When you get stuck along Beach Road, better take the Middle Road. This is a website for those who choose to tread Saipan's off the beaten path. * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * +

Dec 30, 2007

NY Resolution 20-08


It's not a House Resolution from our dear Legislature but it's Saipan Middle Road's New Year's Resolution for 2008 blog post. This post has been inspired when I saw Larry King Live today with all the Biggest Loser cast and trainers in it. The guests mentioned that every year people mostly would come up with NY resolutions that include losing weight blah blah blah.

Well, here goes our own New Year's resolutions for 2008:

We will "attempt" to:

1. Be nice with our posts.
2. Be in the middle, seeing both sides of stories
3. Post more stories or thoughts as much as possible
4. Combat laziness in our workplace
5. Focus on good things
6. Find our happy places most of the time

Sorry, we will still accept anonymous comments especially if they make sense...

(Well, we all know that we break our resolutions every year...)

The Reveler

Dec 28, 2007

No Stopping the Reform

It looks like there's no stopping the controversial CNMI Reform Law 15-108 this January 2008. I heard from people aka nonresident workers that trooped the Labor Office this week the officers from the department have been stressing to them the effective date of the law starting Tuesday next week.

I thought I read from somewhere that the implementation would be delayed due to a review by the Legislature. Well, I read wrong in that case. I need to increase the grade in this contact lenses.

I guess the nonresident workers would have to brace themselves for this change....

The Reveler

Dec 26, 2007

Quick Picks: Britney Spears' New Song


Below is the first stanza of media fave Britney Spears' new single "Piece of Me:"
"I’m Miss American Dream since I was 17
Don’t matter if I step on the scene
Or sneak away to the Philippines
They still gon put pictures of my derrière in the magazine
You want a piece of me?
You want a piece of me…"
Sneaking away to the Philippines? Hmmm...

The Reveler

Dec 25, 2007

F&B 911: Taste of the Flair Bar


Here's a glimpse of what the Flair Bar in Garapan is providing its guests every night. These bartenders are the best on the island, i must say.

However, how come the bar charges VAT (value added tax)? We neglected to question them but...oh well....

The Reveler

Dec 23, 2007

Quarters Master Road

Is everything leading now to the road to federalization as the CNMI will be featured on a quarter? Does this mean that this is a sign of what thousands of nonresident workers have been hoping for them?

I read some sites that the Legislature and some groups are seeking designs for this quarter? Can't wait to see the quarter and drop it for my laundry...kidding...

The Reveler

Dec 20, 2007

Going Going Cohen....

Questions now are in the minds of those that contemplate on this news today whether groups would be happy that the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Interior David Cohen is leaving his post.

Is this good news or bad news?

You tell me....

The Reveler

Dec 19, 2007

MAC-simize!

I went to a computer shop for my regular ink refills and while I was waiting I couldn't help but notice the beautiful iMac wireless desktop at the repair area. I asked the techie guys what model it was and they said it was the latest iMac that has wireless monitor, mouse et al. The guys gawked on it for a long time because it was really hi-tech desktop from Apple. I used to have the old blue iMac.

Then the guys said too bad the owner was not maximizing its capability. "The owner is just using this for excel and word processing," the techie guy said. So I asked him what the problem was with the iMac. He said it was brought there for upgrade because the owner was complaining that it was slow. The techie guy said the computer was also being used for downloading songs, so I figured the desktop is being used to download songs. Then, I asked him who the owner was. He said the iMac is owned by the Division of Youth Services office.

WTH? What does that office need an iMac for? Ok, maybe it was acquired through federal funding. That iMac costs around $2,000 already and that amount could get that office at least three reliable PCs. What gives?

Oh well....

The Reveler

Dec 14, 2007

Nazis?

Reading today's letters to the editors made me cringe on my seat. TTT's Greg Cruz's letter struck me the most. In his letter he allegedly referred to the Filipinos as "Nazis?" Maybe he was referring to something else let me know....

He also mentioned in his letter that the reason why the Filipinos have "protesting mentality" is because of the problems in their own [Philippine] government.

As far as I am aware of using the word "Nazi" or referring it to a race is way overboard.

Does this mean, when thousands of Americans marched against the Iraq war, that means the protesters are "Nazis?"

I am just dumbfounded with his letter.

The Reveler

Dec 13, 2007

Nurses' Curses

I don't mean to pick on the Public Health again as we all understand the department's financial plight. However, we've heard that the hundreds of nurses are now worried that their benefits will be removed from their compensation packages.

Come early next year this will be implemented according to some nurses we've spoken this week. These benefits include housing allowance and so much more. When these nurses especially the non-residents were hired, part of the attraction to work here are the benefits.

Some said what could they do about it when the department has money problems....

What do you think?

The Reveler

Dec 12, 2007

'Revel Without a Claus'

There's no Jimmy Dean nor Sal Mineo this Holiday Season.

It's days left before Christmas and couple of weeks before 2008 and Saipan tries to lift a smile to be merry this Holiday Season. However, high prices such the gasoline's and commodities impede the utter celebration. Though Christmas decors have been put in place along the road, as early as 9pm nightly the used-to-be glimmering Beach Road is now as dead as the breeze-less nights in December.

I believe the people will party and revel to keep a happy face this Christmas Season but at a very practical way.

So, question is what are the changes you are faced with this Season either at your home, in your workplace or within your community.

Are the flickering lights still on? Does Santa Claus still wear a bright red coat on your Christmas trees?

The Reveler

Dec 9, 2007

New Poll: Would They or Would They Not?

So the rally is in the past now, so what do you think will happen next?

<---- Cast your votes now!

----

Poll Result:

Should Rep. Kaipat run for mayor next election?

48.8 percent of the community wondered why the Saipan Middle Road posted such poll, while 32.6 percent agreed that outgoing Rep. Cinta Kaipat should run for Saipan Mayor race next election.

The Reveler

Dec 7, 2007

Highs and LOWS of the March



Well, aside from seeing Saipan Blogger taking some shots during yesterday afternoon's rally, I would say that it was very elating for me to see at least 6,000 of nonresident workers and supporters during yesterday's march.

I will post some photos and videos soon but let me get this out of my chest first. I lost my wallet during the rally. I felt my back pocket suddenly I remembered my wallet. I asked my partner if I had left it at home but I was so sure that I had in my pocket when I joined the rally. My wallet was a rip curl long black wallet. In it were my driver's license, check cards, SS card and other cards.

Again I was a victim of theft and I ask myself why always me?

I felt bad because I went to the rally to support it but this happened to me. What can I say but feel bad. I had my cards there and my $200 from my first art commission I earned this week.

Kudos to the rallyists. Yeah. To whoever stole my wallet. What goes around comes back around.

The Reveler

Unity March Not Today (Friday, Dec. 7)

"Are you in or out?"

It sounded like it was an affiliate church of the UMC but it's not. Text messages have been roaming once again urging the non-resident community members to join a "Unity March" on Dec.7 (Thanks for the correction, future House Rep(rigerator) ;-), starting at 5pm from the Minatchom Atdao.

The march is in protest to the recently passed PL 15-108 or more popularly known as the Reform Law introduced by Rep. Cinta Kaipat this year that reportedly would not allow transfers of employment either consensual or end of contract, that non-resident workers will have to exit the CNMI for six months before to be allowed to come back.

What can the march do with the enacted law? Is it a futile attempt of freedom of expression? What's there to change when it had been unanimously agreed and signed in the Legislature and the Executive Branch?

You tell me....

The Reveler

Dec 5, 2007

Gov Employees Hypertensive?

Yesterday's news (Marianas Variety) was that only three out of 30 government employees have normal blood pressure and other are hypertensive. Uhmmm...why did we have to report this again? Oh, yeah, someone we bumped into yesterday's lunch had asked "what's up with that ratio? That's terrible."

Perhaps it was necessary to determine this health condition of government workers to set an example to the community? It had been reported before by the Public Health that the CNMI has had the higher risk in diabetes than the US mainland.

What is the news in this story?

It is still news, some said, adding that it's the government workers involved in the survey. I guess that sampling is a microcosm of the bigger society here.

Does that mean that if the local government is unhealthy, then the entire island isn't as well?

Again, you tell me.

Dec 3, 2007

Fluoridate Your Taste

The Taotao Tano group expressed concern about fluoridated water that is "toxic to human beings" at least according to today's Marianas Variety. According to its president that his research "found that 'fluoride contains lead, arsenic, radium and other toxic chemicals, which causes memory problems, neurological impairment, learning disorders, and hip fractures." Right now, business tycoon Tony Pellegrino provides fluoridated water through Saipan Ice.

I believe Toothworks' Dr. Alan Markoff supports the fluoridated water before then the SDA Dental Clinic too. Hmmm...

