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May 3, 2015 @ 6:45 pm

Ep. 138 “The Military Buildup and Strategies for Development in Tinian, CNMI”

Ep. 138 “The Military Buildup and Strategies for Development in Tinian, CNMI” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and co-produced by Daisy Demapan and Joy White) first aired 12/28/12 and re-broadcast 5/1/15 (with assistance of Alan Grossman). 

Tinian is the second most populated of the three main islands which constitute the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI).  It has a population of about 3,200 and a land area of 39 square miles, two thirds of which is controlled by the US military. When this episode first aired in 2012, company and battalion level non-live fire training areas already existed and the island was anticipating details of US Department of Defense (DoD) plans for live fire ranges and greater aviation support training.  These plans were laid out in the CNMI Joint Military Training Draft Environmental Impact Study (CJMT DEIS) released on April 4, 2015.  

As reported in the Marianas Variety (April 18, 2015), the elected leadership of Tinian has stated their unified opposition to these plans for their island.  Last week, Beyond the Fence featured an interview with the Tinian mayor who discussed his concerns [Ep. 212 (4/24/15) “Tinian Mayor Concerned About US Military Plans for His Island”].  A series of three public comment hearings on this DEIS were conducted this week in Tinian and Saipan. Today, the Marianas Variety reported that the people of Saipan turned out in droves to the first public comment hearing to express a resounding “No” to these plans.  The public comment period ends June 3rd, unless a request from CNMI leaders for an extension is approved. 

Even before the release of this DEIS, some Tinian residents were already questioning the economic and environmental impacts that increased military activity would have on their island.  This episode features interviews with two Chamorros with deep ties to Tinian, a long record of public service, and a commitment to cultural preservation and sustainability.  Each is pursuing different strategies for development, one focused on economic development and the for-profit sector; the other, focused on human development and the non-profit sector:  

  

Phillip Mendiola-Long is a a native son of Tinian. His mother is Chamorro and his father is Caucasian and a US Air Force retiree.  After completing college, Mendiola-Long returned to Tinian and served in various government roles such as the Chief Policy Advisor for the Mayor of Tinian, Chairman of the Marianas Public Land Trust, Board Member of the CNMI Free Trade Zone and member of the Governor’s and Mayor’s Military Task Force. He is the owner of Sherman Consulting, LLC, an administrative and management consulting firm that specializes in assisting US domestic and foreign firms set up business in Micronesia and assisting the US federal government (Joint Region Marianas and NAVFAC) with meeting coordination and ground logistics. He has served as president of the Tinian Chamber of Commerce since 1996 and was appointed by the US Secretary of Commerce to represent the CNMI in the Hawaii Pacific Export Council which is mandated to increase US Pacific Exports.  This interview was conducted December 11, 2012 when Mr. Mendiola-Long was on Guam attending the Micronesia Council of Chambers of Commerce meeting.  

Florine M. Hofschneider was born in Rota and grew up in Tinian.  She has 35 years of public service experience in the Northern Marianas as a teacher, social worker, special assistant to the Tinian mayor, director of admissions and records at Northern Marianas College, and principal of Tinian Junior-Senior High School.  She also had brief stints as the personnel manager for the Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino and helping out with a family pizza franchise in Texas. She is a member of the CNMI Women’s Association and the project director for a federally funded anti-poverty program that provides pre-employment training and job placement of US citizens in Saipan through the NMI Department of Community & Cultural Affairs. She is also a volunteer with Gineftao I ManMo’na (“gifts of the Early Ones”,  in Chamorro), a non-profit organization focusing on youth development, Chamorro language and culture preservation, and sustainable development. This interview was conducted on November 20, 2012  while Ms. Hofschneider was on Guam attending the Payu’ta  3rd Micronesian Non-Profit Congress.  

Music selection is “Tinian” by Julian Hofschneider. 

To read the CNMI Joint Military Training DEIS and the procedures for submitting comments go to:  www.cnmijointmilitarytrainingeis.com


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April 26, 2015 @ 1:51 pm

Ep. 220 “Tinian Mayor Concerned About US Military Plans for His Island”

Ep. 220 “Tinian Mayor Concerned About US Military Plans for His Island” (hosted by Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua and produced by Alan Grossman) was recorded 4/10/15 and airs 4/24/15.

