Oct. 11, 1999
CUC may alter 80MW project
The Commonwealth Utilities Corporation hinted at changing the original plan on the Saipan power project, further fueling speculation that it has decided to downsize the 80-megawatt plant in light of the present situation on the island. CUC Chair Rosario M. Elameto assured, however, the utility board will determine its outcome on Wednesday when independent experts present their final report to the public after nine months of reviewing proposals handed in by 13 power firms. “It is the duty of the CUC Board, many members of which are recent appointees, to carefully consider all the benefits and risks of this project, and to listen to our independent experts,” she said in a letter to Senate Floor Leader Pete P. Reyes.
Benavente: Give FTZ a chance
House Speaker Diego T. Benavente urged the Senate to set aside differences on the proposed free trade zones on the island and approve the plan to begin the process of attracting investments into the Northern Marianas. “We've got to give it a shot, give it a chance because we've got nothing now to offer to investors,” he said in an interview. Benavente, author of the administration-sponsored legislation that will create these special economic sites, met with members of the Subcommittee on Free Trade Zone and Senate Vice President Thomas P. Villagomez last Friday to discuss the latter's concerns on the measure.
Oct. 11, 2000
PSS bats for maintenance budget
Board of Education member Anthony Pellegrino yesterday prodded the Legislature to provide the Public School System a general maintenance budget for the upkeep of its multi-million dollar school facilities in fresh efforts to save the school system's dilapidating structures. Mr. Pellegrino, during a meeting with members of the House Committee on Education, disclosed that PSS' allocated maintenance funds is now less than $300,000, barely enough to cover public schools requiring upgrades and enhancements. “We spend millions of dollars for the construction of new schools but we can't find money to maintain them. Some schools are already in a deplorable state,” said Mr. Pellegrino.
Texas Road improvement gets wide support
Various government agencies have backed the proposed opening of Texas Road to traffic and utility lines, citing the need to ease congestion along Beach Road. The House transportation committee is currently reviewing legislation that will seek funding for improvement of that stretch of back road dissecting the villages of San Jose, Susupe and Chalan Kanoa. HB 12-267 or the “Texas Road Appropriation and Development Act” is sponsored by PUTC chair Rep. Rosiky F. Camacho who has pitched the project as a solution to traffic bottlenecks in Beach Road during rush hours as well as key to sewer, water and power expansion in those areas.
Oct. 11, 2001
Ex-senator booked for marijuana
Former senator Esteven M. King was arrested at the Saipan International Airport early yesterday morning for alleged possession of marijuana. With tighter security being implemented as the United States and its territories brace for possible terrorist attacks, police said airport personnel immediately handcuffed the former senator when they discovered marijuana hidden inside a sunglass case inside King's baggage. Aside from this, three knives were also found in his possession. King, a 51-year-old Tinian resident, was brought to the Division of Corrections where he was detained.
OPA: Tie-breaker stands
The Public Auditor's Office has denied the appeal filed by a supplier over the rejection of a protest it filed at the Division of Procurement and Supply, saying the division can indeed use the drawing of lots to break a tie in the bids of competing vendors. In an audit report dated October 9, the OPA said it found the arguments of the Island Business Systems & Supplies to be invalid, and that no prejudice to IBSS was shown when P&S used competitive sealed bidding when it solicited the bids for a photocopying machine. The photocopier was for the Department of Public Health. It appeared that the IBSS and its competitor, Xerox Corp., had equally low bids for the machine. To break the tie, P&S proposed the drawing of lots to determine the winner. The IBSS protested this manner of selecting the winner.