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May 1, 2017 @ 4:17 am

Ep. 257 “The Tip of the Spear or the Tip of a Nuclear Bomb? A Forum on Nuclear Issues on Guam”

Ep. 257 “The Tip of the Spear or the Tip of a Nuclear Bomb? A Forum on Nuclear Issues on Guam” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and produced by Alan Grossman with assistance from Tom Maxedon and Manny Cruz) was recorded 2/16/17 and airs 4/7/17.     

This episode provides coverage of the public forum held February 16 at the University of Guam entitled “Tip of the Spear? Or Tip of a Nuclear Bomb?”.  

Guam has long been referred to as the ‘Tip of America’s Spear’ as its position on the edge of Asia makes it an ideal strategic location from which the US can project force into the Pacific Rim and Asia. The inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States has brought a new level of uncertainty to a part of the world where nuclear tensions have already been escalating. In the midst of unresolved territorial disputes in the South China Sea, last year’s unveiling of Guam Killer missiles from China, more missile tests from North Korea, the planned permanent deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile-defense systems in Guam and South Korea, and the US military’s plans to increase their presence in the Marianas, this forum afforded an opportunity to be informed about the U.S nuclear legacy and current threats in the region, to reimagine Guam’s place in the world, and reflect on one’s role in the global struggle for nuclear non-proliferation.  
This forum, sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, featured four panelists. It opened with a brief overview of nuclear weapons and contamination in Guam by Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua, Assistant Professor of Chamorro Studies, who also served as moderator.  This was followed by remarks from:
Dr. James Sellmann, Professor of Philosophy and Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, who highlighted moral considerations regarding nuclear weapons and presented a philosophical argument for nuclear disarmament. [To request a copy of the full text of this paper, contact].

Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero, co-chair of the Independent Guåhan Task Force, who discussed  her concerns, as a Chamorro and as a mother, regarding the increasing  vulnerability of Guam as a nuclear target under a Trump administration.  

Raymond Lujan, a Social Work senior, who put out a call to action for solidarity on nuclear disarmament. He represented Guam last year at events in Japan to remember the atomic bombings and to promote solidarity and peace.  These events were sponsored by Gensuikyo (Japan Council Against A and H Bombs) which has waged various kinds of campaigns for: the prevention of nuclear war; the total ban on and the elimination of nuclear weapons; and support and solidarity with atomic survivors. [For more on Guam’s participation, download Ep. 249  “One Thousand Paper Cranes and Other Actions for Peace” which aired 9/2/16.]  

Music selection : "Trump Talking Nukes" by Tim Heidecker, song #21 for Our First 100 Days, a project committed to releasing an original song every day for the first 100 days of the Trump administration.

Suggestions for future topics and guests, or requests to be removed or added to this list, may be sent to or call 671-734-8930.  You can follow us on Twitter:@BTF_KPRG or like us at  KPRG streams live at and has released apps for Iphone/Ipad and Android devices. Podcasts of most episodes are available for free and may be downloaded within five days of the broadcast by going to: 

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December 16, 2016 @ 8:53 am

Ep. 253 “Lina’la, i Hanom (Water is Life): Guåhan Stands with Standing Rock”

Ep. 253 “Lina’la, i Hanom (Water is Life):  Guåhan Stands with Standing Rock”  (hosted by Moñeka De Oro and produced by Tom Maxedon) airs 12/16/16.  

In solidarity with the ‘water protectors’ of Standing Rock in North Dakota, a women-led group of concerned Guåhan citizens is hosting a series of Lina’la, i Hanom  (Water is Life) local fundraising events this month. A community wave was held December 9 at Kepuha Loop in Hagatna followed the next morning with a prayer ceremony at the Guam National Wildlife Refuge in Ritidian, adjacent to Anderson Air Force Base.  Tomorrow, December17, a live music and art action will be held from 2-6 p.m. at Sagan Kotturu  CHamoru, Ypao Point, Tamuning. These events  are intended to offer prayers for the continued protection of Standing Rock and all native lands and waters everywhere, and to raise funds for the legal fees incurred fighting the pipeline.  Funds will also be donated to support the Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock.  

