THIS WEEK’S SUMMARY
GOVERNMENT SHOULD COMPENSATE SUFFERERS OF RIVERTON SMOKE —01/06/06
Earl Witter, Public Defenders, plans to recommend to the Government that it compensate individuals who suffered health problems and who required medical treatment due to the heavy smoke from the Riverton landfill. Witter believes these individuals should be compensated by the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), which is responsible for the landfill, or the Attorney General. Witter recommended that public health facilities wave all fees over the short term for persons affected by the landfill smoke.
BEN MONROE FREED OF FRAUD CHARGES AFTER FIVE-YEAR TRIAL—01/06/06
Ben Monroe, a director of the Low Income Family Foundation, saw the end of a five-year-long trial in which he was freed of charges involving fraudulent conversion and conspiracy to defraud. In 2001, charges were brought against Monroe, the foundation, and its secretary, Lurline Chambers, in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court. The Crown alleged at the time that these parties had defrauded thousands of individuals of about $170 million. A trial, which lasted over a five-year period, ended yesterday with 65-year-old blind businessman Ben Munroe, a director of the Low Income Family Foundation, being freed of charges of fraudulent conversion and conspiracy to defraud. Martin Gayle, Senior Resident Magistrate, freed them when he upheld a no-case submission from defense attorneys.
PROPOSAL TO REMOVE TAX EXEMPTION FROM GRATUITY REJECTED—01/07/06
The Tax Policy Review Committee, headed by Joseph A. Matalon, proposed the elimination of a tax exemption from a gratuity enjoyed by hotel employees, but the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) has rejected the proposal. Horace Peterkin, president of the JHTA, said the proposal would represent a step backward for the Government if it was approved. It would also have a negative impact on remuneration for tourism workers and only act as a demotivator for the thousands of persons employed in Jamaica’s important export industry.
COUNCIL OF OVERSEAS MAROONS WILL FIGHT BAUXITE EXPLOITATION—01/08/06
The debate over bauxite mining in the Cockpit Country continues, but the Council of Overseas Maroons will support local environmentalists and Maroons in Jamaica in the battle to preserve the ancestral area. Carol Barnett, president of the Council, says the group is opposed to mining in the Cockpit Country and believes the area should be protected because of its history. Ms. Barnett also said that the Cockpit Country was not just for Maroons but for all Jamaicans, and she pledged that all ten chapters of the Council will lend their support for the cause.
LOCAL ORGANIZING COMMITTEE HEAD SAYS GROUP “ON TARGET”—01/09/06
Robert Bryan, chairman of Jamaica’s Local Organizing Committee (LOC), says his organization has nothing to do with the “deplorable” state of Kingston two months before the start of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup (CWC). The World Cup is scheduled to run from March 11 to April 24. Bryan suggested that some government agencies were not meeting their part of the bargain.
CHURCHES URGED TO TAKE MORE ACTION IN INNER CITIES—01/10/06
Since the first of the year, approximately 40 persons have been murdered, prompting Pastor Carla Dunbar of the Buff Bay Church of God of Prophecy in St. Thomas to suggest that the Church one-on-one to create a dialogue with men in garrison communities. Pastor Dunbar calls the number of murders “preposterous” and suggests that it will take more than prayer to resolve the crime problem.
SANCTIONS AGAINST FONDLING SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIAN LEGAL GROUP—01/11/06
Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship wants legal sanctions against fondling and inappropriate touching. Such acts fall short of incest, which is defined as being committed by a family member against another family member in the same home. According to Shirley Richards, the head of the group, it is important that sanctions against inappropriate forms of touching be imposed in cases where there is no direct attempt at incest. The group wants such acts classified as “indecent assault”. The acts should also be included in the Incest (Punishment) Act.
MAYOR OF PORTMORE UNCOVERS PLOT TO HIDE GUNS IN SUNSHINE CITY—01/12/06
George Lee, the mayor of Portmore, announced that he has discovered the plot of a Spanish Town gang to move illegal guns into an underdeveloped community in the Sunshine City. The major did not state the exact location of the gun stockpile, but he believes that the guns are intended for use in the coming general election. Sources say the guns are believed to be going to the east central area of Portmore in one of the small communities in the Naggo Head division.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
RODERICK CLARKE, JAMAICAN POET, PUBLISHES BOOK IN ENGLAND —01/06/06
Roderick Clarke, who left a life of poverty in Jamaica to join the American military at the age of 17, has published a book of poetry called “Black Reign.” Clarke says it is his passion for peace and freedom that inspired him to collect ten years’ of his writing in the book. The book is based on his experiences, including his childhood in Jamaica, his military period, and his travels in Korea and Japan. Clarke shares his poetry with schools and other organizations across East Anglia and to Brixton in London. Clarke, who also holds weekly drama and leisure activities for over 500 children at the Lakenheath airbase, is currently working on a novel.
MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR CHARLES HYATT TO BE HELD IN FLORIDA—01/07/06
Charles Hyatt will be remembered in a memorial service conducted at Our Lady of Grace Church in Palm Bay, Florida. Hyatt was a cultural ambassador, comedian, and performer. He is fondly remembered by many in this Florida community. Ricardo Allicock, Jamaica’s Consul General, said that Jamaicans everywhere should thank Mr. Hyatt for his contributions to the nation’s cultural performing arts.
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY STUDENT RECEIVES ARTS AND CULTURE AWARD—01/07/06
LaToya Ottley received the 2006/2007 Arts and Culture Jamaica (ACJAM) scholarship award, which was presented to her by the organization’s founder, Paula de Ronde, in Toronto, Canada. The award is given to young individuals of Jamaican heritage who are studying the arts. LaToya is a communications arts student at New York University, and since 2001, she has been a member of the Toronto Children’s Concert Choir and Performing Arts Company (TC3).
JAMAICAN TEENAGER SUCCEEDING IN KENTUCKY SCHOOL—01/08/06
In Jamaica, Carolyn Blissett was struggling and did not think she could be successful. Now, as a junior at Waggener Traditional High School in Louisville, Kentucky, she has a 3.7 grade-point average, and she has plans to attend college. Carolyn attributes her success to support from her family and her guidance counselor at Waggener, Don Hudson Jr. Adjusting to the differences between the schools in Jamaican and in Louisville have given her the chance to develop confidence in herself, Carolyn says.
JAMAICA, LEEWARD ISLANDS BATTLE AT CARIB BEER SERIES—01/06/06
The Leeward Islands and Jamaica stayed locked in battle on the second day of their first-round match at the Carib Beer Series at St. Mary’s Park. At the end, Jamaica reached 165 for three, while Brenton Parchment stroked 51. Missing out on centuries were Captain Sylvester Joseph and Tonito Willett.
HANOVER FOOTBALL FIELDS NEED IMPROVEMENTS—01/07/06
The football fields in Hanover are in a “dismal” state, according to some members of the football fraternity in the parish. The condition of the fields is affecting the quality of play and is causing injuries to promising players. The fields are bumpy and have improper drainage. Linton “Conch” Stewart, Sports Development Officer for the parish and a former national footballer, hopes that the agencies responsible will give the fields some attention in 2007. Hanover parish has produced some of the best footballers in Jamaica.
PORTMORE UNITED DEFEATS WADADAH 4-1—01/08/06
Portmore United handed Wadadah a sound defeat at Ferdie Neita Park. This means that Portmore maintains fourth place in the Wray and Nephew National Premier League (NPL). Portmore defender Demar Stewart and striker Kevin Deerr made first-half goals, and in the second half, substitute Bryan Bayliss added a third goal. Carlington Smith, another substitute, made a goal near the end of the game to rout Wadadah 4-1.
KEN GORDON SAYS KFC CUP REPRESENTS OPPORTUNITY—01/09/06
Ken Gordon, the president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), believes the one-day KFC CUP tournament is very important to the region, particularly because the Cricket World Cup will be held in just two months. Gordon says the KFC tournament helps players prepare for the World Cup and to get the attention of selectors. Gordon believes that West Indies cricket is in an exciting phase, and players are working to restore past glories.
Imagine the scene. The woman cowered in shame, stripped to the waist as was the custom of the day to magnify that shame. She had been caught in the act of adultery, and being Jewish, she knew the consequences. Her accusers, the religious leaders of the day, had dragged her to the temple where Jesus was teaching, not so much for justice to be meted out, but so they could trap him. The Mosaic Law required that the woman be stoned to death, but Roman law forbade the Jews from executing anyone. What would Jesus do?
The crowd knew the conflict, and the buzz in the air was pregnant with anticipation. If Jesus ruled she must be stoned, he would be breaking the Roman law. If he forbade her execution, he would be ignoring the Mosaic Law. From the outside it was a lose-lose proposition. The religious leaders smirked with satisfaction. Finally, they had Jesus where they wanted him and there was no way out of this dilemma; he was trapped. Jesus, knowing what was going on, stooped down and started writing on the ground. Thinking he was ignoring them, they demanded his answer. John tells us “so when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (8:7), then stooped down and continued writing. We do not know what he wrote, despite all the speculations, but John continued, “And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord.” (vv.9-11a). It was then that the woman, under condemnation, heard from Jesus the most beautiful words ever spoken; “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (v. 11b).
Redeeming grace. Next to himself, the most precious gift that God gave to mankind. Though we stand accused by the Evil One, and the demand of the law for justice, the grace of our God steps in and redeems us from the law of sin and death. We have a lot to be thankful for, but if there is one thing we could single out, it is redeeming grace. No matter the magnitude of our sins, grace abounds even more. To God be the glory.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.