Saturday, June 30, 2007

Tonight's The Night! Don't Miss Out!

Bud Kaipat, Gus Kaipat, and Kyle Kaipat on stage at last night's 2nd Friday Family Fun Night in Koblerville, Saipan, June 29, 2007.
Hello, Friends! Come on out to the Koblerville Youth Learning Center (Substation) tonight and buy yourselves a $5 plate of food and listen to Olomwaay perform. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Little League All Stars who will be representing the CNMI in Hong Kong! The event is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Juan Celis Lizama, Jr. ("Jun") volunteered to join Olomwaay on stage for a number.

He's also the youngest Kaipat family member of Olomwaay. His real middle name is Kaipat, but Dad decided to get creative and add his own middle name on the birth certificate. But Jun's mama is my youngest sister Frances, and Jun is her youngest son.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Little League Fundraiser Dinner Gets Press

The initial meeting with parents, players, and coaches of the Little League All Stars to plan the dinner show for this Saturday, June 30.
Again, here are the basics:

What: Little League All Stars Fundraising Dinner Show

When: Saturday, June 30

Where: Koblerville Youth Learning Center, Koblerville, Saipan

Time: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Entertainers: Olomwaay Band (Gus' Family Band), Joe Limes' Family Band, some family dancers, and other entertainment.

Price: $5 plate

Come one, Come All! Let's help out the kids.

And the Little Leaguers got some additional press time in the "Sports" section of the Tribune.


The 2nd Family Fund Night is tonight! Don't miss out!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Grand Opening of the Koblerville Youth Learning Center

This Koblerville Youth Learning Center was built years ago, but stood empty because of lack of funding to hire personnel and to fund its operations. This facility is located at the Koblerville Substation off the main Koblerville Road on Saipan. A year ago, my office, family, and the Parole Board and its volunteers adopted this substation as part of Beautify CNMI!'s "Adopt a Spot" Program. We have taken turns mowing the lawns and picking up the trash with other hearty Beautify CNMI! volunteers, such as FMI, Team Chura Talo, Latter Day Saints, Kobler Elementary School, Southern High School Manta Ray JROTC cadets and National Honor Society members, et al. Community members have also been coming out to help us when they see us beautifying the area. It makes me happy to see that they are developing a sense of "community ownership" in this common area -- as they rightfully should!

Looking at the Center today, I marvel when I think back to the day we set out to reclaim the Substation from the tangan tangan jungle it had become. The area had gotten so neglected and overgrown that you couldn't even see the substation nor the basketball court from the main road in Koblerville. Click here to read one of my earlier posts on this subject. Not only is this Center now open, but the community has also begun using this area for their walking exercises, which is great.

There's still more work that needs to be done. I am working with the folks at DLNR to turn this into a community park. Let me paint a mental visual for you. We need to reseed the area so that we can have those fine grass to spread out our blankets on when we picnic and so we can also have grass that we don't have to mow every week in rainy season; we need more shady trees, a botanical garden, a walking path around the garden, benches to sit on and read quietly under the tall shady trees, a children's playset, etc. Get the picture?

And, yes, why do I keep referring to this as a "substation"? Well, I remember years and years ago when we still had enough government funding to actually have a fire station on this southernmost tip of the island. Like everything else, budgetary cuts forced the closure of the station. BUT, I remain optimistic that one day, the fire engines will roar out of this substation once again. We have to remain positive. So don't give up hope 'cause I won't.

When I first assumed office over a year ago last January 2006, I set a goal to work on getting this facility opened for the public. But, it sure wasn't easy. In fact, at times, it seemed downright discouraging. The a/c was stolen, the facility had been vandalized several times, and people were beginning to use the area as an illegal dump site. Poor Jimmy, the lone maintenance man, did the best he could to patch up the broken windows and secure the place. I recall standing in the middle of the hot Center with Jimmy, Mike Manglona, and my staff right after another broken-window incident last year just shaking our heads. Of course, add to all this is the perpetual lack of funding, which translates into lack of manpower and operational funds. But, I continued to bug Youth Affairs Director Mike Manglona (on the left) to transfer Ken Concepcion (KC Lanchero) from the Gualo Rai Youth Center (which had undergone a similar transformation under KC's guidance) to the Koblerville facility. I didn't see a need to reinvent the wheel. Besides, it was critical to breathe life into the Center as I realized that we had many worthy community programs awaiting implementation, but none of that would happen until we opened the Center.

