Sunday, December 26, 2010

Lawmakers blast Senate for war claims removal

by Sabrina Salas Matanane from

Guam - Here at home the actions of the United States Senate led to an emotional final session of the 30th Guam Legislature, as lawmakers in their final remarks expressed their dissatisfaction with what happened an ocean away.

The final session of the 30th Guam Legislature was filled with frustration - one by one lawmakers in their final remarks blasting what happened in the nation's capitol. Committee chair on the Guam Military Buildup Senator Judi Guthertz said, "We need a unified position on this and a statement of frankly dissatisfaction with the members of the Senate that allowed this to happen and I would also like to get an explanation from our congresswoman to share with us and tell us what happened."

Another shot, albeit a compromise version for war reparations, failed again in Congress. Senator Ben Pangelinan said the Senate's action in removing the war reparations provision from the National Defense Bill is typical of the relationship Guam has with the United States.

"When it's something they need from us, then we are part of the family, but when it comes time to make your child support payment in this case, they don't want to give us a blank check, they don't want to give us a check," he said.

Senator Pangelinan says the Senate's action has emboldened him to renew the fight for self-determination. Sentiments echoed in his final comments as a senator, Governor-elect Eddie Calvo saying we have no full representation, that we are a colony and that Guam always seems to be in the short end.

Calvo added, "It is my commitment as governor that I will push for the Commission on Decolonization. I will work with my colleagues in the Guam First Commission and we will work collaboratively to getting ultimate political self-determination for our people and we will use these very dynamic times and we will leverage the importance of the united states has in regards to this island to the best benefits of our people."

Senators in the meantime during their final session passed 21 bills last night.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Okinawa wants all 12K Marines out


A VISITING delegation from the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly says their government wants all of the 12,000 U.S. Marines out

File Photo

of the Japanese island, not just the estimated 8,600, who are scheduled to be moved to Guam starting 2012.

The delegation, led by Tetsuji Shinagaki of the Liberal Democratic Party, also told incumbent Speaker Judi Won Pat and other Guam lawmakers, Okinawa wants the Futenma Air Base removed from their island as opposed to relocating it to Camp Nago.

They also clarified that there is no truth to the story that came out in a Saipan newspaper that Okinawa would pay the U.S. to relocate some 4,000 more U.S. Marines to Tinian.

The delegation said that kind of decision is between the U.S. and Japanese governments and they are not aware of any decision being made, but Saipan leaders brought up the discussion.

The delegation said the Okinawa assembly passed a resolution urging Japan and the United States to modify their realignment of forces agreement so that the other Marines would also be relocated to Guam.

The delegation, which is scheduled to leave today, said newly-elected Okinawa Gov. Hirozaku Nakaima, stands and agrees on the same issues as the assembly.

The delegation reiterated that Okinawa makes up 0.6% of Japan’s territory but hosts 75 percent of U.S. military bases.

Okinawans have complained for decades about the unfair and unequal footprint left by the U.S.

The US military forces control 40 percent of Okinawan airspace and 29 ports.

The Okinawan delegation, all members of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, include the following: Tetsuji Shinagaki (Liberal Democratic Party); Kosuke Gushi (LDP); Masatoshi Onaga (LDP); Isho Urasaki (LDP); Hikaru Minei (LDP); Hiroko Tsujino (LDP); Zakimi Kazuyuki (LDP); Yoshihiko Yoshimoto (LDP); Sachio Kuwae (LDP); Kyoki Nakagawa (LDP); Dai Shimabukuro (LDP); Tomonori Itosu (New Komeito).

Nader: I am Looking for Someone to Challenge Obama in 2012

By Elise Viebeck from Commondreams. org

Perennial third-party candidate Ralph Nader predicted on Wednesday that President Obama's tax deal with Republicans will earn him a primary challenge in 2012.

[Consumer advocate, author, and Presidential candidate Ralph Nader in this file photo. Nader had harsh words for the president's approach to politics: "He has no fixed principles. He's opportunistic — he goes for expedience, like Clinton." (NBC News)]Consumer advocate, author, and Presidential candidate Ralph Nader in this file photo. Nader had harsh words for the president's approach to politics: "He has no fixed principles. He's opportunistic — he goes for expedience, like Clinton." (NBC News)
Though he wouldn't rule out another presidential campaign himself, Nader, 76, said he hoped a new face would take up the progressive cause.

"I'm not foreclosing the possibility ... There are just other things to do," he said in an interview. "And it's time for someone else to continue. I've done it so many times. When I go around the country, I'm telling people they need to find somebody."

Nader, a consumer advocate, described the immense procedural difficulty - the "obstructions and litigations" - of appearing on the ballot in every state as a third-party candidate. He ran under the Green Party banner in 1996 and 2000 and as an independent in 2004 and 2008, and earned less than 3 percent of the overall vote each time.

He said Obama's decision to allow tax-cut extensions for the wealthy in the lame-duck deal betrays the progressives who supported his campaign in 2008 and called the president a "con man."

"There will be a primary," Nader said. "Just a question of how prominent a person [will run against Obama]. This deal is the last straw."

"Obama's position has been that the liberal, progressive wing has nowhere to go, therefore they can't turn their back on the administration. But a challenge will hold his feet to the fire and signal that we do have somewhere to go."

The tax deal, a blow to progressives, has prompted media speculation about such a challenge, although no names have been aired. Outgoing Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), one of the chamber's most reliably liberal voices, has said he's not interested.

"He [Obama] keeps one step away from the liberal progressive grasp," Nader said, describing the mood among on the left. "He's always just one step ahead from them grabbing his neck."

Nader had harsh words for the president's approach to politics: "He has no fixed principles. He's opportunistic - he goes for expedience, like Clinton. Some call him temperamentally conflict-averse. If you want to be harsher, you say he has no prlnciples and he's opportunistic."

"He's a con man. I have no use for him," Nader said.

