Busy week, but I hope I haven’t missed out too much. Please bear with me…
The struggle continues… Back to the political killing floor. Sorry to use this violent imagery, but many columnists and talk shows are still mulling over the Jamaica Labour Party skirmishes last week, that left several members suffering possibly mortal wounds. What will happen to Christopher Tufton and Audley Shaw and others, whom I consider to be the brightest of that bunch? I hope they find their place somehow, so that they are able to contribute to the governance of the nation. They have a lot to offer. And can Andrew Holness do a decent job in the Finance Spokesman role? His mentor Edward Seaga also handled that portfolio himself… I don’t know. We shall see. It’s pretty messy.
So now, the Supreme Court should tomorrow hear a claim by former Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate Arthur Williams, himself an attorney. He is seeking an injunction to block Holness from filling the two Senate seats vacated by himself and Christopher Tufton, after Holness’ crafty sleight of hand last week. Yes, Mr. Holness has been crafty and may well feel that he has been rather smart. However, he now has a legal case as well as a deadwood Shadow Cabinet of yes-men (and one yes-woman). Read more here: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=49401Is
Mr. Ruel Reid is a very good school principal, by all accounts. Last week, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness quickly named him as Senator. But does he have time for this, as well as serving on a couple of boards? And he had better be careful not to let the politics spill over into his work as headmaster of the famous Jamaica College. The Minister of Education sounds concerned and somewhat wary; so am I.
PetroCaribe is doing a “wobbly”: A recent article in the Christian Science Monitor suggests that all is not well with Venezuela‘s PetroCaribe arrangements with at least one of the 17 participating nations. Its oil contracts with China and India must be profitable than those with Caribbean countries. Will the terms of Venezuela’s agreement with Jamaica change, in terms of higher interest rates etc? Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell says the agreement is “intact” and unchanged. Venezuela’s economy is in a mess, with a soaring crime rate and actual oil production very low. The man with the mustache is also not a reliable character. He will be ruling by decree for the next year – at least – so a dictatorship is in place, at least a temporary one. Read more here: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2013/1115/Venezuela-s-regional-energy-program-Petrocaribe-wobbles
Financial news: The “big” news is that the economy grew in the last quarter by a whopping 0.6 per cent. After six consecutive quarters of negative growth, this is something to get mildly excited about. Inflation, however, is lurking in the wings and creeping up – as we are all painfully aware of when we visit the supermarket. It was 3.7 per cent in the last quarter – above the Bank of Jamaica target of two to three per cent. But financial reporting sometimes baffles me. The Gleaner reports that, in addition to increases in transportation costs, the reason for higher inflation was “higher costs associated with the summer holidays and preparations for the start of the new school year.” Er, doesn’t this happen every year? Read more here: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20131120/business/business1.html
And in infrastructure news… An engineer has wisely suggested we build roads with concrete (which we actually produce here) rather than surfacing them with a (generally too thin) layer of imported asphalt. Concrete lasts much longer too. And over 600 street lights have mysteriously turned up in Trelawny – they have “moved” from somewhere else! So many? It is staggering. The poor Jamaica Public Service Company has to be constantly one or two steps ahead of the ingenious light thieves. Read more here: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Engineer-touts-benefits-of-concrete-roads_15432634 and http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20131118/lead/lead6.html
Impunity basically means getting away with it. Impunity “tun up” these days (to coin a Jamaican phrase): for the electricity thieves; for the crazy bus and taxi drivers who threaten our lives daily on the road; for the operators of “Ponzi” schemes who have fleeced many Jamaicans of millions; for those police officers who break the law themselves; for those faceless, nameless rampaging mobs who regularly take the law into their own hands, as in the case of Dwayne Jones; and according to the latest study from the University of the West Indies (UWI), for the vast majority of murderers out there, who are never brought to justice.
UWI Professor Anthony Clayton tells us that the conviction rate for murder is less than five per cent per year. We always knew that this was a major concern, but the numbers are stark. Read more here: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20131120/lead/lead1.html Are we going to hear from Minister of National Security Peter Bunting? Can he handle this portfolio, I have to ask? We cannot just blame the police; they are out of their depth and struggling. “Operation Resilience” (endless curfews, “shootouts” and the rounding up of young men in inner cities) is just not working. Those methods never have worked. A policy rethink is needed. A serious rethink, Minister.