Well, our wish finally came true about almost a year later. I ran into KC back in late April. He came up to me and excitedly informed me that he had started at the Koblerville Center that day and was busy setting things in motion the Grand Opening and Family Fun Nights. I subsequently found out that he was working with Jeff Santos of Jett's Promotions that night to make this Grand Opening possible. Jeff has pledged to donate 10% of the proceeds to all the Youth Centers. Thank you Jeff Santos for your generous heart!
KC and Mike have done an incredible job of bringing this facility to life. The man amkos (Chamorro word for elders) are also working at this facility and some Workforce Investment kids are also assigned to work her for the summer.
Taking part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the Koblerville Youth Learning Center. L-R: SAA Esther Fleming, First Lady Josie Fitial, Rep. Cinta Kaipat, Rep. Joe Guerrero, Koblerville Youth Center Director KC Concepcion, NMHC Director Josh Sasamoto, and Youth Affairs Director Mike Manglona.

Me and first lady Josie Fitial. Others behind us are Remy Buniag (in blue) and Rose Pangelinan, head of Women's Affairs.

That's Jack Omar, Director of the Legislative Bureau, and Danny Buniag, Remy's husband.

Angelo and KC in the audience.
Josh Sasamoto, head of NMHC, and Rep. Joe Guerrero in striped shirt.

Dennis Cabrera of my office modeling his Beautify CNMI! shirt. :) See? He can't stop smiling.

Carmen Sablan and a young friend happy to be at the ceremonies. Carmen has offered to volunteer her time to tutor at the Center. Thanks, Carmen!

John Dax Moreno -- one of my favorite people! Always ready with a smile on his face and that friendly voice as he greets you warmly everytime. Drop by one of the Outreach tables at the Family Fun Night and say hello to John and the rest of the good folks volunteering to bring you some really good FREE information about health and other sorts of good stuff!

Officer Pete Guerrero also on hand to partake in the Opening Ceremonies. The DARE and LEEP Programs (including the JPOs) will also use this center. Fire personnel were also on hand. Thanks for being there, everyone!

Angelo concentrating on what KC and Mike were saying.
Obviously, the Governor's Office was very supportive of this endeavor, so our thanks to them. Many other folks, too numerous to mention here, also contributed to making this day possible. Many thanks to all the major Sponsors, PTI, Jetts Promotions, Youth Affairs, and all of you -- you know who you are. Mike, KC, Jeff, Jimmy, my staff (Daisie, Dennis & Kyle), the Beautify team.

Family Fun Night @ Koblerville Youth Learning Center This Friday & Every Friday

Right after the ribbon-cutting ceremonies, Angelo went over to check out the food vendors and stopped to give his opinion on the event.
Live music was in the air. Here are Calico & Fred giving the audience some love!
Beautify CNMI Family members: Jun Flores (BC - FMI); Rep. Cinta Kaipat; Angelo Villagomez (BC-MINA-RC&D); and Marites Castillo (BC-FMI).
The FMI and BC gang with Mike Manglona, Director of Youth Affairs, next to Angelo.

Come out this Friday and every Friday and enjoy yourselves.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fundraiser Concert For Little League All Stars Hong Kong Trip This Saturday, June 30, 2007

Tonight, I met with the parents, coaches, and some of the Little League All Stars who will be representing the CNMI in Hong Kong early July. We're having a fundraiser concert this Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Koblerville Youth Center Complex in Koblerville.

Come hear Olomwaay, Gus' band, play as well as Joe Limes' band. Buy yourself a dinner plate for $5 and help support the kids in this worthwhile cause.

Tell all your friends, neighbors, and family, and, as my friend Sam Joyner always says, "Better yet, Beat me there!" Hmmm...let's ask Sam to perform. He's a big supporter of the youths.