In the 2000 election, Nader was criticized for contributing to Al Gore's defeat by taking votes from the left. He said then and again on Wednesday that the progressive agenda must be on the national ballot every four years.

"These are majoritarian positions. The polling shows that. Living wage, single payer, cracking down on corporate crime. ... It's time for someone to continue this."

Phillips intervenes in ancestral lands lawsuit

by Lannie Walker from

Guam - A hearing on a lawsuit brought against the Ancestral Lands Commission was postponed today in Superior Court. Attorney Curtis Van De Veld filed a class action lawsuit in July, claiming a public law that allows the transfer of ancestral properties at the former Federal Aviation Administration site and Marbo land to Tiyan landowners is inorganic.

Van De Veld was able to get a retraining order enforced against the ALC prohibiting it from issuing deeds to the land. Just this week Attorney Mike Phillips filed a motion to intervene on behalf of the Tiyan , including Benny Crawford, who said, "If you read his filing the law is legal there is nothing unconstitutional on it what was done is fair."

Van De Veld say he does not believe Phillips has an interest in the case as Assistant Attorney General William Bishcoff already represents the Ancestral Lands Commission. The status conference before Judge Arthur Barcinas to determine a schedule for the case was moved to January 7 of next year.

Monday, December 06, 2010

WWII survivors share stories at Dec. 8 Mass


On the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Guam during World War II, four local war survivors will speak during a storytelling session at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica Museum in Hagåtña.

The session will begin Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. after Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica. Three of the four survivors spoke with the Pacific Daily News yesterday about their own unique experiences of life before, during and after the Japanese occupations.

Seventy-four-year-old Rita Cruz was five years old and in church when she first heard the bombings from Japanese naval ships off the coast of Guam on Dec. 8, 1941. At first, she thought it was thunder, but it wasn't until she was hit by a rock launched from a nearby blast that she knew it wasn't. As blasts shook the ground around her, Cruz's mother covered her and her sister closely, and told them to hang in there and keep very still.

Cruz recounts when she heard about the Japanese forces landing in Talofofo Bay and seeing the ships floating in the distance.

"My mother packed whatever stuff we had, first of all the food, and then we went into hiding," she said.

The family met up with several other families and lived by a river deep in the southern jungle, away from the Japanese forces who were settling in near the coast. Inevitably, they were found and made to work in the fields to support the Japanese military.

Once the Japanese forces were settled on the island Cruz began attending school taught by Saipanese teachers, who, at the time, were Japanese citizens. She recalls a time when she and classmates were forced outside to watch her mother be beaten by Saipanese men for refusing to bow her head to Japanese soldiers.

At five years old, Gloria Nelson, now 75, lived next to the Cathedral-Basilica and remembers the first notion of the war as the Cathedral bells warned of a impending attack.

"As a five-year-old, how much can you comprehend really?" she asked. "Other than what came from the elders."

As the bombings began in the southern part of the island, Nelson's family and many others gathered their belongings and trekked to Mongmong.

It was a different experience for Nelson who had ample time to evacuate into the jungle with what they could carry. But, soon enough, the food began to dwindle and she began to hear of the tribulations of war.

"When I started feeling something was wrong, as a young girl, was when a message came to us that my uncle was sent to prison in Japan," she said.

For Joaquin Flores Lujan, now 90, there wasn't much talk about the possibility of war, instead just warnings to stay alert. Lujan, 21 years old at the time, was a blacksmith who worked as a welder in a Navy machine shop. He remembers the first time he heard the Japanese airplanes soaring over the island and news of the bombings in the south.

During the Japanese occupation, Lujan's family befriended a Japanese general. The general often came to visit the family. Throughout the war, Lujan's family was allowed to continue working in their trade.

As the American forces made their attempts to retake the island, the Japanese general was killed and the protection ceased.

"I remember I was arrested by a Saipan man," he said. "I was brought out to a house where my uncle lived and they started to beat me with a baseball bat and used bamboo on my legs. Of course, back then, I was a young man and strong, so at that time, I carried the burden."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lawsuit filed over Pagat

by Mindy Aguon from

Guam - The Department of Defense is being taken to court over a decision to use an area of land adjacent to the historic and culturally-rich village of Pagat for a firing range complex for U.S. Marines. The litigation looks to force the DoD to comply with federal laws.

"We did not want to get to this stage," Attorney Nicholas Yost said. "We've had many, many meetings and consultations."

Referring to it as their last resort, the Guam Historic Preservation Trust and We Are Guahan joined in a lawsuit with the National Trust for Historic Preservation filed against the Department of Defense. The lawsuit, filed in Hawaii where the environmental review process was coordinated by the Navy, challenges the military's plans to build a firing range complex adjacent to the historic village of Pagat, named one of the 11 most endangered historic sites.

Guam Historic Preservation Officer Joe Quinata said, "This action does not challenge the buildup itself. but seeks to compel the Department of Defense to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act by giving adequate consideration to alternative locations for the firing ranges, as mandated by law."

Yost, with the San Francisco-based SNR Denton, along with Matthew Adams has taken on this case pro bono as they believe the DoD has failed to comply with the NEPA and the National Historic Preservation Act by giving adequate consideration to alternative locations for the firing ranges.

"At the very minimum, what we want is for them to reopen the process honestly to examine alternatives, and those alternatives include those at Andersen Air Force Base, those on Navy property, all of which are listed in the complaint," Yost explained. "There's also other places on Guam that they have suggested that they haven't looked at all. There's also the possibility of relocating the ranges to Tinian, where indeed some firing ranges are already proposed in the environmental impact statement for the future."

As the lead drafter of the NEPA regulations, Attorney Yost is all too familiar with what the law requires of the federal government. Yost contends the DoD failed to follow the law and violated numerous regulations, adding, "They restricted their surveying of sites to sites on Defense Department land except for Pagat - that is the one exception they made to the rule. Other than that they looked at just Defense Department land."

