Friday, September 29, 2017

Ypsilanti Township resident concerned about family in Puerto Rico.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Dolly Tittle of Ypsilanti Twp is deeply concerned about the well-being of her family in Puerto Rico which has been devastated by Hurricane Maria. Dolly, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico, is a Lecturer the University of Michigan Ann Arbor.

Since Hurricane Maria Hit Puerto Rico ten days ago Dolly has been unable communicate with her family due to the fact that the vast majority of the island has no power. Within the last day someone did inform Dolly that her family and relatives are ok, but that information contains painfully little news and leaves room for much speculation. According to Dolly, "Ok means they are alive, but I am not sure if they have food, water, and medicine."

On Wednesday, September 27, Dolly sent a letter to Congresswoman Debbie Dingell requesting a waiver on the Jones Act. This is an excerpt from Dolly's letter to Debbie Dingell.

"This last week has been very difficult to watch the news and see what is happening after hurricane MarĂ­a.  I heard from someone that my relatives are ok.  OK means they are alive, but I am not sure if they have food, water, and medicine.  I know for sure that they don't have anyway to communicate because cell towers are down.  And I know that they haven't had any power since Hurricane Irma.

I am writing to ask you to help in any way you can so that Puerto Rico can receive the help they need.  As you may know, Senator McCain is trying to get a waiver for Puerto Rico from the Jones Act.  The Jones Act is a 1920 law that only allows ships made in the USA to deliver goods to the island.  As a result, products that come from nearby countries, need to stop first in the USA, unload and load into a USA ship and then come back to the island.  Even some of the products produced in PR are re-purchased by PR from the USA.  If PR doesn't have the manufacturing needed to package the goods, the island ships the goods to the USA to be packaged and end up paying more for their own products."

My stepfather who passed away in 1992 was a Chief in the Navy and Helicopter pilot during Vietnam.  My father in law who lives there is retired from the Navy and also from working as a Communication Specialist at Roosevelt Roads Naval Base. My brother is serving in the Army National Guard and is in training camp in Virginia preparing for his second deployment to the Middle East on 2018.  My uncles were Korean vets and my cousins have served multiple times in Afghanistan.  I write this because our people have served this country and some of them have died for it.  

I ask you again to please do something to help Puerto Rico, in addition to help from FEMA, getting a waiver from the Jones Act would help decrease the cost of goods and speed up the recovering time."

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