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April 17, 2016 @ 9:42 am

Ep. 179 “I Taotao Sumay (People of Sumay): Forced Exiles and Resistance Identities” Rebroadcast

Ep. 179 “I Taotao Sumay (People of Sumay): Forced Exiles and Resistance Identities” (hosted by Dr.  Vivian Dames and produced Joy White) first aired 4/6/14 and re-broadcast 4/15/16 (with assistance of Alan Grossman and Robert Wang). 

Program guest is James Perez Viernes, historian and educator from the village of Santa Rita and i Taotao Sumay (people of Sumay) descendant. His 2008 master’s thesis “Fanhasso i Taotao Summery: Displacement, Dispossession, and Survival in Guam” examines the displacement of the people of Sumay village by the U.S. Navy and the pervasive “Taotao Sumay” identity as manifested in the post-World War II development of Santa Rita village.  

James earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature at the University of Guam and worked for several years in the island’s government and private sectors before going to the University of Hawai’i- Manoa to complete a Master of Arts degree in Pacific Islands Studies. This thesis garnered the Norman Meller Research Award for best MA research paper in the social sciences and humanities that focused on the Pacific Islands. This research has been published in partnership with the Guam Preservation Trust as “Sumay: Rikuetdo para i Famagu’on-ta (A Legacy for Our Children). 

At the time of this 2014 interview,  James was a doctoral candidate in the University of Hawaii’s Department of History and an adjunct faculty of the University of Guam. Dr. Viernes is now an assistant professor of Chamorro Studies and History at the University of Guam and a member of the Board of Directors of the Guam Preservation Trust. His doctoral research examines the intersections of Chamorro masculinities and American military colonialism during the first Naval era on Guam (1898-1941).

The village of Sumay in southern Guam, once known as the “Pearl of the Pacific”, was occupied by Japanese forces during World War II and destroyed by U.S. Forces  bombardment in the retaking of the island in 1944.  The people of this village were relocated to a temporary refugee camp adjacent to Sumay which they went on to develop into the present-day village of Santa Rita.  According to Perez, the people of Sumay became “forced exiles” and the only group of Chamorros explicitly and permanently forbidden to return to their home village after the war. This area, once a picturesque and thriving coastal village, is now enclosed by U.S. Naval Base Guam, a Navy-controlled installation that was combined in 2009 with Anderson Air Force Base, in northern Guam,  to form Joint Region Marianas.   

In the past,  i Taotao Sumay and their descendants were allowed to visit the Sumay cemetery on All Souls Day.  However, such access depends on the base commander and became more restricted after 9-11.  In 2009, U.S. Naval Base Guam, in cooperation with the Santa Rita mayor’s office, began to sponsor an annual Back to Sumay Day when those outside the fence are allowed to visit and to celebrate Mass at the barren site of the former Catholic Church and what remains of the Sumay cemetery.  The seventh annual Back to Sumay event was held April 9th. 

Music selection is the song “Kantan Sumay (Song for Sumay)”, lyrics by Dolores Lizama and performed by Helen Claveria de Guzman from the album Ai Haga-hu, Haga-hu (Korason Productions, 1993) which tells the story of the eviction of the Sumay people and their resettlement in Santa Rita. 

This episode concludes with a reading by James Viernes of his 2001 poem “Beloved Sumay” which has since been published.  It is now a reading component  in the History of Guam and English composition courses at the University of Guam. 

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April 6, 2016 @ 11:49 am

Ep. 240 “WWAD (What Would Anghet Do?): Lessons from the Writings and Activism of Angel Santos”

Ep. 240 “WWAD (What Would Anghet Do?): Lessons from the Writings and Activism of Angel Santos” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and produced by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Alan Grossman) airs 4/1/16.  

