Thursday, August 25, 2016

Obrigado Brazil!

We love Brazil!
by Jean Lowrie-Chin

excerpt from Jamaica Observer column published Mon 22 August

Our tour guide Gustavo De Sá gave us colourful historic insights as we toured the great Rio landmarks.
At Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer

Enjoying Brazilian cuisine
As we emerged from the train and looked up at the back of Christ the Redeemer, my heart stopped. To witness this magnificent tribute to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ inspired hope and a special love for Brazil. Hubie and I prayed quietly in the Chapel situated in the base of the Statue.
At Port Maua with Digiel Group HR Mgr Andrea Hardware
On our way to Sugar Loaf Mountain

Gustavo explained the beginning of the favelas by unpaid soldiers who took land as compensation and said they were now being developed as vibrant sustainable communities.
A cable car ride took us to the breathtaking Sugar Loaf Mountain, where we could survey the entire city including their famous Copacabana Beach.
With our wonderful guide Gustavo de Sa
We enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the Olympic Boulevard, pulsating with samba sounds and lined with brilliant murals.
We had not a single experience of harassment,  something we could learn well from the Brazilians.  We fell in love with the warm and welcoming people. Obrigado Brazil!

All Olympic Medals are precious!

Kudos to Jamaica's Medallists and Finalists
by Jean Lowrie-Chin
Let us be clear that all medals are precious - indeed to reach an Olympic final is a huge achievement,  considering the human field of 7 billion! Big applause to:
Usain Bolt (3 Gold), Elaine Thompson (2 Gold, 1 Silver), Omar McLeod (Gold), Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and Nickel Ashmead (Gold - Relay), Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Elaine Thompson, Christania Williams (Silver 4x100m), Novlene Williams-Mills, Stephanie McPherson, Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby,  Shericka Jackson (Silver 4x400), Javon Francis,  Peter Matthews,  Nathon Allen,  Fitzroy Dunkley (Silver 4x400), Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce (Bronze),  Shericka Jackson (Bronze). 
We laud finalists Alia Atkinson (Swimming), O'Dayne Richards (Shot Put), Kimberley Williams (Long Jump), Demar Forbes (Long Jump), Leah Nugent, Janieve Russell,  Ristananna Tracey (400m hurdles), Aisha Praught (3000m steeplechase).


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Olympic euphoria!

Team Jamaica led by amazing Gold Medal Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce march into the Maracanã Stadium
by Jean Lowrie-Chin
Jamaicans watched avidly as the athletes marched into the Maracanã Stadium for the Opening of the Rio Olympics, and we were not disappointed.  Led by multiple gold-medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, our team looked glorious in our black, green and gold. Wearing the national colours in her hair, Shelly-Ann was voted ‘Best hair at the Olympics Opening’ by none other than BBC Sports! 

There were queries about the absence of The Big Man, Usain Bolt, from the ceremony, and some strange speculation.  Clearly, we don’t understand the sensation that Bolt is.  One athlete tweeted that when Usain Bolt walked into the Olympic Village cafeteria, she nearly turned over her table in her rush to meet him.  Had he been on that infield for the opening ceremony, there would have been a crush of autograph-seekers – certainly not safe for those precious feet! 

We note the unfinished bathrooms that greeted our Olympians on their arrival at the Village, and hope that by now, they are comfortable and rested, as this is so important for their readiness. The wonderful patriots that they are, our athletes projected only positive vibrations, smiling and exuberant to cheers of the appreciative audience at the opening.

Brazil’s environmental message
The Brazilians held a breathtaking opening ceremony, drawing from the artistry of their famous Rio Carnival. Most importantly, they used the occasion witnessed by over a billion global television watchers, to warn about the effects of climate change. It was genius to have each of the over 10,000 athletes plant a seed, which will become an “athlete’s forest” at one of the Olympic locations in Brazil.

The environmental theme was carried through by Olympic rings formed by trees, and a shining, three-dimensional sculpture, suspended above the Stadium, signifying the power of the sun. 
With all their challenges, Brazil has impressed; clearly the colour and warmth of their opening ceremony and deep concern for this, our good Earth is an endearing welcome to the world’s athletes.

First ever Olympic Refugee Team
A moving moment was the entry of the first ever Olympic Refugee Team, led by Rose Nathike Lokonyen, a South Sudanese runner.  They marched behind the International Olympics Committee (IOC) banner, a gesture that gave a human face to the millions of refugees now living in camps around the world, displaced by war and brutality. 

