Guam-A Different Perspective

At one point in his legislative career, he sat in a place of fear and promise for policy creation in Guam.  "Death Row" was a place where Senator ben Pangelinan either helped craft modern Guam laws or put them back on the drawing board. This cunning and polished Saipan-born politician died this week following a long battle against cancer.

This blogger not only watched his growth at Hessler Street, but interacted with a man who wanted only to advance his agenda for the people of Guam.  We locked horns many times.  Tactically, he would win some and would lose some.  He taught me many a lesson about the true workings of Guam's executive and legislative branches.  To the end, he always stayed true to his political ideology-a lesson that can be taken by all current and future politicians of Micronesia.  His death is a certain loss for a branch that has been all but broken for the past decade.  With him goes such depth of understanding of the island's budget and nuances of financial public policy in the Marianas.

The accolades and praise has been coming from all over the U.S. Territory's political spectrum.  
Much I believe has been polite.  

Speaker Pangelinan was the current antagonist in discussions from Yigo to Merizo.  There is not a single individual who will soon take his place and position on land, budget and culture at the Guam Legislature.  

Many will try.  

Many will fail.  

Many will only wish they could have the insight and passion for the people of Guam like Speaker ben.

Some have already likened him to some of the heavyweights in Guam politics.  While I would be the first to downplay such veneration, his contributions will be felt well past his State Funeral and interment and beyond this current election cycle.

Senator ben's death will certainly have an immediate impact on the electorate between now and the Primary and General Elections this fall.  Those on the flip side of the former Speaker's political stage better take heed.  I would not be going out on a limb to compare this political event to the death of former GOP Speaker Tony Unpingco in October 2007.  Subsequent actions and political moves following the death of Speaker Unpingco had its impacts felt on the elections in both 2008 and 2010.

Long gone are the days of "Death Row" with Speaker Pangelinan, former Senator Lou Leon Guerrero, current Speaker Judy Won Pat and Senator Tom Ada leading public policy formation from the rear of the Session Hall.  The political discourse framed the policies of a man and a body that oozed desire for serving the people of Guam.  His death allows us to consider the weight of our actions in the voting booths in September and eventually November.  Super Tuesday may not be a referendum on Senator ben's legacy, but will allow each in the electorate to remember why they vote and the importance of the vote to the direction of the island over the next couple of years.  

It is what Senator ben would have wanted.


Surplus Furniture-What to do?

What happens to Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment (FF&E) when a commercial space is vacated? The Pasadena, California-based non-profit ANEW says that when facility owners leave a space, most often FF&E are left behind-a facilities management team is now responsible to liquidate surplus.

Until recently the standard practice was for old FF&E to be labeled as waste, picked up by a demolition crew, and hauled to a landfill. This is such a costly option considering a company’s investment in infrastructure has great value. It is the smart choice to think proactively about moving FF&E's out your door. The end result is a decision that properly leverages your respective companies’ investment, and saves time and money in the process.

Construction waste accounts for about 40% of landfill content in the United States. Though disposing of surplus in a landfill is an easy option, it comes at a high environmental price. According to U.S. EPA estimates, methane produced by rotting matter in landfills is the second largest factor affecting global climate change.

What can be done to fix this situation? In most instances, old FF&E still have a lot of life remaining; there are many organizations that can benefit by receiving used (but eminently usable) furnishings. Simply put, the effects of climate change are reduced through mitigation of methane production when surplus is creatively diverted from landfills.

One solution is for facilities managers to view FF&E that has reached its end of useful life not as waste but as something of value—and then to divert it from a landfill and implement a sustainable alternative for repurposing the materials. Facilities Managers can collaborate with their furniture dealers, architects, or other project stakeholders to steward their surplus to new homes.

A company’s surplus can benefit a recipient organization such as a non-profit, charity, or public agency, for instance. Meanwhile, gifting the FF&E benefits the donor company with a tax-deductible donation. Meanwhile, depending on who the facilities manager works with to carry out the process, they may receive a complete summary of relevant metrics including the amount diverted and carbon footprint reduction.

Related to that, a donor organization might earn points toward LEED accreditation for the overall facility project (if it is a renovation, for instance). Categories related to LEED might include material reuse, landfill diversion, and innovation.

Re-purposing surplus FF&E that still has some life in it is a win-win situation for all involved. The donor organization can empty its decommissioned space at a cost comparable to or lower than that of hauling to a landfill, while the group’s corporate social responsibility gets a boost.

And the recipient organizations benefit with enhanced working environments and maximized resources. This allows the people who work at those organizations to focus on the vital services they provide to their communities. Meanwhile, the environment is spared the toxic effects of adding waste to landfills.

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 furniture 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!!!

Next Ten Years-94% of Street Lighting Sales will be LED

Boulder, Colorado-based Navigant Research recently published a report that the market share of Light-Emitting Diode (LEDs) lighting in street lighting worldwide will grow from 53.3% in 2014 to 93.8% in 2023, as falling prices for LED street lights are spurring a global transition from older lamp technologies to newer, more efficient, and more controllable LEDs.  

