Aug. 3, 2000
DLNR asks MRC, boat operators to settle marina dispute
Department of Lands and Natural Resources Secretary Jack Tenorio yesterday said he is still optimistic that commercial boat operators and the Marine Revitalization Corp. will be able to agree on an acceptable passenger departure fee for the use of the Outer Cove Marina. Mr. Tenorio indicated that a public hearing may be held soon so that the boat owners can make their recommendations. Just like MRC, the department wants the controversy that has dragged on for two years now settled as soon as possible. Anthony Pellegrino, president of MRC, has demanded an increase in departure fee to allow him to recoup the $4 million he borrowed from the bank for the marina construction. The DLNR chief said the Mr. Pellegrino should also accept some of the suggestions made by the people so that they can finally come to an agreement.
CUC to seek proposals for desalination project
The Commonwealth Utilities Corporation is pushing the long-delayed water desalination project on Saipan amid concerns on the quality of groundwater resources on the island. A request of proposal may be issued soon in search of new contractors to build the project, according to board chair Jesus T. Guerrero. This will be the second time in four years that the government-owned utility corporation will seek proposals on the project which has been on its agenda since 1997. A task force created by the CUC board to specifically handle the project is scheduled to meet this week to draw up a new plan on what directions to take. It is headed by Edward Sablan, who serves as board secretary and represents Saipan to the policy-making body.
Aug. 3, 2001
OPA faults LibDay panel’s handling of funds, services
A review on the cash receipts and disbursements of the 1999 Liberation Day Committee conducted by the Office of the Public Auditor revealed the committee's less than sterling performance in the accounting of its funds and procurement of supplies and services. "Our audit showed that LDC conducted its activities without following sound operating and accounting procedures, and was unable to account for all its funds," Public Auditor Michael S. Sablan said in a report. More specifically, OPA said LDC was remiss in accounting for raffle tickets valued at $18,950. It said the problem originated from the committee's weak control procedures for the monitoring of ticket sales. Because of this, OPA said it was unable to account for at least 3,790 ticket booklets out of the original 15,000.
PSS receives $270K for youth centers
Freshly-awarded federal dollars will enable the Public School System to convert its campuses into community learning centers after regular school hours. Through a $270,000 US Americorps grant, PSS can now push through with plans to institute a Family Resource Youth Learning Center within the year. PSS Federal Programs Officer Bill Matson said the funds will allow each public school to have its own youth center where students can spend extra time engaging in after-school activities. Matson, who arrived from Washington DC to attend the annual National Center for Education Statistics meeting last week, disclosed that PSS was able to obtain additional money from Americorps from the original $190,000 grant application to the current $270,000 grant award.
Aug. 3, 2003
CUC advised against MOA with govt
Senator Ramon S. Guerrero has advised the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation not to agree to a debt swap with CNMI government using the utility firm’s unremitted amount to the Office of the Public Auditor. Guerrero, in a July 29 letter to CUC executive director Lorraine A. Babauta, said the CUC should reconsider or amend such provision as set forth in the July 11 memorandum of agreement with the CNMI government. “Specifically, I strongly urge CUC not to allow the Commonwealth government to use the funds the government claims that CUC owes to the OPA, approximately $4 million, to reduce the overall debt the government owes to CUC,” said Guerrero.
Bill wants commercial signs in English
House Rep. Ramon A. Tebuteb has filed legislation seeking to require establishments throughout the Northern Marianas to put out commercial signs printed in foreign languages to have English translation. In filing House Bill 13-308, Tebuteb noted the proliferation of commercial signage in several foreign languages, which, he said, confuses residents and other visitors who are unable to read them. “While this multinational signage is a reflection of the increasing ethnic diversity of our community, it is also confusing to residents and visitors who are not able to read foreign signs,” Tebuteb said in his proposed measure.