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Last updateThu, 21 Nov 2019 12am

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    Wednesday, November 20, 2019-3:25:37A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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RB Camacho again asks mayor’s office to ‘restore’ Juan B. Tudela’s name at Sugar King Park

FORMER municipal council chairman Ramon Camacho is again asking the Saipan Mayor’s Office to “restore” the name of the late Mayor Juan B. Tudela that had been painted over on the wall of Sugar King Park.

Camacho, a close friend of the Tudela family, said the Northern Marianas-Japan Cultural Center at Sugar King Park was the “legacy” of the late two-term mayor who passed away in 2013 at the age of 77.

“The family of Tudela was raising this issue again because the current mayor has not made any effort to restore the name,” Camacho said, adding that Mayor David M. Apatang’s administration had promised to redesign the wall and “make it better.”

Special assistant to the mayor Henry Hofschneider, in a separate interview, said they will obtain a “real good quality plaque,” which will be displayed on the wall.

Asked if it will mention Tudela’s name, Hofschneider said the Northern Marianas-Japan Cultural Center is a project of the Office of the Mayor of Saipan.

“Everybody’s name should be ‘restored,’ [and not] just one mayor,” he added.

In 2018, Camacho complained that Tudela’s name on the Sugar King Park was painted over again.

He said in 2014, Tudela’s name on the wall was also painted over, but he put it back when he was appointed as acting mayor.

Camacho said Tudela, as Saipan mayor from 2002 to 2010, initiated the development of the Northern Marianas-Japan Cultural Center at Sugar King Park, and was able to secure $285,000 in community block grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Northern Marianas Housing Corp.

Camacho said the cultural center was designed to attract more tourists and included a food court, an amphitheater, a stage, a banquet hall, a resource center, and a historical gallery.

But Hofschneider said the mayor’s office was on the verge of getting “blacklisted” by HUD/NMHC because the food court at the park had never been used until Apatang became mayor.

“The mayor took action,” Hofschneider said, adding that vendors are now operating at the food court.

Camacho ran unsuccessfully against Apatang in the 2014 and 2018 mayoral elections.