I don't want to say anything anymore about health of the island's teeth because I might get myself whacked in the head again but what's the real story about fluoridating the water here? Now, flash a smile for me, will ya? Hmmm...I think, fluoride won't be much of a help there honey. ;-)

Aside from salt, what else should be integrated with the island's water?

You tell me.

The Reveler

Nov 29, 2007

Rif(t) Raff Ruffle

Oh my. Yesterday's news kind of taken me slightly off my seat when it was reported that the top two CNMI officials have had a rift for a long time now. I thought I could see it right before my eyes long before the rift between Gov. Benigno R. Fitial and his Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Villagomez.

I heard that the second head has not had the power of any sort to run the local government. Former Lt. Gov. Diego Benavente was tasked to handle the Water Task Force then. For Villagomez now, what he has done so far is to act as governor whenever (which was frequent) the governor was away for medical treatment or signed minor bills, laws or proclamation letters.

During that time of austerity, the Lt. Gov. signed something about the austerity Fridays that excluded some people including those are working at the Public Health. I remember the governor retracted that authorization and quipped on how surprised he was that "my Lt. Gov." was signing such document.

What does this tell us, I mean the rift between the two?

Again, you tell me.

The Reveler

Nov 27, 2007

'Never Get Over You Getting Over Me

Just a quick note.

One thing I admire about the current Governor is his pervasive charm and humor when he's around people and crowd. He was interviewed by the media about his health and yes, the news made it to today's paper that he is set to go to Manila for treatment in the best and most expensive Asian Hospital in the Philippines.

He quipped during the interview that he has not recovered yet since the night that he got booed. He laughed.

The Reveler

Nov 22, 2007

What's Life After Government Office?

This has been going on in my feeble mind about the staff of government officials or lawmakers that didn't make the cut in the recent election? For the lawmakers there are still much ahead of them in terms of finding alternative work after losing the election. They have always been resilient in these types of situation, but how about their staff?

I remember one of these staff used to have a more stable work also in a government agency but when his political candidate friend won the 2005 election, he was asked to join the lawmaker's team.

So, the incumbents lost. Where are they going to go now? Of course there's always alternative to that. However, what if some of the staff want to still work for the government but their names have been attached to their former bosses?

Oh well....

New Poll: Where Should She Go?

As others expressed the idea of getting Rep. Cinta back to public service, some suggested that she runs the Municipality of Saipan in 2009. Do you agree or not?

<-----Cast you votes now!

As for our previous poll, obviously Tina Sablan made the cut in the election and out of 53 votes 81.1 percent believed she would definitely make it.

The Reveler

Nov 21, 2007

Rep. Cinta's T-Giving Luau!


Reposting our dear friend Rep. Cinta Kaipat's invitation for this Saturday:
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, there are many things that I have to be thankful for.

I am thankful for the constituents of Precinct 1 who gave me the opportunity to serve in the 15th Legislature.
I am thankful for the people of Precinct 1 who voted to retain me in office.
I am thankful for my supporters from outside Precinct 1, on-island and off-island.
I am thankful for my staff, the best staff anyone could ever ask for.
I am thankful for my most loving and supportive friends and family.
I am thankful for my ever-expanding Beautify CNMI family.

And as a token of my heartfelt appreciation, I invite all of my supporters to a Thank You BBQ to take place this Saturday, November 24, at the Susupe Beach Park at noon.

Finally, I would like to congratulate the six representatives elected in Precinct 1. I wish them the best of luck.

Sincerely,

Rep. Cinta M. Kaipat
Your representative in the 15th CNMI Legislature
I read Jeff Turbitt's article today regarding his thoughts about our friend. I couldn't agree more. However, it's not the end of the world for our friend. She has planted several good seeds and she will harvest 'em fruits in due time.

(Photo linked from WeLoveSaipan.Com)

Nov 20, 2007

My Boo! My Boo!

Tan Holdings recently held its 35th Anniversary presentation featuring Filipino celebrity Martin Nievera where 10,000 Filipinos and other fans of the singer gathered one Sunday night.

Brad Ruszala was behind the voice over for the concert. It was time to acknowledge the dignitaries watching the show. He acknowledged government officials and when he acknowledged the presence of the CNMI Governor, the crowd "booed" him not that loud but it was loud enough to be heard by many.

Then the audience started murmurs about a general strike. The crowd then said that when the strike happens, it should have the same number of people.

Saipan Blogger vs. Hypercritical Thinker

Alas! These prominent bloggers are taking print media by "tropical" storm with their writing whims. Hypercritical thinker Jeff Turbitt writes for Marianas Variety and we read his column every Wednesday. Now Saipan Blogger Angelo Villagomez will soon be writing for Saipan Tribune. He just made the deal yesterday.

I wonder what could he be writing? Environment of course, but we will see about that. Villagomez for us is equally "hypercritical" of things.

Congratulations Saipan Blogger. Now, you can write about anonymous comments for the island to read and ponder upon!

Kudos to both!

Nov 17, 2007

Kudos to Tina Sablan!


Our sincerest congratulations go to Tina Sablan for making it to the election! She won with a bigger lead this time against Janet Maratita. What can we say? Uhmm...Goodluck on your new career path and may you take all the challenges head on....

Again, congratulations Tina!

(photo taken from Marianas Variety, Feb 9, 2007)

Absentee Ballot Now In

This is it. By 4pm today, Saturday, the winners will be officially announced. Will Tina Sablan make it? Will our friends Cinta and Waki make the cut? Much as we would say 'we hope so' but who knows. This election season has been crazy unpredictable (really now). Oh well, we can only hope, right?

The paper says today: "The Election Commission has received over 1,000 of the 1,517 absentee ballots sent out to CNMI voters in Guam, the U.S. mainland, and elsewhere.

More ballots will be retrieved from the post office at noon today. Counting will follow at the Multi Purpose Center in Susupe.

CEC executive director Gregorio C. Sablan said the tabulation should be finished by around 4:30pm.

Numerous candidates have their fates hanging on the absentee ballots.

Nov 15, 2007

Bite My Head Off

The Governor wrote a letter to Department of Interior Sec. Dirk Kempthorne asking for the removal of current Federal Ombudsman Jim Benedetto's "head" in the CNMI. However, Kempthorne is renewing Benedetto to remain as the Ombudsman in the Commonwealth for another three years.

The renewal seems to make Benedetto stay longer than the current governor, whose term is up for two more years.

Hmmm...I wonder now, if the local government also had asked for Cohen's head?

Nov 14, 2007

Film Revue: Reign Over Me (2007)


Did you ever think that comedian Adam Sandler could make you cry? I know we've seen him on Punch Drunk Love but as I was surfing the net for video streams I came across a site where they have a link to this movie (great copy btw) and I watched the movie Reign Over Me, where Sandler teamed up with Oscar nominee Don Cheadle.

The story is about post 9/11 and Sandler's character is silently grieving from the loss of his entire family even his dog from the plane that crashed onto the Twin Towers. He appears to be suffering from amnesia but he just wants to forget. The story revolves around this plot and how Cheadle permeated to Sandler's character is the whole story.

Highlight of the movie is when Sandler finally opens up. 'Brought tears to my eyes....

Verdict:

Movie is not for action movie freaks. Intelligent dialogues with patches of "Madison" humor from Sandler.

The Reveler

Nov 11, 2007

Reforming CNMI

I know. I know. There have been several discussions about the Reform Bill, now enacted into law. Several nonresident workers are now scampering to seek answers to questions or vent to people about their concerns and questions.

Some of the questions are:

1. When is the effectivity of this law? When does it start? (January 2008)
2. So does that mean the three year period before the periodic exit starts also in January or those that meet the three year requirement would have to exit asap?
3. So when a nonresident that works for only one year with one employer, then does not renew his/her contract and plans to work for another company, does that mean that the three year counting will start all over?
4. What will happen when a company's most reliable employee, perhaps the head of a department, would have to exit and never return to work after six months, would the company be able to hire same skilled and trained employee from the CNMI?
5. What will happen to the Reform Law when the federal takeover of immigration system and labor happens?
6. What are the opinions of the business leaders here such as the members of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce on this issue? Should they make a public statement on this one too?
7. Under the current labor and immigration system, it takes at least six months to take a foreign worker to the CNMI. So, when the employee has to exit, the vacant position either should be filled by a resident, what if he/she does not qualify e.g. education background, experience et al? Would a company hire someone who doesn't know how to write on ledgers and balance accounts? What if it's a sensitive post where a company's assets and financial stability relies on?
8. Does the law only prohibit consensual transfer?

Let's help make others understand more about this law.

Nov 9, 2007

Venting on Vending Machine


I have never learned and I hate it. I have been a victim among many others by the two vending machines at the Gilbert C. Ada Gym in Susupe. It was my fourth last night that I was soooo darn thirsty and in need of the drink and I had no other option but to get a drink from these machines only to piss my self more that the machine ate my money and didn't dispense any drink.

