Lively events at home


The festive season must have arrived early this year, what with the recent raid of the governor’s office by the FBI. This was dovetailed by the subpoena of documents from employees associated with Imperial Pacific International.
Why the raid and subpoena? For leadership, it’s good to cross check these events against our rights to self-rule under the Covenant Agreement.

The raid would have gone unnoticed but, when the feds moved in full bore, it raises suspicion and curiosity, “Wots on Da Hill?” There’s yet to be public information about it.

Understood that the feds don’t discuss issues under investigation. But need we be left ignorant why the unusual events? It’s the titular head of these isles whose office was raided. Do we not deserve an explanation? It’s our governor’s office!

In the meantime, about the only thing new is the U.S. government charging Mayor Efraim Atalig and Evelyn Atalig with conspiracy, wire fraud, and theft from program receiving federal funds, among others.

Reportedly, the Ataligs are accused of arranging CNMI-government funded trips to California, Palau, Guam, and Saipan under fraudulent pretenses.

The infectious festive season had Rep. Donald Manglona offering to increase fees for the “education tax credit” over and above the constitutionally mandated 25 percent.

Sounds plausible but equally shortsighted when viewed against what’s already provided (25%) and the financial needs of other departments and agencies that provide services NMI-wide. Isn’t scarce fiscal resource and its fair distribution an issue, sir?

Meanwhile, Senate President Vic Hokog and Sen. Terry Santos are eyeing establishing a dialysis center on Rota to ease hardship among patients who need to go to either a medical facility in Guam or on Saipan for treatment. The planned project is a must, so patients could have the comfort of being treated at home.

Dialysis treatment entails three treatments per week for about four hours per session. So you could imagine how hard it is for patients having to travel to Saipan to ensure toxins are removed from their blood.

The hardship among 15,000 employees relegated to endure life in poverty-income land is the most serious issue for the elected elite here. It’s all about improving the quality of life for families here. EVERbody home?

Or are Da Boysis espousing poverty as a matter of policy? The issue requires nothing less than $750 million per year to meet employees’ salary upgrading. Herein lies the challenge of finding the money to help upgrade the quality of life in family homes.

Meanwhile, the guys put on the façade of confidence while looking intelligently disoriented, tightening Sears Roebuck ties.

Moreover, they’re making $99,500 annually, thus the seeming despondence neglecting wages and salaries for the rest in the public sector. Is it ignorance, arrogance or both?

Well, at least we all know how to say it—“`kanamee”—but have no clear idea what the concept entails. It begins in the family home. If families hardly make it through the day it simply means you’ve failed them.

It means we must buckle down to working on a set of plans that provides a blueprint of what must be done hence to improve the quality of life in the islands.

At day’s end, I usually head to the quiet corner of my mind to pick an issue for review and analysis. It’s a healthy exercise that keeps the mind from sliding into early dementia.

With reading usually comes soulful melodies I’d hum while going through materials. I read tons daily delving into research work on matters of interest prepared by foundations.

The elected elite needs to revisit reading pertinent materials so there’s some semblance of educated discussion articulating viewpoints.

At a coffee shop, lively discussion ensued on poverty income of nearly 15,000 employees here. The central query is how do we improve it for sufficiency meeting family obligations.

Views move from economic diversification, a concept hardly understood even by advocates, to mining seabed resources. But what do we have in our waters that are in demand in the global market? Is the 200-mile EEZ here ours or is it rightfully the feds?

Beyond grandiose plans, it makes sense improving upon what we have today on the three populated islands. It’s a matter of improving what’s a home now! If we succeed we could move on to bigger things. Must take it a step at a time employing reality check.

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.
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