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February 3, 2016 @ 9:41 am

Ep. 234 “Power, Social Media, Chamorro Identity and Cyberactivism”

Ep. 234 “Power, Social Media, Chamorro Identity and Cyberactivism” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance from Alan Grossman) airs 1/22/16.  This day is the sixth anniversary of Beyond the Fence. 

This episode features individual interviews with Manuel L. Cruz III, Cara Flores-Mays and Moñeka de Oro. 

While an undergraduate at the University of Guam, Manuel L. Cruz III, authored a research paper entitled, “I A’adahi: An Analysis of Chamorro Cyberactivism”, which serves as a touchstone for these conversations about power, social media, Chamorro identity and cyberactivism.  I A’adahi is used by Cruz to refer to those who are vigilant or watch out for others. From January-March 2014, Cruz investigated the types of content Chamorro cyberactivists use to reach their audience, recruit new members, organize, and mobilize individuals to action. He looked at the on-line content of eight Chamorro SMOs (social movement organizations) and persons, or groups, with political and cultural interests: We are Guahan (WAG), Hinasso, Our Islands are Sacred (OIAS), Adventures in Chamoru, Pa’a Taotao Tano (Pa’a), Inetnon Gefpågo (IG), the website Arkiology, and the blog Minagahet Chamoru. Cruz and his professor, Dr. Lilnabeth Somera, presented this research paper at the 2014 Pacific & Asia Communication Association Conference held in Bandung, Indonesia. 

Cruz received his B.A. in Communication with a minor in Chamorro Studies from the University of Guam in 2014. He is now a news reporter for Hit Radio 100 and a graduate student in the UOG English Program. One of his current research projects is an analysis of the arguments for an environmental ‘watchdog’ for Guam.  This builds on his earlier work as a communicator with the UOG Sea Grant, and liaison with local and federal environmental agencies.   

Cara Flores-Mays is a core member and organizer for We Are Guahan.  She is a Chamorro mother and small-business owner specializing in media planning and production. She was instrumental in We Are Guahan’s work to sue the Department of Defense over its proposed use of the ancient village site of Pagat for military training activities. She also produced We Are Pågat with Jason Triplett, a short film that documents the efforts to save Pågat. Mays is currently involved in the production of Nihi, a KGTF Public Television children’s show that features Chamorro language and songs.

Moñeka de Oro, another daughter of the Marianas, is a mother, educator and core member and organizer of Our Islands are Sacred. She has an undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Guam and is currently a graduate student in the Micronesian Studies Program with an interest in indigenous Chamorro health and healing practices. 

Thank you for listening to and supporting public radio --- and for promoting Beyond the Fence, locally and abroad. 

We are now on Facebook!  Like our page (Beyond the Fence Public Radio Guam KPRG) and share it with family and friends. 

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February 3, 2016 @ 9:29 am

Ep. 233 “From the Front Line on Climate Change - Micronesia”

Ep. 233 “From the Front Line on Climate Change - Micronesia” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance from Alan Grossman) airs 1/15/16. 

This episode presents voices from across Micronesia on climate change —— from the Global Climate March organized here in Guam to the participation of several from our region in the historic COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, November 30-December 12.  For the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, a legally binding and universal agreement on climate was achieved. Although the Paris deal was stronger than many countries had hoped for just months previously, it fell short of the desires of many islands and vulnerable nations on the front line of climate change. 

In the first half, we begin to the west in Micronesia with a clip of the official presentation at COP21 by Palau president Tommy Remengesau, Jr.,  a globally recognized leader in nature conservation and environmental sustainability, who emphasizes the importance of adaptation and partnerships (uploaded to YouTube by Bloomberg Philanthropies).  

