talent show 01

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
April 1, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—The students and teachers of Our Lady of Mercy High School (OLMCHS) put on a multi-cultural talent show in their gym on Saturday evening. The event was a fund raiser for the school which organizers say was highly successful. The final figures aren’t in yet but Vice Principal Russell Figueras says that so far he feels confident in saying that the amount raised was approximately $15,000 after fundraising expenses, including costumes for the performances.
“We are happy to note also that a big part of the fund raised came from the Mercedarian Missionaries of Berriz (MMB) Sisters in Saipan and MMB friends and family in Saipan. They sent us $9,000 worth of raffle tickets and cash donations,” Figueras wrote.

talent show 03
The students sang, danced, and played instrumental solos. All in all there were 20 separate performances representing the cultures of teachers and students at the school which included dance numbers from Pakistan, Kiribati, Pohnpei, the Philippines, Chuuk, Yap, Colombia and one heavily suggestive number representing “Youth Culture”. Jourdyn Adams played three piano solos during the evening. Physical Education teacher Nimrod Hall played a beautiful 12 string guitar and sang one number, and two students of the school sang a duet mostly in Spanish.
A raffle was also held with 16 consolation prizes and three main cash winners. Pohnpei Catholic School Principal Bernie Helstrom won the third prize of $200, Rosa Palacios won the second prize of $300, and Andrew Falcam won the top cash prize of $500. The gym was packed and was standing room only throughout the evening as students rushed back and forth to change costumes for their next performances. Figueras said that special thanks for their donations and assistance goes to OLMCH PTA Office, MMB Sisters in Saipan, The Bank of the FSM, Pacific Landscaping, Engineering, and Construction Company, Caroline Fisheries Corporation, Ray & Dors Store, CTSI-Pohnpei, Genesis Hospital and Pharmacy, Palm Terrace, Kia’s Restaurant, Seven Stars Inn, and The Village Travel.

truck funding

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
March 28, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—The government of Japan has donated $76,616 for a three ton truck and a scale for use by the Environmental Protection Agency. This morning Pohnpei’s Governor Marcelo Peterson and EPA officials signed the grant paperwork at the home of Japanese Ambassador Ryoichi Horie.
After the paper work was signed, Ambassador Horie presented the check to the EPA.
The truck will be used for recovery of abandoned vehicles around the island which will then be sold at salvage prices.
Ambassador Horie said that during his recent trip to Yap he toured the recycling center there and found it to be a bit further along than Pohnpei’s fledgling program. But he said that he was encouraged that Pohnpei is making strides to make its recycling program even stronger.