It’s not just the murders. There has been a heightened level of violence and insecurity. A schoolgirl in Clarendon shot and injured accidentally by the police who were pursuing a suspect. A student in Portland stabbed by a fellow student and seriously ill in hospital. And again I ask, what was going on outside the Police Commissioner’s Office on Hope Road on Saturday evening – loud gunfire, huge traffic jam? Since I live just down the road, I would love to know.
As I mentioned in my last post, the brother of a journalist friend of mine was shot dead in downtown Kingston a few days ago. Here are Rohan Powell’s heartfelt comments on Facebook: “It has been more than four days since my brother Evon Powell was shot and killed on Sutton street, just a short hop from our childhood home. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to grasp that he was the target. The killer, like many others who have carried out similar dastardly acts, are known as cowards. He or she didn’t give my brother a fighting chance. The reality is that his life has been snuffed out by someone who wanted to “make a duppy”. My brother’s death speaks to the vicious cycle of what we call Life. Nothing can bring him back…all we can look forward to, is that he will enjoy a peaceful rest near to Joan..his mother…and that his children all , can lift their heads high and be proud to carry on the Powell name with pride and dignity….”
A mob of residents killed one man and injured two others whom they accused of stealing goats in rural Mocho. A teenage boy, a student of Morant Bay High School, was shot along with his grandmother and later died from his injuries. A teenage girl, a student of Lennon High School, was found dead in the Mocho area of Clarendon. A well-known farmer and businessman was shot in Black River. A bakery owner was shot dead on Monday morning on his way to the bank in Montego Bay. A teenage boy was reportedly beaten to death and another seriously injured by the police in Sandy Bay, Hanover. And so the sad stories continue. My condolences to the grieving families and loved ones left behind.
Everton Lewis, 63, Black River, St. Elizabeth
Kadiane Smith, 16, Bamboo River/Morant Bay, St. Thomas
Unidentified man, Queens Street/Morant Bay, St. Thomas
Rayon Lee Massie, 26, St. Thomas Technical High School
Carol Matthews, 43, Braeton, St. Catherine
Cedrick Ravine, 54, Rio Nuevo, St. Mary
Ralston Cole, 39, Castleton, St. Mary
Amariah Green, Mocho, Clarendon (mob killing)
Calecia Edwards, 15, Brixton Hill, Clarendon
Clinton Young, 45, Montego Bay, St. James
Everton Ewan, Johns Common, St. James
Killed by police:
Ashanti Clarke, 17, Sandy Bay, Hanover
Here are some more articles of interest, on the ongoing politics and such:
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20131119/lead/lead1.html Security expert says police not aiming at right target to buck murder trend: Gleaner
http://jamaicapoliticaleconomy.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-november-17/ The good, the bad and the ugly: jamaicapoliticaleconomy.wordpress.com
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20131118/cleisure/cleisure4.html Unconscionable political prenuptial agreement: Bert Samuels op-ed, Gleaner
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Respect-my-mandate-_15459245 Respect my mandate! Holness tells the defeated: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Holness-to-establish-order-within-JLP_15463787 Holness to establish order within JLP: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Democracy-and-the-JLP—a-long-way-from-home_15459216 Democracy and the JLP – a long way from home: Louis Moyston column/Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/A-time-for-inspiration_15459069 A time for inspiration: Jean Lowrie-Chin column/Jamaica Observer
http://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/stories/2013/11/2013_11_15_vkp_jamaica_youth_minister.html Jamaica‘s youth minister pleads to UNESCO: Caribbean Life
http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/headline-Mentors-to-assist-Caribbean-fisherfolk-to-enhance-their-contribution-to-food-security-18715.html Mentors to assist Caribbean fisherfolk to enhance their contribution to food security: Caribbean News Now
Twenty years is a good, long time. Through trials and tribulations, joy and success, the Trench Town Reading Centre has soldiered on through two interrupted decades. Twenty years of educating the children of Trench Town – and that’s education in the broadest sense of the word. Planting trees, creating art of all kinds, playing drums, spelling bees, listening and learning. During the summer program, the Centre is humming with activity.
