September 4, 2005
Govt deficit at $118.4M
The latest annual audit report showed that the CNMI government posted an outstanding budget deficit of $118.4 million ending Sept. 30, 2003. The May 23, 2005 audit report by Deloitte & Touche obtained by Saipan Tribune showed that as of September 2003, the General Fund’s total “unreserved fund balance deficit” totaled $118.4 million-an increase of 13.3 percent from the prior year’s deficit. The report said that during the period, the General Fund balance deficit increased by $13.06 million or 13.9 percent to a total fund balance deficit of $93.9 million, while the total “unreserved fund balance deficit” increased by $13.9 million or 13.3 percent for a total unreserved fund balance deficit of $118.4 million.
Sette sets off for the Northern Islands
Research vessel Oscar Elton Sette arrived on Saipan yesterday and immediately departed soon after to begin its journey to the Northern Islands to study the underwater riches of the Marianas archipelago. The vessel left Saipan yesterday at 2pm with a total of 20 scientists from Hawaii and Guam, including eight local environmental officers in the CNMI. The trip, called the 2005 Mariana Archipelago Research and Monitoring Program cruise, is the second visit to the islands by Sette scientists. Sette’s chief scientist Robert Schroeder said their first trip to the islands three years ago was very overwhelming due to the richness of the CNMI’s coral reef environment. “The island of Rota is so rich, too,” he said.
September 4, 2006
Businesses urged to help cut diesel usage
The cost of utility service will be lower if the private sector collectively moves to reduce the Commonwealth’s use of diesel fuel, according to the administration. Speaking at the Saipan Chamber of Commerce’s Marianas Roundtable on Thursday, Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Villagomez urged local businesses to examine alternative energy strategies available to them. Villagomez said that the short-term, low-cost options the private sector could examine are: reducing power demand through conservation, processing biodiesel, installing small private solar power systems, and utilizing micro-hydro power systems.
’MVA chair to spend own money for Dubai’
Marianas Visitors Authority board chairman Jerry Tan will use his own money to attend an airline conference in Dubai this month, according to the agency. MVA executive managing director Perry Tenorio said Friday that it had been agreed among the board members that Tan would shoulder his own expenses for the trip. “There’s the understanding that the chairman will pay for himself. He will be using his personal [money], not the MVA’s,” said Tenorio in a telephone call Friday. He made the clarification following a report quoting Commonwealth Ports Authority consultant Carlos H. Salas saying that the MVA would shoulder the travel cost of the chairman.
September 4, 2007
Copper wire thieves hit Isley Field water system
Copper wire thieves hit the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s major water system in Isley Field over the weekend, causing many areas to have no water supply. CUC spokesperson Pamela Mathis told Saipan Tribune yesterday that thieves stole copper wires from the water system where the utility agency gathers and treats water then releases it through a booster pump system.
CHC’S hemodialysis unit hangs by a thread
The Commonwealth Health Center has lost one of its two nephrologists, leaving only one specialist in kidney care at the hospital. Public Health Secretary Joseph Kevin P. Villagomez confirmed that Dr. Imran Zahid left the island two weeks ago, reportedly to work in the Middle East, where he will be closer to his family. This leaves only Dr. Hormazdiar Dastoor as the single nephrologist at CHC. “We need to have at least one but [it is] preferable to have two all the time,” said Villagomez. However, Dastoor is also set to leave the island next month. Dastoor will be leaving with his family to be closer to their home. The department is now scrambling to find the necessary replacements before Dastoor leaves. “We are now in the process of contacting eight candidates that can potentially come to work here as early as this month,” Villagomez said.