Yost adds that the alternatives the DoD discarded including sites at the naval and Air Force bases should not have been thrown out without significant review. While the most desirable outcome of the lawsuit would be to put the firing range somewhere other than Pagat, the plaintiffs are also asking that a supplemental environmental impact statement be conducted.

We Are Guahan's Attorney Leevin Camacho believes Guam's unified stance against Pagat has helped make the difference, telling KUAM News, "Pagat is the most glaring example of how the DoD made its decision a long time ago with how the buildup was gonna proceed, and litigation is never what you want to do. I say that as a lawyer. I hope this sends a message that the people of Guam are not going to sit by, as bystanders on our own island and we're going to do whatever we can to protect our home including legal action."

National Trust for Historic Preservation's Dr. Anthea Hartig says the organization is glad to be collaborating on such a historic and meaningful event. "We do not take this kind of legal action lightly, but we feel that even though we've come to it reluctantly, we come to it with a seriousness of mission and we are here for you and we're and we're deeply honored to be there with you," she explained.

For others who call Guam home, today's announcement brought tears to their eyes. Moneka De Oro says she's grateful for the organizations standing up for the people of Guam to protect our future and resources. She added, "It is a very emotional experience. This whole buildup process has been incredibly emotional, especially because the people of Guam have really been cast aside in the decision making processes, so it's very emotional for us to come to this point after gathering our community together after negotiating with the DoD in many different ways, and them not listening to us and to have to come to this. It's very emotional."

United States District Court Judge David Ezra has been assigned the case and a scheduling conference is set for February 14 in Hawaii.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dear Jon, Sane People Protest Crazy Wars

by Medea Benjamin from

When Jon Stewart was on Larry King's show talking about his Rally to Restore Sanity, he likened himself to Alice in Wonderland and the rally as the Mad Hatter Tea Party. But is Jon Stewart really Alice, trying to find sanity in an upside-down world? Or is he the March Hare, the ultimate "slacktivist" who thinks it's always teatime -- time to sit back and jibberjabber?

The 10-30-10 rally on the capital's mall is looking more and more like a celebration of "slacktivism." Stewart is courting people who do not want to open their window and yell, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" As he says in the Rally for Sanity website, he's looking for the people who've been "too busy to go to rallies, who actually have lives and families and jobs (or are looking for jobs)."

So let's get this straight: people who were so horrified when the U.S. invaded Iraq that they joined millions of others to protest are not sane? We shouldn't speak out against Wall Street bankers whose greed led to millions of Americans losing their jobs and homes? It's irrational to be angry when you see the Gulf of Mexico covered in oil because BP cut corners on safety? Don't get upset when the Supreme Court rules that corporations are people and can pour unlimited funds into our elections?

Stewart often roasts the warmakers and corporate fatcats on his show, but he seems to think that his viewers should be content to take out their frustrations with a good belly laugh.

When Jon Stewart announced the Rally to Restore Sanity, he included CODEPINK among the "loud folks" getting in the way of civil discourse. He also equated progressives calling George Bush a war criminal with right-wingers calling Obama Hitler.

So we started a facebook page asking Jon Stewart to invite us on the show to set the record straight. Beware of what you ask for. We did, indeed, get a call from the producers but it was not for a live interview with Jon Stewart. No, it was for a taped session with myself, a Tea Party organizer and a tear-gas dodging, anti-globalization anarchist "giving advice" to Daily Show's Samantha Bee about how to organize a good rally. It was clear they wanted to portray us as the crazy folks who should not come to their rally for reasonableness.

I consulted with my CODEPINK colleagues. Some said, "Don't do it. It's a trap and will only further marginalize us." We'd already been ridiculed several times on the show, like when we stood up to question General Petraeus at a Congressional hearing or when we organized protests at the Marine Recruiting Center in Berkeley. But the majority of my colleagues thought it would be crazy to decline the chance to get an anti-war message out to millions of viewers.

The producers told us to come to the New York studio "in costume." The anarchist, Legba Carrefour, was all in black, including a black bandanna covering his face. The Tea Partier, Jeffrey Weingarten, came in patriotic red, white and blue. I decided to "go professional," with a CODEPINK t-shirt and a gray suit. The producers were disappointed. They had wanted me to appear in one of the wild outfits we have worn in Congress -- like a hand-lettered pink slip accessorized with a hot-pink boa and a glittery "no war" tiara.

But my attempt to look professional was thwarted by the fourth guest who suddenly appeared and was positioned right behind me: A huge, scary puppet head of Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

So there we were, four "crazies" being quizzed by Samantha Bee for over two hours. She started out with softballs -- what did we stand for, what activities did we engage in. Then the questions and the antics got sillier and sillier. By the end we found ourselves spinning a blind-folded Samantha Bee around, then watching her swing a baseball bat at Ahmadinejad's head to see if it was really a pinata.

I'm sure that with over two hours of tape, there will be plenty of footage to turn into a four-minute segment showing us as a bunch of nutcases. After all, it is a comedy show.

But it's too bad that Jon Stewart, the liberal comedian, is putting anti-war activists, tea partiers and black bloc anarchists in the same bag. And it's sad that he's telling his audience -- many of whom are young progressive thinkers -- that activism is crazy.

An anonymous assistant on the Daily Show's blog chastized CODEPINK on line. "Dipping hands in fake blood or screaming over everyone just makes you look crazy and then the rest of the country ignores you." He said that we should, instead, focus on solutions.

CODEPINK has been proposing solutions since the day we started. We risked our lives meeting with UN weapons inspectors in Iraq right before the U.S. invaded to see if war could be avoided. We have repeatedly traveled to Afghanistan to push for reconciliation. For the past eight years we have been posing solutions about how to deal with terrorism, how to extricate ourselves from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, how to make us safer at home. Whether under Bush or Obama, our voices of sanity have been drowned out by a war machine that makes billions selling weapons and hiring mercenaries.

Meanwhile, we've witnessed the agony of mothers who have lost their sons in these senseless wars, the unspeakable suffering of our friends in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the lavish spending on war while our schools and hospitals are gutted.

