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Tags hurricanes , natural disasters , Puerto Rico incidents

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Old 13th November 2017, 07:55 AM   #361
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Originally Posted by rwguinn View Post
Why is Puerto Rico still in the news? I mean, hundreds of people i know have sent truckloads of prayers that way...

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Well, duh! They are using trucks to deliver their prayers! IT'S AN ISLAND! Prayers take longer to get there.
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Old 13th November 2017, 08:08 AM   #362
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Originally Posted by Civet View Post
Any word on who replaced Whitefish? PREPA always indicated that part of the reason they were chosen was difficulty finding and affording other contractors. I'm curious as to how they're resolving that problem.
How would they know, the story was always the contract whitefish was up for was not put up for bid to anyone else.
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Old 13th November 2017, 08:13 AM   #363
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Forgot to include link: TJX has 29 stores in PR, including TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Homegoods, and all employees getting paid despite closed stores.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/07/us/tjm...rricanes-trnd/
Pretty sure that would be standard here in the EU.
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Old 13th November 2017, 08:27 AM   #364
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Originally Posted by rwguinn View Post
Why is Puerto Rico still in the news? I mean, hundreds of people i know have sent truckloads of prayers that way...

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They were probably tasty. There's a lot of people there, though, and trucks take time to get from place to place and unload.

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
How would they know, the story was always the contract whitefish was up for was not put up for bid to anyone else.
Not put up for bid?

Quote:
PREPA made headlines recently for awarding a couple of large contracts that would have spent a lot of FEMA’s money, apparently without the agency’s approval. The first was a $300-million deal with a two-person operation based in Montana called Whitefish Energy that has since been cancelled and is under investigation. Just a few days later PREPA awarded a second questionable contract to pay Cobra Acquisitions, a subsidiary of Oklahoma City–based Mammoth Energy, $200 million even though the small firm has little experience with disaster recovery. The power utility has since turned to utilities in New York State and Florida, whose services FEMA will help pay for. Public and private utilities in New York have already pledged to send 350 utility personnel and 220 vehicles, with more to follow.
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Old 13th November 2017, 08:41 AM   #365
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
How would they know, the story was always the contract whitefish was up for was not put up for bid to anyone else.
Even though the contract was never put out for open bids, PREPA always claimed that they'd had talks with other firms and that they wanted a lot of upfront money that PREPA didn't have. PREPA never gave a convincing explanation for why they didn't use the mutual aid option before and, from the link in the post from Aridas, it looks like they're doing that now.
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Old 13th November 2017, 02:48 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Pretty sure that would be standard here in the EU.
What do you mean? Is it somehow mandated or commonly done voluntarily?
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Old 13th November 2017, 11:05 PM   #367
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
What do you mean? Is it somehow mandated or commonly done voluntarily?
A bit of both IMO.

If you're employed then you will receive payment for your contracted hours.

There are a some people on "zero hours" contracts (where no contracted guaranteed hours have given) but that's only in a few countries (the UK is one) and for a small proportion of the workforce.

Laying people off would require the employer to follow the right process which would take a significant period of time.

The reputational damage for a large employer who chose to lay off workers in these circumstances would be considerable and so IMO would likely not happen.
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Old 14th November 2017, 05:36 AM   #368
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10% of the people have clean water, the military thinks that is enough to declare mission accomplished. And in the Trump administration 10% success is an A+ rating.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/lt-gene...ins-departure/
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Old 14th November 2017, 09:53 AM   #369
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
A bit of both IMO.

If you're employed then you will receive payment for your contracted hours.

There are a some people on "zero hours" contracts (where no contracted guaranteed hours have given) but that's only in a few countries (the UK is one) and for a small proportion of the workforce.

Laying people off would require the employer to follow the right process which would take a significant period of time.

