Vol. 40 No. 139 © 2012 Marianas Variety
Wednesday • September 26, 2012
www.mvariety.com Serving the CNMI for 40 Years
911 calls diverted to Tinian, says Saipan burglary victim
Filipino street kid wins $130,000 peace prize
Picking Ryan has done little to win voters for Romney
Amanda Bynes flees to New York City, strange behavior follows
CHC in shambles
By Tammy Doty firstname.lastname@example.org Variety News Staff
ONLY a week ago the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. had a functioning board; at least that is what the public was told. However, as a result of last Thursday’s resignation of chief financial and administrative officer, Alvaro Santos, and Monday’s resignation of the
acting director of medical affairs by Dr. Daniel Lamar, the board appears to be disintegrating. It is the DMA position, coupled with decisive comments between Babauta and board member Anthony Aguon last week that brought to light the dissension on the CHC board. Beginning of a rift Babauta was taken to task last week by Aguon, in a letter ad-
dressed to board member and chairman, Jack Torres. The letter stated that Babauta’s first major mistake of awarding a billing/coding contract to Idaho-based International Consulting Services, as well as hiring a Tinian doctor under an unlawful contract. Babauta’s response to Aguon’s letter was pointed. “From day one Anthony Aguon was only concerned with Tinian Continued on page 22
Feds arrest former CHC employee and spouse on healthcare theft, fraud, money laundering charges By Andrew O. De Guzman email@example.com Variety News Staff
THE U.S. Marshals Service has taken into custody a former Commonwealth Health Center employee and his spouse yesterday afternoon after the couple was indicted by a grand jury on charges of conspiring and engaging in healthcare theft, fraud and money laundering.
U.S. District Court for the NMI designated Judge David A. Wiseman unsealed the case. Melvin G. Ada and Leyda I. Ada were escorted by U.S. Marshals Service for their initial appearance in federal court late yesterday afternoon. Variety learned the couple was served with arrest warrants at about 2 p.m. yesterday. Continued on page 23
Gov’t DC Plan has 2,494 members By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor firstname.lastname@example.org Variety News Staff
THE commonwealth government’s defined contribution plan had 2,494 participants as of Aug. 31, 2012, according to ASC Trust Corporation president David J. John. “As of Oct. 31, the plan had a total endDavid John ing balance of $26,644,354.59,” he added. John said when they took over the plan in 2007, the ending balance was $969,067.02 and there were 374 participants as of Dec. 31, 2007. Continued on page 22
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PARENTS WHO CARE. Newly elected officers and members of the Public School System’s State Parent Advisory Council, headed by its president Janice A. Tenorio, center, are joined by education leaders led by Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan, the PSS leadership team and school principals for an official photo following yesterday’s gathering. (See story on page 4) Contributed photo
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WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012 - MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS
Budget panel proposes 1.9% cut
$5 million for the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.; $33 million for the Public School System; THE members of the bi$5 million for Northern cameral conference comMarianas College; and $3 mittee yesterday agreed million for the medical referto adequately fund priorral program. The proposed ity services by cutting the $3 million budget for Medbudgets of other agencies icaid was “slightly reduced,” by 1.9 percent. according to Sen. Jovita M. Instead of following Gov. Jovita Taimanao, Ind.-Rota. Taimanao Benigno R. Fitial’s budget She said the amount will submission, the panel be a “little less” than that the unanimously voted to appropriate figure for medical referrals but still more than the governor’s original proposal. In a telephone interview, Taimanao said the draft budget bill will be finalized today and the Senate and the House will hold back-to-back sessions tomorrow. By Emmanuel T. Erediano email@example.com Variety News Staff
In a separate interview, Rep. Ramon S. Basa, R-Saipan, said the legal counsels were still finalizing the numbers and the language of the budget bill. After carefully looking at the numbers again, Basa said they figured out that they only had to cut “business items” by 1.9 percent to retain the proposed budget for CHC, PSS, NMC, Medicaid and medical referrals while restoring the government employees’ 80 working hours. Basa said they had to “calibrate” the budget numbers of the other departments, including the Office of the Attorney General. “We had to apply the 1.9 percent cuts to the proposed budget of all the departments except of the priorities,” Basa said.
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911 calls diverted to Tinian, says Saipan burglary victim By Andrew O. De Guzman firstname.lastname@example.org Variety News Staff
A RETIRED teacher is unhappy over the Department of Public Safety’s 911 dispatch system and the police response time after her house was twice burglarized last weekend. “Enough is enough,” Angela Wheat told Variety yesterday. Wheat said her three 911 calls on Sunday afternoon were diverted to Tinian DPS. Wheat said she first called 911 at about 4:33 p.m., and was surprised that a Tinian police officer answered her call. The officer assured her that her call would be reported to Saipan. Wheat placed her second call
at about 5:07 p.m. and again it was the same Tinian officer who answered. Wheat was again told that her report would be forwarded to Saipan. After more than 30 minutes of waiting, Wheat placed her third call at about 5:34 p.m., and a female police officer from Tinian answered and gave Wheat a number to call. When she finally got connected to Saipan DPS, Wheat said the female police officer on the line discussed the retired teacher’s previous 911 calls before hanging up. Wheat said a police officer finally showed up at her house at about 6:19 p.m.., or close to two hours after she started calling 911. “That’s pathetic. How is it going to help Saipan, Tinian, and Rota when it is not working in the first place,” Wheat said, referring to the 911 dispatch system and the response time of the police. Wheat said the responding police officer apologized to her. “As teachers, we were held accountable by parents and by the school administration,” she Angela Wheat a d d e d . “ We were asked to do our job. We are now asking [police officers] to also do their job.” Wheat said she will formally file a complaint against the female police officer who hang up on her. She declined to name the police officer. “We have to hold them accountable,” Wheat said. “Its taxpayers’ money that pay their salaries.” Regarding the investigation, Wheat said had the responding police officer on Saturday scoured the area, he would have discovered an abandoned house where the burglar or burglars hid their loot. “I didn’t see the officer go into the woods,” Wheat said. On Sunday, after the second burglary and theft incident was discovered, the responding officer, using a flashlight, inspected the victim’s compound, and found footprints leading to an abandoned house behind Wheat’s residence. She said the police officer was surprised to see inside the abandoned house the items that belonged to Wheat and from other individuals who were also victims of burglary and theft in the area. DPS has yet to release information about this case and did not respond to the inquiries of this reporter. 9/26/12 12:24:13 AM
MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS - WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012
Guam GDP up by 1.2% By Joy White email@example.com Variety News Staff
HAGÅTÑA — Representatives from the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Monday released data on Guam’s gross domestic product for 2010. The estimates show an increase of 1.2 percent in Guam’s GDP, which is slightly less than the U.S. GDP increase of 2.4 percent in the same year. According to the estimates, the key drivers of the increase in Guam’s GDP were a 3.6 percent increase in government spending, a decrease of 3.7 percent in imports, and a 1.2 percent increase in exports of services (tourism). The industry that did not do well in 2010 was retail sales, which decreased by 3.3 percent. “The primary purpose is to sort of gauge the economy, know how the different sectors of your economy is performing and basically to give folks the tool to perform economic policy to improve the economy moving forward,” explained BEA Deputy Director Bran Moyer. Karl Pangelinan, administrator of the Guam Economic Development Authority, said: “Guam’s economy really is on a slow steady
climb even as global and international markets are taking steps back. The 1.2 increase — although it’s not at the national level for that particular year — is still growth, and I think that’s a good sign with regard to our overall economy up to 2010.” When asked why there was a two-year lag in the reports, Moyer said the lag in numbers is not far behind state estimates because national numbers are provided before the breakdown of state numbers is available. One of the initiatives of the BEA is to have the 2011 GDP estimates ready by 2013, depending on the availability of source data. Nicole Mayer Hauser, chief of the National Income and Wealth Division, stated the numbers were calculated based on revenue, payroll compensation, average spending of Korean and Japanese spenders, import data, revenue data, consumption revenue, and government finance reports. The estimates were developed by the Statistical Improvement Program, which was funded by the Office of Insular Affairs. This report is the first to break down the estimates by industry, compensation by industry, and detailed consumer spending.
Local / Pacific Islands
Japan to build $16M ships for the Marshalls By Giff Johnson For Variety
MAJURO — Two Japanese shipyards have been awarded contracts to build vessels for the Marshall Islands as part of the Japanese government’s largest-ever aid project for this western Pacific nation. Marshall Islands Secretary of Transportation and Communications Phil Philippo said Thursday that the contracts for the two vessels are worth $16 million, making this Japan’s largest aid project. Bids for the contracts on the two vessels from Japanese shipyards were opened in Tokyo earlier this month by government officials.
The aid funding will support the construction of a cargo-passenger vessel and a landing craft for interatoll shipping service in the Marshall Islands, a nation of hundreds of low-lying islands scattered over more than 500,000 square miles of ocean. Kegoya Dock Co. Ltd. in Hiroshima won the contract to build the cargo passenger type vessel, while ISB Co., Ltd. in Chiba won the bid to build the landing craft type vessel. The Marshall Islands requested a landing craft be built as part of the aid package after the country’s only landing craft sank in January 2011 while on a voyage to deliver
construction materials for construction of an elementary school on a remote island. Currently, the Marshall Islands Shipping Corporation, a government-established agency, has only three passenger and cargo vessels and struggles to meet demand for cargo deliveries and passenger travel. The two Japanese shipyards presented shipbuilding schedules to complete and deliver the vessels to Majuro by early December, 2013, said Philippo. The cargo-passenger will be 50 meters long (approximately 162.5 feet). It will be able to carry 150 passengers with a crew of 18. Its cruising speed is 10.5 knots. The landing craft will be 44 meters in length (about 143 feet). It will be able to carry 50 passengers with a crew of 12. Its service speed is 10.9 knots.
Mayor’s office American pushes one-stop Samoa elections shop for payments get extra $100K
THE Saipan mayor’s office is proposing the establishment of a “one -stop shop” for official transactions that involve the payment of government fees. At present, applicants for the mayor’s identification card, a married license or dog registration have to pay at the Division of Treasury which has offices on Capital Hill and at the judicial complex in Susupe. Henry Hofschneider, the mayor’s adviser, said they are requesting the Department of Finance to assign a cashier to the mayor’s office at the Ladera Center in Oleai, Beach Road. Henry He said he alHofschneider ready discussed this issue with Lt. Gov. Eloy S. Inos who asked them to justify the proposal, which should include the projected revenue estimate. The mayor’s fiscal and budget officer, Terry Camacho, said it cost them $4,100 to renovate and expand their new Oleai office. But they are allowed to pay by installments in 12 months on top of their monthly rent of $3,100. She said they have an annual office rental budget of $58,000 excluding utility expenses. For the coming fiscal year 2013, she said they will have a $65,000 annual allocation for their office lease. (Junhan B. Todeno) MV 9-26-12.indd 3
PAGO PAGO (AP) — Lawmakers in American Samoa are allocating an additional $100,000 to fund the territory’s general election. The additional money comes after American Samoa’s election office said there’s not enough money to run the Nov. 6 elections because of a high number of candidates. Chief Election Officer Soliai Tuipine Fuimaono said earlier this month an additional $240,000 is needed. According to budget documents, only $200,000 had been allocated to operate and manage the election. Fuimaono expects a runoff in the governor’s race, which has six candidates. He says the total cost to operate the election is $440,000, with $280,500 for the general election and $159,500 for a likely runoff. Five candidates are running for the nonvoting delegate seat in the U.S. Congress, while about 60 are vying for the local House of Representatives.
Little Miss Philippines-CNMI 2012 Bernice Shane Sabino, center, is flanked by her royal court after the pageant at the multi-purpose center on Sept. 22. From left, 5th runner up Shaina Heart Dimalanta, 3rd runner up Kizia Christin Arugay, 1st runner up Jill Anne Marie Mallari, 2nd runner up Desiree Marie Maratas, and 4th runner up Princess Kuban. Photo by Demalyn Sablan
Dandan student crowned Little Miss Philippines-CNMI By Raquel C. Bagnol firstname.lastname@example.org Variety News Staff
A FIRST grade student of Dandan Elementary School won the Little Miss Philippines-CNMI 2012 crown by besting 15 other contestants during the beauty pageant held at the multi-purpose center in Susupe on Saturday night. Five-year-old Bernice Shane Q. Sabino, daughter of Bernard and Sheryl Sabino, impressed the audience of almost 300 people with the way she carried herself on stage and answered questions. She received $300, a sash, bouquet and other prizes. She was also named Best in Evening Gown and Best in Talent. Jill Anne Marie Mallari emerged as the first runner up and received $200 and other prizes. She also won the Best in Spirit Award. Desiree Marie B. Maratas was
second runner up and received $100 and other prizes. Third runner up was Kezia Christin O. Arugay while Princess Guban was named fourth runner up. Shaina Heart A. Dimalanta was fifth runner up and the winner of the Most Photogenic Award. The other candidates were Alyson Red V. Camacho, Angelene Faith Cacdac, Janine Magdanua Deleon Guerrero, Shemariah Sophia Hicaro, Abby Danielle Crisostomo, Megan Cool, Johanna Mikyla Mogar, Kate Franz Yap Santos, Gweneth Sophia Calage and Bristhy Maries Hossain. Pageant organizer and choreographer Joel Vallega said the show was very successful. “We were very impressed with the talents of the candidates and the way they showcased their national
costumes, sportswear, evening gowns and talents,” Vallega said. The event was presented by Esther Sablan’s Saipan Music & Dance Studio. “We extend our thanks to the pageant candidates and their families for participating in this event, and we are also very grateful to general public and the sponsors who made this event successful,” Vallega said. Sponsors and donors included Armatech, Rose Dance School, MIFICPA, Docomo, LD Prime, JOS Corporation, Hyatt Regency Saipan, Pacific Islands Club, Fiesta Resort & Spa, Aqua Resort Club, Marianas Resort & Spa, Kanoa Hotel, PHI, National Office Supply, Tony Romas Restaurant, Westco, Island Florals & Gifts, Nhemie Cayao, Gemma Batusin, D’ Elegance Café and 3Hi-Res Graphic Design. 9/26/12 12:24:15 AM
WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012 - MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS
Prayers for NMI soldiers, family By Emmanuel T. Erediano email@example.com Variety News Staff
GOVERNOR Benigno R. Fitial and Lt. Gov. Eloy S. Inos are asking CNMI people to include in their prayers U.S. Army Spc. Joselyn Tara Mafnas Sablan, who passed away on Thursday, and her family. In an email to Variety yesterday, Press Secretary Angel A. Demapan said the administration learned yesterday that Sablan, an active duty soldier stationed at Fort Hood, Texas passed away several days ago. Demapan said details had yet to be communicated, “but we have since learned that a casualty assistant officer has arrived on island
and is assisting the family of the regarding the arrangements for late soldier.” the funeral. He added, “It is always a truly Military and Veterans Affairs sad day for the commonwealth to Office Director Vicente C. Camalose a brave daughter or son who cho has also extended his condohas so chosen to defend lences to the family of the principles of freedom Sablan. and liberty for all.” In a telephone interThe governor and the view yesterday, Camacho lt. governor, Demapan said his office is assisting added, have conveyed the family. He said there their deepest condolencis no information yet as es to the bereaved family to when Sablan’s remains Joselyn Tara and are asking the people Mafnas Sablan will be returned to the of the commonwealth to island but, he added, his keep the Joselyn and her family office will be notified. in thoughts and prayers. Camacho said the family memDemapan also said that the bers are grieving about the passMilitary and Veterans Affairs ing of their loved one and are not Office, under the Office of the yet ready to talk about Sablan’s Governor, is assisting the family death.
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“I just want to extend my most sincere condolences to the family for their loss,” he added. Prayers are also offered to U.S. Army Spc. Robert Santos Deleon Guerrero who is still fighting for his life because of aneurism at the Naval Hospital in Tennessee. Deleon Guerrero’s family members, who are in Tennessee, declined to comment. But his uncle, Board of Education member Herman T. Guerrero, through Facebook, urged community members to “kindly continue to remember him in your prayers.” Specialist Deleon Guerrero was assigned in Afghanistan before he moved to Tennessee last March.
