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Community Briefs



The Amerika Samoa Humanities Council has announced that the Chicago Metro History Education Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Loyola University Chicago are inviting all local K-12 teachers to apply for the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute - “Rethinking the Gilded Age and Progressive Era: Capitalism, Democracy, and Progressivism, 1877 to 1920” set to be held July 5-30, 2015 in the Windy City.


See advertisement elsewhere in Samoa News for details.


Eligibility is also extended to graduate students who are training to become K-12 teachers.


“Our focus will be on two of the most important themes of American history — capitalism and democracy.”


Program participants will receive a $3,300 stipend to defray travel, lodging, and study expenses. In addition, they will get the chance to explore and create practical applications for their classrooms, in addition to being part of stimulating discussions and readings with scholars and peers.


Log on to <[1]> or email <> for more information.




Work on restoring the KVZK-TV Building in Utulei is being held up, as funds are being sought to carry out the project.


The structure is on the National Register of Historic Places and an assessment had to be carried out to determine if the building is salvageable or if it is better to tear the whole thing down and rebuild it from the ground up.


Because of its designation as a historic site, the American Samoa Historic Preservation Office (ASHPO) takes a special interest and steps in to conduct restoration work - and seek funding (when necessary).


Local company Designer Plus, owned by Epenesa Jennings, conducted an  assessment of the building and according to Historical Preservation Officer David Herdrich, restoring the building is possible, at a price tag of about $2.7 million.


He added that the estimated cost to completely demolish the structure and build a new one amounts to $4.5 million so obviously, it is much cheaper to restore it.


Herdrich said they are currently looking for possible funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in addition to putting the project on the list for CIP (Capital Improvement Project) funding.


Last month, the Office of Public Information (KVZK-TV) celebrated its 50th anniversary.


OPI Director Fagafaga Daniel Langkilde told the Samoa News in an initial interview that staff members, including all the equipment, will relocate to a temporary site once the Dept. of Public Works submits a plan that is approved by the Project Notification and Review System (PNRS). From there, construction will begin.


Fagafaga explained that a temporary building will be erected behind the Fale Laumei, which will house the technical staff and all the equipment needed for the operations of the government owned television station.


The rest of the office staff will be housed in the north wing of the Governor H. Rex Lee Auditorium.


KVZK-TV was the first television station in the Pacific Islands outside of Australia and New Zealand during a time when it was hard to recruit qualified teachers to work in the territory.


H. Rex Lee, who was governor then, brought educational television here and with the support of Ohio Congressman Michael J. Kirwan, KVZK-TV became a reality. (The official name of the KVZK-TV building is the Michael J. Kirwan Educational Television Center).


Currently, everything on the KVZK-TV building is original except for the roof, which was replaced by FEMA after a hurricane.


Herdrich said the current state of the TV station is a result of many years of neglect.