Most importantly, the Trench Town Reading Centre has brought the fascination and love of reading to the children. Just watch them when a new book arrives. They cluster round it, turning the pages slowly and carefully, studying the illustrations. A book is a discovery, a small treasure.
So now, the Centre celebrates (with the kind sponsorship of the Scotiabank Foundation, who are steady supporters). Drop by on Saturday, November 23 between 12:00 noon and 4:00 p.m. for music, poetry, performances and sheer enjoyment with the kids. They love visitors, and if you want to bring a book or something to read or perform… They are the greatest audience!
- Take a look at the videos on YouTube. Here is the latest from Summer 2013 – it will make you almost feel you are there! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ggQQAYYo18&feature=youtu.be
- The website gives you a history of the Reading Centre from its early days up to 2010. Lots to explore here: http://www.trenchtownreadingcentre.com You can also make donations on the website…greatly received and carefully used!
- The Facebook group (Friends of Trench Town Reading Centre) is the only official Facebook page in English and is updated very regularly with photos and news, here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/trenchtownreadingcentre/
For more details, call (876) 570-4211 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look forward to seeing you there!
This article describes the hope and sense of renewal in the city of Mogadishu, Somalia, which is emerging from decades of civil war. Even when violence and conflict tear our communities apart, it is hard to destroy the cultural heart of a city. It goes on beating. Although we have not experienced the horrors of war here in Kingston, Jamaica, we have struggled too; and of course, there’s a long way to go for Somalia. But I think that when a city’s art – its creative people – reasserts itself, things can only get better. And life becomes bearable, again.
The story is written by Abdi Latif Dahir and is taken from “The Africa Report,” a great online magazine that presents “behind the headlines” stories from this mighty continent. Here is the link: http://www.theafricareport.com/East-Horn-Africa/somalia-mogadishus-artistic-rebirth.html Follow @theafricareport on Twitter and theafricareport on Facebook.
On the eve of the new year 2013, a freshly painted billboard went up on the busy KM4 intersection in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The timing of its unveiling was symbolic: it hailed 2013 as the year of changed fortunes and the start of an enduring period of stable nationhood in Somalia.
The painting took artist Muhaydin Sharif Ibrahim, a thin, stooped figure gnarled with age, almost four days to sketch, draw and paint. On the last morning of 2012, and as the deadline approached, Muhaydin carefully applied the finishing touches: scuffing the paint, applying shades of blue on white lines and high- lighting certain words in bold.
“For me, it is not done until they take it out of this place and put it up on the street,” he said, his hesitant smile easing onto his face.
Muhaydin was relishing the moment, and the paint, brush and canvas all seemed to collaborate to create his story of how Somalia has come of age. For almost two years now, as the war ebbs in Mogadishu, the Somali capital has been experiencing a sense of transformation and renewal that promises new opportunities.
A new government led by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was elected in September 2012; construction is booming; commerce is thriving; and solar lights have been switched on in the city’s main thoroughfares, causing welcome traffic jams deep into the night as people enjoy staying out late.
Amidst all this, a group of wizened and weather-beaten men have been making a quiet comeback. They have banded together to make their mark on history and to paint into memory the final act of a civil war that has lasted for more than 20 years. They are the painters of Mogadishu, who, with all their talent and great artistic skill, were reduced to nothing but a footnote in history by the country’s brutal fortunes.
At the height of Somalia’s civil war, many artists stopped painting. Those that continued often lost their valuable works as they fled the country. The situation got even worse under the yoke of Al-Shabaab, as the Islamist militia outlawed music and drawings, considering them a sin.
In a converted garage far away from the din of downtown traffic, a group of artists sets to work. Paint-stained hands moved deftly across sketch boards and canvases as each of the artists concentrated on his work.