On April 4, 2015 the Marine Forces of the Pacific released their plans for creating new training and live firing ranges and areas on the islands of Tinian and Pagan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). These plans may radically change the face of both islands by displacing farmers and cattle ranching, destroying ecological wonders, threatening historic sites, and disrupting the existing economy of the region. The CNMI Joint Military Training DEIS (1,700 pages) details that the majority of the island of Tinian may be off-limits to civilians for 16 – 45 weeks out of the year.  Concerned individuals and organizations have been given 60 days to provide comments on these proposed plans. Public hearings have been scheduled for Saipan and Tinian from April 29 – May 1st.  The public comment period ends June 3rd, unless a request from CNMI leaders for an extension is approved. 

As reported in the Marianas Variety (April 18, 2015), the elected leadership of Tinian has stated their unified opposition to these plans for their island. 

This episode features an interview with Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas conducted on April 10th, 2015 while visiting Guam to learn more about Guam’s experience with the 2009 Guam and CNMI Military Relocation DEIS.  He hopes that people throughout the Marianas and the world will also read the CNMI Joint Military Training DEIS,  help disseminate information about its potential impacts and provide oral or written comment.  

 

Mayor San Nicolas is an attorney and father of a USAF service member.  He defeated incumbent Ramon M. Dela Cruz in his re-election bid in November 2014.  As reported in the Saipan Tribune, prior to leaving office, Mayor Dela Cruz made clear in a letter to Gov. Eloy S. Inos his own opposition to the military plans for Tinian, unless Tinian is allowed to progress with its economic development.   

This interview is preceded by the weekly address of the Speaker of the Guam Legislature, Judith Won Pat, given on April 15, 2015.  The songs Federalis and Mangge Chamorro by the band Chamorro are also included.   


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April 20, 2015 @ 1:38 pm

Ep. 219 “Historic Community Trauma and the Chamorro Soul Wound”



Ep. 219 “Historic Community Trauma and the Chamorro Soul Wound” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with co-producers Alan Grossman and Samantha Marquez- Dauglash ) airs 4/10/15.     

This is the third episode featuring presentations and related interviews from the first Behavioral Health in Micronesia Conference: Indigenous Perspectives on Wellness and Health in our Communities held December 4-6, 2014. The aim of this conference was to bridge traditional knowledge with behavioral health practice to address the alarmingly disproportionate rates of teen suicide, substance abuse, violence, and incarceration in Micronesian indigenous communities. [For related episodes, download Ep. 209 (12/19/14) “History, Soul Wounds, Healing and Liberation” and Ep. 211 (1/9/15) “Island of Warriors:  Towards a Service Delivery Model for Combat Veterans”. 

Program guest is Dr. Patricia Taimanglo, a licensed clinical psychologist, who maintains a private practice in Guam.  She has served as the chief clinical psychologist for the Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse and is currently employed as a clinical psychologist by the Department of Corrections. 

In the first half, we present her keynote speech entitled “Chamorro People of Guahan: Historic Community Trauma and the Soul Wound” (recorded 12/5/14 and edited for this program).  This episode includes an edited version of Hurao’s speech (read for this program by Kenneth Gofigan Kuper) which Dr. Taimanglo selected as a touchstone for the interview which follows (recorded in studio 4/2/15).  Maga’lahi Hurao was a Chamorro chief in the late 16th century who was key in instigating the Spanish-Chamorro War.  

In the second half, Dr. Taimanglo discusses further her 1998 dissertation research “An Exploratory Study of Community Trauma and Culturally Responsive  Counseling with Chamorro Clients” which provides a conceptual framework for post-colonial psychology that has informed her professional practice for almost two decades. She also discusses the community trauma inflicted by the series of ‘storms’ related to colonization and militarization by foreign powers, the trans-generational nature and clinical manifestations of the Chamorro ‘soul wound’, and the importance of individual and community psychological decolonization and healing in the face of ongoing community trauma.  [This podcast includes additional interview material not included in the original broadcast]. 


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April 15, 2015 @ 5:33 pm

Ep. 179 “I Taotao Sumay (People of Sumay)”

Ep. 179 “I Taotao Sumay (People of Sumay): Forced Exiles and Resistance Identities” (hosted by Dr.  Vivian Dames with production assistance of Joy White) was recorded 4/2/14, aired  4/4/14, and re-broadcast 4/10/15 (with assistance of Robert Wang and Alan Grossman).   