It was because of this insanity that we began to interrupt the war criminals during their public appearances, shouting -- yes, shouting -- for an end to the madness. It was because of this insanity that we put fake blood on our hands to represent the hundreds of thousands of innocents who died as result of their lies. In our post-9/11 24/7 news cycle, we learned that the more audacious and outrageous the action, the more likely we were to get our anti-war message into the national conversation.

For this the Daily Show calls us crazy!

Don't get me wrong. CODEPINK women love to laugh and we try not to take ourselves too seriously. But we do feel that it's the sane people who protest crazy wars, who cry out against the dangers of global warming, who rail against big money in politics, who implore our politicians to spend our resources rebuilding America, not bombing people overseas.

So let's celebrate the people who walk the talk. Slacktivism did not end slavery, activism did. Slacktivism did not get women our rights. Activism did. Slacktivism won't end war or global warming. But activism just might.

Jon Stewart says he wants to restore sanity to Washington; so do we. We'll see you out on the mall, Jon.

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of CODEPINK and Global Exchange. CODEPINK will be organizing a Mad Hatter Tea Party at the Rally to Restore Sanity. To join, click here. Her "interview" with Samantha Bee will be aired on the Daily Show on Thursda

Clinton makes brief visit to Guam


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood in front of a star-spangled backdrop yesterday and told hundreds of military troops that their crucial role in the Pacific is growing.

Clinton, who embarked on a two-week tour through Asia, stopped on Guam briefly yesterday afternoon and gave an address at Andersen Air Force Base. About 400 service members from the various military branches packed into the Global Hawk hangar to hear her speak.

To begin, Clinton called on each branch to make some noise.

"I can barely hear you all," she taunted, with her hand cupped at her ear. "Who's here from the Navy?"

In response, a mass of sailors in blue and brown camouflage stood up and roared. Next to them, at least 200 airmen sat silent, waiting for their turn to roar back.

"All right. And what about the Marines?" Clinton asked.

One woman in the middle of the crowd stood up with a "oorah," then peered around and realized she was alone.

"Well, I don't think you'll be lonely for too long," Clinton said, smiling and laughing.

So there it was, even when the Secretary of State was rallying troops and joking around, the footsteps of fast-approaching military buildup were inescapable.

The buildup will transfer about 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam, and that shift is expected to trigger a total growth of about 41,000 people to Guam by 2016, and about 14,000 by next year, so the population boom alone has the power to reshape the island. So do the billions of dollars of buildup funds headed to Guam.

Before she spoke yesterday, Clinton met with Gov. Felix Camacho, Lt. Gov. Mike Cruz, Speaker Judith Won Pat and Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz, each of whom brought concerns about the buildup to the table. Won Pat presented a legislative resolution that details senators' concerns with the buildup process.

During the speech yesterday, Clinton didn't talk much about the buildup directly, but she spoke about the general increase in federal government activity and energy on this half of the globe. This is her sixth trip to the Asia-Pacific region as secretary of State, she said, since this region is "the center of much of the change and challenges of the 21st century."

"We are engaging ever more actively in this region," Clinton said. "With our allies, our partners, with emerging powers, with institutions that are being built in order to keep the peace, advance prosperity and stability."

Clinton added later in her speech that one of the goals of the President Obama's administration was to "re-assert" the American presence in Asia.

"You can see we are paying a lot of attention to what's going on in the Asia-Pacific region because the United States is both an Atlantic and a Pacific power ... Everywhere I travel on your behalf, I hear from leaders and citizens alike that they are glad America is back."

From Guam, Clinton will head to Vietnam, where she said the United States is building relationships that were "unthinkable" only a decade ago.

Buildup Talks

Journalists were not permitted to interview Clinton during her time on Guam, but Camacho made himself available for interview when her speech was done.

Camacho said he spoke with Clinton for about 15 minutes and most of the discussion was spent on buildup concerns and Japan politics. The Japanese government is helping to pay for the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to ease the presence of military troops in Japan.

A gubernatorial election in Okinawa could potentially alter the current path of the buildup, Camacho said.

The governor said Clinton told him she believed Okinawa would stay "on the right track."

Guam and Okinawa share many of the same buildup concerns -- such as the construction of a new military base -- Camacho said, and what happens in Okinawa has a direct impact on what happens here.

"She said, you know, that they were in discussions with the leadership -- the prime minister of Japan -- with regards to this, and there is a commitment to move forward," Camacho said. "But there is a bit of a conflict, in that, on the one hand, they recognize the concerns of the Okinawan people and the nation of Japan with regards to the building of additional military bases. On the other hand, they recognize the value and the need for America to remain as a resident power in this part of the world, as a deterrent to aggressive neighbors. It's conflicting, and they are caught somewhere in the middle."


Clinton spoke about one of those neighbors, China, during a speech in Hawaii on Thursday, before she flew to Guam.

In Hawaii, she said the military would remain "forward deployed" in this region, and urged China to work with the United States instead of against it.

"It is not in anyone's best interest for the United States and China to see each other as adversaries," she said.

Yesterday, Camacho said he also spoke to Clinton about a visa waiver program for Guam, which could allow tourists from China to infuse more tourism dollars into the local economy.

If a visa waiver wasn't possible, at least a "Marianas-only waiver" should be considered.

"Japan is a declining market ... and we see China as a growth market," Camacho said.

The governor said Clinton said the idea of a "Marianas-only waiver" was interesting, but she made no promises.

Great Debate saw final election push

by Sabrina Salas Matanane from

Guam - The final showdown between the two gubernatorial teams was much more structured and organized than their verbal scrap held the night before at the Hyatt and hosted by the Guam Medical Association.

