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Community Briefs



The Department of Commerce is getting rave reviews for their recent efforts in implementing the one-day turnaround period for acquiring a business license. In prior years, the process of obtaining a business license would usually take 4-5 business days (and sometimes longer)  but the process now only takes one day.


According to DOC Director Fuiavailili Keniseli Lafaele, between January and March 2013 (which are the first 100 days of the current administration), DOC issued a total of 104 business licenses. But since they implemented the one-day method, their office has been able to issue a total of 102 business licenses for the month of April alone.




Consul General for Japan, Toyoei Shegada, arrived in the territory last week to fulfill his "dream" of visiting American Samoa. Shegada, who has been stationed in Honolulu, Hawai’i since October 2012, and oversees matters concerning Japan in American Samoa, said the purpose of his trip is to sit down and talk with Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga and other local leaders in an effort to make relations between Japan and American Samoa vital once again.


He said Japan has a history of relations with the territory and he is confident that these relations can be revived. Shegada said in the brief time he has been here, he has enjoyed meeting alot of new people and is taking in the beautiful landscape of the island, from the sea to the mountains and the coastal areas. 


He said it is his hope to have a delegation of Japanese dignitaries visit the territory during the next Flag Day festivities and their goal is to share many things including culture, history and sports, such as Judo and Karate.




Organizations and groups who performed during this year's Flag Day festivities on behalf of the Arts Council finally received their cash awards this past week. A total of 20 groups performed but Director of the American Samoa Council on Arts, Humanities and Culture Uta Dr. Laloulu Tagoilelagi explained that not all the checks were ready at the same time so he waited until everyone's check was issued so the presentation could take place on the same day.


He thanked the performers for their contribution and hard work in making Flag Day 2013 a success and said their performances were greatly appreciated. Each of the groups received $400.




Deputy Director of the Department of Youth and Women's Affairs (DYWA) Tapumanaia Galu Satele Jr., who recently oversaw the production of Le Leo o Amerika Samoa 2013 said that with the success of the program's inaugural run, he will be proposing that Le Leo o Amerika Samoa be held again in the summer but this time, the contestants will be youngsters 8-15 years old.


He said Youth Month is July and their office will try to coordinate everything from now until then. Tapumanaia said Le Leo o Amerika Samoa for the little ones will be more of a showcase, instead of a singing competition.


"We just want to give the youngsters a chance to show off their talents and at that age, being eliminated from the competition and/or not winning can be a major blow to their self esteem," he said, adding that the idea came about after many parents wanted to enter their kids into recent Le Leo o Amerika Samoa competition but were told that the age requirements did not allow them to compete.


Tapumanaia said if all goes well, Le Leo o Amerika Samoa for kids will be in full swing by July and will culminate before school gets back into session from summer break.




The Department of Youth and Women's Affairs (DYWA) will be taking the rehabilitative and recovery program known as the Lalaga Fa’atasi Sewing Project to the Manu'a Islands next month. Project coordinator Arasi Fa’amausili confirmed yesterday that the sewing class is set to begin in mid-June, and a sewing instructor and some DYWA staff members are scheduled to depart the territory in a couple of weeks to set up the program.


The class will be open to all women and men who are interested in learning basic sewing skills. According to Fa'amausili, they are prepared to provide all the equipment and supplies needed to carry out the project, including ten sewing machines, fabric/material, thread, etc.


Everything the students make during the class will be theirs to keep. The Manu'a sewing class is set to run simultaneously with the 11th Session of the Lalaga Fa'atasi Project set to be held locally beginning June 10.


The Lalaga Fa'atasi Sewing Project has been active since 2008, serving the territory's women - and men - by providing sewing training with the goal that the participants will open up sewing shops of their own, and have the ability to sew clothes for themselves and their families, hence saving them money on having to buy new clothes or paying others to sew for them. At the end of the program, the goal is have all the participants skilled in how to sew items such as puletasi, shirts and pocket sulu ('ie faitaga). 


The Lalaga Fa'atasi project is funded by the Criminal Justice Planning Agency under the VAWA Rehabilitative and Recovery Program. All men and women who are interested in the program and want more information on how to register are encouraged to call DYWA directly at 633-2835 to register.