The Dakota Access Pipeline protests, started in early 2016, has grown into the thousands, drawing support from Native Americans from across the continent and the Pacific, as well as activists who joined in solidarity to protest the proposed route of the 1,172-mile pipeline. If constructed, the pipeline would threaten the water supply, destroy ancestral lands, and have harmful impacts on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Last week these prayerful protests won a concession from the federal government: The Army Corps of Engineers announced it would deny the permit necessary to build the oil pipeline in that area and recommended that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be conducted to explore alternate routes for the pipeline. Now, with the onset of winter,  the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota is asking people camping near the route to go home. However, the ‘water protectors’ wish to maintain a sustainable community at the camp.

The movement in Guam and the Northern Marianas to protect ancestral CHamoru lands and waters from the damaging effects of the military buildup is viewed as connected with the movement at Standing Rock; both movements share concerns about the viability of National Environmental Policy  Act (NEPA) and the EIS process under a Trump administration.

This 30 minute episode features audio clips featuring Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero, and chants performed by Ininan I Sainata, Irensia Taotao Tåno and Taotao Lagu at the December 10 Lina’la, i Hanom  (Water is Life) prayer ceremony event recorded for this program and brief interviews with Cali Fejerang and Crystal Gingras.

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December 7, 2016 @ 5:52 pm

Ep. 252 “Study Abroad through iSchool Guam: Oral Traditions, Knowledge and Science”

Ep. 252 “Study Abroad through iSchool Guam: Oral Traditions, Knowledge and Science” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and produced by Tom Maxedon) airs 12/2/16.  

From August 25-September 18, a diverse group of eight undergraduate and graduate students were in Guam for a five credit three week introductory course to indigenous knowledge systems and the oral traditions of Pacific Islanders offered for the first time by the University of Washington, School of Information. Through lectures, readings, discussions, field visits and Chamorro and cultural activities, these students explored the concept of information within oral traditions and the relationship to contemporary notions of knowledge and science.

The first half of this episode features an interview (recorded 9/19) with the course professor, Dr. Sheryl Day, who completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Washington and is now a senior instructor and researcher interested in the relationship of people, information, and technology. She was born and raised in Guam and is part of a growing diaspora of Chamorro academics contributing to scholarship on indigenous methodologies. She discusses her personal and academic background, her dissertation entitled “Talking Story: The Militarization of Guahan and Flows of Information in Chamoru Systems of Knowledge” and the backstory to this iSchool Guam study abroad course.   

This is followed in the second half by the commentaries (recorded 9/17) of the three graduate students who participated in this course:  Nikki Andrews,  Maori from New Zealand, who is studying Library Science; Angie Lyons, who is interested in digital communication and the empowerment of nonprofit organizations who work with economically ‘disprivileged’ communities; and Annie Tucker,  a former Peace Corps volunteer with a family legacy of military service. Each shares her personal background in relationship to ‘the fence’, motivation for taking this course, highlights of the Guam experience, and the focus of her final class presentation.  As a framework for discussing Chamoru decolonization projects, students drew from the book, Decolonizing Methdologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples by Linda Tuhiwai Smith, a professor of indigenous education at the University of Waikato in New Zealand.

This episode concludes with a Chamorro spiritual chant I Fa'fa'na'gue-ta honoring a teacher of traditional arts, performed by the I Fanlalai’an Chant Group.

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October 23, 2016 @ 8:10 am

Ep. 251 “From New Caledonia to Guahan: Status Updates on the Decolonization Process”

Ep. 251 “From New Caledonia to Guahan:  Status Updates on the Decolonization Process” (hosted by Dr. Lisa Linda Natividad and produced by Tom Maxedon) was recorded 9/1/16 and airs 10/21/16. 

