THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
TEACHERS’ GROUP CALLS FOR FOCUS ON NUTRITION—04/07/12
There should be a national campaign targeting the health and nutrition of students, says the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA). The president of the association, Paul Adams, stated that poor nutrition has a serious impact on the ability of students to learn in school. He made his remarks following a report showing that about 10,000 children in Jamaica suffer from diabetes.
CROWDS ATTEND SERVICE FOR FORMER SPANISH TOWN MAYOR—04/08/12
A service of thanksgiving was held in honor of Owen Clive Stephenson, the former mayor of Spanish Town, at the Shiloh Apostolic Church in St. Catherine. Friends, family and others whose lives were impacted by Stephenson filled the church to capacity. Dr. Andrew Wheatley, Member of Parliament, remembered Stephenson as his chief reason for entering politics and described him as a “worker for the people.”
WEST KINGSTON RESIDENTS PLEAD FOR HELP WHILE FACING EVICTION—04/09/12
About 50 people, including several elderly residents and 21 children, are facing eviction from state-owned property on Beeston Street in downtown Kingston. They were given 90 days to leave the property by the National Land Agency (NLA). This is the only home many of these individuals have ever known. According to one resident, no one at the address had received written notice or been told to leave before the eviction papers were served. While admitting they were “squatters” without rights, Canute Pinnock said they were still human beings who expect some mercy from the state. Pinnock has lived at the property for about 20 years.
NO EASTER BUNS FROM DAMION CRAWFORD—04/09/12
While it is a long-held Jamaican tradition to eat and give bun and cheese during the season of Easter, and while most of Jamaica’s politicians make sure their constituents have these treats, residents of East Rural St. Andrew will not receive them in 2012. Damion Crawford, the recently elected Member of Parliament for the region, said he would eliminate this yearly practice. According to Crawford, the practice is too expensive, and the $450,000 typically spent on 1,000 buns without cheese could be better spent on other things, like purchasing 600 11th-grade math books. Some of his constituents are angry with his decision.
THWAITES PROMISES TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS OF FORCED SEX AT SCHOOLS—04/10/12
Ronald Thwaites, Jamaica’s Minister of Education, has vowed to investigate allegations that forced sexual activities are occurring at some girls’ schools. It was reported in early March 2012 that authorities at an all-girls’ high school in the Corporate Area were allegedly trying to handle a number of alleged sexual assaults on younger students by older ones. Thwaites says he is ready to take action to stop such behavior in the education system and supports training for teachers and parents to help them cope when problems arise.
CANDIDATES SHOULD FUND THEIR OWN ELECTIONS, SAYS WARMINGTON—04/11/12
According to Everald Warmington, representatives from South West St. Catherine, individuals should not try to become members of Parliament unless they can fund their own elections. If they can’t afford to finance an election, they should not put themselves up as candidates, says Warmington during a debate on a report from the Electoral Commission on campaign financing. Lloyd B. Smith, representative of Central St. James, disagreed, saying this could have “dangerous consequences,” such as allowing undesirable persons who happen to be wealthy take over the political process. Warmington countered by saying the current process make legislators beholden to their large contributors.
NO CHARGES YET FILED IN SHOOTING OF BROADCASTER—04/12/12
Jamaican police have yet to charge Wayne Whyte, radio announcer, in connection with the shooting of his fellow-broadcaster Jody-Ann Gray. Although a lawyer for Whyte reported that his client had been charged with shooting with intent, the Constabulary Communication Network said this was not the case. Whyte, 44, was taken into police custody just minutes after Gray was attacked at her St. Catherine home. He was held with two other men found traveling in a car registered to Whyte near the scene of the shooting.
REVIVE PEOPLE’S ARCADE IN MONTEGO BAY, SAYS FFOLKES-ABRAHAMS—04/13/12
Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, the state minister in the Ministry of Industry, wants to reposition the People’s Arcade in Montego Bay, St. James as a small-business entrepreneurial center. According to Ffolkes-Abrahams, the micro and small business sector is critical to the growth of Jamaica’s economy, and while the appeal of the People’s Arcade has diminished over time because of reduced business and run-down conditions, the facility could be used to revitalize business in the area.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
$6 MILLION FORFEITED BY JAMAICAN MARIJUANA DEALER—04/07/12
A federal court in East St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States, saw David Clarke, 56, a Jamaican marijuana dealer, agree to forfeit over $6 million during his sentencing hearing. Clarke received a sentence of 14 years in prison in addition to $1,100 in fines and special assessments as well. Clarke pleaded guilty to the distribution of 100 or more kilograms of marijuana as part of a ring that delivered at least 1,540 pounds of the drug to Missouri and Illinois between 2005 and 2008.
FEWER DEPORTATIONS FROM UK TO JAMAICA BECAUSE OF LEGAL CHALLENGES—04/08/12
Convicted criminals in the United Kingdom have succeeded in reducing the number of Jamaicans deported back to the home country because of legal challenges. The Ministry of National Security found that criminals have made arguments in UK courts that deporting them back to Jamaica would violate their human rights. Over 34,000 Jamaicans were deported between 2000 and 2010, with 11,500 deported from the UK in 2004. Since then, there has been a steady reduction in the number of deportations, with only 458 deported from the UK in 2010.
