Monday, September 27, 2010

One Year Later...



September 29th, 2010


Best Western Lighthouse

Pacifica, CA

Please join us as we remember our Homelands of American Samoa & Samoa and the Kingdom of Tonga. This is a FREE EVENT!

We look forward to you joining us and appreciate your assistance in spreading the word.

The Host Organizations are:

Samoan Solutions

Together Samoa

Tongan Interfaith Council

SF SAMOA/Samoan Parents In Action

Friday, September 24, 2010

We Are Guahan Call to Action

Community Response to the Record of Decision

We Are Guahan

Friday, October 1, 2010
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm


September 23, 2010; Guam- With the release of the DoD’s Record of Decision, it has become evident that the Department of Defense will continue to disregard concerns voiced by the people of Guam. Guam’s local residents will be the demographic most severely impacted by plans to increase the US military’s presence within the region through one of the largest peacetime military relocations in modern history. We Are Guahan will be hosting a rally on Oct. 1 to unite the community in response.

The island participated actively within the NEPA process, with over 10,000 comments submitted in response to the Draft EIS from the community and Government of Guam agencies. Despite the outpouring of community involvement, the Final EIS failed to incorporate many of the island’s concerns into their final plans.

Guam’s community and local leaders presented a united front in opposition to the condemnation of land and the taking of more sites considered culturally and historically significant to the island’s indigenous people. However, the Department of Defense’s Record of Decision (ROD) indicates that the condemnation of land through eminent domain is still a possibility. Although decisions regarding the use of Pågat, an ancient Chamorro village and burial site, have been delayed, the site remains affected by the Department of Defense’s preferred alternatives for live-ammunition exercises.

Guam boasts one of the highest rates of enlistment into the United States Armed Forces per capita. Guam’s soldiers have fought and defended American values at rates higher than any other state within the Continental US, but remain excluded from discussions that greatly determine their futures. As a United States colony, residents of Guam lack any real control of their home and its resources. The lack of Democracy involved in the processes surrounding the military build-up in Guam have prompted residents to demand a role in the decision making process.

Plans to realign US troops stationed in Okinawa highlight a critical moment in the island’s history. Residents are uniting in efforts to empower themselves, protect their home’s resources, and shape their futures.

We Are Guahan invites all residents to participate in an island-wide rally to demonstrate unity, commemorate the island’s many sacrifices, and to empower the community to prepare for their home’s future. The rally is scheduled for Friday, October 1st from 4:30pm to 7:30pm at Adelup.

Not For Publication

Media Contact/For more information:
Moñeka De Oro, We Are Guåhan
Events Coordinator

Please contact for any concerns at 678-3240

Our islands and our people are bracing themselves for a massive change in tides. We Are Guåhan is a multi-ethnic collective of individuals, families and grassroots organizations concerned with the future of our islands. We Are Guåhan aims to inform and engage our community on the various issues concerning the impending military build up. We Are Guåhan aims to unite and mobilize our people to protect and defend our resources and our culture. We Are Guåhan promotes peaceful, positive and prosperous change for our island. We envision a sustainable future for all of Guåhan’s people.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Events This Weekend

International Coastal Clean-up @ Marbo Cave

Please Join We Are Guahan for the 16th Annual Guam International Coastal Clean Up this Saturday Sept. 25 from 7 to 9 am!

We Are Guahan and Rotaracts are sponsoring the the Marbo Cave clean up site in Mangilao. Marbo Cave has been identified in the final EIS as a buffer and safety zone for the proposed live firing range at Pagat. It is important that we connect with these lands while we still can.

All volunteers recieve a FREE coastal clean Shirt, entry to Fish Eye Observatory in Piti and a discounted lunch at Sea Grille Restaurant in Tumon (that comes with Underwater World entry ticket).

All clean up materials will be provided. We'll also have light breakfast items available, but bring sun screen, mosquito repellant, water, your friends and family.

