Hardware stores ask to be allowed to resume operations

The Construction Materials Merchants Association (ACMC) has asked the government to allow its partners to operate, albeit on limited hours, during the quarantine period to offer service to businesses and the community.

Your president, Marcos Rodríguez, He sent a letter to the secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC) on March 22, in which he asked them to include hardware stores among the businesses that can remain open during the validity of the first Executive Order. But the government has not yet responded to them.

The ACMC is concerned that there are companies and consumers who need hardware items, for example they have a plumbing problem and cannot solve it because the hardware stores are closed. The problem is compounded by Governor Wanda Vázquez extending the quarantine period for another two weeks.

Adagilsa Gaud, executive director of the ACMC, indicated that the hardware stores offer cleaning and essential items, in addition to the sector’s own items, such as wood, tools, plumbing and construction items in general.

Hardware stores may take orders over the phone for the customer to pick them up at a certain timeGaud said, while mentioning that some can also deliver orders at home or by car and limit the number of clients within the establishment to maintain social distance.

In the letter from the president of the ACMC, Rodríguez points out that in In states like New York or California, the state government has allowed hardware stores to remain in operation during the emergency, as have supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, farmers markets, and restaurants.

El Nuevo Día contacted the DDEC to find out the status of the ACMC request and its director of Communications indicated that this determination is made by the Fortress and we must wait for the new Executive Order.


Atomic Veterans of America – NBC Connecticut

The enemy Hank Bolden
faced did not come from a distant front line.

It came from the skies.

It’s a battle that’s still going on 65 years later. Bolden, who is now 82 years old, is an atomic veteran – one of hundreds of thousands of American service members used in human testing by the United States government during post-WWII nuclear tests and sworn to a secret life.

“They wanted to see how the living soldiers would resist the exposure
to radiation, ”recalls Bolden. “Before using live soldiers they were using
mannequins. But you don’t get real results using mannequins as you would
live bodies. “


While accompanying a friend to a New Haven recruiting station in 1953, Bolden was invited to join the army. At just 16 years old then and already out of high school, he admits that he “pulled down” his birth certificate to move to the age of 18, joining the approximately 200,000 underage soldiers who would have served during the Second World War and the eras of the Korean War.

After basic training in
Fort Dix was assigned to work as a tank mechanic in Texas before moving to Texas
California and becoming a surface-to-air missile mechanic.

Despite an executive order issued in July
26, 1948, by President Harry S. Truman to desegregate the armed forces, the last one
the all black units of the army were not abolished until 1954. And in 1955, Bolden
he says, racist attitudes persist even after the units have been racially integrated.

“The residual thoughts of people were firm
linger, “he says.” My outfit was 800 people strong. Thirteen of us were
black. Ten were from the South, who were more tolerant of treatment
they got racially. But the three of us from the North couldn’t tolerate it,
so I have had many fights over this. So I was the guy they wanted
get rid of.”

It would not be the only race
discrimination Bolden would witness as a soldier.


In 1955, the seventeen year old
he was suddenly ordered to the Nevada desert without explanation.

“They don’t tell you what you’re going to face,” he said. “Nobody
they knew what they were going to face. ”

What he would eventually face was a classified operation known as Operation Teapot at the Nevada Test Site. In a series of 14 bomb throws, or “hits”, military officials tried to test the effects of nuclear bombs on structures and strategies, animals and people.

All races of military personnel
participated in the Teapot operation. But upon arrival in Nevada, Bolden was
astounded to accomplish all the other soldiers in his new specially selected unit
for a mysterious assignment they were also black.

“There was this myth about black people
be able to resist, tolerate certain things more than any other race “, he
He says. “So it was a test on that too.”


One morning in February, Bolden
the unit was ordered in a desert trench. Unbeknownst to them, it was excavated
the expected route of the fallout, only 2.8 miles away from what it would have become
ground zero for the launch of an atomic bomb.

Even though a countdown sounded on the speakers, Bolden says, the soldiers still had no idea what they were about to face. Without protective gear in addition to the normal fabrics and helmets, they waited and looked.

“They tell you to cover your eyes”
he says.