We then turn to Guam and the performance of the poem “Island Haze” by John ‘Meta’ Sarmiento, a Tiyan High School teacher and spoken word artist (uploaded to Youtube by Spoken Word for the World). In the interview which follows, he talks about his selection by the Global Call for Climate Change and his experience in Paris with other poets and activists. [For previous interviews with Sarmiento, go to Ep. 5 (2/19/10) “Re-claiming the Future of Guahan: A New Generation” and Ep. 151 (6/14/12) “Guam Filipinos in Support of Chamorro Self-Determination: The Twenty-Something Halo-Halo Generation”.] 

This is followed by an interview with Joni Kerr, one of the key organizers for the Guam march on November 28, part of a global action organized on the eve of the Paris summit. Kerr is a science teacher at Guam Community College (GCC) and faculty advisor for the EcoWarriors, a student environmental organization. 

In the second half, we hear from those to the east in Micronesia, in the Marshall Islands, where the youth are also becoming involved in advocacy for environmental and climate justice. We present a YouTube clip of several young members of the Marshall Islands delegation to COP21— Alson Kelen, Al Alik, Milan Loeak and Broderick Menke, who talk about the changes they have witnessed over the past ten years and what it means to be on the front line. 

This is followed by a Democracy Now clip of Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner at a fossil fuel divestment rally at COP21 where she performs the poem, “Tell Them”.  Kathy is a writer, journalist, educator, environmental activist, and spoken word artist who has become a prominent global figure in the struggle of the people of the Marshall Islands for environmental and climate justice. [For previous interviews with Jetnil-Kijiner, go to: Ep. 177 (2/28/14) “Nuclear Remembrance Day- Remember, Recommit, Resist” and Ep. 203 (10/10/14) “Marshallese Poet Speaks To World Leaders at U.N. Climate Summit”.

We conclude with a Youtube clip of Selina Leem, an 18 year old Marshall Islander, who speaks about her anxieties and hope for the future of her nation during the closing plenary of COP21.  She is introduced by the Marshall Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tony deBrum. 

Suggestions for future topics and guests, or requests to be removed or added to this list, may be sent to btf.kprg@gmail.com or call 671-734-8930. 

Thank you for listening to and supporting public radio --- and for promoting Beyond the Fence, locally and abroad. 

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February 3, 2016 @ 9:03 am

Ep. 232 “Base Nation - How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World”

Ep. 232 “Base Nation - How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance from Alan Grossman) was recorded 1/4/16 and airs 1/8/16. )

Program guest is Dr. David Vine, associate professor of anthropology at American University of Washington, D.C.  Professor Vine first appeared on Beyond the Fence in 2011 (Ep. 86, 9/23/11) to discuss his book Island of Shame:  The Secret History of the Military Base in Diego Garcia (Princeton University Press, 2011). In this book, Vine reveals the shocking truth of how the United States conspired with Britain to forcibly expel Diego Garcia's indigenous people--the Chagossians--and deport them to slums in Mauritius and the Seychelles, where most live in dire poverty to this day. This was done in order to establish and maintain one of the most strategically important and secretive U.S. military installations outside the United States. 

In this episode, he discusses his new book, Base Nation - How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World  (New York, New York: Metropolitan Books, 2015). This book entailed research over the course of six years and more than sixty current and former bases in twelve countries and territories, including Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (the focus of Ch. 4 The Colonial Past).   


According to the jacket cover for Base Nation, “American military bases encircle the globe. More than two decades after the end of the Cold War and nearly three quarters of a century after the last battle of World War II, the United States still stations troops at some eight hundred locations in foreign lands and U.S. territories. These bases are usually taken for granted or overlooked entirely, a little-noticed part of the Pentagons vast operations. . . . Their financial cost is staggering:  though the Pentagon tries to underplay the numbers, Vine’s accounting proves that the true bill approaches $100 billion or more per year.  And by making it easier to wage interventionist wars from home, overseas bases have paved the way for disastrous conflicts that have cost countless lives. For decades, the need for overseas bases has been a quasireligious dictum of U.S. foreign policy. Recently, however, a bipartisan coalition has finally started questioning this conventional wisdom. With U.S. forces still in Afghanistan, the Middle East and beyond, Vine shows why we must reexamine the tenets of military strategy, the way we engage the world, and the base nation which America has become.”   

