Thursday, October 23, 2008

White House Public Workshop

Turnout at the White House Public Workshop was unbelievable. We had someone stationed out front to count people as they came in and he counted 360. The feds' number is higher. They are saying that 400+ people showed up. In my best estimation, 2/3 to 3/4 of the people were wearing orange t-shirts.  Cinta said she thinks about 90% of the people there were supporters.  I'd call that an overwhelming showing of local support.

From The Saipan Blog - Saipan's most popular blog since ever since
Not to say that there wasn't non-support (I know you ain't supposed to use no double negatives). There was a "protest" outside the Fiesta Resort before things got started. It consisted of about two Carolinian families, staff from the Division of Fish & Wildlife and some longline fishing "consultants" flown in from Hawaii. The whole thing was being orchestrated by John "What am I thinking" Gourley and Manny "Angelo Villagomez is an Idiot with Coconut Mentality" Duenas from Guam.

Once the meeting started, James Connaughton, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chairman (he is one of twelve advisors to the President of the United States), gave a short talk on the Presidential Memo that directed Interior, Commerce, Defense and CEQ to do an assessment of potential increased protections for marine areas in the Pacific. He told everyone that he was on Saipan to gather opinions and comments on any increased protections for the Marianas. He wasn't here to deliver a proposal, he was looking to gather data to be used in drawing together a proposal.

From The Saipan Blog - Saipan's most popular blog since ever since
The entire room was split up into 11 groups and comments were taken.  As far as the federal government's participation, they did not debate and they did not argue.  That was left up to the good people of Saipan.  While my group was generally civil, I noticed some heated disagreement from the other groups, well actually, just one group

Just a side note: That match up pitted Friends of the Monument Cinta Kaipat, Chuck Sayon and Agnes McPhetres against DFW Director Sylvan Igisomar.  Sylvan never had a chance.

And we're back.

I joined a group that had five of the protestors. They were carrying signs not in support of the monument. After I sat down I was joined by Chailang Palacios, Herman Villagomez, Ed Propst, Daisy Propst, Ayako Matsumoto, Alexie Zotomayor, Emelaine Fejeran, Ike Cabrera and a few of my cousin Cindy's boys. We were joined by Jim Davies and PacificaDave, the longliner "consultant" who has been leaving nasty comments about retards on the blogs (he is in the brown shirt, second from the right, in the first photo above).

I'm not convinced that Jim is really against the monument. He seems to want what the monument supporters want, increased education and such, but doesn't seem to like the monument process. Dave, on the other hand, is dead set against a monument. He wants a National Marine Sanctuary, which he of course knows would lead to a WESPAC-led deadlock.

Even so, our supporters just plugged away with our comments. We want educational opportunities. We want comanagement. We want a visitors center. I'd go on with all of our comments, but it is just easier for you to read the Friends of the Monument vision statement.

The whole process was very democratic and reminded me of the island way of resolving disagreement. The only thing missing was food. The detractors can say what they want to say, but everyone, meaning all 400 people in that room, had the opportunity to say what they wanted to say and to have it read into the record. Not only were there notetakers at each of the 11 groups, but there were also roving comment takers. There were also separate Carolinian and Chamorro translators, so no one was left out.

John Gourley was visibly frustrated with the outcome. When he saw the number of people in orange shirts, his final act of desperation was to hang his little banners on every wall. You can see them in a lot of the pictures.

I have to say thank you to the literally hundreds of people that came out in support of the monument. The showing at the meeting, along with the now 5600 signatures on the Friends of the Monument petition, 500 letters from public school students and 50 letters from businesses, organizations and associations, shows that there is overwhelming support for the monument in the CNMI.

Thank you.


PacificaDave said...

Ok Angelo, here we go again, first and foremost I apologized for using the word "Retard" I called Jeff Turbitt A retard in response to him calling me a douchebag for expressing my concerns about the Marine monument he also called me "Dickless" and Putz so i wasn't "leaving nasty comments about retards on blogs" i called Jeff Turbitt a "Retard". and took it off because the word bothered someone who welcomed me to this island! and now you bring it back (Sorry Brad)

I am here to fish,and process fish, i am moving my business here. i didn't come out here to consult i came here to work.(on my Dime) i am looking for a warehouse, office space and a place to live this trip, I am registering my corporations, meeting with zoning, Realtor, labor,land owners, contractors on and on. i am reopening a closed garment factory to start processing labor intensive seafood products, and setting up aquaculture ,we are supplying instructors for the new trade school to train locals for the jobs of aquaculture, fish processors, fishermen, captains, marine safety. Marine engineers, marine conservation and habitat reconstruction. i wanted to get Beautify CNMI involved in the last two but after listening to you i am sure they want nothing to do with us and I want nothing to do with you after the crap you spew on your Blog.

here is some more,

"which he of course knows would lead to a WESPAC-led deadlock"

what do I know about Wespac? you think they are friends of the fisherman???? I know very little about them, maybe I should learn more about them other then they decide where i can fish and how much is it going to cost me

Check out the gulf of the farallons marine santuary

Cordell banks national marine Sanctuary

Monterey bay National Marine Sanctuary

These I know about I was a Deputy Harbormaster teaching boating safety and ran whale watching tours on the weekend when they were enacted and I also had a commercial fishing vessel this affected me very little except i had more work with the whale watch tours.

I also know something about the Northwest Hawaiian Islands National marine monument

you cant even sail through the monument without a permit let alone Eco-tours.

but who knows, i just don't want to have to sail around the area to get to the fishing grounds and burn more $5.00 a gallon fuel that's my concern and that it takes an act of congress to get anything changed within a monument.

There! I wasted my morning explaining my self to the likes of you, good thing i get up early.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Do you really think your fooling anyone?

Lil' Hammerhead said...

I'll put $10.00 down that "Dave's Fishing Business" never opens here. My guess.. it's part of the "ploy". New blogsite with one post (which has been removed), he's suddenly on blog's with anti-monument arguments, and happens to be here at the protest against the monument when the Connaughton is here? :} You read the bones.

Sounds like a sham to me.

"I'm opening up a big fishing business, but if the monument happens I'm not" :}lol


Clean CNMI said...

Check out the transamerican building on beach road, some fishermen from Hawaii and Mexico are working on that