THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
JAMAICAN ENERGY SECTOR SET TO CHANGE—10/29/11
Engineers at the Annual Conference of the Jamaica Institute of Engineers have discussed the future of the island’s energy sector and proposed using more green technology to ensure future sustainability. The cost of electricity in Jamaica stands at a little less than US$0.40 per kilowatt hour, or four times what the average consumer pays in the United States. The high cost results from Jamaica’s reliance on old- fashioned generators that utilize imported oil. More than 90 percent of Jamaica’s electricity is generated with heavy fuel oil and diesel fuel, both very expensive and inefficient sources of energy.
JAMAICA COULD LOSE “WAR” VERSUS CORRUPTION—10/30/11
According to Contractor General Greg Christie, the Contractor General Act has failed in its intention, and the government has not acted to remedy its deficiencies. Its goals of ensuring the transparency, integrity and accountability of government contract awards are not being met. Jamaica needs the political will to fight corruption in this area. This will require sufficient resources, effective laws, criminal sanctions for breaches of the law, and leaders who will take up the issue of anti-corruption in a public way.
JAMAICAN GREENHOUSES HELP IN RESURGENCE OF AGRICULTURE—10/31/11
Throughout Jamaica, vegetable-producing greenhouses are creating a revolution in farming communities vulnerable to natural disasters. In four years, Jamaica has been transformed from a country trying to reduce its reliance on imported foods to a nation that can supply its own food from greenhouses. According to Alfred Dunkley, agriculture extension officer in St. Mary, while the move to greenhouse farming was initially met with some resistance among traditional farmers, it has now been embraced as a viable way to create income and provide food for the nation.
CRAWFORD FOCUSES ON PRESERVATION OF JAMAICAN HISTORY—10/31/11
Vivian Crawford, the head of the Institute of Jamaica, has been instrumental in preserving and promoting the island’s history at the organization for over 11 years. Crawford, the leading authority on Jamaica’s arts and culture, attributes his love of Jamaican culture to his childhood in Moore Town, Portland, where there was little modern technology but there were many stories. He was prompted to promote Jamaican culture when he realized there was nothing to commemorate the place where, in 1838, the Proclamation of Emancipation of Slaves was read. Through a fund-raising campaign, he managed to get a memorial plaque installed to mark the spot. He says this is one of his greatest accomplishments.
BREACHES IN SCRAP METAL BAN ADMITTED BY TUFTON—11/01/11
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr. Christopher Tufton, has admitted that individuals in the Customs Department are to blame for breaches of the ban on exportation of scrap metal. He noted that the breaches were discovered after an investigation was launched into the matter due to concerns of the Opposition that scrap metal exports were continuing in spite of the imposed ban. Eight firms were allowed by the Customs Department to continue exporting scrap metal in spite of the ban, according to the investigation.
HOLNESS TO TAKE ON PUBLIC CONTRACTING—11/02/11
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness plans to meet with Greg Christie, the Contractor General, to discuss concerns about public contracting on the island. Christie had written Holness in October 2011 asking to discuss problems of corruption in that sector. Christie plans to communicate recommendations made by his office to improve the transparency, competition, and accountability of public contracting in the country.
CHINA’S NAVY PROVIDES MEDICAL HELP TO JAMAICANS—11/03/11
Doctors and nurses brought to Jamaica on a Chinese hospital ship to treat the poor represent a portion of a global humanitarian effort to illustrate how China’s growing military forces act as a responsible agency. The Peace Ark, a 584-foot ship of the People’s Liberation Army, can carry over 100 medical volunteers who provide CAT scans, surgeries, eye care, and other medical procedures at no cost to the patients. This is the second foreign mission for the hospital ship, which was launched in 2008.
POLITICAL PARTIES AGREE TO NATIONAL DEBATES—11/04/11
The Jamaica Debates Commission (JDC) plans to hold at least three national debates featuring the representatives of the two major political parties in the country before the general election. The Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) and the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) have both agreed, in principle, to participate in these debates. Discussions are ongoing about the number of debates, their subject matter, and the format of the debates, however.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
REGGAE SALUTED IN BROOKLYN WITH ALL-STAR JAM—10/29/11
Big Youth and I Wayne are among the performers at a salute to reggae held in Brooklyn, New York. The event features all types of reggae music and artistes. Additionally, the performances are scheduled to honor Harry Belafonte. The event will also include a screening of a documentary about government- sponsored violence against Rastafarians in Jamaica called “Bad Friday.”
CANADIAN RADIO STATION TO BE HOME TO JAMAICAN MUSIC—10/30/11
Beginning in November 2011, there will be a new radio station in Canada devoted to playing Caribbean music. Fitzroy Gordon, Jamaican entrepreneur, has been active in various Canadian media for some 30 years and is now the principal behind the new station G 98.7. According to Gordon, the station will play soca, world beat, gospel, R&B, hip hop and smooth jazz, in addition to reggae, which will have a permanent home on Canada’s mainstream radio.