Parent council pledges stronger support for schools (PSS) — Parent leaders representing the commonwealth’s public schools vowed to further strengthen their roles in supporting and complementing school leaders and education policymakers’ ongoing effort in promoting student achievement. During yesterday’s gathering of the State Parent Advisory Council of the Public School System, parent leaders acknowledged their “direct roles in allowing children to learn and succeed while in school.” “In the past four (school) years we saw how our students continue to perform well with our state mandated testing. The outcome is a shared success both for our schools and our parents,” Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan said yesterday. “We can replicate this success this school year once again with you as our partners standing with us,” Sablan added. Since school year 2008-2009, studentperformancein theStanford Achievement Test and Standards-Based Achievement has improved. At the end of the last school year, SAT 10 and SBA results Rita Sablan were at an alltime high. There is also a huge percentage of high school graduates pursuing college education. Yesterday, parent leaders acknowledged the need to further sustain growth in student achievements. “What our children have achieved in the last school year…and in the past four years is about being there for them. This new school year let us continue this commitment in supporting (PSS),” said William S. Reyes Elementary School PTSA president Janice A. Tenorio. The parent advisory council also elected its new set of leaders to serve for a one-year term. Tenorio was voted unanimously as president. She succeeds Editha Taimanao from Rota. “As Dr. Sablan pointed out, education is also about partnership. Let us remain committed and involved in improving student learning,” Tenorio said. Laura Manglona, Sinapalo Elementary School PTSA president, was re-elected vice president. She said “she will continue to advocate for increased parents and the community’s role.” Elected state secretary was Fausia Dela Cruz, president of San Antonio Elementary School Continued on page 5 9/26/12 12:24:15 AM
MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS - WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012
Gov’t says federal court doesn’t have jurisdiction over retiree Betty Johnson’s motion By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor firstname.lastname@example.org Variety News Staff
THE federal court does not have jurisdiction over retiree Betty Johnson’s motion for preliminary injunction. In a 16-page opposition to Johnson’s motion for preliminary injunction, Assistant Attorney General Reena Patel said, “The exercise of supplemental jurisdiction to hear this motion is not proper. Even if the court finds that the supplemental jurisdiction is proper, [the] plaintiff does not have standing to bring the motion.” Patel said if the court finds that the jurisdictional requirements are satisfied, the court should abstain from exercising jurisdiction. Johnson, formerly identified as Jane Roe, filed a motion for preliminary injunction on Sept. 18. Patel, representing the defendants in what was formerly known as the Roe/Doe case, said that if the court determines that it is not required to abstain, the CNMI government
Parent... Continued from page 4 PTSA. Tinian Junior Senior High School PTSA president Augusta Famaw was reelected council treasurer. During the council meeting yesterday, Education Commissioner Sablan lauded Kimo Rosario’s contributions and commitment in ensuring the successful promotion of the parental involvement and community partnership strategy of PSS, through an increased participation of parents in the last two years.
maintains that a preliminary injunction is not warranted. She argued that the federal court does not have jurisdiction because the governor’s executive order is not sufficiently related to the plaintiff’s federal claims for the court to exercise supplemental jurisdiction. Patel said the plaintiff does not have the standing to seek to enjoin the executive order. The executive order places the Fund under the Department of Finance and abolishes its board of trustees. Patel said the assertion of federal question jurisdiction is also questionable. She said, “The court should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the motion because (1) it involves novel and complex issues of state law; (2) there are compelling reasons for declining jurisdiction; and (3) [it] would not be furthered by the exercise of jurisdiction.” Patel said the plaintiff would
not be harmed if the federal court ongoing; (2) implicate important declines jurisdiction because state interests; (3) and provide injunction could be sought in the an opportunity to raise federal state court. questions. Saying that the plaintiff lacks But if the federal court decides standing to seek a preliminary not to abstain, Patel said the deinjunction to enjoin the E.O., Patel fendants maintain that preliminary argued that Johnson is not under injunction is not warranted under threat of suffering injury that is the Winter factors. “concrete” and “particuShe is referring to the larized.” requirements for obtainShe said the alleged ing a preliminary injuncthreat is neither actual nor tion mentioned in Winter imminent. vs. NRDC Inc.: “A plainThe threat of injury, she tiff seeking a preliminary said, is not traceable to injunction must establish the E.O. Reena Patel that he is likely to succeed Patel said the federal on the merits, that he is court may abstain from hearing likely to suffer irreparable harm in such cases if sufficiently compel- the absence of preliminary relief, ling ground exists. that the balance of equities tips in She said this compelling ground his favor, and that an injunction is is to prevent federal court interfer- in the public interest.” ence with pending state judicial Patel said the plaintiff is not proceedings as implemented by the likely to succeed on the merits. Younger abstention doctrine. She said the focus should be on Under the Younger doctrine, the merits of the case as whole, abstention is required so long that the function and purpose as the state proceedings are (1) of a preliminary injunction is to
prevent irreparable injury pending the ultimate determination of action. Patel argues that the plaintiff will not suffer irreparable harm as she failed to demonstrate either actual or imminent injury. She also said that the balance of hardships tips in the CNMI government’s favor and denial of the motion is in the public interest. Patel said that a preliminary injunction is “an extraordinary remedy” and courts must balance the competing claims of injury and must consider the effect on each party of the granting or withholding of the requested relief. In Patel’s view, the extraordinary remedy is not warranted in Johnson’s case. Johnson, as Jane Roe, along with John Doe, brought action in 2009 in federal court against the CNMI government, among other defendants, seeking among other reliefs, the assignment of a federal receiver to the Fund.
Rosario is the former state parental engagement coordinator for PSS. “I would like to commend Kimo Rosario for his effective role in the last two years. He did a lot particularly in officially starting many parent/community-related activities that are now in place,” the education chief added. “Thank you Kimo for your commitment and good work.” Rosario is now vice principal for Kagman High School. Frances Ulloa was named by the education commissioner as interim state parental involvement coordinator.
On behalf of our families, we humbly extend our most profound gratitude to you all for the overwhelming success and support on our fundraiser last Friday, September 21, 2012. To our able Chairman Jesus Sn. Lizama and our hard working Precinct - II Club
committee to Elect DEMAPAN - SABLAN, our extended families and friends, we salute you all and say....Dangkulo na Si Yu’us Ma’ase, Olomwaay, and Thank you very much. We are forever grateful for your continued support and encouragement.
“NEW VISION - NEW DIRECTION”
Rep. Rafael “Ralph” Sablan Demapan
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John Paul “Pacho” Palacios Sablan
9/26/12 12:24:17 AM
WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012 - MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS
Fitial cancels meeting with lawmakers
Senate Vice President Jude U. Hofschneider, R-Tinian, Sens. Ralph DLG Torres, R-Saipan, and BECAUSE the Legislature has Frank Q. Cruz, R-Tinian. yet to pass the fiscal year 2013 Fitial told the lawmakers that budget bill, Gov. Benigno R. with just five days remaining in the Fitial cancelled the joint leader- fiscal year, “it is my fervent hope ship meeting that he scheduled that your conferees will act expedifor yesterday. tiously to break any deadlock so Last week, while a special House that a budget bill can be acted on panel was meeting to review the as soon as possible.” resolution calling for his impeachHe added, “While I pray that ment, Fitial invited lawmakers to a the Legislature will act swiftly to joint leadership meeting, saying “it prevent a government shutdown is important to continue fostering the lt. governor and I are forced much needed collaborato begin preparing for the tion for the common good worst. We will continue to of the people.” take this approach so long The meeting was supas a budget remains to be posed to be held in the enacted.” Mt. Tapochao Room of Hofschneider said he the Saipan World Resort knows the budget is the at lunch time. more pressing issue right But yesterday, the gov- Benigno Fitial now. ernor informed Senate Cabrera, for his part, President Paul A. Manglona, Ind.- said it is good that Fitial canceled Rota, and Speaker Eli D. Cabrera, the leadership meeting. The budR-Saipan, that he had postponed get, he said, should be the priority the meeting until further notice right now because “we want the “due to the ongoing budget confer- government employees to continue ence committee meetings.” reporting for work on Monday, Oct. At the same time, Fitial asked 1,” referring to the first day of the the members of the budget panel new fiscal year, to “expedite” action on the meaBasa said they know that “time sure. is of the essence.” The House budget conferees are “We have been racing against Rep. Ramon S. Basa, R-Saipan, time because no one wants a shutSpeaker Cabrera, Vice Speaker down,” he said. Felicidad T. Ogumoro, R-Saipan, Ogumoro said as soon as they and Rep. Ray N. Yumul, R-Saipan. are done with the budget, they will The Senate conferees are Sen. ask the governor to reschedule the Jovita M. Taimanao, Ind.-Rota, leadership meeting. By Emmanuel T. Erediano email@example.com Variety News Staff
Camacho denies DPL, Tasi Tours’ motions to reconsider, clarify Managaha rule preliminary injunction By Andrew O. De Guzman firstname.lastname@example.org Variety News Staff
SUPERIOR Court Judge Joseph N. Camacho yesterday denied the motions to reconsider and for clarification submitted by the CNMI Department of Public Lands and Tasi Tours and Transportation Inc. regarding the court’s preliminary injunction. Camacho said NMI Rules on Civil Procedure 59 (e) do not apply in this case “because the order is not a final judgment….” Neither DPL nor Tasi Tours has demonstrated that the court committer a clear error, Camacho said. The “defendants dispute the court’s application of law but nothing more. The arguments on reconsideration are virtually indistinguishable from arguments previously made which the court already considered. Further, given the court’s broad discretion to set bonds as justice requires any asserted ‘inconsistencies’ do not
CPA counsel wants trustee ad litem to file reports in local court By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor email@example.com Variety News Staff
KEEPING everybody in the loop is important, according to Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo as he asked the trustee ad litem to also file in local court any motion or recommendations that the Retirement Fund files in the federal court. During last Friday’s court hearing in the local court, Commonwealth Ports Authority legal counsel Robert T. Torres asked Govendo if the trustee ad litem could also file in local court the reports or recommendations he submits to designated Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood. Torres said CPA wants to be informed of what is happening in federal court and how it impacts the NMIRF v. CNMI case in Superior Court. The autonomous agencies are not parties to the Roe/Doe case in the U.S. District Court for the NMI. Torres said it remains unclear
how the ongoing federal litigation He added, “Generating money will affect CPA. is difficult and painful — taxes, CPA, along with the Com- fees, and costs. And deferring monwealth Utilities Corp., the pensions is difficult and painCommonwealth Development ful — less money, higher bills, Authority and the Northern Mari- and costs. As a result we have anas Housing Corp. are intervenors a paralysis of action while we in the Fund’s collection lawsuit approach the proverbial last few against the CNMI government in dollars of the pension in July the local court. 2014. The court is hamstrung In an interview, Torres by the Supreme Court told Variety, “CPA is only rulings on enforceability satisfied, if I may use that of judgments against the word, if the hearings regovernment. The policy sult in a concrete plan to makers are tasked with rehabilitate the Fund and the solution. Thus, the replenish the pension. But cure will certainly be as that involves generating painful as the disease.” the funds — raising the Robert Torres In his recent order, money and deferring (not Govendo said autonoreducing) the pension payouts until mous agencies, like the central the money collected matches or government, will remit 30 percent catches up with the money paid in employer contributions to the out.” Fund. Torres said for entities like CUC This rate is below the 37.3909 and CPA, costs are passed on to percent for fiscal year 2011 and the consumers who are concerned 2010 and way below the 60.8686 over the agencies’ operations and percent established for fiscal year expenditures. 2012.
amount to clear error,” Camacho the order of Judge Camacho to added. issue $60,172.95 in unsecured The “defendants simply disagree bond in addition to the $1,861.05 with the court’s order, which does cash bond they earlier posted as not warrant reconsideration,” he part of the preliminary injunction added. on the enforcement of the 1993 In denying the defendants’ Managaha concession rule which motion for clarification, Cama- they are disputing. cho said: The “defendants seek In their motions, DPL and Tasi clarification of the scope of the Tours asked the court to reconpreliminary injunction. However, sider the order, particularly the they have failed to show court’s allowance of a 97 that any factual confusion percent unsecured bond, exists, as to the scope or and requested the court intent of the preliminary to clarify the terms of the injunction or the status preliminary injunction. quo. Instead, they have Assistant Attorneys asked the court to rule on General Charles Braswhat appears to the court ington represented DPL to be hypothetical. As a Joseph Camacho while attorney Glenn result, the court declines to clarify Jewell argued on behalf of Tasi its order at this time — without any Tours. prejudice to the parties to request The marine sports operators, clarification at a later date should through attorney Mark Scoggins, actual confusion over the scope of opposed both motions, arguing the injunction arise.” that DPL and Tasi Tours had not Marine sports operators have met the standard for reconsidresumed picking up customers at eration or shown a necessity for Managaha after complying with clarification.
Korean tourist sues 2 US special forces members for assault, battery By Andrew O. De Guzman firstname.lastname@example.org Variety News Staff
A KOREAN tourist has sued in federal court two U.S Special Forces members for assaulting him outside a bar on Saipan. Attorney Ramon K. Quichocho, who represents Ki Pung Kown, said the defendants, Carl Weight Jr. and Marty Joel Lopez, were “highly trained special forces members who committed an unprovoked and senseless assault and battery” against his client. Kwon is suing Weight and Lopez for assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The incident occurred on Sept. 22, 2012, outside GIG Discotheque in Garapan. The Department of Public Safety has yet to release information about the incident. The complaint said Kwon and his friend Tony went to GIG at about 12:30 a.m. Afterward, Tony left the bar. At about 2:40 a.m., Kwon called Tony back to pick him up at GIG. On the way to Tony’s vehicle, the complaint said Weight and Lopez started taunting and assaulting Kwon.
When Kwon got into Tony’s vehicle, one of the defendants, or both of them, opened the door and started punching, hitting, striking, assaulting and battering Kwon, the complaint stated. Quichocho said the defendants pulled his client out of the vehicle and continued to assault, taunt, hit, punch, and strike Kwon. The complaint stated that Tony got out of his vehicle, but was prevented by one of the defendants from helping Kwon. Within seconds, the complaint added, Tony saw Kwon “knocked out [and the victim’s] face on the ground.” Weight and Lopez escaped as Tony called for police assistance. While Kwon lay unconscious on the ground, Tony tried to pick him up, but saw that Kwon’s head and his hands were covered with blood, the complaint stated. Kwon was transported to the Commonwealth Health Center, where he received several stitches to his head. Quichocho said his client also suffered lacerations, bruises, pain, discomfort, loss of blood, and other ailments to his body and head. Quichocho said the federal court has jurisdiction over Kwon’s claims because damages will be over $75,000.
Marianas Variety News & Views is circulated by home and office delivery throughout Saipan, Rota, Tinian, Guam and Palau as well as mail delivery to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, South Pacific, Hawaii, Japan and the U.S. Daily coverage also can be read from our Web site via www.mvariety.com. MV 9-26-12.indd 6
9/26/12 12:24:18 AM
Local / Pacific Islands
MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS - WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012
Zumba trainer from NZ to conduct training on Saipan By Raquel C. Bagnol email@example.com Variety News Staff
A ZUMBA fitness specialist from New Zealand will be on island for the CNMI Zumba fitness instructors training session on Nov. 10 at Gold’s Gym in Garapan. Gold’s Gym Saipan general manager and personal training director Brett Nelson said everyone is invited to the event if they are not Zumba instructors. “We can accommodate up to 40 or 45 participants for the training which will be conducted by Carolina Arias, now based in New Zealand, and we hope to have more Zumba fitness instructors on island after the training,” Nelson said.