Would you believe that a can of soda costs $1.10 each from these machines? I wanted Gatorade. I kept on inserting coins hoping it would work but no sireeee! I was sooooo thirsty and the machine frustrated me more than ever. Oh well, big deal. They say kids play with the machines and put a lot of things in there. I don't think those defective machines have a place at the gym.

Ok. I know. I should bring my own drink right. Whatev....

The Reveler

Nov 7, 2007

Poll: Will Tina Make It or Not?

Our new poll asks whether you think Tina Sablan will make it to the top 6 in her precinct when the absentee ballots are finally counted. She is on a neck-and-neck battle with Janet Maratita and Cinta Kaipat.

So what do you think? What went wrong and right on the result of her votes?

<-----Cast your votes now!

---

Poll Results:

Our last poll about NMC's shutting down of Tinian and Rota instructional sites:

75 percent of the votes said Yes and should've been decided a long time ago.
12.5 percent said no.
12.5 percent of the voters were surprised to learn that there are other campuses on the two islands.

The Reveler

Nov 5, 2007

Election Giveaway

Tacder and I were doing our rounds during the election last Saturday and we saw one supporter here in one of the public schools on Saipan giving away a betel nut bags to voters after they voted in that precinct.
ZZZzzzzzz....

Below is not a photo of a homicide or something to that effect, but this is a photo taken during election counting where a spectator couldn't control any further and slept a bit during the counting while waiting for the announcements....

Nov 4, 2007

Saipan Casino Axed

It was unanimously voted from all the precincts that the Saipan Casino Act should not be allowed on Saipan. However, Rotanese decided that it is. Those that said Yes for Saipan Casino were 3,492 while No is 4721. Despite the result these figures only show that people are really divided in this issue. There is a significant number of CNMI residents that desire for that "hope" from a casino on Saipan.

The Rota Casino Act of 2007 result shows that 788 of them want the casino while 144 was not in favor.

On other highlights of the election, Tina Sablan is currently on 6th place while Cinta is in 8th place. Tina is only ahead of Janet Maratita by 13 votes. Still there are 333 absentee voters to consider in two weeks. However, Zaldy of Marianas Variety said the trend for absentee voting is usually the same with the actual voting here in the CNMI. Only six will be selected from Tina's precinct.

Waki is in 7th place in his precinct? GOP mostly won. Crisostimo and Salas are on neck and neck battle for one seat at the Senate.

Ray Sakisat got nine votes out of over 800 voters.

For the partial list of the election results follow this link.

Nov 2, 2007

Election Kudos Et Al

We on Middle Road would like to say "good luck" to our friends that are running for a seat at the House of Representatives: Tina Sablan, Rep. Cinta Kaipat, Rep. A. Waki and Brad Ruszala.

Liquor ban is effective tomorrow from 7am to 7pm until voting on polling places ends. So in other words no drinking while voting. ;-) If you are caught intoxicated while voting your votes won't be counted. Kidding. Just make sure you don't see double while voting. ;-)

Also, no political ads are allowed during election day. The ads include on print and broadcast media. So, sorry Nahal, your ad is banned too (smiles)

Oct 31, 2007

Where Were You During the Jolt?

Halloween did really scare the Saipan community.

We were at home for lunch and I thought someone was knocking on the door. I ignored it. 'Was washing the dishes when we felt the building was shaking for about 10 seconds. We immediately ran to the door and then it stopped. Online reports said that it was 7.2 magnitude on RS. The earthquake also occurred in California at the same time. Now that's a first.

USGS Report-An earthquake occurred about 40 km (25 miles) WNW of Agrihan or 405 km (250 miles) N of SAIPAN at 9:30 PM MDT, Oct 30, 2007 (Oct 31 at 1:30 PM local time in Mariana Islands). The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available. There have been no reports of damage.
'What you get for living three floors above the ground.

Where were you?

Oct 30, 2007

MVA and Tourism and the Eagle Rays

Two months left and it's 2008. What has the local tourism agency done so far to further promote the island as one of the Pacific's top diving sites? Yes, they've participated in conventions in Japan and neighboring islands to promote the CNMI. Recent blogs (reading from various posts) that the Eagle Rays are now getting extinct? I had the chance to speak with diving icon Mike Tripp and hearing from him as he shared with business leaders before that something should be done to protect the eagle rays that are endemic to the CNMI waters.

I had the privilege to keep a copy of his DVD and when I saw the eagle rays marauding the bottom of the shallow waters around Saipan, it was like a miracle under the sea. I didn't know that the CNMI has these sea wonders.

Tripp shared that in Cayman Islands, the eagle rays or stingrays are one of the tourist destinations there reaping $9 million annually from tourists. An international organization mentioned that the CNMI is very lucky to have the advantage of seeing the eagle rays on shallow waters or near the shores. Something that should attract tourists.

Is it really complicated to market the CNMI with its strong points? Everything is interrelated. Enhancing the airport is also one development for the tourists. However, should we start first with the actual destinations here on the island? Beautifying them and promoting them? Is it really a long way to go for the CNMI? I know, I know at the rate we're going in terms of the number of the tourists visiting every month, indeed it's a long way to go.

The Candy and You

What does your favorite candy say about you and your personality? Since it's Halloween, Washington Post has this interesting poll on their website about your favorite candy and what it says about you. Happy Halloween evwibwadi!


Read entire article on WashingtonPost.Com

Oct 29, 2007

Stay Put and Relax!

These are the words coming from a masked man robbing a mini-supermarket located at Navy Hill last week. A colleague shared his encounter face-to-face or should I say face-to-mask with the robber. The grocery store is located at the ground floor of their Apartelle near Miha Housing.

My colleague was carrying his laundry basket when he ran into the robber. "Drop it and relax!" shouted the masked man. My colleague did what he was told and crossed his arms to relax staring at the robber. He said the guy was about 5'6" tall and with strong accent.

This week's robbery was recorded through the store's security cam. He was wearing a mask too. Are we going to have this robbery every week? What can the police do? What can the community do? I guess nothing but to stay put and relax....

Oct 28, 2007

USDA $1 Billion Power Loans


The paper today headlined a USDA loan for power utility companies. USDA announced yesterday that more than $1.6 billion in electric loans to finance 1,500 miles of new line, upgrades of nearly 1,000 miles of existing line, and improvements to power generation and transmission facilities for rural consumers in 13 states.

Hmmm...I wonder why CUC is not included in the list...Oh I guess we're too busy fixing power plants and writing for loans is not an option.

Speaking of rolling blackouts, it is so nice (clears throat) to live in a place with generators.

Oct 25, 2007

Grotto H&LL!

Gomenesai. Los Siento. I apologize for this post. Yes. I relied to the report on paper about renaming the Grotto, only to find out yesterday that the Legislature did only pass as the governor approved to have a "monument" installed at the Grotto, not renaming the place at all. Argh! So folks. It's safe. Grotto will always be called Grotto.

----
Yes, people. The current administration is renaming the internationally renowned Grotto diving site in Marpi on Saipan. The new name is BenKi (or Ben & Ki) after the first certified diver from the CNMI the late Vicente Ben Concepcion. See more on today's paper.

Questions:

1. Would it be a huge adjustment telling those international media and diving magazines/journals that featured the Grotto as one of the world's finest diving sites?
2. What's going to be next renaming project? Suicide Cliff? Naming it after the first Japanese that jumped off that cliff (pardon this one)?
3. What would be the impact of renaming Grotto? Would there be one anyway?
4. Should the Legislature take center stage and override this one again? (Oh, this one's not a veto)

Nahal on TV

Flipping through the cable TV last night and I stumbled on a campaign ad where Fabulous Invalid Theater's Nahal Navidar is in the commercial. I thought it was a government public service ad. Nahal was funny in this ad, of course obviously because she's an excellent actress.

She talks about CUC bills, power outages, telephone bills and so on. Then she says all these problems are currently beleaguering us all the reason why she's voting for the Republican Party.

The Reveler

Oct 23, 2007

Flower Power!

It was time for two of my tires to retire and get new ones and I went to this tire shop and a Chinese woman accommodated me. Then I was looking around to see of course the staff aka men who would change two of my tires, but there was none. Then she grabbed all the tools to start the job.

There she was replacing the tires of my car--something I honestly despise to do. Simply amazing. I heard from TacDer that there's another Chinese owned autoshop where another female that does the same.

Now, that's Girl Power! Attagirl! Go Gurlz!

Oct 22, 2007

Poll: Closing Down NMC Campuses

The latest report from the Northern Marianas College to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the college administrators decided to suspend academic degree programs being offered at its Tinian and Rota instructional sites. The college assessed that in order not to compromise the community college's accreditation status, the two sites should undergo restructuring of its academic programs.

At first the college president didn't want the public to know this yet, not until the involved islands would know it first. Thus our poll this time is all about the closure of these instructional sites.

<-----Cast your votes now!!!