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 Chamorro historian and educator James Perez Viernes, the people of Sumay became “forced exiles” and the only group of Chamorros explicitly and permanently forbidden to return to their village after the war. 

This area, once a picturesque and thriving coastal village, is now enclosed by U.S. Naval Base Guam. Naval Base Guam is part of Joint Region Marianas, which is a Navy-controlled installation that was combined with Anderson Air Force Base, in northern Guam, in 2009.  

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.  This Saturday,  April 5,  U.S. Naval Base Guam, in cooperation with the Santa Rita mayor’s office, is sponsoring its fifth annual Back to Sumay event. [Note: the 2016 event will be held Saturday, April 11].  On this day 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. 

Program guest is James Perez Viernes who is from the village of Santa Rita and i Taotao Sumay descendant.  His 2008 master’s thesis “Fanhasso i Taotao Sumay: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.  

This work garnered the Norman Meller Research Award for best MA research paper in the University of Hawaii system in the social sciences and humanities that focused on the Pacific Islands. His research has recently been published in partnership with the Guam Preservation Trust as “Sumay: Rikuetdo para i Famagu’on-ta (A Legacy for Our Children). 

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. He is a doctoral candidate in the University of Hawaii’s Department of History and an adjunct faculty member of the University of Guam in History and in Chamorro Studies.  His current research is examining the intersections of Chamorro masculinities and American military colonialism during the first Naval era on Guam (1898-1941).

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 interview 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 14, 2015 @ 9:23 pm

Ep. 218 “Voices of Decolonization”

Ep. 218 “Voices of Decolonization:  A UOG Political Status Debate” (hosted by Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua with producer Alan Grossman) was recorded 1/16/15 at the University of Guam and airs 4/3/15.   

Guam is one of 17 non-self-governing territories recognized by the United Nations as needing decolonization. Chamorros have been pushing for this for several decades but momentum on the issue has built and waned over time. There has been a resurgence of interest since the start of 2015 as both Governor Eddie Baza Calvo and Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo highlighted the importance of political status change in their annual addresses. For the first time in several years the Commission on Decolonization, the government body tasked with helping guide the island towards decolonization, has received a modest budget for public education. 

This episode features a debate over political status courtesy of a Guam History class at the University of Guam, taught by Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua.  As part of this course, a debate on decolonization is conducted whereby the students are divided into three groups, each representing a different possible political future for Guam (statehood, free association or independence). The students research each status, conduct interviews and develop their arguments as to why their particular status would be the best choice. Although the process of formally voting on this political issue is limited to only those who are considered “native inhabitants” of Guam, this exercise shows the importance of non-Chamorros to participate in the discussion as well. 

Music selections: Street Fighting Man by The Rolling Stones and Revolution (single) by The Beatles. 

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March 29, 2015 @ 4:47 pm

Ep. 217 “Call for the Third Marianas History Conference”

Ep. 217 “Call for the Third Marianas History Conference” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with producer Alan Grossman) was recorded 3/20/15 and airs 3/27/15. 

This episode features an interview with Don Farrell, Shannon Murphy and Rosanna Perez Barcinas, three members of the planning committee for the 3rd Marianas History Conference “One Archipelego, Many Stories:  Milestones in Marianas History” to be held in Saipan, CNMI, September 4-6, 2015.  This conference is co-organized  by the Northern Marianas Humanities Council, Guampedia, Guam Preservation Trust, and the University of Guam.  

Don Farrell, a long-time resident of Tinian, is a member of the Northern Marianas Humanities Council and an historian, teacher and author of nine books on the history of the Marianas. Shannon Murphy, a former journalist with more than 35 years experience in Guam and the region, is managing editor of Guampedia, an online resource which highlights the  unique Chamorro heritage and the history of Guam and the Mariana Islands.  Rosanna Perez Barcinas was the senior program officer for the Guam Preservation Trust for 18 years, until 2013.  In 2011, the Guam Preservation Trust, together with the National Preservation Trust and We Are Guahan, filed a successful lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Navy arguing that the DON did not comply with the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) by not considering all potential sites for the Live Fire Training Range Complex when it selected Pågat as the preferred alternative.    

