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In the Fono



If approved, American Samoans will be allowed to register, purchase, import, sell, and discharge a type of air rifle and their ammunition. The proposed bill is sponsored by Representative Atualevao Gafatasi Afalava and was introduced in the House yesterday morning. Current statute allows only 12, 16, 20 and 410 gauge shotguns and shotgun shells into the territory and they must be licensed.


According to the proposed measure, an air soft rifle is a rifle that fires soft or plastic pellets by way of compressed air. A license will be required for the rifles as well, which is to be provided by the Commissioner of Public Safety. This measure was assigned to the Public Safety Committee chaired by Rep Alexander Jennings.




Names of Acting Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale and Acting Director for the Territorial Energy Office Ali’itama Sotoa were submitted to the Fono this week. In a letter sent to Fono leaders, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga stated that Talauega has served as Deputy AG for the government since August 2012 and his record shows a strong commitment to protecting the interest of the government and its people.


“In the role of Deputy, he has demonstrated his leadership ability to effectively manage a team of attorneys and staff, and oversee a number of complex matters. As head attorney of the Civil Division, Talauega has taken the helm of cases with the most significant impact on ASG,” wrote the governor.


Talauega is from Se’etaga, and holds a BA in political science and his J.D. with honors is from Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa. He worked for 17 years at a major international law firm, Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP where he was partner in the firm’s Minneapolis office.


Speaking of his nomination for the Territorial Energy Office, the governor said Sotoa has many years of experience in the energy and utilities field and his areas of expertise include engineering, design, procurement, construction, renewable energy and operations management.


As a Senior Engineering and Design Advisor and Project Manager for San Diego Gas & Electric Company, he managed planning, engineering, design, construction and implementation of a variety of multi-million dollar projects for some 3.5 million customers.


 From his 36 years in the energy field Sotoa is well qualified to head TEO and implement strategic plans for the utilization of renewable energy technology and develop alternative sources to fossil fuels.


The governor says that Sotoa’s knowledge and experience with regards to environmental compliance, capital management, operations and contract negotiations will help ASG achieve the objectives of promoting energy conservation and increasing energy efficiency to reduce the costs passed on to consumers and to benefit future generations in the Territory.




A resolution calling for the House of Representatives to approve the governor’s nominees for the Feleti Barstow Public Library Board Members was introduced yesterday, naming Tom Drabble, Gwen Tauiliili-Langkilde, Tapaau Dr. Dan Aga, Wendy Malepeai, David Addison, Rev Albert Toeaina and Bessie Manase as board members. According to a house resolution, members of the Library board have had all their terms of office expire without appointment of successors.


Only two members of the original Library board continue to reside in the territory and it is vital that the board be reconstituted in order to ensure the successful continuation of the Public Library’s contributions to the community.


The resolution proposes four-year terms for Drabble, Tauili’ili-Langkilde, Tapaau and Malaepeai while he proposes two years for Addison, Toeaina and Manase. The eighth member of the board is DOE Director Vaitinasa who serves as a member by statute.


Drabble has been a member of the board since its inception, he’s a local successful businessman with a strong background in accounting and his contributions have been crucial to the Library’s start-up and continued successful operations.


Tauili’ili-Langkilde spent a number of years with ASTCA in legal and compliance roles and has since moved into private practice.  She has served on the board for the last ten years and she and Drabble have provided needed continuity as the board is reconstituted.


 Dr. Aga is an author, historian and educator and is presently the Director of ASCC Land Grant Department of Community and Natural Resources; He is a literacy advocate and frequent user of the library. Representing ASCC, David Addison is an archeologist, historian, educator and faculty member of ASCC’s Samoa Pacific Studies Department.


Malepeai is a retired educator who worked for DOE for over 30 years with her specialty in Literacy Services, while Manase is the Deputy Director of the Library Services Division of the DOE. The House of Representatives will hold the hearing on this resolution today.