Some Questions

March 9, 2011

Torres Questions Trip to DC

Senator Stanley Torres has asked what I asked in a previous post. Why would the cash-strapped CNMI government send five people to Washington, DC to deliver a Senate report? Four senators and the legal counsel, who wrote the report with their status recommendation for long-term CNMI nonresident workers, left Saipan on a week-long trip to the nation's capitol.

A week in DC will cost about $4,000 a piece including airfare, hotel, food and taxis. Maybe more. Figure the tab will run a minimum of $20,000.

I just hope these senators and their legal counsel have the sense not to ask any federal officials for grants or any other federal handouts. If they can afford to drop $20,000, they don't need to ask for more money from the American taxpayers.

Why More Saipan Casino Talk?

The renewed talk of establishing casinos in Saipan is perplexing. Who in their right mind would consider opening casinos in Saipan when the ones in Rota and Tinian are not even making it?

The Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino still owes it’s employees money. From an e-mail I received this week:
As of now, we haven't receive our payroll for the month of Dec.18, 2010 to Jan. 1, 2011 running to six payrolls. Now every department in our company sign a waiver for salary release, meaning each employee should request their own salary for only one payroll which is for Dec.18, 2010 to Jan.1, 2011. The remainder will be given if sufficient funds will be available. My point is, there are so many departments in our company: Housekeeping, Security, F. and B., Casino Department, Engineering and others. What if your department will receive last? It will be unfair to others. One thing more, local preference is always rampant here mam. The local employees got their paychecks already. We tried to contact the newspapers and even the media to see our situation here but to no avail. They just close their eyes and ears.
The local and federal departments of labor know about the unpaid wages. What happens to unpaid employees while there are ongoing investigations? How can these people eat and pay their bills? This situation has been ongoing for months. What takes so long for action? Please someone, charge these criminal employers and pay the employees their back wages now!

The Rota Hotel and casino still owes its employees money also. Where is this Watanabe guy-owner of the Rota casino anyway? If he is a millionaire, why can't he pay his employees?

What is the obsession with establishing casinos in the CNMI? Who needs casinos when you have gorgeous natural beauty to attract tourists?

Casinos have proven that they not profitable in the CNMI. There are far more alluring destinations where there are established casinos and a much better atmosphere than the tiny CNMI can offer would be gamblers. Malaysia, Singapore and Macao have casinos and other attractions that Saipan doesn't have including a variety of shops and restaurants. Why would tourist-gamblers want to go to the CNMI to gamble?

Who Would Let Their Child Attend This School?

For years the Ladera International School of Saipan has made headlines for all of the wrong reasons ––lawsuits from former employees, teachers' unpaid wages, lack of academic rigor, closures and on and on. The place has been a mess.

Now the former co-owners, brothers Yong Nam Park and Yong Sung Park and Pil Hwan Park, their parent, have filed a $1 million lawsuit for fraud and breach of contract against criminal-owner, Sung Yun Kim. Kim is also known as Annie Park.

The lawsuit charges that Park "failed to pay corporate taxes, embezzled funds, failed to pay wages to teachers and otherwise caused substantial damage to the Ladera School and to the plaintiffs."

Tong Nam Park divorced his wife, Sung Yun Kim after her arrest in South Korea. In February 2010 she was arrested for illegal activities with a business she owned in South Korea where she lives.

LISS was "taken over" by Kim and renamed the Western international School of Excellence earlier this year. Reports from teachers reveal it is anything but excellent.

Seriously, what parent would allow their child to be enrolled in this "school"? Fitial's edu-tourism push is incredibly dangerous because there appears to be no oversight or standards for the CNMI private schools. Schools may be businesses, but their primary purpose is to educate students and ensure their safety. Who wants criminals educating their children?

Shouldn't the DPS Have Some Rules on Nepotism?

The recent death threat on Rabby Syed made by a male caller brings up the question of relationships on the small island. The DPS officer investigating the case told Rabby that the aunt of the caller is his cousin. In the mainland another officer would be assigned the case. What's with that?

Even the hiring practices of DPS show that those with political or family ties are rewarded with better positions. It looks like the governor is using his position to determine promotions and salary levels within that department.

Funny how certain family names always pop up in the DPS.


Anonymous said...

Not related to your post, but will any of these "reporters" ever do more than just rehash whatever press release they're handed?

Captain said...

In relation to Dynasty and the Rota Casino.
Now Dynasty has a Baccarat tournament coming up with $100k grand prise. they expect more than 100 entries. All from Asia.
In all of these tournaments, if you ever figure the entrance fees, along with the payouts and what is included, you can figure out that there is little profit margin. Although a few of these "contestants" stay over after the two day event, the losers will certainly leave for home.
There will be some spectators and some family but without the ferry, and the cut in working hours, there will only be mostly small groups of residents from Tinian looking on and only small sales reciepts for drinks and some food.

Now the ongoing problem will be the same for the payroll.
This will further put the Casino back as it most likely not fully cover it's labor and operating expenses.

If any of the "winners" stay over and continue to gamble and win big, (as has happened in the past)this will really cause a big problem for payroll and vendors alike.

The people that transfered from the Dynasty to Rota, in hopes that they would have a more stable reliable employment with a regular salary are now back into the same situation of no payroll.(nor customers)

What would a "new" Saipan Casino do for employees? (or construction employees)
Where would they come from? There is not enough construction employees in Guam and no Casino experienced employees.

There is no more new employees allowed into the NMI.
What are the conditions for a required Technical person to enter at this time? And for how long?
What is considered Technical?

The new proposed Casino on Tinian by Bridge (not the Saipan Co.)Is in the situation of where are they going to get workers from as they were originally using Chinese workers and a Chinese construction company.
Now they are planning to use workers from the Phil.
How are they going to come in?

Same question, if/when any of these two proposed Casino's on Tinian are completed, how will they get any workers to staff them?
The Dynasty proved that there is no locals that will stay and work after they are trained.(maybe one or two only over the years)

I can imagine that for construction there may be a way to bring in short term workers for the particular project where the workers leave at the end of the project.
But to staff a large business with many workers for a few years, as in the "H" visa. (three yrs, max)How is that going to happen?

The Saipan Blogger said...

The CNMI should have thought about those things before they chose not to clean up their act and force the USA to do it for them.