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Highly satisfied First analyzes of “Amber Cove” in Maimón / Second great Opportunity for Puerto Plata At a meeting at the Meeting Place in Puerto Plata on January 20, the Tourism ViceMinister of the Northern Region, Julio Almonte (right), José Natalio Redondo (center), who represented Puerto Plata in the negotiations with Carnival Corporation, and Patria Rodríguez (left), representative of Puerto Plata in the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Assosiation, offered figures and findings to the cruise port “Amber Cove” in Maimón. Minister Julio Almonte initiated the round with a brief outline of the cruise history of Puerto Plata. After the end of the era of the first cruise ships in 1991, the entire region fell into deep resignation. Although the new harbor was already built in Maimón, nobody in Puerto Plata really believed that the first cruise ship will dock in Maimón on the 6th of October 2015. That was the reason, according to Almonte, that the reconstruction works of houeses and streets in Puerto Plata started that late, because no one believed that Puerto Plata would really get this second chance. But now there was a movement. Closed restaurants and bars in the city are being renovated and reopened. By the end of February, the amphitheater at La Puntilla will be finished and also the streets in the town of Puerto Plata will be accessible soon. Since the first cruise ship “Victory”, which docked on the 6th of October, until the meeting day, 29 cruise ships arrived in Maimón and one at the port of Puerto Plata.

These ships brought a total of 88,026 passengers and 31,133 crew members to the north coast. 52,989 of them left the port area to make a trip to Puerto Plata and the surrounding destinations. José Negrón, Port Director of the Carnival Corporation, said that more than 60 percent of the passengers in Maimón booked a trip. A figure much higher than in any other port. The average is at 40 percent only. At each arrival, 150 to 160 taxis are ready in the port, which transported 19,259 passengers of the 29 ships in 4,082 journeys. In addition, 755 buses transported another 27,053 passengers and also 349 jeep safaris and 81 car rental companies had their share. 6,305 passengers left the harbor on their own and took a taxi outside. The most popular tour is the City Tour to Puerto Plata, followed by Cayo Arena (“Paradise Island”). According to Minister Almonte, Carnival Corporation is very pleased with the results so far. “Amber Cove” was a successful investment for them. The satisfaction of the visitors lies at an impressive 98 percent. Frances Boylston from the Meeting Place announced the results of her own investigation with interviews of passengers of the cruise ships. Thereafter, the reaction of the tourists was very different, which depended of the port which they visited earlier on their trip. So those who were in Jamaica, for instance, were very enthusiastic of Puerto Plata. Americans are very enthusiastic because for many of them it was the first stay outside their own country, because most Americans do not have a passport. When they book a cruise in Miami, they get issued an ID-card

for this trip which is accepted by the Dominican Republic. Germans generally lamented the state of Puerto Plata and the disorder, but are very interested in excursions and adventures. British guests were very relaxed, they like the beaches and that they were not harassed by vendors as in Jamaica. The prices were also okay for them, with which the Irish don't agree at all. For them, everything was far too expensive. Criticisms of the respondents were primarily that so little English is spoken. When first arriving, many felt uncomfortable because so many armed “protectors” could be seen. This was changed quickly. Today, in the area where the tourists move, there are only members of the Tourist Police Cestur. In a second ring, the National Police protects against the ingress of delinquents, and the military forms a third ring of protection. The experiences of the visitors generally are marked by the first person they meet. They think that all the Dominicans are just like them. Upon arriving in the city center, many find, Dominicans have a lot of energy and are too noisy. Not everyone likes Omega or Merengue típico at full volume when he gets out of the bus in the Central Park. One criticism was the poor signage and information. And no one was made aware of the many ways to spend a holiday here.