Time is running out and we need everyone's help! Thank you.

P.S. Just a friendly reminder that the Friday Family Fun night is still on for this Friday and every Friday. We're having this fundraiser on Saturday so as not to interfere with Friday's regular activities.

Monday, June 25, 2007


It took more than a year and it met with stiff opposition, but House Bill 15-38: The Commonwealth Employment Act of 2007 (otherwise known as the Labor Reform Bill) passed the House unanimously with a 15-0 vote. CONGRATULATIONS to all who worked so hard on this important piece of legislation.

Now it's on to the Senate. The Senate has a session tomorrow; hopefully, they will entertain this bill.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Invitation to Koblerville Youth Center Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony & 1st Family Fun Night

Don't miss the Grand Opening of the Koblerville Youth Center & 1st Family Fun Night!

When? Friday, June 22, 2007

Time? 5 p.m.

Where? Koblerville Substation

EVERYONE IS INVITED!!! Come one and all to this first ever Family Fun Night. This event will be held every Friday. There will be food, entertainment, outreach info, plus you'll be helping fundraise for all the Youth Centers as 10% of gross receipts will be donated to the Youth Centers courtesy of Mr. Jeff Santos. THANK YOU, JEFF!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The Committee took account of the comments and suggestions at the public hearing with respect to support for the visitor industry. The new bill recognizes that the Commonwealth needs to support the visitor industry, help it grow out of the current economic slump, and make sure it prospers in the future. Without a successful visitor industry, the Commonwealth will not have the good jobs for citizens and permanent residents in other sectors.

The new bill helps the visitor industry in four principal ways.

Room to grow under the moratorium. A business in the visitor industry that has met the 20% requirement for employment of U.S . citizens and permanent residents earns an exemption under the moratorium. This means that businesses in the visitor industry can hire new foreign national workers as replacements for existing foreign national workers or for new positions. New businesses in the visitor industry are given a grace period of one year to meet the 20% requirement. This recognizes that it may take a new business some time to recruit and train local residents.

A major new development involving an investment of $1 million or more is allowed an exemption from the moratorium to allow for large construction projects.

Incentives for filling good jobs with citizens and permanent residents. A business in the visitor industry that substantially exceeds the 20% requirement for local hiring in professional, managerial, human resources, office or administrative assistant, secretary, cashier, front desk receptionist, tour guide, boat captain, and sports and recreation positions can earn an exemption from the 20% requirement for other jobs such as room cleaner, janitor, custodian, security guard, gardener, dishwasher, waiter and waitress, and other unskilled jobs. This system promotes hiring of local residents in good jobs and allows businesses substantial flexibility in hiring for unskilled jobs so that they can remain competitive.

Incentive reductions in paperwork. A business in the visitor industry that has met the 20% requirement for local hiring over the previous two years is presumed to be doing a good job of local hiring and is exempt from the requirement to provide a manpower plan.

Speedier and less costly processing for foreign national workers. The new bill also includes provisions to make the processing of foreign national workers speedier and less costly. The Labor Department will gradually shift over to a system of on-line filing of the necessary paperwork


Today is Mom's Birthday! This picture of Mom and Byron, one of the grandsons, was taken at Byron's 22nd birthday party last March 18. I LOVE YOU, MOM. Can't wait to celebrate your birthday!

Kaipat to Speak on Labor Reform Bill

This article appeared in the June 19 edition of the SAIPAN TRIBUNE. You can Click here to read the article.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

An Open Letter to the House and Senate Members, 15th Commonwealth Legislature

To The Honorable Members of the House and Senate:


Within the next few days or so, each of you will be asked for your vote to pass H.B. 15-38: The Commonwealth Employment Act of 2007, without any amendments. A few weeks ago, we gave you a slide presentation on the proposed revised version of the draft labor reform bill. We made a detailed record of all of your comments and suggestions at that session. Since then –

* We have held a public hearing to get additional input from the people of the community.

