Monday, February 22, 2010

Beautify CNMI Supports a Mariana Trench Visitors Center on Saipan

The Friends of the Marianas Trench Monument are asking community members to write in support of locating the headquarters for the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument on Saipan. Beautify CNMI set this letter to Congress:
February 21, 2010

Representative Madeleine Z Bordallo
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans
427 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Bordallo,

Beautify CNMI is a volunteer coalition of government agencies, private businesses, community groups, and concerned individuals that I founded when I was serving in the 15th CNMI Legislature. Since 2006 our members have waged a united campaign to protect the natural resources of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) by participating in beach cleanups, planting trees, promoting recyling in our schools, and educating the public on environmental issues.

In 2008 we were the first organization in the CNMI to publicly support what would ultimately become the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument. When the leaders of our coalition asked President George W. Bush to protect the entire United States EEZ around the islands of Uracas, Asuncion, and Maug we were told that the monument would lead to a Mariana Trench Visitors Center being built in the CNMI.

We supported the monument with gusto and our volunteers helped out with the grassroots campaign that collected over 6000 signatures from Saipan, Tinian, and Rota residents in support of the monument.

Since the monument was declared, the Islands Unit has become the crown jewel of the system of local, state, and national parks that exist within the CNMI. I know this first hand because I grew up in the Northern Islands. Not everyone can afford or survive the arduous trip to the Maug caldera, but we still want to share these wonders with our people and the world and the best way would be to place a Visitors Center on the island of Saipan.

Saipan is over 100 miles closer than Guam to the area of the monument that is a marine protected area it was the people of the Commonwealth who petitioned President Bush to create it, not our brothers and sisters on Guam. It is only fair and reasonable that the social and economic benefits go to the people who requested that it actually be created.

I hope that you can come around to supporting H.R. 3511 because it would start to fulfill the promises made by the Bush Administration and the federal government when the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument was designated on January, 6, 2009.

Respectfully yours,

Cinta M. Kaipat
Foundering Volunteer

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Add a Bike/Walking Path to Route 31 in Saipan

Did you know that there are federal highway funds available, which could be used to construct a bike path/sidewalk parallel to the San Vicente-Sadog Tasi road improvement project? These fund could potentially provide approximately 8-9 miles of dedicated pathway for safe bike riding and/or walking!

Research shows that building at human scale, whether installing new or updating or modifying public access space or commons-areas improves quality of life (People for Public Spaces at Our very own walking pathways at Beach Road, in Kagman, and in Marpi shows us, first-hand, that people will use pathways if they are built.

We are long overdue for safe walking space and bike riding spaces for our citizens throughout many villages on our beautiful island. As we look around, no one can deny that Saipan has been experiencing an increase in biking activity of all ages for the past few years.

A quick review of a few key elements in support of adding a bike/walking path to the current project identified above:

• A minimum of four major bike races annually: Hell of the Marianas, Xterra, Tagaman, Northern Passage, etc. This entails up to six months of training --- a bike/walking path would allow beginners a place to start training and allow more advanced athletes a place to train safely.
• Promotes physical fitness for our residents
• Enhances Saipan’s attractiveness as a biking destination for both leisure travelers and professional athletes looking for an off-season training location with an equitable climate
• Bike paths do double duty as they can be used for walking paths too
• Installing pathways along road sides keep pedestrians out of harm’s way from passing vehicles
• Pedestrians can enjoy walking along a clean path way as opposed to through tall grasses and/or giant puddles
• Students who walk to bus stops can enjoy a safer path to and from their homes
• Pathways increase community value and interest in area upkeep

Beautify CNMI! supports the vision of including bike path/sidewalk parallel to the San Vicente-Sadog Tasi road improvement. Adding a path increases our community’s quality of life. The pathway should also consider including trees, proper drainage, trash receptacles and collection and a regular maintenance schedule to insure longevity and access.

If you believe that this is an important project, make sure to voice your interest to the Secretary of DPW as soon as possible. Final hearings and decisions are taking place this week.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Beautify CNMI! Committee Chairs Meeting Reminder

Our regular monthly meeting is this week!

Thursday, 5pm at the DEQ conference room

This meeting is open to anyone who is interested in joining!

Please bring a friend and see what you can do to help Beautify CNMI!

Note: You may have to enter from the stairwell in the garage if you arrive after 5pm. The conference room is on the second floor near the restrooms. Please call if you are trying to get in the building and cannot figure it out.

Laurie 483-7499
Joe 285-8509

PAWS (Pet Assistance and Welfare Services)

There will be a meeting of the PAWS Board of Directors this evening (Wednesday, February 10) at 6:00 p.m. at Dr. Jack's (on Isa Drive near Sta. Lourdes Road).

All are welcome to attend and participate!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

PDM Promoters collected 440 lbs of trash in Garapan area!

Ms. Sato Toshiko, a Japanese tourist who visits Saipan four times a year, joins PDM Promotors for clean ups each time she is here. This time the group met from 9am to 11am and collected 440 pounds of trash in the Garapan area. Kudos to PDM Promoters! And a very big thank you to Ms. Toshiko!

Join PDM Promoters at one of their regular clean ups! For more info, contact Sonia:

Sonia G. Siwa at
Volunteer, PDM Promoters, Inc.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Junk Cars Program

Some people have been calling lately asking about the junk cars program.

There was an article in the Marianas Variety today - Zoning Office: Junk vehicles to be removed this month

It gives an update on the CNMI Zoning office's progress. It is our understanding that the Saipan Mayor's office is also getting involved.

Please contact Therese Ogumoro at the CNMI Zoning office for more info: or call (670) 234-9661

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Beautify International

First posted on The Saipan Blog.

Mom asked me to help out with Catie's girl scout meeting today. She said something like, "We're planting trees and I want you to make sure we're doing it right." I never turn down the opportunity to dig some holes, so I donned my Beautify CNMI 2nd Anniversary shirt and we drove out to Lake Highland Preparatory School.

Catie's girl scout troop is based at her school and the meetings are in her 4th grade classroom. Mom and another parent are the den mothers. They fed the girls apples, cheese, and Oreos and then talked with them about the planting by telling them what plants they would be planting and what benefits they would have to the environment.

Then it was time to march from the classroom down to the lake where we were going to plant our plants.

Each of the girls carried a plant while Mom directed traffic.

The lake is right behind the school and we just had to walk a short way. The lake is fenced off and the girls were very excited to be going "beyond the locked gate."

I was going to make "Beyond the Locked Gate" the title of this post but decided to go with Beautify International to take the focus off the girls and put it back on me. This is my blog, after all.


We dug our nine holes right along the shore of the lake. The soil was very rich and wet, not rocky and hard like on Saipan. Even so, the 60 lbs girls needed some help from the 210 lbs fat boy wearing the blue shirt.

The edge of lake is kind of smelly and some of the girls didn't like it. Some of the girls didn't mind the smell and the mud, while a few others wanted to wash their hands immediately after touching the ground.

When Catie bent over to transfer her plant to the ground she found a worm. Catie doesn't like worms.

I pulled the worm out and showed it to the rest of the girls. I would say they were cautiously interested.

A big thanks to the girl scouts of Lake Highland for letting me participate in their planting and lake cleanup. I enjoyed every moment.

And how about if we finish this post with some birds: