By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
June 2, 2017
Pohnpei—There has been no resolution in the State’s case alleging that Ruthy Hadley was involved in the theft of over $123,000 in collections from the Pohnpei Supreme Court.
“With the untimely death of Co- Defendant Eric Elias the State of Pohnpei was unable to proceed with prosecution against Ruthy Hadley,” Attorney Dana Smith said. “The State made a Motion to Dismiss without prejudice. The Defense made a Motion to Dismiss with prejudice. The Court granted the State's Motion to Dismiss without prejudice. The State of Pohnpei's investigation into alleged loss of over $123,000 in collections at the Pohnpei Supreme Court continues and, in the event additional evidence is discovered, a criminal case against could be refiled.”
Dismissing a case “with prejudice” means that the case is closed and charges can never be refiled. Dismissing a case “without prejudice” means that the current proceeding stops but charges could be refiled as more evidence is uncovered. Refiling the charges would not be a matter of double jeopardy.
No determination of guilt or innocence has been established with the dismissal of the case.
Hadley is presumed to be innocent unless proven otherwise in a court of law. That day in court has not come.

Asian Development Bank
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (1 June 2017) — Gender inequality is slowing the transition toward more inclusive growth in Asia and the Pacific, says a new report by the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Independent Evaluation Department, which reveals a striking picture of the state of gender disparities in the region.
The evaluation of ADB’s support for gender and development acknowledges that ADB is recognized as a pioneer among multilateral development banks for integrating gender into the design of its projects. But it urges ADB to step up support for projects that can have a direct impact on gender equality by, for example, addressing restrictions to women’s access to economic opportunities, rights, and justice. This lack of access has resulted in over $3 trillion in income losses in the region, according to one estimate cited in the study.
“Gender equality as part of eradicating poverty is a big unfinished development agenda in Asia,” says Marvin Taylor- Dormond, Director General of Independent Evaluation at ADB. “Overcoming gender inequality and discrimination continues to be hard, but without progress in these areas, it will be difficult to realize many of the region’s broader development goals.”

Additional $123.9 Million for Palau Compact Review Agreement Proposed

US Department of the Interior
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 23, 2017) – President Donald Trump today proposed $591.9 million for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) for the benefit of the U.S. Territories of Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Freely Associated States of the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands through the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA). The budget request for OIA includes $84.3 million in discretionary appropriations and $507.6 million in mandatory funding. Additionally, the budget requests $123.9 million of discretionary Department of Defense appropriations to be transferred to the Department of the Interior to support enactment of the 2010 Compact Review Agreement with Palau. The Palau Compact is an important element of the Pacific national security strategy.
“While we continue to support all of our U.S. insular areas, we have long been striving to meet our commitments to the Republic of Palau,” said Acting Assistant Secretary Nikolao Pula. “President Trump’s strong support for the Palau Compact shows that he recognizes the strategic importance of our U.S. Territories and the Freely Associated States.”
"The Territories and Freely Associated States are absolutely critical to the strategic readiness of the United States, and they are part of the fabric of who we are as fellow Americans," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. "President Trump's budget proposal makes it abundantly clear that these lands, often on the front lines of escalating tensions, are under our protection and serve vital importance. The President’s budget balances these priorities and commitments to the Insular Areas with his promise to make government work for the taxpayer again and support a balanced budget by 2027,” Secretary Zinke said.
The President's budget allows Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs to carry out its core mission of empowering insular area communities by improving quality of life, creating economic opportunity, and promoting efficient and effective governance. The funding allows OIA to continue providing grants for technical assistance, implementing sustainable energy plans and invasive species control.

scholarsFrom March 24- April 9 of this year, Chuuk High School students again traveled to Clemson University to participate in the University’s Future Scholars Program. In addition to last year’s activities, students worked on a case study project, where they prepared a project to improve one aspect of Chuuk during the course of the week, which they have since implemented upon their return to Chuuk.
While at Clemson, the students participated in daily classes and took part in educational excursions each day to augment what they learned in class. During class, students developed their critical thinking skills and learned the valuable skill of SWOT (Strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats) analysis, which they have brought back to Chuuk and since applied to their school work at Chuuk High School. One student even has said he wishes to teach his fellow local close up participants the skill.

laraJune 2017 - The Pacific Community’s Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga has announced the appointment of Lara Studzinski as the organisation’s new Regional Director, Micronesia.
Ms Studzinski, who started in the leadership role at the end of April, brings significant expertise in projects and programmes management with over 15 years of service in the international development field.
She joins the Pacific Community (SPC) from the Pacific-American Climate Fund (PACAM) where she played a key role in the management of funds for several grantees across four Micronesian countries.
Prior, she worked with SPC’s Public Health Division for six years, strategically ensuring the division’s strong financial management, reporting, grant management, human resources management and systems development.
Ms Studzinski holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Management from Ohio State University.
Having worked and lived in the Micronesia region for eight years, Ms Studzinski’s experience and knowledge of Micronesian member countries and territories will stand her in good stead as she assumes this senior position and provides a valuable contribution to SPC’s efforts to strengthen engagement with its members and partners to enhance the relevance and effectiveness of is work.
Ms Studzinski is based at SPC’s Pohnpei Office in the Federated States of Micronesia.

