Thursday, July 29, 2010

Time for deadbeat donors to pay up!

In the months after Haiti's earthquake pledges of aid came from all over the world – totalling more than $5 billion USD. However 6 months on, only 10% of this aid has actually been delivered to Haiti – compromising the country's ability to rebuild and prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. President Bill Clinton, UN special envoy to Haiti, has vowed to chase the countries with outstanding pledges, and we'd like to show him the world supports his efforts. I just signed a petition asking world leaders to deliver the aid they pledged to Haiti as soon as possible. Please join me by signing the petition here: Together as ONE we can make a difference! Thanks!
The ONE Campaign Team
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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lenworth Dixon's Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan Cocktail recipe
by Lenworth Dixon - Bars2Go

Scale ingredients to servings
1 1/2 oz vodka
1 oz cranberry juice
1 oz orange juice
1/2 oz triple sec

Shake vodka, triple sec, orange and cranberry juice vigorously in a shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass, garnish with a lime wedge on the rim, and serve.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

PAJ, MAJ Meet with Commissioner of Police

COMMISSIONER OF Police Owen Ellington says next month he will publish rules of engagement for members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and journalists at crime scenes.

He made the commitment during a meeting on Tuesday (July 20) with a delegation from the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ), and Media Association Jamaica Limited (MAJ). The meeting was held on the request of the PAJ following the harassment by a policeman of CVM Television’s videographer, Kirk Hall while covering a crime scene in St Ann several weeks ago.

The meeting agreed that all parties, including members of the Jamaica Defence Force, would consult on producing the final draft of police/media rules of engagement already developed by the JCF. The rules will reflect, where appropriate, the PAJ/MAJ Code of Practice for Journalists. On completion of the consultation, Commissioner Ellington said he would publish the protocols in the Force Orders on Friday, August 13, 2010.

The Commissioner reported that the investigation into the harassment of the CVM videographer was ongoing, following the initial removal of the policeman from frontline duty. He reiterated that the JCF would take appropriate disciplinary action against any member who obstructed media practitioners in the execution of their lawful duties at crime scenes.

Media representatives also raised with the Police High Command the issue of access to high security operations. Commissioner Ellington acknowledged the importance of the media gaining access in such situations, and stated that the police was willing to permit this, subject to safety considerations for the security forces and journalists. However, the Commissioner pointed out that where the law prohibited access to the media, the police had to conform.

Contact: Byron Buckley, President - 440 8393

Monday, July 19, 2010

Good news for Jamaica

Jean-Lowrie Chin | Jamaica Observer | Monday, July 19, 2010

WHEN we heard that the Chinese firm Complant was purchasing government's remaining sugar assets, someone quipped, "Well, this will give them a little sugar to put in the Blue Mountain Coffee they also bought!" It is good news and Aubyn Hill and his team should be congratulated for pulling this off.

With the sale of Air Jamaica and now this, we should be deeply relieved that our taxes are not shoring up inefficient entities, and that these restructured organisations still have good employment prospects for Jamaicans.

It counts that a superpower like China thinks that Jamaica is worth the investment. Theirs is a thriving economy and we can benefit greatly from their culture of diligence and high productivity. If only more Jamaicans would be as convinced as China that Jamaica is a good bet. I heard a cynical quip from a listener to Mutty Perkins' radio talk show recently: "Adam and Eve must be Jamaican. Imagine, God put them in the Garden of Eden where they could get everything they want and they still go wrap up with a serpent!"

The ingenious lengths to which Jamaicans go to operate outside the law make us wonder at the mindset that would put some of our most talented people on the wrong side of the law. Research by Professor Claudette Crawford Brown and Dr Herbert Gayle shows that many of our criminals are from troubled communities.

To make our investors happy with their decision, to make our fellow Jamaicans employable and new entrepreneurs themselves, government should be putting close and relentless focus on these communities.

We sympathise with the Jamaica Tourist Board that there has been a downturn in tourism. But how in heaven's name can we fix it by ploughing US$10 million into advertising and promotion? Those funds — J$890 million — can go a far way to improve the product, focusing on at-risk communities.

It would be great to see more activity from the JTB in social media. This is a low-cost, efficient way of engaging an international audience. As a Facebook fan of Usain Bolt, I am learning that he is approaching two million fans. He is also on Twitter.

Time to start saving!

