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. * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * +

Aug 31, 2008

When Luxury Becomes Cheaper....

We are totally joining this family in their clamor for water. I am trying my very best to be the Zen person that I always am, but coming home from a great Labor Day weekend where there's 24-hour water and electricity (ok, it's a hotel, there was a Labor Day Weekend Special, y'know), only to find out there's no power, no water and no TV?!

I feel like sharing these puns that friends threw in during the weekend:

Q. What does CUC mean now? Ans. Customers Using Candles or Commonwealth Using Candles.
Q. What does the CNMI have before candles? - Ans. Electricity!

A friend also shared that the promo at that hotel, which was $77 for an overnight stay for two with Sunday Brunch, was cheaper than her monthly utility bills. Thus, she concurred that "Luxury is cheaper now than our basic necessities."

As of blog press time, Garapan still doesn't have water since 3pm.

Aug 27, 2008

Pharmacy Fiasco at CHC?

An interesting article appeared in the Saipan Tribune today (8-27-08) entitled, “CHC Belies Closure of In-House Pharmacy.” In this article, legal counsel Alex Gorman, speaking on behalf of Public Health Secretary Kevin Villagomez, confirmed that the inpatient pharmacy is “fully operational and has never been closed.” Now I don’t know if you believe everything you read in the paper, but since the pharmacy staff is prohibited from giving their side of the story, I would like to set the record straight. Because of current staffing shortages, since August 16, the pharmacy has indeed had to close on weekends. According to reliable sources, on weekends there is no pharmacist present to serve the hospital’s needs and no on-call pharmacy service. In my humble opinion, this is a very dangerous situation and one that potentially compromises patient care in the most severe manner.

It is true, the nursing supervisor does have access to the pharmacy, but this is not an ideal situation. In the U.S. mainland, nursing supervisors have access to the pharmacy when it is closed, and only enter in times of emergency. However, they are trained to mix and prepare medications, and have access to pharmacy consultation by phone at all times. The nursing supervisor is supposed to cover only for brief periods of time (usually only a few hours). This is definitely not the case at CHC, where the nursing supervisor would now be expected to fulfill pharmacy functions for 2 days straight! Add to this all the other responsibilities a nursing supervisor has and one can easily see that she is really being spread too thin. This is fertile ground for medication errors, some of which may have fatal consequences! Also, because the pharmacy is closed on weekends, reliable sources state that the pharmacy staff is forced to premix solutions to cover the 2 days they are closed, when ideally these solutions should be mixed daily due to stability and sterility issues.

Another very serious concern, according to my sources, is that one of the pharmacists will be leaving in October and the other has no contract to continue working in the pharmacy (thanks to the Governor’s veto on lifting salary caps). For a hospital that provides care for some very critically ill patients (whose drug therapy needs may change from hour-to-hour), it is imperative that it has qualified pharmacists to provide care on a daily basis. After all, how would you feel if the Emergency Room was only open Mondays through Fridays?

Cable Blackout

As an old adage goes, "For every action, there's an equal reaction," or as some would call, the "Domino Effect," this is evident now with the current cable tv provider on the island.

I have spoken to several subscribers and they are asking why the cable tv goes off for at least 4 hours a day. Worst has been 10 hours on the record. These subscribers are clamoring now that they are paying for the same subscription fees and getting poor service. Should they understand this because of the rolling blackouts?

Some caught the provider's attention and denied that there hasn't been any interruption. I can tell there has been. Our household is a victim too.

Subscribers have endured the cable service that has been airing week old shows except CNN and Fox. Even our friends from around the world gasped in surprised when they learned that we got the Olympics coverage a week old. I told them that even local news in Guam is a week old.

However, we are thankful that there's cable tv on the island. Better than nothing right? Yet, the interruption of service at least four hours a day, has raised some eyebrows on the island.

What gives?

Aug 25, 2008

Coming On Strong....

News today that Rep. Tina Sablan vocally aired during House Session calling for the impeachment of the current governor and the resignation of the "indicted" Lt. Governor.

According to the news, floor leader reminded the congress woman not to prejudge since judges and lawyers can make mistakes too. One legislator reportedly praised her yet encouraged Tina to cooperate because the current Governor is "trying his best" to run the islands.

For the complete copy of Tina's speech click here....

Aug 23, 2008

Should PSS postpone start of classes?

With regard to the request of the CNMI Governor to postpone the start of the 2008-2009 school year in the CNMI for another two weeks, should the Public School System again move it for another two weeks?

Due to budget constraints the PSS had to move the start of the new school year from August to September. Now that CUC has been under "disrepair" the local government is making an effort again to alleviate pains in school by providing uninterrupted power supply to at 20 public schools in the CNMI by the suggested postponement.

Does this move again indicate that education is a priority on the islands? In the past SOCA's (State of the Commonwealth Address) the Governor did not mention anything about the state of education in the CNMI, hence disappointing educators and officials during his past two state addresses.

Guam last school year started class with broken air-conditioners and clamored about it. Can the CNMI classes start without power at all?

Aug 19, 2008

A Little Bit of A Poll

What's worse, a power outage or a water shortage? What if you have both?

Yes, people, we have both. It's been at least three days that our area has water problems. The house keeper kept on calling CUC and this afternoon, he said, CUC dropped the line on him.

Might as well take a shower in the rain since it's been raining for three weeks now and a typhoon is set to pass the islands...

Aug 17, 2008

YouTube vs BoobTube

On a quick note here, I just read about the news from Saipan Tribune that the governor will have his "10-minute state address" with regard to the current issues on Saipan through YouTube while it would be free and inexpensive?

I'm just wondering why wouldn't he just hold a media conference with the local media and television network for this statement?