This bold move of the IOC and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) places front and centre before our world leaders the urgency of securing accords that will return these innocents to their homelands or find permanent residence for them, where their children can live healthy, happy lives and their elders can receive the respect and care they deserve. 

Excerpt from Jean Lowrie-Chin's weekly Jamaica Observer column

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Embassy of Spain’s Rae Town Tribute

Excerpt from Jamaica Observer column
by Jean Lowrie-Chin

Generous Carmen Rives, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Spain in Jamaica

Classique Sound System's Sister Norma and Dr Joshua Chamberlain
Downtown came uptown last Thursday with a pulsating dance party Tribute to Rae Town, hosted by Carmen Rives, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Spain in Jamaica.  The Kingston seaside community’s famous weekly event has become a fixture on many visitors’ calendars, and Ms Rives invited the mellow Classique Sound System and Sister Norma to delight guests of various walks of life.  It was a memorable evening – such a generous gesture to mark Jamaica’s ‘Emanci-pendence’ celebrations.
My friend Joshua Chamberlain, an instructor at Alpha Boys School organised a live stream of the Rae Town Tribute on the fast-growing Alpha Boys Radio Station. Joshua has made us proud, earning a doctoral degree from the UWI with his extensive research and thesis on our sound system culture.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Ken Richards (2nd left) with Dr Joshua Chamberlain and Margaret Little of Alpha Institute, and Enith Williams, dynamic volunteer for the Redevelopment of Holy Trinity Cathedral 
Yours truly with inspiring author and dancehall researcher Dr Sonjah Stanley Niaah 
At PROComm, we can attest to the power of Jamaica’s sound system network. The late President of the Sound Systems Association Louise Fraser-Bennett assisted us in promoting peaceful elections in the late 90s when she distributed an Electoral Office-sponsored song by Tony Rebel, “Peace, Love and Unity”.  Louise reported that many a heated moment was cooled by observant selectors who would ‘big-up’ the song and play it in the various communities where political fervor ran high.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Glutathione — You need it, don’t deplete it

Glutathione — the most powerful antioxidant!
Acetaminophen eg Panadol,  Tylenol,  Cetamol can destroy it and has been linked to Autism!

By Bernadette Pajer

Discovered in the 1880s, glutathione is the most important antioxidant, so why has it taken more than a century for the buzz to start? One reason is that environmental factors have changed and are now depleting glutathione in many to dangerous levels.

Hailed as the "Master Antioxidant," glutathione is like your body's head housekeeper and the ultimate handyman. It tidies up the messes (free radicals) of everyday living (breathing, moving, converting food and oxygen into energy); it takes out the trash (by binding with toxins and heavy metals so they can be eliminated); it repairs damage, and it maintains good working order (cellular health).

Low levels of glutathione are associated with every health problem, from recurrent colds to cancer, and low levels at the time of environmental exposures to disease or toxins can lead to serious trouble. The immune system just can't properly do its job without it.

What depletes glutathione? Anything that uses it: Everyday bodily functions, physical and emotional stress, illness of any sort and exposure to tens of thousands of chemicals that didn't exist a hundred years ago. Pesticides, herbicides, plasticizers, flame retardants, vinyl, electromagnetic fields, pharmaceuticals . . . the list is nearly endless.

A commonly used drug that depletes glutathione is acetaminophen (Tylenol). Most people are aware of acetaminophen's liver toxicity issues. It's easy to take too much, especially when combining pain relievers with cold medications. According to the FDA, acetaminophen toxicity is now the leading cause of liver failure in the U.S. But few know that acetaminophen depletes glutathione to dangerously low levels. In fact, an overdose of acetaminophen is treated with N -Acetylcysteine (NAC), a glutathione precursor that increases hepatic (liver) glutathione stores.

Dr. Erika Krumbeck, ND, a member of the Pediatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians, says glutathione is actually active in the brain. In fact, if you deplete glutathione at critical times, "you can end up with oxidative damage, inflammation and brain injury," she said. Studies show acetaminophen has been linked with autism and adverse reactions when given at the time of routine pediatric vaccinations. "Do not give acetaminophen before or after your child's vaccinations," Krumbeck advises.

Pregnant women should avoid acetaminophen altogether. A recently published study in the International Journal of Epidemiology concluded: "Gestational exposure to acetaminophen may increase symptoms of ASC [autism spectrum conditions]." Further, the study showed acetaminophen can affect attention function and is associated with hyperactivity/impulsivity behavior.