Gold’s Gym has three Zumba “This event is putting us ofinstructors who hold four classes ficially on the Zumba fitness on weekdays and one form chil- world map. Everyone who wants dren on Saturdays. to become a certified instructor Beginning in the first week is welcome, and those that are of October, not certified Nelson said but teach, now they will be have a chance offering two to get themZumba classselves qualies for children fied,” Stoilova — one for 4said. 8-year- olds, About and another Carolina for 9-13-yearArias olds. A rias beCarolina Arias E l i t z a came a qualiStoilova, one of the Zumba fied personal trainer and a certified instructors at Gold’s Gym, said group fitness instructor in 2000 Arias’ visit will be a historical after she completed her degree in moment. public relations in Santiago, Chile
NMHC reviewing low-income housing program application “If anything goes well, I will recommend to the board to approve the applicant for the credited THE Northern Marianas Housing allocation of $2.525 million,” said Corp. has received only one ap- Palacios. plication for the fiscal year 2012 For fiscal year 2012, several Low Income Housing Tax Credit changes were made to the allocaprogram. tion plan including the requirement NMHC corporate director Jesse for market study and good faith Palacios told Variety that applica- deposit. tions were due before the end of Under the Qualified Allocation business on Sept. 14. Plan for 2012, NMHC is requiring “We are doing the preliminary 5 percent “good faith” deposit for review right now,” said Palacios. the first year’s credited allocaNMHC provided a copy of the tion. application each to the seven-memFor FY’12 credited allocation ber panel that will review it. of $2.525 million, NMHC will “We gave them a week to go over be asking 5 percent or $126,250 it,” said Palacios last Friday. which the applicant has to deposit The seven members of the panel at NMHC. are Secretary of Finance Seventy-five percent Larissa Larson, Secretary of this amount will be of Commerce Sixto Igiused for administrative somar, governor’s legal costs. counsel James Stump, The board-approved Zoning Office Adminisamendment now requires trator Therese Ogumoro, submission of the maracting Secretary of Public Jesse Palacios ket study “effectively Works Anthony Camaupon submission” of cho, Pedro Sasamoto representing the application and not within 90 architects and engineers, and the days of submission as previously governor’s special policy adviser implemented. Dr. John Joyner. In conducting the market study, Palacios said after the review the applicant will bear the cost by the panel they will convene at estimated at $7,000. NMHC to do the point system. This amount will not be refunded He said each member of the panel to the applicant if the application will review the application and as- is denied. sign points based on the Qualified An application fee of $1,000 Allocation Plan for 2012 recom- is also assessed against the apmended by the NMHC board and plicant. approved by the governor. It has been two years since the Any concerns or questions CNMI first participated in the raised by the review panel will federal Low Income Housing Tax be conveyed by NMHC to the Credit program with the 60-unit applicant which is given 10 days Sandy Beach Homes project in to respond. Chalan Kanoa as the first to receive Asked to name the applicant, tax credit allocation. Palacios declined, saying they are For more information, call still in the review process. NMHC at 234-6866. By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor firstname.lastname@example.org Variety News Staff
MV 9-26-12.indd 7
where she came from. Arias moved to New Zealand in 2006 and stayed permanently to develop a successful fitness career. Arias became a Zumba fitness instructor in 2009 and fell in love with Zumba after seeing the reaction of the participants and learning that what great things this program could do for people. Arias became a Zumba education specialist in New Zealand and Australia in 2010. Today, she is licensed to teach and runs Basic 1, Basic 2, Zumba Toning and Zumba Sentao Instructors Training Courses in NZ, Australia, Asia and the Pacific. For more information about Arias, check out her web site at http://carolinaarias.zumba.com.
Heart specialists to visit Yap COLONIA, Yap (Yap State Government) — The Department of Health Services says a group of heart specialists will be on island on Tuesday, Oct. 2. They will provide services for children with a history of heart problem and other heart associated diseases. The Division of Public Health and the Maternal Child Health Program are preparing to send out appointments for children that are already on their list of children
with heart problems. For those who may not have been aware of their heart problems and those interested to find out if they have heart problems, clinics are being scheduled for Oct. 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9 during normal working hours. Children need to be brought in for screening by doctors at the community health center before it could be determined whether or not they should be seen by the heart specialists.
From there, you can also link to her Facebook page to get the latest updates on Zumba fitness. Zumba, a calorie-burning dance fitness party that is effective, exhilarating, Latin-inspired, and easy-to-follow steps was first introduced to Saipan in April 2011 and has been gaining popularity as more people saw its benefits. Fee for the Zumba instructors training is $280 for those who pay earlier and until Oct. 20, $300 until Nov. 8 and $320 until Nov. 10. For more information, visit Gold’s Gym Saipan at Garapan Central Park, or call 233-4000, email brettn@goldsgymsaipan. com or log on to www.goldsgym. com/saipan.
Let’s Move Marianas on ‘John Gonzales Live’ (John Gonzales Live) — Let’s Move Marianas 2012 campaign will again be featured on “John Gonzales Live” today, Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 6:30 p.m. to 7: 30 p.m., MCV Ch. 14. It will be replayed on Thursday, Sept. 27, 7 to 8 p.m. and on Fri, Sept. 28, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. also on MCV Ch. 14.
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands State Board of Education
Public School System P.O. Box 501370, Saipan, MP 96950
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS PSS RFP 12-041 COURSES FOR CURRENT ISSUES IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION & READING AND WRITING IN THE ENGLISH IMMERSION CLASSROOM FOR PSS ELL PROGRAM
The CNMI Public School System is soliciting competitive sealed proposals from individuals or firms interested in providing a course for Current Issues in Second Language Acquisition & Reading and Writing in the English Immersion Classroom. The Scope of Work is available beginning September 19, 2012 at the PSS Procurement & Supply Office located on the 1st floor of the CNMI Public School System Central Office Building, Susupe, Saipan, MP 96950. Email requests may be sent to Rita B. Dela Cruz at rita. email@example.com. There will be a Pre-Proposal Meeting on October 5, 2012 at 9:00 A.M. at the PSS Conference Room. Questions may be faxed to Lynette L. Villagomez, Director, T&FASEG Program at (670) 664-3769 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than October 11, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. Proposals shall be in a sealed envelope marked “RFP 12-041” containing (1) original and three (3) copies and submitted to the PSS Procurement and Supply Office no later than October 17, 2012 at 9:00 A.M. The selected proposer will be subject to a Responsibility Determination pursuant to PSS Procurement Regulation Section 60-40-240. Any proposals received after the aforementioned date and time will not be accepted under any circumstances. /s/ Rita A. Sablan, Ed.D. Commissioner of Education
/s/ Robert Florian Procurement & Supply Officer 9/26/12 12:24:19 AM
WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012 - MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS
Two PHI Pharmacy interns to provide free health services By Raquel C. Bagnol email@example.com Variety News Staff
TWO pharmacy interns from Hawaii are on island to work with PHI Pharmacy in providing free blood glucose and blood pressure screening to members of the community, and perform other health-related activities for the next six weeks. Adam Stockdale is a fourth year pharmacy student taking an undergraduate degree in general medical or pre-med from Washington State University in Washington. Matthew Mullaby obtained his bachelor of science in chemistry degree at the University of Manoa Hawaii and is now, like Stockdale, a fourth year pharmacy student at the University of Hawaii in Hilo. This is their first time to be on Saipan, and they are excited to meet community members. Stockdale said they could have done their internship in Alaska, Guam, American Samoa or even Thailand but they chose Saipan. “Saipan is something different. The outreach here is not something you see in a hospital on the mainland. It’s a different population,” Stockdale said. He noted that the healthcare here is different from what the states have. “The healthcare here is not really stable. This is a place that is different in a way that you can really help the people, and they in turn give much respect for pharmacists. This is a place where you can counsel patients who respect your opinion,” Stockdale said. He added, “Pharmacists here can interact with the people, get to know their wants and needs.” Mallaby said he wants to see a different side of the world and gain more experience in meeting other people. “I will be staying in Hawaii after I graduate and the people
there will be my patient population,” he added. “This internship can help give us a broader study and outreach, and give patient counseling especially on prevailing diseases such as diabetes, gout other conditions.” The two interns said they are required to do six blocks of six-week internships at different locations before they get their license. PHI Pharmacy vice president Bruce Cohen said Stockdale and Mallaby will be interacting with the community and giving presentations and speeches, going on live interviews on the radio and television, and getting involved in other activities to help the people have access to diabetes testing and blood pressure screening as well as answering questions regarding medications. Cohen said the two may also conduct lectures at Northern Marianas College and join other healthrelated activities on island. Stockdale and Mallaby will be providing free blood pressure screening and sugar screening at the PHI Dandan branch on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. until Nov. 1. “Everybody is welcome to avail themselves of the free testing, to have their sugar and blood pressure checked — whether they are PHI customers or not,” Cohen said. He said each school year, PHI Pharmacy gets to host five or six groups of interns on Saipan. Cohen said the interns will be happy to provide services to any function sponsored by schools, churches or community organizations. “Just give us a call and we will come,” Cohen said. Stockdale and Mallaby will be here until Nov. 7. For appointments or more information, visit the PHI Pharmacy at Joeten Dandan, call 235-6170 or visit http://www.phipharmacy. com.
Zoning Board approves KKMP application to install antenna By Junhan B. Todeno firstname.lastname@example.org Variety News Staff
KKMP, the newest radio station on Saipan, will soon be heard in the Northern Islands, according to Blue Continent Communications owner Rosemond B. Santos. She attended the Zoning Board meeting on Thursday that approved her request for a conditional use permit to install a 75 ft. high communication tower in the Papago area which is classified as rural and is owned by Maria B. Santos. A former House member, Santos said their plan is to make KKMP a permanent radio station in the CNMI. Her husband Gary Sword, their company’s vice president, said the installation of the antenna will allow KKMP to reach Pagan and even Japan. This will be helpful to residents in the Northern Islands especially during an emergency situation, Sword said. Businessman Joe Ayuyu, who attended the hearing, welcomed the radio station’s expansion, saying that residents in the Northern Islands should also be allowed to hear beautiful local music from Saipan. Gus Kaipat, the new Zoning Board member and a well-known local musician from the Northern Islands, also expressed his appreciation for KKMP’s plan. During its hearing, the Zoning Board likewise approved the applications for conditional use permit of ITS Corp. and Tia’s Child Care & Tutoring Services. Denny Jin of ITS Corp. said his company is proposing to operate a vehicle and heavy equipment repair business with storage and office spaces on Chalan Pale Arnold next to Quartermaster Road. Ayuyu, who owns the property, said the company is relocating from its previous shop close to a wetland.
Gus Kaipat, right, the newly confirmed member attends the hearing conducted by Zoning Board Chairman Diego Blanco, left.
Conditional use permit applicants listen as the Zoning Board discusses the requirements during a hearing in the Zoning Office conference room. Photos by Junhan B. Todeno
The new site, he said, will be more accessible to customers. Zoning Board member Herman Sablan said the project should help boost the island economy. “This is a very good project,” he added. Stanley Limes, who represented Tia’s Child Care & Tutoring Services, said the facility will accommodate children, including afterschool students from elementary, junior and high schools. Zoning Board Chairman Blanco is hoping that Limes will expand the project in the future to accommodate more students in
Kagman. Zoning Office Administrator Therese T. Ogumoro informed the applicants to comply with all the conditions of their conditional use permits. Zoning Board treasurer Alice Igitol joined the meeting via teleconference. The other new board member Bruce Bateman, who is also the marketing manager of the Marianas Visitors Authority, was off-island. Board member Ed Arriola Jr. was also absent as he was preparing for his reappointment confirmation hearing.
Flashmob rehearsal, orientations set for Let’s Move Marianas By Raquel C. Bagnol email@example.com Variety News Staff
PHI Pharmacy vice president Bruce Cohen poses with pharmacy interns Matthew Mallaby, left, and Adam Stockdale at the PHI Pharmacy branch in Dandan yesterday. Photo by Raquel C. Bagnol MV 9-26-12.indd 8
THOSE participating in the Let’s Move Marianas Expo at the Ada Gym track and field on Saturday morning are urged to join the rehearsals and orientations today and on Friday. The Division of Public Health said the rehearsals will be held at the Ada Gym starting at 5 p.m. today. At 6 p.m., volunteers will have an
orientation at the same venue. On Friday at 5 p.m., Let’s Move flashmob participants and interested members are again requested to be at the Ada Gym for the final rehearsal. To m o r r o w, Public Health officials in charge of the L e t ’s M o v e Marianas initiative led by Public Health Director Roxanne Diaz and Let’s Move Marianas initiative chairwoman Amber Mendiola will be interviewed on “John Gonzales Live” at 6:30 p.m. on
Channel 14. Public Health and choreographers from Saipan Music & Dance School have been teaching the Let’s Move dance routine to students and individuals for the past weeks as part of the preparations for Saturday’s event. The Let’s Move Marianas Expo will be held from 7 a.m. to 12 noon and will feature booths from partner agencies that want to help end obesity in the CNMI. First lady Michelle Obama initiated the nationwide Let’s Move campaign in Feb. 2010 to raise a generation of healthier kids. For more information, call 2368638 or email letsmovemarianas@ gmail.com. 9/26/12 12:24:21 AM
MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS - WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012
ESGR conducts Boss Lift program Santos proposes Rota aboard USS McCampbell gambling tax cut By Raquel C. Bagnol firstname.lastname@example.org Variety News Staff
EMPLOYERS and their representatives got a chance to board the visiting Navy ship USS McCampbell as part the Boss Lift program of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve on Saturday. The participants, along with Capt. Josephine M.P. Blas, program administrator/public affairs director of the ESGR Guam-CNMI committee, Norma Castillon, Guam and CNMI office program administrator, and ESGR volunteer Janice Tenorio toured the USS McCampbell and watched crewmembers at work. Ens. Jacob Huntley of the USS McCampbell and other sailors answered questions from the group about the ship’s operations. AnArleigh Burke-class destroyer, the ship pulled into the Saipan seaport on Friday with 380 officers and crewmembers on board under commanding officer Thomas TJ Dixon. Also visiting Saipan was USS Cowpens, a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser. Both ships were here for a few days of rest and relaxation. Last March, some employers and their representatives boarded the
and many aggressive promotions and other advertisements made to entice investors or REPRESENTATIVE Teresita developers into our island, A. Santos wants to provide in- but there seems to be little centives to potential casino or no progress,” said Santos, investors on Rota by reducing Ind.-Rota. the gambling tax. She said she sent a copy of the Santos has drafted a House draft bill to the commission to local bill that would amend Sec- seek its members’ comments. tion 7 (c)(2) of the Rota Santos wants the Casino Act of 2007 to gambling revenue tax “give flexibility” to the rate to be between 3 Rota Casino Gaming and 10 percent. Commission regardThis incentive, ing the gambling revhowever, will be limenue tax. ited to the “pioneerShe said she has aling” investors that ready informed com- Teresita Santos apply for a casino mission chairwoman Laura I. license within the first five years Manglona about the measure. after the enactment of the 2007 In her letter to Manglona, Rota casino law. Santos said one way for the After a five-year period, the commission to attract inves- tax will revert to the original tors or developers would be to 10 percent rate. provide incentives to potential Variety learned that JMSH, investors through a reduction in LLC, an investor that wants to the gambling tax rate. build a $170 million casino on “Admittedly, I have seen Rota, is requesting for a lower the commission’s hard work, tax rate. By Junhan B. Todeno email@example.com Variety News Staff
Capt. Josephine M.P. Blas, program administrator/public affairs director of the ESGR Guam-CNMI committee, shakes hands with Ens. Jacob Huntley after the Boss Lift Program aboard the USS McCampbell at the Saipan seaport on Saturday morning. Photo by Raquel C. Bagnol
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Washington for the Boss Lift program at Charlie Dock in Lower Base. Blas said ESGR conducts the Boss Lift program on airplanes or ships to give employers from the public and private sectors a glimpse of how Reservists and Guardmembers train and work. Blas said employers who get a chance to join the Boss Lift program will get a better understanding of the
demands made on their employees who are also members of the Reserve or National Guard. A Department of Defense agency, ESGR was created in 1972 to enlighten employers about the obligations of their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve. For more information, contact Capt. Josephine Blas at 671-7350456, Rose Igitol at 287-1129, or Janice Tenorio at 483-6309.
Marines visit Pagan By Junhan B. Todeno firstname.lastname@example.org Variety News Staff
A SEVEN-MAN team of U.S. Marines recently visited Pagan, according to Jerome Aldan, officer-in-charge of the Northern Islands’ mayor’s office. The Marines were welcomed by the mayor’s office staff on the volcanic island, he said. But the staff did not accompany the team as it explored the island. Aldan believes that “the municipal mayor’s office, as constitutionally mandated, should be afforded that opportunity to be involved in their activity.” He said they wrote a letter to the Military Integrated Membership Committee and to the Office of the Governor requesting information about the visit, but they have yet to receive a reply. Northern Islands Mayor Tobias Aldan, who is on leave, is a member of the committee. Jerome Aldan said the Marines’ visit was very significant as it indicated the military’s interest in using Pagan for its training exercises. “There’s speculation that the MV 9-26-12.indd 9
military wants to conduct more exercises up north,” he added. Prior to the Marines’ visit, Aldan said the lt. governor’s office informed them about it. “We then asked the lt. governor’s office on how we could assist the visiting military personnel,” he said. The military personnel arrived at 9 a.m. and departed at 6 p.m. on Sept. 20, he added. The mayor’s office wasn’t provided details about the Marines’ itinerary, but the mayor’s staff learned that the military personnel inspected Pagan’s seaport and landing strip. “They also did an aerial survey,” Jerome Aldan said, adding that the mayor’s office welcomes any partnership with the military. He said they also welcome U.S. Coast Guard surveillance in the Northern Islands. But he said they will oppose any training that involves live fire and any other activities that have a long-term impact on the environment. He said they’re hoping that the military’s plans for the Northern Islands will be a “win-win situation” for local residents and the armed forces.