DIRECTIONS TO MARBO CAVE: Coming from Mangilao, take Route 15 (or Back Road) north until you hit the four way intersection. Turn right. This is also the intersection where Jackson's Titiyas is located. We'll have some signs posted as well to let you know you're on the right track. ;)

Sella and Cetti Bays Sunset Boat Tour

Join other WAG members for a FREE boat tour to see Sella Bay, the site of critical Chamoru and Guamanian history.

on Sunday, September 26, from 3pm-6pm
Meeting at 2:30pm at the Agat Marina. The boat will return to the marina by 6pm at the latest.

Join Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua (and other speakers to be confirmed) as we see Sella Bay, a pristine region where in the 70s the Navy wanted to build an ammunition wharf. We'll learn about the political, social, and environmental history of this area, which is home to ancient artifacts, an old Chamoru village, and the beautiful Spanish bridge. If you've never made the time to make the hike down to the bay, now is the time to do it.

We'll also be able to stop off at some point to go swimming and see Cetti Bay, so get ready to get a history lesson, cool off, and enjoy our island's beauty.

Wear comfortable clothes and bring a swimsuit/snorkel gear if you have.

YOU MUST RSVP to to reserve a space. Due to passenger capacity, We Are Guahan MUST have a solid headcount.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

War Reparations Petition

Petition Drive to Congress for War Reparations Continues

September 10, 2010

For Immediate Release

Hagåtña, Guam – In an effort to ensure Guam’s World War II survivors finally receive war reparations, the people of Guam are being urged to sign an online petition to Congress by the end of next week.

In the weeks ahead, the US Senate will begin their process on the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act. The House of Representatives approved the Act with an amendment that adds to the bill the text of the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, granting reparations to the island’s war survivors. However, there is a threat that some senators may not allow the reparations to remain in the final version of the bill that the Senate will vote on later this year. If that happens, Guam’s war survivors will have to continue to wait for justice.

The Office of Senator Frank F. Blas, Jr. launched the website on August 31, 2010 that includes an online petition to Congress urging senators to keep Guam’s war reparations in the final version of the defense bill, and to approve the bill when it is voted on. Thus far, the petition has garnered about 200 signatures, but many more are needed to make Guam's voice loud and clear, and to grab the Senate's attention.

The people of Guam are being asked to visit today and click on the “Petition2Congress” link at the top of the menu on the left side of the home page to sign the petition. It takes only one minute to sign and could make a tremendous difference for Guam’s war survivors, many of whom have died before ever receiving restitution for the atrocities they suffered during World War II. There were more than 22,000 people who lived through the war on Guam. Of that group, less than 1,000 are alive today, and more continue to die.

“When we started our war survivors series entitled ‘Real People. Real Stories,’ 29 of our featured 30 war survivors were alive,” said Senator Frank F. Blas, Jr. “Since our series launch in November 2009, we have lost three of our featured man'amko (Dr. Rosa Carter, Mr. Jesus Perez Sablan, and Mr. Juan Unpingco). How many more will pass away before they receive their just and deserved recognition?”

For more details, please call Senator Blas on his cell at 687-1483, or his office at 472-2527.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

National Historic Preservation Act - NHPA: Section 106 Requires Review & Consultation of "Undertaking"

The NHPA-Naional Historic Preservation Act: Section 106 requires the review & consultation of the Joint Guam and CNMI Military Relocation and Buildup by consulting parties and the public. A Programmatic Agreement between DoD and the Guam Department of Parks and Recreation Historic Resources Division was released on August 20, 2010 for review with comments due five (5) days later, on August 25, 2010.

Comments Submitted Regarding the Draft Programmatic Agreement for the Joint Guam and CNMI Military Relocation and Buildup

Senator vicente c. pangelinan - The Programmatic Agreement Will Become Problematic for the People of Guam
The signatories to the PA agree that DoD will satisy its Section 106 responsibilities for the Undertaking (ROD) according to the PA, and thus have effectuated a shortcut to Section 106 review, which allows the agency's decision to move forward without any more review or consultation for all the buildup projects, except Apra dredging and possibly Pagat, depending on the final version.

Denny Taimanglo - A Decision for Your People and the Future of Our Children
I understand that the Programmatic Agreement has placed an immense weight on your shoulders. You should not bear that weight alone. Listen to your people and let us help you make this invaluable decision.

