October 2, 2005
Poker bill hurdles House
After months of postponements, the House of Representatives passed on Thursday a bill that allows poker shops only on Beach Road and Middle Road, extending to As Terlaje and As Lito roads. House Bill 14-267 aims to ban poker operations in inner villages such as Koblerville, Dandan, San Vicente, and Kagman, and other villages up north like Tanapag and San Roque. “There would be nothing in the villages. No[thing in] Chalan Kanoa, Koblerville. Nothing inside the villages. It’s limited to the main roads,” said bill author Rep. Clyde K. Norita. Norita, in an interview yesterday said that, the amendments made to the bill includes changing signages from “poker” to “game room.”
Insurance expires, halts Call-A-Ride operations
The Call-A-Ride service, which reached its end of operations with Pacific Development Inc. on Friday, was transferred to the Office on Aging but the vehicle’s insurance expired that same day, potentially affecting its operations next week if the insurance is not renewed. Aging Center director Joseph Palacios said the Call-A-Ride service vehicle was turned over to his office Friday and it was late in the afternoon when they discovered that the insurance of the vehicle had expired on the same day. Palacios said the Aging Center took over the service but only for two to three months, just to ensure that regular service to its clients would not be interrupted.
October 2, 2006
Rota, Tinian airports remain in deficit
Due to low traffic and high operations cost, Rota and Tinian airports continue to incur deficits, latest data from the Commonwealth Ports Authority showed. During the first 10 months of fiscal year 2006 ending in July, Rota airport recorded a deficit of $556,671, which is 2 percent lower than prior year’s $567,145. Statistics showed that the Rota airport generated only $336,240 in revenues, which is 8 percent higher than the same period last year. But its operating expenses as of July totaled $892,911, a 2-percent increase from last year.
Bellas: Recipients of $5M should immediately cash checks
The 29,700 workers who are expected to receive the checks of over $5 million in the coming days from the lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the class-action against the CNMI garment industry and some retailers, should immediately cash the checks, according to the Garment Oversight Board. GOB chairman Timothy H. Bellas, in an interview with the Saipan Tribune, disclosed that when the workers who are part of the class action lawsuit don’t cash the checks upon receiving them, the money would be cancelled after 120 days. Bellas said the uncashed checks will then go back into the GOB fund, which will then be used to pay out to other people.
October 2, 2007
Work at standstill for CUC alien workforce
More than 20 nonresident workers plus six engineers at the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. have stopped working since Sunday due to a law that allows CUC only until Sept. 30, 2007, to employ alien workers.
CUC spokesperson Pamela Mathis told Saipan Tribune last night that they have been asking the Legislature to extend the legal deadline but no bill has been signed yet extending the sunset provision for CUC. This has forced CUC to halt work for these alien workers since Sunday. Mathis could not provide a specific number of the alien workers affected as of press time.
October fuel rate still at all-time high
It’s still bad news for CNMI residents and businesses: The October 2007 electric fuel rate will remain the same as last month’s at 22.8 cents per kilowatt-hour. That rate is the highest ever since the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. adopted the new power rates in July 2006. CUC explained that this month’s fuel rate represents projected fuel and lube oil bills based on the actual costs and latest data from its fuel supplier, Mobil Oil. Using the October electric fuel rate, residential customers will be assessed 24.4 cents for the first 500 kWh; 29.4 cents for the next 500 kWh; 31.4 cents for the succeeding 1,000 kWh; and 35.5 cents for each kWh consumed in excess of 2,000 kWh.