U.S. PRESIDENT CLINTON DUE IN GUAM

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By Jojo Santo Tomas and Eric F. Say

HAGATNA, Guam (November 23, 1998 - Marianas Variety)---Guam residents welcome the arrival of President Bill Clinton today.

"We are as ready as we can be," said Clifford Guzman, Guam's lead man in planning the presidential visit. "Everything is falling into place."

Clinton is arriving on Guam from his Japan and South Korea visits, which he pursued after missing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference held in Malaysia earlier this month.

The President is set to arrive at 1:15 p.m. aboard Air Force One. He will proceed to the Government House for a reception which is to be attended by heads of Pacific Islands nations and states including the CNMI, Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia as well as other local dignitaries and invited guests.

The President will proceed to the War in the Pacific Overlook to lay a wreath honoring the thousands who died and suffered during World War II, and then deliver a speech before the people of Guam at the Ricardo J. Bordallo Adelup Complex at 4:00 p.m.

Many roads are expected to be closed as the motorcade makes its way from point to point. Landmark buildings and structures that haven't seen maintenance since they were built have been painted; coconut trees along Marine Drive have been trimmed; hedges have been manicured; and the sidewalks have been cleared of any garbage.

Hundreds of volunteers walked along the presidential route on Saturday to pick up trash.

Lt. Gov. Madeleine Bordallo, head of the Beautification Committee, said on Friday that beautification of the island won't take place just because of the presidential visit, and that she'll push for visible maintenance on a daily basis.

The grounds at the R.J. Bordallo Complex in Adelup have been transformed into a majestic setting, fit for a king, or a world leader.

Businesses along the presidential motorcade route have been painted, and the red carpet and limousine are ready at A.B. Won Pat Guam International Airport.

The Guam police will use 20 new Kawasaki motorcycles to escort the motorcade.

While Clinton will be on Guam for only a few hours, the planning of the event has been immense.

White House Associate Director of Advance Planning Mwito Ndugu was impressed with Guam's preparations.

"I've planned events for the President in 10 countries and over 35 cities," Ndugu said.  "I have not worked with a group that was more proficient at what they do. The local people, the volunteers and everything else are overwhelming. The people here just get it. We are the biggest show in the world," Ndugu said he might consider moving to Guam.

"It's amazing to be so far from America and still be among U.S. citizens. The people are distinct that way, you can tell they are Chamorro, and citizens at the same time. Our advance team is re-energized by the people. People in the states don't have as much state pride as you have for your island here," he said.

Those wishing to attend presidential address must have tickets, which are available at Village Mayor's offices, GVB, Kmart and all Payless supermarkets.

Chairs, umbrellas, posters and metallic objects will not be allowed. Everyone will have to pass through 10 magnetometers set up at the entrance to Adelup for security reasons.

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