More Koreans traveling overseas
Overseas Korean travel saw an uptick to 309,000 people boarding international flights in October, up from 291,000 September. Growth was noted to vacation destinations, according to KBS World, which reported figures from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
Korean Air has increased flights to twice weekly to Guam, and will resume flights to Hawaii, Sydney and Auckland in November; Asiana Airlines will operate flights to Guam twice a week from December.
Korea has fully vaccinated 76.85% of its population as of Nov. 9, according to www.covidvaxlive
NMI updating school and childcare facilities requirements
The Northern Mariana Islands will be amending requirements for school and childcare facilities and communicable disease rules and regulations.
The proposed amendments are published in the Commonwealth Register (page 149) and are open to comments until Nov. 28.
Representative confirms run for gubernatorial race
Rep. Christina M. Sablan was endorsed by the Democratic party in the Northern Mariana Islands as its candidate for governor in 2022. Sablan told the Journal she will announce her running mate “in the coming weeks.”
Bipartisan U.S. infrastructure bill heads to president; Mariana Islands expects funding
The Northern Mariana Islands “will see nearly $24 million through the Territorial Highway Program over the five-year period. Another $7 million is expected to go to the Marianas public transit system based on formula funding alone, according to Gregorio “Kilili” Sablan, the NMI’s delegate Congress, who issued a release Nov. 5 as the bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
The NMI will be eligible to compete for $7.5 billion for road projects. Other funding expected is about $30 million for the Commonwealth Ports Authority, $24 million for water infrastructure, and “at least $25 million to help improve broadband services,” Sablan said.
Aside from SSI and funding for a new hospital, the package would give Guam an estimated $31 million for community development and block grants, $9.6 million for public housing, $27.5 million in home investment partnerships and another $18 million for housing inventory.
There is also $150 million for school infrastructure funding, which can be used for Simon Sanchez High School, and overall capital improvement projects across the school system, according to Michael F.Q. San Nicolas, Guam’s delegate to Congress. San Nicolas shared the news at an Oct. 29 press conference.
An increase in highway funding to about $45 million from $17 million remains intact, the delegate said.
Guam will receive Supplemental Security Income from the federal government as a part of a territorial package, according to Michael F.Q. San Nicholas, Guam’s delegate to Congress. (See Oct. 29 news flash on www.mbjguam.com. Sign up on line to receive news updates.)
Guam company spreads wings to Palau
Bella Wings Aviation Inc. sister company of Bella Wings Aviation LLC-Guam has been cleared for commercial operations in Palau.
In Palau, Bella Wings will concentrate on delivery of cargo via UAS/drones and surveillance/search and rescue. Other capabilities will include aerial advertising and the use of light detection and ranging to perform inspections and mapping.
“With plans to develop curricula and hire local certified drone pilots and technical and administrative support, Bella Wings will be ready to respond to current and future demands, create a whole new aviation subindustry, generate jobs, and launch careers,” the company said in a Nov. 8 release.
Part of the process will be to build a Flight Lab that will allow those who are interested in pursuing a career path to enroll in a program that teaches all the facets of the cutting-edge UAS business. The program will include modules for adults exploring new opportunities as well as for children as early as the grade school level, according to Bella Wings.
Sanitation and COVID inspection update
No sanitation or COVID violations were found in the 41 locations the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services inspected the week of Oct 25. All but three of the properties were childcare facilities or learning centers.
Historic remains found in North Finegayan
The Department of Parks & Recreation’s Guam Historic Resources Division and State Historic Preservation Officer received notice from Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz the week of Nov. 1 that additional ancient burials have been uncovered in North Finegayan.
This area is within and directly adjacent to an area already marked off to protect remains previously uncovered in 2019, where work is underway to build a memorial. The additional burials were encountered by archaeologists during preparatory work for the memorial’s construction, in an 1,100-plus square foot area.
The seven most recently uncovered burials account for an estimated 15 individuals, with. 26 separate areas of human remain findings in Camp Blaz which can be as small as a single bone fragment.
COVID vaccinations for Guam children begins Nov. 9
COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11 will be made available beginning Nov. 9. The Guam Department of Public Health and Social services will conduct pediatric vaccination clinics at the Northern Region Community Health Center and at the Southern Region Community Health Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for those ages. Appointments can be made via Eventbrite at tinyurl.com/CovidStopsWithMe. The Guam National Guard will also conduct pediatric vaccination clinics at the University of Guam Field House on Nov. 9 from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Nov. 10, from 2 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. To schedule an appointment, visit tinyurl.com/vaxguam.
Biba Magic at the Westin Resort Guam is re-opening for a limited 14-show run for the holiday season on Friday and Saturday nights from Nov. 19 to Jan. 1. Social distancing, vaccination requirements and mask-wearing will be enforced.
Show Only tickets can be reserved online at https://www.bibamagic.com.
Taste Buffet & Show package and Magical Retreat room+show package can be reserved through the Westin Resort Guam by calling 647-0915 or 647-1025.
The Guam Regional Transit Authority announced the availability of advertising on public buses. The revenue generated will be a funding source for the repair and maintenance of the GRTA fleet, according to a Nov. 8 release. Contact GRTA Special Projects Officer Richard Y. Ybanez at 671-475-4616.
For your diary: The Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association will hold elections on Nov. 18, via email. For the upcoming board there are four positions to fill for two-year terms: two Hotelier board members; one Restaurateur board member and one Allied Industry board member.
Four nominations have been received for the four positions: For Hotelier board members Jeffrey Schweizer, president, Asia Pacific Hotels Inc. and Dean Huntsman, general manager, Dusit Thani Guam Resort; for Restaurateur member, Darren Talai, managing director, Seafood Masters Inc. and International Dining Concepts and for Allied member, Tae S. Oh, president Vantage Advertising. GHRA has a nine-member board. mbj