This week I will talk about some news items. We have a lot going on in this community and our public is very informed. Everyone seems to have an opinion on pretty much everything.
Last week in Atlanta, Sissie Luo represented Guam in the Miss Universe Pageant. I have known Sissie for about a year now and she is a wonderful and bright young woman. She also has a great future ahead of her and she epitomized the "hafa adai" spirit to the world.
As I have said before, it is really tough to participate in beauty pageants. At the Miss Universe level, every minor detail is scrutinized online. In this year’s contest, the stage was very slippery during the swimsuit competition and four young women slipped or fell. Slipping, answering questions, and wardrobe malfunctions are the dreaded triad of disaster for contestants. Luckily, all of the girls were not hurt in these falls.
Last Friday, the GDOE board took a second look at the organized sports. I am glad that Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero spoke up about the concern. It prompted additional board discussions and helped to explain things better to the public. Also, it was clarified that public schools welcomed the participation of private schools in sports programming. As I said in this column last week, this was handled by a separate board subcommittee, so I didn’t really pay attention to it until we voted. As the policy progressed through the various hoops, there were no objections. This may mean that we need to communicate these things better so that concerns can be identified and handled at lower levels.
I also saw the young mother who held her child over a second-floor balcony was indicted. After watching the video, I think that this kind of case should be put in pre-trial diversion. A social services approach might be in the best interest of justice. In 2002, Michael Jackson held his nine-month-old son, Michael Jackson II over a fifth-floor balcony in Berlin. I cringe just thinking about these kinds of acts. We make young people go through all kinds of hoops to drive a car, but there is no license requirement for parents.
It was also announced this week that the Singapore Air Force will start a training activity at Andersen Air Force Base. Some of our leaders are concerned and lamented no one discussed this with them. This consultation concern with the military dates back at least to the early 1970s. After Guam began electing governors, the government was freer to express dissent. For me, this is an opportunity to have a good discussion with the military.
Finally, the Trump impeachment drama is wrapping up. The U.S. Senate will have to hold a trial per their duties when this is formalized. In the end, this will likely be just a form of partisan politics. I hope it is over soon, but this will likely drag on given the media coverage.
Ron McNinch teaches at the University of Guam School of Business and Public Administration and received the Guam Legislature's Distinguished Professor of Guam award.