* We have considered and implemented the recently-released recommendations of the Office of the Public Auditor and the private-sector Jobs Study Committee as to jobs for which citizens and permanent residents should be afforded employment preferences.

* We have consulted with the Chamber of Commerce and HANMI to get input from the business community.

* We have requested and received comments from the Federal Ombudsman, from lawyers representing foreign national workers in the Commonwealth, and from the Philippine Counsel General.

* And we have worked extensively with the lawyers from the CNMI Department of Labor to get the bill into final shape.

I think nearly everyone realizes that we can and should do better in providing a practical, fair legislative framework for employment in the Commonwealth. Nearly all of the comments we have received have been offered in this spirit – of improving what we have and making a fair balance with respect to the interests of citizens and permanent residents, businesses, foreign national workers, and the government agencies with enforcement responsibilities.

Joint legislative session: These are the principal changes we implemented with respect to the comments we got at the informal joint legislative session:

* Devised a better system for health insurance for foreign national workers

* Worked out a better system for bonding of employer obligations for foreign national workers

* Limited the exceptions to the preference for citizen employment in the government

* Implemented compliance with the Resident Workers Fair Compensation Act

We also accommodated nearly all of the very good suggestions for smaller changes that we got at that session.

Local resident workers: This is what we did with respect to the concerns of citizens and permanent resident workers expressed at the public hearing and in other comments we have received:

* Implemented the Public Auditor's recommendations with respect to job categories in which citizens and permanent residents get an employment preference. This expands the private sector preferences significantly

* Expanded the preference for government hiring of citizens and cut back on government hiring of foreign national workers

* Improved the functionality of the existing moratorium on hiring foreign national workers

* Provided for the right to sue if a qualified citizen applicant is turned down in favor of a foreign national worker

Local businesses and employers: This is what we did to accommodate the concerns of local businesses and employers expressed in our meetings with the Chamber, HANMI, and others:

* Provided flexibility to employers to make hiring, termination, and exit decisions

* Eased the regulatory burdens on small businesses employing fewer than 10 full-time employees

* Provided incentive exemptions to regulatory requirements for employers who exceed the 20% requirement in categories of jobs as to which citizens and permanent residents are available and are most likely to consider as attractive opportunities

* Provided affordable options for health insurance and bonding so that small businesses and employers of domestic helpers are not adversely affected

Foreign national workers: This is what we did to improve the fair employment conditions for foreign national workers:

* Provided better, more practical protections against exploitation by recruiters and employers so that every worker who comes to the Commonwealth will have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities under our system

* Accommodated the comments received from the Philippine Counsel General

* Accepted certain recommendations of the federal ombudsman with respect to inspections and enforcement

* Reduced fees for filing a labor complaint or appeal to make it less costly to access the administrative hearing system

The CNMI Department of Labor: This is what we did to get better performance from the Department of Labor:

* Added dispute-avoidance and early dispute resolution provisions to cut down on the caseload of labor complaints

* Improved the inspection powers of the Department with respect to the places where foreign national workers work and live

* Provided clear criteria for the decisions that are made within the Department and flexible regulatory power to meet new circumstances in the future

* Reduced the Department's paperwork burden to accommodate the problem of reduced resources to operate the Department under current economic decisions

In the end, every legislative enactment involves a balancing of competing interests. This is especially the case with respect to a labor reform bill. I believe that, as the result of more than a year's work and the participation in our labor task force of many busy people, the balance we have achieved is an outstanding bill that will be a credit to the Commonwealth. No one got everything they wanted, but no one was slighted or left out, and the bill provides a net benefit for everyone affected by it.

Since that first slide presentation, I invited each and every one of you to attend the final presentation last Monday, June 11, to discuss the final proposed version of the bill. I feel that the JGO Committee has made every effort to educate everyone on this important bill. I strongly believe that this is a very, very good bill, and I hope we can all act on it quickly.

Thank you, Si Yu'us Ma'ase yan Olomwaay.

