July 11, 2000
Teno gives green light to PCB cleanup
Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio has given the U.S. Army Corps the go signal for the cleanup of Cemetery no. 2 which has been contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) so that it can be used by the community in time for All Soul's Day. A meeting was held Friday attended by the governor, representatives from the Army Corps, the Attorney General's Office, the Division of Environmental Quality and the Tanapag Action Group (TAG) where details of the cleanup were discussed. A contract is expected to be signed by July 15 between the Army Corps and the Guam-based IT Corp., which will carry out the cleanup. Immediately, a workplan will be submitted by the contractor for approval by DEQ and the TAG. The removal of contaminated soil is expected to begin on Aug. 15, 2000.
Seatbelts recommended for school buses
The Public School System Pupil Transportation has disclosed plans to meet with the Bureau of Motor Vehicle and review existing transportation laws, which apparently overlooked the installation of seatbelts in school buses. Placing student safety on top of its priorities, the PSS busing fleet is proposing that authorities mandate all school buses to be equipped with seatbelts to minimize the impact of accidents. PSS Administrative Services Officer Jess Sanchez cited during a training on Defensive Driving for its personnel yesterday that school children aboard the buses are at risk without the seat belts.
July 11, 2001
$303K earmarked for several projects
After much wrangling over allocations, the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation passed a bill yesterday appropriating $303,957 to fund several projects. The money, to be sourced from the fees collected by Saipan Local Law 11-2, will principally go toward improvement projects in several schools in the district and to buy equipment for the Northern Islands, such as seismographic equipment for the Emergency Management Office and boats. However, with so many projects and so little money to go by, the lawmakers were faced with a dilemma of how to divide the meager resources at hand, forcing them to readjust the original allocations set forth in House Local Bill 12-40.
HANMI reiterates stand on power hookup issue
Hotel industry leaders remain opposed to moves by government to compel hotels in the islands to hook up to the power systems operated by the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation. Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands Vice President Mustafa Issa yesterday said hotels still need more time to study the viability of having to rely 100 percent on island power for their electricity needs. Issa, who is also the General Manager of Hyatt Regency Saipan, made the assertion in light of the pressure currently being exerted on Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino by Coastal Resources Management on the power hookup issue.
July 11, 2002
Over $3.5M needed to rehabilitate Rota
As the Commonwealth awaits the response of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a joint preliminary damage assessment on Rota, the island would need at least $3.5 million to recover from the destruction caused by typhoon Chata'an. This was disclosed by Rota Mayor Benjamin Manglona, in his preliminary damage assessment report submitted to Gov. Juan N. Babauta, following his declaration of the island as a local disaster area. In a related development, however, the Emergency Management Office said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is asking FEMA's assistance to fund its study mission on Rota, which seeks to identify flood-prone areas on the island so that evacuation of residents would be made systematic.
Fund's Board now down to four
And then there were four. The terms of two board of trustees members of the Northern Mariana Islands Retirement Fund expired Tuesday, leaving just four of seven members sitting on the board. And while that still constitutes a quorum, another term expiration on July 31 would further cut down the number to three, which is not a quorum. Unless Gov. Juan N. Babauta acts soon to reappoint those members with expired terms or replace them with new appointees, the Fund's board could be paralyzed and prevented from acting on several important policy decisions and projects.