Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tina Sablan on Pagan Pozzolan

Here's a letter to the editor that Tina Sablan wrote in 2004 regarding the pozzolan negotiations.

This is what Thomas Arkle wrote in response to Tina's letter.

This is what I (Cinta Kaipat) wrote in response to Arkle.

Exposing hypocrisies and conflicts of interest

Click here for my letter to the editor which was published in the Variety in 2005.

I wrote the letter in response to this letter to the editor.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

People of the NMI deserve the best

Click here for the letter to the Editor from Cinta Kaipat & Pete Perez of PaganWatch on JG Sablan which was published in 2006.

See for more letters and more comprehensive information on this issue.

Excerpt of Congresswoman Kaipat's Privilege Speech In Opposition to Veto Override To Re-instate JG Sablan's Mining Permit

Speaker Babauta: I now recognize the Floor Leader.

Floor Leader Florencio Deleon Guerrero: Mr. Speaker, with respect to the visitors that we have here. I would ask that we make a Committee as a Whole so that we can visit back the GOV. COMM. NO. 15-137.

There was no objection.

Speaker Babauta: You are requesting to go back to the Communication?

Floor Leader Florencio Deleon Guerrero: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker Babauta: You want to get one more bill before we do that?

Floor Leader Florencio Deleon Guerrero: It makes no different anymore, Mr. Speaker. We are late and minus well get into one and get it going.

Speaker Babauta: Which is which? You want to pass one more bill or what?

Floor Leader Florencio Deleon Guerrero: As I mentioned, Mr. Speaker, if we can entertain GOV. COMM. NO. 15-137.

The motion was seconded.

Speaker Babauta: You are requesting to go back to item number 5?

Floor Leader Florencio Deleon Guerrero: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker Babauta: The Floor Leader has requested that we go back to item 5, Messages from the Governor.

The motion was objected by Representative Kaipat.

Speaker Babauta: State your objection.

Rep. Kaipat: Mr. Speaker, I believe that we are here long enough and we had already agreed that we would work on the budget and continue everything else next week.

Speaker Babauta: That is the very purpose that I ask earlier because I know that the budget is going to take us quite some time and I specifically ask for all your humble indulgence to go back directly to the Resolution and Bill Calendar. We will come back Tuesday where we will start our Regular Session and to use this forum, I would like to request that we come back Tuesday and start our Regular Session at 10:00 a.m. The Memo will be issued out on Monday morning. I appreciate your cooperation. The Calendar will remain the same as it is. It is just that we need to move on. I ask your indulgence that all the Communications will remain on the Calendar for action on Tuesday morning. The Clerk has taken a note on that.

Rep. Torres: Mr. Speaker, I think we can still do one more.

Speaker Babauta: Okay. I recognize the Floor Leader to go back to Bill Calendar.

The motion to go back to the Calendar was objected by Representatives Kaipat and Waki.

Floor Leader Florencio Deleon Guerrero: Mr. Speaker, if I may? How many objection does it have to be to go into a vote to consider an objection?

Speaker Babauta: Let us handle this diplomatically. The Floor Leader requested that we go back to the Messages of the Governor and I explained that reason of the call today and I ask your indulgence so that we may dispose of all the items on the Calendar Tuesday morning. No one seems to bulge and therefore, the request was made to go back again so that we may dispose of one bill on the Calendar. So with your indulgence, we will go back to the Bill Calendar and pass one more bill before we leave. Please take an official notice that the First Day, Second Regular Session will commence on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. I recognize the Minority Leader.

Rep. Palacios: I would like to ask or even make a motion that instead of going to Bill Calendar that we go to the Governor's Communication. I think we can handle one more.

Speaker Babauta: Okay.

The motion to go back to item number 5 under Governor's Communication was seconded but there was a Division on the floor.

Speaker Babauta: Division on the floor. Clerk, call the roll.

The Clerk called the roll on the motion to go back to the Governor's Communications:

Rep. Martin B. Ada yes
Rep. Edwin P. Aldan yes
Rep. Francisco S. Dela Cruz yes
Rep. Florencio T. Deleon Guerrero yes
Rep. Joseph P. Deleon Guerrero yes
Rep. Jacinta M. Kaipat no
Rep. Jesus SN. Lizama yes
Rep. Crispin M. Ogo yes
Rep. Arnold I. Palacios yes
Rep. Justo S. Quitugua excused
Rep. Benjamin B. Seman yes
Rep. Candido B. Taman yes
Rep. Ramon A. Tebuteb yes
Rep. Manuel A. Tenorio yes
Rep. Stanley T. Torres yes
Rep. Absalon V. Waki, Jr. no
Rep. Ray N. Yumul yes
Rep. Oscar M. Babauta yes

Speaker Babauta: By a vote of 15 "yes" we are back to item number 5 under Governor's Communication and I wish to recognize any members wishing to comment on any of the Governor's Communication as presented to us today. I recognize the Minority Leader.

Rep. Palacios: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move to override the Governor's veto relative to GOV. COMM. NO. 15-137 on S. B. NO. 15-45, SD1, HD2.

The motion was seconded.

Speaker Babauta: Discussion on the motion.

Rep. Kaipat: Privilege, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker Babauta: I recognize Chairwoman Kaipat.

Rep. Kaipat: Before we vote on this motion, I want to state for the record that I have no personal animosity towards John or Gloria Sablan despite what people may think. I look at this from the perspective of what it means for us to pass laws. What does it mean when we do not even enforce our laws? It means we do not respect our laws. Now I look at this from the perspective of the whole Commonwealth and what it stands to lose when the Legislature jumps in to rescue one company at the expense of the entire Commonwealth. It seems odd that, here I am from the Northern Islands, and I should be jumping for joy in supporting this. But, I cannot, in good conscience, support this when I know it comes at the expense of the entire Commonwealth. This is not a good deal.

