July 18, 2014
James calls for strong development initiatives
Economic development is just as important as health and education is the point Marshall Islands Mayor Association President Rongelap Mayor James Matayoshi, pictured, hammered home at the opening of the annual Mayor’s Conference Monday in Majuro. Aside from health and education there are other areas of need to develop the outer islands that will help the overall
economic development of the Marshall Islands,” said Matayoshi. “Our aim (as mayors) is to develop the outer islands to the point that development projects are self sustaining and subsidies from the national government are no longer needed. We sthrive to be independent and stand on our own feet.” While this is the goal for the outer islands, Matayoshi acknowledges that for the time being RMI subsides are still needed and he urged that RMI’s funding commitments and funds for programs such as the outer island development fund and funds for food security remain strong to help outer island communities incubate their development projects.

Kids play in the condemned ECC See link below and click for facebook
As a result of efforts to restrict access to the national gym in Delap, two ministries are now arguing over who is responsible for the facility. To stop people from entering the damaged Educational Cultural Center (ECC) gymnasium, the Ministry of Internal Affairs Sports and Recreation office earlier this month requested Public Works to lock down gym doors so the public cannot enter. Public works officials responded favorably to the request, and told the Journal they had to weld shut some of the doors because the locking mechanisms were damaged. After Public Works sent its team over to the ECC, most doors could be seen sporting heavy-duty chains with large padlocks. Internal Affairs told the Journal this week that Public Works is now in charge of making sure gym doors are sealed. But Public Works officials said IA is responsible for the gym property and that they sealed the doors only upon request. In the meantime, all of the newly installed locks came off the doors last weekend. Doors were standing open and gangs of children were observed playing on the court. The facility was funded in the mid-1990s by Japan as part of a Marshall Islands High School improvement project and opened in 1997. It has been managed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs since soon after it opened.

USP-EU in action on Lae
Lae Atoll is the first of four communities to receive funding for a climate change project thanks to the USP-EU Global Climate Change Alliance and the efforts of Dustin Langidrik, pictured, and Jeffrey Andaya.
Dustin, who is a graduate of RMI-USP and studied for two years at the Fiji School of Medicine, was the project implementer. “During the drought last year, I worked with

IOM (International Organization for Migration) as a surveyor to monitor water and health in various atolls including Ailuk and Wotho,” he said. “I finished with IOM in March and then heard that they needed someone for this project.” He applied for and got the four-month contract. Lae has a population of about 350 and was identified by the local project body, the National Project Advisory Committee (NPAC), as being one of four areas in severe need of assistance to adapt and build resilience to the effects of climate change, which includes water security. USP Majuro’s Tamara Greenstone Alefaio explained that NPAC went through a “thorough vulnerability assessment process that included consultations with the communities, focus groups and surveys to select all the sites.” The materials for the project, including six 1,500 gallon catchments, were loaded onto the government ship Aemman and Dustin met the ship in Kwajalein. “The project carpenter, Jeffrey Andaya, had already been picked up by the Aemman in Namu.” The first item on the agenda was to hold a community discussion, so that everyone on the island understood the project. “The people, and particularly Mayor Anderson Kattil and the Acting Mayor, were really supportive and helpful,” Dustin said. “Everyone was happy we were doing this project and it ended up that many people helped with the work and gave us food.” Mayor Kattil said: “We are blessed with the great honor and privilege to be working with the USP team.” Because the target of the project is to increase the capacity to store safe water sources at the household level, most of the houses selected to receive the rain water harvesting systems were thatched houses. Selection was based on the IOM WASH (Water and Sanitation Hygiene Survey) Survey. “The shelters have two jobs,” Dustin said, “to keep the sun off the catchments and to collect the water using guttering and pipes.” The next step was to build wooden forms for concrete bases. “The other two tanks were put next to houses that were tall enough and had metal roofing.” The next village to be the recipient of a project from the USP GCCA project will be Majkin on Namu.
