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Friday, February 05, 2016

Beautify CNMI in the News

Cinta Kaipat leads our tree planting on Thursday
We had a few stories in the local papers this week.  We had our first meeting on Monday and planted our first trees on Thursday.  Here are some of the highlights:

Beautify CNMI is Back
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.”
Kaipat Revives Beautify CNMI
“It is a diverse group that broke down boundaries. It is a group united by a common goal of taking care of the environment, enhance the CNMI’s natural beauty, and foster community pride in its residents,” said Kaipat.

Angelo Villagomez, who is one of the founders of Beautify CNMI!, has been involved in various community volunteer works before moving to the mainland. He is now based in Washington, D.C. but is on island to help Kaipat reorganize the group.

Kaipat said that her goal is not to replace the current post-Typhoon Soudelor work being done by various other groups but to enhance what they have been doing.

“We are not only making it beautiful for us but also for the tourists and for our children. We want to revive the campaign and join it with other work being done on the island today,” added Kaipat, who shared a lot of stories of volunteers that helped them in various projects.
Solid waste disposal is main concern of Beautify CNMI!
Proper disposal of solid waste on the island—especially those left by Typhoon Soudelor—became the center of discussion of the first meeting of reviving the people-centered group Beautify CNMI!

The core group, which answered former representative Cinta Kaipat’s invitation to attend the meeting, agreed that some of the problems that the community is facing right now is garbage left by those who spend weekends at the beach or trash dumped in random places by some people

Beer and soda cans, plastic bottles, disposable plates and utensils, cigarette butts, boxes, straws, burger wrappers, diapers, and other household thrash are the regular things collected during beach cleanups.

Rep. Edwin K. Propst (Ind-Saipan) said the challenge right now is how to keep one area clean and some people don’t have the money to get the services of a trash collection agency.

“As soon as you finished cleaning up one place, trash would appear in another. Either illegally burn it or throw it somewhere else,” said Propst, who together with Rep. Vinnie Sablan (Ind-Saipan) are thinking of possible laws that they could file at the Legislature.
Beautify CNMI to plant commemorative tree tomorrow
“We’ve planted several hundred flame trees along Beach Road also in Koblerville and several other places around the island,” Villagomez said.

He also credited those who came first to plant the trees that have become a trademark and identity of the CNMI.

“The flame trees by the beach were actually started many, many years ago, in the ’60s, ’70s,” Villagomez said, “Somebody has always stepped up and planted flame trees but it’s actually something that’s existed for 30 years.”

Villagomez said that while it is sad that those trees were gone, it is our responsibility to beautify the CNMI again.

“They were blown away. It’s really sad how much this island lost from the typhoon. People lost their homes, and we lost one of the naturally beauty. But as caretakers of this island, it’s our responsibility to fix up that which was broken,” Villagomez said.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Meeting Minutes

Participants in the first meeting of 2016
Beautify CNMI meeting
February 1, 2016
Hyatt Chamolian Room

Participants: Vinnie Sablan (Legislature), Tatiana Babauta (MVA), Steve Jang (CARE), Lucy Sablan, Ike Cabrera, N Horiguchi, Walt Goodridge, Jojo Cruz (MINA), Angelo Villagomez (Pew), Aileen Benavente (BECQ), Jose Kaipat (BECQ), Brad Ruszala (CUC), Ed Propst (Legislature), Shelane Borja (CARE), Jill Arenovski (SCC), Jenny Hegland (CARE), Jon Perez (media), Cinta Kaipat, Arnold (media), Frau (media)

Cinta welcomed the group and introduced Angelo.

Angelo showed two movies from 2007:
What is Beautify CNMI?
One Year Anniversary
Cinta followed up with a history of Beautify CNMI and discussion of our values:
Beautify Virus – We must always be growing and sharing the message of our coaltion
We are a coaltion, not an organization – we steamroll bureaucracy
Do it now – if you have to ask if you can do it, the answer is yes
Give from your heart, we’ll take as much or as little as you can give
Everyone’s a member, even if they don’t know it yet

Following the talk, a discussion followed:

Please visit the website and sign up for the email list:
www.BeautifyCNMI.org

About 80% of the discussion was about solid waste
Solid waste management – Vin & Ed & Joe K. & MINA, Jen, Steve were identified as leaders and possible committee chairs. Taken as a whole, solid waste is too big an issues, so we discussed breaking up into sub-committees
-Enforcing Litter laws
-Village Cleanups- canvassing neighborhoods that still have typhoon debris & illegal dumping
-Restructuring price of dumping (tipping fee)
-Recycling, Tires
-Abandoned Structures – don’t have permission to remove debris from abandoned properties. How do we clean this up? What’s beautiful is also safe!

MINA brought up their work with marine debris & litter & plastic
It was mentioned that ocean issues as a whole are also important

Animals were discussed in two terms:
There is still an issue of abandoned and feral issues, and we should talk to Saipan Cares for Animals because they are doing great work. In the past we worked with PAWS and help public education activities and events
Dead animal cleanup – is there a government or a private sector solution to this perennial problem? It is related to the number of stray animals.

Working with the community was an overarching theme for all the discussions
There should an Education & Outreach committee
We should make educaitonal PSAs
Focus should be young kids & the parents

We want to plant trees to replace the ones destroyed by the Typhoon. We are having a tree planting this week.

Historical monuments & buildings – Aya & Ike
We need to talk to HPO
Promote this history

Diving was mentioned as important

Next meeting?
Ed Propst will convene a solid waste meeting in two weeks.
Joe Kaipat will see if we can hold the next general meeting at BECQ in March

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Beautify CNMI! Meeting set for Monday


The Beautify CNMI campaign will hold their first organizational meeting of 2016 next week. The once highly visible coalition was founded in 2006 and spent several years organizing beach cleanups, planting trees, painting over graffiti, and recycling. There is hope among some of the former volunteers to revive the campaign and to join it with other environmental initiatives taking place on the island today.

