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October 25, 2012 @ 10:22 pm

Episode 128 “Second Guam International Film Festival - Telling Our Stories”

I invite you to tune in to Beyond the Fence which airs every Friday at noon on Public Radio Guam-KPRG 89.3 FM, immediately following Democracy Now.  This one hour locally produced program features coverage of public events and interviews with diverse individuals that explore the complexities of the US military presence in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands and the challenges of building community 'beyond the fence.'

Episode 128 “Second Guam International Film Festival - Telling Our Stories” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Daisy Demapan) airs 9/21/12.

Next week, from September 27-30, 2012 Guam is hosting the second annual Guam International Film Festival (GIFF).  This event kicks off with an opening reception Thursday, September 27, followed by three days of film screenings, filmmaking workshops and an awards ceremony. This year’s festival features 54 film entries,  selected from almost 200 submissions from 24 countries.  All films will be screened at the Micronesia Mall Stadium Theatre.  [For the festival schedule and other information, go]

My guest in the first half of the program is Kel Muna ( who, together with brother Don Muna, are the Executive Producers and Founders of the Guam International Film Festival (GIFF) and producers/directors of Guam’s first full-length independent film, Shiro’s Head. Mr. Muna is an independent producer, writer and director with over 13 years in the multimedia trenches.  He talks about developments since the first film festival last year and the 2012 festival program lineup, especially several films relevant to Beyond the Fence:  Ainikien Jidjid Ilo Boñ (The Sound of Crickets), Back to the Square, Magellan Doesn’t Live Here, and We Are Pagat [see Ep. 87 for the podcast of last year’s interview].

In the second half, we welcome back Cara Flores-Mays ( and Leevin Camacho (, from WeAre Guahan.  Ms. Flores-Mays is the producer of We Are Pågat, a short educational film about the community efforts to save Pågat village, which makes its big screen debut next week. Mr. Camacho is co-producer of the film and one of the local attorneys involved in the lawsuit to save Pagat from being converted to a Department of Defense live fire range training facility, a struggle which continues today. This documentary film is a joint effort of WeAreGuahan and the Guam Historic Preservation Trust which will be made available to the public by the end of November 2012 at

This episode includes audio clips from the GIFF trailer and from We Are Pagat.

Audio podcasts of all episodes are available for free by going to the Beyond the Fence link at or directly to This podcast may be downloaded after October 1 which, as an added bonus, will include a recording of the September 30 GIFF awards ceremony,

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 contact list may be sent to

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

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October 6, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

Ep. 129 “For the Good of Mankind and to End All World Wars”

Ep. 129  “For the Good of Mankind and to End All World Wars” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Joy White) was recorded 9/28/12 and airs 10/5/12.

This year marks 66 years of the exodus of Bikinians from their atoll as a result of extensive US nuclear tests. Bikini is one of 29 atolls and five islands that comprise the Marshall Islands.  From 1946 to 1958 the United States tested 67 nuclear and thermonuclear weapons, including the 15 megaton Bravo blast on March 1, 1954 that vaporized three islands and irradiated most of the northern Marshall Islands and the people living there at the time.  On today’s program we are helped to reflect on this chapter in the history of US militarism in Micronesia and the consequences of forced exile for Bikinians through the lens of former Peace Corps volunteer, teacher, divemaster, writer, Trust Liaison for Bikini Islanders and filmmaker Jack Niedenthal.

Jack Niedenthal ( came to the Marshall Islands in 1981 as a Peace Corps volunteer, became fluent in the Marshallese language, immersed himself in the culture and stories, confronted his own naivete and what it means to be an American, and became astounded by the ability of the Bikini people to care for each other and to care for him.  He is now a dual US-Marshall Islands citizen and married to a Bikinian, Regina Laijo; they have five children and one grand-son.

