September 18, 2005
Continental cuts Saipan-Taiwan route
Barely prepared for the looming pullout of Japan Airlines, the Northern Marianas’ tourism industry is facing yet another hurdle-the termination of Continental Micronesia’s nonstop service between Saipan and Taiwan. Continental announced on Friday that it would stop flying between Guam and Taipei, which included a stop on Saipan, effective Oct. 31, 2005. The termination date marks one year since the Saipan stop was introduced. Continental said that a number of factors contributed to its decision to terminate the flight, citing the increasing fuel costs, declining fares, and weak market demand.
CNMI remembers Chief Aghurubw
The Commonwealth yesterday honored Chief Aghurubw on the occasion of the 35th Annual Commemoration of his landing on Saipan close to 200 years ago, reshaping the history of the region by bringing Carolinians to the Marianas. In 1815, Chief Aghurubw, a famous navigator, led scores of his people fleeing the Carolinian Islands after it was devastated by a typhoon. The Chief Aghurubw Foundation, Inc. together with the Carolinian Affairs Office organized the event, which was attended by a hundred or so people who trace their heritage to Chief Aghurubw and other Carolinians that sailed with him in the early 19th century. Mt. Carmel School chaplain Rev. Rey Rasal celebrated the event with a Mass at the gravesite of Chief Aghurubw and was followed by a brief program.
September 18, 2006
Obstacles delaying CUC privatization
At least two issues that need legislative action are holding up the plan to privatize the operation of Saipan’s two main power plants, Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Villagomez said on Friday. According to Villagomez, the request for proposals for the power plant privatization cannot be issued until the Legislature finalizes the bill to create a Public Utilities Commission, and scraps a requirement for the future independent power producer to pay half of CUC’s written-off debt to the Commonwealth Development Authority. These two issues are prerequisites to the issuance of the RFP, he said. “It is important that the PUC bill is put in place before the privatization plan becomes a reality. We would not put out the RFP until the PUC is in place. It gives assurance to the bidders that there is a commission that regulates public utilities in the Commonwealth,” Villagomez said.
Barry takes home $15K in Club 200 raffle
Call her superstitious but, with five employees of Pacific Telecom Inc. already winning prizes during Saturday’s Club 200 raffle, Kathryn Barry felt that it wouldn’t hurt to have some of that luck rubbing off on her. Literally. So she went over to her colleagues’ table and rubbed her hand on each of the winners with a laugh. Everyone thought it was hilarious. In fact, they were still chuckling over it when the announcer called out, “1173.” It was the winning number—the number that won the $15,000 grand prize in the Club 200 raffle. And it was the same number on Barry’s Red Cross ticket.
September 18, 2007
9 ways eyed to cut costs
Gov. Benigno R. Fitial says a variety of cost-cutting measures must be applied for the government to stay within his proposed $161.585-million budget. The governor’s budget proposal includes a list of nine austerity measures that were factored into the estimate of government resources for fiscal year 2008. The nine items are in addition to the reduced term funding for 397 personnel. Fitial said these measures are required to ensure the FY 2008 budget remains balanced and to avoid further layoffs.
1K new voters register
Over 1,100 new voters have registered to participate in the Nov. 3, 2007 elections. The voter registration for this midterm election ended on Friday, Sept. 14, 2007. But the Commonwealth Election Commission continues to receive forms mailed in by off-island voters. As of yesterday morning, a total of 15,113 voters are registered with the Election Commission. This includes 1,133 people who are voting for the first time, as well as those who re-registered after they had been removed from the voter list for failing to vote in previous elections.