Poll result on CUC Rollback:

53.3 percent of the voters said they are not happy with the CUC rollback this month.
26.7 percent said they are glad about it, while 20 percent of them agreed that this blog is dead for them, yet they still managed to vote (it's the return of the living dead)

Oct 20, 2007

Rewards for Lost Items: Free Beer For Life?

Free beer for life as reward for stolen laptop? Whoa! Should we have done the same when we lost two of our Macbooks and offered free pugua for life?
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- A New Zealand brewer is offering a lifetime supply of free beer in exchange for the return of a laptop stolen in a break-in. Croucher Brewing Co. co-owner Paul Croucher said Friday the computer contains "all our financials" as well as label designs for new beers and business contacts. "So we decided that if anyone does come into possession of it we'll be happy to offer them a reward -- a dozen (bottles) of beer a month for the rest of their life," he said. Croucher estimated the total value would likely be about $19,500 for a lifetime of beer. Since making the offer, "plenty of people" had called to say they were looking for the computer, he said. Coucher said he was optimistic the free beer offer would lead to the return of the stolen computer. "We'd love it back. We're at such a critical stage in our little business that every hit like that is quite big," he said. The microbrewery in the central North Island tourist town of Rotorua currently ships 160 gallons of its three beers -- an English-style pale ale, Czech-style pilsner and a cloudy German wheat beer -- each week. New Zealand winemaker Montana called to warn the brewery owners to make sure the terms of their free beer reward were precise. The winery had a difficult legal wrangle with the winner of an offer of five years' free wine who tried to extend the supply.

Black is What?


This is interesting. How different is this story from being called animals? Sorry, Tina can't get over it yet.
LONDON, England (CNN) -- Nobel laureate biologist James Watson was suspended Friday from his longtime post at a research laboratory and canceled his planned British book tour after controversial comments that black people are not as intelligent as white people.

James Watson won the 1962 Nobel prize for discovering the structure of DNA. Watson has apologized for the controversial remarks. Photos from CNN.com

Oct 18, 2007

Can't Do It. No PC in the Office...

Uh huh. This was was the line of the Nursing Board when they were asked by visiting officials and investors if the Board of Nursing has all ready reviewed the proposal forwarded by the administration for the new medical university that will soon be operating here on Saipan.

University of Loyola at the CNMI, Inc. had a presentation at the Governor's Office. Government officials led by the governor attended the presentation together with Licensing Board officials and the Nursing Board. The medical university is now waiting for the approval of its license to operate and recruit students from the mainland and some interested students from here. To the president's dismay, the Nursing Board representatives apologized that they couldn't get hold of a copy the school sent them through the Internet "because due to budget problem, we don't have computers in the office?"

For real? Oh well....

Tina Sablan on the Run...

Below are extracted from Tina Sablan's website. These are comments she received from callers and other people she meet here in the CNMI:
“I would like to hear your thoughts about the tribune’s headline yesterday where cohen mentioned the possibility of granting permanent residence here in the commonweath to approx 8K non-resident workers. you testified in congress last month that you did not see anything wrong with this move and i wonder if you still have the same view today.” — Nicky/John Jr.

“all i ask of you is to PLEASE side with us.protect our future.DON’T GIVE PERMANENT RESIDENCY TO ALL NON-RESIDENT PEOPLE! this ideas spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R!!!! and this is your statement to the US CONGRESS.that is another issue i have with you, by the way.i like you, BUT YOU ARE SCARING ME.” — Nicky/John Jr.

“Tina, how can you put those animals above your own people?” — Anonymous caller, after the federal hearing in August
Read her response to this on Oct. 18 (Friday) paper

Oct 17, 2007

Caught in the Boycott

Saipan Chamber of Commerce was terribly disappointed the other night when its first election forum was deliberately boycotted by some candidates running for House seats. SCC president expressed his disappointment and wondered why they didn't show up. Apparently he was aware of the buzz around the island that the precinct 3 candidates would boycott the forum because of what he wrote on the paper about the SCC's disappointment with the Legislature's overriding of the Gov. veto on CUC bill.

SCC president said it was the position of the SCC and the current members of the Legislature especially those that are seeking re-election did not consult or seek advice from the Chamber.

"If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen," he said.

Oct 15, 2007

Club 200's Dread

Joeten Motors won big bucks ($15,000) during recently held American Red Cross Club 200. Ms. Frances Demapan went up the stage and in utter ecstasy for winning the grand prize announced to the audience that Joeten Motors bigwigs would agree with her that the prize money should be given back to Red Cross [for its community services].

To Joeten Motors officials' surprise, Red Cross decided to redraw a new winner because Joeten Motors decided to give it back. Witnesses saw the Joeten Motors officials' faces and looked at each other in utter surprise, but did not show it.

According to Red Cross, people that bought a $100 ticket that night hoped to win the prizes; thus, the civic group redrew the raffle for the grand prize.

Joeten Motors might have meant to donate the prize money to Red Cross immediately but still would claim the name as the winner. They donated the money to Red Cross because they knew that Red Cross needs money to fill all its services. Shouldn't Red Cross have consulted the winner first if it was okay to redraw the grand prize, when Joeten Motors meant to donate the money to Red Cross. It was luck that they won. They bought tickets too. It's sheer luck but I guess Joeten doesn't need more dough, right? Joeten Motors should have taken the money instead then give it to its Joeten Charitable Foundation to give to more deserving entities in the CNMI.

The new winner, though, they say deserves the prize money to help pay for hospital expenses of a member of the family. Hmmm...in this case....oh well.

Oct 14, 2007

What?


Thanks to Weird Elle for taking time to document this graffiti. If you look closer or at least zoom the photo in, the word "priest" was blotched. The comments are right and that erased word was indeed "priest."

Delving on this topic, would just let me rant about the priests that serve on this island. Yes. Majority of these priests are believed to be pretty alternative in their lifestyles. One priest according to sources even owns partly one of the gay clubs/bars in Manila. I don't mean to demean any one here especially the subject of the grammarians in the comment section.

Priest or no priest, however, being gay is never illegal.

Back-to-Back Concert and Accidents

Last night's Back to Back Concert with exiting resident band Streetbeat Band and new band Switchgroove at the Club V was sure a megahit as over 500 people went in and out of the club. Cars were all piling up outside the parking lot of the Saipan Grand Hotel as most of them parked along the highway and across the hotel.

Past midnight, people coming in were mumbling about a terrible accident just outside the road going in to the hotel. A terrible accident that the police said the unidentified could-be Korean guy could end up dead. Police said, "Well, 90-percent he could be dead." The Asian driver was with a passenger who ran away, bloody all over the face, when he was asked to show his ID.

The two colliding cars hit two others after collision.

Didn't we say to prevent such accident because more likely CHC wouldn't be able to help at all. Now that they don't do INR or lab test for blood coagulation before surgery?

Oct 12, 2007

CNMI's David Copper(field) wire thief

This will give you a lift. Reuters reported days ago about copper wire thief in Germany that was charred beyond recognition when he tried to steal a live copper cable. Now don't you admire the thieves here in the CNMI especially when they stole the over 5-inch thick copper wire at La Fiesta that was worth $400,000. Such sly piece of meat huh? By the way, it was a live wire too. Just when you thought copper wire theft is only in the CNMI. Oh well....
BERLIN (Reuters) - A thief in Germany was charred beyond recognition by a 10,000 volt electric shock when he tried to steal a live copper cable, authorities said Monday.

Police in the western city of Duisburg found the 32-year-old man's blackened remains by a set of cable cutters and pile of non-live cables he had already stolen.

Only because one of his hands survived incineration were officers able to identify the man as German of Kazakh origin.

"His fingerprints were already logged on police files," a local police spokesman said. "The force of the shock was so great that the hand was severed from his body."

Oct 10, 2007

Book Now, Fly 'Chamorro!'

Though it's been discussed before, the Marianas Visitors Authority board officials had a presentation before that to increase the traffic of tourists going to the CNMI, it would be better to have the CNMI's very own flag carrier.

It was predicted that September would be the worst month of the year with fewer tourists visiting the island. The plan was conceived to alleviate the continuing losses in air seats, thus MVA is now looking at a possible low-cost carrier that will be managed by the local government.

The project was reported to improve air service for the Japan, Korea and China markets, among others. With CNMI's very own flag carrier, there would be 26 flights per week creating stable flights from eight secondary cities in Japan, 14 cities to replace charter flights from China, two from Hong Kong and two from Taipei.

MVA said with 85 percent average load factor, the carrier could bring in additional 212,000 tourists to the CNMI.

What do you think?

Oct 9, 2007

Your Computer and You


It’s something a lot of bloggers already knew. A livescience.com article says one’s relationship with his computer is one he spends more time on than any other; it has become his most significant other. But is there supposed to be a ‘normal’ number of hours spent with someone’s PC or laptop, especially for those whose jobs are not tied to computers?

