Quote of the moment

"I have to tell it again and again: I have no doctrine. I only point out something. I point out reality, I point out something in reality which has not or too little been seen. I take him who listens to me at his hand and lead him to the window. I push open the window and point outside. I have no doctrine, I carry on a dialogue." Martin Buber

Friday, June 29, 2012

I Love Chile's USDA American Products Survey

Fried Turkey for holiday dinner- How more American is that!

Have you been missing your favorites from back home in the USA? I Love Chile is assisting the USDA office in Santiago with a survey of USDA American Products  to find out which American products they should consider importing to Chile.  They  put together a survey to gather the needed information from all of us.  So, if you have been missing some of your favorite foods, this is your chance to let them know as I just did!   The survey can take some time as you list all your cravings from home or explain your eating habits.

Most of the questions are open ended with plenty of space where you can just simply list those special items that can make an American (norteAmerican that is) home cooked meal special.

And besides, as I Love Chile notes,  if they are your favorite things, why not bring them here to share with your Chilean friends who may love them as well?  I Love Chile is asking need as many people staying in Chile from the United States as possible to participate, and we will appreciate your responses very much.

Here is the link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/V6TGF2T

Monday, June 25, 2012

CRPD HILL OUTREACH MEETING! Need Republican support for CRPD!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Last week Senator Kerry convened with the 7 Democratic and Republican sponsors of the CRPD treaty. He has agreed to hold a hearing and send the treaty to the Senate floor for a vote on July 26th for the anniversary of the ADA.... only if by Wednesday we have indications of support from enough Republicans (14) to win ratification.

When: Tuesday, June 26th, 1:00PM-2:00PM
Where: Mayer-Brown, LLP
1999 K Street NW
Ground Floor – Town Halls A & B
Click here for MAP
RSVP & Accommodation requests: Esme Grant egrant@usicd.org

Key Senate Rs for Outreach
5. BURR (NC)
10. CRAPO (ID)
11. ENZI (WY)
16. LUGAR (IN)
18. RISCH (ID)
19. THUNE (SD)


Esmé Grant, J.D.
Disability Rights Program Manager
United States International Council on Disabilities
1012 14th St. NW, Suite 105
Washington, DC 20005
Office: (202) 347-0102
Mobile: (650) 814-2106
Fax: (202) 347-0351

Friday, June 22, 2012

Contact your Senators and send to your networks!

Contact your Senators and send to your networks! We have very little time to  move on the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  There are 2 different actions below. Please read the instructions carefully!

Step #1: Individuals in all states should go to the Legislative Action Center and send our CRPD letter TODAY!

Act now and ask your Senators to support the ratification of the CRPD in July. Send a letter to your Senators today and help advance an ideal vision of disability policy and practice. On May 17 the Obama Administration submitted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to the United States Senate for its advice and consent, and a week later a bipartisan group of seven Senators came out in support of the treaty.
This vital nondiscrimination treaty seeks to achieve the same goals as existing disability laws in the United States--to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and integration into all aspects of society including education. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 90 percent of children with disabilities in developing countries have no access to school, and the International Labour Organization reports that in some countries, the unemployment rate among individuals with disabilities is as high as 80 percent. 
In the face of this despair, the CRPD is a vital, new instrument for the advancement of rights and opportunities for people with disabilities around the world. To learn more about the CRPD, please read CEC’s CRPD Issue Brief.

Step #2: Individuals in targeted states (see list below) should email the letter in Step #1 and then call your Senators and ask them to support a hearing and vote for ratification in July 2012. Call these offices Monday and Tuesday of next week. Ask to speak with the legislative assistant who works on foreign relations issues. Please let Deb Ziegler at CEC (debz@cec.sped.org) know if these targeted Senators are for or against the ratification of this treaty.

Yesterday Senator Kerry convened with the 7 Democratic and Republican sponsors of the CRPD treaty. He has agreed to hold a hearing and send the treaty to the Senate floor for a vote on July 26th for the anniversary of the ADA.... only if we have indications of support from enough Republicans (14) to win ratification by Wednesday.  We have 3 R champions so far (McCain, Barrasso, and Moran) but we need 11 more. Our Republican leads agreed to work hard to get the votes but they can't do it without your help!

