Saturday, December 25, 2010

Jamaican Blogger Award

Beautify CNMI's friend Walt Goodridge has been nominated for a Jamaican Blog Award in the category of Best Jamaican Overseas Blog for his blog, Jamaican in China. Please take a moment out of your otherwise busy schedule to help Walt. Visit the Jamaican Blog Award website and vote for Jamaican in China.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

PDM Promoter's - Christmas Trees, Ribbons & Recycling

Incredible activity at the Paseo de Marianas last Thursday (12/2) night as the Christmas Tree project is in full swing. Students from various schools par-taking in the contest to decorate trees with recycled materials. The winners will be announced on December 16th.

Then there was the Jumbo Tree Lighting and Ribbon tying ceremony. Different colored ribbons represent different causes or charities. Beautify CNMI! and partners are represented by Green Ribbons. After a brief introduction at the main stage, we took our buckets of ribbons to a cental table where anyone who wanted to write a message on a ribbon and tie it to the tree could do so.

In fact, if you missed the opening event, you can still visit Kinpachi Ice Cream shop any time to request a ribbon to tie on the tree!

Beautify CNMI!'s Laurie Peterka with PDM Promoter's Horiguchi-san - comrades in in supporting all efforts to help inspire the all peoples of the CNMI to take care of our beautiful island and each other!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Anthology Deadline Next Wednesday

Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands – There is one week remaining for local writers to put the finishing touches on their short stories, poems, and essays before the deadline to submit writing for the upcoming anthology of Mariana writers, Stories from Wild Bill’s: Life, Love, and Spicy Tofu.

According to Wild Bill’s editor Angelo Villagomez, “This is an opportunity for local writers to get published and have their work be available to an international audience.”

Villagomez added, “Our goal is to showcase local talent and in doing so tell some great stories.”

The deadline to submit is Wednesday, December 15, 2010. Submissions will be blind reviewed by a panel of editors and writers chosen for publication will receive two copies of the printed book. The first edition is scheduled for a Spring 2011 publication.

Please refer questions to Villagomez at

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Considering a partner opportunity - Marianas Resource Conservation and Development Council

Let us start off this post with a reminder of the mission of Beautify CNMI!, which was developed by coalition partners over the last five or so years:

Beautify CNMI! is a coalition of concerned citizens, private groups, and government entities united to enhance the CNMI's natural beauty and foster community pride in its residents and visitors.

It is important from time to time to remind ourselves of this sentence, because it has the power to refocus our attention to what is important. We want to use the statement in principle as much as we use it as a philosophy.

To this end, at last week's year-end meeting, a few Beautify CNMI! partners discussed the potential value in setting up Affiliate Partner Agreements with Marianas Resource Conservation and Development Council. The purpose of doing something like this is to utilize one partner's (MRCDC) capabilities to the benefit of the whole coalition. In essence, MRCDC is an affiliate partner just like any other. As with any affiliate partner, each brings a unique value to the Beautify CNMI! concept. MRCDC is the partner that could potentially provide administrative support to facilitate the total effort of all our efforts. The concept still has some kinks and requires further discussion, but looks something like this. We break it down into two perspectives to try to convey the idea (see below).

Another way to look at it would be like this:

In this concept, MRDCD becomes an affiliate partner with the rest of the Beautify CNMI! family. Using MRDCD as an administrative service/servant, allows the whole Beautify CNMI! concept retain its "loose coalition" style of getting things done in the CNMI. Creating the Affiliate Partner Agreements is not intended to place any one affiliate above any other affiliate or to suggest anyone group has more ownership or control than another. The purpose is administrative. The value is in how the administrative services can benefit both the Beautify CNMI! concept as a whole and as individual partner can benefit for their specific projects or groups.

Some of the benefits include:
  • Cooperative assistance from Marianas Resource Conservation & Development Council for any project that fits into the mission and scope of the Council. Assistance may include, but is not necessarily limited to:
    • Grant application guidance
    • Grant applicant-beneficiary collaboration
    • Grant administrative services
    • Fiscal agent services (accepting and processing donations)
  • Acknowledgment & exposure:
    • Inclusion on MRCDC website Partner page
    • One independent standard template page on MRCDC website
    • Priority consideration for project assistance
  • An annual report on the status of all logged volunteer hours
Perhaps not so coincidentally, one of the original coalition members and founders (Angelo Villagomez) used to work under contract for MRCDC. Perhaps he will read this post and contribute to the discussion here on this blog. Otherwise, the discussion on ground for this idea will continue in the next MRCDC meeting scheduled for Monday, December 13th. MRCDC's Saipan Committee meetings are loose-working meeting (not formal) where ideas can be brain-stormed or hashed out in a cooperative and friendly environment. If you are interested in attending or interested to learn more about the above idea, please email Everyone is welcome!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Meeting Reminder! Tonight at 5:30pm

The highlight of this meeting is to present the opportunity to sign an MOU with Marianas RC&D that would create a partnership mutually beneficial to all Beautify CNMI! partners. We want your input!

