Guam-A Different Perspective

An interesting debate is ramping up in the halls of the Guam Legislature.  

Since the late 1970's, discussion of Guam moving towards the use of renewable energy sources to support the island's power needs has came and went like the tides of the ocean.  Former Governor Ricky Bordallo had urged a younger staff member, now retired-Guam Superior Court Justice and current Guam Senator B.J. Cruz to find a way to make this effort come to fruition.  It was stonewalled by the fledgling Guam Power Authority.  Over the next 30 years, talks and studies and more discussion and duplicative white papers would fill the GPA archives.  Today, the Harmon headquarters of the now Consolidated Utilities Service is taking on more of the same.  What is different there than what was working on the next source of energy for Guam? Older engineers.  

Their work or lack of work was put on display as debate started this week on Bill 74-32 by the Guam Legislature.  While there is a mandate that sets the bar on how much of our island's power system should be of a sustainable technology, this newest law is forcing the use of renewable energy on a single customer and the largest of consumers-the Guam Department of Education.  

With a $15 million annual power bill, policy makers have pulled their collective hair out for years to stop the rising costs of power and use the money towards basic essentials for education like books, desks, pencils and other learning materials.  Did you know that of that amount, $10 million is for fuel costs?  That leaves the dreaded $5 million portion for what the technocrats call "stranded costs".  There has been many ways to describe this complex term for "operational costs".  Simply put it is the administration of the power bill and the other responsibilities to keep the lights on for all power customers.  It is this part of the Guam Department of Education Bill that is bring protected like a newborn baby by GPA.  

They absolutely do not want to let this go.  

GPA claims the impacts to their payment of revenue bonds would be impacted.  GPA claims that they will pass along this cost to rate payers who would shoulder the loss of this important piece of revenue. Did I mention that the $10 million is for fuel? GPA claims that they cannot administer renewable energy as they are short of qualified staff to do so.  The Guam Legislature is very eager to establish this important public policy.  They were miffed by a lack of input by GPA-five months of neglect.  The Bill is on the agenda as a statement by lawmakers that they are willing and able to bring a modern law forward to keep Guam in pace with other communities around the world that have made the effort to bring meaningful renewable energy policy to the forefront and move in lockstep with the rest of the world who is struggling as well with rising fossil fuel costs.  

Adding to the drama on Bill 74-32, is a subversive element in our community that is trying to make a buck as a fragile policy is just about to see the light of day.  While I have no problem with capitalism, I do have a problem when such aims will cause great harm to the new Green Guam Industry before it even has had a chance to grow.  A few businessmen have already shown that knowledge of the costs renewable energy can make a lump in their wallets before a system is ever put in operation.  Like minded "industry partners" have shown their true colors as they have made a minor-league attempt to influence sustainable public policy.  It is the "I know" and "This is how we do it in BLANK!". 

Guys-good try.  

Bill 74-32 will be made whole by those with major-league experience in this type of politics and push the renewable energy industry forward in Guam for the best of everyone.  Does not sound too capitalistic?  My bet is with the movement to take Guam closer to its destiny to become a leader in this new industry in the years to come and the example for the rest of Micronesia.

FF&E Services-Preparing Cost Estimates and Specifications

GET, LLC revisits our discussion on Furniture, Furnishings and Equipment or FF&E-this blog post focuses on effort needed to prepare a cost estimate and specifications for your next project.   

The sage wisdom of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Handbook of Professional Practice asks us to remember that your architect or construction professional must be able to estimate costs to provide the client with figures for a furniture budget. Pricing estimates can be calculated by applying an appropriate discount to current list price information obtained from the manufacturer. More accurate pricing can be obtained directly from manufacturer’s representatives, dealers, like GET, LLC.

To make budget estimates as accurate as possible, the architect must consider applicable taxes, shipping and storage costs, access fees and installation costs.

We must remind you to prepare accurate and clearly written furniture specifications for all types of furniture and furnishings. Specifications for freestanding furniture pieces are the simplest to prepare, and most vendors will assist with the preparation-including our partner Savoy Contract Furniture and teaming partner American Hotel Register. Systems furniture can be specified in general terms, since most systems vendors prepare full and detailed parts lists for individual orders.

