Daily Archives: 11/19/2002

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

The Leonids will reach peak intensity over Guam tomorrow morning before sunrise. I just poked my head outside and much to my dismay I couldn’t see a single star. The haze and moonshine are too great. Hopefully things will improve overnight.

This year’s predictions are not favorable for Guam and the Western Pacific, but I will keep my fingers crossed.

Clear skies and look for updates tomorrow morning!

Felonious Monk

I promised a couple weeks ago to avoid mentioning the recent elections; but I really need to point out a recent development.

The PDN is suddenly starting a crusade against a convicted felon that was elected to the newly created school board. While the newspaper’s efforts are to be commended, this reflects a serious lapse in the media’s role as a watchdog for the public trust. This information was readily available; it was known to the Guam Election Commission, which requires police clearance before a candidate can file for office; it was in the public record at the courts; it was know by numerous island residents who suffered at this man’s expense, but no mention of his past was made in the newspaper or other island media. Even I knew about his record, just from a casual conversation with a friend that was the victim of this crook’s fraud. For crying out loud, the guy has two social security numbers and goes by an alias. Yet he says he is reformed, a changed man that wants to make a difference for his island.

Particularly galling is the revelation that this felon is scheduled to go on trial in 2003 for criminal sexual conduct. This man, a known thief, convicted for writing bad checks, is overseeing of our school system. Wonderful. And due to an oversight in the legislation creating the school board, it is perfectly legal for him to sit on this board. I find this development disturbing. How could this happen?

A Pound of Soil for a Meal of Binadu

There’s a good article in today’s PDN on soil erosion and the losing battle environmentalists are engaged in with “hunters.” Several acres of reforested acacia trees were incinerated by these hunters looking for the easy kill. Poachers intentionally set fires to burn away ground cover; the idea being that sprouting young grasses attract deer to the open area, making them sitting ducks. The reality is the fires burn off trees and bushes, expose the soil to erosion, strain the water treatment facilities, and destroy the coral reefs with sedimentation. Particularly galling is the fact that these trees were planted by schoolchildren, only to have adults come in and negate all the hard work.

This is just another symptom of over population and poverty on the island. Too many people are straining the infrastructure and despoiling the natural resources of the island. Too many people trying to feed their families by hunting and fishing. It’s the same mindset that’s found in the degradation of the reefs. In fact, I am willing to say the very same guys that set these fires also use scuba to strip mine the fish off the reefs.