Well, a bit late but finally getting around to doing the â€œGood Newsâ€ from the 5 September Journal. Here goes â€“
- Great cover story and additional articles on physical rehabilitation specialist from Australia, Leigh Taylor, working with youth and adults on Majuro such as youth who suffer from cerebral palsy. To me, the best part of the story is that the team is training Marshallese to build splints to that this help at Majuro Hospital can continue after the Australians depart.
- Announcement that NTA has reduced its long distance rates, to $1.00 per minute, for calls originating on Majuro or Ebeye to all destinations, if calls made by calling card or direct dial between 7:00pm and 6:59AM; at other times, such calls are $1.25 per minute, still lower than previously.
- Nice article on some tourists visiting Jaluit and how much they enjoyed.
- Editorial comments that Ebeye appears to be doing a more effective job than Majuro in controlling and ending the measles outbreak â€“ good to read of apparent improvements in public health system there.
- Your Attorney General continues to pursue tax deadbeats, which I for one applaud and hope others do, too. I am waiting, though, to read about them actually collecting on some of these back taxes that are due. The alternative should be a felony conviction and forwarding of their name and conviction to US authorities â€“ the threat of taking away of any rights to travel through Guam or Hawaii would, for many of these businessmen and women, be a VERY effective means of â€œencouragingâ€ them to pay up. Of course, they have to believe the Government is serious and wonâ€™t issue a pardon a couple months after a conviction.
- Nice article from Kwaj Resident Cris Lindborg, who apparently is Head Coach for the RMI National Swim Team, regarding the results of three swimmers who represented the RMI at the Fina world championships in Barcelona. The RMI swimmers are Jared Heine, Carlos Notarianni, and Loren Lindborg.
- Two page spread on another successful Mobil All-Micronesia Fishing Tournament on Majuro. Teams from New Zealand, Guam, the US, and USAKA participated --- this has become a major annual event for the RMI, all home grown and supported.
- Some good statistics released by RMI Economic Policy, Planning and Statistics Office. Life expectancy is on the rise, birth rates (though still very high) are trending downward, and average household size is dropping.
- To show how the world terrorist threat is becoming known, even in the RMI, a bioterrorism workshop was held on Majuro. No, I am not suggesting that bioterrorism is good news, but good to see the training being initiated.
- Agreements have been signed between the RMI and Japan as a step toward construction of the new wing for Majuro Hospital, which Japan is funding.
- Majuro continues to be a bargain for those who can afford an occasional meal out â€“ new restaurant, Lathberns, features many bargains, such as a $4.65 lunch and dinner menu and a $1.99 breakfast featuring choice of pancakes or toast or rice with eggs, or ham, or bacon or other choice, even corned beef! Advertisements for several other restaurants continue to show this is one business sector where competition keeps prices very low.
- Rita Hawks were the top basketball team on Majuro from 1987 â€“ 1989, when I lived on Majuro and apparently they still are â€“ they soundly beat, in both games played, a visiting team from Sacramento. There is another story about the upcoming youth basketball competition, the Ralik-Ratak Shootout, which started on 13 September and per the article, will end today, 27 September. I have not seen anything in the Journal about since but hope there is an article soon.
- The US Department of Agriculture has awarded over $900,000 in nine separate grants. What is particularly neat is that all but two of these grants was made to outer island governments â€“ to Arno (2 grants totaling about $80K); Ebon (about $27.6K); Likiep (about $36.8K); Lae (about $43.1K0; Mili (about $70.5K;) and Wotje ($93K). The largest single grant was to the National Government for an airport master plan ($499K).
- Big article on new Adoption Agency, of which more is written elsewhere in Yokwe Online. Suffice to say, in my personal view, a good story if the will of the Marshallese people and its citizens are better represented and protected.
- Several jobs posted including Aviation Safety Inspector, Restaurant Supervisor, Branch Manager for Bank of Guam, Accountant (Rongelap Local Government) and Office Manager (Bikini Local Government). Hey, even the Journal is looking for a â€œmotivated, upwardly mobile college graduate.â€ If you have what these employers are looking for, consider applying.
Hope you enjoyed reading all the news above. See you next month.
The 1 November issue is mostly about the election (today!) but let's leave that behind for just this column and see what else the Journal has - the good news all can celebrate.
- Big article - full page - on plans and progress with Arno fish base. Lot of good stuff here -- I like the idea of implementing manit to set aside some areas declared by Iroij as no fish zones, to allow fish and marine life population to recover. I think it is great if tradition can be used to support development and sustainment of the fish population, for benefit of the people. Japan is a major supporter of the process. According to the Journal, Rongelap was the first atoll to complete a fishery management plan, and Likiep is well on the way. Arno will be third, and will be followed by Majuro. Good news for longer term health of the fishery resource that all can reach (not all, of course, can go far out to fish).
