Monday, June 09, 2008

Top of the Fold

saipan tribune front pageThere is a front page story in the Saipan Tribune today titled Study: Marine monument will infuse $333M to NMI.

This story discusses the soon-to-be-released economic study commissioned by the Pew Environment Group that was authored by University of Guam economist Dr. Tom Iverson.

Here is a press release:
New Economic Report Shows Proposed Monument Could Generate $333 Million in Benefits for the Mariana Islands

Author Will Release Report in Saipan Next Week

SAIPAN, CNMI -- Angelo O'Connor Villagomez, Saipan coordinator for the Ocean Legacy Project of the Pew Environment Group has announced the release of preliminary data contained in the long-awaited study on - The Economic Impact of the Proposed Mariana Trench Marine Monument. The public draft of the study, conducted by University of Guam economist Dr. Tom Iverson will be released next week Dr. Iverson will be on Saipan the week of June 16 to present the preliminary results of the study. Events and times will be announced in advance.

Villagomez said, “Dr. Iverson is excited to share this encouraging economic information. The idea of a Mariana Monument has generated healthy public debate in the community, the Legislature and in the local newspapers. As more factual information has reached the public and government officials, the merits and potential of this marine monument are becoming much better understood. This additional economic data should help correct any erroneous information currently circulating in CNMI.”

David M. Sablan, President of Century Tours & Travel, noted that, “This is good news for the Commonwealth, and an important step forward for the long-term sustainability of our tourism industry. It provides additional proof of the value a Mariana Trench Monument would provide to our islands - 8,000 additional visitors and 400 new jobs will make a large impact. There’s no doubt in my mind that the fastest way to help improve our economy is to create additional reasons for Japanese and other visitors to continue to come here. There is ample evidence the world wide demand for ecotourism is growing, and businesses would love to have a National Monument designation to bring like-minded visitors from Japan and around the globe.”

Villagomez said. “It's unfortunate that some senior public officials have been so woefully misled about recent federal court decisions regarding CNMI's authority over the surrounding waters. Hopefully their uninformed statements will not allow federal officials to dismiss our legitimate concerns and needs and undercut a productive discussion with CNMI officials on the benefits a monument could provide.”

Many CNMI community groups and organizations are supporting the monument including the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, the Marianas Resource Conservation & Development Council, Beautify CNMI, Mariana Islands Nature Alliance (MINA), Friends of the Mariana Islands, Tao Tao Tano and Marianas Dive.


Highlights of the study on the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument (MTMNM) include:

-“...benefits to the CNMI would include, but not be limited to: 1) the annual federal commitment to the monument, as evidenced by other monuments and sanctuaries, 2) media attention that would help stimulate increases in visitor arrivals, 3) visits by research scientists and high-end tourists who might enter the monument waters for research and ecotourism, 4) NGO and federal funds that will be attracted to ‘piggyback’ on the monument designation, particularly in the areas of environmental education and discovery.”

-“...assuming federal funding within the bottom half of the 14 NOAA-administered sanctuary budgets together with nearly 8,000 in additional visitor arrivals, the MTMNM would generate in excess of $10 million in spending, over $14 million in sales (via the sales multiplier), almost $5 million in tax revenues and 400 jobs.”

- “...present values for the benefits in the area of $333 million and the costs, perhaps $33 million.”

- “The economic benefits to the CNMI have a wide range of possibilities and are dependent on the ability of the relevant institutions to make the most of the prospect. ...The ultimate economic impact to the CNMI would depend on the ability of these actors to support and leverage the opportunity.”
The same newspaper also carries a story on Saturday's Best of the Worst Dog Show. Oreo had his picture in the paper. Again. (Oreo and Kevin were on the front page of both daily newspapers yesterday).

Oreo Kenobi Villagomez Best Dog on SaipanPhoto Credit: Jacqueline Hernandez


Lil' Hammerhead said...

Now you sit back and wait for Gourley's response. That'll be interesting. I wonder how frustrated he gets? Bet it's closer to the top of the 10 scale. I've found that most enviro-haters are pretty frustrated angry individuals.
As far as the dogs go.. Porky convinced me some time ago, that caring could come at the cost of incarceration.

ELSAVI said...

whoohooo!!!i wonder what the "senior" public officials have to say now, they're just hating cause they didn't come up with this idea you have, you know that right?lol...

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

I think the phrase is actually "Above the Fold," but then again, I went to a public high school.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

and I don't get the Porky comment. I know it's Bruce, but I don't recall the story.

dominic said...

ok Mr. Villagomez,

Where is this most awesome Pew proposal? There are petitions, economic impact studies, words that assure its likeness to the Northwestern Hawaiian monument. I read your blog often to follow the Pew proposal. Is there a rough draft? Are you helping to write it up? Where can we see this? I think this might be why I can't get behind something I don't really know about. The idea is great but man, all this politics, big money and a large piece of ocean... at the end of it the POTUS will sign it off. Things can get messy, the devil is in the details call me paranoid. So where is the GO-TO place to learn ALL about this great idea of yours or Pew's. Maybe you should start a wikipedia entry on this monument.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Until the President decides whether or not he is going to do an assessment, the "proposal" is pretty much just a concept.

This letter to Governor Fitial from Jay Nelson outlines that concept.

The only monument President Bush has decided to assess is the War in the Pacific Monument.

I imagine that Senator Reyes recently introduced PL 16-32 would be a model for the Monument.

But no "proposal" will be written until the CNMI and the Federal government sit down at a table together.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

...but where can you go for info?

We're working on a web page.

dominic said...

I like the idea, its great. Good luck!

That webpage is a good overview of all the marine monuments with a lot of good info and resources. It will pay off big time for our future generations.

Lil' Hammerhead said...

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Is there a link to Iverson's actual study, Angelo? I see nothing on his website list of 'Journal Articles/ Research Notes/Occasional Papers' about the PEW study. I would like to read it.


Re: Dogs.
Right, knucklehead, have I convinced you yet that you are a despicable, cowardly twit? Evidence abounds.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Bruce, did you read the press release. The study will be available by July 1.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Thanks, Angelo, I'll look forward to seeing the full report.

To find out what really happened regarding the dog and the crazed wingnut that hides behind the knucklehead mask I suggest you talk to Katie or Rose at PAWS.

Lil' Hammerhead said...

Talk to them. I printed in their entirety, everything that was written.

*I wrote paws.. not Bruce
*Bruce rudely responded

Quite simple.

In fact, Kate was kind enough to respond to me by email, to provide me with some assistance, and to ask for help forwarding animal welfare legislation. I'm not sure what part "Rose" played in this?

I will always love the dogs though.. the stuff about not caring any longer, was in jest.

Lil' Hammerhead said...

I did also forget to link to the follow-up on the previously linked post on this matter.

I won't link it.. but here's the address:

Bruce A. Bateman said...

You are an un-person, knucklehead. It is impossible to 'respond rudely' to a fictitious mask.

Your lies about the matter are typical of your cowardly, anonymous rantings.

Your threats to trash private property are also typical of slugs like yourself. Leave it to you to offer illegal physical intervention rather than talk to the party in question. Of course then you would have to actually come out from your pitiful little closet and speak to someone, probably something you fear doing under any circumstances, twit.