Now, I am looking at this from a business stand point. If you look at the joint venture agreement that this company entered into with another company that has not been recognized or formally accepted by the Commonwealth government, you will see who really comes out at the short end of the stick. I want John and Gloria to succeed. I want all of us to succeed, but let us stop this practice of only the privileged few getting the prize at the expense of everyone. I had hoped that my colleagues would at least give the task force a chance to do its work. There is nothing wrong with the task force wanting to bid this out to ensure that the Commonwealth has the opportunity to pick the best deal out there, including John Sablan's. We are not saying that this company cannot bid. As a matter of fact, I even invited Bridgecreek to bid. They did not want to because they wanted a shortcut. But at whose expense? When we voted, when my colleagues here voted on this bill, they were dazzled that $50,000 a month would be given to PSS. We are so proud that we held on to one golden egg and, meanwhile, we're giving away the golden goose! Have you all done your homework? I have.

I have spent years on this trying to save this resource for the Commonwealth. I have been talking to different people who have connections to Native American Tribes. It is my dream that we all join and work together. Why can't we have an indigenous company for the entire Commonwealth where we can explore this and make sure that if there is money to be made from this, that no one is left behind and that all of us get to benefit? But if you look at the deal as it is right now, I can tell you, my brothers and sisters, we are coming out at the short end of the stick. I do not know if you are all comfortable with that, but I certainly am not. I am not saying that JG Sablan ought to be excluded.

Why do we need the Legislature to violate the Constitution and intrude into the Executive Branch's jurisdiction to resuscitate a permit? We have no business doing this! And what does that say? If we are so concerned about investors, what do you think we look like to them? We enter into a contract and if they do not perform under it, no problem. The Legislature can always come in and rescue it. That is the message that you are all giving out. That is the message.

I have seen a lot of our people dying. I have seen a lot of our people suffering. There is no adequate medical referral program. If you allow most of this money to leave the Commonwealth--and this is the way that this deal is structured right now--where would you get the money to give PSS? Where is that money that you are going to give DPS? Where is the money that I had hoped that we could use to build our own state-of-the-art hospital so we can deal with this medical referral program that is inadequate? Our people are dying! Our people are dying. I'm not after this for any self interest. I am doing this because our people are dying and they need it.

I've got an education. I don't have to stay here. I can go off and get a job somewhere and be satisfied, but I came home after I received my education so I can help our people. It saddens me to see this happen. Total disregard of what the implications are. I ask you to please not override this veto. I ask you to let the process work. Let us bid this out the way we had intended it and may the best company be chosen by the Commonwealth. Heck, if you don't want me to be on that committee to have a hand in choosing the company, I don't have to be a part of that committee. But give the Commonwealth a chance. Give us a chance. Give our children a chance. Give our dying people a chance. Thank you.

Speaker Babauta: Any other member wishing to comment? I would like to remind the members that there is lengthy transmittal by the Governor and so that you also know, I believe there is present legal battle with the agency. I believe that the hearing had taken place already so whatever your outcome of the vote is, just take that into consideration that there is things going on between the JG Sablan and the Department of Public Land. I would like reiterate the issue at hand as to when we passed the Senate Bill and amended it in the House, that to certain extent the Chair would continue to refrain from voting on this issue because of obvious personal reasons. Any more comment? I recognize Representative Waki.

Rep. Waki: I would like to pretty much concur with Chairwoman Kaipat. I have nothing against John or Gloria. I have nothing against John doing a business in mining. I am sorry it did not work out for the last so many years. Things happen. He invested money and every company that you would invest sometime that investment does not turn to make a profit. That is just business. Now, besides the legal problem that is going on between DPL and JG Sablan, there is also concern about the independent audit that is been done for MPLA. From what we hear, it does not look very good. It is not in my good conscience to try to pass something that may have some very legal implications.

We as a Legislature are policy makers. When do we do what we are supposed to do and they do what they are supposed to do? If we pass this, like we say, if there is a decision that maybe against JG Sablan, where does our law or where does our bill come in? It would have been null and void because the Judiciary would have to decide. That is the separation of powers. We cannot always say that it is everybody's business and if we are going to do it for JG, why do we not also do it for the garment factory? Why do we not do it for all the other companies that have closed down and left because they could not make it? Is that what we are here to do? Are we in the business to save businesses?

I am sorry but I thought we were the government in trying to make laws, enforce laws and try to make sure that somebody does their job. And if they do not do their job, or they do their job right, we say, we are going to override their decision because that is our job. I am not sure if that is our job. I think we need to go back to our Constitution and find out what is our job. I am sorry, I am still trying to learn what is our job, because everyday I am trying to find out just which direction am I supposed to be doing. One day somebody says, you can do this, another day, somebody says, you can do that. What is in the Constitution? What is Law? Are we all lawyers? Sometimes the legal counsels tell us, no this cannot be done, and everybody says, no it can be done. Hello. Where does our separate of powers end? Or does it just continually override in everything else. Shall we do it to the Judiciary? When they make a decision and say guilty, we say no they are not guilty. Is that how far we are going to go? I do not think that is our responsibility. That is all I am trying to get across here.

We want to save the company from losing a permit. Who is to say that they cannot apply for another permit based on after the fact, because nobody is going to get a permit yet. We are still trying to figure out just what we have up there. That is why a task force is put together. It is unfortunate that we did not find out what was up there for the past fifteen years. Maybe we dropped the ball. Maybe John knew what was up there. Maybe he knows it is worth something and unfortunate things happen over the period of years, and it did not turn out to be what he expected. Now, with a new investor, it is going to be better. Well, now that we know that we have a resource that they looked into and that they did not profit from, we need to look at and see what the profit could be for the entire CNMI because a certain dollar for metric ton may not be a fair deal anymore. That was what, twelve fourteen years ago.

I am not saying that the product is worth anymore right now, but we have not done our diligence to at least tell the people that this is what its worth and this deal, this permit, this amount of money that we are going to be getting for pozzolan is a fair deal. That is not too much to ask for. It is just to slow the process down. Things are trying to be rushed again. I guess that is what we are all supposed to be doing, just rush everything in. I am sorry. I guess it does not matter which side we are on, sometimes we just want to rush things. But do we look in our conscience, what is in the best interest? That would be the only reason why I would say no because not everything is actually on table for all of us to see. Maybe MPLA did not do their job and DPL is now trying to do their job. I am not going to tell them what to do because that is a separation no power and here we are telling them what they can and cannot do. I do not understand and because I do not understand it, I can in good conscience vote for it. So that is where I stand. Thank you.

