P1 Tarawa says ‘no’ to UK aid For the first time in its seven years of independence, Kiribati is planning its1986 budget without British economic aid. Finance Minister Boanareke Boanareke in his budget address told the parliament that one major and very important change in this year’s plan is the attainment of full independence from British budgetary aid while balancing Kiribati’s annual budget. —Batiri Bataua
P8 Salvation Army chief visits National Commander for the United States Salvation Army, Commissioner Norman Marshall, will stop in Majuro briefly this week beginning a round the world inspection tour of facilities and projects sponsored by the Salvation Army World Services Organization.
P1 ‘The people have spoken’ Participants in last week’s Summit meeting in Majuro see this first-ever grassroots gathering as a kickoff for increasing community participation in and control of decision making in the Marshall Islands. Businessman Ramsey Reimers, who moderated the Business Environment working group, said the importance of the Summit is that while there was criticism of the government, “there was an understanding that a solution has to be developed. There has to be action.” Assumption High School Principal Marie Maddison, who moderated the Health working group, said the Summit was “a very significant meeting” for the Marshall Islands. The fact that it included many long-time critics of the government was a first for the country. “And the people have spoken,” is the way Marshall Islands Visitors Authority General Manager Ben Graham described the National Economic and Social Summit.
P2 Water every four days As expected, the water company has further reduced water hours in Majuro as the reservoir levels continue to decline. Water will now be on every fourth day from 6am to 6pm. Water levels declined to 9.6 million gallons, about a nine-day supply of water.
P2 1998 El Niño likely worse than 1983 The USAKA Hourglass, in a story filed by Pat Cataldo, is tipping the possibility that the current drought we are experiencing in the Marshalls may be worse than the 1982-83 event. Cataldo wrote that only 7.72 inches of rain fell in the first six months of 1983. Majuro residents at the time were driven to dependence on a now-closed water well in Delap located in front of the still under construction Eastern Gateway Hotel. At Kwajalein, Aeromet Weather Station is predicting a worst case scenario of 7.70 inches in the current six month drought period, but the Pacific El Niño Southern Oscillation Application Center in Hawaii says it will be even worse: 5.73 inches. Normally, more than 38 inches of rain fall during this period.
P5 MIMA re-elects Mayor Mike After opening Monday, the Marshall Islands Mayors Association held its annual election, during which Mayor/Irooj Mike Kabua was reelected for another term as president. Kili Mayor Tomaki Juda was reelected Vice President. New officers include Ebon Mayor Rod Nakamura as secretary and Maloelap Mayor Jack Joab as treasurer.
P7 Another first Bank of Hawaii has opened the first automatic teller machine (ATM) in the Marshall Islands. It is located at Robert Reimers Enterprises main store.
P14 Highest in 46 years Copra productive hit a 46-year high with more than 7,000 tons produced in 1997, according to Tobolar Copra Processing Authority. The 1997 production amount of 7,531 tons amounted to a major rebound from the previous year.
P11 Bõb stars in first festival Tired of the same events year after year? That is about to change. This year is kicking off with the first-ever Bõb Festival. This is not a festival for a guy named “Bob.” We’re talking bõb, the pandanus fruit or screw pine, which rhymes with up and abrupt. Co-chairpersons Carmen Bigler of WUTMI and Ramsey Reimers, RRE CEO, have been working with a team of representatives to put on activities to highlight the value and importance of bõb to Marshallese culture. —Douglas Henry
P19 What would you say about school? Back to school, and some students are in the mood of being optimists and pessimists. I found out that some students are saying things like, “Man I hate coming to school,” and some are saying things like, “Wow, I miss coming to school. Now where are the likatus?” What I really mean is that coming to school for some students is an extraordinary thing and for others school is to show up and don’t go to class. I mean, what is the purpose of coming to school and then don’t show up to class? —Selvenious Marvin