Pacific News Briefs
AMERICAN SAMOA LANDFILL GETS AN EXTENSION
The American Samoa Power Authority had estimated that the territory's only landfill would be full in two years. but they have found a way to extend its life.An era of ocean voyaging in Samoa has ended with the Samoa Shipping Corporation putting the Lady Samoa II to bed forever.
ASPA is now recompacting the waste at the landfill.
The managing director of ASPA, Paul Young, said finding a large enough parcel of land for a new landfill has proven very difficult because there is not enough land on Tutuila and people do not want landfills next to their homes.
Mr Young said the recompacting of the Futiga landfill will also reduce the danger of a fire by blocking air pockets in the waste, and bring other benefits.
"We are digging up the landfill and recompacting it. And by doing that we think we will be able to extend the life of the landfill up to about 15 years. So one it saves us a lot of money, two it protects us from having a large fire, three, there is not a lot of smell now.
"You go up to the landfill you see that its much prettier, as landfills go, and it doesn't smell as bad as it used to."
HAWAI'I INTRODUCES BILL TO BAN PLASTIC STRAWS
The US state of Hawai'i has introduced a bill to ban the sale and distribution of plastic straws in an effort to improve the environment.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Karl Rhoads, passed the Committee on Agriculture and Environment last week despite opposition from some businesses whose customers regularly use plastic straws.
Amanda Kelly from the Hawai'i Association for Behavior Analysis said straws were among the top ten items polluting the ocean.
"In the United States there's over 500 million estimated used per day. The average person, they say in the US, uses 1.6 which is almost 585 straws in one year," said Ms Kelly.
"There are infiltration systems and filters that look to catch trash before it goes into our streams and oceans, but straws are unique because of their shape. So they are very narrow and they fit through small holes and a lot of those filtration systems."
Ms Kelly said the bill proposed violators would have to pick up litter as community service or face fines.
The SB2285 bill now moves to the joint Ways and Means and Judiciary committees for consideration.
GOOD SAMARITAN BREAKS HIS SILENCE
A man whose quick reaction possibly saved the life of a woman, who was viciously stabbed by her estranged husband, and left to die on the streets of Apia, has broken his silence about the ordeal.
Pharmacist Lemalu Mathew Mualia, who was among the first to help the woman, has recalled the shocking ordeal in an email to the Samoa Observer where he wants to highlight two issues he finds extremely sickening.
“I can't express how sad I was for this young woman,” he told the Samoa Observer. “On the day of the incident, I ran to my Pharmacy to get gauze but when I got to get her, the people around her were just standing there.
“They were just taking pictures. Some of them were videoing what was happening while this young woman was dying.”
Nearly three weeks since the attack, Lemalu said he couldn’t fathom how people’s behavior has changed from a country of loving helpers to a bunch of social media-hungry heartless people who were more concerned about their photos than the life of a woman who was dying with “no family around.”
“I tried my best to stabilize her while waiting for the ambulance,” Lemalu said.
“Her wounds we're horrific. I took her into the ambulance. I tried and asked her to say a prayer with me, which she did. ‘Jesus got my back,’ she whispered to me.
“It was an instinctive re- action that I ran over after finding out what happened to try and stabilize her neck wounds while we waited for the ambulance.
“The pictures alone are worth a thousand words, so I'll leave it there. This young woman suffered nine stab wounds on her neck and back plus lacerations.”
The woman has since recovered and has been discharged from the hospital.
(Source: Samoa Observer)
SAMOA'S LANDS AND TITLES COURT PRESIDENT FACES CHARGES
Samoa's attorney general has recommended the police file two charges against the president of the Lands and Titles Court, Fepulea'i Attila Ropati.
Lemalu Herman Retzlaff said he was satisfied the police have enough evidence to charge Fepulea'i with causing injuries and being armed with a dangerous weapon.
The police investigation was the result of a complaint filed by a night watchman at the Ministry of Justice and Courts after an alleged assault by Fepulea'i.
The incident allegedly took place during the end of year function for judges in December.
Police said the complainant may have been drinking at the function, angering the president.
PACIFIC LAW, CUSTOM & CONSTITUTIONALISM CONFERENCE
An innovative and exciting conference series is due to begin on Feb. 13-14, 2018 at the University of Auckland, at its Fale Pasifika complex.
The purpose of the conference is to raise public awareness among Aotearoa New Zealand communities, especially its Pasifika communities, of the relationship between Pacific law, custom and constitutionalism and the impact that this relationship has on them and their identity in Aotearoa and abroad. This first conference focuses on Samoa, the first of a 3-part conference series. The second conference to be held in 2019 will focus on Tonga; and the third to be held in 2020 will focus on New Zealand’s three Pacific ‘territories’: Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands.
The conference series targets all peoples, students, practitioners and professionals, from all relevant sectors in society with an interest in the themes and vision of the conference series. Unlike most academic conferences this conference series aims to involve as many young people (high school and undergraduate students) as possible. This has been made possible by Law Foundation funding made available specifically for high school and tertiary level students.
The conference series will focus on three key themes: the constitutionalisation of indigenous and western leadership models in the Pacific (including Aotearoa), of customary land tenure and British land tenure in the Pacific; and of indigenous religious and Christian religious beliefs in the Pacific.
This first Feb 12-14 conference has an impressive line-up of speakers from Samoa and Aotearoa, with expertise in law, custom and constitutionalism, as well as public policy, justice, policing, corrections, education, health and community governance. While it is aimed at the Pasifika diaspora resident in Aotearoa, tangata whenua and any other New Zealanders in New Zealand, other Pacific Islanders from the Pacific interested in Pacific law, custom and constitutionalism are welcome to attend.
The conference is hosted by the University of Auckland and AUT, with the support of Judge Ida Malosi of the Manukau District, Family and Pasifika Youth Courts and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples. Its outside sponsors are the New Zealand Law Foundation; New Zealand Institute of Pacific Research; Gaualofa Trust; Institute of Professional Legal Studies; Kaye, Fletcher, Walker Law Firm; and Pacific Lawyers Association.
It’s not too late to register: registrations will be open up to the day of the conference and payment arrangements can be organised through Sonia Pope by email: email@example.com or 021636165. For more information on the conference see: http://pacificcustomlawconference.blogs.auckland.ac.nz/.
(Source: PLCC media release)