Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hubert Chin tops Kingston Lodge event

Jamaica Observer | Wednesday, June 23, 2010

HUBERT Chin won the Kingston Lodge 1933 Golf Tournament and a weekend for two at the Half Moon Hotel last Saturday at the Constant Spring Golf Club.

The charity event which sees part proceeds going towards the Reg Keiz Basic School and National Children's Home, fell short of the number of entrants from last year.

With entry fees being $3,500, Ivan Ricketts, a part of the organising committee, told the Observer they received far lest than the 85 players that took part last year.

"We wanted to raise about $600,000, but the entries did not go as expected. We got about 54 entrants, which is still a good number in light of the present economic climate," said Ricketts.

Based on the number of entrants, the organisers collected approximately $189,000, but Ricketts said the exact amount to be donated to the two charitable organisations would not be known until the committee meets.

The tournament, which used an 18-hole stableford (7/8 handicap) format, saw Chin topping the points system with 42.

Stableford is a scoring system where, rather than counting the total number of strokes taken, as in strokeplay, points are scored based on the number of strokes taken at each hole. Unlike traditional scoring methods, where the aim is to have the lowest score, under Stableford rules, the objective is to have the highest score.

Ossie Lee won the Best Mason trophy with 39 points in which there were several sectional winners and a lot of prizes.

List of prizewinners:

Overall winner -- HUBERT CHIN (Weekend for two at Half Moon)


1st Freddie Sutherland -- Weekend for two at Breezes Braco

2nd Tommy Lee -- Microwave

3rd Carl Bruce -- Dinner for two at Spanish Court Hotel

MEN'S Flight 9-17

1st Ossie Lee Microwave

2nd Dave Cameron -- Juice Extractor

3rd Livingstone Morrison -- Gift Certificate (Sangsters)

4th Paul Seaton -- Gift Basket

5th Carl Scott -- Gift Basket

6th David Mair -- Gift Basket

7th Patrick Gordon -- Gift Basket

MEN'S Flight 18-24

1st Cedric Blair -- Microwave

2nd Brett Jones -- Golf Bag

3rd D. Mullings -- Blender

4th Karl Lewin -- Fan

5th Douglas Stiebel -- Gift Certificate


1st Mrs H Coe -- Microwave

2nd Mrs Nora Henriques -- Juice Extractor

3rd Mrs Rita Lewin -- Gift Basket


Men: Ivanhoe Ricketts -- 10 Piece Knife set


Men: Freddie Sutherland -- Coffee Maker

Women: Mrs H Coe -- Steam Iron

Best Mason Ossie Lee

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

'Dudus' in custody - -

'Dudus' in custody - -

Golding's ebb and flow

KINDEST CUT... PM Golding at EXPOJA opening with private and public sector leaders (l-r) Greta Bogues, Chris Tufton, Omar Azan, Karl Samuda, Marlene Malahoo Forte and Vitus Evans.

Jean Lowrie-Chin | Jamaica Observer | 21 JUNE 2010
It was a bit like the dramatic construct of Mark Antony's speech at Caesar's funeral, as Bruce Golding tried to reason with his audience that in spite of his huge stumble, he was still a fit leader.

"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears." Jamaica's exporters, manufacturers, and overseas buyers at the JMA-JEA's EXPO-JAMAICA were a tentative audience and in the first half of what turned out to be a lengthy address, the applause was almost non-existent.

"I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke, but here I am to speak what I do know." Golding began his reasoning, not with recent events, but with the global recession of the past two years. He wanted us to know that it had been the worst in 75 years and resulted in declines in manufacturing and export last year. Yet he pointed out that the EXPO trade show had been oversubscribed, and that his government's revenue collection was improving.

He slightly touched the West Kingston nerve as he mentioned that it had overshadowed the news that Jamaica had reached IMF targets for March and that the Jamaican dollar had regained a good portion of the value it had lost over the past two years.

The plain-spoken JMA President Omar Azan had earlier referred to the high cost of electricity so Bruce Golding launched into a detailed explanation of the licence awarded them in 2002, "enforceable in a court of law" that guarantees them a tariff review every five years. The audience was still reticent, even as Golding announced that he was concluding talks on building a "floating storage and regasification unit" to help Jamaica increase our use of liquid natural gas (LNG) and reduce our dependence on oil.

