Local News

Two proposed tobacco bills cite health risks as reason

One seeks to raise excise taxes, the other to regulate use of electronic cigarettes

Two bills have been submitted by the Lolo Administration dealing with tobacco products, one is a revenue bill, increasing the excise taxes on tobacco products , while the other would regulate the use of electronic cigarettes. Health risks are cited for both, as the reason behind their submissions.

ASTCA fiber optic and O3b services to begin soon

“It should be full speed ahead all the time,” says ASTCA

American Samoa Telecommunication’s acting marketing manager, Roy J.D. Hall III says high-speed Internet services will come with their Broadband Linking American Samoa Territory (BLAST) project — and with the 03b satellite services and testing that will be conducted in a few weeks. His presentation was made before an audience from the Chamber of Commerce and members of the public about ASTCA’s new services that according to Hall will benefit everyone — including the business community. 

What’s in stores, restaurants predicts our health

Of interest: US mainland has same trends

American Samoa is known for many things: the high number of US Army recruits, the exceptional amount of football talent, canned tuna fish, and sadly, having the highest prevalence of obesity (75%) in the world.
In the March 20 release of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), it was noted that “a nutritionally poor food and beverage environment of food retail venues has been suspected to be a community-level predictor of obesity.”

Sheldon Haleck to be laid to rest on Monday


Thirty-eight year old Sheldon Paul Haleck, who died after being taken into custody on a Honolulu downtown street, will be laid to rest Monday in Hawai’i.
Haleck passed away Mar. 17 and his farewell services will be Mar 30, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints chapel in Hawaii Kai (Oahu island) at 12 pm, after which he will be laid to rest at Hawaii Memorial Park in Kaneohe at 2 pm, according to a family announcement.

DOI awards scholarships for 2015 American Samoa Jr Statesmen

Source: US DOI media release

The U.S. Department of the Interior and The Junior Statesmen Foundation proudly announce the winners of scholarships to the 2015 Junior Statesmen Summer School.
The scholarships, funded by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs, cover all tuition costs ($4,950 for Stanford and Princeton) and round trip transportation.

Polynesian gets another 30-day cabotage waver for Manu’a


The U.S. Department of Transportation has granted the Samoa government owned Polynesian Airlines request for another 30-day cabotage waiver exemption to operation American Samoa’s domestic flights, with the current exemption to expire Mar. 30.

Manu’a wants its very own off island referral program

“…just like how they transfer Tutuila people to Hawai’i…”

Manu’a residents are saying that they too should have an “off island referral program” to pay for their travel from Manu’a to Tutuila when health care providers refer them to LBJ or the Dept. of Health for medical services that they don’t have available in Manu’a.

Fundraiser today for Cyclone Pam victims


The American Samoa Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (ASVOAD) is holding a fund raising event today (Saturday Mar. 28) to help victims of Category 5, Cyclone Pam, which devastated Vanuatu earlier this month.
ASVOAD’s fund raising was the result of a United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF) letter to the organization and the letter was shared with the Governor’s Office.

Bluesky and Samoa News announce donation program for those affected by Cyclone Pam

The Bluesky Group, which includes American Samoa, Samoa and Cook Islands, and Samoa News have announced a donation program to help the three pacific islands that were devastated by Cyclone Pam on March 13, 2015. Cyclone Pam was packing Category 5 winds that directly hit Vanuatu and devastated Kiribati and Tuvalu and has left thousands of people without food, water and shelter.

Reps from local hotel industry speak out on proposed room tax


Sadie’s By the Sea owner Tom Drabble prefers a sales tax, which targets all sectors instead of a room tax, which targets mostly visitors. In addition, representatives of Tradewinds Hotel and Pago Airport Inn believe the proposed tax will deter tourists from visiting American Samoa at a time when the American Samoa Visitors Bureau is overseas promoting the tourism industry.

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