P1 Salii: ‘Marshalls and Palau moves could undermine status negotiations’ The key to the success of the next round of future status negotiations, scheduled for late May, is the reaction of the US to two recent separatist moves in the Trust Territory, one in the Marshalls — the formation of a political status commission — and one in Palau — the appointment of a Select Committee to study future alternatives, says Senator Lazarus Salii, Chairman of the Congress of Micronesia’s Joint Committee on Future Status.
P1 Rock-O-Town closed by ABC Rock-O-Town bar, infamous blot upon the night life scene here, was ordered closed this week by the Darrit-Uliga-Delap Municipality Alcohol Beverage Control Board for violation of a local ordinance requiring bars to have a special policeman on duty during hours of operation. The board met Wednesday and decided on a 30-day suspension of the bar’s right to do business. This closure follows a similar action taken against the Aur Town Club in March.
P7 Long-hair debated in Ponape “Long Hair Bill” has been pulled out of the file and created lengthy debate over whether it is constitutional or even proper to make men’s hair length more than two inches illegal in Ponape District, according to Micronesian News Service. Anti-bill spokesmen indicate a detrimental affect to the tourist industry and wasted energy of policemen who must chase after long-haired boys as two possible consequences of the measure. Legislator Herbert Gallen, who introduced the measure, said that long hair on males irritates elderly people and makes men look unclean.
P8 Ishiguro hotel opens Molik Ishiguro, owner of Ishiguro Hotel and Restaurant, has announced that his hotel now has five rooms ready for occupancy. With the opening of this newest hotel, Majuro has three commercial hotels.
P1 RepMar takes over postal service The Marshall Islands Postal Service began operating the postal system in the Republic May 2, concurrently beginning the sale of the new Marshall Islands postage stamps.
P29 Ballbusters win big over Tumaniknik The Ballbusters had their hitting shoes on Saturday as they got 18 hits to beat Tumaniknik 18-2. Wilimina put on an awesome exhibition with the bat getting five hits in a row including three home runs in a row — the best hitting in women’s softball history.
P1 Mail costs jump In 10 days, the cost to mail a letter from the RMI to the US will rise slightly, as part of a big revamp by the US Postal Service of its services. The US changed the RMI and Federated States of Micronesia from “domestic” to “international” destinations starting in January 2006 as a result of the terms of the Compact of Free Association that went into effect at the end of 2003. For mail incoming from the us, an international priority mail one-pound package that by domestic rates would have cost just $4.60 will now cost the sender a minimum of $10.20.
P25 Crowd praises weavers’ works Emotions and blood pressures were high for many local art enthusiasts and collectors who were anxiously competing to gain possession of at least one of the first jaki-ed (traditional clothing mats), which were put up for silent auction at the Marshall Islands Resort last Thursday. The jaki-ed revival competition, a culmination of a art, skill, creativity and energy of 19 master weavers throughout the Marshall Islands, generated a total of $3,300 from eager bidders. The winning mat from Namdrik Atoll’s master weaver Patsy Herman sold for $340 to former First Lady Emlain Kabua.
P26 US interest waning A relatively new and — for the Pacific — disquieting development is the apparent devaluation of United States government relations with the islands. In the Marshall islands, we’ve experienced the significant reduction in US priority attention to this area since the advent of the second Compact. In particular, we’ve seen it in the cutback in funding for the 177 Health Plan, problematic mail service, lack of response to the changed circumstances petition, etc. The US government will counter this with the fact that it’s providing a couple of hundred million dollars to the three freely associated states, and enjoys long term arrangements with the FAS and its island territories. But the proof is in the details and how the US is managing its ties with the region.