October 28, 2011
CMI prepares new help center
CMI is soon to open a career and transfer center for the community, according to Interim President Carl Hacker (pictured). Donna Seppy, CMI’s Director of Counseling, said the center will be a centralized location for students and community members to obtain support and assistance in achieving their academic and career goals by some offering the following services and resources:
• Materials to study for the TOEFL, SAT, ACT, and GRE tests
• Resources for planning a transfer to a four-year college or university
• Scholarship information
• Computers to explore career options
• Resources to writing effective resumes.
Nuclear Tribunal down to skeleton staff
The Nuclear Claims Tribunal last made an award payment nearly three years ago but has remained open for new claims to be filed. The Tribunal halted personal injury annual payments since 2006 in order to conserve greatly diminished funding and allow the Tribunal to continue “with at least a minimal level of initial payment for a period of years.' A late-2008 statement from the Tribunal said it “will not be able to continue with its limited level of operation for another year.” The combined 2009-2010 report submitted to Nitijela before it ended its session last month said the last compensation award and initial payment were made in December 2008. “However, with two appropriations of funds from the Nitijela and extensive further expenditure reductions, the Tribunal has been able to remain in operation and complete a transition to the ‘basic service level’ noted in the previous two annual reports,” said the latest report to Nitijela. “It is important to keep the record open for new and additional claims for damage from the nuclear testing program and to ensure that the voluminous existing records, which constitute evidence in support of $2.3 billion in unpaid compensation awards, remain secure.”
Mosque soon to open in Uliga————————————————
Members of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at convened Friday for the ground breaking for the building of a new mosque in Uliga across the street from the courthouse. National President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Falahud Din Shams (pictured) who performed the Friday (Juma) services at 1pm also led the prayers for the ground breaking event. Juma is the weekly prayer service for Muslims and the weekly service will be performed at the new mosque every Friday once it is ready, he said. The new mosque will be a two-story cinder block construction and will have about 3,300 square feet. There will be two prayer halls for men and women as well as a residence for the Imam, office and a library. The construction started on Monday and is expected to be finished in about six months. This will be the first mosque construction in the Marshall Islands. The closest mosque in Micronesia is in Tuvalu, which was also established by this community.
Let there be light
Helping the blind see was just one of the goals for a team of volunteer medical professionals who spent two weeks working on Ebeye earlier this month, according to the US Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) Public Affairs Office. Canvasback Ministries, which has been providing services in the Marshall Islands since 1986, sent experts in ophthalmology, optometry, dermatology and dentistry to Ebeye and Ennibur islands. USAKA’s Host Nation Activities Office coordinated some of the team’s logistical support and facilitated entry requirements and paperwork.
“The work that Canvasback does helps to facilitate relations (between the US and) the Marshall Islands,” said Bill White, a liaison specialist at USAKA. Jacque Spence, who founded Canvasback with her husband Jamie, appreciates the help provided by USAKA and the community on Kwajalein.
“What Kwajalein people do for us really make this mission possible,” Spence said.
During this trip, the Canvasback team saw more than 600 patients, performed more than 200 surgeries and donated services totaling about $600,000. Volunteers donate their time and pay for their air tickets to Kwajalein. Many of the surgeries performed were eye surgeries. Patients who were diagnosed with cataracts had the cloudy lens removed and replaced with a lens implant, with the goal of restoring vision to as close to 20/20 as possible. Patients were also fitted for prescription or reading glasses. The group brought many donated pairs of glasses in order to be able to closely match patients’ needs. Other patients were treated for skin conditions or dental problems. Some of the patients have not been able to see for years, and according to Spence, witnessing them discover sight all over again is one of the greatest rewards of the work Canvasback does. “They were blind and now they see,” exclaimed Joy Glynn in reference to the fact that many surgery patients’ cataracts are so severe that they’re considered legally blind.
RMI facing dengue fever emergency
The Cabinet is expected to declare a state of emergency at its special meeting on Thursday this week in response to the outbreak of dengue fever in Majuro.
The Ministry of Health submitted a request for urgent action to the Cabinet to get the dengue outbreak under control.
Ministry of Health officials report that there are 30 cases of dengue fever confirmed. Cases have now been identified from Rita to Laura. The proposed state of emergency will focus on launching a nationwide mass clean up campaign to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds.
The aim is to get government agencies, businesses, NGOs, churches and families involved in cleaning to remove breeding locations as the best prevention.
The proposed declaration includes a plan for the Ministry to make recommendations about restricting travel from Majuro to the outer islands if necessary.
The state of emergency will be in effect for 120 days unless it is terminated earlier.
Ports Director Jack Chong Gum, EPA chairman Ben Chutaro, and EPA General Manager Deborah Barker-Manase. Photo: Giff Johnson.
