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Speaker Simina welcomes Ambassador Lyons of New Zealand

PALIKIR, POHNPEI – September 13, 2017. On Wednesday afternoon, Speaker Wesley W. Simina also welcomed to the Congress the newly accredited Ambassador of New Zealand to the Federated States of Micronesia - Ambassador Karena Lyons.
The Ambassador had earlier that morning presented her credentials to President Peter M. Christian as her country’s representative to the FSM and extended courtesy meets to the state and national leaders.
Speaker Simina welcomed Ambassador Lyons to the Congress and expressed his congratulations on her accreditation to the FSM for it is an indication of both countries hopes to “strengthen the relationship through increased engagement and cooperation at all levels.”
The Speaker and the Ambassador exchanged views on various regional issues and concluded with Speaker Simina encouraging her to visit the rest of the states when her time permits. The Ambassador is based out of Hawaii and was accompanied by Senior Policy Advisor Jake Hamstra. She is also cross-accredited to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and to the Republic of Palau
New Zealand established diplomatic relations with the FSM on June 30, 1988 and was the fifth country to do so after the FSM established independence and was recognized by the United Nations on November 3, 1986.

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Pohnpei EPA Environmental Surveillance Laboratory Certified

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Pohnpei, 08 September 2017
The U.S. Freely Associated States Laboratory Certification Program has re-certified the Pohnpei EPA Environmental Surveillance Laboratory to analyze drinking water under the Colilert® Method and marine and other surface water samples under the Enterolert™ Method.
Laboratory Supervisor Fermin Scaliem and Lab Analyst Quinton Lawrence were also re-certified as Laboratory Analysts for the Colilert® and Enterolert™ Methods. New analyst Brad Soram received provisional certification for the Colilert® Method, and will receive full certification after an additional 90 days of experience analyzing samples.
The certification audit was done by USEPA Certification Officer Edna Buchan. The certifications are effective until 2019.
Labs receive certification when they meet specific criteria, pass an on-site evaluation at least every two years, and have a certified technician on staff. Technicians are certified when they successfully pass a written exam and a practical demonstration of proficiency test. Certification provides assurances that the lab produces scientifically valid and legally defensible data, and that the staff are qualified to analyze water samples for bacterial contamination.
Certificates were presented to the Pohnpei EPA Environmental Surveillance Laboratory and to individual technicians at an awards ceremony held at the Pohnpei EPA Office on Friday 08 September 2017.
During the ceremony, Ms. Buchan recognized the accomplishments of the lab in maintaining full certification for both drinking water and marine water. “Executive Director Henry Susaia and his staff are very deserving of this re-certification, and I am extremely pleased to find that Pohnpei EPA has continued to uphold the highest level of laboratory practice standards since their initial certification in 2008. The laboratory is truly an excellent facility that provides the water quality data necessary to move forward with protection of public health and sustainable economic development in Pohnpei State.”

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10th Annual Blue Nile Fishing Derby

