Local News Roundup

Time for a quick stroll through the Guam headlines.

  • Gutierrez Slips Through D.A.’s Fingers – Again: The case against former Governor Carl Gutierrez was dropped last week, minutes before it was scheduled to go to trial. Justice Richard Benson ruled that the former governor broke no laws in soliciting retroactive retirement benefits from the GovGuam Retirement Fund. Gutierrez must be feeling cocky after his second exoneration and publicly chided Attorney General Doug Moylan for wasting his time and taxpayer’s money. As much as I loathe Gutierrez, I must admit he has a point.
  • Micronesian Kingfisher Born On Guam: The Micronesian Kingfisher, known as the sihek in Chamorro, was driven to the brink of extinction by the infamous brown tree snake. For the first time in over two decades, a sihek chick has been hatched on Guam.
  • Power Rates Rise 11% – Again: For the second time this year, the Public Utilities Commission approved a 10% to 11% rate increase for the Guam Power Authority. Apparently the power utility has been running in the red because of the increased cost of fuel. Guam receives all it’s electrical power from oil fired generators, making the island especially susceptible to the current oil crisis. I wish they would investigate putting in solar or wind power on Guam, but that will never happen. Instead we’ll fritter away money on deep sea convection, tidal generators or other pie in the sky ideas and continue to suffer sporadic power from the oil burning generators.
  • Guam Police Department drops the ball: Last December GPD broke its biggest drug case in years and raided a meth lab in Sinajana. Last week all charges were thrown out when it was revealed that the police department did not follow proper procedure during a search and all evidence of the drug lab was suppressed. Now all four people arrested in connection with the ice lab are free.
  • My ISP merged with the cable company: Marianas Cablevision gobbled up ECCOMM, my ISP for the last 9 years. Apparently they are giving up the DSL market for cable modems now that GTA is taking customers for half what they were charging. Too bad I don’t have cable TV, though my land lady does. I guess I better go check out GTA’s new internet offerings. Of course they have to fix my damn phone first…
  • Surprise, surprise. The Chamber of Commerce opposes minimum wage hike: It’s never the right time for business leaders to raise wages. After all, Guam’s economic recovery is precarious, and forcing business owners to pay a living wage will only encourage them to close up shop and leave island, right? Is that a threat?
  • Pork Bellies: Looks like Madeleine Bordallo is earning her keep after all. News cames down today that several recent bills approved in Congress will mean more Federal dollars coming to Guam. First of all, Guam is set to receive $105 million for improvements to the nation’s infrastructure, including $6 million for a new wharf, $6.6 million for three bridges in Agaña, and $400,000 for Guam Mass Transit to purchase new buses, all from the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act. Secondly, she managed to get the entire island of Guam classified as a Historically Underutilized Business Zone, allowing businesses on island preferred access to Federal contracts under legislation she introduced. Congrats to the Congresswoman, now maybe we can afford to raise the minimum wage to $6.25 after all…