AMERICAN SAMOA NEWS

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December 1, 1999
Samoa News

DISREGARD FOR OLD SAMOAN WORDS DISMAYS SCHOLAR

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (December 1, 1999 – Samoa News)--- The Samoan language is changing and not everyone is happy about it.

Reverend Timoteo Uelese, Principal of the Samoa Bible School at Tafuna, is one of those who has concerns.

Uelese laments the dying off of Samoan terms coined by the LMS missionaries and their Samoan counterparts as they translated the Bible over 100 years ago.

"I see many of the terms coined by those extraordinary individuals in Avao village in Savaii being overlooked," he told the News. "The phrases and words were inspired by the power of the Holy Spirit, but they are falling by the wayside because people, especially educators and members of the media, do not care to research the Bible to find out about them."

Referring to the translators of the 19th century, Uelese said when they were in need of a new term for the unSamoan words in the Bible, "they used to put the blinds down and remain in the darkened fale fasting for the whole day, until they were inspired with a new term. That is why, our churches do not want to part with the original Bible translation, because it is really the work of God through those extraordinary Bible translators in Savaii."

 

RON PRITCHARD PASSES AWAY; FUNERAL SCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (December 1, 1999 – Samoa News)---Mr. Ron Pritchard, one of American Samoa’s most well known and beloved businessmen, died in Honolulu, Hawai‘i this weekend. He had been receiving treatment for cancer.

His sister, Mrs. Marilyn Walker of Vaitogi, told Samoa News that Ron’s widow, Lenita Pritchard, will accompany her husband’s body down from Honolulu Friday night.

His funeral service will be held Sunday and he will be buried at the family grounds in Vaitogi.

Ron, as he is known around the islands, had the title Vaovasamanaia bestowed on him by his family in Salailua Village, Savaii Island, Samoa, two years ago.

He attended Marist Brothers School locally, and then attended Kings College in Auckland, New Zealand. He came home after his New Zealand education and worked for the family business for a little while before he left for more education in San Francisco.

After college, he returned to American Samoa and worked for his father’s business. At the time, the R.E. Pritchard Store had the agencies for Polynesian Airlines and the Steffany commercial boats which provided inter-island travel.

Later, he ran his own agencies, providing service for American Airlines and Pan American Airlines. He founded Samoa Air (not the present Samoa Air) with some local partners and provided jet service to Hawai‘i.

Pritchard was instrumental in developing the present Samoa Air.

He is survived by his wife Lenita Schwalger Pritchard and son Jason Pritchard.

"Everyone in the Samoa Air family is saddened by the passing of Ron," said Samoa Air Vice President Connie Porter in a telephone interview from Boise, Idaho yesterday. "He is loved by everyone in our organization and we will miss him. Our prayers go out to his family."

 

TRAFFIC FATALITY SUSPECT RELEASED BY POLICE

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (December 1, 1999 – Samoa News)---Police have released the man taken in for questioning following the fatal accident that killed a pregnant woman in Nu‘uuli on Monday.

The suspect was held overnight.

Police investigations into the incident reportedly continue, but DPS has so far not released any information.

Samoa News has learned that the suspect drove a container hauler (not a pick-up truck as we erroneously reported yesterday) and the woman, who was preparing to cross the road, was perhaps struck by the trailer, unbeknownst to the driver himself.

The incident occurred across the street from Ko’s Stores and residents of the area said police were there on Monday and again yesterday morning conducting their investigation with markings on the roadside.

Flowers have been placed in the area of the police markings.

 

WAS GOOD TIME SHOPPING SPREE ILLEGAL?

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (December 1, 1999 – Samoa News)---A purportedly married couple were arrested early last week and charged with numerous counts of forgery, stealing and related charges after allegedly using stolen checks on a shopping spree between Pago Pago and Leone Villages.

Orlando David and Litia David will face a preliminary examination hearing at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, December 7, 1999 at the District Court to decide whether the case against them is solid enough to move forward to trial.