Not enough people know that since 2005, our government has given Jamaicans a real break in the form of tax relief on savings of up to 20 per cent of their salary. If you have not yet opened a retirement savings account you need to do that today, not tomorrow! Actuary Cathy Lyn told us that pensioners may go back as far as five years to claim tax refunds on those savings.

We have been alerted by Professor Sir Kenneth Hall that we should be planning to fund 30 non-working years after retirement. Speaking at the launch of the BPM Personal Pension, he recalled that there used to be "another retirement package called children", but the very children to whom parents were looking for support are now "returning to the nest".

Sir Kenneth says young people do not think about retirement, though the 20s is the best time to start saving. He proposed that we appeal to them by showing them that they could be independently wealthy by age 55. He said personal savings will lift the economy, referring to the Chinese habit of saving 50 per cent of one's salary — "Jamaicans save only an average of 16 per cent of their salary."

Inflation is the enemy of the pensioner and so it was good news when BOJ Governor Brian Wynter told us at a Caribbean Community of Retired Persons (CCRP) Seminar last week that inflation was trending down. He believes that there should be "a societal consensus on inflation" as low inflation will help pensioners to maintain their purchasing power.

Financial analyst Sushil Jain urged expenditure control, and suggested that retirees find ways to continue earning as well as look beyond traditional saving plans. He said investments should be diversified and recommended insurance as "a necessary expense". Jain said it was important to utilise investment advisers as "discussions and understanding are important and it is better to have a second opinion". Please sign up for those free investment seminars being offered by various financial organisations — internationally approved and regulated options offer great opportunities even for modest investors.


howie J
We don’t need to do research to tell us that many of our criminals are from troubled communities. We use our senses to see, smell, feel, hear and taste problems.
What we need to know from these social scientists is what methods were used to create conditions which have resulted in these troubled communities.

What is(was) the government's ownership interest in the sugar industry. Was it 100% or a much lesser amount. I hope it's the latter because sugar is such a crucial product. We rely on sugar for energy for our bodies(glucose) and as well sugar is suitable for use in creating fuel that powers machinery.
The Chinese appear to be investing in themselves with Jamaica gaining incidental benefit.
Keep giving away our energy and we'll be immobilized!
Carlos Bryson
People hold off on the ethnocentricity bordering on racism. Granted, we run the risk of re-colonozation but nobody complained when others (Americans, Canadians and Brits) and now Spanish owned most of our industrial base. Why such vitriol against the Chinese? These people have been part of Jamaica for years and have contributed positively. Look at the people that look like you and how they have been screwing us royaly for ages. Hold their feet to the fire. Dont forget the motto.
Carlos Bryson
Ja Cynic; it is not cynical to suggest our schools start teaching other languages. Seriously, my daughter had to choose a second language when she entered school at age 5. She chose spanish and now, after graduating college is very much attractive to Uncle Sam foreign service and the international employer base.
Jamaica being the beach-head to the Caribbean must diversify and learning many languages makes us more attractive. Learning Chinese with our knowledge of the West? That's added value.
Rovert Sirrah
Are jumping up and clapping because Jamaica is being colonised by a communist country ? Can you imagine if this was happening under a PNP administration ? Sugar , bauxite , coffee , aiport , port , building roads , stadiums , convention centres . Whats next ? Come on people this is not progress.
Wharf Dawg
Only the uninformed can view anything that that the Chinese do in Jamaica as good news.
One need only to look at other places where their 'good news' investments were made in the past to understand that this is the death knell of what remains of the Jamaican manufacturing industry. I can give you one example and that is the textile industry of Sub-Saharan Africa..

