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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Current location: Greenfield
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 02:28 PM
Number of posts: 57,076

About Me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chqi8m4CEEY   https://youtu.be/DvCrDIPSEM4

Journal Archives

In Puerto Rico, acute shortages plunge the masses into survival struggle

Source: Reuters

#U.S.OCTOBER 1, 2017 / 3:29 PM / UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO

Robin Respaut, Nick Brown

FAJARDO, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - Brian Jimenez had burned through dwindling supplies of scarce gasoline on a 45-minute drive in search of somewhere to fill his grandmother’s blood thinner prescription. He ended up in Fajardo, a scruffy town of strip malls on Puerto Rico’s northeastern tip, where a line of 400 waited outside a Walmart.

The store had drawn desperate crowds of storm victims who had heard it took credit or debit cards and offered customers $20 cash back – a lifeline in an increasingly cashless society. Store employees allowed customers in, one by one, for rationed shopping trips of 15 minutes each.

Then, at noon, the store closed after its generator croaked and before Jimenez could get inside to buy his grandmother’s medicine.

“Every day we say, ‘What’s the thing that we need the most today?’ and then we wait in a line for that,” said Jimenez, a 24-year-old medical student from Ponce, on the island’s southern coast.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-puertorico-survival/in-puerto-rico-acute-shortages-plunge-the-masses-into-survival-struggle-idUSKCN1C61SZ

Pentagon: More than half of Puerto Ricans without access to drinking water

Source: The Hill


The number of Puerto Ricans without access to drinking water has risen sharply, the Defense Department announced on Saturday.

Fifty-five percent of the population did not have access to drinking water, the Pentagon said in a Saturday press release.

The military said last week that 44 percent of the island did not have access to drinking water.

A Navy hospital ship is expected to reach the island on Wednesday, the Pentagon said.

Read more: http://thehill.com/latino/353347-pentagon-55-percent-of-puerto-ricans-have-no-access-to-drinking-water

DoD Accelerates Hurricane Relief, Response Efforts in Puerto Rico

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2017 — The Defense Department is accelerating relief operations and the deployment of additional response capacity to Puerto Rico to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency's need for a comprehensive commodities distribution network able to reach isolated communities and provide sustained medical support for the island’s residents, Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement this morning.

In San Juan, Puerto Rico National Guardsmen load pallets of food and water onto an UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter for distribution to Orocovis, Puerto Rico, Sept. 29, 2017. The National Guard has partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other state and federal agencies in response and relief operations for Hurricane Maria. Air National Guard photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Michelle Y. Alvarez-Rea
In San Juan, Puerto Rico National Guardsmen load pallets of food and water onto an UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter for distribution to Orocovis, Puerto Rico, Sept. 29, 2017. The National Guard has partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other state and federal agencies in response and relief operations for Hurricane Maria. Air National Guard photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Michelle Y. Alvarez-Rea
Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, who’s in command of the DoD response effort in Puerto Rico, is working with FEMA and service components to get distribution priorities right, Davis said.

Buchanan, assisted by his deputy, Army Brig. Gen. Richard C. Kim, assessed that the planned force flow will build the capacity necessary to support Hurricane Maria response priorities, the spokesman said.

Army Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, Chief of Engineers and commanding general of the Army Corps of Engineers, is also in Puerto Rico overseeing the temporary power project, electrical distribution repairs and infrastructure improvements, Davis said.

The Navy amphibious assault ship USS Wasp is now involved in response operations in and around Puerto Rico, the spokesman said.

Davis provided the following updates and details of hurricane relief operations in Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the Caribbean region:

Puerto Rico Situational Update

-- FEMA reports assessments completed at 64 of 69 hospitals; 59 are partially or fully operational; five unassessed facilities are psychiatric hospitals that do not provide emergency care.

-- Forty-five percent of customers have access to drinking water. Ninety-five percent of customers remain without power; power has been restored to San Juan airport and marine terminals.

-- Eight hundred and fifty-one of 1,100 retail gas stations have reopened and purchase limits have been lifted. Forty-nine percent of grocery and big box stores are open.

-- Erosion repairs to the Guajataca Dam are scheduled to begin Oct. 1-2.