Orlando claims he is not married to Litia while Litia claims that she is indeed married to him.

Litia David is charged with six counts of forgery, six counts of stealing, one count of evidence tampering and one count of attempted stealing.

 

WORLD AIDS DAY WILL FIND LOCALS LENDING SUPPORT IN APIA

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (December 1, 1999 – Samoa News)---Most of the local AIDS program staff from the Department of Health will spend World AIDS Day in Apia this week.

But before they left, they set in motion an intensive teaching and public education program on island, according to Mrs. Sarona Sotoa Maae, spokesman for the Hepatitis and AIDS program.

Mrs. Maae said teams are visiting schools and communities throughout the island, teaching and promoting AIDS prevention.

Maae said the fellowship at the World’s AIDS day in Apia will include an exchange of ideas and information on preventing and fighting the deadly disease.

 

DOE GEARING UP FOR CHRISTMAS CHOIR PERFORMANCES

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (December 1, 1999 – Samoa News)---Department of Education personnel are not required to attend Christmas Choir practices, according to Sofa Seumalo, one of the DOE Assistant Directors.

Several teachers have complained to the Samoa News about alleged instructions from DOE Director Dr. Sili Sataua that they must attend choir practices or face paycheck penalties, and that they must provide their own uniforms.

Seumalo said he was present at the meeting when Sili asked the school principals to work towards a successful Christmas presentation, as this was the first time the department as a whole was performing.

"The director definitely said the teachers are invited to be part of the department’s choir," Seumalo explained, "but he never said they were required to attend."

 

NAZARETH HOME A COMPASSIONATE HAVEN FOR MANY

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (December 1, 1999 – Samoa News)---This is why we are here; it’s because of God." Sister Sheila Theresa said as she pointed to the campus chapel with opened doors.

She said it is the center of the work at the Fatuoaiga Home for the Aged and Handicapped, because it is the source of the spiritual strength they need when she and other staff members get weary.

 

AMERICAN SAMOA NEWS November 30, 1999 Samoa News

PEDESTRIAN DIES AFTER BEING HIT BY TRUCK IN NU‘UULI

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 30, 1999 – Samoa News)---A pregnant woman in her early 30s died yesterday afternoon at LBJ Tropical Medical Center, several hours after she was hit by a pick-up truck while standing across the main road from the Ko Store in Nuuuli.

Police have identified the driver of the truck and he was reportedly questioned at his place of employment before being taken into police headquarters for further questioning late yesterday afternoon.

The Department of Public Safety has provided no information on the case, but there are reports that another unidentified vehicle was involved in the incident.

 

CLINTON SIGNS BUDGET BILL AFFECTING AMERICAN SAMOA

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 30, 1999 – Samoa News)---As expected, President Clinton has signed the Department of Interior’s budget bill for fiscal year 2000, complete with American Samoa’s funding and the option for a tobacco loan

"The only remaining question," said Congressman Faleomavaega Eni, "is how the 0.38% cut will be applied by the Secretary of Interior. Although no final decision have been made within the Department, the current view is that the tobacco provision will not be cut because it is considered a loan, and the CIP funding will not be cut because it is considered mandatory funding. Our operations funding is subject to the cut, but I remain optimistic that any cuts made to that account will be minimal.

"Other good news items include increased funding for teachers, more flexibility on how ASG can use 25% of certain federal education money and more money to hire police officers," continued the Congressman.

 

NEW CLASSROOMS TO BE BUILT SOON

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 30, 1999 – Samoa News)---Forty new elementary school classrooms will be built in the coming months, providing needed new facilities for 1,000 local students.

A series of ground-breakings is scheduled for the first four days of this week at some of the largest elementary schools in the territory: Leone Midkiff, Lupelele, Pavaiai and Manulele Tausala.