Landowners testify at EPA public hearing:
'We want airport money'
A US-funded $15.7 million construction project that promises jobs and increased safety at the airport was hit at a public hearing Tuesday night by concern about reef destruction and by landowners who say the project doesn't have authority to dredge in the lagoon.
The proponents - RMI Ports Authority and contractor PII - spoke at the RMI EPA-sponsored public hearing Tuesday night in favor of the new dredge plan and the need to get the project back on track.
Opponents said the proposed dredge site lagoon side of the airport water reservoir to the fence by the terminal is a prime reef and fishing area. Several landowners or their representatives expressed concern that the government has no right to take fill material from the lagoon unless it compensates the landowners.
EPA board Chairman Ben Chutaro kept the hearing on track by focusing the discussion on the issue of the feasibility of the dredge proposal, and said broader questions - such as land ownership - needed to be referred to agencies such as the Attorney General's office for response and action. Ports Authority Director Jack Chong Gum outlined why the project is needed: The construction will help Amata Kabua International meet US and international safety requirements, will improve the situation for rescues if there is an accident, protect people from jet engine blasts, and meet the requirements as a back-up landing site for “extended range twin-engine operations” (ETOPs). PII project manager Bobby Muller detailed the various alternative dredge sites that have been considered, including ones to the west end of the runway. He also went through potential dredge locations around Majuro Atoll that had been recommended by the Suva-based organization SOPAC and various types of dredge equipment options. But the new proposed dredge location to the east of the airport terminal is now the preferred site, he explained, adding that this site was identified by the EPA.
The main opponent of the dredging plans, Marine scientist Dr. Dean Jacobson, showed photos and talked about the damage to reefs produced by dredging at previous airport construction projects. “I've been told that calling attention to reef damage has made me a bad person because I'm destroying jobs,” he said. But his comments need to be seen in the context of the need for healthy reefs, he said. “Once the coral is gone, the fish are gone,” he said. “We still have good and healthy reefs in Majuro, and the airport is one of them.” He described the Ports Authority and PII's new dredging plan as “idiotic,” and said the FAA will not allow it to move forward.” Ladie Jack asked if EPA and the Ports Authority owned the land and reef flats, adding that he was under the impression these areas belonged to the landowners. He asked who would get the money for the 140,000 cubic yards of fill material that need to be mined for the airport project.
The area under consideration for dredging is leased by the government, but as the testimony indicated, landowners believe they are entitled to compensation.
Chutaro emphasized that EPA is evaluating the feasibility of the project, and said there is no law that prevents EPA from evaluating it. People have until November 11 to submit written testimony to EPA.
Journal 10/29/1976
P1 Of the two to be appointed administrators
Acting Trust Territory High Commissioner Peter T. Coleman is expected to select two new Micronesian district
Journal 10/31/1986
P1 Tons of tuna
There is no shortage of skipjack tuna at the Majuro katsuobushi processing factory. Big hauls of high-grade tuna in the early part of 1986 have made company officials optimistic about the potential for a successful export industry.
P3 Taking the lead
Health Minister Tony deBrum was first in line to give a blood sample to kick off the current STD campaign in Majuro. Health workers are screening high school students this week and will open checks for the community in early November.
P20 Justice with dispatch
Journal 10/28/1994
P16 Mass measles campaign starts
A mass measles immunization campaign hit public and private schools in Majuro this week Tuesday to prevent a repeat of an epidemic that has hit Chuuk, leaving 13 dead and more than 850 ill with the disease. “We’re being very cautious about possible spread (from Chuuk),” said Justina Langidrik, assistant secretary for preventive services at the Ministry of Health. “We want to vaccinate or revaccinate everyone between the ages of nine months and 24 years.”
administrators in the near future. They are Ponape Congressman Resio Moses, 32, and Palau Senator Lazarus Salii, 39. Each will serve in their home districts, if their nominations are approved by the Congress of Micronesia.
P9 Beautiful
Following fast on the heels of a similar event, Itsco Restaurant (Delap) opened for service October 28 with appropriate fanfare. As an indicator of the new first-class standard being demanded here, Itsco is a pacesetter: said one patron describing the food and the service on the first day: “Beautiful.”
Anybody who thinks the wheels of justice move too slowly should have been in the High Court today, according to Public Defender Dave Strauss. It all happened in a trite case involving Ed Kim of Four Atoll Program who was charged with doing 40 in a 35 MPH zone. The charge, argued before Chief Justice A.D. Tennekone, should be dismissed because the local police officer was not duly deputized by the national police to issue citations. Responding to Strauss’ motion to dismiss, the judge said there was sufficient evidence and pronounced the defendant guilty, much to the arm-flapping consternation of Strauss who pointed out that the defendant had not yet had a chance to defend himself. Well, the Chief Justice saw the merit of that point and took it upon himself to reassign the case to Associate Judge Kondo. That puts the court at second down with 15 yards for a second down.