MRRI Press Release
January 30, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—The Micronesia Resource & Research Institute (MRRI), a non-governmental organization, celebrated its official opening on January 30, 2017 at its office at Capitol Suites & Offices, #100 in Palikir, Federated States of Micronesia.
The MRRI will provide services that include pre-departure orientation training, awareness regarding the threat of human trafficking, and referral to service providers in Guam and Hawai'i on legal, medical, and other social welfare matters, climate change and research.
MRRI Vice President and Interim Executive Director Emeliana J. Musrasrik thanked the FSM National Government, the International organization for Migration, the governments of the United States, Japan and Australia for their continuing support throughout the world on migration and humanitarian assistance. Musrasrik explained the importance of building capacity and maintaining relationship with the governments and local partners. MRRI intends to work in partnership with established NGOs in Chuuk, Yap and Kosrae to provide similar services to the citizens of the FSM. “We don’t take it for granted that everybody understands the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of living in a different country”, explained Musrasrik.
During his remarks, FSM Secretary for Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert stated that the opening of the MRRI writes a new chapter, sets a milestone in the relationship between FSM and MRRI, and thanked Ms. Musrasrik and the Board of Directors of MRRI for their vital role in opening the MRRI.
At a time when the issues of migrants are on the global agenda, the partnership between the national government and MRRI will make certain that FSM continues to ensure that its obligations under international and national laws are met. MRRI is a critical component of the services that FSM provides both for its citizens and citizens of other countries. Critical to this service is that this partnership will protect, without distinction, every person without exception within the jurisdiction of FSM.
Participants at the MRRI opening included Nankeniei Madolenihmw, Mrs. Pelihter Adolf; FSM Secretary for Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert, FSM Secretary for Resources and Development, Mr. Marion Henry; His Excellency George Fraser Australian Ambassador to the FSM; Board members Elizabeth Hadley and Dr. Manuel Rauchholz, Island Food Community; representatives of the FSM Department of Justice, FSM National Police, FSM Health, MMIC, Bank of Guam, Micronesian Productions, members of private businesses, students, MRRI Volunteers, and many others.
The Board of Directors of MRRI are President Glen Hayashida (CEO of National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii), Vice President Emeliana J. Musrasrik, Secretary/Treasurer Ricky Carl, Member Nanei of Nett, Elizabeth Hadley, Dr. Manuel Rauchholz, and Hawaii Senate Majority J. Kalani English.
Visit MRRI at the Captiol Suites & Offices, #100 in Palikir, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, Mailing Address: P.O. Box 2211, Kolonia, Pohnpei FM 96941; Telephone No. (691) 320-3313,

anti trafficking

Two weeks after its opening, MRRI received an invitation by FSM Chief Justice Dennis Yamase to the FSM Judicial Conference in Kosrae from February 20-24 2017. MRRI Vice President and Executive Director Emeliana J. Musrasrik delivered an anti-human trafficking awareness message to over 50 national, state and local justices, court staff, lawyers, members of the Kosrae State Legislature and to government officials in Tofol, Kosrae on February 22.
Chuuk State Court Chief Justice Camilo Noket commended MRRI and thanked Ms. Musrasrik for opening the MRRI and providing such service to the citizens. “To have the passion and sacrifice to provide such free services to our citizens is highly commendable” says Chief Justice Noket. Similar sentiments were echoed by o ther justices and participants of the conference.
Working in collaboration with the Kosrae State Attorney General’s Office and Kosrae State Department of Education, Ms. Musrasrik conducted an anti-human trafficking awareness raising to about 575 high school students, teachers and members of civil society at the Kosrae gymnasium on February 24, 2017.
Freelancer and former FSM Ambassador Gerson Jackson, thanked MRRI and Ms. Musrasrik for providing such an important training for the students. “Human Trafficking is a new and very important issue in the FSM. Everyone should learn about human trafficking, recognize the signs and know where to report such serious crime”, says Jackson.
Visit MRRI at the Captiol Suites & Offices, #100 in Palikir, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia at Telephone No. (691) 320-3313, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

tv screenPohnpei Public Library
March 21, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—This month the library received a donation of a large flat screen television and headphone system from Aaron Nighswander and his wife Lara Studzinski. The donation provides library patrons with access to Micronesian specific videos on health, history and regional governance and allows up to four people to watch the same video at a time. The current system contains all of the Micronesian Seminar videos but will gradually be expanded to include educational videos from the College of Micronesia and other sources on the islands.
Mr Nighswander says he and his wife donated to equipment so that everyone could have access to some of the great resource videos that have been produced in the region over the years.
In addition to the television system, the Tuna Commission donated furniture so that library patrons will have a comfortable place to watch the videos.

taroOn March 1, 2017, the Grant Contract Signing Ceremony was held for the Project for Building Taro Cultivation Tanks in Fais Island, Yap state which provided Department of Public Works & Transportation, Yap State with US$75,417 under Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Projects.
The goal for this project is to provide thirty five (35) taro cultivation tanks which improve food security in Fais island. Fais island receives lots of damage for agriculture by strong typhoons and droughts by low-level of grounds every year. Therefore, the provided taro cultivation tanks expect to help to produce about 11,091kg taros per year for about (300) three hundred residents in the island.
Ambassador Horie Ryoichi noted this grant is not a one-way assistance but needs a partnership between Yap state and Japan. He expressed his sympathies for people residing in the island, as it is hard for them to receive assistance from outside of the isolated island. He also showed his excitement about implementing the project work with the Fais island community. In his speech of acknowledgement, Mr. Tony Ganngiyan, Governor of Yap State, stated that he was pleased to witness a history making moment for the Fais island community and expressed his sincere appreciation to the government and people of Japan.
Presented at the ceremony were Lt. Governor James Yangitmai, Director of Department of Public works & Transportation Jonathan Marmar, Director of Office of Administrative Services Julius Tun, Chief of Budget and Office of Planning and Budget Pius Talemaisai, Community representative Angel Ragmai, Community representative Jesse Salau, Deputy Director of Public works & Transportation Manuel Maleichog, Mrs. Horie and a staff of the Embassy of Japan in the FSM.


