Sunday, February 27, 2011

Give to live

A Beautiful Message from Rosy Chen

Give strength, give thought, give deed, give wealth; Give love, give tears, and give thyself. Give,Give, be always giving, Who gives not is not living.
Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Road crash - up close and personal

Jean Lowrie-Chin | Observer column | Monday, February 14, 2011

Two Saturdays ago, my friend Jan was driving us in her SUV on Shortwood Road, when suddenly a car emerged from an apartment complex directly in front of us. Jan swerved to avoid the vehicle, but its bumper connected with the front tyre on my side, puncturing it, sending us into a spin, and then "bang!" head-on into a high wall.

It is no picnic to see in slowmotion a wall coming at you, to feel that sickening impact, the crunch of metal, the cracking of the windshield, though thankfully it did not shatter. I felt an excruciating pain in my chest and froze in fear while Jan emerged from the vehicle shaking like a leaf. Neither of us could see properly as our glasses had flown off our faces.

I heard a voice saying to her, "Don't worry, I will stay with you until help comes." The Good Samaritan had stopped to check on two strangers out of pure kindness. It was Rebecca Tulloch Issa who rushed over to my side, opened the door and tried to help me out. Only then did she recognise me. I was afraid to move but she pointed out that there was smoke coming from a vent. She sped me off to the hospital, promising to return to my friend. What a compassionate young woman!

We are now both at home recovering, thanks to the staff at Andrews Memorial, the extraordinary Dr Lucien Jones, convener of the National Road Safety Council , and his distinguished colleagues. We have not been able to go to work all of last week, have been spending time at the doctor, in therapy, giving reports to the police and the insurance company. I was lucky to have just two cracked ribs and my friend no serious injury, though lots of aches. The driver of the other vehicle accepted liability after the police arrived on the scene and convinced her that she was unquestionably at fault.

If my friend Jan had not obeyed the speed limit, if we had not been wearing our seat belts, I probably would not be writing this column today. The advice that you have to drive not only for yourself, but for the other person, should be taken very seriously. Jan and I have been asking each other, "What the heck was the woman doing? Was she on the phone? Was she searching for something in her car?" We are totally mystified because it was 9 am on a sunny morning and we were in a very visible white vehicle. Bystanders expressed the same bewilderment. The driver of the sedan looked like a responsible, middle-aged person.

We welcome a Motion moved by Central Kingston MP Ronald Thwaites last week, "seeking amendments to the Road Traffic Act, to prescribe mandatory re-education of traffic offenders and obligatory re-certification of licensees, at 15-year intervals", according to a JIS release. We are heartened by the response from Prime Minister Bruce Golding, the committed chairman of the NRSC, that there will be "significant changes" to the Road Traffic Act. JIS reported that areas being looked at include: "expanding the network of closed-circuit surveillance cameras at critical points and enactment of legislation to curtail the use of cellphones by persons while driving".

Pedestrian safety needs special attention. This was the only category to show increased road fatalities last year. We had always been concerned about the lack of sidewalks on Negril's West End main road, now renamed "One Love Boulevard", and are sad to learn that a pedestrian was killed by a speeding vehicle recently. The busy Trafalgar Road-Hope Road intersection shows not a shred of respect for pedestrians - among the many phases of traffic signals, there is not one that allows for safe crossing and no pedestrian crossing.

Click on title for full column

Monday, February 14, 2011

Anita's Valentine Napoleon

Anita's creation for our at-home Valentine's dessert - a light, flavourful Napoleon!
My daughter the chef! :)
Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A long way from Egypt

Excerpt from Observer column | Monday 7 Feb 2011

by Jean Lowrie-Chin

In the very rare event that anyone "roughs up" a Jamaican journalist, physically or verbally, there is general condemnation. The children of Garvey will not take bullying from any quarter. What horror we feel as we watch local and overseas journalists being attacked on the streets of Cairo. On Thursday night we saw CNN's Anderson Cooper reporting on this violent turn by pro-Mubarak thugs. He showed earlier footage of a truck driving at full speed through a crowd of protestors, injuring several, and then a speeding fire truck running over a demonstrator - horrible!