There are three types of specifications for furniture and furnishings. Proprietary specifications identify products and materials by manufacturer’s name, model number, or part number. This is a “closed” specification and does not allow for substitution-used by many designers to control aesthetics, function, and quality. Descriptive specifications describe in detail the performance characteristics, materials, finishes, workmanship, and fabrication of a particular product and list several comparable manufacturers. This type of specification is used in an “open” bid situation. Performance specifications describe only the desired or required results and neither prescribe product characteristics nor reference manufacturers.

For more on how GET, LLC through our friends at Savoy Contract Furniture and teaming partner American Hotel Register can assist you with your specific FF&E needs- please check out our website at or give us a call at 671-483-0789 to discuss the best solution for your facility.  All the solutions are Made in America!

Saving $4 Billion by 2020 by Using Wireless Lighting Controls

A couple of local mid-sized corporations had asked me in recent weeks just how much savings can be achieved combining an energy efficient light bulb, like the Independence LED Lighting products we represent, and lighting controls in their respective buildings.   I found the answer in a very unlikely place.  

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San Diego, California-based ON World Inc.,a provider of global business intelligence on smart technology markets in there recently published "Smart Building Wireless Sensor Networks found that wireless lighting controls in combination with energy harvesting, wireless mesh networking and wireless enabled smart LED drivers will save buildings $4 Billion in energy savings by 2020. 

“Today, a typical building wastes almost a third of its lighting energy due to inefficient or non-existent lighting control systems,” says Mareca Hatler ON World’s research director. “Wireless energy management systems that integrate with a building’s lighting infrastructure is one of the fastest growing areas in building automation.”

ON World’s survey of 85 professional installers found that 59% are providing wireless lighting controls. Over half provide a centralized wireless lighting control system and about a quarter install lighting systems that use wireless adapters. Nearly 6 in 10 provide a wireless lighting control system that features occupancy detection, 34% daylighting and 26% support utility demand response programs.

Maintenance-free wireless sensors and switches powered by harvested energy made up about 1 in 3 of the wireless lighting device shipments in 2012. Today, these mostly use the EnOcean wireless protocol that has over 1,000 interoperable products.   Wireless mesh networking avoids dependence on a wired backbone that is used by the majority of wireless lighting control systems. Targeted at building-wide wireless energy management as well as outdoor commercial areas, wireless mesh systems attach to, or integrate with, lighting luminaires. Competition is increasing from system innovators such as CIMCON, Convergence Wireless, Daintree, Enlighted and TwistHDM as well as lighting manufacturers such as Acuity, Digital Lumens, Harvard Engineering, Hubbell, Light Corporation and Venture Lighting Corporation.The migration to LED lighting is one of the biggest developments in building energy management systems by providing long-lasting light sources that are especially suited for digital controls. Software configurable LED drivers with integrated wireless communications such as those provided by Orama promise to reduce communications costs up to 90% by replacing the need for a separate device for the adapter.

Industrial, warehousing, parking garages/lots and outdoor area lighting are currently some of the fastest growing markets for wireless lighting controls. However, traditional commercial buildings such as offices, retail and restaurants will make up over 40% percent of the market by 2017.

The ON World report noted that by 2020, global wireless lighting control device shipments will increase by over 1500% from 2012 when they will save buildings $4.2 billion in energy costs.

Your mind made up yet?

To learn more about the lighting controls products that GET, LLC provides, please check out our website at or call us to discuss solutions for your important lighting needs-Made in America!!!

Certified Fiber Installer Training Coming Soon

There is a great opportunity for Guam next year as GET, LLC and our friends at the Fiber Optic Marketplace LLC are planning for a Certified Fiber Installer Course in our part of the world in 2014.  

This proposed fiber optic installation training course is designed for those who layout, install or maintain fiber optic cabling systems. The program will identify you as an installer able to demonstrate a practical knowledge of fiber optic theory, codes, standards and practices widely accepted in the fiber optics industry. In addition, the program will incorporate two days of individual hands-on training validating installer skills, including fiber terminations, cable preparations, fusion splicing, OTDR and optical loss testing. These skills are applicable to all the requirements to safely and competently install, maintain, and test fiber optic cabling systems. 