For additional meeting information, please refer to the original blog post for this meeting.

See you tonight!

You're All Invited to the Tree-Lighting Ceremony Tonight

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, Beautifyers!

Please come to the tree-lighting ceremony led by PDM Promoters at the Paseo de Marianas tonight, Thursday, Dec. 2, at the Paseo de Marianas. You will get a chance to pin different color ribbons representing different worthy causes on the giant tree. Beautify CNMI!'s color is GREEN, so let's show everyone our GREEN Beautify CNMI! spirit! Other GREEN-ribbon coalition partners, such as DEQ, MINA, FMI, and others, will also be there. So, come one, come all. This is an annual event that's not to be missed. So, all you Beautifyers out there -- come out and join us!

But, don't just stop at the color GREEN (even if it's our favorite color), show your support by pinning the other different color ribbons on the tree, too!

Also, we'll have fun watching the school children decorate their trees! This has become a much-anticipated fun tradition!

Ceremonies will start at 7 p.m. and the ribbon-pinning ceremony will follow shortly after.

So, bring friends and family and see you all there!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Na’gatbo I Tano: Environment-friendly t-shirts for Beautify CNMI!

Reprinted from the Marianas Variety, November 16, 2010:

Susan Castro-Cabrera showing the Na'gatbo I Tano
t-shirts that she and her sons are donating to Beautify CNMI!
Also shown left to right: Capt Carl Bracher, Cinta Kaipat,
Laurie Peterka and Governor Fitial.
A CALIFORNIA-BASED Saipan entrepreneur who was recently on island donated over 40 organic t-shirts to the Beautify CNMI group to help its campaign for a cleaner environment.

Susan Castro-Cabrera, owner of The Evolution of Coffee in Carlsbad, California, handed the t-shirts to Beautify CNMI’s Cinta Kaipat in the governor’s conference room on Capital Hill last week.
Cabrera said the shirts, with “Na’gatbo I tano” printed on their front, were designed by her twins Joshua Kyne and Josiah Kane Castro-Cabrera Villagomez.

They are environmentally friendly, socially responsible t-shirt dedicated to the islanders of the Northern Marianas and Guam.

The t-shirt design depicts dolphins in circular formation which signifies the Recycle symbol, designed to remind the people of the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The design also depicts the dolphins as friendly and interactive creatures that embraces and protects the islands.

“Through these shirts, we hope to spread the message to beautify and save our islands and ultimately our planet earth,” Castro-Cabrera said.

Carl, Laurie, Cinta, Susan, Governor Fitial and John Baldwin
of Bridge Capital. Susan presented Beautify CNMI!
with t-shirts at Bridge Capital's donation distribution
presentation on November 10, 2010.
“When you wear this shirt, we hope that you are mindful of protecting the islands’ beauty and culture through preservation, conservation, sustainability, and ultimately peace,” the tags on the shirts said.
Castro-Cabrera said the t-shirts are made of 100 percent natural organic cloth and printed with water-based ink.

“It’s totally free of chemicals, and we urge you to wear these shirts with pride,” she said.
Kaipat thanked Castro-Cabrera on behalf of Beautify CNMI.

She said they are grateful for the t-shirts and hope each shirt will serve the purpose of urging the people to keep and protect the environment.

Bridge Capital Donates $500

Governor Fitial's Conference Room on November 10, 2010
Letft to Right: Cinta Kaipat, Susan Castro-Cabrera, Capt Carl Bracher, John Baldwin, Governor Fitial, and Laurie Peterka.
 Thanks to Bridge Capital's ongoing support, Beautify CNMI! is able to provide trash bags, gloves and sometimes, for bigger events, water for all those groups out there making a difference!

Beautify CNMI! works because everyone is involved...thank you Bridge Capital, thank you Governor Fitial, thank you to all the hard working volunteers in our community!

DEQ Monthly Cleanup Brigade: HIDDEN BEACH on Dec 4th

(DEQ) - The Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Monthly cleanup brigade will be at it again, picking up trash at Hidden Beach in Talafofu.

If you would like to volunteer your time to clean and beautify our island, please meet the DEQ representative on Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. at the entrance to King Fisher Golf. Come join us and “Pick it Up!”

Volunteers will split into groups and clean North and South Beach 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 green brigade t-shirt.

This is a cleanup that should not be missed, so join DEQ’s 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.

The DEQ cleanup brigade began in 1996 and continues to maintain clean, healthy beaches.

So join DEQ’s 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.