This episode features coverage of the September 1 community forum entitled “From New Caledonia to Guahan: Status Updates on the Decolonization Process” held at the University of Guam.  This event was sponsored by the Division of Social Work and featured two presenters:

Guam attorney Leevin Camacho is a main organizer of We Are Guahan and worked on the lawsuit against the US Department of Defense (DOD) on the proposed use of  Pågat, the site of an ancient Chamorro village in central Guam, for a live firing range complex as specified in the 2009 Guam and CNMI Military Relocation Draft Environmental Impact Study. Their legal team won this case forcing the DOD to conduct a supplemental environmental impact study before it can proceed with its plan for the military build-up. In this presentation Camacho provides a legal perspective on Guam’s political status, recent territorial decisions, and the issue of who can vote in the self-determination plebiscite, yet to be scheduled. [for a related episode featuring Camacho, download Ep. 48 (12/31/10), "The Lawsuit to Save Pågat Village --- And More" (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames).    

Nic Maclellan is a Pacific-based journalist and researcher, a correspondent for Islands Business magazine in Fiji, and a noted expert on decolonization matters of French self-governing territories. He describes how under the Noumea Accord, the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia is scheduled to hold a referendum on self-determination in late 2018. Like Guam, New Caledonia is listed with the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization,  and the Front de Liberation national Kana et Socialiste (FLNKS) has been campaigning for independence from France since the 1980s.  The  indigenous Kanak people, like the Chamorros of Guam, have been made a minority in their homeland due to colonial settlement and ongoing migration. Maclellan discusses the ongoing transition towards a new political status: the interplay of economic, social and political tensions at a time of global crisis in the nickel industry; French strategic deployments in the South Pacific; the role of the Pacific Islands Forum and the United Nations; and ongoing debates over citizenship and voting rights, including the electoral roll for the 2018 referendum. [for a previous episode featuring Maclellan, download Ep. 159 (8/16/13) “Australians Form A Peaceful Network to Resist US Bases,  Part 2 of 2” (hosted by Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero). 


The powerpoint slides accompanying each presentation are available for simultaneous review at

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October 12, 2016 @ 10:24 am

Ep. 250 “Tourism and the Military Buildup on Guam”

Ep. 250 “Tourism and the Military Buildup on Guam” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and produced by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Robert Wang) airs 10/7/16.   


According to the Guam Visitors Bureau 2020 Strategic Plan, tourism is Guam’s #1 industry generating $1.4 billion for the economy and 18,000 jobs. This represents 60% of our island’s annual business revenues and over 30% of all non-federal jobs on the island. 

In recognition of  U.N. World Tourism Day (September 27), this episode examines observed and anticipated impacts of the military buildup on Guam’s vital tourism sector, efforts to ameliorate the negative impacts, and what else must be done. Six thousand US military personnel are currently stationed on the island, but a long-delayed expansion plan as part of President Obama’s Asia-Pacific pivot would involve an additional 5,000 Marines (two-thirds on a rotational basis) and 1,300 dependents beginning in 2022.  


Program guest in the first half is Fred R. Schumann, PhD, associate professor of Global Resources Management in the School of Business and Public Administration, University of Guam, where he has been a member of the faculty since 2009. He has been active as a business executive in the Asia Pacific region for over 30 years, working with various multinational retail and hospitality firms. Dr. Schumann’s primary research has been in the field of international tourism, trends in consumer spending and island sustainability. Touchstones for this conversation include a 2010 presentation (with John Peterson) entitled “War Games: Okinawa, Guam, and Heritage Preservation," as part of the Tourism Education Council (TEC) Lecture Series and his 2012 publication of  “Tourism and the Military Buildup on Guam: Adapting to Change” (Asia Pacific World, Vol. 3, No. 2). 