Also, the proposed fiber optic installation course is currently offered with a self-paced, online lecture and a hands-on workshop. This innovative approach to Fiber Optic Training and certification allows students to minimize expense, time and travel by learning at their own pace, on their own schedule (using online e-Learning to complete the lecture portion of the class.) Students may then complete the hands-on portions of the class at any of our scheduled sessions around the world (and can review the material within one year of registering for the course.) If online training is not ideal for your learning style, a more traditional instructor-lead lecture or question and answer section is available upon request depending upon the location and the size of the class.

Any takers?

If you or your company is interested in attending, please give us a call at 671-797-0789 or drop us a line at where you can find more information on the related products and services we provide-though our friends at Panduit and Fiber Optic Marketplace LLC.

The Next Chapter in HDMI

As a person who has followed the  advancements in High Definition Television since I was a young man in my Dad's garage, some more exciting news rolled out last week.  

The new standard for HD entertainment is here with the new HDMI 2.0.  

What I like very much is that it is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the specification but significantly increases bandwidth up to 18Gbps and adds key changes to enhance the consumer audio and video experience.

Among some of the new features is that you get four  times the clarity of 1080p/60 video, up to 32 audio channels for a multi-dimensional immersive audio experience, up to 1536kHz audio sample frequency for the highest audio fidelity, simultaneous dual video streams to multiple users on the same screen and support for wide angle theatrical 21:9 video aspect ratios.

According to, the forum that creates and polices the standards, HDMI 2.0 does not define any new cables or connectors. All current High Speed with Ethernet HDMI cables (Category 2 cables) are already capable of carrying the increased bandwidth and new features.

In 2014, we will see 4K (Ultra HD) HDTVs, Ultra HD Blu-ray players and native 4K content supported through the HDMI 2.0. This new hardware will have to be certified HDMI V2.0 to take advantage of the new Ultra HD features but your existing cables will still continue to work, without any loss of picture or sound quality.

Should be fun to watch. 

Contact GET, LLC at 671-797-0789 or check out our website at for more information on the related products and services we provide-though our friends at Panduit or Fiber Optic Marketplace LLC. News will soon follow on an important add to GET, LLC's capabilities in this important niche market-will keep you posted.

A Look at Fiber Optic Converters

You learn something new every day. 

Did you know that ethernet over copper networks are limited to a data distance of only 100 meters (328ft) when using unshielded twisted pair (UTP) or sheilded twisted pair (STP) cable?  

By using an Ethernet to Fiber Optic Converter, fiber cabling can be used to extend data connections over a much greater distance. Ethernet to Fiber Optic Converters change Fast Ethernet or Gigabit UTP links to 100Base-FX or 1000Base-X fiber connections at distances of up to 100km on Single mode 9/125 fiber.

These converters can also be used in environments with high levels of electromagnetic interference (EMI) which is commonly found in industrial environments. This interference can cause corruption of data over copper Ethernet lines. However, data over fiber is immune to this type of noise. An Ethernet to Fiber Optic Converter enables you to inter-connect your copper Ethernet devices over fiber ensuring optimal data transmission across the entire long distance network.

Also, the transceiver used in an Ethernet to Fiber Optic Converter transforms the signal from a UTP/RJ45 Ethernet link to one that is light and can be used by a fiber optic cable. Media converters can connect to various fiber optic cable types such as multimode or single mode. Many different pre-made fiber lengths are available and are perfect for your Ethernet to fiber application.

If you need Fiber Converters, contact GET, LLC at 671-797-0789 or check out our website at for more information on the related products and services we provide-though our friends at Panduit or Fiber Optic Marketplace LLC. 

Guam-A Different Perspective

As the rest of America is coping with the federal government shutdown, curious things occurring simultaneously in the Government of Guam has me scratching my head.  

While hundreds of federal workers here are furloughed, the Office of the Governor of Guam announces that they are doling out pay raises to law enforcement personnel.  Adelup opines that the 20 percent raise law enforcement officers have been waiting for years to receive will be given in December.  In that same month, employees will start getting checks for the retroactive pay they are also entitled to.  This liability is about $20 million, so the back-pay will be made in phases. Not too long after the pay raise announcement, a member of the Guam Legislature asked the Administration to include the Judiciary of Guam and some left out uniformed officers in the implementation of the remaining 20 percent law enforcement compensation.

I think that we have our priorities all wrong.  