forum chinaMarch 20, 2017
Suva, Fiji – Strengthening relations and exploring future partnerships for sustainable development between Forum island countries and China, are the focus of a visit this week by a Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat delegation led by the Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor.
The five-day visit to Beijing, Guangzhou and Hainan Province will see the delegation meet with the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Wang Yi, the Guangdong Provincial Government, and attend the prestigious Boao Forum for Asia.
“China is a valued partner of the Pacific region and we look forward to a deeper and more dynamic relationship into the future,” said the Secretary General. “We want to learn more about how China is addressing issues relating to climate change and economic development. Issues that we are also facing in the Pacific”.
“Increasingly we have seen China taking a leadership role in addressing climate change and, given the Pacific’s vulnerability, we are grateful for that leadership. We hope China continues this role as the world implements the bold initiatives of the Paris Agreement.
“As ocean States we are naturally very interested in knowing more about the opportunities that rest within the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and more broadly President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative.’

tuna commission

Pohnpei Fishing Club
March 10, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—After two weather related postponements, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (popularly known as the “Tuna Commission”) tournament finally took place on Saturday, March 11.
Even after all of the delays, sixteen boats signed up for the tournament. It ended up being a Mahi Mahi kind of day as those acrobatic fish took lure after lure for most of the boats. Though many Mahi Mahi were caught, the tournament was a Big Fish tournament and only two angles won prizes for their tasty catches.
The Tuna Commission not only put up the prizes for the winning angles but also donated life jackets to the club.
Even after the weather delays, the weather wasn’t always particularly cooperative on the day of the tournament. Just the same, everyone returned to port safely.
Before the winners of the tournament were announced members and watchers observed a moment of silence on behalf of Aminis David, Jr., (Jun), who recently passed away. Jun was a long time Pohnpei Fishing Club member and served as a member of the board, most recently as treasurer. A collection was taken up during the registration and at the weigh-in.
Some members of the club also donated their large fish to the family.
Anyone who would like to make a contribution to assist his family is encouraged to do so through the club or contact Steve Finnen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The tournament was a “Big Fish tournament” with prizes awarded to the biggest fish caught regardless of species. A potential jackpot prize for a record marlin was offered as well but no one caught anything like a prize winning marlin. Alex Tretnoff’s boat, Miss Yirwor did land a marlin that weighed in at 198 pounds but it had to be disqualified due to mutilation of the fish. “It was an unfortunate accident, but anglers must present whole fish to the weigh in,” said the Pohnpei Fishing Club Secretary.
The big prizes for the tournament were all for Yellowfin tuna.
Trevor Mix landed a 27.7 pound yellowfin for the third prize of $200. Westcott Panuelo’s second place fish was 30.6 pounds for a prize of $300. Marty Sanel had the biggest fish, a 93.8 pound yellowfin. It earned him a $400 prize.
Westcott Panuelo also took a $100 prize for his 27.1 pound yellowfin tuna. The next biggest fish was caught by Mark Johnny, a 20.9 pound Wahoo. He also earned $100. Another $100 prize winner was Wilber David for his 19.4 pound Barracuda. Mary Tretnoff won a $100 prize for her 19.8 pound Mahi Mahi, the biggest of that species caught during the day. Trevor Mix was awarded $100 for his seven pound Skipjack tuna.
Mary Tretnoff was awarded two lures from James Wichman for her 22 pound yellow fin as the winning lady angler.
Dane Nighswander, a junior angler received $50 for his 12.5 pound Mahi Mahi. His fishing accomplishments must be getting him a good start for his education fund.
Uta Finnen had a barbecue at the weigh in for the competition that included pulled pork sandwiches. Proceeds entirely benefitted the Pohnpei Public Library.
Also many thanks to Tina, Cel, Dr. Hedson and all the others who helped at the weigh in. We had lots of fish to weigh, and a few celebratory beers afterwards.
The next scheduled tournament will be March 25, 2017 and will be sponsored by the Caroline Fisheries Corporation.

Adaption Fund press release
March 21, 2017
Bonn, Germany—The Adaptation Fund Board meeting concluded in Bonn on March 17 with the approvals and endorsements of 13 project submissions, further enhancing the Fund's response to assist a rising number of vulnerable communities in developing countries with urgent adaptation needs build resilience to climate change.
The Adaptation Fund is an international fund that finances projects and programs aimed at helping developing countries to adapt to the harmful effects of climate change. It is set up under the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The meeting set a record in funding approvals for a total amount of US$ 60.3 million. The funding approvals included a US$ 9 million project to enhance resilience of several vulnerable island communities to drought and flooding in the Federated States of Micronesia, which will be implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program, a Regional Implementing Entity

swimming pool 01
Australian Embassy
March 10, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—The Australian Embassy hosted the first ever Women and Girls Festival held on Friday 10 March at the Pohnpei Swimming Pool, to celebrate International Women’s Day. The Australian Embassy organised the Festival in collaboration with the Pohnpei Swimming Club, the National Olympic Committee (NOC), the Pohnpei State Government’s Department of Social Affairs, the US Embassy and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The Festival included short swimming races by age group, an art contest, and a free film screening and food, and health screenings and information booths.
The Festival was open to all women and girls to give them an opportunity to participate in sports - especially swimming - and to encourage healthy lifestyles. The event was open to women and girls only, particularly for those who may not otherwise feel confident to swim in public.
The event was attended by more than 150 women and girls, including traditional leaders, members of the national and state government and the diplomatic corps - notably, Nanei Nett Mrs Elizabeth Hadley, Mrs Denise Huang of the Australian Embassy, Mrs Fatima Nobio Ynot, and Ms Joanne Cummings of the US Embassy, and Mrs Yuko Horie of the Japanese Embassy.