Base Nation was published as part of the American Empire project, a response to the changes that have occurred in America’s strategic thinking as well as in its military and economic posture. Empire, long considered an offense against America’s democratic heritage, now threatens to define the relationship between our country and the rest of the world.  The American Empire Project publishes books that question this development, examine the origins of U.S. imperial aspirations, analyze their ramifications at home and abroad, and discuss alternatives to this dangerous trend. 

Music selection: Masters of War by Bob Dylan.   

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February 3, 2016 @ 8:56 am

Ep. 231 “Christmas Memories 2015″

Ep. 231 “Christmas Memories 2015” (hosted by Dr.  Vivian Dames and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance from Alan Grossman, Chris Hartig, and Robert Wang) airs 12/25/15. 


In celebration of Christmas Day, we are pleased to offer our sixth annual episode of story-telling and music featuring personal Christmas memories from members of our diverse island community in Guam and the CNMI.  This episode begins and ends with stories of birth and the promise of new life.   

Program guests in the first half are: Natsuko Oshiro Aoki, who lived in Guam at Anderson Air Force Base in the 60’s, worked as a nurse at Guam Memorial Hospital, and gave birth to her ‘Christmas baby’ at the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam (recorded in Kona, Hawai’i by Dance Aoki); Gidell Carnegie, a retired GDOE (Guam Department of Education) teacher who taught before and after the establishment of the separate DoDEA schools for the children of military service members and Department of Defense civilian employees; USMC Chief Warrant Officer Ernest Turner who talks about the participation of Marine Corps JROTC cadets in support of the Toys-for-Tots campaign, a joint seasonal endeavor of the Marine Forces Pacific (Guam and CNMI) and the Guam Chamber of Commerce; Cameron Miculka, Pacific Daily News reporter who recently wrote about his singular experience making bonelos dagu (yam doughnuts), a traditional Chamorro Christmas delicacy; U.S. Army veteran, advocate and artist Joseph Taitague Manglona and his daughter, Yvonne Manglona whose gifts for the village of Inarajan reflect the importance of familia and the spirit of giving; and Jerome Kaipat Aldan, member of the Save Pagan Island Campaign who shares his memories of Christmas on Pagan (excerpt from Ep. 170 “Christmas Memories 2013”, recorded in Saipan by Daisy Demapan).

We lead off the second half with the story of Rodney Cruz, Jr., a U.S. Army retiree, three tour combat veteran and founder/ president of the Iraq, Afghanistan and Persian Gulf Veterans of the Pacific.  A survivor of a suicide attempt in 2011, Cruz is also involved in a newly formed veterans group named Green Valor that initiated a suicide prevention campaign over the past two weeks, especially among those  who have served in the military. This is followed by the stories of Joseph Roberto, a USAF Vietnam veteran and participant in the federally funded program, administered by West Care Pacific Islands, to help homeless veterans and Thomas F. Devlin, a Vietnam combat veteran, Purple Heart awardee, and co-founder and host of Vet Talk, a K-57 radio program.  

As a memorial tribute, we re-broadcast the story of Janna Melsness, daughter of a U.S. Air Force pilot stationed in Guam during the Vietnam War and a former midwife at Sagua Managu, Guam’s only birthing center.  Janna shared this story with us last Christmas. (Ep. 170 “Christmas Memories 2014)  She passed away four months later, on Easter Saturday. 

This episode includes the song “Some Day at Christmas” by Stevie Wonder and several songs performed by the St. Francis Catholic School Children’s Choir, under the direction of Mrs. Cathy Cruz (recorded for this program on December 22, 2015 at the Inarajan Senior Center).  

