Tag Archives: 671

Judge denies officers’ bail change request in Blue House case

Judge Anita Sukola has denied bail modification requests for all officers accused of crimes connected to the Blue House brothel.

Citing a concern for the safety of the communities and alleged victims of the brothel, Sukola denied requests that the officers be released on a personal bond or recognizance.

Bail amounts for Officers David Manila, Mario Laxamana and Anthony Quenga are $250,000, $100,000 and $250,000, respectively.

Attorney Peter Perez, who represents Mario Laxamana, noted in court that his client intends to post bail. It is uncertain if the other officers plan to do the same.

Blue House Karaoke Lounge was located in Upper Tumon, Guam.

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Why Guam shouldn’t celebrate Fourth of July

The July 4th celebrations at beach parties, picnics, fireworks and the waving of American flags on this land of islanders who have been denied the basic human right of self-determination and decolonization remind us about the deep disparities between the principles and the practices of American democracy in the Chamorro archipelago of the Mariana Islands.

For Guam, much of this is in fact caused by U.S. military presence and strategies of the 21st century.

In 1776, the unanimous declaration of the 13 United States of America severely criticized the King of Gr. Britain for having:

“Kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

“He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

“He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

“For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us.”

It was clear that the signers of the Declaration of Independence were in fact, decidedly anti-military in their castigation of America’s then-ruler.

Today, however, the United States’ spread of over 900 military bases outside of the continental U.S. exists separate from civilian life, with its own set of laws and technology that abridge basic human rights and civil liberties in colonial territories and distant countries.

The United States’ own foundational document, with its anti-colonial and anti-military values, deserves an honest review in our classrooms and should be at the forefront of our thoughts today and every day until the day we are allowed to exercise our basic human rights in our own land.

Hope A. Cristobal is a former senator and resident of Tamuning.

Why Guam shouldn’t celebrate Fourth of July

Guam Blog

Guam is tropical but definitely not a paradise. Guam is situated in the west pacific about 13 degrees north of the equator. Temperatures are hot and humid year round with temperatures in the 80′;s and 90’s. Trade winds blow during the dry season and offer some cooling. During the wet season, rain and thunder storms occur frequently and with intensity. They disrupt computers and cell phone service. Typhoons are always a threat. One major one occurs every 8-10 years. Minor ones occur too, as well as earth quakes. Houses are constructed like concrete bunkers to with stand the typhoons. . Windows have shutters.

Military Presence

The military dominates the island with its naval and air bases. Troops deploy from Guam. Security is tight. The military routinely changes civilian flight plans to accommodate its needs for airplanes. The island people, the Chamorro, do not like the military.

Employment

Unemployment on Guam is higher than on the U.S. mainland. Employment comes from three sources: military, tourism and Guam government. All civilian job applications must go through the Department of Administration (DOA) where they are rated for qualifications. There is much favoritism with jobs going to island relatives who are not qualified. The outsider job applicants refer to their job applications as (DOA), dead on arrival when they reach this government agency.

Traffic Congestion

Roads are poorly maintained and congested. Drivers don’t follow the Rules of the Road. Accidents involving pedestrians are commonplace. The police fail to enforce traffic rules.

Phone Service

Land line phone service is unreliable. Most residents resort to cell phones. Cell phone service from Guam to the U.S. mainland is questionable at times.

Cost of Living

The cost of living is high because everything has to be imported. Gas, grocery and electricity are particularly high. Shortages occur routinely. People learn to stock up on the basics when they can.

Housing

Housing is cheap. However, this will change when the military moves its forces from Japan to Guam.

Schools

The public school system at all levels is terrible. Teachers are understaffed and underpaid. Teachers teach without the requisite degrees and some of them are hardly older than the students they teach.

Health Care

Except for the military, health care is poor as well. Patients wait a long time for appointments. The island lacks equipment such as MRI machines. Testing is done on the island, but results must be sent to the mainland for analysis.