With so much depleting your glutathione, what can you do to boost your supply? Luckily, our bodies are great at making glutathione when we give it the right building blocks. The best boosters are high-sulfur veggies like kale, broccoli, onions and garlic; healthy fats like walnuts, virgin olive oil and avocados; fresh fruit; eggs, and quality animal protein. Undenatured whey protein is an excellent source of glutathione building blocks, and milk thistle (tea or supplement) has been shown to boost levels as well as cleanse the liver.

Nutrients vary depending on how a food was grown or raised. So as much as possible, your choices should be organic, unprocessed, pasture-raised and grass-fed. You want maximum nutrition without trace toxins that deplete your glutathione. The amino acid cysteine is the most essential glutathione building block and can be the hardest to get because although it's abundant in protein foods, it's easily destroyed by high temperatures, which means our meat and dairy don't provide nearly as much as it once did. Unlike past generations, we don't often consume raw animal products. Milk and milk products are pasteurized and we generally cook all eggs and meat. We do so to kill off any potential pathogens and extend product shelf life, but this protection comes at the expense of important glutathione building blocks. If you don't have access to, or the appetite for, safe organic raw dairy, meat, or eggs, try to keep cooking temperatures to a minimum, and avoid ultra-pasteurized dairy, which uses ultra-high heat and destroys whey proteins. N -Acetylcysteine (NAC) provides a derivative of cysteine and is available as a dietary supplement.

Other factors to boosting glutathione? Movement and sunshine. Glutathione needs the energy molecule ATP, created during moderate aerobic movement. So walk, hop, dance, outside if you can, with some skin exposed so the sun can trigger the production of Vitamin D. This movement also serves as the pump for your lymphatic system, which carries nutrients around the body and gathers the waste glutathione snatches up.

In short, avoid glutathione-depleters, eat well and go outside and play — your immune system will thank you.

Bernadette Pajer is a freelance health writer, novelist and citizen journalist. Any advice provided by this columnist our theirs. If making any drastic lifestyle changes, consult your physician.

Jean Lowrie-Chin JP

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Emancipate your mindset

Jamaica Observer column published Emancipation Day 1 August 2016
by Jean Lowrie-Chin

Bob Marley entered a BMW dealership in Florida, and a red jacketed salesman seemed surprised that this Rastaman could be looking so intently at his expensive merchandise.  He asked if he could help and Marley said yes, he wanted to buy a car.  The salesman looked unconvinced and asked him for a bank reference.  This was being witnessed by a young holiday working student from Jamaica, David Mair, now Executive Director of Food for the Poor Jamaica.

David watched the expression of the salesman change during a phone call to the bank, as he discovered the wherewithal of the prospective buyer.  He said Marley noticed too, and laughed.  Then Marley called out to the salesman: “Red jacket! Come here!”  Bob Marley bought two BMWs that day, and taught ‘Red jacket’ a good lesson: emancipate your mindset.

First lady Michelle Obama delivers her speech on the first evening of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Michelle Obama’s was an important Emancipation message last Tuesday evening at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia:
“That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.

“And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.”

Donald Trump stayed clear of insulting Michelle Obama after she spoke; there are some people, so superior in dignity and intelligence that you dare not touch them with your itchy little Twitter fingers.

However, Fox news commentator Bill O’Reilly had the nerve to respond that the slaves who built the White House were ‘well fed’ and had decent lodgings, while another cynic asked why she did not mention the white workers. MSNBC show host Joy Reid showed the pay list – the slaves’ wages were paid to their owners, while the white workers were of course paid directly. 

The dim Rush Limbaugh compared slavery to an affair in a marriage, and wondered why it had to be constantly brought up. As we see the news reports of Pope Francis visiting the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz in Poland last week, we understand why no cruel injustice of history like slavery or the holocaust must ever be forgotten. We cannot drive safely into the future without a well-angled rear-view mirror. 

As the “Black Lives Matter” movement gains momentum, we realise that there is still a dangerous mindset lingering among some backward Americans.  How else can you explain the actions of that Florida policeman, who shot a therapist with his hands held upwards. This was a black therapist who was trying to rescue a white autistic boy who had left a secure area.  But with a mindset like O’Reilly or Limbaugh, why would anyone believe that this was a black man trying to help a white special needs individual? This is the danger of ‘Trumpism’, where a US presidential candidate can point to someone at an event and refer to him as “my African American”.  If Mr Trump can refer to an American in that way, how does he view people of colour in the developing world? 