Please forward this announcement to your respective networks and encourage listeners to submit comments on line. Suggestions for future topics and guests, or requests to be removed or added to this list, may be sent to btf.kprg@gmail.com or call 671-734-8930. 

Thank you for listening to and supporting public radio --- and for promoting Beyond the Fence, locally and abroad. 

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January 7, 2016 @ 1:38 pm

Ep. 230 “Lessons from Henoko ‘University’ ”

Ep. 230 “Lessons from Henoko ‘University’ ” (hosted by Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance from Alan Grossman) was recorded in Nago City, Okinawa, in October 2015 and aired 12/18/15.  


Okinawa is the main island in the Ryukyu Islands, which are the most southern prefecture of Japan. These islands comprise only 0.6% of Japan’s land mass, but 75% of all the U.S. military facilities located in the country.  Due to this and the numerous negative impacts that result, the island has long been filled with protests seeking to close or remove the U.S. bases, and to protect the idea of Okinawa as an “island of peace.”


For the past 20 years, Henoko Bay, in the Nago City area of northern Okinawa has been the focus of most demilitarization activity. The U.S. military has argued that in order to close crowded bases in the south, they must be allowed to expand their base Camp Schwab in the north. This expansion would require back filling Henoko Bay, which sports irreplaceable, ancient coral life and is home to some of Japan’s most treasured native marine species. For more than 400 days protestors have been gathering outside the entrance to Camp Schwab seeking to stall construction of this base expansion. The protesters have dubbed this protest camp Henoko ‘University’ because of the lessons in peace and justice that take place there.


This episode features on-site interviews conducted by Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua, through a Japanese interpreter, Shinako Oyakawa, in October 2015 with ‘faculty’ from Henoko ‘University’. The interviews with Hiroko Oshiro, one of the main coordinators of the protest camp, and Kina-san, a 90 year old veteran activist were conducted outside the entrance to Camp Schwab. The interview with activist Yuri Soma, a scuba-diver/boat captain,  was conducted at Uro Bay.  They share their lessons on politics, linguistics and marine biology in contemporary Okinawa.  

This episode concludes with a short appeal to the American people from a long-time Okinawan activist. Reverend Kuroyanagi, and the solidarity message of  Dr.  Bevacqua presented at the protest camp outside Camp Schwab. Several Okinawan protest songs, recorded on site, are also included in this episode. 

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December 2, 2015 @ 12:18 pm

Ep. 94 “Native Narratives: Chamoru Women Reflect on Thanksgiving”

Ep. 94 “Native Narratives: Chamoru Women Reflect on Thanksgiving” (hosted by Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero and produced by Lydia Taleu) first aired 11/25/11 and will be re-broadcast  11/27/15 (with assistance from Dance Aoki and Alan Grossman) 

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving on Guam, an island that is oceans away from Plymouth Rock? Why do our native Chamorus, who share many of the same struggles that Native Americans face, honor this holiday? As an unincorporated U.S. Territory, the people of Guam have adopted this American holiday and have blended it into the local culture, making for a very interesting Thanksgiving table and narrative.

This episode features an in-depth discussion among three Chamorro women educators/writers about Thanksgiving. The discussion is inspired by the theme of an anthology of contemporary native women’s writings called Reinventing the Enemy’s Language edited by Joy Harjo and Gloria Bird. As described in the book’s introduction, “Reinventing the Enemy’s Language was conceived during a lively discussion of native women meeting around the kitchen table. Many revolutions, ideas, songs, and stories have been born around the table of our talk made from grief, joy, sorrow, and happiness. We learn the world and test it through interaction and dialogue with each other, beginning as we actively listen through the membrane of the womb wall to the drama of our families’ lives.” This episode aims to emulate such a discussion.

Sitting around the Beyond the Fence table are program host Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero, a University of Guam writing instructor who has focused much of her creative and academic work on the struggles and triumphs of the Chamoru people; Desiree Taimanglo Ventura, who also teaches college writing, has studied rhetoric and narratives about women, and is the author of the blog The Drowning Mermaid; and Kisha Borja Quichocho, a writing teacher at both George Washington High School and the University of Guam, poet and Pacific Islands scholar.

