Friday, November 16, 2007

Heads of State in Studio

You know it's probably not going to be your typical day at work when you have a visit from the police at 5:30 am with their bomb and drug sniffing dogs. That was how my Wednesday morning started out. I didn't figure they were here out of concern for me, because I'm very surprised someone hasn't tried to blow me up already. The police officers explained that the Governor was bringing in the various heads of state from the Micronesia region in to the studio with him this morning and this was part of their security precautions. So the dog came in, went from room to room, looking for yesterdays leftovers no doubt, but didn't find anything more than a few crumbs here and there. By 7 am this is group that I had in studio, from left, Governor Ben Fitial of the CNMI, President Tommy Remengesau of the Republic of Palau, Governor Sebastian Aenfl of Yap, and Governor Felix Camacho of Guam. They were all on island for a meeting of the Western Association of Chief Executives meeting. I had a great time talking to each of them and asking questions about their various islands. President Remengesau and I talked diving for a while, and he personally invited me to come down and dive Palau with him, offering to take me out personally to some of his favorite spots. It looks like I just may have to make that Palau trip fairly soon, I mean how can you say no to the President? They all seemed to thoroughly enjoy their time in studio as well. We didn't get into any hard issues or questions, just talking about common concerns such as power, tourism and environment. I was very impressed with this group and believe that if they continue to cooperate like this, good things will come of it.
I had only asked to take a picture of the 4 of them, I mean it's not every day that you have 4 heads of state sitting in your studio. But they all insisted that I get in a picture with them all, a very nice gesture on their part I thought. Whether you agree with them politically or not and their policies, it's important to remember that they are people too, with feelings and concerns just like you and I. And I can't even imagine having to deal with all the problems and hassles they have to deal with on a daily basis. It was nice just being able to sit and chat with the 4 of them for a while getting to know them as people. Then there was Thursday morning. I had received an e-mail from Angelo Villagomez earlier in the week asking if he could come on and promote the clean up dive this weekend and talk about some observations from his vacation he just got back from. I like Angelo, and like to accomodate him whenever possible, so I told him to come in Thursday morning at 7. He invited Mike Tripp to join him since Mike is the Prime Minister of the Marianas Dive group. He's Canadian, need I say more? So at 7 am, there were Mike and I ready to talk diving, but where was Angelo? You can see in the picture above that his chair was clearly empty. I thought maybe he was just running late and would be here by 7:30, but nope, it wasn't to be. Mike and I talked to nearly 8, and still no Angelo. Now it's one thing if I invite you for an interview and you don't show up, but when you invite yourself and don't show up, well that's another thing entirely. It's not something you will live down anytime in the foreseeable future, or least as long as it lingers in my memory. So now Angelo is scheduled for Friday morning, of course he will have a bit of ribbing to live down for Thursday, but it's all in the name of good fun. Surely he wouldn't forget 2 days in a row would he?


Mike Ernest said...

Two things:

(1) If the President of Palau invited me diving, I would be on the next flight. Not one second of hesitation.

(2) Your line (I'm sure it was a joke) about the bomb dog looking for food, while funny, cannot go unchallenged. Too often here, we think the government doesn't work as it should. And usually for good reason.

But I've had experience with the bomb dogs. Some jerk called in a threat to the Legislature. The bomb dogs and officers came. I got to watch them search every room.

They were very, very professional. Very thorough. They ended up sweeping the building twice, "just to be sure." How often do government workers go above and beyond just because? I have a great deal of respect for those guys.

Incidentally, that day they also swept the Legislature for drugs.

None were found.

Jeff said...

I'm with Mike on the no hesitation thing.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for asking the Governor about the Rules and Regulations on Wednesday, 7 November. I spoke to him in the parking lot of the Governor's Office on that same day and received the same answer.

Unfortunately, what he told you, me, and your listening audience was not true. Having checked 7 Nov. and again yesterday (Nov. 16), there is no record of anyone receiving the Rules and Regulations that are required to implement PL#15-25.

Whether or not he was trying to cover for Warfield or he just did not know that the she had not submitted those documents is not known. Neither scenario is a good one.

Just thought that you would like to know.