Thursday, February 15, 2007

How My Day Went On Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007

9 a.m. -- Leadership Meeting. I'd mentioned to the Speaker that I had another meeting at 10 a.m. that I hoped to make. Meanwhile, I alerted Angelo that I might be running a little late and to start the meeting without me.

10 a.m. -- I'm still in the Leadership meeting.

10:50 a.m. -- I'm convinced I've missed most of the other meeting. We finally finished with the Leadership meeting.

11 a.m. -- I went to my next meeting. This is Beautify CNMI's monthly meeting which I'm supposed to chair. I showed up way late. Rep. Waki beat me there. Everyone cheered and clapped when I walked in feeling bad I was really late. The group went back to discussing what they were discussing before I walked in. I snapped a few pictures (that's why I'm not in this picture).

Tried to gauge the group's progress. Yikes! It looks like they're really done! I missed the whole thing! Rep. Waki is giving everyone an update on his trials and tribulations in attempting to get the agencies to work more efficiently with the revitalization of Garapan District. I tried to get a summary of each committee's report. The group disperses at close to noon.

12 Noon -- Went to Marine Beach in Kagman. My Office and Beautify CNMI! has been working with Kagman Komunidat to undertake a village cleanup of Kagman I, II, III, and IV, which is the entire Kagman Homestead area. I wrote a letter to the Secretaries of our partner agencies: DPW, DPS, Saipan Mayor's Office, DLNR--Forestry/Agriculture, and Department of Corrections to work with the team. Roads that had been overgrown with bushes were mowed and trash was picked up. Friends of the Mariana Islands (FMI) was led by their President, Marites Castillo, in providing their usual volunteer work for three days (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday). Even though some equipment broke down and had to be returned to be fixed, or some equipment could only be used on a limited basis, the project was still a success.

Lao Lao Bay Golf Resort provided refreshments. Kagman Komunidat paid for lunch on Tuesday. My Office paid for lunch Wednesday and Thursday and the Office of Rep. Seman paid for lunch on Friday. Actually, it was a bbq at the beach, but more on that later. We're still on Thursday's activities.

Some local students were let out by their teachers to pick up trash around the perimeters of the school, which is cool because all that trash stuck by the chain link fence takes away from the beauty of the schools and the surrounding environments.

Had lunch with everyone. HPO staff was doing a project nearby, so we shared the pavillion and their company. The corrections staff and volunteers were there, as were DLNR staff, DPS staff, and other coalition partner staff.

Took a group photo with those who remained behind. Took in the beautiful scenery.

1:15 p.m. -- Left site to go back to the office.

1:30 p.m. -- Attended a Natural Resources Committee meeting with Secretary of Department of Public Lands and staff. The meeting had to do with leases and lease extensions. The meeting lasted until 3:30 p.m.

3:40 p.m. -- Back in my office to make/return some calls, sign some documents, etc.

3:55 p.m. -- Finally headed out the door for my 4 p.m. Garapan Tourist District Revitalization Meeting at the Hyatt Regency. I arrived late, of course. Rep. Waki beat me there and was giving a report. I took my seat after quietly greeting people. Last month, I received an invitation to attend a meeting concerning the revitalization of the Garapan Tourist District. I didn't know who else I'd be meeting at this initial meeting, but when I got there, I found out soon enough. It looked like a meeting of Beautify CNMI coalition partners, except that this was being led by the private sector's Hyatt Regency and Tan Holdings. Rep. Waki and I had been "drafted" to assist in this project. The group's goal is to give the Garapan Tourist District a complete facelift. Our deadline? Six months from January.

I'd heard it said that Jerry Tan was inspired by "1020 on 1020", Beautify CNMI!'s phenomenally successful one-day island-wide clean-up. Why is this successful? Well, in case you haven't heard, we set out to recruit at least 1,020 volunteers on October 20 to stop what they were doing and come out that day to do something to beautify the island of Saipan. Some people painted over grafitti, some planted trees, some picked up trash, etc.

At the end of the day, the official count was [INSERT DRUM ROLL] 3,380 volunteers came out to show how much they LOVE this island we call home. But, I digress....

5 p.m. -- Meeting adjourned. Went home; had dinner; spent some time on the computer checking e-mails, etc.

6:30 p.m. -- Left for my 7 p.m. Micronesian Challenge meeting at Cafe at the Park.

7 p.m. -- Meeting began. Angelo, Gus, Tenney, Steve, Bree, Doug, and three of Bree's Hopwood students were welcomed additions. These students are really bright and are lucky to have a teacher like Bree, who engages them actively in and out of the classroom. In fact, they're active participants in Beautify CNMI! activities. They will be awesome leaders someday.

8:30 p.m. -- Meeting starts wrapping up or winding down, depending on how you see it.

8:40 p.m. -- On the road back home.

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