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The 10th Annual Blue Nile Fishing Derby was held on September 9, 2017. It was a beautiful, warm sunny day, which seemed to drive a lot of the fish away. A few anglers figured it out though and there were some big fish that were land ed.
We want to thank Blue Nile; Mangrove Bay; Ambros, Inc., Guam; WSTCO, ST Guam; Coral Reef Guam; Titan Imports; Go Fujita/Nihon Tekkan; Pohnpei Rain Water, and D & Q Saipan for their sponsorship and support. There would have been no tournament without them.
The tournament was a big fish tournament with lots of prizes.
The catch of the day was Ryan Hawley’s 300.1 pound marlin. It was the clear winner.
Prizes are listed below:
Biggest Fish:
First biggest fish - Ryan Hawley for his 300.1lb marlin – Round trip ticket to Guam, $200.00 cash and a 4.5 liter bottle of Chivas Regal
Second biggest fish – Emerald Eperiam for her 59.3lb yellowfin tuna - $400.00 cash, 2.0 liter bottle of Chivas Regal, and a $25.00 gift certificate for Mangrove Bay Hotel
Third biggest fish – MARY TRETNOFF for her 50.7lb yellowfin tuna - $300.00 cash, 2.0 liter bottle of Chivas Regal, $25.00 gift certificate for M angrove Bay Hotel
Fourth biggest fish – Escura Guian for his 47.6lb Giant Trevally - $200.00 cash, $25.00 gift certificate to Mangrove Bay Hotel
Species prizes:
Biggest Barracuda – Konrad Englberger - 30.4lb - $100.00 cash
Biggest Wahoo – Thomas Inatio - 20.9lb - $100.00 cash
Biggest Yellowfin – Johnny Duffy - 23.6lb - $100.00 cash
Biggest Skipjack – Nick Gilmete - 16.3lb - $100.00 cash
Lady Angler
First – Naihila Peterson - 19.4lb Wahoo - $150.00 cash, $150.00 gift certificate
Second – Naihila Peterson - 14.1lb Skip Jack - $100.00 cash, $50.00 gift certificate
Junior Angler
First – Sean Michael Sohl - 14.1lb Skip Jack - $100.00 cash, $5 0.00 gift certificate
Second - Isaiah Hawley - 13.4lb SKIP JACK - $50.00 cash, $50.00 gift certificate
All boats that registered and weighed in received a free case of Budweiser. It was a hot day so that made many anglers very happy.
There was a big crowd at the weigh in. The Fishing Club sold hot dogs and sausages to support the Pohnpei Public Library.
Many thanks to all the people who helped out, Tina Albert, Bill Pendergraft, Uta Krause, Jim Tobin, all of Kumer’s guys and everyone else. It was great to see some of our sponsors make it to the tournament.
All told it was a great day. Everyone who went out looked like they had a good time.
Without the help of our sponsors we could not have had this fabulous tournament.
Next tournament is True Value in October. See you then.

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Japanese insurance corporation in the FSM donates sports equipment

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By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 9, 2017
Pohnpei—MAI (Mutual Service Aid Guarantee Insurance Corporation) presented gift certificates for sports equipment to volleyball teams in Pohnpei after the championship Liberation Day Games at the PICS gymnasium.
Mr. Shigeo Kakinoki presented the gift certificates to the winning men’s and women’s teams on behalf of the company’s President, Mr. Yasuyuki Fujishima who could not attend this year due to other commitments. It is the second donation by the company to support Pohnpei’s sports development with equipment and gift certificates for the Pohnpei Sports Commission. This year they donated more than $6,000 to support the volleyball games.
MAI was established in the FSM on July 9, 2014. Mr. Fujishima was inaugurated as Chairman of the FSM Captive Insurance Council in September 2015, and continues to work to support the Captive Insurance seminar in Tokyo and to contribute to the development of exchange of FSM and Japan.
MAI says that their longevity in the FSM is owed to the good investment environment of the Federated States of Micronesia.
“As the Rio de Janeiro Olympics have ended, Tokyo Olympics will be held in 2020,” wrote an MAI representative. “The FSM sent there first delegation to the Sydney Olympics in 2000. MAI hopes that many delegates from FSM will be sent to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 as well. MAI also hopes that its support and sponsorship may benefit in developing great athletes in the FSM.”
The spokesperson said that MAI wants to contribute to making the Rainbownesia Project, the official promotional project for Japanese tourism that was established in 2009, even better than it is now.
“As long as MAI stays in FSM, it hopes to continue sponsoring activities of Pohnpei State for its development in sports,” the spokesperson wrote.

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Chinese Embassy to the FSM donates uniforms to Pohnpei State and Kolonia Town

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By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 15, 2017
Pohnpei—Ambassador LI Jie of The People’s Republic of China presented donations of brand new uniforms to the Pohnpei State and Kolonia Town Police departments this morning during a ceremony at the Governor’s conference room.
Director of the Department of Public Safety Benito Cantero said that the process of obtaining the uniforms took quite a bit more time than anyone had expected but that he was extremely grateful that all officers would now have uniforms. That had apparently not been the case before.
Ambassador Li explained that the initial idea had been to simply order three sizes, small, medium, and large but they thought better of that idea and instead sent the measurements of all of the officers in both of the police forces to the tailoring company in north China. The company made all of the uniforms based on those measurements but instead of inches, they used centimeters and the uniforms all had to be re-made and then shipped to Beijing for ultimate transportation to Pohnpei.
He said that he was pleased to be able to help the police departments because during his time in Pohnpei he and his staff had always felt safe due to the work that the officers do.
Governor Marcelo Peterson also heartily thanked Ambassador LI and the government of China.
While the Pohnpei State police uniforms are quite similar to what they have been using, the Kolonia Town officers have made a change to a much cooler color. Their previous uniforms were dark black. The new uniforms have green cargo pants and a khaki colored shirt.

