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ASCC Samoan Studies celebrates the culture

The faculty and staff of the Samoan Studies Institute (SSI), along with their current students, celebrated the Samoa culture and its facility for adaptation during Samoa Day 2015 on Thursday, March 20, at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC).
 



DOA closes down Taputimu Farm

reporters@samoanews.com

For the safety and well-being of local youth, a farm in Taputimu was closed down last week, after inspectors discovered that the owners were mixing water with chicken manure, and using the mixture as fertilizer for cabbage.
 
Right now, a ban on the sale of locally grown bok choi (either in the local stores or on the road side) is still in effect. This came after the cabbage was found to have dirt, snails, and worms on the leaves.
 



Congressional News from D.C.

Last week Congresswoman Aumua Amata notified the territory of three grant awards, voiced her support for Veteran’s legislation and congratulated a son of American Samoa on his military promotion.  All information is based on media releases from the congresswoman’s office.
 
AMATA CONGRATULATES PANAPA R. WILLIS
 



House testimony on room tax similar to what was heard in Senate

reporters@samoanews.com

Some faipule are supportive of an administration bill calling for a 5% occupancy or room tax, which Commerce Department director Keniseli Lafaele says will not deter nor decrease visits to the territory by business travelers, federal government workers and military officials, as they would still have to pay this tax, even if it's increased in the future.
 



Fono News

joy@samoanews.com

LAWMAKERS SUBMIT BILL TO INCREASE OMV FEES
 
Representatives Pulelei’ite Tufele Li’amatua Jr Fatulegae’e Mauga and Talamatai Su’a are co-sponsoring a measure that will increases fees for vehicle licensing and registration and appropriate a portion of the fees to the Territorial Administration on Aging (TAOA) for programs specifically and directly benefiting the elderly.
 



UPDATE: BUMBLE BEE COURTS LOCAL LONGLINER FLEET — KEEP OPTIONS OPEN

fili@samoanews.com

Thailand-based Thai Union’s acquisition of Bumble Bee Seafood “will probably put the Samoa project on hold” while Bumble Bee cannery continues discussions with the Samoa government, according to Kevin McClain, Bumble Bee’s vice president of Resourcing. The comment was made during a meeting-luncheon last Friday with several local longline fleet owners and representatives.
 



Police officer gets 30 days over nightclub incident

To serve straight sentence in Ta’u, Manu’a holding cell
joy@samoanews.com

“They arrived in a police vehicle, and the gun that was brandished was pulled from the police vehicle. Police are in a position of trust and they have a duty to keep the peace, not to disturb it, so when civilians see police vehicles they shouldn't have to fear them, they should be icons for safety,” said Assistant Attorney General Alema Leota.
 
The comment was made by the prosecutor during the sentencing of Vice and Narcotics Senior Police Detective Ioane Johnny Paselio due to an incident which led to the damaging of a night club in Pago Pago.



School bus shortage forces cancellation of activities

ASHSAA Sports must finish by 2nd week of April
fili@samoanews.com

With only 15 operating school buses, Education Department director Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau has said that high school sporting events requiring transportation must be completed within the next two weeks, and has cancelled until further notice extra curricular activities, according to a ASDOE memo issued last Friday morning.
 
The government’s cost-containment measures are also cited as another reason to reduce DOE staff overtime, travel and other non-essential activities.
 



Bumble Bee courts longliner fleet for Samoa plant

fili@samoanews.com

Bumble Bee Seafood vice president of resourcing, Kevin McClain (left) and vice president of loin operations, Brett Butler (right) last Friday after a courtesy visit and meeting with members of the local longline industry and others at the DDW restaurant.
 
The San Diego based cannery is working with the Samoa government to set up operations in Apia and Butler said,
 



Fono asks why airport gets most of proposed room tax

fili@samoanews.com

A hand full of House members are questioning why the Lolo Administration’s 5% room tax bill has targeted the Port Administration Department’s Airport Division to be the recipient of this new revenue source, instead of spreading out it out to all ASG entities.
 
The room tax bill states that 75% of revenue earned from the proposed room tax —which targets hotel, motels, inns, and similar places of lodging — goes to the Airport Division while the other 25% remains with the ASG general fund account.
 



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