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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, Jan. 19) - Christopher Topik, a professional staff member with the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee for Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, is in American Samoa on a familiarization trip.

The subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Charles Taylor of North Carolina, writes the annual legislation that provides policy and funding for the Department of Interior, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service and numerous smaller cultural and scientific institutions, according to background information provided by the local Department Of Interior field office.

Topik arrived Sunday night and paid a courtesy visit to the Fono leadership on Tuesday, followed by a meeting with Gov. Togiola Tulafono. Topik was introduced to senators during their session on Tuesday.

He also met with staff of the National Park Service and took a tour of the Vatia Park, which is part of the national park. Yesterday, he was scheduled to meet with LBJ Medical Center officials, the Treasurer and his staff.

Topik, who has worked for the Appropriations Committee for nine years, is also scheduled to tour projects funded by Capital Improvement Projects money, which is allocated by Congress and administered by the Department Of Interior. He was scheduled for a dinner with Lt. Gov. Ipulasi Aitofele Sunia yesterday evening.

Topik departs the territory tonight.

January 20, 2006

The Samoa News: http://www.samoanews.com/

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