Digging into anything and everything that makes the CNMI tick beyond politics...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Online petition to save Pagan gets over 1,400 signatures

OVER 1,400 individuals have signed an online petition  opposing the proposal to turn the volcanic northern island of Pagan into a dump for Japan tsunami debris.
The petition is addressed to Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, Rachel Roque of the Department of Public Lands, Frank Rabauliman of the Division of Environmental Quality, Lt. Gov. Eloy S. Inos, Legislative Bureau Director Melchor Mendiola, CNMI House Clerk Linda Muna and CNMI Senate Clerk Dolores Bermudes.
According to the petition, “The CNMI is…limited in land and  burying parts of Pagan Island under tons of rubbish from another country is not only environmentally unconscionable but is degrading to the people of the CNMI.”
The petition said the “uniqueness of the CNMI and its culture should be celebrated and protected, not desecrated with a wealthy country’s garbage.”
It said burying portions of the debris from the tsunami that hit Japan in March last year is not only degrading to the people of the CNMI, it also “makes absolutely no sense.”
By signing the online petition, an individual shows that he/she supports protecting Pagan against the potential impact of this type of activity and the potential environmental impacts of leeching chemicals, loose debris, and sedimentation of the reefs and surrounding waters.
“No amount of revenue could possibly be worth the devastating environmental impacts of using Pagan…as a dump,” the petition stated.
A group has also been formed on Facebook where members and visitors can write their opinions and interact with other supporters. As of yesterday, the Facebook group “No to Dumping Trash on Pagan” site had 4,534 members.
For more information, go to http://www.change.org/petitions/don-t-turn-pagan-island-into-a-garbage-dump or  http://savepaganisland.org.

first published HERE

Our Laolao flash mob creates waves at Taste of the Marianas

VISITORS at the Taste of the Marianas at American Memorial Park got a pleasant wave of surprise when several individuals broke into a lively dance near the stage during a short break in the performances on Saturday night.
Our Laolao Campaign flash mob in action at American Memorial Park on Saturday evening. Photo by Raquel C. BagnolOrganized by Our Laolao Campaign, the flash mob stressed the importance of a litter-free Laolao Bay. Necks craned toward the direction of the flash mob as more dancers joined the group in an island-style music mix of Train’s chart topping “Soul Sister,” “Oops!...I Did It Again,” by Britney Spears, and Katy Perry’s “Firework.”
Grabbing the attention of everyone was the mob’s star dancer wrapped in garbage from head to toe. In less than five minutes, the performance was  over.
Often appearing out of nowhere, a flash mob starts with one person, and quickly grows into a crowd of people dancing a choreographed routine, and within minutes, quickly disperses.
The flash mob on Saturday was the latest of the string of activities conducted by the Our Laolao campaign to raise awareness about Laolao Bay’s cultural importance and the need to keep it litter-free and healthy for future generations.
“The flash mob draws attention to the Our Laolao campaign in a fun way and hopefully gets people to stop and think about the places that make Saipan special,” said Emanuel Borja, an environmental engineer with the Division of Environmental Quality and in-house choreographer for the campaign.
“We hear so many environmental messages about protecting the land and seas that sometimes we forget that what we are really trying to preserve is our way of life,” Borja added in his statement.
The flash mob was a result of a week of rehearsals and involved 30 community members from local high schools, government agencies and organizations.
The Our Laolao campaign emphasizes the shared responsibility of protecting Saipan’s precious environmental resources. It also centers on the community stories about Laolao, which are featured on the campaign website, highlighted through outreach activities and local advertising in the media.
The Our Laolao campaign is a collaborative effort between local government agencies and organizations on Saipan led by DEQ, Coastal Resources Management, the Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Mariana Islands Nature Alliance, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coral Reef Conservation Program, and SeaWeb.
For more information, visit the campaign website, OurLaolao.com to learn why Saipan residents are stepping up to protect the bay and to find out how to join the movement.

First  published HERE