Black Construction bags MAC contract task order

The Black Construction-Tutor Perini JV was awarded a $26,07 million firm-fixed-price task order “under a previously awarded multiple-award construction contract for the construction of an adequately sized and configured communications facility that ensures a diverse communications system is available to support theater requirements,” according to an Oct. 25 release from the U.S. Department of Defense.

The task order contains one option that is being exercised. Work will be performed at Andersen Air Force Base and is expected to be completed by February 2025. The work is funded from fiscal 2020 military construction (Air Force) funds and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

Three proposals were received for the task order, which was awarded by Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Pacific.

 

Guam employment rate down, wages up

The Guam unemployment rate fell to 4.8% in June, according to an Oct. 25 release from the Office of the Governor.

Additionally, the total number of payroll jobs increased by 2,130, and private sector earnings increase from $16.06 to $17.13 year-over-year, with weekly earnings rising from $551.77 to $625.74. The average number of hours worked per week in the private sector also increased from 34.3 to 36.5, according to the release.

The full report is available at dol.guam.gov.

In other news from the Office of the Governor, the application period for Emergency Rental Assistance Cycle 5 resumed Oct. 24. Assistance for rent, rent arrears, utility, and utility arrears is available for a maximum of 18 months from March 13, 2020 to present. Applicants who have not exhausted 18 months of assistance may be eligible for Continuance of Assistance.

The program is federally funded through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and serves rental households whose gross income does not exceed 80% of the area median income determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to an Oct. 24 release.  ERA payments go to landlords and utility companies on behalf of renters.

 

Airline aims to bridges North-South divide

The Government of Australia is subsidizing biweekly flights on Nauru Airlines “to help connect the North and South Pacific.” The inaugural Australia-North Pacific Connector landed in Pohnpei on Oct. 16 and departed on Oct. 17. The biweekly flight originates in Brisbane and travels to Nauru; Tarawa, in Majuro and Pohnpei.

Persons wishing to travel to Fiji or other South Pacific islands via Fiji, can depart from Nauru to Fiji on a separate flight, according to an Oct. 24 release from the Office of the President of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Nauru Air Corp. does business as Nauru Airlines (formerly as Our Airline and Air Nauru) and is the flag carrier airline of Nauru, founded in 1969.

In October 2016 Nauru Airlines applied for an exemption and foreign air carrier permit to engage in scheduled and chartered foreign air transportation of persons, property and mail between Nauru and the United States. Because Nauru was not able to establish a credible aviation safety oversight authority, Australia — through its Civil Aviation Safety Authority — agreed to provide the necessary regulatory jurisdiction over Nauru Airlines, according to Journal files.

In January 2019 the airline was planning to take advantage of the permit, which was granted in April 2019 for five years.

Nauru Air has four Boeing 737-300 passenger aircraft and one Boeing 737-300 dedicated to freight.

Robert Eoe, former deputy CEO became CEO in October 2021.

 

Bombers back again in Guam

Both Andersen Air Force Base and the Pacific Air Force confirmed that B1B bombers assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota arrived at Andersen Air Force Base on Oct. 18, according to releases.

Photos show two planes arriving.

B-52 bombers from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., B-2 Spirit aircraft from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., B-1B Lancers have all taken part in deployments to Andersen Air Force Base 

 Bombers continuously rotate to Guam and regularly conduct exercises in the South China Sea and Pacific region in support of the U.S. Pacific Command’s Bomber Task Force, according to Journal files.

Typically, the deployments are of two or three planes, and accompanying crews.

Two Lancers deployed to Andersen in June, and four B-52 bombers and more than 220 personnel deployed to Andersen in February.

The U.S. Air Force is also using agile combat employment according to Journal files – a way of operating that relies less on large traditional bases as hubs, and more on launching aircraft to and from forward operating locations, also with allies and partners.

Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, prepare to park at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Oct. 18, 2022. Bomber Task Force missions demonstrate lethality and interoperability in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Yosselin Campos)

 

Attorney John Terlaje nominated to serve as 8th Superior Court of Guam judge

Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero has nominated Attorney John C. Terlaje to serve as the eighth judge of the Superior Court of Guam. She announced the nomination at Adelup on Oct. 24.