In the second half, we feature brief commentary from six key stakeholders in the tourism industry: Jon Nathan Denight, general manager, Guam Visitors Bureau; Mary Rhodes, president, Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association; Jeff Pleadwell, owner of Jeff's Pirates Cove in Ipan, Talofofo; from the Guam National Wildlife Refuge—-Emily Sablan, park ranger, and Dr. Larisa Ford, project leader for the Mariana Islands Refuges and Monument Complex; and Anthony Ramirez,historian, Guam Department of Parks and Recreation. 

These commentaries were recorded with the assistance of  Rosanne Perez, a BBA graduate of the University of Guan with a concentration in International Tourism and Hospitality Management and Human Resources Management.  

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September 17, 2016 @ 7:34 am

Ep. 249 “One Thousand Paper Cranes and Other Actions for Peace”

Ep. 249  “One Thousand Paper Cranes and Other Actions for Peace” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames and produced by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Alan Grossman and Robert Wang) was recorded 7/31/16 and airs 9/2/16.  


This episode begins with a short presentation made by 10 year old Maria Jessica Schwab to her fifth grade class at St Francis Catholic School on Guam about the book entitled Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (1977) by American-Canadian author Eleanor Coerr. This story is based on the letters of a girl who was two years old when she survived the horrific atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August  6, 1945 but died ten years later of leukemia caused by the radiation.

This is followed by my interview with another Hibakusha, or victim of the atomic bombing.  Hideko Tamura-Snider is a retired social worker who worked in the field of child welfare and mental health in the United States for forty years dealing with issues related to trauma, loss, grief and healing. Since 1979 she has been appearing before professional organizations, university classes, and community groups across the United States and in her native Japan, telling her story and encouraging people of all cultures and nations to examine the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons and to work toward peace and nuclear nonproliferation. She has authored a memoir One Sunny Day (1996) and a children's picture book When a Peace Tree Blooms (2014).  In 2007 she founded One Sunny Day Initiatives to educate people about the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons and to plant seeds of peace, hope and reconciliation through educational presentations and cultural exchange programs. In 2013, she was honored by appointment as Peace Ambassador for the City of Hiroshima. From 12/23/15~1/5/16, she visited for the first time the islands of Saipan and Tinian, the launching point for the atomic bomb attacks against Japan (see 

In the second half, I speak with Arthur ‘AJ’ Taimanglo and Raymond Lujan, sons of Chamorro men who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, who have represented Guam at events in Japan to remember the atomic bombings and to promote solidarity and peace. These events are sponsored by Gensuikyo (Japan Council Against A and H Bombs) which was established in September 1955. Since then it has waged various kinds of campaigns for: the prevention of nuclear war; the total ban on and the elimination of nuclear weapons; and support and solidarity with Hibakusha. The council's founding followed the first World Conference against A & H Bombs, held in August of the same year in the wake of the U.S. hydrogen bomb testing in the Marshall Islands. 

AJ Taimanglo first visited Japan as a cultural exchange student while in middle school. In 2014 he returned as one of seven international delegates to participate in the nationwide anti-nuclear Peace March. This annual 90 day relay began in 1958 and covers all 47 prefectures using 11 main routes. The other delegates were from Japan, the Philippines, India, and the United States. At that time AJ was a social work student at the University of Guam. He is currently a social worker at Catholic Social Services working with the elderly and adults with disabilities who have encountered some form of abuse.  

Ray Lujan was also in middle school when he first visited Japan as a Junior Peace Ambassador for the Asia-Pacific Children’s Convention. He recently returned from representing Guam at the 2016 Peace March, as well as the World Conference Against A and H Bombs held August 2-9 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He chaired two breakout sessions at this conference and also toured the Japan Red Cross A Bomb Hospital in Hiroshima. He is currently a social work senior at the University of Guam and a practicum student at the I Famaguon-ta Program at the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center where he works with at-risk children and youth and their families.  

