Local News



A Korean man was saving up to return to his homeland in Korea after living in the territory for over 40 years, yet the dream faded when he was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer and is now undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. This led to his children reaching out to the public for assistance, given the financial restraints, says Sinafoa Kim-Mua one of his daughters.

Fono to begin joint budget review on Monday


The Fono’s joint-review of the American Samoa government fiscal year 2016 budget is scheduled to last for two and a half weeks, starting next week Monday. The proposed FY 2016 budget totaled just over $417 million.
Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee chairman Sen. Laolagi F.S. Vaeao and House Budget committee chairman Rep. Timusa Tini C. Lam Yuen recently sent a letter to ASG Budget and Planning Office director Catherine D. Saelua about the scheduled hearings to begin on Aug. 31, with the Fono budget the last one to be reviewed on Sept. 16.

Local residents file opposition to Longliner exemption

Cite overfishing

Two local residents who are also fishermen have voiced objections to a federal proposal to allow large longliners, which are 50 feet and over, to fish in the current Large Vessel Protected Area (LVPA) preserved for the small longliner, or the local alia fleet.
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council had recommended to allow large federally permitted US longline vessels to fish in the LVPA, which extends seaward approximately 30-50 nautical miles offshore from the islands of American Samoa.

Virtual marine sanctuary experience launches


NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS) will be launching  a 'virtual experience' next Thursday, Sept. 3 from 9 a.m.- 11 a.m. at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center in Utulei.
NMSAS outreach and education coordinator Apulu Veronika Molio'o Mata'utia Mortenson explained that during the special event, the audience will be able to virtually explore a 360-degree panoramic view of dives and hikes at five of the six sites that make up the local Sanctuary system.

Rain Garden installation begins in Fagaalu


This past Wednesday, the Coral Reef Advisory Group (CRAG), in collaboration with the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources (DMWR), the Land Grant Program at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC), and volunteer community members gathered at the basketball court in Fagaalu to install the first rain garden, aimed at cleaning rain water and filtering pollutants before run-off makes its way to the ocean.
A workshop to prepare for the project was held on Tuesday at the Office of Samoan Affairs.

It's back to school


Summer was officially over for thousands of local public students this past week.
All public schools in Tutuila, Aunu'u and the Manu'a Islands, from Early Childhood Education (ECE) to the high school level, kicked off the first day of the 2015-2016 school year Thursday morning.
Traffic stalled in some areas as parents were busy shuffling the little ones to class.

Federal tax fraud sentence postponed to October


Based on a request by the US government, the sentencing of tax fraudster Pepe Anetipa has been continued for 30 days at the federal court in Anchorage, Alaska.
Anetipa, 58, was charged under a 28 count indictment handed down last year for making false, fictitious, and fraudulent claims against the federal government. Federal prosecutors allege that Anetipa filed falsified tax returns, using tax information from local residents to fraudulently obtain more than $200,000 in IRS refund checks.

Federal wage subsidy for StarKist not likely says CEO

Tells Lolo he is sending “wrong message” to Congress

Federal wage subsidies for the manufacturing industry “most likely” would violate World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, and such a subsidy could take time to get US Congressional approval, says Andrew Choe, president and chief executive of StarKist Co., owner of StarKist Samoa Inc. in American Samoa.

Bill to require drug testing of gov’t employees has no funding source


Attorney General Talaeuaga Eleasalo Ale and Acting Human Resources Director, Eseneiaso Nafanua Liu are in support of the move for the territory or political subdivision employers to require applicants, appointees, employees, elected officials, and independent contractors to submit to drug testing, to be administered by Human Resources Department.
Talauega however said that what is missing in the proposed measure is a source of funding to carry out these drug tests.

Amata pays a visit to Samoans in California

Source: Media Release, Aumua Amata's office

Congresswoman Aumua Amata was in Sacramento Monday, Aug 24 for a town hall meeting with the Samoan community there, and later met with the Native Hawaiians. She also met with Pastor Koroseta Va'a who runs a huge Food Bank, which she toured.


Discussions were held that day with the ever-growing Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce headed up by Mormon community leader Helaman Hansen.


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