The reputational damage for a large employer who chose to lay off workers in these circumstances would be considerable and so IMO would likely not happen.
Huh. Retail employees in an American outfit (excluding executives and some managers) are usually paid by the hour for work performed. You log in and log out at your place of employment, and are paid for those hours only. Layoffs are effortless, employers basically say 'buh-bye' while they hand you your last check. In dog-eat-dog corporate America, I don't think TJX had any obligations to pay anyone for work not performed, and would generally not be expected to, so I find that their voluntary paying employees who are not working very impressive.
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Old 14th November 2017, 09:57 AM   #370
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Huh. Retail employees in an American outfit (excluding executives and some managers) are usually paid by the hour for work performed. You log in and log out at your place of employment, and are paid for those hours only. Layoffs are effortless, employers basically say 'buh-bye' while they hand you your last check. In dog-eat-dog corporate America, I don't think TJX had any obligations to pay anyone for work not performed, and would generally not be expected to, so I find that their voluntary paying employees who are not working very impressive.
Yes, bearing in mind US employment legislation, TJX are behaving above and beyond. EU employment legislation is very different.
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Old 21st November 2017, 02:21 AM   #371
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Hadn't heard anything in the UK media about Puerto Rico for a while. This came up on the BBC website, it doesn't sound great

Quote:
An energy firm is halting work restoring power in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico in a dispute over pay.

Whitefish Energy says payments have been delayed from Puerto Rico's bankrupt power authority.
No indication in the story about what proportion of people have electricity and water. If this is an A+, I shudder to think what D- performance looks like


edited to add.....

More information from Slate - no doubt #FakeNews

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_a...erto_rico.html

Quote:
he unrelenting electrical issues seem like a cruel farce to residents. Minutes after the governor announced in a press conference Wednesday that electric generation had reached 50 percent, a power outage affected the north of the island, crippling San Juan and forcing the closure of several shopping centers, where those living without power or air conditioning shop and take refuge. On Nov. 8, there was another interruption on that same power line, which curiously was one serviced by the controversial Whitefish Energy Holdings. The Status.pr page states that power generation was up to 46.6 percent of capacity as of Monday. But generation is one thing; distribution is another.
Quote:
Those with chronic health conditions who are dying for lack of proper care are not counted as official hurricane deaths, but the island’s forensics institute reported 472 more deaths in September compared with the previous year.
Quote:
An estimated 150,000 Puerto Ricans have already left, with an estimated 2,000 arriving every day in central Florida. These American citizens should constitute a formidable voting bloc in future elections.
w.r.t. to the last, if this continues, I expect the GOP to attempt to restrict the rights of Puerto Ricans to reside in the "Real" US.

edited again to add.....

Here's a link to the Puerto Rico current status:

http://status.pr/

Why isn't this a big news story ?

Last edited by The Don; 21st November 2017 at 02:28 AM.
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Old 21st November 2017, 03:51 AM   #372
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The claim of nearly 50% power does not ring true.

Mrs. qg's PT was in today and tells us her son's buildings still do not have power.

I have mentioned before that she had told me he lives 3 miles north of San Juan. I got her to show me exactly where on a map.

This was somewhat deceptive. She was apparently estimating the distance from downtown San Juan. A better description would be residential/commercial suburb just beyond the city limits of SJ, which are a few blocks to the west and to the south. There is no discernible transition. This is not rural, or a slum area or disadvantaged. It is prime res/commercial territory close to the beaches.

To see it on Google Maps, use this link. He has several buildings on Calle Perez, and another a couple of blocks to the west. Please check out the link. Zoom out. Cursor around a bit. Switch to satellite and street view. Get an idea of the proximity of this location to the center of San Juan, and the sort of neighbor hood it is.

The status page linked to above claims they have nearly 50% power restored, nearly 75% phone, and nearly 65% cell. That's for the entire island, by the way.

Her son has none of these yet.

He told her that a main drag some blocks west of them with lots of stores and other businesses got power late last week. None of his buildings either on Calle Perez or Calle Delbrey do. He is still using generators, and having to travel to get within range of a cell tower.

As far as interruptions are concerned, he has yet to have had any power restored to be interrupted.