On February 18, 1955, Shot Wasp, the first nuclear test of Operation Teapot, detonated a Mark 6 nuclear bomb dropped by a B-36 exactly at noon. A monstrous cloud of mushrooms filled the sky, reaching 21,500 feet in height.

“With radiation, when you put your arms over your eyes or hands, you actually see the bones, you see the bones in your body from the exposure. You can see your skeleton. “

After the relapse the warning came.

“You swore not to speak
“said Bolden. The soldiers were threatened with imprisonment and fines for violation
The oath.

For 60 years, Bolden didn’t tell anyone. No this
family, not his wife, not his children. Not even her doctors when she spies on her
tumors have started to show. He developed bladder and posterior subcapsular cancer
cataract and in 1990 multiple myeloma was diagnosed.

“They actually gave me three and a half years
four years to live, ”recalls Bolden.
So in 1995 I should have been a statistic. “

But in 1995, Bolden was in remission. He is a citizen
the secret was coming to light.


Government figures estimate between 400,000 and 550,000 US military personnel who participated in a series of nuclear tests between 1946 and 1992. According to the Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency, this includes post occupation forces -Second World War of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, prisoners of war in Japan at the end of the Second World War, participants in the atmospheric nuclear tests in Nevada and the Pacific from 1945 to 1962 and participants in the underground nuclear tests in Nevada from 1951 to 1992.

Many of these “atomic veterans” have succumbed before their own
the stories have become public, their bodies are full of tumors. In
1990, the veil of secrecy began to lift.

After setting up the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments to investigate 10-year experiments, President Clinton made a formal apology to American atomic veterans on October 3, 1995. By order of the president, Congress would repeal the nuclear radiation agreement law. and secrecy, allowing atomic veterans to talk about their experiences without fear of fines or treason charges. And financial compensation has been opened to all qualified atomic veterans.

“Those who led the government when these decisions were made are no longer here to take responsibility for what they have done. They are not here to apologize to survivors, family members or their communities whose lives have been overshadowed by shadow of these choices So today, on behalf of another generation of American leaders and another generation of American citizens, the United States of America offers sincere apologies to those of our citizens who have undergone these experiments. the government is wrong, we have a moral responsibility to admit it, “said President Bill Clinton on October 3, 1995

But the television address has been obscured. The same happened
day when OJ Simpson’s verdict was issued in a live classroom feed, taking
on televisions and news cycles across America.

As a result, many skilled veterans had no idea of ​​the ban
the secrecy had been lifted, nor that they could claim benefits. Bolden no
find out until he researched the Internet, he says, in 2015.

“I was once so angry and so aggravating with the government that I thought I would be murdered to keep me from talking,” he says.

When Bolden attempted to apply for subsidies, he found that the burden of proof was placed on his fellow atomic veterans. The government would give compensation from the date a complaint was filed, but not retroactively, and only if the veteran could prove that he had participated in the tests – which proved to be an almost impossible task after millions of military documents were destroyed in a 1973 fire against the National Staff Registration Center. As many as 18 million documents were burned, including 80% of all army personnel discharged between 1912 and 1960.

“They hoped for it
would have died sooner or would have been one of those guys who surrendered ”
says Anthony Bolden, Hank’s son. “No thanks. Hank doesn’t have it.”

After paying her
own pocket for a polygraph lie detector pouch, Hank eventually claimed
approved, setting a precedent for other atomic veterans whose records were

Photo: Hidden story: the atomic veterans of America

Hit a high note

“The love of music has
I’ve always been there. “

After his honorable discharge
from the army, Bolden went to work as an engineer before deciding to pursue a
career as a jazz musician who works while his family grows. Tell the story
while cradling the tenor saxophone that has been at his side since 1967. The “Rolls
Royce “of tools, he says.

The brand is Selmer. IS
in a strange coincidence, the model is a 6 sign. It is the same name as the shot
Wasp atomic bomb design.

But this is where the
the similarities end. The bomb was his nightmare. Music, his dream and his
outlet to work through the trauma of what lived in Nevada

“It’s like the blood inside
my veins. It takes away all my other thoughts, “he says

Bolden is finally
he receives compensation from the government and is now using it to help make his dream come true.
He returned to school, studying jazz performances at Hartt University of Hartford

“They are like the relic
here with all these kids, you know, “he chuckles.

