THIS WEEKS NEWS SUMMARY
POLICE FEDERATION WALKS – 5/14/05
Police Federation bargaining members walked from talks with Junior Finance Minister Fitz Jackson Friday, the second such meeting of the week, and the latest in a series of heated negotiations. Negotiations were further strained by protests of 100 Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) members outside the office of Finance Minister Dr. Omar Davies on Wednesday. Disciplinary action for the officers is under consideration, police commissioner Lucius Thomas stated.
ABRAHAMS: A LIFE – 5/15/05
The paintings of Carl Abrahams, celebrated Jamaican artist and visual master, will be exhibited May 29 at the National Gallery. Adam and Eve and The Last Supper, among other selections from the National Gallery collection and private collections, will be on display in honor of the 92-year-old artist who died April 10. Known for his spiritually-themed canvases, Abrahams began his career as a cartoonist for The Jamaica Gleaner, samples of which will be on display
JAMAICA GRANDE’S $600M MAKEOVER – 5/16/05
Seven restaurants, six bars, a hotel casino, resort spa and entertainment facility, the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa in Ocho Rios reopened Monday under new management after eight months and $600 million in refurbishments. The island’s biggest hotel is integral to the Ocho Rios travel industry, Director of Tourism, Paul Pennicook stated. The resort hotel is expected to generate 700 jobs on completion of the renovation.
BUSINESS LEADERS JOIN FIGHT AGAINST HIV/AIDS STIGMA – 5/17/05
1,070 cases reported in 2003 — and an estimated 22,000 estimated cases of Jamaicans living with HIV/AIDS — business leaders, media members and those living with HIV/AIDS, met Monday to discuss discrimination against those battling the devastating disease. Also in attendance, Dr. Peter Figueros, chief of epidemiology and HIV/AIDS at the Ministry of Health, who underscored that HIV/AIDS sufferers continue to face discrimination in the workplace, often losing or being forced out of their employment.
HOTEL EMPLOYEES WELCOME EXTENDED – 5/17/05
Two-thousand Jamaican hotel workers employed in the United States will enjoy an extended stay, and continued employment, thanks to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill, passed last week. Part of the Save our Small Business Act of 2005, the legislation spared 2,000 Jamaicans from expected job loss resulting from security issues in the United States. Effected workers are participants in the Overseas Hotel Employment Program, which exempts them from the H-2B visa quota for hotel workers.
WHITEHOUSE EXPECTED TO PAY COSTLY OVERRUNS – 5/18/05
The joint venture company, Ackendown Newtown, will have to look elsewhere, so says Prime Minister P.J. Patterson addressing the possibility of taxpayer financing of the US$33 million cost overruns of the Sandals Whitehouse Project in Westmoreland. The Prime Minister made the comments to Parliament on Tuesday in answer to questions raised by Opposition Leader Bruce Golding about the propriety of contracts granted in the US$106 million project. Mr. Patterson stated that contracts were granted prior to the formation of the National Contracts Commission (NCC) in August 2001.
RESOLUTION SOUGHT WITH POLICE FEDERATION – 5/19/05
In an effort to circumvent the three percent salary cap on government wages outlined in the 14-month-old Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the government has reportedly offered a one-time payment of $300 million to members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). An agreement was reached Wednesday between Prime Minister P.J. Patterson and Police Federation leaders not to violate the MoU following the walkout of 2,000 JCF members seeking a 47 percent wage increase. The one-time $300 million payment would net JCF members $35,000 each.
NEW TAX ON CALLS TO JA – 5/19/05
A new service tax of three cents per minute is to be levied on carriers of international telephone calls to Jamaica, Phillip Paul Well, Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology announced Wednesday. The expected J$1 billion in additional tax revenue will fund an e-learning project to benefit grades nine through 11 and to be conducted in 20 schools. Carriers of international calls to the island using cellular technology will incur a charge of two cents per minute.
JA COACHES ACCUSED OF DESCRIMINATING AGAINST THEIR OWN – 5/15/05
Jamaican high school coaches are steering their star athletes away from United States university teams coached by Jamaicans in favor of their American counterparts, so says Victor Thomas of Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. The former Camperdown and St. Andrew Technical High (STATHS) coach, who has led Lincoln to three national championships and was voted ‘Coach of the Year’ twice, currently has 11 Jamaican athletes competing on scholarship for Lincoln.
HARBOUR VIEW’S HUE SCORES SAVING GOAL – 5/17/05
Kevin Lamey’s 88th minute goal for Waterhouse in the Red Stripe Champions Cup KO semi-final on Sunday all but secured victory over competitor Harbour View — but not quite. Harbour View’s Jermaine Hue scored on goalkeeper Loxley Reid from centerfield in the final seconds of play sending the teams into overtime and resulting in a 4-2 victory for Harbour View. The Stars of the East will meet Portmore United in Sunday’s semi-finals at the National Stadium
WEST INDIES HITS THE SKIDS – 5/19/05
Another loss for the West Indies, marking their sixth consecutive defeat — and oh my, their 11th loss out of 12 one-dayers. Pakistan scored a win of 133 in 45.2 overs in the Digicel One-Day International series Wednesday, sending the Indies into the final two matches of the series in St. Lucia with their 16th ODI at the Beausejour Cricket Ground in St. Lucia.
WATERHOUSE REBOUNDS – 5/19/05
George Maxwell coached Waterhouse to a 5-0 victory over Arnett Gardens, winning his first Wray and Nephew National Premier League game — and giving the team a well-deserved victory after Sunday’s crushing last-minute defeat to Harbour View. Waterhouse scored in the second minute of play, and was up 3-0 over Arnett by half time.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.