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On the Campaign Trail 2012

YOUTH FOR SAVE AND SANDRA BEGIN “ROCK IT CLEAN” CHALLENGE

by Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu

 The Youth for Save and Sandra 2012 is behind the “Rock It Clean Challenge” which has already begun in the villages, where they are picking up the trash. Spokesperson Juliet Parker said with this challenge they will be targeting all Tutuila and Aunu’u villages within a timeframe of 66 days.

She noted that while there is a total of 66 villages, some of the smaller villages have been combined to make the count 43 villages. Parker told Samoa News as of last week Saturday, they have 53 villages remaining and they will proceed until the completion of the challenge.

Parker added that they will spend two to three hours per village in the morning, sometimes evenings, for four days per week and two days the last week of August 16, 2012.

The challenge kicked off on June 2, and ends on August 16, 2012.

She said that they will be going through villages picking up trash from roadsides, beaches and village streams in an effort to beautify the territory.

Within 13 weeks, she said, “they should have covered the entire island.”

“We know that in order to change anything in a stagnant and down-spiraling economy and culture, we must change the mindset” said Parker. “This mindset says “It’s not my problem” or “It’s a hopeless cause.”

Parker said that Save and Sandra and those who support them recognize these mindsets and something must be done to change them.

“We realize that at some point in our life, that someone must stand up and say ‘Enough is Enough’.

“Individually we have to take up the task and speak a changed mindset for a changed and accountable system. “The youth for Save and Sandra know that if we want to see change, we first have to be that change.”

Parker said “if you believe this as well, we seek you as a partner in this challenge.”

She notes that if you want to join in with the cleaning, there will be no pressure of campaigning for or with them but simply the desire to see and meet others who want a cleaner American Samoa inside and out.

There are options, if you want to assist, she said — by providing water, refreshments, trash bags, or monetary donations to help with the aiga bus transporting the youth back and forth to the cleaning areas.

A schedule of their cleanups, village and time, can be found on their website: www.savesandsandra2012.com or contact Juliet Parker @ 256*9386.

The next clean-up is scheduled for today are in the villages of Alega, Avaio and Auto from 8:30am to 11:30am.

TEAM AFOA AND LEI TOUR SHIPYARD

Applaud efforts of staff, board, to rebuild business

(PRESS RELEASE) — Taking up the standing invitation to the public by the Board of Directors of the American Samoa Shipyard Services Authority, gubernatorial candidates Afoa and Lei toured the Ronald Reagan Marine Railway last Friday to see first-hand the operations and progress being made at the government owned shipyard.

The interest to visit came after hearing about major improvements and developments at the shipyard, which also resulted in a visit by Tri Marine officials last week. The candidates were very appreciative of the opportunity to visit the shipyard facilities and were most impressed with the attitude and work ethic of the workforce.

Lei stated, “Afoa and I believe in the efforts at the shipyard, and we are happy that what we saw reinforces our belief that the shipyard is and should be a major factor in the development of the fishing industry here in American Samoa. It is important to maintain a top-notch ship building and repair facility for all boats as part of the supporting services and infrastructure that American Samoa can offer fishing boats that supply our canneries as well as all other vessels in our region.

Afoa added, “We are proud that most, if not all, of the workers at the shipyard are Samoan. There are numerous job opportunities in the ship repair, fishing and other industries such as welding, electronics, hydraulics, electrical, refrigeration work, machining, sandblasting and painting, diesel engine repairs and maintenance, commercial diving work and many more.  

“We must provide proper educational training opportunities for our students that might have the interest and skills in these areas. We fully support a partnership between the shipyard and our local schools/ college to provide such apprenticeships and training for our students.

On the issue of privatizing the shipyard, Afoa noted, “As firm believers in the privatization of some public services, we had also wondered about this option for the shipyard. However, after reviewing the developments at the shipyard over the years, this option must be reviewed very carefully, as it is the nature of private enterprises to maximize profits for shareholders and not necessarily to invest profits into upgrading facilities, in this case the shipyard.

“In its current state as a semi- autonomous branch of the government, we are happy to see that even with the lower repair costs charged to boat owners, the proceeds are benefitting the workers directly and the remaining funds are used to upgrade the shipyard facilities, so the monies stay here in the shipyard, in the territory.

“With this knowledge, we pledge to continue observing and reviewing options for the administration/ management of the shipyard so that it can continue to grow to benefit all of the boats and our local economy and that it remains independent of politics.”

Candidates Afoa and Lei ended their visit by thanking the management staff, workers and board of directors of the American Samoa Shipyard Services Authority for their commitment to rebuilding shipyard.

Members of the youth for Save and Sandra 2012 carrying out their "Rock it Clean Challenge" around the territory. The youth for Save and Sandra are targeting 66 villages within 66 days. [photo: JL]


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