Below is a list of senators that are almost there but need to hear your voice and we need to act fast!  Tell the senators that the CRPD deserves a hearing and a vote NOW. Make the Anniversary of the ADA on July 26th once again become a beacon of hope to people with disabilities and their families and friends around the world by passing the CRPD treaty on this important occasion.

Message: Will you support the CRPD (Treaty 112-7)? We want a hearing and floor vote in July!

LUGAR (IN) – supported ADA and ADA Amendments!  Call: (202) 224-4814
CORKER (TN)   Call: (202) 224-3344
BLUNT (MO) – supported ADA Amendments! Call: (202) 224-5721
BROWN (MA)  Call: (202) 224-4543
ENZI (WY) – supported ADA Amendments!  Call: (202) 224-3424
AYOTTE (NH)  Call: (202) 224-3324
CHAMBLISS (GA) - supported ADA Amendments!  Call: (202) 224-3521
GRASSLEY (IA) - supported ADA and ADA Amendments! Call: (202) 224-3744
JOHANNS (NE)  Call: (202) 224-4224
MURKOWSKI (AK) – supported ADA Amendments!  Call: (202) 224-6665
GRAHAM (SC) Call: (202) 224-5972
COBURN (OK)  Call: (202) 224-5754
COATS (IN) – supported ADA Call: (202) 224-5623
ALEXANDER (TN) – supported ADA Amendments! Call: (202) 224-4944
RISCH (ID) Call: (202) 224-2752
HUTCHISON (TX)  Call: (202) 224-5922

Thank you for your active advocacy on these important issues!

Deborah A. Ziegler, Ed.D
Associate Executive Director
Policy and Advocacy Services
Council for Exceptional Children
2900 Crystal Drive, Suite 1000
Arlington, Virginia 22202-3557
703-264-9406 (P)
703-243-0410 (F)
866-915-5000 (TTY)

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Contact your Senators NOW-- TURN USA RATIFICATION RED!

Chile, unlike my home country of the United States of America, has not only signed the Convention of Rights for Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) it has also ratified it! Today is now our opportunity to join in world wide with 115 other countries. But we need YOU to help in this effort WHETHER YOU ARE HOME IN THE USA OR AN AMERICAN ABROAD! 

Act now and ask your Senators to support the ratification of the CRPD in July. 
Send a letter to your Senators today and help advance an ideal vision of disability policy and practice.

On May 17 the Obama Administration submitted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to the United States Senate for its advice and consent, and a week later a bipartisan group of seven Senators came out in support of the treaty. 

This vital nondiscrimination treaty seeks to achieve the same goals as existing disability laws in the United States--to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and integration into all aspects of society including education. 
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 90 percent of children with disabilities in developing countries have no access to school, and the International Labour Organization reports that in some countries, the unemployment rate among individuals with disabilities is as high as 80 percent. 

In the face of this despair, the CRPD is a vital, new instrument for the advancement of rights and opportunities for people with disabilities around the world.

To learn more about the CRPD, please read CEC’s CRPD Issue Brief.

Act now and ask your Senators to support the ratification of the CRPD in July. Send a letter to your Senators today and help advance an ideal vision of disability policy and practice.

Latest developments

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

  • 115 ratifications
  • 153 signatories

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

  • 65 ratifications
  • 90 signatories

  • Djibouti ratified the Convention on 18-6-2012
  • Greece ratified the Convention on 31-5-2012
  • Estonia ratified the Convention on 30-5-2012
  • Estonia ratified the Optional Protocol on 30--5-2012

 It’s About Ability - An explanation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNICEF) 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Visions of Vizslas

Gundog Training a Hungarian VizslaVizsla Welpevizsla IIVizsla BuzzVizsla DeltaLúa...  2008
BRACO HÚNGARO O VIZSLAKiko y Mambo (2)KikoKiko (2)Kiko y MamboPromesas de Terciopelo

Visions of Vizslas, a gallery on Flickr.

