Not just a book but an invitation to join the Goodwill
Revolution against an unfair, unjust and deceptive system that
keeps the world poor and without hope. Find out how you can join,
quit the rat race, and achieve a happier more meaningful life for
yourself and others through goodwill to all .
by Donna Hemans ... $16.10
---------------For the Life of Laetitia by Trinidad -born Merle Hodge Price: $10.54
a wonderful book about a young girl in the Carribean, the first of her family to go to secondary school.
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all
This is the true message of Christmas. In my book, "Boycott Money and Save Your Soul – Launching the Goodwill Revolution", the message is that we must have goodwill to all in order to have peace on earth.
The Jamaican roots play "Pasa,Pasa" came to town. I went to it. The audience obviously enjoyed it. The humor of the play depended on the belligerence, hostility and derision of every single character to each other. I did not like that. In Jamaica, we have come to admire, respect and practice belligerence, hostility and derision. Many Jamaicans are actually proud of our reputation for belligerence. This admiration, respect and practice of belligerence has poisoned our culture. It has seeped into our music, our politics, our journalism and into many aspects of our everyday life. Violence, mayhem, meanness can and does flourish in such an environment, but not goodwill.
So as the new year approaches, let us make a personal commitment to reject belligerence, hostility and derision and spread goodwill instead. In other words, lets join the Goodwill Revolution. I did. It is not easy because revolution never is. But, it will make you feel good to your very soul.
Berbick nephew charged in former champs death
Harold Berbick and Kenton Gordon have been charged with the murder of Jamaica’s former world heavyweight boxing champion Trevor Berbick. Harold Berbick is the 20-year-old nephew of the slain fighter, and Gordon is only 18. They both lived in the quiet Portland village of Norwich where the ex-champion was born and where he returned in 2001. Bail was denied both men.
Trevor Berbick was the last man to fight Muhammad Ali, winning a 10-round decision in 1981 that pushed the legend into retirement, and was the man whose loss in 1986 made Mike Tyson the youngest champion in heavyweight history at age 20. Berbick fought for Jamaica at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, then enjoyed a pro career with a record of 50-11 with one drawn and 13 knockouts. He held the World Boxing Council heavyweight crown for eight months in 1986.
Trevor Berbick was buried with a pair of red boxing gloves and robe in the family plot at Norwich, Portland. A host of foreigners from North America, along with local politicians, family members and other distinguished guests packed the Christ Church in Port Antonio at a thanksgiving service honouring the life of the former boxing champ.
IDB to cancel debt of Guyana and Haiti
The Inter-American Development Bank plans to forgive as much as $3.5
billion of debt owed by the five poorest countries in the Caribbean and
Latin America, including Guyana and Haiti, the US Treasury said.
90% special education graduates leave Jamaica
According to Mary Dixon, head of the Mico College Special Education Department, there is a yearly exodus of trained teachers from Jamaica, leaving behind only about 10 per cent of teachers each year. This is resulting in a severe shortage of special education teachers for schools catering to children with learning disabilities.
Since the Mico program serves the Caribbean region, often half of the graduating class return to their own country. Others often got to the Cayman, Bahamas or Turks Islands or are recruited elsewhere overseas., which represents another 40 % of the graduating class.
There are about 390 teachers currently working in special education institutions. Only 100 of them are trained in the field. They are not specially compensated either, says Hixwell Douglas of the Special Education Unit in the Ministry of Education, because teachers trained in special education are not necessarily considered specialists.
Some institutions try to fix the teacher shortage problem them-selves by training their own staff. Mrs. Rodriguez reports this is what is done at the School of Hope. The institution has ongoing workshops to make up for the shortfall in trained specialist teachers. The ministry also conducts training workshops for some teachers in the mainstream to help pad the lack of professionals.
In addition to inadequate teachers, there is also another staffing problem in these institutions. Most need clinical psychologists and there are not enough. The island's clinical psychologists are educated at the University of the West Indies, but the university only recently introduced post-graduate studies in the area. Not many of them remain on the island, choosing to migrate because the salary is low.
Trinidad and Tobago unveils new airline
On December 31 we will ring out the old year and On January 1st, we will ring in the new. But in addition to that on December 31, Trinidad will ring out the old BWIA and on January 1 ring in the new Trinidad Caribbean Airlines (CA). CA already unveiled its first aircraft, a Boeing 737 with a seating capacity for 150 persons.
The 66-year-old BWIA had become unprofitable and a huge drain on the financial coffers of Trinidad and Tobago. Even the vaunted privatisation could not save it. A team headed by Trinidad businessman, Arthur Lok Jack, was then appointed to look into ways of restructuring for viability but this met with a decision to shut down the airline, making way for the new Caribbean Airlines (CA).
At the launch of Caribbean Airlines, Lok Jack said it marked a new era in Caribbean aviation and that it came with what he called "a clean balance sheet". Chin Lee added that he believed new technology, which is being brought to Caribbean Airlines, will assist in making it a profitable venture, unlike BWIA. Some 1,8 00 BWIA workers are expected to receive termination letters by December 31, thus ending an era in Trinidad and Tobago air travel.