Winston Jones
Very in formative piece Ms. Lowrie Chin. People must invest but should invest wisely. Saving is not necessarily a bad thing but if inflation keeps increasing then the value of your savings will take a big hit. As for the Chinese investors. We should never give up ownsrship of our natural resources to any foreign investors or companies. It is o.k. to lease out an industry if we are in capable of running the thing ourselves but selling off our riches for term gains is a no no.
Winston G
What is wrong with this writer. Why has she moved away from Manatt to speak about "good news" to disturb persons like JA Cynic and Meat Head. Come on Ms. Lowrie Chin, get off the positive and let us keep focusing on what is wrong with Jamaica so that those who comment here can remain happy.
avid equin
The deeper question is; in a global market where thousands of value chains are swirling around us, what is Jamaica's place? what role do we play? where is sustainable wealth to be harvested? Are we positioned to seriously participate as a worthy player in global value chains? Is our participation condemmed to be at the low value end or do we have the resource and capability to leverage hi value wealth harvesting? After all the proceeds of sales are consumed, are our people globally competitive?
Brain Allen
Meat Head, what concern me is what we don't know about the deal. I would not be surprise to see the Chinese population increase in Jamaica and they start to vote. The only thing remaining before Chinese start to migrate in great numbers to Jamaica is for the government to grant China a television station in Jamaica. This is a betrayal of the Jamaican people (Africans) by Bruce Golding and the regime.
JA Cynic
Soon we will all have to learn mandarin.The way things are going we should make it mandatory in primary schools and even have courses for those in the key ministries. Later, we may even have to update the electoral office.
Hope their will be an influx of reginal chinese cuisine. Jamaicans love chinese food.
JA Cynic
Meat Head
I don't view the Chinese purchase with the same level of elation. China is not viewing their investment as charity -- they intend to repatriate the profits to further develop their country. These profits could have remained here, if only we had the management capacity. This is in spite of the financial rewards we give to managers and government. Going forward, I suppose we will continue to do what we do best -- give our labour cheaply for the benefit of others.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Haiti could be Caricom’s big chance

Jean Lowrie-Chin | Jamaica Observer | 12 July 2010

EVEN as our Caricom heads are projecting sweetness and light, their largest member state, Haiti, remains doubled over in pain from the January 12 earthquake.

For us UWI alumni, there was indeed a Caribbean oneness on campus that persists today in close friendships and marriages. Yet we have made little effort to promote this feeling of kinship among the general populace.

What a fantastic signal we would send to the world – “to the world!” – if we could make Haiti the focus of a Caricom-UWI restoration project. In last Thursday's New York Times three professors of engineering from the respected Georgia Tech wrote about the staggering volume of earthquake debris literally standing in the way of the country's recovery.

Monumental challenge

Reginald DesRoches, professor of civil and environmental engineering, Ozlem Ergun and Julie Swann, associate professors of industrial and systems engineering and codirectors of the Centre for Health and Humanitarian Logistics, described the monumental challenge left by an earthquake that took 300,000 lives and destroyed 280,000 homes and businesses.

“The quake left an astonishing amount of debris, including concrete and rebar from collapsed buildings, destroyed belongings and human remains,” they wrote. “Twenty million to 25 million cubic yards of debris fill the streets, yards, sidewalks and canals of Port-au-Prince.”

They said initial efforts were promising, but now there is little coordination of the clearing, funded by the European Union and USAID. “Haitians, at best, breaking concrete and loading trucks by hand and, at worst, just moving bricks from one side of a road to the other,” they commented. “Many workers lack masks or gloves. While this inefficient process may put money into the hands of Haitians, it only further slows rebuilding.”

They are calling for the United Nations, the World Bank and agencies like USAID, in conjunction with the Haitian government, to “create a task force focused on debris removal to coordinate the clean-up efforts of the hodgepodge of aid groups in the country.”

Mutual benefits

Caricom should blush that they are not even mentioned in this suggestion. Yet Haiti accounts for more than half of the population of Caricom – nine of 16 million, the total population of the 15-member states. Where could our region go if nine million of our poorest were finally put on a path to prosperity? Haitians are among the region's most talented artists and artisans. If you have ever seen the beautiful gates and rails in Haiti, you would realise how gauche most of our welders are here in Jamaica. The benefits would be mutual.

It is true that the University of the West Indies has turned out some of the finest engineers, many of whom are now senior executives in powerful international companies. It is true that UWI's graduates have written about the history of such heroes as Toussaint L'Ouverture, the Haitian general who defeated Napoleon's army. It is very true that our campus has yielded the majority of heads of state in the English-speaking Caribbean – this same Caricom of which Haiti is a member state.

We have the resources and should most certainly have the heart to be the turning point for our neighbour. What a sea change it would be for our region, if all our heads of state galvanised their finest engineers and planners to make Haiti's recovery a speedy reality.

It can happen! Does the leadership of Caricom believe that it was a coincidence that for the first time, a UN Secretary General was in attendance at a Caricom Summit? Ban Ki Moon must have left Jamaica for Haiti with a heavy heart. I am sure he was hoping he would have had a more positive and dynamic plan from these distinguished leaders to take to the battered Haitians.

Involve our students

What is more, the restoration of Haiti could address the huge problem of joblessness in the region. Our school leavers could learn valuable lessons from an energetic stint in Haiti, working as part of a professionally planned mission to rebuild the country.