While YouTube has been a very popular video uploading website, it is indeed public and would reach millions of online users. It has been used by people to upload personal videos, movie trailers, movies, viral videos etc.

In some countries, YouTube has been a venue to address statements and revelations from the left and right in the government. I'd say more left because they don't have the means to pay TV for the airtime.

I guess there's no budget for the local government to pay for the airtime, hence, YouTube is an alternative. If I may suggest, the local government can also upload it to DailyMotion.Com, iFilm.Com, vobbo.com, yahoo.video.com, google.video.com, et al.

I believe that the local TV should be a more appropriate to address the islands first. Better quality, and more professional, in my opinion. Then the rights would be exclusive.

The local government then can have the option to upload it to the video web sharing websites e.g. YouTube after the actual event.

While it is at no cost to the local government, it would appear mediocre and substandard, again in my opinion. Proper marketing and publicizing of this rare yet momentous speech event by the governor regarding local issues can help build momentum within the CNMI and among its people for them to wait and tune in for the video address.

Uploading it to YouTube, would mean vulnerability to puns, video editing tricks and many more because we can download the video from YouTube now.

So, be prepared!

Aug 12, 2008

On a Sad Note...

Photo taken by Saipan Tribune with regard to the indictment of CNMI Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Villagomez and three others.

From the Press Release the federal court statement said that the indictment is only an accusation until proven guilty.

Aug 10, 2008

Yet another 'welcome rally' for the feds: Give us green card!

The rain didn't dampen the spirit of these guest workers who patiently waited for the US congressional team to pass by the American Memorial Park on their way to Hyatt Regency Saipan on Sunday afternoon.

Their patience paid off when the congressional team waved at them. The visitors are set to meet with the workers on Monday.

The Coalition of United Workers, sadly, has been having leadership issues of late.

Irene Tantiado, who has been one of the founding members and president, stepped down recently because of clashes with other leaders.

Just when the immigration regulations are being drafted and the workers' sentiments are being considered by visiting federal officials, here comes the issue of disunity among guest workers.

But Irene was at the peaceful assembly on Sunday, and vowed to continue advancing the cause of guest workers.

Aug 6, 2008

"Fitial mischaracterizes GAO report...."

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued its report on the economic impact of the federalization of the CNMI's immigration laws. The bottom line is that the impact will depend on how the feds (specifically, the Executive Branch) implement the law, and that the feds will need additional data to guide them properly. The Variety news account of the report, under the headline "GAO Downplays Fitial's Economic Disaster Scenario," can be found here.

One thing GAO makes clear is that the Fitial administration has mischaracterized what the report says: "By focusing on one of several scenarios developed for illustrative purposes rather than the full range of scenarios included in our report, the CNMI government comments...inaccurately stated that the report predicts a substantial decline in the CNMI economy as a result of the legislation" (emphasis added).

It appears that the Governor has repeated this mischaracterization of the GAO report: Fitial said today that "the GAO concludes, even with the most favorable (and unrealistic) assumptions, that the law's implementation will most probably result in a 50-percent decline in the economic output (or GDP) of the Commonwealth by 2021 if not sooner." GAO would strenuously object to that mischaracterization of its conclusions.

The Fitial team had requested repeatedly that Congress delay passage of the federalization bill until GAO issued its report.

Congressional leaders replied that such a delay was not necessary. They said that the federalization bill itself would not harm the CNMI, and that the impact would depend on how the bill was implemented. They said that economic studies would be useful not to Congress in deciding whether to pass the bill, but rather to the Executive Branch in developing the regulations that would implement the bill. GAO appears to have endorsed this view.

Now, the feds have the very serious obligation of gathering the additional data that needs to be gathered and ensuring that federalization is implemented in a manner that allows the CNMI to develop a strong economy. We all have an interest in keeping the pressure on the feds to make sure that they do their job properly.

Aug 3, 2008

PSA: Missing Person

A foreign national worker has allegedly been missing on Saipan. It's been five days since his disappearance. Family members of the missing person told his friends that even his car has been missing. They said the man went to Tinian for a project but was last seen on Saipan. Family said he was on a project somewhere around the island before he failed to come home.

The family members went to the police station after 48 hours of the man's disappearance. The guy's name according to sources is Alex Castro, in his mid-30's and a Filipino.

Could he be abducted? Into hiding? On this island? Why is the car missing too? Could he have fallen into a ravine? What type of manhunt or search has been done so far?

The family seeks the community's help on this.


Real name of the missing person is Alex Matubis, who works for Mr. Candido Castro. He was driving a pick up truck.

Aug. 8 - finaly this story made the papers today with photo.

Aug. 19 - Saipan Tribune
Missing man's car found in Marpi
By Kristi Eaton

Detectives from the Criminal Investigation Division discovered and impounded a car Saturday that was owned by a currently missing Filipino man.

Alex Matubis' blue Toyota pickup truck with white doors was found near the Kalabera Caves in Marpi around 11:30am Saturday, officials said. Detectives searched the area after receiving tips from callers who spotted the vehicle.

Detectives got a tip about the car Friday. They were unable to locate the vehicle until Saturday. Detectives also conducted a search on the vehicle and a sweep around the area but were unable to find traces of the victim, according to officials.

Police impounded the vehicle. The case is currently under investigation.

Matubis, a drafter and cartographer, arrived on Saipan Monday, July 28, after conducting work on Tinian. According to investigators, a witness last saw him at 10:30am the same day when he was dropped off at his residence in Garapan.

Matubis, 47, was reported missing to DPS Thursday, July 30.

Anybody with information about Matubis is asked to contact the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 664-9042/9047.

Aug 2, 2008

Quick Note: 5x Off

I don't know if you notice at all, but in our area the power goes off at least five times a day. Wonder if that would reduce our next CUC bill....

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.

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