Maureen N. Maratita

Jim Atkins was a longtime businessman in Guam and influenced the island’s development in a variety of ways. You can read about Jim: what motivated him and his contributions to Guam — in the Obituary on Page 34

The story of his run-in with the Guam Police Department is one all media should remember with gratitude. 

In October 2009, Jim took photos of a car accident near his house in Tamuning.

The two officers attending the accident told him to stop taking photos, get out of his car and demanded his cellphone. Jim refused. And was arrested. And filed a lawsuit for $3 million. 

Eventually GPD gave a “confidential settlement” to Jim, following the conclusion in the 9th Circuit that he had adequately pleaded a violation of his First Amendment right to freedom of speech and a violation of his Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

The police chief at the time also issued a General Order to all GPD personnel with instructions on video recording and photographing — also part of the settlement. …

And then there was Jim’s sense of humor. Jim would typically develop friendly relationships with local military leaders. And often he and his wife, Rose, would host farewell parties for them at their house. Those events were well-attended and would go swimmingly.

At some point in the evening, the departing military leader would find themselves being thrown in the Adkin’s swimming pool — sometimes joined by Jim. …

Like some of you reading this, I hadn’t visited Tinian for a few years. I traveled in February on United Airlines from Guam to Saipan.

I was told to book well ahead for flights on the Guam-Saipan route, and that was good advice, so I’m passing it on. The United flight was full.

The Star Marianas flight was also full — with more than one planeload of travelers heading for Tinian from Saipan, but you can do what I did and reserve a seat.

For my return flight to Saipan, I estimated there was about three planeloads of passengers, which I wasn’t expecting. Why all the travel between the islands? Read our Tinian coverage. …

I’d like to thank Bob Jones and Pilar Laguana, GM for Tinian operations Randy Steele, and Bar-K Manager Joseph Edoria for extending hospitality to me at Triple J’s Tinian Western Lodge and the Bar-K Diner, and for their time.

It’s not easy doing business in Tinian, but Triple J is forging ahead with “making lemonade” from lemons.

Thanks also to everybody I met on the trip or contacted for answering my questions, which helped our coverage and my own impressions, particularly Leonard Kaae of Black Construction. Again, read on. …

Travel is an opportunity for new experiences and making memories.

In Tinian, I saw curious military personnel visiting Tinian for Cope North ask about the island and the Western Lodge, and how the hotel staff were very happy to answer their questions and help them make memories of their own (as well as enjoy dinner.)

The trip was a reminder of how close the islands in the Marianas chain are to each other. …

And the day before I sat down to start this column, I listened to one of our Guam military residents who I chatted with at a party describe a trip to Chuuk to dive the wrecks in the lagoon, and how impressed he was with what he saw.

Though I don’t dive, I can tell you from my own memories of visiting Chuuk that the water is clear enough to see the wrecks from a boat if you tour the lagoon that way too. …

— Maureen N. Maratita is the publisher at Glimpses Media. Publications at Glimpses Media include the Marianas Business Journal, MBJ Life, The Real Estate Journal, Guam Business Magazine, Beach Road Magazine, Buenas and Drive Guam.