 

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE INSPECTS ARIZONA JOB CORPS SITE

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 30, 1999 – Samoa News)---House Speaker Aina Saoluaga Nua is conducting a personal inspection of the Arizona Job Corps Center where three American Samoa students are scheduled to enroll in January.

The students from American Samoa were slated to attend the Hawai‘i Job Corps program, where 10 students are currently enrolled. But Job Corps official Jack Tuttle told the Samoa News recently that some students will be placed in Arizona because the training they need is not available in Hawai‘i.

"There are at least three students from the Territory scheduled to attend the Arizona Job Corps in January," Speaker Aina said yesterday in a long-distance telephone interview. "But before they traveled to Arizona I needed to check out the facility and the site."

While in Arizona, Speaker Aina said he also visited college campuses where Samoans students attend for a familiarization visit. He also planned on visiting the Phoenix trade school run by UTI to gather information that will benefit the Nuuuli Poly-Tech High School.

On his way back to American Samoa, Speaker Aina will stop in Honolulu to meet with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer regarding the Ta‘u Road Project, which has been under way most of this decade.

The speaker said money is needed to build a seawall to protect the road, which has been moved along the shore in Faga because there were too many grave sites inland.

 

FAIPULE TO MEET WITH FAAOLA GROUP WHILE IN CALIFORNIA

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 30, 1999 – Samoa News)---House Vice Speaker S.E. Sala is expected to meet with officials of the Faaola Group later this week or next week in San Francisco, according to House Speaker Aina Saoluaga Nua.

Speaker Aina in a telephone interview yesterday from Arizona, said Rep. Sala was to attend a State Legislative leadership conference held in San Diego, California.

Following the conference, Speaker Aina said the Vice Speaker and probably two other (unnamed) members of the House will stop in San Francisco to meet with representatives of the Faaola Group.

"There is a possibility that the House delegation will visit a casino gambling operation to gather information on the pending legislation to legalize specific forms of gambling in the Territory," said the Speaker.

Rep. Sala reportedly left the territory last Friday night.

 

‘MIRACLE LEAF’ STILL DRAWING VISITORS TO LEONE SITE

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 30, 1999 – Samoa News)---The knowledge that the "Miracle Leaf" in Leone can be purchased off the Internet for $9.99 has not dampened the fervent faith that many locals have in the object.

As of late last week, the ‘Miracle Leaf’ (which can be found across the street from Fa‘asao High School) continues to draw the many curious people.

During a recent visit, a crowd of believers was reciting the Catholic Rosary before a small shelter built by the Sipili family to house the ‘miracle leaf’, now in a transparent photo frame next to a framed picture of Jesus.

One believer in the miracle leaf is Senator Matautia Tuiafono, who accompanied his wife to the site two Fridays ago.

Senator Matautia provided the Samoa News with his "testimony" following his visit. He recounted a vision he and others experienced that afternoon at around 5:30 p.m.

"The children there were calling out to look at the sun, and when I looked, it was changing colors into a twinkling huge ball. I asked Emma Randall (in front of me) if she was seeing what I was seeing and she said yes," he added. "The children were calling out that the Mother Mary was next to the twinkling huge ball."

Bishop W. Quinn, head of the Diocese of Samoa Pago Pago has not yet visited the site, nor made a public statement.

 

SAMOA BIBLE SCHOOL RELIES ON HOLY SPIRIT

By Tootoo Aleki

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 30, 1999 – Samoa News)---"We depend more on the Holy Spirit to do the work than on human intellect," said Reverend Timoteo Uelese, Principal/President of the Samoa Bible School in Tafuna.

Principal Uelese told Samoa News last week that their total reliance on the Holy Spirit gives the school the ability to graduate spirit-filled pastors. "We are fundamental in approach," he said, "and believe wholeheartedly in the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us as we teach, rather than depend on our own minds and intellect.

"This is why we do not make intellectual development the primary concern," he added, "but the spiritual rebirth which enables our students to rise to heights. We teach Christian principles with the knowledge that the students have gone through spiritual rebirth first, enabling them to undergo changes which make them humble and lowly and so they can show the love of God through their works."