In the first half, we discuss how we approach Thanksgiving in our classrooms. We share our students’ reflections on this holiday and discuss the many ways in which the history and struggles of Native Americans mirror the history and struggles of  Chamoru people.  We also address the irony of celebrating a holiday like Thanksgiving on Guam.

In the second half, the discussion shifts to an exploration into the role of native women in preserving culture and keeping native communities alive.  Program guests share their thoughts and poetry about native Chamoru and Micronesian women.

Music selections: This episode features music by native peoples from America and the Philippines.  It opens with a recording of Native youth participating in the Fifth Annual American Indian Market and Powwow in San Francisco’s Mission District. The song “Ome” by Ras K’dee, a Native American hip-hop artist, is featured in the middle of the program. The episode concludes with the song “Champion” by the Filipino hip-hop group Native Guns.

Also found in the middle of the program are three songs selected by University of Guam students who were asked to choose songs that reminded them of Thanksgiving.  These songs are “Heaven” by Brett Dennen, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Deff Leppard, and “Hand in My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette. 

Please forward this announcement to your respective networks and encourage listeners to submit their comments on line.  Suggestions for future topics and guests or requests to be removed or added to this list may be sent to btf.kprg@gmail.com or call 671-734-8930. 

Thank you for listening to and supporting public radio for the Marianas --- and for promoting Beyond the Fence, locally and abroad. 

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November 23, 2015 @ 8:07 am

Ep. 228 “Na’ Matatnga I Manhoben (To Make the Youth Brave): Guahan Actions to Counter the Militarization of Youth”

Ep. 228 “Na’ Matatnga I Manhoben  (To Make the Youth Brave):  Guahan Actions to Counter the Militarization of Youth” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance from Alan Grossman) airs 11/20/15.  

This week, November 14-20, is the second International Week of Action  Against the  Militarization of Youth.  This week is a call for nonviolent actions across the world to raise awareness of, and challenge, the ways young people are militarized, and to give voice to alternatives. (For more information about these actions and events, go to www.facebook.com/antimiliyouth).  

In solidarity with this global action, this episode features interviews with four daughters of the Marianas, born and raised on Guam, who share first hand accounts of student led actions to counter the militarization of youth in Guam high schools.    

In the first half, we welcome Kisha Borja-Quichocho and Nichole Rose Quintanilla, both graduates of George Washington High School (GWHS). 

Kisha graduated from GWHS in 2004. She went on to earn a BA in English from Hawai`i Pacific University, an MA in Pacific Islands Studies from the University of Hawai`i-Manoa, and an MA in Teaching from the University of Guam. In 2010, she returned to GWHS to teach language arts and became faculty advisor to a student club, NIM (Na’ Matatnga I Manhoben  (in Chamorro, To Make the Youth Brave),  the first public high school club committed to promoting peace, preserving the Chamorro culture, and countering military recruitment in the school.  She is currently a member of the faculty at the University of Guam, teaching courses in the School of Education and the Division of English and Applied Linguistics and serving as the Editor for the Micronesian Area Research Center.  She is also the mother of Lina’la’, who remains one of the driving forces behind the work that she continues to do at home, at work, and in the community.   

Nichole was active in NIM in her junior and senior years and graduated in 2013. This pivotal experience inspired her to become a History and Chamorro Studies major at the University of Guam rather than enlist in the military.  She is now preparing to become a secondary education teacher and to continue the work of NIM in Guam’s schools. She is also a spoken word artist, apprentice weaver, actress, and Guam’s public high  coordinator for the Sinangån-ta Youth Movement, Guam’s official spoken word and poetry organization for youth.    

