AMERICAN SAMOA NEWS

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November 3, 1999
Samoa News

AMERICAN SAMOA’S JUBILEE SPENDING REPORT ALMOST READY FOR RELEASE

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 3, 1999 – Samoa News)---The findings and recommendations of the House Investigative Committee resulting from its probe into the massive overspending of the Fono Jubilee Celebration should not come as a surprise to the public, HIC member Rep. Muavaefaatasi Ae Ae, Jr. said, noting that the public was able to follow HIC hearings through the newspaper or cable television.

The report has not yet been released, but a third and probably final draft has been distributed to HIC members for review and will be discussed behind closed doors by HIC on Friday.

The Pago Pago lawmaker said the final report is based on the committee’s public investigation of the spending and the evidence it gathered.

The report will not pass judgment, leaving that to other branches of government, starting with the Attorney General’s Office.

 

FAAOLA GROUP OUTLINES VARIOUS BENEFITS OF GAMING PROPOSAL

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 3, 1999 – Samoa News)---A "Briefing Packet on American Samoa Gaming" prepared in mid-October by the Faaola Group promises tens of millions of dollars in government revenues and economic development for American Samoa if they are allowed to conduct legal casino gambling here.

According to the introduction, the packet is to help the public become "informed and educated" on the Faaola proposal and how it will address key areas and issues.

 

MISI BOYS ARE GETTING BETTER AT LBJ

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 3, 1999 – Samoa News)---MacIvorie and Atufili Misi are doing much better.

Atufili was released from the Intensive Care Unit a week ago.

The two brothers, ages 13 and 6, were seriously injured in a car accident near Matafao Elementary School a few days before White Sunday.

They remain in the hospital, but are getting stronger every day, according to their grandmother, Mrs. Anita, who is sharing a room with them at the Pediatric Unit at the hospital.

 

TAX REFUNDS WORTH $716,000 RELEASED BY TAX OFFICE

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 3, 1999 – Samoa News)---The tax refund dam was mostly broken Friday and Monday, bringing joy to hundreds or perhaps thousands of taxpayers who filed their returns in February and March.

Checks with a total value of $368,000 were released Friday, and on Monday another batch of checks with a total value of $348,000 was released.

Anyone who filed before April 1 should now have their refund in hand, or be able to pick up their check at the Tax Office in the Executive Office Building.

 

SOCIAL SERVICES WANTS MORE TALKING, LESS HITTING

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 3, 1999 – Samoa News)---What to do when your children behave badly or do something wrong?

The times they are a changing, and local social workers want you to set aside the broom and the belt. They suggest you talk to the kids and encourage them to do the right thing instead of applying physical punishment when they don’t.

Discussions and encouragement will lead to better children, and eventually to better adults, according to Joe Faamuli, Chief of the Social Services Division of the Department of Human and Social Services.

"The hard disciplinary methods used in the majority of homes has resulted in many physical abuses, and tremendous damages to the victims’ future," he said.

 

LETULI TITLE TRIAL NOW UNDERWAY; OTHERS MAY OR MAY NOT FOLLOW

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 3, 1999 – Samoa News)---Local extended families continue to discuss among themselves candidates to fill vacancies in some of the highest-ranking matai titles of Tutuila and Aunu‘u.

There are seven "Faasuaga (Paramount)" level titles on Tutuila and Aunu‘u, according to Lauti Simona, Special Assistant for Liaison Services at the Office of Samoan Affairs.

"There are now two Faasuaga titleholders participating in their traditional roles (Fuimaono and Faumuina). For some years, Fuimaono had been the only traditional title of this rank participating in the islands’ affairs," Lauti told Samoa News.

"With the conferring of the Faumuina title on Suafai Satele of Alofau earlier this year, there are now two Faasuaga at present."

(There is also another Faumuina title in Leloaloa, but that is not the one referred to here.)

Fuimaono Asuemu A.F., the respected former Delegate to Congress, long time senator and former Samoan Affairs Secretary, is now serving as District Governor for the Western District. The district governors’ posts are filled by titleholders of paramount status in traditional government affairs.

No official designation has been assigned for Faumuina Suafai Satele at this time, but several options are available, including a seat in the Senate or possible the district governorship for the Eastern District (now held by Savusa Tauleva from the Nuuuli Council).

Lauti told Samoa News that although the negotiations being carried on by various family groups over the paramount titles are progressing well, he thinks that many of them will not see a successful succession until well into the new century.

Several Faasuaga titles now in dispute are ready to go to court, while the rest are in their embryonic stages. The Letuli title is being contested in court right now, while the Mauga title of Pago Pago is almost ready to go to court, according to the Samoan Affairs spokesman.

The Galeai title from the Fitiuta Council in Manua will be heard in court in the near future as well, added Lauti.

With regard to the rest (Tuitele of Fofo and Alataua; Satele of Tualatai and Ituau; and Leiato of Sua and Vaifanua), the traditional selection process is still underway.

"Those titles are still within the folds of their traditional Pule and authority," Lauti said, "and personally, I would like to see the families continue tirelessly to seek solutions through their traditional roles, rather than have the courts impose their decisions on families’ sacred matters such as titles."

Items from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

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