Just last week I wrote about the massive development slated for Gun Beach. Now a week later the developer and construction company building the Two Lover’s Condos are in hot water for beginning to clear land before they had the necessary permits. Not only were bulldozers clearing land and destroying ancient Chamorro artifacts, the area is home to an endangered snail that needs to be captured and placed in a proper environment before construction can begin. CoreTech lacked permits for any construction activities, and only possessed a drilling permit from the Guam EPA. Oops. Not an auspicious start to this boondoggle of a development.
My buddy Walt sent along a link to a Los Angeles Time article on the Max Havoc fiasco, featuring an interview with Ralph Coon, Congressman Bob Underwood, Senator Ben Pangelinan, producer John Laing and director Albert Pyun.
It just amazes me that elected officials on Guam were that gullible, though I really enjoy the quote from Laing about Felix Camacho staring down Carmen Electra’s dress and muttering something about how that’s Hollywood.
At last I know the answer to a vexing little question that has bothered me since February: What exactly did the license plate on my new truck mean? All automobile plates on Guam are coded with three letters and four numbers. The three letters indicate a village on the island; DED means Dededo, TUM means Tumon, YIG means Yigo, etc. A similar pattern exists for trucks, with four number followed by three letters signifying an island landmark; TLP is Two Lover’s Point, MLL is Mount Lam Lam, etc.
Well my new truck’s license plate ends with TBJ, and new sequence. And it has bothered me for months. TBJ? TBJ?? What is that? Tarague Beach, Jinapsan? Turns out is means nothing – it’s a mistake by the DMV. The new plates were supposed to be TBG – Tumon Bay Guam, but it got screwed up somehow along the line. Here’s the story from the June 13, 2007 edition of the Marianas Variety.
By Trina A. San Agustin
Variety News Staff
YOU may have noticed this new license plate sequence for commercial and pickup trucks: “TBJ.” Chances are, your guesses are wrong as to what these letters stand for.
Revenue and taxation director Art Ilagan said the suffix sequence was supposed to be “TBG” to stand for “Tumon Bay Guam.”
“When we got the plates, we noticed that it ended with a ‘J’ and not ‘G’ as we ordered. We could not send them back for corrections because we were running out of license plates and we needed them,” Ilagan said.
But the Department of Revenue and Taxation’s Motor Vehicle Division is now working on changing the loo k of the current plates by 2008.
The letters on license plates for commercial and pickup trucks are supposed to be abbreviations for Guam landmarks. For example, “TLP” stands for “Two Lovers Point” and “MSR,” for “Mount Santa Rosa.”
Frank Blas, acting administrator for DMV, said the agency did have enough plates but figured that the “TBJ” sequence plates were in good condition so they went ahead and issued them out to the public.
“They are in good quality and there is no law in place that requires the letters to signify a landmark,” Blas added.
About 1,000 pairs of “TBJ” plates arrived on Guam, and DMV is now waiting for the arrival of the corrected plate with “TBG.”
Blas also told Variety that soon, residents will have to turn in their current plates for a newer, more colorful, and more attractive license plates altogether.
“This has been in the planning for the past two or three years,” Blas said. “We’re looking at a new look to the plates before the end of the year. The director and the governor are working together to finalize the new look of the license plates. We are revamping the whole look with different colors.”
Blas said instead of having three letters, the new license plates will have only two letters with a five-number sequence after.
For example, the license plate “DED 5867” would be replaced by “DE56874.”
For commercial vehicles and pickup trucks, the sequence would be “84634TL” instead of “8463 TLP.”
Blas was not too sure if the new number sequence example would be used in its final draft. He said the director and the governor would be the ones to describe how the new plates would look like.
The last time Guam’s license plates were changed was in the early 90’s, according to Ilagan.
The current plates replaced green and white license plates that contained random number and letter sequences which did not stand for anything significant, as opposed to the current plates that represent villages and local landmarks, with the exclusion of the “TBJ” plates.
Sorry, this is a little old, but here’s a cool little photo essay from Slate on chess playing.
I returned home to Guam Thursday night and slept for the next couple days. Call it jet lag, exhaustion, whatever; I just needed to stretch out and sleep after that 13 hour Houston – Tokyo flight.
Now that vacation is over, the hard training is upon me. I’ve slacked off recently because of the confusion surrounding SPG, and I am feeling like sloth. I need to recapture the fire in my belly and get serious for the next couple months, because it looks like I am going folks.
One last note on my father’s passing. The Webster Kirkwood Times ran his obituary in last week’s issue.
My cousin Denny has a better blog than mine and he mentioned my dad’s passing on it this week. Denny couldn’t come to the funeral unfortunately, he was on vacation when it happened and didn’t get back until a week later. He called my mom and talked for a long while on Monday. Guess he’s going to try and visit sometime this summer.
Anyway, I am back on Guam. Got in late last night and slept until after 1:00 pm today. That trip back really takes the wind out of my sails. Especially the 13 hour flight from Houston to Tokyo; that is a monumental bitch. But I am glad to be back, glad to be with Taliea again. I’ve missed her terribly.
So archaeologists have found evidence of Polynesian chickens at a site along the Chilean coast, proving that Polynesians made their way to South America in Pre-Columbian times. Sort of a reverse Kon Tiki, and a testament to the skill and power of Pacific navigators.
I’ve known about this Polynesian/Asian chicken thing for a while; I remember reading about it back in my undergrad days at Beloit. The hard evidence was lacking, but all the pointers were there, specifically Magellan’s logs that mention bartering for chickens along the Patagonia coast in 1521. Considering that Columbus touched ground in Trinidad in 1498, so it is highly unlikely that chickens made it across so many thousands of miles of jungle and became a common food source among the Patagonians in less than 23 years.
No real surprises here; the December 2005 dam breaching of the Taum Sauk reservoir was caused by deliberate removal of safety gauges at the reservoir. Ameren/UE officials had the gauges removed in order to raise the water levels of the dam and increase the power plant’s generating capacity.
And even better, Ameren officials hid the evidence of this removal from the Missouri investigators and never gave a complete disclosure of what actually happened that December morning. And Missouri’s attorney general will not prosecute Ameren or any of its employees. I wonder how many folks have to die before the Attorney General considers it worthwhile to indict criminal behavior?