GIL NOBLE, LEGENDARY BROADCASTER, REMEMBERED IN NEW YORK—04/10/12
Yvette D. Clarke, United States Congresswoman and daughter of Jamaican immigrants, and New York Councilman Jumaane D. Williams, the son of immigrants from Grenada, expressed sadness at the death of Gil Noble, a legendary broadcaster of Jamaican parentage. Noble hosted the public affairs program “Like It Is” on New York WABC Television, which focused on black leadership and the African, Caribbean-African experience. Clarke called Noble a “pioneer in journalism” who broke barriers for African-Americans in the profession.
JAMAICAN INTUITIVE ART EXHIBIT CURATED BY UNIVERSITY STUDENTS—04/11/12
Students in the Graduate Certificate of Museum Studies Program at the Florida International University in Miami have curated an exhibition of Jamaican Intuitive Act, which will be on show beginning April 25, 2012 at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus. The University and the Consulate General of Jamaica have partnered to present activities marking the country’s 50th anniversary of Independence. The exhibit will show paintings and sculpture of Jamaica from the permanent collection of the Frost Art Museum.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
CHINA HAS GROWING ECONOMIC IMPACT IN CARIBBEAN—04/07/12
TURKS AND CAICOS RESIDENTS WANT BRITISH TO LEAVE—04/09/12
HAITIAN SENATE MOVES TOWARD INSTALLING NEW PRIME MINISTER—04/10/12
PRIME MINISTER IN BAHAMAS CALLS FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS IN MAY—04/11/12
CRUISE SHIP RESCUES CUBAN MIGRANTS NEAR CAYMAN ISLANDS—04/12/12
CARIBBEAN NATIONS MUST MANAGE THEIR JUDICIAL AFFAIRS, SAYS BYRON—04/13/12
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BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICA LABOR PARTY WANTS TO MAKE A TEST CASE OF NEW MARKET—04/07/12
Leaders in the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) in St. Elizabeth have decided to take the results of a parish council election on March 26, 2012 in the New Market Division to the Appeals Court. The case will clarify electoral practices in Jamaica, according to the JLP. The core issue concerns what should constitute the “intent” of a voter in making his or her mark. Jamaica’s electoral system currently uses an “X” marked by voters to indicate their ballot preference on a piece of paper. In the case of New Market, some ballots were rejected because they were checked or had marks perceived as being “not quite an X.”
FINE OF £80,000 FOR COMPANY THAT FAKED JAMAICAN PICKAPEPPA SAUCE—04/08/12
In the United Kingdom, Wanis has been fined more than US$127,000 for faking over 30,000 bottles of Jamaican Pickapeppa sauce. The firm lost its import rights for the sauce and decided to create its own to sell under the label to supermarket chains. The fake sauce was made in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. Thousands of fake labels were also made over a 16-month period. The fake sauce was discovered when a supermarket shopper complained to its Jamaican producers about a change in the taste. The food company hired by Wanis to reproduce the sauce was unaware of the scam. Pickapeppa began in Jamaica in 1921 and is known as “Jamaican ketchup.”
FREE AUDITS AVAILABLE FROM BUREAU OF STANDARDS—04/09/12
Jamaica’s Bureau of Standards (BSJ) is ready to spend an average of US$1,200 on firms that decide to take up its offer of free quality audits. There are over 63,300 companies currently registered with the Companies Office of Jamaica, but local firms are only slowing moving toward standardization and scrutiny. According to the BSJ, standardization leads to higher quality, management excellence, and savings. The offer to underwrite the audits is intended to encourage public and private firms in the manufacturing and service industries to accept and volunteer to include quality and standards in their normal operations.
JAMAICAN TRAVEL AGENTS MAY FACE NEW REGULATIONS—04/11/12
Dr. Wykeham McNeill, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, has called the nation’s Travel Agencies Act “outdated.” In a message to the Jamaica Association of Travel Agents (JATA), McNeill said that the law should be amended to reflect the current market environment. He has promised to allow input from local travel agents during the amendment process. The current Act was created in 1956.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHES CLIMATE CHANGE ADVISORY BODY—04/10/12
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEPENDS ON ENERGY EFFICIENCY—04/11/12
SOLAR POWER BECOMES A VIABLE OPTION—04/12/12
FIRST WASTE-TO-ENERGY PLANT IN BARBADOS TO BE BUILT AT LANDFILL—04/13/12
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SKATALITES PERFORM WITH SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SKA BANDS—04/07/12
The legendary Jamaican band the Skatalites will perform at Balboa Park in San Diego, California, along with Southern California bands the Skavolutionary Orchestra, Delrians and SoCal Shocks of Mighty. The Skatalites represented a major part of Jamaican sound in the mid 1960s, and were formed by Clement “Coxsone” Dodd, the founder of Studio One. He has been called the father of Jamaican musical genres like ska, dub, rocksteady, and reggae.
