Friday, May 29, 2009

Beautify CNMI Meeting Next Week

The first Beautify CNMI monthly meeting in about a year is scheduled for next Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 3:30 PM. This will be a reorganization meeting. We're not going to change too much, just bring everyone back to the table to see how we can continue to work together.

I will start the meeting off with a short synopsis of our different programs over the last 3 years.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thank You SSHS Cadets!

I read the article below and I want to extend my thanks and gratitude to the leaders of the JROTC Program at SSHS and their cadets for their continued good work in helping to make the CNMI a great place to live and visit. Your partnership with Beautify CNMI! has been ongoing since 2006, the year Beautify CNMI! began. Keep up the great job and thanks again!

Cinta M. Kaipat
Founder, Beautify CNMI!

SSHS cadets clean up American Memorial Park
Thursday, 28 May 2009 00:00 By Junhan B. Todeno - Variety News Staff
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SEVENTEEN students from Saipan Southern High School cleaned up American Memorial Park yesterday as part of their JROTC program.

U.S. Park Ranger Nancy Kelchner talks with the JROTC cadets of Saipan Southern High School about the history of American Memorial Park. Photo by Junhan B. Todeno

U.S. Park Ranger Nancy Kelchner talks with the JROTC cadets of Saipan Southern High School about the history of American Memorial Park. Photo by Junhan B. Todeno
The Alpha Battalion under the leadership of Roxiean Sanchez decided to take a different approach in performing community service on Saipan.

Sanchez said they want to help “beautify CNMI,” especially its tourist sites.

Alpha Battalion information officers Christine Falcon and Patholo Joab said the tourist spots on Saipan are very important.

“We should maintain and clean them so that many tourists and will come and visit the island,” they said.

Every semester, the JROTC cadets get to choose their service learning project, Sanchez said.

The cadets cleaned up the park from 9:30 until 11 a.m.

Sanchez said their school has been implementing the service learning project at different government facilities and private places like the zoo, the Aging Center and Managaha.

“Our mission is to help beautify Saipan,” she told Variety.

On Friday the Bravo and Delta Battalions will hold their community service in the Division of Custom area.

On June 2, the Charlie Battalion will have its service learning project at the Department of Public Safety.

Sanchez said the JROTC at Saipan Southern High School will hold a change of command ceremony today.

The commander, Cadet Lt. Col Kathlene Pagara, will be succeeded by Cadet Capt. Ruby Reyes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Request for Donations

I rarely ask for cash donations. For three years Beautify CNMI has been very successful getting by with good coordination, sharing resources as in-kind contributions, and stretching every dollar we get. For example, the recent island wide cleanup was made possible with a $1500 donation for supplies by MVA and donations for prizes by Marianas Tourism Educational Council and the Kramis family of $1000 and $300 respectively. With that little amount of money and a lot of volunteer hours from the Division of Environmental Quality and other volunteers, we were able to recruit 4,140 volunteers to remove over 27,070 lbs of trash from Saipan's beaches and roads.

Today, however, we are in need of about $300 to pull off our 3rd annual Boonie Dog Show. We're calling it PAWS WARS Episode III: Revenge of the Boonie. This is the annual event where PAWS and Beautify CNMI team up to educate people about the benefits of responsible pet ownership, all while having a good time laughing at the animals we love. And yes, this year we have a Star Wars theme.

I am humbly asking that you donate $20 to PAWS to help us put on the Boonie Dog Show. If you can help, please contact me or Katie Busenkell at

Saturday, May 23, 2009

FMI Cleanup of Laulau Bay Road in May

FMI Sent over two hours on Sunday cleaning up Lau Lau Road from the Cross-Island intersection down towards the beach. These pictures were taken along the Road down below the where the old restaurant road joins Lau Lau Road. The drainage areas had been used by some people as a dump site. They had dumped their personal or business trash along side the road and then covered the trash with branches and other green items as an attempt to hide the trash. Our Trash warriors could smell (as could anyone using the Road) the trash and found the illegal dump. Anyone with information on the dump please let DPS know as it is illegal.

We will make sure to really wacth this area and to make sure also that no one can get away with this illegal dump!

The Phantom Boonie

PAWS WARS LogoIt is that time of year again – when Beautify CNMI! and PAWS team up to celebrate Saipan’s boonie dogs. This year, the dog show, PAWS WARS, Episode III, Revenge of the Boonie, will be held on June 13, 2009 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at CPA Airport Field. Categories include:

Star Wars Character
Most Disobedient
Most Talented; and
Best in Show.