Dipattamenton I Kaohao Guinahan Chamorro / Department of Chamorro Affairs
As noted in DCA's DEIS comments, the cultural name of the project areas would be beneficial in determining their cultural significance. Project numbers make it difficult to ascertain the exact location. A detailed map would be helpful of all project areas, noting village names, sub-villages (e.g., Ipan, Sasayan, Oka, etc). At least 6 months of review time is needed to provide a thorough report.

DCA recommends that "Access Plans" be completed before signing of PA.

National Trust for Historic Preservation, Western Office
The purpose of this letter is to summarize the general concerns of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Guam Preservation Trust regarding the current status of the Section 106 consultation by the Department of Defense ("DoD") for the proposed military relocation and buildup on Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (the "Buildup"). In addition, we offer several specific comments on the draft Programmatic Agreement ("PA") dated 20 August 2010 in an accompanying attachment to this letter.

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
We appreciate Navy's commitment to further consultation regarding the proposal to site multiple firing ranges in the area of the ancient village of Pagat. This proposal has met with significant opposition from consulting parties, and we are pleased that the language in the PA with regard to the firing ranges provides an opportunity for the parties to continue consultation on both the appropriate location of such ranges and the potential for effects to historic properties.

Dipattamenton Plaset Yan Dibuetsion / Department of Parks and Recreation
Mr. Schregardus, throughout our conversations, we felt you to be sincere in your efforts to amicably bring this Agreement to conclusion, recognizing the fact that this Buildup, a first of its kind in the nation, brings with it valid concerns raised by not just our office, but by the community, who in fact are the very ones that we are obligated to serve. We are confident that we can work with you to find ways to address each and every concern so that DoD's mission can proceed with the knowledge that we all played a part, in good faith, to protect and preserve Guam's heritage.

We Are Guahan

In the Programmatic Agreement, however, Pagat is identified in Appendix A as part of the Undertaking. Furthermore, Appendix D identifies land acquisition for firing ranges as a site that has "Further Evaluation Required." Stipulation V.C.3 governs all projects in the Undertaking requiring additional evaluation to determine effects. Assuming that DoD agreed there would be adverse effects to Pagat, the remedy would be to comply with Stipulation V.C.2. This does not appear to reflect the intent of the revision.

Additional Public Comments
1 Chamorro Tribe
3 Therese Terlaje
5 Therese Terlaje
9 Vivian Dames
11 Joe Duenas
12 Charissa Aguon
13 Alison Rae Causay
14 Resolution Objecting to Draft PA
19 West Coast Famoksaiyan
21 Dave Lotz
22 Guam Boonie Stompers

5 Therese Terlaje
We agree with the 'Whereas" clauses in the draft PA which state that there are historic properties that will be adversely affected by the planned projects for the military buildup on Guam; that the cumulative effects of the projects will be island wide on Guam and Tinian. We object to the adoption of Appendix D by the PA, and specifically to all properties listed by approximately 216 separate military project names, where conclusion is that there is no adverse effect or no historic property affected. We request additional time to review the studies underlying these determinations and consultation with our community as to these findings. Notwithstanding the many studies that DoD insisted at the meeting were done to arrive at the conclusions on this Appendix, and DoD's insistence at the meeting that we should TRUST them to make accurate determinations, it is not consistent with the spirit of NHPA that these be determined without consultation with the Chamorro people. This is especially true in light of the large population of Chamorros before the arrival of the Spanish and their documented habitation or use of different areas of Guam, which is 30 miles long and 4 to 12 miles wide. In other words, it is hard to trust immediately and conclude in five days that Chamorros placed no value on the listed properties in their 4000 year long history of veneration and celebration, or in their quest for food, clothing, and shelter, or by their fishing, hunting, and gathering in this limited land mass, which is smaller than many national parks and national monuments, given the proximity of these properties already recognized historical and traditional cultural properties on Guam. Also, we are unable to concur at this time with the specific adverse effects cited for some projects as we are not privy to Appendix C, and thus unable to concur immediately with the specific mitigation proposed for destruction of said sites at this time.