PALIKIR, POHNPEI – April 7, 2017. The Nineteenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia adjourned its final session with the passage of measures to secure the Nation’s maritime borders and the biodiversity of its environment, among other issues.
The Congress convened on March 27th for its Eighth Special Session to address urgent matters pending before the Body. The session began with the review of the four measures vetoed by the President. Congress determined that the vetoes were not due to any legal impediments or drafting errors, but rather based on policy decisions and, through override, returned all four measures to the President to be signed into law. Those measures included:
Congressional Act (CA) 19-149, to allow travel expenses for those entitled to stipend for official travels to the outer islands; CA 19-150, to clarify in Title 55 of the FSM Code that the Speaker of the Congress is not required to further certify the Members affidavits of their Representation and Official allowances expenditures; CA 19-158, to restrict any negotiations with the United States contemplated or proposed by the Joint Committee on Compact Review and Planning (JCRP) to Title Two Economic Provisions of the Amended Compact of Free Association; and CA 19-159, an amendment to Title 55 to provide the Public Auditor with the powers to investigate allegations of white-collar crime.
With the overrides tackled, the Congress passed CA 19-163, for a supplemental budget of $1,684,000 to respond to the various issues and obligations of the national government. The Body then addressed measures pending regarding marine resources and maritime zones for which the following Acts of the 19th Congress were passed:
CA 19-173, is an amendment to Title 24 of the FSM Code to modify the terms of members of the Board of National Oceanic Resource Management Authority to allow possible reappointments for an additional two-year term;
CA 19-174, is another amendment to Title 24 designed to enhance the National Government’s ability to enforce national fishery laws and regulations in and beyond the Fisheries Waters where applicable consistent with its obligations in conservation and management under international and regional conventions. The Act also reflected recent obligations assumed under the Third Implementing Arrangement under the Nauru Agreement;
CA 19-176, also amended Title 24 to extend the Nation’s existing 12- mile Exclusive Economic Zone by an additional 12 miles and maintain the current prohibitions of commercial fishing and exploitation of natural resources within the 24 miles; and finally
CA 18-178, is an amendment to Title 18 to align it with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and to finally update the FSM’s Maritime Boundary as concluded in the delimitation treaties with its neighboring nations.
In addition to the Acts on marine security was one to address security of the environment. Congressional Act 19-180, is an amendment to Title 22 of the FSM Code to simplify and clarify the bio security protection procedures in order to prevent the introduction of invasive species with higher potential of destroying the biodiversity and the environment of the FSM.
A significant measure that was passed during the 8th Special Session of the 19th Congress was CA 19-175, to increase the salaries of the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the FSM Supreme Court. The Act called for the Chief Justice to receive a salary of $62,000 per annum with salary of the Associate Justices at $52,000 per annum.
The remaining Acts of the special session are for public projects and social programs in the four states to make either changes to the use of funds previously appropriated or to make changes to the allottees of those fund and they included the following,
Specific to the State of Chuuk were Congressional Act (CA) 19-161 and CA 19-164 for changes to the use and allottees of funds previously allotted. A third measure CA 19-165, clarified the use of funds previously appropriated for Priority Infrastructure in the state.
Specific to the State of Kosrae was CA 19-170, to change the use and allottees of certain funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs in the state.
Specific to the State of Pohnpei were CA 19-166, to change the use and allottee of funds previously appropriated to fund Priority Infrastructure projects in the state; CA 19-168 and CA 19-169, both made change to the use of funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs in the state.
For the State of Yap, CA 19-177 called for change to the use of funds previously appropriated for the purpose of funding essential government functions and projects in the state.
While certain Acts were specific to each state, the remaining Acts from the 8th Special Session were inclusive of either two to all states in one Act, and they included:
CA 19-160, called for changes to the use, the allottee and lapse date of certain funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs in the states of Chuuk and Yap.
CA 19-162, called for changes to the use of funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs in the states of Chuuk, Kosrae and Pohnpei;
CA 19-167, called for changes to the use of funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs in the states of Chuuk and Pohnpei;
CA 19-171, called for changes to the use and allottees of funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs in the states of Yap, Kosrae and Chuuk; and
CA 19-172, called for changes to the use of funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs in the states of Kosrae and Chuuk.
The final Act was CA 19-177, which appropriated $200,000 to fund public projects and social programs in each of the four states.
Along with the 25 Acts, the Congress also adopted 14 resolutions at the end of its 8th Special Session. While most of the resolutions centered on grant assistances to the FSM, two addressed international issues pending before the Body and two expressed sincere gratitude and appreciation to the two outgoing Members of the 19th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia.

On February 02 2017 @ 1:50pm IFCP (Island Foods Community of Pohnpei) held a workshop with the 5th graders and their teachers at Ohmine Elementary School. Unfortunately a power point presentation could not be conducted due to power outage. The “Go Local” and its CHEEF (Culture, Health Environment, Economy Food Security) was conducted by IFCP Outreach Assistant Mrs. Neilynn Walter. Also presented were the MODFAT (Micronesia One Diet Fits All Today) brochures to take home and show their parents on how to eat a healthy and balanced meal to prevent people from NCD’s. A quiz was held after the presentation and they showed IFCP that they learned a lot from our short visit. Some students decided not to participate in the quiz so all that decided to participate in the quiz were rewarded with IFCP logo pencils.

robotics

Habele Foundation
The famously traditional Island of Stone Money is sending top students to a high tech global robotics competition.
Students from 153 nations will gather in Washington DC this summer for the international high school robotics Olympics. Few will have traveled as far –geographically or culturally– as the Robo League team from Yap.
The FIRST Global Challenge is a worldwide robotics challenge. Small student teams design, build, and compete complex robots from simple parts. The work demands hands-on mastery of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills. Featuring teams from across the planet, it also serves as a forum for students to meet and partner with diverse international peers.

Thursday, March 30, 2017
In support of Palau’s aquacultural development in the area of commercial farming, the Cooperative Research & Extension of Palau Community College (PCC-CRE) recently implemented a project that supports the local pro- duction of mangrove crab. To address the diminishing stock of mangrove crabs Scylla serrata locally known as “chemang” in Palau waters, the Palau Community College in collaboration with the Ngeremlegui State Rangers had recently installed a mangrove crab seed bank in one of the mangrove conservation areas located in Ngeremlengui State. This was done following a recommendation of visitors from the Embassy of Thailand in February 2017. During their visit, the team of experts from Thailand gave an informative presentation on how to commercialized mangrove crab by maximizing the output of crab seeds and minimize greater loss.