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Fiber optic cable ship pays a port call in Pohnpei after laying cable in FSM

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By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 20, 2017
Pohnpei—The KDDI Pacific Link which laid the fiber optic line to Yap three weeks ago and to Chuuk last week paid a port call at the Pohnpei port. Today they offered a tour of the sophisticated vessel in small guided groups.
Ambassador Ryoichi Horie and his wife Yuko were part of the first group.
The tour guide explained a map that showed thousands of fiber optic lines around the world. He said that the two largest users of that capacity are Google and Facebook companies.
He also explained some of the technical features of the massive vessel. He said that in addition to forward and reverse functions, the ship also has thrusters on each side of the vessel that allow it to maintain its position on the ocean to within one meter, left or right, forward or backward even in heavy seas. The ability is vital when laying carefully mapped out and planned runs of cable on very deep ocean floors.
He explained that the cable is not simply dropped randomly on the floor of the ocean but is carefully mapped so that it will lay out on the floor of the ocean properly. The ship uses sophisticated algorithms for its navigation during cable runs. Every motion is calculated and planned. Because of the great depth of the ocean, oftentimes the cable doesn’t hit the ocean floor until the vessel is as much as 15 kilometers away.
From the bridge the group descended to the deck of the vessel where the tour guide showed us the deep wells where the cable is stored and staged for implementation. Since they had already made the runs to Chuuk and to Yap, there wasn’t much cable left in the deep wells. From the wells, the cable moves through the use of a software controlled engine that uses multiple tires to control the speed that the cable is paid out.
He showed us a robotic machine that can be dropped on to the ocean floor and that is controlled by the use of joy sticks. He said that machine wasn’t needed on this trip but is often used when they need to do work on deep cables.
He explained that the principal enemy of fiber optic cables is not nature but man. Ships sometimes illegally drop anchor and sometimes those anchors damage cable that has been laid. Busy harbors are particularly prone to that type of damage. In places like that, the ship has a sled that can be dropped into the water that digs a trench for the cable to lay in.
The cable is laid to Chuuk and to Yap. It will yet be some time before the details for service through those lines can be organized.

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Nepalese refugees accepted for resettlement in Sweden

nepalese

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 10, 2017
FSM—Indra Ghimire, Hari Timsina, Khadga Bahardur Thapa, and Bishnu Tamang’s nearly three year wait is over. Several weeks ago the government of Sweden agreed to allow the refugees to settle in their country. Accompanied by Assistant Attorney General Craig Reffner as far as Guam, the men left the FSM for Sweden from Pohnpei International Airport this evening.
“IOM has helped coordinate the travel and resettlement of the four and wishes them the best of luck in their new home,” an International Organization for Migration Facebook posting said on the following day.
The four men and 13 other Nepalese citizens arrived in the FSM on ramshackle boats with the apparent intention of seeking refugee status in October of 2014. The UNHCR evaluated the individual cases and found that the four men were indeed, genuine refugees.
After lengthy negotiations with the Nepalese government, 13 of the Nepalese citizens were repatriated to Nepal over a year ago with the assistance of the International Organization for Migration. The four who were identified as bona fide refugees voluntarily remained in the FSM.
They were under tight supervision while in the FSM as the UNHCR negotiated with potential host governments to find a new home for them. Though the four were still under tight supervision, the FSM Supreme Court ruled several weeks ago that the men should be allowed to freely move about in Pohnpei during the day light hours.
The UNHCR deals with hundreds of thousands of refugees each year but there are only a few nations in the world who have established quotas for accepting refugees. The United States has traditionally led the world in accepting refugees but under the new administration that number is decreasing, leaving even fewer spots for possible refugee resettlement.
The FSM Department of Justice has previously said that it does not have any mechanisms in place to deal with potential refugees. After having dealt with the complexities of the resettlement of the Nepalese refugees, it is unclear whether in the future they will agree to host identified refugees pending resettlement should more arrive. A previous Assistant Attorney General said that the FSM definitely should not be considered as a destination for potential refugees.

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