P1 Schools face hard facts The Marshall Islands “have inherited a solid base on which they are building their national educational systems,” said the State Department in recent Congressional testimony. Despite this optimistic assessment, local educators and administrators are beset with an education system that has the highest high school drop out rate in Micronesia. If current trends continue, of 1,253 students enrolled in first grade in 1976, only about 167 or 13 percent will graduate from 12th grade in 1988.
P6 Formidable opponents on Midway By Owen Wilkes A serious aspect of military usage of oceanic islands is the slaughter of bird life and destruction of nesting areas. As an example of the lengths the military can go to in dealing with this problem, it is worth citing the efforts of the Navy to rid Midway Atoll of albatrosses. Midway is an isolated atoll of peculiar military importance, arising from its location midway between Hawaii and Japan, which has suffered total transformation by the Navy. The Navy had a problem with albatrosses. Albatrosses are big birds and when a plane hits one of them the plane suffers extensive damage. During World War Two, according to Navy records, between 50,000 and 80,000 eggs and nests were destroyed at Midway to alleviate the problem. This should have been effective because an albatross can only lay one egg per season. But the problem kept coming back, and all sorts of ideas were tried in the 10 years following the war — burning heaps of old truck tires to make smoke, use of unnamed repellent chemicals, flares, bazookas, mortars and high frequency sound generators. None were successful. In 1955, the Navy reverted to straight out slaughter: 200,000 albatross eggs were destroyed. In 1956, it went back to repellents, and ran high voltage wires all over the island. The main effect seemed to be that the birds spent less time on the ground and more time in the air, giving even more opportunity for planes to hit birds. In 1960, the Navy installed automatic carbide cannons. But the noise seemed to excite the curiosity of the birds. In 1963, the Navy went to Congress and asked for half a million dollars to make soil cement to concrete over all the nesting areas in the vicinity of the runway, so the birds wouldn’t be able to scratch out their nesting hollows anymore. This must have been the Final Solution, because there seems to have been no further mention of the albatross “problem” at Midway.
P1 The Arab connection Marshall Islands and Kuwait officials are discussing possible aid from the Middle Eastern nation for two major infrastructure projects in Ebeye and Majuro, according to Foreign Minister Phillip Muller. Kuwait Ambassador Al Jeaan visited Ebeye this week with President Imata Kabua as part of an extended stay in the Marshall Islands that is expected to see him visit one or more outer islands.
P10 First multiplex theater to open A new multi-screen movie center will be opening soon in Majuro, bringing first-run movies to the capital. Pacific Marshall Inc. (Gibson’s) and Wallace Theater Corporation of Hawaii officials were to break ground Thursday for the new three-screen theater complex in the Gibson’s complex.
P20 Email the Journal Have a letter to the editor, a press release or an article that you want to get to us pronto? We now have E-mail. Write us at: email@example.com.
P27 Congressman backs victims An American Congressman visiting the Marshall Islands last week said the US government needs to “make good” on its obligation to compensate nuclear test victims and asked island leaders to provide him with evidence to convince the US Congress to provide more funding for compensation, health care and radiation clean ups. Rep. Eni Faleomavaega, who represents Americans Samoa in the US Congress, held several days of hearings in the Marshall Islands.
P36 Stand awake “Juumemmej” means “stand awake” and it’s used in circumstances that require concentration, alertness and a sense of responsibility for the welfare of others.