AMERICAN SAMOA HEADLINE NEWS

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Tuesday, August 24, 1999
Samoa News

AMERICAN SAMOA SENATE WANTS GOVERNOR, LT. GOVERNOR ELECTED SEPARATELY

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO---A bill that would require separate elections for the posts of Governor and Lieutenant Governor passed the Senate yesterday by a vote of 11-2.

Under current election law, the candidates for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor run together as a team.

Senator Faiivae A. Galeai’s proposed bill would call for two separate ballots.

Before the final vote, Senator Saoimanulua Solosolo asked, "Has something happened in the past that required this change in election of the Governor and Lt. Governor? I believe nothing has happened. Let’s reject this bill."

The vote revealed that Saoimanulua’s sentiment was a minority view.

The bill is scheduled to be submitted to the House this morning for consideration.

BUSINESSMAN SEEKS FONO RELIEF FROM ASG NON-PAYMENT

PAGO PAGO---The House Budget Committee wants to hear from business community representatives about how much money the Government owes them, and vise versa.

The committee is seeking solid confirmation from the Government as to whether they have struck deals with local businesses to offset taxes due to ASG, with monies owed by ASG.

Budget Committee Chairman Otomalesau John Ah Sue said a hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in the House chambers.

The Treasurer also has been invited to discuss the matter.

SEEKING TO PREVENT A LITTLETON IN AMERICAN SAMOA

PAGO PAGO---"Could it happen here? What can we do to ensure it does not?"

That is the question that reverberated across the United States and even in American Samoa, after the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

Some answers were provided yesterday at a general assembly of the territory’s public school educators.

More answers will emerge from a workshop taking place this entire week.

Educators will sit down with law enforcement officials to discuss how to manage a crisis in an American Samoa school, and how to prevent a crisis from ever happening.

The initiative is a combined effort of DOE’s Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Program and OTICIDE, a local agency involved with fighting drugs.

"This was certainly a wake up call for us who are working with students in our school system," Drug Free Program Director Leroy Lutu wrote in a post-Columbine letter to Mike Sala of OTICIDE.

"In order for our students to achieve and excel academically, we must have safe schools," Lutu wrote in requesting assistance from OTICIDE.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY KICKS OFF THE NEW YEAR FOR EDUCATORS

PAGO PAGO---Public school classes do not get under way until Monday, but teachers are already earning their pay.

A general assembly for all teachers was held at Lee Auditorium yesterday, following a Sunday afternoon church service called by DOE Director Dr. Sili Sataua. The service was held at Kanana Fou to seek the Lord’s blessings for the coming school year.

Monday’s teacher orientation program included remarks by Dr. Sataua and an address by the Governor Tauese Sunia (who is a former DOE director).

The teachers also heard from Leroy Lutu of the Drug Free Program, who spoke on crisis management, and DOE health education specialist Jeff Chun, who reminded the educators of the importance of health education.

Various workshops were held on the Samoana campus after the opening ceremony.

THE ALLEGED CRIME THAT PRECEDED THE ALLEGED CRIME

PAGO PAGO---Government prosecutors allege acting Port Director Moetului Iuvale stole 20 cases of albacore, which had already been stolen in a separate crime.

They have filed charges of conspiracy and stealing against four men who they say allegedly committed the original crime.

Documents filed by the prosecutor report that Tarama Toese, a supervisor at StarKist, arranged with a Peter Reid Stevedoring driver named Setefano Siaosi to take a container of albacore at the StarKist plant in Atu’u at about 3:00 a.m. on December 12, 1998.

ASG MOSTLY FINISHED WITH Y2K COMPLIANCE EFFORT

PAGO PAGO---The American Samoa Government is almost percent complete with preparing its computers to work after December 31, 1999.

Governor Tauese Sunia informed the Fono leadership this week that 95 percent of the government is Y2K-compliant.

The Governor has requested additional funds from the Department of Interior to complete the compliance efforts.

PAROLEE MAY HAVE TRIED TO SHOOT POLICE OFFICER

PAGO PAGO---Nobody was injured in a weekend incident involving gunfire and alleged drug possession, but Suafala Williams is facing charges of assault in the first degree, two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and the discharge of arms.

According to the prosecution’s documents, the action took place outside the Koreana Night Club in Atu’u at about 2:00 a.m. early Saturday. A police officer saw two men engaged in what appeared to be an argument. During the argument, one of the men "raised his arm in the air."

TAX OFFICE DISAPPOINTED BY AUDIT NO-SHOWS

PAGO PAGO---The Government’s Tax Office is experiencing difficulty in getting taxpayers to show up for their scheduled audit appointments in the Tax Office, says Joyce Stewart, head of the Tax Division.

Stewart said that since the beginning of her office’s mini-audit program last month, 400 audit appointments have been set, but at least half of those scheduled for audit appointments were "no-shows."

"Taxpayers should be reminded that when they fail to keep their appointments, the auditors are forced to issue their findings and assessment with limited information," Stewart said yesterday. "This generally results in more tax, a penalty and interest being assessed against the taxpayer, as the auditor must assume the worst case scenario," she added.

AMERICAN SAMOA HEADLINE NEWS

Monday, August 23, 1999

Samoa News

HEALTH OFFICIALS TACKLE SCHOOL IMMUNIZATION

PAGO PAGO--With the start of the new school year just a week away, immunization of school children is of the utmost importance for both health and education officials.

For the first time, the Department of Health (DOH) has assigned a School Immunization Coordinator to work with the Department of Education, says DOH Director Dr. Joseph Tufa.