MONTEITH ENHANCING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN JAMAICA AND CANADA—10/31/11
Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada Sheila Sealy Monteith is working to reinforce the relationship that exists between the two countries. The relationship has always been vibrant because the large role of the Jamaican Diaspora in Canada, which has always had more representatives to the biennial Diaspora convention than either the United States or United Kingdom. There are about 250,000 Jamaicans in Canada, and the Jamaican Diaspora there is closely tied to Jamaican events in the country.
LEGAL CHALLENGES MADE TO TUITION CHARGED TO CARIBBEAN IMMIGRANT KIDS —11/01/11
Attorneys in Miami, Florida, have filed a suit in federal court challenging the denial of the right to pay in-state tuition at Florida colleges and universities by American students born in the United States of undocumented Caribbean parents. The lawsuit was filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center and states that this policy has never been mentioned in state law, but is an alternative adopted by the state’s Department of Education and Board of Governors. Non-resident tuition is three times that of resident tuition in Florida.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
“MARKET DAY WITH A DIFFERENCE” IN DOMINICA—10/29/11
CARIBBEAN AIRLINES FACES FINE—10/30/11
ROYAL SUCCESSION ISSUE DEBATED BY CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES—10/31/11
UK COULD REDUCE AID TO CARIBBEAN DUE TO ANTI-GAY LAWS—11/01/11
COMEBACK PREDICTED FOR HAITIAN COFFEE—11/02/11
CHAVEZ WANTS ISLANDS, YACHTS OF THE RICH—11/03/11
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
FOOTBALL FEDERATION STAYS WITH CORE BUSINESS—10/29/11
Rather than become embroiled in the issue of sanctions for Captain Horace Burrell, the Jamaican Football Federation has opted to remain with the core business of managing the federation. Dale Spencer, acting president, said he told management members that the board of directors does not have a legal basis to challenge the presidency and that they committee only dealt with management business involving current activities and finances during their session.
CHINESE ENGINEERING FIRM BREAKS SILENCE ON ALLEGATIONS—10/30/11
China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC), which is the chief contractors in the Palisadoes Shoreline project worth some US$65 million, is talking about allegations made against the firm by local subcontractors. According to the company, the allegations about non-payment of monies to subcontractors are “baseless, damaging and unsubstantiated references.” China Harbor says it has only a single subcontractor on the project, Y.P Seaton and Associates. Some truckers and suppliers said they had verbal agreements to subcontract with the company, however.
GRANTS FROM EU AVAILABLE FOR FOOD EXPORTERS—10/31/11
Grants totaling as much as $3.6 million per applicant are available from the Caribbean Export Development Agency for food exporters. The grants are funded by the European Union and are designed for those who want to improve food safety standards. The EU funds come from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). These are not loans, but reimbursable grants, and applicants will need to spend before they receive the money, said Sonia Bowen, Caribbean Export programmer in Barbados.
ICE CREAM AT DEVON HOUSE RANKS AMONG BEST IN THE WORLD—11/01/11
The National Geographic Food Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat around the Globe has ranked Devon House number four in a list of the best places in the world to eat ice cream. The publication stated that Devon House was a “masterpiece” of Caribbean Victorian architecture and that it had Jamaica’s most famous ice cream stand. The book noted its 27 flavors of ice cream, particularly mango, coconut, soursop, and Devon Stout, a beer-based ice cream.
CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
97 PERCENT PASS TECHNOLOGY EXAM IN GUYANA—10/29/11
GENETICALLY MODIFIED MOSQUITOES TACKLE DENGUE FEVER—10/30/11
VERIFONE CHOSEN BY FIRST DATA FOR POS IN CARIBBEAN—10/31/11
CONTAINER PROJECT TECHNOLOGY VISION PUTS COMMUNITIES FIRST—11/01/11
TECHNOLOGY NEWS SUMMARY
PAINTINGS THAT FUNCTION AS AUDIO SPEAKERS—11/01/11
The DP155 speakers from Diptyque Audio give audiophiles the opportunity to have state-of-the-art speakers while “hiding” them from sight. The speakers use a flat-panel two-way speaker design consisting of a ribbon tweeter for high tones and a large membrane for the lower end of the sound range. They can be installed with graphics overlaid in a material that is acoustically transparent. The speakers can function as room dividers as well as wall art. They cost $4,700 per pair without the graphic covers, which can be obtained for another $180 per pair.
“SOCIALBOTS” STEAL USER DATA AT FACEBOOK—11/02/11
So-called “socialbots,” or computer programs that act like humans, have stolen some 250 GB of personal user data from Facebook. This information belonged to thousands of users at the social networking site. The infiltration was discovered during an eight-week test to determine the vulnerability of online social networks to large-scale attacks by programs that are designed to impersonate human beings. Researchers from the University of British Columbia Vancouver conducted the study. It was found that social networks are extremely susceptible to infiltration by “socialbots.” Facebook representatives did not respond publically to the research results.
ANYA AYOUNG-CHEE WINS PROJECT RUNWAY—10/29/11
Caribbean contestant Anya Ayoung-Chee was the winner of Project Runway, receiving US$100,000 from L’Oreal Paris to start up her own fashion line. She also receives a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, a US$50,000 technology suite from Intel and Hewlett-Packard, and the change to design and sell her exclusive collection to Pipertime.com.