The same article points out that the results of a survey conducted earlier this year show 64 percent of Americans say they spend more time with their computer than with their significant other, and 84 percent said they were more dependent on their computer than they were three years ago.

Most parents do limit the number of hours their kids spend in front of the computer (same with watching TV, playing video games). But adults?

Oct 7, 2007

Saipan's sexiest men revisited

The list that started it all has been revisited -- some names were added, others needed to be removed.

Again, sexiness means more than having a gorgeous body and a beautiful face (or not at all) but also about having a brain, a big heart, a warm smile, charm, an 'x' factor, a sunny disposition and most of all, having a civic or social relevance; those who go beyond the call of duty to make a difference in the lives of others...

In alphabetical order:

Dr. Marvin Ali
Cuci Alvarez
Jim Benedetto
Jeff Boyer
Lawrence Boyer
Dr. Richard Brostrom
David Burger
Glen Buultjens
Ian Catlett
Charles Cepeda
SandCastle magicians Chris and Ryan
David Cohen
Rex Cosack
Ricky Delgado
Greg Elliot
Joseph Flores
Yosh Gabaldon
Tony Gomez
Jonathan Grayson
Matthew Gregory
Nick Gross
Adam Hardwicke
Cris Hilario
Glen Hunter
Katie's Joe
Robert Jordan
Tyce Mister
Tim Moran
Nabil Murday
Chris Nelson
Bob O'Connor
Jessie Palacios
Ken Pierson
Eric Plinske
Ed Propst
Russ Quinn
Brad Ruszala
Mike Sablan
Yoshi Suzuki
Robert Torres
Angelo Villagomez
Jeffrey Warfield

Oct 6, 2007

Poll: Power to the people

It is sad to hear stories about how the island community is now coping with the high cost of utilities here in the CNMI. Which brings us to our next poll about being happy that the recent turn of events about the legislature overriding a veto of the Governor regarding CUC bill reduction.

We had this nice chitchat with someone who shared with us that there are now families somewhere here on the island that have been disconnected and have not had power for so many months now. The story even told us that these families have to share connections with their neighbors. Some families are now into candles.

It is sad to learn about these realities that extremely bite hard.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Btw, our last poll got 58 percent of the votes saying that the government should not allow CNMI resident to pay their utility bills within a year, while 23 percent of the voters said yes.

Now, on to our next poll, related to CUC again.

<---- Cast your votes now!

"Tour" the Fire.....

"Tour" the fire, "Tour" the limit, "Tour" the wall....(to the tune of Chaka Khan's song)

What the hell? Three tour buses set on fire? Were the arsonists blaming the continuing decline of tourists in the CNMI that they muster all their anger and set three tour buses on fire? (See the story here)It's just so sad that maybe our cars won't be safe anymore if you park it outside your house or building when there's no parking spaces anywhere.

What could be the motive of the culprits? Could it be they had a bad experience with the tour operator because they failed to drop by Winchell's for a donut?

You tell me.

Oct 3, 2007

Remembering Ben

It's been two years since I met judge Govendo's son Ben, who died when his car fell into a ravine, now called the Govendo Curve. I read his dad's letter in the paper and i believe he raised some important points there. Below is some part of his letter.
October 1 marked the second anniversary of my son Ben's death at the 1,000-foot curve in Sadog Tasi. I am happy to see the “jersey” guardrails in place and would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who successfully designed and implemented the building of these guardrails. I am thankful that no one died during the exceptionally long time it took to complete these guardrails.

Special thanks are due to Lt. Gov. Tim Villagomez who ordered it done, Rep. Justo Quitugua who found the money to do it and Rep. Cinta Kaipat who kept me advised of what was happening.

When I drive by the area where my son died and I see these new guardrails in place, I can't help but wonder, what if. What if these guardrails had been in place two years ago? Would he be dead?
The night before he left us, I was there partying with him at a common friend's place. It was a birthday party. Then, during the toast he said it was his birthday like days before too. His birthday was on Sept. 29. He was a delight in the party for being charming as well. We were all shocked the next day when the small group of people in that party called one another and shared the bad news.

I still remember Ben with his book in his hands whenever he'd eat at Oleai Bar. What an interesting person he was.

Troubleshooter and the Troublemaker

This morning was the Saipan Chamber of Commerce's meeting highlighted its second Career Exploration Day and a presentation from Budget man Tony Muna.

SCC president JuanPan in his verbal effervescence introduced guests. One thing that struck us on our seats was when he introduced a government prominent staff as the "Troubleshooter but also the troublemaker" Ray Mafnas. Laughter in the hall.

See, You See What It Means?

Our dear CUC is now rubbing off sweat bullets on its forehead fearing to lose most of its grants due to the "forced work stoppage of more than 20 nonresident workers and six engineers at the Commonwealth Utilities Corp." since Sunday. CUC deems this as a serious problem that could impact on the multi-million federal funding being awarded to utilities corporation.

Yesterday CUC officials met with the Legislature and the Executive Branch on a closed-door meeting to request for an extension of the employment of the non-resident workers at CUC. CUC said the lack of engineers and their technical expertise is against some of CUC's agreements with the federal government.

Oct 1, 2007

The Buzz: Who's to Blame?

Didn't mean to bring this up but people have come up to me asking me questions I have no and have not gotten any answer. This is with regard to the death of the Tinian high school student three weeks ago. The kid died inside the school right after his PE class. He was interred last Friday.

Questions of these people now:

1. Should PSS be liable to this loss since it happened within the school premises. Should the PE teacher be blamed for this?
2. Shouldn't schools or at least administrators be aware of the health status or condition of their students?
3. Don't school have surveys before school opens?

These are just some of the community's inquisitions.

The Reveler

Sep 28, 2007

Prostitution rings? On Saipan?

DPS and Crime Stoppers have asked for the community's help. Here's their press release:

"The Crime Stoppers program is asking the community for information on persons responsible for operating prostitution rings in the CNMI.
Members of the community are urged to provide true and accurate information when submitting tips.
Anyone having information should call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 234-7272 (PARA). PTI cell phone users can call *11.
The Crime Stoppers program pays cash rewards up to $1,000 cash for information leading to an arrest. Caller ID is not used and all calls remain anonymous."



Save your $1,000 cash rewards, Crime Stoppers. All DPS and its police officers have to do is do their job.

How come patrolling officers in Garapan turn a blind eye on those women in dark alleys at night? And no, these women are not there to get some fresh air. Why not ask them who they work for? Do these women get some kind of 'protection' from authorities?

Have they tried to check whether these workers have valid work/entry permit after all? Who are their employers? Their entry/work permits should have the name of their employers. Unless they're one of those involved in illegal sponsorships.

But yes, as what Rev says, WTH, if DPS can't do it with all the roaming around and gasoline consumed doing so, then maybe ordinary members of the community could help Crime Stoppers or DPS.

No harm in trying.

Rush Hour (4)

Rush Hour. Nope, not the film of martial arts great Jackie Chan and the blabber mouth Chris Tucker. It's the film of the CNMI's beloved lawmakers.

News is that tis the season for vetoes up at the Capital Hill. Yes. This is the season for vetoes. Up there are x's and no's for the dear governor with all the bills that have been passed at the Legislature. The reason for our recent post about the bill that passed yet vetoed by the governor regarding CUC bills to be paid within the year.

There are indeed a lot of bills that are now being introduced up at the Legislature by the current congressmen and women albeit the "absurdity" of the bills. Community's guess is that these lawmakers would introduce bills how silly it may seem so that the public would recognize their names attached to the bills. "They know more or less that these bills are going to be vetoed but they don't care as long as the public would know that they [congress people] introduced it." They aim to project an image that would say they are people oriented, thus would win the votes.

Makes sense though. Public recognition is of utmost importance this time of year--election season.

Poll Result: Go Tina! Go Girl!

Our recent poll about Tina Sablan's running for seat at the House of Representatives received significant support from online voters. Out of 84 votes 59.5 percent of them approves Tina's mighty guts to run for office while 14.3 percent asked what the hell is she running at all? Two of the remaining options share 13.1 percent of the votes.

Our next poll is out now. In light of the CNMI's utilities situation, news is also out saying that Gov. Benigno R. Fitial has disapproved legislation that would have given residential consumers a year to pay their bills with the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.

According to the reports from Saipan Tribune that the governor in a letter addressed the Legislature that House Bill 15-244 was unfair to other consumer classes, and it would drain CUC financially. “Enactment of this bill into law would not be in the best interests of the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation, or the people of the Northern Marianas,” Fitial said of the bill sponsored by Rep. Ray N. Yumul.

He said it was against the law to grant preferential treatment to residential customers. He cited CUC's enabling legislation, which requires CUC to collect fees fairly and rationally from all consumers. Fitial noted that the bill, if approved, would give residential customers one year to pay their outstanding balances while commercial consumers would be required to continue to pay within 30 days or be subject to service disconnection.