JUNE 2017

The Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI) continues its support for public auditors in the North Pacific, to enhance their capabilities through measuring their performance. The Government of Guam’s Office of Public Accountability (OPA) and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) State of Yap’s Office of the Public Auditor (Yap OPA) were assessed concurrently by two separate review teams on 15-19 May 2017.
A peer review team consisting of Ms. Atmita Jonathan, Deputy Auditor- General and Ms. Ayako Yamaguchi- Eliou, Manager for Performance Audit both from the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) Auditor-General’s Office and Mrs. Sinaroseta Palamo- Iosefo, PASAI’s Director of Practice Development, assessed the performance of the Government of Guam’s OPA. Ms Yukari Hechanova, Deputy Public Auditor and Ms Rodalyn Gerardo, Special Assistant facilitated the support from the OPA for the peer review team.
The performance of Yap OPA was assessed by a peer review team led by Mr Stoney Taulung, Public Auditor for Kosrae State of FSM along with Ms Emma Balagot, Audit Manager and Ms Alice George, Senior Auditor both from the Office of the Kosrae Public Auditor, and Ms Claire Kelly, PASAI consultant. Yap OPA’s support for the assessment was co-ordinated by Ms Leelkan P Southwick, Chief Investigator, Mr Bryan Y Dabugsiy, Senior Auditor and Ms Emma L Gilyan, Administrative assistant.
Assessing the performance of public auditors helps them gauge the status of their internal development purposes and enables them to demonstrate their credibility with external stakeholders. This assessment was conducted using the INTOSAI’s SAI Performance Measurement Framework (SAI PMF). The framework assesses a holistic performance of the SAI covering audit work, internal governance and ethics, relations with external stakeholders, and independence and legal framework. The peer review teams presented their preliminary assessment results to the respective Public Auditors and staff at the completion of the week-long assessments.
As an elected government official, Ms. Doris Flores Brooks, Public Auditor for Guam, mentioned in her inaugural remarks earlier this year that she welcomed the assessment and is looking forward to the results to assist her Office in identifying areas of their operations that require improvement. During the assessment, she said she would publish the results of her Office’s performance assessment to demonstrate her commitment to strengthening accountability, transparency and integrity of government and public sector entities.
Mr Achilles Defngin, Yap Public Auditor expressed his appreciation of the assessment saying, “The Office is very grateful for the opportunity to have another similar North Pacific SAI carry out the assessment. Yap OPA wants the assessment to identify the Office’s strengths and weaknesses and highlight where we can improve”.
Guam OPA and Yap OPA are two of the six SAIs from the Northern Pacific who are participating in the second phase of the SAI PMF project in PASAI, a collaboration between the INTOSAI Development Initiatives (IDI), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and PASAI. This series of performance measurement will culminate with all six SAIs presenting and discussing their draft performance reports during a workshop to be held in the RMI in October 2017.
The implementation of SAI PMF is aligned with one of PASAI’s strategic goals, developing SAI’s performance measurement framework to assist with improving the delivery of SAI’s audit responsibilities in order to make a difference in the lives of citizens.
The two assessments were supported by the DFAT, IDI and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

Civic Affairs // May 17, 2017
COLONIA, Yap — On May 9, 2017, the leadership welcomed Admiral Scott H. Swift and his mission to Yap State. The Commander, United States Pacific Fleet and his mission briefly visited Yap to briefly meet with the Yap State Leadership and officials of the FSM National Government and the US Embassy.
Admiral Swift arrived with his delegation in the afternoon last Tuesday, and were escorted to the conference room of the Yap Airport Rescue & Fire Fighting (ARFF) Facility of the Yap International Airport. The Admiral then met with members of the Yap State Leadership, FSM Chief of Staff Leo Falcam, Jr., and US Ambassador Robert Riley and his delegates.
On behalf of Yap State, Governor Tony Ganngiyan welcomed Admiral Swift and his delegation to Yap State, and thanked them for taking the time to visit and discuss mutual interests with the State and the FSM. Governor Ganngiyan noted that Yap State historically hosted the US Navy fleet at Ulithi Atoll during WWII, and have since made friendly ties with the US Navy through continually provided projects and programs such as CCAD Seabees. He raised concerns of the global impact of such a relationship, with the Chief of Staff elaborating further on potential risks in the region.
The FSM President's Chief of Staff, Mr. Falcam, extended greetings from the nation's capital in Palikir, and reiterated the governor's gratitude for the "very beneficial" CCAD program, and noted the difficulties of servicing a nation that occupy a fairly large space in the Pacific with poor infrastructure.
Admiral Swift in his remarks hearkened to their previous meeting in Hawaii and the expressed challenges faced by the FSM. He stated that US Pacific Fleet stands to continue the dialogue and assist on common interests especially on areas of needed direct support; he stressed the issue of prioritization and focusing on areas of mutual interest—for example, the airport runway, and ocean security.
The admiral shared that his mission was on their fifth stop on a Indo-Asia-Pacific trip that started in Australia for the Battle of the Coral Sea 75th anniversary. The admiral and his delegation were scheduled to be in Yap for only two hours; after meeting with the local leadership and separately with the US Ambassador, the mission departed a little after 5:30 PM from the Yap International Airport.
Admiral Scott Harbison Swift is the current Commander, US Pacific Fleet as of May 27, 2015. The US Pacific Fleet (USPACFLT) is the Pacific Ocean command of the US Navy providing forces to the US Pacific Command, headquartered in Hawaii.