Having fun poking about looking at all the really beautiful Vizslas that are out there.

Friday, June 15, 2012

God speed my dear friend, Ray Gerke

So long my dear friend and staunch advocate- Ray Gerke 
Tonight I have learned that a dear friend has passed. As a tear lingers in my eye a smile draws the corners of my mouth up as I recall all our mischievous adventures together while we struck out to change the world.   I regret that  I do not have many details to share other than he had entered the hospital a week ago and did not survive medical treatments.

I first met Ray through the National Coalition on Self Determination (NconSD), the organization started by Bill Coffelt under Project Leadership directed as I recall by Sue Swenson 
The National Coalition on Self-Determination is the only national partnership of people with disabilities, parents, and family members who work to promote federal policies that support the four principles of Self-Determination -freedom, authority, support, and responsibility and the values of the Community Imperative - a declaration asserting the fundamental human right of all people, regardless of the severity of their disabilities, to community living. Excellent site for current legislative activities.
(read more of our history here: http://tinyurl.com/bujw3lq , pg. 29):

With his spiffy cowboy boots, a black cigarrett dangling (when not replaced by a hooka), and an eye out for the ladies, he was always ready with a quip or a joke. Besides working together in NconSD, we worked together for many years representing NconSD as advisors for the National Institute for Urban School Improvement (http://www.niusileadscape.org/docs/FinalReportv5.pdf).

As our  Co-President at NconSD he could be found rolling along the halls of Congress...always with a standing invite to just pop in and chat with Senators Harkin and Grassley or popping in at the Administration on Developmental Disabilities offices to let them know what it REALLY was like as a person living with a disability. He was also a frequent participant at TASH conferences along with fellow members and advisors of NconSD:

Co-President, Donna Szamatowicz(Parent Co-President)
Vice Co-President Eric Treat (Self-advocate Co-Vice President)
Vice Co-President  Donna Martinez(Parent Co-Vice President)
Secretary Kathy Brill
Treasurer Robert Sneirson
Board Members
Michael Allen (Parent NM)
Dayna Davis(Parent OR)
Carolyn Delgado (Self-Advocate NM)
Nicholas Dupree (Self-Advocate AL)
Catherine Ellis (Parent MN)
Marylyn Kuna (Parent NJ)
Rebecca Riggs (Parent AR)*
Stephan Ruppman (Self-Advocate VA)
Jim Conroy PA
Judy Cerrano MI
Mary Cerreto MA
Shelley Dumas
Elizabeth Priaulx (DC)
Bonnie Shultz (NY)

Ray also did much for Iowa and for all of us while working full-time as an advocate for Iowa's Department of Human Services.

But who better than Ray himself to share with you about his life....for he was all about nothing about him without him!

Here, in his personal statement given to the Senate finance committee April 2004 you see what a strong and determined advocate he was.

But more than that... he was a true friend and pal - one who will be surely missed.


Ray worked on Iowa's Olmstead Real Choices Consumer Task Force. He lived as a young boy in an institution and then got out again to live with his family. Here he spoke about the contrasts in his life before and after, and how the institution had terrible effects on his life:

April 2004

My name is Raymond (Ray) Gerke.  I live in Perry, Iowa.
Thank you for allowing me to speak to you today.  I am honored to be here to share my story with you in order to help you understand the importance of supporting home and community based services.

I received a diagnosis of cerebral palsy when I was an infant.  At that time, my parents were given the choice – take me home and raise me like any other child, or place me in an institution.  They chose to take me home.

My early years were filled with family vacations, road trips with my Dad in his truck, and games, rivalry and love between me and my siblings and cousins.   When I was eight, my parents were told that I needed more intense therapy services than what I could get in my home community.  They were told the best thing they could do for me would be to place me in a facility where I could get physical, occupational and speech therapy.

So, all of a sudden, I found myself in a town two hours from my home – alone without understanding why.  I was totally unprepared for this strange setting.  Instead of my family and friends, I found myself sharing my life with 97 other individuals with disabilities.  Some of those strangers became my friends, but no one could replace what I left at home.