On March 30, 2015, the Latte Stone Park in Hagåtña was officially renamed the Angel Leon Guerrero Santos Memorial Park to honor of the U.S. Air Force veteran, three-term senator, Democrat gubernatorial candidate in the 1998 election, and first Maga’lahi of Nasion Chamoru, who became an icon of Chamorro activism in the 1990s.  ‘Anghet' fought for the implementation of the Chamorro Land Trust Act and the return of excess federal land, uncovered toxic wastes on private properties kept quiet by military authorities, wrote and lectured on the social injustices of the Chamoru people, and championed human rights, especially for indigenous peoples. He passed away on July 3, 2003 at the age of  44, amidst rumors that he was poisoned while in federal detention for a misdemeanor charge of violating a court order to vacate land that once belonged to his grandfather. His death left, what some describe, as a void in the Chamorro rights movement. Who was this remarkable Chamorro man? What is his legacy? And what would he be doing now, at age 57,  if still alive ?  

 

This episode features a March 24 interview with Royce Kiniki Palomo Camacho, a 2015 graduate of the Master of Arts in English program at the University of Guam (UOG).  His thesis, entitled “The Writing on the Wall: 21st Century Imaginings of a Chamoru Rights Activist” received the UOG Presidential Thesis Award.  Camacho discusses the impetus for this research on the “language of resistance” of Angel Santos,  the method of rhetorical analysis, the texts and framework for this analysis, and his “discoveries” and “imaginings” as a researcher.  Royce is now an adjunct English instructor at UOG and also in training for a black belt in the martial art of jiujitsu.  This interview includes the song "Ko' Gaige Hamyu (Are You There?)” by Ron Eclavea and Tony Sanchez featuring a spoken word performance by Angel Santos. This song, which Camacho references in his thesis, is a call to Chamorros to remember their past and fight for their future.  A copy of this thesis is available at the RFK Library, University of Guam.

This interview is followed by brief comment from several individuals who knew Angel Santos in various capacities:  Ed Pocaigue was a staff assistant to Senator Santos in the 26th Guam Legislature when the senator co-chaired (with Senator Mark Forbes-R) the Blue Ribbon Panel Committee that commissioned an action report which provided evidence of radioactive contamination on Guam as a result of U.S. nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands.  Speaker Judith Won Pat was a fellow Democrat in the 23rd, 24th and 26th Guam Legislatures (1994-1998, and 2000-2002).  Danny‘Pågat' Jackson is the current Maga' lahi of Nasion Chamoru, and his wife, Josephine Jackson, is the secretary.  Scholar-activist Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua attended church services with Anghet and has written several pieces on his life and activism, including an interpretive essay for Guampedia and “Jumping the Fence: An Evaluation of Nasion Chamoru and Its Impact on Contemporary Guam”, a lecture presented at the 2nd Annual Marianas History Conference. August 30-31, 2013 [broadcast as Ep. 162 (9/6/13)  “Historicizing Chamorro Resistance, Subversion and Activism”]. Although Luke Duenas did not know Anghet personally, he represents a new generation of advocates who carry on his legacy.  A UOG social work senior, Luke organized student participation in a March 16 rally to oppose the Chamorro Land Trust Commission’s leasing of properties for commercial use and presented this as a case study in cause advocacy at the March 2016 Social Work Conference held on Guam.   

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March 31, 2016 @ 4:48 pm

Ep. 238 “Lukao Fuha: Chamorro Ancient Ritual, Spirituality and Self-Determination”

Ep. 238 “Lukao Fuha:  Chamorro Ancient Ritual, Spirituality and Self-Determination” (hosted by Moñeka De Oro and produced by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Alan Grossman) airs 3/18/16. 

For the past three years, the grassroots group Our Islands are Sacred has organized an annual pilgrimage and ceremony in the village of Umatac to celebrate the ancient culture,  traditions, and resilience of the Chamorro people despite waves of colonization since the 16th century. 