Commentator Halani Gorani, holed up with Cooper in an undisclosed location, opined, "If democracy takes hold in Egypt, it will change the entire region." We saw Katie Couric of CBS and ABC's Christiane Amanpour being jostled.

"If I resign now, there would be chaos," Mubarak told Amanpour in an interview last week. So was he saying that the scenes being beamed around the world are not chaotic? There are suggestions that there may be extremists participating in the anti-government rally but the peaceful scenes of the earlier days of the protests showed intelligent, resolute people. The hotheads later emerged but they were carrying a pro-government line.

Photojournalist Andrew Burton reported that it was "sincerely frightening" when he was set upon by the pro-government agitators. About six peaceful demonstrators surrounded him to protect him. "They saved my life," he said. "They took many more blows and punches than I did."

We are changing channels from our comparatively less ominous news reports to these harrowing accounts and giving thanks that we already have what the Egyptians are fighting for: democracy. What we now need to look at are the opportunities that this democracy affords us.

Read more:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Google's top 9 Jamaica sites

Jamaica - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, 234 kilometres (145 mi) in length and as much as 80 kilometres (50 mi) in width, and amounts to 10990 ...
History - Government and politics - Geography - Demographics - Cached - Similar
Jamaica online takes a real look at Jamaica and Jamaican culture with recipes guides to patois, reggae, how to be a tourist, Negril, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, ... - Cached - Similar
Visit Jamaica
Visit Jamaica is a travel and tourism site that provides all the information, photographs and tools you need to plan and purchase your ideal Jamaica ... - Cached - Similar
Jamaica Gleaner News Online
Jamaica Gleaner News at every turn seven days a week featuring Jamaican Sports, Island Business, Health, Education,Entertainment, Commentary, Letters. - Cached
Jamaica Information Service (JIS) - Government of Jamaica
The Jamaica Information Service (JIS) is the multifaceted information agency of the Government of Jamaica that gathers and disseminates information on ... - Cached - Similar
Jamaica Observer: Jamaica's Best Newspaper, Jamaican News Online ...
JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. - Cached - Similar
CIA World Factbook: Jamaica
20 Jan 2011 ... Features map and brief descriptions of the geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military and ... - Cached - Similar
Jamaica - Discover Jamaica ! - Resorts & Vacation in Negril, Ocho ...
A visit to Jamaica starts with discovering facts about Jamaica's culture, reggae music, food, people and sports. The ultimate information on Jamaica's birds ... - Cached - Similar
Images for jamaica

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Merlene Ottey – “100 per cent Jamaican”

2010 Sportswoman of the Year Veronica Campbell-Brown (centre) poses with Lifetime Achievement awardees Merlene Ottey (left) and Mike McCallum at the RJR Sports Foundation ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Friday. (Jamaica Observer Photo: Bryan Cummings)

It was special to be in the same room as that living legend, Merlene Ottey, when she was honoured recently by the RJR Sports Foundation with a Lifetime Achievement Award. At 50, Ottey continues to compete and is eyeing the London 2012 Olympics. She declared herself “100 per cent Jamaican” and described the joy she has felt watching Jamaica's brilliant crop of athletes dominating the Olympics and World Championships. One has to resurrect clich├ęs to describe the inimitable Ottey ¬– she looks half her age, and is the closest anyone has ever come to being poetry in motion. Last July, she became the oldest athlete to compete in the European Championships in Barcelona, and declared that she was looking forward to competing in this year's World Championship in Daegu, South Korea.

The other Lifetime honoree, Michael McCallum, our most successful boxer who has held three world titles, credited Bunny Grant with inspiring him as a young boy to take up boxing. Many years ago I interviewed McCallum, who said that although he lived in an inner-city community, his parents were vigilant about his every move and schooling and nutrition. He proudly introduced his mother at the event.