By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
March 23, 2017
Pohnpei—In a letter written by an attorney representing the Ship pilots that service the Pohnpei Port, the pilots threatened to go on strike as of March 3 unless an agreement for better compensation could be reached. They later decided to continue work pending a hearing that took place on March 10. After that hearing they agreed to continue their work for 20 days to give time for the Board to render a ruling on their demands.
The services of Pohnpei’s pilots are required to help bring in the large ships that supply vital supplies to Pohnpei such as fuel, groceries and other supplies.

27 March 2017 - Bill Jaynes

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the printed issued of the March 13 issue of The Kaselehlie Press never arrived in Pohnpei. It wasn’t because we didn’t get it out to our printer on time. We did. They also shipped it on time. But it just ended up sitting at the airport in Guam until it was just about as spoiled as a container of fish sitting in the sun.
United Airlines has carried the newspaper to Pohnpei late before, but this is the first time we have had to trash a newspaper due to non-arrival.
As a result, we have expanded the current issue to 24 pages from our usual sixteen in order to accommodate new content. We have also chosen to re-publish items that were to have appeared in the print version of the newspaper on March 13 even though some of the content is already online. Some items were updated to include more recent information.

Nauru Airlines will offer a new opportunity to travellers between Honiara and Australia with effect from the 24th of March.
A convenient early Friday morning service into Honiara from Brisbane, coupled with a late afternoon Sunday service into Brisbane from Honiara will provide new and convenient choices for visitors to the Solomon Islands, and residents of the Solomon Islands, alike.
In announcing these services today, Nauru Airlines CEO, Geoff Bowmaker added “ Nauru Airlines is pleased to be building this further new link to and from Brisbane, in addition to Nauru Airlines current connections from Honiara through to Nauru, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.”
“A further service through to Guam is in the latter stages of U.S. approvals and will be announced in due course” added Mr Bowmaker.
Guadalcanal Travel Solomons have been appointed as Nauru Airlines General Sales Agent, supporting its customers travel needs in the Solomon Islands.

Statement of UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2017

Gender equality is a human right. Women are entitled to live in dignity and in freedom from want and fear, without discrimination. Gender equality is also vital to sustainable development, peace and security. It’s not just a women’s issue. It’s an issue for all of humanity.
Sadly, despite some progress, the world still has a long way to go to achieve full gender equality.
Take, for instance, the fact that every year tens of thousands of girls are forced into child marriage —nearly one third of these before the age of 15. Or that one woman in three experiences gender-based violence in her lifetime. Some 200 million women and girls have endured female genital mutilation. And there are 225 million women who want modern family planning but are not getting it, and therefore are unable to choose whether or when to have children.
The global community has an obligation to advance the new agenda for sustainable development, which enshrines gender equality as one of its goals. The ability of women and girls to exercise their basic human rights, including their right to sexual and reproductive health, is a prerequisite for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Studies have demonstrated clearly that family planning is the best investment countries can make for human development.
Ensuring universal access to voluntary family planning means putting the poorest, most marginalized and excluded women and girls at the forefront of our efforts— particularly those in conflict and fragile settings.
Women and girls who can make choices and control their reproductive lives are better able to get quality education, find decent work, and make free and informed decisions in all spheres of life.
Their families and societies are better off financially. Their children, if they choose to have them, are healthier and better educated, helping break the spiral of poverty that traps billions and triggering a cycle of prosperity that carries over into future generations.
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is fully committed to ensuring the rights of women and girls to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning. On this International Women’s Day, we urge the global community to join us. Together, we can make a giant leap forward that saves lives, empowers women and girls, advances gender equality and ensures a more prosperous and sustainable future for all of us.

muslims 01

March, 2017 - Kosrae, known as the Jewel of Micronesia is also famously known by its proud Christian prominence. It was with no surprise that in 2011 when a Muslim denomination known as Ahmadiyya Muslim Community established themselves in Kosrae, they were faced with much hostility. The first instance in September of 2014 was a petition with nearly a thousand signatures calling for the ban of Islam from Kosrae. This was followed by a State sanctioned Legislative meeting held in February of the following year to question the social impact that Islam would have on society in Kosrae. And this was not the end of the discussion about Islam, it was followed by local municipal level attempts at proposing ordinances aimed at banning Islam, taxing the Muslim community specifically, and even a Leadership conference in which one of the two main items was regarding the presence of Muslims in Kosrae. With all of this there was with no surprise a clear response by letter dated January 29, 2016 from the Department of Justice of the FSM government stating that such proposed ordinances and any actions that conflict with the FSM constitution which insures the right of freedom of religion will be taken seriously and criminal actions can be charged.

