We were more than happy to have them help and that weekend we planted 7 Flame Trees along Beach Road. The weekend after that we planted 11 more. Every single weekend since then we have worked together to plant trees, clean beaches, and so on and so on.
For their untiring service, I had them nominated for an USDA Earth Team Award.
As many of you know, they won.
In between nominating them and awarding them with the plaque, the active members of MOVER, the volunteers that I saw week in and week out, decided to disolve the group called MOVER, which was limited to Filipino membership, and create a new group that allowed anyone interested in volunteering to join, regardless of race (sorry, that was a long sentence).
They called the group Friends of the Mariana Islands (FMI). They count Filipinos, Chamorros, Carolinians, Americans, and Koreans as members.
With MOVER no longer in existence, Ken and I decided to award the Earth Team Award to the people we saw at the weekly events, the members of FMI.
We gave them the award at the Beautify CNMI annual banquet.
A few weeks later Ken received a letter from someone using MOVER letterhead telling us that we had given the award to the wrong group of people. Then we found out that this person had hired an attorney to sue FMI for the award.
Are you fucking kidding me?
Do you really think I don't know who deserves this award? I wrote a letter to the editor letting these people know that the award belonged to Marites and her volunteers.
I thought the issue was dead.
I was wrong.
In last Saturday's Saipan Tribune, the new MOVER is again claiming that they are the rightful owners of the award:
Fernandez said the group took a short break late last year due to internal reorganization and restructuring. Also, the group's members needed to take a rest in its community service activities such as regular cleanups and others.A six month break to rest? Check out the Beautify CNMI blog or the FMI blog. You'll see that Marites has not "taken a break."
Fernandez clarified that MOVER Inc. is separate from the Friends of the Mariana Island, a new group formed by former officer Marites Castillo. Fernandez said the members of FMI are also from MOVER Inc.
In April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the Earth Team Award to the Friends of the Mariana Islands but the trophy and award was named after MOVER Inc.
Also, while some of the members are from MOVER, many of the members are not. MOVER members are all Filipino. FMI invites all residents of the CNMI to join their group.
And yes, the trophy was named after MOVER, but when it was awarded, MOVER did not exist. It was dissolved.
So please stop saying that the award is yours. Please stop saying bad things about FMI. Read my blog. Read the Beautify CNMI blog and the FMI blog. Look through the archives of the Saipan Tribune and the Marianas Variety.
FMI and Marites are untiring in their service to the CNMI. The people attacking her want nothing more than to take credit for work they didn't do.
That makes them assholes.
I wish the new MOVER luck in their future endeavors, but until I see them participate in a single environmental activity, they should just shut the fuck up.