FSMTC/FSMIS // April 27, 2017
KOLONIA, Pohnpei — FSM Telecommunications Corporation (FSMTC) announced today (April 27) that John D. Sohl, President / Chief Executive Officer, has retired from the company effective April 24, 2017 and that Fredy S. Perman, currently Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer has been selected by the FSMTC Board of Directors to succeed him as President/ Chief Executive Officer.
John D. Sohl joined FSMTC on July 1988 as the Assistant General Manager and rose through the ranks to eventually become the President/Chief Executive Officer in April of 2010. Under his leadership, the submarine fiber cable became operational and has since grown to be FSMTC’s single most critical asset. John also worked closely with the FSM Government to upgrade its mobile network to 3G services which was launched in July of 2014 just in time for the 8th Micronesian Games in Pohnpei. John was one of the founding fathers of the Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA) whose headquarter is in Suva, Fiji. The objective of the association is to improve, promote, enhance, facilitate and provide telecommunications services within Member and Associate Member countries. While John is retiring from the telecom sector, he is the current Chairman of the FSM Development Bank and also a Director on the Bank of FSM.

23 May 2017, Suva, FIJI – The South Pacific Tourism Organisation Board of Directors met in Sydney yesterday to deliberate amongst other things on the success of the 2017 South Pacific Tourism Exchange (SPTE) and to also consider plans for the next event, recognized as the biggest travel show for the South Pacific.
Based on feedback from the participants of the 2017 SPTE, the Board agreed that the next event will be held in Adelaide in 2018, to coincide with the Australian Tourism Exchange.
Other decisions made at the meeting include the approval by the Board for Vanuatu to host the inaugural Pacific Tourism Insights Conference (PTIC) 2017, a joint collaboration between SPTO, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the Vanuatu Tourism Office. The conference is to be held on October 25th this year and is aimed at giving the industry an insight into global trends and events that are directly related to the tourism industry.
The second quarter meeting was attended by the government representatives of American Samoa, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the private sector representative from Fiji Airways.
The Directors also discussed issues related to SPTO’s policies, activities, work programme and budget since their last meeting in October and approved a tabled Governance Policy which includes the appointments of Tourism Industry Members to the SPTO Board.

FSM Information Services // May 15, 2017
TAMUNING, Guam — The Federated States of Micronesia hosted the 17th Micronesian Presidents Summit (MPS) at its new FSM Consulate Office in Guam on May 3, 2017. The three Presidents of the Micronesian region, namely H.E. President Peter M. Christian of the Federated States of Micronesia, H.E. President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., of the Republic of Palau, and H.E. Hilda C. Heine, Ed. D, of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, gathered in Guam at the margins of the Micronesian Islands Forum (MIF), which was held earlier from 1 – 2 May, 2017. The MPS is an annual event for the Micronesian Presidents to discuss issues of common interest.
A Joint Communique was signed as an outcome of the 17th MPS based on discussions held by the Presidents on a whole range of issues including maritime boundaries, labor harmonization, shipping services, invasive species, health, higher education, high seas bunkering, to name a few.
In addition to the Communique, two resolutions were also signed, the first to request assistance for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and appropriate entities to provide a market analysis on United Airlines service provisioning and pricing in the Micronesian region, and another on strengthening the transnational crime units in the three countries of FSM, ROP, and RMI.

COLONIA, YAP FSM. The Yap State Human Trafficking Task Force will host an Awareness Walk on Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 7:00 a.m. to raise awareness about gender-based violence and human trafficking in Yap.
Registration will take place at the Yap Human Trafficking Task Force booth at the Living History Museum during Yap’s Homecoming Summer Festival beginning Friday, June 16th from 12 noon to 5:00pm, and from 6:30 to 7:00 am on Saturday, June 17th. The Walk will begin at 7:00am on Saturday .
Participants will walk around the lagoon and arrive back at the Task Force booth where t-shirts will be awarded to the first 100 people to complete the Walk. All other participants will receive a reusable water bottle after completing the Walk in recognition of their participation in this important initiative to raise awareness and stop human trafficking and gender-based violence in Yap. A special raffle will also be held at the booth with winners announced on Saturday afternoon.
Human trafficking is the trade of human beings for the purpose of exploitation, such as forced labor and commercial sex. This form of modern slavery is an issue that occurs everywhere in the world, even in the State of Yap. Established in August 2015, the Yap State Human Trafficking Task Force promotes awareness and helps prevent trafficking in Yap.
For more information, visit the Yap State Human Trafficking Task Force Facebook page, call 350-2105 or visit

