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Daily News - 29 October 1999

Freddy Beras Goico to change TV stations
Listín Diario newspaper says that Freddy Beras Goico will be switching from Color Visión, Channel 9, to produce new TV projects for Channel 33. Former Minister of Tourism Frank Jorge is the owner of Channel 33. The newspaper says that Beras Goico has invested in the UHF station. Manolo Quiroz, of Channel 9 said that Beras Goico's resignation is effective 2 January 2000. Beras Goico is the most successful TV producer in the DR. His "El Gordo de la Semana" all-day Sunday TV program has been running for 26 years. He also produces "Punto Final", a late evening show that has been going strong for 10 years. Quiroz says that Channel 9 is studying options to fill the air times left vacant when Beras Goico leaves.

New Migration Bill to be sent to Congress
Minister of Foreign Relations Eduardo Latorre says the Executive Branch will soon present a modified Migration Bill to the National Congress. The bill will establish new rulings regarding the situation of foreigners in the DR. While the main focus of the bill is to provide a legal framework for the thousands of Haitians that are illegally crossing the frontier between the DR and Haiti, it will regulate the status of foreigners of any other nationality. The Dominican Migration Law dates to 1939.

DR and Cuban physicians attend 90% of Haitians in frontier areas
El Siglo newspaper reports that Dominican and Cuban physicians serve 90% of the Haitian population in towns near the frontier with the Dominican Republic.
The story reports on the small contingents of Cuban physicians based in a few clinics located in rural Haiti near the large Dominican cities of Dajabón and Juana Mendez that have been successful in reducing the number of Haitians that cross the frontier. Recently, Dominican authorities have urged the securing of international cooperation to set up clinics near the Dominican-Haitian frontier, that could be staffed by Dominican medics to reduce the burden on Dominican public hospitals.
The Dominican public hospitals of General Melenciano in Jimaní and Rosa Duarte in Elías Piña receive the largest numbers of Haitians. The Haitians prefer the Dominican clinics because they are the closest medical centers and services are better and free. The clinics will even pay for the transporting of the patients to large medical centers if necessary. Haitian rural clinics are staffed with a doctor and a nurse, and there is a charge for whatever services may be available.
The director of the Elías Piña hospital, Rafael Robles, said that that hospital has to dedicate 60% of its budget to service the Haitians. El Siglo reporters ascertained that the Haitians have access to the same services as the Dominicans.
The physicians say the Dominicans are concerned they may catch contagious diseases which affect a good number of Haitians visiting the public hospitals. Medical directors say this is an additional financial burden on the hospitals that will now have to build separate wards for the increase in patients with contagious diseases.

Bavaro Horse ranch dismantled
The Department of Parks said it has dismantled a horse ranch built by the Allegro Bavaro Resort in a protected area in the East. Director of Parks, Omar Ramírez said that his department had taken down the same ranch in 1997 and instructed the owners of the hotel to not rebuild in the protected area of the Bavaro Lagoon. Some 50 horses and more than 100 meters of barbed wire and wood were taken down. He said forest guards would be posted in the area to avoid a rebuilding of the facility.

DR is leading destination in Caribbean
The Dominican Republic is the leading tourism destination in the Caribbean, said Renso Herrera, local representative for Lomé IV Convention when speaking at the Lome IV Fifth Meeting of the Joint Executive Committee of the Regional Program for Tourism Development held here this week. He highlighted how in some 20 years, tourism has replaced money crops (sugar, coffee, cocoa and tobacco) as leading revenue producer for the nation. He said that tourism revenues last year were over US$2.3 million. An estimated 2.5 million tourists visited. The tourism sector contributed 20% to the Gross Domestic Product. There are 45,000 hotel rooms in the DR, and an estimated 10,000 more under construction, half of which will be in operation for the coming winter season.

Cuban technical school ready for November
The Máximo Gómez Polytechnic High School, built with a donation from Cuba and by Cuban technicians, will be ready to start classes on 15 November. It was built on a 13,500 meter lot donated by the Dominican government in the town of Baní. The Cuban government donated the construction of the polytechnic to the town of Baní in symbolic appreciation for that town being the birthplace of Máximo Gómez. Máximo Gómez is known as the liberator of Cuba. The Cuban government invested RD$45 million in the facility that has capacity for 540 students and 50 internships. The facility includes three small food processors (meat, vegetables and milk) and specialized classrooms for teaching informatics, microbiology, chemistry and typing.

Warehouse membership center to open in December
The warehouse membership shopping concept is being introduced in the DR as of 1 December. PriceSmart (http://www.pricesmart.com) is building a branch in Santo Domingo at Av. Charles Sumner and another in Santiago at Avenida Estrella Sahdalá. A third locale open mid next year in the east side of Santo Domingo. The company said its decision to open in the DR was based on the economic growth and stability of the country, controlled inflation, and the increase in per capita purchasing power of Dominicans. PriceSmart operates 18 stores in Central America and the Caribbean. The local stores will sell food, cleaning goods, bread, liquors, appliances, furniture, clothing, pharmaceuticals and more.

