OTV Weekend Report

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Hello, illness thank you for joining us for this weekend’s news report for March 23, sildenafil 2012.  My name is Rondy Ronny and these are the news highlights for the week for the region.

Intact U.S. Corsair, WWII plane found

The Lost WWII Aircraft

On March 21 local spear fishermen discovered a plane lying on the ocean floor west of Koror.  They contacted Neco Marine owner Shallum Etpison to find out if this was a known wreck site. Shallum has worked in the past with local fishermen to find several WWII planes and his wife Mandy discovered the upside down Japanese zero plane wreck east of Koror.  Shallum went out Wednesday to explore the possible new plane site, and found a beautifully intact unknown U.S. Corsair plane sitting upright in 45 feet of water. He said it is amazing that after all these years of research, tourism and exploring, Palau still holds many secrets and exciting discoveries. The discovery of this wreck is great timing as the Bent Prop team who can identify the plane further are currently in Palau.  According to Dr. Scannon of bent brop there were 3 squadrons of Corsair planes based on Peleliu between September 1944 and the end of the war in 1945. This plane, tentatively identified as a Marines F4U-1D model, must have taken off from Peleliu before being shot down west of Koror.  There were three bullet holes in the plane, one going through the cockpit, and the cockpit glass cover was open and partially melted, so the pilot may have been in trouble. The cockpit opening is overgrown with corals. This mysterious plane is the best preserved Corsair aircraft found in Palau so far.  The fishermen who discovered the site are: Ngatibuchel Uchel and Aikman Megreos, Ililau Bausoch, Bausoch Ngiramur, Skilang Ililau, Dairon Rediall and Sabadong Ngirbedul.  The photos were provided by Mandy Etpison.

Traditional Leaders Troubled by Palau’s Budget Bill

In a detailed letter dated March 19, 2012, Palau’s traditional leaders expressed their serious concern over the recently passed Budget Bill but acknowledged that their complaints maybe “futile” at this juncture.  The letter was signed by every traditional leader who was on island except for Sebastian Marino, who works for the Executive Branch of the National Government.  The letter complains about the delay in enacting the budget and also questions the legislative process that permitted the inclusion of new items in the budget that were not part of the bill that was originally in the Conference Committee, such as Presidential waiver of procurement process.  The letter suggests that the method may have been unconstitutional. Finally, the letter directly accuses the bill of legalizing the possible illegal actions of the President in an effort to suspend procurement requirements for the public bidding of projects paid for with or by public funds.  The Traditional leaders stated that they find this “very disturbing.”

Palau’s New Court Rule requires parties to attempt settlement before a trial will be heard

The Palau Supreme Court has amended its rules of civil procedure to include a new rule.   New Rule 40 pushes parties toward pre-trial settlement. The Court rule actually requires that prior to any trial the parties must confer with each other and make a good faith effort toward settlement.  Currently Palau has no formal mediation or arbitration program, but this new rule signals a move in that direction.

9 Resolutions signed at Executive Chiefs Summit

Regional leaders from Guam, The Marshall Islands, CNMI, Palau and the FSM gathered at the 17th Micronesian Chief Executive Summit last week in Guam and duly submitted and adopted nine Resolutions on March 15, 2012. The resolutions adopted relate to a call for a Health Care, NCD Law and Policy Summit, long term sustainable funding for conservation in the region, address and implement response to climate change in Micronesia, encourage women leadership in society, endorse the MYSN conference in Palau, urge development in radio technology, endorse a Micronesian biodiversity plan, relative workforce investment workgroup, endorse the request to the U.S. DOI by for a sustainable future. The Chief Executives announced that the 18th MCES will be held in the RMI in conjunction with the 12th Micronesian President’s Summit.

President Toribiong  announces 2012 Presidential re-election bid

President of the Republic of Palau

President Johnson Toribiong announced his 2012 Presidential re-election bid at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center. Many showed up to the free luncheon to show support today.  Here’s a quick look at the affair.