www.livefree.fm

science 01Habele - JUNE 2017
Elaborate cultural dances and seafaring canoes have made the Micronesian Islands of Yap famous, but this month it was the ultra-advanced Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math skills of local students on display.
An annual competition and exhibition organized by Yap Catholic High School drew nearly 200 community members who came to watch and support 70 high school student participants.
Ambitious freshmen students showed off complicated robots designed, built, and refined, over the spring semester. First year students also presented science fair projects completed for their Earth Science course. Sophomores involved with the STEM and Robotics Club ran demonstrations which included sound wave experiments, and tests of strength utilizing complex force sensors.
Upperclassman were not to be outdone. Juniors displayed science fair projects focused on issues directly pertinent to Yap including climate change, erosion, and seawater intrusion. Seniors explained circuitry design and supervised underclassmen’s demonstrations.

justice workshopFSM Supreme Court
The FSM Supreme Court, with the support of the Pacific Judicial Strengthening Initiative (PJSI), conducted a three day Access to Justice/Enabling Rights Workshop from May 23-25, 2017 at the Governor’s Conference room in Kolonia, Pohnpei. A week prior to the workshop, from May 15-20, FSM Supreme Court staff, including General Counsel Danny Rescue, Jr., Acting Director Atarino Helieisar, and Pohnpei State Justice Ombudsman Johnny Peter, along with PJSI Technical Director Dr. Livingston Armytage, went out to various offices, agencies, outer islands, and municipalities in Pohnpei to conduct an Access to Justice Assessment.
The initiative was the first of its kind in the FSM
An Access to Justice Assessment is a tool that can assist courts in planning their work, allocating resources and responding to community concerns. It can assist the courts to improve service delivery by identifying justice needs within the FSM, however, because of limitations on funding and time to conduct the study, only Pohnpei State was assessed. The Assessment provides people with an opportunity to give feedback on their needs and how the National, State, Land, and Municipal Courts are addressing those needs. They also provide the courts with an opportunity to evaluate this feedback and develop a plan of action, taking the views of users and potential users into consideration. The key aspect of the Assessment is not that they are conducted, but how the findings are used. The courts need to be committed to taking action to address community needs expressed in the Assessment and using the findings to improve court performance and increase the public’s access to justice.
The first day of the workshop involved interested stakeholders and court users, and allowed them to give comments on obstacles that individuals may face when accessing courts in Pohnpei. The information gathered during the first day of the training supplemented the data gathered during the Assessments taken during the previous week. Judges and court staff from the FSM Supreme Court, Pohnpei State Court, Court of Land Tenure, and Municipal Courts were in attendance during day 1 of the training.
The second and third day of the workshop were limited to judges and court staff, who discussed the findings of the Assessments, reviewed the comments from the Assessments, and discussed ways to address issues regarding access to our courts. The topics of pro se litigants (individuals who appear before the court without an attorney), and enabling rights were also discussed in the three day training.
A main focus throughout the workshop was access to the courts for victims of domestic violence, child and spousal abuse, human trafficking, people with physical and mental disabilities, and the need for translation as a barrier to justice for many FSM citizens. As a result of the training, various court plans were developed to address the issues raised in regards to access to justice, which will be initiated in the coming months. Scheduled public awareness of people’s rights and community outreach efforts to explain court functions and procedures will be some of the first activities to be implemented by the courts in Pohnpei.

$36m grants approved to bring broadband to Kiribati and Federated States of Micronesia

WASHINGTON D.C., May 31, 2017 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$36 million in grants to help provide reliable fiber optic broadband internet to approximately 80,000 people in Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).
The grants, including US$20 million for Kiribati and US$16.26 million for FSM, will finance the installation of a submarine cable system connecting Tarawa (Kiribati) to Nauru, and Kosrae state (FSM) to Pohnpei state (FSM), which is connected to global networks. The Asian Development Bank is preparing finance to support Nauru’s participation in the cable system.
“We have already seen the benefits high-speed, reliable and affordable internet can bring to countries across the Pacific, and we look forward to working with Kiribati and Micronesia to bring faster and cheaper connectivity to the North Pacific,” said Michel Kerf, World Bank Country Director for Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. “These connections will play a crucial role in linking families, creating economic and employment opportunities, reducing transaction costs, providing remote education and healthcare, and boosting national and international coordination.”
The projects are part of the Pacific Regional Connectivity Program, which aims to bring more reliable and affordable internet to the majority of countries in the Pacific Islands. Kiribati and Micronesia are two of the world’s most remote island nations, covering six million square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean, making access to information, services and economic opportunities a massive challenge.
In Kiribati, the internet capacity will be sold by the wholesaler on an open access basis to ensure equal access for all fixed and mobile networks operated by local retailers in Tarawa and nearby islands, accounting for more than two-thirds of the country’s population. A complementary project, supported by the World Bank, Australia and New Zealand will also help deliver mobile broadband services to more distant outer islands.
“High-speed internet will connect Kiribati to the rest of the world, bringing new opportunities into our homes and offices and promoting overall economic integration. This is crucial for our development,” said Dr Teatao Tira, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communication, Transport & Tourism, government of Kiribati. “The government has already taken important steps to reduce the cost and improve the quality of services and this cable will take those achievements to the next level.”
In the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), both Yap and Chuuk states are already part of the Pacific Regional Connectivity Program through the Palau-FSM Connectivity phase. The underwater cable systems for Yap and Chuuk states are set for installation late 2017 and are expected to be ready for service by early 2018. With this additional funding, all four states in Micronesia will have access to broadband internet.
This accomplishment will complete a key objective of the FSM Government’s National Development Strategy, which aims to connect all four states to fiber optic cable systems to ensure equality of access.
“Just a few short years ago, no one would have believed such a project was possible. Through vision, persistence and with the mutual support of our regional and donor partnerships we are now on the verge of achieving our dream of connecting our small island state communities to the world,” said Vice President Yosiwo P. George of the national government of the Federates States of Micronesia (FSM). “This project will provide all four states with access to good quality and affordable internet connections. We look forward to being able to overcome some of the challenges our remoteness creates.”
In addition to laying the fiber optic cable, the grants will fund technical assistance provided to relevant government ministries and help develop the regulatory framework needed to promote competition and keep costs as low as possible for consumers.
The US$36.26 million grants are provided through the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for countries most in need

