Chamber backs repeal of moratorium law[/B]
The Saipan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted unanimously to support House Bill 12-415, which would repeal Public law 11-6 or the CNMI Moratorium Act. The Chamber reiterated its opposition to any form of a moratorium on the hiring and entry of qualified nonresident employees for job vacancies where no resident local workers are qualified and available to fill the positions. “Public Law 11-6 is no longer needed. For that matter, it was never needed. That original law was passed on the way to Washington, DC, with a laundry list of others, to appease perceived federal concern over labor and immigration matters in the CNMI,” said Chamber President Richard A. Pierce.
Early in December, KBS “World Morning” program producer, Mr. Lee and his shooting crew were on island to film an upcoming episode featuring the Marianas. The show was aired throughout Korea and has become very popular among honeymooners and housewives. The crew visited the islands of Saipan and Rota. The episode was scheduled to air twice sometime this month. In addition to KBS, Helena Yun, a writer/photographer for Kim Young Sa Company, visited Saipan, Tinian and Rota in order to update information for the upcoming “Hello Saipan” Guidebook. This particular guidebook is produced every two years and is the largest distributed and most popular guidebook for independent travelers.[B]Dec. 31, 2002
MPLA firm vs land title transfer to CPA[/B]
Both unwavering in what they believe is the “best” for the Commonwealth, the Marianas Public Lands Authority and the Commonwealth Ports Authority show no signs of yielding to either position. Yesterday, the MPLA said it asked the CPA anew to identify which portions of public lands in Puerto Rico it wants to be designated first for its ports operations. However, MPLA Commissioner Henry Hofschneider insisted that the CPA will not get land titles. “We can grant them only use rights, they will not get title to the property or ownership. You know, those lands belong to those of NMI descents.”[B]Kumoi seeks pre-New Year meeting[/B]
Sen. Ramon S. Guerrero is pressing for a Senate meeting before the New Year in a bid to officially wrap up the Senate’s year with an outline of its accomplishments and the list of priorities for the year ahead. The Saipan senator sought for the meeting in a letter to Senate President Paul A. Manglona yesterday, saying it is needed to ensure and restore the public’s confidence in the Senate’s ability to carry out its duties and responsibilities. Manglona was reportedly on Rota yesterday overseeing the island’s typhoon recovery efforts. Efforts were made to obtain his comments but he was not immediately available. As of yesterday, the Office of the Senate President released no notice of any scheduled meeting or events before the New Year.[B]Dec. 31, 2003
Tighter screening at Saipan airport[/B]
The Transportation Security Administration-Saipan Office has stepped up security screening procedures at the Saipan International Airport in light of the heightened alert issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. TSA-Saipan Office Customer Support and Quality Improvement manager Viola R. Sablan said that in response to the U.S. government’s raising of the national threat level from “elevated” to “high risk”-or from Code Yellow to Code Orange-TSA has beefed up security screening procedures at the island’s airport to ensure the traveling public’s safety.[B]Longer hours on sale of alcoholic drinks ordered[/B]
The Babauta administration has temporarily extended for tonight the number of hours that restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, and bars can serve alcoholic drinks, as the CNMI joins the world in ushering in the New Year. These establishments can sell and serve alcoholic beverages up to 4am on Jan. 1, 2004, according to a special notice that Commerce Secretary Fermin Atalig issued yesterday. The extended hours are only for the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2003, until 4am on Thursday, the notice adds. Jesus C. Muna of the Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco Control Division said the extended hours strictly apply only to Class-3 On-Sale establishment operators such as bars, nightclubs, hotels, and restaurants.