Our beloved Jamaica
Members of the Union Garden Foundation pose for a photo with Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites(3rd left).  Shown, from left, are Glen Christian, Marva Christian, Melanie Subratie,  Gary ‘Butch’ Hendrickson, and Simone Murdock.
Members of the Union Garden Foundation pose for a photo with Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites(3rd left). Shown, from left, are Glen Christian, Marva Christian, Melanie Subratie, Gary ‘Butch’ Hendrickson, and Simone Murdock. Photo:
Now, let us look at our beloved Jamaica, and know that we are far ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to racial respect.  Yes, there are the sorry few who believe some of us are not black enough to be truly Jamaican, but we will bless and release them. Meanwhile we see Glen Christian and Butch Hendrickson of African and Chinese ethnicity respectively, joining together to build the model Union Gardens Infant School, complete with school bus. We see our variegated families living lovingly and our church and community groups embracing all comers, who subscribe to peace, tolerance, productivity and decency.

We applaud our political leaders on both sides for cooling down their dialogue, and remind them and their followers, especially those who have received prestigious appointments, that it is the Jamaican taxpayer who is their employer.  Every single person who buys telephone credit is a taxpayer and has a right to the best possible use of their hard earned funds.  We therefore need to be emancipated from corrupt and wasteful public servants. We are still reeling from reports of that ‘golden handshake’, and wondering how the keen public sector auditors that keep descending on a colleague’s rural business employing over 50 low-skilled individuals, could not have caught this bountiful bonus.

Still, we do have some sound benefits from our National Insurance Scheme (NIS), National Housing Trust (NHT), National Health Fund (NHF) and the Jamaica Drug for the Elderly Programme (JADEP).  Unfortunately, too many Jamaicans do not know enough about them to avail themselves of the benefits.  This is where we can all become participants in the emancipation of each other: share information on these schemes, and sign up folks who may not be comfortable with the filling out of various forms. 

As a member of the Judges Panel for the GraceKennedy Household Workers awards, I was impressed with the awareness and participation of the finalists in these various programmes.  Kudos to Jamaica Household Workers Union founder and president Shirley Pryce for educating her members so well. I am asking my media colleagues to encourage household workers to join this empowering organisation.

‘HeForShe’ campaign
It was wonderful to share in the local launch of the ‘HeForShe’ Campaign, created by UN Women, and sponsored by the US, UK, Canada, the European Union and the Digicel Foundation. Prime Minister Andrew Holness who appears in a promotional video with his wife, Member of Parliament Juliet Holness was strong in his endorsement of the campaign which promotes equal rights and pay for women, and rejects any form of violence against women. 

A weary medic related to me the many cases of abused women that arrive for emergency care at the public hospital where she works. Let us be alert to signs of abuse and look out for the mothers, sisters, daughters and friends who are at risk. Master of ceremonies Dr Michael Abrahams shared his heartrending poem of domestic abuse. Usain Bolt’s endorsement of the programme is gold.

Dre Russ century takes Tallawahs to Hero CPL final

Basseterre, 5 August 2016


Jamaica Tallawahs 195-7 (A Russell 100, K Cooper 3 for 45) beat Trinbago Knight Riders 110-7 (C Munro 38, Shakib al Hasan 3 for 23) by 19 runs (Duckworth Lewis Stern Method).

The fastest ever Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) century by Andre Russell helped the Jamaica Tallawahs defeat the Trinbago Knight Riders in Warner Park to secure a place in Sunday's final.

Russell came to the crease with his team in real trouble with four wickets down with just 67 runs on the board. His 42-ball hundred meant that his side recovered to 195-7, a total that was always going to be too much for the Knight Riders to chase even after it was reduced by rain.

The Tallawahs were the eventual winners by 19 runs via the Duckworth Lewis Stern method as TKR struggled to get going in their innings as Russell followed up his batting efforts with two wickets.

The Tallawahs got off to a brisk start thanks to Chris Gayle who cut the third ball that he faced for four runs. The Tallawahs' captain looked to be the mood for a big score, reaching 36 from 26 balls, but he mistimed a pull shot to a good length ball from Kevon Cooper that was caught on the midwicket boundary by Colin Munro.

Despite this quick runs for Gayle there were wickets before and after he departed that held up the Tallawahs' progress. Chadwick Walton was lucky to survive inside the first over when he was dropped off Ronsford Beaton but he did not make the most of that life – edging behind to Denesh Ramdin off Cooper.

With Kumar Sangakkara also holing out in the deep the Tallawahs were struggling to take control of the innings, finding themselves 58-3 in the 8th over. That became 67-4 when Rovman Powell got out a leg stump half volley from Dwayne Bravo that he was unlucky to spoon straight into the hands of Sunil Narine at fine leg. That wicket for Bravo took him to the top of the Hero CPL wicket taking list for the tournament.

