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Author: Hannah Cartwright

COUNTing Deaths: Congress works to legislate on death tolls

The official number of deaths caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico has been under investigation for months. It wasn’t long after the hurricane had passed that there were whispers of a scandal. How was it possible that so few people died in such a big disaster? How could it be that the death count number was so low, when social media was full of posts of people desperately searching for loved ones lost, and possibly dead, because of the hurricane? How could it be possible that on an archipelago without power and access to clean water for so...

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The controversy over the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics, in context

In order for a government to function openly and transparently, there are certain institutions that must be run without partisan interference. Puerto Rico’s government has been under fire for years over its lack of transparency and corruption. However, the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics (PRIS) has long been applauded for its role in improving transparency on the islands. In spite of it’s prestige, the Rosselló administration has made moves to close the Institute. In early April, Puerto Rico’s Senate approved a plan for reorganizing and restructuring the Institute, along with several other government agencies. The plan is aimed at...

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The eco-friendly group that wants to help rebuild Puerto Rico

Have you ever heard of an Earthship? They are eco-friendly self sufficient houses designed by architect Michael Reynolds of Taos, New Mexico. They are made from natural and recycled materials, use thermal and solar technology for heating and cooling, use solar and wind energy for power, built in water harvesting, and a contained sewage treatment. Plus they can support agriculture and be made to be earthquake proof and hurricane proof.   They are now being built in Puerto Rico as part of a sustainable community project El Colectivo Verdolaga. Founder, Lauralina Melendez and her family moved to Puerto Rico...

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Puerto Rico’s best school celebrates 50 years

In the midst of Puerto Rico’s political and financial woes, an unusual school witnessed an important milestone. Puerto Rico’s CROEM school celebrated its 50th anniversary. CROEM is the (Spanish language) acronym for the Residential Center of Educative Opportunities of Mayagüez. The school is a specialized boarding high school that attracts high achieving students in science and mathematics from all over the islands. I reached out to CROEM teacher Elba M. Sepúlveda to learn more about the school and it’s unique students and history. She has been working there since the 1991-92 school year and has many observations about the...

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The loan, the board, and PREPA

The loan On Monday February 19, a Federal Judge approved a loan of $300 million to support Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority (PREPA). The loan was approved after Judge Laura Taylor Swain ruled against a $1 billion loan request made by the company on the ground that there was not enough evidence that the company needed the money. However, the judge gave a caveat that the parties would be able to submit another loan request not larger than $300 million. This advice was followed, and the $300 million loan was approved.   Why does PREPA need such a big...

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  1. Martin Luther King, Jr. 90th Birthday Celebration in Atlanta

    January 18, 2019 @ 9:00 am - January 21, 2019 @ 9:00 pm EST