Sept. 20, 2001
Fund seals settlement deal with Torres
The Board of Trustees of the Northern Mariana Islands Retirement has agreed to come to a settlement with former Administrator Juan S. Torres over the lawsuit the latter filed against the Board for sacking him. During yesterday's regular board meeting, majority of the board members voted to amicably settle the case with Torres, with only three voting nay-board chairman Vicente C. Camacho, board members Charles P. Reyes and Susana Mafnas. Torres, who was present together with his lawyer, Michael Dotts, during the meeting, later said that he was pleased over the board's decision “but I cannot issue any more comments than that until everything is in black and white.”
Help comes quick for MVA
Reeling from the sharp drop in tourism arrivals in the last few days, the Marianas Visitors Authority got a quick shot in the arm yesterday, after the House of Representatives passed a bill that would earmark the aviation fuel tax for the MVA, at least until 2004. House Bill 12-416, which was sponsored by House Speaker Benigno R. Fitial, would allocate the annual amount that the CNMI government generates from the fuel aviation tax-about $300,000 or so-to the MVA for promotional purposes. “Actually, this amount if far less than what the MVA is actually asking for. During our series of meetings since Monday, the MVA has asked the government for $1 million to step up marketing and promotional efforts in Japan and other countries, to tell them that the CNMI is still a safe destination,” said Fitial.
Sept. 20, 2002
MVA eyes NMI as a Silver City
The Marianas Visitors Authority is interested in promoting the Northern Marianas as a retirement haven for elderly foreigners and has introduced a proposal to develop a housing area for the retirees. MVA Board Chair David M. Sablan said the visitors authority is specifically targeting Japanese “silver” individuals or those 60 years old and over. “This is a slight deviation from the real job of MVA but we are suggesting to try to promote a housing area for the retirees. This way, they can come in and buy an apartment in the CNMI. There's a definite market for apartments and somebody ought to take a look into this,” Sablan suggested.
Guam, NMI on verge of anti-drug MOU
With drug demand trends that almost mirror each other, the Guam Army National Guard is stepping up its antidrug efforts by reaching out to the Commonwealth and playing a key role in encouraging people to live a drug-free lifestyle. In line with this, the Guam and Commonwealth governments are on the verge of signing a Memorandum of Understanding that would signal a closer and more coordinated effort in eradicating the drug malaise in the Marianas. Although his meeting with Gov. Juan N. Babauta yesterday morning mainly focused on the legal and logistical requirements of setting up an NMI National Guard, Brig. Gen. Jerry Rivera of the Guam Army National Guard said a major purpose of his delegation's visit is to assist the Commonwealth in its counterdrug efforts.
Sept. 20, 2003
DPH in full compliance with CDC standards
The Department of Public Health fully complies with the bioterrorism preparedness and prevention measures set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to DPH public information officer John P. Douglas. “CDC informed us that we're in full compliance,” said Douglas when asked about the CDC visiting team's onsite inspection last week. Representatives from CDC and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services arrived on Saipan Wednesday to meet with local health officials.
CPA to approach FY04 budget conservatively
The Commonwealth Ports Authority would impose a stricter travel policy in fiscal year 2004 to help the ports authority perform its financial obligations, in the wake of consecutive travel problems besetting the airport and seaport divisions in recent months. Also, CPA would retain its conservative approach to its FY2004 budget as officials look into how the ports authority could improve its financial status. CPA Executive Director Carlos H. Salas said the draft of the proposed FY 2004 budget has been mapped out and is currently being reviewed by ports officials and Board members.