University of Guam Field House was packed with supporters from both camps. They were asked a total of 18 questions. In his opening statements former Governor Carl T.C. Gutierrez talked about his experience and how the stakes are high with the military buildup. He added that the Guam needed a seasoned leader, someone with experience in crisis management and a leader than can pull the community together. His opponent Senator Eddie Baza Calvo began by thanking his supporters. The republican candidate for governor then began to attack his opponent's record reminding them about the Gutierrez Administration when there was "hanom taki", a 38% graduation rate for high school students and 10,000 people who were unemployed. Calvo's running-mate Senator Ray Tenorio then began to speak saying this election is about "character not charm".

When asked "If you are elected, how will your administration address critical issues and concerns in public K-12 education?" Gutierrez responded that he will work the Bureau of Budget Management and Research to ensure the Department of Education receives its timely allotments. Senator Calvo however reminded the public that Gutierrez transferred $2 million out of education when he came into office.

When asked "How will our administration work to preserve Guam's culture?' Calvo responded saying he would spend more money on the Department of Education to promote the Chamorro culture in school. He added that he would support the construction of a Chamorro museum, Gef Pago and the Hurao Academy. Calvo added that he would also work with village mayors to maintain their unique identity and would work to revitalize Hagatna. Democrat Gutierrez said "Language is the umbilical chord of our culture".

When asked "How will your administration work with these agencies or other stakeholders to improve law enforcement on Guam?" Gutierrez started by referring to public law that mandates law enforcement officers receive their 10% increments over the next four years. Gutierrez said he will work to make sure they get their necessary raises. The democrat gubernatorial candidate also said that if elected he would pull together Guam's law enforcement and the military's to be part of "community policing". Gutierrez also talked about how under his administration streetlights were put up for safety reasons but it was this administration that took them down. Republican Calvo responded by calling Gutierrez out, saying that when he was Governor he increased the number of police officers to watch him, that under his administration there was a record number of rapes and murders. Calvo said if elected "there will be more police officers". He added that he would work to improve technology, communication and interconnectivity with law enforcement. He added that he supports more neighborhood patrol programs and would open more police kobans.

During the set of questions for candidates for Lt. Governor, the first question posed was "if elected, how will your leadership team improve and support adult and higher education on Guam?" Senator Frank Aguon Jr, approached the podium with a copy of their policy platform, ASAP Guam". Holding it in the air Aguon said they will work collectively and collaboratively with the University of Guam and the Guam Community College to make sure they identify the opportunities and challenges to get good job for families. In Senator Ray Tenorio's response he said "he showed you a book, our platform is n our heart". Calvo added that under a Calvo Tenorio administration they will create new scholarships among other things. He added that Calvo helped put together the apprenticeship program and that together if elected they will help everyone, not a few.

When asked "How will your administration manage our precious lands and work with landowners?" Tenorio said their plan first would say Pagat is not sale. He added that they will protect Pagat and that the Department of Defense should stay within its existing blueprint. Senator Aguon talked about the Chamorro Land Trust Commission and that under a Gutierrez Aguon administration it would be a priority to ensure those properties are immediately surveyed.

When asked "How will your administration work to reduce crime?" Aguon responded by saying they would work with village mayors and law enforcement agencies to recognize what law enforcement heads have to do for the buildup. He added they would partner with military security forces to be part of the community. Senator Tenorio said you will have a Lt. Governor who was a cop. He added that former Governor Carl Gutierrez had more police officers protecting him than on the streets. He also responded to Gutierrez' earlier statements about streetlights, saying their were "chandeliers in Agana Heights". Tenorio ended saying more cops means more safety.

When asked "How will your administration improve Guam's economy and provide for long term growth?" Calvo started by referring to Gutierrez record as Governor saying unemployment was at 15% and how 10,000 people were unemployed. Calvo added that under his administration they will take advantage of the buildup and implement the classroom to careers initiative. He said he will go to the Department of Education, University of Guam and the Guam Community College and ask them to build a curriculum so that our young people can take advantage of the new economy. Gutierrez responded to the question saying we need to get more Visa Waiver programs for Guam and work with the airlines. He says if you bring in more tourists it's guaranteed the economy will get better.

When asked "what will your administration do to improve Guam-Federal relations?' Gutierrez started by saying when he was Governor he doesn't believe any one had a better relationship, referring to how he was able to bring former President Bill Clinton to Guam. He said that we have been ignored in Washington D.C. and do not have a face there. He says its not Bordallo's job, he said it's the Governor of Guam's job to network," This face will be the face of Guam in the federal government," Gutierrez said. In response Senator Calvo said "his face is so great the federal government took their kids out of public school." Calvo added that he's friends with Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo and would work with her.

When asked "how will your administration work to improve Guam's utilities?" Calvo was first to respond and again referred to when Gutierrez was Governor when GWA had "hanom taki". Calvo said children were drinking water that could kill them. The republican candidate then said under the Consolidated Commission on Utilities there has been vast improvements and that he would work with them and the federal government. He made reference to his bi-partisan trip to the nation's capitol and said that with the help of Congresswoman Bordallo they were able to secure millions in federal money for infrastructure improvements outside the fence. Gutierrez said that he would work with the legislature to allow the Governor to be able to appoint some of the members to the CCU. He also said he recalled when he was Governor that the Guam Environmental Protection Agency shutdown Tropicool which was run by Pepsi. He said while he was trying to fix hanom taki you were selling it to the people.

It was once again turn for the candidates to Lieutenant Governor to be asked questions. When asked "How will your administration work to improve relations with the judiciary?" Senator Aguon said his running mate knows almost everyone in the court by now despite detractors that have tried to take him down he stands here innocent. Aguon then said they need to provide more resources and expand the northern satellite court among other things. Tenorio said that the reason people in the court may know him is because of the number of times he's been indicted and the number of times his agency heads have been indicted. Tenorio added that they need to get the judiciary their resources and bring people and government officials to justice.