TARRUS RILEY RELEASES ACOUSTIC ALBUM—04/08/12
Tarrus Riley, Jamaican reggae star, plans to release a new acoustic album on April 17, 2012 in Europe. The new album is called “Mecoustic” and will be released on conjunction with Soulbeats Records in France. It features dub poet Cherry Natrual and Jimmy Riley, Tarrus’ father. Riley’s musical director Dean Fraser also worked on the album and called it a “pet project” born of wanting people to better understand the words and meanings of the songs.
MAJOR JOE WILLIAMS DONATES MUSIC ITEMS TO NATIONAL LIBRARY—04/09/12
Major Joe Williams, the former head of music at the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) has donated some of his works, CDs, training manuals, and music manuscripts to the National Library of Jamaica. Williams says that giving these items to the library is a way of saving the history of Jamaican music.
DOCUMENTARY ON CHINNA SMITH VIEWED BY LARGE CROWD—04/10/12
Swedish director Markus Egloff debuted his documentary film “Chinna’s Yard” The Art of Making Music, A Way of Life” at the Red Bones Cafe in New Kingston. The music documentary includes views of life in Kingston and follows Earl “Chinna” Smith as he discusses his life and career in Kinston 13. The documentary also provides a look at the lives of Inna De Yard band members.
KERRON STEWART WINS 100 METERS—04/07/12
Jamaican Kerron Stewart won the women’s 100-meter race at the 2012 Auburn Tiger Track Classic. Stewart is the reigning Olympic silver medalist from the 2008 games. She won the race with a time of 11.18 seconds in the first heat of the timed finals.
JAMAICA SET TO WIN 27TH OVERALL CARIFTA TITLE—04/08/12
Jamaica’s head coach Michael Vassell said that the 69 members of the Jamaican team might not win 70 medals at the 41st Carifta Games in Bermuda, he still believes they are the athletes to beat at the athletic event. Jamaica’s team includes 18 defending champions from 2011 when the team won 66 medals at Montego Bay.
MORGAN WINS IN LOUISIANA, BUT NO DISCUS RECORD—04/09/12
Jason Morgan, Jamaican discus thrower, won his event at the Jim Mize Invitational at Rushton, Louisiana, but he did not achieve his goal of breaking the national record twice in two days. Morgan improved on his national record by throwing 65.61 meters. He did set the meet and facility record.
JAMAICA WINS 77 MEDALS AT CARIFTA—04/10/12
Jamaica highlighted its dominance of regional track and field sports at the 41st Carifta Games held at National Sports Center in Bermuda. Jamaicans earned 77 medals in total, comprising 34 gold medals, 24 silver medals, and 19 bronze medals. The Bahamas ranked second with a total of 38 medals. Jamaica’s performance was one of its best ever at Carifta. Jamaica won 84 medals at the Games in 2004.
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“Here am I; send me”
Have you ever had one of those moments when you long to be used by God but feel you do not quite measure up? You love the Lord, you are passionate about taking the gospel to the unsaved, but every time you think of your past, you start to doubt yourself and your “qualification” to do what you feel the Lord has placed in your heart. Maybe unresolved guilt from past actions has left you thinking, “There is no way that God could use someone like me.” And so you slink off into the shadows, yielding your ground and spiritual mission as you wait for someone you believe to be more “qualified” to do what God had ordained for you to do.
First of all, did it ever occur to you that nothing about you surprised or surprises God? When He called you, He knew who you were. Even now, He knows you far more intimately than you could ever know yourself. He knew your past and everything wrapped in it, but He still called you. You may have done unspeakable acts, but that did not stop Him from opening His arms wide and embracing you as you yielded to His wooing. In other words, He pursued you and called you – warts and all.
The Scriptures provide many examples of people we would deem unqualified. In no particular order, Abraham was too old. Noah was a drunk. Isaac was a daydreamer. Jacob was a liar. Leah was ugly. Joseph was abused. Moses stuttered. Samson had long hair and was a womanizer. Rahab was a prostitute. David had an affair and was a murderer. Elijah was suicidal. Naomi was a widow. Isaiah walked about naked while preaching (we would say he had mental issues). Jeremiah and Timothy were too young. Peter denied Christ. And there are many others we could name. Take a stroll through the Bible’s Hall of Fame (Hebrews 11) and some of these people are listed there! Despite their shortcomings and failures, God used them all.
We are not asked to clean up ourselves before the Lord can use us. We come to Him, just as we are, and allow Him to work out His purposes in our lives. Where we see failures, God sees successes; where we see obstacles, He sees opportunities. Why should God use imperfect people? Because it is through the imperfections of our lives that His light shines through to the rest of the world. When Paul asked the Lord on three occasions to remove his imperfection, the “thorn in the flesh,” Paul writes, “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9, KJV).
We do not have to worry that we are not qualified. God qualifies those whom He calls. Our responsibility is to simply answer “Yes, Lord,” and like Isaiah and the others, make ourselves available for whatever He has commissioned us to do. “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8). Warts and all. Will you say the same thing?
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.