THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
KEN RAMSAY DIES—03/29/08
Celebrity photographer Ken Ramsay of Jamaica was found dead in his home in Portland by his gardener. According to Senior Superintendent of Police Derrick Shand, the house was locked, and the gardener had to force the door open. Ramsay was found in his bed. It has been suggested that he died in his sleep. Ramsay covered sports and celebrity events worldwide during his photographic career.
GOLDING MAKES FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT TO NORTH AMERICA—03/30/08
Bruce Golding, Jamaican Prime Minister, is calling on expatriates living in South Florida to make stronger partnerships with Jamaica. On his first day of his first official visit to North America, Golding discussed efforts to improve health care and educational systems on the island and ways to boost the economy. Golding made his remarks at Nova Southeastern University in Broward County, Florida.
NEW GROUNDS FOR PARLIAMENT BUILDING ACQUIRED—03/31/08
Property near Gordon House, the seat of Jamaica’s Parliament, is being acquired for the construction of a new parliament building. The construction will begin in the 2009/2010 financial year. Sir Kenneth Hall, Governor General, says steps have been taken to buy the lands around Gordon House on Duke Street. The existing parliament building has been called “woefully inadequate” for members of Parliament to conduct their duties to the people properly.
JAMAICA FIRE BRIGADE FOCUSES ON SAFETY AWARENESS—04/01/08
The Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) is alarmed at the 180 fire deaths occurring between 2003 and 2007. As a result, it has decided to introduce a safety awareness program that will target every household. Errol Mowatt, Deputy Commissioner for operations of the JFB is “very pleased” with the response to the program from the public.
TOURISM OPERATOR OFFERS DOGSLED RIDES—04/02/08
Danny Melville, who operates Chukka Caribbean Adventures, has started to offer dogsled rides to visitors to the island. He acknowledges that hitching up a team of rescued stray dogs to a sled on wheels to race tourists along a tropical beach is “outrageous,” that is why he decided to do it. Melville is building on the legend of the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team and has the backing of singer Jimmy Bugger.
GOLDING DIRECTS POLICE TO INVESTIGATE SUSPECTED BOMBER—04/02/08
Prime Minister Bruce Golding has told the police commissioner to conduct a thorough investigation of a suspicious passenger on an Air Jamaica flight. The passenger, Jamaican-born Kevin Brown, 33, was found with bomb-making materials at Orlando International Airport in Florida. He was about to take a flight to Montego Bay.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT CRITICIZED BY AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL—04/03/08
Amnesty International criticized the government of Jamaica for failing to protect residents of inner cities who are “trapped by violence.” Amnesty researcher Fernanda Doz Costa says the group has called on authorities in Jamaica to address the underlying causes of a “public security and human rights crisis” and to reform the justice system to improve access to justice.
GOVERNMENT WITHDRAWS HURRICANE BENEFITS—04/04/08
The Jamaican government has decided to withdraw $20 million in hurricane benefit payments distributed in 2007. The money had been provided to people who did not suffer losses resulting from Hurricane Dean. Pearnel Charles, Minister of Labor and Social Security, said the ministry found that, in some cases, family members belonging to a single household were to receive benefits for damage to the same house.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
GUILTY PLEA FOR JAMAICAN IN ARIZONA DRUG CASE—03/29/08
George Lake, a Jamaican citizen, has entered a plea of guilty in federal court for conspiring to smuggle over 1,700 pounds of marijuana to Virginia from Arizona. He could face up to 40 years in prison. Lake, also known as Uriah Anthony Walker, loaded a tractor-trailer with the drug in October 2005 at a warehouse under his control in Tolleson, Arizona.
MORE JAMAICANS MOVING TO CALIFORNIA—03/30/08
A growing number of Jamaican immigrants are calling California home. Most of the approximately 736,000 Jamaicans in the United States live on the East Coast, but about 11,400 live in California. Of the over 700 Jamaicans who live in Alameda County, many reside in Oakland. This is a six-percent increase from 2007.