The Chair recognized Representative Taman.

Rep. Taman: Mr. Speaker, I move to end debate.

The motion to end debate was seconded.

Speaker Babauta: Motion to end debate is undebatable. We would now go right into the question of voting to override the Governor's veto on SEN. COMM. NO. 15-137 under S. B. NO. 15-45, SD1, HD2. Short recess.

The House recessed at 7:02 p.m.


The House reconvened at 7:02 p.m.

Speaker Babauta: We are back into session. Now, I recognize the Clerk to call the roll.

The Clerk called the roll on the motion to override the Governor's veto on S. B. NO. 15-45, SD1, HD2 on First and Final Reading:

Rep. Martin B. Ada yes
Rep. Edwin P. Aldan yes
Rep. Francisco S. Dela Cruz yes
Rep. Florencio T. Deleon Guerrero yes
Rep. Joseph P. Deleon Guerrero yes
Rep. Jacinta M. Kaipat no
Rep. Jesus SN. Lizama yes
Rep. Crispin M. Ogo yes
Rep. Arnold I. Palacios yes
Rep. Justo S. Quitugua yes
Rep. Benjamin B. Seman yes
Rep. Candido B. Taman yes
Rep. Ramon A. Tebuteb yes
Rep. Manuel A. Tenorio yes
Rep. Stanley T. Torres yes
Rep. Absalon V. Waki, Jr. no
Rep. Ray N. Yumul yes
Rep. Oscar M. Babauta abstained

Speaker Babauta: By a vote of 14 "yes", the House hereby overrides the Governor's veto under SEN. COMM. NO. 15-137. I recognize Representative Joseph Deleon Guerrero.

Seized artifacts prompt lawmaker to dig up bill ‘stuck’ in Senate

Vol. 35 No.163
©2007 Marianas Variety Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Serving the CNMI for 35 years

© 2007 Marianas Variety
Published by Younis Art Studio Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Email : Seized artifacts prompt lawmaker to dig up bill ‘stuck’ in Senate
By Emmanuel T. Erediano
Variety News Staff

THE recovery of historical artifacts from the container van that was retrieved from Hong Kong has prompted a lawmaker to revisit a bill that was supposed to “add teeth” to the Historical Preservation Act which has been around for many years but has never been fully enforced.

The attempt to ship a World War II fighter plane engine and propeller and other items with historical value to the CNMI, according to Rep. Cinta Kaipat, Covenant-Saipan, should highlight the need to pass House Bill 15-151, which has been in the Senate for almost a year now.

The House passed it in Dec. 2006.

The bill aims to prevent the removal of artifacts and items of historic significance from the commonwealth by strengthening the enforcement ability of the Historical Preservation Office.

It gives HPO employees “greater investigatory and search powers to detect objects of historical and cultural value and prevent their removal from the CNMI,”
Kaipat, in an interview yesterday, said HPO has no enforcement body to take actions against those digging up historical artifacts on the islands.

The bill, she said, seeks to prohibit “any person, partnership, business, corporation or other entity from willfully removing any artifact of historic significance to the people of the commonwealth.”

It also recommends that the fine for violating the Historical Preservation Act of 1982 should be $10,000 per violation.

It designates HPO employees as enforcement personnel upon completing an appropriate law-enforcement training program.

Kaipat said while her bill has remained pending in the Senate, there have probably been a lot of artifacts shipped off the islands.

She expressed dismay at the Senate’s refusal to pass most of the bills she introduced.

“I wonder why they [did] that. Now I guess I know,” she said, but she declined to elaborate.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thank You CNMI & Guam for a Super Successful 2007 CNMI Arbor Day Celebration!

Vincent Fajardo, 6, plants a coconut tree with [his] sister Brianna, 10, on the side of the road near the entrance to the CNMI Veterans Cemetery in Marpi during the celebration of CNMI Arbor Day Saturday morning. The event is spearheaded by Beautify CNMI!'s Arbor Day Committee. (Jacqueline Hernandez). We made front page of the Tribune. Click here. Click on the photos below to enlarge them.
The group was too large for our photog, so a second picture was necessary to capture us all.
Even so, these are most of us but NOT all of us who were there. There were a bunch more of us who arrived about an hour later, so they missed the group picture..One of two flame trees that the family of the late Jesse Castro planted. His mother, Doreen DeJesus, and sister Lisa Castro-Pocaigue, flew up from Guam to join family in Saipan for the planting.

Here's the story that appeared in the Tribune.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

NMI honors fallen heroes with Marpi tree planting

By Marconi Calindas

Families of the CNMI's fallen heroes came together yesterday morning and remembered their departed loved ones with the planting of hundreds of trees at the CNMI Veterans Cemetery in Marpi as part of celebrations for CNMI's Arbor Day.

The families of the late SSgt. Wilgene Lieto, Cpl. Derence Jack, Lance Cpl. Adam Quitugua Emul, and Cpl. Joe Junior Gogue Charfauros joined at least a hundred community members for the tree planting ceremony.

Military Veterans Affairs Office executive director Ruth Coleman said the Charfauros family in Rota even flew in for the event. Families of the late Jesse Castro also flew in from Guam, while the family of the late war veteran Gregorio Cabrera were also present.

Coleman said many CNMI soldiers on active duty also planted some trees. The family of the late Sgt. Yihjyh “Eddie” Chen called Coleman from Guam to acknowledge the event.

Beautify CNMI founder and Arbor Day Committee officer Rep. Cinta Kaipat expressed her gratitude to the participants, saying it was another successful tree planting event. “I am delighted and grateful for the response from the community once again. I am touched and honored to have all the three islands participating in the event,” she said.

CNMI forester and Arbor Day Committee officer Vic Guerrero said Arbor Day has been an annual tradition in the CNMI. Arbor Day is also being observed across the US.

“The increased observance and emphasis given by the CNMI demonstrates our deep appreciation for the beauty of trees and their many benefits,” reads part of the proclamation letter declaring Arbor Day.

Guerrero said at least 45 flame tree seedlings were planted yesterday. The flame tree is the state tree of the CNMI.

