• Updated

THE world’s first politician was the serpent in the Garden of Eden — “more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made,” according to the Bible’s magnificent King James Version. The serpent’s “campaign” promise? Change! Believe me and do as I say, the serpent told Eve, eat…

  • Updated

EARLY voting is now in full swing, and runoff election day is Friday, November 25, the day after Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving coincides with one of the meanest, most rancorous political seasons many of us have seen in the Marianas — and also one of our most important elections in a genera…

  • Updated

SO much negativity has been said, on social media, about my personal decision to endorse the Torres/Sablan gubernatorial ticket for the runoff election. Certain members of my former party mates even accused me of stealing and lying.  

  • Updated

THIS will likely upset many of my closest friends including some of my immediate family members who generally feel much stronger about politics than I do and are staunchly opposed to one side of the runoff showdown — they have their reasons. To put it simply, I am on the fence as to who I wi…

  • Updated

WE live in an era when the word “journalist” has become a punchline.  Fair, honest, non-partisan reporting has become rare.  But that is not entirely the case.  If you care about the ocean and you are looking for good investigative journalism, I have a recommendation for you.

  • Updated

THE NMI is a remote jurisdiction with a small local population. Labor shortage has been a major concern here since at least the Japanese era. (Japan “solved” the problem by bringing in tens of thousands of Japanese, Okinawan and Korean workers.) Under the U.S.-administered Trust Territory ad…

  • Updated

THE Office of Planning and Development, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration, the Garapan Revitalization Task Force,  Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, and CNMI leaders broke ground last week on the much-anticipated Garapan Revitalization Project. I …

  • Updated

THE Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers wishes to express its appreciation for the leadership of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres in establishing the strongest linkage with the Marianas’ private sector and for the collaboration that has resulted from it over the last two years. GCEA was created in …

  • Updated

FROM start to finish, the month of November celebrates key themes that are near and dear to my heart. We are afforded the opportunity to exercise  our civic duty in support of democracy by voting, we pause during the holidays to celebrate loved ones and express profound gratitude, and now Go…

  • Updated

I HAVE been asked to provide my reactions to the elections in America, but to be fair, that is only one of the more noteworthy developments.  For the sake of perspective, let’s look at what has been happening around the world, along with some thoughts on where it all might be going.

  • Updated

ELECTION Day reminded me of the apocryphal story involving the musicians on the Titanic who were having a bitter argument about what tune to play while the luxury steamship was sinking.  Unlike the ill-fated passenger liner, however, the CNMI is not bound to “go down” anytime soon. Things ma…

  • Updated

WITHIN the year, there are only two days dedicated to our armed forces — Memorial Day and Veterans Day. On Memorial Day, we honor the military personnel who died serving, whether in battle or due to the wounds sustained in battle. On Veterans Day, we honor and thank all who served honorably …

  • Updated

MUCH has been said about Governor Torres’ last-minute bungled attempt to deliver a State of the Commonwealth Address (SOCA) right before the 2022 general election. The timing was suspect, the costs questionable, and the other branches of government were not consulted. Traditionally, the SOCA…

  • Updated

LET us return briefly to the second half of the 1800s, about one hundred fifty years ago, to the Whaling Disaster of 1871.  The United States had recently concluded its Civil War and would push ahead as a modern, industrialized nation of immigrants free from the institution of slavery.  Japa…

  • Updated

FROM 2010 to 2020, I had the distinct privilege to lead at Kagman High in many capacities.  From teacher leader, to advisor, to coach, to shelter manager, to administrator, I did my best to serve my school and community with compassion and fairness.  Investing in people was part of the conti…

  • Updated

“TRUST is a word that is being thrown around much this election,” Governor Ralph Torres, Marianas Variety November 3, 2022.