"Her responsibilities include working with the DOE administration and school principals to ensure that all school children are adequately immunized," Dr. Tufa explained last week.

Once the school year begins, Dr. Tufa said the Coordinator will be visiting all the elementary schools and conferring with principals and teachers to obtain class lists.

PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICIALS ENJOYING NICER OFFICES

PAGO PAGO--The newly renovated administrative offices of the Department of Public Safety were dedicated in a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony in Fagatogo Friday morning.

The line-up of dignitaries at police headquarters included the usual "suspects," Governor Tauese Sunia, DPS Commissioner and Mrs. Te’o Fuavai, Deputy Commissioner for Training Po‘oai Ripley, Police Chief Fa‘amao Asalele, and Department of Interior Representative Lydia Faleafine-Nomura, as well as representatives from Public Works, the American Samoa Disaster Relief Office, and Mr. Lautogia of the East and West Construction company, which successfully completed the work .

In addition to the new offices, an obviously relaxed Governor Sunia also unveiled a keen wit as he described the trials and tribulations the administration went through getting the project approved, funded and completed.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IDEAS POUR OUT OF HOUSE COMMITTEE

PAGO PAGO---To improve the Territory’s economy, the House Rules Committee recommends that the American Samoa Economic Advisory Commission look into additional airline, tourism, fishing and agriculture development.

Additionally, advisors from the federal government’s Small Business Administration should be invited by the Commission to return.

These were some of the recommendations made Friday morning when committee members met with Commission Project Director Gail Mukaihata Hannemann and Research Assistant Dorri L.T. Nautu at the House chamber.

The women, who are both married to Samoans, live and work in Hawai‘i.

During the one-hour informal meeting, Hannemann briefed the Committee on the mandate of the federally created Commission. She stressed the importance of sharing ideas and information.

CANNERY TAXATION NEEDS ADJUSTMENT, FAIPULE ARGUE

PAGO PAGO---Do the two fish canneries pay enough in local taxes? The House Vice Speaker of Administration does not think so, and he has recommended that the American Samoa Economic Advisory Commission look into changing the situation.

"I feel that the canneries makes million of dollars but they are not paying enough tax," Rep. Sala said Friday at a House hearing with Commission staff members.

He acknowledged that the two canneries are the largest private employers in the territory and form the backbone of the local economy, but he nevertheless called for a review of their tax exemptions.

House Speaker Aina Saoluaga T. Nua said he made similar comments in his private meeting with the officials.

GOVERNOR NEED NOT BE A MATAI, SENATE DECIDES

by Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO---A bill that would require candidates running for the Office of the Governor to hold a registered matai title fell one vote short of the needed number for passage in the Senate Friday.

Nine Senators voted in favor of the bill, but two voted against it and two abstained. Ten affirmative votes are needed for passage, and several senators were absent Friday.

The bill’s author, Senator Matautia Tuiafono, made his final pitch before the vote. Senator Matautia revisited the history of American Samoa from the first years of the century to the present.

A requirement that the highest official in the government be a matai would help ensure that the most important political seat in American Samoa was held by Tutuilans or Manuans.

Matautia referred to problems faced by native Fijians and Hawaiians, who have been out polled at the ballot box.

He said the requirement that Senators be senior matai is a perfect example of preserving the Samoan culture..

Senators Lefiti Faafetai and Ulugaono Tinitali cast the "no" votes while Senators Tuilefano Vaelaa and Liua Pisamoa Taifane were the abstainers.

In a related issue, the House of Representatives on Thursday rejected a bill that would have required the candidates for the office of Lieutenant Governor and Governor to hold a registered matai title.

The Senate is expected to vote today on a bill that would require the separate election of the Lt. Governor and the Governor.

LOCAL FATHER CHARGED WITH RAPING, IMPREGNATING DAUGHTER

PAGO PAGO---A local father is facing multiple charges of rape and child molesting for allegedly committing those crimes against his 14-year-old daughter.

In the interests of protecting the identity of the victim, the defendant’s name is being withheld.

The government prosecutors allege that the girl is now pregnant as a result of the molestation.

According to the court documents filed by the prosecution, the girl said the crimes began in June 1998 while her mother was out jogging.

The crimes allegedly continued to occur on a frequent basis, up to the present month.

TRIAL DATES SET FOR MAUGA, LETULI AND GALEA’I TITLES

PAGO PAGO---Trials will soon be held to determine who will fill three of American Samoa’s highest matai titles.

The Land and Titles Division of the High Court has set week-long trial dates for three of the Territory’s paramount chief titles, including the "Mauga" title of Pago Pago Village, the "Letuli" title of Ili‘ili Village and the "Galea‘i" title of Fitiuta Village, Manu‘a.

Under American Samoa law, the High Court’s decision determines which claimant will receive the title. All three paramount chiefly titles have been vacant for a long time.

BUSINESSMAN, FAMILY PATRIARCH MARCUS P. LANGKILDE DIES AT 71

By Richard J. Coleman

PAGO PAGO---Local businessman and family patriarch Marcus P. Langkilde died Thursday night at the LBJ Tropical Medical Center following a long illness. He was 71 years old.

Marcus was the youngest of six boys and three girls born to Victor Langkilde, the youngest son of Hans Alfred and Melipa Langkilde, the founding parents of the Samoan branch of the Langkilde family. Victor had moved from Upolu to Tutuila in the early 1900s.

Marcus was the last survivor of his generation of Langkildes and was regarded as the Samoan branch’s patriarch. He was born in Tutuila and lived here until he signed up with the U.S. Marine Corps. His 13-year stint in the military included combat duty in the Korean War.

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