Public fruit park
El Siglo pointed out recently in a news item the success of the public park that is located across from the Metaldom manufacturing plant. Its keeper, architect Felix Valoy Montero said that park as begun in 1993, and should serve as a model for more parks in Santo Domingo. He says that 350 fruit tree species are located there (mango, papaya, pineapple, tamarind, soursop, guava, cherries, and local fruit varieties such as nispero, limoncillo, zapote, manzana de oro, limón dulce and pera criolla. He favors the creation of more fruit parks, where children can go to satisfy their hunger. He says it is not true that the maintenance of these is more costly.

Dominican presides Freedom of Press Committee
Listin Diario editor to preside Freedom of Press Committee
The editor in chief of the Listín Diario, Rafael Molina Morillo was chosen president of the Freedom of Press Committee of the Interamerican Press Association at the press organization's 55th annual assembly. He will also sit on the executive committee of the association and will be a member of the board of directors for the next three years. This is the second time a Dominican presides the freedom of the press committee. The late Germán Ornes occupied the post several times. Molina said his election is a recognition to Dominican press on behalf of the Western Hemisphere press community.

Sonia Silvestre prepares concert
Sonia Silvestre, one of the legendary great Dominican singers of all times, is preparing a concert to celebrate her 30 years in show business. She has contracted Guillermo Cordero to prepare the production, Maestro Jorge Taveras will be the musical director. The show will be staged on 6 November at the Teatro La Fiesta of the Hotel Jaragua. She will be singing 20 of her best songs. She recently recorded for Kubaney a collection of old boleros from the 50s and 60s. She has complained in the press that globalization has left little space for local artists, as local promoters prefer foreign performers.
At present she is employed at the Pagés Advertising Agency, and also at the Municipality of Santo Domingo on its culture board. She also is active helping with the presidential candidacy of Hipólito Mejía and Milagros Ortiz Bosch.

Choreographers in Santo Domingo
Three dancers from Sarah Skaggs & Co will be coming to participate in the Encounter of Choreographers organized by Fundación Ritmos por la Danza. The dancers will present the world premiere of "Paradise." "Paradise" is slated to open in the US in New York City in January 2000. Also coming for the event is Sasa Queliz, a Dominican choreographer who resides in Germany. From the DR, Orestes Amador, Mercedes Morales, Edmundo Poy, Maria Luisa Valdez, and Maricarmen Rodríguez will participate. The encounter will be held at the National Theater, 12-13 November with shows at 8:30 pm.

Year's end concert
The Altos de Chavón Amphitheater will be presenting an encounter of classical and popular music on 29 December. The event is directed by Maestro Carlos Piantini (http://www.fiu.edu/~music/piantini.html). Leading Dominican merengue music star Milly Quezada (http://www.lamusica.com/millyquezadaeng.htm) will go on stage as of 9 pm together with internationally acclaimed violin soloist Eugene Fodor and pianist Susan Starr from the United States. With them, the Dominican Philarmonic Orchestra. They will present Dominican classics such as, "Mi Quisqueya," by Mercedes Sagredo, "La Billirrubina", by Juan Luis Guerra. Tickets are already for sale at Casa de Campo for RD$350 and RD$600.
Fodor has performed for more than three decades as a soloist with appearances in more than 35 countries on five continents. His solos have been heard by two presidents and he has appeared on a number of television shows, including 20/20, Sunday Morning, the Tonight Show and others. H also has performed on television in Italy, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Japan and Korea.
Fodor made his solo debut at the age of 10 with the Denver Symphony Orchestra. He began touring after that, winning his first national competition at the age of 12. At 15, he performed with the Detroit Symphony and within three years won first prizes in six national competitions. In 1972 he won first prize in the International Paganini Competition in Italy and in 1974 won the highest prize awarded that year in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
He attended the Juilliard School in New York, the Vienna Academy, Indiana University and the University of Southern California. His violin instructors have included Harold Wippler, Ivan Galamian, Josef Gingold, and Jascha Heifetz.
Susan Starr is regarded as one of America's most celebrated pianists. Since her triumph in Moscow's Tchaikovsky Competition, she has played to standing ovations in recital and with the world's most distinguished orchestras and conductors. Audiences throughout the world have be en enthralled by her artistry and her active international career has taken her on extensive tours of the Soviet Union, Far East, South America and Europe. Well-known for her recordings for RCA and Orion Master, Ms. Starr has been acclaimed by The New York Times as "a star of the first magnitude."

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