  • Updated

AS observed by President Joe Biden, we appear to be fast approaching an inflection point in world history. Faced with no clear enough future, the Taiwan government needs to systematically make strategic decisions on domestic and foreign policy that advance the core national security interest…

  • Updated

OUR democracy will showcase its strength and resilience this week as early voting opens and we all count down to Election Day on November 8, 2022. The people of this great Commonwealth are presented with many candidates who wish to serve this community and I am thankful to all those who have…

  • Updated

THIS November, voters have critical decisions to make about the leadership and future of our commonwealth. Under the current administration, we have all suffered from wasted resources, inexcusable delays in public services and projects, and abuses of trust by the highest officials in the lan…

  • Updated

ALTHOUGH you may suspect he is a boxer or wrestler, Hector is actually a storm.  Meteorologists give names to large weather systems like hurricanes and typhoons, and although Hector is not as large as those, it is remarkable in its own way.  Hector is one of the most regular, predictable, an…

  • Updated

THE Saipan Chamber of Commerce recently asked the candidates for lieutenant governor and other positions to comment on the very broad subject of “business legislation and community benefits.” Although the Chamber unfortunately canceled its public forum with the candidates to discuss this top…

  • Updated

THE Taiwan government must find a way to deter and derail the existential threat posed by the People’s Republic of China. To achieve these outcomes, Taipei will need to maintain a strong and enduring partnership with the United States. At present, this strategic bond is reinforced by a numbe…

  • Updated

MOST House or Senate bills are as “effective” as the usual legislative resolution which is merely an official expression of a widely held sentiment — or hope. But lawmakers, through all these years, continue to pass bills to do this and that or to prevent this and that. As for voters, not ma…

  • Updated

THE recent events in the Senate were to be expected as there has been a long-standing practice of the Senate to “cut-people-off” if they are saying something the Senate does not like. Shutting people up is one of the worse practices that can take place in the Senate, especially when it’s the…

  • Updated

THE Cook Islands is a small country in the South Pacific comprising 15 small islands, and where the majority live on the island of Rarotonga. It’s a country that many people describe as a paradise. But it is not without its problems. Tiny, isolated economies have unique challenges, for which …

  • Updated

A MASS extinction may be happening before our eyes, and we seem powerless to prevent it.  Then again, nature might be doing what it always does: going through one of its normal cycles that we neither understand nor control.

  • Updated

IN the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there have been heightened concerns that a Taiwan contingency involving the People’s Republic of China or PRC could play out in the not-too-distant future. This year’s Department of Defense Annual Report on China to the U.S. Congress asserts th…

  • Updated

THIRTY-THREE years ago, the gubernatorial debate hosted by the Saipan Chamber of Commerce discussed, among other things, the need for better infrastructure and healthcare. As for their campaign ads, the gubernatorial candidates and other politicians seeking office went all out.

  • Updated

LIKE Mr. Stanley Iakopo said, “this Governor is only offering Lip-service” and he is proving himself to even be a hypocrite now backtracking on who was invited to the Commonwealth Address. He wanted to speak only to his choir as he is the best “Deflecting & Gas-lighting Show Artist” in t…

  • Updated

I HAVE heard from enough people to know that our opponents are on a quiet, mean, and frankly racist misinformation campaign against both Leila Fleming Staffler and me. Attacking us for not being fluent in the Chamorro language. Falsely accusing us of not valuing our indigenous Chamorro and R…

  • Updated

MENTION the name Mary Bryant in Australia, and you are bound to provoke wistful musings.  Most people today know her from the popular television miniseries that chronicled her incredible tale of daring, adventure, and tragedy.  Those who have dug deeper know that the real story is fascinatin…

  • Updated

FEAR is one of the most “inhibiting forces of nature and mankind,” as fear serves to protect but it also serves to prevent “experimentation, exploration, innovation in our evolution.”  Fear is relevant in many aspects of our lives but for this short essay fear will be the theme in our politi…

  • Updated

“Why does democratic competition yield so few satisfied customers? Because politicians are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. The public calls them venal for failing to deliver the impossible.” — Bryan Caplan

  • Updated

ROTA has earned the reputation of being the friendliest island in the world thanks to the many tourists who have visited the island over the years. Our people and community have always welcomed our guests with open arms, just as a family would welcome their own, and we continue this traditio…