P1 AMI starts Kosrae service Air Marshall Islands General Manager John Slattebo announced the inaugural flight of the AMI 748 to Kosrae in the Federated States of Micronesia. The inaugural flight, joined by many dignitaries and officials, is scheduled to leave Majuro June 2. Two years ago, a proving flight to the newly constructed airport in Kosrae was undertaken by the airline.
P1 RepMar edging along toward independence Citing the presence of foreign domination as a historical fact of the Marshall Islands over the past 65 years, President Amata Kabua said in an address to graduating students of Marshall Islands High School explaining that there are those Marshallese who have never forgotten their original sovereignty and who for the past 20 years have been working to reclaim it. “To a degree, we have succeeded,” he said. Kabua’s remarks, delivered from a prepared text in English, came after a short introductory comment in Marshallese which departed from the prepared text: In Marshallese, the president took note of recent minority party statements indicating that they now support the Compact of Free Association because of the amendments suggested by the US Congress. Kabua, declaring some of the amendments unacceptable to his government, alleged that supporters of the amendments did not realize the implication of some of the amendments and the present threat to hopes of ever becoming truly sovereign.
P1 Happy 50th for Fr. Hacker Catholics in Majuro celebrated a double jubilee anniversary over the weekend: Fr. Leonard Hacker’s 50th year as a Jesuit priest and the 50th anniversary of the Jesuits in the Marshall Islands. Fr. Hacker has spent most of his half century as a priest in the Marshalls, having first arrived in 1952.
P1 N-waste ‘frozen’ A feasibility study for a nuclear waste storage facility in the Marshall Islands has been put on hold, President Imata Kabua announced in Washington, DC during talks with officials in the Clinton Administration on Tuesday this week. “We were delighted to learn that the Marshalls have placed a hold on the idea of such a facility,” said Allen Stayman, the director of the Office of Insular Affairs at the Department of Interior. Since the Marshalls first floated the proposal to store nuclear waste in 1994, the Clinton Administration has opposed the plan.
P3 Can Redmond hold on to win Cup? Redmond Simeon is going to see if he can break the hex that afflicts President’s Cup front-runners going into the annual July tournament sponsored by the Marshalls Billfish Club. Some of Majuro’s best fishermen have held a comfortable — even commanding — lead on the eve of the two-day Fisherman’s Day holiday tournament only to get knocked from the top spot on the last day of fishing. “A lead doesn’t mean anything (going into the July tournament),” says seasoned competitor and MBC board member Baron Bigler. “It can all change on the last day of fishing.” Last year, Timothy Anok was the leader all year long, only to be upended by Bwiji Aliven in July. Aliven was getting a little revenge for 1995, when the team of Ronnie Reimers and Bigler had come from behind to capture the President’s Cup from Aliven. In 1994, Helly Kajeong was the leader. But it didn’t last through the July tourney, as Bigler and Reimers took that one away, too. So Simoen has a 398 point lead over his closest challenger, Dennis Momotaro — a lead that has held since last September. July 4 and 5 will put his lead to the test. Ben Reimers, Jackie Jacob, Ronnie Reimers, James Bing, OK Davis and Aliven are all waiting in the wings to challenge him.
P17 New ‘korkor’ launched in Majuro A new outrigger canoe was quietly launched in Majuro Monday, confirming that the skills of long ago continue in modern Majuro. The 15-foot, two-man sailing canoe bears the stamp of its designer, Robert Reimers, in more ways that its sparkling green paint job. Robert designed the canoe and supervised the construction, which was done by son Vincent, grandson Norbert, Gabriel Capelle and Clancy Bruno.
P1 No tanks is trouble Majuro Atoll’s population has grown by nearly 8,000 people in 10 years — and many of these are without any fresh water storage on an island that depends almost totally on rain for survival, according to the government’s planning office. A household survey of the fresh water and sanitation situation in Majuro has identified 4,177 dwellings compared to the 1999 census, which showed only 3,000. While Majuro’s overall population and number of houses has grown by about 25 percent, Rairok’s housing growth has been an explosive 67 percent since 1999. While confirming high population growth in Majuro, the survey also shows the lack of access to fresh water for many Majuro residents, raising fear of health threats. “We have 1,100 homes identified without water storage or about 8,289 people are without water,” said EPPSO Director Carl Hacker.