P1 Jailhouse rocks! One of the most colorful local spots on Majuro happens to be the jailhouse, and its potential as a tourist attraction should not be overlooked. We’ve had reporters down at the jail who were entertained to see nubile young girls on exhibition just off the main lobby. But reporters don’t really get into the real jail here on Majuro, the one that goes on and on with weekend breaks, long-tall bottles of vodka, and sees the jailers doing errands for the jailees. You gotta talk to a prisoner to really find out what goes on, and we did. And stuff goes on.
P13 No more laughs A double loss is expected this week in Marshall Islands journalism with the expected Friday departure of the Journal’s visiting cartoonist/reporter David Cooney and hotshot photographer Shimada Kousei. David, who is continuing on a trip of self-realization (he graduated from Skidmore College in New York last June) is heading for southeast Asian countries. He says he enjoyed his stay here very much but that if he were to return it would be as a small boat operator or nothing. “The lagoon is so peaceful and relaxing that I find myself mystified by it,” he said. Shimada-san, of course, intends to continue protracted visits here after a brief sojourn in Japan. His wife Taniko will be accompanying him on the trip.
P16 Need info on leg There still is no information about the boy’s leg found by the PII dredging compound near the Majuro bridge, said Chief of Police Paul Kim. The leg was found last week. A $1,000 reward was offered for information leading to identification of the limb.
P5 More spectators than senators Each day beginning last Thursday through Tuesday this week, with a motion of no confidence pending, there were more spectators in the Nitijela chamber than senators — definitely not the norm for Nitijela sessions that are usually held before an empty chamber. The President’s party extended its boycott of the session to include Thursday, Friday and Saturday last week, with at most 15 members showing up for the sessions — two short of the required quorum. With the President’s party taking the position that the 10-day deadline for the vote on the opposition’s motion of no confidence ended on Saturday, many expected Nitijela to reconvene Monday. But the boycott continued. Tuesday, however, three government party members showed up to make the necessary quorum for a vote, and defeat the motion of no confidence. But in a counter move to the appearance of just three government party senators, several opposition senators and the three government ministers who had been at the previous four non-quorum sessions didn’t show up. So even with the three government party reps in attendance, there was again no quorum and no session held Tuesday.
P15 DOE officially awards medical program to PHRI The US Department of Energy has announced that the Pacific Health Research Institute of Honolulu has been awarded the contract to conduct the DOE’s Marshall Islands Special Medical Care Program for Rongelap and Utrok over the next five years. PHRI on August 31st accepted the award worth $5.5 million. The program will be under the direction of Dr. Henry Preston and Dr. Neal Palafox.
P1 Lunch off the menu The Ministry of Education has eliminated the lunch program for Majuro schools and top officials believe student attendance and academic performance will drop as a result. Education Secretary Biram Stege says a $700,000 budget cutback in the ministry’s fiscal year 2010 budget forced the end of the lunch program for Majuro schools. “When there is a lunch program, attendance is so much better,” she said. “Students don’t miss class.”