Professor Javon Jackson
says that the 82-year-old is leaving a unique mark on the prestigious program.

“He has a lot of emotion,” says Jackson. “He is a very bluesy, very full of feeling, a natural player. His life, wisdom and the things he has acquired allow him to play the way it sounds.”


The vast majority of
Today, the American atomic veterans of the atmospheric test era are gone. About
400,000 veterans were present during these tests, according to the veterans
Administration. Survivors’ numbers vary, from around 10,000 to 80,000
still alive.

Bolden believes he is one of only two surviving African American atomic veterans who are recognized and receive compensation from the government. He is on a mission to reach as many survivors as possible and help them request the long-awaited recognition and compensation.

And he’s sharing his story, he says, to make sure the plight of American atomic veterans is no longer ignored.

“When people like me pass by, this won’t be part of the story unless someone makes sure it’s kept alive.”


I was on the Coronavirus cruise ship

In mid-December, a worried friend, who knew that our itinerary included a stop in Hong Kong, started sending me stories about a SARS-like coronavirus disease. “Could you put it off?” churches.

“Don’t go to China, let alone Wuhan,” I replied.

“Hong Kong is China, “he reminded me.

“There will be only one day!”

I saw as the Wuhan number started to rise and while the Chinese government imposed draconian measures to keep residents within the city limits, but without a worry, I finished packing for subways, walking, rain and moderate winter temperatures, multiple layers of cold and snow for our winter excursion after the cruise. I added elegant trouser suits for three formal nights on the ship and flashy but inexpensive necklaces to match. Stops in Vietnam and Okinawa required some summer clothes. I had put everything in a large suitcase, along with two folding bags for the inevitable treasures that we would find.

We took our long-awaited first class flight, wore pajamas signed by the airline, slept in the comfortable bed and dined with foie gras, abalone and other delicacies, accompanied by glasses of champagne. Once we arrived, we were enchanted by the breathtaking views of Tokyo, the cutting edge electronics and the magic of the Prince Gallery hotels and we were struck by the way one of the most populous cities in the world manages to be so clean and easy to navigate . We enjoyed learning how to do it Washi sewage paper and visit an entire building dedicated to origami.

Then we went to Yokohama, boarded the Diamond Princess and we couldn’t wait to spend the Lunar New Year in Hong Kong and visit Vietnam, Taiwan and then several other Japanese ports.

When we arrived in Hong Kong on January 25th, the combined worries about political demonstrators and the virus had caused the city to cancel all the New Year’s holidays. Still, we went into town for a dim sum lunch, a tram ride to Victoria Peak, crazy shopping and a Peking duck party. It was the vacation of a lifetime.

On the last night of the cruise, the captain’s voice emerged from the loudspeaker in our room, announcing that a passenger who had not returned aboard the ship in Hong Kong had tested positive for the coronavirus novel – so new that it had not yet been named. – and that the Japanese authorities would not let us get off the ship until everyone on board had completed a questionnaire, delivered threateningly by the quarantine division, and had checked our temperatures. We slept impatiently, waiting for a knock on the door.

Tthe hat was three years old weeks ago. It soon became clear that we would be confined to our rooms for at least 14 days. Unlike others who stay in windowless rooms, we had a small suite with a balcony. Meals for the 2,666 people on board were delivered three times a day. There was no butter, no salt, as this post-cruise fare was meant to satisfy only hunger, not the palate. Our decadent vacation was over. A mini-shaker came out that I keep with my toothpaste in case I need a salt water gargle for the sore throat. I dug in my supply of Earl Gray and the oolong mountain that I had purchased in Taipei. After talking to several medical friends, we decided to take Tamiflu prophylactically. I always put it in my suitcase during the flu season. I opened my cold prevention package with high doses of vitamin C, zinc and echinacea to strengthen our immune system. A friend needed something for a female itch, and was surprised to have both the cream and the supposed version of the drug she needed, much to her relief.