Pacific News Center [NEW] Pacific News Center - The most breaking news, local news and sports news for Guam and the Marianas, along with K57 Interviews. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:57:03 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb VIDEO: Arguments Made in Tax Refund Trust Account Case Guam - In Supreme Court today, the Legislature and Governor’s office argued over how tax refunds monies should be managed.


The Legislature is seeking a declaratory judgment from the Supreme Court to uphold their power in making laws that restrict the governor’s control over tax refund monies. But the governor’s office argues that this law the legislature cites conflicts with his organic act ability to administer and enforce the tax laws of Guam.

The case was filed after Senator Ben Pangelinan discovered that the governor had transferred funds from the tax refund trust account into the General Fund, which, the Legislature argues is against the law. But the governor’s office has repeatedly stated that the funds were transferred because it was money the refund account owed to the general fund. 


The governor’s office asserts that the law the legislature cites conflicts with the governor’s organic act powers in enforcing the income tax laws of Guam. Attorney John Terlaje, for the Legislature, pointed out that the law, has to do with collecting revenues and the set aside of certain dues. Therefore, it does not interfere with the governor’s organic act authority.


Meanwhile, Governor’s Chief Policy Advisor Arthur Clark focused on Governor Calvo’s record of paying tax refunds on time.

Assistant Attorney General Shannon Taitano also made oral arguments today, noting that the matter should be addressed now, even when Governor Calvo is paying refunds timely.

She said, “However, he will not be governor forever and the government has a history of not paying refunds in a timely manner. This issue is capable of repetition requiring future review so the interest of judicial economy would be better served to hear the matter now.”




]]> (Janela Buhain Carrera) frontpage Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:17:07 +0000
$20 Million More in Tax Refunds Will Be Mailed Out Thursday, Covering Returns Through February 7th According to an announcement on Governor Calvo's FaceBook page, the refund checks will cover returns filed through February 7th. 

READ the announcement from the Governor's Office below:

$20 Million in tax refunds to cover returns filed up until Feb. 7, 2014

The Department of Administration will be mailing out nearly 6,700 tax refunds tomorrow.

This will cost $20 million.  This will cover status A tax refunds filed by February 7, 2014.

The Department of Revenue and Taxation is printing the checks tonight.


]]> (News Release) frontpage Wed, 16 Apr 2014 03:13:57 +0000
VIDEO: Governor- Latest Batch of Tax Refunds Further Proof Court Judgement on Trust Account Unnecessary Guam - Governor Eddie Calvo points to the latest batch,  6,700 tax refund checks, totaling $20 million dollars will be mailed out Thursday. He called that proof that his Administration is paying out refunds, and he said a declaratory judgement from the courts is unnecessary.

"Tomorrow we'll be sending out $20 million in tax refunds and that covers about 6,600 filers that should complete all the way up to February 7th and complete it and as of this most recent disbursement of tax refund checks that should get us close to between $48 million in tax refunds that have been sent out to the general public and this is just two day after final filing date,” said the Governor.


Calvo says that this latest payment proves that the declaratory judgement that the legislature is seeking from the Guam Supreme court is unnecessary. "If they do move and win this case it'll be a loss for the people because it will have some major issues for this administration being able to pay out tax refunds in a timely basis and we've been doing it since we've been in office," said Calvo.

The Governor says that the declaratory judgement could essentially tie he and his administration's hands and actually make it more difficult to pay out tax refunds. "If we're put in a position where this fund or that fund cannot re-imburse the general fund then we're gonna have to again be restricted in how we use that general fund,” said Calvo.

The Governor says the filing of this declaratory judgement is disappointing as his is the first administration in a long time to actually start paying out tax refunds. "I just met a waitress at one of the restaurants the other day and she just asked me about her tax refund and she made mention that she filed on February 6th so the good news for her is this young lady will be receiving her tax refund within the next few days and so with that tax refund it'll help to paying for some of the medical care for her grand father,” said Calvo.

 The Governor says the amount of people who have filed before April 15th is historic. He says most of the last minute or late filers are actually people who owe taxes to GovGuam.