Two Golden Showers trees were also planted at the entrance to the veterans memorial park. Guerrero said these two trees would later produce chandelier-like yellow flowers that are appropriate to honor the CNMI war heroes.


Public School System's Troops-to-Teachers participants led by coordinator Geri Willis also participated. Thirty former servicemen and women-turned-teacher aides said the event is very significant for them. Troops-to-Teachers pioneer member Winfred Camacho said they participated to honor the CNMI's fallen heroes.

Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3457 led by Commander Mariano Fajardo, the U.S. Coast Guard, Division of Agriculture, ISA CNMI, Friends of the Mariana Islands, Youth Center of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, CNMI Boy Scouts, Team Chura Talo, RC & D, Northern Marianas College, Office of the Governor, among many others, were also present.

Families and community members who also shared their time yesterday were Dr. James Hofschneider and family, Mike and Juanita Sablan family, Ed and Lupe Flores family, Jerry Facey, Rep. Cinta Kaipat's Office and family, Tom Gibson, Ray Mafnas and many more.

I will post more 2007 CNMI Arbor Day Celebration pictures later.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

CNMI Arbor Day, MINA's Moonlight Cruise & Misc Events

Hafa Adai CNMI Beautifyers!

Here are several activities for this weekend to choose from.


Beautify CNMI!'s Arbor Day Committee invites the public to join in the fun by helping plant some coconut trees and flame trees in celebration of CNMI Arbor Day! The Committee is also happy to announce that Beautify CNMI!'s wildly successful Adopt-A-Flame Tree for $20 Program will also be offered. You may plant a flame tree, but why not add that personal touch by adopting a flame tree in honor of your loved one, school, organization, or for yourself? You're worth it!

Rain or shine, meet us at the entrance to the CNMI Veterans Cemetary at 8 a.m. this Saturday, October 27. (Take the road to Banzai Cliff; the Cemetary should be on your right.) We will have a brief ceremony before the planting.

The planting will be led by DLNR-Forestry's Vic Guerrero and staff; Brad Doerr of MINA; and Ken Kramer of RC&D.

Joining this planting effort will be:

Rep. Cinta Kaipat's Office
Veterans Affairs Office
Friends of the Mariana Islands (FMI)
Youth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Families of our Fallen Heroes from the CNMI & Guam
Kaipat Family
Team Chura Talo
Coach Donny Fejeran and Team Zalaka and Family

For those who can't make it out to Marpi for the planting, but who would like to plant somewhere, either at your house or at school, you may pick up a plant or two (limit two plants per household) from DLNR-Forestry in Kagman. Plants are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

So, don't miss out on the fun. See you all at 8 a.m. this Saturday! For more information, call 664-8974 or 898-4490.

# # #

MINA will be hosting a "Moonlight Cruise" on the Jade Lady III, October 27, 7:30-9:30 pm.

This includes appetizers, soft drinks, beer and wine for the low-cost of $20 per person. All proceeds will benefit MINA's Environmental Education Camp for teachers.

What a great way to kick off your Halloween.

Tickets are available from board members or meet us at the Outer Cove Marina at 7:00 pm to purchase yours.


Visit us on the web at

***** You have received this message because you are subscribed to the MINA member's mailing list. To unsubscribe, reply to this message with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject line *****

# # #


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Come join members of Marianas Dive as we descend upon the sandy shores of Obyan beach in an effort to keep one of our most beautiful dive spots pristine! We'll begin by working up a slight sweat tackling the topside litterbugs then, with a refreshing plunge, we'll rid the waters of all! unwanted debris. Everyone is welcome to pitch in on the surface but underwater the effort is reserved for certified scuba divers only! Come on out and enjoy the sun, sand and morning surf with a bunch of divers!

First annual Marianas Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest

When: Sunday October 28th 2007
Where: Obyan Beach
Time: 10:00 AM Check in.
Time: 11:00 AM Underwater Carving
Time: 12:30 PM Judging & Prizes
Who is this for: Anyone interested in taking this time-honored tradition to a new level.

A what? That's right bring your pumpkin and carving utensil and prepare to get wet as we kick off the Halloween season like never before! Meet at the beach for a day of fun and laughs and of course some diving too! Is carving a pumpkin underwater really any different than on land? Come on down and find out for yourself!

Marianas Dive is a growing group of individuals with a passion for everything underwater and speci! fically what the Marianas (Saipan Tinian & Rota) have to offer as a dive destination. We encourage all members of the community to join and help us reach our goal to build a truly world class dive destination while promoting what we have, locally and on a global level.

Marianas Dive members meet twice a month on the first and third Wednesday at 6:30 PM. Locations TBA. For more information visit our web site and forum at

For More information please contact

Mike Tripp, President
Marianas DIVE

670-288-DIVE (3483)

# # #


You'll have several trick-or-treat venues to choose from:

1) American Memorial Park presents "Trunk or Treat." Bring your kids to the AMP parking lot and have them trick or treat by going from car trunk to car trunk. For more info, contact Ranger Nancy at

2) First Lady's Vision Foundation and Power 99 at the Chamolinian Village -- Bring your kids to Chamolinian Village in Garapan where the First Lady and Power 99 will be passing out candies! For more info, contact Remy Buniag at the Governor's Office.

3) Trick-or-Treating at Tottotville -- It's a popular tradition. For those living closer to the southern part of our island of Saipan, our generous home owners in Tottotville will, once again, open their generous hearts to the gouls and goblins that grace their doorsteps.

4) From Tottotville, just come on over to the SAVE Club Environmental Haunted House and Recycled Costume Contest at the Koblerville Youth Center. Super Science teacher Bree Reynolds leads her young environmental warriors and warriorettes in frightening and delighting visitors to the Koblerville Youth Center with their combination Haunted House and Recycled Costume Contest. Hopwood's SAVE is a youth environmental club (chapter of Beautify CNMI!). For more info, contact " BREE REYNOLDS" or "Ken Concepcion" <>

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

PaganWatch Answers Arkle & Farrell

Letters to the Editor

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

'Got ground-penetrating radar?'

The recent pre-election letters to the editor by Mr. Thomas Arkle and his friend Don Farrell needs a response for the sake of those who don’t already know the history of these two Azmar employees.