The next arrivals in “Amber Cove” Maimón February, 4 February, 8 February, 9 February, 15 February, 16 February, 18 February, 27 February, 28 February, 29

Nieuw Amsterdam Costa Deliziosa Carnival Ecstasy Carnival Valor Carnival Splendor Costa Deliziosa Azura Costa Deliziosa Carnival Valor


First Surveys 34 Parties participate in Elections / Medina clearly in front of Abinader / Churches interfere

The election campaign for the general elections, taking place on the 15 th of May, is now open. The Chairman of the Central Electoral Council (JCE), Roberto Rosario, presented the ballots with the 34 contesting parties and groups. First up is the PRD, who got the most votes in the elections on the 20 th of May 2012, followed by the ruling PLD, which was only second, but could form a government with the help of allied parties. The PRSC follows on third place. The new party PRM, split-off of the PRD, which currently represents the only serious threat to the PLD government, is only on the 15th place, because new parties, founded after 2012, are listed by the date of their foundation. Guillermo Moreno's party Alianza País, which is credited a succès d'estime, is on place 26 of the list, because it has been approved only the end of last year.

After a recent survey was released, in which President Danilo Medina was only slightly ahead of PRM challenger Luis Abinader in the favor of the voters, now an new survey was published, carried out by the pollster Asisa on the 10th and 11th of January. The result is that with 54.8 percent President Medina lies clearly in front Abinader with 38.6 percent. Guillermo Moreno's party Alianza País would get three percent of the vote, according to the survey. Pelegrín Castillo from the right-wing FNP would get 0.2 percent. 2.9 percent of the respondents would not vote for any of the candidates. President Danilo Medina was elected Interim President at the meeting of CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) in Quito, Ecuador. The Dominican Republic thus takes over the presidency of CELAC for 2016. Medina said, one of the most important topics will be the fight against the inequality in the region.

The decision of the Association of Evangelistic Churches (CODUE) to read the names of the politicians who are pro-gay, pro-abortion and anti-national in the churches on Sundays, so that the parishioners don't vote for them on the 15th of May, was critizised by a great part of society. However, the Catholic Church is on the side of these defenders of “Christian values”. CODUE-Chairman Fidel Lorenzo Merán (photo) said: “We are guided by values, rather than by colors.” He said the evangelists and the Catholic Church have a common agenda on these issues and agree on the profiles of those candidates, which includes a recommendation of how people should vote. “Christians are the true defenders of life, of the family and faith values and the defense of sovereignty. We are the enemies of immunity, corruption and drug trafficking,” said Fidel Lorenzo Merán in an interview on Channel 25.


Carnival 2016 has started Explosive Situation after suspended Elections / Transitional Government for Haiti? With the coronation of Stephanie Batista as the Queen of Carnival, La Vega launched the biggest carnival in the Dominican Republic. 155 groups with about 1,500 Diablos cojuelos (limping devils) will defile through the streets of the city on every Sunday in February. There are expected a total of more than one million visitors at the four Sundays. The Chamber of Commerce of La Vega estimates that 300 million pesos will be spent in La Vega through the carnival. Puerto Plata also offers events on every Sunday in February. Originally the events during this year's carnival should take place in the newly built amphitheater. But since this is not completed yet, carnival will be celebrated on the Malecón again as in previous years. This provoked the protests of the residents around the firehouse at the Malecón, who complain about the noise and garbage in their streets every year.

After the planned presidential elections in Haiti on the 24th of January were also canceled, because the opposition candidate did not want to run, the country now faces an uncertain future. The partially violent protests by opponents of the Government Martelly also continued after the canceled election. President Martelly meanwhile tried to find a solution, and therefore called on the Organization of American States (OAS) asking them to mediate to avoid a political vacuum after his leaving. Martelly's term ends on the 7th of February. The opposition parties of the group G-8 call for a three-month transitional government to organize new, clean elections, as these could not be carried out with President Martelly's Provisional Electoral Council (CEP).

