Sunday, October 19, 2008
In the news again -- Ron Hodges
I walked into my local Barnes and Nobles, which nicely is just across the street, and was looking at the many new offerings when this book caught my eye. I knew there had to be a Saipan section, and sure enough there is. And wouldn't you know it, the principal source on that chapter was none other than persona non grata himself Ron Hodges, who is quoted rather extensively. The overall mood captures the depressed economic state of the CNMI, but some of it, there were several sources, was a bit exaggerated with suggestions that the place is especially violent playing up the Mafia angles and suggested there are hordes of people with broken thumbs and such from gambling debts. The book does a good job of explaining the depressed pricing of Saipan real estate, and it uses the staggering difference in the cost of building the Hotel Nikko and what it just sold for, it might have been hundreds of millions less I can't recall, to illustrate the point.