Then I sensed a bit of relaxation in the audience as he began to speak the language of the manufacturer. Referring to the reduced budget resulting in lower interest rates on government paper, he said, "When you are not gobbling up money, you have to put it to work."

"When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept." Golding said that "the albatrosses" of Air Jamaica and the Clarendon Alumina Production company had been pulling the country down, as the funds lost could have been invested in better education, health and security. He said recent events were a "game changer" and that "you can't take out criminals and not put something in place."

Golding warned that when the Crime Bill is eventually passed, "it is not going to be able to satisfy all interest groups". He warned that "there is an inescapable friction between tackling endemic crime and the idealistic terms regarding human rights", referring to the tough laws that the USA, Britain and Canada had to pass after 9/11.

Golding said he had told his constituents in Tivoli that "the police are never going to leave. Get accustomed to it." As he outlined the Crime Act that would target criminal gangs, Golding felt the warmth of his audience and so he confided that many had been giving him advice. One friend told him, "Hang in there" to which he responded, "I am not hanging in there. I am going there!"

On my way home from the EXPO event on Thursday evening, I caught a report of a PNP meeting being addressed by Opposition spokesperson on security Peter Bunting, describing Golding's resolve to crush crime as "the mother of all flip-flops".

Golding's closing statement told us that he knew his political future was hanging in the balance: "Political fortunes will ebb and flow. That is the nature of politics. My commitment is to do what is necessary. I am at peace with myself. The rest is in your hands and in the hands of the Jamaican people." Mark Antony's audience had shed tears; Golding's gave him a standing ovation, but we have yet to see how Jamaica will respond.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

GSAT achiever hails dad

Delton McKenzie with his daughter Danielle, who recently passed her Grade Six Achievement Test for Immaculate Conception High School in St Andrew. - Contributed

Gleaner | 19 June 2010
Laura Redpath, Senior Gleaner Writer
(click on headline for link to Gleaner website)

ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD Danielle McKenzie is just one of many students who passed her Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) for the school of her choice and with Father's Day around the corner, she unhesitatingly credits her own father for her success.

The Sts Peter and Paul Preparatory student will be attending Immaculate Conception High School in September this year.

Danielle said she chose the high school, located in St Andrew, because of its positive academic reputation and its high standards of discipline, an attribute her father, Delton McKenzie, said he instilled in her.

"I give her freedom to some extent, and I keep her disciplined. We have a good relationship," he said.

Delton stressed the importance of fathers taking an active interest in their children's lives, saying parents do not need to live together in order to achieve this.

"Fathers really should help. They can still find the time to be part of their children's growth," he noted.

Although uncertain of her career choice at this time, Danielle said her strong subjects are communications and mathematics.

"(My father) helped me to work hard in my schoolwork. We would stay in the car to study in the mornings.

"Sometimes it got frustrating," she said, "going over the same thing over and over."

Her father agreed that the constant repetition was a challenge, as well as the overwhelming schoolwork.

"Sometimes I thought it was too much. It's a long process, knowing what's going on and quizzing her. I know she's supposed to know things and I check with her teachers.

"I put in my special work in those areas she's weak in and I stay in touch," Delton said, while stressing the importance of paying attention to all the details while studying.

Nervous at first

Danielle said at first she was nervous when she went to sit her exam. However, all the studying with her father paid off.

"After I finished the paper," she said, "I thought it was kind of manageable."

As a father who shows keen interest in his daughter's schoolwork, Delton said he thinks Jamaica's education system tends to "do a lot of weeding out at a very early age".

"It is challenging because of the limited quality spaces in our high-school system.

"More room should be made for social and moral development," he added.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Football fever, Mandela and Jack Warner

During his Trinidad trip to win Jack Warner's votes in 2004, Mandela presented an award to Digicel's then CEO Seamus Lunch. At left is Dr Danny Jordaan, who led South Africa's vigorous campaign.

