||Maureen Maratita, (left) publisher of Glimpses Publications presents copies of current issues of MDM and R&R Pacific to Eleanor Kleiber, Pacific Collection librarian at the University of Hawaii's Hamilton Library. Kleiber visited the Glimpses offices June 6 aspart of an annual trip throughout the region to collect publications for the UH Pacific Collection. The publications in the photo were among a number of Glimpses publications Kleiber took back to Hawaii.
Jeff Neely, a General Services Administration regional administrator, found himself in hot water in April after it was discovered that he (and possibly his wife) had taken several leisure trips around the country using taxpayer funds. Among those trips was a 17-day visit to Hawaii, Guam and Saipan in February, about which he wrote in an email to his wife: "Its yo birfday…we gonna pawty…[sic]."
According to an investigative report released April 17 during a congressional hearing on the matter, the trips continued even after former GSA administrator Martha Johnson was notified of possible fraud and abuse involving a 2010 GSA training conference, which ended up costing taxpayers more than $820,000. Neely cited his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and declined to testify at the hearing.
Guam's efforts to rid the island of its brown tree snake population made international headlines in May after the BBC News ran a story on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's recent airdrop of acetaminophen-laced mice in the jungle. Although the article also detailed other means of snake control on the island, the use of phrases like "toxic mouse bombs" seemed to have captured the imagination of news agencies all over: the Huffington Post, NBC Chicago, NBC Philadelphia, the Honolulu Civil Beat, and the online site Inquisitr all followed up with pieces on the now-famous airdrop campaign or linked to the original BBC story (a rudimentary Google search located 14 articles in all).
In perhaps the best measure of just how much the parachuting poisonous mice seemed to have tickled the media's fancy, Saturday Night Live's Seth Meyer even got in a quick joke during his Weekend Update segment on May 12: "In a effort to rid Guam of the brown tree snake — which has overrun the island — officials have begun air-dropping mice laced with poison and fitted with parachutes. Because sometimes the best solution is the simplest one."
Film director James Cameron made news in Guam (and elsewhere) again, although this time it was over his grasp of political geography and not about his recent deep-sea explorations in the Marianas Trench. In a confusing interview with Stephen Colbert in April, Cameron seemed to imply that Guam was a part of the Federated States of Micronesia, rather than its correct status as an unincorporated territory of the United States.
Colbert quickly countered that Guam sends a representative to the U.S. Congress, and Cameron then asked Colbert if he was aware that the representative couldn't vote. To this Colbert quipped: "Neither can Washington, D.C. Does that mean that is not in the United States? Because I agree with you there. All right, I accept your apology."
Hunter Publishing rolled out in April a new book in its Travel Adventures series, entitled Guam & the Marianas Islands by Thomas Booth. Although the guide is relatively short (56 pages), it purports to tell you "everything you need to know about this amazing island — where to stay and where to eat, what to see, what to do, how to get there and get around."
Coming Nov. 15, Captured: The Forgotten Men of Guam by Roger Mansell and edited by Linda Holmes Goetz provides a more historical, thoroughly researched perspective on American prisoners of war captured on Guam and shipped to Japan during the Second World War. Mansell was a U.S. Army veteran who spent his later life meticulously researching POW experiences during the war. He died in 2010 before completing the book; Goetz, author of several other books on Japan's handling of POWs, then completed and edited the manuscript, which is being published by the Naval Institute Press.
As part of the programming surrounding the Smithsonian Institute Museum on Main Street Between Fences exhibition and its related I Kelat the Fence exhibition, the Guam Humanities council held a free screening of the documentary film "Families Under Siege: Stories of Family Life in Japanese Occupied Guam" on May 10. After the screening, the audience participated in a panel discussion with panelists Carmen Artero-Kasperbauer, who is a World War II survivor and a subject of the film; Tun Jack Lujan, also a WWII survivor; and Michael Lujan Bevacqua, a historian.
Congressional Dining Services celebrated Guam Week in the U.S. Capitol's members' dining room. This culinary spotlight on Guam is a part of the "Celebrate America" theme in the members' dining room that showcases dishes from every state and territory. The three-course Guam menu, which was available until April 20, included an avocado and shrimp salad, mannok kadon pika with Spanish rice and coconut cream spinach, and latiya for dessert. Recipes for the menu were pulled from the 1988 revised edition of Leblon Finatinas Para Guam, published by Y Inetnon Famalaoan.
In late April, subscribers of Marine Diving Magazine in Japan voted to place Palau among the top three diving destinations in the world, along with the Philippines and the Maldives. The news was released during the Marine Diving Fair 2012 in Tokyo, a large diving and beach resort exhibition in which 200 exhibitors from 50 countries participated and more than 50,000 visitors attended.
The Palau Conservation Society announced May 9 that it had launched a new website showcasing its mission and programs. Also shown on the new website is a new video by PCS detailing the success of one of its most recent programs, a rat eradication program aimed at increasing the protection of the endangered Micronesian megapode bird species on Kayangel Atoll. Those interested can view the new website and video at www.palauconservation.org.
The government of Guam has lifted a 17-year ban on the import of unhusked betel nut from the Northern Mariana Islands, according to the governor's office. Import of unhusked betel nuts, for consumption only, is now allowed in quantities of more than 50 pounds with an import permit, provided all nuts are cleaned and pest-free. Unhusked betel nut imports of less than 50 pounds may be imported without a permit as long as the nuts are for personal consumption and not resale. The import of betel nut palm seedlings is still prohibited.