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Guam leaders meet with Levin, Webb

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - After last week's snub by a delegation of 15 US senators, Guam's leaders as we speaker are getting some face time tonight with Virginia senator Jim Webb and Michigan senator Carl Levin. Monday night's meetings are important ones and with important people.

Senator Levin is the chair of the all-important Senate Armed Services Committee while Senator Webb not only serves on the same committee but is also chairman of the Personnel Subcommittee. According to Guam Buildup Chairperson Senator Judi Guthertz she will bring both up to speed on the military buildup from the island's perspective.

She said, "Ask them to be a little more inclusive of Guam's leadership in their discussion and in their interest regarding the region. We're more than just a refueling stop - Guam and I hope that our federal and national leaders will understand the sensitivity that people have right now because of this buildup. They're not sure how its going to affect their lives, they do know that there is going to be changes in their lives and they wan to it make sure the federal government and in particular the DOD are respectful of that. So we need our federal officials to act cognizant of that."

Senators Levin and Webb will also meet with Governor Eddie Calvo, who will bring up a myriad of issues. "Whether its how things have been moving on the military buildup, some of the issues just most recently in contracts being awarded to off-island companies and what those impacts are to local companies and local employees. As well as areas regarding what their long-term strategic interest are in plans for the Western Pacific and how Guam fits in there," he said. "I think its so important for us to relay the message that we intend to move forward in our political self-determination and we want to be very clear with them that whatever direction we want to advise them is they should be looking to what he interest are in the United States and how Guam fits in with those plans."

Levin and Webb are scheduled to leave Guam tomorrow.

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