In 2003 and 2004 Azmar tried every dirty trick in the book, from secret meetings with politicians to attempted character assassination of anyone who opposed them, in order to gain exclusive mining rights to large areas of Pagan. Unfortunately for them, J.G. Sablan Rock Quarry Inc. already had a permit and friends inside the Marianas Public Lands Authority who were determined to help them keep it.

While it might be hard to prove, many people close to the issue believe that MPLA never seriously considered the Azmar application. At the time, Cinta Kaipat and PaganWatch fought hard to get MPLA do its due diligence and both evaluate the mining opportunity and give all interested parties a fair chance to bid in an open and above board manner. Ultimately, we prevailed and Governor Fitial created the Pagan Mining Task Force to support the new Department of Public Lands in evaluating the mining opportunity and determining the terms under which legitimate mining companies can bid for a mining permit. These terms include following the law in regards to protections for the environment, and following a clearly defined bidding process to ensure that all bids are evaluated fairly.

Arkle and Farrell’s group is welcome and encouraged to bid. However, the terms of their original mining proposition to MPLA was certainly not in the best interests of the CNMI and is not likely to be successful. That proposal could only be characterized as grossly exploitive. There was lots of risk but very little financial benefit to the community, while the principals of Azmar, which included Arkle and Farrell, would have enjoyed windfall profits. There were no environmental safeguards planned, no verifiable financing, and no mining operation plan. Over the years, Azmar has behaved more like a retired military men’s club than a serious business. There are also grave concerns about Azmar’s disregard of the Historic Preservation Office’s instructions that cultural and historic artifacts in the Marianas were not to be touched or removed from the islands.

J.G. Sablan and its would-be partner, real estate company Bridgecreek Development, are also invited to respond to an RFP and bid on the mining opportunity in an open and fair manner. However, like Azmar, J.G. Sablan does not welcome a competitive bid process. Instead, J.G. Sablan wants the original terms of the decade-old permit restored and has been pursuing that goal in court. This has had the effect of killing any interest by legitimate mining companies since a court decision in favor of J.G. Sablan would undermine their own mining investment. In this way, J.G. Sablan, the company that squandered the mining opportunity for a decade while nature literally washed and blew most of the pozzolan into the sea, continues to block any progress on mining what pozzolan is left on Pagan. Nothing can be expected to change until the court actions are finally ended.

Meanwhile, Arkle and Farrell might consider using this time to prepare a legitimate bid. But if they are at all serious, they would do well to disassociate themselves from the Azmar group and find some legitimate and capable business partners. Azmar seems to be less interested in mining than in collecting World War II artifacts and finding that elusive WWII underground Japanese aircraft hangar that is rumored to be somewhere on Pagan. Or perhaps Arkle and Farrell should concentrate on that instead. Maybe if they try the ground-penetrating radar again, but over a wider area this time, they’ll be successful. It would be a very interesting find, and I, for one, am pretty sure there is no danger of anyone trying to smuggle that out of the Marianas.

Peter J. Perez

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bitter Azmar Officials Talking Out of 2 Sides Of Their Mouths As Usual

***There continues to be efforts by bitter old men intent on exacting revenge, and even going so far as to mislead the public, if they thought this would accomplish their goal. They must think the public has a short memory or that the people are dumb and stupid.

Let me show you their hypocrisy, using their own words:


Letters to the Editor
Friday, October 19, 2007

Mr. Demapan's pozzolan

Sir, I am happy that you brought this issue up. As you, and many others may remember, I wrote many letters during 2004 and 2005 on the pozzolan issue-favoring its removal and sale by an investment company specifically formed, capitalized and ready to move with the best experts in the world. All of that was for naught as it was fought vigorously by those who felt, as you stated, that "billions" would fall into the coffers of the CNMI if only the "right" company would just beg the CNMI to let them do it. You simply cannot fight emotionalism with science.

Well, at least five "right" companies have tried and all were unceremoniously discredited and practically run out of town on a rail-all because a few self-righteous individuals got greedy in the name of "protection" and "preservation". Through the last few years there have been many such attempts at various projects besides pozzolan; all have failed to materialize. You know why.

Well, pozzolan is no different and I can now predict with a high degree of assuredness that there will never be a single shovel of pozzolan sold from the CNMI. The "expert" hired published his findings a few months ago and they were quite sufficient to dash the aspirations of any reliable company and he must surely be enjoying the only money that will ever come from pozzolan. Not that such was not already the case because just about every cement manufacturer in the world heard about it. Because of my involvement, not only with Azmar, but later correspondence with others as well, I have personally seen some of the correspondence from these potential buyers.

The CNMI has been discredited throughout the industry and much of the correspondence has served to vilify the CNMI to such an extent that it would be almost impossible to persuade anyone to attempt such a venture again. Additionally, the quantity and quality of pozzolan is now so poor as to make any such venture a sure-fire lose-lose situation. "A bird in the hand."

Dr. Thomas D. Arkle Jr.
San Jose, Tinian

Click here for the Tribune article.


***This is what Arkle had to say about one of those five companies, JG Sablan:

Letters to the Editor
Friday, February 18, 2005

Pagan? The REAL Environmental Story

As Azmar’s reclamation biologist, it is good to see that Sen. Joaquin G. Adriano and the members of the Senate are still supporting our application to extract pozzolan from Pagan.

It is unfortunate, however, that a reporter found it necessary to repeat old news that was manufactured for public sensationalism by PaganWatch. If Cinta Kaipat and PaganWatch are so truly concerned about Pagan’s environment, why aren’t they hounding DEQ to look into the 30 or so rusty, leaking barrels of oil at J. G. Sablan’s work site on Pagan? Why aren't they screaming over the several discarded equipment batteries leaking sulfuric acid into the ground? Why aren't they hollering about the derelict hulks of machinery wasting away as eyesores upon the landscape? This sight was aired for everyone to see on KMCV when the governor visited there during the typhoon relief presentation he made last year. Apparently, not one of the "PaganWatch" followers had the courage to call DEQ or do anything at all. Does that demonstrate a commitment to environmental protection?


