Fitial leaves for 2-week off-island trip

»National media reports US 'governors' bash mostly closed to public'
Gov. Benigno R. Fitial left yesterday morning for at least a two-week trip to the U.S. mainland, among the highlights of which will be his participation in the four-day National Governors Association’s annual summer meeting that national media described as “governors’ bash that’s mostly closed to the public.”

The NGA annual summer meeting from July 12 to 15 will be held in Williamsburg, Virginia.

“When America’s governors convene near the nation’s oldest Capitol in Williamsburg starting Thursday, they’ll be treated to amusement parks, historical sites, championship golf courses, five-star dining, an al fresco concert and a rousing fireworks finale,” according to AP.

The AP also said corporate sponsors or their states’ respective taxpayers will foot the bill for nearly all of it, and much of it will be within view or earshot of the public or the press.

Fitial, who has been consistently attending NGA annual meetings, was accompanied by press secretary Angel Demapan.

Acting press secretary Teresa Kim, also the legal counsel for now acting governor Eloy S. Inos, confirmed yesterday that Fitial left yesterday morning for the United States and is expected to be back on July 23 or 24.

Kim said she has yet to get details of the governor’s itinerary while he’s in the U.S.

But last week, it was reported that Fitial will also be attending a symposium on climate change and its impacts on indigenous coastal cultures. The event, dubbed “First Stewards: Coastal Peoples Address Climate Change,” is set for July 17 to 20 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Fitial, in previous interviews, said he will bring up at the NGA meeting his administration’s plan to ask for at least a five-year extension of the federalization transition period.

He said he will ask for all other governors’ support to this request. The transition period will end on Dec. 31, 2014, even as over 7,600 or some 65 percent of foreign workers petitioned for a transitional Commonwealth-only work permit have yet to get their permits. (With reports from AP)

Haidee V. Eugenio | Reporter
Haidee V. Eugenio has covered politics, immigration, business and a host of other news beats as a longtime journalist in the CNMI, and is a recipient of professional awards and commendations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental achievement award for her environmental reporting. She is a graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman.

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