P1 Nitijela opens Nearly 50 years under the Trusteeship system is a long time, President Amata Kabua said in his brief remarks this morning at Nitijela’s opening day for the final session for the year. President Kabua noted also that during this session things are going to be a little different from previous meetings because of the end of the four-year terms of the senators plus there is the Compact of Free Association to decide upon by the senators and the Marshallese people. Speaker Atlan Anien welcome newly elected Senator Hemos Jack. Today’s opening was somewhat low-key, almost lackluster for a Nitijela opening. There was no singing. All the usual hooplas of Nitijela past meeting were absent. It was all quiet on the front for Nitijela. Except for a brief remark by Bikini Senator Henchi Balos welcoming the new Senator for Majuro Hemos Jack, and short speeches (for Nitijela) by Minister Ruben Zackhras, Senator Litokwa Tomeing, and Minister Kunar Abner, which mostly concerned Nitijela matters like what’s going to happen if the Nitijela legislative counsel leaves in 10 days, everyone was quiet and not in the mood for politics, at least today anyway. There were semi-cold drinks and cold sandwiches for those who came. As in past Nitijela openings, there were spectators who were very thirsty and very hungry after witnessing the opening ceremony, in fact the line was already forming in anticipation of these words: “There will be some refreshments afterward…”
P2 MBC to go Kona again The Hawaiian International Billfish Tournment champions Marshalls Billfish Club depart Majuro Thursday for the Kona billfish tournament that starts August 8. The Marshalls team consists of Tom Michels, Ramsey Reimers, Wally Milne, Tom Getty and Ronnie Reimers. Ramsey’s 711 pound billfish caught on 50 pound test line at last year’s tourney is the second largest caught in the history of the tournament.
P4 Get down and have some fun Youth to Youth in Health peer educators looked likely they were having at least as much fun as the large audiences last Friday and Saturday at the “Showtime” programs at RRE. Education and fun, the skits ranged from AIDS and teen pregnancy to alcohol problems and stealing. The youth program also put on several dramas of legends — Annañ from Wotho and Leli from Namdrik — and challenged the audience on culture changes with an uproarious skit pitting an outboard motor boat against an outrigger canoe. The drama and music program, involving some 70 young people from Majuro and 14 outer islands, was the culmination of two youth health seminars during June and July.
P5 Adding weight Most of us are trying to lose weight, or at least thinking about it. But there’s one place that we like adding weight to: the Marshalls ship registry. The registry continues a steady march toward its first 100 ships, now at 87 and counting flying the RMI flag.
P5 Big Apple World renowned cartoonist John B. Lamille is still doing his thing for the Journal — but he’s no longer in sunny Southern California, and he’s got a new name to boot. He’s moved a few thousand miles east to New York City. Big John B. is in the heart of the Big Apple. And, since he’s hanging around in Manhattan, that’s his new nom de plume.
P1 Stage set for power struggle Nitijela opens on Monday and, as Speaker Litokwa Tomeing told the Journal earlier this week, “it’s going to be an interesting session.” Translation of “interesting”: Expect fireworks. There’s the simmering dispute over Kwajalein, which has come to a head because of the crash of Ebeye’s power service in recent days. But what is different is that the Speaker and Nitijela leadership appears to be lining up in support of Kwajalein landowners in the tug-of-war with Cabinet. Next, a resolution to launch a review of the Compact is expected to be submitted, which one Cabinet minister described as like a vote of no confidence. Tomeing and eight other senators who make up the Nitijela leadership are a new power base that has worked vigorously to put distance between themselves and the President and Cabinet.