Saipan|CNMI: Public Demonstration Against The Power Poles In Marpi?

Ed Propst Saipan

Ed Propst Saipan

Dear Friends,

It is very sad that the most pristine place on Saipan is now being desecrated with ugly power poles.  If our government supports tourism, why would they allow these unsightly poles to invade such a sacred area?
If you haven’t already, please sign the online petition at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/keep-marpi-beautiful—–for-tourists-and-residents-alike/
While this online petition is a great way to show that our community is opposed to the power poles, maybe we could do other things as well.  How about a peaceful public gathering to show our disapproval of the power poles in Marpi?  Any other thoughts/suggestions?
Regards,
Ed
——————————————
——————————————————————————–
——————————————
Tina Sablan Saipan|CNMI

Tina Sablan Saipan|CNMI

I agree.  What is happening in Marpi is tragic.  I don’t understand how we can talk so much about how important tourism is, and how important it is to protect our islands’ natural beauty and wild places, and bring in speakers from all over the world to talk about that for our economic restoration summits and geotourism conferences …

 

And then in the very same month of all these meetings go and build power poles in the most beautiful, most culturally significant, and most historically rich spot on the island.

 

What hurts even more is a) the reason for the power poles; and b) the fact that there are much better alternatives that have so far have been ignored.
I have been told by the contracting officer for the CIP office that the reason for all these power poles is to provide electricity for lights at the cemeteries, including lights for new bathrooms up there, and to power the pumps that will water the grass.  When I asked why on earth we would build more public restrooms that will almost certainly be neglected and vandalized and probably be locked up indefinitely after a while (like every other public restroom on island, including the one at the Japanese memorial just down the street from the cemeteries), and why we needed to water the grass at the cemetery when we receive 80 inches of rain a year and moreover still have problems providing 24-hour running water for the community, I was told that that restrooms, lights, and a sprinkler system were simply part of the plans for the cemeteries.
I then mentioned that the Marianas Resource Resource Conservation & Development Council, of which I have recently become an officer, had several years ago purchased solar panels and restroom fixtures for a solar restroom demonstration project on Beach Road at Quartermaster.  That project has never been completed due to problems with the design and structure, and the fact that the restroom has never been hooked up to the sewer line; the facility today remains locked, unused, and has become an eyesore due to vandalism.  But the solar panels are still here, and as far as I know are still usable.  I said that if the CIP office was determined to build a restroom and lights up in Marpi, I could help submit a request for the council to approve the transfer of the solar panels to Marpi.  I also said that I was sure that there would be other organizations and individuals concerned about protecting Marpi who would be willing to help examine alternatives.  I suggested public meetings to invite feedback from the community.
I then asked if the plans could be changed, and I was told that yes, they could be, it was not too late, and the contracting officer would see what could be done.  I never heard back from him though, and the next thing I did hear from other folks was that the power pole project had been suspended. 

Like a lot of other people, I had been under the mistaken impression that the power pole project in Marpi had been suspended because the the decision-makers had heard and responded to the public outcry.  I thought perhaps public meetings might soon start.  Yesterday I found out from the CIP office that actually, they were just waiting for clearance from Fish and Wildlife for the power poles, and got that clearance.
So it seems that there has not yet been enough outcry to draw the attention of the powers that be, and we definitely need to kick it up a notch.  And I would agree 100% with a comment I saw earlier, that we need to reach another “Save Sugar Dock” type of tipping point in our community if we hope to save Marpi. 

-Tina Sablan

We Need To Act! Marpi is too beautiful to ruin! Whenever Im back home, I go there at night to enjoy the island. Its one of the only places on island with the least light pollution, which makes the sky light up with a blanket of stars. Marpi is a very historical part of Saipan. Keep it clean please! Dont ruin it!

Watch the video below for a little tour of the northern side of Saipan!

Marpi, Saipan CNMI

Marpi, Saipan CNMI

Save Marpi

Save Marpi

 

 

Be Sociable, Share!
TAGS: , , , , , ,