Community Briefs



The American Samoa Department of Commerce (ASDOC) Coast Weeks GIS Day was held this year on Wednesday, September 18, 2013.  The educational workshop was attended by 15 students from Tutuila and Manu’a high schools and led by Robert Koch, Junior Sauni and Kang Sevao of the ASDOC - American Samoa Coastal Management Program (ASCMP).


The workshop introduced students to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geospatial technologies.  The agenda included interactive presentations and activities to introduce the students to concepts and applications of GIS.


The highlight of the event was the participatory mapping exercise. Each student had the opportunity to use an “E-Beam” digital pen to map recreational coastal activities throughout the islands.  Mapped activities included swimming, snorkeling, fishing, surfing and paddling—altogether over 70 locations were mapped by the students.   Additionally, each student was given a Coastweeks 2013 GIS – Coastal Uses Map to take home with them.


The students were asked to complete a survey to share what they learned and to rate the event’s activities.  As indicated by student feedback, the event was an overwhelming success—on a scale of 1 to 10, the average student rating was a 9.6!  The survey also indicated that the students were very interested in GIS and enthusiastic about applying it in their future studies.




 Congressman Faleomavaega has announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) recently made available over $660,000 through two grants to prevent domestic and sexual violence and to support victims of these crimes, especially women and children.


1            STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program — $616,235


The STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program (STOP Program) encourages the development and implementation of victim-centered law enforcement, prosecution, and court strategies. It also supports the development and enhancement of victim services in cases involving violent crimes against women as well as partnership among law enforcement, prosecution, courts, and victim service organizations to enhance victim safety and hold offenders accountable for their crimes.


The grant will be awarded to the American Samoa Criminal Justice Planning Agency with oversight by Deputy Director Leonard Seumanutafa. 


 2            Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) Implementation — $48,174


This grant aims to help local agencies develop and enhance programs designed to implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) portion of the Adam Walsh Act. 


SORNA was enacted to protect the public from convicted sex offenders by establishing a comprehensive national system for the registration and notification of those offenders. This project will include a local needs assessment, coordination with federal, state, and regional partners, and the implementation of SORNA requirements through the purchase of supplies, equipment, and training of personnel. 


The grant will be awarded to the American Samoa Criminal Justice Planning Agency with oversight by the Executive Director. 




Congressman Faleomavaega has announced he is accepting Congressional nomination requests to fill vacancies at four of the five U.S. Service Academies. There is currently one vacancy at the U.S. Air Force Academy (, one vacancy at the U.S. Military Academy (, one vacancy at the U.S. Naval Academy ( and one vacancy at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (


Applicants interested in the U.S. Coast Guard Academy ( may apply directly to the Coast Guard Academy. The Coast Guard has its own application process which does not require a nomination from a Member of Congress. 


Prospective applicants should visit the website of the academy they wish to apply to in order to complete a Pre-Candidate Questionnaire (PCQ). The PCQ will be evaluated by the Admissions Office to determine whether or not an applicant will be competitive for admission.


It is important to note that obtaining a Congressional nomination does not guarantee that a candidate will be selected for an appointment to an academy. The final decision will be made by the academies.


Applicants must be of good moral character and meet the following basic eligibility requirements:


            •            At least 17 but not past their 23rd birthday by July 1 of the year they enter the Academy


            •            A U.S. citizen (U.S. nationals may be nominated but must obtain their U.S. citizenship before graduating)


            •            Unmarried with no dependents


In addition to opening an official file with the academies, applicants seeking a nomination from Congressman Faleomavaega must also open an official file with his office.


Applicants may do so by completing a Military Academy Nomination form which can be found by visiting his Congressional website at


Faleomavaega’s deadline to accept nomination requests this year is Friday, December 27, 2013. For further information please check with his Tafuna office at 699-8577.

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