<------ So in this regard, lead the way to our new poll.

Sep 27, 2007

BBC explains Burma vs Myanmar


I've been hearing and reading the news about the current protest of the most revered group in Burma/Myanmar. BBC News keeps on mentioning Burma on TV and online and not Myanmar, finally they explained. "The change was recognized by the United Nations, and by countries such as France and Japan, but not by the United States and the UK."

A statement by the Foreign Office says: "Burma's democracy movement prefers the form 'Burma' because they do not accept the legitimacy of the unelected military regime to change the official name of the country. Internationally, both names are recognised."

It's general practice at the BBC to refer to the country as Burma, and the BBC News website says this is because most of its audience is familiar with that name rather than Myanmar. For the complete news read on BBC.

Now I know.

Photo taken from smh.com.au

Sep 26, 2007

DCCA, PSS Tug-o-War

Community is asking for the motive why the Executive Branch is transferring the program from the Public School System to the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs. News is saying that it's all because of the $1.7 million federal grant that the program is operating with to provide training and development to all child care or day care centers in the CNMI. PSS is saying that a federal grant can only be used to the program and local government can't circumvent that law and should comply with federal standards.

Iran Gay Free

On a national note, in the news saying that "apparently, Iran is a homosexual-free zone, if you listen to their President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." Now, TV talk shows and radio programs are feasting on this recent turn of events. These programs are now saying that the 'lack' of any homosexuals would explain Ahmadinejad's terrible haircut and badly put together outfit.

On a website's transcript of Iran president's speech at the Columbia University in the US, he reportedly commented on alleged executions of homosexuals in his country. He said, "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country. We don't have that like in your country. ... In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have this."

Puhleez! For real? I have been to the Middle East and there are so many stories to tell.

Sep 25, 2007

Of Birds and Bee(hives)

Don't get me wrong with this post but I was able to talk to a concerned parent and shared with me that recently he and his family cleaned up one of the classrooms at Garapan Elementary School and found out that there were at least three beehives that could pose hazard to kids. This source said these hives are at the facade of the school where children go in and out of the premises. He said during the clean up he was even chased by bees. He said he had informed the principal and hoping that the school had all ready done something about it, only to find out when he came back he found the hives are still there. He expressed disappointment with the principal.

Ok, as I said don't get me wrong.

There are issues that could surround this, like PSS doesn't have that much fund to hire secretary in the public schools and probably maintenance people to do such jobs. Oh well...

Sep 22, 2007

F&B 911: Introducing Casetta Wines





Hyatt Regency Saipan became a backdrop of exquisite black sheer elegance as Giovanni's Restaurant introduced to wine aficionados the Italian wine Casetta Friday night. Host Guam's Food Guy Ken Stewart frolics with his palate as he sips and rubs the newest wine to hit the town.

Italian Chef Gabriele Colombo paired the wine with his excellent Italian dishes....

Sep 20, 2007

The Buzz: Rx XtraZzzz

In addition to our discussion on the CNMI Public Health hanging on threads with its internal doctors and other medical professionals leaving the islands, reliable sources are advising the community especially those that are under medications to request from their physicians prescriptions of their medicine that would last them at least for six months. These sources are even telling them to get a year of prescribed medicines to secure themselves their required medication for their ailment.

Reason? Your doctors might just take a hike and board the plane off to somewhere else.

Sep 19, 2007

Quotes in the Middle

Taken from the Saipan Chamber of Commerce's Managing Change workshop this week:

Speaker: Tony Pellegrino, multimillionaire entrepreneur

He shared that in this economy people should cope with change through self-examination and so much more. He shared a story one time he went to a Joeten owned store, yes he mentioned the store. He wanted to get a lawnmower and there was this $400 mower and he asked the sales girl, "who came up not smiling" and he asked her what the best price could the store give him since there were rusts on the mower all ready. The sales person said it's a fixed price. Then Mr. Pellegrino attempted further, then the sales person called her manager who came out. "Again no smile on his face," said Pellegrino, adding that the manager told him that that was the best price written on the tag. Not happy with the customer service at all, he said he asked his wife to leave the store.

He said he went to the other store and got the same mower for the price he wanted and he said he couldn't forget the guy that sold him the mower because he was so accommodating and so on. Pellegrino said the Joeten store should've given him a better price and sold that rusting and aging mower. He said he could've bought it from Joeten if the customer service would've been better. "They lost a $400 sale from me that day."

People should adapt to change, he said, "Cause if you don't you'd die as a fossil."

Sep 18, 2007

110 Flights


After a successful run of its inaugural play in June, the Fabulous Invalid Theatre Company is at it again with a new work, 110 Flights, to mark the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.

FITC president, actor and director Nahal Navidar said that FITC is producing the play as a “staged reading” at the American Memorial Park Visitor Center auditorium on Sept. 29, Saturday, at 7pm.

Navidar said she chose the piece because it is something that everyone needs to hear. “It offers a perspective after September 11th that maybe people have not considered before,” she said.

Although it tackles a sensitive subject matter, Navidar said people should watch it because theatre is not for entertainment purposes only.

She said FITC is producing this play as a staged reading because the group needs audience feedback so that she could rewrite the play and submit a new draft. “It’s been a few years since I’ve touched the script and I still feel there are some improvements which can be made,” she said.

There are two cast members: Patrick played by Brad Ruszala and Shahla played by Navidar. “However, because this is a staged reading, stage directions and offstage voices will have to be played as well. These roles will be read by Bree Reynolds,” she said.

The play was originally produced at the University at Albany in 2005. It is scheduled to be produced at Proctor’s Theatre in Alban, NY in April 2008.

The 9/11tragedy is the backdrop for this emotional drama about the marriage between a NYC police officer and his Iranian-American wife. It premiered as the work of Navidar as a senior theater major.

Navidar began the script in 2003 and developed it further in a playwriting class taught by UAlbany's assistant professor James Farrell, who served as the production’s Dramaturge. The script went through subsequent multiple drafts, some of which resulted from Navidar’s experiences at a Kennedy Center playwriting workshop for which she was selected to participate by the American College Theatre Festival.

Along with playwriting, Navidar has also trained in UAlbany’s theatre department as an actor, most recently appearing in the fall production of Tartuffe. Navidar will reprise her role, along with Ruszala.

Tickets are now being sold for only $5 each. For more information, contact Navidar through email at fabulousinavlidtc@hotmail.com or visit the FITC weblog at fabulousinvalidtheatreco.blogspot.com (Saipan Tribune)

Sep 17, 2007

The Buzz: Organic or Inorganic

LA Times had a headline yesterday that rattled some of islanders here. It's about "Congress quietly returns to immigration: A broad overhaul failed this summer, but an array of smaller measures is under discussion, including ways to legalize certain workers."

Yes, you're right, the article was talking about the national immigration issue. Oh well...speaking of this immigration or federalization issue, we received some text messages (for the Nth time) about federal takeover and even clerics here are spreading rumors that the takeover would be an "organic" takeover, meaning, anyone on the island that is not a permanent resident would be affected by the takeover. According to the text messages, "federal officials told them this."

I guess, this is tiring and going to be an endless issue. I pity those that rely and cling on such rumors.

Sep 15, 2007

F&B 911: Himawari


I'm sure most of you have all ready discovered the little grocery store in the heart of Garapan, in a location where people wouldn't notice at all. Himawari is actually not a new supermarket but it's just that it's just now that people have been talking about it. It surprised me to gather great reviews about the Japanese food and other stuff sold at the store.

The store sells very reasonable Japanese bentos, sushi, tempura, croquets and so many more. They even sell soup. One good thing about this shop is that you get to pick these by yourself. You can create your own bento. Very Japanese. They have breads too. You have a choice whether to take them out or eat your food inside the shop since they have tables and chairs as well installed inside the shop. You can ask them to heat your food as well if you want.

To top it all, the bentos, sushis and a lot more is 50-percent off from 6pm tp 9pm. Oh, that you have to verify, if it's really from 6pm. I bought mine after 9pm.

Photo shows what we bought today, spicy tuna sushi, onigiri, salad, cinnamon bread, cake, bacon epi bread, karage all for $14.50 only.

The Reveler

Sep 13, 2007

The Buzz: Don't Drink and Drive. No. Seriously.

It's becoming more of a cliche on the island when the local police department has been actively campaigning for a "Don't Drink and Drive" in the CNMI.

Yes. You should take this seriously now.
Why? Because, the buzz around town is that physicians at the Commonwealth Health Center have been telling people that they should avoid driving when they are intoxicated from now on.
Again, why? Because there are no doctors left on the island to treat victims of road mishaps or tragic accidents.

T'all boils down to lacking of staff due to several reasons that concerned healthcare professional "John Livingston" wrote and sent to the papers recently, entitled "What ails our CHC?"
So, the doctors say if you can prevent and at least not to drink way too much, that'd be good for you. If you're too drunk, let somebody drive for you.