Members of the ribbon-cutting ceremony committee headed by Ike Demapan, seated second right, pose after their meeting to finalize the the opening of the Saipan and Northern Islands Leadership Memorial Kiosku. Photo by Junhan B. Todeno
Lawmaker to find funding for kiosku maintenance By Junhan B. Todeno email@example.com Variety News Staff
REPRESENTATIVE Ralph S. Demapan yesterday said he will find ways to ensure that there is funding for the maintenance of the newly completed Saipan and Northern Islands Memorial Leadership Kiosku in Chalan Kanoa. Funding has been proposed and is now being considered by the bicameral conference committee drafting the fiscal year 2013 budget bill, he added. “The committee should be mindful about my recommendation,” he said. Demapan said his office will likewise continue its partnership with the Neighborhood Watch Task Force to help secure the facility as well as those who visit it. There’s also a need to work with the private sector to maintain and secure the facility, he said, adding:
“Together we can do more.” Yesterday, the ribbon-cutting ceremony committee headed by Indigenous Affairs Office Director Ike Demapan discussed the ongoing preparations of the opening of the kiosku on Saturday, Sept. 29. He said if any of the honorees can’t attend the ceremony, family members may designate one of them to accept the recognition. But the name of the designated person must be submitted to the Saipan municipal council’s office prior to the event, he added. Rosa DLG. Mondala, Aging Center director, said her office will provide two buses and two volunteers to assist in the transportation of guests and visitors. Ramon B. Camacho, Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council and chairman of the logistics committee, said they have designated the north gate of Hopwood Junior High School and the
Mt. Carmel Cathedral grounds as parking areas. He said visitors, guests and honorees will be transported by buses from the two designated parking areas to the kiosku and then back to the parking areas after the event. One mayor from Guam has already confirmed his attendance, he added. David Sablan will be the emcee while John Gonzales and Press Secretary Angel Demapan will be the presenters of the honorees. Municipal council administrator Frances Muna said they have received more than $2,000 in cash and in-kind donations including $500 from former Sen. Ramon “Kumoi” Guerrero and family. The committee will continue accepting donations until Friday to pay for the refreshments that will be served on Sept. 29, she said. 9/26/12 12:24:22 AM
WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012 - MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS
FORUM A Meeting Place For Our Opinions. . .And Yours. . .
• Dr. Vince Akimoto
Doctor’s Notes Immediate jeopardy HAGÅTÑA —Aparalyzed little girl, Dora, struggles for survival in Saipan’s beleaguered hospital. She cannot breathe on her own, she cannot walk, and her doctors have been unable to find a cure. While her frightened mother weeps, U.S. federal health officials come and declare that the hospital’s situation has caused, or is likely to cause, serious injury, harm, impairment, or death to patients. No money for medical equipment, no money for supplies, the Saipan hospital ran out of food for the sick little Chamorro girl. The parents of a baby who recently died from a heart problem come and deliver PediaSure liquid nourishment to Dora’s ICU bed. “I was in awe of this couple and choked back my own emotion,” a witnessing doctor said. “Their ability to give back so soon after they had experienced the greatest loss a parent could experience was an act of stunning and absolute grace that is rare in life.” In a truly great story, Marianas Variety reporter Tammy Doty captured the ongoing human drama of Saipan’s failing hospital. Doty writes that the sight of Dora, paralyzed with a ventilator attached to a hole in her throat, is sobering and, for a parent, almost unbearable. In her news article published Sept. 12, 2012, Doty wrote, “Dora once asked her mother, ‘Why are people crying when they visit me?’” “This question encapsulates the courage of an intelligent, young child who was dancing just five short months ago and has enjoyed a parade of visitors in the last few days,” Doty observed. The cruel mystery started earlier this year when Dora began complaining of leg pains that increasingly kept her from attending school. In May, Dora began to experience numbness and weakness in place of the leg pain and her mother sought help at Saipan’s only hospital. Because of broken, unmaintained medical equipment and inadequate laboratory supplies, the hospital did not have the ability to perform the necessary diagnostic testing. Saipan may be geographically located about 136 miles away from Guam, but its politics are as close as a punch in the face. For too long, island governors and hospital administrators have been all too willing to hire unnecessary government employees and ignore basic government responsibilities to public health, safety, and education. Let me guess, Mr. Saipan political official: You paid your bloated payroll, didn’t pay medical vendors, didn’t keep current on critical contract obligations, and sacrificed patient care because you didn’t want to lay off any government workers. I’m sure one of your fancy off-island consultants told you it might be political suicide. So you were willing to commit political manslaughter, sacrifice the health of a poor little girl, kill a couple of babies, and ignore the mounting evidence of dangerous conditions at your island’s only public hospital. Well, King Herod, I’m sure they didn’t teach you that kind of religion at Mt. Carmel elementary school in Chalan Kanoa. I wouldn’t be expecting any Christmas presents this year if I were you. If the dead Italian poet Dante was correct, then the politician who puts payroll politics before patient care will likely burn for eternity in hell. It is not for me to judge, but I sincerely hope he was correct. If our hardworking, honest local politicians are blameless, then they should not be offended by the righteous outrage generated by dying children and failing hospitals. As Dora’s story circulates worldwide, even to the ears of President Obama, the stupidity of certain local politicians ignoring the reality of limited resources and definite responsibility will not be defended. For those unable to visit Dora in person, you can offer encouragement and donations. Dr. Vincent T Akimoto, MD, is a family practitioner based in Barrigada, Guam. He also graduated from Sr. Bernadita’s first grade class at Mount Carmel School in Chalan Kanoa, Saipan.
Serving the Northern Marianas for 40 years Published Monday to Friday by Younis Art Studio, Inc. Publishers : Abed and Paz Younis Editor: Zaldy Dandan P.O. Box 500231, Saipan MP 96950-0231 Tel. (670) 234-9797/9272 Fax: (670) 234-9271 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: www.mvariety.com © 2012, Marianas Variety All Rights Reserved
MV 9-26-12.indd 10
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Rethinking sleep By David K. Randall
SOMETIME in the dark stretch of the night it happens. Perhaps it’s the chime of an incoming text message. Or your iPhone screen lights up to alert you to a new e-mail. Or you find yourself staring at the ceiling, replaying the day in your head. Next thing you know, you’re out of bed and engaged with the world, once again ignoring the often quoted fact that eight straight hours of sleep is essential. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Thanks in part to technology and its constant pinging and chiming, roughly 41 million people in the United States — nearly a third of all working adults — get six hours or fewer of sleep a night, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And sleep deprivation is an affliction that crosses economic lines. About 42 percent of workers in the mining industry are sleep-deprived, while about 27 percent of financial or insurance industry workers share the same complaint. Typically, mention of our ever increasing sleeplessness is followed by calls for earlier bedtimes and a longer night’s sleep. But this directive may be part of the problem. Rather than helping us to get more rest, the tyranny of the eight-hour block reinforces a narrow conception of sleep and how we should approach it. Some of the time we spend tossing and turning may even result from misconceptions about sleep and our bodily needs: in fact neither our bodies nor our brains are built for the roughly one-third of our lives that we spend in bed. The idea that we should sleep in eight-hour chunks is relatively recent. The world’s population sleeps in various and surprising ways. Millions of Chinese workers continue to put their heads on their desks for a nap of an hour or so after lunch, for example, and daytime napping is common from India to Spain. One of the first signs that the emphasis on a straight eight-hour sleep had outlived its usefulness arose in the early 1990s, thanks to a history professor at Virginia Tech named A. Roger Ekirch, who spent hours investigating the history of the night and began to notice strange references to sleep. A character in the “Canterbury Tales,” for instance, decides to go back to bed after her “firste sleep.” A doctor in England wrote that the time between the “first sleep” and the “second sleep” was the best time for study and reflection. And one 16th-century French physician concluded that laborers were able to conceive more children because they waited until after their “first sleep” to make love. Professor Ekirch soon learned that he wasn’t the only one who was on to the historical existence of alternate
sleep cycles. In a fluke of history, Thomas A. Wehr, a psychiatrist then working at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md., was conducting an experiment in which subjects were deprived of artificial light. Without the illumination and distraction from light bulbs, televisions or computers, the subjects slept through the night, at least at first. But, after a while, Dr. Wehr noticed that subjects began to wake up a little after midnight, lie awake for a couple of hours, and then drift back to sleep again, in the same pattern of segmented sleep that Professor Ekirch saw referenced in historical records and early works of literature. It seemed that, given a chance to be free of modern life, the body would naturally settle into a split sleep schedule. Subjects grew to like experiencing nighttime in a new way. Once they broke their conception of what form sleep should come in, they looked forward to the time in the middle of the night as a chance for deep thinking of all kinds, whether in the form of self-reflection, getting a jump on the next day or amorous activity. Most of us, however, do not treat middle-of-the-night awakenings as a sign of a normal, functioning brain. Doctors who peddle sleep aid products and call for more sleep may unintentionally reinforce the idea that there is something wrong or off-kilter about interrupted sleep cycles. Sleep anxiety is a common result: we know we should be getting a good night’s rest but imagine we are doing something wrong if we awaken in the middle of the night. Related worries turn many of us into insomniacs and incite many to reach for sleeping pills or sleep aids, which reinforces a cycle that the Harvard psychologist Daniel M. Wegner has called “the ironic processes of mental control.” As we lie in our beds thinking about the sleep we’re not getting, we diminish the chances of enjoying a peaceful night’s rest. This, despite the fact that a number of recent studies suggest that any deep sleep — whether in an eighthour block or a 30-minute nap — primes our brains to function at a higher level, letting us come up with better ideas, find solutions to puzzles more quickly, identify patterns faster and recall information more accurately. In a NASA-financed study, for example, a team of researchers led by David F. Dinges, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, found that letting subjects nap for as little as 24 minutes improved their cognitive performance. In another study conducted by Simon Durrant, a professor at the University of Lincoln, in England, the Continued on page 12 9/26/12 12:24:26 AM
MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS - WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012
✑ Letters to the editor Budget bill is defective, too WITH all due respect, not only is P.L. 17-82 defective (as has been pointed out at some length in the 9/25 issue of this paper) but the budget bill is also defective. It is based on the assumption that most retirees will withdraw their money from the Retirement Fund, and that therefore the government will not have to make any further payments to the Fund. This, in turn, would release all that matching money that would have been required, prior to the passage of P.L. 17-82, to do things like restore work-day hours, maintain useless offices, and whatever else has been added to the budget. But it now looks like P.L. 17-82, which provides for those refunds, will be challenged in court, and that would mean that the payouts to active members of the Fund would be put on hold, which, in turn, would
mean that the government would, instead, still be required to match ongoing member contributions to the Fund. Which could get sort of messy — since Social Security is supposed to start functioning on Oct. 1, which would leave government and government employees paying towards both systems. Can Social Security be put on hold? Unless a miracle occurs, not only does it looks like the CNMI’s proposed FY ‘13 budget, as it now stands, is but wishful thinking, but it also looks like government employees will soon be double-taxed — for both their retirement contributions and their Social Security contributions. RUTH TIGHE Tanapag, Saipan
Support Guam’s Blue House victims the bench. He announced that while the impact victim statements were “very important to the court,” they had not been made public. He said Mrs. Cha’s acts were “not far removed from slavery. The defendant owned the bodies of these girls.” He addressed the first of two victims who were sentenced as a result of a plea bargain. “You are worthy of forgiveness. Hold your head high. Look upon yourself as a good person.” I, too, feel justice has been served. And I encourage the people of Guam and Chuuk to be supportive of these women whose lives have forever been damaged. May God bless these brave young women who bravely spoke up and helped Mrs. Cha receive justice. Let us consider them not victims but survivors. Kinisou Chapur! DIANNE M. STRONG, Ed.D. Yona, Guam Jane Mack
AS an “adoptedAmerican daughter” of a Chuukese family, I would like to respond to the sentencing of Mrs. Cha for the Blue House brothel crimes. In February 2011, I attended every day of the Blue House trial at the District Court House. As this court room had been equipped with the latest computer technology, only individual jurors, defense and prosecuting attorneys could view exhibits presented during the trial. Subsequently, I positioned myself behind one of the attorneys’computer monitors and observed each of the exhibits — from the medical abortion records to the “kabuki-style” white makeup which the island girls were forced to wear while “on duty.” Ninth Circuit District Judge Dean Pregerson was once a public defender on Guam representing under-served clients. In California he served inmates on death row at San Quentin Prison. On Thursday he once again showed his compassion for victims in his remarks from
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Loyalty: A good or a bad thing? THE truth is it can be both good and bad. It is all up to how it is used and who is using it. Keep in mind that when you are loyal to someone and they are not loyal to you, you are being used and you are going to get hurt. Take a good look at what is going on in the Legislature. The majority bloc is so loyal to the governor that they cannot see the truth. Well, what is the truth? Has the governor broken the law and ignored the Constitution? Just look at the facts. Massage Gate; the political rally held at the governor’s house (supposedly sponsored by the then-AG); the continued use of the declarations of emergency; all the sole source contracts that he has signed for his friends; and now we have the $190 million power plant contract. All done in secrecy and in violation of the Constitution. Yes, I would say that the governor has walked all over the law and the Constitution. But still the majority bloc member are so blind that they are staying loyal to him. How about loyalty to his people? He formed the Covenant Party. He used it to get himself elected not once but twice. How did he thank its members? He no longer needed them
so he dumped them and changed parties. How is that for loyalty? The House majority bloc is trying to cover for the governor. What is the first thing he does when he gets back on island? He points his finger at them and blames them for everything that has gone wrong under his administration. All I can say is, Look out majority bloc. Sooner or later he will dump all of you too. Just a side note here. If you are loyal to someone and he gets off track then you owe it to him to talk to him and let him know that he better get back on track. If he does not listen to you, you had better find a new friend. If you have watched the governor you have seen that he is only loyal to one person and that is his Chinese connection. The one he has described as his “brother.” So what are we to do? Well, luckily there is an election this November. Make your votes count. Stop voting out of blind loyalty for a party or a family member. Vote for the people that want to help the CNMI. Ever since the commonwealth was formed, the people have voted out of blind loyalty to a party or family
member. Well look at what is has gotten you: a corrupt government and an economy that is falling apart. The question is, Have you learned anything yet? I would like to say a few words about Congressman Kilili Sablan. He is one of the few good things that have happened to the CNMI in the last several years. He is hard working and dedicated to helping all the people of the CNMI. In spite of all the interference by the governor, Kilili has stayed the course and worked hard for us all. Kilili has done more good for the CNMI than the governor and Legislature combined. There are those who try to tell you that Kilili is not doing his job. Well, their words and actions are motivated out of their personal attempts to use the congressman for their own gain. He stood up to them and they do not like it. Too bad, people. Next time try telling the truth. Needless to say I am supporting Kilili for re-election. We have had different opinions on some matters, but as far as I am concerned he is the best person for the job and he has a lot going for us. FREDERICK A. PROSSER As Matuis, Saipan
Why DBP Fund members may not receive Social Security benefits By William H. Stewart Economist
REASON: Payment was not made into the Social Security system for each pay period for a total of 40 quarters or 10 years. Since most DBP retirees may not have paid into SS they could be without a pension if no solution is found to solve the Fund’s problems and the NMI government does not live up to its contractual agreement with retirees and adhere to the NMI Constitutional provision guaranteeing pension payments. If the Fund’s collapse is not averted many if not all retirees will have been deprived of monthly Social Security benefits as much as $1,129 per month (the average monthly benefit) as well as participation in Medicare once they reach the age of 62 or 67 depending upon one’s year of birth. Benefits might otherwise could have been available had the NMI government not opted out of participating in the U.S. Social Security program. Instead the commonwealth preferred its own Fund which is now on the verge of collapse with the result that many local retirees may be left without a pension in their old age if a solution is not found to keep the defined benefit plan alive. Section 606 of the Covenant addressed the application of the U.S. Social Security System in the NMI. However, it was sometime around mid-1987 when the 5th NMI Legis-
lature passed a resolution opting out of Social Security for government employees who at the time were also covered by the NMI Retirement Fund. Government employees were not given a voice in the matter. The renunciation of coverage was retroactive to January of that year and those Social Security taxes which had been withheld were refunded to government employees. The primary reason for opting out of SS being that many of the benefits provided by SS including the federal Medicare program would have cost the employee and the NMI government more money, or so it was believed at the time. (As it turned out SS would have cost less.) So, as an act of exercising “enlightened” self-government, the NMI chose to create its own program which, as it has turned out, could be easily manipulated. for a few who were well connected. (See Saipan Tribune archives, Jan.
