November 6, 2018 a big day for elections

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press


November 9, 2018

Pohnpei—This morning, Nan Madol, Pohnpei’s World Heritage site, one of the foundations of Pohnpei culture was the focus of two large grants provided by the United States government during a ceremony at the US Embassy in Nett.  The grants are intended to help to preserve both the physical structure of Nan Madol, which is on the list of World Heritage sites in danger, and the cultural preservation of the site.

Due to a delay in flights that meant missed connections, the representative for the largest grant recipient, Cultural Site Research and Management Foundation (, Mr. Douglas Comer was unable to join in the event.  The US Embassy awarded CSRM with a $375,000 grant to aid in removing Nan Madol from the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

Embassy materials said that the CSRM conservation measures include:

Ensuring the accessibility of archaeological sites located on selected islets with preference for the nine islets that local communities and administrations are interested in developing for tourism, should that prove to be feasible and sustainable;

managing the spread of invasive vegetation that has overgrown the archaeological site;

Developing a continued educational outreach program to train a skilled local workforce that will assist in future conservation efforts; and

Implementing a plan for By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press


November 8, 2018

FSM—Tuesday was a huge election day in Yap, Kosrae, the United States, and in Guam.

Guam’s voters made history when they overwhelmingly elected Lou Leon Guerrero as their Governor over incumbent Ray Tenorio.  She will be Guam’s first female Governor.  Additionally, not only did voters give Democrats a “super majority” in the 35th Guam Legislature, they also chose women to fill 10 of the Legislature’s 15 seats.

The United States had its mid-term elections.  Voters there put Democrats in control of the House of Representatives but chose to leave the Senate in the hands of the Republicans.

At press time, not all of the ballots were yet in for the election in Yap.  The Gubernatorial race is currently too close to call.  Only the candidates who ran unopposed can be said with any certainty to have won.  Those are Jerry G. Fagolimul for Election District 4 and Joseph B. Tiucheimal for Election District 5.  In the other Election Districts, there are some widely spread vote numbers that might on the face of things seem to rule out a few of the candidates, but that cannot be determined with any degree of certainty until all of the ballots are in.

Currently Nicholas Figirlaarwon is a strong front runner in the Yap State Legislature Election District 1 with 1156 votes.  John Mafel, with 1009 votes is also leading the pack.  Theodore (Ted) Rutun is currently in third place with 968 votes followed shortly behind by Vincent A. Figir with 931.  Right behind is Kensley Ikosia with 904 votes, followed by Joseph Giliko with 871.  The next vote getter was off the last seat votes by only 100 votes, and votes fall off further beyond that point.

Unless the off island ballots significantly change things, it appears that in Election District 2, Jesse Raglmar-Subolmar is the winner with 106 votes over his opponent’s 25.

The Election District 3 race is too tight to call.  Front runners John Masiwemai and Mathew Haleyaluw are separated by only nine votes, with 95 and 86 respectively.

With Kosrae’s radio station out of commission, they turned to a special Facebook group to distribute election results.  The group requires membership which they wrote that they would approve if a person who requests it has a clearly Kosraen name.  As a result, information has been difficult to come by for anyone else.

However, Kosrae’s Chief of Staff, Nena William provided unofficial results as of today with the understanding that confined votes and absentee ballots have yet to be received and recorded.  Numbers will necessarily change after those ballots are received.  Ballots currently received show that candidates for Governor, Alik L. Alik and Carson K. Sigrah are separated by only 122 votes with Alik in the lead with 1352 votes.  Currently Arthy G. Nena is the front runner for the seat of Lt. Governor with 1105 votes, 315 votes above his closest follower, Renster P. Andrew, who leads Aliksa B. Aliksa by 92 votes on today’s unofficial results.

10 candidates ran for five available seats to represent Lelu.  The numbers in that race are pretty tightly packed.  Currently, Tulensa W. Palik is in the lead with 596 votes, followed by Salpasr Tilfas with 528.  The numbers group fairly tightly for the candidates with fewer votes. The following two leading candidates are separated by only two votes.

Seven candidates ran for the three seats in Malem.  With 279 votes, Charlton M. Timothy is the current front runner there, followed by Jarinson M. Charley, and Sasaky L. George with 251 and 239 votes respectively.

Utwe has two seats available.  Six candidates ran.  The top three candidates are separated by only 26 votes according to today’s unofficial and non-final results.  Numbers of votes for the other three candidates fall off sharply from the front runners, Yamado A. Melander, Andrew J. Andrew, and Josaiah F. Waguk.

Tafunsak has four seats.  Six candidates ran.  The front runner, with 620 votes is currently Nena C. Ned.  Two candidates are currently tied at 485 votes each, Rolner L. Joe and Harry H. Jackson. They are followed close behind by Alokoa J. Sigrah with 482 votes.  The bottom two vote getters aren’t far behind, and all of this could change by the time the final ballots are in.

Meanwhile, the FSM is gearing up for the big race for representation in the FSM Congress.  On November 6, the day after the deadline for candidates to file for intention to run, the Office of the FSM National Election released its official list of candidates which is as follows:

Chuuk State at-large four year term candidates are Wesley W. Simina and Eriano E. Eram.  For Chuuk’s two year term seats in Election District one the candidates are Florencio Singkoro Harper and Mithasy B. Mark.  For Election District 2 the sole candidate is Victor (Vicky) Gouland.  For Election District 3 the candidates are Derensio S. Konman, and Eflove F. Mailos.  The three candidates for Election District 4 are Tiwiter Aritos, Manuel Rawit, and Smith K. Paulus.  In Election District 5 there are five candidates which are Robson Urak Romolow, Arisao Alchem, Joseph Konno Jr., Zander Refilong, and Vidalino Jones Raatior.

Candidates for Kosrae’s at-large four year term seat are Yosiwo P. George and Aren B. Palik.  Johnson Asher and Paliknoa K. Welly are the candidates for the two year term seats.

In Pohnpei, the candidates for the at-large four year seat are Peter M. Christian and David W. Panuelo. For the two year seat in Election District 1 the candidates are Ferney Perman and Merlynn Abello Alfonso.  For Election District 2 there are four candidates which are Dion G. Neth, Berney Martin, Herman Semes Jr., and Quincy Lawrence.  For Election District 3 the two candidates are Esmond B. Moses and Marstella Jack.

Joseph J. Urusemal is running unopposed for Yap’s at-large four years seat.  For Yap’s remaining two year seat the candidates are Isaac V. Figir and Fidelis Thiyer-Fanoway.

“Evidence-based decision making, which relies on geophysical and remote sensing studies, will inform the development of conservation strategies and will be instrumental in the formulation of a comprehensive tourism strategy, which has been suggested by ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) as a measure necessary for the removal of Nan Madol from the List of World Heritage in Danger,” their grant application said.

Students from the College of Micronesia FSM came to the ceremony by the bus load.  COM-FSM received a $40,000 grant for COM’s “Filming Our Journeys” project in conjunction with the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation award to conserve the World Heritage site Nan Madol.

“Through this award, students will receive training in storytelling and in digital storytelling techniques to empower them to create films and other media that interpret and promote Nan Madol and other sites of cultural heritage in the Federated States of Micronesia,” the grant application said.

“Additional elements of this program will connect Micronesian students to interpreters and conservators of other imperiled cultural heritage in the United States. Funds from this grant will be used to support the College of Micronesia’s continued work with students engaged in preserving and recording the nation’s history. This includes further training in storytelling techniques as well as technical training in filmmaking, podcasting, and/or other digital storytelling or imaging technologies,” the successful grant application said.

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