]]> (Clynt Ridgell) frontpage Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:26:57 +0000
Tax Refunds May Open Doors to Theft, AG Rapadas Urges Residents to Exercise Precaution With this surge of refund money floating around, it is also likely to fuel scam artists and cons into emptying residents’ pockets of their tax refunds and possibly leaving them victims of theft.

Attorney General Leonardo M. Rapadas cautions island consumers to be proactive and practice safety measures when handling their refunds.

“Whether it is when you are out and about running your errands, doing some shopping, or paying bills; be conscientious. Look around before you drive up to the ATM machine. Be aware of people and things around you,” said AG Rapadas.  

“If you have any doubt, leave the area and alert the police.  Try to cautiously use a credit or debit card instead of carrying around large sums of cash. If possible, check your bank account daily, that way any purchases you did not make or any suspicious activity can be reported right away,” he continued.  

Residents are urged to check and re-check that their names and addresses are current on personal identification such as driver’s licenses, passports or military cards.
If you suspect theft or fraud, please contact local law authorities and report it immediately.

Consumers are asked to report scams and identity thefts to: Bernie Alvarez, Consumer Advocate for the Office of the Attorney General at 475-3324 ext. 3340 or to email the information to:]]> (News Release) frontpage Wed, 16 Apr 2014 04:49:54 +0000
VIDEO: San Nicolas Says the Funds Are There for a $292K Appropriation to Sanctuary Guam - Governor Eddie Calvo is concerned about appropriation bills that were passed that don't have fiscal notes attached to them and he threatened to veto any bills passed without fiscal notes that identify funding sources.

Senator Mike San Nicolas' Bill 315 was passed appropriating $292 thousand dollars to fund programs from drug and alcohol treatment and emergency youth shelters at Sanctuary.

His bill did not have a fiscal note attached to it but the Senator explains that the bill was originally going to be an amendment to another bill which did have a fiscal note attached to it.

READ the Fiscal Note HERE


"I totally understand the Governor's position. The way that bill 315 actually came to be was originally it was going to be an amendment to bill 244 which did have a fiscal note. However, the author of bill 244 wanted it to be separate because we have something in the rules about multiple appropriations in a single bill, but the fiscal note in bill 244 did identify $1.5 million and bill 244 was only spending $900 thousand which left another $600 thousand in additional monies if we had put 315 in as an amendment to 244 that would've been all clean,” said Senator San Nicolas.

The Democrat lawmaker says that the paperwork on 244 shows that there is the necessary funds available and he says he hopes the Governor signs it into law.

Meanwhile, the Governor says that he wants to fund programs like Sanctuary but he doesn't want to make any empty promises. However he says if there is funding available he will sign the bill. "I'm hopeful that they can work with our fiscal team, get a fiscal note out on it and if there's those revenues and monies available I'll be the first one to sign the bill,” said Governor Calvo.

Senator Frank Aguon Jr.'s bill 244 appropriates funds to the unified judiciary for law enforcement salary increase implementation but his office confirms that his bill does have a fiscal note attached to it. It is the same fiscal note that Senator San Nicolas was referring to.



]]> (Clynt Ridgell) frontpage Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:53:07 +0000
VIDEO: Minimum Wage Debate Has Begun, in Earnest Guam - The debate has begun over whether or not to raise the minimum wage on Guam.

Senator B.J. Cruz wants to boost the mandatory hourly wage to $10.10 over the next three years.

Developer Al Ysrael, and other businessmen, arestrongly opposed. Governor Calvo is advising caution.



]]> (Kevin Kerrigan) frontpage Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:02:16 +0000
Pedestrian Killed After Being Struck by Pickup in Harmon Guam - A pedestrian was killed after being struck by a pickup in Harmon last night. According to police, the man was standing in the road when he was hit.

The accident occurred on Route 16 by the 7-Day Super Market.

Guam Police Spokesman Officer A.J. Balajadia says GPD got the call at 12:06am.

A man driving a 2006 Nissan Frontier pickup was heading north on Route 16 when he hit the pedestrian "who was standing on their lane of travel", says Balajadia.

The victim was taken to GMH where he was pronounced dead at 12:52am.