When asked "How will your administration work with the Guam legislature?" Calvo was first to answer and asked the crowd at the UOG Field House "How many democrats are here for Calvo Tenorio?", He followed up "I love both sides… that's so important to work with consensus." The republican candidate for governor said he will work with Delegate Bordallo and all sectors of the community he added that during his first week he will meet with the Legislature both minority and majority. He said "Now is the time to come together." Former Governor Carl Gutierrez took the podium and said the only problem when governor was working with the Legislature but come January 1st he is ready and is already working with the Legislature. He cited how he and Senator Ben Pangelinan will work together, "there is no time for petty politics". He added that he has a great working relationship with all the democrats.

The debate ended with both teams coming together shaking hands. Residents are encouraged to read teams respective platforms. To view Gutierrez Aguon's ASAP Guam policy platform log on to To read the Calvo Tenorio team's Blueprint 2020 log to

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Clinton Will Visit Guam; Will Meet With Troops, Governor


GUAM - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will stop in Guam later this week during her travels through the Asia Pacific region. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell made the announcement in a press briefing today. While in Guam, Secretary Clinton will meet with U.S Forces and troops stationed in Guam or are moving through. She will also have a bilateral meeting with governor and also representatives from Guam there on the base, according to Assistant Secretary Campbell.

She will then depart Guam for Vietnam.

Below is the transcript from the press conference.


Office of the Spokesman

For Immediate Release October 26, 2010


On-The-Record Briefing

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell

On Secretary Clinton’s Upcoming Travel to the Asia-Pacific Region

October 26, 2010

Washington, D.C.

MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon and welcome to the Department of State. Obviously, we are very mindful of emerging tragedies in the region. Obviously, the Secretary this morning on behalf of the United States offered condolences to Burma for the damage caused in Rakhine State by Cyclone Giri and our embassy there is standing by and has already offered assistance to the Burmese Government.

And likewise, in Indonesia we are watching carefully unfolding events regarding not only the earthquake yesterday that produced a tsunami this morning, but also now the volcano that has erupted at Mount Merapi. And again, we are standing by to provide whatever assistance the Government of Indonesia may require in the coming days. And the Secretary will have these thoughts in her mind as she departs tomorrow for an extended trip to the region. And here to go through details of what the Secretary hopes to accomplish is our Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Thank you, P.J., and good – I guess it’s good afternoon. Good afternoon, everyone. If I can, let me take you through the details of this trip. It’s a very complicated and, frankly, lengthy trip. And I’ll go through all the schedule details and then I’m happy to take any questions on any of the substantive aspects of the upcoming trip.

First of all, it is Secretary Clinton’s sixth major trip to the region; seventh if you include the shorter trip that we took to Hawaii and then had to turn back for the Haiti tragedy last year. This trip has many stops and it is intended to send a strong message of U.S. engagement on a range of issues – strategic, political, multilateral. We’ll be dealing with some of the key institutions that are evolving in Asia and also economic and trade as well.

Secretary Clinton sets off tomorrow morning. Her first stop will be in Hawaii where she will have some preliminary discussions with our commanders in Hawaii – Admiral Walsh, CINCPACFLT, and Admiral Willard, our Commander of U.S. Forces in the Pacific. She will be meeting later tomorrow afternoon for a substantial intense interaction with her counterpart, Foreign Minister Maehara from Japan. At that session, we will review all aspects of our bilateral relationship, every – all the areas of coordination and consultation ranging from recent security developments to prospects on the economic and trade front. After that session which will be staged there in Honolulu, we will have a press availability – a joint press conference for the two foreign ministers.

The following day, Secretary Clinton will be giving a major address on U.S. strategy, accomplishments, and the way forward in the Asia-Pacific region. This, she will present to a collected group, a consortium of organizations that have been brought together by the East-West Center. This is her second major speech on Asia since the one that she gave in January which articulated the key features that the United States would – that would inform our strategy in terms of our multilateral approach to institutions in the Asia-Pacific region. This speech will talk about areas where we intend to focus our activities in the upcoming period, including high-level diplomacy with our allies and partners, the preparations for President Hu Jintao’s visit to Washington in the early part of 2011, steps to prepare for both the G-20 in South Korea and APEC in Japan, and also recognition that at the economic level 2011 is emerging as a very consequential, in many respects, make-or-break year for the United States.

The speech will be a few high-level visitors that the Secretary will huddle with and then we will depart Hawaii. We will stop in Guam. In Guam, the Secretary will meet with U.S. forces and troops that are stationed in Guam or are moving through. She will also have a bilateral meeting with the governor and also representatives from Guam there on the base. From there, we will proceed directly to Hanoi. In Hanoi, the Secretary will represent the President – special representative to the President – to the East Asia summit meeting that is underway. Secretary Clinton will make a presentation as a guest of the chair on October 30th.

Before that, in the morning, she will have a series of high-level bilateral meetings, including with President Lee Myung-bak, also a meeting with the new foreign minister, other high-level meetings with Russian counterparts, Indian interlocutors. And in the morning, she will have a meeting with all her counterparts on what we call the Lower Mekong Initiative, which is a collection of states that all share the Mekong River as part of its heritage. And we will discuss next steps associated with our assistance and the program for cooperation that links the Mississippi with the Mekong, two of the world’s great rivers.

From Hanoi, we will travel to Hainan Island, where Secretary Clinton will have a meeting with her counterpart in the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, State Councilor Dai Bingguo. At that session, we will review the various issues in the U.S.-China relationship, make sure that we’re making adequate preparations for both the upcoming G-20 meeting, APEC, and particularly for the session that will take place in January when Hu Jintao will visit the United States, or in early part of 2011.

From there, we will proceed to Cambodia. In Cambodia, Secretary Clinton will do a variety of stops, both to highlight civil society projects, other issues in which the United States is deeply engaged, like the Peace Corps. We will have high-level meetings with the foreign minister, with the prime minister. We will have an opportunity to review the tragedies that have befallen Cambodia in the past through the visits to the genocide museum, perhaps interactions with counterparts on the ongoing trial there about the Khmer Rouge period.