GPD investigates shooting targets given to Palau

A few weeks ago Guam Police Chief Fred Bordallo filed a theft of property complaint against a high-ranking officer in the Guam Police Department.  Details about the case are still unknown as internal and criminal complaints are underway. The complaint at GPD has raised questions about whether there was an actual theft of government property or whether the transfer of shooting targets was an act of cooperation among island leaders. Palau Director of Public Safety, Norvert Yano contacted Mark Charfauros, the subject of the investigation, and asked if Palau could obtain targets from GPD just as they did last year.  Mark said he could. As part of its partnership in the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Organization, GPD also provided firearms to Palau in the past. OTV contacted the Director of Public Safety Norvert Yano and he stated that last year while he attended the Chiefs of Police conference in Pohnpei he requested assistance from the representative of Guam in an official capacity for supplies and equipment. As in previous years before Director Yano offered to pay for the supplies and equipment but the said items were once again donated free of charge.

King of Tonga passes away

King of Tonga

King George Tupou V, the King of Tonga, died in Hong Kong at 63, reportedly of cancer.  His death sparked an outpouring of grief in the Pacific nation.  The King of Tonga was known for his extravagant lifestyle. He was also known for wearing a monocle and pith helmets. King Tupou took reign in 2006 after the death of his father.  In 2008 he marked his coronation with a $3 million, five-day event which was attended by thousands of people, including the Sultan of Brunei and then New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.  The King appointed his younger brother, Prince ‘Ulukalala Lavaka Ata, as Crown Prince and heir to the throne.

Search ends in Tragedy: Rescue divers find fisherman near Camel Rock

A team of rescue firefighters gently lifted the body of a fisherman from a search boat yesterday morning in the Hagåtña marina, less than one day after he went missing in rough waters. Searchers found Machune Machy not too far from where he was last seen in Asan Bay, said Lt. Ed Artero, Guam Fire Department spokesman. The fisherman’s body was taken to the Hagåtña boat basin, where he was identified by relatives. The 42-year-old was recovered in about 20 feet of water near Camel Rock, about 500 yards off the coast, according GFD officials. Machune Machy was the father of four children and brother to nine siblings. He had a construction job, and on the day he was swept out to deeper water, he was aiming to catch fish for a family get-together, his family has stated. Machune Machy moved from Chuuk in 1996 for a better job opportunity and for his children’s education. An autopsy conducted yesterday by Guam medical examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola confirmed Machune Machy drowned accidentally.

Palau 2nd Annual National Water Summit

In observance of World Water Day on March 22nd Palau held its 2nd annual national Water Summit at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center.  Blaire Phillips dropped by the event and here’s what she found. World Water Day is celebrated globally every March 22nd as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.  This year’s focus is on the relationship of water to food with the Pacific theme: “Water Security is Food Security.”.  While each of us may drink 1 gallon of water a day, much of the water consumed globally goes into food production. It takes 500 to 1000 gallons of water to produce one person’s daily food. On Small Island States, increasing populations, pollution, environmental degradation, natural disasters and climate change, threaten our water resources, which in turn impacts food security.  Palau held a 2nd Water Summit at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center organized by the European Union and GEF Funded Palau Integrated Water Resources Management Project with additional support from the Palau Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Project.  The summit was well attended with participants from Partner Agencies, Non Governmental Agencies, Women’s Groups, Traditional Leaders, and the general public. Discussions were focused on improving and finalizing the Comprehensive Water Policy.  In addition, the Palau IWRM Project announced the start of the “World Water Day-Blue Ribbon Water Awareness Month Drawing Contest.” The theme for the contest is “Water Security is Food Security.” For students interested in entering the drawing contest more information can be obtained by calling the EQPB office at 488-1639/3600 or by sending an email to eqpb@palaunet.com

PCS Environmental Update

And now here is Jodean Remengesau with this weeks’ PCS report.

My name is Jodean Remengesau and here is the PCS weekly update. Palau Conservation Society’s  Board of Directors held their Board retreat at the Palau Royal Resort on March 14, 2012. The main goal of the retreat was for the Board to review Palau Conservation Society’s strategic plan and revise and update the plan. The Board member who were able to participate in this one day retreat were;