His death marks the 8th traffic fatality of the year on Guam. His identity has not yet been released.  


2014 Traffic Related Fatalities:

1. Saturday, January 18:  A  man was pronounced dead at Guam Memorial Hospital after an early this morning auto-pedestrian accident. Guam Fire Spokesman Lt. Ed Artero says medics responded to an Auto-Pedestrian accident with serious injuries at Harmon Loop Road. The 911 call was received at 1:36am. GMH Nursing Supervisory Marie Mafnas told PNC News that the male pedestrian victim was pronounced dead at 2:17am. The man's identity has not been released.

2. Friday February 14: GMH Nursing Supervisor Bill Toves says the pedestrian victim of a hit and run driver died at GMH at 5:45 this afternoon. He is the second traffic fatality of the year on Guam.  His identify has not yet been released. Earlier, Nursing Supervisor Cely Mangrobang said the pedestrian was on life support, in "very critical" condition. The man was hit by a vehicle on Route 1 near Ypaopao Estates in Dededo. GFD Spokesman Lt. Ed Artero says the 911 call came in at 6:08am. He said CPR was conducted on the man at the scene, and en-route to GMH.

3. Saturday, April 5th: 73 year old woman injured in  auto accident in Tamuning in front of the old Blockbuster building. She passed away Thursday April 10th at 4:03am

Sunday, April 13th: 911 call received at 1:13pm reporting serious 2 car collision in Yigo on Route 15 near the Yigo Raceway.  4 dead. 1 injured. 1 dead at the scene. 2 taken to GMH, CPR en-route, both later pronounced dead. 1 taken to Naval Hospital, later pronounced dead. 1 person was pronounced dead at the scene.


4.  Sunday, April 13th: ... 64 year old Damiano Neth of Yigo pronounced dead at GMH at 2:15pm.

5. Sunday, April 13th: ...  63 year old wife Markarita Neth pronounced dead at GMH at 2:07pm.

6. Sunday, April 13th: 10 year old grand daughter Mya Ann Neth

7. Sunday, April 13th: ... Ruhney Hadley of Mangilao pronounced dead at Naval Hospital, later transported to GMH.

8. Tuesday April 15th: Auto/Pedestrian .. 1 John Doe pedestrian struck and killed by 2006 Nissan Frontier on Route 16 in Harmon. Accident reported to GPD at 12:06 am.

READ the release from Officer Balajadia below:

HARMON - 12:06 am, Wednesday, April 16, 2014, officers with the Guam Highway Patrol responded to a reported Auto/Pedestrian crash, Rt. 16 by NR Sangalang Building (7-Day Super Market).  

A 2006, Silver, Nissan Frontier, operated by a male adult for Harmon was traveling north on Rt.16 when the vehicle collided with a male pedestrian (John Doe), possibly Chuukese, whom was standing on their lane of travel.  

The pedestrian was transported to GMH where he was pronounced dead at 12:52 a.m.  This marks the 8th traffic related fatality of the year and the fifth within a three day span.  

Case remains under investigation.

]]> (Kevin Kerrigan) frontpage Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:13:55 +0000
2 Arrested for Tumon Purse Snatching
Officers from the Criminal Justice Strike Force arrested  20 year old Ricky Martin Villanueva Shimizu of Yigo. He has been booked and confined on allegations of  Guilt Established by Complicity, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Criminal Facilitation and Robbery. 


[Ricky Martin Villanueva Shimizu]

Also arrested was 40 year old Steven Alexander Cruz of Dededo for Guilt Established by Complicity, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Criminal Facilitation and Robbery.


[Steven Alexander Cruz]

Guam Police Spokesman Officer A.J. Balajadia reports that 2 female tourists were walking along the road by the Hilton when a man, later identified as Shimizu,  approached one of the tourists, grabbed her camera bag and forced her to the ground. The woman suffered a cut to her lip,  requiring 3 stitches.

Shimizu made off with a camera, $50 dollars cash, and 2 credit cards.  

However witnesses got a description of the vehicle and Highway Patrol later spotted it on Rt#14 by the Golden Motel in Tamuning.  Inside were Shimizu and Steven Cruz who was driving.