27, 2005: “Some Unanticipated Consequences Resulting from the Government’s Neglect.” ) Social Security taxes are just that — taxes, and payment is required except in certain specific circumstances such as with the NMI own retirement system. The only way a United States citizen can avoid paying into Social Security legally is to pay into a state system such as that offered by the NMI government — or simply not work. A self-employed person pays both the employee part and the employer tax with the result their tax rate is double that of, say, an NMI government employee. About the only way to avoid paying a Social Security tax is to work for a state or local government, such as the NMI government . Bottom line — the DBP retiree may well loose out both ways if the Fund collapses and there is no Social Security safety net. 9/26/12 12:24:28 AM
Philippines / Asia
WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012 - MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS
Myanmar’s president Philippine official: Marcos clothes have no historic value heads to US for rare visit MANILA (AP) — A Philippine official said Monday that a legendary collection of shoes and other possessions left behind by former first lady Imelda Marcos and her dictator husband when they were ousted by a 1986 “people power” revolt have no historical significance, except for some Philippinemade gowns. Communications Undersecretary Manolo Quezon issued the statement after National Museum officials acknowledged that the collection of Marcos’ clothes and shoes had been neglected for more than two decades and some had been damaged by a monsoon storm last month. Museum officials told The Associated Press on Sunday that termites, storms and neglect damaged part of Mrs. Marcos’ collection of at least 1,220 pairs of shoes and other items while they were stored from 1986 to 2010 at the Malacañang presidential palace and later at the National Museum in Manila. More than 150 cartons of clothes, dress accessories and shoes were transferred to the National Museum for safekeeping two years ago from the riverside palace. They deteriorated further at the museum after the boxes were stored in a padlocked room that was inundated by heavy rains last month because Native Filipino attire called “Barongs” that had been often worn in public of a leak in the ceiling, museum during the two-decade rule of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos are seen at the National Museum in Manila. AP officials said. The Marcoses fled the PhilipQuezon said the contents of the future generations of Marcos’ boxes have “no historical signifi- dictatorial rule and encourage pines at the climax of an armycance except some of the clothes” them to safeguard the country’s backed “people power” revolt which became a harbinger of made by prominent Philippine cou- democracy. The damaged items in- change in authoritarian regimes turiers. Museum officials clude native see-through worldwide. Mr. Marcos died in said the Philippine-made barong shirts, which exile in Hawaii in 1989 and his gowns might be displayed Marcos often wore in widow and children returned home in public, but they were public ceremonies dur- years later. wary because of the “poing his 20-year rule. AP They left staggering amounts of litically sensitive nature of journalists saw a barong personal belongings, clothes and their provenance.” shirt with a presidential art objects at the palace, including A Philippine historian, Ferdinand seal on top of a box of Imelda Marcos’ shoes which have Michael Xiao Chua, said Marcos 100 shirts which had come to symbolize her extravathe Marcos items are important and should have been reddish stains and a sleeve that gance amid crushing poverty in the Southeast Asian country. displayed to remind current and was nearly torn off.
Rethinking... Continued from page 10 amount of time a subject spent in deep sleep during a nap predicted his or her later performance at recalling a short burst of melodic tones. And researchers at the City University of New York found that short naps helped subjects identify more literal and figurative connections between objects than those who simply stayed awake. Robert Stickgold, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, proposes that sleep — including short naps that include deep sleep — offers our brains the chance to decide what new information to keep and what to toss. That could be one reason our dreams are laden with strange plots and characters, a result of the brain’s trying to find connections between what it’s recently learned and what is stored MV 9-26-12.indd 12
in our long-term memory. Rapid eye movement sleep — so named because researchers who discovered this sleep stage were astonished to see the fluttering eyelids of sleeping subjects — is the only phase of sleep during which the brain is as active as it is when we are fully conscious, and seems to offer our brains the best chance to come up with new ideas and hone recently acquired skills. When we awaken, our minds are often better able to make connections that were hidden in the jumble of information. Gradual acceptance of the notion that sequential sleep hours are not essential for high-level job performance has led to increased workplace tolerance for napping and
other alternate daily schedules. Employees at Google, for instance, are offered the chance to nap at work because the company believes it may increase productivity. Thomas Balkin, the head of the department of behavioral biology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, imagines a near future in which military commanders can know how much total sleep an individual soldier has had over a 24-hour time frame thanks to wristwatch-size sleep monitors. After consulting computer models that predict how decision-making abilities decline with fatigue, a soldier could then be ordered to take a nap to prepare for an approaching mission. The cognitive benefit of a
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — prime minister then under the muchMyanmar’s reformist president left criticized former military junta chief, Monday for New York to tout his Gen. Than Shwe. country’s makeover at the United He is to deliver a speech Thursday Nations and push for an end to to the General Assembly in which sanctions, in the first U.S. visit by he will highlight the reforms his a leader of the former international government has introduced since he pariah since 1966. took office in March 2011, after the Since becoming president last country’s first election in 20 years. year, Thein Sein has overseen widely “This visit is very significant,” praised economic and political said Maj. Zaw Htay, director of the reforms in Myanmar that follow president’s office. almost a half century of military “The president will outline the rule. His trip to attend the U.N. democratic, political and economic General Assembly comes as his reforms he has instituted and he will country enjoys improved relations also explain the challenges that lie with the United States. ahead,” Zaw Htay said. “Myanmar His visit overlaps with one by is rejoining the international comMyanmar’s biggest celebrity, Nobel munity, and President Thein Sein Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu will also call on the international Kyi. The opposition leader’s high- community for cooperation and profile U.S. visit has included a pri- assistance.” vate meeting with Since Suu Kyi President Barack won a parliaObama and standmentary seat in ing ovations at April, the U.S. has awards ceremonormalized dipnies in Washinglomatic relations ton and New York, with Myanmar including at the and allowed U.S. United Nations, companies to start where she worked investing there Thein Sein 40 years ago. again. Last week, On recent trips abroad, Suu the U.S. Treasury announced it was Kyi has been quietly criticized by taking Thein Sein’s name off its the government for upstaging the list of individuals prohibited from president. But her U.S. itinerary doing business or owning property seems aimed at making sure they in America. The administration is don’t cross paths. She is leaving now considering easing the main New York before Thein Sein arrives, plank of its remaining sanctions, a making various stops this week at Ivy ban on imports. League schools on the East Coast Thein Sein is expected to meet before heading to California on her with several other leaders during way home. the U.N. General Assembly, Zaw Thein Sein’s visit is bound to Htay said. He is to meet Friday with attract a smaller spotlight than Suu members of Myanmar’s expatriate Kyi’s, but marks another important community in New York before remoment for Myanmar. turning home, the spokesman said. The Southeast Asian country’s When asked if Myanmar’s govlast leader to make an official visit ernment is concerned that Suu Kyi’s to the United States was authoritar- visit might outshine the president, ian former Prime Minister Ne Win Zaw Htay said, “The president in 1966, when the country was still doesn’t feel uncomfortable or threatcalled Burma. ened by the warm reception Daw Thein Sein attended the U.N. Aung San Suu Kyi received in the General Assembly in 2009, but was U.S.” Daw is a term of respect.
nap could last anywhere from one to three hours, depending on what stage of sleep a person reaches before awakening. Most of us are not fortunate enough to work in office environments that permit, much less smile upon, on-the-job napping. But there are increasing suggestions that greater tolerance for altered sleep schedules might be in our collective interest. Researchers have observed, for example, that long-haul pilots who sleep during flights perform better when maneuvering aircraft through the critical stages of descent and landing. Several Major League Baseball teams have adapted to the demands of a long season by changing their sleep patterns. Fernando Montes, the former strength and conditioning coach for the Texas Rangers, counseled his players to fall asleep with the curtains in their hotel rooms
open so that they would naturally wake up at sunrise no matter what time zone they were in — even if it meant cutting into an eight-hour sleeping block. Once they arrived at the ballpark, Montes would set up a quiet area where they could sleep before the game. Players said that, thanks to this schedule, they felt great both physically and mentally over the long haul. Strategic napping in the Rangers style could benefit us all. No one argues that sleep is not essential. But freeing ourselves from needlessly rigid and quite possibly outdated ideas about what constitutes a good night’s sleep might help put many of us to rest, in a healthy and productive, if not eight-hour long, block. David K. Randall is a senior reporter at Reuters and the author of “Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep.” (The New York Times) 9/26/12 12:24:29 AM
MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS - WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012
Filipino street kid, 13, wins $130,000 peace prize THE HAGUE (AFP) — A young Filipino who lived off a rubbish dump and slept in an open tomb has won a prestigious children’s award in the Netherlands for his work to improve the rights of his fellow street kids. Cris “Kesz” Valdez, aged 13, was handed this year’s International Children’s Peace Prize at a glittering ceremony in The Hague on Wednesday last week, where he received a 100,000 euros ($130,000) prize. Valdez was chosen from three finalists for the work of his “Championing Community Children” charity which raises funds to hand out gift parcels to needy children in Cavite City, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of the capital Manila. “You are wonderful,” Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu, who handed over this year’s prize, told Valdez at a press conference shortly after the ceremony, held in The Hague’s historic Knight’s Hall. “My message to children around the world is not to lose hope” and to remember things like hygiene, said Valdez, who added that the prize
Cris “Kesz” Valdez, 13, accepts his prize from Nobel Peace Prize winner Bishop Desmond Tutu in ceremonies held in the Hague, the Netherlands, on Wednesday last week. AFP
would help him get an education and perhaps realize his dream of becoming a doctor. Through his charity, Valdez has handed out more than 5,000 gifts to destitute children that included everyday articles like flip-flops,
toys, sweets and clothes, said the KidsRights Foundation, the prize’s initiator. In all, he has helped some 10,000 children in his area on health, hygiene and children’s rights, the foundation added.
Philippines / Asia
Sweeping new changes expected at North Korean farms SARIWON, North Korea (AP) — North Korean farmers who have long been required to turn most of their crops over to the state may now be allowed to keep their surplus food to sell or barter in what could be the most significant economic change enacted by young leader Kim Jong Un since he came to power nine months ago. The proposed directive appears aimed at boosting productivity at collective farms that have struggled for decades to provide for the country’s 24 million people. By giving farmers such an incentive to grow more food, North Korea could be starting down the same path as China when it first began experimenting with a market-based economy. Two workers at a farm south of Pyongyang told The Associated Press about the new rules on Sunday, saying they were informed of the proposed changes during meetings last month and that they should take effect with this year’s upcoming fall harvest. The Ministry of Agriculture has not announced the
changes, some of which have been widely rumored abroad but never previously made public outside North Korea’s farms. Farmers currently must turn everything over to the state beyond what they are allowed to keep for their families. Under the new rules, they would be able to keep any surplus after they have fulfilled statemandated quotas — improving morale and giving farmers more of a chance to manage their plots and use the crops as a commodity. “We expect a good harvest this year,” said O Yong Ae, who works at Migok Cooperative Farm, one of the largest and most productive farms in South Hwanghae Province in southwestern North Korea. “I’m happy because we can keep the crops we worked so hard to grow.” The outside world has been watching closely to see how Kim’s rule will differ from that of his autocratic father, Kim Jong Il, who died in December, and how he will deal with the country’s chronic food shortages.
Pakistan disowns bounty on anti-Islam filmmaker
ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Pakistani government on Monday distanced itself from an offer by one of its Cabinet ministers to pay $100,000 to anyone who kills the maker of an anti-Islam film that has sparked violent protests across the Muslim world. The film, “Innocence of Muslims,” has enraged many Muslims for its portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a child molester. At least 51 people, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, have been killed in violence linked to protests over the film, which also has renewed debate over freedom of expression in the U.S. and in Europe. Adding to the anger in the Muslim world was a decision by a French satirical magazine to publish lewd pictures of the prophet last week, prompting French authorities to order the temporary closure of around 20 overseas missions out of fear they’d be targeted by demonstrators. Some of the most intense and sustained protests have come in Pakistan, where the role of Islam in society is sacrosanct and anti-American sentiment runs high. But even in that atmosphere, the bounty offered by Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour has drawn criticism. Bilour said Saturday that he would pay $100,000 out of his own pocket to anyone who kills the man behind the inflammatory film, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. The filmmaker was forced into hiding after the 14-minute movie trailer rose to prominence. Bilour also appealed to al-Qaida and Taliban militants to help eliminate the filmmaker. Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement Monday that the bounty on the filmmaker’s head reflected MV 9-26-12.indd 13
Pakistani protesters burn a representation of a U.S. flag and an effigy of U.S. President Barack Obama in the town of Chaman along the Afghanistan border. U.S.-funded ads on Pakistani television include Obama extolling America’s religious tolerance. To many in the Muslim world, this misses the mark in efforts to calm the outrage over a film mocking the Prophet Muhammad. AP
Bilour’s personal view and was not official government policy. The minister belongs to the secular Awami National Party, an ally in the government of President Asif Ali Zardari. His comments struck a nerve within his own party, which is considered anti-Taliban and has lost several leaders in the fight against
the insurgency. A party spokesman, Haji Adeel, said the statement was Bilour’s personal view, and that the party had sought an explanation from him. “We are a secular party,” he said. “We consider al-Qaida and Taliban as our enemy.” Pakistan’s government declared
last Friday a national holiday — “Day of Love for the Prophet” — and called on people to take to the streets to protest the film peacefully. But the demonstrations turned violent, and at least 21 people were killed. In Iran, the culture minister said his country will boycott the 2013
Oscars and not field a candidate for the foreign film category in protest against the video. Mohammed Hosseini said Tehran would not submit an entry for next year’s awards due to the “intolerable insult to the Prophet of Islam,” the semiofficial ISNA news agency reported. 9/26/12 12:24:31 AM
WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012 - MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS
Unfazed by deadline, Akin vows to fight on in Missouri Senate race JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri (Reuters) — If anyone in the Republican Party harbors illusions that Todd Akin will bow out of the Missouri U.S. Senate race by a September 25 deadline, he is quite happy to disabuse them. “That’s not going to happen,” the Missouri congressman told Reuters after a rally Friday afternoon at the state Capitol. “The primary voters of Missouri gave me a job to do. That job is to beat (Democratic incumbent) Claire McCaskill.” Akin was pilloried last month when he said in a television interview that women’s bodies have natural biological defenses against pregnancy following “legitimate rape.” The Republican party turned on Akin, including its presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who said Akin should step aside. Powerhouse conservative groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS pulled funding from Missouri, as did the National Republican Senatorial Committee. What Republicans had seen as a likely win in a conservative state in their quest to seize control of the U.S. Senate became an uphill battle. Akin had led polls before the gaffe but a recent poll has McCaskill ahead by 6 percentage points. President Obama’s Democrats now control the Senate, 53-47. Republicans would need a net gain of four seats on Election Day to take the chamber, 51-49. They would need just three, however, if Romney wins the White House because control of an evenly split Senate would be determined by the vice president, who breaks all tie votes. “If I had to put money on it, I’d bet on a small victory for McCaskill,” said Marvin Overby, a politics professor at the University of Missouri at Columbia. With six weeks until the November 6 election there is still time for something dramatic to happen in this race, Overby said. Akin could still leave the race if he files a court petition to do so by this
Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin, left, accompanied by former Speaker Newt Gingrich, speaks during news conference, Monday, in Kirkwood, Mo. AP
Tuesday. But few believe he will. Akin has several things going for him. He has grassroots conservative support, former Speaker Newt Gingrich is campaigning for him, and Tea Party king-maker and South Carolina U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint says he may offer funds to Akin. But he faces a well-funded opponent in McCaskill, who describes Akin as “on the far right” and herself as a bipartisan centrist in a bid for the moderate voters they both need. “I believe his views are extreme and out of the mainstream for Missourians,” McCaskill said on Friday in a debate with Akin in Columbia. Congressman Akin’s rape comments have become the butt of a number of jokes, including an “illegitimate rape” whistle — “sounding off on legitimate stupidity” — sold by a group in St. Louis with proceeds going to charity. Those passions prompted by the comments were on display at the Friday rally organized by Missouri Women Standing With Todd Akin, which was attended by around 100 supporters.
