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Archive - Mar 30, 2012 - Article (News Story)

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OP-ED: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE FONO

Navigate our ship wisely, lest we all drown in the tsunami of hopelessness

If there’s a valuable lesson to learn from the ASG $20 million loan fiasco, it is the need for the administration and Fono to appreciate and respect what little financial resources we have, or have access to.  Simply put, leaders lack respect for limited resources, and people pay the price.

Clearly, proper planning would have had avoided unnecessary purchases (Fo’isia, Manu’a fautasi, barges, etc.) and costly litigation (Marisco, etc.).  And clearly, the LBJ off-island care program could have used some of that money back then.



StarKist and Dongwon deny allegations of shark finning

fili@samoanews.com

U.S.-based StarKist Co., and its South Korean based owner Dongwon Industries have dismissed claims the companies violated international law dealing with shark fins, and called the allegations “erroneous and unmerited”.

Dongwon along with StarKist responded yesterday to a Samoa News request for comments regarding an online story by IFS.com, distributed on Wednesday, which states in part that ‘Friend of the Sea’ sent a public letter to Dongwon’s CEO In-Soo Cho this week regarding the company’s shark fishing practices.



Senate postpones decision on LBJ bill, awaits reports

fili@samoanews.com

Gov. Togiola Tulafono’s $10 million appropriation bill for the LBJ Medical Center remains with the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee awaiting financial reports from the government before making a final decision on the measure that would provide funding for the off-island medical referral program.



Google reps make first visit to American Samoa

reporters@samoanews.com

The American Samoa Government is moving toward ‘Going Google’ as a way to save ASG money with an array of free Google Applications, says Director of the Department of Information Technology (DoIT) and Chief Information Officer Easter Asi Bruce.

In conversation with Samoa News, the enthusiastic CIO said, “ Google Apps will actually allow us to transform how the government does business. Increased collaboration and enhanced communication will be the result of this move, which will, most importantly, allow us to do so in a much more secure manner.”



ASNOC launches fundraiser for athletes

jeff@samoanews.com

American Samoa National Olympic Committee (ASNOC) Secretary General, Ed Imo (L) and ASNOC Fundraiser Assistant Noah Sua, displaying ‘Scratch Bingo’ tickets that are in stores around the island.

Proceeds will g to ASNOC to fund expenses for our athletes to travel to various sporting events.  Next up is the Olympics in London, England in July.  Read story in Saturday’s To'asavili.



Vice & Narcotics division confiscates over $10K worth of drugs in two separate raids

reporters@samoanews.com

Two men will make their initial appearance in the District Court today in connection with a drug raid where the Vice and Narcotics Division with the Department of Public Safety allegedly confiscated more than $10,000 street value of methamphetamine, marijuana and a rifle belonging to Punefu Tuaolo while Ronald Wells was allegedly found with a small baggie which contained methamphetamine.

Police said the pair, who were arrested on Tuesday, will be facing drug charges.



Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

FILIOALI’I ALI’IOAIGA

District Court Judge John Ward found that there was probable cause to bind over the government’s case against the CCCAS Faleniu Reverend Ali’ioaiga Filioali’i in connection with a car accident, which led to the death of a 12-year old girl on September 19, 2010. The church leader is facing vehicular homicide, a felony that is punishable with up to five years in jail and or a fine of up to $5,000 or both.



World Bank launches programs for Samoa

WASHINGTON D.C. - The World Bank announced yesterday the launching of two initiatives targeting Samoa.

The first is the Country Partnership Strategy, which focuses on encouraging broad based growth; reducing vulnerability to economic shocks, natural disasters and climate change; and supporting greater global integration to provide opportunities for Samoans.



Feds recommend jail time, restitution of $32,000 for Wagner’s role in U’una’i theft

fili@samoanews.com

Federal prosecutors have recommended that the former acting boss of U’una’i Legal Service Corporation be sentenced to less than one year in prison and pay restitution for his role in the stealing of about $160,000 in federal funds awarded to the non-profit group, that was closed a couple of years ago.

David Wagner, who served at U’una’i’s acting executive director between May 2005 and September 2007, pled guilty Mar. 11, 2010 at the federal court in St. Louis Missouri to one count of theft of federal funds totaling $31,292. 



FEMA and ASDHS complete Earthquake Damage training course

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa, — The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Samoa Department of Homeland Security completed an intensive disaster mitigation and building evaluation training course this week with participation from local government agencies and the private sector.