The article on page 10 of your recent issue “Four arrested in conjunction with illegal dredging in Sokehs” should have read “Four wrongfully arrested for no valid reason at all”

The arrest of Mr. Jose San Nicolas, and his friends Mr. Sohs Abraham, and Mr. Juan San Nicolas was most unfortunate!  And very sad indeed!  The arrest was without probable cause.  The arrest was without a warrant.  The arrest was wrongful. The arrest was illegal.  The search was conducted without probable cause.  The search conducted was without a warrant.  The search was illegal.  The search was scary.  And their confinement in jail was illegal.

As couple of days later, the Pohnpei law enforcement gang, equipped with a search and an arrest warrant arrested Jose San Nicolas, Sohs Abraham, Juan San Nicolas and John Sog.  A couple of days later, the Pohnpei law enforcement gang again raided The San Nicolas business premises.

Pohnpei Public Lands Trust Board of Trustees, Pohnpei State Government Permit No. 059-15, issued its Permit No. 059-15 to Marcia David and Reed David, Jr., on January 12, 2018, as permittee to remove dyke and landfill at Danpei, Sokehs.  Attached herewith is a true and correct copy of Permit No. 059-15.  As a permittee, the Davids entered into a contract with Whitesand Company for the dyke removal and landfill.  Whitesand Company is a local company which engages in sand mining and dredging and is owned by Miko San Nicolas and his nephew, Larry San Nicolas.  Attached herewith are copies of Whitesand Company business license.

VCS Company is a local company which engages in construction, import of construction supplies and operation of a cement block plant in Kolonia.  VCS is owned by Juan San Nicolas.  Attached hereto is a true and correct copy of its business license.  VCS does not engage in sand mining and dredging.

There exists a privity between The Pohnpei Public Trust Board of Trustees, Pohnpei and the permittees, Marcia David  and Reed David, Jr., by virtue of issuance of Permit No. 059-15 to the Davids by the Board of Trustees.  As permittee, the Davids are answerable to the board of trustees for issues or matters pertaining to the terms of the permit.  However, instead of arresting the permittee for an alleged possible violation of the terms of the permit, Pohnpei State law enforcement gang went out and engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crimes and illegally arrested Jose San Nicolas, Sohs Abraham, John Jog, and Juan San Nicolas and threw them in jail.

Thus, the wrongful and illegal arrest of Jose San Nicolas has radically re-defined the meaning of the word “Permittee” by introducing additional new elements in its ordinary meaning.  The word “Permittee” now has a new meaning:  One who engages in construction, imports construction supplies, and operates a cement block plant can be considered as “Permittee”, and subject easily to wrongful and illegal arrest by the Pohnpei law enforcement gang.

John Weilbacher

via Larry San Nicolas

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Guest Perspective: Domestic Violence Act passes after nine years

