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We are back. Thank you for your patience, Samoa!

Everyone has a bad day at the office, that’s a given in this life regardless of what it is you do.Here at the Samoa Observer News Group headquarters at Vaitele, that day was Thursday morning this week. This is why we were unable to provide you, our dearest readers, advertisers and all our business partners, with your printed copy of the Samoa Observer on Thursday and Friday.Such an occurrence is a rarity in the history of this 40-year-old publication but then now and then, some things don’t always go according to plan. Which is precisely what happened. Let me explain.You see, in the life of a daily newspaper, the operation is a never-ending circle, a 24-hour job cycle where people are constantly working. So having prepared Thursday’s edition, most staff members had gone home for the night except for Production Manager, Shane Ash, and his team who were working to print the paper.They had gotten through the first couple of runs when trouble struck. Due to the unstable and fluctuating level of electricity, the DC Drive responsible for moving the motor to run the press was damaged. It happened at 1.30 Thursday morning and at that time, help was not easy to find.But Mr. Ash was determined so he contacted the Publisher to notify her of the problem and our local electrical technician, Terry Bennett, immediately. It turned out that the issue was a lot bigger than suspected so the decision was made to wait until the morning to see if the problem could firstly be fixed and secondly whether it could be done so locally.Mr. Bennett did his best. Unfortunately the problem could not be solved. While Mr. Bennett was working away, Mr. Ash had already been on the phone with Brandon Whitley, of Webco NZ Ltd, based in Tauranga. Webco installed and services the Samoa Observer’s press regularly.Mr. Whitley couldn’t help with the electrical fault but he knew someone who could. That man was Greg Lovett, the Manager of Drives and Control NZ Ltd, based in Auckland. Still a solution was far from sight.You see, electrical motor speeds are not only expensive, the worst part, especially when you are desperate, is that they are not always easy to come by on short notice.Mr. Lovett used his contacts in New Zealand but there was none available. He persisted elsewhere and finally found one but it was in Sydney Australia, which presented another challenge. Mr. Lovett needed to quickly organise transporting the part to Auckland, all this in the space of a day. Thankfully that was done.Hours after the part landed in Auckland, Mr. Lovett and his lovely wife, Alison were on their way to Samoa to help the Samoa Observer printing press move again.The flight touched down at Faleolo International Airport at 9pm and about an hour later, Mr. Lovett and Mr. Ash were at Vaitele working away on the problem.At about 2.30am on Saturday, the press was finally churning again so that the Weekend Observer was completely printed by 7am yesterday.We all took a collective sigh of relief. Two days without being able to deliver you with your printed copy of the Samoa Observer felt like forever.The only consolation is that in this day and age, the availability of internet technology meant we were still able to serve our online readers in Samoa and across the globe with all the news and updates from the biggest stories for those two days on www.samoaobserver.ws and our social media platforms.The decision was also made to suspend our pay wall for all our online content until the press was running again.The good news today is that we are back with your print edition. The pay wall will also remain suspended until tomorrow.So we want to take this opportunity to firstly thank you, our dear readers, advertisers and business partners for being patient with us while we tried to rectify the problem. We appreciate all the well wishes, messages of support and prayers.We also take this opportunity express our regrets for the inconvenience the problem might have caused. You see we live and we learn. We can definitely say that this has taught us many lessons we have taken on board to ensure we continue to provide you our dear readers with the best newspaper in Samoa.At this point, we again want to acknowledge with gratitude Terry Bennett, Brandon Whitley, of Webco, Greg Lovett and Alison of Drives and Control NZ Ltd and everyone who assisted and prayed for us along the way.Thank you. We wish you a wonderful and restful Sunday, God bless!

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Street Talk

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What should be the minimum wage for workers?

I am now an unemployed person but working back in the days enabled me to see how you work hard for less. Back then we used to have only about $1.00 tala or some cents added to it as our minimum wage and it was okay. I guess back then everything was very cheap and affordable and we couldn't ask for more. But with the rise in the standard of living today, I know how it feels to not earn enough, I think the current minimum wage is not enough for families to feed themselves. I have children who work too and I feel sorry for them with the minimum wage that Samoa has. I think it's time to raise the minimum wage to say $5.00 an hour or even more. That's what I think.Given how expensive things are right now, I don't think the gap between $2.00 and $4.90 per hour is enough for the people to earn from a whole week of struggling to find food to put on the table. Everyone knows how living as a Samoan is and living in Samoa. It's not easy but if we give it our all and try to think about our children, who are running around the country to work their minds off in ministries and companies and wherever they work, then we will know how hard it is to earn that less. I think $5.00 should be the minimum wage by now or even more because I have seen that we are getting a lot of blessings from overseas countries. Where are all these blessings going to? Let's reconsider and this is to the Government or whoever is handling minimum wage.Increasing the minimum wage is something the country should consider. When I remember what the wage is per hour then that's where the frown comes in. Me or even my fellow taxi drivers do not deserve that kind of minimum wage, given how hard we're working under the sun trying to look for passengers. We all know that life is getting more and more expensive, but if we are surviving with this kind of wage then we are not on the right track. Maybe $3.50 or $5.00 or even more would at least be enough.Life right now is very much expensive. For example, me as a resident and an employer, who comes all the way from Mulifanua to Apia for work. The cost for the bus fare is $4.00 for one way and if I travel to and from Apia everyday for work and my payment a week is say $100 or $150. To be honest, the only money that will be left for me and my children to use, is just $80 a week or two weeks. How will that feed my children and get them to school? I prefer that the minimum wage should be increased to at least $5.00 or more so most families can feed their children and bring them to school without any worries or doubts.I think people should be appreciative of the minimum wage our country can afford right now. Our people need to support what our leaders are doing to run our country. If they give too much then what money will they use to run our country? I prefer that whatever minimum wage we have right now is enough to raise our families, especially our children.

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Letter to Editor

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U.S. Ambassador tries but no one is fooled

The photo in Wednesday’s Samoa Observer of the American Ambassador and his good lady with Imam Laulu Mohammed Stanley is very touching. Such fake empathy and compassion! If Ambassador Brown is truly sympathetic about what happened to the Muslim community in Christchurch, why not do something real like telling his boss in the White House and his former employers at Fox News to stop demonizing the Muslims with lies and fake news? And while you’re at it by the way, do the same with the evangelical so-called Christians of America.Because when you have such power over how people think and behave, you can’t go on preaching hate against other peoples and then not expect your followers and admirers somewhere to act on it. Words have consequences, the more so when they come from leaders. And what good is wearing a hijab in Samoa other than to take people here for fools, and to copycat the incomparable Ms. Ardern? The big difference is that Ms. Ardern wore the signature Muslim women dress with panache, compassion and most importantly sincerity. The whole world saw that in her, and with the exception of you know where, applauded. She also backed it up immediately afterwards with concrete action.  So please don’t add insult to injury and desecrate the hijab.  Your current employer in the White House and former employer at Fake News continue to empower killers like what’s his name in the Christchurch massacre. Wearing the hijab at this time is nothing but hypocrisy of the highest order and fools no one here. E le valea uma ValeGasa Lefa T. Vailima

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