Note: The rest of this article can be retrieved from As to Arkle's question as to why I didn't oppose JG Sablan in light of all the environmental damages caused on Pagan, at the time PaganWatch and I were exposing Azmar's attempts to rob the people of the CNMI blind, JG Sablan's mining efforts were in limbo. Despite being given the permit, JG Sablan had nothing to show for it for 11 years except the environmental damage reported by Arkle and others.

Another reason I couldn't do anything about JG Sablan earlier was because I lived abroad for years working and putting myself through school. The decision to give JG Sablan the mining permit came about while I was absent.

And another thing, I did bring up the environmental damage on Pagan with DEQ & CRM but, short of personally enforcing the laws myself, what else am I to do?


**This is what Arkle's pal and selective memory "historian" has to say about Arkle's latest letter to the editor. People who know what I campaigned on two years ago know that his allegations are false and make him just plain silly. He needs to distinguish truth from fiction. And regardless of the fact that he is married to a close relative of mine (Carmen Dela Cruz), I will NEVER allow him or his friends to rob the people of the CNMI blind and steal military artifacts from Pagan as is their secret mission:

Vol. 35 No.156
©2006 Marianas Variety Friday, October 19, 2007
Serving the CNMI for 35 years

© 2006 Marianas Variety
Published by Younis Art Studio Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Email : Too kind

TOM Arkle was too kind in his manner of reminding former Senator Demapan why the Pagan pozzolan deposit was wasted. Mr. Demapan, of all people, should remember how Anna Demapan Castro hid vital documents from the rest of her MPLA board members, causing them to cast a negative vote for Azmar’s permit application. She was too busy traveling and trying to take control of indigenous rights to pay attention to economic development issues.

But the person most responsible for killing the CNMI’s opportunity to harvest the pozzolan deposit on Pagan was Cinta Kaipat. She made killing any effort to market the pozzolan on Pagan her campaign issue in the last election. In order to maintain front page stories for herself, she claimed more studies and an RFP were needed before issuing a permit, so. The study took a year and half, and told us that as Tom said, there ain’t enough high quality pozzolan left to make the effort worthwhile. The RFP, of course, has never been issued. Pagan Watch went back to San Francisco. Worst of all, the people of Pagan she claimed to support were, and are, left nothing.

The only person who gained anything out of Pagan pozzolan was Cinta Kaipat, Covenant, Precinct 1, who won her coveted seat in the House of Representatives. The rest of the people of CNMI lost. The voters in Precinct 1 might keep that in mind when they go to the polls this year.

Marpo Heights, Tinian

Click here for the Variety article.

****Here's an e-mail I received from the same Thomas Arkle in June 2006. I tried to reason with my colleagues in the House and Senate not to pass a bill reinstating JG Sablan's permit after the DPL finally took corrective action to terminate the permit, but EVERYONE voted for the bill, except for Rep. Waki and me:

from Thomas Arkle hide details 6/1/06
date Jun 1, 2006 8:39 AM

subject Pagan mining bill/Sablan-Bridgecreek

Dear Rep. Kaipat,

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere regret regarding the apparent passage of a Senate Bill authorizing the return of a mining permit to J.G. Sablan and Bridgecreek.

I am sure that everyone is now well aware of the absolute rape of the CNMI that was attempted by that venture before it was stopped by Mr. Willens and company. I simply do not understand the mind set of a Senate Chamber that would even consider supporting such a disastrous path for the CNMI and attempting to circumvent the more business-like approach of controlled competitive bidding. This is simply beyond all reasoning - but, more importantly, it sends the wrong message out into the world of investment and capital venture.

I have personally had messages from TWO highly placed investors that if the message of the Senate is to be confirmed and made law, the CNMI would most certainly resume its slippery slide down the slope of self-destruction through political whimsy. It was hoped that with the "new" administration, doing business with this government would become more amenable to honest and ethical processes that would benefit everyone involved.

The Senate has, regretably, resumed the path of "politics as usual". The investment and business world really IS watching.

I know that you are a fair minded person with admirable goals for the people of the CNMI. Please try your best to keep the CNMI on the road to a healthy business relationship with the rest of the world. I urge the entire House to kill this self-interest bill that would allow the rape of the CNMI to continue.

Please feel free to share this email with all your colleagues and rally their support. I really don't want to be the receiver of any more comments from the outside world like: "What in the world are you people doing out there?"

One other item of note before I close; please take a close look at Senate Bill # 15-47, recently passed by that body. I am writing a series of letters to the editor commenting on many of the conditions of that bill. While the overall premise has merit, the bill, as passed, will result in a new generation of elderly people with NO income whatsoever. Please read the bill carefully and do some research on its long term consequences I hope that my letters will assist in this endeavor.


Dr. Thomas D. Arkle, Jr.

***In case you missed the paragraph above, here it is again:

I know that you are a fair minded person with admirable goals for the people of the CNMI. Please try your best to keep the CNMI on the road to a healthy business relationship with the rest of the world. I urge the entire House to kill this self-interest bill that would allow the rape of the CNMI to continue.

SO, who's telling the truth here? Who's doing what to protect the people from these acts of exploitation?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Message From The Blog Action Day Team

The Wrap Up

The very first Blog Action Day was an unprecedented success and we've got the final wrap up where the site used to be at complete with statistics, sample posts, details of the huge amount of press coverage we had all overthe world, quotes and more.

It's a must see. Please feel free to spread the word around as it's great for people to really see what we achieved together.


And if I could just say a huge thank you to every single one of you, all 20,603 registered bloggers who took the plunge even ifit meant going off their regularly scheduled programming and stood up to be counted.

Also thank you to everyone who helped out with the effort, in particular Leo Babauta whose contacts, writing and enthusiasm pushed the enterprise forward, my wife - Cyan Ta'eed who braved the media and fronted up to interviews around the globe, John Brougher who put together the superb video, Ryan Allen who performed the elite coding to keep the site up despite barrages of traffic and most importantly my Dad - Fuad Ta'eed who valiantly looked through thousands of blogs to give the tick of approval, every single day for two months.

