P7 Boy Scouts first camp First aid, swimming and lifesaving, map reading, using a compass, knots and lashing, safe handling of ax, saw and knife — these basic skills were presented to 221 Majuro Boy Scouts and their leaders, in a five-day camp held over the New Year’s weekend on Majuro’s Ebaden Island. The camp was directed by Darrell Westover, a scout leader on Kwajalein, with the help of five scouts from Kwaj’s Troop 214, and Robin Johnson of the Boy Scouts Aloha Council in Honolulu. Support in Majuro was provided by a committee including Oscar deBrum, Jim Pualoa, Bob O’Connell, Kabua Kabua, Fr. Hacker and Jina Lavin.
P1 Airport packed for arrival More than one thousand Majuro residents crowded the airport area Tuesday to watch the arrival of the US Air Force jet returning President Amata Kabua’s family and his remains to the Marshalls. The plane carrying the late President’s remains and family members is a former Air Force One that was used by Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Carter, and which also transported the remains of President Kennedy from Dallas to Washington, DC after the president was assassinated in 1963.
P1 US backs big loan The start of construction for Majuro’s new 12-megawatt power plant is just weeks away as the final hurdle has been leaped with completion of all environmental reviews. Marshalls Energy Company General Manager Billy Roberts said that finalization of the loan is waiting only for submission of agreements from MEC, which should be completed by next week. The US Rural Utility Service is backing the loan, which will be between $10.4 million and $12.5 million. “Instead of redoing all the lines from the power plant to Rita, we plan to put in underground lines from the power plant to the hospital and remove 40 percent of the electric load from the overhead lines,” said Roberts.
P3 Turning point: For Amata, it came in 1972 By Joe Murphy It is often expressed that human experience is peppered with turning points. For some, beset with tragedy, a commitment is made to mourn. A health scare or brush with death may trigger a new lifestyle. And the march of international events…can have a far-reaching effect on one’s life. It was thus for Amata Kabua who, to my mind, reached a pivotal turning point in the early months of 1972. It was during this period that he brought into focus the realization that the future of the Marshall Islands lay not in continued association with the other districts of Micronesia, but in seeking a separate accommodation for the future political status of his people. I remember saying to then Senator Kabua (I was at his home) that I thought he was kidding. He assured me he was serious. Subsequent events proved that. President Kabua managed to not only steward the Republic of the Marshall Islands into being, but for the first 17 years, set the course. His greatest legacy, I feel, is the considerable infrastructure…In many respects, the Marshall Islands have been modernized, its people have become sophisticated and the future, generally, holds great promise. The ultimate challenge will come in 2001 with termination of the current Compact. But to my mind, it was the turning point in 1972, the bold decision to separate from the entity “Micronesia” that set the course for the modern-day Marshall Islands. The decision of 1972 has come to define 2001. It was Amata Kabua’s decision.
P1 Who will rule? All eyes will be on the Nitijela this Monday — an opening session that promises to be an historic event for the country and will, after weeks of political rhetoric and conflicting statements from the two main political parties, end the speculation about who will be the new RMI President. Unlike previous presidential elections, the outcome of this year’s vote is not a foregone conclusion. Not only is there still speculation about whether the RMI will have a UDP- or AKA-led government, Monday’s opening may also offer the possible additional drama of several competing candidates within at least one of the parties. The three possible scenarios that could play out: President Kessai Note will be returned for a third term; Speaker Litokwa Tomeing will be elevated to become the fourth President of the RMI; or a UDP-aligned candidate will get the vote of UDP members, independents and one or two currently AKA-aligned senators.
P8 1,000 ri-Majel leave in 2007? It looks like 2007 is going to be another strong year for out-migration of Marshallese to the United States. If trends from earlier this year hold up through December, 2007 will continue the pattern started in 2000 with an average of 1,000 Marshallese moving to the US annually.