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Community Briefs



“The historical archives and records of American Samoa are a unique testament to our development as a US territory and our contributions here and abroad as US Nationals and citizens of the United States,” said Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga in an Executive Order establishing an American Samoa Historical Records Advisory Board. The EO was effective on October 8, 2013.


Lolo's eight appointees to the Board are: Okenaisa Fauolo, Terry Fielding, Tua Lokan, Cheryl Morales, David Herdrich, James Himphill, Taifita Solomona and Sam White.


The Order states, “physical and linguistic archeologists believe that Samoans have been in these islands for over 3,000 years; however, actual written records are less than 300 years old and while descriptions and accounts from exploring expeditions, whalers, missionaries and traders comprise the earliest writings, formal government record keeping only began 150 years ago.”


The governor said that without preservation and publication, these records could be lost. As an example, he pointed to the Land and Matai title records, which were damaged by the 2009 Tsunami, saying they "could vanish forever if not properly conserved."


He said individual family, church, business, and village record collections are also at risk of disappearing forever, and the need to prevent deterioration and loss of American Samoa’s written and multi-media history is an obligation to the past, present and future.


“Conservation of American Samoa's significant public and private archives and records should be ensured,” the Governor wrote.


The board is also “empowered to seek funding for meeting expenses, project equipment and supplies, and utilities via public or private grant opportunities, philanthropy, fund raising or donations.”


Governor Lolo pointed out that the Board's initial scope of work is to create a strategic plan for the preservation and publication of the historical archives and records of the territory.


They are also to offer educational presentations on current archives and records management conservation trends and issues, as well as plan and implement an annual "Archives Month".




Work on the twelve sites listed for repairs under the federally funded 3-R (restoration, rehabilitation, and resurfacing) program is set to be fully completed by December 6, the initial scheduled date for completion; and while the roads are smoother, drainage issues still need to be addressed in some completed areas.


The project was awarded to McConnell Dowell and is funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHwA) to the tune of $7,185,907.24 The Department of Public Works (DPW) is overseeing all of the work.


In response to Samoa News inquiries yesterday, Reuben Siatu'u of DPW’s Civil Highway Division said over a telephone interview that although work is completed on the majority of the sites, they will be revisiting certain areas to address drainage issues caused by erosion, and other unforeseen site conditions that may have developed during the course of the work.


Ten of the twelve sites have been resurfaced for a total length of approximately 5.3 miles. For the areas between Canco Hill and Lupelele Elementary School, Ottoville to the Kokoland intersection, Faga’itua to Alofau, and the Laulii to Visa Stream, Siatu’u said work there is complete, but they are returning to those sites to address drainage issues caused by runoffs and erosion on the side of the road.


Meanwhile, work on the following sites is fully completed: Vaitogi Village Road, Pava’ia’i to Aoloau Road, Sectional pavement repairs to Fogagogo village, to Futiga village, along the Industrial Park Road, and  Hospital Road.


Sectional pavement repairs to Fagaima Road are also fully completed, although an additional section extending 900 feet was included in the work due to existing conditions of the adjacent road, Siatu’u explained.


The scope of work for the pavement/pothole repairs along the 1.3-mile section from Lupelele to the Tradewinds Hotel intersection was changed, according to Siatu’u, who explained the work called for pavement repairs but in the end, the entire stretch received an overlay.


Siatu'u said part of the project calls for the construction of soakage pits to address long standing drainage issues near Cost-U-Less, in addition to rehabilitating existing waterways.


He explained that work on the soakage pits has already begun, with workers in the precast initial phase, meaning the soakage pit boxes are being constructed and once they are finished, they will start digging holes and installing them in the appropriate sections of the road.


The soakage pits are being preassembled and this is being done to avoid numerous safety issues that would arise otherwise.


Siatu’u said in an initial interview, "DPW greatly appreciates the patience of the traveling public and the respective villages. And as always, use caution when entering a construction site.”




This semester, to help diversify the learning opportunities available to all American Samoa Community College (ASCC) students, the Student Government Association (SGA) at the college is hosting a series of workshops this month on a diverse selection of topics ranging from Professional Development to Money Budgeting to Living Healthy.


The workshop series, now in progress, features speakers from both on-campus and community organizations.


“The purpose of these workshops is to let students be aware of the importance of different committees on and off campus, and the value of getting involved with them while in college,” explained SGA President Theresa Togia. “Besides the valuable work these committees do, each of them sets an example of how goals can be achieved by people working together.”


Since the series got underway at the beginning of October, the workshops have drawn not only SGA members, but also participants in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the Peer Mentors, the College Research Foundation and interested members of the general student population.


The series has included two workshops a week, opening with a presentation on Professional Development featuring contributions from ASCC Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Kathleen Kolhoff-Belle, Dean of Student Services Dr. Emilia Le’i, Chief Financial Officer Emey Silafau and counselor Annie Panama.


The second workshop of the week was an Introduction to the American Samoa College Research Foundation given by Matesina Willis and Tiare Tupua.


For the third workshop, ASCC Chief of Security Misi Tauai gave a talk on Campus Safety. Tauai’s presentation made a strong impression on SGA Treasurer Visa Vaiau, who appreciated the campus safety procedures. “We learned the rules and regulations of ASCC, and how disciplinary hearings and suspensions can result for those who don’t follow them,” said Vaiau.


Fourth in the series was an overview of Tutorial and Counseling Services available to all ASCC students, presented by counselors Maria Kim-Lagafuaina, Kayla M. Sauafea and Lyndia Tinitali, and the fifth workshop was given by ASCC Business Department chairperson Dr. Faofua Faatoafe, who shared her expertise on Money Budgeting


Workshops still to come include, Tunoa Peleti of DHSS presenting on Alcohol and Drunk Driving, and Travis Fleming, Community Nutritionist with CNR, offering insights into Healthy Living.


SGA President Togia said she hopes the series will help ASCC students broaden their awareness, which in turn aligns with the SGA mission to motivate students to stay in school, further their education, and succeed in life.


For more information on ASCC, visit


(Source: ASCC media release)