Governor’s Politics Are Interfering With an Already Slow Recovery in Puerto Rico

first_imgGovernor’s Politics Are Interfering With an Already Slow Recovery in Puerto Rico FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享E&E News:The outlook for the restoration of Puerto Rico’s ravaged power grid took a backward step after Gov. Ricardo Rosselló hinted he would challenge the appointment of an emergency manager for grid recovery that was announced Wednesday by the bankrupt island’s federal oversight board.The Puerto Rico Financial Oversight and Management Board, which Congress established to oversee the U.S. territory’s fiscal crisis, had moved to wrest control of the halting grid recovery efforts away from the island’s utility, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which reports to Rosselló.But in a combative statement following that announcement Wednesday, Rosselló asserted that the management of Puerto Rico’s public companies “rests exclusively on democratically elected officials,” potentially setting the stage for a legal tussle over the utility’s future.The board picked its revitalization coordinator, Noel Zamot, a retired Air Force colonel and native Puerto Rican, to serve as “chief transformation officer” for emergency power restoration and future, undefined efforts to build a more modern, resilient power network on the island.If the governor takes the issue to court, it will set up conflict with the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), enacted by Congress in June 2016.If the governor battles the federal oversight board’s choice for new leadership at PREPA, it will get no support from PREPA’s electricity workers’ union, the Unión de Trabajadores de la Industria Eléctrica y Riego (UTIER).The head of the union, Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo, said in an email that federal overseers are legally able to unseat PREPA’s board and its CEO. “This action by [PROMESA] confirms UTIER’s denunciations of the bad management, corruption and incompetence of the management and of Ricardo Ramos during the emergency occasioned by Hurricane Maria,” Jaramillo wrote.Tom Sanzillo, finance director for the Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis in Puerto Rico, a business and environmental advocacy group, said “I think the board’s authority to do this [appoint Zamot] is pretty explicit.”The PROMESA legislation gave the oversight board authority to oversee Puerto Rico’s “public agencies,” which would define PREPA.Rosselló needs to see the oversight board as his partner, not his opponent, Sanzillo added.“There are times when a governor has to draw a line” with Washington, said Sanzillo, former acting comptroller of the state of New York. “But this is a fight over something that screams out for oversight. He’s trying to defend a system that has produced one bad contract and one bad decision after another. He’s just wrong.”More: Tensions build over control of Puerto Rico utilitylast_img read more

‘J-Bo’ draws praise from Bo with play

first_imgFor the Wisconsin men’s basketball team, this season has been as highly anticipated as any in its history. The Badgers received the No. 9 ranking in both preseason polls and were ranked fourth in the country by CBS sports. Senior forward Alando Tucker has received just about every preseason award a player can, and senior guard Kammron Taylor was also named as a candidate for the John R. Wooden award, given at the end of the year to the nation’s best player. “I don’t read too much into it right now,” said UW head coach Bo Ryan of his players’ performances so far this year. “You get opportunities, and every coach, whether it’s an offensive coordinator or defensive coordinator [in football], or a head coach in basketball, you put guys into positions, and either they perform or show that they’re ready to get more out of their performance, or they’re not quite ready yet.”Although Ryan is reluctant to draw many conclusions from the season so far, a few things have already become apparent. Taylor and Tucker have shouldered the scoring load, leading all Wisconsin players in the season-opener with 21 and 20 points, respectively. While the contributions of these two players have been more or less expected, the beginning of the season has also unveiled a couple pleasant surprises, both by the name of Jason. Guard Jason Bohannon, or “J-Bo” as he is called at practice, has emerged as the Badgers’ top freshman. His shooting proficiency was on display in the Badgers’ first exhibition game against UW-Stout when he scored 11 points on 4-7 shooting, including two three-pointers. He followed up that performance with two more from behind the arc against Carroll College. Although he was recruited largely because of his shooting ability, he has displayed much more so far this year. Talent, particularly in freshmen making the jump to college basketball, is sometimes hidden by a lack of confidence. However, unlike many true freshmen, Bohannon is unafraid to take the open shot, as evidenced by his exhibition performances. In the season opener against Mercer, he demonstrated his passing ability, matching starting guards Taylor and Michael Flowers with three assists. Bohannon has also shown the ability to handle the ball under pressure both in the half- and full-courts, and his savvy has not gone unnoticed by his coach.”He is very intelligent when it comes to picking up things from film, from practice drills, rotations defensively,” Ryan said. “He’s good with the ball. He made a couple really good decisions with the ball in [Sunday’s] game. Guys like playing with him because he finds them. Defensively, he understands ‘help-and-recover.’ He’s an intelligent player who doesn’t back down from anybody any time.”The other Wisconsin Jason, senior forward Jason Chappell, has also been impressive this year. Most notably, he led the team in scoring in the first preseason game with 14 points on 6-7 shooting while averaging five rebounds per game. Even more valuable to the Badgers has been his increased willingness to be a floor leader, particularly in getting the younger players accommodated with Ryan’s unique swing offense. “He’s a year older,” Ryan said. “He redshirted the one year after the knee surgery and gained some confidence last year with some things that he did. You go into the next year, and you want to be better. He’s worked extremely hard to be able to be a contributor in this program. He has contributed, and hopefully he’s got a lot more to contribute.”last_img read more