Top Stories

Wed
14
May
admin's picture

MALIETOA PRESENTS CHIEFLY TITLE IN HAWAII

The Head of State of Western Samoa, His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II, conferred a chiefly title on the President of Hawaii's Polynesian Cultural Center Saturday, surrounded by a Council of Samoan Chiefs and Maori and Tongan warriors in traditional dress.

Lester Moore, during the colorful, two-and-a-half hour investiture ceremony at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, was given the title, Galumalemana, a combination of the names of early, historically-significant Samoan chiefs. In English, he was named Prince of Samoa.

So significant a ceremony rarely is held outside of Samoa. But Malietoa came to the small village of Laie, on the windward side of the Island of Oahu, to honor Moore for the achievements of the Polynesian Cultural Center in making millions of visitors to Hawaii aware of Samoan culture.

In 1993, Moore was similarly honored by the King of Tonga, Taufa'ahou Tupou IV.

The formal proceedings Saturday included the rarely performed King's Kava...

+ continue reading
Wed
14
May
admin's picture

RMI AND FSM SIGN AIR AGREEMENT

An international Air Transport Agreement now is in effect between the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. It paves the way for Air Marshalls to begin scheduled passenger and cargo services to the FSM.

The agreement was signed by transportation officials from both countries during ceremonies in the FSM capital of Palikir last week.

The agreement permits both scheduled services and non-traffic stops, for such purposes as refueling. Both nations also granted the other the right to conduct non-stop international air transportation across its territory, by designated FSM and Marshallese airlines.

Service by Air Marshalls to the FSM now is in the planning stage. Currently, the Federated States of Micronesia has no national airline, with international and internal services provided primarily by Continental Air Micronesia.

In signing the air agreement, the RMI and FSM officials noted that it may be affected by the terms of...

+ continue reading
Wed
14
May
admin's picture

PLANE DITCHED NEAR TARAWA HAD OIL LEAK;

PILOT UNHARMED

The German pilot who ditched his small Beechcraft V35 airplane off Tarawa last week, and was rescued unharmed by the Marshall Islands patrol boat Lomor, is reported by the RMI Sea Patrol to be on his way back to Germany, having departed Majuro aboard a commercial airliner.

The pilot, Horst Ellanberger, was on a flight from Hawaii to Australia when his plane sprang an oil leak and was forced down and sank a week ago in waters about 200 miles from the Kiribati capital.

The Kiribati Co-ordination Center in Tarawa was unable to respond to the emergency because the Kiribati patrol boat was not operational at the time of the accident. As a result, rescue assistance was requested from the neighboring Marshall Islands and its Sea Patrol unit of the Ministry of Resources and Development.

Lieutenant Commander Jack Barker, the Lomor's commanding officer, said his ship also was delayed during the rescue operation, when the patrol boat's engines had to...

+ continue reading
Wed
14
May
admin's picture

COMMONWEALTH WRITER'S PRIZE WINNER

FIGIEL IN HAWAII

Western Samoan poet and writer Sia Figiel, winner of the 1997 Commonwealth Writer's Prize for the best first book in the Southeast Asia and South Pacific Region, will present a public reading in Honolulu on May 21.

Ms. Figiel will offer excerpts from her award-winning work, Where We Once Belonged, a fictional, poetic exploration of adolescence. It is written primarily in English, with some sections in Samoan.

In London, where Figiel received the Commonwealth Prize April 29, the judges commended the Samoan book for "its ability to evoke an entire community in all its vivid details."

The reading, presented by the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, will take place at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

DETAILS: Wednesday, May 21, 1997 Orvis Auditorium, University of Hawaii at Manoa 7:30 p.m. No charge Presented by the Center for Pacific Islands Studies Co-sponsored by: Hawaii Literary Arts Council Department of English,...

+ continue reading
Wed
14
May
admin's picture

EIGHT RESCUED OFF WAKE ISLAND

All eight crew members who abandoned their burning fishing boat 165 miles southeast of Wake Island last week were safely rescued from a life raft over the weekend.

Before being pulled aboard a sister ship, the crew members of the Houei Maru No. 81 were dropped survival equipment by US and Japanese aircraft which flew over the scene of the accident.

The Japanese Maritime Safety Agency is investigating the cause of the ship's fire.

Wake Island, in the North Pacific, is a US territory claimed by some Marshall Islands political factions.