In the first half, they talk about the genesis of the Marianas History Conference, the significance of this gathering of scholars, activists, cultural preservationists, policy makers, students and the general public, and the overarching theme for the third conference. 

Over the next few months, several Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) on plans for increased military activities in the Marianas will be released. Next week, we anticipate the release of the U.S. Pacific Commands’s CNMI Joint Military Training EIS, which will lay out the plans for live fire and other training in Tinian and Pagan. This will be followed by the release of the U.S. Navy’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) on the U.S. Marine Relocation to Guam and the CNMI.  A  revised record of decision on this is expected in late June 2015.  Around that time, the release of the US Air Force CNMI Divert Activities EIS is expected. 

In the second half, these guests discuss their concerns related to these inter-related plans for increased military activity, the importance of overcoming the historical and political divide between Guam and the Northern Marianas in response to these plans, and lessons from Marianas history. 

Music selection:  “Homeland” from the album Breathless, by Kenny G. 

Guampedia has handled the conference’s organization since its inception - pre-registration, accepting presentation applications, pre-conference publicity, as well as helping run the conference and then e-publishing the conference papers and posters after the conference. These are available at Guampedia.com for reading online or downloading. Organizers are calling for abstracts for presentation to be submitted by April 30, 2015 to:  https://guampedia.wufoo.com/forms/marianas-history-conference-iii/

For selected Beyond the Fence coverage of the 2nd Marianas History Conference, download: Ep. 162 (9/16/13) “Historicizing Chamorro Resistance, Subversion and Activism” and Ep. 163 (9/13/13) “Political Futures for the Marianas.” 

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March 20, 2015 @ 4:00 pm

BTF EP 212 BODY OF WAR

Ep. 212 “Body of War” (hosted by Dr.  Vivian Dames with production assistance of Alan Grossman) was recorded 1/28/15 at the Agana Shopping Center and airs 2/6/15.  

This episode provides coverage of the January 28, 2015 film screening and discussion event presented by the Guam Humanities  Council (GHC) in partnership with the local non-profit  organization, the Iraq-Afghanistan-Persian Gulf Veterans of the Pacific (IAPGVP).  This event is part of the GHC continuing exhibit entitled “Sindålu: Chamorro Journeys in the U.S. Military that explores the many significant and often unrecognized journeys of Chamorro men and women who currently or have served in the U.S. military.  

In the first half, we present excerpts from the award winning film documentary “Body of War: The True Story of an Anti-War Hero” (1 hour, 28 minutes) that examines the face of war through 25 year old Tomas Young who was paralyzed from a bullet to his spine after serving in Iraq for less than a week.  He later became active with Iraq Veterans Against War, delivering powerful speeches to an anti-war community eager to hear from veterans. Directed by Phil Donohue and Ellen Spiro the film parallels congressional speeches and a tally of of pro-war votes in the U.S. Senate with intimate footage of Tomas as he navigates the physical and emotional impacts of his injury.  Young passed away in November 2014. The excerpts presented here focus on Tomas’ narrative and that of his mother, Cathy Young, who also became politically active through her participation in Gold Star Mothers for Peace.  

This film screening is followed by brief comments from three panelists, all local veterans: Dr. Tricia Lizama, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Guam who served six years in the U.S. Air Force Reserves then worked from 2009-2011 for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a team leader/social worker; Rodney Cruz, a combat disabled veteran who served three tours of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Global War on Terrorism, and Operation Enduring Freedom and is also founder of  IAPGVP; and Alwin Rafael, an advocate who works for the Guam Vet Center and conducts outreach to veterans in the region. This event concluded with an open discussion facilitated by Monaeka Flores, GHC Coordinator of Marketing and Programs, excerpts of which are included here.  

For more information about other GHC programs and exhibits, go to http://www.guamhumanitiescouncil.org/  For previous Beyond the Fence episodes related to this GHC exhibit, download Ep. 194 (7/8/14) “Sindålu:  Chamorro Journeys in the U.S . Military” and Ep. 205 (10/25/14) “Honoring Filipino Veterans”. 

This episode includes original songs by Eddie Vedder from the film ‘Body of War” . 