Simon Dieuseul Desras (photo left), President of the Senate from 2012 to 2015, a fierce opponent of Michel Martelly and a candidate himself, suggested in an interview with the Internet newspaper “acento” to install a triumvirate, to which, of course, he should belong, as prime minister, with the aim to organize elections the next 90 days. Guy Philippe (right), paramilitary leader of the coup d'etat against President Aristide in 2004 and searched for drug trafficking in the United States, called the protesters “anarchists”. He will not accept a transitional government. If the opposition wants war, he was ready. Maryse Narcisse, candidate of Aristide's party Fanmi Lavalas, called for demonstrations until Martelly has abdicated.


How dangerous is Zika? Director of CMD warns against too much Hysteria / Meanwhile, the Virus has arrived here The new director of the CMD (Colegio Médico Dominicano - Dominican Faculty of Medicine), Dr. Waldo Ariel Suero (photo), who took this position for the fourth time, said there was too much hysteria about Zika. Zika was a relatively harmless disease and only dangerous for pregnant women, since a malformed child could be born when infected with the virus. Most of the people would not even notice when they are infected with the Zika virus. The World Health Organization (WHO), however, is alarmed at the spread of the virus from Africa, after in Brazil, where the virus first appeared on the American continent, about 4,000 children were born with a too small head (microcephaly). According to WHO, the evidence that the malformations, which can lead to mental retardation and even death in affected children, is associated with the Zika virus, grows stronger. All mothers of these children had been infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy. In Colombia the authorities expect, that around 600,000 people will fall ill during the current Zika epidemic (to date more than 16,000 cases have been reported) and that 500 children with microcephaly will be born as a result of Zika, and 500 people will fall ill with the Guillain-Barré syndrome, a nerve disorder that can lead up to the complete paralysis of the arms and legs or to respiratory paralysis. About half of the patients with the Guillain-Barré syndrome will get cardiac arrhythmias.

The hysteria over the virus now goes that far that US tour operators are offering pregnant women to refund them the money they paid for a planned trip to a country with Zika. From the 13th of February, Brazil will send out 220,000 soldiers to combat Zika. The Dominican President Danilo Medina ordered a military action in the border area with Haiti, where the breeding grounds of the tiger mosquito (aedes aegypti), which also transmits Dengue and Chikungunya, shall be eliminated. People infected with the Zika virus will get a mild fever, red eyes that do not itch, rash with red and white dots, and muscle aches. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), four out of five infected people have no symptoms at all. The consequences of a Zika infection are not very serious, and the link between pregnancy and microcephaly was not scientifically proven yet. CMD director Waldo Ariel Suero said, “Dengue and even a simple flu are killing more people than Zika.” To date, ten Dominicans were reported with Zika.


Kate del Castillo

Jennifer Lopez

Tequila 'Honor del Castillo'

Permanent Show in LV

Gloria Trevi Understanding del Castillo The Mexican-American actress Kate del Castillo has business problems because of her contacts with the so far most wanted criminal in the world, the drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, who is back in jail since January 8. The Board of Regulators for Tequila (CRT) is retaining the registration of her tequila brand “Honor del Castillo”, a pun on her name and the tequila company Tequila Honor headquartered in Delaware, which will organize the distribution of the beverage in the US. The Mexican Attorney Arely Gómez confirmed that there are charges against Kate del Castillo. There is “evidence” for a possible money laundering as "El Chapo" might have invested money in the company of the actress. The Mexican secret service apparently intercepted text messages via cell phone, where the actress showed interest in an investment of “El Chapo” in her tequila. Kate del Castillo obviously had good contacts with the criminial while the police was hunting for him worldwide, since it was her who organized the interview with Sean Penn. “El Chapo” is an admirer of the actress who played roles as strong women in drug business, such as in the narco-novela “La Reina del Sur”.

