July 27, 2000
Teno OK’s funds for mayor’s office
The Saipan Mayor's Office yesterday received fresh funding to meet its mounting financial obligations as Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio approved two appropriation bills setting aside close to $250,000 for its operations and payment of debts. The money will come from revenues from bingo, batu and cockfight fees in the island municipality, including $171,700 from previous collection and $78,100 from new payments made by game operators. In signing the two bills, Mr. Tenorio cautioned the municipal government that reprogramming of the funds should be guided by provisions of the Planning and Budgeting Act. A huge chunk of the allocation will be used to settle debts incurred by the mayor's office during celebration of the Liberation Day last year, while portion of it will be for payment of this year's unfunded expenses.
Hawaii company tapped for PCB cleanup at cemetery
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $3.1 million contract to Environmental Chemical Corp. of Hawaii for the cleanup of the contamination of polychlorinated biphenyls in Cemetery No. 2 in Tanapag village. In a statement, the Army Corps said the cleanup will be conducted in two phases. The first will include the excavation and stockpiling of the estimated 5,000 tons of PCB-contaminated soil. The second phase will cover the elimination of the PCBs from the soil involving the low temperature thermal desorption process. ECC has already submitted a draft workplan to DEQ for comment on the process that will take place. The Army Corps will oversee the project, which will be coordinated with Region IX U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and CNMI officials.
July 27, 2001
Govt to decide on landfill bidding protest
The court battle involving the Marpi landfill project is now over, tossing a bidding protest back to the Procurement and Supply Division that vowed to render a decision within the next ten days. This developed as the clamor to close the Puerto Rico dumpsite remains strong from different sectors, including the judge who handled the case. The Puerto Rico dumpsite may just take over a year to fill to the maximum level, according to a study. The Superior Court yesterday dismissed the Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed by Western Equipment, Inc. and DRC Pacific Corporation, affirming the agreement that the consortium entered into with the defendants-Public Works Secretary Juan B. Cepeda and Procurement and Supply Director Herman S. Sablan.
Fitial defends CNMI from online ’bashers’
House Speaker Benigno R. Fitial yesterday lambasted the authors of a website that ridicules Saipan and insults the people of the CNMI “with sweeping and malicious allegations.” Fitial made his displeasure known even as government authorities are reportedly trying to pin down the source of the anti-Saipan smear drive. "This is clearly a demolition job, the handiwork of a sick mind." "We have here an irresponsible, bitter, insensitive individual who definitely has an ax to grind against us, as people. It is clear he could not settle his grievances shoulder-to-shoulder, so he is getting back at us anonymously, through this post in the website," said Fitial.
July 27, 2003
Enforcement vs underage smoking pushed
The Senate has passed legislation that attempts to step up local enforcement against underage smoking. Among others, the Tobacco Act of 2003 or Senate Bill 13-64 proposes a stiffer penalty of $500 or 240 hours of community service, or both, for violators. The bill, introduced by Sen. Pete P. Reyes, seeks to authorize law enforcement and health agencies to tap the voluntary assistance of minors to conduct undercover investigations against persons or businesses that engage in trafficking tobacco products to minors.
Prison bill signed into law
Long awaited legislation crafted to cover the prison project funding shortfall as well as provide financing for the Rota and Tinian dialysis centers was signed into law by acting governor Diego T. Benavente Friday afternoon. The signing came a day after the Senate passed the controversial legislation--the sixth of its kind--following months of heated debate particularly between the Saipan-ruled House of Representatives and the Rota- and Tinian-led Senate. The passage of House Bill 13-317, HD1, now known as Public Law 13-56, was a case of hitting three birds with one stone.