Cruz to Bordallo: return your award
Monday, 01 February 2010 03:36
by Therese Hart | Variety News Staff
VICE speaker BJ Cruz, during a town hall meeting hosted by Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo over the weekend at the University of Guam, reiterated his opposition to the dredging in Apra Harbor for the berthing of the two U.S. carriers.
Cruz said one inch of dredging is not enough to determine if there are radioactive materials in the area.
The vice speaker said Bordallo’s silence on the dredging issue is “deafening.”
In June last year, Bordallo was honored with the 2009 Leadership Award by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation in recognition of her tireless commitment and strong leadership to help protect and preserve the nation’s ocean and coastal resources.
“The stewardship of our ocean is a responsibility that each of us must bear. I will continue my work in Congress to protect our ocean and marine life,” Bordallo said after the dinner awards.
But Cruz was not impressed.
"Your deafening silence in not speaking out about the dredging of the coral. It's not only disturbing, it is unconscionable," he told Bordallo. "And you won an award last year for this. You probably need to return the award."
Bordallo said residents will have the opportunity to respond to the final environmental impact statement, 30 days after its public release. Bordallo did not know when the final environmental statement will be finalized.
Bordallo began her town hall meetings Saturday in Tamuning, Yigo and UOG. Two other meetings were held yesterday in Agat and Piti, where residents were given another opportunity to make public comments on the draft environmental impact statement.
Residents who have been following the meetings and testifying were upset when they were told at Bordallo’s town hall meeting that if they had already spoken at one town hall meeting, they would not be given the opportunity to speak again.
Bordallo and Gov. Felix Camacho believe the military buildup is happening too fast.
Camacho wrote a letter to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus last Friday, asking him to delay the move of 8,000 Marines and their 9,000 dependents from Okinawa to Guam.
The delay in the buildup will give Guam some “breathing space” to figure out how to address the financial caveat that the local government must shoulder for the move, according to speaker Judi Won Pat.
In his letter to Mabus, the governor stated. “I believe that a request for an extension would help lessen the impact of the military buildup on Guam.”
“In fact,” he added, “during our village workshop on Jan. 20, I expressed my intention to ask the United States to consider extending their deadline for the buildup. The extension will greatly impact every area of public concern. It will lessen the pressure currently being placed on our people to accommodate a significant influx in our population.”