The Mexican singer Gloria Trevi (LA PLAYA 127), who herself spent three years in Brazilian prisons and was acquitted after her extradition to Mexico there, showed understanding for the meeting of Kate del Castillo with “El Chapo” Guzmán. “If I had had the opportunity to interview him or the president, people that move so many lives, for better or for worse, I would have done it, to ask, to understand,” Trevi said. She endorses del Castillo wholeheartedly. In Mexico and other countries reporters also made interviews with criminals and did not get the problems that Kate del Castillo is facing currently. The authorities should do their job and the 43-year-old actress should not fear Interpol, because she did not do anything wrong and everything would clear up sooner or later.

The New York singer and actress of Puerto Rican origin, Jennifer Lopez, now got a permanent show in Las Vegas with the title “All I Have”. At the opening concert at the “Planet Hollywood” JLo gave a two-hour performance in which she sang her greatest hits. She also invited colleagues like Ja Rule, Ne-Yo and Pitbull to come on stage. It is said that the 46-year-old star signed a contract for 72 shows in Las Vegas. She will get 350,000 dollars per performance.

Fashion “El Chapo's” Shirt

The shirt “El Chapo” wore during his interview with Sean Penn, became a hit at the boutique “Barabas” in Los Angeles. But the store denies to know “El Chapo” personally and will donate five percent of the proceeds of the shirt for aid for drug users.


What is this Guy singing? “Millonario ... y qué!” by Chicho Severino A popular Bachata from the year 1998 by Chicho Severino, which expresses much wisdom in simple lines. Chicho, a gozar con Chicho! Gran cosa, Chicho! Si no trabajo como quiera me voy a morir. Si trabajo mucho como quiera me voy a morir. La vida no se detiene, aunque usted sea quien sea. Por eso yo voy a gozar con Chicho, una eternidad. Por eso yo voy a gozar con Chicho, una eternidad. Si soy millonario como quiera me voy a morir. Si soy pobrecito como quiera me voy a morir. Lo malo no es estar vivo y estar pasando trabajo, que lo peor fue haber nacido. Y por eso yo voy a gozar con Chicho, una eternidad ... Si estoy contigo como quiera la vida sigue. Si no estoy contigo como quiera la vida sigue. Gran cosa! Mas palante vive gente y tal vez mejor el destino. Y por eso yo voy a gozar con Chicho, una eternidad ... La vida mía es para gozarla. No sé de ahora, no sé de ahorita tampoco sé de mañana. Y por eso yo voy a gozar con Chicho, una eternidad ... La vida mía que no me la lleve nadie. Nadie nació para siempre y vive que nunca muera. Y por eso yo voy a gozar con Chicho, una eternidad ... Si soy millonario como quiera me voy a morir. Si soy pobrecito como quiera me voy a morir. Hay muchos que se hacen los tontos reconociendo la verdad. Que no es por nada que usted lo vea: Aquí nadie tiene ná. Nadie sabe, abre las manos Aquí nadie tiene ná. Como vinimos, así nos vamos. Aquí nadie tiene ná. Aquí nadie tiene ná.

Chicho, have fun with Chicho! Big deal, Chicho! When I'm not working, I'm going to die anyhow. When I work a lot, I'm going to die anyhow. Life does not stop, whoever you are. Therefore, I will have fun with Chicho, an eternity. Therefore, I will have fun with Chicho, an eternity. If I am a millionaire, I'm going to die anyhow. If I'm poor, I'm going to die anyhow. The bad thing is not to be alive and to have to fight, what is worse, is to be born. Therefore, I will have fun with Chicho, an eternity ... When I'm with you, life will go on anyhow. When I'm not with you, life will go on anyhow. Big deal! Life always goes on, and perhaps the fate will be better. Therefore, I will have fun with Chicho, an eternity … My life is to have fun. I know nothing about now, I know nothing of later and I do not know anything about tomorrow. Therefore, I will have fun with Chicho, an eternity ... My life, nobody should be interested in it. Nobody was born forever and lives as he never had to die. Therefore, I will have fun with Chicho, an eternity … If I am a millionaire, I'm going to die anyhow. If I'm poor, I'm going to die anyhow. There are many who play dumb, acknowledging the truth. It's so simple to see: Here nobody has anything. Nobody knows, open the hands. Here nobody has anything. Such as we came, we will leave. Here nobody has anything. Here nobody has anything.