-- The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort departed Norfolk, Virginia, yesterday and it is estimated to arrive in Puerto Rico on Oct. 4.

-- Five of six FEMA-priority sea ports are open or open with restrictions; surveys of Ponce and Roosevelt Roads are ongoing.

U.S. Virgin Islands Situational Update

-- An assessment of the main hospital on St. Thomas will be completed today.

Details of DoD Response in Puerto Rico

-- U.S. Northern Command is deploying enhanced logistics capacity, centered on commodity distribution and medical support, and designed around a sustainment brigade. Northcom is flowing five force packages into Puerto Rico focused on logistics, tilt/rotary wing lift, and medical units. Force Package 1 is on the ground with leadership in Puerto Rico for planning and assessment. Force Packages 2 and 3 will deliver logistical units and associated command and control and is deploying. Force Package 4 will follow and deliver helicopters, aviation command-and-control elements and medical units. Force Package 5 will deploy next and provide more robust medical capacity.

-- The USS Wasp, carrying three MH-60 helicopters, is en route to Puerto Rico and will embark 10 additional aircraft. The Marine Corps has identified eight additional MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and two KC-130 fixed-wing aircraft that will self-deploy to support operations on Puerto Rico.

-- U.S. military helicopters moved 3 HHS Disaster Medical Assistance Teams with 12,500 pounds of equipment to Mayaguez, Arecibo, and Ponce from Roosevelt Roads to support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ “hub-and-spoke” concept for the delivery of medical care. Seven federal medical stations will be co-located with each of the seven hospitals identified as ‘hub’ hospitals.

-- The Guajataca Dam spillway continues to erode; immediate risk reduction measures are ongoing to stabilize the dam spillway. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports two to three inches of rain has fallen, and an additional two to four inches each day over the next two days is possible.

-- U.S. Transportation Command will deliver super sandbags for spillway stabilization today; sandbag installation will follow on or about Oct. 1.

Foreign Disaster Assistance

-- U.S. Southern Command’s Joint Task Force Leeward Islands continues evacuations on Dominica. Following the evacuation of priority U.S. citizen medical cases, the Hurricane Response Task Force will transition to on-call status today.



Kamala Harris: NFL players 'should not be threatened or bullied' for protests

Source: The Hill


Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on Sunday defended NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice, saying they should not be "threatened or bullied."

"Let’s speak the truth that when Americans demand recognition that their lives matter, or kneel to call attention to injustice, that that is an expression of free speech, protected by our Constitution, and they should not be threatened or bullied," Harris said in her first comments about the NFL protests during an appearance at the First Congregational Church in Atlanta.

"When we sing 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' we rightly think about the brave men and women from all backgrounds who proudly defend the freedom of those they may never meet and people who will never know their names. When we sing 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' we also think about those marching in the streets who demand that the ideals of that flag represent them too," she continued.

Harris's comments come after President Trump said last month that NFL players who kneel during the anthem should be fired.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/353345-kamala-harris-nfl-players-should-not-be-threatened-or-bullied-for-protests

Islanders cut off from world: 'We've lost everything'

I have a home, family and friends on this island, Vieques Island (7 miles off the SE coast of the main island, PR); I've been worried sick about all of it. At the link for this article, there is a 5 minute video. -- Don

By Bill Weir, CNN
Updated 8:04 AM ET, Thu September 28, 2017

Vieques, Puerto Rico (CNN)The island of Vieques is just seven miles from Puerto Rico. Right now, it might as well be 7,000.

It's been destroyed by Hurricane Maria. And almost entirely cut off.
For seven days, Vieques' people have been watching stocks of food, water and fuel dwindle while they've been in a black hole of no information. Now, crowds line up in the main square to touch the outside world.

On the first private flight in after the storm, resident and aid organizer Robert Becker brought in a bag full of satellite phones and residents wait for two hours in 90-degree heat for their turn to talk to a loved one.

It's their first chance to say I'm alive, the kids are alive. Or to share the shockingly awful conditions that they are trying to survive.

