Cruz Signs Guam Museum Bill Into Law

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Guam – Acting Governor Dr. Mike Cruz signed the Guam Museum bill into law Saturday at a ceremony at the Hall of Governor’s behind the Adelup complex.

Bill 179 calls for the creation of a “multi-purpose cultural, convention and performing Arts Center and a Guam Museum facility.”

Read Bill 179

The measure authorizes the Governor to borrow up to $25 million dollars to build it, and the funds will also be used to repair the Plaza De Espana. 

On the K-57 Breakfast Show Monday morning the bill’s sponsor, Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz, explained that the funding will come from a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan which has been applied for, but not yet approved. He said this USDA loan is separate from the $103 million dollar loan that was recently rejected by the Governor.

The Vice Speaker also explained that repayment of this separate USDA loan will come from the Tourist Attraction Fund. The debt ceiling will not be affected because it is a limited obligation bond.

In signing the bill, Acting Governor Cruz said it’s important “to showcase to our visitors, multinational corporations and the military that we’ve had a culture here for 3,500 years.”

Officially, its being called a cultural center because the USDA does not allow loans for museum construction.

The cultural center will include displays of ancient Chamorro artifacts, relics from the Spanish era, as well as housing classrooms, a library and an auditorium.

By Laura Matthews • Pacific Sunday News • August 15, 2010

About 3,500 years of Guam’s history — spanning from pre-contact to the Spanish era to post-World War II — will soon have a home.

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Acting Gov. Mike Cruz yesterday signed into law Bill 179. The measure allows the governor to borrow up to $25 million to acquire, construct and equip an educational cultural facility for preserving the Chamorro culture.

The loan will come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the educational cultural facility will be located in Agana Heights.

The three-level facility will house not only Guam’s past, but an auditorium and theater, library and classrooms, among other features.

Bill 179’s main sponsor, Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz, said the bill is something that has been in the works for years.

“This has been something I’ve been working on for 34 years now,” he said, “This is something that I’ve been wanting, so I’m very happy. We’re finally going to get a home after 34 years of much struggle.”

Pacific Daily News files show that GovGuam’s main museum facility was located in the governor’s office complex at Adelup. But that museum closed, first because its elevator was broken, and later because of damage caused by Supertyphoon Pongsona.

The vice speaker said the facility won’t be called a museum because USDA funds and American Reinvestment and Recovery funds can’t be used to underwrite a museum.

After signing the new law, Mike Cruz said he has received assurance the loan will be approved.

“It’s an appropriate time that we do something like this, especially now that the massive buildup will happen soon,” Mike Cruz said.

He signed the bill yesterday at Adelup, saying it is “for our visitors, our people, our children and our future we now preserve our past.”

“It’s important for me to do that because I want to showcase to our visitors, multinational corporations and the military that we’ve had a culture here for 3,500 years,” he added.

Sylvia Flores, president of the Department of Chamorro Affairs, said her agency is grateful the bill is now law. Her agency oversees the Guam Museum Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization with the mission to preserve and protect historic, cultural and environmental patrimony with a permanent home for artifacts and historic documents, according to Pacific Sunday News files.

“We have waited so long, for more than 30 years,” she said. “Now we can move forward and build a home, build an archive for the history of Guam.”

Sen. Tina Muna-Barnes, a sponsor of the bill, said she is glad both sides of the Legislature worked with the community to make this happen. “This dream has now come true,” she said.

Historian Anthony Ramirez said having this facility means that “finally all the collections of nearly 3,500 years of Guam’s history — and the Northern Marianas because we share the same history — has a home.”

Dave Tydingco, chairman of the Board for the Guam Visitors Bureau, said every survey done over the years has shown that visitors want to know more about Guam, its people and its culture.

“We think it’s a really significant, important and critical investment for tourism, but we are also building this for our people here,” Tydingco said.

In your voice|

Read reactions to this story

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Was there a public hearing on Bill 179?? I hope that someone can clarify or confirm that there was a Public Hearing regarding this bill. According to Senator Muna-Barnes,she stated that she is glad both sides of the Legislature worked with the community to make this happen. “This dream has now come true,” she said. But, what if there was no Public Hearing held? Food for thought!
8/15/2010 3:39:41 PM

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Here in one corner we have the Guam Museum Project and in the other corner we have the Cultural Facility! Wow! It seems that GovGuam has all the fundings for two projects that seems to be the same meaning. But, yet our schools need help, we need more ambulances, etc.! What is going on here? And, once again it’s Acting Governor Cruz signing the bill….political tactic? Indeed it is! Or, we can say that our “off-island” governor is once again off-island! What a joke!!! This election will be interesting!
8/15/2010 3:34:05 PM

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ICEMAN671 wrote:
Has anyone heard of this prior to today? Has there been any kind of public comment period on this expenditure? This was a public bill and nothing from the legislature concerning this bill? Another behind closed doors scam being fostered on the people with out their input again?
Way to go senators…………
8/15/2010 2:58:28 PM

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ICEMAN671 wrote:
Replying to tonman:

Replying to ICEMAN671:

Replying to bushcutter:

For some reason, I hear Powpow in this writing. Using different screen name there Powpow

Hey Pal! Forget about GumPow whether he has other screen names or whatever. Focus on the debate or perhaps it’s getting unto you already and can’t duke it out.

Your telling me to stay on point while you go rambling off about how slimy I am. Real good example, maybe you work for GG?
Like I said, you don’t like what i write, don’t read it. But than it is fun to read the some of the asinine comments that come from you and several others that subscribe to this forum, like Bushcutter and PowPow and other…..
8/15/2010 2:54:36 PM

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ICEMAN671 wrote:
Replying to tonman:

Get a life Iceman and stop smoking that stuff. Smoke MJ you looked much better and act better. Now go back to your country and rewrite the history of who discovered America. Anthropologists and Archaeologists will one day rewrite history because…… QUOTE]

Great opinion? Unfortunately every one is allow one, just like you. Don’t like mine, to bad. If irritates you that much, don’t read it. Real simple…..
However,I go alone with some of the other posts that have stated that your “history” is more made up from the mouths of militants than real factual information. Like buschtters idea of higher math, being used today in universities, that was created 3500 years ago. If I am not mistaken, that is even before the Mayans.
If that concept was factual or even had a small degree of possibility, this place would be crawling with Anthropologists, and Archaeologists.
And don’t forget “slimy”. Won’t even dignify that with any kind of an answer. To stupid….

8/15/2010 2:49:09 PM

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