U.S. Coast Guard 14th District Hawaii and the Pacific
HONOLULU — The Coast Guard and Navy completed a 18-day joint mission in the Central and South Pacific under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative to combat transnational crimes, enforce fisheries laws and enhance regional security, Friday.
Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment 103 from Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team embarked USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) and conducted 16 fisheries enforcement boardings with the assistance of the ship’s visit, board, search and seizure team and law enforcement ship riders from Tuvalu and Nauru.
Five of the boardings were conducted on the high seas under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission guidelines while the other 11 were conducted in the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of Tuvalu and Nauru.
Coast Guard teams and Pacific Island Nation shipriders routinely conduct joint boardings within the host country's exclusive economic zones to protect the ocean and the living marine resources within.
Boarding teams inspected documentation and fish holds for illegal activity and compliance with conservation and management measures.
"Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing undermines efforts to conserve and manage global fish stocks," said Coast Guard Cmdr. Richard Howes, chief of enforcement, Coast Guard 14th District response division. "The OMSI mission along with our partnerships with Australia, New Zealand, France, and Pacific Island Nations helps deter illegal fishing and promote economic and environmental stability in the region."
Partnership between the Coast Guard and Navy supports OMSI, a Secretary of Defense program to use Department of Defense assets transiting the pacific region to build maritime domain awareness, ultimately supporting the Coast Guard's maritime law enforcement operations in Oceania.
“Like our forefathers who sailed these waters years ago, the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard partnership remains a formidable maritime force,” said Cmdr. Robert A. Heely Jr., commanding officer of Michael Murphy. “We enjoyed working alongside the U.S. Coast Guard as well as the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency and our partners from Tuvalu and Nauru. It was a true team effort, and I am proud of team Murphy’s resilience and professionalism in accomplishing the mission.”
The Coast Guard is responsible for patrolling the waters around the numerous islands belonging to the United States throughout the region. Each of these islands has territorial waters stretching out to 12 nautical miles from shore.
Beyond that, stretching out to 200 nautical miles is an exclusive economic zone, an area defined by international law that allows each nation exclusive rights to the exploration and use of the marine resources within. Oceania contains 43 percent, or approximately 1.3 million square miles, of United States' EEZs.

Pacific Community (SPC)
6 March 2017
Majuro, Marshall Islands– In a first for the North Pacific, the Marshall Islands Weather Service will host an Oceans and Tides Workshop this week (6-10 March) in coordination with the Pacific Community (SPC) in an effort to increase knowledge, technical capacity, understanding and application of ocean science for improved decision-making and disaster preparedness.
Developed and funded through the Australian Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac), the workshop, held at the Marshall Islands Resort, also includes participants from Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Kiribati.
As Director for Marshall Islands Weather Service, Reginald White reports, “In RMI, communities continue to witness sea level rise, extreme king tides, and more frequent severe inundations, so being able to better monitor and forecast oceans and tides enhances our ability to make more informed decisions as well as provide more accurate advisories and warnings to the vulnerable coastal communities of RMI."
The week-long training will be facilitated by ocean science experts and trainers from SPC, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the University of the South Pacific (USP).
Participants will receive practical training on sector-specific applications of ocean information and online tools, including tide calendars, tide gauge data, and the COSPPac Ocean Portal.
The COSPPac Ocean Portal provides updated information on sea surface temperature, wave forecasts, surface current forecasts, coral bleaching alerts, and seasonal sea level variations, in addition to hosting near-real time tide gauge data from 14 sites across the region.
“Through this workshop, not only do we provide technical training on ocean and tides, but we also use it as an opportunity to encourage in-country ocean stakeholders and neighbouring meteorological offices to connect, share experiences, and form collaborative partnerships,” SPC’s Manager of Oceans and Coastal Geoscience, Jens Kruger said.
“Our hope is that these connections will continue in countries long after we leave and help local partners to build community resilience to extreme ocean and tidal events,” Mr Kruger said.
This workshop will also be attended by stakeholders and partners of the Marshall Islands Weather Service such as the office of the Chief Secretary, the Ministry of Transportation and Communication, the Shipping and Port Authority, government representatives from Majuro and Kwajalein, the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Agency and local universities.
Topics covered in this workshop include tides, shipping and maritime safety, fisheries and marine resources, the Pacific Sea Level Monitoring Project, and waves and coastal hazards to name a few.
COSPPac is managed by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology in partnership with SPC, Geoscience Australia, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), and USP, and is a key component of the Australian Government’s support to Pacific Island countries in adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate variability and change.