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March 12, 2015 @ 7:31 pm

BTF ep 215 “Unpacking Mililtary and Veteran Culture”

Ep. 215 “Unpacking Military and Veteran Culture” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with producer Alan Grossman) was recorded 3/6, 3/10/15 and airs 3/13/15.  

In recognition of National Social Work Month, we are pleased to feature interviews with three Guam social workers who talk about military and veteran culture and implications for social work practice.   

Program guest in the first half is Craig Burns, president-elect of the NASW-Guam Chapter and chair of the 2015 Social Work Regional Training Conference. Burns is a U.S. Army veteran (deployed to Afghanistan from 2004-2005) and adjunct faculty for the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work (SSW), University of Hawaii-Manoa, where he also obtained  his MSW degree. After several years of post-MSW experience in Oahu, he moved to Guam in 2012 to become a social worker with the Department of Veterans Affairs Home-Based Primary Care Team. In Spring 2014, Burns taught a graduate distance education seminar on Military and Veteran Culture for Social Work and Allied Health Professions. This was the first time that the UH SSW has offered such a course. 

In the second half, two Guam social workers who completed this seminar talk about their experience. Sarah Taitano and Tasi Faith Taitano are native daughters of the Marianas. Sarah is Palauan-Chamorro and grew up in Saipan and Guam. Tasi was born on Guam and raised in Rota. They graduated from the University of Guam BSW Program in 2013 then admitted to advance standing in the University of Hawaii-Manoa MSW program, which they completed in 2014.  Sarah completed a graduate practicum with Health Services of the Pacific-Home Care/Hospice Program and is now a Victims Advocate with VARO (Victim Advocates Reaching Out).  Tasi completed a graduate practicum at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Home Base Primary Care Program on Guam, under the supervision of Craig Burns, and is now a social worker at Health Services of the Pacific-Home Care/Hospice Program.   

Music Selection:  “Warrior Song Armed Forces Tribute”  


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March 7, 2015 @ 3:00 pm

Episode 214 “Remembering the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution”

Ep. 214 “Remembering the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with producer Alan Grossman) was recorded 2/24/15 at the University of Guam and airs 2/27/15. 

This episode features coverage of the panel discussion on the 29th Anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution in the Philippines entitled “EDSA in Retrospect” held at the University of Guam on February 24, 2015. This event was sponsored by the Philippine Consulate General in partnership with the College of Liberal Arts  & Social Sciences (CLASS) as part of the CLASS Colloquium series. 

This commemoration highlights the accounts of five Guam residents who were witnesses to this historic event that unfolded February 22-25 along EDSA, the main thoroughfare of Metro Manila, to topple the Marcos dictatorship in what is widely  acknowledged as the first bloodless people’s uprising. 

The panelists (in order of presentation) are:  Mar-Vic Cagurangan is managing editor and columnist for the Marianas Variety and Sunday Variety and a member of the‘Martial Law Babies Generation’ who talks about her political awakening to the meaning of democracy. Dr. Annette David (via pre-recorded video) is an internist, occupational and environmental medicine specialist, and partner, founder and head of the consulting service division of Health Partners,  LLC..  At that time she was a fourth year medical student at the University of the Philippines (UP) and her father was the Philippine Base Commander of Clark Air Force Base.  Consul Edgar Tomas Quilino Auxilian was also a graduate student at UP and active with the College of Public Administration Student Council. Sister Maria Rosario Gaite, RSM, is the vice-principal of Santa Barbara Catholic School, vocation director and member of the leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy on Guam.  At the time, she was a student in Interdisciplinary Studies and member of the Glee Club at Ateneo de Manila, a Jesuit university.  Dr. Donald Platt, professor of history at the University of Guam, recalls his experience while an undergraduate student at UP (where he earned his B.A. History) and his celebration of the revolution with contemporaries in 1986 while attending graduate school at the University of Toledo.  

This podcast includes the remarks of the master of ceremonies Consul Mark Francis C. Hamoy, the opening remarks of Consul General Marciano R. De Borja, and excerpts from the open discussion, not included in the original broadcast. This panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Vivian Dames. 

Music selection:  Mag Ka Isa (Tagalog, for ‘unite’) is one of several popular songs associated with the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.  This version is performed by Virna Lisa.   


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March 3, 2015 @ 12:59 pm

BTF EP 213 5 Year Anniversary

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