Friday, November 26, 2010

50% Off for Christmas

Our Northern Islands is available for 50% off the regular price for the next two weeks for shoppers who would like to give the book as a Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa) gift. In order to receive the discount, the book must be purchased on and when prompted the following discount code must be entered: DPQ5DC28.

Our Northern Islands is a book about the first expedition to the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument and contains over 70 full color photos of the uninhabited islands north of Saipan. Written by recent high school graduate Dennis Chan, the book details the 10 day expedition taken to the newly created Mariana Trench Monument just months after its declaration by President George W. Bush on January 6, 2009.

Chan joined the expedition after winning an essay contest sponsored by the Friends of the Mariana Trench Monument, "Why I want to the visit the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument."

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will support the educational programs of the Friends of the Monument and create more opportunities like the one given to Dennis.

What people are saying about Our Northern Islands:

"Youthful enthusiasm and neophyte adventure jumps out of the pages of this book.”
-Jaime Vergara
Saipan Tribune

"I am so proud of Dennis for putting this book together at such a young age."
-Delegate Gregorio Sablan
United States Congress

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Please join us for the last meeting of 2010!

Day and Date: Thursday, 12/2
Time: 5:30pm
Location: NRCS office in Garapan (just south of the Naked Fish Restaurant at the ground floor of the 3-story white building)

Agenda Items

1. Reconnecting Beautify CNMI and its partners with Marianas RC&D (20-30 mins; will include short presentation by Mark Defley, comments from Council Members and discussion with BCNMI Partners)
2. Status update on plans for incorporating (10-mins; Cinta/Horiguchi)
3. Bridge Capital Donation (5-mins; Cinta/Laurie)
4. Year-End Wrap-up & select date/make plans for 2011 Kick Off Meeting (10-15-mins; Cinta/Laurie)

Time Permitting
Calendar and Bus Stop Project (10-mins; Cinta/Marites/Becky)
FirstFridayFilms Support (10-mins; Laurie for Aric Bickel)
Marine Lab at PauPau (10-mins; John Furey)

(In the spirit of respect for everyone's precious time, the meeting will finished in as close to 1-hour as is possible, though generally, meetings tend to run about 1.5 hours, so plan for yourself accordingly.)

The highlight of this meeting is to present the opportunity to sign an MOU with Marianas RC&D that would create a partnership mutually beneficial to all Beautify CNMI! partners. We want your input!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Power of Sharing and Joining Efforts

As a supporter of FirstFridayFilms, we have some really cool news to share with Beautifiers! An active SVES teacher, Kathy Lalaine Pagapular got a letter this week from Rob Stewart, the director and producer of the film Sharkwater. And guess what? He's coming here!!!

You might ask, "How did this happen?"

Well, Kathy attended FirstFridayFilms showing of the film Sharkwater. She thought it was so cool and that it was something that she could share in her classroom, so she asked if she could have permission to show the film to her students. The students got so excited and so interested that they decided to write to Rob Stewart and invite him to visit the CNMI.

Amazing stuff, eh? This is the power of sharing and joining efforts. This is the spirit of Beautify CNMI!

Kudos Kathy! Kudos FirstFridayFilms!

Go San Vicente Elementary School!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Blue Gold This Friday!

This Friday( November 5th), First Friday Films will be screening the film Blue Gold: World Water Wars at 6:30pm at the American Memorial Park Visitors Center.

Four-time "Best Documentary" award winner, Blue Gold sheds light on the waste and overuse of one of our most precious resources: fresh water. The film discusses the practices that have lead to the dwindling supply of this limited resource and follows various examples from around the globe of people struggling to maintain their access and rights to water.

"differs from many others of the same vein in offering opinions and ideas from a varied number of professionals and experts that could lead to tangible solutions."
- HESO Magazine

“A must see film for every person on the planet.”

After the film, Derek Chambers, from the Division of Environmental Quality's Safe Drinking Water branch, will discuss where our tap and drinking water come from on Saipan and highlight ways we can become better stewards of this precious resource. The Visitor’s Center lobby will also feature an exhibit about the declining supply of global freshwater and ways we can help conserve it.

Please join us for this wonderful film. For planning purposes, the film is 90min long. You can see the trailer below or learn more about the film by visiting their website here .

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

PDM Promoters, Inc. and Saipan Awaodori Team Beautify Garapan Tourist District

Sheena Saures, OJ Allam, Freeman Defang , Jinky Kintaro & James Kintaro (members of the Saipan Awaodori Dance Team from Koblerville joined forces with the volunteers of PDM Promoters, Inc. in beautifying the Garapan Tourist District on October 9, 2010.

Sonia Siwa said "we collected 320 # of trash, did some bush cutting on the side of Winchells road & Coral Tree Avenue."

"Our area of clean-up covered around the Fire station on Beach Road to Winchell’s road going to Coral Tree Avenue to American Memorial Park Road then to Paseo de Marianas."