- Pray continuously for CMI as they face another visit by the Western Associaton of School and Colleges. The decision on maintaining accreditation is pending, and without accreditation, students will no longer be able to use PELL grants. The good news is, from the article, is sounds like CMI is ready for the visit. One example - the Nitijela committed more than $2M to the college for 2004, the highest ever!
- Not sure is really true but based on number of prosecutions, crime is on decrease in Majuro. In 2001 there were 97 criminal prosecutions; so far in 2003, less than 40. I think this is good but I suspect folks who live on Majuro and Ebeye will have more complete picture.
- Assumption HS is about to receive 60000 books -- 1500 boxes of them, an entire container load! Wow! I hope we can see a posting soon on where all those books ended up. No doubt the books will be distributed to other schools as well as AHS - I doubt they have room for that many more unless they have built a REALLY big addition to their library.
- Nice article on Army recruiter -- and Marshallese - Staff Sergeant Kalani Kaneko visiting Majuro, the first Marshallese recruiting NCO to visit. Per the article, five Marshallese passed and are now thinking of joining the US military. There is even talk of opening a full time US Army Recruiting Office on Majuro! I note the SSG is wearing the Expert Infantryman's Badge and I think he has jump wings as well. Very impressive; to me, very good news to read of a Marshallese NCO who can now return to the RMI and speak to Marshallese about the military. I bet he is the first since MSG Silas Katjang, who visited in 1987 (joined from Guam). I heard Silas retired and lived on Majuro - true?
- Tobolar is increasing the copra price by $03 per pound, to $.12 in the outer islands (that is a 33% increase!) and to $.135 in Majuro. Great news for so many.
- Nice photo of winners of Youth to Youth in Health sponsored volleyball tournament. Nice to see local business Momotaros and MEC contributing prizes for this worthy group.
- KALGOV has dropped appeal on the social security payment suit and has agreed to reimburse the $1.7 million it owes to MISSA, at rate of $15,000 per month. Not stated but I am sure they will also keep current payments current. This is very good news for all workers in the RMI and clearly shows that all employers will be expected to make payments they owe. A big change, and much for the better.
- Nice article on teacher training program at CMI. Per the article, the program is going to dramatically expand in the near future, thanks to a $4.2M dollar grant from the US Dept of Education.
- US Embassy has announced it will host a reception on 20 November for all graduates of 4 year programs at US colleges.
Gotta go - visitors - I will finish last couple later.
Monday morning, New Jersey - I'm back. Just a couple more to finish up.
- Happy Birthday Linda "Bonnie" Aliven (4 years old and nice photo).
- Several job postings -- Scuba instructor (must speak English and Japanese); Computer System Administrator (MISSA); Carpenter and Mechanic positions (Marshall Islands Airport Authority); and Store Assistant (Amy's Store, gotta speak Chinese).
That's it - heck, I should have logged back on last night and finished. Anyhow, all the best till next month.
[Edited on 17/11/2003 by pettittm]
You are too, too kind and generous, Li-Namu. I really appreciate being allowed to share my thoughts here. I learn more from all of you than I can offer in return.
And whatever time I do take, it pales to the efforts I know Aenet has to put in to this site so current and fresh. He stands alone, in my view.
But, I really do appreciate your comments. God Bless and thank you very much.
Are you again trying to "make one not happy" by being contrary to the saying ?no news is good news??(Lame joke)
I'll have to disagree that you don't always post bad news nor do they make one not happy. The issues you bring up are real and worth pondering upon. Though it may not always sound like it, you're most appreciated for sharing.
Good or bad, keep them coming!!!!
My eyes are buggin' out of they socket Mr. Pettit.. when you say good news for a change boy you weren't kiddin' were you. i was readin', really i was readin'.. and boy oh boy... but sadLy i have to git mah tush on to work or else no paycheck. i will be back for more readin' some other time.
And i aLso have to agree with the crossman himself, you are very important to us. You take time out of your busy schedule just to post good news, new view on every topic and issues concernin' the majol islands .. i hope you don't think that we don't apprecite what you are doin' here. for me i reaLLy appreciate everythin' that you've done here. this is the only way i git news of what's goin' on around the islands... so you see you're important to us. But i digress and i have to bail now!
so keep it comin Mr. Pettit. we need it. and i'm sure aLL wiLL agree with me here that we aLL need what you and Mr. Rowa are doin' for us everyday...
weLL now that i've run my motormouth again, i wiLL leave!
Do a search for (OLPC June 13 RMI) and you will find some good news for students at Woja, Ine, and Jabor schools. Watch these kids exel!!!!!!!!!!!
My Only Limitation is My Motivation!!!
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