The Reveler

Sep 11, 2007

Finally for Josie

Just learned from an anonymous source (not you Noni) that the CNMI's first lady just recently got her US citizenship. This source then asked why only now when she and our dear governor have been married for over 20 years.

He said could it be:

1. That she chose to be on an IR (immediate relative) status all these years?
2. That finally her husband came to his senses to give her that status?
3. That she chose not to renounce her Filipino citizenship (mind you that in the Philippines there is dual citizenship option for Filipino-Americans and others)

The Reveler

Sep 9, 2007

Two Steps Behind

For those of you who are nostalgic of the 90s, yes my title is a Def Leppard song; however, this post is not about the 90s band. It's about again an observation when I was at the presentation of the National Weather Service Pacific Region of the StormReady and TsunamiReady certificates to the CNMI.

The recuperating governor was an hour late due to a simultaneous proclamation signing also held at the same time with the NOAA/NWS presentation.

People waited and when the governor arrived finally, he was led toward the stage, but when he saw there were two steps up to the stage where he was supposed to sit with NWS officials, he asked the Hyatt staff if there was another way. The staff kindly ushered him to the side of the stage. Still, he had to climb two steps up the stage. Then one Hyatt staff and EMO acting director had to hold the governor's hands to help him up.

The governor then walked to his seat. I wouldn't even talk about how he walked to his seat. I hope his health improves. He has two more years to go before he relinquishes his post.

Just a thought.

The Reveler

Sep 8, 2007

Harry Bla-Block

While I was driving on the road this afternoon, I heard a segment from prominent radio commentator Harry Blalock about his corrections on what he had ranted before about MCV not having a generator whatsoever. Then, he mentioned something about his blog now restricted for his friends only and those who request for access.

He said something about a dive incident that he had conflict with a diving company, and he also mentioned about not implicating the Saipan Chamber of Commerce.

I guess that's what happens when you win the best blog in the CNMI.

Shall we have another poll excluding Harry's? ;-)

The Reveler

Sep 7, 2007

Political Porky

I had the chance to talk to political candidates lately and asked them if they were gracing Porky's Bar Friday's debate and discussions, mostly said they are not going to, "Not over a bottle of beer or any alcohol."

One posed a question that how would you get a sane, intelligent and "safe" discussion when you are inebriated? "You don't discuss politics nor religion with alcohol."

Only one way to find out, attend Porky's Bar discussion tonight then, Friday....

The Reveler

Sep 5, 2007

Poll: CNMI should concede to federalization

Our poll has ended with 80 people voting for this poll about whether the CNMI should concede to the impending feral, i mean federal takeover on the CNMI immigration system. Well do your math on this:

41.3% said Yes and ASAP while 22.5 said No and that's it.

Oh well, on to our next poll...

<----- Cast your votes now!

So much has been said about Tina Sablan's filing for candidacy to run on the next election this November. Tina all ready told the community why she is up to it. Now, she is calling for an open forum again.

The community's questions:

1. Does the forum intend to be a campaign?
2. Were previous forums part of the plan?
3. Why is Tina so slim? (oh, a letter to the editor blew the answer to this)

The Reveler

Movin' All Up, Movin' All Down

Gomenesai, los siento, dispensa, paumanhin and sorry (move over madonna) for not posting lately, due to hectic and tiring moving out and into a new "safer" place here in Garapan. Yey, I'm in Garapan now.

Thank you Jim Arenovski for featuring our burglary on crimestoppers (by the way Jim, I was able to retrieve online the serial numbers of the macbooks we lost. will email it to you soon.)

Wassup? Our poll ended and yes watch for our new poll soon!

The Reveler

P.S. here's a good laugh, CUC says it's not overcharging us. Woot! Woot!

Aug 31, 2007

Power Rangers Power Off!

A Taiwanese utilities corporation is now on the island providing a "free" assessment of the power plants around the CNMI. The ever huggable Saipan Mayor brought the group from Guam after being referred to by Taiwan's North American Affairs minister in July.

The Mayor hosted a dinner for the group together with the Acting Gov. Timothy P. Villagomez. The highlight of the meeting was that the power company initially concluding that the main cause of power problem here in the CNMI is maintenance of the power plant.

As the dinner went on, the power in that area suddenly went off. "Mayor, meeting this group is very timely huh?" quipped the acting governor.

Was the blackout part of the setup, to make the meeting more credible, thus provide more drama?

The Reveler

Aug 29, 2007

Isn't It Ironic, Don't You Think?

When the beloved CNMI governor graced for the first time the Rotary Club of Saipan's weekly meeting not so very long ago, he talked about the effects or impacts of the impending federalization of the CNMI. A Rotarian asked him if there were studies about all what he was saying. The governor replied with a strong "yes" and the study is being funded by the Insular Affairs Office.

OIA is a federal office, which obviously helps in drafting, amending and pushing the bill of the takeover. Hmmm...

All together now!
It's like rain, on your wedding day,
It's a free ride, when you're already paid,
It's a good advice that you just didn't take
Well, who would've thought, it figures....
(Alanis Morisette)

Aug 28, 2007

CSI: Saipan

Chinese-Stabbing-Incident (CSI)

Did you read about this scary crime going on around the island, like this one Chinese non-resident worker who was biking home was suddenly stabbed at the back by someone inside a passing car.

Isn't that scary?

The Reveler

Aug 25, 2007

The Buzz: The Railroad to Recovery

Oh no, not that the CNMI will have a railroad construction here to take Marpi residents to Garapan and San Antonio, but this railroad is meant for "the CNMI's recovery." The Middle Roaders just heard from someone who works for a federal office that the US department of that office has instructed the NMI office to restructure and prepare for the federal take over. His term was "railroading" and "sure."

The Buzz among the federal workers is that the implementation is set next year (yeah, we've all heard about that before). Now, here's an old one, a contract worker went back to his country to renew his US visa, but was told by the consul to wait for the takeover.

Now, now. Down boy, down. Fetch!

The Rev

Aug 23, 2007

Burglar King Anyone?

Yes. I was not spared from the attack of the Burglar Kings. Our house was burglarized last night, taking two of our mac laptops (MacBook and iBook G4) Now, im using a borrowed Vaio, thanks to TacDer. We came home and discovered our glass window by our dining table was smashed into pieces and the window screen was totally ripped for entry. The burglars took my other Nokia 3230 gsm phone, videocamera, external hard drive, and gameboy SP.

Life has become so tough now, that people really resort to such crimes. Let's befriend CrimeStoppers now....

This life changing incident has made me tired of posting in this blog for a moment. Can't sleep thinking and dreaming that the Kings might attack again. ;-( Geek and Weird have long been hibernating in an early winter season. So, all I can say is that watch for your possessions at home, the Burglar Kings might attack any moment with a Simpson's action figure.

The Reveler

Aug 18, 2007

New Poll: On Federal Takeover

<---- Cast your votes for our latest poll on US federal takeover of the CNMI Labor and Immigration system.

Comments are always welcome to back up your answers.

Aug 16, 2007

Governor race is on for Angelo, Cinta and Heinz

Yup, the blogging people (130pax) of the CNMI and the world have spoken and ranked Angelo Villagomez (40%), Rep. Cinta Kaipat (29.2%), and Rep. Heinz Hofschneider (24.6%) to be the next gubernatorial bets in the next election.

Happy now Angelo, at least here you've won something. Harry is not a governor material anyway. Let's just leave him to be the spice of the island--Le Critique.

Mike Sablan (15.4%) surprised me the best. Hmmm...could it be possibly, inevitably...
Former Gov. Babauta still gets the nod with 11.5 percent of the votes followed by Rep. Estanislao Torres, yes that's his real first name, with 9.2 percent.

The Tres Amigos, Rep. Waki, Rep. Babauta and the Juanpan each got 6.2 percent of the votes.

Well, happy with the outcome?

Watch for our new poll!

Aug 15, 2007

Chamber and the President on Fire

This is not a regular scene from the lobby of the Guma Hustisia House of Justice in Susupe. This was the scene today during the Congressional Hearing with Reps. Christian Dior, Bored-hallow, and Fatun-gaga (who could remember the names anyway). Anyway, going back to the Chamber, I guess, the Saipan Chamber of Commerce finally came around to let Alex Sablan to speak on its president's behalf.

Questions:

1. Did they let Alex Sablan speak up because he is more eloquent and articulate?
2. Did they let Alex Sablan speak up because his business would not be directly affected by such boycott threat?
3. Did they let Alex Sablan speak up because he is more telegenic?

You tell me.

Btw, Juanpan (Chamber president) was inside the court room for the hearing. He was present.

Aug 12, 2007

Can You Hear Me?

Now all eyes and ears are out for House Hearing here in the CNMI with Rep. Christian Dior. Oh, is it Christensen? Anyway, the hearing is just a side trip for the congresswoman, hitting two balls with one bird (oh whatever).

