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Amphitheater privatized? Hotel Group denies / Construction Sites in Puerto Plata put Businesses under Pressure

The construction of the Amphitheater next to the Fortaleza San Felipe at the port entrance of Puerto Plata was euphorically announced: „It is the most modern Caribbean scenario and monthly concerts will be organized.“ That was on the end of March 2016. Initinally, the Amphitheater was planned to be ready for the arrival of the first cruise ship in the new port of „Amber Cove“ in Maimón on the 6th of October 2015, so that the entire province of Puerto Plata could regain its old position in tourism. The first ships came. The amphitheater was not yet ready. Then it was inaugurated on 14 July 2016 by President Danilo Medina. After that happened, what many had suspected and feared - nothing. No concert, no carnival event. Just nothing.

On the 1st of February, the news that hit Puerto Plata exploded like a bomb: the Amphitheater, built with the money of the taxpayers at a cost of 400 million pesos, had gone into private ownership, to the only successful hotel chain on the north coast, Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, situated in neighboring Cofresí. On the following day came a categorical denial of the hotel group. At no time anybody had the intention to use the Amphitheater exclusively. The only thing that happened was that there were talks of Lifestyle Holidays with the Ministry of Tourism and the municipal authorities that they would like to use the Amphitheater sporadically for their events. „Privatization“ was never even mentioned. Lifestyle Holidays apparently is the only one in the province that is able to commit internationally renowned stars. So far these concerts had been executed on its own premises in Cofresí. There came, for example, Daddy Yankee, Los Ilegales, and Wyclef Jean, stars who would normally only perform in Santo Domingo or Altos de Chavón. Maybe Lifestyle Holidays finally will be able to „shake things up.“

Almost one and a half years after the inauguration of the „Amber Cove“ cruise terminal in Maimón, the historic center of Puerto Plata still looks like a large construction site. After the tourists who enter the city from the port first have to pass the disgusting landfill of Maggiolo that looks and smells worse than ever before, they have to see construction sites in the center of the „Bride of the Atlantic“, wherever their eyes look. In addition to the bad impression that the city leaves with its guests, the ongoing construction sites are also detrimental to local businesses in the three affected business areas, Separación, Beller and 12 de Julio. Shopkeepers say that the torn open streets and impassable sidewalks keep the customers away from the shops. The fluctuation is zero. Some of them had up to 90 percent less sales. The complaint is that these works are carried out at a time when most tourists come to the city. In addition, the work is done with an incredible slowness. For example, the heavy construction machinery often would not move for three days.

The next arrivals in “Amber Cove” Maimón February, 9 February, 11 February, 13 Feb.,14 - 17 February, 14 February, 15 February, 19 February, 20 February, 21 February, 22 February, 25 February, 27

Costa Deliziosa Carnival Pride Carnival Magic Adonia Carnival Splendor Rotterdam Carnival Splendor Carnival Glory Regal Princess Koningsdam Azura Carnival Magic

Immigration 36,000 Deportations / “Residencia” was granted to 17,000 Foreigners / New Citizens

In the past year, the Dominican Immigration (Migración) carried out 862 raids. 35.824 persons without a valid residence permit were arrested and deported. In their majority people from the neighboring country Haiti. In total, 7.37 million people came through the ports, airports and border crossings in the previous year. And 7.39 million people have left the Dominican Republic on the same routes.

The Immigration Office (Dirección General de Migración) now announced that 17,075 “residencias” (residence permits) and temporary residence permits were granted to foreign citizens last year. 2,190 of them were for foreign students, 290 persons were given permission to run their business here, 1,844 persons received a permanent residence permit and 7,441 a temporary one. The Migración highlighted the achievements in 2016, as for example the electronic application for a residence through its Internet portal ( The “smart chip” on the ID card increased the security, control and trustworthiness of the data of the foreigners who are living in the country. The chip reduces the fraud and forms are saved. Online processing also shortens the waiting period and the applicant can avoid unnecessary journeys. Each foreigner is biometrically recorded and has to submit his signature digitally before

issuing the identity card, which leads to an increase in security in the country. The Ministry of Police and Interior announced that at the end of January a total of 79 people from 23 countries were given Dominican citizenship. 45 of the new citizens are male, 34 female. The majority of the new Dominicans come from Cuba, a total of twelve, followed by the USA, Italy, Spain, France, Colombia, Peru, China, Venezuela, Canada and Haiti. In 2016, a total of 27 Haitians were naturalized.