Jamaica Observer | excerpt from Jean Lowrie-Chin's Column

If there was a time that Jamaica needed to catch a fever, it is right now. Football fever, that is. As we allow it to seize hold of us, we hark back to that time when South Africa's bid as host country of the 2010 World Cup hung in the balance.

It was May 2004 and a group of us travelled with great expectation to Grenada in the hope of seeing Nelson Mandela. We were on assignment for the launch of the Digicel Caribbean Cup and had been told that Jack Warner had organised for the great Mandela to attend. In fact, Mr Mandela had journeyed to Trinidad to court Warner, the powerful head of the Caribbean and Central American Football Confederation (CONCACAF), and FIFA vice-president.

Yes, Nelson Mandela made his last trip to the Western Hemisphere to garner four crucial votes controlled by Jack Warner, as South Africa vied with Morocco and Egypt for that watershed moment in the history of favoured nations: the hosting of

"the greatest show on earth", the World Cup. South Africa's triumph was announced by FIFA President Sepp Blatter on May 15 in Zurich.

In a dramatic account by Mihir Bose published in the UK Telegraph on May 17, 2004, we learn about the efforts by Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu to sway Warner whom it was said had been favouring Morocco in the six months leading up to the vote.

When South Africa triumphed, Bose wrote, "In Zurich, Archbishop Desmond Tutu promised all of the FIFA executives first-class air tickets to heaven, as he danced a jig in front of Mandela who, despite being 85 and looking very frail, declared: 'I feel like a young man of 15'."

But back to our expectant group in Grenada. By the time Nelson Mandela had made the social rounds in Trinidad, he and Archbishop Tutu were both too tired to fly to Grenada. Seeing our "15 minutes of fame" with Mandela fizzling out, I called Jack Warner asking for some form of a "make-good". The photograph on this page was emailed to me by Warner within minutes: he had arranged for Mandela to make a presentation to then Digicel CEO Seamus Lynch in Trinidad.

We left Grenada without seeing Mandela, but with a new respect for a Trinidadian named Jack Warner. Should he be allowed to continue as both Minister of Sports and FIFA VP? The man is "broader than Broadway" - if allowed to serve his country and the world, what synergies may flow.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chief Justice throws out case

Chief Justice Zaila McCalla has thrown out applic by Dudus' lawyer to quash warrant for his arrest.
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Economist - Smoke clears over JA

Article sent by Rob Mullally

The smoke clears over Jamaica

Economist | Jun 8th 2010, 19:37

WHEN the Jamaican government announced on May 17th that it would comply with an American request to extradite Christopher "Dudus" Coke, an alleged drug trafficker, it didn't just declare war on the gang he reportedly leads. It also launched a campaign to overturn the country's malign social and political order. Since the 1970s, political parties have, in effect, outsourced the task of governing the island's "garrisons", or working-class neighbourhoods, to leaders of criminal gangs known as "dons", in exchange for their support during elections. The gang founded by Mr Coke's father has long reigned in the Tivoli Gardens garrison of Kingston, the capital. Moreover, it is thought to have close links to the Jamaica Labour Party of Bruce Golding, the prime minister, who represents the district.

The first battle in what will surely be a long struggle to dismantle these alliances took place the week after the extradition announcement. Mr Golding sent 2,000 police and soldiers to Tivoli Gardens to search for Mr Coke house by house. The elusive fugitive still remains at large, and there is now doubt as to whether he was even in Tivoli Gardens at the time. But four days of fighting there led to 73 civilian deaths. Now that the cloud of black smoke over the neighbourhood has cleared, some Jamaicans are starting to criticise how the operation was conducted—and to ask whether Mr Golding has a coherent strategy to root out organised crime.

By some measures, the government's initial salvo was a qualified success. For the first time in a generation, police can now act freely within Tivoli Gardens. Moreover, of the 60 dons on the country's most-wanted lists, 25 have already surrendered or been arrested, including both Mr Coke's brother and one of his business partners. In addition, the police say they discovered the blood-stained torture chamber of one gang member.

