Airline increases fees

Star Marianas Air Inc. will increase fares from Aug. 1.

Flights between Saipan and Tinian will increase to $60 from $55; flights between Saipan and Rota will increase to $135 from $125.

Star Marianas will still offer discounts to NMI residents and military personnel who travel to and from Saipan and Tinian, and there will be no increase in cargo prices, the airline told the Journal.

While Star Marianas is not yet flying again on the Guam-Saipan route, charter flights are available, the airline said.


Northern residents need to go south for drones, fireworks, Air Force flyover

A “Liberation Day Drone Light Show” in Tumon will be followed by three simultaneous fireworks displays, on July 21, according to the Guam Visitors Bureau.

The vendors are Bella Wings Aviation and JamzMedia Productions/ShowPro Pyrotechnics.

The Liberation Day Drone Light Show in Tumon begins at 8 p.m. on July 21 for 13 minutes and according to GVB will be visible “from several miles away.”

For anyone heading to Tumon, GVB told the Journal Governor Joseph Flores Memorial (Ypao Beach) Park in Tumon will be partially closed to the public – with parking possible on the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa side. Gathering restrictions will apply.

The drone show will be followed by three synchronized fireworks launches from Oka Point, the Hagåtña Boat Basin, and a barge off Malesso’ Pier at 8:15 p.m.

JamzMedia told the Journal residents in “parts of Tamuning” might also be able to view the Tumon fireworks.

GVB said, “Northern residents are encouraged to watch the drone and fireworks shows in Tumon Bay, Hagåtña, or if they want to drive further south, in Merizo. They can also watch the live broadcast of the shows on the KUAM News FB page, TV 8 and The Breeze 93.9 FM. The broadcast should be starting around 7:30 p.m.”

Andersen Air Force Base said the U.S. Airforce will perform a formation flyover on July 21, starting at 9 a.m.

A formation of two F-15E Strike Eagles from the 389th Fighter Squadron, Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, an F-22 Raptor from the 525th FS, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, and an F-22 Raptor from the 199th FS, 154th Wing, from Hickam Air Force Base, formally known as Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii will fly “from south to north along Marine Corps Drive.”

Members of the public can see the flyover at Asan Beach Park, Chamorro Village, or from Tumon. The public affairs office of the 36th Wing at Andersen Air Force Base told the Journal, “Unfortunately there is no other spot to view the flyover on the north side of Guam. The jets will take off from Andersen at separate times and form up over the ocean. Once they’ve completed their pass, they return to a higher elevation for their return to Andersen [Air Force Base.]”

The flyover also commemorates the six airmen killed on July 21, 2008, in a B-52 crash.

A second drone show will take place in Malesso’ on July 22nd at 8 p.m., but without fireworks. The follow-up show will be facing the Malesso’ mountainside toward Mount Schroeder and will be visible in parts of Malesso’ and Humåtak, according to GVB.


Bill hikes CLTC lease by thousands

Speaker Therese M. Terlaje’s Committee on Land (Heath, Justice and Culture substituted and reported out a substitute version of Bill No. 36-36, which was originally introduced by Senator Joe S. San Agustin, according to a July 20 release.

“Substitute Bill No. 36-36 (COR) is an Act to authorize a commercial submerged land license agreement between the government of Guam – specifically, the Chamorro Land Trust Commission – and Teleguam Holdings LLC, doing business as GTA, for the purpose of landing submarine cables at Alupang, Tamuning, Guam,” according to a release from Terlaje’s office.

Terlaje proposed that the CLTC maintain its jurisdiction of the submerged lands in Alupang Bay, and that the previously proposed license of a corridor for submerged cables be raised to a rate of no less than $100,000 per cable per year, up to six cables. “This is in stark contrast to the $5,000 per year currently received for the Piti submerged land lease including four cables, and the $15,000 originally proposed by GTA to CLTC for the lease of submerged land in Alupang Bay,” the release said.

In addition to the significantly higher fees being mandated, the substitute version of the bill would direct proceeds exclusively to the CLTC Surveying and Infrastructure Fund,” and would ensure that environmental risks are avoided or mitigated through full environmental, seashore, and other permitting processes,” the release said.

“I want this to be a minimum baseline for similar leases going forward while Guam works to benefit even more from its position as a telecommunications hub, through the planning and development of data center and island wide telecommunication infrastructure and ensuring affordable, efficient power to support the industry,” Terlaje said.


Guam OPA says multiple problems with GovGuam quarantine hotels procurement

Improper procurement, conflict of interest with one of the hotels, incomplete records and contract issues.

“Our audit of the procurement of Coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine and isolation facilities found that the initial emergency procurement conducted by the Office of the Governor did not comply with Guam Procurement Law with the following deficiencies: (1) improper procuring authority, (2) conflict of interest with one of the awarded facilities, (3) incomplete procurement record, and (4) contract issues. Therefore, we questioned the total costs of $3 million (M) for the initial procurement. In two subsequent emergency procurements, the Government of Guam rectified the first two deficiencies cited. They were conducted by the Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense and administered by the General Services Agency, instead of OOG. However, they continued to have an incomplete procurement record and the services extended beyond the 30-day emergency procurement limit to as long as six months, a July 19 release said.

According to Journal files and sources at the time, hotels that initially received contracts and guests through quarantine procurement included the Days Inn, the Santa Fe Guam, the Pacific Star Resort & Spa and the Wyndham Garden Guam. Guest numbers varied.

Readers can read the full report here:


FBI offering specialized chemicals training

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is offering training to provide advanced understanding of the hazards posed by improvised explosives and potentially dangerous chemicals. The “Chemical Industry Outreach Workshop” is intended for both Guam and Northern Mariana Islands public safety officials, law enforcement partners and people who work in the chemical industry. This includes suppliers of pool chemicals, beauty supplies and home improvement materials, according to a July 20 release.

The workshop includes a classroom presentation and an outdoor explosive demonstration on the effects of conventional and improvised explosives. The training will underscore the potential dangers of certain chemicals in the hands of terrorists, as well as juvenile experimenters. The one-day workshop will be offered on August 25 and on August 26 in Mangilao. There is no cost to attend, but there is limited seating. Those interested in attending should submit their name, workshop date preference, telephone number, email address, company/agency name and job title to [email protected] mbj