“March to end Impunity” Thousands demonstrated / Senator Sonia Matos calls for “Depuration” of the Organizers

While in other countries the first defendants of the corruption scandal Odebrecht are already in custody, here the prosecutor is carrying out further investigation. It is clear and undisputed that the international Brazilian construction company paid high bribes to Dominican officials. It is also clear that the “Tucano” interceptors were far overpriced and there is no doubt that the construction of the Punta Catalina coal plant also is far too expensive. But no names are published and the investigations last and last. For many people things last much too long, and the popular movement

against corruption and impunity becomes stronger every day. On January 22, there was the biggest demonstration in Santo Domingo to date against this scrouge, which does not allow the poor to participate in the growing prosperity in the country with the highest growth in the region and in which the social and economic differences of the population are not diminishing. Thousands of demonstrators, many dressed in green t-shirts or green caps, demanded an end to corruption and impunity for corrupt. The Odebrecht case, in which the company has admitted to have paid 92 million dollars to Dominican officials in return for lucrative construction contracts, and accepted a 184 million dollars penalty to the Dominican state, was the beginning of the end of impunity in corruption in the Dominican Republic, the organizers hope. After the peaceful demonstration was over, the national anthem was sung and the participants immediately started to collect the waste they had left behind.

The peaceful protest of thousands did not come off well with everyone. An angry Senator from Dajabón, Sonia Matos (pic), who recently complained that her monthly salary of 300,000 pesos sometimes is hardly enough to buy a bottle of water, is indignant at the insolence of the demonstrators. 60 percent of the organizers had to be “depurated” to see how clean they really are. The movement against corruption and impunity is like “someone who takes some faecal matter and throws it into the world.” Citizens should not “let it get to themselves” by what is happening in the country, and leave the matter to the judiciary. Meanwhile, the organizers have launched a collection of signatures to demand an independent commission against corruption from President Medina.

Italian Embassy reopened Cuban-American Billionaire rejects to help building the Wall / US Troops to Mexico?

After two years, there is now again an Italian embassy in Santo Domingo. Since the 1st of February, Italians are able to settle their affairs in their own embassy after being forced to go to the Venezuelan embassy over two years. The Italian government closed the embassy in 2014 due to budgetary problems and irregularities in granting visas. The embassy is located in the Gascue district in the Calle Manuel Rodríguez Objío 4, and can be called by phone at 809-6820830. In the Dominican Republic live about 50,000 Italian citizens permanently.

Jorge Pérez is a Cuban-American businessman, who made an estimated fortune of 2.8 billion dollars with real estate and constructions. Among other constructions, he also built some buildings for the Trump brand in the past. Presumably for this reason, the new US President sent him an email and asked him if he was interested in working on the wall on the Mexican border. According to his own, statement he rejected the offer politely. “The wall is the greatest stupidity I've ever heard or seen of in my life,” Pérez said. Besides that, no country that respects itself will say, yes, build the wall, we pay for it. A Mexican who would say that would not even find a job in a dog kennel any more, says Pérez.

A person with access to the official transcription of the telephone conversation between US President Donald Trump and Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto on the 27th of January, after which Peña Nieto canceled the meeting with president Trump, scheduled for the 31st of January, informed the news agency AP on the condition of anonymity that Trump had threatened Peña Nieto to send US troops to Mexico. In an insulting and humiliating tone, he told the Mexican President, “You have many 'Bad Hombres' there. You do not do the necessary to stop them. I think your army is afraid. Ours isn't. So I could send them to take care of them.” Furthermore, Trump said to Peña Nieto, “I do not need the Mexicans, I do not need Mexico. We will build the wall and you will pay whether you want it or not, whether you like it or not.” He threatened that he will force Mexico to raise taxes of 10 percent on Mexican exports in general and 35 percent on Mexican products that “hurt our country most “.

