EDITORIAL

Alternative Zero’s Mayday

SOS and 911 are signals similar to the navigational distress call “Mayday.” Religious disestablishments types organize around what they are against to highlight the irrelevance of the category of a ‘god’ that designates a dictatorial external force determining fate and destiny. We now recognize the reality of choice sans obeisance to “representatives of the external force”!

Walpurgisnacht is a night honoring a German Abbess in the 8th century that turned an evening into merry witches, of flying ladies of the night before they became the wench on the bench. The alarm on Mayday turned into the frolic of May Day!

May 1 starts the Spring Festival in the northern hemisphere. Pre-Christian observances included Floralia, the festival to the female force Flora, observed in licentious ambience of full pleasure-seeking activities. Rome followed patrician formalities but the games of Flora were strictly of plebeian character in garments of a carnival-like mood. Romps around the maypole with colorful ribbons are still held.

The U.S. military’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on display at Joeten-Kiyu Public Library is the subject of tonight’s gathering from 5pm to 8pm at Garapan Elementary School, as it was Wednesday at Saipan Southern High cafeteria, and Thursday at the Tinian High School. The narrative proposes action and alternatives for Range Training Activities (RTAs) on Tinian and Pagan, with other alternative scenarios identified but not described; a “do nothing” is not taken seriously.

A conscientious group called Alternative Zero insists that local residents’ say on the matter before anything else is supremely more important in the process. The present method is all-powerful Goliath dictating on subservient David.

Alternative 4 is a “save Pagan, save Tinian, our history, our home” proposal, including safeguarding the turtle eggs and the endangered tutut (rose dove bird).

The proposed action is for military use of Pagan and Tinian as live fire range locations, with restrictions on land and air access; the action and alternatives given are not “whether or not” but which “how” might be followed. Public discussion is welcomed.

Alternative Zero encourages residents to read the proposal and offer comments, to make sure that ordinary folks understand the document, what decision is called for, and one can feel confident that what one says about it shall be listened to and seriously considered.

Saint Joseph is the patron saint of workers, thus Oleai Parish Church’s name. The contract worker is at once a maligned and celebrated category in the CNMI. May Day Cold War warriors are consigned to medals and memorial parks; there is no shortage of pride in being a worker down Beach Road.

May Day is not a CNMI public holiday. “Labor” is celebrated in September and May Day parades worldwide commemorate Chicago’s Haymarket 1886 protest to agitate for the 8-hour workday.

That the EIS encourages public discussion is a nod to democratic procedures. Some suggest six months, even two years, rather than 60 days of comments on the voluminous material and serious proposal. Do we, the people, care? Let’s heed the Mayday on May Day! © 2015 Saipan Tribune

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Jun Dayao Dayao
This post is published under the Contributing Author. He/she does not normally work for Saipan Tribune but contributes for a specific topic or series.

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