Because I did not understand, I cried for those first two days, and then many days off and on for the two years I lived there full-time.  After those first two years, I returned to my home during the school year, and spent summers back in the facility. It took three years to learn the system – to know what to expect and be able to handle things without those childhood tears.  For example, I learned independence.  We were not allowed visitors as they might upset us.  I learned not to trust people.  In a congregate setting, the young kids gets teased and bullied by the more experienced.  Kids take things
from each other, and worse, if adults see something they like, those things also often come up missing.

In that same setting, my experience included having to go along with demands of an authority figure who had power to make my life miserable – even when that authority figure’s demands included misusing my body to meet his personal desires.   I got all the intense therapy I needed – but at what cost? When the professionals decided that the therapy had gone as far as it could, I returned to my family home.  That experience – though over four decades ago – has had lasting impact on my life and my perspectives.

Today I live with my wife, who also has Cerebral Palsy, in a home we own.  I work fulltime.  I drive myself to work and wherever else I need to go.  I have many, many friends, some who have a disability, some who do not.  I live a full life – a life that I direct myself with supports.

I also carry with me each and every day the burden of knowing that the threat of institutionalization is as real for me today as it ever has been.  If I lost the funding sources that provide me the ability to maintain my life as it is, my salary could not cover the costs of having staff to assist me with getting ready for work, preparing my meals, or getting me into bed at night.

Without that support, I’d have few options but to return to a setting much like the facility I knew those early years.  I would then no longer be directing a few select personal assistants to assist me with the choices I make on how I like to live, and I would also no longer have the independence I know today.  My life would lack privacy.  When I lose choice, independence and privacy, I also lose my dignity and I lose my freedom.   In order for me to maintain my life in the community, and to provide other people of all ages who live with disabilities today the same opportunity, I ask you to:
•  Eliminate the institutional bias in Medicaid by requiring states to include community based personal assistance services in their Medicaid plans.  Individuals who qualify for Medicaid should automatically be eligible for community services—not just services delivered in institutional settings as in
current law.  
•  Provide financial incentives for states to help individuals transition from institutions to community settings.  Because community settings are typically less costly, this benefits not only the individual but also the federal and state treasuries.
•  Assist states in developing and implementing a strategy to “re-balance” their long term care systems so that there are more cost-effective choices between institutional and community options.
•  Provide financial support and create incentives for states to develop quality community-basedsupports and services, including support to help states find ways to recruit, train, and retain direct support workers.
•  Offer respect to the people whose lives are affected by disability policy decisions by not just listening to them, but by having them be a part of the decision-making itself.

Today, I am an active advocate for all people with disabilities.  I serve on many boards and committees, two of which strongly apply to this topic:
I am a member of Iowa’s Olmstead Real Choice Consumer Task Force.  We are working to effectively implement the Olmstead decision in Iowa.  This includes advocating for the policies I just stated as well as working with the Iowa Department of Human Services to take advantage of CMS’s new progressive policy of self-direction, which promotes community living and affords individuals more choice and control over the services they receive. •  I also serve as the co-president (self advocate representative) for the National Coalition on Self-Determination, Inc. – the only national coalition that has both parents and consumers working together on issues.

The work of both of these groups focuses on “real choices” –
•  The freedom to live the way you want – to self-direct your life
•  To be able to purchase the services you need to support you in your life
•  To live a life with dignity
•  To have the freedom to make new friends and participate in your community, and
•  To support your right to vote

Again, I urge you to pass legislation that will incorporate the policies I have mentioned today that help people like me have all the right resources exist in the community for me to participate fully as an American citizen.  Your decisions are important to the lives of many, many people who like me, live under a threat that should not be present.

 Thank you very much for your time and attention to improving access to Medicaid
Home and Community Based Services.


I shall miss you my dear friend. God speed.