For the past three decades, Jack has devoted his life to reparative justice and community development for Bikini Islanders by serving as their Trust Liaison, writing the book entitled For the Good of Mankind:  A History of the People of Bikini and Their Island and, more recently, by garnering international acclaim as director, writer and producer (with Suzanne Chutaro) of four full length feature films in the Marshallese language ( His third film *Laninbwils’ Gift *was chosen Best of Festival* *at the 2011 Guam International Film Festival (GIFF) and his fourth film *Anikien Jidjid ilo Bon (*The Sound of Crickets at Night ), debuted in Guam at the 2012 GIFF on September 29.  Described as a meditation on the loss and emotional deprivation, "The Sound of Crickets at Night" represents the first attempt to represent on screen the pain the Marshallese have endured for generations, and continue to endure “for the good of mankind and to end all world wars.” This film received the Atlantis Award for Best Foreign Feature Film at the New York based Moondance International Film Festival and is also an official selection for the Hawaii International Film Festival to be held October 11-21. Ten Year old Bikinian, Salome Fakatou, received the GIFF 2012 Grand Jury Award for Achievment in Acting for her role.

This interview includes excerpts of music from "The Sound of Crickets at Night": "Ij Yokue Lok" {traditional Marshallese song, former National Anthem), performed by Lulani Ritok,  *Drift Away* (music and words by Nelu Debrum,  performed by Nelu Debrum, Lulani Ritok, Joseph Katjang and JonKein “JB” Bunglik and "Ij Jab Ber Mol" (The Bikinian Anthem), words and music by Lore Kessibuki (1946) and performed by Banjo Joel.

For the Good of Mankind:  A History of the People of Bikini and Their Island, 2nd Edition (A Bravo Book, 2001) is available through  All profits from the sale go to the people of Bikini.

Additional Resource:

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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October 6, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

Ep. 120 “Dual Compensation through Leave Sharing for Government of Guam Employees on Military Deploy


Ep. 120 “Dual Compensation through Leave Sharing for Government of Guam Employees on Military Deployment - Part 3” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Joy White) originally aired 7/6/12 and was rebroadcast 9/28/12.

This episode is the last in a three part series which examines the issue of dual compensation through leave sharing for Government of Guam employees on military deployment.  In Part 2 (Ep. 119) which aired 6/29/12, we looked at the different ways in which three public safety agency heads, stymied by various policy interpretations, have chosen to handle requests for leave sharing while on deployment: a “blanket yes” approach of the current Chief of Police, Fred Bordallo; a “blanket no” approach instituted by former director of the Department of Corrections, Jose B. Palacios, which continues under the current director; and a “collaborative-negotiated approach” represented by the Judiciary of Guam (with comments from Josh Tenorio, Director of Policy, Planning and Community Relations and Barbara Jean T. Perez, Human Resources Administrator).

In the first half of today’s program, we consider the impacts on the Guam Fire Department (GFD) and possibilities for change through interviews with David Peredo who had a 35 year career with GFD prior to his appointment as Fire Chief by Governor Camacho; Michael F. Uncangco, Assistant Chief, Administrative Services and former Reservist; current Fire Chief Joey San Nicolas who is among the 600 members of the National Guard scheduled for deployment in January 2013; and Captain Edward Flores, a firefighter and 1st Lt in the Guard who received dual compensation for 18 months.

In the second half, we discuss the possibilities for executive, administrative and legislative action through interviews with Major General Benny Paulino, who serves in the dual role of Director of Military Affairs for the Government of Guam and Adjutant General for the Guam National Guard; Senator Adolpho B. Palacios, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety, Law Enforcement and the Judiciary; and former senator Frank B. Aguon, sponsor of P.L. 26-132 (which extended leave sharing to National Guard and Military Reservists).  Major Aguon is a member of the Guard and commander of the 254th Force Support Squadron who returned in June 2012 from a second six month deployment to Afghanistan.

[Note:  When Ep. 120 first aired 7/6/12, the issue of dual compensation through leave sharing for Government of Guam employees on military deployment was just beginning to surface within the Spending Cuts Task Force.  When this was rebroadcast 9/28/12, the Governor's  2013 budget proposal was  pending approval by the Guam Legislature.  The 2013 Budget Bill 507-31, Section 7, proposes to revert the leave sharing program for classified employees to its original intended purpose, for medical related reasons.  This is just one of several measures proposed by the Governor to balance the budget.  Discussion of compromises on this bill and executive versus legislative action necessary to implement some of the cost-cutting measures were still ongoing.  Senator Adolpho B. Palacios and former senator Frank B. Aguon are running for re-election. On September 26, 2012,  Major General Benny Paulino joined nine other members of the Governor's cabinet to submit letters volunteering to take a 10 percent cut in pay to ameliorate the $171 million cash shortfall projected by the Governor.]

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