Uelese explained that the academic training is focused on training the mind by equipping it with the Word of God first, and plus all the required academic disciplines required of people going into the ministry.

"We are not extraordinary people," he explained, "we are just normal, lowly servants who depend on God to equip and fortify us for His work. David the shepherd boy was the same, with his heart after God’s own heart, but he was empowered by God and had risen to great heights for God’s glory."

The bible school, which belongs to the Assembly of God Church of American Samoa, is nondescript in appearance. From the front gate, the plain looking buildings and rough-on-the-tires dirt road are a distinct contrast to the more impressive structures at the nearby campuses of the Catholics (Fatuoaiga), Congregationalists (Kanana Fou), Mormons (Malaeimi), and Methodists.

 

SAMOA NEWS IS WIDELY READ AND HIGHLY RATED

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 30, 1999 – Samoa News)---Reading the Samoa News is part of the daily routine for most residents of Tutuila.

The recent Samoa News Public Opinion Poll found that 61% of Tutuila residents read the Samoa News "four or five times a week" while an additional 28% read it "two or three times a week."

Thus 89% of the adults on Tutuila read the paper at least twice a week. We found no significant variation by age. For example, among those ages 18-25, 87% read the paper at least twice a week.

The daily paper is read only once a week by 8% of the population, while 3% read it "less than once a week."

Readership was less amongst those who answered the poll in Samoan. About 11% of the 862 respondents chose to fill out the poll in Samoan, while 89% used the English version. Of those who used English, 91% read the paper at least twice a week, while of those who filled out the poll in Samoan, 77% read the paper that often.

The readership numbers are very similar to the results obtained when the same question was asked in 1996.

For the first time, we asked poll respondents to rate the Samoa News. Of the 860 people who completed the poll, 31% said we were doing "terrific" and another 36% rated us "pretty good."

We were "okay" for 27% of the respondents, while 3% found us "not very good" and 2% consider us "terrible."

For the heck of it, we broke the results down by those who now supporting Tauese and those now supporting Leala.

In that we strive to remain politically aligned, we were pleased to find that both "camps" viewed us identically. For example, 69.6% of the Tauese supporters found we were "terrific" or "pretty good", while 68.6% of the Leala supporters felt the same way.

There was also very little variation in opinion between men and women, and there was negligible variation between young and old.

 

AMERICAN SAMOA NEWS November 29, 1999 Samoa News

IMPORTED FRUITS ARE COSTLY, SAY LOCAL CONSUMERS

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 29, 1999 – Samoa News)---The allegedly high prices of imported mangoes and bananas have generated numerous complaints to the local Department of Agriculture from local consumers.

Director of Agriculture Galumalemana Frank Pritchard said one complaint on mangoes from Samoa is the price where a mango could go as high as $2 each. Consumers are also saying that some stores are selling mangoes at high as $4, depending on the size of the mango.

However, imported mangoes are also selling for $1 at roadside stands, according to some mango buyers. Selling imported products on the road-side is illegal under territorial law.

"We haven’t been enforcing it because it is not just our call to do it," Galumalemana told Samoa News last week. "Enforcing that law requires a joint effort between Agriculture and the Department of Commerce."

With regard to bananas, Galumalemana said the government agency is closely controlling the influx of bananas from Samoa. The American Samoa Government has already set policies on the amount of bananas imported, who is to import it and where it should be sold.

Under local laws, imported bananas from Samoa are to be sold only at stores that brought bananas in, "and not on the roadside or at the (Fagatogo) Market place," the director said. The government has also placed a limit on the amount of bananas a store owner can import from Samoa.

 

VILLAGE DEDICATES PAGO PAGO COMMUNITY CENTER

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 30, 1999 – Samoa News)---The calling of ‘bingo!’ again echoes through the former Tautua Hall after four weeks of repairs by the site’s new owners, the Pago Pago Village Council.

