Things That Matter

Tesla Turned A Children’s Hospital Back On After Coming Through On Their Promise To Use Solar Power To Do It

The blackout in Puerto Rico is now going into its second month, with some calling it the longest blackout in U.S. history. Seventy-five percent of people on the island are still without power and many are still struggling to get clean drinking water and food. In the face of all of that adversity, some are carrying on as best as they can.

This photo shared by Alejandro García Padilla, former governor of Puerto Rico, shows surgeons performing surgery in the dark, illuminated by cell phone lights.


On his Facebook account, the former governor wrote “De tripas corazones. Médicos en cirugías iluminadas por flash light de celular. Bravo por ellos! But this is not a “10.”

“Muster up courage. Doctors doing surgery illuminated by cell phone flash. Bravo to them. But this is no perfect 10.”

The New York Times reported this week on schools that are reopening without power.

Although only 9% of the total public schools on the island opened this week, over a hundred schools are expected to open soon once their paperwork is submitted. School days will be cut in half and students will not be required to turn in homework. Things are slowly coming back, and although students have to bring their own water and bug repellent to class, it’s a start.

Students at a ballet studio keep dancing, despite the wood warping under their feet and batteries dying in their radios.

Laura Valentin-Lopez, owner of San Juan’s Centro Danza, along with her husband, opened their ballet studio to provide a place where young people can continue to gather and find the literal light in the dark. Without electricity, they sometimes dance in the dark and without music. But all the owners could think about is bringing some level of normalcy back to the children who can make it in to the studio. Valentin-Lopez told the New York Post, “We were thinking of the benefits that dance brings to the spirit.”

Electricity is back in some areas but it took Tesla to step in and get this children’s hospital power back on.

It took them about three weeks to get the power back up and running, but with the speed at which the island is getting electricity, that’s not terrible. The initial idea appears to have come from a Twitter conversation in which someone asked if Tesla could help Puerto Rico. Elon Musk responded that while there is no limit to how much solar power can be scaled, it would be up to the government and people of Puerto Rico to decide. A few minutes later governor Ricardo Rossello chimed in and asked if PR could be the flagship project for such a large solar project. From there, it was all history, until this week when the children’s hospital was turned back on.

While we raise funds, send goods, and work to to get Puerto Rico back on its feet, it’s good to see that some progress is being made and that the spirit of Puerto Ricans can bend, but will never break.


READ: Here’s What Google Is Doing To Get Puerto Rico Connected With The Outside World Since Hurricane Maria


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The Principal Of A Florida School Was Captured Spanking An Undocumented Six-Year-Old Student With A Paddle

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The Principal Of A Florida School Was Captured Spanking An Undocumented Six-Year-Old Student With A Paddle

Corporal punishment includes all sorts of cruel physical acts. They range from spanking, slapping, force-feeding, and pinching to pulling, twisting, and striking with an object. The act of corporal punishment has long been criticized for its part in causing greater damage than intended.

Though the effects might bring around immediate compliance, researchers have underlined that such changes in behavior are often only short-term and can increase aggressive behavior. Perhaps this is why the act has varying legal statuses across the country.

Elementary school principal Melissa Carter is learning her own lesson from corporal punishment, but not as the receiver.

The elementary school principal from Florida is being investigated by local authorities after her use of corporal punishment on a 6-year-old student was captured on camera.

Principal Melissa Carter and school clerk Cecilia Self used a paddle on the student last month as punishment for damaging a computer screen. According to local CBS affiliate WINK News, corporal punishment was performed on the child in front of their mother. The mother used her cell phone to record the paddling in a clip that has gone viral.

According to WINK News, a female employee from the school contacted the child’s mother on April 13 after her daughter allegedly damaged a computer.

The mother of the child, who speaks Spanish and not fluent English, said that she was confused by the allegations made against her daughter during the phone call. During the conversation the school employee had mentioned “paddling” but the mother didn’t understand what that meant because of her language barrier.

She had been under the impression that she had been brought to the school to pay a $50 fine. Instead, she was taken to Principal Carter’s office where her daughter and the principal were waiting.

Carter soon brought out a wooden paddle and smacked the six-year-old on the backside. The video recorded by the mothers shows the little girl crying in pain during the attack.   

The mother claimed she resisted intervening because she feared having her immigration status brought into question.

“Nobody would have believed me. I sacrificed my daughter, so all parents can realize what’s happening in this school,” told the local news about the incident. “The hatred with which she hit my daughter, I mean it was a hatred that, really I’ve never hit my daughter like she hit her. I had never hit her.”

Bret Provinsky, the mother’s attorney, said the State Attorney’s Office is currently reviewing the case to see whether they will pursue criminal charges against Carter and Cecilia Self.

Self was meant to translate for the mother, but the mother said she did not do so. “That’s aggravated battery. They’re using a weapon that can cause severe physical harm,” said Provinsky. “The child is terrified, she feels vulnerable. There’s nothing she can do in the hands of these adults, who treated her so brutally, savagely, sadistically.”

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Singer-Songwriter Kany García Speaks Out Against Conversion Therapy in Puerto Rico

Entertainment

Singer-Songwriter Kany García Speaks Out Against Conversion Therapy in Puerto Rico

As the Puerto Rican government is debating a bill on conversion therapy, Kany García is speaking out against the controversial practice. The Boricua singer-songwriter wrote an open letter to the senators in favor of Senate Bill 184, which would help end conversion therapy on the island.

Kany is one of Puerto Rico’s most-decorated artists.

García is one of the Puerto Rico’s top artists. She’s won six Latin Grammy out of a career 20 nominations. In March, she was also nominated for her third Grammy Award for her latest album Mesa Para Dos.

This year Kany celebrated five years since coming out.

On Valentine’s Day 2016, García revealed that she was in a relationship with her partner, Jocelyn Troche. The couple is still going strong with Troche appearing in last year’s “Lo Que En Ti Veo.” She and García share beautiful moments in the video. At November’s Latin Grammy Awards, there was a big wave of artists in the LGBTQ+ community in the major categories, including García, Ricky Martin, Pablo Alborán, and Jesse y Joy’s Joy Huerta.

She’s telling Puerto Rican senators to pass Senate Bill 184 in her letter.

Since coming out, García has remained at the forefront of queer issues in Puerto Rico. The passage of Senate Bill 184 seeks to prohibit conversion therapy. The controversial practice has long harmed LGBTQ+ communities. It’s thought of as a way to rid them of their queer gender or sexual identities.

“Puerto Rico deserves that every girl and boy, every young woman and young man can be who they want to be and love who they want to love,” García wrote in her letter. “This measure has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the protection of Puerto Rican children and youth.”

García speaks from her own experience. “I am an example of how to be faithful to who you are. I am a woman who deeply loves her partner and who is loved by her family and by our people. There is nothing to change. There is nothing to repair. There’s nothing to heal. We have to give the same opportunity that I have had, to be who I am, to all our children and youth.”

García further writes that the bill should be passed as-is without any amendments. According to Al Día news, Popular Democratic Party Senators Gretchen Hau, Elizabeth Rosa Velez, and Migdalia Gonzalez have filed several amendments to Senate Bill 184 as of Wednesday. Puerto Rico’s governor Pedro Pierluisi has indicated that he’s ready to override the senators if necessary.

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Read: Thalía, Alejandra Gúzman, Anitta And More Lined-Up for ‘Ellas y Su Música’ Mother’s Day Special

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