At every stop, the Secretary will highlight both political and economic interactions, a desire to promote U.S. exports and see a more forward engagement on economic matters. I should have said in Vietnam, in addition to the multilateral meetings that will be taking place. The Secretary will meet with the Vietnamese leadership about a range of issues of closer coordination between the United States and Vietnam. This follows on from the Secretary’s visit this last summer to Hanoi as part of the ASEAN Regional Forum.

From Cambodia, we will go to Malaysia – again, both these countries, the first visit for Secretary Clinton. In Malaysia, the Secretary will have an opportunity to interact with Prime Minister Najib and his key cabinet on a range of issues. Few countries have come as far in terms of our bilateral relationship as the one between the United States and Malaysia; enormous progress on a range of issues – proliferation issues, political coordination, and strategic dialogue. And I think you will see the flourishing U.S.-Malaysian relationship on full display.

From Malaysia, the Secretary will make a number of stops that we, unfortunately, had to cancel after the tragic earthquake in Haiti forced her to postpone that trip, so we will be stopping in Papua New Guinea. Obviously, Papua New Guinea is a – there’s been enormous petro finds, natural gas and the like, but there are important issues on the island of biodiversity, issues associated with the status of women, and also questions associated about how the current government plans to manage this tremendous windfall that will be coming to the people of Papua New Guinea through this massive find of petroleum and natural gas.

From Papua New Guinea, we will proceed directly to New Zealand. The Secretary, while in New Zealand, will reaffirm, really, a recommitment to a relationship that has not received as much attention over the course of the last 25 years between the United States. And Wellington –

there, we will issue the so-called Wellington Declaration which will underscore our desire to see U.S.-New Zealand relations return to a significance in terms of coordination on a range of issues – nonproliferation, politics, climate change, how we work together in the Pacific Islands. And we, of course, are very grateful for the work and support that New Zealand has provided us and other nations in Afghanistan.

From – in New Zealand, she will visit both Wellington and Christchurch and looks very much forward to interacting with Prime Minister Key. From there, we will go to Australia – Australia, our anchor of our relationship in the Pacific, underscoring strong, political, and security ties there. She will be with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for what we call our AUSMIN meetings. There, in Melbourne, she will have an opportunity to interact intensively with new Foreign Minister Rudd and also meet new Prime Minister Julia Gillard, along with Steve Smith the new defense minister for Australia, who she has worked closely with when he was foreign minister. A whole range of issues in terms of coordination on Asia-Pacific security issues, coordination on some trade-related issues, and on issues in South Asia.

On the way home, we will stop in American Samoa. And here, I just want to underscore that we often talk about stepping up our game in the Asian Pacific region. In that formulation, the A gets a lot more attention than the P, the Pacific. You will note on this particular trip that the Secretary will be stopping in three Pacific islands – American Samoa for a quick meeting there on the way home. And I must say that the Secretary and the State Department is very grateful for the encouragement and support that we’ve gotten from Congressman Faleomavaega in terms of our overall desire to increase our assistance and our overall engagement with the Pacific islands.

So as you can see, it’s a very diverse trip. It covers our engagement with the multilateral institutions of Asia that are evolving – the great important powers of Northeast Asia, high-level diplomacy with Japan, with China, with South Korea. A lot of the key emerging states in Southeast Asia where we have had, frankly, only infrequent visits in the past, the Secretary very much looking forward to those stops.

This will be the longest trip of her tenure to date. And I think with that, I’ll just open it up for any particular questions. Yeah.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Watch gubernatorial forums on KUAM-TV

by Sabrina Salas Matanane from

Guam - KUAM taped last night's Chamorro Language Forum at the University of Guam last night, likewise we are recording today's Okkodo High School Debate between both gubernatorial teams. KUAM will also be broadcasting the UOG Great Debate LIVE Thursday night, we'll start with our pre-show at 6:30 and a wrap up show after the debate is over.

You'll also be able to text in who you thought won the debate and we'll reveal the results after in our post show.

Our live broadcast will also be simulcast on our sister station Isla 63am. KUAM is planning an encore broadcast of all the debates and forums we've recorded. We will be rebroadcasting them this weekend on the stations of KUAM.

FCC complaints filed against Marianas Media

by Mindy Aguon from

Guam - Allegations of federal violations have surfaced as the Republican gubernatorial team of Eddie Calvo/Ray Tenorio has alleged a local television station hasn't made a level playing field for the election. While they've alleged the station has given free advertising to one political campaign, the company is refuting the allegations calling them baseless and without merit.

Calvo/Tenorio legal counsel Tom Fisher says Marianas Media (aka, KTKB-CW4), hasn't been playing fair. "They're not reporting the expenditures. They're not reporting the contributions. So one of the sides isn't telling the truth, quite frankly," he explained.

Fisher filed two complaints with the Federal Communications Commission alleging local television station KTKB (aka, "The CW4") owned by Marianas Media Investors, Inc. has violated federal rules and regulations. On October 8 Fisher attempted to review a political file, that was to contain detailed information on which candidates sought commercial air time on their television station, how much they were charged and when the spots aired on TV, but was told to leave.

Fisher was eventually given a copy of the company's political file and after reviewing it with the Gutierrez/Aguon Campaign Contributions/Expenditures Report, he found some discrepancies. "While the CW4 claims that they did $151,000 in airtime and production for the Gutierrez/Aguon committee, looking at the Gutierrez/Aguon, filings there is no report of an expenditure at all for that the conclusion's clear they were getting free advertising time," he stated.

Fisher says free advertising for one campaign while another must pay created a significant disadvantage that skews the election process. He stresses that this is why the FCC has such stringent rules to ensure the playing ground during election is level.

The Marianas Media political file included a contract with Gutierrez/Aguon signed on May 25 for $330,000. The agreement states that the Committee to Elect Gutierrez/Aguon 2010 would pay three installments of $110,000 each in three installments due May 30, July 15 and August 31 for television ads that ran in May through July.