Ski resorts reviewed

Full moon rises over Andes and ski resorts
From our terrace with our telescope not only can we watch the rise of the full moon over the Andes, but also the Valle Nevado's ski lifts carrying its winter cargo up to the top. We especially enjoy marveling at the majestic beauty of the snow capped mountains from our our dining room window.

The view from our dining room

Yet, after three years living in Santiago, Chile, even though Valle Nevado is only 35 miles outside of Santiago, we have yet to go up to the resorts to do as much as toss a snowball. This year...if it actually snows enough... we hope to change that.

To help us decide where we will go is the Telegraph's article, Skiing in Chile: A guide to summer on the slopesRob Freeman, writing for the Telegraph  finds much to recommend the resorts of Chile for those incapable of spending a whole summer between ski trips.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

¿Got Artwork? ¡Get paperwork! Export of original art from Chile

"Sanhattan 2012" Oil on canvas, 50x150 cm. by Artist, Timothy Craig

I recently purchased my first original oil painting from Timothy Craig, an American artist from New Hampshire residing in Chile with his wife who was on assignment in Santiago, Chile with the UN. It's a lovely piece that shows the Santiago skyline framed by the Andes. It hangs next to our window showing a similar scene. He announces on his website that he will have an Open Studio this weekend-June 15 at 7-10:30 pm  and June16 at 11am-6 pm.
Directions for the event are: 
Merced 563 #C Santiago centro (el mapa)
In front of Supermercado Líder, next to the Metro Station- Bellas Artes

We enjoy two views of the Santiago skyline
And while I'd love to purchase more of his art and who knows, even a work by the great Chilean master, Roberto Matta, I'm realizing that, as with just about everything here in Chile, it's just not that simple.  As a nascent art collector living out of country I have learned that in order to ship our treasures back home-or to where ever we are off to next- we will need documentation from the Departamento de Autorización de Salida e Internación de Obras de Arte of all of our original art works executed entirely by hand. We also need a similar statement for any of our antique mementos and treasures. This information is especially important for the many expats and others who participate in the International Association of Chile's annual fundraiser, Noche de Arte, where I made my purchase from Timothy Craig. 

Luckily, for return to the USA Original works of art (i.e. paintings, drawings, pastels, collages and decorative plaques) with or without their frames are duty-free under Chapter 97 in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS).
 Artwork Statement - The artwork statement is required for duty-free entry of original works of art such as sculptures, etchings, engravings, and lithographs. The statement shall show whether they are originals, replicas, reproductions, or copies, and also the name of the artist who produced them, unless upon examination the CBP officer is satisfied that such statement is not necessary to a proper determination of the facts.

Antique Statement - A Certificate of Antiquity, or a similar statement on the invoice, is required to claim duty-free entry of goods over 100 years old. The statement must include the words "circa date" followed by the year of manufacture whether known or estimated.
The added trick, however,  is to make certain that any art piece with a frame is not so fancy as warrant a separate classification for the frame as well.

For more information on duty-free treatment for original works of art under Chapter 97, please reference the HTS and  Informed Compliance Publication for Original Works of Art.
Now that's just to get our original artwork back IN to the USA. Getting them OUT of Chile may be a whole other ball of wax.

The law that controls the departure of works of art from the country is Ley Nº17.236 del Ministerio de Patrimonio y Educación  of 2006.  The law which bound state interests and cultural centralism was established to protect the national patrimony of artwork from leaving the country unlawfully.  Under the direction of the Libraries, Archives and Museums, the Ministry of Patrimony and Education directs that an official written authorization of departure or export (autorizaciòn de salida al exterior de una obra de arte de un autor nacional o extranjero) is required for any and all original works of art including: prints, paintings, sculptures, and photographs.

To obtain such a written statement art aficionados and collectors in Chile must go to the Department Authorizing the Exit and Internment of Works of Art (Departamento de Autorización de Salida e Internación de Obras de Arte).  This includes what ever little original souvenir artwork or great work of art from the masters that was completed by hand.  The department was created in 1976 with the goal of enforcing the Law 17.236 of the Ministry of Education. This government entity is in charge of the authorization of the removal and importation of all art which is considered original, whether painting, sculpture, drawing or engraving created by Chilean and foreign artists alike. The goal of this law is to protect the National Cultural Heritage.