The pressure was on Andre Russell to rescue this Tallawahs effort and he was in some discomfort shortly after arriving at the crease. He ducked into short ball from Bravo that struck him on the hand. After some attention from the physio and he was able to continue and as he made 100 from 43 deliveries it didn't seem to have any lasting after effects. It was a breath-taking innings that included 11 Hero Maximums.

A lengthy rain delay did not hold up Russell as he shared a stand of 100 with Shakib al Hasan, making 82 of those runs himself. It was a career best performance from Russell, passing the 77 he made for Worcestershire vs Somerset in 2013. He reached his maiden T20 hundred with a straight six and he dropped to his knees roaring with delight.

Russell fell in the final over but his innings took meant the Tallawahs had set a daunting target of 196.

When the Knight Riders got under way Umar Akmal opened the batting and he should have departed to the final ball of the first over when he edged behind but the umpire did not give it. Akmal was gone the very next ball when a mix up with Hashim Amla saw him run out to leave the Knight Riders 9-1 after two overs with Imad Wasim starting with a wicket maiden.

Yet more rain held up the chase with two overs still needed for the game to constitute a match, but the Tallawahs would have been safe in the knowledge that if there was a no result they would go through as they finished above the Knight Riders in the Hero CPL league table.

They players did get back out at 2am local time to finish the game, with the chase reduced to 130 in 12 overs, a stiff rate of more than two runs a ball. While Amla struggled the in form New Zealander Colin Munro kept his team in the game.  Munro could not keep it going though, and he was caught in the deep off Imad's bowling as the Knight Riders chase petered out in a flurry of wickets.

The Tallawahs will now go on to the final to face the Guyana Amazon Warriors, the team they lost to in the first play-off match on Wednesday. The Jamaica side will be hoping for a different result on Sunday.

TICKETS: Tickets for the Hero CPL final at Warner Park, St Kitts are on sale now from and from the Stadium Ticket Office.

Stadium Ticket Office Opening Hours: 9am – late (Saturday-Sunday).

Hero CPL Finals: Sunday, 7 August - Guyana Amazon Warriors v Jamaica Tallawahs (Warner Park, 7pm)


For further information please contact:

Peter Breen
Head of PR and Communications
Caribbean Premier League
Mobile: +1-(758)-7287500
Skype: pbreen67

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Winford Williams - Media Personality of the Year!

Congratulations Winford Williams!

Journalist and media entrepreneur Winford Williams was named the Advertising Agencies Association of Jamaica Media Personality of the Year at their Awards event last week.  The citation recognized his well-researched programme 'Onstage' which now has its own website and has contributed to the global popularity of our music and musicians. Over nearly two decades, the humble, widely respected Winford has built his career on his unyielding insistence on excellence.  Well done!

Winford's Journey

Born in Rural St Andrew, Winford Williams’s career in media spans almost twenty years. Winford entered the scene in 1991 as a Sales Executive at Power 106 FM and within a year became an outstanding contributor in, not just Sales and Marketing but also in the area of content creation and production for the new radio station. In 1994, as a result of his extraordinary achievement at Power 106, Winford accepted an offer to join CVM TV where he continued his ground breaking career in Media Marketing and Production. Being a new station CVM had ample room for innovations. Williams’ unwavering passion for music, affinity for Jamaican culture, and aptitude for Entertainment productions was immediately put work in positioning the one year old TV network as “The Entertainment Choice of Jamaican Television”.

After making his initial contributions to television programming as a Producer/Presenter in a 30 minute concept called “Vibes”, in 1997 Williams developed a program that would become a cohesive component of Jamaica’s Pop Culture and history, a one hour concept we have all come to know as, “Onstage”. Shows such as “Hitlist” and “The Party” are just two of the other hit TV programmes for which he has the distinct accreditations of Creator and Executive Producer.

Winford’s humility and hard work in Entertainment Journalism has carried him all over the world. He knows no bounds in getting the story of the artiste, the music or the event; be it the Grammy Awards in LA, Reggae artistes on tour in Europe, Africa and the Far East. At the same time, Williams’ enormous experience in marketing and production coupled with his huge fan base has been used to fuel the growth of shows that have become staple events on the Jamaican Entertainment Calendar – among them Rebel Salute, Reggae Sumfest and the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival

A past student of Oberlin High School trained and experienced in Entertainment and Marketing Management as well as Media and Communication, with a phenomenal sequence of achievements and experience, Winford Williams is now one of the most respected Entertainment Journalist/Producer and Media Marketing Gurus in the Caribbean