"We're running out of food and water," one woman sobs. "We lost everything."
No gas. No food. No power. Puerto Ricans fear their future


Zuckerberg asks for forgiveness amid reports of Facebook's role in elections

Source: The Hill


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a Saturday evening post to the social media platform asked for “forgiveness" amid the controversy surrounding the company over its political advertising.

“Tonight concludes Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews when we reflect on the past year and ask forgiveness for our mistakes. For those I hurt this year, I ask forgiveness and I will try to be better,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post.

“For the ways my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together, I ask forgiveness and I will work to do better," he wrote. "May we all be better in the year ahead, and may you all be inscribed in the book of life.”

Facebook last month admitted Russians who may have been connected to the Kremlin purchased ads on the platform during the 2016 presidential race, news that riled liberal groups and lawmakers.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/353335-zuckerberg-asks-for-forgiveness-amid-reports-of-facebooks-role-in-elections

Corker Says He Stands By Harsh Criticism Of Trump After Charlottesville

Source: Talking Points Memo

By ESME CRIBB Published OCTOBER 1, 2017 12:21 PM

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who announced last month that he will not run for reelection, on Sunday said he stands by his criticism of President Donald Trump’s response to violence that broke out at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Corker in August said Trump had “not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.”

“He has not demonstrated that he understands what has made this nation great and what it is today, and he’s got to demonstrate the characteristics of a president who understands that,” Corker said at the time.

“Look, I stand by those comments,” Corker said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.” Corker said he does not “make comments like that without thinking about them.”

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/bob-corker-says-he-stands-by-criticism-trump-charlottesville

By the numbers: Hurricane Maria damage, recovery in Puerto Rico

Source: USA Today

Oren Dorell, USA TODAY Published 11:16 p.m. ET Sept. 30, 2017 | Updated 6:45 a.m. ET Oct. 1, 2017

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — As of Saturday morning, here's what we know about hurricane recovery in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, which has a population of 3.4 million.

• Death toll: 16

• Gasoline stations open: 714 of 1,100

• Amount of fuel on the island: 600,000 barrels of diesel and 722,000 barrels of gasoline. Converted to gallons, that's 25.2 million gallons of diesel, 30.3 million gallons of gas but getting the fuel to where it's needed most is a problem because of debris and washed-out roads. Electricity to operate gas pumps also is an issue.

• Electric customers with power: 5%

• Supermarkets open: 224 of 456

• Pharmacies open: 337

• Municipalities visited and provided with emergency supplies: 78 (all of them)

• Staging areas across the island for food, water and other supplies: 11

• Shelters open: 150

• Hospitals open: 51 of 69

• Hospitals connected to the electric grid: 9

Source: Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, status.pr. Follow Oren Dorell on Twitter: @OrenDorell


Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2017/09/30/puerto-rico-by-the-numbers/720731001/#

Ted Lieu demands feds revoke Jared Kushner's security clearance: 'Being stupid' is a 'danger to...

Ted Lieu demands feds revoke Jared Kushner’s security clearance: ‘Being stupid’ is a ‘danger to America’


Joy Reid panel says it out loud - Trump's racist neglect of Puerto Rico is 'intentional'

‘Pure malice’: Joy Reid panel says it out loud — Trump’s racist neglect of Puerto Rico is ‘intentional’


White House aide: Trump administration spent 'entire weekend' working on Puerto Rico

Source: The Hill


President Trump’s chief economic advisor on Sunday emphasized the Trump administration’s commitment to helping Puerto Rico, saying it has “spent the entire weekend” focused on the disaster relief efforts for the islands.

“I just want to reiterate how involved the administration continues to be,” Gary Cohn said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Cohn, who came on the show to discuss the new Republican tax plan, said he wanted to begin by discussing Puerto Rico. “We’ve spent the entire weekend, as we have last weekend, working on Puerto Rico, making sure we’re out saving lives, sustaining lives. And making sure everyone in Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is taken care of. The United States has gone through extraordinary efforts to delivery goods to the islands," he said.

The administration is under scrutiny as the island struggles amid power outages, destroyed infrastructure and water shortages. Cohn said the administration is “working full speed ahead” to help the island, which was battered by two hurricanes last month.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/353326-white-house-aide-trump-admin-spent-entire-weekend-working-on-puerto
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