Some, like Jeilani Ibrahim, like to sit up on a stool and use a blunt pencil. Others, like Muhaydin, prefer to take on the huge billboards with an armada of brushes. Both get the job done in their own way. Trained in Italy, Jeilani reminisces about a glorious past of gallery appearances and appreciation.
“Art held a central place in Somalia,” Jeilani says. “When you are going through the town today you will see rundown shops, but they have bright paintings outside showing what they have in stock. Sometimes they will paint every single thing in that shop,” he quipped, his eye widening from behind thick spectacles.
Muhaydin, listening to the conversation, adds that “the love for art was almost natural amongst Somalis. People had so much respect for the work the artists did back then.”
High regard for art
Muhaydin could easily have been referring to the poetry and theatrical performances that shaped Somalia’s artistic culture for hundreds of years. Somalis, have a high regard for art in all its forms: including music, theatre, painting, poetry and literature.
Today, Somalis are winning prizes through their love of words: Kenyan-born Somali poet Warsan Shire won the inaugural Brunel University African Poetry Prize from the British university in late April, while Maxamed Ibraahim Warsame ‘Hadraawi’ was presented with the Prince Claus Award for his poetry in Hargeisa, also in April.
Somalis were creating art as long as 7,000 years ago – though this was not known outside Somalia until 2002 when the discovery of the Laas Gaal cave paintings in the northern region of Somaliland caused a sensation. The prehistoric paintings depict neolithic inhabitants raising their hands in praise of cows and camels which are glorified in ceremonial robes.
The colourful shop-front paintings mentioned by Jeilani mostly started after the war broke out in 1991, when artists found it difficult to sell their paintings so offered their skills to local businesses.
With many Somalis unable to read, their iconic images did the job of advertising what goods or services could be found inside, from soft drinks to (sometimes only too graphically expressed) dental or medical services.
Adan Farah Affey is one artist who is always excited to talk about the history of art in Somalia and the critical role of artists in society. Balancing a cigarette and a tube of paint in one hand, Adan says he never runs out of inspiration. With an effusive welcome, he laid out his collection of artwork for the visitors.
Inspired by Somalia’s milestones, its larger-than-life personalities and frequent breaking news, Adan has amassed an incredible body of work, to the point of chronicling almost every significant event and debate in the country as well as the figures that have shaped Somalia’s past.
“There was no other way of getting it out of my mind,” Adan says. “This was the only way for me to preserve history and keep it for the future generations.”
He painted a portrait of anti-colonial leader Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, known as the ‘Mad Mullah’; there is one of warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid, a key target in the United States-led Operation Restore Hope in the early 1990s; a painting with swirls of colour depicting the dangers of hate media; and he has painted an adaptation of Joe Rosenthal’s photo Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima – only this time the flag is the sky-blue and white-starred Somali flag.
“Whenever I get an idea, I try to put down what I make of it,” Adan explains.
Painters like Adan and Jeilani have come out of the shadows thanks in part to the Centre for Research and Dialogue (CRD), a not-for-profit institution that aims to promote art as a tool for peace-building. Its other projects include a musical talent show.
Over the past year, the CRD has offered the artists the materials and space to design paintings with messages promoting peace, unity and good governance.
Across the streets and the bullet-rid- den buildings of Mogadishu, billboards painted by the likes of Muhaydin and Adan dot the landscape with messages to respect the rule of law, shun clanism and report corruption and crime.
“It is every inch a revelation for us as it is for the rest of the city’s residents,” says Ahmednur Abdulle, a project coordinator at the CRD, of the artists’ output.
The billboard paintings, more than two dozen of them in just under a year, have captured the attention of residents and visitors alike. They stop to look at them, studying the brushstrokes and reflecting on the meaning of the words.
Mohamed Abdulkadir Yahya, a programme officer at the CRD who works closely with the painters, says the enthusiasm surround- ing the paintings has increased so much that the centre is now looking at how to showcase them in an exhibition.
“It would be ideal to put them up in the national museum in Mogadishu or organise an exhibition in Nairobi where many in the Somali community can access them,” Mohamed says.
In preparation, Mohamed has been keeping aside a number of paintings he has dubbed “the classics”. They include abstract paintings that can provoke deep memories and emotions, critically reflecting on how the war has affected Somalia and its people over the years.
