Daily Archives: 12/09/2004

Pagan Pozzolan Plan Pidgeonholed

Big news that I totally missed for an entire week. Last Friday it was revealed that the closed door negotiations between the CNMI’s Marianas Public Lands Authority and Azmar International over mining rights on Pagan broke down.

Azmar cried foul and appealed to CNMI governor Juan Babauta to force the MPLA to issue a mining permit to Azmar, citing an earlier meeting in September where MPLA board members basically agreed to rubber stamp Azmar’s application.

Watchdog group Paganwatch hailed the decision by MPLA.

“We congratulate the MPLA board for recognizing the public’s wishes and their fiduciary responsibility to the Commonwealth. We welcome investors to the CNMI, but we also make sure that those we accept are real investors. Those are two different things,” said PaganWatch leader Cinta Kaipat.

It looks like the MPLA pulled an about face once they realized the depth of the opposition against this strip mine proposal. Not only were the displaced residents of the northern islands upset with the proposal, others in the CNMI questioned the fairness of the deal and the revenues Azmar’s mining project would generate for the government. The pozzolan is a valuable resource, and there is still interest in extracting it, and in crafting an agreement that remunerates the CNMI equitably and addresses the concerns of the residents of Pagan.

The Silliest Thing I’ve Heard Today

St. Louis based chocolatier Karl Bissinger has introduced Spa Chocolate a line of healthy candies for today’s healthier lifestyles.

Puh-leez. A little chocolate isn’t going to harm anybody, but I seriously doubt a single chocolate (their recommended daily allowance of spa chocolates) will imbue anyone with healthful benefits. I’ve got to give them credit though; it takes a lot of chutzpah to call chocolate candies health food.

FYI, my grandfather’s floral shop was next door to Bissinger’s store in the Central West End many, many decades ago.