Parties of the Nauru Agreement (PNA)
7 April 2017
Majuro, Marshall Islands: Nine islands that control the majority of tuna in the western and central Pacific are meeting in Majuro this week and next, focusing on important tuna management issues for the region.
The annual officials meeting of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) — eight island nations plus Tokelau — starts Monday in Majuro. Officials are attending from the eight member nations: Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu, with officials from Tokelau, which implements PNA’s Vessel Day Scheme in its fishing zone.

csp

On September 2016, CSP received funding through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Grant to purchase a new truck. Due to the vast locations of conservation areas and working with communities in all municipalities around Pohnpei, it is a need for CSP to upgrade its means of transportation. Over the past three years, CSP has been conducting community-based conservation projects with dysfunctional vehicles. Despite the risks, the job gets done anyways. However, at some point, remote operations become questionable due to transportation. We are very grateful for the USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program. With the available funding, CSP was able to matched the grant in order to purchase a decent truck to help carry out conservation projects in the communities all throughout Pohnpei. The truck also serves the schools in transporting our mobile environmental awareness program – The Green Road Show. CSP Board of Directors along with management and staff would like to pay our big KALAHNGAN to the United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA), most especially the Rural Development (Area III) FSM Office for facilitating the process.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
Suva, Fiji: The Pacific Islands Forum delegation to China, led by Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor, has returned after successful meetings, 20-25 March, pursuing regional cooperation with the Chinese Government and the key South China province of Guangdong, as well as promoting oceans sustainable development at the prestigious Boao Forum for Asia.
The Secretary General met with the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, and discussed the strong and longstanding relations between Pacific Island Countries and China. The Foreign Minister reiterated China’s commitment to working with the Pacific Islands Forum on important issues such as climate change and support for economic development. Mr Wang said he would welcome Pacific Islands Countries taking up the opportunities offered by China’s Belt and Road Initiative and people to people cooperation.
“We have a long history of people to people links and China is an important partner for the Pacific Islands”, said Dame Meg Taylor.

pna

FSM NORMA
March 29, 2017
Palikir, Pohnpei—On 29 March 2017, Mr. Ludwig Kumoru, the new Chief Executive Officer of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement Office (PNAO), made his first official visit to the Federated States of Micronesia in his capacity to inform the FSM leaders on his plan and vision on how to undertake the mandates of the PNAO during his term of office. During his visit, he met with FSM officials and paid his courtesy call on Honorable Yosuo George, the Vice President of the FSM.
Just one year in the office and one week before the 36th Annual Meeting of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement in Majuro starting April 10-14, 2017, CEO Kumoru felt it is an opportune time to call on the FSM leadership to discuss important fisheries matters particularly those important to FSM. Mr. Kumoru eloquently elaborated to the Vice President that his vision for the PNA is to have a Party led organization in which the needs of the members come before that of the PNAO. “PNAO should orient itself as a commercial body whereby it focuses more on the economic aspirations of its members and facilitate realization of those priorities”, said CEO Kumoru.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
April 5, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—Pohnpei’s Chief Justice Benjamin Rodriguez is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday at the Pohnpei Supreme Court on criminal charges filed by the Pohnpei Attorney General’s office on March 24, 2017. Supreme Court Justice Anson will be the presiding justice.
In addition to his letter to the Pohnpei State Legislature recommending impeachment action against the Chief Justice, the Attorney General also filed a civil action seeking to recoup money that it charges the Justice illegally used.
The March 24 action additionally alleges that Rodriguez committed thirteen criminal offenses including three counts of “cheating”, three counts of “embezzlement”, one count of “Grand Larceny”, one count of “Theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received”, three counts of “misconduct in public office, and one count of “petit larceny”.
Rodriguez is innocent unless proven otherwise in court.

Palau International Coral Reef Center - April 2017
Over a half century ago, Palau established its first Marine Protected Area (MPA), the Ngerukewid Island Preserve. Since then, Palau has created the Protected Areas Network (PAN), the first ever Shark Sanctuary, and the Palau National Marine Sanctuary.
Far before the adaptation of MPAs, however, Palauans demonstrated strong marine stewardship. Traditionally, when reefs faced threats, chiefs would impose a bul, or harvest moratorium to allow resources the chance to recover. In time, fisheries management has evolved through the combination of traditional knowledge and the establishment of MPAs.
In a paper published in the scientific journal, PLOS ONE, scientists from the Palau International Coral Reef Center along with collaborators from the National Geographic Society’s Pristine Seas Program, the Fisheries Ecology Research Laboratory at the University of Hawaii, the Centre d'Estudis Avancats de Blanes, Spain, and the Marine Science Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara, investigated the effectiveness of MPAs in Palau. Authors of the paper, "Size, age, and habitat determine effect of Palau's Marine Protected Areas", include Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, Marine Gouezo and Dawnette Olsudong from PICRC along with collaborators, Dr. Alan Friedlander, Dr. Enric Ballesteros, Dr. Jennifer E. Caselle and Dr. Enric Sala.

