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LOCAL CORAL REEFS EXPOSED TO DANGEROUS LEVELS OF HEAT AND STRESS

Policy makers in Washington will be taken on “virtual dive” to highlight problem
blue@samoanews.com

If the ocean temperature doesn’t get cooler soon, coral reefs surrounding the territory, including units under the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS), are in threat of dying off.

 

This is according to a presentation made by Richard Vevers, Executive Director of the Catlin Seaview Survey group which is currently on island to document the current condition of the coral reefs, and the effect of coral bleaching on those reefs.



Court Report

joy@samoanews.com

GHC REID EMPLOYEE ADMITS TO EMBEZZLING OVER $11,000
 
Former cashier for GHC Reid Co. Ltd., Stephania Sulusulu admits to misappropriating over $11,000 in funds belonging to the company, following a plea agreement that was accepted in the High Court last Friday.
 
Sulusulu, who is 37, was facing two charges of embezzlement for which she pled guilty to one embezzlement charge while the other charge was dismissed upon her plea of guilt.
 



Community Briefs

blue@samoanews.com

MARINE SANCTUARY ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETS THIS WEDNESDAY
 
The Sanctuary Advisory Council of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa will meet Wednesday, March 4, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm in the Rotunda Room of the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center in Utulei.
 



Get Into Your Sanctuary program kicks off with a bang

blue@samoanews.com

Over 100 local residents, including students from 13 different public and private elementary and high schools were at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center last Friday to be part of the Get Into Your Sanctuary (GIYS) program launch, spearheaded by NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS).
 
Tents representing each of the sites under the NMSAS system were set up in the Ocean Center parking lot for students to ask questions and get more information.



Fuel surcharge drops in line with fuel prices, says ASPA

joy@samoanews.com

“If you review your bill, you will see the fuel charge has dropped from about 30 cents last year to about 21 cents this month (February),” said American Samoa Power Authority CEO Utu Abe Malae in response to Samoa News queries over the weekend. There have been numerous complaints by the public about the drop in fuel prices, yet they don't see that drop reflected in their ASPA bill.
 



Help at hand for Insular Areas to develop “robust professional health care workforce”

fili@samoanews.com

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (USDHSS) official has told a meeting of federal and territorial leaders that they are prepared to help the insular areas build their healthcare work force.
 
USDHSS director of Global Health Affairs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Kerry Nessler was speaking at last week’s meeting of the federal Interagency Group on Insular Areas (IGIA) and was a presenter on the Workforce Development panel discussion.
 



Hawaii group moves to change shipping regulations governed by Jones Act

fili@samoanews.com

While American Samoa is exempted from the U.S. build federal requirement provision of the Jones Act, two states and two territories are hoping to be given a similar exemption, through a proposal being worked on by the Honolulu-based Hawai’i Shippers’ Council (HSC), according to the group’s president Michael N. Hansen, who is hoping that American Samoa will support their move if and when the proposal goes through the U.S. Congress.
 



IRS revokes tax exempt status of Alliance for Strengthening Families

Financial person “dropped the ball”
joy@samoanews.com

The Internal Revenue Service has revoked the 501(c) 3 for the Alliance for Strengthening Families, which has led to the Alliance office letting go of all of their employees.  This was confirmed Thursday by Dr. Oreta Crichton, a board member for the Alliance, who also said it’s “temporary”.
 
A 501(c) 3 status is given to non-profit organizations, allowing them to be tax exempt in the United States and its territories. The tax status is among the requirements when seeking grants from the federal government.
 



Pago to LA flights would not address local air transport problems

fili@samoanews.com

A non stop flight between Pago Pago and Los Angeles is expensive and the possibility of attracting competition for such a route is also expensive, according to UBM Aviation-ASM or Airport Strategy Marketing Limited, the Washington D.C. based company contracted by ASG to conduct the federally funded air transport market study for American Samoa.
 



Amata advocating for veteran owned small businesses

Media release from Aumua Amata's office

Washington, DC — Congresswoman Aumua Amata participated in two Joint Congressional Veterans Committee hearings this week.  Both hearings were dedicated to the legislative agendas of two important veteran advocacy organizations for the 114th Congress.  The first hearing focused on the agenda presented by Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the second on the priorities of the American Legion.



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