Lt. Gov. Joshua F. Tenorio said the fiscal year 2023 budget includes funding “to expand the Superior Court of Guam bench for the first time in many years.”

The bench currently has seven Superior Court judges. Tenorio said it was the Judiciary of Guam, led by Chief Justice F. Philip Carbullido, determined that “the needs of the Judiciary and the people of Gam required an eighth full time judge.” 

Terlaje is an “excellent candidate,” Leon Guerrero said.

“I’ve had many, many good comments on my selection of Attorney Terlaje,” the governor said. “John, we are looking forward to your hard work and your character, your judicious temper, your great desire to provide justice and fairness to our people and to be able to demonstrate that … at the Superior Court of Guam. You’re very knowledgeable, your wisdom is going to be, again, a great asset… Your engagement in the community is going to give you that sense of mercy and justice. I am very excited on your career moving forward. And I know that the chief justice is welcoming you.”

Terlaje started his public service career as a teacher and then vice principal with the Guam Department of Education. He then attended Thomas Cooley Law School in Michigan, graduating in 2001 with an emphasis on litigation. He worked at the Superior Court of Guam as a law clerk for a few years before opening his own law office, according to his website. He’s handled a range of cases including probate, land registration, civil proceedings, custody issues, divorces, adoptions, guardianships, and numerous criminal proceedings. His family has been in the law practice for over 50 years. His sister is Speaker Therese M. Terlaje of the 36th Guam Legislature and is also an attorney.

Terlaje thanked his family for their support. He also thanked the governor and governor for the nomination.

“This is an event I never would have imagined at a young attorney,” he said. “Over the 20 yeas I’ve been an attorney and sole practitioner, I have seen many different types of cases and issues that’s allowed me to assist many people from all walks of life – from individuals to large corporations, from family cases to criminal cases, public cases and civil cases.

“This appointment will allow me to continue to assist the people of Guam at a different level. Our parents had always stressed to us to take the time to serve the people. From my years as a teacher and administrator at the Department of Education to working at the Judiciary, the people of Guam was always my priority. I am hopeful that with the assistance of the members of the Judiciary I could be a credit to the third branch of the government and make the island proud.”

Leon Guerrero and Terlaje said they’re both looking forward to the confirmation hearing with the Legislature.

Photo courtesy of Office of the Governor

 

FSM-US Compact talks focus on four objectives and forms sites working group

Led by FSM Vice President Aren B. Palik and Rear Adm. Benjamin R. Nicholson, commander of Joint Region Marianas in his role as senior military official, in-person Compact talks between the Federated States of Micronesia were held from Oct. 11 to Oct. 14 in Guam, according to an Oct. 25 release from Joint Region Marianas.

Four “lines of effort,” including defense responsibilities; law enforcement capacity building with a range of capable partners; securing the Blue Continent’s maritime resources and sovereign borders; and preparing to respond to hazards unique to Pacific Island communities guided the talks, according to the release.

Also, a Defense Sites Working Group will report to the larger JCM committee membership. The group will identify processes for establishing defense sites in the FSM for “increased defense of rules based international maritime law in the region,” the release said. As earlier reported, the FSM and U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia, Sector Guam also signed a ship-rider agreement at the talks.

And also:

The A.B. Won Pat International Airport Authority, Guam received a revised outlook from “Negative” to “Stable” from S&P Global Ratings, with an affirmed ‘BB’ long-term rating on the Airport’s general revenue bonds, according to an Oct. 24 release.

Guam received $1.64 million in a nationwide settlement from opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, according to the Office of the Guam Attorney General, bringing the total award to more than $2.6 million.

Funds will be invested in crime prevention programs and to help those struggling with addition and its issues, according to an Oct. 24 release. An application period for use of the funds will be announced.

Bank of Hawaii released its third quarter 2022 financials Oct. 25. According to the bank, loans continued to increase — to $13.3 billion, up 10.3% from the third quarter of 2021; net interest income was $141.7 million, up 11.7% from the third quarter of 2021. And net interest margin was 2.60% in the third quarter of 2022, an increase of 28 basis points from the third quarter of 2021. 

Find the financials at https://ir.boh.com/financial-information/quarterly-results

 

Ribbon cutting:

Oct. 26 –Ribbon Cutting for the Guam Cultural Repository, University of Guam Campus, 11 a.m. mbj