norma

An Outcome & Appreciation Ceremony was held on May 19, 2017 by the National Oceanic Resource Management Authority, during which Executive Director Eugene Pangelinan presented appreciation certificates to all involved in helping to make the FSM’s first World Tuna Day celebrations a success. The unofficial results of an event survey were presented at the gathering, which noted feedback in areas such as better timing, enhanced logistics and improved participation. The overall coordination of the event was reported in the survey as being excellent.
In official remarks, Executive Director Pangelinan expressed expectation that next year’s World Tuna Day event would be even bigger and better than this year’s event and that the Early Childhood Education Centers would continue to participate. Executive Director Pangelinan also indicated his shared hope with Vice President Yosiwo P. George, as expressed during his keynote address at the World Tuna Day Fair that, that as a way to improve on participation and timing of the event, efforts would be underway to work with the FSM Congress to make World Tuna Day an official FSM holiday. “We must improve on public awareness of this important resource. What better way to do that than to designate World Tuna Day as a legal holiday, so that everyone can participate in the celebrations?”

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
June 2, 2017
Pohnpei—Pohnpei’s office of the Attorney General has filed a claim against four former employees of Pohnpei State. The State is seeking to recover financial damages for payments for unauthorized overtime in the amount that the claims say the State will prove in Court.
The claim is based on audit findings on Pohnpei’s Payroll System for fiscal years 2011 and 2012, conducted by the Pohnpei Office of the Public Auditor in 2013. Its finding and subsequent compliance investigation support was handed over to the Attorney General’s office but the AG’s office failed to act at that time.

fiber optic

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
May 30, 2017
Palikir, Pohnpei—The FSM Congress has passed two bills which they hope, when taken together will meet the World Bank’s requirements for the largest single project grant in FSM history. The bills now go to the President’s office for consideration.
The two bills had the effect of rejecting in its entirety the contents of the bill submitted by TC&I to transfer some FSMTC assets to a new government owned wholesaler for communications capacity. If taken together the bills would give the wholesaler (Open Access Entity or OAE) access to FSMTC’s fiber optic spur at no charge and would also give FSMTC access at no charge to World Bank funded fiber optic lines that are planned if World Bank decides that their funding conditions have been met.

MAY 2017

During a handover ceremony on Monday, May 8th Charges de affaires Joanne Cummings presented the keys to three new police vehicles to Benito Cantero, Director of the Department of Public safety.
The donation represented a USDA Rural Development Communities Facilities Grants funding under the Economic Impact Initiative (EII for $25,000) and the Regular CF Grant (RCF for $8,495) Programs for a Total Grant Amount of $33,495 (55% of Total Project Cost). PSG provided $27,405 in Matching Funding (45% of TPC) for a Total Project Cost of $60,990 for the Three Vehicles for Procurement, Detailing, Sirens and Lights.
Grant Awards were obligated on March 03, 2011.
One vehicle will be stationed at the Kitti Substation for PSG DPS and the other two will be stationed at the Main Police Station in Kolonia Town for Patrol Division usage in Sokehs and Kolonia and Nett.