The numbers we are getting from their officials and our news sources are somewhat suspicious to me.
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Last edited by quadraginta; 21st November 2017 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 21st November 2017, 04:31 AM   #373
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
The claim of nearly 50% power does not ring true.
My understanding is that the 50% has nothing to do with customers, it is generating capacity that is back on line.
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Old 21st November 2017, 07:23 AM   #374
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
My understanding is that the 50% has nothing to do with customers, it is generating capacity that is back on line.
That's my understanding too....
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Old 21st November 2017, 10:21 AM   #375
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Hadn't heard anything in the UK media about Puerto Rico for a while.
Nothing in the US media, either. They have the attention span of a gnat.
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Old 21st November 2017, 11:16 AM   #376
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Nothing in the US media, either. They have the attention span of a gnat.
Hey that is not entirely true, look how long they managed to stretch Benghazi out to. That takes some serious talent.
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Old 21st November 2017, 11:23 AM   #377
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The Whitefish story is in the news here in the US. It's confusing since most people remember hearing that the odd contract with Whitefish was cancelled a while ago.
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Old 21st November 2017, 11:32 AM   #378
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Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
The Whitefish story is in the news here in the US. It's confusing since most people remember hearing that the odd contract with Whitefish was cancelled a while ago.
Yeah, more people seem interested in the whiff of political scandal than in U.S. citizens in month three without power and water.
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Old 21st November 2017, 11:36 AM   #379
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Yeah, more people seem interested in the whiff of political scandal than in U.S. citizens in month three without power and water.
It would be a much bigger deal that far fewer citizens if they were real Americans, say rural white people. If it was say the entire state of wyoming(much smaller in population than those without power and water) it would be a serious problem.
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Old 21st November 2017, 11:47 AM   #380
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
It would be a much bigger deal that far fewer citizens if they were real Americans, say rural white people. If it was say the entire state of wyoming(much smaller in population than those without power and water) it would be a serious problem.
Yes, because they'd have seats in Congress and the Senate, and Electoral College votes.
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Old 21st November 2017, 11:51 AM   #381
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Yes, because they'd have seats in Congress and the Senate, and Electoral College votes.
Being 85% white also is a major benefit.
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Old 21st November 2017, 01:25 PM   #382
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
My understanding is that the 50% has nothing to do with customers, it is generating capacity that is back on line.
Originally Posted by The Don View Post
That's my understanding too....

You're right. Which means that we really don't know what that tells us about households and businesses with power restored.

At the end of last month they had put that at 30%. This was before these most recent outages.

I can't seem to find any more recent figures for that view of the progress of power restoration.
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Old 21st November 2017, 01:54 PM   #383
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
My understanding is that the 50% has nothing to do with customers, it is generating capacity that is back on line.
From a Slate article yesterday,

Quote:
The Status.pr page states that power generation was up to 46.6 percent of capacity as of Monday. But generation is one thing; distribution is another.
So yes.

Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Nothing in the US media, either. They have the attention span of a gnat.
NBC News has either continuously or near continuously kept one or more articles directly linked to on their homepage. ABC has one at the moment about Whitefish on their homepage, but hasn't had as much coverage, to my recollection. CNN has nothing at the moment on their homepage, but... what they link to and focus on seems to be a bit like a hyperactive child, lately.
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Old 21st November 2017, 02:33 PM   #384
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Yeah, more people seem interested in the whiff of political scandal than in U.S. citizens in month three without power and water.
Yes that, but I was under the impression that Whitefish was not working on the power grid in PR anymore since the contract was cancelled. Was surprised to hear that they are still working in PR on the power grid.

We can only hope that better preparations are put in place to deal with a catastrophic hurricane once PR recovers from this.

Perhaps put the power grid underground, or at least put critical parts of it underground, and have more backup gens on critical infrastructure. Maybe have underground emergency fuel and water storage.

FEMA should have some supplies and equipment in place for PR when hurricane season starts, since PR has a 1,000 mile handicap of distance over water.

We have all the power lines above ground where I live, and the power is knocked out so easily. We always wonder why they don't put it underground. It would be difficult to change our grid, of course, but PR has a chance to make some big changes since the grid was largely destroyed anyway and needs to be rebuilt.
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Old 21st November 2017, 07:55 PM   #385
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Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
Yes that, but I was under the impression that Whitefish was not working on the power grid in PR anymore since the contract was cancelled. Was surprised to hear that they are still working in PR on the power grid.
As I am reading it, Whitefish was to complete the elements they were working on to create a logical and safe starting point for the replacement contractor/s to resume.

Quote:
We can only hope that better preparations are put in place to deal with a catastrophic hurricane once PR recovers from this.

Perhaps put the power grid underground, or at least put critical parts of it underground, and have more backup gens on critical infrastructure. Maybe have underground emergency fuel and water storage.

FEMA should have some supplies and equipment in place for PR when hurricane season starts, since PR has a 1,000 mile handicap of distance over water.

