September 5, 2005
’CNMI govt incurring deficit from the start’
Data showed that the CNMI government has been incurring a budget deficit since it first became a Commonwealth in 1978, resulting in a cumulative “unreserved” fund balance deficit of $25.3 million as of the end of fiscal year 1986, when the single audit reporting was finally implemented. Authorities said that when first CNMI Gov. Carlos S. Camacho ended his term in 1982, the government recorded $5 million in deficit. Based on audit reports filed with the department, the deficit rose to $27.4 million in FY 1987, then went down to $17.7 million by FY 1987, $11.5 million in FY 1989; this further went down to $6.9 million by FY 1990.
’Continental to lay off some workers’
A number of Continental Micronesia employees on Saipan are facing almost certain furlough after the airline reportedly lost its bid for a new ground-handling service contract with Northwest Airlines. A source who refused to be named said Northwest was awarding the service contract to neither Continental nor Pacific Oriental Inc., the other company providing ground-handling services at the Saipan International Airport. The Saipan Tribune tried, but failed to reach Continental staff vice president for sales marketing Walter B. Dias or POI general manager Frank Camacho.
September 5, 2006
One zone for adult businesses in one year
Adult establishments will be relocated in one area within a year if the proposed zoning law is enacted. The Commonwealth Zoning Board has drafted legislation that would amend portions of the Saipan zoning law to address the issue of adult businesses. The Zoning Board is now circulating copies of the proposal for public review and comment. A public hearing is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 22, 2006, 6pm, at the Multi Purpose Center in Susupe. “The changes to the Zoning Law would affect all of Saipan,” Zoning Board chair Henry Hofschneider had told the Legislature. “New adult businesses would only be allowed in certain areas. Existing nonconforming uses would be required to cease operation within a specified period of time, allowing amortization of current investments.”
Justices junk request for sanctions vs govt
The CNMI Supreme Court has dismissed a land compensation claimant’s motion to impose sanctions against the Commonwealth government for blocking the payment of her compensation. The High Court justices ruled that they cannot exercise jurisdiction over Rosario DLG. Kumagai’s appeal because of the absence of a certification for a final judgment as to one of the parties in the case. “We hold that because the Superior Court’s denial of Rosario DLG. Kumagai’s motion for reconsideration adjudicated fewer than all of the claims in the underlying lawsuit, in the absence of said court’s express direction for the entry of judgment pursuant to Commonwealth Rules of Civil Procedures 54(b), there is no appellate jurisdiction in this case,” said the justices in granting the government’s motion to dismiss the appeal.
September 5, 2007
’CUC not overcharging customers’
The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. is not overcharging its customers and in fact since implementing the new electric rates that charge customers their own actual fuel expenses, the public utility has still under-recovered $684,857. CUC spokersperson Pamela Mathis told Saipan Tribune that the fuel rate is always very close to the actual expenses and number of kilowatt hours sold. “There is no pot of gold at CUC; no savings account-we have to date not even collected what it really costs to get that fuel,” Mathis said.
‘Things have changed since 2004’
David Cohen says the CNMI’s situation is different now from 2004, and that explains what critics have characterized as his conflicting positions on the issue of granting permanent status to long-term guest workers on island. Cohen, the U.S. Interior Department’s deputy assistant secretary for insular affairs, issued the statement in response to attacks by Gov. Benigno R. Fitial’s political party. The CNMI Covenant Party had accused Cohen of acting as the “savior” of foreign workers now when he spoke against the granting of “green cards” to the same workers only a few years ago.