PALIKIR, POHNPEI – May 12, 2017. The First Regular Session of the new Twentieth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia has convened and reorganized its leadership and maintained Senator Wesley W. Simina as the Speaker for the new body.
The leadership of Congress is comprised of the Presiding Officers and the Chairmen of the seven congressional committees. As organized, the leadership of the new body is as follows, for the Presiding Officers:
1. Senator Wesley W. Simina from the State of Chuuk maintained his role as Speaker;
2. Senator Esmond B. Moses of the State of Pohnpei is elected as the new Vice Speaker; and
3. Senator Florencio Singkoro Harper of the State of Chuuk is once again the Floor Leader of the body.
For the chairmen of the seven congressional committees:
1. Senator Joseph J. Urusemal of Yap again heads the Committee on Education;
2. Senator Paliknoa K. Welly of Kosrae maintains his chairmanship on the Committee on External Affairs;
3. Senator Ferny S. Perman of Pohnpei is the new Chairman of the Committee on Health and Social Affairs;
4. Senator Robson Romolow of Chuuk takes over the Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations;
5. Senator David W. Panuelo of Pohnpei maintains his chairmanship of the Committee on Resources and Development;
6. Senator Victor Gouland of Chuuk also maintains his chairmanship of the Committee on Transportation and Communication; and
7. Senator Isaac V. Figir of Yap too maintained his role as the head of the Committee on Ways and Means.
Unless agreed upon for earlier adjournment, the First Regular Session of the 20th Congress is scheduled to adjourn on May 30, 2017. The interested general public is always welcome to observe the Congress in session.
During a handover ceremony on Monday, May 8th Charges de affaires Joanne Cummings presented the keys to three new police vehicles to Benito Cantero, Director of the Department of Public safety.
The donation represented a USDA Rural Development Communities Facilities Grants funding under the Economic Impact Initiative (EII for $25,000) and the Regular CF Grant (RCF for $8,495) Programs for a Total Grant Amount of $33,495 (55% of Total Project Cost). PSG provided $27,405 in Matching Funding (45% of TPC) for a Total Project Cost of $60,990 for the Three Vehicles for Procurement, Detailing, Sirens and Lights.
Grant Awards were obligated on March 03, 2011.
One vehicle will be stationed at the Kitti Substation for PSG DPS and the other two will be stationed at the Main Police Station in Kolonia Town for Patrol Division usage in Sokehs and Kolonia and Nett.

canoe

Habele Foundation - MAY 2017
Micronesian citizens living in Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, gathered in South Carolina in mid-May to reassemble a traditional paddling canoe. The boat was crafted in Yap and serves as a symbol of the interwoven history of the American and Micronesian Peoples.
Gift of this one-of-a-kind craft was prompted by support from private citizens across the United States –and in particular South Carolina– following Super Typhoon Maysak, a record-setting storm that ravaged the Micronesian States of Yap and Chuuk in 2015.
Canoe delivery was organized by “Habele,” a South Carolina headquartered charity serving students across Micronesia. Habele had solicited, coordinated, and delivered relief supplies to pupils and educators in the wake of the storm. “Waa’gey,” a Yap-based community preservation organization, crafted the canoe, also working with Habele to identify Micronesians in the United States who could reassemble the craft once it reached Edisto Island, south of Charleston.
"The canoe is the central object of Pacific Island cultures, and preserving the knowledge of its construction and use is essential to cultural preservation in the region,” explained Douglas Herman, Senior Geographer, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. “It is exciting to see this knowledge being shared and perpetuated.“
The westernmost state in Micronesia, the tiny islands of Yap are scattered across 500 miles of ocean, just south of the US Territory of Guam. An American protectorate following liberation in World War Two, Micronesia is now a sovereign nation in a special “Compact” with the US. Through that status, many Micronesians come to study, work, and live, in the United States. Reassembly of the canoe offered some of these Islanders a chance to reconnect, and preserve their distinctive cultural skills.
“The practice of building and sailing canoes is an essential component of Micronesian culture,” says Barbara Wavell, an anthropologist and author of “Arts & Crafts of Micronesia.” “Canoe building requires many important skills including woodworking, lashing. These skills can also be applied to other cultural activities such as house construction and the making of bowls and tools. The Habele canoe project is a significant step in the promotion and preservation of this important cultural knowledge.”
Among the Micronesians who gathered to reassemble the canoe using distinctive and complex lashing techniques were Camilius Epoulipiy, John Salmai , Marino Yarogimal, Ralph Tawerilig, Richard Yangitelmes, and Troy Hasugulut. American born relatives of Island descent joined as well as American volunteers.
The canoe’s point of origin and its new berth share historical ties with the Spanish Empire. In 1686, the Islands of Yap were sighted and first claimed as Spanish colony. That same year -over 7,000 miles away- Point of Pines Plantation on Edisto was burned by Spanish raiders from Florida hoping to expel English colonists from present day South Carolina.
“This canoe is authentic enough for museum display, and functional enough to take shrimping in South Carolina’s tidal creeks,” explained Larry Raigetal of Waa’gey. “It’s made from local materials, with traditional tools, and we are excited about our friends at Point of Pines putting it to good use.”
“I join our elders and young men of Waa'gey in extending our heart felt appreciation and congratulations to our partner, Habele and those who have helped to assemble the canoe,” continued Raigetal, the "Senap," or master carver. He was supervised by his late father and master canoe carver Peter Pakemai “This is a proud moment for us and we are humbled with the opportunity to play a small part of this achievement.” Organizers hope to formally commission the canoe in mid-June.
“I was grateful to be a part of this,” said Cam Epoulipiy, who drove more than seven hours to attend. “To reconnect with other Islanders, to practice and preserve important skills, and to see that others outside our Islands also value these things of such importance to us.”