1. Dr. Caleb Otto, Chairperson

2. Umiich Sengebau, Vice Chairperson

3. Keobel Sakuma, Treasurer

4. Sandra S. Pierantozzi, Secretary

5. Brengyei Katosang

6. Clarence Kitalong

7. Thomas Taro

8. Speaker Noah Idechong

9. Kaleb Udui, Jr.

10. Maura Gordon

11. Surangel Whipps, Sr.

The Board reviewed the PCS vision of Healthy Ecosystems, Healthy Communities and PCS mission statement. Main issues that were discussed were: Leveraging support from the national government to empower and build state and community capacity to manage their resources. Building PCS’s organizational capacity to be more efficient. PCS encourages brilliant, young and enthusiastic students, like me to volunteer at PCS, for a rewarding experience to field work. Another important topic was the PCS brand. The PCS brand is information and services that are relevant to the Palau community based on facts and sound science. The final topic which is a very important one is money. Which is the reason PCS can do their environmental work. Our membership has grown to 200+ We hope more people will join PCS through our allotment program, yearly membership, or donation. It is like Palauan saying that kindling can make a large pot boil. The Board acknowledge their facilitator, Mr. Scott Walsh, for his excellent facilitation that allowed the Board to successfully complete the strategic plan review in one day. The Board also acknowledged the PCS’s Executive Director, Mr. Elbuchel Sadang, and the Program Managers, for their efforts in ensuring PCS remains true to its cause  for today and into the future. Thank you till next week with more environmental updates from PCS.

Ngiwal has groundbreaking ceremony for new dock

This week a ground-breaking ceremony for the Ngiwal Road Rehabilitation took place.  I was there to witness the event and spoke with the Governor of Ngiwal.  Here’s the interview.

Rise in Drug mules from Africa smuggling ice into the Philippines

Eight African women were arrested at Philippine airports in the last three weeks trying to smuggle in methamphetamine hydrochloride, popularly known as “meth” or “ice”.  The most recent arrest was a 53 year old Ugandan woman coming from Dubai with 4.5 kilos of ice on March 13th.  The drugs were detected by a drug-sniffing dog. Philippine airport immigration officials have now tightened monitoring of arrivals from Africa after a rise in the number of drug mules being apprehended from the African continent. Officials have not been able to explain why so many Africans, including nationals from Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Guinea, had recently been caught trying to smuggle illegal drugs into the Philippines. The drug enforcement agency said it has arrested 38 members of African drug syndicates since last year, most of them trying to smuggle ice into the Philippines.

Yap Governor Says MOU for Major Chinese Development not a Done Deal

Yap State Governor Sebastian Anefal says the government has yet to approve of any plans for the development of a huge resort in Yap including the construction of as many as 10 hotels, casinos and a convention center. Governor Anefal said the Chinese Exhibition and Travel Group has not given the Yap state government any formal plans and only gave an oral presentation of their development. Governor Anefal says that he is waiting for the ETG to present a master plan that they requested months ago. Back in January the Yap council of Pilung signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a private Chinese development firm for the construction of a huge resort on Yap. During the signing ceremony Deng presented a $20 thousand dollar check to Governor Anefal as a donation for medication.

Surangel & Sons donates van to the disabled

This week Surangels and Sons company donated a van to the group called Palau Parents Empowered.  Here’s Senator Whipps with the details.

Rongelap return could happen in near future

The possibility of resettling an island heavily contaminated by nuclear test fallout in 1954 is moving closer to reality with the impending completion of 40 homes as part of a United States-funded cleanup and rehabilitation effort. Forty new houses at Rongelap Island will be finished and ready for occupancy within the next two months, say Rongelap Atoll Local Government officials. But national government leaders have raised questions about the safety of the entire atoll because the cleanup work has focused only on the main island, not the more than 60 other islands at Rongelap. In addition, many Rongelap elders who were on the island when radioactive fallout from the 1954 Bravo test rained down on them have questioned the safety of the atoll. There are 60 to 70 people now living on Rongelap, which includes construction workers and their families, many of whom are from Rongelap.

Marshall Islands hold Compact funding talks

The people of the Marshall Islands deserve better services than they are now getting at Majuro Hospital, US Interior Department Director of Insular Affairs Nikolao Pula told Marshall Islands leaders at the Joint Economic and Financial Accountability Committee — JEMFAC — meeting Wednesday in Majuro.   Pula and other US officials toured the hospital Tuesday. “As Chairman of JEMFAC I was very disappointed,” Pula said in opening remarks. “There is a lot of work to be done.”   Head of the RMI delegation, Foreign Minister Phillip Muller lamented the fact that the Marshall Islands has failed to meet our development aspirations, and many key growth indicators have remained flat. We are off track on many of the UN Millenium Development Goals and that the recently elected government must come forward with some creative approaches by which the Compact actively addresses and helps move forward our core development indicators.

