Oct. 9, 2000
CPA cuts passenger fee on Saipan docks
In fresh efforts to assist the serious attempts revive the island's tourism sector, the Commonwealth Ports Authority has started implementing a reduced passenger fee on three Saipan docks for an indefinite period beginning August. This was learned from Board Chair Roman S. Palacios who explained that the move was in response to clamor from tenants of the Seaplane Ramp, Echo and Sugar docks for a discounted passenger fee. Mr. Palacios disclosed a Board Resolution has been adopted to pave the way for the implementation of the discounted passenger fee from $6 to a dollar per revenue passenger who boards or disembarks a vessel operating out of any of the three docks' premises on Saipan.
U.S. EPA Washington to choose panel of experts
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington will take the lead role in choosing a panel of experts who will make an in-depth study on crabs in Tanapag village following results of the preliminary survey, which showed that at least five crabs were contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyl. In an advisory, public health and environment officials have asked the people to stop eating land crabs as a precautionary measure since PCBs are potential cancer-causing agents as well as non-cancer health effects. People who have been exposed to PCBs in the air for a long time have also experienced irritation of the nose, lungs and skin such as acne and rashes.
Oct. 9, 2001
House OKs creation of corrections department
The separation of the Division of Corrections from the Department of Public Safety may soon be in the works, soon after the House of Representatives passed a measure changing the division into a department. The lower chamber voted to pass House Bill 12-375 on second and final reading during last week's special session, paving the way for the elevation of the Division of Corrections to a Department-separate and distinct from the DPS and within the purview of the Executive Branch. This means that, once the measure is signed into law, the division will then be called the Department of Corrections, to be administered by a Commissioner of Corrections.
Fitial urges Senate to prioritize budget
As another fiscal year begins for the CNMI government under continuing budget resolution, House Speaker Benigno R. Fitial yesterday expressed disappointment at senators who did not attend a meeting called by Governor Pedro P. Tenorio to thresh out problems pertaining to the fiscal year 2002 budget. Only Sen. Ramon S. Guerrero attended the meeting Thursday last week, along with leaders of the House of Representatives. “It is absolutely a top priority for our legislature to pass a 2002 budget quickly so our government can move forward with our responsibilities and providing vital services for our people,” said the Speaker.
Oct. 9, 2002
NMI looks at lockout impact numbers
The House committees on Transportation and Commerce met yesterday morning with Lt. Gov. Diego T. Benavente and Commonwealth Ports Authority officials to map out strategies that the CNMI can implement to minimize any impact that a protracted ports lockout in the U.S. West Coast could have on the local front. Gov. Juan N. Babauta is also set to meet with the Saipan Chamber of Commerce tonight and he said he intends to bring up this matter with the business community, if they have any suggestions that may help ease the situation for the CNMI if the lockout continues for quite some time. House Committee on Public Utilities, Transportation and Communications chair Rep. Joseph P. DeLeon Guerrero said they agreed during the meeting to look at the CNMI situation and how the lockout may affect the local economy.
NMC spent $600K for accreditation, Y2K
The Northern Marianas College spent a total of $600,000 on the purchase and use of two computer software-which, according to authorities, only proved to be problematic-in order to pass the accreditation process and prepare against the millennium bug. Sources from the College said that the NMC leadership, back in 1999, authorized the purchase of two different software packages, Power Campus and Great Plains. The Power Campus software was supposedly acquired to boost the NMC's registration and record system, while the other software was meant for the improvement of the accounting system. “But both software only brought problems due to system mess up.