Animal Control

Dogs roam the streets uncontrolled. If a dog is hit by a car, nothing is done to remove it. Dogs, especially black ones, are a food delicacy among some cultures on the island.

Population

The native people are called Chamorro. Other people make up the population such as Japanese, Korean, Pilipino and Vietnamese. English and Chamorro are the official languages. Guam is a territory of the u.S. It uses U.S. currency and the U.S. postal service. However, if you are going to send a package to Guam from the U.S. you need a customs form.

Tourism and recreation

Tourism is big business in Guam. Guam was once occupied by the Japanese. Japanese World War II bunkers are the biggest attraction. Parts of the island are very beautiful including the beaches and water. Guam boasts many water parks. Many hotels and apartment complexes have swimming pools.

Travel to Guam

Passports are required to travel to Guam from the U.S. Flights typically depart from San Francisco. The first leg of the trip is San Francisco to Hawaii then, Hawaii to Guam. The whole trip takes approximately 14 hours.

Festivals and holidays

Guam celebrates many festivals. Guam is Catholic and celebrates all the saints” days. It celebrates its own independence day. Very little work is done in the month of December because of the Christmas holidays.

If you are an intense, type a personality, stay away from Guam. You will be frustrated all the time. Things get done very slowly there if at all.

Micronesia Blog

Suba has retired!

Now let’s hope whomever replaces him is beyond reproach, we need a freakin boy scout right now to repair the name of GPD.

Source:  Suba has retired!

Nominee says GMH ‘killing patients’

Dr. Samuel Friedman, second from left, listens during a confirmation hearing for him to serve as a member of the Guam Board of Medical Examiners. The hearing was held at the Guam Legislature in Hagåtña yesterday.Dr. Samuel Friedman, second from left, listens during a confirmation hearing for him to serve as a member of the Guam Board of Medical Examiners. The hearing was held at the Guam Legislature in Hagåtña yesterday.

A Guam doctor yesterday told lawmakers that Guam Memorial Hospital isn’t safe for patients. He said island doctors kill patients.

“The hospital is a basket case, to put it in a mild fashion. There are doctors on the island who are hurting patients, who are killing patients. And these aren’t sick patients,” oncologist Dr. Sam Friedman said during his confirmation hearing yesterday.

“There’s no accountability that I see until there’s a fuss made in the paper. This shouldn’t be happening in a Western world,” he said.

Friedman was appointed by Gov. Eddie Calvo to the Guam Board of Medical Examiners, which oversees local licensing for medical practitioners on Guam.

During the hearing, Friedman made allegations of serious incompetence and misconduct by medical practitioners on island — including an allegation that a woman recently died while in labor because of a mistake by a medical professional.

“There was a young woman who died in labor two months ago. Totally preventable case. Something that a junior medical student wouldn’t do,” said Friedman.

Friedman didn’t elaborate on the case.

Interim Hospital Administrator Rey Vega didn’t return phone calls yesterday for comment. When asked about the accusations of misconduct and incompetence at GMH, Troy Torres, director of communications for the Calvo administration, said Vega “is looking into the statements made by Dr. Friedman.”

Friedman also addressed a dispute between himself and a nurse at the hospital, spoke about his critical position on the accreditation of GMH, and explained why he gave up his hospital privileges three years ago.

Vacancy in dispute

But even before those issues were addressed, senators first wrangled with whether there was a vacancy on the board to which he was appointed.

Democratic Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, chairman of the health committee, said his office was investigating whether there was a vacancy on the board. He said it was unclear if a law passed to limit terms on certain boards, including the Guam Board of Medical Examiners, violated the Organic Act of Guam.

According to James Canto, chief legal counsel of the Calvo administration, all seven appointments have expired. The members of the board are: Joan Gill; James Murphy; James Stadler; Patrick Santos; Ricardo Eusebio; Ronald Kobayashi; and Julie G. Lujan, Canto said.

