February 15, 2013
Life Skills Academy gives new look to MOE
When the Ministry of Education adopted the logo “No Child left behind,” they weren’t kidding. The Life Skills Academy substantiates the ministry’s effort to accommodate students that could not enroll in high school because of poor test results. According to Terry Hazzard (pictured), MOE Director of Secondary Schools, establishing LSA has been a priority for the ministry. “The Ministry focused its energy and effort in creating a curriculum to replace the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI),” he said. As a result, the program opened its doors in September 2012. LSA teachers and staff deserve a pat on the back because they make do with what they have. “Public Works is set to work on our building, the old NVTI structure,” LSA Director and electrical teacher Lazarus Tiberke (pictured) said. “In the meantime, we utilize MIHS classrooms like an after school program.” Tiberke is aware of the problems of starting school at a later hour, but he is optimistic about the situation. He said they are able to squeeze in four periods inside a 3:30-7:30pm schedule. “We also have a bus that transports students home after school for safety reasons,” he said. He complimented the ministry for providing the bus that runs from Rita to Rairok on a daily basis.

Old radio tools leaves islands in silence
A majority of V7AB’s radio transmission amplifiers are broken and plans are in motion to fix them in the near future. In addition to the broken amps that are located on Ene Armij Island near Ejit Island, the government radio station’s antenna is corroded and crumbling. Pacific International Inc. has already been contracted to replace the antenna, and a request to fund the cost to fix the seven broken amps is pending with a Small Island Developing States fund, said V7AB station Manager Antari Elbon (pictured). The current problems have reduced V7AB’s broadcasting power. The station used to be heard not only on every island in the RMI but also in other neighboring islands. But with seven of the 12 amps out of commission, even radio listeners on Ebeye are reporting difficulties tuning into V7AB. Islands at the edge of RMI, including Bikini and Enewetak, can no longer pick up V7AB’s signal. The seven amps have been broken for a year. Elbon said his Ministry submitted a grant request through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Forum Secretariat’s Small Island Fund. He is optimistic about gaining approval of funding to support the radio station’s renovations.

Three cheers for WAM grads
A graduation ceremony held by the Waan Aelon in Majel (WAM) for 22 trainees concluded a six-month program last Friday. Among the graduates, five are girls. The graduates were awarded certificates recognizing them for canoe building and traditional skills, vocational and life skills, attendance, work experience, and performance in English and math. The ceremony was emceed by Marshall Islands Resort General Manager Hirobo Obeketang (pictured) with live music from the Bun in Non Likiej Band, Kumit Bobrae Project, and Youth to Youth in Health. Rita Protestant Church Reverend Mark Luke presented the opening and closing prayers. In her welcoming remarks, graduate Rina Haini, said, “building canoes is simple and precious.” She said she was happy to learn and gain new skills through the program. Single State Agency (SSA) official Paul Alee mentioned that SSA has supported WAM for 10 years as a grassroots project. Source of funding support for SSA to WAM comes from the US government. “We are blessed with WAM,” he said.
Hacker leads the way in pay cuts
Muller focuses on copra industry growths
The current world market price of coconut oil has dropped to $800 a metric ton, which underlines the importance of the Nitijela-provided subsidy to Tobolar so it can maintain the copra price at 23 cents per pound, RMI Ambassador to Fiji Frederick Muller (pictured) told last month’s Asia Pacific Coconut Community ministerial meeting in Fiji. He said Tobolar was able to sell 3,956 tons of coconut oil at an average export price of $803 per ton, which netted the copra plant more than $3.1 million in 2012. In addition to the need for frequent shipping to maintain strong production levels, removal of old trees and replanting of new ones is essential, Muller said. If replanting begins this year, copra managers see the possibility from 2019 and beyond that the Marshall Islands could be producing in excess of 7,000 tons — a figure that it has only surpassed three times over the past 50 years. For the calendar year 2012, 6,355 tons were milled by Tobolar. Muller highlighted key developments in the RMI copra industry for the regional body:
• In 2010, copra was imported from the Federated States of Micronesia.
• In 2010-11 , new copra meal markets were established in FSM, Vietnam, Australia and Taiwan.
• In 2012, Tobolar Copra Processing Authority developed a Strategic Reform Plan for 2012-2016. The Strategic Reform Plan, funded by ADB, shows how copra processing will be expanded and improved while production is diversified into high value coconut products to increase income of coconut producers.
• In 2012, the RMI’s National Coconut Tree Replanting Project was launched.
CMI President Carl Hacker (pictured) announced last week he is slashing his own salary and benefits as he set in motion a college-wide belt-tightening plan that aims to end six years of budget deficits.
“It is no secret that the College is facing financial crisis and delaying implementation of Phase-I of the Budget Recovery Plan will do nothing but increase the financial turmoil,” says the summary page of a Financial Recovery Plan approved by the College of the Marshall Islands board of regents at the end of last month.
“Getting our budget and finances back into order is something that has to be done and will get done,” said Hacker. Hacker is setting the pace as he
implements what he acknowledges will be painful cutbacks.
