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WHEN still a boy, William Mariner left England in 1804 on the ship Port-au-Prince for a whaling expedition to the Pacific.  After two years on the high seas, the ship anchored at Lifuka, one of the islands of Tonga, to rest and refit.  By that time, the crew was as ragged as the sails.

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THE truth of the matter is WE are facing the biggest financial challenge since the creation of the Commonwealth.  The deficit is a paradigm created by Ralph & David, who is on the run, that must be broken if WE are to overcome this challenge that can only happen by “thinking-outside-the-…

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TWENTY-EIGHT years ago, the two biggest news items on island were the “federal takeover” bill introduced in the U.S. Congress by the new Republican leadership; and (drum roll please) the medical referral deficit amounting to $14.5 million — worth $27.8 million today.

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JAPAN created a vibrant economy in the NMI and the rest of the Micronesian islands that were formerly under the German flag (the Marshalls, Palau, the present-day FSM). “At first,” says historian Francis X. Hezel, SJ, “the Japanese Imperial Treasury supplied almost the entire administrative …

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THE truth about our former Godfather Governor is coming to light even before the State & Federal Courts can finish with him.  The sad part is that WE the People are the ones who will be stuck with the “tab” he left us to pay-off the tens-of-millions.  How could HSEM even be operating wit…

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THE Grotto is one of the best dive sites on Saipan.  Not only can you dive the turquoise cavern itself, but once you swim out of the holes into the open sea, a new world emerges.  Off to the left is a great wall with caves and swim-throughs.  Straight ahead is a large, gently sloping aquatic…

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ON Jan. 9, 1978,  the newly born CNMI government held its inaugural ceremonies whose highlight was the swearing in of the first Commonwealth governor and lt. governor — Carlos S. Camacho and Francisco C. Ada. Temporary federal district court Judge Russell E. Smith administered the oath of office.

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AS a teacher, I have had the pleasure and the weighty responsibility of offering advice to thousands of young people over the years.  What classes should I take?  Should I work a side job or focus on my studies?  As students grow closer to their professors, the questions grow more private, m…

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LAST week, the Wall Street Journal published a front-page report titled, “Officials Boost Firms —And Own Interests”; and, no, it wasn’t about the CNMI’s BOOST program.

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The following is the text of the author’s statement on the floor during the 22nd House's final session on Jan. 5, 2023, on the report of preliminary findings and recommendations by the Joint Committee (Ways and Means and Judiciary & Governmental Operations).

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AS we begin this new year, it is natural to look ahead and envision what kind of year 2023 will be, what changes it will usher in, and how we as residents will see progress for our home. Often people ask the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers for thoughts on the future of the Marianas a…

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THIS is an open letter on behalf of my friend, the late Justice Pedro M. Atalig probate matter, concerning the published probate decision because I experienced a mirrored miscarriage of justice as Mrs. Nelida Atalig.

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MY family settled on this island 20 years ago. I was only a teen when I first came to the CNMI but now, I have a daughter who is 5 years old. What's great about this island is even though time has passed, the people and culture stay the same.

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EVEN after such a long time, we constantly find remains of missing servicemen, downed planes and sunken ships from the Second World War.  The islands and waters of the Pacific are littered with the detritus of that conflict.  I recall a story from Saipan where a man went on a smoke break and…

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THROUGHOUT all these so many years, well-meaning government officials, politicians and other concerned citizens have been making plans or designing policies that they say will help “expand” the workforce. Meanwhile, their intended “beneficiaries” continue to make their own plans and their ow…

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WHAT began as a spark of inspiration one afternoon during my 4th-period class grew into one of the greatest learning experiences for my students and me. On Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, over a hundred U.S. Government & Economics students from Marianas High School visited the Governor’s Office…

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POLITICIANS everywhere, take note!  Pay heed to a beautiful lesson in sportsmanship.  I am not talking about the World Cup.  (I was on a plane over Greenland when the final game was played between Argentina and France.  Every few minutes, half the passengers erupted in cheer as the other hal…

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JOSE Maria Canlas “Joma” Sison, who passed away last week at the age of 83, never held elective office in the Philippines which he left in 1986, never to return again. Yet for over half a century, he was one of his country’s most influential political figures. When he was in his 20s, he set …

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THE days leading up to Christmas are exciting and full of anticipation about celebrations and sharing love and joy with family and friends. Preparing for this wonderful time includes planning meals, decorating homes, and fulfilling Christmas wish lists. The team at Mariana Islands Nature All…

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THANKS for the interesting article on Pedro Manglona Atalig's 27-year-old probate case. And my sympathy to Mrs. Nelida Atalig and her children. I am a non-NMD surviving spouse and have shared Mrs. Atalig's empathy for the last 17 years.

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ONE of my favorite things about the Christmas season is that it creates a sense of warmth and togetherness. As soon as November arrives, we see people begin putting up decorations in preparation for the holidays. With everyone taking part, it's safe to say that we all look forward to this ti…

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IT is 3 in the afternoon here, they say 1500 because this town uses the 24-hour clock, also known as military time.  It is as dark as it was at midnight.  I am in Tromso, Norway, one of the northernmost cities in the world.  To get any closer to the North Pole I would need a boat. 

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THOSE who attend Church already know that life itself is a test and the challenge facing our Governors-Elect is no different — a test to live up to the promises made to the People. For me, they are off to a great start as the list of their “Transition Team” speaks for itself, as it includes …

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THE lack of workers for certain jobs has been a major challenge for the NMI economy since at least the Japanese era. Unlike the Spaniards and the Germans, the Japanese administrators of the islands wanted to see economic growth. Japan “solved” the islands’ labor shortage by bringing in tens …

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A SERIAL rapist terrorized a community, targeting over 30 women spanning three decades.  The trail went cold, not because police closed in on him, but because he either satisfied his desires or he realized he was one mistake from getting nabbed and chose to lay low.

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FOUR years ago, two candidates told Variety that the 2018 election was “the most challenging” and the “nastiest so far” because of the “false accusations” and “misinformation” that also targeted one of the candidates’ family members.

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IT feels like a brand new day in the Marianas. Leila Staffler and I join our fellow Democrats in extending our sincerest congratulations to Governor-elect Arnold Palacios and Lieutenant Governor-elect David Apatang on their decisive victory, which truly is the victory of the people. 

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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…

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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…

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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.  

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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 …

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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 …

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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…