P4 Nauru housewarming in Saipan The local government announced the opening date of the new Nauru Building which is near completion on Saipan. The seven-story air conditioned structure, complete with escalators, four elevators and a revolving restaurant on top, will be ready for occupancy by the end of next month.
P6 Time abusers at work You can’t hold it, see it or store it in any way, but Micronesians are great abusers of government time that costs the government millions of dollars each year. Abuse of government time is the biggest problem existing in Micronesia today. Micronesian economy will lose $4 million this year as a result of deliberate employee action which wastes or abuses time on the job. (From a memo by Ponape Acting Deputy Distad Bermin Weilbacher)
P10 Ponape pepper project dropped The president of Specialty Brands Inc., a San Francisco-based company, announced recently his company is dropping its plans to boost cultivation of the Ponape pepper project citing the lack of necessary labor to man the size of a project his firm contemplated.
P1 First lady minister The Marshall Islands has its first woman Cabinet minister, following President Amata Kabua’s appointment of Jaluit Senator Evelyn Konou on Friday. Senator Konou has been picked to replace Minister of Health and Environment Henchi Balos, who asked to step down recently.
P20 Kwajalein N-fallout An internationally-known scientist said that because of his experience at Kwajalein during the nuclear testing in 1948, he is skeptical about US government statements that there was no radioactive fallout except in the northern islands. Dr. Edward Radford, a retired American medical doctor specializing in radiation health effects, testified in Majuro recently before the Nuclear Claims Tribunal. He was a radiation safety office for the Air Force during the Operation Sandstone series of nuclear tests in 1948. A short time after one of the tests at Enewetak, it started raining on Kwajalein and all the “rad safe” officers were told to get out and measure radioactivity coming down in the rain. “We covered the entire island using geiger counters,” he said. “The radiation was fairly significant. But what it meant in terms of dose, I don’t know. To my knowledge, no information on Kwajalein fallout has ever been made public.”
P7 ROC trade delegation arrives A heavyweight delegation of 20 Taiwan business and government trade officials arrived in Majuro Wednesday, following a visit to Kiribati that just established diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
P20 600 students on college waiting list There has never been such a demand for adult education classes in RMI, according to CMI President Wayne Schmidt. “We have a waiting list of over 600 students,” he said. “Two years ago, there were only 100 on the waiting lists. It jumped to 400 last year.” Schmidt says he believes this statistic demonstrates a significant change in the national attitude toward education. Before, people in the GED program were considered dropouts or people who had flunked out, he said. Now, people see adult education as a way to get into college.
P36 Big folks In a 2002 study of 211 Marshallese people, 34.6 percent were found to be overweight while a massive 43.1 percent were obese.