Mess left behind at Agana Heights field is major problem - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Mess left behind at Agana Heights field is major problem

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The Agana Heights Softball Field is home to hundreds of games a year.  But aside from ball, not too far away there's a different sort of game going on that has some concerned about the mess that spectators are leaving behind.

Island mayors have been trying to get a handle on illegal dumps in their village, but some residents visiting Agana Heights today called the newsroom surprised at the eyesore behind the mayor's office. Agana Heights mayor Paul McDonald said, "We can't afford to pay $2,000 per team, so this helps offset the cost. It helps a lot so I leave it up to them."

Mayor McDonald says his office sponsors 11 baseball teams in the village.  Because his office can't afford to be a sponsor with the office budget McDonald has authorized some of the parents to host cockfights twice a week at the pit next to the softball field. But the place was littered with trash when residents visited there today.  Beer bottles and cans were strewn around the grassy area and around the ledges and a few chicken carcasses were just tossed to the side.

"They do clean it - maybe not the same night, but they clean up the next morning.  It's not our crew that's cleaning up they have people they send to clean up. They actually pay them to pick up their mess and that's only in the cockfight areas," he said.

Kevin Masnayon is one of the organizers of the weekly events, and said, "We hire people to get rid of the dead birds to get rid of it every morning and then we get to the trash before we start our eight o'clock shift."  Masnayon says they make between $300-$500 a night depending on the number of bets and that money is given to the youth baseball teams and the funds will also go to Masnayon who has been selected to represent the island as a supervising umpire in the upcoming Little League World Series in Maine.

Mayor McDonald says softball teams using the field are also guilty of leaving their trash behind but the staff ensure it is cleaned the following day.

But the Agana Heights Fiesta isn't until November when cockfighting is permitted.  We asked the mayor if they had obtained the necessary permit from the Governor's Office and McDonald referred us to Masnayon who said they had the mayor's authorization and weren't aware they needed a permit as they don't believe others have obtained permits either. And while they try to iron out the permit issues, the mayor is hoping others come forward to help out.

"I just hope people will come out and donate money for our kids and not have these guys go out and have cockfights because again it is very expensive and we can't afford to provide a team," he said.

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