P1 DeBrum: Compact talks broke down Marshall Islands Foreign Secretary Tony deBrum returned home on February 25 to report that status negotiations with the United States had broken down. Secretary deBrum said in a news release: “We’re back to square one. We are now further away from the end of the negotiations than we were when Ronald Reagan took office.”
P1 Billsfish fever The Marshalls Billfish Club has decided to send a five-member team to the 24th Hawaii International Billfishing Tournament this summer. That the club has some qualifications to carry the Marshalls name into international competition was demonstrated by Mike Traxler, treasurer, and Tom Michels, president, who caught a sizable marlin in December.
P8 IFG bids soon Formal bidding will be held this month for a company to build toilets for all the Individual and Family Grant (IFG) houses that were left without toilets when the IFG program ended two years ago, according to Susan Cowan, US federal programs coordinator.
P3 Guam Del. questions US medical aid to fallout-affected islands US Congressman from Guam, Robert Underwood, at a hearing in Washington, DC last week questioned why the United States medical program in the Marshall Islands is not providing care for people on islands other than Rongelap and Utrik. “I am concerned that the Department of Energy’s medical checkups on the people of Rongelap and Utrik may be failing to take into account the people who were on (other) islands downwind of the 1954 Bravo test,” Underwood told the House Natural Resources investigations subcommittee, chaired by Rep. George Miller of California.
P5 Drug response National Police Commissioner Norman Jennings said he was surprised about all the letters to the editor he read in last week’s Journal concerning a recent drug bust. He said it proves most people are concerned about the rise in drug-related offenses here on Majuro and that they want the police to take action. He also said the letters show there are more drugs on island than people suspect.
P5 Smart Why are Americans considered smart by Marshallese? According to two elders on Namdrik, it’s because Letao, the legendary Marshallese character known for his craftiness and guile, ran away to American some years ago and now Americans are smart like him.
P6 NCT has paid millions in claims As of December 31, the Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal has awarded more than $22 million in claims to Marshall Islanders, of which a total of more than $9 million, or 40 percent, has been paid.
P14 300 Namdrik teeth bite the dust The Tooth Fairy was a busy lady last week on the isolated southern atoll of Namdrik. Normally, she wouldn’t have more than a tooth per week to deal with — no sweat on her bank account. But the poor lady nearly ran out of quarters (or is it crisp dollar bills in these days of inflation?) when the dental team from Majuro came to Namdrik for a visit. When Meshaie Laiden and Stephen Erakdrik arrived on Namdrik, they had their work cut out for them. It had been close to three years since the last dental visit, and there were a lot of folks with sore jaws who quickly lined up for Laiden’s and Erakdrik’s expert attention. In six days, the two dental staff yanked out close to 300 rotten teeth.
P3 ADB team to attack ‘malaise in RMI govt’ A large Asian Development Bank teams is in the Marshall Islands this week to review projects and loans, address problems with some, and meet with a wide range of people. The team will be “examining issues in detail,” said team leader and RMI desk officer Steve Pollard. “What is the ‘greater malaise’ in government and what’s holding back development outcomes?”
P4 Matayoshi calls for civilized solution Marshall Islanders at Tuesday’s 51st anniversary of the largest-ever United States hydrogen bomb test called on the US to fairly compensate nuclear test survivors for the health and land damage they’ve suffered. As we mark another anniversary of Bravo, we mourn for those who’ve gone before and we grieve for those who suffered,” said Rongelap Mayor James Matayoshi. “But justice for the living is what’s on our mind.”