P1 What about a Bikini cleanup The US House approved a bill recently to study the impact of the resettlement of Bikini islanders on Maui. The US Congress must approve conditions on a $20 million fund to allow use of the money to resettle people outside the Marshall Islands. On Maui itself, a representative for some of the people there said he opposes the relocation of Bikini nomads because, as the Maui News reported, “the social impact would be too much for the community to handle.” In the meantime, attorney for the Bikinians Jonathan Wesigall has been attacking what he calls federal callousness in the refusal of the US government to actively support the cleanup of Bikini Atoll so the people can return.
P11 New churches Last Friday contracts were signed hiring J&E Construction Company to build two churches for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Johnny Bucad of J&E will build the Mormon churches, one each in Delap and Laura.
P6 Ambassador Relang calls for redress of test damage Addressing the United Nations Tuesday, RMI Ambassador Jakeo Relang pointed out that the Marshalls has suffered considerably as a result of past nuclear testing in the islands and that recently, due to disclosures by the Clinton administration, it has been determined that the extent of the damage is much greater than previously thought. “It may be the case that half of our population has been affected in some way,” he said, adding that the “responsible party” has so far ignored requests to address the additionally disclosed problems related to bomb test activities.
P7 No takers for Micro ships Local businessmen are steering clear of getting obligated to run the Micro class vessels now operated by the Ministry of Transportation. But they are not afraid of the smaller vessels, like the Juk Ae or Rebuuk Ae. In comments to Nitijela, Transportation Minister Kunio Lemari explained that there were no takers for the big government ships but that DAR and Andrew Bing were taking over the running of the Rebuuk Ae and Juk Ae, respectively.
P11 Global warning threats Majuro The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a case study of “Climate and Global Change Debate,” which notes: “Some small island nations and other countries will confront greater vulnerability — because their existing sea and coastal defense systems are less well-established.” It went on to add that Majuro is facing a land loss range of about 80 percent due to the present state of protection systems, and unfortunately, the government does not have the necessary capital to invest in storm surge protection.
P1 You can bank on BOMI The opening of Bank of Marshall Islands new branch at Kwajalein was a big event last week, with a large turnout of VIPs and bank customers. Among those at the opening were BOMI President Patrick Chen, RMI Liaison at USAKA Noda Lojkar, Kwajalein Senator/Irooj Mike Kabua, and BOMI board Chairman Grant Labaun.
P8 DC committee holds N-talks The US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is sponsoring a hearing on nuclear test issues in Washington, DC on September 25. The hearing will focus on a bill for the Marshall Islands introduced recently by committee chairman Senator Jeff Bingaman. The proposed bill, which Bingaman said was introduced at the request of President Kessai Note, would provide $2 million a year through 2023 for the 177 Health Plan, require reports from the Department of Energy to the Congress on the Runit Dome at Enewetak, make Marshallese who worked at the Bikini and Enewetak nuclear test sites eligible for a separate US compensation program, and commission a US study of radiation exposure in the RMI to resolve the question of how many islands and atolls were actually affected by the 67 American nuclear tests.
P14 Huge demand for GED classes Demand is overwhelming adult education programs on Majuro. The College of the Marshall Islands increased enrollment it its adult education GED program this year by 24 percent over 2006, but it is still barely scratching the surface of the need. The number increased from 194 to 240 this year. But the point is the line waiting to get into GED courses, which is between 500 and 600 annually.
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