Authorization for each work of art to leave Chile costs $5000 CLP, but is subject to change semi-annually dependent upon the IPC (consumer prices index). This Department also attends to the requests for importation of works of art created by Chilean artists, which are eligible for duty free entrance. This is all according to Article 9, No.2 of Law No.19.128, which permits that all works may enter the country without taxes.

Despite the  inconvenience local moving companies assure that current government and the Departamento de Autorización de Salida e Internación de Obras de Arte have not frequently exercised their right to declare our souvenirs as National Treasures, forbidding us from packing them up with us... as long as we have all the "papeleo"  ( bureaucratic paperwork ) in order. 

The law originated in 1970 when Chile became concerned that Chilean cultural property needed to be protected and defended from unethical trade practices. Concerns that tourists, art dealers and dealers in  antiquities would abscond with its monuments, antiquities and national works of art. As a result the Chilean government  enacted high-urgent calls for international protection of its  historical and artistic past.

In their article, Políticas Culturales:La Acción del Estado y la Sociedad de Oportunidades (Cultural politics: The action of the state and opportunity society)  published November 2011, Cristián Antoine F. D. and Brablec S. question if these actions are remain mandatory given the Chilean nation's changes within the State's institutions a well as expectations of legal reforms designed to transform the current National Counsel of Culture and the Arts in a Ministry of Culture and Heritage (Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes en un Ministerio de Cultura y Patrimonio). The authors suggest historically, there has been a link between the administration of power and its control over forms of artistic and cultural expression as a means of social delegitimization. Chilean governments have attempted to develop a conservation protection, patronage function and guaranteeing function of cultural property. According to the authors, the political and cultural experiences accumulated throughout the decades may herald a process of transition between "políticas culturales" (cultural politics)  and "public policies on culture." The authors conclude that political measures within the Coalition governments of the last four administrations tended to promote a greater emphasis on the creation and promotion of public policies via the allocation of financial, intellectual and / or technical resources for the realization of artistic works, while overlooking the need to for a balanced approach for the needs of the rest of the population.

I do appreciate the need of a country to protect its National Cultural Heritage.  Recently the Chilean National Counsel of Culture and Art ( Consejo National de la Culltura y las Artes) in its  Política de Fomento de las Artes Visuales 2010-2015  observed Chile's museums' poor procurement policies, and limited budgets hinder public museums from forming solid collections of modern and contemporary art.
By not participate in the art market, museums and institutions of excellence also fail to deliver investment guidelines, attempting in this way against his power of recognition, affecting their autonomy.
 Yet the National Counsel of Culture and Art points out that Chile's legislation governing the arts and regulating original artistic work (Law No. 17. 236) with few modifications fails to address the current problems in the field of visual arts. The law for the visual arts, whose function is to approve "rules that favor exercise and dissemination of the arts in our country" deserves review and new proposals for improvement to meet their objectives given the failure of the current law.

Here's hoping they find the fix and eliminate the added burden and cost before we have to leave.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Santiago announces driving restrictions for pollution control

Sun setting on Andes in smoggy Santiago
Photo by DCMartinez
Last night we had our first" Preemergency" driving restriction alert for the winter caused by a coastal trough that will not permit air to rise and flow out of Santiago taking along with it all the pollution.

Hoy jueves 7, se observó una vaguada costera en superficie y hacia fines del día se espera el ingreso de una dorsal en altura, por esta razón el PMCA registrará una variación de REGULAR a REGULAR/ALTO hacia fines del día. Para el día de mañana viernes 8, se espera la presencia de una vaguada costera en superficie y una dorsal en altura, por lo que el PMCA se mantendrá en el rango de REGULAR/ALTO
Vehicular Restrictions for today, June 8 include:
  • Vehicles with Green Seal (with catalytic converters)  =  5 & 6
  • Vehicles without Green Seal = 3 - 4 -5 -6 -7 -8
Chile's  Quality of Particulate Air (ICAP) number measures the number of particles in the air per cubic meter (PM) or more specifically PM-10.  On days when the PM-10 levels reach 30, it means that for every cubic meter of air, there are 30 particles with a diameter of 10 microns. Below is a list of the air quality indicators from good to emergency:

Driving your car during smog/pollution alerts

"Alerta Ambiental" or Air Quality Alert:

When Santiago experiences a very smoggy day, the government will issue an alerta ambiental or air quality alert. When that occurs (usually from 1 April through 31 August), it is important to check if your car is allowed to be driven on the streets that day. When there is a season without much rain the alerts will increase.

Driving restrictions usually between 7:30 AM and 9:30 PM are based on the last digit of a car's license plate. Driving restrictions are most frequently in place for older cars without catalytic converters. Newer autos will have catalytic converters, so "alerta ambiental" with driving restrictions do not affect those drivers.

"Emergencia Ambiental" or an Air
Quality Emergency:

However, if the air 
quality remains poor or gets worse, an emergencia ambiental, an air
quality emergency, can be declared and some cars with catalytic converters will be restricted.You may also find information on restrictions on the Government's air quality site: Calidad del Aire en Línea Región Metropolitana

"Preemergencia Ambiental" or Air Quality "Pre-emergency:

When the smog situation is expected to be very bad the next day, Santiago will declare a state of "pre-emergency." The declared state of “pre-emergency” means that:

  • Vehicles with a red sticker (sello rojo, non-catalytic cars) with specific license plate numbers are not permitted on the roads between 07:30 and 21:00.
  • Vehicles with a green sticker (sello verde) with specific license plates are not allowed on the roads either.
  • As well, 841 industrial sources of contamination shut down.
  • No one can light wood fires in their houses.
  • It is recommended not to exercise outside.

Driving restrictions are usually announced the evening before on the news. On the early morning news on most stations you will see the day's restrictions at the bottom of the screen. Usually it is the four numbers for non-catalytic converter cars. However, if sello verde cars, cars with catalytic converters (newer cars), are mentioned, they will put up a second set of numbers. These are numbers corresponding to the last number in the license plate. For instance, if your license plate number is HA 41 65 and a 5 is one of the numbers on
the screen corresponding to sello verde cars, you may not drive between
the hours mentioned. There are always some numbers on screen for the
non-catalytic cars because they have a daily series of restrictions and these are often seen on a red background, while catalytics are shown on green. Most days the green box says sin restricción, "no restriction." *Catalytic carsare only restricted in emergencies,* but you need to check for them daily 
until September.

How to Know If Your Car Is Restricted

There are many sources to see the day's numbers, but not
every Web site is kept up to date as quickly as the news. Morning newspapers will include restrictions in their local pages, along with the temperature announcements. It is wise to always check in the morning before you go to work, or late at night (11 PM).

Government pages for a calendar for restrictions between April and August 2011 may be found here: vehicular restrictions.
Mercurio's online resource: Servicios

 Unidad Operativa de Control de Tránsito  or Traffic Control

This shows not only the restrictions but gives you information about the air quality.

Youmay also receive from your Twitter account notices by contacting:   @rsaseguroschile.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Democrats Abroad Chile announces special election

Democrats Abroad Chile announces a special election to be held for the following Executive Committee Positions:


Democrat Abroad Chile's election of executive members will be held electronically between the 00:01 June 19, 2012 and 19:30 July 8, 2012. If you are a U.S. citizen, a registered Democrat, and are interested in the upcoming election, please register for Democrats Abroad, and participate in shaping the future of the U.S. and world. 

Members may also vote by mail. Those members who prefer to vote by mail must petition an absentee ballot from the Nominations Committee 10 days prior to the election. 

Members may also vote in person during our general meeting to be held July 8, 2012 18:30-19:30 PM at Jean Mermoz 4115 #161, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile.

A general meeting will follow the election.

Do not forget to also to register to vote and request an absentee ballot for this year's election at www.VoteFromAbroad.org!