Come down and bring your dog in their best storm trooper or Darth Vader mask. There will be great prizes and loads of fun for the entire family. Registration forms are available here. As we have done in the past, we hope to use the dog show as a method of educating people about the benefits of responsible pet ownership and promote the human-animal bond.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thank you Miss Earth Diva

miss gay earthI had a letter to the editor appear in both papers today:
I would like to extend a warm si yu'us ma'ase to the sponsors, contestants and organizers of the very successful Miss Earth Diva pageant.

Environmental outreach is one of the most important activities of the Beautify CNMI coalition and your partners are very appreciative of all the hard work you put into promoting environmental stewardship during the pageant.

Congratulations on a successful event and thank you once again for your support.

Angelo Villagomez
Gualo Rai, Saipan
The pageant organizers donated $100 to Beautify CNMI to support our environmental programs. I am going to use the money to pay for the new t-shirt design. The money to print the shirts is coming from the revenue we raised during last year's Jake Shimabukuro concert.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Beautify CNMI T-shirts

beautify cnmi shirtsIn celebration of Beautify CNMI's third year I have commissioned new Volunteer T-shirts. The designer of the shirt is none other than Dexter Mendiola, the designer of the popular Fotten Gaga t-shirts. What do you think?

I had wanted to have the shirts to be ready for April's Island Wide Cleanup. Now I'm shooting for June's dog show, PAWS WARS: Episode 3 Revenge of the Boonie.

Our url at expired and after about six months of trying to get it renewed I finally gave up and purchased http://www.beautifycnmi.ORG.

At the moment I have it redirecting to this blog. Well, I say at the moment, but I really have no plans on creating a Beautify CNMI website, although it would be nice.

In addition to this blog, Beautify CNMI has a Myspace page, a Facebook Fan Page, and a Facebook Group.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Island Wide Cleanup Photos on Facebook

All of tho photos sent to me of the Island Wide Cleanup are now posted on the Beautify CNMI Facebook Fan Page. If you are not a fan of Beautify CNMI on Facebook yet, please add us!

Adopt a Flame Tree

adopt a flame tree
Two years ago Beautify CNMI had an adopt-a-flame tree program. Donate $25 and Beautify CNMI would plant a flame tree in your name.

That year we planted flame trees along the road fronting the substation in Koblerville, in front of Koblerville Elementary School, in Dandan near the airport, along beach road, and in Marpi. I'd have to dig through my files to figure out how many we planted, but it was several hundred. I remember a local lawyer donated something like $1000 to support our project.

Many of those trees are blooming this year, but unfortunately, a lot of the trees died from a combination of bushcutter damage, drought, and just bad luck. Many of the trees are doing very well, though, like I said.

Hafa Adai Magazine included a story about our adopt-a-flame tree program (see above) in this month's issue. This evening I got a phone call to let me know that two people had adopted trees. They are Mr. Nobuo Mizuno and Ms. Michiko Abe, both from Kamakura City in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

We are going to plant two flame trees for them.

I talked to a farmer this evening about growing trees and there is a large company on island that has expressed interest in planting several hundred flame trees on Saipan (I've got a cool idea to combine planting pretty flame trees with erosion controls using native trees, but I'll write about that later), so you may see a resurgence in Beautify CNMI tree planting in the upcoming rainy season.

Stay tuned.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Nominate an Ocean Hero

I can think of a few people living on Saipan that would make good candidates for Oceana's Ocean Hero award. From their website:
Oceana is accepting nominees for its first Ocean Heroes Award. This award was created in honor of a recent action by the United Nations recognizing June 8 as World Oceans Day.

Seventeen years and thousands of petition signatures after it was originally proposed, World Oceans Day will now and forever be a day to celebrate our oceans. We hope to pay tribute to the passionate, dedicated fish-huggers disguised as normal civilians and we need your assistance to expose their true identity. Please help us find our inaugural Ocean Hero.

See a full description of Oceana's Ocean Hero Award here.
Click HERE to nominate an ocean hero

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Island Wide Cleanup Award Winners

Saipan, (CNMI) – Two elementary schools and a government agency that provides early intervention services for infants and toddlers are one hundred dollars richer today as Beautify CNMI! handed out prizes to groups participating in last month’s island-wide cleanup.

Garapan Elementary School received $100 for the photo they submitted of their entire student body right before cleaning up their campus and the surrounding neighborhood. They won the contest for the photo with the most volunteers.

“I told some of the staff that we won and they were really proud,” remarked Dale Roberts, Vice Principal of Garapan Elementary.

