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Inside Stories
Friday, March 5, 2010
Jack: 'We need to keep the promise'
It is time for the United States and Marshall Islands governments to stop talking “at each other and start talking to each other” on unresolved nuclear test issues, Acting President Jack Ading said at Monday’s Nuclear Victims and Survivors Remembrance Day. Several hundred people turned out for the annual event that was held at the ICC and ended with a candlelight ceremony honoring the people affected by the 67 US nuclear tests at Bikini and Enewetak.
MIHS joins
WASC club
Blow the trumpets and beat the drums, cheer hooray and sing for joy — Marshall Islands High School makes history today. After years of thinking about it and years of working for it, the first public high school in the Marshall Islands can lay claim to being at the caliber of some of the best run schools in Micronesia with news released late last week that Marshall Islands High School gained accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
behind the rolling Blackouts?
Last Thursday’s power outage was a milestone of sorts for the Marshalls Energy Company. It marked the first time in four years that both engines in the “new” plant have been shut down at the same time.
This development is part of the reason that Majuro residents are experiencing “power shedding,” another way of saying rolling blackouts. The power plants, through a combination of age, fire damage and lack of maintenance, are unable to meet power demand in Majuro.Only three of the seven engines in the two plants are now operational.
CMI to offer Bachelor of Arts courses
The College of the Marshall Islands is readying to offer its first four-year bachelor degree programs and is moving to a new level of establishing endowments that will help college programs to be sustainable in the long-term. New CMI President Ken Woodbury, Jr. told the Journal recently that the local college will begin offering bachelors degree programs in elementary education and in nursing.
The recent king tides proved how vulnerable our atoll is in relation to rising sea levels. This photograph by ocean expert Murray Ford was taken near the airport.
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Islands out of fuel
Ebeye has been out of gas and kerosene for two weeks and Jaluit ran out of diesel needed to keep lights on at Jaluit High School and the Jabor community at the end of last week, causing problems on both islands.
“There are no water taxis operating between Kwajalein and Ebeye,” Kwajalein Senator Jeban Riklon told the Journal Tuesday. “The only land taxis working are those using diesel.”
The fuel shortage has been caused by a lack of government vessels to transport fuel to Ebeye and Jaluit, and a disagreement on shipping prices with the one available private vessel. “We are having problems over on Ebeye,” Riklon said of the fuel shortage, which is affecting people’s ability to cook food as well as transportation between Kwajalein and Ebeye.
Speaker Alvin Jacklick, who operates the ALRO fuel company that handles Ebeye and Jaluit, said he is waiting for the government landing craft Jeljelet Ae to be fixed to deliver fuel to both islands. The vessel has been beached at the old weather station area for several weeks of repairs.
Shipping Corporation officials said workers have been working around the clock during low tides to make repairs. It is expected to be seaworthy by this weekend.
Jaluit managed last week to get 500 gallons of diesel from Anil Development, which is in Jaluit on a construction contract. So the power plant was able to maintain operations over the weekend. This small supply is expected to run out early this week, so the island will be out of power until the next fuel delivery.
Resslynn, a private vessel operated by Kalmer Latak, is in service and has been used in the past for fuel deliveries to outer islands. But a disagreement over the costs to transport fuel has led Jacklick to refuse to use the vessel to transport fuel to Ebeye and Jaluit.
NTA cuts internet rates
The National Telecommunications Authority will slash Internet prices next month as it aims to increase the number of customers using the new fiber optic cable that goes into service April 1.
With the rollout of high-speed Internet service for Majuro and Ebeye just four weeks away, NTA announced this week it will be eliminating the hourly charge for “dialup” service and dramatically changing the rate structure while offering stepped up speed.
The current 700 dialup customers have been paying from $30 to over $300 per month for internet service with the $1.80 an hour charge. This will drop to a flat monthly charge of $39.95 on April 1 with the speed increasing four-fold, according to NTA General Manager Tony Muller.
A “dialup plus” package will allow for five email accounts for a monthly charge of $49.95.
Muller explained that NTA’s board has approved the new tariff for a six-month trial period so it can assess usage.
“This will give us time to check broadband usage,” he said. “The volume dictates the price. If there is huge growth, rates will come down further.”
Leased lines are staying at the same price, but quadrupling in capacity.
A new option that may attract some of the current dialup customers is what Muller describes as the “interim usage-based broadband” service. For a flat monthly charge of $89.95, users can get access to a 128 KB bandwidth. With this service, there is a one cent per minute (60 cents per hour) charge for usage during peak periods, Monday to Saturday 7am-7pm.
Beginning April 1, NTA will shift its Internet service away from satellite to the fiber cable. It is now being tested and commissioned, with official launch on April Fool’s Day.
NTA is signing an agreement with Taiwan-based information technology firm Institute for Information Industry to assist NTA to develop its services with the new cable. Muller expressed optimism that Internet use will increase with the improved service and speeds of the cable and the reduced costs.
Journal sample
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Garrick Kelen plays one of the two Hamlets in the Shakespeare play of the same name that’s being put on by Marshall Islands High School students between March 9 and 13. “I saw Much Ado About Nothing when I was in seventh grade and decided I wanted to be in a play one day,” Kelen said.
Photo: Karen Earnshaw
Paul mad over oil slicks
Billions of dollars are made each year by fishing companies that fish in the Marshall Islands and other Pacific island nations, and while islands are joining forces to get a bigger share of the fisheries pie, one local resident is beginning to question if developing our fisheries industry should trump the fragile environment of the RMI. “This is the second oil spill in less than a week that’s washed up on our shoreline,” complained
Long Island resident and MEC general manager David Paul on Monday. “Our coastline is covered with a thick black slick — it’s not diesel, it’s definitely oil because it is black and thick.”

