A campaign to save Pohnpei's Watersheds and Reef Fisheries
On January 25, 2015, the Pohnpei Fisheries Management Working Group kicked off a campaign to save Pohnpei State's watersheds and fisheries during a special session of the Mwoahl en Wahu Ileile en Wein Pohnpei (The Paramount Chiefs Council of Pohnpei Island). The Group, composed of government and non-government organizations, along with Pohnpei fishers and farmers, appeared before the Council with the Nature Conservancy's Pacific Director, Bill Raynor. Mr Raynor thanked the island's Paramount Chiefs for 35 years of hospitality and respect during which time they made him the first American village "talking" chief (Pelien Dahl). He urged the Traditional Leaders to take control of the Pohnpei Watershed Forest Reserve and the Marine Protected Areas work around the state in order to realize the vision of those who began these partnerships 29 years ago.
By Bill Jaynes The Kaselehlie Press February 25, 2015 Weno, Chuuk—
Citing shortcomings by the Chuuk State Election Commission on the ability to conduct the plebiscite as scheduled, Chuuk's Governor Johnson Elimo issued Chuuk State Executive Order 02-2015 "severing the Chuuk State Plebiscite from the Chuuk State March 3, 2015 Mid Term election. The order was issued on February 23. In a press release issued today, President Mori announced that he has "temporarily suspended further efforts and activities of the FSM Task Force on National Unity." The President established the task force by executive order on January 27, 2015. The purpose of the task force was to assist and educate Chuukese voters on the question of whether Chuuk State should or should not secede from the Federation.
By Bill Jaynes The Kaselehlie Press February 18, 2015 Pohnpei, FSM—
Eighth grader Logan Ramirez won this year's Scripps spelling bee and will represent Pohnpei at the next level spelling bee in Guam. Sixth grader Aliyah Shae Donre was the runner up. Sixth through eighth graders were eligible to participate. This was the first year for a sixth grader to enter the competition and she very nearly won. Both Ramirez and Donre are from Awak Elementary School. Organizers say that this is the third time in a row that a student from Awak Elementary School has won the spelling bee. The spelling bee was a collaborative effort amongst the Pohnpei Rotary Club, the Pohnpei State Department of Education, and the Educational Talent Search Program. Sixth through eighth graders from any elementary school in Pohnpei could participate.
In late November, word lists were distributed to all schools and in February there was a written test. Based on that test, a number of students were selected to participate in individual school oral spelling bees. Each school sent the champion of those individual bees to the spelling bee that took place this morning at Pacific Missionary Fellowship church. 25 candidates were selected, two of whom did not show up. The bee went 8 rounds, leaving Ramirez and Donre as the last spellers standing. Cheryl Burkindine of the United States Embassy was the official pronouncer. United Airlines is once again sponsoring the champion speller with a round trip ticket to Guam.
American Association of Community Colleges Washington, DC – 08 MAR 2015
Four community college presidents along with their executive leadership team members participated in the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) High Performance Team training, January 18-21, 2015 in Washington, DC. The AACC High Performance Team (HPT) training, funded by the Lumina Foundation, has been established to assist community college leadership teams with moving into high performance mode or can be used as a way to sustain high performance.
Pohnpei, FSM—On the day that we published the last issue of The Kaselehlie Press we received an invitation from the Governor's office to attend a "key handing over" ceremony for Pohnpei's new school buses. The ceremony, held on February 18, 2015 at the Governor's conference room, was short and to the point and was broadcast live on V6AH State radio station. Before leaving the room he told the bus drivers that betel nut would not be allowed aboard the buses and that they must be maintained. Lt. Governor Marcelo Peterson said that our story that said that the bus program was being put on hold due to some funding difficulties was incorrect. When asked if the funding issues had all been resolved he said only that there were a few minor things to take care of but that they were all being resolved and that there was no problem. The school buses are now on the streets carrying Pohnpei students.
Approximately 400 people attended screenings of two Australian made movies at the Pohnpei Cinema on February 13 and 14. Ambassador Dr. Terry Bevens told movie goers that the idea of presenting the movies was to give Pohnpeians a bit of a feel for what life is like in the Australian outback of Western Australia, a place he admitted he had never been before and where the movie "Red Dog" was set. That movie, based on a true story, won several prestigious awards. The other movie "Ten Canoes" is the first ever movie filmed entirely in Australian Aboriginal languages. It is set in Australia's Northern Territories and gives a sense of Australian history and aboriginal culture. It won many more prestigious awards than did "Red Dog" but was not attended by nearly as many people in Pohnpei.