A few dozen protesters gathered across the road from the state Capitol and chanted “rape is rape.” “I am shocked there are women who would stand against their own interests by supporting Todd Akin,” said Courtney Cole, sporting a “rape is rape” badge and holding a sign saying “women’s rights are human rights.” “I hope this wakes women up,” she said. Supporters such as Mary Howerton, who said she has known Akin for 20 years and admires the fact that, like her, he had home schooled his children. “I honestly don’t know why people found Todd Akin’s (rape) comments so offensive,” Howerton said. “I asked my husband and he said he didn’t find them offensive either.” Almost all of the speakers at the rally focused on abortion. Stacey Shore, “a mom, a wife and a proud Christian,” said “they can call it (abortion) a choice, but the truth is, it’s murder.” “We are not a moderate state,”
Senate candidate Todd Akin talks on the phone before campaigning at the Northwest Missouri State Fair in Bethany, Mo. AP MV 9-26-12.indd 14
Shore said. “We are a conservative state and we stand by our Christian values.” Akin himself seemed relaxed, taking the microphone from the lectern and strolling in front of a statue of Thomas Jefferson. Afterward, he said he expects Republicans donors “to take a look at this race” if it remains competitive. “Republicans are going to have to ask, ‘Are we just going to ignore the fact that this is a race we can win?’” Akin said. Political scientists note that Akin won the August 7 Missouri primary despite being outspent three to one, so he is no stranger to uphill battles. According to the most recent regulatory filings, as of mid-July McCaskill has raised $10.3 million to Akin’s $2.3 million — which he spent in the primary. “He has to stay on message. He cannot afford off-the-cuff remarks if he wants to appeal to moderate suburban voters,” Overby said. Grassroots supporters say Akin needs to stay focused on jobs and the economy to win. His speech on Friday ended on the economy but otherwise was focused mostly on abortion. McCaskill touts bipartisan compromise to win over moderates. In one television ad called “Fifty,” she boasts of a National Journal 2012 ranking of senators from liberal to conservative that places her right in the middle. “I work across the aisle and I don’t think compromise is a dirty word,” McCaskill says in the commercial. Kay Henderson, a sales representative in the St. Louis area, describes herself as a moderate voter who “almost never” votes for Democrats and says she likes the McCaskill commercial. “I see myself as a moderate and that ad really speaks to me,” she said. “I don’t know if it will make me vote for McCaskill, but I’m tired of extremes and want the folks in Washington to work together and get things done.”
Picking Ryan has done little to win voters for Romney WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate has done little to attract voters to the Republican ticket and more think he is not qualified to be president than believe he is ready for the White House, a Reuters/Ipsos poll said on Monday. Fewer than a third of registered voters, 29 percent, said the selection of Ryan made them feel more favorable toward Romney. But with 27 percent in the online poll saying it made them feel less favorable, Ryan’s place on the ticket may have little effect on the November 6 election. The results were largely split along party lines — with 46 percent of Democrats saying Ryan’s choice made them less favorable, compared with 8 percent who said the opposite. And 56 percent of Republicans felt more favorable, versus 6 percent. But Ryan has not swayed many political independents, the voters expected to play a decisive role in the election. Eighteen percent felt more favorable and 13 percent less so. “Overall, he doesn’t really appear to be impacting the top of the ticket much,” Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said. Paul Ryan “He’s still a bit of an unknown entity.” The survey was conducted September 20-24, a time when some Republican commentators have been pressing Romney’s campaign to do more to promote Ryan, who is seen as a proponent of big fiscal ideas, like a plan to overhaul the government Medicare health insurance program for retirees. The Washington Post reported on Monday that some conservatives think Romney’s campaign has been too cautious by avoiding Ryan’s big ideas and hoping that President Obama will defeat himself. Polls have given Obama a steady nationwide lead over Romney since the Democratic convention early this month. The Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll on Monday had Obama leading by 49 percent to 43 percent for Romney among likely voters. “Obama’s now been healthfully in the lead since the convention. If he can sustain this for another 45 days, it’s done,” Clark said. Forty-four percent of registered voters think Ryan is not qualified to be president, compared with 29 percent who feel he would be ready to step into Romney’s shoes if necessary, the survey found. 9/26/12 12:24:32 AM
Nation / World
MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS - WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012
Ahmadinejad says Israel will be ‘eliminated’ NEW YORK (Reuters) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday Israel has no roots in the Middle East and would be “eliminated,” ignoring a U.N. warning to avoid incendiary rhetoric ahead of the annual General Assembly session. Ahmadinejad also said he did not take seriously the threat that Israel could launch a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, denied sending arms to Syria, and alluded to Iran’s threats to the life of British author Salman Rushdie. The United States quickly dismissed the Iranian president’s comments as “disgusting, offensive and outrageous.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hinted Israel could strike Iran’s nuclear sites and criticized U.S. President Barack Obama’s position that sanctions and diplomacy should be given more time to stop Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran denies it is seeking nuclear arms and says its atomic work is peaceful and aimed at generating electricity. “Fundamentally we do not take seriously the threats of the Zionists,” Ahmadinejad, in New York for this week’s U.N. General Assembly, told reporters. “We have all the defensive means at our disposal and we are ready to defend ourselves.” Ahmadinejad is due to speak at the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met Ahmadine-
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks in the United Nations General Assembly on Monday. AP
jad on Sunday and warned him of the dangers of incendiary rhetoric in the Middle East. Ahmadinejad, who has used previous U.N. sessions to question the Holocaust and the U.S. account of the September 11, 2001, attacks, did not heed the warning and instead expanded on his previous rejection of Israel’s right to exist. Western envoys typically walk out of Ahmadinejad’s U.N. speeches in protest at his remarks. “Iran has been around for the last seven, 10 thousand years. They (the Israelis) have been occupying those territories for the last 60 to 70 years, with the support and force of the Westerners. They have no roots there in history,” he said, referring to the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948.
‘Savage’ jihad ad debuts in New York City subway NEW YORK (Reuters) — An inflammatory ad equating Islamic jihad with savagery was posted Monday in 10 New York City subway stations, even as much of the Muslim world was still seething over a California-made movie ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad. The ad, sponsored by the proIsrael American Freedom Defense Initiative, appeared after the Metropolitan Transit Authority lost a bid to refuse to post it on the grounds that it violated the agency’s policy against demeaning language. In July, a federal judge ruled it was protected speech and ordered the MTA to place the posters. The ad, featuring mostly blackand-white lettering on 46-by-30inch (117-by-72-cm) cardboard posters, will remain posted for a month, MTA spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said. “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man,” the ad reads. “Support Israel/Defeat Jihad.” Pamela Geller, executive director for the ad’s sponsor group, rejected the MTA’s assertion the posters were demeaning. “There’s nothing either hateful or false about my ad,” Geller said in an email. Despite the controversy, most subway riders who passed the ad in a tunnel at the Times Square station Monday failed to notice it. Those who did were generally critical.
Members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations talk with commuters near an advertisement that reads “Support Israel/Defeat Jihad” in the Times Square subway station in New York. REUTERS
“Where is the protection of religion in America?” wondered Javerea Khan, 22, a Pakistani-born Muslim from the Bronx. “The word ‘savage’ really bothers the Muslim community. But it’s hard for me to look at this poster and take it seriously.” Mel Moore, 29, a sports agent, said: “It’s not right, but it’s freedom of speech. To put it on a poster is just not right. But it caught my attention and I support freedom of speech, so you got to live with it.” Australian tourist Peter Johnson, 50, who had just visited the memorial to the September 11 hijack plane attacks, said he felt
it was “a bit harsh to call someone a savage, but I do think that extremist Muslims seem happy to kill anyone regardless of their race or religion. “I would have used the word ‘barbaric.’” Anders, the MTA spokeswoman, said the agency had not received any reports of vandalism against the posters. The American Freedom Defense Initiative gained notoriety when it opposed creation of a Muslim community center near the site of the Twin Towers, which were destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Conservatives urge House speaker to nix wind tax credit
Iran’s Ghadr-F, right, and Sajjil, center, missiles are displayed by Revolutionary Guard, during an exhibition showing Iran’s military industries achievements in the “Sacred Defense Week” commemorating the 32nd anniversary of the outset of Iran-Iraq war in Tehran, Iran, Monday. AP MV 9-26-12.indd 15
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Forty-seven Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are pushing Speaker John Boehner to eliminate the wind production tax credit, a tax break that has split Republicans and drawn criticism from presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Democratic President Barack Obama has urged Congress to extend the credit, which dates to 1992 and has support from Republicans in states that are home to wind farms and manufacturing plants, such as Iowa and South Dakota. The credit has other powerful proponents in big companies that buy wind energy. Heavyweights including Microsoft Corp, Sprint and Hewlett-Packard have urged renewal. The industry calls it vital to ensuring jobs, including wind turbine tower manufacturing in a broad swath of U.S. states. Republican opposition to renewable energy tax breaks has been galvanized by anger over a failed solar project backed by the Obama administration. Republicans re-
ferred to that project, a start-up some members of his party when he company called Solyndra, several backed ending the subsidy earlier times in the letter. this year. “The Obama administration has Prominent Senate Republicans poured billions into subsidizing its including Charles Grassley of Iowa favored green energy sources,” are big wind credit supporters and reads the letter dated September extension is included in Senate 21 from House Republicans to legislation still pending. Boehner, also The House a Republican. and Senate “Twenty years are expected of subsidizing to make a dewind is more cision on the than enough.” wind credit, Signers of the along with a letter include slew of breaks Republicans known as “tax on the Energy extenders” and and Commerce the larger issue John Boehner Committee, but of individual does not include members of the tax rates, after the elections and powerful tax-writing Ways and before the extenders expire at Means Committee, which is led year’s end. by Rep. Dave Camp. The wind industry says 37,000 A spokesman for Boehner said jobs would be lost if the tax credit the issue will be addressed after expires and some big companies the election. have already attributed layoffs to Mitt Romney, Obama’s Repub- the uncertainty, including Siemens. lican rival for the presidency in The credit costs about $11 billion elections on November 6, irked a year. 9/26/12 12:24:34 AM
WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012 - MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS
Syrian warplanes bomb Aleppo, kill 3 children
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian warplanes bombed two buildings on Monday in the northern city of Aleppo, killing at least five people including three children from the same family, activists said. The Britain-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the death toll could very well rise with more people feared to be buried under the rubble of the two destroyed buildings. Aleppo-based activist said Mohammed Saeed said the raid came before dawn. He added that the aim behind such strikes on residential areas is to “terrify the people and try to turn them against the Free Syrian Army rebel group. “The regime wants people to say that had the Free Syrian Army not entered the city, the regime wouldn’t have bombed us,” Saeed said. The fight for Aleppo, a city of 3 million that was once a bastion of support for President Bashar Assad, began in late July and is critical for both the regime and the opposition. If it falls to the opposition, it would be a major strategic victory in the civil war, giving fighters a stronghold in the north near the Turkish border. A rebel defeat, at the very least, would buy Assad more time. Activists say nearly 30,000 people have already died in the uprising against Assad’s rule that began 18 months ago, inspired by the other revolts around theArab world against authoritarian rulers. The Observatory the Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, said the airstrikes on the southern neighborhood of Maadi destroyed the targeted buildings. An amateur video showed people digging through a pile of rubble in search of survivors. Fighting and shelling have been a daily occurrence in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and commercial capital, since late July when rebels attacked it and took over several
A rebel soldier, foreground, looks at a mirror which helps him see government troops on the other side, as he takes his position with his comrade at the old city of Aleppo city, Syria, Monday. AP
neighborhoods. Repeated attacks by government troops to regain control of the areas have so far been unsuccessful. The battle for Aleppo has marked the first time that the regime has used helicopters and warplanes regularly to strike from the air, bringing an even heavier toll of civilian casualties than before when military forces relied heavily on
often indiscriminate artillery and tank shelling. The Observatory said five people were killed in the latest airstrikes while the LCC said eight died. The LCC said the dead included three children from the same family. Rami Abdul-Rahman, who heads the Observatory, said the death toll could rise with more people feared buried under the rubble.
Argentine leader challenges critics in US BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — President Cristina Fernandez is on a U.S. tour this week with a message for critics on Wall Street and in Washington who say Argentina is headed for economic disaster by refusing to play by the rules of the global financial system: good riddance to the rules. Her government has racked up a long list of unpaid IOUs while helping the country recover from its humiliating, world-record debt default a decade ago, but Fernandez argues Argentina’s economic rebound has been possible precisely because its leaders have stood up to foreign pressures and put their people first. Argentines used to be “dazzled by the North,” she said last month while inaugurating an expanded highway, one of many infrastructure projects she said would have been impossible had her government done as outsiders demand. “They hadn’t noticed that the rich countries don’t want partners or friends; they just want employees and subordinates. And we’re not going to be anybody’s employees or subordinates. We are a free country, with dignity and national pride.” Fernandez was meeting with billionaire George Soros and Egypt’s new president Mohamed Morsi on Monday, but was skipping a dinner that President Barack Obama is hosting for his fellow leaders at the Waldorf Hotel, planning instead to visit an Evita Peron exhibit at the Argentine consulate. As Fernandez addresses the United Nations Tuesday and then takes questions at Georgetown and Harvard later in the week, she’s sure to insist, as she has often in the past, that her forceful management of the economy has made factories rebound, jobs
Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez sings her country’s national anthem after her swearing-in ceremony outside the government house in Buenos Aires on Dec. 20, 2011. AP
more secure, society more egalitarian and the future brighter than it has been in years. Fernandez says corporations no longer tell Argentine presidents what to do, and instead must heel to a government that puts the people’s needs first. Natural resources are once again sovereign, and Argentina is freer than ever from international debt obligations. A far different picture is presented by Argentina’s many critics in the U.S. and Europe. In the past few days alone, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the country’s risk rating, potentially increasing borrowing costs for anyone doing business with Argentina, and the International Monetary Fund chief drew a firm line Monday against Argentina’s widely disbelieved economic data. The government’s INDEC statistics agency has magically kept inflation below 1 percent monthly for the last 29 months, even as consumers struggle with price hikes two or three times bigger.
UK’s Cameron backs minister in row over ‘pleb’ swipe at police LONDON (Reuters) — David Cameron backed a senior minister accused of ranting at policemen in public and calling them “plebs,” an old-fashioned insult laden with snobbery that has undermined his party’s attempts to shake off its privileged image. The tirade outside the prime minister’s Downing Street office by Andrew Mitchell has embarrassed a Conservative party that is trailing in the polls and struggling to shore up its support at a time of recession, tax increases and spending cuts. While reports that Mitchell called the officers “morons” were embarrassing, more damaging was the report that he used the word “pleb,” a term that is rarely used by a middle or working class person but is soaked in upper class condescension. The row played into the hands of Conservative critics who think MV 9-26-12.indd 16
Cameron’s centre-right party is run by a rich, lofty group whose policies do little for the majority of voters feeling the pressure of its austerity policies. Many senior Conservatives are millionaires, educated at Britain’s top fee-paying schools and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Rivals mock them as out-oftouch “toffs,” the sort of derogatory term that is politically toxic in classobsessed Britain. A Conservative politician described Cameron and chancellor George Osborne as “arrogant posh boys” in April. Cameron’s spokesman said on Monday it was time to draw a line under the affair after Mitchell apologized again to police, even while denying using the words attributed to him. “He has acknowledged that that behavior was unacceptable and
Conservative Party chief whip Andrew Mitchell arrives at the cabinet office in London on Monday. REUTERS
the apology has been accepted,” the spokesman said. He would not be drawn on Mitchell’s choice of words or whether he was accusing the police of not telling the truth.
“Pleb” is derived from a Latin word denoting people outside the aristocratic class in ancient Rome, for example shopkeepers, skilled or unskilled workers and farmers.