Everyone is going to be watching this hearing this coming Wednesday to be held at the Guma Hustisia Bldg. in Susupe.

It's the clash of the titans this Wednesday:

1. Tina Sablan vs. Tao Tao Tano's Greg Cruz
2. Dekada leader Boni Sagana vs Dr. Doom (oh i don't know who else is taking the stand)

We'll see what happens next on the CNMI's federal takeover possibilities///

The Reveler

Aug 10, 2007

Kings of My Papaya





Isn't it great to wake up in the morning and be greeted by these birds perching by our yard on one of our papaya trees at home? Are these king fishers? These birds never fail to perch on this tree every morning. I just sit on the couch and watch them frolic on the tree.

'Wish I took my Wildlife 101 course in college seriously.

How many birds species does Saipan have? Oh well...

The Reveler

Aug 9, 2007

Chamber and the Prisoners of Business Ban

News today about Saipan Chamber of Commerce's public voting on its stand regarding federalization of the CNMI, majority voted against it but largely divided on the grandfathering issue, says the papers.

Questions of the community are:

1. Was the voting a vindication on the boycott or business ban on its president's business empire on Saipan?
2. Would the result of this voting affect the federal decision on the take over?
3. Why didn't the Chamber provide the public the names of the businesses that are against or supportive of the issues today?
4. Do consumers have the right to know which are which?

You tell me.

The Reveler

Aug 8, 2007

Saipan Blogger Chronicles: #1

Move over Libra Mae Sparks, it's Saipan Blogger's turn now. Ok. Riding on this guy's popularity and online notoriety, we are here to watch out for this guy. Not that we want to be the next LA's defamer.com or TMZ, but this topic, we believe is something to watch out for.

To start off, let us thank Saipan Blogger for making us on his top three list of recommended bloggers. Of course, Jeff Turbitt disagrees. He and his hyper-critical thoughts. (Is he related to Harry? sfx/biz: Twilight Zone Theme)

Allow us to share Saipan Blogger's aka Angelo Villagomez's thoughts:
Now that the contest is over I have restored everyone's links in my sidebar, with a slight change. I have created a new category called "Saipan Blogger Recommended Saipan Bloggers." I link to EJ, Jeff, and the oversenstive writers over at Middle Road.

In my opinion, those are the three best blogs currently being published in the CNMI (excluding The Saipan Blog - Saipan, CNMI's most popular blog since ever since, of course).

Jeff and the Writers both have blogs with pleasant, uncluttered templates and the content of both blogs always makes for a good read and, more often than not, a good laugh.

Both blogs can be controversial, as evidenced by Richard Pierce hunting down Jeff early Thursday morning and by the number of comments generated every time the Writers mention my name.

EJ's blog is a different type of blog. It is not controversial, it is not that well written, and the pictures aren't really that great.
The Reveler

Hollywood: Female directors underdogs?

This I came across reading the CNN website. It's about "Chick Flicks: Where's the Love?" article. Favorite line in this piece is this:
"What's funny is, now people are trying to contact me to do movies," Delpy adds, "like, they're looking for a female director, and it's all about a relationship. You know what? I don't want to make a movie that they want a female director for. To me, first of all, it's condescending. What does that mean? Is it about breast feeding?"
In other countries I believe there's a balance between male and female directors, almost. Most male directors in Asian countries are gay men or on the effem side.

More on this article is on this site.

The Reveler

Aug 7, 2007

Of Marine Biology and other courses

The CNMI would have been perfect for Marine Biology courses, since the island is surrounded by waters that are rich in marine resources, not to mention there's Rota and Tinian too. However, the CNMI has no college nor vocational institutions that offer such course, thank goodness for the DEQ, CRM, DFW staff who try to educate and impart knowledge through internship programs.

I remember Bree attending NMC Board of Regents meeting to defend a marine vessel acquisition at the college.

The only bachelor's degree being offered at the college is BS Elementary Education, to prepare and train future teachers in the CNMI. It's just sad that despite the need for teachers, the local government can't afford them.

The Reveler

Would you go to beach 1 or 2?

Would you go to beach 1 or 2, yes, two beaches on Tinian (?) named Leprosarium 1 or Leprosarium 2? What's up with the name? To top it all, these two beaches have been red flagged by Division of Environmental Quality.

We were wondering why would you name your beaches like these? Imagine dipping your toes into the waters of the Leprosarium beaches.

Our guess in the office is that these beaches were named during the WWII when lepers used to be exiled on this island.

Just a thought.

The Reveler

Aug 6, 2007

Study: Good to be cut

This is somewhat old news but I just remembered hearing from the news about this recent study about circumcised men have less likely to transmit or contract the dreaded HIV disease. According to that news, I guess I heard it from CNN, that men or gaymen that are cut are safer to have a one night stand with than those that are uncut, due to the sensitive skin around the unexposed portion of the penis.

I guess this has changed the pickup lines among the coquettish world of hanging out in bars, "Hold on, before we go, are you cut or uncut? Just want to be 'safer."

The Reveler

Aug 5, 2007

What? The machine`s broken?

If you think you could have the new, supposedly better-looking CNMI driver`s license than what you currently have, well, weep.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles` machine which processes the more modern CNMI driver`s license`s broken as of last week.

Retracing the steps motorists take when renewing their driver`s license

1. Go to BMV, get a yellow form, fill it out
2. Go to the Superior Court for a traffic clearance. Window 1 first. Pay $1.
3. From window 1, go to Window 5 to get the traffic clearance
4. Go back to BMV, to the farthest left window to pay $25
5. Then proceed to the farthest right window, submit all the receipts, documents, old license. Wait for your name to be called for a photograph.
6. Wait for the processing of your new license.

And just when you thought you`d be able to have a better looking driver`s license which you will carry for 3 years, well...

Aug 4, 2007

Minority Report

Yep. That's true. If you'd read one of Saipan Blogger's comments in our post, he called us gay, conservative and minority bloggers.

Oh wow, coming from a superior race.

What do you think?

The Reveler

Aug 1, 2007

The Buzz: Nikko-lodeon

Well, it's not new though, but the news around town is that:

1. Hotel Nikko is left suspended up in the midair. Bidders like Asiana or Kumho has backed out, they say, realizing that if Japan Airlines couldn't fill it up, how can they? So, they say, it's closing.

2. The revolving restaurant or simply called the 360(degree) is not at all going to happen. The AJ's Restaurant staff are now left out in the open.

3. Business owners and officials with business groups are cooking up something to express their protest against federal takeover. Buzz is, that they are meeting up silently how to counter federalization of the island.

So what've you heard around lately?

The Reveler

Jul 31, 2007

Mexico allows gay conjugal visits now

I know this should be most appropriate at Let's Talk GLBT blog, but since I can't post there yet, here it goes...
BBC-The prison system in Mexico City has begun permitting gay prisoners to have conjugal visits from their partners.

The city authorities accepted a recommendation by a human rights commission which said the visits would help to end discrimination.

The decision follows a complaint by a man who said he had been refused permission to visit his partner in jail on the grounds they were homosexual.

A 2003 Mexican law bans discrimination based on sexual preference.

"The Mexico City department of prisons and rehabilitation has allowed the first conjugal visit to an inmate with a sexual orientation other than heterosexual," the city's human rights commission (CDHDF) said.
So, do I get a visit from "Spineless" when I get incarcerated in Mexico?

The Reveler

Jul 29, 2007

'Chamber of the Phoenix'

Ok. A Filipino group and the Philippine Consulate spoke about the mass boycott for Saipan Chamber president Juanpan Guerrero's businesses in the CNMI. One said, the ConGen, it's a blackmail, the other, United Filipino Organization, said it is clueless about the text message's origin.

So they spoke. Sources said, the latter, when he went to the bakeshop that Guerrero owns, the UFO leader received free goodies, like a "gift of appreciation from the bakeshop for what he told the media. "I felt they were so glad with what I said in the paper," the leader shared with us.

As for the blackmail, maybe the ConGen is waiting for "black mail" that has numbers hidden in it. Just a thought. As for the goodies, can we consider that a "bribe?" Just a thought again. ;-)

The Reveler

Jul 28, 2007

Saipan's Best Blog Poll by Jeff Turbitt

This is just so funny! Hey folks, Angelo deleted all the ones listed in this poll by Jeff Turbitt re: Saipan's Best Blog. Thanks Jeff for nominating us!(Now, Wonder Twins powers, activate!)

Translate: saipanmiddleroad.blogspot.com

 

About this site

This site is the Saipan Middle Roaders' blog--the wannabes, the frustrated ones, and the repressed ones...

There are several thoughts that have been written on paper, online or on the walls of every NMI building's bathrooms.

This site is for the geeks, for the shameless bitches, and for the restless drunks.

This site is for everyone.

Disclaimer:

Posts on this weblog are entirely the authors' opinions and views only.