Less Transplants Strong Decline as a Result of the Carla Massiel Scandal / Mistrust in Organ Donations Organ donation is a voluntary act by which a person or family member decides that organs are allowed to be taken from the body of a deceased and may be implanted in another person who needs them to survive him or herself with the donated organs. In 2014, the Dominican Republic was ranked 45th in organ donation worldwide. About 89 transplants were performed in that same year. In 2015, there was a drug crisis, which resulted in the reduction of transplants to only 31.

In the first half of 2016, there was an increase to 42 transplants. In the second semester, this figure fell to only 15. This information is provided by Fernando Morales Billini, the Director of the National Institute for the Coordination of Transplants (INCORT). According to Morales Billini, this decline is explained by the scandal of the kidnapped and later murdered nine-year-old girl Carla Massiel Cabrera, whose murder was associated with organ trafficking, as her kidnapper stated after his arrest that he had kidnapped the girl for this purpose and that he brought her to a secret clinic in Santo Domingo to eviscerate her.

Morales Billini complained that this case had caused doubts, anxiety and suspicion in a society that did not know very much about organ donation. With the mentioned consequence. The surgeon called this an “urban legend� and guaranteed that neither in this country nor anywhere else in the world anyone had ever been abducted to take his organs, for this was simply impossible because of the huge efforts for a transplant, and because the organs of the donor can only be taken in an intensive care unit.

Carnaval 2017 Stronghold La Vega / Puerto Plata celebrates under difficult Conditions / Each Sunday The stronghold of the Carnival in the Dominican Republic is undoubtedly La Vega. It is the oldest carnival on the American continent. This year, around 150 groups are taking part in the parade, which is held every Sunday in February - the first parade was already on the 29th of January. In addition, there are about 1,600 Diablos Cojuelos, limping devils, who try to provoke the viewers beating them with their pig bladders. In La Vega, on Saturdays, all the big stars of the Dominican music scene are performing simultaneously on five different stages in the streets of the city. There are the big stars of Merengue, such as Miriam Cruz, Los Hermanos Rosario, Héctor Acosta and Rubby Pérez, Música urbana is represented, for example, by El Nene La Amenazzy, Omega, Bulin 47 (see the song in this issue),

Vakeró, El Mayor Clásico or Mozart La Para. The Salsa stars are, among others, Alex Matos or Yiyo Sarante. International stars are the Puerto Ricans Ozuna or Cosculluela. In addition, Carnaval La Vega this year for the first time is home to well-known Djs who will make the people dance.

While in La Vega Carnaval is promoted and subsidized from all sides, Puerto Plata even at the Carnaval has to suffer under the general neglect of the province by the government in Santo Domingo and, unfortunately, also by the Ministry of Tourism. According to doctor Yanko Souffront, the president of Carnival Union of Puerto Plata (Unión Carnavalesca de Puerto Plata UCAPPLATA), the Ministry of Tourism has still not paid 2.6 million pesos from the previous year. Of this, one million is not paid out on prize money, and a further 1.6 million pesos were paid out of their own pockets, so that the event could be carried out at all. One of the problems is that the sponsors always pay afterwards. Souffront said he was responsible for the payment of the suppliers and had to see where he gets the money from. „But unfortunately, we have calculated the same support from the Ministry of Tourism that we received in 2015, and on this basis we have made debts that are now pending. But they failed.“ It was also possible to arrange a carnival for only one million pesos, but if you could get five millions, the estimate of the amount that can be spent allows an increase of the prize money for the best costumes, you can organize a good first and last parade and commit better groups. If you have