“It is old-fashioned language, it is private language. In public it is pretty awful,” Peter York, the author and social commentator, told Reuters. “You certainly wouldn’t expect any politician to utter it in a remotely public place.” A leaked police report in the top selling Sun newspaper on Monday said Mitchell had lost his temper when police officers refused to open the main Downing Street gates to allow him to cycle through last Wednesday evening. When they asked him to use a pedestrian gate, the report said Mitchell erupted: “Best you learn your f***ing place. You don’t run this f***ing government. You’re f***ing plebs.” The timing could not have been worse, coming a day after two unarmed policewomen were killed in a gun and grenade attack in Manchester, northern England. 9/26/12 12:24:35 AM
Business & Trade
MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS - WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012
Apple sells over 5 million iPhone 5 NEW YORK (Reuters) — Apple Inc sold over 5 million iPhone 5 smartphones in the three days since it hit stores, but shares sagged as the company struggled to meet demand. While sales were solid, the company said on Monday it had run out of its initial supply and many pre-orders were scheduled to go out in October. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said the company is “working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone.” Expectations for new Apple products were so high — some analysts forecast Apple selling as many as 10 million phone over the weekend — that Wall Street was not wowed by the latest numbers. The stock was down 1.7 percent at $688.64 in afternoon trade. Given the demand, Apple, the world’s most valuable company, is being closely watched for any supplier problems that may slow down the smartphone production. “We believe that sales could have potentially been much higher if not for supply constraints,” William Power, an analyst with Baird Equity Research, wrote in a note. Supply limitations are likely to weigh on Apple as the iPhone 5 is launched in another 22 countries on Friday. To complicate matters, Apple’s largest contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology closed a factory in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan after a riot broke out among 2,000 employees. Foxconn did not confirm which plants supply Apple, but an employee told Reuters the Taiyuan plant is among those that assemble and make parts for Apple’s iPhone 5. Apple referred questions on the factory to Foxconn. The California company also assembles its
Hazem Sayed, 54, the first in line to purchase the new iPhone 5, holds up his new phone in front of media outside the Fifth Avenue Apple store, Friday, in New York. Hundreds of people waited in line through the early morning to be among the first to get their hands on the highly anticipated phone. AP
devices at factories run by Pegatron Corp. On the parts side, Apple’s key supplier for screens, Sharp Corp, has been struggling with high costs and scrambling to raise funds to pay debt. Sources had told Reuters the company’s output of new iPhone displays had fallen behind schedule. The early total for the iPhone 5 topped sales of the iPhone 4S, which sold more than 4 million units in its first weekend after Apple introduced it in October
2011. The numbers do not include units that have yet to be shipped or delivered to customers as Apple books sales only when online customers sign for the purchase. “We are not overly concerned with this ‘disappointing’ number as we believe this is a classic case of near-term expectations getting out of touch with reality,” Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu said. He added that he expects Apple to sell a total of 27 million iPhones in the September quarter and 46.5
million units in the December quarter. The iPhone 5 has been one of Apple’s most aggressive international rollouts to date. The phone will be available 31 countries on September 28 and in more than 100 countries by the end of the year. “Expectations for Apple are always white hot,” said Colin Gillis, a research analyst with BGC. “It’s not just enough for them to break records but to smash them.” The iPhone is Apple’s highest-
margin product and accounts for half of its annual revenues. Apple is facing stiff competition from smartphones that run on Google Inc’s Android software, which has become the most-used mobile operating system in the world. Apple’s key supplier as well as rival, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, has taken the lead in smartphone sales. Apple signaled last week that pre-orders outstripped initial supply and that many phones would not be available until October.
TOKYO (Reuters) —Asian shares eased on Tuesday after sentiment was weakened by data showing Germany’s business confidence dropped in September, and a weak earnings forecast from Caterpillar Inc, both of which underscored worries about a global growth slowdown. Uncertainty about the bailout prospect for Greece and Spain, which are the two major risks in what has become the euro zone’s three-year-long debt crisis, also undermined investors’ risk appetite. The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched down 0.1 percent. Australian shares were down 0.2 percent, and South Korean shares fell 0.3 percent. Tokyo’s Nikkei average opened down 0.4 percent, hitting a fresh one-week low. “The German data is just the latest sign of a global slowdown and is likely to drag on the market today,” said Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex.
The German Ifo institute’s monthly business sentiment index fell for a fifth successive month in September to its lowest level since early 2010, with the outlook component touching its worst level since May 2009. “This lends support to the thesis that the weaker growth outlook is spreading to the EU core,” Barclays Capital said in a note. Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of earth-moving equipment, cited weakness in the world economy when cutting its 2015 earnings forecast, raising the possibility of weak guidance from other firms as U.S. earnings reporting season approaches. The International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Monday the IMF is set to cut its forecast for global growth next month when it updates its projections for the world economy. The IMF/World Bank meetings will be held in Tokyo on October 12-14.
Asian shares ease as growth worries weigh
People walk by an electronic stock indicator in Tokyo, Japan. MV 9-26-12.indd 17
9/26/12 12:24:37 AM
Lifestyle & Entertainment
• Ask Dr. Brothers By Dr. Joyce Brothers
Quiz topic: Inside the nostalgia craze It’s a force in music, fashion, decorating and filmmaking. In fact, there are few elements of everyday life that haven’t been touched by the magic of nostalgia. For many, thinking of the past brings back thoughts of glory days in high school; for others — like the baby boomers reminiscing about Woodstock or peace marches — nostalgia helps confirm who they are. This quiz digs into what’s so great about recalling the good old days. 1. Nostalgia generally has beneficial effects rather than negative ones. TRUE ( ) FALSE ( ) 2. People in their 20s likely will be less nostalgic than other generations. TRUE ( ) FALSE ( ) 3. Nostalgia usually is voluntary. TRUE ( ) FALSE ( ) 4. Nostalgia has the ability to alter our physical comfort. TRUE ( ) FALSE ( ) 5. There’s no such thing as too much nostalgia. TRUE ( ) FALSE ( ) 6. Nostalgia inspires business and marketing. TRUE ( ) FALSE ( ) 7. You can practice nostalgia, almost like meditation. TRUE ( ) FALSE ( ) ANSWERS: 1. TRUE. Nostalgia is a common phenomenon across cultures and age groups, although it tends to increase the older we grow. It provides a valuable psychological link between the past and present, helps us hold to our notion of who we are and can aid in relieving loneliness. It can enhance mood, lift self-esteem and help strengthen friendships and family relationships. 2. FALSE. Though in the past older generations enjoyed reminiscing about hard times in contrast with their lives at the time, the young people of today may find it even more gratifying to recall the nostalgia of the time when they were young and before they became adults in a very tough economy. If their lives continue to be a financial struggle, their youths will take on an even more magical aura, focusing on bands, video games, television and all the good times of the ‘80s and ‘90s, before they had to face today’s difficult realities. 3. FALSE. Most people fall into nostalgic reveries unconsciously, often triggered by something that reminds them of their youth, since most fond remembrances are centered on childhood and youngadulthood. Smells such as a certain perfume or a kitchen odor, music and objects from the past are strong triggers for nostalgic feelings. 4. TRUE. Several experiments by Chinese researchers have shown that by reimagining a pleasant time with friends or recalling favorite music while experiencing extreme cold, the students in the study actually felt warmer, or the room felt warmer to them. The same region of the brain is involved in emotional awareness as in physiology, so deliberately re-creating in the mind a past state of comfort can aid in changing perceptions of current conditions. 5. FALSE. While a little nostalgia generally is a pleasant diversion, a constant diet of nostalgia can lead to psychologically living in the past, which in turn can lead to practical problems focusing on reality, the present and the need to face the chores and relationships of daily living. Nostalgia can be a factor in being a pack rat or hoarder, or in being a collector, with space or financial issues growing out of control because of the compulsion buy old toys, etc. 6. TRUE. While individuals indulge in nostalgia to contemplate their own personal memories, advertisers of products use many of the cues that trigger nostalgia to sell to specific demographics. Right now, the hordes of baby boomers are being targeted with soundtracks of music from the ‘60s and ‘70s, remakes of TV shows and making the books of their youth into movies. Mid-century modern furnishings also are riding the crest of the nostalgia wave, appealing to boomers’ vision of the childhood home. 7. TRUE. Anyone can access memories of his or her past that arouses and at the same time satisfies the bittersweet yearning for an earlier time. Some set aside a half-hour a day for thinking of specific events or time periods, places or people who live on in their minds. Sometimes an old keepsake, a record or a picture album can aid in this kind of reverie. If you had six correct answers, you really understand the allure of the past. (c) 2012 by King Features Syndicate
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WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012 - MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS
Amanda Bynes flees to New York City, strange behavior follows NEW YORK (SplashNews) — Amanda Bynes and Lindsay Lohan have a lot more in common than they think. The “What I Like About You” actress fled Los Angeles to New York City over the weekend, a few weeks after the “Mean Girls” star who called out Bynes for getting off easy in her hit-and-run cases — did the same. Bynes, who missed a hearing regarding her suspended license in L.A. on Monday, was spotted in midtown Manhattan on Saturday “aimlessly wandering around for hours,” an eyewitness tells TMZ, which also has a photo of her carrying shopping bags. In an interview with People magazine last week, Bynes revealed that she planned on moving to the Big Apple to pursue a career in fashion now that she is “retired” from acting. TMZ adds that the 26-year-old has told friends that she has no plans to return to L.A., even though her parents have just moved there from Texas to be closer to their troubled daughter. When Bynes was caught driving on a suspended license on Sept. 16 after police witnessed her aimlessly driving around a valet area of Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, at 8 a.m., it’s unclear if she was there to take a flight. Approximately 90 minutes later, she exited the airport and was pulled over yet again by police…and that time, they impounded her vehicle. Let’s hope Bynes doesn’t join forces with Lohan in NYC. In the wee hours last Wednesday, the “Liz & Dick” actress was arrested for hit-and-run — something Bynes knows a thing or two about — as she pulled into the Dream Hotel for a night of partying.
Amanda Bynes arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York on Sept. 13, 2009. AP
Natalie Portman goes blonde HOLLYWOOD (A-Line) — Natalie Portman has lightened up. The actress accompanied her new husband, choreographer Benjamin Millepied, to his L.A. Dance Project at Walt Disney Concert Hall over the weekend and showed off a new look: honey-blond hair.
Wearing a white Dior Couture dress that seemed fancier than the one she wore to her Big Sur, California, wedding last month, Portman — who posed with her pal Robert Pattinson on the red carpet — talked about her new look to The Hollywood Reporter. Revealing that the change
Natalie Portman posed with her friend Robert Pattinson at the Sept. 22 event. ABImages
was made for an upcoming movie role, though she wouldn’t mention which one, the 31-year-old said, “I did it just a couple of days ago,” adding, “My mom says I’m like a different person.” The Los Angeles-based colorist responsible for Portman’s tress transformation is Tracey Cunningham. “Natalie makes a beautiful blonde!” Cunningham told Us Weekly. “She needed to make the change for an upcoming movie role, and using Redken’s Blonde Dimensions we achieved a gorgeous, multi-dimensional golden blonde.” Most people associate the Academy Award winner with brown hair, but she has had a blonde moment before. For the 2004 movie “Closer,” she donned a blond, blunt cut wig for her role as stripper. Her more memorable hair makeover was in 2005 when she shaved her noggin bald for her role in “V for Vendetta.” She later told USA Today, “I was really excited to get to shave my head — it’s something I’d wanted to do for a while and now I had a good excuse. It was nice to shed that level of vanity for a girl.” 9/26/12 12:24:38 AM
Lifestyle & Entertainment
MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS - WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012
Arnold Schwarzenegger details moment he admitted love child to Maria Shriver in new book HOLLYWOOD (omg!) —After years of having the wool pulled over her eyes by her husband Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver settled the score in January 2011 when she blindsided him during a couple’s therapy session with the allegation that he had fathered a child with their housekeeper. Although he had denied it for years, that day — just 24 hours after he left office as the governor of California — he finally came clean. Under the impression that the therapy session was to cope with their transition from public life back to a private one, the “Terminator” action star was caught off guard and revealed, “It’s true,” he writes in his memoir, “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Story,” which hits bookstores October 1. Schwarzenegger immediately followed up his admission by begging his wife of 26 years to not leave him. Admitting “it was my screw-up,” he told Shriver that she was the “perfect wife” and that he was still “turned on” by her, according to the New York Daily News, which acquired an advance copy of the book. In “Total Recall,” Schwarzenegger, 65, writes that he gave Shriver three “lame” excuses for why he hid Joseph, now 14, the son he fathered with Mildred Baena in 1996 during an extra-marital romp in the family’s Pacific Palisades guest house while Shriver and their children were away. Not only was he embarrassed by his indiscretion, he told her he had a “compulsion for secrecy” and also that he was afraid to tell her family, the very powerful Kennedys. “But instead of doing the right thing, I’d just put the truth in a mental compartment and locked it up where I didn’t deal with it every day,” the former Mr. Universe bodybuilder says. When Baena gave birth — just months after Shriver delivered her fourth child with Schwarzenegger, Christopher — she put her husband’s name on the birth certificate, and the actor says he wanted to believe that the man was truly that father of Joseph. But as the boy grew older, his resemblance to Schwarzenegger was undeniable…and Shriver had her suspicions. After Baena’s husband left her, Schwarzenegger says he then began secretly supporting her and her family, in addition to keeping her as the family’s housekeeper
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Looking for a HOUSEKEEPER so he could “control the situation.” He adds that he did nothing wrong politically speaking by hiding his illegitimate child because family values was never his platform. “I blocked out the fact that as a husband and father, as a man with a family and wife, I was letting people down,” he writes. A few weeks after Schwarzenegger’s admission, Shriver’s father Sargent Shriver died following a battle with dementia. During her eulogy, the grieving daughter stated that her father’s greatest accomplishment was teaching her brothers “how to treat a wife,” a remark that Schwarzenegger believes was a dig “partly directed at me.” Despite the fact that Shriver, 56, filed for divorce last July (they announced their separation in May 2011), Schwarzenegger writes that he still holds out some hope the two can reconcile, although in a “60 Minutes” interview set to air this Sunday, he adds that the divorce is going forward. In a preview, he says that Shriver did not read his book before it was published, and despite the fact that it reveals he had cheated on her, “I think that Maria is wishing me well.” The two things Schwarzenegger does not go into on “60 Minutes”? His four children with Shriver and love child with Baena. “He felt some obligation to protect them,” says Lesley Stahl, who interviewed the actor. “Otherwise, he sat there and took the questions.”
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For Rent/Sale/Lease for 55 Years
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EMPLOYMENT Tour Guide (1) At least five years job experience. Must speak fluent Mandarin and Cantonese. Must be able to organize the hotel accommodation, food and activities for tourist and other related duties as tour guide. Interested applicant please contact Hawaii Corporation at Cell No. 898-5169 or mail to PMB252 Box 10002, Saipan MP96950
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WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012 - MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS
9/26/12 12:24:40 AM
MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS - WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012
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9/26/12 12:24:40 AM
WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012 - MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS
Filipinos urged to express support for Philippine foreign affairs chief (USP4GG) — The U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance is asking all Filipinos in the states and the territories to express their support for Philippine Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario by emailing President Benigno S. Aquino III at firstname.lastname@example.org. New York businesswoman and attorney Loida Lewis, the group’s chairwoman, said she is “very alarmed to learn that the Honorable
Secretary of Foreign Affair Albert de Rosario would even think about quitting the DFA.” She said Aquino “would be illadvised if he would allow this rumor to continue. It means China has won the battle over Scarborough Shoal! In addition, it would be a blow to President Aquino’s leadership because of the perception that he is backing a neophyte senator over the hardworking, experienced, versatile
when they need it. Continued from page 1 ASC Trust Corp., which adminP.L. 15-70 closed the defined isters the DC plan for the CNMI benefit plan to new government government, has been organizing employees and allowed DB plan meetings in the commonwealth active members to roll over contri- to answer questions people might butions and transfer to the defined have regarding the termination of contribution plan. their membership to DB plan and The enactment of P.L. 17-82 al- rollover to DC plan. lows the remaining active John said there is no members of the defined need for people to panic. benefit plan to pull out He said there are two their contributions and misconceptions: (1) there roll a portion or everyis a timeline to get this done thing to DC plan if they and (2) there is not going opt to do so. to be money left. Last week, a withdrawal Lilian Pangelinan “There is money set frenzy hit the Retirement aside for the DB particiFund with about 1,096 DB plan pants that are active to make the members filing application for decision to either terminate or not refund in the first two days. to terminate,” he said. The Fund began accepting appliJohn said there is more than cation for refunds on Sept. 17. enough money set aside to cover Government employees inter- the DB active members’ contribuviewed by Variety expressed fear tions. that their money wouldn’t be there Fund acting administrator Lil-
CHC... Continued from page 1 issues and not the corporation as a whole…perhaps he’s upset because his uncle’s contract was not renewed…seems he’s injecting personal and political issues into the discussion and he should resign,” said the CEO. Aguon specifically took issue with Babauta’s characterization of his comments. “That is absolutely ridiculous…of course I’m concerned and advocate for Tinian, that’s my job, but I’m also seriously alarmed by the overall lack of direction by the CEO and his lack of communication with the board,” he said. As both a concerned citizen and CHC board member, Aguon said he “felt compelled” to formally speak out after nearly a year of frustration and inaction by the CEO. “Without the proper management of CHC, it is no wonder that we are hard-pressed to find backers to fund the first stage of our corporation’s transition. It is the CHC board of trustees’ responsibility to ensure that there is proper management…we have, so far, failed our mandated duties,” stated Aguon’s two-page letter dated Sept. 17. Seed of widening rift During Variety’s same interview last Wednesday in which Babauta suggested Aguon should resign, he also commented on Lamar’s status. “As far as I am concerned Dr. Lamar is a fully empowered acting MV 9-26-12.indd 22
DMA…. I like Dr. Lamar and how he works with the medical staff,” stated Babauta while making no mention of denying Lamar the full privileges of a board member. However, the environment took a negative turn after Wednesday. Lamar requested confirmation on his DMA status from Babauta and Torres last Friday. Both told Lamar that an “acting” position was not entitled to the authority of a full member of the board. According to Torres, Lamar held only the role of “acting” DMA and therefore was not entitled to board voting rights. “The corporation law does not recognize an ‘acting’ title so discussing board privileges is a non-issue,” he stated. On Monday, Lamar emailed Babauta and Torres, advising both that he was stopping immediately the performance of the DMA’s responsibilities. Torres responded by chastising Lamar. “It’s very disturbing that Dr. Lamar is putting the hospital in jeopardy by being more concerned with his own wants than serving the corporation,” Torres told Variety. Views of Aguon and Raho Governor-appointed board member Anthony Aguon and staff-elected representative board member Anthony Raho disagreed in the strongest possible terms, Babauta’s and Torres’ description of events surrounding Lamar’s acting DMA
and well respected internationally Governance, we earnestly request Secretary del Rosario.” the president to express Lewis is referring to Sen. his full support to and Sonny Trillanes whose reunconditional confidence cent “secret” negotiations in Secretary Del Rosario,” with Chna regarding the Lewis said. two nations’ dispute over The chairman of the the Scarborough Shoal group’s Marianas chapter, has triggered a public feud Celia Lamkin, echoed among key Philippine law- Loida Lewis Lewis’ call. makers. “I am requesting con“On behalf of US Pinoys for Good cerned Filipinos and organizations
in the CNMI, Guam and Hawaii to express your support to Secretary del Rosario by emailing the president.” She added, “Even we are not physically present in the Philippines, we Filipinos, have to show that we are still involved in the issues affecting our motherland for the betterment of all Filipinos and the Philippines. Let’s all have one voice and show our concern.”
