Friday, March 16, 2007

Tinian Public Hearing on MRDC Land Lease

The House Natural Resources Committee had a joint public hearing with our Senate counterparts on the MRDC proposal to lease land in Tinian to build an 18-hole golf course, hotel, and casino. Senator Maria Frica Pangelinan, Vice Speaker Justo Quitugua, and me at the Tinian Courthouse before the public hearing.Here, Chairman Edwin Aldan (in white shirt, background) and staff attempting to figure out the mystery of the microphone's sudden loss of power shortly after the public hearing began and halfway through Chairman Aldan's recitation of the hearing ground rules.It took a good 15 minutes or so to restore power back to the microphone. Just as we were about to proceed with the hearing, Chairman Aldan and I nearly jumped right out of our skins when the CNMI flag came crashing down between us, making a startlingly loud bang as it laid across the wooden bench. It barely missed us. Yikes! It's a good thing we weren't leaning towards each other at that precise moment! The above picture shows Chairman Aldan securing the CNMI flag pole. I leaned towards him afterwards and whispered, "Chairman, I don't think the spirits want us to proceed with this public hearing." Hmmm....The public hearing finally ended at 8:30 p.m. The hearing was well-attended.Retired Judge Ed Manibusan, center, is the attorney for MRDC.

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