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Two-day stop scheduled for March 19

By Therese Hart HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety, Mar 1, 2010) – The military top brass and local leaders are scrambling to plan the preparations to ensure the safety of President Barack Obama and the First Family, who are scheduled to visit Guam this month.

Sources told Variety that the First Family, who will arrive on Guam on March 19, will most likely stay at the Westin Resort for two nights.

As to whether Air Force One will be allowed to land at the Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport will be a decision that the Air Force will make since the plane has to refuel and there are no companies on island that has a contract to refuel Air Force One specifically and therefore, not authorized. Most likely, if the plane lands at A.B. International, fuel trucks from Andersen Air Force Base will have to transport the fuel to the civilian airport.

There is no word yet on what the Democratic Party of Guam is planning for the president’s visit and whether they plan to hold their Jefferson/Jackson Dinner in his honor.

Senators Rory Respicio and Judi Guthertz sent letters to the president, inviting him to see the "real Guam" outside the fence. Other senators, Frank Blas Jr. and Frank Aguon Jr. sent letters earlier, urging the president and first family to do the same.

Meanwhile, We are Guåhan is circulating a petition encouraging the President to move beyond the military bases and speak with the people of Guam.

Volunteers from We are Guåhan will be collecting signatures at various community locations and events throughout the upcoming weeks.

The petition is available on the We are Guåhan website; and all interested residents are invited to sign electronically or assist in circulating it. Signatures will be sent to the President on March 8, one week before his scheduled visit to Guam.

On Feb. 1, White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, announced that Obama would be visiting the island en route to Indonesia. While on Guam, the President plans to speak with U.S. service members and local officials within the base.

Issues surrounding plans within the November released draft environmental impact study have raised public concern, prompting the organization to create the petition, which requests that Obama directly speak with local residents.

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