April 26, 2015 @ 1:51 pm
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.