Journal 3/6/1971

Journal 3/8/1985

P1 Spokesmen for the people of Kili have requested that they be permitted to return to their former home on Bikini Atoll as soon as possible. The request was made during a meeting held on Kili between government representatives and the Kili Council. District Administrator Oscar deBrum said the government will assist the people in returning to Bikini if they so desire when the houses being built on Bikini are finished sometime next year. The Kilians want to be back by June this year. The Kilians also asserted during their meeting that the government was partly to blame for the loss of two men who attempted to swim to Kili after the engine on their boat failed. The Kilians are alleged to argue that the government did not provide oars for the boats the men were using — the boats were given to the Kili people by
P1 Plans for the imminent evacuation of Rongelap Atoll are moving ahead, said Senator Jeton Anjain who returned from the atoll last week. He will lead a delegation to Washington next week where they will restate their earlier request for US Congress assistance for the move. But US support or no US support, the Rongelap people are moving from their islands to an island in Kwajalein Atoll, said Anjain, who cited health concerns as the motivating factor behind the resettlement. “United States scientists have been lying to us for 30 years about the radiation on
our islands,” he said.
P1 RepMar officials have reached an agreement with Danish dairy producers for the establishment of a milk factory in Majuro. The Denmark Dairy Development Corporation will construct and operate a plant for recombining powdered milk and butterfat into whole milk. Discussions with the company were begun in June, 1984 when President Amata Kabua visited Denmark.
the Trust Territory government — and should therefore pay money to the families of the missing men.
P2 NOTICE: Sorry, but the necessity to perform some long-overdue alterations in our office and pressroom will prevent us from coming out next week.
P3 Evelyn Konou, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Selvenios Konou of Majuro, and Donald F. Capelle, son of Mr. and Mrs. Adolf Capelle of Ebeye, have enrolled as sophomore and freshman, respectively, this semester at Mauna Olu College on the island of Maui, Hawaii. It is a four-year liberal arts private college.

Journal 3/5/1993

P6 It might be called the “Cheeseball Generation,” that unfortunate and large group of children who suffer from malnutrition. Both Ebeye and Majuro hospitals have established special malnutrition clinics and have organized systematic follow up for malnourished babies. “There are a lot of malnourished babies and children on Ebeye,” said Dr. Salvador Serano, the medical director of the Ebeye Community Health Center. A 1991 study by UNICEF and the Ministry of Health reported that up to two-thirds of Marshallese children were poorly nourished. Majuro hospital is currently treating an emaciated six year old who weighs just 27 pounds — compared to a minimum expected weight for a five year old of at least 31 pounds.
“Some children come in with swollen legs and arms,” Majuro hospital pediatrics ward nurse Maridel Pinano said. “They’re eating mostly carbohydrates — rice, donuts, koolaid — and not enough protein.”
“Many kids are being fed sodas and cheeseballs for breakfast,” Serano said. “They don’t get the nourishment they need.” The most disturbing trend for hospital staff is the number of repeat patients.