ian Pangelinan told the general assembly of the Commonwealth Retirement Association that the Fund’s invested assets total $223 million, $113 million of which is set aside for the active members of the Fund’s DB Plan. “They don’t have to rush. Once they made the decision, it is permanent. Take your time. Get your information and then make the decision,” John said. For two days, ASC Trust held meetings at the multi-purpose center to help explain to the affected government employees what the pullout entails and what rolling over to DC plan means. “But we are trying to guide people toward what is right for their families. Our goal for this whole thing is to help answer questions,” he said. “Don’t do this until you understand it. If you don’t understand it, don’t do anything yet until you find
the answers,” said John. The number of applications for refunds at the Retirement Fund tapered off last week with about 45 applications received last Friday. This week, ASC Trust Corp., John said, will be holding sessions at government agencies. Those who would like to know more about the DC plan can visit the ASC Trust Corp. office on Middle Road, on the second floor of the CDA office. DB Members have 15 days to withdraw or revise a request for refund In a release yesterday, the Fund stated, “Prompted by refund distribution changes requested by at least a dozen members, the NMI Retirement Fund would like to inform active and inactive defined benefit plan members who have submitted or will be submitting their applications for refund of contributions that they have 15
calendar days from the date they submit their applications to withdraw their request for a refund or to make any changes to their refund distribution.” The Fund stated that such changes can be accomplished by submitting a request in writing to the pension agency. “Members will be barred from making any changes after the 15-day grace period,” the release added. The Fund also reminds the members that its office is open, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except holidays. Status of refund applications can be checked via www.nmiretirement.com. Click on the “Refund Update” pull down menu. As of 4 p.m. yesterday, the number of applications for refunds reached 1,493 or about half of the over 2,800 active members.
tenure. “First and foremost, we need to “Dr. Lamar did not resign, he discuss the dire financial condition simply decided there was no point of the hospital, especially in this in shouldering the responsibilities window of opportunity while the of DMA without having a voice on legislature is finalizing next year’s the board as the previous DMAs budget,” he explained. had,” Raho explained. Another subject in need of Raho and Aguon believe Babauta dialogue was the performance of and Torres denied Lamar board CHC’s leadership, specifically a privileges in order to deny them a performance review of the CEO. majority for a board meeting. The Marianas Public Land Trust “Per the board’s by-laws and “has been offering to help CHC but the open government act, myself, has been requesting a strategic plan Anthony, Dr. Lamar, Roy Rios and with financial information…we Pete Dela Cruz set-up a meeting need to ask the CEO what the proboutside the regular CHC lem is in submitting the board structure because needed documentation,” Mr. Torres refused to call continued Raho. a meeting as we requested Aguon and Raho also numerous times…once highlighted the need to the CEO and Mr. Torres discuss the issue of the realized we had a majorCenters for Medicare and ity to call such a meeting, Medicaid’s immediate they began claiming that Juan Babauta jeopardy declarations, esDr. Lamar had no board pecially the first one due standing and thus we had no ma- to non-functioning defibrillators. jority to call a meeting,” explained “A ‘contingency plan’ was supRaho. posed to have been put in place to Rios recalled his request for a bring key staff together to make board meeting once the schism critical resource decisions…it surfaced. should not have happened that Raho and Aguon declined to offer purchase orders for vital equipment a reason why. sat in the [chief financial officer’s] Capital Hill sources, however, office for two months resulting in theorized that because Rios is run- an immediate jeopardy citation,” ning for elected office he may have said Raho. been “advised” by Republicans to In response to the continual steer clear of the situation. calls for board meetings Torres has Regardless of the reasons or in- repeatedly said, “An agenda is in tentions of board members, Raho process but the CHC administration was adamant about topics needing must focus on rectifying CMS’ ima public airing. mediate jeopardy issues and should
not be distracted at this time by a board meeting.” Both Raho and Aguon were surprised by the statement. “I’m really sorry Mr. Torres believes the board is a total waste of time…he seems to be acting on his own to the total disregard of the other board members,” noted Raho. The staff representative noted the many complaints from staff he has received about Torres at the hospital daily asking for documents and reports without first seeking approval from the entire board. “CHC has too many problems for the board not to meet,” said Aguon, “What do the CEO and Mr. Torres want to hide.” As for what happens next, both board members emphasized that hard questions need to be asked such as “Is the CHC administration doing their jobs?” They also agreed the board must put aside their personal and political agendas to work on behalf of the community at this critical juncture for CHC. “It’s no secret the corporation is in shambles,” stated Raho, “After speaking to CHC staff during the last week there’s no question as to a resounding loss of confidence in the administration and in the board.” Healing divisions among a public board is difficult in the best of times and may be near impossible in an election season coupled with the depth of CHC’s dysfunction. 9/26/12 12:24:41 AM
MARIANAS VARIETY NEWS AND VIEWS - WEDNESDAY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2012
Man convicted of immigration document fraud is indicted for preventing, hampering his removal By Andrew O. De Guzman email@example.com Variety News Staff
A GRAND jury has indicted a Chinese national with one count of preventing or hampering his removal from the commonwealth. Dongjun Li, 39, was indicted on Sept. 24, 2012. The incident occurred on Sept. 19, 2012. Li, according to the redacted indictment, is an alien against
Feds... Continued from page 1 The federal court allowed the couple to each issue a $150,000 property bond for their pre-trial release. In a statement, U.S. Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands Alicia A.G. Limtiaco said the Ada couple was indicted on Sept. 24, 2012. Limtiaco said the Adas were each charged with conspiracy to commit theft or embezzlement in connection with health care in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 669 (Count 1); theft or embezzlement in connection with health care in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 669 (Counts 2 to 20); conspiracy to commit health care fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1347
whom a final order of removal was outstanding. Li did connive and conspire, and took any other action, designed to prevent or hamper with the purpose of preventing or hampering his departure of the United States, the two-page indictment added. If found guilty, Li faces a statu-
tory maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000, said U.S. Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands Alicia A.G. Limtiaco in a statement. The case was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant
U.S. Attorney Rami S. Badawy. In Oct. 2011, federal jurors found Li guilty of immigration document fraud and false statement. U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona sentenced Li to 203 days time served on each count that ran concurrently. He was placed on one year supervised release on each count that ran concurrently. The federal court said Li will be turned over to a duly authorized
immigration official for removal proceedings. The document fraud case was related to Li’s possession and use of counterfeit parole documents at the Saipan airport as he attempted to check in for a flight to California. Li paid a private citizen over $1,000 in return for receiving false immigration documents that would allow him unlawfully to gain access to the states, the indictment said.
and 1349 (Count 21); health care fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347 (Counts 22 to 30); conspiracy to commit money laundering in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1956(h) and 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) (Count31); and money laundering in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(a)(1)(B)(I) (Counts 32 to 59). Leyda Ada was charged with one count of money laundering in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957 (Count 60). According to the indictment, Melvin Ada was previously employed at the CHC as a medical supply specialist, and his wife was previously employed as a sales representative for Midwest Medical Supply Company Inc., a Missouri company that had supplied dialysis consumables and
equipment to CHC. The indictment stated that from Jan. 2006 through Aug. 2011, the Ada couple engaged in healthcare theft and healthcare fraud in connection with their conduct in misappropriating and diverting 46 CNMI Treasury checks made payable to MMS and variations of that name totaling over $1.7 million, and depositing the checks in bank accounts they controlled. The indictment stated that in some instances Melvin Ada modified legitimate MMS invoices and created false MMS invoices to cause the CHC and CNMI Treasury to issue the checks. The Ada couple conducted financial transactions designed to conceal the stolen funds, the indictment stated, adding that Leyda also used the healthcare fraud proceeds to withdraw cash in excess of $10,000.
“This investigation shows that federal and local law enforcement agencies will pursue those individuals who engage in healthcare fraud to ensure the integrity of health care benefit programs,” Limtiaco stated. The maximum penalties for the offenses are as follows: For a violation of conspiracy to commit theft or embezzlement in connection with health care, the maximum term of imprisonment is 5 years, a $250,000 fine, restitution, and three years supervised release. For a violation of theft or embezzlement in connection with health care, the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years, a $250,000 fine, restitution, and three years supervised release. For a violation of either conspiracy to commit health care fraud or health care fraud, the maximum term of impris-
onment is 10 years, a $250,000 fine, restitution, and three years supervised release. For a violation of either conspiracy to commit money laundering or money laundering, the maximum term of imprisonment is 20 years, the greater of a $500,000 fine or twice the value of the monetary instruments or funds involved, restitution, and three years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marivic P. David and Garth R. Backe are prosecuting the case. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and a joint CNMI Task Force. Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is an allegation, Limtiaco said, adding that the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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WEDNESDAY- -SEPTEMBER SEPTEMBER26, 26,2012 2012 - MARIANAS MARIANASVARIETY VARIETYNEWS NEWS&AND VIEWS WEDNESDAY VIEWS P.O. Box 500231 Saipan, MP 96950 • Tel. (670) 234-9272 • 9797 • Fax: (670) 234-9271 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • email@example.com www.mvariety.com
Sos 101 Proofers pose after their game against Oceanside Mafia at the SOS Bar and Grill last Monday.
P.O. Box 6338, Tamuning Guam 96931 • Tel. (671) 649-1924 • 4678 • Fax: (671) 648-2007 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Es’y Kitchen B52 Shooters poses after their game against Joe’s Just Like That last Monday at Es’y Kitchen. From left, Rufina Guevarra, Samy Atalig, Michelle Olita, Emily Vargas, and Mara Lambon. Contributed photos
Proofers climb a notch in darts league ranking By Demalynn F. Sablan email@example.com For Variety
After their winning battle with SOS Mixblood Shooters, SOS 101 Proofers boosted themselves from being in last place in last week’s ranking to a step higher and ties up with Bammy’s Sabalu Boys behind in the Saipan Electric Darts
Association’s 2012 Summer/Fall Division A League. Proofers now have a 59-77 record with a 43.38 percent weighted average. They won 11 games last Monday at SOS Bar and Grill, while Mixblood won six. Tony Membrere is the top player for Proofers. He has a PPD of 22.06, a HPR of 3.03, and a weighted aver-
age of 55.36. Following Membrere is Leo Itaas with a PPD of 22.50, a HPR of 2.76, and a weighted average of 52.81. Rolly Bermiso, with a weighted average of 49.05, has a PPD of 22.72 and a HPR of 2.39. Even with their loss, however, Mixblood has a satisfiying record of 65 wins, 71 losses, and a weighted
Marchitti Challenge I on Sept. 30 By Demalynn F. Sablan firstname.lastname@example.org For Variety
Susan Marchitti is calling all bikers out for a fun, challenging race to be held on Sunday, Sept. 30, the Marchitti Challenge I. Race will run courses of MBT Long and Short as well as Road Long and Road Short. Rain or shine, registration will open 5:45 a.m. through 6:45 a.m. race will begin 7 a.m. Cash and other prizes are to be given to top finishers. A prize given by sponsor Pacific Islands Club are two passes to the Hell of the Marianas. Race is open to all ages with only a $10 entrance fee. A raffle will also take place with just $1 a ticket. Marchitti has been riding for MV 9-26-12.indd 24
years on Saipan and has formed her own course up on the northern side of Saipan. She challenges all to take on her course, which is familiar with most races except for the ride through the trail. The MTB Long course will run through Paupau Beach to Banzai Cliff, down Santa Claus Lane, through Autobahn Trail, up Bird Island, up the road to Suicide Cliff to the top of Kimikazi Trail, down back on Autobahn Trail and Santa Claus Lane, to Banzai Cliff and back finishing at Paupau. The MBT Short will start at Paupau, up Banzai, down Santa Claus Lane, up Bird Island, down to Grotto, and back to Paupau.
Starting at Paupau, the Road Bike Long Course turns right to Mobil Station then back to Banzai, up to Bird Island, Grotto, Suicide Cliff, back to Banzai and to Paupau for the finish. The Road Bike Short turns also to Mobil, to Banzai, Bird Island, Grotto, back to Banzai, and to Paupau. Marchitti wants to accomplish having bikers try a new course and challenge themselves, but mainly to come out and have a fun Sunday ride. This is a chance for both armatures and experience racers to meet and mingle. Sponsors who help Marchitti make this race possible are Tan Siu Lin Foundation, Gold’s Gym, Saipan Bike Pro, IT&E, Megabyte, Safety 1st, Pacific Islands Club, Powerade, Saipan Seaventure, and Brabu Pharmacy. For more information, contact Susan Marchitti at susan.darkstar@ gmail.com.
average of 47.79 percent. Still standing ahead of the pack are Oceanside Mafia with a record of 86-50 and a winning percentage of 63.24 percent. So far, Division A has played 136 games. In the ladies division, Rufina Guevarra of Es’y Kitchen B52 Shooters up her record making it to third spot from being ranked fourth
last week. She now has a PPD of 15.26, HPR of 2.34, and a weighted average of 41.99 after their win against Joe’s Just Like Dat. B52 Shooters now have a team record of 79 wins, 56 losses, and a wining percentage of 59 percent. They won a total of nine games, while Just Like Dat won six.
Freestyle comes back fresh after rainy weeks of no play, 87-70 By Demalynn F. Sablan email@example.com For Variety
AFTER a rainy couple of weeks, the Domino Lu.x Intercolor Basketball League got back on the Gualo Rai court to continue the ball games. Unfortunately, the first scheduled game was a no-show for Mawati, which gave KFC/Taco Bell a forfeited win. Second game was still a go with Freestyle and Church 360. Freestyle won, 87-70, and what a fight Church 360 gave them. Aaron Wood of Church 360 scored 29 points. Not only was Wood hitting strong with his perimeter shots, he was landing threes. As well as Preston Basa, he was able to keep the team not too far from Freestyle. They just came up short after the second half where Freestyle took off like a storm and stretched the points by 10. First quarter was only a two-point difference, 18-16, in favor of Freestyle. Dennis Morales made Free-
styles’ first eight. George Cruz was there to pick up the pieces under the rim making six points with Yalong making four points. Wood attempted to close the gap making 10 points in the final quarter, but was already far behind by third when Freestyles JoJo Detera spread the scores by 10 points. Donavan Brennan also made a big impact shooting three pointers man making eight points to his total 16 for the game. Third ended 63-53. By then, Freestyle had players hitting the double digit mark. Morales with 22 points, Detera with 18, and Cruz with 16. Scores: Freestyle 87 – D. Morales 22, J. Detera 18, G. Cruz 16, D. Brennan 16, R. Cruz 7, Yalong 4, T. Alano 2, J. Pacman 2 Church 360 70 – A. Wood 29, P. Basa 13, N. Puno 11, M. Buenabajo 8, M. Diaz 4, E. Chavez 2 Quarterscores: 18-16, 39-35, 6353, 87-70 9/26/12 12:24:46 AM