So until next year when we get back together for Blog Action Day 2008,

This is Collis signing off, on behalf of the Blog Action Day team

Update On Spotted Eagle Ray Legislation

HOUSE IN SESSION: Members of the House of Representatives review some documents during Tuesday's session at the House chamber on Capital Hill. (Jacqueline Hernandez, Saipan Tribune)

The House passed Senate Bill 100, HS1, which prohibits the taking (dead or alive) of Spotted Eagle Rays in the CNMI. The second half of this bill also prohibits shark feeding unless and until the Division of Fish & Wild Life conducts a study and determines that this activity can be done in a special designated area or areas. See earlier post on this subject below.

This bill will now head back to the Senate and if they accept the amendments we made, then the bill will head to the Governor's desk.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Boy Scouts Troop 910 from Tanapag Beautify Banaderu Trail

Below is a slide show and a personal narrative from Ken Kramer (RC&D), Chair of Beautify CNMI's Parks & Trails Committee--with additional contribution from Tom Gipson (Safety 1st)-- regarding the awesome job the Boy Scouts Troop 910 from Tanapag did to clear the Banaderu Trail. Tom, Ken and Oscar Camacho led the Scouts.

Hi Cinta,

I met up with the Boy Scouts, led by Tom Gipson and Oscar Camacho on Friday night. I brought my two dogs: Playdough (known as Sunshine by Oscar) and Lucky (the black dog). We watched the stars and then went to sleep at around 9 PM in anticipation of a hard day of work the next day. Other than the stick poking me through the bottom of the tent, I slept fairly well.

The next day, we set out to work on the trail after a breakfast of cereal and milk. Tom rallied the boys, gave them a safety talk, and we made plans for the day. Around 7:45 AM, we headed towards the trail, loaded with picks, machetes (carried by the adults), shovels, a saw, and the two dogs.

After an hour or so, just as we were getting warmed up, clearing brush alongside the trail, moving dead logs out of the way, it started pouring buckets of rain onto us. It was a bit unsettling. We were a bit discouraged and several of us had thoughts of taking a break and going back to dryness at the camp. Lucky was so miserable from the rain that she drew everyone’s attention by moaning, belly up, in a forlorn look that we all felt, but did not express. After Tom said: “We are going to stick it out and slog through this rain,” we renewed our efforts, working to stay warm. Eventually, the sun came out and it was a beautiful day, again.

We all broke for lunch and had a good rest. Tom thought we had made better progress than he thought we were going to do. I was happy to have dry socks and a dry shirt to change into. Oscar Camacho joined us on Saturday afternoon

This was not easy and was often dangerous work. Tom, our fearless leader, seemed to get most of the injuries. First, he got a splinter from one of the iron rebars holding the concrete slab steps. Then, he tried to catch a rock rolling down the hill and received a souvenir scratch on his shins where it hit him. I narrowly escaped falling by doing a back flip down the steepest part of the trail, when the log I was pulling gave way. Instead, I threw the log as hard as I could down the hill, which kept me from falling. It pays to study physics. Boonie bees also attacked some of us: I got stung twice.

On the return to camp, I was so physically exhausted I could barely put one foot in front of the other. We were all exhausted. According to Tom, Oscar went to sleep around 6 PM. I went on a critical supplies run and returned with water, ice cream, and chocolates.

Tom and the Boy Scouts, who were working on their *BSA Historic Trails Award, stayed another night and were scheduled to continue working on Sunday morning to finish the trail. (The BSA Historic Trails Award is given to scouts who camp two nights on a BSA recognized trail of historical significance, perform community service work on the trail, and learn about it's role in history.) I had other commitments on Sunday.

The Banaderu Trail is now far superior to what it was before. It is a fabulous trail with great scenery along the way. Thanks to the Boy Scouts, it is now ready for travel.

The members of the Boy Scouts Troop 910 were: Sam Park, Jay Britt, Jotham & Joshua Camacho, and Garrett Gipson. Well done, Boys! Thank you!


YIKES! Looks like Ken and the Boy Scouts had quite an adventure! Happy there were no serious injuries. THANKS, fellas! We're all mighty proud of the excellent exhaustive work you've done. Reminds me of the Lau Lau Revegitation Project. FUN! :)

Rep. Cinta Kaipat

Monday, October 15, 2007

Letter from former Vice President Al Gore

Click on letter to enlarge it.

Blog Action Day

This is what Angelo wrote on his blog today (October 15, 2007):

Blog Action Day

Posted by The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ
On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future.

Blog Action Day is about MASS participation. That means we need you! Here are 3 ways to participate:

Post on your blog relating to the environment on Blog Action Day
Donate your day’s earnings to an environmental charity
Promote Blog Action Day around the web

Thanks for the reminder, Angelo. I meant to point this out so we can participate in this Blog Action Day when I first saw it promoted by Google, but got distracted.

Anyhow, this is what I wrote about the environment today for a special supplement which the Tribune will be publishing on the candidates:


I have been a staunch advocate of our environment. In April 2006, I shared a vision I had to unite government, private, and community volunteers to work collaboratively to enhance our environment and make the CNMI a better place to live and visit. That vision is called Beautify CNMI! The phenomenal success of Beautify CNMI! Earned this campaign a 2007 EPA Award and inspired others groups in the CNMI and elsewhere. This year, I was the principal author of a bill that would require the CNMI to be one of the leaders in addressing our global warming concerns. The passage of this legislation in the House resulted in my receiving a personal congratulatory letter from former Vice President Al Gore, who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on this issue. I will continue to work on getting critical environmental laws passed and will continue to support the tough enforcement of those laws to protect our natural resources and overall environment. This is our home; we can, and must, take better care of it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What's Happening With Our Youths?

Saturday October 13, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007

Youth learning center vandalized-again

By Ferdie de la Torre
The Koblerville Youth Learning Center was vandalized again yesterday by a suspected group of young people armed with a baseball bat and rocks.

Two glass windows-one at the main office and the other at the Resource Center-were smashed. Cracked glasses littered the floor of the building.

“We're very outraged about this. Unfortunately, we have these young people who are doing this to their own center. And it is disheartening,” Youth Affairs Office's special assistant Mike Manglona told Saipan Tribune.

Manglona said it is not the first time, but the fourth or fifth vandalism “so far this year.”