more money, of course the parade will be better in every aspect. So this year, the big gala had to be canceled, which means a saving of one million pesos. The payment for the orchestras, who perform on the four Sundays, must be renegotiated, but at the same time it had to be ruled out that the quality of this year's Carnaval will become substantially worse. The main protagonists of Carnaval, the groups of the masks, now see UCAPPLATA in a bad light. They had been told that they were not obliged to mask themselves. But they will do it anyway. All these problems had arisen because the Ministry of Tourism did not pay, complained Souffront. At the same time, he thanked private sponsors and companies who donated more than last year. To make an attractive Carnaval, as it could be held in the previous year, five million pesos were needed for the constructions, the orchestras, toilets, vehicles, food etc. The Carnival of Puerto Plata this year will be held again at the Malecón, despite the newly built amphitheater at La Puntilla.

Sal García No “Miss Photogenic”? The Dominican candidate for the Miss Universe contest in the Philippine capital of Manila had great difficulties to participate at all in the beauty contest, as first she had to collect the necessary money for the trip to the East Asian island republic since there could not be found an official sponsor. The 24-year-old Rosalba Sal García from Maimón, Monseñor Nouel, did not win the coveted title, but - according to her own statement - was voted “Miss Photogenic”, which was described as a fake in the international press. The winner of this category comes from Albania. The title Miss Universe 2017 went to the Frenchwoman Iris Mittenaere, second was the Haitian Raquel Pelissier, third the Colombian Andrea Tovar.

What is this Guy singing? “Comando (Uté e duro)” by Bulin 47 Bulin 47 is a new singer of Música urbana, more precisely of Freestyle, who already has a relatively large repertoire. Jefatura. Mire usted. El que anda con la gorda. Párese a la derecha, por favor. ¿Ke lo ke uté dice comando? Yo soy Bulin 47. Ah, pue ven pa que me haga un video en el destacamiento. Comandante, venga, por favor, que tengo una gorda que me tá media en romance. Yo no me taba curando con usted. No era con usted. No era con usted. Usted cree que yo soy dique un desacatao. No era con uté, era con lo policía acotao. Digo, comando, digo, comando, uté e duro, uté e duro, uté e duro, uté e duro. Comando, este no fui yo. Sí, fuiste tu. Ese no soy yo. Comando, uté tá claro, que uté e de lo mío. Que yo no ando en la calle haciendo lío. Porque no me ve, yo ando en tripa e pollo. Y casimente, mira, que yo me caigo en este hoyo. Esa jipeta me taba cayendo atrá. Y yo con otro carro casi me tuve al matá. Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay. No era con uté, era con lo policía acotao. ¿Con quién? Con lo policía acotao. ¿Con quién? Con lo policía acotao. No era con uté, era con lo policía acotao. Digo, comando, digo, comando, uté e duro, uté e duro, uté e duro, uté e duro. Comandante, deme un chance, que soy seriecito. Yo no hago de nada, jefe, soy seriecito. Mírame la pela, yo soy seriecito. No tengo ni uno, yo soy seriecito. Deme un chance, yo soy seriecito. Yo sirvo a la iglesia, soy seriecito. No era con uté, era con lo policía acotao …

Police center Look. The one who walks with the chubby. Stop at the right side, please. What do you say, commander? I'm Bulin 47. Ah, then come and make me a video on the police station. Commander, come on, please, I have a chubby, who is half romantic. I did not make a joke about you. It was not about you It was not about you. You think I'm a freak. It was not about you, It was about the sleeping policemen. I say, commander, You are tough, you are tough, You are tough, you are tough. Commander, that was not me. Yes, it was you. I'm not that one. Commander, you are clear, you are one of us. I'm not walking in the street making trouble. Why don't you see me, I walk in a chicken gut. And almost, look, I fell into this hole. This SUV has followed me. And I with another car almost killed myself. Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay. It was not about you, It was about the lying policemen. About who? About the lying policemen (speed bumps). About who? About the lying policemen. It was not about you, It was about the lying policemen. I say, commander, You are tough, you are tough, You are tough, you are tough. Commander, give me a chance, Because I am trustworthy. I don't do anything, boss, I am trustworthy See my haircut, I'm honest. I don't have even one cent, I am honest. Give me a chance, I'm trustworthy. I serve the church, I am trustworthy. It was not about you, It was about the lying policemen …