Seawater check for radioactivity
the A representative from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited the Marshall Islands earlier this month to train local officials to sample seawater for radioactive cesium. Isabelle Levy began her mission on July 1 by conducting an awareness workshop to the National Project Team Members for the IAEA Project called “Marine benchmark study on the possible impact of the Fukushima radioactive releases in the Asia-Pacific Region.” Key members of the project team are the RMI Environmental Protection Authority (RMIEPA), the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During a field exercise on July 2, two sets of seawater samples were collected about two miles off the south end of Arno Atoll. The samples were collected on filter cartridges coated with chemicals that will bond to the cesium element. The samples will be sent to an IAEA laboratory in Monaco where Levy is stationed for cesium testing and analysis. This is the start of monitoring Marshall Islands seawater for cesium radioactivity which will be carried out every three months and will be incorporated into the RMIEPA regular marine monitoring activities with partnership of MIMRA and the Members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Other participating countries in this international project from the Pacific region include Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Palau, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
Airline's local flight plans dashed
Both Air Marshall Islands planes are grounded and neither plane is likely to fly before next week. It’s the latest setback for the government-owned airline that has seen its revenues plummet in 2014 as the Dornier-228 has been grounded since late March, and the Dash-8 was grounded at the weekend because its weather radar is not working. AMI flew the Dash-8 on the weekend despite a directive from the Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA) that allowed the plane to fly only through last Thursday without the weather radar. The weather radar falls into what is known as a “Category C” of an airplane’s minimum equipment list (MEL) and when it was found to be broken, the DCA gave the airline 10 days to operate without it. “When this item is written up, it gives the airline 10 days to operate under this notice,” said DCA official Elmer Langbata. The airline is required to repair the equipment within the 10-day period or ground the plane. Aircraft rules also require a working weather radar for any international flight, although the plane can be flown without it domestically based on pilots’ evaluation of weather conditions within limits as determined by the DCA. The 10-day period expired Thursday. Despite this, the Dash flew on Friday and Saturday, according to DCA officials who said AMI officials claimed they believed the DCA had authorized the additional flights beyond the 10-day limit. “No, we didn’t authorize anything outside the MEL,” Langbata said. AMI could be subject to penalties for flying the plane, but he said it was pointless to penalize the airline, which is already experiencing numerous challenges to getting parts. Langbata said his office frequently gets blamed for enforcing regulations that result in grounding planes. But, he said, aircraft operation rules that the DCA follows and enforces are developed by the US National Transportation Safety Board and the US Federal Aviation Administration to prevent accidents and ensure the safety of passengers. Wednesday this week, AMI General Manager Jefferson Barton said funds for weather radar had been received by the off-island vendor, starting the process for getting the problem corrected. There is also positive news at hand for the Dornier, which has been grounded waiting for replacement landing gear to arrive. Barton said the landing gear has already shipped from the manufacturer and as of Wednesday was in transit in the United States on its way to Majuro. The arrival of the landing gear this weekend or next week means the Dornier could be back flying soon after four months in AMI’s hangar.
PII is seeking $14 million compensation from the FSM government, which terminated its contract late last year for a more than $25 million road and sewer project in Chuuk State. Pacific International Inc.’s claim for damages has launched a dispute process that could be solved short of lawsuits if the FSM government decides to seek mediation or binding arbitration. “We’re happy to go to binding arbitration,” said PII CEO Jerry Kramer, pictured. But, he said, if there is no positive response to resolve the claim without litigation, PII will file a lawsuit against the FSM. In the meantime, while PII’s huge claim is pending, the FSM government is seeking to
award a $7.7 million contract to Saipan-based construction company GPPC Inc. to complete the Chuuk work, which was reported as 90 percent done when PII was terminated in November. FSM President Manny Mori last week informed the FSM Congress that infrastructure sector grants of $4.5 million for the roadwork suspended by the Interior Department have been reinstated. An independent review of the project issued earlier this year determined that the FSM, not PII, was at fault in causing the many delays and cost increases the project in Chuuk experienced. The FSM, which reportedly began a 90-day review of PII’s claim in early June, has until September to issue a formal reply to PII. Mori told the FSM Congress he is hopeful the Saipan contractor can start work by early August. “The period of completion of the project is 15 months,” he said.