waterJICA March, 2017
A 3 year capacity enhancement training by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) entitled “Water Sanitation Management” was implemented in Okinawa, Japan, since 2014 and the supplementary in country training was held in Pohnpei in January 2017 at Pohnpei Utilities Corporation (PUC) conference Room. The training was conducted by Okinawa Environment Club (OEC), to monitor and inspect the actual situations happening here in Pohnpei and how it has been treated. The trainees learned how to enable the monitoring of leachate/wastewater to be carried out constantly by confirming, on site, the meanings of monitoring implementation and monitoring plans.
Kwajalein Atoll Joint Utilities Resources (KAJUR) and Majuro Water and Sewer Company (MWSC) also attended the 4 days training along with the participants from Pohnpei Utilities Corporation (PUC), Pohnpei Environmental Agency (EPA), Pohnpei Waste Management Services (PWMS), Kosrae Island Resources Management Authority (KIRMA), Kosrae Department of Health, Kosrae Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, Chuuk Public Utility Corporation (CPUC) and Chuuk Environmental Agency (EPA).
One of the participants both in Okinawa and Pohnpei, Mr. Norlin Livaie from Kosrae Department of Health Services, commented that he had a great opportunity to have professional lecturers in the field of water management and it was somewhat indeed needed to our small islands to participate in this training.
Mr. Kuniki Shimoji, a lecturer from OEC and the participants visited the dumpsite in Dekehtik and the sewage plant in Kepinle, to collect leachate samples from Dekehtik and water from the sewerage plant. Afterwards, the collected samples were tested to examine the volume of (PH), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and Transparency.
Ms. Ayako Yoshida JICA Project Formulation Advisor (PFA) represented Mr. Shinji Shibata JICA Resident Representative (RR) to congratulate and award the participants with certificates for those who attended training in Okinawa and to appreciate the partnership and collaboration each of the organizations have with JICA. Certificates for the training in Pohnpei were handed over by Mr. Shimoji. He advised the participants to continue and apply the knowledge they obtained in the training.
Mr. Robert Hadley Acting General Manager of PUC also congratulated all the participants who completed the 3-year training and encouraged them to continue the work they learned and appreciates JICA for conducting the training, and for all the aid they have been providing in the FSM.
The training was surely productive for participants and hope that it contributes to sustainable environment in the FSM.


(Palikir, Pohnpei) – The Chuuk State Legislature approved in its April 2016 session, a $3,000,000 contribution for the construction of a new Chuuk Campus at the proposed Nantaku site on the island of Weno. In a memorandum released by Chuuk State Governor Johnson S. Elimo on October 6, 2016, he congratulated the Chuuk State Legislature for its enactment of Act No 13-18 which the Governor signed into law and designated as Chuuk State Law No 13-16-09.
The Governor also stated that this shows the commitment of Chuuk State’s basic responsibility which is to provide for the continued educational development for its citizens. The college community, together with the leaders of Chuuk State look forward to improving services to the people of Chuuk and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Student success remains at the center of the college’s efforts to achieve its mission to be a “learner-centered institution of higher education that is committed to the success of the Federated States of Micronesia by providing academic and career & technical educational programs characterized by continuous improvement and best practices”.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
March 9, 2017
Pohnpei—This morning, Pohnpei’s Governor Marcelo Peterson delivered his first State of the State address in Legislative chambers. The address included an exhaustive list of accomplishments and challenges in every department of the Pohnpei State Government.
He spoke in the Pohnpeian language, and the speech was broadcast live on State Radio V6AH. He also provided a copy in English for us to share on our website.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
March 10, 2017
Pohnpei—The services of Pohnpei’s pilots are required to help bring in the large ships that supply vital supplies to Pohnpei such as fuel, groceries and other supplies. Though a letter to Pohnpei Port Authority said that the pilots would stop services as of March 3 unless an agreement can be reached but they agreed to keep working until after the public hearing. At issue is the allocation of fees for pilotage services under a new proposed Pohnpei Port Authority contract with the pilots.
The proposed contract with the licensed pilots proposes the same percent of revenue share for pilotage services that the operator grudgingly agreed to five years ago according to a letter dated February 27, 2017 from Ramp & Mida Law Firm which is representing the pilots. PPA proposes to again take 60 percent of the pilotage fee and give 40 percent to the pilots who perform the service, according to the letter that KPress received late yesterday afternoon.
A public hearing on the matter is scheduled for the period of time during which the KPress will be preparing for print. PPA has not had opportunity to comment.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
March 1, 2017
Pohnpei—On February 8, the FSM government filed charges against two men for human trafficking charges, specifically involving the prostitution of minors under the age of 18. William Chunn, a Pohnpeian taxi driver with K&M Taxi of Pohnpei is charged with 33 counts, and Joseph Parisi, a ship captain from the United States is charged with 13 counts.
An affidavit provided to the FSM Supreme Court by Sergeant Kasner Aldens of the National Police said that he was tasked early in the year to conduct investigations on human trafficking cases involving under age victims. His affidavits were very specific about the alleged events that led to the charges against both men. In the case of Parisi, the details went so far as to list the denominations of currency that were allegedly used to complete the transactions.
Chunn is charged with multiple counts for several transactions involving the alleged recruitment, transportation and transference of minors for sexual favors in exchange for money.