However, it appears that serious abuses may have been committed in the state's offensive. In the best-known case, security forces killed Keith Clarke, a 58-year-old accountant and the brother of a former cabinet minister, in a barrage of 20 gunshots at his home. Mr Clarke lived in Kirkland Heights, a wealthy area far from the main battlefield of Tivoli Gardens. But he had the misfortune to live next to one of Mr Coke's business partners, who presumably was the intended target of the raid and later voluntarily surrendered. Most of the other people killed in the operation were young men in Tivoli Gardens, which the government closed off to the media and outside observers during the assault, making it impossible to verify whether they were attacking security forces. The independent public defender's office plans to investigate accusations of excessive and unprovoked use of force.

Two other obstacles in Mr Golding's new fight against organised crime will be the political and fiscal consequences of disrupting the cozy ties between his party and the gangs. His predecessor as prime minister, Edward Seaga, previously represented Tivoli Gardens in Parliament for 43 years, and has been sharply critical of the raid. And his cash-strapped government, which faces crushing debt obligations, can hardly afford a costly increase in the security budget. The finance minister, Audley Shaw, has requested $1 billion in foreign aid to fight the mafias, which would represent 8% of GDP. A big grant of American money might be Mr Golding's best hope. But the United States has financial problems of its own, and would have to be convinced that the funds wouldn't be diverted to the very gangs they hope to defeat.
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Monday, June 7, 2010

No more nightmares

MUNROE... Golding did what his predecessors did not do — take on the crime monster

by Jean Lowrie-Chin | Jamaica Observer | 7 June 2010

DID you have a hard time figuring which day it was last week? Had problems sleeping? Recent events in Jamaica have been traumatic for those directly affected, and troubling for even those far away from West Kingston. We started to lose our bearings as the Hannah Town Police Station went up in flames, and were horrified to hear successive stories about attacks on other stations. We realised that Jamaica was on the verge of anarchy.

As we learnt about the police-military operations in West Kingston, it was clear that the Bruce Golding-led government would not emerge unscathed from these happenings. It was a clear case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't".

A month after he had won the general election in September 2007, I saw a concerned Bruce Golding telling a gathering of businesspeople that 72 per cent of the Jamaican workforce did not have a single high school qualification and 76 per cent did not have a marketable skill. He said he wanted to introduce compulsory schooling up to the age of 18, offering trade training as an option. Golding knew that he had inherited a powder keg.

In 2002, I remember meeting with Morin Seymour at the Kingston Restoration Company appealing for help so that our church ministry could start a skills training programme in Grant's Pen. He linked us to HEART-NTA and for the past eight years nearly 800 students have graduated from the Stella Maris Foundation programme. The majority have found employment while the others have started small enterprises. Five years later Amcham established their Peace Centre, contributing significantly to the health and safety of the community.

Yes, Grant's Pen may still have its occasional difficulties, but nothing compares to those terrible days before these projects got into gear. I heard a commentator on a Newstalk Sunday programme, branding the current security exercise as "class warfare". He should know that most of our community empowerment projects are heavily funded by Jamaica's private sector, many of whose leaders started from scratch and genuinely want prosperity for the less fortunate members of our Jamaican family.

We have worked with some of the most ambitious, peace-loving Jamaicans in Grant's Pen and were puzzled that with all the fervour they were showing for the two major political parties, there was no sustained strategic plan from their representatives for achieving a more productive and peaceful community.

A reader said she told her daughter last week, "If we were to simply stop and take stock of all of the communities between Bull Bay and Old Harbour that surround Kingston and St Andrew, and if we were to add to the inventory those in Montego Bay and include places like May Pen and Sav-la-mar, then we would realise that we are surrounded by communities trapped by criminality in which, after 400 years, our people -- ironically since Independence -- have been enslaved once more. I named them for her, those I know."

She continued, "I did this because I could not understand the shift of the focus of the media from this criminality that is strangling (our) economic, social (growth) and causing the loss of so many of our brothers and sisters -- this criminality that was now under attack by the security forces -- to the rights of persons who had just a couple days before marched on the Parliament of this land demanding that their 'protector' be left to do 'his thing'. I recognise they are also victims but we are at war whether we know it or not and have been at war for a very long time..."

In view of this sad reality, our political representatives should be more serious and focused in their discussion of the proposed crime bill now before the House. Of course, it should be thoroughly debated and amended, if necessary, but the doublespeak and grandstanding around this important piece of legislation is out of place. When will our parliamentarians learn to leave their egos and their baggage at the door?