Without a federal budget, the impacts are already far reaching across the federal agencies doing business on Guam.  Should local public policy makers be focusing their time on how to mitigate the economic losses for each day that passes with Guam's federal workforce on furlough?
New business opportunities are but a trickle on the government website  Staff are not even on the bases or the federal offices.  Phone calls to the Feds go right to voice mail-scripted explanations are aplenty.  Emails to NAVFAC Marianas and the other federal family members are going unread and unanswered.  The Feds cancelled training trips to the Marianas and all associated reservations at area hotels were cancelled too.

The private sector saw this coming for months and many businesses, large and small, have had to adjust our collective schedules and financial projections for work with this important engine of Guam's economy. What averaged over $1.25 Billion from 1997 to 2010, federal expenditures took a steep decline in 2011 and has never looked up since-thanks to the delay of the Guam Realignment.  DOD activity of Guam makes up more than 50 percent of the total per capita federal expenditure and the other federal agencies here bring in the rest.

Instead of working to mitigate the damage of the federal shutdown to our economy in the days ahead, policy makers have used this poor excuse for decision making as a way to show their complete disregard for fiscal restraint in these unknown economic times.  Can we trust that the soothsayers in Gov Guam are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel that the rest of us are not seeing today?  

Tourism is up, but cannot sustain the losses the federal spend will have in our stores and our respective villages with each passing day.  Each shutdown minute has an impact.  Each shutdown hour keeps limited funds out of circulation.  Each day with a lack of a decision in Congress and the White House will have a impact our collective pocket books
Can I be so bold and offer some advice?  WAKE UP! Government cannot be all things to all people.  We will not achieve our destiny as a people by continuing to perpetuate the have and have not mentality that is running from Yigo to Malesso.  This lack of foresight at the Governors' Complex and Hessler Street is another example of an attitude that continues to impede our ability to grow as an modern island community in Magnificent Micronesia and the Pacific Rim.  Island leaders need to realize that such cavalier actions to provide benefit to the few at the expense of the many must stop. With the lack of action in Washington DC, we really do need to pay attention to what is happening in the Belt Way and adjust to the new normal in America and do so very fast. 

A Perspective from Where America's GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN Begins!

I write this blog post while sitting along East Agana Bay in Guam and looking out upon a calm Pacific evening.  This blogger has spent the past couple of hours contemplating the impacts of the U.S. Congress inability to pass a budget for the federal government for this fiscal year.  The waves hitting our shores tonight are reflecting somewhat of the image of lawmakers of the U.S Government-in that they are making waves of their own that have people across our country upset. 

While there are much to ponder on how America got to this point, it points to the direction the U.S. is headed.  

Americans on this side of the International Date Line are concerned on how the next couple of days, weeks and months may progress.  We just turned the corner with great booms in our tourism industry this year and the federal spend was looking optomistic headed into the first quarter of FY 2014. 

So what does our fragile island economy have left to contend with?

270 civilian employees working for Joint Region Marianas in any capacity were furloughed hours ago with the remaining 500 told to report to work with no clear idea on when they will get paid for their public service.  6,000 military personnel on Guam will be required to show up to work at Andersen Air Force Base and U.S. Naval Base Guam, but they too won't get paid unless Congress can pass a budget or Continuing Resolution. 140 Guam National Guardsmen and women are temporarily furloughed. Federally funded programs with Guam's Behavioral Wellness Center and Department of Public Health and Social Services-closed. Scores of our friends and family at the USDA, NASA, CDC and TSA-also impacted.

I was thinking this blog post would be partisan to some extent, but the blame really must come from both sides of the political aisle in Washington DC.  Tickers about how long government has been closed and the various news stories about what government agency is open and not open really has not helped frame this issue well across America. 

Be concerned-Asian markets rose and fell fast after it became clear Congress flopped in their 11th hour deal to avert a shutdown of the federal government. Stocks lost what would have been gains after weeks of growth and the dollar slid modestly against the yen-our tourists were hoping for more I'm sure. Volumes in the currency markets surged once European trading started-it's gonna be a long day indeed.  A government shutdown could cost the U.S. economy roughly $1 billion a week in pay lost by furloughed federal workers-surely thousands of dollars here.

I encourage everyone reading this blog to follow this shutdown closely. The impacts will be hard felt.  We are living Where America's Government Shutdown Begins! 

21 days?  We'll see if this version of the shutdown-the last in 1996-outlasts or has more long term negative impacts for Americans in Guam and across our Country moving forward.