Marianas Variety

Last updateFri, 22 Nov 2019 12am







    Thursday, November 21, 2019-12:49:35P.M.






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Lenten traditions on Saipan

MANY islanders participated in the Good Friday Mass on Mount Tapochao. Devotees walked from the foot of the mountain to its summit while others carried a big wooden cross which was then erected on the mountain top.

Fiesta, Kanoa make it to playoff

THE Fiesta Rockers and Kanoa Resort advanced in the double-elimination playoffs in the 2016 Tan Holdings Intercompany Basketball League claiming their first win over their respective opponents last Friday at the Tan Siu Lin Sports Complex.

Lawyer: Security guards’ labor claims not covered by FLSA

By Bryan Manabat
Variety News Staff
ISLAND Protective Services has asked the federal court to dismiss the lawsuit filed by 14 security guards, arguing that their labor claims against the company are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The plaintiffs accused the company of paying them below U.S. minimum wage rate, not paying overtime dues, and making them pay the recruitment cost.
Island Protective Services or IPS, which is owned by Md. Nurul Islam Bhuiyan, is represented by attorney Janet King.
King said IPS is a small business entity that does not earn gross revenue in excess of $500,000 per annum and does not engage in commerce. Therefore, she added, the plaintiffs’ claims are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Represented by attorney Mun Su Park, the plaintiffs are Shomon Ullah Monshi, Syful Islam, Nasir Uddin, Mohammed M. Billah, Addullah Al Mamun, Abdullah Al Mahamud, Md. Rabi Ullah, Maksudur Rahman, Amir Rasool, Hemayet Hossen, Md. Shahidul Islam, Billal Hossen Sarkar, Khirul Basher and Md. Solaiman.
Their lawsuit alleged violations of the minimum wage and overtime provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act, breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, and fraud.
King said the court should dismiss the lawsuit because the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
According to the lawsuit, Bhuiyan compensated the 14 security guards for their work for only $3.50 an hour and $4 per hour after May 2017. The local rate was $6.55 an hour as of Sept. 2016 and $7.05 as of Sept 2017. It will reach the federal rate of $7.25 an hour in Sept. 2018.
The plaintiffs also alleged that Bhuiyan required them to cover the cost of their immigration petition filing fees, and fraudulently promised them that he would file a petition for green cards after they arrived on Saipan.
They said they paid recruitment processing fees amounting to a total of $130,262 plus their airfare.
They said when they expressed their grievance over violations of labor laws, they suffered discriminatory treatments from Bhuiyan including physical abuse, insulting comments and disparate treatment concerning terms and conditions of work.
They said Bhuiyan also retaliated against them by reducing their working hours, withholding wages, reducing their pay, harassing them and making comments intended to intimidate them from proceeding with this lawsuit.
They also alleged that Bhuiyan threatened their family members in Bangladesh.

Korean students participate in cleanup campaign

VISITING Korean students on Friday participated in a cleanup activity on Beach Road, the mayor’s  student program coordinator Yuki Kishimoto said.

earthrise: A tree of misogyny

JAPANESE Rotarians helped me stick the sapling to the ground.  I put one as a lark when Ivan Groom was still on island doing landscapes, and Patrick Calvo had his attention on plants, but last year, the tree still looked healthy until Soudelor came calling.

House panel eyes $142M budget for FY 2017

THE House Committee on Ways and Means will propose a $142 million budget for fiscal year 2017 which starts on Oct. 1, 2016.

Ninth Circuit executive Cathy Catterson to retire

SAN FRANCISCO (Press Release) — Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit announced the impending retirement of Cathy A. Catterson, Circuit and
Court of Appeals Executive for the Ninth Circuit. Catterson plans to officially step down on Feb.  28, 2017.

Younis Art Studio Inc. - Marianas Variety News & Views


Fair. Balanced. Independent.

Established on March 16, 1972, Marianas Variety is the islands’ oldest, most trusted, most influential and most widely read newspaper. It is an independent publication with no ties to business or political interests. Its business is to be a newspaper, not to “defend” special interests or promote any business entity or politician.

Variety has a readership of 40,000 in the CNMI and 2,000 throughout Micronesia. We print an average of 28-40 pages daily with full color capability. A sister publication based in Koror, Palau, the Palau Horizon, was launched in 1998 with a readership of 8,000. Variety on Guam was launched in 1999 and now has a readership of 48,000. We distribute in the CNMI, Guam, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia. We have subscribers in the South Pacific, the Philippines, Hawaii, Japan and the mainland U.S.

Variety provides its readers with the most extensive local and regional news and views. It carries interesting and in-depth feature stories, U.S. and international news. It has the liveliest opinion page in all of the Marianas and remains the only CNMI newspaper that takes a stand, through its editorials, on the burning issues of the day.

Variety is published from Monday to Friday and is owned by Younis Art Studio, a local company.