enimwahn

MAY 2017

The importance of having healthy and productive coconut trees is the focus of a new grant that the Enimwahn Community received from the Global Greengrants Fund. Their NGO, Enimwahn Development Association Incorporated or EDA Inc., received $5,000 to purchase equipment and 2000 coconut seedlings and plan to cut senile trees and replant with a more productive species of coconut tree. President of the EDA Inc., Mr. Stuard Penias, noted that “the use of coconut in our community really went up due to the rise in cost of raising pigs and other community usage of coconut. As of today, the number of coconut trees in our community has decreased compare to ten years ago. Most of these coconut trees have died due to the typhoon we encountered (in 2015) and some are just too old to give fruits and too tall for people to climb. The need and demand for new coconut trees within the Enimwahn community is increasing rapidly. Therefore, the Enimwahn Community is seeking assistance from any donor agency who can assist with the replenishment and replanting of new coconut trees.”

On Saturday, April 22, 2017, Willy Kostka and Betty Sigrah of the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT), and Ricky Carl of The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Micronesia Program, met with the 10 Heirs of Alik Kufus to hand $21,000 ($2,100 per family) over to the owners of the Yela Ka Forest Reserve in Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia. This is an event that takes place every April with the funds coming from the proceeds/earnings of the Yela Conservation Easement Endowment Fund, managed by MCT. The endowment, which was established to support this conservation easement agreement with funds from a US Forest Service Forest Legacy Grant and with matching funds from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, has a current total value of approximately $520,000.
As a Micronesia Challenge (www.micronesiachallenge.org) site for the FSM, the Yela Ka Forest in Kosrae is a special place that holds the world’s last remaining stand of the Ka tree (a species of Terminalia found only in Pohnpei and Kosrae). Because this forest area is privately owned, and because it is a unique and special place that provides pertinent ecosystem services to the people of Kosrae, as well as serves as a very critical habitat/nursery for the creatures/animals in the area, Yela qualified under the Forest Legacy Program. Conservation easements are comprehensive plans that involve different components and partners.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
May 18, 2017
FSM—The US Department of the Interior has notified the FSM that it has suspended further infrastructure grant assistance to the FSM. The letter was dated April 27 and was transmitted under diplomatic cover to Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Lorin Robert in a letter dated April 28.
“The DOI has taken this step because the GFSM has not established a management system that meets the standards set forth in the “FSM Infrastructure Development Plan 2016-2025” (IDP),” the letter, signed by James E. Cason, Delegated Authority of the Deputy Secretary said.
It continues to say that the Compact of Free Association requires that “The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia shall develop and submit a nationwide infrastructure development plan (IDP) to the Government of the United States for review. Projects may be phased over two or more years. The annual implementation plan for the infrastructure sector referred to ... above, shall include a list of integrated state and national priorities for new and reconstructed capital infrastructure to be financed by Compact funds, cost requirements, and implementation schedule. This·project list and any revision thereto shall be submitted to the Government of the United States. Insofar as Grant funds are involved, the IDP shall be subject to the concurrence of the Committee.”
FSM Secretary for Transportation, Communication and Infrastructure, Lukner Weilbacher said this morning that the FSM does have an IDP that was approved by JEMCO (Joint Economic Management Committee). He said that the FSM feels that the issues the letter raised weren’t clear and has asked for a meeting with its US partners to discuss the matter further. “We already have an approved IDP,” he said.
Until after possible resolution of the issues of that pending meeting, US provided infrastructure funds under the Compact of Freely Associated States as amended have been frozen for future projects in the FSM.

Two-day summer festival set for June 16 – 17, 2017

Yap Visitors Bureau
COLONIA, Yap FSM – In its seventh year, Yap’s Homecoming Summer Festival 2017 will feature local food, canoe rides, craft demonstrations and the traditional dances that Yap is known for around the world.
“This year we are honoring 30 Years of the Pacific Asia Travel Association in Micronesia,” notes Don Evans, General Manager of the Yap Visitors Bureau. “We are proud to be members of PATA Micronesia, a catalyst for sustainable tourism development, and are excited to welcome the organization’s members to Yap during this fun event for their second tri-annual meeting.”
Taking place annually on the third Saturday of June, pre-festival activities on Friday, June 16th will begin at noon at the Yap Living History Museum in Colonia. A marketplace, canoe building and carving demonstrations and a traditional dance will entertain residents and visitors alike.
On Saturday, June 17th from 8:00am to 5:00pm, more fun and entertainment will include excursions in a hand-carved sailing canoe, a Stone Money ceremony, more traditional dances, as well as the opportunity to sample local food, buy locally-made handicrafts, and observe demonstrations by the island’s artisans.
“Come celebrate Yap’s kick-off-the-summer festival when families and friends, new and old, reunite at the Yap Living History Museum in Colonia. And don’t forget to bring your camera!” Evans adds.
For more information, contact the Yap Visitors Bureau at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

