Sept. 13, 1999
DPL board clears way for Tinian airport expansion
The Division of Public Lands has approved a conditional conveyance of certain U.S. military land to the Commonwealth Ports Authority for the planned expansion of West Tinian Airport. According to CPA, more than 5.2 million square meters of land to given to CPA will include areas on which the existing West Tinian Airport terminal and runway are now situated and the additional land needed for the new runway project. The ports authority had requested from DPL the conveyance of land as it anticipates the return of a certain parcel of land to the CNMI for the U.S. military. In return, CPA has agreed to grant the use of the airport and landing rights to the U.S. military.
Proposed wildlife conservation area on Tinian axed
Due to a technicality, Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio has thumbed down a plan by the Tinian municipality to designate some areas on the island a protected enclave for wildlife and other natural resources. He said the Legislature must amend existing laws restricting local legislative delegation from encroaching into functions of the central government before Tinian can establish such a wildlife conservation area. The governor noted that changes should be made to Public Law 10-57 that gives exclusive control to the Department of Lands and Natural Resources and its Division of Fish and Wildlife to regulate these functions as well to a constitutional provision governing powers of local legislators.
Sept. 13, 2000
House leadership defends session amid storm
The House leadership has shrugged off a complaint aired by one of the members over its recent decision to conduct session at the height of tropical storm Saomai last week. Rep. Diego T. Benavente criticized the holding of the session last Thursday despite what he claimed as dangers to the safety of the House members and their staff. Although Saoami was downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical storm after it weakened upon closest approach to the islands, government offices were closed for two days in anticipation of strong winds and heavy rains.
BOE asks Senate to revisit education act
The State Board of Education has prodded the Senate to review the board's input on a legislation that seeks to overhaul the public education sector. In a letter to Senate President Paul Manglona, BOE members and the Public School System raised concerns that the House Committee on Education cleared the initiative without accepting suggestions made by BOE and PSS. This, after the House Committee on Education earlier solicited the public education sector's comments to the proposed changes under the education act. BOE chair Frances H. Diaz and Education Commissioner Rita H. Inos have expressed opposition to a provision designating the Department of Public Works as overseer of construction and major renovation work at public and school facilities.
Sept. 13, 2001
Torres snubs Fund’s call for meeting
Those expecting a fiery exchange between former Retirement Fund Administrator Juan S. Torres and the Fund’s board of trustees during yesterday’s special meeting got disappointed, with Torres a no-show and the board deferring plans to discuss his performance. After failing to acquire a majority vote of four, board members also agreed not to go into an executive session to talk about the lawsuit that Torres filed against the board for sacking him. Despite the presence of Torres’s legal counsel, Michael Dotts, only board member Tomas Saures insisted on pushing through with an evaluation of the former Administrator’s performance. The rest of the board agreed with the motion of board member Charles P. Reyes to defer the evaluation.
Internet slow after terror attacks
Internet traffic slowed and major news websites were jammed Tuesday as people craving details on the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks flooded online. In contrast, electronic mail was a godsend for many people frustrated by clogged telephone voice circuits. The Internet search engine Google directed news seekers to radio and television. "Many online news services are not available, because of extremely high demand," a statement read on the popular site's home page. Television broadcasts did not appear to promote their websites as heavily as they normally do during breaking news.