Bulin 47 is a rapper from El Capotillo, Santo Domingo. A neighborhood in which it is not exactly a very fine one. Coming from a modest family background, his father died when he was 13 years old. He lived with his mother, who always supported him, and worked as a Motoconcho driver in El Capotillo, where he still lives. His hobby was music and he liked to rap. One day, a friend advised him to record his lyrics on a video and to publish it on facebook. In the song he talks about a chubby woman, which became his brand mark. And thus began his career, which actually began as a joke. In fact, his songs deal with nothing interesting at all, no positive message, he does not sing, but he is the sensation of moment, because obviously the youth is looking for this kind of singers. On Instagram, Bulin 47 has more than a quarter million followers. In the song he describes how he is stopped by the police. Other songs are about stinky feet (El sicote) or bad breath (El bajo a boca). Always in the typical slang of the young people from the capital, which sometimes sounds almost like a language of its own.

Vacuum Cleaner


Advantages of Age

The door bell is ringing. The woman of the house opens, and outside there is a man with a vacuum cleaner in his hand. The woman says, „I don't need it“ and wants to close the door again. The solicitor puts his foot in between and says, „It is a sensationally good priced offer for a power device that every housewife should have.“ „I have no money. I'm broke!“, answers the woman and wants to close the door again. But the representative pushes the door open and intrudes into the apartment beside the woman. „Give me a chance at least to show you this technical miracle.“ With these words he takes out a bag of his wallet and empties its content on the carpet. It is horse droppings. „If I cannot completely remove this horse droppings with my vacuum cleaner, I will eat the rest in front of your eyes,“ the solicitor tries to canvass. The woman steps aside and says, grinning, „I wish you to enjoy your meal. I told you already I was broke. This morning the electricity was cut off.“

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.

Being young is fantastic. But also getting older can have some advantages that should not be underestimated. You are finally profiting from your payments into the health insurance. The knee joints are more reliable in the weather forecast than the weather report. Finally, the fellow human beings believe that you are not a hypochondriac. Secrets are safe because your friends can not remember them. You can watch a movie on TV again and again. It is new for you each time. You at last can eat delicious, healthy baby food again. The months pass by as if in flight. You have more hair in your ears than on your head. You do not get a penalty for speeding with your car. You are enjoying to hear the stories of your old friends about their diseases and operations. No one expects you to go into a fire in a burning building to save someone else. Your eyes are not getting any worse. You will hardly be prosecuted for sexual harassment. You always have time if you want. You never have time if you do not want. You can rejoice that your pension is higher than the payments for the younger ones will ever be. In customer-friendly banks you do not have to queue up. You do not need to learn the hard way, because you have already experienced everything. When the neighbors have a noisy party, you can not hear it.

Sudoku No. 377 (easy)

Sudoku No. 378

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Happy Valentine's If you don't have a Valentine on Valentine's Day, don't be sad … Most people don't have Aids on World Aids Day!

IMPRESSUM Editora LA PLAYA Director: Werner Rümmele, Phone: 829-373-1218 RNC 5-31-87397-3

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by phone: 829-373-1218 LA PLAYA office in Sosúa at the Beach Way Plaza Mon. - Fri. 1- 4:30 p.m. PRESS DATE FOR ISSUE 192 (22nd of FEBRUARY 2017): 14th of FEBRUARY 2017

A guy and his wife are sitting and watching a boxing match on television. The husband sighs and complains, “This fight was pretty disappointing. It only lasted for 30 seconds!” “Good,” replied his wife. “Now you know how I always feel.”

Wife: “Our new neighbor always kisses his wife when he leaves for work. Why don't you do that?” Husband: “How can I? I don't even know her.”

 Man: “Your place or mine?” Woman: “Both. You go to yours and I'll go to mine.”

Sudoku solutions from page 11:

Sudoku No. 377

Sudoku No. 378

La playa 191en  
La playa 191en