sylvia elias

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
May 17, 2017
Pohnpei—On Sunday, May 21, 26 year old Sylvia Elias of Madolenihmw will march across a platform in Guam to receive a Master’s degree in Social Work through the University of Hawaii Distance Learning program. Elias is a strong advocate and powerful voice for the elimination of family violence, a young voice made bolder and stronger by international backing.
In late April she met with several leaders including Chairman Peter Lohn of the Pohnpei State Legislature. Senator Lohn is the Chairman of the Judicial and Governmental Operations Committee. On the agenda was the newest version of a bill to criminalize and set penalties for Family Violence. The bill was first introduced approximately 9 years ago, but every time there is a new legislature, bills that have not been passed disappear and have to be re-introduced if they are to be considered. The latest complicated bill is 29 pages long. Reading through the bill it is striking to see how many times the words “if available” are used in reference to mandatory counseling, shelters, and other services that simply aren’t available.

telecommunicationOn May 4, 2017, The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Palau jointly hosted a signing ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Guam to commemorate the signing of the supply contracts for the Yap, Palau, and Chuuk cable systems. Executive officials and managers joined together to participate in a commemorative signing ceremony and ribbon cutting to celebrate the roll out of the projects.
During the ceremony, the Government of FSM together with Belau Submarine Cable Corporation (Republic of Palau), NEC Corporation (cable supplier, based in Japan), Globe (Republic of Palau’s partner, based in Philippines) and PT. Telekomunikasi Indonesia International aka Telin (FSM’s partner for the Yap cable, based in Indonesia), formally announced their collective partnership for the construction of fiber optic cable systems that will connect Yap, Chuuk (Weno) and the Republic of Palau to the rest of the world. NEC, as the cable supplier, announced that it had already begun construction and confirmed that delivery of the cable systems is currently on schedule to be completed by the end of this year.

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
May 18, 2017
Palikir, Pohnpei—Chairman Senator Victor Gouland of Chuuk called a public hearing of the Committee on Transportation and Communication for 8:30 this morning. The purpose of the hearing was to discuss proposed amendments that if passed would transfer certain assets of FSM Telecommunications Corporation (FSMTC) to the newly established “Open Access Entity”.
Witnesses at the hearing included representatives of the Department of Transportation, Communication and Infrastructure including the Department’s Secretary. The Secretary for the Department of Justice was there. FSMTC had representatives there including one board member. No one from the new “Open Access Entity” was there, leaving an attorney who has worked on the project to be the spokesperson, even though he told the committee that he didn’t work for the new government corporation.

anniversary 03

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
May 17, 2017
Kolonia, Pohnpei— Escorted by a full Kolonia Town contingent of police officers, with sirens blaring, people of Kolonia Town paraded from the Pohnpei State government building to the Kolonia Town government building for the 52nd commemoration of their “Charter Day”.

anniversary
“Kitail linganiki atail tepsang wasa tohto ahpw kak ehupene pahn ehu government oh kolokal soaramwahuen atail wasahn kouson oh en kak mwahueng en dih en mwuhr akan,” was printed in the program. Roughly translated, the sentence means “We shine from our different cultural backgrounds but unite under one government and uphold the true heritage of our origins for the sake of the next generation.”
The parade started later than planned, as did the formal ceremony at the Kolonia Town government building. The ceremony began with an opening prayer, and welcoming remarks were provided by the Speaker of the 9th Kolonia Town Council, followed by the laying of a wreath for former lead ers of the Kolonia Town government.
The Honorable Tadasy Yamaguchi gave a brief history of Kolonia Town. The ceremony closed with remarks by Kolonia Mayor Jose San Nicolas.

marlinBy The Pohnpei Fishing Club
May 13, 2017
Pohnpei—A two day fishing tournament of the Pohnpei Fishing Club (PFC) finished today. Petsin Abiner very nearly broke the club record for a marlin when he landed his 448.6 pound marlin. The previous record had been 450.6 pounds.
Certainly there are some large boats with big engines that compete in the fishing tournaments but there are also small boats. Abiner’s was one of those. His marlin nearly filled his boat and he was only running a 40 horsepower motor. Further, Abiner caught his marlin on a handline, a truly amazing feat. If his fish had only been two pounds heavier he would have walked away with the marlin jackpot that keeps growing and is now at $2500; missed it by “that much”.
The tournament started on FSM Constitution Day, a national holiday, and concluded on Saturday May 13.
Anglers competed for thousands of dollars in prizes. The top two anglers also won trips to the 25th Annual All Mike Tournament in Majuro. Those two prizes and others were sponsored by Ambros, Inc.

college 02

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
May 11, 2017
Pohnpei—Happy students participated today in the 65th commencement exercises of The College of Micronesia at the China Friendship Gym in Palikir. The theme chosen by the students was “There’s More Beyond the Reef”.
This class’s valedictorian was Anjannet Frederick who gave a stirring valedictory address. Salutatorian Jaymar Dannis Anderson introduced the commencement speaker, Yolanda Joab. Anderson presented a long list of Joab’s achievements that would have been impressive even if she wasn’t a young woman.
“The fastest way to feel old in your twenties is being asked to deliver the keynote speeches at both your high school and college alma maters,” she joked.