Officer Balajadia also reports that police found photos of  the victim and her friend on the floorboard of the vehicle.  Both the victim and her friend later identified the photos and said they had been taken earlier earlier in th day with the camera that was stolen.    

READ the release from Officer Balajadia below:


TUMON - 8:45pm, Tuesday, April 15, 2014, officers from the Criminal Justice Strike Force responded to a reported Strong Armed Robbery in the Tumon area.

Two female tourist was walking west along Route #14 San Victores Road by Hilton when a male suspect later identified as Ricky Martin V. Shimizu approached one of the tourist.  Shimizu reportedly grabbed the tourist's camera bag forcing the victim to the ground and causing her to sustain a cut to the lip which required three stitches.  Shimizu made off with a camera, $50 in USC, and two credit cards belonging to the victim.  

Witnesses were able to provide information of a vehicle and a description of Shimizu.

The suspect vehicle was later apprehended by Highway patrol personnel on Rt#14 by Golden Motel.  The vehicle occupied two individuals, Steve Cruz (driver) and Shimizu.  

Officers with the CJSF noticed Polaroids photos of female individuals of Asian descent on the floorboard of the vehicle which revealed that of the victim and her friend who had accompanied her to Guam and who was with her during the incident they both stated that the photo was taken earlier today, with the camera that was stolen.  Suspects were transported to the CJSF office for further investigation and both were later booked and confined.  

Arrested:  STEVEN ALEXANDER CRUZ, m/cham/40/Dededo for Guilt Established by Complicity, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Criminal Facilitation and Robbery.
Arrested:  RICKY MARTIN VILLANUEVA SHIMIZU, m/cham/20/Yigo for Guilt Established by Complicity, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Criminal Facilitation and Robbery.  

Both men were booked and confined.

]]> (Kevin Kerrigan) frontpage Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:11:51 +0000
VIDEO: Shooting Federation Offers Pistol Course For Women Only Guam - With the number of crimes reported on the island, the Guam Shooting Sports Federation (GSSF) is promoting gun ownership as a self defense option. The club is offering a pistol shooting course just for women next month. The course will cover the basics in pistol shooting.


“Last September I started realizing how many crimes we'd had here and I felt that maybe people would wanna learn how to shoot,” Course Instructor Darren Alvarez told PNC. “I'd been an instructor for awhile I'd just not taught here in Guam .”

A ladies only class will be offered by the shooting club on May 3rd to teach women the basics in pistol shooting.

Alvarez has trained more than 100 people in responsible firearms use and safety on Guam. As a registered National Rifle Association Instructor he offers courses in basic pistol shooting, intermediate defense shooting, and concealed weapons carrying.

But why offer a course just for women?

“I found it was better to have a ladies only class because then they don't feel intimidated as much to ask questions,” Alvarez answered.


The basic pistol shooting course will teach women safe gun handling skills, pistol parts and operation, ammunition, shooting fundamentals, how to take care of a gun, and more.

Alvarez says ladies can sign up for the basic pistol shooting course online at The class will be held on May 3rd at GCC Trades Academy

“They get a certificate at the end which can help them if they go to another state or here on Guam when it comes to showing their competence in using a firearm,” said Alvarez.

Co-ed courses on basic pistol shooting will also be offered on June 28th and July 26th.

]]> (Betsy Brown) frontpage Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:21:44 +0000
Cellular Shakup: Shedd Steps Down From Docomo Pacific; Mojica Resigns From IT&E
Shedd left the company for a few years in the early 2000s, but returned after it was acquired by the Docomo company  of Japan. Shedd changed the name to Docomo Padific, and last year led the company's entry into the lucrative cable televisison business through a merger with MCV Broadband.

Shedd's departure is a surprise that caught his business associates and friends off-guard. He was slated to become President of the Rotary Club of Guam in less than a month, but in view of the uncertainty of his status he has submitted his resignation from Rotary.

PNC has also learned of the departure of Danilo Mojica from IT & E, but we were unable to reach him for a comment.  He was the CEO of the company.


]]> (Jon Anderson) frontpage Wed, 16 Apr 2014 03:21:53 +0000