Community Briefs



American Samoa Visitor’s Bureau executive director David Vaeafe confirmed that three cruise ships are calling into the Port of Pago Pago this week, starting Tuesday, Feb. 7 through to Friday, Feb 10.

The P&O Cruises’ ship the 'Aurora' arrives Tuesday morning from Apia, with around 1,800 passengers and 850 crew members, departing later that afternoon for Denarau, Fiji.

The Costa Cruises' ship ‘Costa Deliziosa’ arrives from Honolulu on its maiden voyage the next morning, Wednesday, Feb. 8, departing late afternoon for Suva, Fiji. 

The ‘Costa Deliziosa’ will be the largest vessel to call into port this year, said Vaeafe, with some 2,800 passengers and 912 crew members, and is the sister ship of the cruise liner Costa Concordia, which ran aground last month in the waters off the Tuscan coast of Italy.

On Friday, Feb. 10, the Princess Cruises' liner 'Pacific Princess' arrives for the day from Kauai, Hawai’i with 680 passengers and 389 crew, before heading to Dravuni Island, Fiji.

In other Visitor' news Vaeafe said the New Zealand travel agent familiarization group that was due to arrive in the territory this Wednesday has been postponed to either later next month or early April.

Vaeafe said the postponement was because “some of the key travels agents in New Zealand that we invited could not make it this month”.

 The new familiarization program is geared towards promoting the territory as a tourist destination and is funded under a new program by the U.S. Department of Interior.


The American Samoa Bar Association has established for the first time a justice award named after the longest serving chief justice in the territory.

The association said it is seeking nominations for the first annual  Arthur A. Morrow Justice Award, to be presented to an individual or organization that has, through their actions, made significant improvements to the justice system and the rule of law in American Samoa.

This may be demonstrated through improving access to the judicial system, showing superior professional competence, demonstrating outstanding integrity, professionalism and civility, expanding pro bono services to the territory, upholding the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession, or otherwise empowering the legal profession in the territory.

Arthur A. Morrow was American Samoa’s longest serving Chief Justice, sitting on the bench from 1937 to 1966, according to information from the association.

His term created much of the jurisprudence that is the foundation for American Samoa’s legal system. Chief Justice Morrow’s commitment to the territory and its justice system serve as the basis for the Justice Award.

The association will only accept nominations from its members, but nominees maybe from outside the association.


MYD Samoa Inc.’s bankruptcy trustee Deborah C. Menotte last month asked the federal bankruptcy court in south Florida to approve an additional insurance claim of more than $36,000 by MYD filed with the National Pacific Insurance (NPI).

Menotte said a tropical cyclone in January 2011 in American Samoa caused damaged to MYD Samoa’s facility in the territory - referring to the Ronald Reagan Marine Railways shipyard, which was previously operated by the Florida-based company and have since been returned to ASG ownership

A month after the cyclone, NPI “made a progress payment” of $10,000 to MYD for the cyclone claim. And as a result of ongoing negotiations between the parties, Menotte and NPI have agreed to resolve the cyclone claim for an additional payment of $36,273, according to the trustee’s motion, adding that this payment will satisfy the cyclone claim.

If the motion is approved by the court, NPI has five business days to make the payment after receiving the official court order.

The cyclone payment, however, shall not resolve, waive or impair the trustee’s rights in respect of a separate claim with NPI over damages caused to the company’s operations due the September 2009 tsunami, the motion notes but didn’t say as to the total amount of the tsunami claim.


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