Khadija Isse, an art enthusiast and a young poet, said that the paintings have “captured the imagination of old and young people alike. People would ask: ‘Who painted this?’ They would stop and discuss and read into the paint itself.”
In late January, a few weeks after KM4 intersection received its painting, a new one was erected a few metres outside Mogadishu’s international airport. This time, the painting emphasises the equality of all citizens before the law, showing a man in a suit and carrying a briefcase be- ing dragged into court by police officers.
“This shows you that a new era has come,” Abdinasir Mohamed, a university student, says, while staring at the piece. “But what a painting says and the reality on the ground can be very different at times.”
Back in the garage-turned-studio, paint cans compete for space on the floor and the air is thick with cigarette smoke. The painters sit intently at their stations, brushes coursing on the canvas.
“We hope to leave something solid for the coming generations,” explains Adan, adding that there is a need to in- spire a new generation of young artists. Amidst the singing and the good-natured banter, fingers deftly sketch a new future for Somalia.
Note to my readers: I started the “African Postman” series a year or two back, after Jamaican friends pointed out to me that we never hear any news from “Mother Africa.” It’s true. Or rather, the only news we do hear is about horrors and civil war, drought and destruction. So I started the series to try to highlight different aspects of the continent – how people are helping to build their countries and moving on with their lives. So here is the second story in my (revived) series – it kind of lapsed for a while – and I would welcome your feedback and suggestions.
You can also view my “Africa” board on Pinterest, at pinterest.com/petchary/africa.
When I wake up in the morning, the first thing that “bless my eyes” (as Bob Marley said) is a burst of color. It is a small painting on our bedroom wall of a magical landscape, which I think of as something, perhaps, from “The Wizard of Oz.” When the film turns into that dazzling Technicolor, and Judy Garland starts skipping. Scarlet and gold and magenta flowers dance across the canvas, fringed by dainty, straight-trunked trees on the horizon. Above, the sky is a misty blue.
The painting is by our dear Jamaican friend and artist Rudi Patterson, who passed away at a London hospice on July 24.
This post is very hard to write. A warmth and brilliance has gone from us. Sitting at the computer, I share space with another painting by Rudi. It is an irregular series of vertical lines in irresistibly bright colors. We brought it back with us when we last visited Rudi in his flat in West London in September of last year. He had expressed amused surprise that this style had proved popular with those who bought his paintings. After every visit to London, we returned with a little of Rudi – whether it was a painting, or a ceramic piece (something he learned in later years). I often fill a beautifully lop-sided, pale blue bowl of Rudi’s with bright bougainvillea and place it on our back verandah. I will do so today.
Rudi always enjoyed gifts from home (Jamaica was always home). Blue Mountain coffee, a bottle of Appleton’s. And he adored mango, ackees, breadfruit; he could buy all these in London markets. Born in deep rural St. Thomas, many of Rudi’s paintings reflect his love for the chaotic, colorful natural world around him. I remember him telling us some duppy stories – duppies that he said he saw at dusk, walking down those Jamaican country lanes. He painted chunky mango trees laden with fruit, fringed palm trees, stripy croton plants, and zinc-roofed houses with shutters. Rural domestic bliss. One of our most treasured paintings is of our Kingston home, which he painted while staying with us in 1991. Our house is tucked inside our flourishing garden (and yes, we did have a small breadfruit tree at the time). It reminds me of Rudi out in our front yard one day, neatly clipping an unruly hedge.
And Rudi’s paintings brought joy. Rudi was a celebrity, and many celebrities owned his work – including the late Freddie Mercury, who commissioned a huge painting from him and owned several others. Rudi personally knew Maya Angelou, Ashford and Simpson, the iconic 60s model Twiggy, Andy Williams and many others who bought his paintings. As a young man, an actor and a fashion model, he moved in those circles. I wish we had known him then, as a young man about town. Rudi was always the greatest fun, the person you wanted to be with. It was actually the inactivity brought about by a serious accident (he broke his neck in 1973) that brought him to painting.