We have all the power lines above ground where I live, and the power is knocked out so easily. We always wonder why they don't put it underground. It would be difficult to change our grid, of course, but PR has a chance to make some big changes since the grid was largely destroyed anyway and needs to be rebuilt.
Much higher initial costs, risks of unseen damages and higher difficulty in troubleshooting problems/repairs. PR is already pretty broke; a higher-end upgrade may not be in their budget.
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Old 29th November 2017, 03:23 AM   #386
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Puerto Rico is still a mess..

http://status.pr/

Presumably they'd be getting way more attention if they weren't so brown. Still cannot understand why the Trump Administration isn't being hauled over the coals for this by the Democratic Party - unless there are just too many things to get annoyed about and this is just one of them.

Maybe that's the new template for the future. If you screw up a couple of things, you provide a something for your opponents to attack you with, screw up everything and you're fine.....
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Old 29th November 2017, 03:46 AM   #387
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It's almost as if an unprecedented disaster occurred where every single electrical wire was ripped out of every single home, business, and building. Why haven't thousands of power company trucks descended on the island and run and hooked up thousands of miles of power cables? Why wasn't this tiny feat accomplished within hours after the last raindrop fell?
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Old 29th November 2017, 03:56 AM   #388
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Originally Posted by Wolrab View Post
It's almost as if an unprecedented disaster occurred where every single electrical wire was ripped out of every single home, business, and building. Why haven't thousands of power company trucks descended on the island and run and hooked up thousands of miles of power cables? Why wasn't this tiny feat accomplished within hours after the last raindrop fell?

Affluent, populous suburbs and business districts on the very edge of the city limits of San Juan remain without power more than two months after the hurricane passed. The rest of the island is faring about as well as one might expect using that as a baseline.

How does that reality compare with your flippant, exaggerated characterization?

ETA: CNN offered this yesterday.
Quote:
Puerto Rico's leaders don't know who has power. We tried to find out.

San Juan, Puerto Rico (CNN)Towns and communities across Puerto Rico are entirely without power, more than six weeks after Hurricane Maria.

The island's leadership is touting restoration figures that show nearly 40% of electricity generation has resumed -- but it doesn't say how much of that power is actually reaching homes, schools and hospitals.
Officials from the government and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) don't even know how many people have power for lights, air conditioners, refrigerators and other basic necessities.
So, while some power plants can generate power, the ability to transmit it to homes may not be possible in some areas.

One of the union leaders for PREPA employees, Evans Castro Aponte, was hearing things were so bad he estimated just 5% of customers have electricity. That would leave 95% of the 3.4 million Americans on the island without any power unless they can run costly and loud generators that have become difficult to find on the island.
With no reliable government information, CNN tried to contact each of the 78 municipalities in Puerto Rico, which are coordinating their own recoveries.
Most calls simply did not go through. Along with so much here, communication is intermittent at best.
Some 42 of the municipalities could not be contacted.
Of the 36 towns we did reach, 10 said they had 0% power restoration. Others estimated 1, 2, 10, perhaps 20% of homes, businesses and amenities had electricity. Just four regions reported that they were more than half back on line -- Ponce and Guayanilla with 60% of residents with power; San Germán, where 75% of buildings have electricity; and Culebra -- an island off Puerto Rico that's home to just fewer than 2,000 people, where the mayor said 90% had power.
Humacao, an area where almost 54,000 live, has no power. Las Piedras, home to nearly 40,000, has no power. The same story for Loiza, where 30,000 live. And the list goes on and on, six weeks after the blackout.

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Last edited by quadraginta; 29th November 2017 at 04:15 AM.
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Old 29th November 2017, 04:06 AM   #389
ponderingturtle
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Originally Posted by Wolrab View Post
It's almost as if an unprecedented disaster occurred where every single electrical wire was ripped out of every single home, business, and building. Why haven't thousands of power company trucks descended on the island and run and hooked up thousands of miles of power cables? Why wasn't this tiny feat accomplished within hours after the last raindrop fell?
Hell we can't even get them tarps after months.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-fema-contract

At least we can raise business costs there and make the situation worse and fully destroy any hope they have of any kind of recovery. By adding a 20% tax on goods manufactured there.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...ll-storm-recov
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Old 29th November 2017, 05:02 AM   #390
Wolrab
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Quote:
The company’s deployment of their emergency response plan and recovery strategy reconnected critical portions of the nation’s energy infrastructure and 1.9 million customers by Oct. 15, a first step in saving much of the Gulf Coast region from an economic death spiral.
http://www.elp.com/articles/powergri...urricanes.html


Yeah. It's because the people are brown.
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Old 6th December 2017, 04:42 AM   #391
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Bump !