Thank you, PDM Promoters, Inc. and five members of the Saipan Awaodori Dance Team from Kobler for your excellent contributions to keeping our islands and environment clean and beautiful! Keep up the great work in taking care of your adopted spot(s)!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Hafa Adai everyone,

First, I want to thank you all for participating in the 2010 International Coastal Cleanup. By volunteering in huge numbers (1,089 people!), you have shown CRM, DEQ and the entire nation that we are serious about combating marine debris and keeping our environment clean and healthy for the next generation.

We received 27 data sheets back, and were blown away by all your hard work to collect information regarding marine debris in Saipan. Data here only reports about 1/2 of the trash that was cleaned up by all your groups (27/53 volunteer groups), so the entire Cleanup had an even larger impact than is shown. This is huge!! Here are totals on a few types of trash that were collected:

493 Paper Bags
1,323 Plastic Bags (do we need to think about following American Samoa's lead and banning plastic bags?!)
1,316 Plastic Bottles (these can be recycled!)
661 Glass Bottles (these can be recycled!)
1,826 Aluminum Cans (these can be recycled!)
239 Clothing, Shoes
1,136 Cups, Plates, Forks, Knives, Spoons
1,390 Food Wrappers/Styrofoam Containers
147 6-Pack Holders (these are NOTORIOUS for trapping and killing wildlife)
730 Straws/Stirrers
16 Fishing Nets (how many of these are floating in CNMI waters, still catching fish?)
4,562 Cigarettes
177 Batteries (batteries leach toxic chemicals directly into the sea)
133 Diapers (marine debris is not only an environmental concern...this is a human health concern!)

Total weight of the trash (for all 53 groups) was 6,280 pounds. In four hours, we kept more than 3 tons of garbage from entering the Pacific Ocean. We removed toxic waste from the shoreline, carried dangerous debris from our beaches, and properly disposed of hundreds of items that could entangle and threaten marine wildlife! For more information on trash removed, please see the attached PDF files. If you have questions, concerns or comments regarding the Cleanup and/or the marine debris issue in Saipan, please do not hesitate to contact me ( or phone: 664-8316.

Again,thank you all so much. We couldn't do it without you.

Coastal Cleanup Planning Team

/s/Rachel Zuercher
CNMI Coastal Resources Management Office
PO Box 10001, PMB 59
Saipan, MP 96950
Phone: (670) 664-8305
Fax: (670) 664-8315

A million thanks, indeed, to all you wonderful Beautify CNMI! volunteers who helped make this a greatly successful event!

Cinta M. Kaipat
Volunteer PR Coordinator
Beautify CNMI!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Get "Trashed" this Friday

The end of September brought us the 25th annual International Coastal Cleanup, where thousands of volunteers took to coastal areas around the world to pick up garbage.  To coincide with this event, the First Friday Films series will feature TRASHED - the story of garbage...American style.

Official selection of the Newport Beach Film Festival, TRASHED takes us headfirst into the world of garbage.  The documentary aims to show the world just what happens to solid waste after it leaves our hands and homes.  With staggering facts such as 370 million tons of trash land-filled annually, or 1.37 billion cubic kilometers of ocean full of plastic, TRASHED encourages viewers to rethink the way that we consume products, reconsider the amount of waste we produce, and refocus on the pervasive environmental issue of over-consumption. 

Directly following the movie, Steve Hiney from the Solid Waste Division of Public Works will be talking a little trash and answering audience questions.

Please join us for this eye-opening look at the effects that our throw-away culture is having on the environment.  The film will be shown at the American Memorial Park Visitor's center at 6:30pm on October 1st.  As always, it's FREE!  Come early, as we will have free reusable grocery bags for the first 50 people and some great lobby exhibits (doors open at 6:00pm).

You can see the trailer and find more information about the film here.

"Pulitzer price winning author Russell Baker once said "The American dream is to turn goods into trash as fast as possible." Nowhere is this better illustrated than in Bill Kirkos' film Trashed. This film is a must see."

                   -Professor Raymond Benton, Loyola University


PDM Promoters, Inc. and the Saipan Awaodori team of Koblerville cleaned up from the Garapan Fishing Base to Hafa Adai Hotel last Saturday 9/25/10.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

ICC: Rotary Club of Saipan

Participating in the annual International Coastal Clean Up event organized by CRM and NOAA-Marine Debris Program, the Rotary Club of Saipan gathered Saturday 09/25/2010 from 8am-11am to pick up trash at the Garapan Fishing Base area. Twenty (20) volunteers collected about 500 lbs of trash while several other Rotarians were involved in clean ups at other sites. Most of the collections at Fishing Base consisted of plastic bottles, cans, food wrappers and cigarette butts. The most unique item found was a popcorn machine.