Community Briefs

Compiled by Samoa News staff

LOLO ORDERS FLAGS LOWERED FOR FORMER ISRAEL LEADER PEREGov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has ordered flags in American Samoa to be flown at half-staff as a mark of respect for the memory of Shimon Peres, the former president and prime minister of Israel.

Peres died early this week at the age of 93 after suffering a stroke two weeks ago, and he will be laid to rest today, Sept. 30, according to The Associated Press.

In a proclamation issued Wednesday, US President Barack Obama ordered that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff at the White House and on all federal public buildings and grounds throughout the US and its territories until sunset on Sept. 30 as a “mark of respect for the memory” of Peres.

Pursuant to Obama’s proclamation, Lolo — through a general memorandum issued yesterday — also ordered all flags in American Samoa to be flown at half-staff until sunset today.

“As we reflect upon the passing of Mr. Peres, let us remember him not only as a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, but as a man who dedicated his entire life to seeking resolution of the unending conflicts afflicting his part of the world,” Lolo said. “May he now, finally, rest in peace.”

Obama, who departed yesterday for Isarel, and along with former US President Bill Clinton, will be attending Peres’ funeral in Jerusalem.

TOLEAFOA TO BE APPOINTED BLUESKY INTERIM CEO

In a brief news release Wednesday, Bluesky announced Toleafoa Douglas Creevey is being proposed to the Board to step in as interim chief executive officer of Bluesky, while it’s parent company Amper SA finalizes the sale of the company to Fiji-based Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH).

It says Amper and ATH have confirmed that a definitive Sale and Purchase Agreement has been signed for the sale of Bluesky Pacific Group companies, and Amper is in the process of obtaining necessary shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Samoa News notes that among the regulatory approvals is one from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Toleafoa has been a part of Bluesky since 2011 and has held a number of key leadership roles within the company including, Chief Operations Officer, Country Manager- Samoa and is currently Bluesky’s Country Manager in New Zealand and a Director on the board of Bluesky Cook Islands.

Regarding the pending appointment, Toleafoa said, “My priority is to ensure the continuity of our operations and that we continue to uphold Bluesky’s vision and values. I, together with the leadership team remain focused on delivering the best quality of service and looking after our customers,” according to the Bluesky release.

On Tuesday, Bluesky said in a seperate news release that Bluesky’s CEO Aoe’e Adolfo Montenegro and Amper SA have decided to conclude their management agreement effective last Friday, with Jaime Espinosa the Chairman of Amper assuming the role of Group CEO of Bluesky Pacific Group.

Bluesky said it expresses sincerest gratitude to Montenegro for his contributions to the Bluesky Pacific Group, to its staff and to the Pacific communities that it serves.

Samoa News reported Tuesday that in an email to Bluesky employees received Saturday morning, Espinosa announced the signing of “the Sale and Purchase Agreement and also that he would be taking on more responsibilities during this “transition period”. It was then he announce that Montenegro’s management contract had been “concluded”. (See Samoa News edition Sept. 27 for details)

TRI MARINE CONSIDERING FISHING SUPPLY SHORTAGES

Tri Marine International is “carefully” considering the fish supply shortages for its Samoa Tuna Processors Inc., cannery plant in Atu’u.

StarKist Co., confirmed Tuesday that its StarKist Samoa operation in American Samoa would shut down for one week, the week of Oct. 10, as a result of fish-supply shortages. (See Samoa News edition Sept. 28 for details.)

Tri Marine chief operation officer Joe Hamby told Samoa News on Tuesday that Samoa Tuna Processors and StarKist have been impacted by the closure of high seas fishing grounds. But he declined to comment on whether Samoa Tuna Processors plans to shut down because of any fish supply shortage or if the cannery has sufficient fish supply.

The next day, on Wednesday, Tri Marine spokesperson Heidi Happonen said the company “is carefully considering fish supply shortages and other market challenges at this time but we have no news to report about any related decisions.”

CONGRESSWOMAN STATEMENT ON FED GOV’T FUND EXTENSION

Congresswoman Aumua Amata announced yesterday the passage of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, which provides a 10-week stopgap in government funding.

“As the primary role of Congress is to fund government operations, I am pleased that the House and Senate were able to come together and pass this short term extension,” she said in a news release.

“I look forward to returning to this issue in December after the elections and ensuring that the government continues to operate smoothly during fiscal year 2017,” she said. “I know that my colleagues and I will continue to work together, and I am confident that we won’t see any government shutdowns anytime soon.”

The continuing resolution, approved by the US House and US Senate, will fund the federal government until Dec. 9. 

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