By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 19, 2015
Pohnpei, FSM—A week ago voters in Pohnpei lined up to vote for their candidates for State Government positions as well as seats in the governments of the municipalities. Armchair tabulators sat by their radios late into the night furiously tabulating the results from what they heard on the State Radio Station- V6AH. The results seemingly changed moment by moment and even today, over a week after the election they have not yet been certified.
More than a week later, the one thing that was absolutely certain was that there will be a runoff election on December 8 for the positions of Governor and Lt. Governor.
The Pohnpei Election Commission provided election results to the radio station as they could. The November 17 announcement named a new winner for a legislative seat in Sekere based on the arrival of ballots that were postmarked by the deadline for mail in ballots but were late in arriving to Pohnpei.
By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 18, 2015
Pohnpei, FSM--Marmelyn Panuelo of Pohnpei is a fine example of an FSM self starter who never expected that she would end up serving as an inspiration to women all over the world. She is the de facto founder of what has become known as MAD Moms, or Mile A Day Moms.
The movement is growing quickly, "too quickly," Panuelo says. I chatted with her on the Internet for two days to try to get a feel for what she is doing. It seemed that every few hours she had new information to provide about new MAD Moms groups that were being added. The most recent was MAD-Moms Yap.
Some explanation is in order.
The story begins long ago. Panuelo said that she had five classmates at the University of Hawaii-Manoa who became like sisters to her. They promised to constantly stay in touch but as their lives developed and they became working mothers, they found it increasingly difficult to do so. One of those friends, Elisa Hammer invited the rest of the group to join her on her "Runner's World Runstreaks" as a way of staying in touch without having to spend time emailing or texting each other.
By declaration of Pohnpei Governor Marcelo Peterson, the week of November 16 was Gear Up week. Each day students participating in the program participated in special events after school each day. On the first day students from High Schools throughout Pohnpei participated in cleanup efforts. The students from PICs cleaned up trash on the sides of the roads in Kolonia. The week will end after press time with a large celebration at Spanish Wall park.
Gear Up is a federally funded program by the US Dept. of Education. It aims to do three things: improve the academic competency of the students, retain them through high school, and prepare them for success in post-secondary education. Community service is part of the activities of the program.
FSM Department of Justice -30 NOV 2015
Since its accession to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in 2012, the Federated States of Micronesia has been committed to the principles of the Convention, FSM Head of Delegation, Mr. Leonito Bacalando Jr told delegates at the Conference of State Parties (CoSP) in St Petersburg, Russian Federation this week. There are over 1500 participants in attendance from 164 countries.
"This commitment reverberates throughout the institutions and agencies of the Micronesian Government," Mr Bacalando stated during his official plenary country speech.
FSM has also supported other Pacific delegates to the UN's peak conference on anti-corruption in wanting implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to form a key pathway to tackling corruption and bribery in Small Island Developing States.
"Micronesia benefits from the sharing of best practices and experiences among the States Parties to the Convention, such as through the UNODC-UNDP Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project," Mr Bacalando said. "The Project facilitated trainings for investigators and prosecutors on corruption cases. It also funded a legal specialist in the Department of Justice to support the development of our anti-money laundering regime."
"Our people have high expectations and reliance upon the will of the Government to help improve their lives. Where the economic opportunities are limited, and yet sapped by the effects of corruption, our people's chances to develop become less likely. The Government of Micronesia continues to do its best to meet the expectations of its people through international cooperation in the context of the UNCAC."
By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 13, 2015
Palikir, Pohnpei—The crowd in Palikir was tiny as they gathered to commemorate World Diabetes Day on the grounds of the National Government at 10:00 this morning. Though the audience was small, the message was huge. "Make Healthy eating a right, not a privilege", was the theme of the commemoration.
X-ner Luther coordinates the FSM's response to Non-Communicable Diseases. NCDs are completely preventable diseases and they are killing an alarming number of people in the FSM at a fast pace. Diabetes is one of those NCDs. Luther said that one in every six people will suffer from diabetes. He said that if the number of people who suffer from diabetes was the population of a single country, that country would have the third largest population in the world behind only China and India.
Charleston, South Carolina-- An exotic paddling canoe from the remote Pacific Islands of Yap has arrived at Point of Pines, a 17th century plantation on Edisto Island, South Carolina. The native mahogany outrigger will be the first of its kind to enter South Carolina's coastal waters in over 400 years of recorded nautical history.
A symbol of the longstanding friendship between the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the canoe represents months of painstaking craftsmanship, and centuries of traditional technique. This custom craft was hand built by the master carvers and apprentices with "Waa'gey," a cultural preservation and mentorship program operating throughout Yap. The westernmost state in Micronesia, the tiny islands and atolls of Yap are scattered across 500 miles of ocean, just south of the US Territory of Guam. An American protectorate following its liberation in World War Two, Micronesia is now a sovereign nation in a special "Compact" with the US.
The gift of this one-of-a-kind craft was prompted by generous support from private citizens across the United States –and in particular South Carolina– following Super Typhoon Maysak, a record-setting storm that ravaged Yap and Chuuk States in the spring of 2015. Delivery of the donated canoe is being organized by Habele, a South Carolina headquartered charity serving students throughout Yap and across Micronesia. Habele solicited, coordinated and delivered relief supplies to pupils and educators in the wake of the storm.