These representatives of the people are paid by the people to work for the betterment of their constituencies and their country. They have run the state into the ground, allowing, as my reader says, the return of plantation oppression and terror into many communities. If all Jamaica could have moved a vote of no-confidence last week, it would probably have been against both sides of the House.

A local study on trust revealed the following: The highest levels of trust went to (1) family (2) school (3) university and (4) church while the lowest went to (1) local government councils (2) political parties (3) the police and (4) Parliament.

Of the four at the lower end, only the police have been making a concerted effort to clean up their act. We should not use the cop-out that politicians are incorrigible; we vote for them and we can tell them in no uncertain terms whom we will refuse to vote for. All of us so-called educated and decent folk will have to do the research, and lay down more stringent criteria for those who wish to be called "honourable".

While I was outraged at the Manatt, Phelps and Phillips issue (it was the "change and decay" I had mentioned in a previous column), I am willing to accept Bruce Golding's apology. Many had watched communities become progressively ill long before Golding became MP of Western Kingston. Finally it was left to him to give the order for a most painful procedure, his only option before the disease could metastasise.

Professor Trevor Munroe was quoted by Observer reporter Paul Henry as saying that Golding should not be counted out just yet, noting that he has now done what seven prime ministers before him had failed to do: "take on the crime monster".

"Munroe said that it would be a big plus for Golding if his "surgery" to rid the country and "the Jamaican body politic" of this cancer, starting in Western Kingston, started the process of healing, and renewal," wrote Henry.

How will the PNP respond? Since neither side can declare innocence, we expect them to join with the government to expedite this long-awaited dawning of a new day for Jamaica. Let us make it clear to PNP and JLP representatives alike that we the people are putting them on notice: no more nightmares.


Jah Selassi
Mrs. Chin please stop confusing heroism with selfishness. Bruce is not a hero, he is a corrupted selfish politician out to save his own skin. Bruce took an oath to defend the Jamaican people. He sold them out at every oppertunity. Bruce abondoned the garrison mentality, just to escape the web of lies he entangled himself in. Bruce is responsible for all this anarchy. He is only loyal to himself and will plunge Jamaica back in a worse nightmare, to maintain his political life.
Wa Tch
The PM deceived Parliament - that is a monumental disgrace and to amke matters worse, his deception was done on the world stage. As for taking on the crime monster, that suggests a deliberate initiative like that well crafted MP&P one, but no the PM was forced into a corner and had no choice. Either that or lose him shirt. So you can accept his apology and abandon principle in the process. Jamaican politics will be the worse off for it.
Rovert Sirrah
It's all well and good that the guy apologised but in my humble opinion thats not enough. The guy got to go......he can't be trusted !!!!!....
Lou Brown
Part of the solution to exorbitant electricity rates lies in the eradication of illegal connections overall but especially in garrison areas where some people are said to have been getting a free ride for many many years. The bottom line is that JPS has to collect for total usage of electricity and the good suffers for the bad. Bear in mind that JPS is a monopoly and to break the strangle, the Private Sector needs to consider Wind and Solar energy.

David Dennis
My guess is that at some point in time, Bruce Golden will be deemed the savior of our notion like Abraham Lincoln is praised for ending slavery, though he was against doing so at first but eventually did so to save his presidency.
Ramon Castro
Although back in a comer, the PM has done something that under normal circumstances would never happen. That is attacking the crime monster. And, the think that it started in his own constituency and and a JLP stronghold would be unthinkable a few months ago.
Instead of calling for the PM resignation even though he has NOT committed a crime and has NOT VIOLATED the Constitution, the call should -- rid communities of don, seize their ill gained assets and Constitutional Amendments.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

CCRP now live online!

The CCRP website is now live, thanks to the Multimedia Services Jamaica Team led by the brilliant Sherra Pierre March - Multimedia is a member of the RJR Group.

Click below to visit

Now Caribbean seniors throughout the world can connect via

Happy surfing!
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Rainy day in Negril

Even on a rainy day - Negril is still beautiful!
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