+ continue reading
Wed
14
May
admin's picture

Pohnpei Hill remain hazardous

POHNPEI HILLSIDES REMAIN HAZARDOUS

After examining the Pohnpei villages where 19 persons lost their lives in mud slides last month, a U.S. Department of Agriculture soil analyst says the danger of additional landslides continues to exist.

The analyst, Phil Giles, reported that minor additional sliding occurred in the area of Iohl and Oumor villages after recent heavy rainfall.

Hillside soil structure in the region has been weakened as a result of land clearing for sakau, a mildly narcotic pepper plant, and other crops.

Meantime, the state of Pohnpei and Federated States of Micronesia governments have requested US technical assistance in dealing with the soil problem. The US has been asked to conduct a geological survey of Pohnpei Island, in an effort to identify all areas prone to future landslides.

An earlier request by FSM President Jacob Nena to U.S. President Bill Clinton, asking that Pohnpei be declared a disaster area and eligible for...

+ continue reading
Wed
14
May
admin's picture

COLEMAN BID A FINAL FAREWELL

Former Governor of American Samoa, Peter Tali Coleman, who held the chiefly title, Uifa'atali, from his home village of Pago Pago, was bid a final farewell Saturday morning, during burial services at Hawaii's Diamond Head Memorial Park.

The first popularly-elected governor of America's only South Pacific territory, Coleman died at his Honolulu home April 28, following a two-year battle against liver cancer. He was 77.

Among the hundreds of friends who came to honor Coleman at a requiem mass Friday night, at St. Augustine Church in Waikiki, were American Samoa's present Governor, Tauese Pita Sunia, and the Governor of Hawaii, Ben Cayatano.

In addition to serving three terms as Governor of American Samoa, Coleman was a former administrator in the now dissolved Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, where he held high level posts in the Marshall Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. During World War II, he served as a U.S. Army officer in...

+ continue reading
Wed
14
May
admin's picture

CORAL REEF TWILIGHT ZONE DIVING EXPEDITION

The 16-day Coral Reef Twilight Zone diving expedition, now underway in Palau, already has discovered 21 previously unknown species of marine life, including a metallic-blue damselfish.

Divers involved in the expedition, organized by Hawaii's Bishop Museum in cooperation with the Palau-based Coral Reef Research Foundation, are exploring Palau reef areas at depths of 500 feet or more, using advanced diving equipment called "rebreathers."

The ocean at this depth, where sunlight penetration ends, is known as the Twilight Zone.

From this point, the water then plummets into perpetual blackness.

Diver Richard Pyle reports that he collected three apparently new species of wrasses yesterday. While diving, he also encountered several gray reef sharks as well as a huge dog-toothed tuna which, he said, was much bigger than the sharks. They all passed each other without incident.

The current species collecting expedition in Palau ends May 19. Some of the...

+ continue reading
Wed
14
May
admin's picture

PALAU COMMUNICATIONS REBUILT

The Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC) reports that, over the past several years, the Micronesian nation's entire telecommunications system has been in the process of being rebuilt, at a cost of $39.1-million (U.S.).

Completed projects include the installation of 104 miles of underground copper and fiber cable. The new Palau facilities provide telephone, on-line computer, and other contemporary telecommunications services to homes and businesses in the capital city of Koror and the adjacent state of Airai.

Undersea fiber cable, totaling 124 miles, now links the capital to all of the big island of Babeldaob, bringing services to some 1,000 additional families.

The more remote Palau islands will be connected to the national telecommunications system via microwave.

+ continue reading
Wed
14
May
admin's picture

AMERICAN SAMOA ECONOMY BENEFITS

FROM U.S. CONNECTION

American Samoa's preferential access to U.S. markets, says Bank of Hawaii economist Wali Osman, gives the South Pacific territory a predictable, competitive trade advantage over most other Pacific Islands economies.

Osman, author of the just-released American Samoa Economic Report, says the territory's economic mainstays continue to be jobs in government and the tuna canning industry, and, now, a new garment factory.

There is little tourism infrastructure, he adds, pointing out that American Samoa, with only 67 square miles of land, does not have the land mass necessary to support a large tourism industry. Osman notes in his report, however, that with the opening of a new U.S. national park in the territory earlier this year, there is growing potential for small-scale ecotourism businesses to develop.

Complimentary copies of Osman's series of reports on Pacific Islands economies, including the new American Samoa publication, are...

+ continue reading

Pages