After a prolonged review and deliberation period, the Ninth Pohnpei State Legislature, in a unanimous vote (20-0) voted in favor of the Domestic Violence Act of 2017. This new law basically established family violence offenses as a separate chapter under the criminal code, provides for emergency protective orders for the victims, and incorporates rehabilitation opportunities for the perpetrators.
Over the years while the Bill sat in Legislature, the Pohnpei Women Council organized lobbying activities and appeared before the Legislature more than once to lend support to the passage of the Bill. In an effort to preempt passage of the Bill, the council took one step further and renovated an old government building to use for response and intervention services to victims of family violence. Now that the law is finally in place, it’s time to operationalize the delivery of that service.
Former Senator Magdalena Walter worked tirelessly to get her colleagues to come on board, so special acknowledgment of that work is proper and timely. The Pohnpeian students who came down from University of Guam to testify before the Committee did an excellent job of sharing their stories and a huge “Kalahngan” is extended to every one of them. The Association of Pacific Island Legislatures (APIL), back in 2011, passed a resolution urging passage of the Bill by the PSL. The foreign missions based in FSM, especially the Australian Mission, have consistently urged individual senators to support the Bill. At one point or another, during the past nine years, people in various capacities have expressed strong support for the Bill. Thank you all very much.
In 2013, when Kosrae State Legislature passed their Family Protection law, there was much confidence that the momentum would spill across the ocean to the PSL to follow suit, but unfortunately, there were still outstanding concerns regarding certain provisions in the Bill. According to the coconut wireless, the perceived conflict this law would have on Pohnpeian custom was a dominant factor in the delay of its’ passage.
Then right after Kosrae State passed its law, the UNFPA came into FSM and carried out a Family Health and Safety Study which revealed what was already known by many that violence against women exists in FSM (32.8%). In the final Standing Committee Report, it was the definition of the Discipline of Children that remained a concern so that was changed to align with the Constitution and Pohnpeian traditions. It should be noted here that Art. 5, s. 2 of the Pohnpeian Constitution clearly provides that where a statute is in conflict with Pohnpeian customs, the Legislature shall enact a new law to uphold that particular custom. The protection of Pohnpeian custom is therefore still paramount in this regard.
November 7, 2017 will go down in the history of Pohnpei as a particularly important day because of the passage of this new law establishing family violence as a criminal offense. At the end of the day, it is you, the Senators of the Ninth Pohnpei Legislature that made it all possible because you cast your affirmative vote on that day. Kaping lap oh mwuledek pwehki doadoahk eh pweidahr.
Now, onto enforcement!!!
Marstella E. Jack

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Health Corner 3 - Knowing more about Non- Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

The four main NCDs are: Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Chronic Lung Diseases. The NCD rates are higher and rising among lower income countries and populations.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Chronic Respiratory Diseases (CRD) as chronic diseases of the airways and other structures of the lung. The most common are: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), occupational lung diseases and pulmonary hypertension.
These diseases have a high morbidity rate, as well as disability and premature mortality, specifically asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Risk factors include: tobacco smoke (either active smoking or secondhand smoke), air pollution, occupational chemicals and dusts, and frequent lower respiratory infections during childhood.
CRDs are not curable; however many cases of COPD are preventable by avoiding or stopping smoking.Treatment can relieve symptoms, improve quality of life and reduce the risk of death.
According to the latest WHO estimates (2004):
64 million people have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
More than 3 million people die each year from COPDs, an estimated 6% of all deaths worldwide.
More than 90% of COPD deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries.
235 million people suffer from asthma, a common disease among children.

From the perspective of Integrative Medicine, if we consider the element air in this topic, we could say that air marks the start and end of our life, since the first breathing allows us to live and the last one takes us to death. We all share the air with humans and other species.
The air is related to breathing. Breathing is the beat of the Universe. We inhale and exhale as the Universe expands and contracts. Breathing connects us with the universe.
If you want to try an exercise to breathe like a person with COPD does, take a straw, close your lips around it, pinch your nose and breath only through the straw in your mouth… inhale… and exhale... inhale… and exhale… You have the privilege to take the straw away and breath in and out to all your healthy lung capacity; 64 million of people in the world cannot.
How can I prevent, or help my family prevent, Chronic Respiratory Disease? Let’s review the risks factors:
Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer*. If you are a current smoker, find the support needed to stop smoking. According to the CDC, the only way to fully protect nonsmokers is to eliminate smoking in all homes, worksites, and public places. We are responsible to reinforce the law and make those spaces clean.
Air pollution: indoor air pollution, resulting from solid fuel used for cooking and heating and outdoor air pollution. Maintain ventilated spaces, avoid smoke from cooking or wearing a mask if you can’t avoid them. Plant trees that will help the environment.
Occupational chemicals and dust: people working in these conditions should wear special protection.
Avoid Frequent respiratory infections during childhood: Having a good immune system as a result of a healthy lifestyle will help prevent and fight respiratory diseases at any age, especially during early years.

Mabel Loján, MD


Integrative Medicine
*: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 [accessed 2017 Oct 18]).

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