Jan. 2, 2003
UHB recognizes NMI's partnership
Gov. Juan N. Babauta led government officials and schoolteachers during a reception party held onboard the MV Fujimaru Monday night. The ship, which carried over 500 Japanese students for the 17th Annual CNMI-Hokkaido Cultural Broadcasting Co. Japan Student Exchange Program, left Saipan Tuesday afternoon. During the reception party, UHB Managing Director Hideo Tateno and Special Events and Promotions Manager Osafumi Tokunaga acknowledged the support and partnership it had cultivated with the Commonwealth for almost two decades.
CPA: Port expansion critical to economic recovery
The Commonwealth Ports Authority, in the late 1990s, had launched a program that sought the expansion of the Port of Saipan container yard, which was envisioned to sustain the agency's self-sufficiency-money-wise. The lack of consensus on how to make the expansion project a reality through the ports authority's acquisition of a parcel of public land adjacent to the seaport, however, proved to be a major stumbling block. The CPA has persistently urged the Marianas Public Lands Authority to transfer the ownership of the property next to the Saipan harbor to the ports authority. But every one of the CPA's requests was met with a solid unenthusiastic response from the MPLA.
Jan. 2, 2005
Minority wants attention on land lease deals
The minority bloc in the House of Representatives is apprehensive of possible “rigged” public consultations on land lease extension initiatives. Minority bloc designated spokesman Rep. Ray Tebuteb said the issue “is extremely sensitive” such that it demands a full-blown public hearing. “We want to clearly see the pulse of the general public, not of a few. The process of public consultation must be fully satisfied. We can't just come up with a ready recommendation here,” said Tebuteb. Tebuteb noted that two land lease initiatives were up for passage in the last session. “They were ready to pass it. It was calendared,” he said. Minority lawmakers object to the passage of Senate Legislative Initiative 14-3, which seeks to extend land leases of private land from 55 years to 75 years, as well as House Legislative Initiative 14-10, which would extend public land leases from 25 years to 50 years.
Guam privatizes telecom firm for $150M
The government of Guam and a private company have sealed the $150-million privatization of the Guam Telephone Authority, the last government-owned local exchange company in the United States. The transaction is also considered as the largest single purchase of a government-owned utility agency on Guam, a development that is seen to open the door for new telecommunications products and services on that island. TeleGuam Holdings LLC disclosed the consummation of its acquisition of GTA, which serves approximately 65,000 telephone access lines and owns cellular assets on Guam.
Jan. 2, 2006
AGO finds loan company operating illegally on Tinian
The Attorney General's Office has sued two persons for allegedly operating an unlicensed consumer loan company on Tinian that over-charged interest on their customers mostly government employees. The CNMI government sued Concepcion M. Manglona and Edward A. Villagomez, owners of EC Payday, for violation of the Consumer Protection Act. In total, the AGO claimed, Manglona and Villagomez over-charged consumers by at least $65,000 in interest amounts beyond what Commonwealth law sanctions. Assistant attorney general Brian R. Caldwell, in the complaint filed on Friday, asked the Superior Court to rule that the defendants have engaged in trade or commerce within the meaning of the Consumer Protection Act.
Tudela retires after 31 years in govt service
Department of Public Safety Commissioner Santiago F. Tudela announced on Friday his retirement after 31 years of service in the government. Tudela said after serving more than three decades in the department he would surely miss the personnel whom he considers his second family. He is glad and thankful that in his long years of service, he never had to “use” his service firearm, said Tudela during a simple ceremony at the DPS police academy attended by Gov. Juan Babauta, key officials in the department and personnel. The commissioner also thanked the department heads and other government agencies for supporting him during his term at DPS.