This episode includes the musical selection “Thousand Cranes” by Hiroshima, an American-Asian jazz fusion band, as well as a CNN audio clip by Will Ripley about President Obama’s May 27, 2016 visit to Hiroshima.   

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July 17, 2016 @ 4:13 am

Ep. 248 “Decolonizing Oceania and the Festival of the Pacific Arts”

Ep. 248  “Decolonizing Oceania and the Festival of the Pacific Arts” (hosted by Dr. Tiara Naputi and produced by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Alan Grossman) airs 7/15/16. 

This episode is dedicated to the late  Eddie “Uncle Ed” Leon Guerrero Benavente, a Chamoru rights activist and longtime supporter for the decolonization of Guåhan, who passed away on July 6, 2016.

This episode features commentary from Chamorus who discuss the issue of decolonization at the 12th Festival of the Pacific Arts, hosted by Guåhan from May 22-June 4, 2016. The festival’s theme, "Håfa Iyo-ta, Håfa Guinahå-ta, Håfa Ta Påtte, Dinanña' Sunidu Siha Giya Pasifiku" or "What We Own, What We Have, What We Share, United Voices of the Pacific" provided an opportunity to consider the shared histories and contemporary realities throughout Oceania. 

Commentary is provided by six of the twelve Guåhan delegates who staged a strategic action during the Festival’s closing ceremony on Saturday, June 4th  calling for unity across Oceania. Standing in solidarity with the decolonization struggle of other indigenous communities throughout Oceania (especially the Kanak, Kanaka Maoli, West Papuans, and Rapa Nui), these delegates unfurled their wraps as banners that carried the message “Decolonize Oceania” and “Free Guåhan.”  They share their stories, describe their roles in this political action, and discuss how decolonization was woven throughout FestPac in various ways: 

Desiree Taimanglo Ventura

Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero

Kisha Borja-Quichocho-Calvo

Kenneth Gofigan Kuper

Monaeka Flores

Joseph Certeza

This episode also includes an interview with Monica Guzman, the Programming Chair for the 2016 Festival of the Pacific Arts,  who shares her response to this strategic action at the closing ceremony, and broader political issues addressed at the festival.

For related commentary published in the Pacific Daily News written by Kisha Borja-Quichocho- Calvo, “Political Statement at FestPac Necessary” (June 9, 2016) and by Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero and Michael Lujan Bevacqua, “We Deserve to be Free” (June 19, 2016),  go to: . 

Additionally, a short film is being produced by the Independence for Guam Task Force to share the story behind the strategic action that took place at the closing ceremony.  To view some information about this film (anticipated for release in September 2016),  go to:

Guest host Tiara Naputi (Ph.D. The University of Texas-Austin) is a member of the Chamoru   diaspora whose interdisciplinary work focuses on indigenous studies, rhetoric and cultural studies. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado-Boulder

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July 17, 2016 @ 4:08 am

Ep. 247 “The PROMESA and the Colonial Crisis in Puerto Rico”

Ep. 247 “The PROMESA and the Colonial Crisis in Puerto Rico” (hosted by Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua and produced by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Alan Grossman) was recorded 6/2/16 in Managua, Nicaragua and airs 7/1/16. 


This episode features an in-person interview with Wilma E. Reverón-Collazo,  an internationally recognized human rights activist and attorney practicing employment, civil rights, and family law in Puerto Rico.  

In recent weeks the news of an economic crisis in Puerto Rico has been widely reported in the media. The local government is more than $70 billion in debt and the island is suffering with an unemployment rate of 11.4% and a poverty rate of 45%.  Basic public services in health care and education have been dramatically affected and the island is experiencing a rapid brain drain as those who have the means to leave, are doing so.