Chicho Severino was born in Yamasá, Monte Plata, on the 6th of June 1973. Encouraged by the songs of Rafael Encarnación, a Bachata idol of the sixties, Chicho started playing guitar when he was twelve years old. Chicho's songs and even his voice and style of singing are strongly reminding of Rafael Encarnación, from whom Chicho also has interpreted some tracks (“Pena de hombre”). With the featured song “Millionaire ... so what!” Chicho Severino reached the peak of his popularity in 1998. In February 2006, his career was interrupted by an accident between Cabarete and Sosúa, in which a truck collided with his car and he was seriously injured. He processed this accident in the song “Lo que quedó de Chicho” (What is left of Chicho) in which he thanks his colleagues from the Dominican music scene to pay for his hospitalization in Puerto Plata. Totally Chicho published only five albums since 1996. He primarily is active with performances, often in the United States.


Hypnotized

X-Sudoku

Misleading

A woman comes home and says to her husband, “You know that I always had a terrible headache. All these years. But now it's gone completely!” “Great!”, says the husband. “No headache any more? How did you do that?” “Geraldine advised me to try to visit a hypnotist. He told me to stand in front of a mirror and to repeat several times: 'The headaches are gone! The headaches are gone!' And it actually works: The headaches are gone!” “That's great,” says the husband. “I'm really happy for you.” Then the woman says, “Sweetheart, in recent years, your performance in bed was not as satisfying as before. Maybe you also can visit the hypnotist one of these days to change this thing.” Reluctantly the husband aaccepts the request and goes to see the hypnotist. After the appointment at the hypnotist, the husband comes home, tears off his and her clothes, grabs his wife, throws her on the bed in the bedroom and makes love to her, as it has been in years. She says, “Wow, honey, that was great!” He answers, “Stay where you are, I'll be back in a moment.” He goes into the bathroom and after a few minutes the same game starts all over again. The woman is excited. When he goes into the bathroom for the third time, she follows him on her toes to see what he is doing there. She can see how he stands in front of the mirror and tells to himself, “She's not my wife! She's not my wife!” By the way, his funeral at the Central Cemetery will take place this Saturday.

Each row, column and square has to contain the numbers from 1 to 9. X-Sudoku must show these numbers also on the two diagonal lines. Solutions on page 14.

“Defendant, so you do not deny that you shot your husband during the football TV transmission?” “No, Your Honor.” “What were his last words?” “Shoot! Shoot now, you craggy old bag!”

 “How did your boss die?” “We were putting posts for a new fence. I had the sledgehammer in my hands and he held a wooden post with both hands. Then he said, 'If I nod with my head, hit as hard as you can'.”

The doctor at the deathbed: “I don't like to see your wife this way.” “Me neither, but it will not last much longer, will it?” Sudoku No. 327 (easy)

A man comes to see the doctor. The doctor asks him, “Do you smoke?” The patient looks at the doctor in disbelieve and answers, “Well, if you ask me this way, I'd prefer to have a drink!”

 A man comes to the hospital bed and asks, “How tall are you?” “Six feet, doctor.” “I'm not a doctor, I am a carpenter.”

Sudoku No. 328

At breakfast the landlady says musingly to the student who rented a room in her home, “It looks like rain!” The student answers, “Yes, but you still can guess that it is supposed to be coffee.”


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Sudoku solutions from page 12:

Translations

to Spanish, English and German at the office of LA PLAYA without waiting a long time. Just bring the text and pick it up again the same or the next day.

** ALSO LEGALIZED! **

Sudoku No. 327

Sudoku No. 328



La playa 166 en