sea cucumbers

Allain Bourgoin and Peltin Olter Pelep
College of Micronesia, Marine Science Program, P.O. Box 159, Kolonia, Pohnpei FM 96941
Sea cucumbers are a vital part of the Pohnpei marine ecosystem. They offer a free cleaning service for our sea floors, keep ocean acidity levels in check, and share a symbiotic relationship with dozens of other sea creatures. However, due to their stationary lives in shallow waters, sea cucumbers can be easily collected for commercial profit. If harvesting strategies of sea cucumbers are not managed properly, they can be rapidly overfished, leading to “boom and bust fishing.” In fact, a single “harvest impulse” can impact the resource to the extent that there are not enough adults (brood stocks) left in the wild to be able to rebuild their natural populations. If this occurs, it can take years, if not decades before sea cucumber harvesting activities can resume. In some cases, restocking the harvested grounds will only be possible through reseeding with aquaculture-raised individuals: a very difficult and expensive task. Although impulse harvesting may generate short-term revenues for the local economy, it will likely jeopardize any hope for long-term returns and put at risk the health of sea cucumber populations and the reefs and waters they inhabit.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
March 6, 2017
Pohnpei—On February 14, 2017, Pohnpei State filed a criminal information against Penny Jimmy, an employee of the Department of Education.
The Kaselehlie Press previously reported from information obtained from the Executive Branch, that Jimmy had been arrested in August of 2016 after a police investigation claimed that “Jimmy may have funneled over $400,000 dollars’ worth of Department of Education purchasing contracts for supplies into a company that he owns.”
The information we published then said that criminal charges would be filed on the basis of the investigation within a month of the arrest but charges weren’t filed until February 14. When they were filed the charges surrounded only $5,000 of personal gain. Apparently the difference in the two amounts is that the $5,000 is the profit he allegedly made on sales from his personal business to Pohnpei State that may have totaled approximately $400,000.
The State has accused Jimmy of five counts related to activities between 2009 and 2015. The first count accuses him of having outside employment which under the public service system is against the law for the type of contract he had with the State. The charge says that while he was the Assistant Director for the School Improvement program he was also the sole proprietor of a business that sold Duplo Copymaster products. One of his responsibilities while working for the State was to purchase copy products. The criminal information accuses him of purchasing those supplies from his own company at a profit.
The four other charges are “Use of State Property for Information”, “Cheating”, “Grand Larceny” in the amount of $5000, and “Misconduct in Public Office”.
Mr. Jimmy has not had his day in court and is innocent unless it is otherwise proven in court.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
March 10, 2017
votersFSM—On Tuesday of this week FSM voters turned out to vote for their representatives for the two year seats at the FSM Congress and also to vote on the question of whether or not the Constitution should be amended to allow its citizens to have dual citizenship.
This afternoon, the National Election Commission sent a letter to President Peter Christian with the certified results of the election.
In his letter to the President, Tony Otto, National Election Director wrote that the reason that the results were a bit delayed was because the State of Chuuk didn’t send its results in until late this afternoon.
The proposed Constitutional amendment to allow dual citizenship failed to pass. For a Constitutional amendment to be added, 75 percent of the votes in 75 percent of the states need to vote “yes” to amending the Constitution. 85 percent of Kosrae voters voted for the amendment. Pohnpei’s votes fell short of the standard by 4.79 percent. Only 61 percent of Chuuk’s voters approved the amendment and in Yap, it was only 52 percent.
Kosrae’s representative to Congress for the next two years will be encumbent Paliknoa K. Welly, who ran unopposed for the seat.
Pohnpei has three two year seats. Encumbents Ferny S. Perman and Esmond Moses will occupy two of those seats. Dion G. Neth will take the seat currently occupied by Senator Berney Martin.
Chuuk has five two year seats. Voters chose, Florencio Singkoro Harper, Victor “Vicky” Gouland, Tiwiter Aritos, Doresio Konman, and Robson Romolow to take those seats.
Once again Isaac V. Figir will take the two year seat for Yap.
This year’s election offered voters the opportunity to potentially seat the first two women to serve in the FSM Congress. Though the women made good showings in the election, voters did not choose them.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
March 7, 2017
Pohnpei—Today the Pohnpei Attorney General’s office (AG) filed a civil suit (PCA 154-17) in the Pohnpei Supreme Court against that court’s own Chief Justice seeking financial remuneration and declaratory judgments on a variety of claims.
The claims in the Civil Action correspond with the claims the AG made in its letter to the Pohnpei State Legislature (PSL) suggesting a possible impeachment action against the Chief Justice.
No members of the Legislature that we attempted to contact on the actions it has taken on the letter have returned our numerous requests for comment.
Four of the counts in the Civil Action against the Chief Justice are for “Breach of Fiduciary Trust”.
“Defendant Benjamin Rodriguez, because he is the Chief Justice of the Pohnpei Supreme Court, owes a fiduciary duty to Pohnpei State Government and the people of Pohnpei to act at all times with the utmost care, honesty, undivided loyalty, good faith and fidelity in his management of dealings with and use of public funds in the Pohnpei State Treasury,” the AG claims in the civil action.

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Pohnpei Women’s Advisory Council
March 9, 2017
Pohnpei--The Pohnpei Women Advisory Council (PWAC) celebrated International Women’s Day in Pohnpei from March 4-8, 2017. PWAC, is the umbrella organization for women groups in Pohnpei, with 31 groups and over 2,000 members.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, is: “Pledge for Parity” - translated in the local vernacular as: "Poasoahniki Wahu oh Utuht Pene Pwe En Kak Kairada Epwel Pahrek, Ohnopek oh Soanamwahu ohng Kapwukoah kan me Poahsoane Ieias Mwahu en Ohl, Lih, Peinakapw oh Mwanakapw akan nan Pohnpei. (Engin Kehlap) "
On Saturday, March 4, members of PWAC organized a clean-up outside the Pohnpei State Hospital and planted trees and flowers. On Sunday, March 5, PWAC visited the patients at the hospital and inmates at the Pohnpei State Jail, conducted prayer services and provided hygiene kits, food and donations. A workshop was held on Monday, March 6 for during which the Conservation Society of Pohnpei, FSM Department of Health, State Social Affairs, State Department of Health and UN Joint Country Presence were invited to present on their current activities and how they can work in partnership with the PWAC.

