Pagan conference called off this summer

Northern Islands Mayor Jerome Kaipat Aldan says the conference set originally set on Pagan this month has been postponed.

He said a majority of those invited to go up to the Northern Islands for the conference, also known as the “Konferencian Dinana Islas Marianas,” were dignitaries from Guam and they were “so caught up with” activities with the Festival of Pacific Arts, which occurred last May and early June, and again had obligations for Guam’s Liberation festivities on July 21.

“It’s not really what you might think it is that we postponed it,” Aldan told reporters on Saturday. He was asked about the state of the living area of Pagan after a man last month allegedly caused havoc on Pagan by setting on fire helicopter fuel tanks, shooting a radio communication system, breaking into the mayor’s house with a sledgehammer, and damaging the mayor’s vehicle.

“I haven’t gone up there since that incident,” Aldan said. “I’m trying to get up there. Hopefully, [office of] Procurement signs off on my purchase requisition.”

He also said his office would be getting a $90,000 grant from the Office of Insular Affairs to purchase more upgraded communication systems, and indicated he wanted these before a conference was held.

“We are going to try upgrade the communications systems up there, not only for Pagan but for the rest of the Northern Islands…We need some of form of communication. Hopefully I can get even Internet accessibility.”

Asked if the conference would still be set for this year, the mayor said, “Maybe not. Maybe in 2017. I still got to go back and discuss it with my planning committee and we’ll discuss it and we’ll go from there.”

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at dennis_chan@saipantribune.com.

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