PICRC Monthly Updates

And now its time for the monthly Palau International Coral Reef Center report with Shirley Koshiba. This is a Palau International Coral Reef Center PICRC update about the month of March. My name is Shirley Koshiba and I’m a new researcher at PICRC. In 2006 the leaders of the 6 island nations in Micronesia launched the initiative known as the Micronesia Challenge. This initiative not only challenged themselves, but also the international community, to do better and exceed the United Nation’s minimum goals for the Program of Work on Protected Areas under the Convention of Biological Diversity. This ambitious goal is called the Micronesia Challenge,  a shared commitment by these leaders to “effectively conserve at least 30% of the near-shore marine resources and 20% of the terresterial resources by 2020” in an effort to ensure sustainable livelihoods and a healthy future for their people by safeguarding the island biodiversity of Micronesia. In further support of this ambitious challenge, the 4th MC Measures Group Workshop was held in Palau in February 2012. The main purpose of the workshop was to finalize the MC regional MC Marine Monitoring Protocol, which was initiated in the previous regional workshop in 2010 and has been tested in marine protected areas in several islands throughout Micronesia since then. This tool that we call Monitoring Protocol is used to identify the numbers of corals, fish, invertebrates, sea weed, and silt runoff with this monitoring we can tell if we have successfully protected 30% of marine and 20% of the terrestrial area. The monitoring isolated Teluleu in Peleliu, Ngemae in Ngiwal, Ebliil in Ngarchelong, Illeaklbeluu in Ngardmau, Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and the RMI in the past 2yrs. 2nd was a Data Management System. This central repository for the region where reef data can be safely stored and accessed was developed by PICRC/JICA Coral Reef Project. The database system was introduced with a final commitment by PICRC to house the system and assume the responsibility for generating reports to members of MC jurisdictions. MPA Management Effectiveness Tool – This is a tool used to gauge performance against goals and objectives, wether they are social or ecological. Palau tested this tool in some states to test the effectiveness of these PAN sites this will measure how efforts are doing in meeting these goals. From the presentations and discussions from the pilot studies throughout the Micronesia Challenge jurisdictions, it was determined that the tool will be disseminated to the group for review. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) committed some funding for this initiative. Specific Regional Collaborative Work Plan – The participants also approved the final marine monitoring indicators and the proposed service and process for regional database management. Finally, to ensure that this Marine Working Group does not lose momentum after this workshop, the participants also laid out some concrete next steps for their continued collaboration, identifying current capacity needs that will receive their attention; and laying out future directions of socioeconomic monitoring in the region.

Thank you very much, and I’m Shirley Koshiba and we’ll see you again with next months’ PICRC update.

UN Expert visits RMI to Assess Impact of Nuclear Tests Legacy

United Nations Special Representative Calin Georgescu will visit the Marshall Islands from March 26th to the 30th to assess the impact on human rights of the nuclear tests conducted by the United States between 1946 and 1958, in what is the first ever visit to the country by an independent expert of the UN Human Rights Council. Gergescu will assess the efforts undertaken by the governments of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and of the United States of America to eliminate or mitigate the negative effects of the testing on the Marshallese population. During his four-day mission, the independent expert will hold meetings with several stakeholders, including government officials and civil society organizations. Based on information gathered during the visit, the Special Representative will prepare a report containing its conclusions and recommendations to present to the Human Rights Council in September 2012.

UOG and Micronesian Leaders: Celebrating 60 years together

FSM Leaders

President Manny Mori expressed his appreciation on behalf of the people of the FSM to the University of Guam for the 60 years of service that have resulted in the educational formation of so many present and former leaders of the FSM. UOG has played an important and visible role in generating fine men and women who have become prominent leaders in government, communities, and the business sector, including President Mori and the Speaker of the FSM Congress, Honorable Isaac V. Figir. Ó

RMI donates to Micronesian Conservation Trust

The Republic of the Marshall Islands donated Sixty Five Thousand Dollars to the Micronesia Conservation Trust for the RMI Micronesia Challenge Endowment Fund. Honorable Tony DeBrum, a high ranking Advisor to RMI President Christopher Loeak’ handed over the “big check” to Mr. Willy Kostika, Executive Director of the MCT as part of a presentation at the 17th Micronesian Chief Executives’ Summit in Guam.