/s/ Jacinta M. Kaipat

Representative Jacinta M. Kaipat
Judiciary and Governmental Operations
15th Commonwealth Legislature

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day Jeff Turbitt and All The Daddies Out There

Jeff's cute son is in the Orange. Awww -- but they're all cute!!!! This picture was taken when I visited and read to the kids at the Little Darlings Early Childhood & Respite Care, Inc. in San Vicente in May of this year. The owner, Joanne Aquino, is in the pink shirt.CONGRATULATIONS on the adoption of your boys! I wish you, Cynthia, and the boys the best in the years ahead. May you both have lots and lots of Turbitt grandchildren! (Photo courtesy of Jeff's blog.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

An Invitation to Attend This Tonight (June 13)

Click on image to enlarge it. If you shudder when you think of what happened at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Forbidden Island, etc., then you should not miss this FREE workshop tonight. This will be an evening well spent.

Time: 6 p.m., Place: Multi-Purpose Center, Saipan

See you there!

Saturday, June 9, 2007


The talented cast and crew of Stuck with Gus Kaipat and Representative Cinta Kaipat.

Hey, Friends--

It's Saturday afternoon and if you're on Saipan and you're looking for something to do this evening, please GO SEE STUCK! This is your last chance to watch this play at the American Memorial Park theatre and it starts at 7 p.m., although you should call the park and speak to the theatre folks just to confirm I'm right on the time.

After the play, you'll have a chance to rub elbows with the stars and the crew at Ocean's at 10 p.m. Tickets are only $5. You can't beat that! Go! Go! Go!

(I'll post other pictures and blog about my experience later.) Gotta go!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Reception With Secretary Dirk Kempthorne

Okay, this is going to be a bit of a long post because of the pictures, but at the end of the pictures, I answer "Concerned's" inquiry regarding the meeting with Secretary Kempthorne. So, if you're impatient to read how it went, just scroll to the bottom of all the photos. Otherwise, carry on... Beautify CNMI! leaders and other volunteer partners pose with Deputy Secretary David Cohen. (L-R: Gus Kaipat, Marites Castillo, Katie Busenkell, Rep. Cinta Kaipat, David Cohen, Walt Goodridge, and Joe Ayuyu, President of McDonalds Saipan.)
Rep. Cinta Kaipat presents a Beautify CNMI! t-shirt to Department of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne with Deputy Secretary David Cohen looking on.
I joked that Mr. Cohen owes me 10 cleanups for the t-shirt I'm presenting to his boss and his boss said "Make that 20!"
Back Row, L-R: Katie Busenkell, Gus Kaipat, David Cohen, Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, Walt Goodridge. Front Row, L-R: Marites Castillo, Rep. Cinta Kaipat, Joe Ayuyu, and Matt Guerrero, Youth Congress Speaker of the House.
Forefront: Mt. Carmel School students who were there with their Principal, Galvin Guerrero (The students will graduate this Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Cathedral--so you all should come to that!) and new NMC Pesident Carmen Fernandez.
Among those in the background are Philippine Consul General Wilfredo Maximo, Dr. Jim Quick of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Public Auditor Mike Sablan, Secretary Kempthorne, Assistant Navy Secretary B.J. Penn, and NMC President Carmen Fernandez.
FMI President Tess Castillo and Rep. Cinta Kaipat

One of my visitors left me this message on yesterday's post, and I promised this response.

Concerned said...
so what issues did you raise at this very important gathering? i would love to hear the details on the questions that you posed and the responses that were given. having him available for direct questioning doesn't occur often.

Rep. Cinta Kaipat says:

Thanks for your question. After he went around the room meeting people, Secretary Kempthorne then addressed the room. He mentioned that although this was his first visit to Saipan, that his father fought on Saipan and Tinian during WWII. After his brief speech, he opened the floor for questioning.

I was the first to take him up on his invitation and, after welcoming him and his entourage, I launched into my Q&A and raised the following issues:

Rep. Cinta Kaipat

1) Our islands are comprised of active volcanoes that are still errupting. Our air space is busy with air traffic. The safety of air passengers, incuding our people and visitors, are very much at stake. [I say this because an ash plume can be mistaken for a cloud and if the ash gets in the airplane engines, it can be disasterous! Three 747 jet airliners dropped out of the skies before the pilots were able to recover and prevent these major disasters. (Info provided by USGS scientist Dr. Jim Quick at one of his volcano monitoring presentations to Pagan Island residents (in the islands north of Saipan) and the Legislature.)]

