Utrik gets off receivership

Front pages from 1987, 1998 and 2009.

Journal 5/29/1987

P16 Unwelcome Saturday morning workout A heavy wind out of the east often results in a huge pile of garbage along the beaches in the Long Island area. In today’s modern world of plastics and petrochemical products, we have a new version of driftwood along Majuro beaches. I stepped out in front of my home to find that nature had fortuitously deposited a wealth of discarded junk of every shape and form. A little flavor for Majuro’s modern economy could be gleaned from the evidence piled high in my front yard. Sifting through it, I found plastic popsicle covers, an old plastic measuring cup, styrofoam coffee cups and beer cans, of course. A Peet moss fertilizer bag proved that while some are polluting, others are trying to fertilize the land. Lots of eaten “bõb,” a good sign for the eyesight of the eaters. There were a couple of mismatched zorries and part of a high heeled shoe (too much dancing at Uncle Sam’s wore it out?), an empty cement bag, a can of Spam, a used rusty mouse trap and an empty spray can advertising new pine scent rounded out the collection. It filled up a large trash bag and more. I hope that the people downtown tossing the junk into the lagoon will read this and think about where all that stuff goes. It may make an amusing story once in a while, but as a pickup operation, it’s definitely a bore.

Journal 5/29/1998

P1 A real air deal? Air Marshall islands and Air Nauru are taking steps to join in a marketing and scheduling alliance for service in the central Pacific region. AMI general manger Mark Mackay returned this week from a meeting of the Association of South Pacific Airlines in Fiji where he held extensive talks with Air Nauru. AMI and Air Nauru are going to look at how they can tie schedules together to make the service sustainable for the limited passengers and cargo on the route, he said.

P3 Utrik finances ok’d Following the production of financial documents that will allow the Utrik Local Distribution Authority to be audited for 1996 and 1997, the agency is no longer in receivership, according to a decision of the Nuclear Claims Tribunal this month. The Tribunal had appointed local businessman Alex Bing as the Utrik LDA receiver more than a year ago after Utrik had failed to file timely financial reports and improper payments to Utrik Islanders were discovered. The Tribunal’s ruling dismissed the earlier complaints and directed Bing to serve as fiscal officer for the Utrik LDA until all funds that were improperly paid out to Utrik Islanders are repaid to the Bank of New York.

Journal 5/29/2009

P3 Regional fisheries office for Majuro Majuro is to host an important new regional fisheries office. Ministers from eight Pacific nations that control the majority of the $3 billion in tuna caught in the Pacific voted earlier this month to make Majuro the headquarters for the Parties to the Nauru Agreement secretariat. Meanwhile, Assumption High School student Kelly Schellhase won a regional logo contest, winning the PNA contest over dozens of entries from seven other countries, according to MIMRA Director Glen Joseph.

P3 Stores say no to teens A dramatic drop in illegal sales of tobacco to teenagers is being linked to a public awareness campaign over the past year. Although the rate of illegal tobacco sales is still high — one in four takeout stores in the RMI sold tobacco to minors — it is a big drop from 2008 when more than nine out of 10 were illegally selling.

P11 Changing face of RMI A startling observation about airport demographics manifested itself this past week as residents gathered to greet an incoming flight from Honolulu. By the count of one of your mathematically proficient Journal reporters, the single-largest group of people milling about the terminal were of obvious Asian extraction. Next, of course, a motley crew of Marshallese holding sway over the middle ground, and only one ribelle. Twenty odd years ago the majority would likely as not have been ribelles, with probably few to no Asians in evidence. Shows you what an aggressive passport sales program can do for your development.

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