It seems like Guam and Micronesia are always in the news. And what a mix it is. Around the world everybody picked up (again) on aspirin-dosed mice being dropped on the island.

USA Today had a Nov. 25 article for its readers on the bolstering of U.S. forces in the Pacific. It was written out of D.C. Apparently USA Today still thinks we are still slated to get 8 000 Marines in Guam. …

But my favorite piece recently came from the Washington Post of Dec. 5.

Have you ever forgotten anything at an airport?

The Transport Security Administration in fiscal 2012 collected $531 395.22 in change left behind at American airports. Yes half a million made up of “$499 000 in U.S. currency and another $32 000 in foreign currency “” according to the Post. …

Miami International Airport’s incoming passengers left the largest amount – $39 613 and those departing Las Vegas left behind $16 900.21.

Which airport’s passengers decided you can take it with you after all?

Where did TSA collect the least money – a paltry $1.70?

That would be at the AB Won Pat International Airport Guam. …

Panda Express the American Chinese food chain opened Dec. 5 at the Micronesia Mall to an enthusiastic welcome from the community. Phil Schrage vice president with Goodwind Development which manages the mall showed me a Panda Express business card from several years ago which he had kept. “”I never gave up hope “” he said. …

It has been a long time since I’ve seen a Fortune Cookie those same ones so popular in the U.S. mainland and elsewhere. Panda Express has plenty of them.

I spent Dec. 5 on the road and in meetings so I didn’t get to think about Fortune Cookies till I got home.

A quick launch into cyberspace showed me there are websites that offer digital Fortune Cookies. I really liked “”You only need to look at your own reflection for inspiration because you are beautiful.””

I liked that a lot more than “”When you look down all you see is dirt so keep looking up.”” That’s a little too “”earthy”” for my taste.

Then I opened a real life Panda Express Fortune Cookie.

So what did it say?

“”Today is a good day for being with a companion.””

What a nice thought. And you should never argue with a Fortune Cookie so I logged off immediately and spent the rest of the evening with my husband. …

The Solomon Star reported Nov. 26 that some 400-plus head of cattle were due to arrive by ship from Vanuatu. The shipment of 423 heifers and 16 bulls (no jokes now) were cleared through customs quarantine and immigration and were to be distributed to farm smallholders. This is a second shipment also aimed at reducing the reliance of the Solomon Islands on imported beef.

An earlier shipment of beef in 2011 to the Solomon Islands drew heat from the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry which said that the Vanuatu government had not consulted its farmers on the move.

To save you the trouble I researched the issue. The Vanuatu Chamber has a point since it exports its beef to include an organic product and is unlikely to want to see Vanuatu beef from the Solomon Islands. (Not that I’m saying that would happen but still.)

Here in Guam the Chamber also gets to weigh in on issues of island importance. It is fortunate to have experts among its membership who have all sorts of qualifications – in law human resources and procurement though not as far as I am aware the export of cattle.

And the chamber does call on its experts to present a reasoned argument which the chamber can choose to espouse whenever there is a flawed bill.

The Guam chamber does get lucky some of the time and bills get re-written re-considered and occasionally disappear altogether which is why the chamber tries again and again.

The Vanuatu Chamber did not prevail (I have no idea what their success rate is) – and two years later the government did it again obviously treating the issue of export of cattle as if it were a load of (okay jokes now). ….

If there is a Christmas card theme so far this year it seems to be “”tradition.””

Photos of the team and photos of the family are featured and even the “”Guam”” card has a Christmas tree drawn in the sand.

If I have a favorite it is that of Doris Flores Brooks Guam’s public auditor. Doris and her staff at the Office of Public Accountability had their picture taken in an office that is small giving it an air of frugality and yet the OPA team seems to have a lot to smile about. …

Whether you have exercised frugality or not this holiday season no matter the size of your office (or home for that matter) I wish you a Merry Christmas and a lot to smile about.

– Maureen N. Maratita is publisher of Glimpses Publications which comprise Marianas Business Journal Guam Business Beach Road and R&R Pacific.