Still a mess:

http://status.pr/

President Trump and his administration have a strange definition of A+ but of course it's being completely ignored by the media. If I was in Puerto Rico I'd also be wondering why I haven't heard a single peep out of a prominent Democratic Party politician for weeks.
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Old 16th December 2017, 10:09 PM   #392
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Some more reporting on the hot mess that is Puerto Rico's power situation. They did bring in a heavyweight contractor after ditching Whitefish, but the new guys cost a whole lot more (like an extra $200 million) and the job is still largely undone. The feds and the local authorities are still getting a lot less negative press coverage than I think they would if this was happening on the mainland.
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Old 11th January 2018, 07:55 AM   #393
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https://forward.com/fast-forward/391...se-of-the-jew/

That won't help...
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Old 11th January 2018, 08:15 AM   #394
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del
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"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."

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Old 11th January 2018, 08:21 AM   #395
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Quote:
El Nuevo Día has since added an editorial note to the top of the article that apologizes to the island’s Jewish community, adding, “we do not promote content that can be interpreted as anti-Semitic.”Read more: https://forward.com/fast-forward/391...se-of-the-jew/
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Old 13th March 2018, 08:52 AM   #396
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Interesting write-up:
Rebuilding Puerto Rico’s Power Grid: The Inside Story
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Old 24th March 2018, 05:06 AM   #397
dann
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Next Wednesday, March 28, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee has a show about Puerto Rico.

Other, fairly recent, comedy news shows about the theme:

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (Apr. 24, 2016. Yes, before the hurricane! About Puerto Rico's debt crisis!)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (Oct. 2, 2017):
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Sep. 28, 2017):
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

The Opposition with Jordan Klepper (Oct. 2, 2017):
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

The Opposition with Jordan Klepper (Nov. 13, 2017):
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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Old 6th April 2018, 11:13 AM   #398
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Puerto Rico closing 283 schools over sharp drop in enrollment (CNN, Apr. 6, 2018)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 27th June 2018, 11:53 PM   #399
Aridas
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More blatant racism as the Trump Administration tries to justify neglecting Puerto Rico.

Quote:
Then consider the 1980 clarification: “[G]reater benefits could disrupt the Puerto Rican economy.” The Supreme Court of the United States accepted a racist generalization about the propensity of Puerto Ricans to work and provide for their families as a rational basis for denying them the same federal benefits as stateside Americans.

The Trump administration—specifically, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar—is now attempting to use that same reasoning to defend against a new version of this challenge to a status quo that never should have been established. Filed April 13, the complaint—brought by Sixta Glays Peña Martínez—challenges Puerto Rico’s exclusion from SSI and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits as well as Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidies under the Equal Protection Clause.
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Old 18th July 2018, 09:47 PM   #400
Aridas
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FEMA admits the obvious in new report—it completely failed in its response to Hurricane Maria

On the "upside" -

Quote:
On Thursday, FEMA released its official after-action report about the agency’s response to Hurricane Maria. Surprisingly, they publicly admitted to what Puerto Ricans know all too well—that the agency failed to properly respond to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Category 4 hurricane on the island almost ten months ago.
On the downside...

Quote:
It’s great that FEMA is owning up to its mistakes. But the transparency is too little, too late and doesn’t actually do anything to help Puerto Rico continue to rebuild. The agency is still trying to throw displaced hurricane victims out of the hotels they are temporarily housed in. And the island is right in the middle of hurricane season, with possible hurricanes on the way—which no one is ready or prepared for. Moreover, Donald Trump has not once admitted that he lied about the response in Puerto Rico, previously playing down the extent of the damage, praising FEMA for its response and saying that the disaster was not “a real catastrophe like Katrina.” And, of course, Puerto Ricans and the rest of us won’t forget that he blamed Puerto Ricans for being lazy, wanting a handout and for “throwing the budget out of whack.”
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