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Flashback Dec. 3, 2001-2003

Dec. 3, 2001

MPLT, CDA sign loan deal for park improvement

The Commonwealth Development Authority and the Marianas Public Land Trust signed Friday a loan agreement and a promissory note that would release the $2 million loan assistance for the American Memorial Park Beautification Project. CDA Board Chair Juan S. Tenorio and MPLT Board Chair Juan S. Torres said the loan agreement is expected to fast-track the completion of the project, which is seen to add value to Saipan as a tour destination. The MPLT agreed to loan out $2 million to the CDA after Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio signed legislation into law, appropriating funds for the design and construction of a visitor center, memorial garden, among others at the American Memorial Park.

Efforts aimed at improving NMI’s fed grant compliance

The House of Representatives has approved a bill that, in effect, would make the CNMI compliant with the grant terms of the Office of Insular Affairs and eligible once more for new grants. That is, if the measure makes it through the Senate to Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio. During Thursday’s session, the lower chamber passed House Bill 12-426, which transfers the responsibility for a classrooms project from the Rota High School to the Northern Marianas College. This is an amendatory measure on Public Law 11-7 that effectively relocates the site for the completed Architecture and Engineering building to Tatachog, Rota, and transfers the responsibility for the construction of a vocational shop and Junior Reserve Officers Training Course classrooms from the Rota High School to the NMC.

Dec. 3, 2002

House reviewing Article XII issues

House leaders are keenly revisiting debated issues in the Article 12 provisions on land ownership amid a study reflecting CNMI residents’ resistance to any changes in the existing law and a separate petition seeking just the opposite. Rep. Arnold I. Palacios confirmed yesterday that the House is actively reviewing the issues and related legislative initiatives pending before the body. “We’re reviewing the legal background. I’ve got a working document on it. We’ve been working on it but it’s a very sensitive issue,” Palacios told reporters yesterday.

Wright submits comments on Public Auditor’s draft report

The Office of Public Auditor has sent a draft copy of its investigation report to the Northern Marianas College, regarding the NMC administration’s recent reorganization that resulted in the termination of 11 personnel. College president Kenneth Wright yesterday confirmed this, adding that he and the NMC legal counsel have made a response, which will be sent back to the OPA. Wright said the draft report was transmitted to his office by the OPA last week for comments. Without divulging the data, he said the NMC made necessary corrections to the report.

Dec. 3, 2003

Senators’ suspension cut by 15 days

The five-member Senate majority adopted a resolution yesterday shortening by 15 days the suspension imposed on minority members Pete P. Reyes, Ramon S. Guerrero, Thomas P. Villagomez and David M. Cing. The adoption of Senate Resolution 13-82 during a Tinian session rendered what was supposed to be a 30-day suspension over by Dec. 1, Monday. Senate President Paul A. Manglona said the move to lift the suspension earlier than expected was in line with the governor’s call for unity in the upper chamber, as well as the common sentiment of the majority members.

Torres asks JAL to consider 3 NMI scholars in study program

Rep. William S. Torres has asked the JAL Foundation to consider accepting three scholars from the CNMI for its two-week study program/symposium next year. Although the CNMI has ceased participating in the foundation’s scholarship program since 1990, Torres said a recent meeting with the group’s officials had them expressing willingness to host one scholar from the CNMI. Torres said he is hoping that the foundation would reconsider and increase this to three. There has been no response from the foundation as of press time, according to Torres. In a letter to JAL Foundation general manager Eisel Semba, Torres said the CNMI has the potential to contribute to the peaceful and prosperous regions of Asia and the Oceania and be an active participant in advancing international relations by promoting educational, cultural, and socioeconomic exchange network.

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