In celebration of Guam History and Chamorro Heritage Day (March 7), this episode features interviews with three Chamorro educators who are co-organizers of this year’s Lukao Fuha (or Fuha pilgrimage) on February 13 to the large rock pillar in Fouha Bay, believed to be the cradle of creation for the people of the Mariana Islands and, in some accounts, for all of humankind.   

Joseph ‘Joey’ Certeza, Eva Aguon Cruz,  and Shannon Siguenza discuss the significance of the Chamorro creation story of Puntan yan Fu’una and this cultural re-enactment ceremony in relation to Chamorro spirituality, ‘reclaiming the sacred’, and self-determination.  This episode begins with the chant Fanlalai'an's "I Tinituthon" and concludes with Jocelyn Toves' call to action with her song “Kottura-ta.”

  

Guest host Moñeka De Oro is a co-organizer with Our Islands are Sacred and a M.A. candidate in the Micronesian Studies Program at the University of Guam.  Her academic and community work focuses on the traditional healing arts, cultural preservation and environmental protection of the Marianas Islands. 

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March 24, 2016 @ 9:00 am

Ep. 235 “Record of Decision - Not Guam’s Decision”

Ep. 235 “Record of Decision - Not Guam’s Decision” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and produced by Dance Aoki with assistance from Alan Grossman) aired 2/19/16.     

This episode provides partial coverage of the October 20, 2015 meeting with the Governor of Guam sought by several local groups concerned with the impacts of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Guam military buildup signed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy in late August 2015.  This meeting was formally requested in a September 11 letter submitted by Our Islands are Sacred. Supporting letters were later submitted by I Nasion Chamoru and Fuetsan Famalao’an.  The Taotaomona Native Rights group, Ritidian Families Association, and the Guam Fishermen’s Co-op were also represented at this meeting.  

The signing of the ROD is the final part of the required NEPA process that the Department of Defense (DOD) had to complete to begin construction on things like the main cantonment, housing and live fire training range areas for the U.S. marines to be relocated to Guam from Okinawa. The ROD for the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) officially selects the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station, Finegayan (in the densely populated village of Dededo) as the site for the main cantonment, Andersen Air Force Base (AAFB) as the site for family housing, and AAFB Northwest Field as the site for the live fire training range complex. Andersen South is selected as the site for a stand-alone hand grenade range. Considered ‘excess’ by the Air Force, Congress approved the transfer of most of this abandoned housing complex to the Marine Corps in 2002.  Located in the central village of Mangilao, it now serves as the Marines Corps' largest urban combat training facility.

In their September 11 letter to Governor Eddie Calvo, Our Islands Are Sacred highlighted an array of concerns, many of which are cited in the FSEIS and the ROD.  They emphasized that the ROD is a Department of Defense decision —-not Guam’s decision — and appealed to the Governor to become more critical of the buildup.  They requested that local experts and responsible Government of Guam agencies provide accessible information to the public about their assessment of anticipated impacts, alternatives and mitigation measures.  They also proposed specific actions the Governor could take to demonstrate that he is a maga’lahi, a chosen leader who will truly “protect and defend our island and our way of life.”  This, they urge, must include working in solidarity with regional leaders, especially the new Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands and the Governor of Okinawa, Japan. 

The October 20 meeting opened with a chant “Tumotoghe I Lahi” performed by Moñeka de Oro (written and composed by Leonard Z. Iriarte) and a presentation of gifts from the Marianas by Anne Lizama. This was followed by the statement of Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero (representing Our Islands are Sacred) and Catherine Flores McCollum (Maga Ha’ga’ I Nasion Chamoru). 

In the second half, we present Governor Calvo’s response at this meeting.  Although he assured those present that he would assign staff to address their concerns, four months have passed with no response. Attempts by Beyond the Fence to obtain a status report from his office were unsuccessful. Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero, Catherine Flores McCollum and Shannon Siguenza, a University of Guam graduate student, provide recent comment on the October 20 meeting and the Governor’s inaction to date.    