FSM President meets James Cameron

On the second day of the Micronesian Chief Executives’ Summit, President Manny Mori had a brief sit down with Hollywood legend James Cameron, the movie director who made most profitable movie, AVATAR, as well as the TITANIC. Cameron is currently in Guam for the Mariana’s Trench diving project that took place that week.

FSM Student at GCC receives prestigious award

Jacob Fathal, a sophomore at Guam Community College, is one of 50 community college students from the United States and Canada to be named 2012 New Century Scholars. More than 1,700 students were nominated from more than 800 community colleges for New Century Scholar awards. The award recognizes students’ grades, leadership, activities and most importantly, how they extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. Each New Century Scholar wins a $2,000 scholarship and will be recognized in the April 23 edition of USA TODAY. Fathal’s family moved from Chuuk to Guam when he was 5. Fathal and his family are among the more than 29,000 migrants from freely associated states who’ve made Guam home.

Shark Week 2012 ends

The 10th annual Shark Week came to a close this past week attracting an unprecedented amount of divers from around the world.  Here’s Olkeriil Kazuo with more on that story.

Worlds biggest Polynesian festival celebrates dance, culture, and music


The world’s biggest Polynesian and Maori festival kicked off in New Zealand on March 14, 2012.  This is the 37th annual Polyfest Festival and more than 100,000 people attended during the 3 days of festivities.   9500 kids from 58 schools participated, performing traditional Maori and Polynesian dances.

SDA schools celebrates Annual Creativity Fair

On Thursday SDA elementary school held their annual creativity affair.  Here’s Cushla with more.

Mike-ro Sports Recap

Here is Mike Fox with this weeks Sports recap.

The Fijian national football team is one win away from a trip to the 2012 Olympic games in London beating Papua New Guinea 3-0 in the Oceania Olympic Qualifying tournament.  Fiji will face the winner of New Zealand and Vanuatu, a match which has not been decided as of this broadcast.  The New Zealand, Vanuatu game features an intriguing rematch from the 2004 Oceania Nations Cup, where Vanuatu was able to knock off New Zealand 4-2, preventing the regional powerhouse from making the final and, qualifying for the 2006 World Cup. This marks the farthest the Fijian and Vanuatu teams have ever advanced in the Olympic Qualifying tournament and could potentially mark another historical milestone as the first time a team other than Australia or New Zealand has represented Oceania in the Olympics. New Zealand represented Oceania in the 2008 Beijing games.

In other regional Olympic news, Austraulian Jessica  Fox (no relation) will make history in England as Australia’s youngest Olympic slalom paddler at the tender age of 17. Says Fox, “At the moment, I am the youngest athlete who has qualified for my event”. Fox earned her place in the Olympics after winning silver at the Oceania Championships something that should make mommy and daddy proud.  Momma Fox won Olympic bronze in Atlanta and also collected eight world championship golds and Dad has won 10 world chamipionship victories over his career.

Palau Football Action continues this weekend as

WEEK 3 – SUNDAY MARCH 25, 2012

6:00PM                     KRAMERS F.C. vs. TEAM BANGLADESH

7:00PM                     BIIB STYKERS vs. BELAU CANOE CLUB


And finally switching back to a different brand of football, the repercussions of the recent blockbuster signing of Peyton Manning to the Denver Broncos are being felt all the way over here in the Pacific.  For those that have followed the Jock Block over the years know my passion for my beloved Broncos and more recently my undying support of a certain Mr. Tim Tebow.  Now that Manning is officially a Bronco and Tebow a Jet, I just wanted to pay my respects to a player whom will always hold a special place in my blue and orange heart.  Put aside the Tebowing  phenomenon that spread around the world, and the fact the kid made one of the most memorable plays in Bronco history, Tebow inspired hope for Bronco fans like myself and no matter what happened he kept coming back for more.  I wish nothing but the best for the kid and will still proudly wear my #15 for life!

Thank you for watching OTV Weekend Report. I’m Rondy Ronnie signing off.