What is rarely reported by mainstream media is that much of Puerto Rico’s current dire financial state is due to its long-standing history as a U.S. colony, and past and existing laws that have kept it, as some scholars suggest, as a “laboratory of neoliberalism.” This implies that certain predatory or Malthusian social and economic policies that are currently being imposed on developing countries around the world, were first piloted in Puerto Rico. Current U.S. and Puerto Rico law restrict this commonwealth’s ability to respond to its financial crisis, for example by requiring that it pay its debtors each month before it takes care of its basic services; also, by preventing it from declaring bankruptcy in order to restructure its debt.


On June 29, the U.S. Senate passed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA, which translates to promise), on a bipartisan 68-30 vote, three weeks after  the House overwhelmingly backed the measure.  This vote came just two days before Puerto Rico is due to make a $2 billion payment to creditors. Puerto Rico is scheduled for its next round of debt payments and is unable to meet them.  This supposed “rescue” legislation affords an opportunity for Puerto Rico to restructure its debt by placing it under the control of a seven-member federal fiscal board whose authority supersedes any local law or elected official.  

Attorney Reverón-Collazo discusses the colonial origins of the current debt crisis and how, in her opinion, the PROMESA only promises to create more problems. 


This interview was conducted by Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua on June 2, 2016 at the United Nations Committee of 24 (Special Committee on Decolonization) Regional Seminar held in Managua, Nicaragua.    

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June 27, 2016 @ 9:50 am

Ep. 246 “A Tribute to Daniel Berrigan: Prophet of Peace …and More”

Ep. 246  “A Tribute to Daniel Berrigan: Prophet of Peace …and More” (hosted by Francis X. Hezel and produced  by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Alan Grossman and Robert Wang) airs 6/24/16. 

Father Daniel Berrigan—American Jesuit priest, poet, author, teacher, anti-war activist, prophet, controversial figure—died April 30, just nine days shy of his 95thbirthday.   

Berrigan made his first mark on the nation in the midst of the Vietnam War–a war that increasingly divided the United States.  Berrigan was one of the towering figures of that era–and perhaps one of the most divisive. Together with his late brother, Philip, the Berrigan brothers stood as radical spokesmen for peace even as their own country was waging war. They burned draft files in the parking lot of the Catonsville, Maryland draft board and trespassed onto the General Electric nuclear missile facility in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania were they damaged nuclear nuclear warhead nose cones, in acts of resistance to U.S. militarism. The Berrigan brothers' felonious forms of nonviolent protest led a nation of Catholics, and millions of others, to both loathe and love the brothers, who together made the cover of Timemagazine in 1971 for their work in opposition to the Vietnam War. 

This episode features interviews via Skype with Fr. Raymond A. Schroth, a Jesuit, journalist, and teacher who was a colleague of Berrigan’s. John O’Gorman, who was a student of Berrigan’s in 1989 in a Seminar on Peace & Justice at Loyola University-New Orleans; and Gerry Drummond, a former Jesuit and friend. They share personal reflections about this remarkable man, his peacemaking legacy and impact on their own formation of conscience about war, and his wake and funeral in May. 

This episode includes the poem by Berrigan entitled "Some" which he performed 6/10/06 at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City; two poems of Berrigan read by Gerry Drummond; and a clip from the film “King Of Prussia”, excerpted from Democracy Now, “Remembering Father Daniel Berrigan - A Prophet”, which aired 5/30/16.  The episode concludes with the songs: “Peace, Love, and Understanding” performed by Nick Lowe and “War” performed by Edwin Star. 

Guest host Father Francis X. Hezel, S.J, has lived and worked in Micronesia since 1963.  At different times, he has served as a high school teacher, school administrator, pastor and regional superior to the Jesuits in Micronesia. He is now serving as parochial vicar in Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Guam after 40 years as director of Micronesian Seminar, the public education program for the Catholic Church in the Caroline Islands.  He has written and spoken widely  about the impacts of social change on island societies and has authored several books on Micronesian history. You may view his May 6 , 2015 commentary on Dan Berrigan at


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June 27, 2016 @ 9:48 am

BTF EP 245

Public Radio Guam
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