Kwaj worth $30m to RMI

Front pages from 1987, 1999, and 2010.

Journal 1/23/1987

P1 Copra wars
Outer islanders were solely disappointed by the recent government announcement that the price of copra during 1987 would be only eight cents per pound. On Ailinglaplap, copra producers had unanimously agreed to “strike” not selling a single bag of copra during the field trip ship service in early January when the price was still six cents per pound. The rise to eight cents is much less than was anticipated and it remains to be seen whether the “strike” will continue. Most producers had been led to believe that prices would be increased substantially “once the Compact is enacted.” Copra makers who have patiently endured economic hardship because they accepted the alleged need for sacrifice in the short term, trusting promises of eventual relief once Compact funding was available, have begun to wonder how and when their legitimate expectation of assistance will be met. The question is particularly pressing at this time because their perception of the disparity between the prosperity which has emerged so rapidly in Majuro contrasts ever more sharply with desperate conditions they encounter every day on the outer islands. —Kevin Hart

P7 Anti-littering consolation winners
In the MALGov-sponsored essay contest, “What do you say to your mother when she tells you to throw Pampers or garbage in the lagoon?” Raphael Ritok, age 7, Delap Elementary; Carna Yamamura, age 8, Vina Y, age 7, and Annette Note, all Majuro Coop; Barris Ritok, age 11, Calvary Elementary.

P17 Alele opens take-out
The new Alele take-out has opened in the Museum’s downstairs kiosk. Featuring sandwiches, home made Chile, coffee and other refreshments, it is a good spot to grab a quick bite or enjoy a relaxing lunch at a picnic table under the museum.

Journal 1/22/1999

P1 Kwaj injects $30M to RMI
The Marshall Islands receives more than $30 million annually from the presence of the Kwajalein missile range, according to a report issued by the US Army Kwajalein Atoll this week. Other services — including construction, hospital, Job Corps program, and other education programs — increase the value of the US presence beyond the actual direct funding provided to Marshallese through employment and base rental, and to the Marshall Islands government in the form of taxes on salaries of American workers.

P1 It’s official: AMI cancels Fiji route
Air Marshall Islands will be stopping all international flights by next month, according to AMI general manager Mark Mackay. The board approved discontinuing the Fiji route, which connects Majuro with Kiribati, Tuvalu and Fiji. AMI has flown the Fiji route since 1984.

P9 AMI’s Fiji route too important to lose
This route is unique because it holds a market that is big enough to sustain one airline yet two airlines can’t compete profitably. It is unique because we are the only direct link to Kiribati, Tuvalu and Fiji. Other airlines in the region are looking for the right opportunity to take over this route and should we pull out now it will be very difficult to get back in. As of late, we have noticed an increase in the number of passengers (coming) through Majuro spending their money here before continuing onto their final destination…a little more effort on the part of management to market this route and a little more effort on everyone’s part to provide a more reliable service could prove positive toward our airline and the economy of our country. —Helbert Alfred, AMI pilot.

Journal 1/22/2010

P1 Kwaj pollution forces fish ban
The Marshall Islands EPA is seeking to expand a study at the US Army Kwajalein Atoll of lagoon contamination — some of which is from a dry-dock at the missile range. Fishing has been banned in the Kwajalein harbor area because of both heavy metals in the sediment and PCB chemicals and pesticides from storm water discharges into the lagoon.

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