Typhoon brings floods, misses Marianas
HAGÅTÑA, Guam — Typhoon Cimaron brought rain, wind and flooding without directly hitting Guam or the Northern Mariana Islands.

On Aug. 20, Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres declared Typhoon Condition 2 for Alamagan, Pagan and Agrihan and Tropical storm Condition 2 for Saipan and Tinian. Public schools and government offices closed and public school classes were cancelled for Aug. 21. The Coast Guard established Port Heavy Weather Condition Yankee for the ports of Guam, Saipan, Rota and Tinian, suspending all port operations.

On Aug. 21, the Tropical Storm warning was cancelled for Saipan and Tinian and government offices reopened at 12:30 p.m. Gov. Edward B. Calvo declared a state of emergency on Guam, activating the Guam National Guard to assist with conditions resulting from heavy rain and flooding. The Offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense stood up the Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center.

At 9 p.m. on Aug. 21, the Guam Weather Forecast Office cancelled flashflood warnings for Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan and cancelled the flashflood watch at 10 p.m. The typhoon warning for Agrihan, Pagan and Alamagan was cancelled as well.

The Guam Homeland Security and Office of Civil Defense continued operations through Aug. 22 to respond to and assess flood damages.

 

UOG nursing program re-accredited
MANGILAO, Guam — The University of Guam nursing program was accredited for another eight years by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, according to an Aug. 22 release.

The program, which has been accredited since 1996, has annually conferred an average of 25 bachelor’s degrees since its last accreditation in 2010, making it one of UOG’s largest academic programs by volume of graduates. The last two graduating classes of the program passed the National Council Licensure Examination — the standardized nursing licensure exam — with a 100% first-time pass rate, surpassing the national average of 90%.

 

Guam and NMI featured on new quarters

Guam and NMI in new series of quarters
PHILADELPHIA — The United States Mint included Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands in a new series of quarters for 2019, according to an Aug. 14 release.

The series, part of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, feature national parks from throughout the country and were designed by the mint’s sculptor-engravers.

The NMI quarter depicts American Memorial Park and features a young Chamorro woman at the front of Flag Circle and the Court of Honor. The Guam quarter depicts the War in the  Pacific National Historical Park and portrays American forces coming ashore at Asan Bay during World War II.

 

GWA introduces pay-by-phone service
TAMUNING, Guam — Guam Waterworks Authority on Aug. 27 launched a daily 24-hour pay-by-phone service, according to a release. To use the service requires a customer’s 10 digit GWA account number and billing zip code.

Visa and Mastercard are accepted. Visa payments for non-residential customers have a $500 limit per month. To pay by phone, call 647-4729.

 

United Airlines launches new corporate loyalty program
SAN DIEGO, Cali. — United Airlines launched a new multi-level corporate benefits program called Corporate Preferred, according to an Aug. 13 release.

The program is divided into three tiers called United Corporate Preferred, United Corporate Preferred Plus and United Corporate Preferred Elite. Eligibility for the program is determined by a corporation’s contract status, revenue contribution and loyalty to the airline.

Benefits include prioritization when traveling on standby for a different flight, seat protection to retain the same or similar seat in the event of an aircraft swap, preferred boarding and preferred seating. To receive these benefits, tickets must be flown on United or United Express flights and must be for the corporate customer’s business.

 

GPA signs contracts for solar farms
MANGILAO, Guam — Guam Power Authority entered into two contracts to build solar energy projects with two firms — Hanwha Energy Corp. and KEPCO-LG CNS — on Aug. 22 and Aug. 24 respectively, according to a release.

The contract is for each firm to build a 60-megawatt project, for a total of 120-megawatts. GPA estimates the project will result in a $43 million savings over the first five years, which will be passed on to customers.

Hanwha Energy Corp. is part of the Korea-based industrial conglomerate Hanwha Corp. and KEPO-LG CNS Consortium is comprised of the Korea Electric Power Corp. and LG CNS, an IT service provider that is a subsidiary of LG Corp.

 

USDA approves increased eligibility for nutrition program
GARAPAN, Saipan — The United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service approved an increase in income eligibility for the Nutrition Assistance Program in the Northern Mariana Islands starting Oct. 1, according to an Aug. 28 release from the office of Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres.

Income eligibility standards for the program were increased to 100% of the poverty level guidelines recognized in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Under the increase, a single individual will be eligible for the program if they earned $1,005 or less per month, a family of three $1,702 per month, a family of four $2,050 per month and a family of five $2,399 per month. Income caps for the program are now at $841 per month, $1,252 per month, $1,452 per month and $1,656 per month, respectively.

 

Guam holds primary elections
HAGÅTÑA, Guam — Guam voters headed to the polls for the 2018 primary elections held on Aug. 25.

The Guam Election Commission website’s unofficial results published Aug. 26 have Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero and Joshua F. Tenorio winning the Democratic party candidacy for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. The unofficial results have Lt. Gov. Raymond S. Tenorio and Vicente A. “Tony” Ada winning the Republican party candidacy for governor and lieutenant governor respectively.

Democratic senatorial candidates who made it past the primaries are Therese M. Terlaje, Telena C. Nelson, Joe S. San Agustin, Régine Biscoe Lee, Tina R. Muna-Barnes, Amanda L. Shelton, Sabina E. Perez, Clynton E. Ridgell, Celestin C. Babauta, Kelly G. Marsh, Jose T. Terlaje, Jermaine Alerta, Adolpho B. Palacios, Jack E. Hatting III and Lasia A. Casil.

