Former senator Nelson wants contractor off 'his' land at Gun Beach
by Michele Catahay, KUAM News
Monday, February 11, 2008
While contractor CoreTech International is working to move its Gun Beach twin tower project in Tumon forward, it looks like more road blocks are standing in the way. At around 6 this morning, right around sunup, former senator Ted Nelson protested in front of the Gun Beach property, prompting officers from the Guam Police Department to step in.
Nelson told the contractor that they were not allowed to set foot on the property, which he says belongs to his family. "This is really something I'm going to fight all the way," said Nelson, formerly legislative speaker. "The cops are here and I want my family here on Guam and in the States [to know] that we are still fighting [for] this land. It's our property."
According to Nelson, his family owns portions of the Gun Beach lot, as well as adjacent land near the Nikko Hotel. He says the two cases are currently being heard in court.
While Nelson claims the land is his, Michael Ysrael from Tanota Partners says Nelson started his attacks back in 2002 and continues to challenge the ownership of the property through this day, even after the cases have already been dismissed. Ysrael currently owns a lot in that same area, saying, "To date, we've had three different lawsuits involving different types of issues. All three judges have ruled effectively that the land is owned by what the Government of Guam says the land owns: the Nikko owns their land, we own our land, and Mr. Ho owns his land."
Added Ysrael, "Mr. Nelson, he doesn't file any lawsuits. What he does, is he causes a problem and forces us to go to court to put out the fire essentially."
Meanwhile, CoreTech CEO Ho Eun says this incident creates another setback for the project. This comes at a time when the contractor has recently obtained a clearing permit from the Department of Land Management in order for the Department of Agriculture and archeological firm PHRI to get involved. "He can stop us, as long as he has court order or proper documents that show that this is his property then we'll respect his opinion. At this point I really hope that he can stop doing these things so we can really start working on it, please," Eun said.
And it seems like there's more to the story as CoreTech had discovered that over the weekend that vandalism had occurred at the site. Tires on a backhoe had been slashed and likewise tampered with was the site where archeologists have found ancient remains, including human bone and pottery.
According to field archeologist for PHRI Dee Cruz, vandals ripped off the tarp and desecrated the area. She shared, "It's very hard to come back. It makes me sad. All the history that has been here, has been destroyed and we have to go back and re-salvage everything and see what's missing from here...we're talking about human beings - they're coming here and trampling, looking for information, that's not how you go about it. I'm here to collect the information."