Sept. 15, 1999
Asiana Air seeks CNMI support for its daily flights
Asiana Airlines vice president Young Keun Kim has asked Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio for his continued cooperation in ensuring the success of their daily Saipan-Seoul service. In a letter to the chief executive, YoungKeun said the daily service which began on Sept. 13, 1999, did not start as originally planned because of the delay in the delivery of the new aircraft. "I can assure you that I have paid utmost efforts in my position to keep the promise made during my last visit," said YoungKeun. As a result of the daily flights, the Marianas Visitors Authority is planning to increase the CNMI's visibility in Korea to better highlight the island's features as an ideal destination in the region.
Sablan signs new law to benefit former landowners
A new law signed by acting Gov. Jesus R. Sablan will allow former land owners displaced after the U.S. military or the old Trust Territory government seized their properties to reclaim them based only on eligibility. Public Law 11-96 will also provide a legal basis for the Division of Public Lands as well as the Board of Public Lands to deal with long-standing problems stemming from land taking that occurred more than 20 years ago prior to the island becoming a U.S. commonwealth. Both agencies are "very much in support of this bill so that pending applications can be processed and acted on by DPL and BPL," Sablan said in signing Senate Bill 11-135 into law.
Sept. 15, 2000
Rota airport rehab project kicks off
Bowing to pressures from the Rota leadership, the Commonwealth Ports Authority is scheduled to meet today with potential bidders who may be interested to undertake the more than $3 million rehabilitation work at the island's air transport facility. Some $3.4 million in total Capital Improvement Project funds and grants from the Federal Aviation Administration have been earmarked for the much-awaited repair of the Rota International Airport runway. Mayor Benjamin T. Manglona has been persistently clamoring that CPA expedite the bidding process for the rehabilitation of the island's airport runway, which was recently given the go-signal by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Saipan mayor prods passage of bill on appointing powers
Saipan Mayor Jose C. Sablan has urged the Legislature to pass a proposed measure vesting the mayor with the authority to designate an acting mayor who will carry out the official functions in his absence. The filing of HLB 12-15 by Senate Floor Leader Pete Reyes stemmed from the issuance of a legal opinion by the Attorney General's Office recommending the immediate passage of the law since absence of such authority would result in legal problems. Mayor Sablan said the immediate passage of the bill is important because he has to attend numerous off-island trips. Such official trips include the annual student cultural exchange programs with sister cities in Korea and Japan, weekly meetings with the Association of Mariana Island Mayors, Vice Mayors and Municipal Councils and the quarterly U.S. Conference of Mayors' sessions.
Sept. 15, 2003
PSS gets more bus funding at $764K
The U.S. Department of Transportation has increased by more than 400 percent the money it gives the Public School System to buy buses after reclassifying Saipan as an urban area. PSS federal program officer William P. Matson said the DOT’s Federal Transit Administration has awarded PSS some $764,000 in its transport grant this year. PSS used to get only $180,000 from FTA for its transport program. Matson said in an interview that the significant budget increase was made possible because FTA now looks at Saipan as an urban area.
MPLA: CPA agrees to land designation
Instead of outright ownership, the Commonwealth Ports Authority has agreed to just use the public lands it needs in Puerto Rico for its expansion plan, according to the Marianas Public Lands Authority. MPLA commissioner Henry S. Hofschneider said in an interview that CPA executive director Carlos Salas agreed during a recent congressional meeting to the conditions set by the MPLA on the use of the properties identified by CPA under its expansion program. However, Hofschneider said that since that meeting, which took place four weeks ago, Salas “never got back to us.” “We’ve yet to receive anything from them. During that meeting [with Rep. Arnold Palacios], the CPA executive director said that CPA would agree to the conditions [of the MPLA],” said Hofschneider.