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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.

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