jie Chen and orchestra conducted by Maestro José Antonio Molina.

Chen is a student of the Shanghai Music Conservatory and the Curtis Music Institute in Philadelphia, USA. She is a winner of numerous awards, including the Arthur Rubinstein Piano Contest and bronze medal at the XV Concurso Internacional de Piano de Santander “Paloma O’Shea.” She will play Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, accompanied by the orchestra.

The National Symphony Orchestra concert will end with the orchestra playing Russian Modest Mussorgsky's most imaginative and frequently performed work, the cycle of piano pieces describing paintings in sound called “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

Tickets are available at the National Theater box office and at the Sinfonia Foundation. http://www.sinfonia.org.do/

Comedy at Teatro Las Mascaras
Showing at the small off-Broadway style theater of the Colonial City, Teatro las Mascaras, is the play “Nosotras que nos queremos tanto” by Brazilian Miguel Falabella.

The play is adapted by Germana Quintana for the local presentation with performances of Dolly Martinez, Montessori Ventua, Marisol marion Landais and Paola Ramos.

The shows are Friday and Saturday at 9:30 pm and Sundays at 6:30 pm. Teatro Las Mascaras is located at Arzobispo Portes 56 in the Colonial City. The theater fills up, so it is best to secure a ticket early or go early. Tickets are RD$500.


Caramelos de Cianuro at Hard Rock Live
On Friday, 6 October 2017, the Venezuelan rock group, Caramelos de Cianuro will be performing at the Hard Rock Live at the Blue Mall in Santo Domingo. Show time is 8pm. Tickets are for sale online at Uepa Tickets for RD$1,523 to RD$3,570 or at the Hard Rock Live box office.

Jarabe de Palo concert
Pau Dones and the Spanish rock group, Jarabe de Palo will be in Santo Domingo as part of their tour. Pau Dones and Jarabe de Palo will perform on Saturday, 7 October, at Hard Rock Live at Blue Mall. Pau Dones will be performing tracks from his most recent album “50 Palos” that was recognized by the Latin Grammy Awards with a nomination to Best Rock Album.
The concert is a benefit for Save the Children.

Pablo Milanes at the Anfiteatro Puerto Plata
The legendary Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo Milanes will be appearing on Saturday, 7 October 2017, in a concert “Canciones para siempre,” with Dominican singer P Pavel Nunez. Showtime is 8:30pm. Tickets are for sale at uepatickets.com with prices from RD$1,500 to RD$5,000.

Treasures of Taino Art at Centro Leon
In Santiago de los Caballeros, the Centro León and Fundación Eduardo León Jimenes present the exhibition “Tesoros del Arte Taíno” on 12 October 2017 at 7pm. The Centro León is located at Av. 27 de Febrero 146, Villa Progreso 51053, Santiago de los Caballeros. Tel 809 582-2315.

Santiago is a city best known for its hospitable people, good restaurants and Latin music dancing places and good medical facilities.