Now called the Pago Pago Community Center, the hall was dedicated last Saturday morning under an overcast day which did not dampen the festive spirits of the village and guests.

In fact, the spirits soared loudly when its was announced that the first payment on the Center’s mortgage had been paid well in advance of its monthly due date.

 

YWCA CLARIFIES STATUS

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 29, 1999 – Samoa News)---Our story in last Wednesday’s issue on the YWCA of American Samoa was perhaps a wee bit premature.

First of all, there is no formally existing YWCA of American Samoa. Not yet, anyway. There is only the YWCA of Samoa, which is based in Apia, and its subsidiary, the YWCA of Tutuila and Manu‘a.

Secondly, in a November 15, 1999 letter to Dr. Penelope Ala‘ilima-Utu and to Tasi Lili‘o, both of American Samoa, the World YWCA took a hint from the United Nations and recognizes Samoa and American Samoa as "two separate countries."

Thirdly, the letter, which was signed by World YWCA President Jane Lee Wolfe, also noted that the international organization has "thoroughly reviewed the unwillingness to have only one YWCA for these two countries."

Therefore, because of this "unwillingness" between parties, the YWCA of Samoa will continue to exist and based in Apia as currently registered with the World YWCA. It will not be dissolved or suspended in light of a possibly pending application to create a YWCA of American Samoa.

As a bonafide member of the World YWCA, the YWCA of Samoa can continue to participate in regional or World YWCA events.

According to the letter, "the [World YWCA’s] Executive Committee will consider an application from a group of women from American Samoa who intend to form a YWCA of American Samoa… with a view to working towards a recommendation by the Executive Committee to the 2003 World Council for affiliation of the YWCA of American Samoa."

In the meantime, as a temporary measure of recognition, the World YWCA will place the fledgling YWCA of American Samoa on its mailing list and its members "must continue to work on programs and projects that identify the organization as a YWCA" until it is formally inducted as a bonafide member of the World YWCA.

"The World YWCA hopes that the leadership of both of these nations will facilitate good relationships and sisterly sharing of information and avoid any fighting that does harm to the good name of the YWCA, while also hindering the development of the women of Samoa and American Samoa," wrote President Wolfe.

 

THINGS IN AMERICAN SAMOA NOT GETTING ANY BETTER, PUBLIC FEELS

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 29, 1999 – Samoa News)---American Samoa citizens don’t feel as if things are getting better in the territory.

In the Samoa News Public Opinion Poll conducted last week of 743 eligible voters, 68% of the respondents said things here are either "about the same" or "worse" then they were ten years ago.

Only 21% of the respondents said things were "better" when asked, "Generally speaking, do you feel things are better or worse in American Samoa, as compared to ten years ago?"

We analyzed the data by several factors and found that people felt the same regardless of age or employment status.

However, females were more pessimistic then males, while those who voted for Leala in 1996 are much more pessimistic than those who voted for Tauese in 1996.

For example, amongst those who voted for Tauese in 1996, 37% feel things are better now than they were 10 years ago. But amongst those who voted for Leala in 1996, only 9% feel the same way.

The Samoa News asked this same question in three previous polls conducted in 1996. The 1999 results vary by only a small amount from the 1996 results, indicating there have been no major changes in how people feel about the direction of the territory, in comparison with our recent past.

 

COURT NAMES KOREA HOUSE FIRE STARTER

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (November 30, 1999 – Samoa News)---The High Court did what the Department of Public Safety and the Attorney General’s Office did not do — it positively identified who burned out the Korea House two years ago.

The court ruled last week Wednesday in a civil action suit that former Korea House manager Il Yong Kim had "deliberately set the Korea House on fire on the morning of September 28, 1997."

Found to be the only credible witness to the fire, Kim first admitted to investigators that "he did not know how the fire started". Then he changed his story and insisted throughout the investigation that it had been caused by an electrical wiring malfunction.

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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