He pointed out that previous CMI Presidents have been paid as much as $94,000 annually. “The amount of salaries and compensation for the Office of the President now will be reduced to $63,000 as a result of this plan,” he said. To erase its deficits, the college is aiming for $750,000 through a combination of spending cuts, efficiency improvements, and additional revenues. “Almost everyone here at CMI will have to make some sacrifice or make some effort with our budgets, salaries or compensation so that the period of budgets deficits we have been working with since 2007 can be eliminated,” Hacker said.
RMI thanks Flying Doctors for their help
President Christopher Loeak and First Lady Anono Loeak (left) thank Flying Doctors President Dr. Allan Gathercoal and his wife, Liz Marcela, at a farewell party at Long Island Restaurant. Bottom left, Foreign Minister Phillip Muller and his wife Lynda join a toast for the doctor group, while, below, a team of young ladies from Jaluit performed at the event. Photos: Hilary Hosia.
Two US government reports on climate change have raised concerns about the impact of expected sea level rise on the RMI and other low-lying Pacific islands. “The US reports contain alarming information — US scientists have confirmed what we have already been telling the world for a long time,” said Minister-in-Assistance to the President Tony deBrum.
The report, “Global Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States National Climate Assessment,” says the US government believes there is “very high confidence” that sea level rise will occur by 2100 at levels between eight inches and two meters (six and a half feet). The report was produced by a team of US agencies, and contains intermediate assessments of sea level rise occurring at one meter (three feet, three inches). The scientific predictions take into account new satellite data showing fast rates of melting polar glaciers.
The second US report, a draft National Climate Assessment, focuses on US states, and includes a chapter on Hawaii, FSM, Palau and RMI. The Pacific chapter claims that sea level rise will have “profound” impacts in RMI on infrastructure, including airports and roads, and that “on low islands, critical public facilities and infrastructure as well as private commercial and residential property are especially vulnerable.” The US government report gave “very high confidence” for this conclusion. Marshallese “may be among the first to face the possibility of climate-induced human migration as sea levels continue to rise” and that this issue has serious legal and cultural complications, said the draft US report. “These US reports must be a real wake-up call for both RMI and the US to work a lot harder at making our Compact work better to address climate impacts,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Phillip Muller.
Kabua last week.
P5 Dren in tol
Kid walks up to one of the local take-outs the other day and says, “Jiljilimjuon ilon.” Storekeeper reaches down into the soda cooler, pulls out a 7-Up. Next kid gets the nod to give his order.
He says, “Dren in tol.” Storekeeper bends in and gets him a Mountain Dew. Who says we’re losing the language?
P12 Majuro Day celebrations
The third Majuro Day celebration was a great success although live entertainment scheduled was postponed until Monday because of torrential rainfall.
The parade of decorated floats had a theme, “Majuro Atoll Environment — Let’s join hands to protect it.”
Majuro’s largest fireworks display took place in the lagoon at the weather station in Delap after the rain finally stopped.”
Lyndy Paul from Laura took first place on basket weaving competition during the celebration.
Jeffery Wase came in second in the sack race, while winners of the “etton” game were Ishiro Kiluwe and Winta Alfred. In second place was Witness Butuna and James Kiluwe.
Journal 2/18/1977
P3 Kwaj note
Persons having business on Ebeye but not on Kwajalein will not be billeted on Kwajalein.
Entry to Ebeye requires prior approval by the Distad Rep or Distad Marshalls and have in their possession a valid entry permit or TT travel orders.
Telephone request to the Commanding Officer at Kwajalein Missile Range or TT Liaison Office will not be honored except in an extreme emergency.
P3 Advertisements: Eastern Gateway Hotel — Convenient lagoonside location, private bath, with hot water. The place to stay in Majuro. Momotaro’s — For Blue Ribbon beer come to Momotaro Store.
P7 Advertisement: Day or Night, We Never Close. Whitney Brothers Restaurant, Majuro.
P9 Kabua calls independence irreversible
Marshalls Senator Amata Kabua re-echoed an earlier pronouncement in the House of Representatives of his
district’s “irrevocable decision” to chart its own politic`al destiny. In a speech before the Senate, Kabua, who is also the Chairman of the Marshalls Political Status Commission, asked that Congress “should cease to involve themselves in the future of the Marshalls in any way.”
Journal 2/19/1988
P1 RepMar: Buy American
Japanese made cars are out, and American made vehicles are in.
That is a new policy decision of the Marshall Islands government, which is now buying all government cars from the US. “The Japanese make good cars,” said Finance Secretary Alan Fowler. “They just don’t send them to the Marshall Islands.”
P20 Student intern program continuing
The Public Service Commission will begin its third student intern program later this summer,
according to PSC Commissioner Andrew Bilimon. The program can take up to 12 high school graduates for six months of on-the-job experience and classroom studies aimed at preparing the interns for college training.
Journal 2/16/1996
P3 Welcome to the new ambassador
The new US Ambassador to the RMI Joan M. Plaisted presented her credentials to President Amata