The Georgia Tech professors believe it can be done. “The task force should identify critical facilities, like hospitals and schools, and the roads that approach them, to clear first,” they suggest. “It should lay down environmental regulations for debris disposal and landfill management, and regulate the use of cash-forwork programmes. There's no reason these can't continue, but more of the money should be allocated to bringing in heavy equipment and expertise. This kind of task force would serve as a model for future disasters.”

End this 'persistent poverty'

How can it be that 27 states of Europe with a population of over 500 million could arrive at a legally binding Charter of Fundamental Rights in 2009, while our 15 small states of Caricom still cannot come to such an agreement? Why are we still acting like crabs in a barrel, even as we stand close and smiling for the photo-op? It is the EU that is helping Haiti while we preside over our persistent poverty. The UWI that I attended certainly did not subscribe to such values. Let us do what we promised ourselves we would, as brave young graduates. By challenging ourselves to create a new Caribbean, we can indeed change the world.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jean has shared a Huffington Post article with you

Jean has shared a Huffington Post article with you:
America's Deadliest Sweetener Betrays Millions, Then Hoodwinks You With Name Change

They also included a personal note:
Readers - please try to eat straight from the tree, the soil and the sea - we in Jamaica are so blessed with a wide variety of delicious foods!

- sent by Jean

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Puyol sends Spain to first-ever World Cup Final

BBC | WED 7 JULY 2010

Spain reached the World Cup final for the first time after a second-half header from Carles Puyol secured a narrow victory over Germany after an intriguing match in Durban.

Vicente del Bosque's side won their fourth straight game 1-0 and will now play the Netherlands in Sunday's final at Soccer City.

Spain deserved their victory after controlling huge periods of the match, but once again it was far from a vintage performance.

Del Bosque's team improved on their scrappy performance against Paraguay in the previous round but still struggled to carve out clear openings.

The winning goal came when Puyol showed great determination to atone for a poor first-half miss by heading home Xavi's corner with 17 minutes remaining.

The Euro 2008 champions, who defeated Germany 1-0 in the final of that competition, should have scored a second after striking with the sort of counter-attack that had been a trademark of their opponents' play in this competition, but Pedro failed to pick out a completely unmarked Fernando Torres.

Germany had invited pressure by adopting an increasingly deep defensive line as the match wore on - and may regret not taking the game to their opponents more while it remained goalless.

Joachim Loew's team scored four against both England and Argentina in their previous games and had illuminated the competition with their bold play.

But they had few opportunities to strike on the counter against Spain and so Germany taste defeat at the semi-final stage for the second successive World Cup.

Spain coach Del Bosque chose Wednesday's tie to drop the out-of-form Torres, drafting in Barcelona's lively young forward Pedro and deploying David Villa as a lone striker.

And while Del Bosque's team certainly looked comfortable as they worked the ball around midfield, Germany showed excellent shape and discipline, and were rarely dragged out of position.

Spain did occasionally pick holes in the German defensive structure, with Pedro playing in Villa only for keeper Manuel Neuer to deny him after only five minutes.

Puyol headed over from a firm Andres Iniesta cross, wasting an excellent chance, while a raking cross-field pass from Xabi Alonso found Sergio Ramos in space, only for the Real Madrid full-back to drill his ambitious shot wide.

Germany did not have the opportunity to launch a counter attack until the 22nd minute, but that broke down after a miscommunication between Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski.

Loew's team looked increasingly threatening as the half wore on and had what initially appeared to be a strong penalty appeal in injury-time, after Ozil went down under a clumsy challenge from Ramos.

Ozil was certainly in a very threatening position after collecting a pass from Miroslav Klose and looked to be fouled, but replays suggested the initial contact had been made outside the area.

The start of the second half was a repeat of the first in that Spain passed and probed - but this time they started to seriously threaten Neuer's goal.

Alonso twice shot wide from distance, as did Villa with a low effort he tried to curl across goal, but the impressive Pedro did force a sharp save from Neuer.

Germany were dropping ever deeper and would have fallen behind but for two near misses. The first saw Villa come within inches of converting a low Iniesta cross, while Ramos was likewise agonisingly close to converting from Alonso's angled pass.

Loew brought on Marcell Jansen and Toni Kroos for Jerome Boateng and Trochowski as he tried to change the game in his team's favour.

And Kroos forced a save after a deep cross from Podolski, but shortly afterwards Puyol struck and Spain were able to close out the match to seal their place in the final and ensure that the World Cup will have a first-time winner in 2010.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Great year for Green Park School, Clarendon

Excerpts from address by Mr O'Neil Ankle, Principal, Green Park Primary and Junior High at the School's graduation recently.