KUAM News visited the CW4 offices today in Hagatna and reviewed the political file and found a second contract had been signed last week for $106,250 for more than 500 television ads to air until the General Election.

Fisher says the problem is none of the advertisements that have aired on CW4 were included in the Gutierrez/Aguon Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Report. He continued, "If CW4 did, in fact advance this then Gutierrez/Aguon should have reported it but they didn't. If there was no advancement then that was also a contribution. If the Gutierrez campaign actually paid for these advertisements then they should have put it down as an expenditure. They didn't do it."

Marianas Media Investors, Inc. issued a statement today calling the FCC complaint "baseless and malicious". Chief operating officer and executive news producer John Dela Rosa claims the complaint is part of Calvo/Tenorio's campaign attacks and Marianas Media will not give in to their longstanding tactics of fear and intimidation. He added the claims are without merit, as MMI offers no free advertising or production to any political campaign.

When asked how much Gutierrez/Aguon has paid for advertisements to CW4 and why the ads weren't included in their report to the Guam Election Commission, campaign legal counsel Randy Cunliffe responded, saying he didn't believe they'd been billed yet. "Then we have to assume that a television station did six months of political advertisement for the Gutierrez/Aguon campaign and didn't bill them at all. If you accept that as true, even if you accept that as true the Guam Election Commission and Guam law still defines that advance, that loan as a contribution.

"That contribution also had to be reported in the Gutierrez/Aguon filings and was not."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chamorro-English Children's Book Written And Illustrated On Guam

GUAM - Christine Restuvog is a mother of three who authored and published her first children's book out of her Yona home.

The Mannge' Manhoben is a children's book written in both Chamorro and English. The author ...freelance writer, Chrisine Restuvog Quinata who says this is the first English-Chamorro children's book series written and illustrated in Guam.

Quinata based the characters in the book on her own three children, Isa, Mariana and Kin. She says that her children speak more Chamorro than she does and thinks it's great because it's important that her children know their culture.

Quinta says, "The importance of the book is that we wanted it to be fun, but we wanted to make sure that the Chamorro language was in there so we can keep the Chamorro language alive."

Kids learn Chamorro because throughout the book there are Chamorro words mixed into sentences like this one..."This is my che'lu Kin, a nickname for Joaquin. Che'lu means brother or sister in Chamorro. Kin is my che'lu."

Quinata's explains her eureka moment, "Gosh, it happened a year ago and so I never really acted on it. I watch a lot of cartoons with my kids. They have really unique and dynamic shows, but nothing that really relates to my kids and their culture."

"It's also an environmentally friendly book. This is printed on recycled duplex board with soybean ink. So it's safe for the kids, safe for the environment."

Quinata says there will be more books to come where each child goes on their own adventure learning about the Chamorro culture and way of life.

The book can be purchased at Bestsellers at GPO and Micronesia Mall, The Buzz Cafe, Ben Franklin Crafts and The Piazza in Hagatna.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Who Profits from Silly Campaign Season?

by Laura Flanders from

We need another word for silly season. It's way beyond silly how some are competing in this midterm race.

In Illinois in particular, it's not been pretty in the tight fight for Barack Obama's old seat. At three different points in a recent televised debate, Democratic contender Alexi Giannoulias challenged Republican Representative Mark Kirk over his claims that he had been shot at in a plane when he was serving in Iraq. 
"The question, Congressman, is, why would you not tell the truth? Why would you make all this stuff up?" Giannoulias asked.

Actually the question is, "What, Congressman Kirk, did you do while the Illinois economy was diving off a cliff?"

According to the 2010 Report on Illinois Poverty, close to 20 percent, or 3.5 million, Illinois residents live in poverty or close to it. The poorest in the state face 1930s style unemployment rates of 27 percent.

What's Kirk's record? He voted against the Reinvestment Act, against tax cuts for the average person. He voted FOR tax cuts for the super rich, and voted six times for a loophole that rewards companies that export jobs.

While Giannoulias is no dream candidate, at least he's for reinvesting such that the state as a whole stands a chance. Kirk's for tax policies that let the super rich get ever further ahead.

Campaigns this year are likely to spend a record $3 billion on television advertising -- and more than ever it's negative. There is no way precisely to quantify it but quality we can assess: It sucks. Mudslinging may be good for ratings, but it's no way to make decisions about our shared future. Money media, however, are laughing all the way to the bank.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Port celebrates 35 years: Ceremonies, growth plans mark the year

By Shaun Bevan • Pacific Daily News • October 19, 2010

The Port Authority of Guam is celebrating its 35th anniversary by hosting weeklong celebrations that began with a flag-raising ceremony yesterday morning.

"It's a legacy-setting year for the Port itself, because this is the only opportune time that the Port is getting the financial support it needs from the Department of Defense," said Monte Mesa, the Port Authority's chairman of the board. "More importantly, the Port is earning its financial creditability for the loan by the (U.S. Department of Agriculture)."

The Port soon will have access to $50 million of funding from the Department of Defense and an additional $54.5 million loan from the USDA that has yet to be awarded.

The total amount will fund the first phase of the Port's modernization program, which will include:

The expansion of the cargo yard;

Extension of the communication capabilities between cargo arrivals and account billing operations; and Improvement on customer processing to provide better reporting and check-in services. Construction for the first phase of projects is slated to begin in mid- to late-2011 and be finished in 2014.

"We are now faced with a new challenge of (modernizing) the port while tasked with keeping the service levels that the customers are accustomed to," Port General Manager Enrique Agustin said. "I'm very proud to say that the people we have at the Port are up to the challenge."

The Port was turned over by the U.S. military to the government of Guam in 1966, but the Guam law that created the Port as an autonomous agency wasn't passed until October 1975. Although the technology has changed in the 35 years of operations, the mission of the Port is still the same as it has always been, which is to provide quality service to the community, Agustin said.

Other events for the celebration will be scheduled throughout the week, and will end with an awards ceremony on Friday evening at the Hotel Nikko Guam.