P1 First Marshall Islands fishing tournament to be held Saturday and Sunday Tomorrow morning at least 15 boats will head for the ocean and attempt to win the first annual Marshall Islands Fishing Tournament, sponsored by the Marshalls Billfish Club, which last summer won the prestigious Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament in its first outing.
P1 DeBrum: No choice The American dollar has blinded the Marshallese people and made them greedy and unable to make a true choice which comes from the mind and the heart, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Tony deBrum said at the eighth Assumption High School commencement exercises. “We will vote out of our desire to get paid, and out of our desire to eat USDA food…We will make our choice out of our fear to govern ourselves, out of our having no confidence in each other to lead ourselves…out of our quarrels between each other,” deBrum told the graduating class. DeBrum said the Marshalls are getting ready to vote to end the trusteeship agreement and enter into the Compact of Free Association. However, he asked, “what are we voting about? Do we really have a choice?”
P19 New PCVs ready for action Seven new volunteers arrived in Majuro last week to begin their two-year contracts with Peace Corps. Six will be teaching elementary school in their first year and training Marshallese teachers in their second year of service, many on the outer islands. One volunteer will be working in curriculum development.
P21 The boss Helbert Alfred is Air Marshall Islands new chief pilot. He has been flying with AMI for about 10 years and has flown on all of the local airline’s planes, from Dorniers to DC-8. He will be a captain on the new Saab 2000.
P24 $6m phase two deal A more than $6 million construction package was signedFriday by Marshall Islands and Japan officials at the Cabinet. Minister of Education Evelyn Konou and Consul General of Japan Renzo Izawa signed agreements for phase two improvements for Marshall Islands High School that include the building of a sports/cultural center (ECC) in Delap.
P1 Our hungry kids Majuro business leaders endorsed starting up a lunch program for public schools in response to a principal saying many students don’t attend school because they are hungry. At Wednesday’s Chamber of Commerce meeting, the problem of student truancy and absenteeism sparked a lively exchange about why so many Marshallese children are not in school at all, or don’t show up to class regularly. “A lot of kids don’t come to school because they are hungry,” Delap Elementary School Principal Evelyn Konou said. She said there’s no question about the importance of a lunch program for the school.
P3 Gas prices push up taxi fares to 75¢ The price of taxis is the latest item to rise. Following a big meeting of taxi drivers last weekend, the drivers announced this week that fares would be going up effective immediately from 50¢ to 75¢ in the downtown area. Taxi fares had remained unchanged for over 15 years despite huge increases in gas prices the last two years.
P9 A trip? Okay! RMI government travel spending double from 1999 to 2004, according to audits of the RMI government. Travel costs have been increasing steadily since 1999, when the RMI government spent over $1.7 million on travel. Travel spending jumped to more than $3.5 million in fiscal year 2004, more than double the 1999 figure.
P32 96960 blues Having trouble getting Amazon.com to ship a book order to Majuro, local attorney David Strauss asked the huge US firm what the problem was and was told: “Please note that according to the US Postal System ‘zip code 96960 is no longer in their data base because it no longer exists.’”