Feb. 22, 2004
Wright critic says resignation ’long overdue’
Northern Marianas College president Kenneth Wright’s staunchest critic, former House Rep. Stanley T. Torres, called the NMC official’s decision to resign Friday as “long overdue.” Torres, who as member of the 13th Legislature has been vocal against Wright’s manner of running the CNMI’s lone public college, stated that had Wright quit earlier, NMC could have been saved from spending much needed funds, especially on the Pacific Gateway Project to lure in more Asian students. “It’s long overdue for him to do. He came in and was too aggressive, not watching his move. First he terminated 11 people without due process. And he told the [13th] Legislature that he did not need the $680,000. And then he gave his handpicked people a raise of $10,000. I mean, what kind of math is that?,” the former congressman asserted yesterday.
CPA lays out airport financial plan
The Commonwealth Ports Authority is confident that its airport division would be stricken out of Fitch Rating Agency’s credit watch by the year 2005, as the CPA implements a rate study that would comply with its debt ratio service. CPA executive director Carlos H. Salas disclosed Saturday that a presentation of the ports authority’s financial plan was held last week in San Francisco, California before Franklin Fund and Fitch IBCA Rating agency representatives. The CPA rate study, which was conducted by the Ricondo and Associates, outlined ways to address the revenue shortfall of the airport division for this year in efforts to meet the 125 percent debt coverage service.
Feb. 22, 2005
Agencies to tackle NMI’s volcanic hazards
As volcanic activity on Anatahan continues, volcano experts are planning to meet soon to prepare the CNMI for the occurrence of volcanic disasters. Emergency Management Office director Rudolfo Pua also said that the U.S. Geological Survey would perform volcano hazards assessment on Pagan, Agrihan and Alamagan-the inhabited islands north of Saipan-beginning in May. According to Pua, a workshop on volcano hazards in the CNMI would be conducted possibly in April. The USGS, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Defense will participate in the workshop.
MVA wants $7.4M budget for FY06
The Marianas Visitors Authority is seeking a $7.4-million budget for fiscal year 2006. The budget proposal recently submitted to Gov. Juan N. Babauta is 5 percent greater than the $7-million annual appropriation that MVA has been receiving the past several years. MVA managing director Vicky I. Benavente said the $400,000 increase would cover increased promotions in new tourism markets that the tourism agency is planning to develop. These include Russia, Europe, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
Feb. 22, 2006
MPLA found liable to pay $444K
The Superior Court yesterday found the Marianas Public Lands Authority liable to pay landowner Antonio CH. Camacho $444,210 in just compensation plus interest over the taking of his two parcels of land. Associate Judge David A. Wiseman described MPLA’s arguments as “repetitious yet unavailing” and warned its counsel, attorney Ramon Quichocho, that any further “questionable filings” shall be met with sanctions that may include awarding attorney’s fees to the prevailing party. Wiseman awarded Camacho $68,040 for the taking of his 756 square meters of land, $28,170 for 313 square meters of land, and $348,000 in severance damages.
Munson rejects Patris’ objection
U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Alex R. Munson yesterday denied the objection of former police officer Charlie Kintaro Patris against him conducting the sentencing. The Saipan Tribune learned yesterday late afternoon that Munson issued an order stating he has the judicial discretion to hold the sentencing of Patris. Munson cited that he became familiar with the case because he presided over the pre-trial proceedings and has also reviewed all the documents. Munson continued to this week the sentencing of Patris and his co-defendant, former police officer Eric John Tudela Mafnas. The judge postponed the sentencing of Patris last Friday in order for the court to have sufficient time to examine the defendant’s objection to being sentenced by Munson.