The  report, entitled ‘Smart Street Lighting: LEDs, Communications Equipment, and Network Management Software for Roadway and Highway Lighting: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts’, said that the whiter light of LED street lights offers city residents improved nighttime visibility, while the greater energy efficiency and longevity offer city managers cost savings from reductions in both energy consumption and maintenance costs.

The report notes that as LED prices continue to erode and the long lifespan of LED lamps results in fewer replacements, overall revenue from street lighting will begin to fall. Navigant forecasts that global street lighting revenue will decline from $2.5 Billion in 2014 to $2.3 Billion in 2023.

“The increase in sales of LED street lights has been surprisingly swift, with some companies reporting that more than half their sales are LEDs and others already planning to discontinue their non-LED product lines,” said Navigant Senior Research Analyst Jesse Foote. “At the same time, a rising number of cities are deploying networked control systems along with their new LED street lights, and the range of features available from those systems is expanding.”

Although LED street lights appear to be on track for a nearly complete takeover of the market, the adoption of networked control systems for street lights has followed a somewhat slower path. Navigant Research points out that one critical challenge for the networked control industry is a lack of standardization and the large number of diverse players competing in this space.

Closer to home, the Guam Power Authority appears to fall farther behind with integration of the modern street light technology.  Earlier this year, GPA bid out a small quantity of LED lighting while simultaneously bidding the inefficient and aging High Pressure Sodium  (HPS) Luminaires.  While expected to award the HPS contract, the island utility decided to issue another bid for an LED IDIQ with brand, technology and warranty specifications that have not kept up with the market-some three years following a pilot project that has shown significant failures across the island. 

Maybe GPA should take a read of this Navigant Report-and as soon as possible.

The report analyzes the global market for roadway and highway lighting. It provides an analysis of the market issues, including drivers and trends, barriers, and ownership models, associated with lamps, luminaires, and lighting controls in these street lighting applications. Global market forecasts for unit sales and revenue, segmented by region, application, and equipment and construction type, extend through 2023. The report also examines the key codes, standards, and technologies related to street lighting, as well as the competitive landscape.

Such due diligence would have been a better use of government resources and time.

To learn more about the lighting products that GET,LLC provides, including the LED lines of our partners, Independence LED Lighting and Deco Lighting Inc., please check out our website at or call us at 671-483-0789 to discuss solutions for your important lighting needs-All Made in America!!!

Demand Grows for Green Homes

Locally, the Guam Housing Corporation is pushing an initiative to build affordable homes that will also utilize modern sustainable building materials and methods.  Five companies are attempting to "woo" the GHC to not only adopt these models as a way to build capacity on Guam, but also to introduce "green homes" into the Western Pacific and Micronesia housing marketplace.  This effort is in line with a growing trend happening all across the United States.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the authority on all that is sustainable in America, estimates that there are as many as 150,000 LEED-certified green housing units worldwide, a number that more than doubled between 2011 and 2012 and continues to grow steadily.  

In their LEED in Motion: Residential report, the USGBC details the U.S. states with the most LEED-certified homes, with California in the No. 1 spot followed by New York and Texas.

With recently warm and dry summer months in Guam and similar conditions across the mainland U.S.,  most of us are bracing for what we all can expect to be higher energy bills-thus the benefits of creating LEED-certified houses are even more pronounced and more attractive to homeowners from Guam to Rhode Island.

"Our homes are more than just spaces that provide shelter," said USGBC President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi. "Homes touch practically every aspect of our lives and are a critical element of our overall sense of safety, identity and community. Enhancing our homes' efficiency and resilience offers an extraordinary opportunity to further the revolution in sustainable building and living practices so that it ripples outward to our communities."

The USGBC says that LEED-certified homes provide 20 to 30 percent savings in energy and water use compared to code-built homes, and they maximize fresh air indoors while minimizing exposure to airborne toxins and pollutants.

The LEED in Motion report also explores the multiple LEED rating systems for different types of homes, including new single-family homes as well as new and existing low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise multifamily buildings. USGBC is also developing a rating system for existing single-family homes
The USGBC Residential report also includes the ongoing monitoring of home performance and accomodation for the growing number of people living in cities, recognition of the top 10 countries for LEED, demonstrating the international growth of green housing, the importance of local policy in spurring the uptake of green homes as well as noting the important connections between green homes and occupant health and well-being.

Will Guam add to the number of green homes in America? The GHC should be commended for this effort and homebuilders and developers alike in Micronesia should pay close attention to the results of this program as the move to sustainable homebuilding takes hold in the islands and is added to the list by the USGBC in 2015.
To find out more about how GET, LLC, through our metal building partners at Ceco Building Systems, can help your next steel building or aluminum roofing project, give us a call at 671-483-0789 or our website at for more information.