Republican senatorial candidates who made the cut are James C. Moylan, William M. Castro, Mary C. Torres, Louisa B. Muna, Amanda F. Blas, Telo T. Taitague, Julius P. Santos, Benito S. Servino, MiChelle H. Taitano, Jose A. San Agustin, Stephen J. Guerrero, Roland R. Blas, Ken Joe M. Ada, Harold J. Cruz and Jenei A. Aguon.

Democratic gubernatorial candidates Frank B. Aguon Jr. and Alicia A. Limtiaco requested the GEC do a recount. The commission decided during its Aug. 31 board meeting to hold a recount in response to a request from democratic gubernatorial candidates Frank B. Aguon Jr. and Alicia A. Limtiaco, according to the commission’s executive director Maria I.D. Pangelinan. Pangelinan told the Journal that the commission tentatively plans to certify primary results on Sep. 10.

The Guam Election Commission must certify election results within 15 days by law.

 

Airport receives grant, authorized new positions
HAGÅTÑA, Guam — The Guam International Airport Authority was awarded a $15.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration and the funds will go towards the construction of a new aircraft rescue and firefighting building. Groundbreaking for construction is expected to begin this fall, according to an Aug. 22 release from the office of Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Guam’s delegate to Congress.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency will be filling five new vacancies at the airport, according to Customs and Border Protection Supervisory Officer Mark Pablo. He said the increased number of officers is hoped to help reduce the wait time for arriving passengers at the airport, but it’s difficult to estimate by how much. Rolenda L. Faasuamalie, airport marketing administrator for the A.B. Won Pat International Airport Authority said that although wait times for arriving passengers vary, the average wait time for the 4,000 passengers who arrived on Aug. 28 was 25 minutes. Although the Customs and Border Protection positions are open to applicants across the country, Gov. Edward B. Calvo in an Aug. 22 release said he would prefer the positions be filled by local personnel.

 

NAWIC forum provides insight to military plans, tax advice
TUMON, Guam — Capt. Daniel P. Turner, commander of Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas, was the keynote speaker at the 2018 National Association of Women in Construction Leadership Conference held Aug. 29 to Aug. 30 at the Pacific Star Resort & Spa. During his presentation, Turner spoke about the construction opportunities available on Guam due to military buildup and encouraged greater female representation in the construction industry.

Turner later told the Journal that NAVFAC Marianas will spend the next year focusing on preparing the land at Finagayan for construction of the main Marine cantonment area. This work will focus on laying infrastructure such as sewer, water and roadwork. Construction of buildings — “vertical construction” — will occur once infrastructure is complete.

Also during the conference, Joe M. Arnett, senior adviser of Deloitte & Touche LLP, broke down tax changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, referring to it as poorly written legislation and “the most major overhaul of our income tax system in 32 years.” Arnett advised businesses to sit down with their tax consultants and be informed of the changes, including the reduction in the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, an additional 20% tax deduction that small businesses could take advantage of and limitations on mortgage and healthcare deductibles.

 

2018 Small Business Excellence Award recipient announced
TUMON, Guam – Archway Inc., which does business as The Beverage Source; I Love Guam; Infusion Coffee & Tea; and now GoPlay was the recipient of the 2018 Annual Small Business Excellence Award at the Guam Chamber of Commerce 14th Annual Small Business Expo and Outreach Event that took place at the Hyatt Regency Guam on Aug.30. Infusion Coffee & Tea celebrated the grand opening of its ninth location in the Camacho Landmark Center in Tamuning on Aug. 8. Richard Chan is president and Mika C. Gibson is vice president and general manager for Archway Inc. mbj

The Nissan Kicks debuted on Guam on Aug. 22.
Image courtesy of Nissan Guam

Nissan Guam introduces new crossover
UPPER TUMON, Guam — Nissan Motor Corp. in Guam debuted on Aug. 22 the Kicks, Nissan’s new entry in the affordable compact crossover market, according to a release.

The Kicks’ features include an instrument panel with a centrally mounted seven-inch display that offers Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity on its SV and SR trim levels, four on-board cameras to give a 360-degree view around the vehicle, emergency braking that automatically stops the car in the event of an imminent collision and an alert that warns if other vehicles are too close. It seats five passengers, boasts a seven inch ground clearance and its fuel economy is rated up to 31-miles-per-gallon city, 36-miles-per-gallon highway and 34-miles-per-gallon combined.

Nissan offers seven exterior colors for the kicks and five two-tone combinations. Customers can personalize accents, finishes and other design elements online at The Kicks Color Studio. The Nissan Kicks debuted on Guam on Aug. 22.

 

United adds seats to popular route
TAMUNING, Guam — United Airlines announced the addition of two evening flights on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for customers flying both ways between Guam and Hong Kong, extending their offerings to a choice of six weekly flights. Customers can book their flights to and from Hong Kong immediately for travel beginning Nov. 1, according to an Aug. 30 release from the airline.

The 50% increase in seat capacity is designed to meet the growing demand between Guam and Hong Kong during the 2018-2019 winter peak travel season, the release said. The additional twice-weekly service aboard the Boeing 737-700 aircraft (12 seats in United Business, 30 seats in United Economy Plus and 84 seats in United Economy) will offer an additional 500 seats per week between the countries, adding approximately 10,000 seats through the winter season. – This was sent to Journal subscribers as a News Flash on Aug. 30.