One writer once said that “education’s purpose is to replace empty minds with open ones”. If that is true I believe we here at Green Park are achieving such a measure. The truth is the teachers here have a burning desire to see children learn. It’s a passion to inspire our children into their God given greatness. Today, we celebrate with our Graduates, Parents, teachers, friends, the wider community and well wishers on the bumper harvest that we have had throughout the 2009-10 academic year.
Ladies and gentlemen: let me say and you will hear me say this over and over again, Green Park Primary and Junior High School is no longer the school that you knew 5-6 years ago. Green Park has become a preferred primary and Junior High school for many. Many parents have told me that they selected Green Park as their preferred GSAT School for their children. Ladies and gentlemen we must be doing something that is different as a primary and junior high school…Teachers of Green Park please to take bow…I know I have been a hard task master at times however to get to where we want, none of us can be too comfortable.


Our Agricultural programme is one that all of us can be more that proud of. Ladies and gentlemen I believe we have the best Junior High school farm in all of Clarendon and perhaps Central Jamaica and I think we can challenge the entire island. This year under the outstanding leadership of Mr. Balmore Mannings we started our poultry unit – providing the school’s canteen with over 2865 lbs of chicken meat and 100 lbs of trotters (foot) and with the price of chicken today you can do the math ($372,450). In addition, some 50 lbs of chicken meat and 400 pounds of chicken foot, liver, gizzard and neck were given away to students as incentive for their participation in the project. This year also saw an expansion and diversification in the crop area, where cash crops such as scallion, thyme, beetroot, and raddish among others were produced which helped to increase sales in the department by over 15%-self sufficiency is where we heading. Ornamental plants sale also helped the department to raise over $11000. With this kind of performance, we are expecting to break new grounds with our fisheries unit come September. We want to rear some 200 lbs of fish ever 3-4 months. We also want to further develop the ornamental plant unit by expanding the Green House during the next school year. We aim to be different as a junior high school…. We want to also congratulate Lamure Bolton of 9 Wealthy who walked away with the top student award in poultry care and management at the Clarendon 4-H Clubs Achievement Day.

Guidance and Counselling

This year in an effort to ensure continuity the Guidance and counselling department once again staged another successfully Residential Behavioural Change Camp for boys for the second year running. This year the boys went to the Kendal Camp Site in Manchester for three days and two nights. Sixteen boys participated in the camp.


Our performance this year is the best in the 40-year history of the institution. For the first time in our history no student will return to us and let me tell you is a plan that we have worked for the past 4 years. This year we sprint past the national average in all areas of the GSAT. In Mathematics we have a 67% average a 12% improvement over last year, national average 57%. In science our school has a 76% a 23% improvement over 2009, the national average 60%. For social studies our school’s avg. is 71% a 15% improvement over the previous year, national average 58%. Language Arts we are at 68% a 12% improvement over last year, national average 58%. In Communication Task our school’s average 75% a 17% improvement over 2009, national average 67%. Help me congratulate the teachers for their dedication and sacrifice. Please note that of the 54 students who sat the examination 20 have gained averages of over 80%. Secondly only 5 students failed to get over 50% and above. This year many of our students got in the 90s in many of the individual subject areas. The outstanding individual performers you will see receiving their awards in a moment.
Ladies and gentlemen Green Park has come of age and you have not seen the best of us yet. We are the toast of Region 6, persons are asking what are we doing differently why for the past four years our grades just keep trending up; and this does not only go for GSAT, but GNAT and our reading programme-led by Ms Joan Edward and the teachers at grade 7 are working miracles. I can safely say the Reading Resource Center-(Library) under the guidance of Mrs. Amoy Hay is contributing tremendously to our overall improvement and performance.


To the graduates as you leave the hallowed and holy walls of this institution I want to challenge you to continue being the best that you can be. My sons and daughters this world especially this country can no longer support mediocrity/slap-dash performance; you have to be at your best at all times. Graduates you can’t be ordinary and survive, you must be extra ordinary, so don’t sentence yourselves to a life of poverty when God has called you to a higher level of blessings.

Serena's Victory

Photo shows Serena Williams after her Fourth Wimbledon victory today.
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Serena wins fourth Wimbledon title - FOX Sports - Article

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Germans rout Argentina in Cape Town - FOX Sports - Article

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