P4 Around Town Peter Coleman, former American Samoa Governor, was in Majuro last week for a brief stop on his way to the Northern Marianas. He visited with Chief Secretary Oscar deBrum among other government officials.
P11 New hospital administrators The Sisters of Mercy, a Catholic health group, will manage the new hospital in Majuro when it opens, Minister of Health Kunar Abner said last week. The Sisters of Mercy management plan was picked as the best by a selection committee appointed by Cabinet, which reviewed four management proposals.
P13 Private sector lures former Revenue Chief An average of more than 50 to 60 percent of all employees in the Pacific region work for governments. The Marshall Islands is no exception and that is why the recent move to the private sector by one of RepMar’s top government officials is so startling. In a nation where the goal for many has been to move into a secure job with government, Grant Labaun is a man going against the grain. For five years RepMar’s Chief of Revenue and Taxation, Labaun resigned last month to concentrate his efforts on his rapidly expanding Midtown Store.
P1 It’s a deal After nearly three years of delay, the garment factory in Laura is expected to go into action in the very near future, according to Minister Lomes McKay. After several attempts to find operators for the garment factory, McKay said the Marshalls has found a Chinese group that will do the job.
P3 Wow! Majuro population balloons to 29,000 Almost half of the Marshall Islands population lives in Majuro, with another 20 percent in Ebeye, according to the Office of Planning and Statistics. It is estimated that 29,000 people live in Majuro and 12,800 live in Ebeye, meaning that now 70 percent of the population lives in the two urban centers.
P7 Teachers work to finish new curriculum After 18 months of work and planning the new national curriculum for elementary schools in the Marshall Islands has been taken from the drawing board and is under review by the people who are going to implement it — the teachers. Over 70 people, including principals, from government and private schools attended a two-week workshop to review a draft of the first-ever national curriculum developed specifically for Marshallese children. The curriculum was written by Chita Anien, Juanita Rilometo, Mabel Andrew, Bedinin Joseph, Maryanne Ruben, Amram Mejbon, Wilbur Heine, Edwin Torman, Enion Kalles and Eonmita Kakin.
P8 Imata outlines plans New Marshall Islands President Imata Kabua was sworn into office last Friday at Nitijela and in a speech immediately following the ceremony promised to pursue the legacy of private sector development, encouraging foreign investment and cutting costs of government left by president of 17 years Amata Kabua, who died December 20. High Court Chief Justice Daniel Cadra conducted the swearing in ceremony.
P16 Jiba, Justin get nod Two new members of Cabinet were named Wednesday this week by President Imata Kabua. Newly elected Senator Jiba Kabua will take over at Resources and Development, while Ujae Senator Justin deBrum will take over as Minister of Education. Former Education Minister Christopher Loeak takes over the President’s previous position, Minister for Ralik. Former R&D Minister Lomes McKay is now Minister of Justice. Other ministers will maintain their previous portfolios: Foreign Affairs, Phillip Muller; Finance, Ruben Zackhras; Health and Environment, Tom Kijiner; Transportation and Communications, Kunio Lemari; Internal and Social Welfare, Brenson Wase; and Minister for Ratak, Litokwa Tomeing.
P1 RMI would save big with health fix The current health system is not serving the public adequately nor is it addressing skyrocketing, but preventable, health problems in the Marshall Islands, says the RMI government’s chief planner. The need to spend more than $35 million on a new hospital is also being questioned when the country is in need of urgent action to step up prevention action in local communities, said Economic Policy, Planning and Statistics Office Director Carl Hacker in a policy discussion paper issued earlier this month to government officials. “The status quo for public and preventative health is not serving the people of the RMI the way it can or should,” Hacker said. A “public health reinvention is needed sooner rather than later.”
P3 Wilfred likes term limits Majuro Senator Wilfred Kendall thinks direct election of the RMI President and term limits for Nitijela members are good ideas.