2) With the military coming to Guam, this airspace is going to get even more crowded. The military will also have an interest in ensuring that the military jets are flown in safe skies.

3) We have volcano monitors sitting in a warehouse in the States awaiting shipment to the CNMI for installation. Having those monitoring equipment is critical to the safety of the skies over the CNMI and neighboring regions, and will aid in the resettlement of the Northern Islands.

4) The Troops to Teachers Program, which helps our returning military veterans earn a wage ($9 plus)while they are earning a Bachelor's Degree in Education and getting practical training as teacher's aides, is a unique program. The folks at the Pentagon are looking at this as a test pilot program that they hope to successfully replicate in other states.

5) I introduced the Joint Resolution urging the Governor to invite the U.S. Military to consider the CNMI in its plans to relocate to Guam. I said we hope this would help provide our citizens with jobs and help boost our economy.

6) And while we welcome the military and invite them to consider the CNMI as a place for some rest and relaxation, I am also concerned about the safety of our people. We're aware of the reported problems that have come out of Okinawa and Japan, and we want to highlight the fact that we share those similar concerns about protecting our citizens.

I laid all this out, one issue after another, without giving him time to answer. He was very gracious and listened patiently before he offered the following responses:

Secretary Kempthorne

1) On the volcano monitoring equipment, he pointed out that Dr. Jim Quick of the USGS, which is under the Department of Interior, was in the room and that he is working on this issue.

Dr. Jim Quick

Dr. Jim Quick was invited to briefly address the crowd. What he pointed out was that there was a funding request to set up a volcano observatory on Saipan. Actually, I know about this because I introduced the Joint Resolution urging Senators Stephens and Akaka to support the funding request that was attached to the Katrina and Iraq budget. Well, the budget wasn't passed and we became victims of a continuing resolution that does not have this funding request for our volcano observatory and monitors for all the Northern Islands.

Secretary Kemphorne's response was, "Well, the continuing resolution is over" and, much to MY delight, he turned to Depty Secretary David Cohen and instructed him to work on getting the monitors here and installed. WOW! THANK YOU! At least we know it'll happen.

2) On the issue of the military presence in the CNMI and some intended and unintended consequences, he agreed that the issues are important and pointed out that Assistant Navy Secretary B.J. Penn was there to address those concerns. Secretary Penn assured us that this is a matter that they take seriously also. GOOD!

At the end of this, Secretary Kempthorne walked over and put a green Hawaiian Lei around my neck (one of the leis he was given at the Southern High School Graduation he attended earlier in which he was the keynote speaker) and told me I deserved it. It got a laugh.

Katie Busenkell

The next speaker was Katie Busenkell, who chairs Beautify CNMI!'s Animal Welfare Committee. Katie brought up the problem we're having with getting an Anti-Cruelty Legislation passed (it's currently stuck in the Senate). We have a lot of strays who tip over garbage cans which create an eyesore and more work for Beautify CNMI! volunteers. Of course, aside from the aesthetics part, there's also the health hazards that dead carcases and stray animals in general pose. We need a spaying and neutering clinic (which we're working on to bring off island vets who will volunteer to do a mass spaying and neutering clinic in January). We have many challenges, including not having a kennel and $$$!

Secretary Kemphorne

He said the issue is close to his heart and he relayed the story of his own beloved family dog whom he rescued from a pound and kept for many years. He named him Truman, because it was Harry Truman who said "In politics, if you want a bestfriend, get a dog." He said that when he was Governor of Idaho, one local town was going to have a grand opening to open this kennel. Much to his chagrin, an invitiation came not for him, the Governor, to attend but for Truman, the first dog, to attend the grand opening. That story was cute and played well with the audience.