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March 10, 2016 @ 3:31 pm

Ep. 236 “U.S. Nuclear Weapons Testing Legacy Continues to Reverberate in the Marshall Islands”

Ep. 236 “U.S. Nuclear Weapons Testing Legacy Continues to Reverberate in the Marshall Islands” (hosted by Giff Johnson and produced by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Alan Grossman) was recorded by Jack Neidenthal in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands, on 2/18/16 and aired 3/4/16.       

In recognition of Nuclear Survivors Remembrance Day (March 1) in the Marshall Islands, this episode features Bikini Islander Lani Kramer and Ailuk Islander Rosania Bennettexplaining how the traumatic events sixty-to-seventy years ago continue to impact daily life for many Marshall Islanders today.

Rosania and Lani are founding members, and President and Treasurer, respectively, of a new organization Radiation Exposure Awareness Crusaders of Humanity — Marshall Islands (REACH-MI) [emailinfo@reach-mi.org / ].  The group was formed in late 2015 to both raise awareness locally of the history and legacy of the 67 U.S. nuclear weapons tests conducted at Bikini and Enewetak atolls from 1946 to 1958 and to reach out to the American people to help promote Marshall Islanders’ claims for justice with the U.S. Congress.

A total of 167 Bikini Islanders were relocated 70 years ago in March to make way for the first post-World War II nuclear weapons tests. The March 1 national holiday in the Marshall Islands is the 62nd anniversary of the 1954 Bravo hydrogen bomb test at Bikini, the largest H-bomb at 15 megatons ever tested by the U.S.  It spewed radioactive contamination across many inhabited islands in the Marshall Islands.

Today, Bikinis and Rongelap Islanders still cannot live safely on their home atolls and while Enewetak Islanders moved back to the southern islands in their atoll in 1980, the northern half of Enewetak is still not safe for habitation and use. The U.S. government only acknowledges four atolls as being nuclear test-affected, despite the fact that declassified U.S. government reports show many more inhabited islands in the region were exposed to fallout not only from Bravo but other hydrogen bombs tested at Bikini. Only the four atolls recognized by the U.S. as nuclear test affected — Bikini, Enewetak, Rongelap and Utrik — receive medical care and compensation. 

The ongoing exile of islanders from their home atolls remains problematic for many islanders, as does the lack of medical care and compensation for people from outside of the “four atolls.” These issues are covered in detail in this interview with Rosania and Lani.

This U.S. nuclear legacy and claims for reparative justice continue in Guam as well. Since 2005, the Guam Legislature has passed six resolutions for the U.S. Congress to amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990 (RECA) to include Guam as 'downwinders' and to improve and increase compensation for those affected by ionizing radiation caused by nuclear testing in Nevada and the Marshall Islands.  

Guest host Giff Johnson edits the weekly Marshall Islands Journal in Majuro and is a regular contributor to several regional news media. He is a writer, journalist and author of Don’t Ever Whisper - Darlene Keju, Pacific Health Pioneer, Champion for Nuclear Survivors (2013), a biography about his late wife. His other books include Collision on Course at Kwajalein:  Marshall Islanders in the Shadow of the Bomb (1984), Nuclear Past, Unclear Future (2009) and Idyllic No More: Pacific Island Climate, Corruption and Development Dilemmas.

This interview was recorded by Jack Neidenthal, Trust Liaison for the People of Bikini Atoll, filmmaker, and founder of Microwave Films for the Marshall Islands. 

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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. She is co-founder of Duk Duk Goose, Inc., a local nonprofit that produces Nihi, a children’s show that features Chamorro language and song, for which she is director/producer.  

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 Guam Department of Education teacher who reflects on what it was like 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, a 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 of the program 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 a 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 the radio programVet Talk (K-57 AM).  

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 midwife at Sagua Managu, Guam’s only birthing center.  Janna shared this story 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 Honor Choir, under the direction of Mrs. Cathy Cruz (recorded for this program on December 22, 2015 at the Inarajan Senior Center).  


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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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