cultural day

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
March 31, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—For several years, Pohnpei Cultural Day was celebrated at the Spanish Wall park in Kolonia but that has changed. A decision was made to rotate the Cultural Day celebrations among the kingdoms of Pohnpei, starting with the kingdom that was established the earliest—Madolenihmw. The celebration was held in Temwen, Madolenihmw in the nahs of the palace of Isapahu Nahnmwahrki of Madolenihmw Kerpet Ehpel.
“Ever since the celebrations started at the Spanish Wall, we’ve only been seeing demonstrations of Nett culture and nothing from the rest,” said one participant in Madolenihmw.
The Cultural Day celebration wasn’t necessarily a “demonstration” of tradition and culture. It was more of an invitation to do what they would have done even if there were no outside observers. Very understanding people gently guided outsiders to help them to understand and to make corrections on what was appropriate and what was not inside the very traditional nahs and in the presence of Isapahu Nahnmwarki of Madolenihmw.
The ceremony included the pounding and serving of sakau in a traditional order.
According to the “Australia in Micronesia” Facebook page, the cultural day centered on the construction of two new canoes funded by Australia’s Direct Aid Program for Pohnpei Senior Citizens Association. “Kester James, the Program Coordinator from the Association, spoke of how the Sail Pohnpei project demonstrated culture in practice. He spoke of the project being an educational process for all who were involved, and how the hope of Pohnpei Senior Citizens Association is to build on the positive results by educating youth throughout the state on the importance of traditional culture and practices,” the page says.
Whenever a new canoe is constructed in Pohnpei, the first catch for those canoes goes to the Nahnmwahrki to distribute as he sees fit. That cultural tradition was carried out during Cultural Day as the first catch of dozens of pounds of fish were presented to the Nahnwahrki, which were then distributed to representative participants until all of the fish were gone.
The canoes landed long before the fish they had caught were ready to be received and dozens of people stood at the Temwen landing for quite a while before they were accepted to present their “first fruits” offering of fish to the Nahnmwahrki.
The Nahnmwakrki’s spokesperson, on behalf of the king said that the king was displeased when he looked around the room and found that there were no government officials present, even though it was a government action that created the Cultural Day.
Though Pohnpei senators, including Naiten Phillip and Shelton Neth were present, it appeared that no elected Executive Branch officials were present at the Cultural Day event.
Nelson Pelep and Feliciano Perman were both present. They were Pohnpei Legislature representativeswhen the law creating Pohnpei Cultural Day was passed.
Representatives of the diplomatic corps from Australia, the United States, and Japan were present.

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March 25, 2017
Pohnpei, FM—Caroline Fisheries Corporation (CFC) sponsored their third annual Pohnpei Fishing Club tournament this year with prizes going to big fish catchers.
Weather was not a problem for the tournament as it had been for the “Kolonia Klassic tournament” that suffered several weather related delays and ended up happening just two weeks before the CFC tournament.
fisheriesThe format for the CFC tournament was for big fish, with cash prizes for the biggest fish. The winners are listed below.
1st Biggest Fish: Marlin 226.6lb , Patrick Blank on Happy Hookers - $400.00; 2nd Biggest Fish: Yellowfin 31.5lb, Jeannie Nanpei on Salt Addiction - $300.00; 3rd Biggest Fish: Yellowfin 30.9lb, Welber David on Poawoawoa - $150.00; 4th Biggest Fish: Barracuda 27.6lb, Welber David on Poawoawoa - $100.00; and, 5th Biggest Fish: Yellowfin 23.8lb, Elarson David on Poawoawoa - $ 50.00
During the tournament, rather than fishing, one of the boats rescued a sailboat that had broken down outside the reef demonstrating that safety is definitely an important goal of the club.
There was a good turnout for the weigh-in. Many thanks to Mangrove Bay for holding the weigh-in. Also many thanks to everyone who helped out including Bill, Tina, James Cook, and Kumer’s guys.
There was a barbecue to support the Pohnpei Public Library with tasty sloppy joe sandwiches.
Thanks again to CFC for a fun tournament. See you next time.