Fire!
A major fire destroyed LaBojie’s Restaurant on Ebeye last Thursday. The fire broke out before sunrise and quickly took out the restaurant and homes next to the well-known eating spot. There was no way to control the fire as Ebeye has no fire truck. Photo: Bill Lewis
July 18, 2014
The front covers of each newspaper featured in this week's column.
Only option is migration
pipeline for next year, word that the additional of another plane by AMI may lead to increased air service to the northern atoll is encouraging news, said a Bikini official. “We can’t go forward with more volume (of divers) unless we have the air capacity,” said Jack Niedenthal, the Bikini Council’s Trust Liaison.
P17 UMDA stockholders earn a cool $73M
Micronesian shareholders meeting in Majuro last Thursday voted to accept a $73 million buyout bid by Continental Micronesia of a minority block of shares in the airline. The sale will bring a windfall profit to 240 Marshall Islands stockholders, some of whom own hundreds or thousands of shares in Continental that are to be bought at more than $60 each. The sale of the shares to Continental was called a “good deal” for shareholders by Majuro Senator Tony deBrum, a major shareholder himself and the long-time Marshalls representative on Continental Micronesia board.
What we were saying way back when
Journal 7/18/1975
P4 What They’ve Said
by Mary Browning In “The Bikinians: A Study in Forced Migration,” Robert Kiste explores the dimensions of the disorder created by the removal of the Bikini people from their atoll. And further, he explores the hierarchies of power among the people themselves who were left to deal with the chaos. It is said by Bikinians that long ago, Larkelon of Wotje, with his followers, fled Wotje and came to Bikini where he frightened away the small number of people there and established himself as iroij. Juda, the chief in 1946, was said to be of the fifth descending generation from Larkelon. The best guess is that Larkelon arrived at Bikini before 1800. Since that time, the Bikini people had maintained their isolation even though foreigners had increased
Environment Program Iosefatu Reti on the eve of the opening of the region’s first conference on sea level rise being held in Majuro. “For atolls, there are very few options,” Reti said. “The only option available to atolls may be to begin planning now for migration in the next century.” President Amata Kabua, speaking to the conference, said: “We hope that the alternatives are not either to board Air Micronesia or build an ark. We hope we don’t have to say goodbye just yet.”

Journal 7/18/1997
P5 Bikinians like what they hear from AMI
With major changes for the Bikini scuba dive program in the
their contacts with and influence over most other atolls of the Marshalls. During Japanese times, vessels called two times a year, but the majority of the Bikinians who made brief forays into the outside world returned. They were happier at home. The odyssey is described in detail. Bikini to Rongerik to Kwajalein to Kili. Each move required adjustments in the social structure of the mobile community. What had been a static social organization became a fluid one. The Americans did not understand the impact which the removal had. In the highest echelons of power, they didn’t care. The Bikinians were perhaps the most inexperienced of all Micronesians in dealing with such extraordinary circumstances.
Journal 7/21/1989
P4 Thinking about Bikini
Takjeban Joash
and Neibon Lewillon visited Bikini Atoll late last month with a group of more than 60 women. For Takjeban it was her first time to set foot on Bikini, and she says she wants to return to Bikini as soon as possible. Neibon left in 1946 and had never been back until the visit last month.
P14 Only atoll option may be migration
The Pacific Ocean is expected to rise a minimum of a half meter in the next 50 years, which could force islanders living on low lying coral atolls to seek refuge by migrating, said the Director of the South Pacific Regional