Kudos to Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year Veronica Campbell-Brown and Chris Gayle. Our beloved “VCB” was radiant and articulate – she may well be on her way to becoming another legend like her long-time idol, Merlene.

Main Speaker Dr Edwin Moses said he was thankful for “solid Jamaican no-nonsense advice” from the likes of Herb McKenley, Donald Quarrie and Lennox Miller. He said Dr George Rhoden had fitted him with the first inserts for his running shoes as he was flat-footed – and we know where those took him.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Donisha - Bob Marley's Granddaughter

Donisha hails the relationship between Bob Marley and Digicel
Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Time-Out for affirmation

Ambassador Audrey Marks with General Colin Powell when he visited her last Monday at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington DC

by Jean Lowrie-Chin | Jamaica Observer column| 31 January 2011

Jamaicans have made black history so much the richer, Ambassador Audrey Marks reminded me last week. As our Ambassador to the USA, she spent 10 weeks in the final quarter of last year meeting members of the diaspora and has been researching the history of Jamaican immigration to the US.

“Jamaicans have been emigrating to the US for over 200 years,” she explained. “The second black person in America to earn a university degree was a Jamaican, John Brown Russworm. He also started the first black newspaper, called Freedom's Journal and was later appointed the colonial secretary of Liberia.” Russworm was born in Port Antonio in 1799, the son of a white planter and a slave.

Our diaspora includes brilliant professionals and educators. “Jamaica has one of the highest numbers per capita of Ivy League graduates and persons with second degrees in the US,” said the Ambassador.

Last week she met with General Colin Powell, also a son of Jamaica, who told her that he considered himself lucky to have grown up in the US with Jamaican parents. “He said that they made him feel confident and empowered,” she reported.

Civil rights activists of the 20th century, led by Dr Martin Luther King Jr, have repeatedly acknowledged the influence of Jamaica's first National Hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, in their struggle for equal rights.

Ambassador Marks says that with all our fine accomplishments, it is a pity that we tend to broadcast only the negative news from Jamaica. “All Caribbean countries have their struggles with crime but also give front page to positive news,” she remarked. “We need to do likewise.”

Audrey Marks says she is aware of major projects in the pipeline that will “directly and positively impact the lives of Jamaicans”. She recently attended the presentation of President Obama's State of the Union Address which she describes as “a memorable occasion which underpins what makes America a great country … one that demands accountability from its leaders.” She said it was also “an excellent networking opportunity with every single US lawmaker in one place”.

As we have noticed from the reports, Audrey Marks is a dynamic ambassador providing representation not only with the US, but also with the Organisation of American States. The young entrepreneur who founded the ubiquitous Paymaster is constantly reading and sharing her nuggets of wisdom.

“I have been practising the “Four Agreements with Yourself” as recommended by author Dan Ruiz,” she says. They are:
* Be impeccable in your word and action
* Don't make assumptions
* Don't take anything personally
* Always be the best you can be.

Audrey says that making assumptions can be dangerous: “When you assume, you may take the mind on a journey on a totally false premise and seriously damage your perception of a person or a situation, so draw no conclusion from mere appearance. Make sure you get the facts.” She says it is important not to take anything personally: “I have found this to be a most powerful tool. It allows us to be more rational and measured in our responses.”

Cobb lecture

I was also in the company of another exceptional ambassador last week, the ever-supportive Honourable Sue Cobb, whose family sponsors the annual Cobb lecture series which promotes research and healthy debate, and is featured as a UWI Research Day event. Dr Wendel Abel gave a provocative presentation on “Ganja: Legalise or not Legalise”. Abel noted a worldwide trend to decriminalise the use of cannabis, with the state of California being the most recent, while warning that ganja has been shown to worsen the condition of patients suffering from schizophrenia and was harmful to users under the age of 15. Ambassador Cobb is Chairman of the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ), a philanthropic organisation that has donated millions to many worthy causes in Jamaica.