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

Feb 29, 2008

Doing More With Less?

Since early 2000, Microsoft Corporation has copyrighted a slogan for its software marketing that says "Do More with Less." That line was used by one of KSPN's reports tonight about the Legislature looking at decreasing the number of lawmakers at the Legislature. I saw and heard the House Speaker, who agreed with the proposal saying that this move could provide over hundred thousands of dollars worth of savings to the local government.

Then the Legislature also expressed hopes that the Upper Chamber would implement the same action.

Question, if you were up there would you support this?

Feb 27, 2008

CNMI Lowest Among Insular Areas

That is the title of the story run by Pacific Magazine, a Hawai'i based magazine, on today's headlines on both local newspapers. The articles reported that the CNMI had scored low in the recently concluded "Performeter" a study of the CNMI's financial health and performances initiated by the Office of the Insular Affairs.

Reports said that the CNMI's latest score is relatively consistent with that of prior years. "The Commonwealth scored 3.18 in 2002, when the Performeter study was first conducted by Crawford & Associates CPA. The score declined to 3.11 in 2003, and further plunged to 2.24 and 2.25 in 2004 and 2005," said the reports.

The report also mentioned that the CNMI has been relying more and more heavily on revenue it does not control, such as federal grants. "In FY2006, the CNMI had direct control over 68.4 percent of its revenues, down from 77.5 percent and 76.7 in 2004 and 2005."

So what could be the impact of this study to the CNMI and its relations to other US territories? What was the objective of the study?

Public Auditor said in the article that he is hoping that the local government would use the data constructively, instead of engaging in a blame game.

Miura Equates Border Control?

The recent turn of events that gathered a large number of Japanese journalists to the CNMI has been regarded by local officials an excellent indicator that the Northern Marianas has a reliable control of its borders.

The Japanese businessman Kazuyoshi Miura's allegedly plotted the murder of his wife back in 1981 made international sensation as Saipan has been mentioned several times in major news network in the US and in the world.

The government expressed that the weekend's event disproved criticism from Washington, D.C. that the local government has poor control over its border. Reports added that it is not difficult to control the local border, as the Commonwealth is an isolated chain of islands.

“Our ports of entry are clearly defined. We have only a few ways to get in and out-by ship or by air. There's no connecting landmass, obviously, since we're a remote island. We have a good border control system here and it is getting better and better,” the government spokesperson said.

Border control, along with national security and the CNMI's history of labor abuse, is among the major concerns commonly cited by supporters of federalizing local immigration. (ST)

Feb 25, 2008

Extra Virgin Atlantic and the CNMI

While the first Virgin Atlantic airlines made its maiden flight using coconut oil as part of its engine fuel, the CNMI has made another mark on a gas hike making a gallon cost $4.04 each gallon.

The islands have definitely no option to this worldwide crisis, however, some countries have been exerting efforts to relieve themselves of this dilemma. Countries like Korea, the Philippines and Japan have been implementing a butane gas enabled taxis and cabs. Manila is operating a public utility vehicle called the Jeepney that runs on electricity.

Now, this Boeing 747 jumbo jet plane runs partly by coconut oil. Critics expressed it was just a publicity stunt for the airline. Can you imagine the loads and tons of coconuts that should be collected for this biofuel? Much as we want the CNMI to use coconuts as an alternative fuel for power, there's not enough natural resources to support the cause.

Whatever has happened to PTI's study on Wind Power? It was an issue before that one scientist explored the possibility of a nuke power here.

So we believe in law of science, where there's an action there will always be an equal reaction. So folks, expect CUC to jack up its utility rates sometime soon.

LB Resorts to Shooting Resorts

The Legislature is proposing to legalize and allow hotel resorts to house shooting ranges for international events that could rake in millions of dollars of added income to the dwindling CNMI economy. Reports said the bill would "diversify" the tourists that visit the islands.

I totally have no idea how much shooting resorts are earning in the world, however, it seems that the Legislature deems it to be one of the income generating attractions in some parts of the world.

What do you think?

Feb 23, 2008

Guest Workers' Online Forum Anyone?

Just found out about this website this morning from the paper and this seems very promising for guest workers in the CNMI. Click on the link to learn more about the site.

The site appears to be a forum that looks like the common forum sites in the World Wide Web. Anybody can post a topic and hopefully would create a thread of discussions. I guess this site, in my opinion, would be a good venue for discussion, however only for those nonresident workers with internet access. Visit the forum here.