Program guests in the second half are high school teachers Fanai Castro and Shannon Siguenza.  They talk about their experience last year advising a group of students from the Academy of Our Lady of Guam (AOLG), Guam’s only all-girls Catholic high school, that produced a short video message (“Guahan in Solidarity with Tinian and Pagan” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL5yDV0IZtQ).  The intent of this project, led by Tasi Yanger and Fena Garcia,  was to express solidarity with those resisting the U.S. military plans to use the islands of Tinian and Pagan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) for live fire training. 

Fanai is an AOLG graduate. She went on to earn a B.A. degree in Ethnic Studies with honors from Mills College in 2003 then returned to her alma mater in 2013 to teach Guam History and Culture. Prior to this, she had experience with public school students as a substitute teacher for the Guam Community College, cross-enrollment program. She is an artist and a poet whose work centers on the movement for a nuclear-free and interdependent Pasifik, as well as community education and sustainability. She created the poster for the 7th International Meeting of Women Against Militarism, held in Guam in 2009.  She also co-curated the art exhibit and helped to organize the counter-militarism fashion show for this international meeting. 

As a young girl, Shannon was inspired to emulate the community service work of her mother, Frances Siguenza, who worked at the Office of Veterans Affairs and advocated for Guam’s veterans. She graduated from GWHS then earned her B.A. Psychology degree from the University of Guam in 2010.  At the time of this film project, Shannon was teaching psychology at the AOLG.  She is currently an English teacher at Simon Sanchez High School and a graduate student at the University of Guam. Shannon’s work as a teacher, poet, and writer is centered around empowering Guahan’s youth, cultural revitalization, language preservation, and the development of healthy communities on island.   

For more information about youth resistance in the Marianas, go to: 


For more information about counter military recruitment, go to: 




Related episodes: 

Episode 38 (10/8/10) “Counter Military Recruitment and Guam's Youth”

Episode 201 (9/26/14) “Peace Photography Post 9-11” 

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November 23, 2015 @ 7:47 am

Ep. 227 “Veterans, Culture and Identity”

Ep. 227 “Veterans, Culture and Identity”  (hosted by Desiree Taimanglo Ventura and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance from Alan Grossman) airs 11/13/15. 

In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…" 

The men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces from Guam offer a unique perspective on what it means to serve and fight for a country within which they do not have equal citizenship.  Their stories, which are full of passion and complex, sometimes confusing, contradictions are experiences and perspectives that our island’s younger generations do not often pause to think about.  

Program guest is Tressa Dela Cruz, an instructor from the Guam Community College and daughter of a US Air Force veteran, who sought to connect our island’s young adults with local veterans in order to provide them with an opportunity to hear from this unique demographic.  On September 29, Dela Cruz sent out a call for local veterans willing to participate in a project assigned to her Freshmen Composition students.  She successfully connected 60 local veterans with 60 college students who participated in a series of interview sessions hosted on the GCC campus over a span of two weeks.  Students were able to sit one-on-one with different veterans and ask questions about the ways in which culture and military service intersect.  In addition, Dela Cruz spearheaded an essay contest for high school students that encouraged them to write about what veterans mean to them personally.

This conversation includes one of the GCC students and her grandfather, a local veteran who participated in this project.  Elisa Artero Guerrero is from the village of Mangilao and a full-time nursing student.  Her grandfather is retired Command Sergeant Major Franklin Artero.  Born in 1942, Artero offers his experiences as a post-war child, which have shaped many of his views on Guam’s culture and future, military service, and war.  He was drafted into the US Army at the age of 18, and went on to serve 30 years. He has received numerous honorable decorations during his service.

This episode includes the poem I Kelat (The Fence), written by Desiree Taimanglo Ventura as read by Dance Aoki (forthcoming publication in Home(is)lands: Guam and Hawaii, An Anthology of New Writing, edited by Brandy Nalani McDougall and Craig Santos Perez); the oral testimonies presented by Desiree’s father, U.S. Army Colonel Raymond Leon Guerrero Taimanglo, and by Tun Antonio Sablan at a public hearing on the 2009 Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Guam and CNMI Military Relocation (downloaded from the Voice of Guam youtube channel, created by UOG students in a GCC EN111 class (taught by Ms. Taimanglo Ventura), and the Inifresi (Chamorro pledge) performed by Zack Lujan. 