In the contest to take a photo of the biggest pile of collected garbage, San Vicente was declared the victors. ACT President Betty Miller was on hand to accept the $100 on behalf of the students.

“We had a lot of support from the parents on our cleanup day and they deserve a lot of the credit,” said Miller about winning the contest category.

Each of this year’s 61 participating groups also had their names put into a random drawing to win $100. William S. Reyes 5th grader Shizuka Takayama pulled the name of the Children’s Developmental Assistance Center during a press event at the Marianas Visitors Authority office on Wednesday.

“Everyone who participated in this year’s island-wide cleanup deserves a hearty thank you,” said Angelo Villagomez of Beautify CNMI. He added, “the Kramis family also deserves a big thank for their generous donation making these prizes possible.”

Award winners: Roberts and Miller with the $100 checks for their schools. Saipanda is also pictured.
The 2009 island-wide cleanup had the participation of 4,140 volunteers from 61 groups and over 13.5 tons of litter was removed from the streets and beaches of Saipan. The Rotary Club of Saipan, Division of Environmental Quality, Marianas Visitors Authority, and Marianas Tourism Education Council coordinated the event.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Marianas Trench Merchandise

I've had a Beautify CNMI t-shirt shop online for about two years and the only thing I've ever sold is a button. Maybe two.

I get requests for Marianas Trench t-shirts on a pretty regular basis, so I figured I'd at least make the option to buy a t-shirt online available for those die-hard conservation fans that have to literally wear their support on their sleeve.

Cafepress is great because you simply upload a graphic and attach it to any number of merchandise items. The basic service is free, which for my purposes is all I need.

Harry Blalock uses Cafepress for his Axe Murderer Tours merchandise. It is really a great service. You don't have to worry about fronting money for merchandise or ordering the right amount of XXXL shirts, you let them worry about all that.

You simply upload the images and design your shirts. Then sit back and they do all the work for you.

I don't expect too many people to buy one of these shirts, but at least now they have the option.

Click HERE to visit the Marianas Trench online t-shirt shop.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Carnival of the Blue 24

carnival of the blueCarnival of the Blue 24 is now live at Sea Notes, the blog of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. This month's carnival features the best in ocean blogging from across the globe.

My contribution this month is the NBC Nightly News story on the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument from two weeks ago.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Beautify CNMI award nominations deadline on Friday

The deadline to submit nominations for the annual Beautify CNMI Steward and Beautify CNMI Champion awards is this Friday, May 8.

The awards are given out to recognize the individuals or groups who have been environmental leaders during the past 12 months. There are two award categories, the Environmental Steward and the Environmental Champion.

The Environmental Steward award recognizes a person or group that leads the community in activities that help protect our environment in a variety of ways. This individual or group has demonstrated the need to take pride in our islands and to take care of the place we all call home. They serve as an example for others, especially the next generation, to follow.

The Environmental Champion award recognizes a person or group that exemplifies the Beautify CNMI spirit. Those qualities include volunteerism, cooperation, innovation, creativity and the ability to infect others with the Beauty Virus. The Environmental Champion is a role model for others to follow. They bring environmental issues to the forefront of public consciousness. They make things happen and effect change.

The 2007 Environmental Champion winners were Bree Reynolds, Kathy Yuknavage, and Carl Brachear. The winners of the 2007 Environmental Steward award were Adam Sablan and Friends of the Mariana Islands.

The 2008 Environmental Champion winners were Nava Khorram, Marites Castillo, Katie Busenkell and Rose Callier of PAWS, Mike Tripp of Marianas Dive, and Aqua Resort Club. The winners of the 2008 Environmental Steward award were Friends of the Marianas Islands, Marianas Dive, Paseo de Marianas Promoters and Max Aguon and the Pantalon Boys.

To nominate an individual or group, submit a written nomination explaining why that person or group deserves recognition. You can make as many nominations as you like, but individuals and groups can only be nominated for one award category. Nominations must include the award category the nominee is being considered for, a well written argument detailing the reasons why this nominee should be considered, and contact information for the nominee and for the person making the nomination.

Send nominations to Angelo Villagomez at or mail them to PMB 360 BOX 10001; Saipan, MP 96950 or call 285-6462 for more information.

MINA Annual Meeting

The 2009 MINA general membership meeting will be held on Thursday, May 7, 2009 from 5:00PM to 8:00PM at the 13 Fishermen's Pavilion on Beach Road in Garapan. We would like to invite all of our members as well as the general public to join us, and learn about the opportunities and challenges facing MINA in 2009, as well as our accomplishments in 2008.