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Friday, April 18, 2014

Lighthouse gets a facelift

Friends of the Mariana Islands member Camilo Leoang help clean up the lighthouse on Navy Hill Sunday morning. (Jacqueline Hernandez) The badly vandalized lighthouse on Navy Hill finally got a much-needed makeover last Sunday when Beautify CNMI and Mariana Islands Nature Alliance, together with other environmental advocates, gave the abandoned building a fresh coat of paint.

Beautify CNMI and MINA officer Angelo Villagomez spearheaded the repainting of the historic building.

Villagomez said the Marianas Visitors Authority donated $2,000 for the paint—part of the $10,000 the tourism agency donated to Beautify CNMI last year. The Marianas Resource Conservation and Development Council provided the tools, while Pacific Eagle provided ladders.

He said the event wouldn’t have been successful without the assistance of fellow environmentalist Ken Kramer from USDA.

He told Saipan Tribune that the lighthouse project got rolling two Saturdays ago when Dr. David Khorram’s daughter, Nava, handed him an envelope full of dollar bills and coins amounting to $49.02.

“She told me that she had collected the money at school to pay for the paint for the lighthouse. I felt so guilty,” he said.

The second incident that made him decide that it was time to repaint the lighthouse was when he saw one of the music videos shown during the Grand Fiesta Pop Music Festival on Monday. “The video was shot at the lighthouse and the whole structure was just covered in graffiti. It was time to do something about it. So I asked MVA for the money, sent out a few e-mails, and over 50 people came out to help.”

He said the repainting is not over yet; the group would have to return to complete the project. “We managed to apply a layer of primer on most of the lighthouse and got a layer of paint on about two rooms’ worth of walls. We’re not finished. We have to go back in a week or two.”

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