Secretary Kempthorne then gave Katie some suggestions as to who to network with back in the U.S. on the stray animal issue and offered to write a letter of supporting affirming that the CNMI is very much a part of the U.S. for those who don't think we are and may withhold certain services. Once again, David Cohen's workload expanded as he was asked to prepare the letter. Following her inquiry, Secretary Kempthorne went over and put one of his Hawaiian leis on Katie's neck.

Walt Goodridge

Walt is the Guru who helped get Beautify CNMI!'s We Love Saipan network of bloggers launched with Angelo. Walt asked a simple question, which I will paraphrase: "How do we obtain the letter?" At this point, David Cohen went over to him and handed him a business card.

Dr. Norma Ada

Dr. Norma Ada posed the next question, which is heavily summarized here. Dr. Ada said that since the military is moving here, would there be opportunities for the military to either help treat patients in the CNMI and throughout Micronesia and help transport them as needed.

Secretary Kempthorne & Secretary Penn's Responses

In a nutshell, their responses appeared to be positive. They were glad that this issue was brought up and they promised to take it under advisement. Secretary Penn then went over and put his Hawaiian lei around Dr. Ada's neck.

And that, my friends, about sums it all up!

By the way, here's a Saipan Tribune Article concerning the reception. Click here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

An Invitation To A Gathering of "Dynamic People Making A Difference In The CNMI"

Washington Rep. Pete A. Tenorio ("Pete A"), Rep. Cinta Kaipat, and Dean Tenorio at the 2007 State of the Commonwealth Address held at the Multi-Purpose in April. Last week, I ran into Pete A at an official function at the Okinawan Memorial in Marpi (Saipan). After a short warm greeting, he congratulated me on my upcoming meeting with Mr. Kempthorne. Mr. Dirk Kempthorne is the Secretary of the Department of Interior who was appointed to this position by President George W. Bush last May 2006.

As I looked at Pete A in confusion, he graciously explained that there's a Beautify CNMI reception at the Hyatt with Secretary Kempthorne. I said I didn't know anything about it and he promised to send me a copy of the itinerary, which he did. Sure enough -- the itinerary says "Beautify CNMI reception at 6:15 p.m."

I later received an e-mail from Jeff Schorr, the Office of Insular Affairs Field Representative, who passed along an e-mail message to me through Charles Reyes, the Governor's Press Secretary. Here's an excerpt of Jeff's e-mail:

From: "Jeff Schorr"
To: "Charles Reyes"
Subject: Cinta
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2007 23:18:10 +1000


Maybe Cinta is off island.... [I wasn't; I was tied up in many graduations and meetings that distracted me from remembering to charge my cell phone.]


Would you please let her know she is invited to the Wednesday
evening gathering at the (Chinese Restaurant) Hyatt private room
for the gathering of 'dynamic people making a difference in the CNMI'...?


Well, Jeff, your wish is my command!

And, by the way, I hear a rumor that this is by invitation only, so I didn't want to send a mass e-mail invitation out to all the wonderful Beautifyers out there because I don't know who is really in charge of this function since Jeff Schorr is off on vacation (I heard) and I didn't really know who else to ask. So, for those of you who couldn't come with me, I promise to make the most of it and have you all live vicariously through me. :)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

My High School Graduation--Many Moons Ago

'Tis the graduation season. About this time every year, there is plen-T excitement and anticipation in the air. Parents, students, faculty, and school administrations are busy getting ready for that special day. All this got me a bit nostalgic about my own high school graduation from Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois, on June 13, 1979. There were 1,000 of us who crossed that stage to receive our high school diplomas. Twelve years of school for that one piece of paper that marks the end of our high school years and the beginning of a new journey.

And talk about what a small world we live in. I made this discovery at the CRM Christmas Party last December. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Dr. Peter Houk, who works for our Coastal Resources Management Office and who was a member of the CNMI's National Men's Soccer team, also graduated from the same high school I did and we even had some of the same teachers! Go ETHS Wildkits!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Glorious Sunset

I was in the parking lot of Kobler Elementary School getting ready to attend their Cultural Day Program when I saw this glorious sunset.