On the 7th of March 2017 we stood at another crossroad of our political obligations to carry out the mandate of our National Constitution that every two years the people of the Federated States of Micronesia shall choose members to the FSM Congress.
We did. And did well. And I take this occasion to express my “thank you” to all the people, the citizens of the Nation who went to the polls to cast their votes for the candidates of their choice.
I want also to take this opportunity to salute all the candidates whose desire to serve the Nation must not be taken lightly.
Finally, to those candidates upon whom the people put their greatest hope and trust for good representation...I congratulate them and hope that their success in the election enlarges their hearts and minds to represent all people of the FSM to the best of their abilities.
Let us all look forward to working together for the well being of all our citizens.
Peter M. Christian

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The Micronesia Challenge Program
The Micronesia Challenge is “a commitment by the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands to preserve the natural resources that are crucial to the survival of Pacific traditions, cultures and livelihoods. The overall goal of the Challenge is to effectively conserve at least 30% of the near-shore marine resources and 20% of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020.” Learn more about the Micronesia Challenge online at www.micronesiachallenge. com
The Terrestrial component of the Challenge looks at many indicators, including native forest cover, species diversity, abundance, forest structure, human disturbance, bird diversity, and invasive species to detect changes in biodiversity over time. The information gathered helps forest managers to make decisions to more effectively care for the forests and its many resources.

Feb 14, 2017
On Friday, February 10th, a short signing ceremony took place at the Nahs en Wehi, Pohn Isilap, U for the adoption of the U Municipal Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) Coastal Fisheries Plan. This plan will serve as a critical step in guiding the development of the local government’s ability to manage the municipality’s coastal resources. The formally endorsed document contains actions that address fisheries management priorities identified through consultation with local residents and officials. The plan also supports development objectivities intended to maintain a more sustainable and productive coastal environment. Attending the launching ceremony were the Sahngoro, Nahnmwarki (Paramount Chief) of U Municipality, Likend U, numerous village chiefs of U, the Chief Magistrate Dahker Abraham, the Speaker Estepan Primo and several members of the U Council, FSM Congressman Esmond Moses, Pohnpei State Senators Aurelio Joab and Lino Amor, a representative of the FSM R&D, representatives of the Pohnpei Visitors Bureau, and the partners (CSP, MCT, TNC, RARE and Dr. Kevin Rhodes) who provided technical support to the development of the Plan.

Ktanaw Hirsch
Pacific Veterinary Services Pohnpei
Our dogs enjoy the beauty of our island as we do, from the ancestral ruins of Nan Madol to the roads & yards of Kolonia. But hiding in the grasses and plants that make our island flourish, is a dangerous parasite that is waiting to hop onto your pet. We’re talking about ticks.
Ticks are small, blood sucking insects that feed off cats, cattle, pigs, and most other mammals, but dogs are one of their favorite targets. Ticks are known as external parasites because they live outside or on the body.
There are many different types of ticks. A full grown and fed tick can be as small as a pin head or as large as a raisin. Because of their small size, ticks can easily hide in hard to find places, like between your dog’s toes or inside their ears.
When ticks bite and attach to the skin, they inject a parasite into your dog’s blood. The parasite can cause seizures, belly pain, breathing problems, urinating blood, nose bleeds and other bleeding problems that frequently lead to death. In fact, tick disease can be responsible for almost any symptoms a sick dog exhibits. Tick disease can even be spread to the fetus of a pregnant pet.
Bathing your pet with flea & tick shampoo will only kill about 5% of ticks and has no lasting effect. This is because 95% of ticks live in Mother Nature (hiding in tall grass, crawling in debris) and can attach themselves to your pet the second they are back outside.
For longer lasting tick prevention, Pacific Islands Veterinary Services (PIVS) recommends products such as Soresto (8 month flea & tick collar) or Preventic (3 month tick collar), Bravecto (1 pill every 3rd month), or Revolution (monthly topical squirt), all of which can be found at your local veterinarian or online. For prevention against ticks as well as fleas, lice, mites, mange, heartworm, roundworms, hookworms and ear mites, Ivermectin and Grenadine (known as “Red Medicine”) can be given 3 times a week. The reason all these products work so well, is that they kill ticks before they can lay any more eggs, and before they can pass on disease.

Nauru Airlines
Nauru Airlines commenced flights into the Federated States of Micronesia in June 2015, servicing both Pohnpei and Kosrae.
The airline has been monitoring the traffic levels and notes that whilst the volumes through Pohnpei continue to grow in sizeable numbers, the Kosrae traffic numbers remain low by comparison and have not developed to a level that the airline can sustain the service through Kosrae.
“The commercial reality is that, despite our best efforts to market into and out of the State of Kosrae by initiatives such as training of a local business to deliver travel arrangement assistance to the community in Kosrae as well as spearheading the “Isles of Micronesia” promotion activities to bring visitor focus onto each of our destinations through the region, we have not seen the market develop sufficiently to support a continuation of the Kosrae service” said CEO Geoff Bowmaker.
Nauru Airlines deeply appreciates the opportunity and support it has received from the FSM government, tourism authorities and private business stakeholders throughout the FSM and will continue to maintain the important link into and out of Pohnpei to its neighbouring states of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Kiribati, Nauru, Fiji , Solomon Islands and further to Australia.
Nauru Airlines flights through Kosrae will cease with effect from the end of March, with the last services being (northbound) Friday 24th March and (southbound) Sunday 26th March.

It is Awak Elementary School Again!!! “SUPEREROGATION “is one of this year’s spelling word that best describes AWAK SCHOOL. CONGRATULATIONS MS. ALIYAH SHAE DONRE 8th grader as the 2017 Pohnpei Scripps Spelling Bee Champion.
The Talent Search Program at the College of Micronesia -FSM, Pohnpei Campus organizes the Bee every year with great support and partnership from the Rotary Club of Pohnpei, United Airlines, and the Pohnpei DOE. We are proud to announce the result of this year’s Bee. The following four students will be advancing to the REGIONAL BEE in Guam to compete against students from Guam, Saipan, and Palau on March 04, 2017. Congratulations again and Good Luck.

