Guthertz Believes DoD’s Interest in 80 Acres of School Land is Meant for Firing Range

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Guam – The Legislature’s Buildup  Chairperson  Senator Judi  Guthertz believes that the federal government  wants  to  take  back  an  80  acre  parcel  of  property  that  it  signed  over  to GovGuam years ago as a site for future schools.

Given that the land is right next door to the Pagat Mangilao site of the proposed firing  range complex that has stirred bitter opposition from Guam residents, Senator Guthertz  suspects  the  real  intent  is  to  expand  the  1,090  acres  of  land  that  the  ROD  shows  the military already wants for the range.  

“This makes a mockery of the Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS), Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS) and the ROD process,” Senator Guthertz said in a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Navy Jackalynne Pfannenstiel and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, “since these 80 acres were never mentioned in any of these documents as being part of the desired firing range complex. Therefore, the people of Guam were not provided the opportunity to comment upon their use for a firing range complex.”

Senator Guthertz told the federal officials that Guam residents have made it abundantly clear that they don’t want a firing range in the area, much less an even bigger firing range that uses property designated for much needed new schools.

Guthertz said lack of money has left the site undeveloped to date, “However, with the military buildup, our civilian educational need is for six new public schools; i.e., one high school, two middle schools, and four elementary schools. This parcel of 80 acres is most suitable for some of those schools. Right now it is planned for the site for a middle school and high school.” Senator Guthertz said she believes that GovGuam revenue will increase to allow for construction of new schools in the near future.

Senator Guthertz asked Secretary Pfannenstiel and Secretary of Education Duncan to intervene with “the bureaucrats within your organizations who are mesmerized with firing ranges and ignoring our solid need for new educational facilities to support the military buildup.”

Senator Guthertz, who is also Chairperson of the Guam Legislature’s Ethics and Standards Committee admonished the officials that, “Now is not the time to be taking back land suitable for educational purposes. Whoever dreamed up this idea should be given a logic test and told to attend a professional ethics class, which I would be pleased to instruct, for free.