Tuesday, June 30, 2009

International Thespian Festival news

I've posted a long report on the International Thespian Festival on the CNMI Competitions blog, if you're interested.

A quick summary of some of the notable highlights:

19 TWPI students, 8 advisors/chaperones from Saipan.

About 2000 students from around the world (mostly the mainland USA, but also Dubai and of course, the CNMI).

More than 500 students competing in Individual Events (IEs).

4 TWPI students on the honorable mentions list (meaning they earned the highest overall rating-superior-given by the judges in their IEs): Aisha Joyner and Akeiko Dela Cruz in the top 6 of Duet Acting; Sung Yul (Tommy) Baik and Moon Hyo Lee in the top 9 of Mime.

And a new TWPI college auditions callback record--Kay Park (technical theatre--costume design; set design; and photography) with 21 colleges or universities putting her on their recruitment lists.

Somebody remind me...

Exactly what is Cinta Kaipat's position, that she can remove the Director of Labor from his position and appoint someone else in his place?

Oh yeah. Deputy Secretary of Labor. Wendy pretty much covers the topic, but I want to know why Barry has turned into a wimp and won't say anything. Is a job worth that?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Go Fish!

A game with interesting facts, and by playing you donate $1 to help prevent over-fishing. Go fish!
Photo by Mike & Faye Johnson

(thanks to Laurie P. for the link.)

The Long Arm of the Law

So Joey Arriola has been apprehended, at last.

This is good news, if you want to see all responsible parties face the music for the missing money from the Kaipat estate. I'm not sure whether it was Luis or Joey or Luis & Joey together who took the money, but they were both fiduciaries with a responsibility to protect the funds for all of the heirs. And they obviously didn't do that, as more than half a million dollars is reportedly missing.

I understand from the last trial, which ended in a hung jury, that Luis' defense is that he is a poor, stupid guy who relied on his lawyer and it is all the lawyer's fault. I think, as a fiduciary with a repsonsibility, this "defense" is insufficient as to the general duty to protect the fund. When he signed on to be administrator, he said he was capable of doing the job, so it's too late to claim ignorance and incompetence now. But I don't know enough about criminal law and the charges against him, or the evidence against him, to know whether he would be criminally guilty. However, I'm certainly glad he's being prosecuted so that the jury can figure that out.

And I'm glad that Joey will now have to face the same tune.

There were a lot of people who were going to share in that pot of money; it's really inexcusable that it went missing and they were robbed of their inheritance.

As for Joey's "capture"--can you imagine! What was he thinking when he went to the US embassy so he could get married in the Philippines?!! How polite of him to invite federal officials into his home when they came knocking, purportedly about his fiance's status.

He must have known that there was a federal criminal indictment out against him. He must have known that his passport had been revoked. He must have known it wasn't a good thing that law enforcement officials were at his door. Perhaps he wanted to be caught?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I've been getting mail from MoveOn.org for years now. I frequently add my name to the petitions, but have had no opportunity to do so whenever the petition is aimed at the U.S. Congress. That's because, based on my information and zip code, I've never had a congressman to whom my voice could be directed.

Today, I got the first MoveOn.org invitation to sign a petition where a copy would go to Congressman Sablan (Kilili).

Our man in Congress.

Perhaps it's because I've been living here for 24 years without this power that makes this simple matter seem so amazing. Being able to speak, and be heard, after long years of silence...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Spring Music Concert

The Pacific Winds would like to invite everyone to their 15th season spring concerts this weekend.

This is the annual season-ending concert celebrating our 15th year of community band performances. The Saipan Pacific Winds community concert band has 30 members this year and is conducted by myself and Ms. Christine Nierras. We are thrilled to welcome some special guests to perform with us onstage at the Multi Purpose Center in Susupe this weekend. On Saturday evening, June 6 (6:30 pm) we are featuring the Saipan Southern High School Manta Band. This award winning ensemble will perform soundtrack music from the new Harry Potter film, a stirring version of the classic work, Alvamar Overture by James Barnes, and their signature piece which earned them a second straight Gold Award at the Tumon Bay Music Festival, "When Angels Weep" by David Shaffer. Of course, the Pacific Winds will perform as well, entertaining the audience with a mixture of jazz selections, marches, pop favorites, rock hits, and even an Irish Jig.

Tickets are just $5.00 general admission and $3.00 for students/seniors.

The Pacific Winds will deliver an encore matinee performance on Sunday afternoon, June 7th (3:30 pm) at the Multi Purpose Center. This time, they will be joined by homegrown singing talent Ms. Lori Mendez whose long awaited homecoming follows an extended period of musical study in Guam and now New York City. Her career and burgeoning reputation has spanned several continents, including performances with many of today's notable opera stars. She will perform a number of selections ranging from spirituals to opera, broadway to classical, in her much anticipated debut concert here in Saipan.

The Pacific Winds will perform many of their most requested pieces too, including music from the pop group Chicago, the Jazz Police, Ralph MacDonald's "Just the two of us" and many more favorites. Ticket prices are the same as Saturday.

To purchase advance tickets, please contact Will DeWitt at 235-1087 or email him at willdewitt@aol.com.

The Saipan Pacific Winds is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving all Saipan wind and percussion musicians the opportunity to collectively share their talents with the community through several yearly concerts and special performances. Since 1994, their founder and conductor, Mr. Will DeWitt has welcomed all who wish to play their flutes, saxes, clarinets, trumpets, drums, trombones, french horns, and tubas with other enthusiastic musicians of all ages.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Saipan Sunday

Saipan is a good place for family. This Sunday was a typical celebration of some First Holy Communion celebrants, with lots of little kids playing tag and street ball, adults barbecuing and b-s'ing, and the teens coming and going in random ways. Great food, too.

In and out of the house--a lot! Love the dirty feet!

Wishing they could play?

Time for tag. Eeny, meeny, miney, moe
I think this was home base.

In the background-heading for a game of street ball.

Blessing the table.

Spare ribs, short ribs, red rice, chicken kelaguen with titiyas, potato salad and mango coco. (I skipped the fried chicken, ham, spicy noodles, meat balls, tamales, and more, and my sushi and sashimi were on a different plate.