Mar. 1, 2004
Managaha voted No. 1 snorkeling site
As underwater cameraman on Managaha for almost five years, 31-year-old Kenneth Lacastesantos has had the privilege of having close encounters with the island's marine beauty that has captured the attention of divers and travelers mostly from Japan. Lacastesantos, a dive master, especially enjoys the scene of beautiful corals and schools of fish such as the blue-and-white sayuri and the butterfly fish that is striking in combinations of yellow, white and black. “Even if you just swim or snorkel, fish will swim toward you,” he said. It is no wonder then that Managaha Island has been voted as the best place for snorkeling for 2004 at the 21st Century Dive & Travel Awards, according to a recent announcement by the Marianas Visitors Authority.
Montgomery losing one lawyer after the other
Bert Douglas Montgomery-the businessman who is now appealing his wire fraud and money laundering conviction as a pauper litigant-has been losing one lawyer after another. After the withdrawal of Bruce Berline as lawyer for Montgomery, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Alex R. Munson had appointed Mark S. Smith to be the defendant's counsel. Smith, however, also withdrew, prompting the court to appoint lawyer James E. Hollman instead. Hollman, however, made a similar withdrawal request, prompting Munson to appoint G. Anthony Long to represent the appellant.
Mar. 1, 2005
NMI gets over $5M for Compact Impact
The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands will receive a grant in the amount of $5,171,914 from the Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs to reimburse the islands for the social costs of migration from the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands. “These funds will help the CNMI to offset the costs that it has incurred to provide health care, education and other social services to those who are permitted to migrate to the CNMI under the Compacts of Free Association,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior David B. Cohen. “The funds can be used for most public services that have been impacted by the need to serve migrants, and can be used for infrastructure as well,” he added.
Villagomez: House to pass Agingan bill
Despite the delay, the House leadership will continue to press for the passage of a bill that reprograms $3.3 million for the construction of Agingan waster water treatment facility. The reprogramming bill was supposed to have been enacted before Feb. 28 to save the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. from paying the $37,500 penalty per violation that was imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency against it. “The bill has been filed and deferred but we hope to act on it in our next session,” said Vice Speaker Timothy Villagomez yesterday, adding that the House may hold a session within the week.
Mar. 1, 2006
House wants LB to hold on to assets
The House of Representatives passed a measure yesterday that would ensure that office equipment and supplies belonging to the Legislature remained with the Legislature. The House adopted the recommendation of the House Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations to pass House Bill 15-20. The measure would prevent outgoing legislators from distributing their office equipment and supplies to other government entities at the end of their terms. The proposed legislation would require the Legislative Bureau to maintain an inventory of all fixed assets and capital goods purchased by either house of the Legislature and to account for the custody and disposition of those items.
'Chamolinian Village in desperate need of money'
The Chamolinian Village, a cultural village located in the heart of the Garapan area, is in danger of closing down in April if it doesn't get the funding needed to continue operating. According to Indigenous Affairs Office executive director Gonzalo Q. Santos, the cultural village, which is being run with private firm Pacific Development, Inc., is in “desperate need” of financial help from the Legislature and the local government. During his confirmation hearing last week, Santos said that PDI has been helping them financially but, unless the government steps in, the program would come to an end by April this year. PDI has been involved with the Chamolinian Village for several years now.