FEMA and CNMI IRP to conduct coastal construction trainings in November

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in partnership with the CNMI Infrastructure and Recovery Program (IRP) under the Office of the Governor, will be conducting free trainings and small group sessions throughout the month of November to address coastal construction techniques.

The focus of the trainings will be on the theme “Building Resilience in the CNMI,” with topics on building design, identifying hazards (flood and wind), siting, design and construction of building foundations, roof systems, and the maintenance of buildings.

FEMA Mitigation Assistance Team (MAT) instructors will lead the trainings and be available for small group meetings and virtual office appointments from Nov. 3 through Nov. 17.

The first two-day coastal construction training will be on Nov. 9-10, with the second on Nov. 15-16. Both sessions will be held at the Aqua Resort Club from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  

The CNMI IRP encourages members of the community, specifically residential construction workers, general contractors, building inspectors, code enforcement officials, design professionals and interested residents, to join the trainings to learn more about coastal construction techniques and their applicability in the CNMI.

The MAT trainers have vast experience in disaster assessments, building and post-disaster construction to alleviate the impacts from future disasters.

The instructors include:

·      John Squerciati, P.E., CFM, a senior associate at Dewberry Engineers, Inc., with over 23 years of post-disaster damage assessment and hazard mitigation experience as a FEMA technical assistance contractor.

·      Jon Chipperfield, PhD, PE, is experienced in post hurricane inspections and mitigation assessments after working 2017 hurricanes Irma and Maria. He also assisted in the construction management of new roofs in the U.S. Virgin Islands due to hurricane damage.

·      Matthew Holland, P.E., CFM, with over 15 years in structural engineering and design experience, including the design and preparation of construction documents for multi-story office buildings, elementary schools, retail centers, shopping malls, churches and homes.

·      Donnell Clark, a key member of the CNMI MAT field team and is a mitigation project specialist with multiple years of engineering and construction experience in project design and inspection.

·      Gregory Wilson, a FEMA emergency management specialist for the Building Science Branch, where he has been involved in promoting and advancing the International Building Codes, drafting building code proposals and testifying before the International Code Council.

·      Yana Tukvachinski, a FEMA building science lead who has promoted resilience and contributed to several FEMA publications and products, including the Puerto Rico Prescriptive Residential Designs and Expanding Mitigation Guide series. Before FEMA, she worked on disaster risk reduction projects with local governments in the Philippines.

Professionals interested in joining the trainings, small group sessions or virtual office hours are encouraged to contact CNMI IRP Project Liaison Deveney Dela Cruz at irp@irp.gov.mp. Class sizes are limited.

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CNMI Office of the Governor

Office of the Governor Response to Dismissal of Lawsuit Filed Against the House Judiciary & Government Operations Committee

Yesterday, the Superior Court held that the Office of the Governor could not proceed with its case against the House Judiciary and Government Operations Committee. Although the Administration respects the decision of the Judge, we believe the decision is erroneous by ignoring and misinterpreting law and precedent. For example, in its rush to follow federal precedent, it skipped right over the plain text of the Commonwealth Constitution. Then it overlooked some of the most important protections found even in the federal cases — such as the rule that the legislature may subpoena the executive only when the information it needs is not reasonably available anywhere else. The decision will be appealed. It will be for the Supreme Court to ultimately decide the merits of this civil case.

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