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June 2018

American Samoa’s health ed students at HOSA Int’l Leadership Conference

Shown in no particular order during conference registration are: Perosi Vaofanua of Aasu (SHS), Isadora Mageo of Auma (SHS), Angelika Nair of Mesepa (THS), Amazora Taiapis of Leone (LHS), Tagiilima Ah-Foon of Leone (LHS), Serenalia Iona of Puapua (LHS), Faava Saolotoga of Pavaiai (LHS), Ridenben Tamapolu of Fogagogo (LHS),Tusisalalau Auvaa of Malaeloa (LHS),Teacher Penelope Mareko of Aua (chaperone), Faamamali Ualesi of Futiga (chaperone) and Jonathan Mageo (parent).

The highlight of every year for HOSA (formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America) Future Health Professionals members is the HOSA International Leadership Conference. This year's conference is being held in Dallas, Texas, June 27- 30 at the Dallas Omni and the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
Participants are: Perosi Vaofanua of Aasu (SHS), Isadora Mageo of Auma (SHS), Angelika Nair of Mesepa (THS), Amazora Taiapis of Leone (LHS), Tagiilima Ah-Foon of Leone (LHS), Serenalia Iona of Puapua (LHS), Faava Saolotoga of Pavaiai (LHS), Ridenben Tamapolu of Fogagogo (LHS),Tusisalalau Auvaa of Malaeloa (LHS),Teacher Penelope Mareko of Aua (chaperone), Faamamali Ualesi of Futiga (chaperone) and Jonathan Mageo (parent).

Delayed direct deposit pay for ASTCA employees causes brouhaha

ASTCA board member Andra Samoa
Falaovaoto Sualevai, ASTCA Acting Chief Executive Officer

ome employees of the American Samoa Tele Communications Authority, who receive their pay through direct deposit have complained to several ASTCA’s board members about the delay in receiving their pay causing “unnecessary burden on their plans, especially when it is graduation season,” according to a copy of an email sent by Andra Samoa, an ASTCA board member to Falaovaoto Sualevai, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the agency.

Samoa News has obtained copies of four emails sent between Samoa and Sualevai, with three sent on the same day, Saturday June 23, 2018 and the last sent early morning Sunday, June 24, 2018.

The emails of both women include cc’s to all board members — Iuli Alex Godinet, Omar Shalhout, Taiulaga Aseuga, and Alofagia Nomura — as well as “general@astca.net”, which means that all ASTCA staff were included in the emails.

ASPA Managing Director, resigns

ASPA Chief Financial Officer, Paul Young

ASPA Managing Director, Paul Young has resigned from the American Samoa Power Authority, and his resignation has been accepted, according to the Chief Executive Officer of ASPA, Utu Abe Malae.

Young’s resignation comes amid rumors of a burglary that happened at ASPA, dismissal of at least 4 employees and possible impropriety concerning the ASPA Employees Fund.

Utu response was firm: “Paul’s character is impeccable.”

Juveniles arrested and charged after store burglary

American Samoa District Court building

Two juveniles were arrested last week and charged with burglary. The two were co-defendants in the case between the government and Wilson Vilivili, who was arrested by police last week and charged with 4 counts — including two counts of stealing and two counts of 2nd degree burglary, all class C felonies.

The case against the 2 juveniles has now been transferred to the Juvenile Court while Vilivili’s case is scheduled for a preliminary examination this Friday.

According to the government, the case was reported by two eyewitnesses to the Tafuna Police Substation after they passed by in front of an Asian store in Tafuna on Sunday night, May 13, 2018 around 1:32 a.m, and saw three young men standing in front of the store. One of them was holding a beer bottle in his hand.

Police arrived at the scene but all three young men who were in front of the store fled the scene. During police investigation into this matter, footage from the store surveillance camera was reviewed by police who spotted an adult man in the footage. The adult man was later identified as Vilivili, who is the defendant in this matter.

Amata hails new funds for American Samoa in Senate Interior Appropriations Bill

Amata with Chairman Murkowski and flight crew

Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed two significant developments for American Samoa, at Amata’s request, in the Senate Interior Appropriations bill led by Chairman Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

The bill, unanimously approved with a vote of 31-0 by the Appropriations Committee, includes a $718,000 increase for American Samoa Government operations, and mandates an official report to Congress on the needs of the LBJ Tropical Medical Center.

Congresswoman Amata had a series of discussions on American Samoa’s needs, including the impact of Cyclone Gita, personally with Chairman Murkowski in the lead-up to the 2019 Appropriations process, and welcomes these resulting important provisions to this major legislation.

In the report language, the Senate Committee states its concern about the impact of Cyclone Gita on American Samoa’s economy and its ability to recover.

Monthly payment to Computer Services Ltd. from Samoa Govt remains unexplained

CSL Samoa logo

The $1.9 million paid monthly to the Computer Services Ltd (CSL) remained unexplained by the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa despite being questioned in Parliament last Thursday.

The issue was raised by the Member of Parliament for Anoama’a West, Lauofo Pierre Lauofo who quoted the Minister’s Budget speech where the Minister said that the $1.9 million is paid to CSL for the ownership of the domain service name of Samoa.

“On page 17 of the Parliamentary Finance Committee report, it says the $1.9 million is paid to CSL on a monthly basis,” said Lauofo.

Typeface: A contemporary take on Samoan tatau

 Part of a painting by Vaimaila Urale for her project Typeface.

The tap, tap, tapping of a computer keyboard is probably not what you would normally associate with Polynesian design and tattoos.

But it is the chosen tool for Auckland based artist Vaimaila Urale whose contemporary take on tatau involves the use of four traditional Samoan symbols which exist on a standard keyboard as less than, greater than, forward slash and back slash.

Vaimaila was born in Samoa and grew up in Wellington after moving to New Zealand as a child.

She said growing up she was intrigued by her father only ever having western style tattoos on his body.

Her curiosity continues in her current project Typeface which she carefully selected the characters for.

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