“Our goal is to enhance the work of the community,” said Beautify CNMI founder Cinta M. Kaipat. “We’re not looking to replace existing efforts, but to lift them to new heights.”

According to their website, Beautify CNMI! Is a coalition of concerned citizens, private groups, and government entities united to enhance the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ natural beauty and foster community pride in its residents and visitors. They have been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Congress for their volunteer work, and were the Saipan Tribune’s 2006 Person of the Year.

Interested participants are invited to a meeting on Monday, February 1 at 2 PM in the Chamolinian Room of the Hyatt Recency.

Kaipat will chair the meeting and lead a discussion on how now is a great time to reinvigorate the coalition. Co-founder Angelo Villagomez will make a presentation on how the campaign was created in 2006.

For more information about Beautify CNMI’s ten year history, please visit www.BeautifyCNMI.org.

Who: Beautify CNMI coalition kick off meeting
What: A meeting to discuss Beautify CNMI
Where: Hyatt Regency Chamolinian Room
When: February 1, 2 PM
Why: To enhance the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ natural beauty and foster community pride in its residents and visit

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Beautify CNMI! 2016


Happy New Year!

Man, time flies. Has it really been 10 years since we created Beautify CNMI? And how is that we haven't posted a blog in two full years? Well, some of us got to thinking over the Christmas break and we've decided to get the band back together and reinvigorate our Beautify CNMI campaign in the new year. We're organizing ourselves right now and will have our first meeting in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, could you sign up to our email list? Click on the JOIN button above or RIGHT HERE.

Lots of good stuff coming to you this new year. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

DEQ Monthly Cleanup Brigade - Pau Pau Beach Saturday Jan 4

(DEQ) - The Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Cleanup Brigade will be at it again picking up trash at Pau Pau Beach this Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 8 am.

If you would like to volunteer your time to clean and beautify our island, please meet the DEQ representatives on Saturday at the Pau Pau Beach parking lot at 8 am. Volunteers will split into groups and clean until 10:00 am and break for drinks and then continue, if needed.

This month, outstanding brigade volunteers who participated in at least ten (10) monthly cleanups will receive a brigade cap and those who participated in at least three (3) cleanups will receive a brigade t-shirt.

Last month’s Coral Ocean Beach Cleanup was successful with 36 volunteers participating. Thanks to, students from Tanapag Elementary, Dan Dan Elementary, Garapan Elementary, San Vicente Elementary, Hopwood Jr. High, Saipan Southern High/YEA Club, Emerson Network Power, KIEC, Coral Ocean Point, and other volunteers about 160 pounds of marine debris was removed from the beach and properly disposed of.

The DEQ is looking forward to a repeat success this Saturday, so join DEQ’s monthly cleanup brigade and “Pick It Up!” Let us work together for the health of our coral reefs and cleanliness of our beaches for everyone to enjoy.

For more information about volunteering, please contact the DEQ office at 664-8500/1.

Monday, December 02, 2013

DEQ Monthly Cleanup Brigade - Coral Ocean Point Beach Saturday Dec 7


Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands - The Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Cleanup Brigade will be at it again picking up trash at Coral Ocean Point Beach on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 8 am.

If you would like to volunteer your time to clean and beautify our island, please meet the DEQ representatives on Saturday at the Coral Ocean Point Beach parking lot at 8 am. Volunteers will split into groups and clean until 10:00 am and break for drinks and then continue, if needed.

This month, outstanding brigade volunteers who participated in at least ten (10) monthly cleanups will receive a brigade cap and those who participated in at least three (3) cleanups will receive a brigade t-shirt.

Last month’s Tank Beach Cleanup was successful with 38 volunteers participating. Thanks to, students from Saipan Southern High, staff from LaoLao Bay Golf Resort, Coastal Resource Management, Commonwealth Utilities Corporation, and other volunteers about 280 pounds of trash was removed from the beach and properly disposed of.

The DEQ is looking forward to a repeat success this Saturday, so join DEQ’s monthly cleanup brigade and “Pick It Up!” Let us work together for the health of our coral reefs and cleanliness of our beaches for everyone to enjoy.

For more information about volunteering, please contact the DEQ office at 664-8500/1. (PR DEQ)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

DEQ Monthly Cleanup Brigade Tank Beach Saturday Nov 2

(DEQ) - The Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Cleanup Brigade will be at it again picking up trash at Tank Beach in Kagman on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 8 am.

If you would like to volunteer your time to clean and beautify our island, please meet the DEQ representatives on Saturday at the Tank Beach area/parking lot at 8 am. Volunteers will split into groups and clean until 10:00 am and break for drinks and then continue, if needed.

This month, outstanding brigade volunteers who participated in at least ten (10) monthly cleanups will receive a brigade cap and those who participated in at least three (3) cleanups will receive a brigade t-shirt.

Last month’s Makaka Beach Cleanup was successful with 64 volunteers participating. Thanks to, students from WSR Elementary, Hopwood Jr. High, Saipan Southern High, staff from CRM, and other volunteers about 700 pounds of trash was removed from the beach and properly disposed of.

The DEQ is looking forward to a repeat success this Saturday, so join DEQ’s monthly cleanup brigade and “Pick It Up!” Let us work together for the health of our coral reefs and cleanliness of our beaches for everyone to enjoy.

For more information about volunteering, please contact the DEQ office at 664-8500/1.