UK JAMAICAN COMMUNITY PAYS RESPECT TO DA-COCODIA—04/02/08
A diverse segment of the Jamaican community in Manchester in the United Kingdom paid their respects to Louise Da-Cocodia, a prominent social activist. Da-Cocodia died on March 13, 2008 at the age of 73. She was known for being a passionate fighter for justice and fairness. She was a former Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Greater Manchester and was awarded a Member of the British Empire (MBE) by the Queen for community service in 2005.
JAMAICAN WINS AWARD IN MIAMI—04/03/08
Hilca Thomas has received the 2008 National Assistant Principal of the Year award in Miami, Florida. She is the curriculum assistant principal at Howard A. Doolin Middle School. She was selected from three national finalists for the “data-driven leadership.” She created a data analysis team to review assessments in order to find instructional weaknesses; this contributes to differentiated instruction.
GAYLE DISAPPOINTED, BUT REMAINS POSITIVE—03/29/08
While Chris Gayle, captain of the West Indies cricket team, expressed disappointment over the loss to Sri Lanka in the opening of the Digicel tournament at Guyana National Stadium, he believes the team gained “many positives” from the match. Gayle says the team fought well and gives them credit for the effort.
SPEEDSTER BOLT MAY COMPETE IN HAMPTON GAMES—03/30/08
Usain Bolt of Jamaica may participate in the 34th annual Hampton International Games at Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, Trinidad and Tobago. Representatives for Bolt say the sprinter is interested in competing in Hampton’s 100-meter dash.
MCINTOSH DISMISSES CLAIM OF UNJUST TREATMENT—04/01/08
Howard McIntosh, director of Portmore United, has dismissed claims that the national squad was being filled, unjustly, with members of his club. The club had been managed for years by Horace Reid, general secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).
ONLY TWO SPORTS FOR JAMAICA AT OLYMPICS?—04/03/08
Jamaica could have representation in only two sports at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Mike Fennell, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), said track and field and equestrian are the only sports that have already qualified for the games in China. Athletes from five other sports could participate if they succeed in the qualifying matches, says Fennell, who is also president of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
It’s A Heart Thing
There is something delightfully pleasing about doing something with one’s whole heart. Even the dreariest of task can take on meaning and purpose when we put all of ourselves, so to speak, into it. It is the highest expression of effort, and even if the end results were not as expected, not very many people would argue with maximum effort. We can deduce therefore that it is possible to do a thing half-heartedly, or even without much ‘heart’ into it. Sort of like going through the motions, just because.
I thought of this as I read, and reread, David’s “I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart” (Psalm 9:1a, KJV), and took note of two important determinations in that desire. Firstly, a casual reading of the verse does not capture the emphatic nature of the expression “I will”. The “will” is the mental faculty by which we deliberately choose or decide upon a course of action, and therefore implies a diligent purposefulness. Among all the options available to the Psalmist, he chose, diligently and purposely, to praise. That totally ignores whatever circumstances he found himself in at the time. His praise would not be situational. Secondly, he wasn’t just content to praise, but he purposed to do so “with my whole heart”. On this verse, I agree with noted Bible Scholar Matthew Henry who wrote, “If we would praise God acceptably, we must praise him in sincerity, with our hearts, and not only with our lips, and be lively and fervent in the duty, with our whole heart.”
In Old Testament times, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Joel, to name a few, all challenged the people to serve/love God “with all your heart”. Through Jeremiah God declared, “ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (29:13). When Jesus was asked which was the great commandment in the law, He mentioned two, the first being, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). God has not changed. What He desired then, He still desires now: nothing but the very best of ourselves, all of our hearts, in love, in praise, and in worship.
It is not enough to merely go through the motions, as God takes no delight in such actions. In this quiet time of reflection, now is as good a time as any for a heart check. “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart”; can you say that? Remember, it is not based on situations or emotions; it’s a heart thing.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.