Guest host Desiree Taimanglo Ventura received her B.A. in English at Chaminade University and an M.A in Rhetoric and Writing Studies from San Diego State University.  She is currently a full-time instructor of English and Communications at the Guam Community College, and has taught English at the University of Guam, as well as Rhetoric and Writing Studies at San Diego State University.

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November 9, 2015 @ 7:31 am

Ep. 226 “The Decolonization of Guahån: What Happens to a Dream Deferred?”

Ep. 226 “The Decolonization of Guahån:  What Happens to a Dream Deferred?” (hosted and produced by Dance Aoki with production assistance of  Vivian Dames,  Alan Grossman, Angel Petros,  and Robert Wang) was recorded 10/29/15 at the University of Guam and airs 11/6/15. 

Earlier this year Guam Governor Eddie Calvo, also chair of the Commission on Self-Determination, announced plans to launch an educational outreach campaign in preparation for a plebiscite to determine the island’s future political status.  A date for this vote has yet to be set.  He also approved a budget for three task forces to prepare educational materials to detail the pros and cons of three internationally recognized political status options — independence, free association and statehood.

This episode features coverage of the Decolonization Forum held at the University of Guam (UOG) on October 29, 2015 featuring presentations by Dr. Laura Souder-Betances, Hope Cristobal, Speaker Judith Won Pat and Dr.  Carlyle Corbin.  This public forum was sponsored by the UOG Division of Social Work, Chamorro Studies Program, and Women & Gender Studies Program.  The purpose of this forum is to educate the community about the history of Guam’s quest for self-determination, to re-assess current strategies and possibilities, and to inspire and motivate a new generation of citizens and advocates.   

In the first half of this episode, Chamorro rights activist, scholar, and co-editor (with Robert A.  Underwood) of the book Chamorro Self-Determination:  The Right of a People—-Derechon I Taotao, 1987) presents “Revisiting Chamorro Sovereignty and Self-Determination from a Language and Culture Perspective”.  

This is followed by a presentation by another pioneer in the Chamorro self-determination movement,  former senator Hope Cristobal, who provides an overview of the “Development of Guam Public Law on Decolonization”.  While senator in the 23rd Guam Legislature, she authored the legislation which created the Guam Commission on Decolonization and the Chamorro Registry. 

Music selection:  “Saena, Saena”, a chant performed by Inetnon Gefpå’go under the direction  of Master of Chamorro Dance, Vince J.C. Reyes, which was part of the opening ceremony for this public forum.

In the second half, Speaker of the Guam Legislature and member of the Commission on Decolonization, Judith T. Won Pat,  presented “A Report Back on Guam’s Testimonies to the United Nations 4th Committee in October 2015”.  This coverage focuses on the statement she presented as a petitioner to the U.N. about the impacts of militarization on Guam’s quest for self-determination.  She also commented in her panel presentation on the success of the Guam-specific resolution which was approved by the General Assembly and the importance of strategic networking and lobbying.   

This program concludes with the keynote speech “Decolonization:  What Happens to a Dream Deferred?” by Dr. Carlyle Corbin.  Dr. Corbin, a Virgin Islander and executive secretary of the Council of Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly, provides an overview of three historical commitments to decolonization, analyzes the problem of what he calls “dependency legitimation” using different case examples, and suggests why the French, British and U.S. colonial powers ignore their legal and moral obligations to decolonization.  [For the full text of his talk and related information, go to: overseasreview.blogspot.com]

This episode concludes with a poem entitled, “Harlem - What Happens to a Dream Deferred?” by Langston Hughes, read for this program by Robert Wang.  

