Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fly Me to Goat Island
East China Air?
Saipan to Manila direct flights have been cancelled by our friends at Continental. Citing a diminishing NCLEX clientele they have decided to abandon a route that typically flies fully loaded. CPA and the Fitial Administration should actively seek a replacement airline. Perhaps Philippine Airlines or some other carrier would want to pick up the twice weekly non stops between capitals.

While the flights are infrequent, there remains a constant market for workers plying back and forth and the occasional tourist wishing to make the trip. It seems prudent to go out and actively solicit a replacement by letting several alternative airlines know that the route is available and offer them an attractive deal and a chance to make some money.
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Weeding the racetrack
Patrick Calvo announced his candidacy for the position of delegate to the US congress last Tuesday. By Friday he was being accused of a new rehash of some old long since dismissed charges from a decade ago. Call me cynical if you wish but the timing on these new charges seems a bit more than coincidental. Sounds like someone may have called in a favor to try and reduce that field of candidates by one more. A little smearing goes along way during a campaign.

Thursday evening also saw the Republican Party tap Pete A. as the horse to back in the coming race after two other candidates voluntarily stepped aside allowing him to run unopposed by any other sponsored Republican. It also saved the Party the cost and aggravation of a primary election. Both candidates, Ray Yumul and Vince Torres, had meetings with Pete A. prior to backing down. I would have liked to be a fly on the wall during those meetings. Rep Yumul cited the possibility he will be called back to active military duty. If so will he stay on the Legislative payroll again this time?

There are still plenty of ponies in the first-ever running of the CNMI Delegate Derby and plenty of time to get those bets down.
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It is nice to see Tinian getting some infrastructure improvements. The paving of ‘Route 202’, a two lane road from Broadway down to the port, is finally underway after several delays. Many of the roads on Tinian are potholed and in need of repair. Problem is, at 2 Million dollars a mile, not many of them will be getting much attention. Yep, that is how much this project is costing. Divided island, limited access freeways built to Interstate Highway standards cost less to construct than this little 2 lane side street.

With so many roads and sidewalks needing work there is seems a shame to spend so much and get so little. I’m sure that road, less than a mile long, will be a real beauty. At that price it aught to be. For that kind of cash they could have repaved every road in San Jose. Every one in town, except the tire dealer, would probably like to see that happen. Maybe the Governor’s CIP task force, given credit for getting the current project underway, will again hit Federal Highway Administration paydirt but spread it around to many smaller projects next time.

Hey, I’ve got a friend who lives out in the Marpo Valley who needs a high ground clearance HumVee and a tow truck just to get home the road is so bad. Several of Tinian’s tourist attractions have access via roads that might be better called an obstacle course than a highway. So there is lots to do and the long suffering folks over in Tinian deserve to get some of the federal loot buttering their bread. Just spread that butter and jam a little further next time, please.
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Gambling Festival
This year the AGs office sort of took the Constitution seriously and banned some forms gambling at the Liberation Festival at Fishing Base. You can still play “Instant Massive Bingo” so I guess that must not be gambling. Let’s see, in Blackjack you place your bet, you win or you lose money. But in Bingo, you place your bet and you win or lose money. See the difference?

At other venues for other causes, gambling is okay. Depends on what color your collar is or whether you are wearing a tie I guess. Being an AG is hard. So many definitions to choose from.

Last year the last minute rule change tricks played on the booth operators caused many of them not to return this year. Last year promises were made and rules involving sales of alcoholic beverages were outlined during several pre festival meetings at the mayor’s office. Then on the day the Festival opened, they changed the rules drastically causing many booth operators to lose money during the event. Several considered suing. Wonder why there are fewer booth operators this year? A little grape just told you.
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Nude Goats
Last week’s column on nudity caused one reader to write me and suggest that nude tourism could be a big seller. It got me thinking about the fact that we need a new tourist draw in the worst way. Casino gambling, the fastest way to stimulate tourism, went down to a 5 to 3 defeat from the Puritan Purist vote back in ‘06. Maybe this nude suggestion, if properly hidden and isolated would gain the approval of those folks. On the other hand, nothing in the Constitution bars baring ones buns so we wouldn’t have to take this to the voters. All we need is a place and an investor.

We could designate a nude only beach site and have the unclad from all over the globe come here to disrobe and get a bit closer to nature. Goat Island would be the perfect venue for this ‘back to basics’ kind of eco-tourism. “Let the bees see your knees” could be the new Goat Island motto. Signs warning the tourists to “Bend over Carefully” and “Caution Goat Crossing” could be placed around the island to promote safe nudity. Sunscreen vendors would come flocking. The prospects for jocularity are endless.
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Quote of the week:
I believe I found the missing link between animal and civilized man. It is us. -Konrad Lorenz, ethnologist, Nobel laureate (1903-1989)


Anonymous said...

Excerpts from the OPA report:

1. Department of Finance
Our review of contract documents and discussions with DOF officials and employees showed that a contractor (i.e. Gregorio C. Sablan, Creative Networking
Consulting) was granted a $30,000 advance payment representing 50 percent of the contract amount without adequate justification. The contractor subsequently failed to perform any of the scope of work specified in the contract and the
CNMI Government had no recourse but to sue the contractor to recover the advance payment.

2. Pre- Constitutional Convention (ConCon) Committee
Our review of contract documents and communication with the ConCon
Chairman showed that a contractor (i.e. Mr. Gregorio C. Sablan) failed to perform the administrative and support services required under his $12,639 contract with the ConCon Committee. The contractor received a total payment
of $5,833 as a result of contract terms which required a $2,916.67 advance payment upon completion of contract signing and another $2,916.67 automatic payment after 15 days.

What happened to the recommendations of OPA? has the gov't subsequently collected from Kilili?

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Dear gutless anonymous poster,

Why would we believe you haven't doctored those "excerpts"? Or just invented them?

Try owning up to your posts by disclosing your name so we know what your biases are.

Try posting your spam once, not all over the place.

Your believability quotient? Zero.

Bye now. Don't come back unless you get some courage.