Editor’s Note: This raises some troubling questions for which I do not know the answers. What’s in a name? Why will this airline succeed where BWIA failed? What about the BWIA employees? I am suspicious because of a popular trick used by corporate America to exploit their employees. They claim to sell the company to rid themselves of employees pension plans and wage structure only to maintain ownership surreptitiously under another name. Then they hire new employees or even the old ones with substantially decreased benefits and wages. But this could not happen in T&T, right?
Air Jamaica plane seized for debts
Jamaica government officials are breathing a sigh of relief after one of its Air Jamaica planes was returned. International Lease Financing Corporation (ILFC) had seized the plane at Miami International Airport, leaving passengers stranded. Some passengers flew back with other carriers later the same day while the rest flew back with Air Jamaica the following day.
The lessor which leases half of Air Jamaica’s 16-plane fleet reportedly became concerned about the carrier's ability to repay debt amid talks of downsizing and a failure to return one jet due several weeks ago. That plane is still undergoing safety testing.
Air Jamaica’s accumulated losses amounted to US$136 million in 2005. This prompted the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its July report, to suggest radical decisions including closure. "No way!" said Jamaica government officials as Air Jamaica transports nearly 50 per cent of Jamaica's passengers and about a third of all tourists to the island. Instead the airline would have to work on a new business plan aimed at downsizing and eliminating unprofitable routes. The board of Air Jamaica must minimise the airline’s operating cost in keeping with the Government's annual commitment of US$30 million to the national carrier.
The seized plane is back but the fight against red ink, that has downed so many airlines all over the world, most recently BWIA, will continue without increasing the tax payer’s burden.
24% increase in tourism earnings in Jamaica
Preliminary estimates from the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) have revealed that gross foreign exchange earnings have reached US$1.4 billion for the period January to September 2006. This is a difference of 24.6 percent above the total for the corresponding period in 2005, reflecting record growth in visitor arrivals and visitor spending.
For the first nine months of 2006 stopover arrivals grew by 17.2 percent to reach 1.3 million, exceeding targeted expectations by 6.4 percent. The cruise passenger market segment continues to show robust growth as well, reflecting a 15 percent increase during January to September 2006, with a total of 950,329 cruise passenger arrivals.
Barbados the least corrupt Caribbean country
Barbados has been named the least corrupt country in the Caribbean by Transparency International, which gave Barbados just over seven out of 10, placing it at number 24 on the index.
Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Belize, Cuba and Grenada – all score
below five, which indicates serious perceived levels of domestic
corruption. Other regional countries scoring low in their efforts to
combat corruption were Guyana, the Dominican Republic and Suriname. Haiti
ranked as the most corrupt country in the world, giving the country a
score of 1.8 out of 10.
Gunmen terrorize Rockfort and Mountain View areas of Jamaica
Groundbreaking for special 'green' resort in Jamaica
Spanning three magnificent beaches along the Hanover coastline of Jamaica, Fiesta, a multi-national Spanish group, will build two properties initially, tagged 'Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort' and the 'Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort and Spa' . The property will house a total of four resorts on completion, and will provide permanent employment to 2,000 persons directly and 1,000 temporarily during the construction period. But what is special is it will be a premiere eco-tourism resort.
Abel Matutes, chairman of the Fiesta Hotel Group - who said Jamaica's 'King of Reggae,' Robert Nesta Marley, had invited him to invest in the island years ago - said this development would take the lead as the 'Green Holiday' resort for all his other properties. The Matutes family owns and operates 41 hotels worldwide.
"We will preserve the landscape, use renewable energy and introduce the strictest measures adhering to local and regional best practices," he told the gathering, while making a firm commitment to form partnerships with the community and environmental protection agencies.
Non-white actors face limited acting jobs in US
A new study by the UCLA School of Law and UCLA Chicano Studies Research
Center finds that Latino, black, Asian American and Native American actors
have few acting opportunities available to them.
India-funded stadium averts Test cricket ban in Guyana
Can you imagine the land that gave us Clive Lloyd and Rohan Khani could
be stripped of playing Test cricket? But, India to the rescue. India is
financing a new stadium in Guyana which will avert an International
Cricket Council (ICC) ban on Test cricket in the South American country.
Flood rains swamp eastern Jamaica
An old Jamaican folk song goes,"…rain,rain, rain, what a
heavy rain a fall".
This was the picture at the Port Maria Primary school as described by one of the teachers:
"Even when we finally get the mud out of the classrooms, we cannot reopen with so much mud in the yard. We have to think about the health of the children," she said, taking a break from sweeping water out of a classroom. Ms. Downer was one of several teachers, parents and community members who turned out to help clean up the school. It was a gloomy sight. Dozens of destroyed textbooks, pieces of furniture, documents and even clothing were being thrown out of rooms that on Thursday were almost filled with water. "We lost computers, tape recorders, very important documents and library books. Everything is gone," Ms. Downer said.
Police Inspector defies judge to adjourn court
Only in Jamaica… A police Inspector upset with the conduct of the judge in a recent sitting of the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate’s Court assumed new powers and adjourned the court to the amazement and bewilderment of the presiding judge.