These four 15-20 minute presentations have been edited to fit the format of this program.  This panel presentation was followed by a moderated question and answer segment which is appended to the podcast for Ep. 226. 

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November 6, 2015 @ 6:05 am

Ep. 225 “Ti Tano-mu este. Tano-mami (This is not your island. This is my island)

Ep. 225 “Ti Tano-mu este. Tano-mami  (This is not your island. This is my island):  Voices from the CNMI on the Militarization of Pagan and Tinian” (hosted by Moñeka De Oro and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance of Vivian Dames, Alan Grossman,  and Robert Wang) airs 10/30/15.  Testimonies featured in this episode were recorded by Leonard Leon between April 28-May 1, 2015 in Tinian and Saipan.

In support of the rebalancing of military forces in the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. military is proposing to increase joint military capabilities by improving existing and developing new live fire ranges and training areas on the islands of Tinian and Pagan in the CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands). The public comment period for this DEIS (draft environmental impact statement) ended August 15, 2015. [To view this document, go to: www.cnmijointmilitarytrainingeis.com/]

Between April 28th and May 1, 2015 the U.S. military conducted three public hearings on Saipan and Tinian to assess the potential effects of their proposal. Hundreds of people from different walks of life attended and presented oral and/or written comments.  This episode features selected oral testimonies which were overwhelming opposed to the proposal, joining a chorus of government agencies and public bodies also opposing the project. 

Earlier this month, the CNMI Governor Eloy S. Inos, called upon the U.S. military to withdraw and reconsider  this proposal. According to Dentons LLC, the consultants hired by the CNMI government to review this proposal, the Navy’s document will not provide a legally defensible basis—under the National Environmental Policy Act and relevant federal and local environmental and historic law—for the Navy to sanction their live-fire project. They propose that a new round of public comment, with a heavily revised environmental impact statement, is needed before the U.S. military moves further with its decision.  A Supplemental DEIS is expected in 2016.  

In the first half of this episode, we feature selected voices in opposition from Saipan:  Genevieve S. Cabrera, Steven Johnson, Frankie Manibusan Elliptico,  Pedro Perez,  Romola Orsini, Vinny Orsini, Celine Orsini, Rosemund Santos Sword, as well as the voices of three residents of Pagan — Cinta Kaipat, Diego L. Kaipat, and Jerome Aldan (Mayor, Northern Islands). This is followed by  two testimonies presented by David Sablan and Brianna Fajardo in favor of the proposal.  

In the second half, we hear selected voices in opposition from Tinian: Serafina King Nabors, Juanita Mendiola, Deborah Fleming, Kim King-Hinds,, Chellette Nita Aldan San Nicolas, Zach Manglona, and Jerrica Aldan.  

This episode concludes with a conversation between Moñeka De Oro and Majorie Atalig Daria about the efforts of the Tinian Women’s Association leading up to the April-May public hearings (recorded 10/28/15 in Guam).   

Music selections:  “Save Pagan and Tinian”, the Alternative Zero campaign song,  written and performed by Gus Kaipat and the cover song for the album “Get Up, Stand Up” (Bob Marley), performed by New Zealand artists.  

Guest host Moñeka De Oro taught at the Tinian Junior-Senior High School during AY 2014-15 and now teaches at the Agana Heights Elementary School on Guam.  She is a founding member of WeAreGuahan and Our Islands Are Sacred and has also been involved with Fanachu Marianas,the Tinian Women’s Association and the Alternative Zero campaign.  Special thanks to Leonard Leon for recording the testimonies presented at these public hearings for Beyond the Fence. 

Please forward this announcement to your respective networks and encourage listeners to submit their comments on line. Suggestions for future topics and guests or requests to be removed or added to this list may be sent to btf.kprg@gmail.com.

Thank you for listening to and supporting public radio for the Marianas --- and for promoting Beyond the Fence, locally and abroad. 

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