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Comments

Kim Righetti

I just watched the show Return to Tarawa. It was so hard to realize that my Dad was out there somewhere. We must get this island cleaned up.

Stripe

What more can one state to Dean, but "a job well done."

A big Banzai to Dean Jacobson.

Appalled

As a reader of the war against Japan in the Pacific, I'm appalled as to the condition of Betio Island. Mr. Cooper, your reward may not come on this earth, but it will come when those who gave their life at Tarawa meet you in heaven. Don't waste your time with the political whores in Washington, D.C.

Simon Donner

Leon,

I'd like to echo Dean's comments. I applaud your efforts to lobby the US Government about Tarawa. Alice's recycling program was a terrific start, hopefully it can be expand to composting, some form of sewage system and removal of large items that are polluting the beaches and the groundwater(rusted cars, etc). The waste situation is travesty, as you have expressed, and also serious human health concern for the i-Kiribati in Tarawa.

Dean Jacobson

Leon:
I just heard of your efforts regarding Tarawa; I am stunned by your war record, I cannot imagine the quantities of courage that kept you going through all those terrifying battles (I look forward to reading your book). I have lived on nearby Majuro (where the trash problem is almost as bad) since 2001 and know Alice. We both are trying to improve the trash situation by pushing for recycling (as I did with your son in Malibu) and composting. Although the local govt. is hesistant to provide adequate funding, we now have a fledgling recycling/composting operation going. I also have photographed the underwater impact of trash: thousands of plastic bags floating beneath the surface, and textile and Pampers snagged on coral. It is heartbreaking, but the local population does not seem to care. The problem here is that the US has made the Marshallese into a welfare state and failed to provide training in dealing with waste. Consultants come and go, and nothing changes for the better. The imported food is also causing a horrendous epidemic of diabetes...amputations are common place, and most people die before the age of 50 or 60. Add to this the dilemma of the die-off of coral from Global warming and the ongoing sea level rise, this is a society on the edge. (And the US embassy here censors its staff, including a visiting ecologist who was not allowed to comment on climate change in a letter!...what stupidity!)
Keep up the good work, and pass along my greeting to Lee.
Best regards,
Dean Jacobson, Ph.D.

Kim Righetti

I was sickened by The LA Times article. I will be contacting my representatives! My dad was there. I wonder if anyone remembers Pharmacist's Mate Tip West?

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