Racism allegation

In written testimony provided to the committee, Cely Mangrobang, a nurse supervisor at GMH, accused Friedman of racism against Filipino nurses.

“Dr. Sam Friedman’s behavior toward our nurses was extremely unprofessional and can even be considered racist,” wrote Mangrobang. “He made derogatory remarks to our staff of particular, negative attention to Filipino nurses. He said, ‘Filipino nurses are stupid and incompetent.’ His statement not only insults our wonderful, hard-working Filipino nurses, but also our health-care profession in general.”

Friedman called the accusation of derogatory remarks “lies” and said that his interaction with Mangrobang was limited to a single altercation five years ago.

He told senators that, at the time, he was treating an “extremely ill” patient, and gave instructions to a nurse to give the patient a drug by continuous infusion over seven days.

“I got a call from the nurse on the board that, oops, she gave the seven-day dose … in an hour, which could have been a fatal error,” said Friedman.

He said he confronted Mangrobang, as the nursing supervisor, about the error, “this woman yelled at me for 45 minutes, half an hour.”

Rodriguez said his office received phone calls and testimony submitted in response to Friedman’s appointment. According to documents received by the Pacific Daily News, approximately 95 people, many of whom said they were nurses, signed several petitions opposing Friedman’s appointment the board.

GMH privileges

Friedman also addressed concerns about the fact that he no longer has privileges at GMH.

He told legislators he gave up privileges at GMH three years ago after he submitted paperwork to renew the privilege but got a letter that said he hadn’t. He said after repeated efforts to contact the administrator with no response, he gave up.

“To hell with them,” Friedman said.

Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz asked Friedman if it would be important that someone approved for practice on Guam have privileges at GMH.

Friedman said it would depend on what the doctor would be doing and noted that he treats patients outside of GMH. He said he can treat patients in one hour, while it would take 24 hours at GMH, and that he could do so at a fraction of the cost.

“I think when the hospital gets up to the standard of care where it’s safe to put patients in — which it isn’t now, but hopefully will be shortly –yes, I agree,” Friedman said. “I think, right now, it’s not safe for many patients to be there.”

Accreditation

Friedman also said he wasn’t opposed to the recently obtained accreditation by the Joint Commission, but said maintaining the accreditation is “costing a tremendous amount of money” and not necessarily improving patient care.

“Even though you have the hospital approved by (the Joint Commission), it doesn’t look at medical care of patients,” he told senators. “It looks at an overall medical spectrum. … It doesn’t look at medical care. That is the job of committees composed of doctors, which is not happening.”

Friedman is no stranger to controversy. In 2009 he said he was resigning from his job at the Cancer Center of Guam and leaving Guam — citing alleged corruption in the medical community and criticism on Internet message boards.

Guam

Guam is an island in the western Pacific Ocean and is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. The island’s capital is Hagåtña (formerly Agana). Guam is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands.

The Chamorros, Guam‘s indigenous people, first populated the island approximately 4,000 years ago. The island has a long history of European colonialism. First discovered by Europeans by Ferdinand Magellan on March 6, 1521, the first colony was established in 1668 by Spain with the arrival of settlers including Padre San Vitores, a Catholic missionary. The island was controlled by Spain until 1898, when it was surrendered to the United States as part of the Treaty of Paris following the Spanish-American War.

As the largest island in Micronesia and the only U.S.-held island in the region before World War II, Guam was captured by the Japanese on December 8, 1941, hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and was occupied for two and a half years.

During the occupation, the people of Guam underwent acts including torture, beheadings, and rape, and were forced to adopt the Japanese culture. Guam was subject to fierce fighting when US troops recaptured the island on July 21, 1944, a date commemorated every year as Liberation Day. Today, Guam‘s economy is supported by its principal industry, tourism, which is composed primarily of visitors from Japan. Guam‘s second-largest source of income is the United States military.