The Reveler

Feb 22, 2008

F&B 911: Garlic Restaurant cum Urashima

Did you hear about this, of course some all ready did, that the Garlic Restaurant 2298 Ninikuya in Garapan has been acquired by the owners and operators of Casa Urashima also in Garapan. We had to gorge on food at the restaurant and I must say that the food are fantastic!

Though, it's not cheap to dine in there but the beer is only 4 bucks each. We enjoyed the garlic deep fried chicken and the garlic mushrooms. Dining inside the establishment is pleasant due to neat interior and lighting.

We can say that this is Urashima that is more affordable for someone like me.

The Reveler

Traffic, Traffic, Traffic

Who would've thought that there's a problem with traffic on Saipan? Nope, not on the freeway nor on the road but on the blogosphere. If you all saw for seven days one blog (claiming the best one in the CNMI) risked big bucks to place advertisement online. According to the blog for seven days only over 190 referrals were gathered from that ad.

Just to set the record straight here, this blog never screams for more readers. It has never been a problem. We don't worry about attention. To some, it's a problem. Some fidget on their seats asking why Saipan Middle Road is getting over 50 comments most of the time? Yes. We have the record of over 200 comments on a post and almost 200 comments on another.

We originally encouraged an exchange of views from different sides. At this juncture, we learn from both. We look at things two ways. We now can use both sides of our brains. We can now see the turning girl clockwise and counterclockwise (if you haven't received that email with this amazing brain test, let me know).

We accepted anonymous comments we feel light and some have substance. Some are crass but yes we keep some due to negligence and some for fun and some because it's relevant to our learning curve.

We apologize for stepping on others should you feel that way. How about those blogs with tasteless photos of people, prominent ones and those that are just part of the family? Do they get away with it because they are anonymous? Well, some are very open to it. We never in an outright way use photos of people and make fun with it and show them to the blogging community.

We never say boycott an establishment on Saipan due to prejudice or personal ill experience. Remember, the establishment owner also feeds his family. We never in our utmost intention dig up dirt because the dirt comes to us. It's surprising that people would tell us their stories and personal hand to it. Mostly they are firsthand sources, witness to all the subject matters here.

I researched and based on experience about libel online and we all agree on what could hold us accountable. It brought me to the past during previous administration that the editor of a newspaper was forthrightly threatened to be deported from the CNMI due to his editorials. It never happened.

We learned from the blogging community and backed by comments by some lawyers here that blogging has been deemed to be personal opinions however could be a subject of libel as long as malicious intent was there, the reason why when you come to us for this, we could direct you to our sources. However, we won't do that. It's unethical for us to do that. Not even the newspaper people would tell you who their sources are for getting tips on juicy tidbits.

So going back to traffic, sorry for straying, it's not an issue here for us. We appreciate people visiting this blog. It will reach its plateau and reach the point that no one visits this blog anymore, but we are glad that 2007 was very memorable and productive for this blog. Those comments were amazing, funny and very educational.

Feb 18, 2008

Film Revue: Week for Spiderwick

Spiderwick Chronicles. A delight in the eyes especially with the visual spectacles and a heartrending music from Oscar winner and Titanic's James Horner. A visual fantasy joyride of fun and adventure. The movie will also bring tears to your eyes as its lead actor Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) delivers his natural portrayal of twins longing for a better family relationship.

The movie for me reminds me of the Bridge of Terabithia but even better. A potential Harry Potter series replacement, Spiderwick Chronicles provides not only a remarkable screenplay but music and a visual effects that sure is an Oscar bet.
(Wikipedia) Spiderwick is a series of children's books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. The story takes place in New England, United States, where nine-year-old twins Simon and Jared and their older sister Mallory have moved to the decrepit Spiderwick Estate. They discover a field guide to Faeries, and quickly realize that the estate is infested with them. Some of the faeries are benign or even friendly, but many more of them are pesky or downright malicious. They discover many new creatures also.

The Reveler

Feb 16, 2008

Uhmm...Did I Miss Something Here?

Did I miss something in this story? This made my day today. I grabbed the paper today and this came up on one whole page of the Trib. "Kids compete is 2nd singing tilt..."

Then I saw this page online. Maybe I missed something here....

Kids compete is this year's winner!

The Reveler

Feb 12, 2008

Upgrade One Step at a Time

Finally, there's a news about an update and upgrade of the CNMI Labor computer systems. On the paper today, this photo shows how happy the local officials to inform the public about this upgrade on its ID system. I know this may be pushing it, but the department indeed needs more upgrade more than its ID system.

