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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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