02 Feb 2016
- By Emmanuel T. Erediano - email@example.com - Variety News Staff
BEAUTIFY CNMI, the coalition of community, business and government organizations that brought people together 10 years ago to clean and beautify the islands, is here again to “infect” the people with the “beautify virus.”
Former Rep. Cinta M. Kaipat and environmental activist Angelo Villagomez, two of the key organizers of Beautify CNMI, met with other volunteers in the Hyatt Regency Saipan’s Chamolian Room on Monday to see “if we all can work together again.”
Villagomez made a Power-Point presentation on how the coalition was formed in 2006 and how various community and business groups took part in making the islands “a better place to live.”
“It was big, exciting and fun, and we want to do it again,” he said.
Eighteen people, including Reps. Edwin Propst and Vinnie Sablan who were among the original Beautify CNMI volunteers, attended the meeting.
Kaipat coined the phrase “beautify virus” when she saw how contagious the spirit of volunteerism was in the community.
Back then, she said, they came up with a list of things that needed to be done.
Today, there could be more “threats” to the environment, Sablan said. Aside from debris left behind by Typhoon Soudelor last year, there’s an influx of tourists, some of whom have been leaving their trash in public places.
On Monday, the revived Beautify CNMI core group agreed to again conduct cleanups and a beautification campaign that includes planting trees. The volunteers have yet to set a date, but their first cleanup may be held later this week somewhere in Oleai.
After hearing suggestions from those in the room of what needs to be done, they drew up a list of committees, one of which will focus on solid waste and will have four subcommittees: junk vehicles, litter control, village cleanups and recycling.
Among the other Beautify CNMI volunteers who attended Monday’s meeting were Ike Cabrera, Jill Arenovski, Aya Matsumoto, Tatiana Babauta, former Youth Congress Speaker Shellane Borja, Walt Goodridge, Jenny Hegland, Eileen Benavente and Lucy Sablan.