A source said the department has no way of looking up records of workers electronically that officials would ask them to go from window to window just to verify one document that can be done in one window.

I know that they are doing their best to serve the people better.

The Reveler

Feb 8, 2008

Phil ConGen meets TTT's Cruz

Whoa! Smiles and sincere greetings seemed to be going on between the Philippine Consulate General and the Tao Tao Tano group leader today during lunch time at the 360. My friends and I were pleasantly surprised with that meeting at the revived and now hip lunch place in Susupe.

Some of the Filipinos dining in today were questioning as if surprised and vehemently reacted on what they saw? One of them ask why was the ConGen meeting with the TTT leader that she said has cursed, tarnished and offended the Filipino race here on the island. I was eagerly listening to them until they caught me and shut up.

What could be going on in this meeting? That we had no clue. Maybe TTT invited the Philippine Consulate General to convince his fellow Filipinos to accept the current law? Or maybe the Philippine ConGen invited the TTT leader to be more accepting to the nonresident workers?

I don't know. We had no idea. This ConGen has not spoken vocally on the issue of federalization and the Labor Reform Law. He reportedly said that he has not said anything to keep the relationship between the two countries in good shape.

We wondered who paid the lunch today....

The Reveler

Feb 7, 2008

Getting to Know You...

This caught my attention reading the Saipan Tribune online. Take note of the third paragraph and expound this to me please. I think coffee made my brains in shambles....

Q: Who are the employers allowed to repatriate their guest workers for 60 consecutive days instead of six consecutive months?

A: Employers who have complied with the requirements of a section of P.L. 15-108 with respect to citizen and permanent resident participation in their full-time workforce are considered to have met the primary objective of the periodic exit requirement.

For that reason, according to the Regulations, these employers may satisfy the periodic exit requirement by repatriating their foreign national workers for 60 consecutive days rather than six consecutive months.

These employers, however, must submit to the Department of Labor a consent document signed by the alien worker acknowledging permanent residence in the country that issued the worker's passport and no change in status by reason of employment in the CNMI.

Non-business employers who have hired domestic helpers, farmers, household maintenance workers or yard workers may utilize the 60-day alternative.

Uhmm what's the point with this --> "alien worker acknowledging permanent residence in the country that issued the worker's passport and no change in status by reason of employment in the CNMI."

Are we that troubled that these alien workers will renounce their own citizenship when they work here?

You tell me....

The Reveler

Feb 5, 2008

A Tribute to Tribune's Publisher

Just a quick one.

Here's our tribute to the man that ran the Saipan Tribune into stardom. John Pangelinan passed away this afternoon at 3pm. Every one at the Trib was all saddened by this loss. He would be remembered as the lighthearted, understanding and full of vision of a man.

Kudos to you in heavens...

The Reveler

CHC - a No In-Patient Pharmacy Zone

Yes. This is the case now. Sources told me that the in-patient pharmacy at the Commonwealth Health Center has been closed by the Department of Public Health. Its loyal and dedicated head pharmacist has transferred to a private pharmacy as a retail pharmacist. I was also told that this director has not been renewed and still has some money owed to him by the department.

Can a local hospital operate without in-patient pharmacy? I was also told that a certain hospital should have an in-patient pharmacy if the facility has over 100 beds for example. Now I don't know about the CNMI's case here. I heard that the hospital tried to outsource the pharmacy services to the private pharmacy here but the company asked for a fee that's impossible for the hospital to afford. The fee was just a move to tell the hospital to renew the contract of its pharmacists.

I also heard from inside sources that the Public Health is going to privatize the in-patient pharmacy, that's why....

The Reveler

Feb 1, 2008

Meetings Left and Right

"To the left, to the left...Don't you ever for a second get to thinking you're irreplaceable...." Beyonce.

This Grammy nominated song plays in the background as my mind rambles with questions why have there been meetings with nonresident workers left and right. This week, the local government met with the contract workers group trying to convince them that the Reform Law is a good thing for every one. Then, we've heard that the office of the Ombudsman also met with the nonresident workers. Then, I got these calls from nonresident workers asking me the time of supposed meeting with the same office tonight.

What's going on? Well, I could hear the excitement from these callers like there have been epiphanies of hope for a brighter future. However, again this could also bring false hopes to some...

What's going on?

The Reveler

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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.


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