It all started about midday Monday when Constable Wendy Brookes was presenting a case to the court. Resident Magistrate Sharon George instructed the constable to produce more statements on the matter and the frustrated policewoman said she had seen exactly what had transpired in the case and did not think it necessary to get any further statements.
The spat developed between the resident magistrate and the policewoman when the judge asked Constable Brookes if she was "making a face" at her. Constable Brookes denied it but the judge did not buy it, became angry and then ordered that the constable be taken to the holding area for contempt of court.
But the matter did not end there as, some time later, the judge summoned the policewoman to return to the courtroom.
"You were very rude," she told Constable Brookes, while warning the policewoman to never behave that way in a courtroom again. Following procedure, the woman constable's superior, Inspector Patrick Murdock, head of traffic in St. Catherine North, was summoned to face the court.
Enter Inspector Murdock who made it clear to the judge that he found it
hard to believe that the woman constable had done anything wrong, given
what he said was her good reputation.
Ugly bauxite mud lake to go
At last, at last, the ugly bauxite mud lake is slated to go. Canadian bauxite company, Alcan, has completed plans for the rehabilitation of its former waste landfill lake at Mount Rosser, St. Catherine in Jamaica.
Used until 1991 for waste from Alcan's plant at Ewarton, the lake is the last remaining unsealed 'wet pond' bauxite landfill site in Jamaica. The project, which has been approved by Government, will begin with the pumping out of the lake and ditches to channel away rain water. The lake contains 1.5 million cubic meters of water. Alcan expects this work to take between one and two years to complete. The waste is then to be cleaned up and the land regraded to make it free draining. It will then be planted with trees and returned to government ownership.
"This is fantastic for the environment, because this pond is old - from the 1950s and done in the days when we didn't under-stand the hydro-geology of our country," said Dr. Parris Lyew-Ayee, general manager of the Jamaica Bauxite Institute, which oversaw the rehabilitation plans.
The landfill is one of several sites that the company retained ownership and responsibility for rehabilitating after selling its Jamaican operations to Glencore, now Windalco, in 2001. Under this agreement, Alcan was made responsible for rehabilitating and returning the sites to government. In the 1980s, Jamaica changed from wet ponds to 'dry stacking' by which bauxite waste is sealed underground and kept in mud consistency.
Guyana gets medical equipment from Cuba
The first consignment of modern equipment to furnish diagnostic and treatment centers in Guyana has arrived and will soon be installed at two of the facilities which are nearing completion. Among the items are oxygen/gas machines and x-ray materials for the centers’ surgical department. It is hoped that installation will begin before the end of November.
More equipment is expected in Guyana for another two centers and a team of Cuban technicians will be facilitating the installation process. The team will also be supervising the quality control capacity of each center, upon testing of the equipment.
Each of the four diagnostic and treatment centers will be manned by a 27-member team of Cuban doctors and technicians who will be housed in quarters established at the facilities. Each center will facilitate general surgery and intensive care for seriously ill patients. They will also include units for laboratory and ultra sound services.
The construction of the diagnostic centers is a collaborative agreement between Guyana and Cuba which was sealed between Presidents Bharrat Jagdeo and Fidel Castro when Jagdeo visited Cuba earlier this year. The agreement also provides for a modern $140M ophthalmology center which is already under construction at Port Mourant, Corentyne, Berbice, an increasing number of Cuban doctors and training in the medical profession for several Guyanese. The ophthalmology center will be occupied by a 35-member team of specialised doctors and nurses who will be providing their services initially on a contractual basis.
Don Quarrie to coach China athletes
China has turned to Jamaican sprint legend, Don Quarrie, to help
inspire its runners to gold medals at the Asian Games in Qatar, in
Jamaica's Asafa Powell named World Athlete Of the Year
Jamaican heritage featured strongly in both awards as male and female World Athletes of the Year. Jamaica's world 100m record holder Asafa Powell and Jamaican-born American 400 meter runner Sanya Richards were named World Athletes of the Year by the IAAF. Powell is the first Jamaican male to win the prestigious award, and achieved the feat for some phenomenal performances in a year where he twice equaled his world record of 9.77 seconds in the 100 meters.
Jamaica big fish story
Lauriston Reid had fished along the Palisadoes Road in Kingston Jamaica many times, standing on the lonely beach with his line bobbing in the blue waters. But this morning in all his fishing for over 25 years would be a lot different. Suddenly he had a bite. A big bite and he soon realized he had the fight of his life to land his fish. He fought gallantly and finally, success. What he hauled up on the beach was no ordinary fish but a 6 feet 6 inches long 150 pound tarpon! The average tarpon weighs about 50 pounds.
A huge crowd descended on the man and his fish along the Palisadoes Road which is the only road to the Norman Manley airport. At one point, traffic on the roadway came to a complete standstill. People were jumping out of their cars to have a look at the giant catch. Mr. Reid seemed to have been relishing his moment in the spotlight. He posed for pictures and related the story of how he came to catch the fish to any and everyone who asked. The man said he planned to sell the fish but, up to midday, he still had not figured out just how he was going to move it.
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