DEEJAY GOES BACK TO HIS ROOTS—11/01/11
Honorebel, a deejay in South Florida, has returned to his dancehall and reggae roots on a new album called “Honorebel Presents Reggae Series Number 1.” The album has been released by Zojak Distributors and is built around the Soundcloud beat, featuring Honorebel on tunes with Wayne Wonder, Pressure, and Akon. Lady Saw, Rachel Rene, and Selena Serrano also contribute songs on the album. Honorebel, who was born Richard Bailey, has been in the business since the 1990s. He wants to stay “vibrant” in the reggae and dancehall community by releasing the new album.
ITY AND FANCY CAT SHOW SCHEDULED FOR 2012—11/02/11
Ity and Fancy Cat plan to return with their show for a fifth season in 2012 on Jamaican airwaves. According to Alton “Fancy Cat” Hardware, the popular comedians had considered cancelling the series, but strong fan support and feedback convinced them to bring the show back for at least one more season.
WINSTON RILEY SHOT IN KINGSTON—11/03/11
Winston Riley, a veteran producer and creator of Stalag Riddim, was shot in the head and arm in Kingston. Riley, 65, is being treated in a hospital in Kingston. He has been the victim of several violent attacks in 2011, being shot in August and stabbed in September. The Jamaica Constabulary Force is investigating the relationship between all the incidents. Riley began his career as a singer in 1962, forming the vocal group The Techniques.
JAMAICA, T&T TO FACE OFF IN REGIONAL SUPER50—10/29/11
Jamaica has won only 13 of 31 matches against Trinidad & Tobago in the Regional 50 overs, so they must work hard in the Super50 to redeem themselves. The odds favor T&T, which has won 17 matches.
NASL BOOSTED BY JAMAICAN TRIO—10/31/11
The only three Jamaicans to play in the 2011 North American Soccer League (NASL) provided excellent performances. Lance Laing, Nicholas Addlery, and Amani Walker all turned in creditable play. Playing for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Laing, 23, started in 26 of 27 matches for the team. Addlery of the Puerto Rico Islanders was one of the top 10 goal scorers of the year.
HARRIS SAYS GAYLE MATTER NEEDS A MEDIATOR—11/02/11
According to Fritz Harris, secretary of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), the request from Chris Gayle for clarification from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is reasonable. Gayle has asked what comments of his offended the board and prompted a request to withdraw them. The WICB asked for the retraction of comments Gayle made in regard to the board and its officers.
SAMARDO LOSES J$2.5 MILLION DUE TO NBA LOCKOUT—11/03/11
The conflict in the National Basketball Association (NBA) between the owners and players’ union about revenue sharing has resulted in Jamaican Samardo Samuels losing money. He has already lost US$30,000 because of the current lockout. Samuels is especially upset at not being able to play because he has worked his entire life to perform in the NBA. He is a forward/center on the Cleveland Cavaliers team.
Cast Your “Cares Bags” – Part II
The question was simply enough: “How does on cast his or her ‘cares bags’ upon God?” Tired of carrying them around and experiencing the frustrations and burnout that come with such an effort, often times after the umpteenth time of resolving to leave them at the Cross, some of us can relate to it. We want to put them down, but we have carried them for so long they are as comfortable as our favourite pair of old shoes. Breaking up seems hard to do.
Generally speaking, at the root of our cares are our anxieties about any number of things. Our jobs, our families, our future, the economy, to name a few. A significant amount of our time is spent thinking, planning, being restless and sleep deprived, trying to make the pieces fit. Where God seems to be silent, we feel compelled to fill in the blanks. After all, as the saying goes, God helps those who help themselves. Yet the apostle Paul, writing to the Philippians, had a word for our counterparts of his time: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6, ESV). In everything, Paul? Yes, in everything! In other words, as we find ourselves in situations that provoke our anxieties, instead of yielding to the temptation to think about them, talk to God about them. This can be very difficult to do after years of carrying our own cares bags, but to the Corinthians Paul encouraged, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete” (2 Cor. 10:4-6). The stress and negativity in our minds can be taken captive to obey Christ and that happens when we refuse to give in to them and turn them over to Him.
When we are able to do this, the benefits are profound. As we cast our cares upon Him through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard [our] hearts and [our] minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7). That is an awesome trade! We give Him our anxieties and He gives us His peace which stands guard over our hearts and minds. Where there is peace, there cannot be turmoil. It is impossible to sincerely praise God and worry at the same time. We can rest comfortably in the fact that God has everything under control. He knows what we have need of even before we ourselves know we have the need. As Matthew Henry observes, “It is the duty and interest of Christians to live without care. There is a care of diligence which is our duty, and consists in a wise forecast and due concern; but there is a care of [self-doubt] and distrust which is our sin and folly, and which only perplexes and distracts the mind.”
To avoid this distraction, which can cause us to take up our “cares bags” again, we need to be mindful of the things we think about and meditate on. Again from Paul, “Finally, brothers [and sisters], whatever is true, whatever is [honourable], whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8). This is God’s “formula” for peace of mind and heart. It is one that He expects you to use. Remember, it is His responsibility to take care of those who are His.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.