Variety’s website allows readers to submit comments as well as to see our advertising rates and other specifications.

We are a member of the Associated Press, Reuters and the Pacific Islands News Association.


Best Newspaper, awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists-NMI chapter in 1995

Best Editorial Writing, SPJ-NMI, 1995

Best News Photography, SPJ-NMI, 1995

NMI Humanities Award for Outstanding Contributions to Journalism, 2001

Best Online Edition of a Pacific Island Newspaper, 2002

Environmental Achievement Award, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2003

The MV Team

Laila Y. Boyer is an honors graduate from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, double majoring in mass communications and performing arts after attending programs at the Aichi University in Nagoya, Japan and Haifa University in Israel in international communications.  She worked as an education, government and community reporter for Marianas Variety from 1997 to 1999, and helped launched the company’s sister publications Palau Horizon in 1998 and Guam Variety in 2000 becoming the company’s operations manager and recognized as Guam’s Outstanding Woman of the Year in 2001.  In 2002, she returned to Saipan as general manager, expanded the MV sales team, became company president in 2010 and was nominated as Business Woman of the Year in 2012.  An active community volunteer, she is the former president of the Saipan Rotary Club and Stellar Marianas, and assists with the NMI Girl Scouts, among other worthwhile organizations.

Zaldy Dandan studied broadcast journalism at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and wrote and/or edited for the Philippine Daily Globe, the Manila Standard and the Manila Times. He was editor of the Marianas Observer from Feb. 1994 to Jan. 1996. He started writing for Marianas Variety in July 1996 and has covered all the news beats on island. He is the recipient of the Best Editorial Writer Award of the U.S. Society of Professional Journalists, and the CNMI Humanities Award for Outstanding Contributions to Journalism. He has also been awarded fellowships to the University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop in Baguio City and the national writers workshop conducted by Philippine National Artist for Literature Edith L. Tiempo, Ph.D. in Dumaguete City. His fiction and poetry have appeared in several Philippine literary publications. His book of poems, "We'll Kiss Like It's Air and We're Running Out of It," book of short stories, "Die! Bert! Die!," and novel, "How I Learned What Really (Probably) Happened to Amelia Earhart" are available on

Emmanuel “Arnold” T. Erediano is a journalism graduate of the Lyceum of the Philippines and was a police reporter for People’s Journal Tonight, a leading national publication, for 11 years before he started working for  Marianas Variety in 2006.

Honorio “Junhan” B. Todiño has a bachelor of science degree in commerce from Southwestern University and, starting in 1990, was a reporter for radio/TV and newspapers in the central and southern Philippines. He is also a former reporter of Island Times in Koror, Palau.

Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa has a bachelor of arts degree in communication arts from the Philippine Women’s University and was a reporter for People’s Journal Tonight in Manila for nine years before she joined the Variety news staff in 2005. She is also a former reporter of a sister publication, Palau Horizon.

Bryan Manabat was a liberal arts student of Northern Marianas College where he also studied criminal justice.  He is the recipient of the NMI Humanities Award as an Outstanding Teacher (Non-Classroom) in 2013, and has worked for the CNMI Motheread/Fatheread Literacy Program as lead facilitator. He was also an active member and/or officer for CNMI community outreach and cultural non-profit organizations.

James Sablan has been writing sports stories for Variety since 2013. He is a liberal arts student of Northern Marianas College.

Lori Lyn C. Lirio is a mass communications graduate of the Lyceum of the Philippines, and is a former reporter/writer of Metro Star News, People’s Tonight, the Philippine Daily Globe, and the TV program Calvento Files.

Sophia Perez received an honors degree in rhetoric at UC Berkeley before moving to Los Angeles to work as the content manager for a local tech firm. She eventually moved east to Brooklyn, where she could transition from advertising and promotional content to more journalistic work. She moved to Saipan in 2018 and covers culture and activism in the Marianas.

Other services

Younis Art Studio also offers printing and sign services, known as the MV Print Club.
Join the MV Print Club and Print Your Way!

As a member of the MV Print Club, you will receive 20% off print orders, emails for promotions, discounts and other great deals for your customized printing needs!  Plus, fill in your eight boxes with print jobs and join the quarterly raffle for great prizes!

For Businesses and Organizations:
Business Cards
Annual Reports

For Special Occasions:
Party Bags
Party Tags
Candy Wrappers
Cake Boxes
Novelty Items

For Promotions or Campaigns:
Hand Held Bill Boards
Yard Signs
Large Format Print

With our creative graphic designs, we could tailor any of your print orders to fit your needs.  

Call 234-9272 or come and see any of our sales team, Jeanette, Noemi or Joanne today!
For more information, please contact our Saipan office at (670) 234-9272 or 234-9797. Our fax number is (670) 234-9271 and our e-mail address is
Thank you and have a wonderful day!