He said the employees discovered the incident when they reported to work yesterday at 8am.

A baseball bat was found outside the building. Rocks were found inside the center.

Manglona said that on Thursday afternoon a group of youths threatened one of the youth program assistant that they were going to come back and break the windows of the center.

“They were angry that the center was being closed. It was time for closing and it was time to go home,” he said.

The center is an after-school program where children hang out after school and avail of the tutoring services and homework sessions.

The educational tools in the center are all donations from community members for the youths and for the people of Koblerville.

“It is really, really sad that this happened and unfortunately it was due to young people who are destructive,” Manglona said.

Police responded to the scene and investigated the incident.

The Youth Affairs Office is hoping that the Department of Public Safety will arrest these “young thugs” to teach them lessons and prevent another similar incident in the future.

This is not the first time that this Youth Center has been vandalized and it makes me mad that our efforts to do many positive things in our community are thwarted by the actions of a few. I would like DPS to check on the parents of these kids to see how involved they are in their kids' lives.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Best Halloween Pumpkins

The Spotted Eagle Ray & The Shark

(Photo courtesy of Marine Life Photographer Andy Murch)

"Spotted Eagle Ray City" is a special place in our CNMI waters loved by divers world over for they get to see a community of these beautiful creatures living together in a colony. This, I am told, is unique only to the CNMI.

Sadly, the divers have noticed a decline in the population of these Spotted Eagle Rays due to commercial fishing. The divers sounded the alarm and legislation was introduced and passed in the Senate to ban the capture of these Spotted Eagle Rays. The legislation is now pending in the House Natural Resources Committee, of which I am the vice chair.

My office arranged a meeting yesterday between the Natural Resources Committee, Fish & Wild Life and Mike Tripp, President of the newly formed Marianas Divers Association. Our meeting was very productive in making some amendments to the legislation in order to give more teeth to the proposed law.

(Photo courtesy of Marine Life Photographer Andy Murch)

The other part of the legislation was the prohibition against shark-feeding in the CNMI unless a permit is obtained from Fish & Wild Life. The Fish & Wild Life Division currenty does not issue such a permit. Something about shark feeding bothered me enough to motion to send this legislation to the House Natural Resources Committee for further review.

We had some public policy debate as to whether to even allow such a thing. Some of you folks may have heard that a certain individual ended up jeopardizing the safety of many divers and swimmers by feeding sharks at the Grotto. Most of you probably heard that the authorities did not take this matter lying down and that the alleged perpretrator got in some hot waters with the authorities.

Well, upon closer scrutiny, I was relieved to find out that this legislation is intended to put a stop to this feeding of sharks here in the CNMI UNTIL the Fish & Wild Life Division has had a chance to review this and determine whether this activity can be accommodated here in the CNMI. Only upon a determination that the risks do not outweigh safety would a permit be granted. In the meantime, we've beefed up the enforcement and funding sections.

So, remember, leave the Spotted Eagle Rays and Sharks alone!

And a huge thanks to all who attended the meeting and to Ruth Tighe for her comments on the legislation.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Interviewed By Boy Scout Harrison Smith

This is my friend Harrison Smith. Harrison interviewed me yesterday as part of his Boy Scout's requirement to interview a lawmaker and earn a merit badge (or was that a patch?). One of the questions he asked was how I thought the Boy Scouts could help in this year's elections. I suggested that they help educate the public and remind the adults especially that they serve as role models for the youngsters. Therefore, they need to behave and conduct themselves appropriately at the elections polls. I also said that some pollling places got a bit boisterous last election, which compromised everyone's safety.

I hope I didn't bore you too much, Harrison! Good luck on getting your next merit badge.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

PAWS and Beautify CNMI!'s Animal Welfare Committee's Busy Weekend

Last Friday, Marites Castillo (President of FMI) and I attended the PAWS event held at the Fiesta Resort. Katie Busenkell, PAWS President and Chairwoman of Beautify CNMI!'s Animal Welfare Committee was there with the whole gang. Fellow blogger Jeff Turbitt was also there with his lovely wife Cynthia. Although I wished more lawmakers or aspiring lawmakers would have taken PAWS up on the invitation, all in all, it was an enjoyable evening.

Katie has posted some nice pictures on the PAWS blog. Click here for the photos and report of the other fantastic activities that PAWS was able to hold last weekend.

I also attended the Blessing of the Pets ceremony conducted by Father Ryan at the cathedral last Sunday. It was successful.

Well done Katie and Everyone! And, Katie, I'll make good on that cup of coffee!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

S.A.V.E. Club, WAVE Club & Beautify CNMI! Beautify Susupe Park

Super science teacher/professor Bree Reynolds brought her Hopwood and NMC students out to Susupe Park Saturday to give Susupe Park some much-needed tender loving care. Student, faculty, and staff members who belong to the SAVE Club, WAVE Club teamed up with other Beautify CNMI! volunteers, such as Rep. Cinta Kaipat's family, and RC&D's Ken Kramer teamed up. Some of us picked up trash while the rest of us pained over ugly gaffiti. We're not finished yet with this huge project, so be on the lookout for future announcements to join us, won't you?

Thanks to everyone who participated.

By the way, I believe the paint we used was part of the paint we purchased to paint the lighouse. The funding for that came from MVA, so thank you, MVA!

Mary's Orchids -- Up Close

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Mary's Orchids

I Found A Yellow Flame Tree!

Most of the blooms on this flame tree have fallen off, but they sure were gorgeous about two or three weeks ago when this tree was in full bloom!
I couldn't believe my eyes when I came across this Yellow Flame Tree. I have been looking for a way to get more Yellow Flame Tree seedlings propagated but, so far, I haven't been successful.

I was told that the lone Yellow Flame Tree at Marianas High School was too old to reproduce any seedlings.

Then I had a conversation with Brad Doerr who grew those Flame Trees for us as part of our "Adopt a Flame Tree Program." He said the Yellow Flame Tree would have to be cloned.

Anyway, since then, I've learned that there are a few (very few) other places on island that actually have this Yellow Flame Tree. I will try and continue to wait patiently until I can get my hands on those Yellow Flame Tree seedlings!