P1 Ready to go The newly formed Majuro Atoll Local Government, headed by Mayor Amatlain Kabua, iOS meeting ready to swing into action, following a week-long workshop on operations of the local government. Last week’s workshop was sponsored by Interior and Outer Islands Affairs and is also being held on other atolls that are organizing local governments.
P1 Public demands: Gut gambling A confrontation of monumental proportions is expected to evolve as Nitijela takes to the floor in the near future to decide the fate of legislation geared to stifle ongoing gambling activity in the Marshall Islands. On one side of the issue we find such key players as the President, Majuro Senator Tony deBrum, Minister Phillip Muller, and even key traditional leadership as is evidenced by multi-Mayor Irooj Mike Kabua who presides as top executive in three outer island municipalities. Both Muller and deBrum are operators of gambling operations in the capital, along with a growing spate of smaller operators, mostly new Chinese-Marshallese citizens, who operate either on their own or in conjunction with individuals such as Neil Milne, a member of the commission established by President Kabua to regulate gambling. Against this heavy inclination to support the industry is arrayed a veritable avalanche of local citizenry who have taken up vocal chords in a single tone to decry (what they claim) are the evils of this absorbing enterprise. The opposition to gambling, if anything, carries as much if not more weight in the community that the supporting forces, but their focus is mainly in the church sector, which has organized itself into a vocal and active monolith targeting either gambling itself, or the unregulated mishmash of gambling which they point out is pulling food off family tables and causing serious marriage strife.
P1 AMI snafus torpedo tours Last Wednesday and Thursday, when Air Marshall Islands became an airline with no planes flying, it hurt more than domestic services. The budding tourism industry took a double hit: Divers attempting to go to Bikini never got out of the Majuro and a wholesale tour operator who is planning to book American sports fishermen to go to Mili and other atolls was forced to take a rough, 10-hour open ocean boat ride to get to Mili.
P14 Getting water to DUD is top priority Lines at the three Japanese government-provided water machines grow longer each day: Kids carrying gallon containers or pushing wheelbarrows filled with water bottles can be seen round the clock; the grass and trees are turning a burnt brown; cloys of dust cover pedestrians, homes and food; and city water, well, there hasn’t been any pumped from the reservoir in going on two weeks. Welcome to Majuro, three months into the El Niño drought. There were 1.8 million gallons of usable water in the reservoir and more coming in each day from Laura. “Until we have enough of a head in the reservoir to get pressure to downtown, it won’t be on,” said Majuro Water and Sewer Company General Manager Billy Roberts.
P2 Ña Noniep film attracts huge crowds Big crowds jammed K&K Theater over the weekend to see Ña Noniep, a film about a Marshallese boy who struggles after being put under a black magic spell. “It was thrilling to see a film that was conceptualized, written, cast, filmed and edited in the Marshall Islands with a Marshallese cast and spoken mainly in Marshallese language with English subtitles,” said Dartmouth Prof. Andrew Garrod, who has directed a series of Shakespeare plays in Majuro over the past five years.
P4 Marshalls marks 55th Bravo anniversary Excerpts from President Litokwa Tomeing at Nuclear Survivors Remembrance Day: Recorded data of the tragic events that spanned from 1946 to 1958 shows it dwarfed Hiroshima and paled Chernobyl into insignificance. But the real effect, viewed in concrete terms, manifests itself in pitiful human conditions: in deaths, deformities and permanent psychological defects, in suffering and deprivations…I appeal to the government of the most powerful country in the world. If a lowly inhabitant of Bikini, out of the goodness of his heart, over six decades ago, could freely offer his island for the testing of nuclear weapons for the “sake of world peace, for the good of mankind,” clearly much, much more is expected from the moral standard bearer of the free world.