china 01

FSM Information Services
April 4, 2017 (FSM Embassy, Beijing) President Peter M. Christian of the Federated States of Micronesia and President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China in a first meeting of the two leaders, have agreed and reached consensus for greater cooperation. To demonstrate each other’s value, both sides have agreed to further strengthen its partnership efforts. In their meeting, President Christian highlighted that both FSM and China have enjoyed a non-interrupted diplomatic relationship for 28 years, surpassing the test of time, based on the strong belief in, and respect for, each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. President Christian acknowledged that like past FSM Presidents who have assured China of FSM’s recognition and respect for the One China Policy, the Christian administration will also respect and adhere to the policy.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
March 23, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—As part of the commitment the government of Japan made at the 7th Pacific Area Leaders Meeting (PALM 7) in Fukushima in May 2015, Japan has provided a bucket truck to the Pohnpei Port Authority. The money from the truck came from the USD $3.2 million dollars of Non-Project Grant Aid it committed to the people of the FSM.
Board Chair, Rosa Willy Hawley accepted the keys to the truck on behalf of the Pohnpei Port Authority. The bucket truck can lift personnel as high as 100 feet in the air.
“I am honored to say that Japanese government has been playing an important role in supporting FSM’s Social and Economic development including tackle of climate change and disaster management as a token of mutual friendship and understanding between the two countries,” said Charges d’Affaires Koji Sugiyama of the Japanese Embassy during the ceremony at PPA.
“We Japanese people are pleased to see how our donated projects and facilities are utilized and are contributing to the benefit of the people of FSM,” he said. “For example, various facilities and equipment donated to Pohnpei Airport such as the 200 meter runway expansion, terminal expansion, X-ray baggage inspection machine, and baggage conveyor. These are being well utilized for the benefit of the FSM. It helps not only in the development of the economy but also to secure the passengers’ safety. Personally, whenever I am on a plane landing in Pohnpei, I always think that our cooperative project for the extended runway is a really good one. I hope that other passengers also share the same feelings.”
After the short ceremony which was held in the PPA conference room, those who attended went to the parking lot for a demonstration of the bucket truck. The company that provided the truck also sent a trainer for the truck’s operation. Rosa Hawley had a lesson on the operation of the truck and took Charges d’Affaires Sugiyama for a ride high into the sky in the bucket.
Because of an advantageous and proprietary acquisition deal from the company who made the truck, the Japanese Embassy could not share the precise cost of the new vehicle.

founding day 01

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
March 30, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—Students, faculty, and interested onlookers celebrated the 24th anniversary of the founding of the College of Micronesia FSM. The celebration on March 30 was actually the culmination of a week of activities and sporting competitions as they celebrated the 24th Founding Day.
The theme of this year’s celebration was “Unity through sports and culture”. The day’s activities began with a colorful parade with floats decorated by the various student organizations at the National and Pohnpei campuses. The parade route began at the Spanish Wall ballpark at just after 9:00 in the morning, continued through town and on to the Pohnpei Island Central School (PICS) track where the rest of the day’s festivities continued.
Before lunch was served representatives of the student organizations competed in men’s and women’s track events in the blazing heat. Students and teachers from the school’s nursing program served as medical attendants and gave each competitor a bag of crushed ice to cool down with at the finish line of each event. They were also on hand to serve in the case of medical emergencies.
During lunch students danced “freestyle” on the stage in the high jump and javelin area of the track and field, displaying the energy of youth.
After the lunch break, members of most of the student associations either presented cultural dances or explained a bit about their own culture.
Awards for all of the sporting events and the judging of the floats were presented after the cultural presentations.

christian

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
April 5, 2017
Palikir, Pohnpei—Though the FSM has had diplomatic relations with China for 28 years and seven previous FSM Presidents have had State visits to the People’s Republic of China, when President Peter Christian and his entourage visited in March, the response of many commentators was overwhelmingly skeptical.
On March 27, the FSM Embassy in Beijing issued a press release detailing all that was discussed and agreed upon in China. That press release with more of the details appears in this issue of The Kaselehlie Press on page three.
“During some of our visits (to FSM citizens in the US), they would always ask, ‘Is it true that we’re going with China?” But we’re going with a lot of countries right now,” President Christian said during a relaxed interview in his office today, “and the ADB, and the World Bank. These are donor partners.”
China’s President Xi Jinping rolled out the red carpet for President Christian including a military review outside the Great Hall of the People. President Christian is rarely intimidated by anything but he said the military review was intimidating to him. He said he’d only done that once before in The Solomon Islands with Prime Minister Sogavare who President Christian said had to keep correcting him.
“Yeah, China was impressive. If that’s the way they welcome other countries. We were flattered. I was flattered that for a small country they would exhibit such formality,” he said.