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By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
February 17, 2017
FSM—The FSM Supreme Court today issued a ruling denying Young Sun’s International Trading Company’s motion to dismiss the “Sea Cucumber” case. The case has been bogged down in preliminary matters including several “motions to dismiss” since it first began to be heard last year but the court has now ordered that the parties move toward discovery, deadlines to submit pre-trial motions and oppositions, and three proposed dates for hearing on pre-trial motions and trial. The Court said it is making a concerted effort to move the matter forward.
The court had previously granted in part and denied in part, a Young Sun motion to dismiss but said in a footnote to the ruling that it was favorably disposed towards hearing a second motion to dismiss “out of cautionary respect for the fact that ‘whenever it appear by suggestion of the parties or otherwise that the court lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter, the court shall dismiss the action’.” Young Sun had brought new evidence to the court’s attention in its second motion so it agreed to hear the motion which it denied in its ruling today.

On January 31, 2017, the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) Board approved a resolution instructing its Investment Advisor, Raymond James, to disburse $435,362 to the Palau Protected Areas Network (PAN) Fund (www. The Palau PAN Fund, per the agreement with MCT, will use the fund exclusively for (a) implementation of PAN protected areas management, sustainable development and work plans for PAN sites based on performance, impact/outcome and appropriate management costs for the continuing sustainable operation of the PAN Fund; (b) the undertaking of necessary research and educational activities substantially related to carrying out the purposes of RPPL No. 7-42; and (c) the performance of any of the functions that are necessary in order to carry out the purpose of RPPL 7-42 including the operation of the PAN Office. The amount withdrawn is based on a formula agreed to between the donors and the owners of the endowment in an Investment Policy Guidelines on the Micronesia Challenge Endowment Fund ( and is designed to ensure the value of the Fund is maintained in perpetuity.

In 2006, MCT was selected by the Chief Executives of Micronesia to serve as the Micronesia Challenge Endowment Fund financing mechanism and has been managing the MC Endowment Fund since its inception in 2008. The fund was initiated with a $1,000,000 grant from The Nature Conservancy and a $500,000 contribution from the Palau Government. Subsequently the Palau Government, through their Palau PAN Fund, and the Federated States of Micronesia and Marshall Islands governments started contributing their own national funds to the endowment to match other donor funds from The Nature Conservancy ($3M), Conservation International ($3M) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) – United Nations Environment Programme ($5M). Today the endowment fund stands at nearly $18.5M, with Palau owning approximately half of the fund, and with FSM and RMI owning approximately $5,000,000 and $4,000,000 respectively. A student group from Saipan, the Tanapag Middle School Micronesia Challenge Club, provided $1,000 from their own funds to launch the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands’ (CNMI) Micronesia Challenge Endowment Fund in 2016. MCT continues to work with Guam and CNMI officials, as well as other international development partners, to launch their MC endowment funds as part of this joint regional initiative.


By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
February 13, 2017
Pohnpei—This morning, dignitaries, including FSM President Peter Christian formally cut the ribbon on a newly refurbished VIP room at the Pohnpei International Airport under the administration of the Pohnpei Port Authority.
Rohsa Kitti Willy Hawley spoke saying that the VIP room would be “second to none” anywhere. Lt. Governor Reed Oliver also spoke saying that it was not only important that Pohnpei put its best foot forward when representing itself to traveling dignitaries but that its heart should also be clean.
President Christian agreed with the words of the previous speakers. He said that when he was young he always wondered why his mother would make the children clean up the house when she knew that visitors would be coming. He said that he doesn’t wonder anymore. He knows how important it is to treat visitors well.
Though the new VIP room won’t be seen by most people in Pohnpei, it will serve Pohnpei’s interests in terms of hospitality, an important commodity, the speakers intimated.
Chief of Staff Leo Falcam, Lt. Governor Oliver, Rohsa Kitti Willy Hawley, and President Christian cut the ribbon before the small number of gathered guests entered the new VIP room that was replete with marble type floor tiles, varnished brick work, magnificent furnishings, and a bar.
Sitting back in the comfortable chairs and couches, President Christian said that he wasn’t completely satisfied yet because the furniture seemed so foreign.
The cost for the project was $96,208.12. The contractor who did the complete renovation was ARM Maintenance & Repair. The funding was provided by the FSM National Government through the President’s office.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
Pohnpei—On February 6, Pohnpei’s Attorney General (AG) sent a letter to the Pohnpei State Legislature recommending that body to consider a resolution to present articles of impeachment against the Chief Justice of the Pohnpei Supreme Court. The letter was 28 pages long and also included approximately 200 pages of attached exhibits.
The matter was assigned to the Standing Committee on Judicial and Government Operations chaired by Senator Peter Lohn. The committee met on the matter on February 15 and another meeting was scheduled for February 24. Senator Lohn did not return our phone calls about the proceedings.

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By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
February 18, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—This week the Embassy of Japan to the FSM celebrated Japan week in the FSM with a variety of events including two celebrations of recently completed projects in Pohnpei that were funded by the government of Japan. The week culminated with the 5th Japan Festival held this year for the second time at the Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School gymnasium that the Japanese government provided the funds to build.
On Thursday, February 16, Ambassador Ryoiche Horie joined college and government officials for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the College of Micronesia. The grass has grown in on the soccer field that the Japanese government funded during the 8th Micro Games in Pohnpei in 2014 and it is now ready for use. The project for prevention of non-communicable diseases provided $120,569 for the development of the field under the Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Projects. The field will be open to local residents for sporting purposes.