In Jamaica, Rudi’s paintings were exhibited several times at Harmony Hall in Ocho Rios. He became good friends with the Proudlocks, who have run the art gallery for many years. Our son will probably remember, when he was quite young, Rudi taking him to visit the Jamaican/Australian artist Colin Garland, who lived in Boscobel, nearby.
When did we meet Rudi? Introduced by our artist friends Margaret and Mike Stanley, my husband and I attended an exhibition of his work in London. It was when we had only just met each other, close to thirty years ago now. I associate Rudi very closely with our life together – long lunches in London, glasses of wine, music, and much laughter. And a few years later we left the UK for Jamaica; but we always kept in touch.
Rudi had a beloved cat called Ackee; he missed him greatly when he died. He loved “chill out” music and introduced us to the Cafe Del Mar series. He often gave us music, and supported many Caribbean singers and musicians who lived in London.
Rudi’s flat in Westbourne Park was easy to find – an oasis of color in the London landscape. On the dull grey concrete of the balcony, even on a chilly winter’s day, there were overflowing pots of bright geraniums outside his door. His living room walls were covered with bright paintings. A large picture window embraced a wide cityscape: rooftops and streets, a train line. Last year, we talked about the dome of a new mosque that had appeared since our previous visit. I will always remember Rudi’s view of a city he grew to love.
Like his art, Rudi was never dull and dreary. I can hear his gentle, but ironic laugh – his sense of humor was of the dry variety, and very “Jamaican.” He spoke in a laconic drawl. We enjoyed our regular phone calls with him. I had to sit down on the sofa to talk to him on the phone, to laugh and gossip and share news (Rudi loved to gossip, but never maliciously).
The first painting of Rudi’s that we acquired was of a small country house at night. An orange light burns in the window. Rudi’s light will shine on. And it’s only goodbye, for now.
Until we meet again.
There is a lovely obituary for Rudi by the Black Cultural Archives here: http://www.bcaheritage.org.uk/obituary-to-rudi-patterson/. His funeral will take place on Friday, August 9 at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Chapel, St Mary’s RC Cemetery, Harrow Road, London W10. All are welcome.
Well, the Petchary is a migratory bird, and I am back from the eastern side of the Caribbean, where I observed the gentler side of life. But more on that in another post… Meanwhile this weekend is wedged between the Emancipation Day (August 1) and Independence Day (August 6) holidays, always accompanied by the platitudes from our leaders. This year, we are apparently “Celebrating Jamaica: Triumphant, Proud and Free.”
Here are a few bits and pieces. I only got home last night, so have not caught up with things…
The cruel death of a teen: Almost as soon as I arrived, I caught a glimpse of news about the horrific mob killing of seventeen-year-old Dwayne Jones (“Gully Queen”), a gender non-conforming resident of Montego Bay, following a party in the town. Daniel Thwaites asked in his Sunday Gleaner column today (putting his flippancy aside, which can sometimes be quite insensitive), “something that at worst ought to cause embarrassment instead occasioned murder…Why are so many of us permanently ill-tempered and angry? The sad fact is that statistically the attackers of the unfortunate boy or girl have little to worry about from the police or the director of public prosecutions, even if the incident was caught on video.” (And by the way, this was news in Grenada, too). I understand that the Minister of Justice did issue a statement condemning the killing. But I wonder if there will be any justice for young Dwayne.
…and senseless death on the roads: I guess it is because people just drink too much at holiday time, but in the past couple of days there have been several horrendous car crashes, causing great loss of life. This evening there were pictures of cars that hardly looked like cars any more, just tangled masses of metal. How fast were they driving? I feel sad for the National Road Safety Council, who enjoyed great success in reducing road deaths last year. This year, for some reason, the fatalities have increased by some 20 per cent. Do support their efforts (http://www.nationalroadsafetycouncil.org.jm/)
The JSPCA needs a home – urgently! It appears that the government is kicking the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA) out of their premises in Kingston, and they have nowhere to go. I noted this some weeks ago. The JSPCA does incredible work (sick/injured animals are simply thrown over their fence) for hundreds of animals every week; and Kingston already has a huge problem with stray dogs and sheer neglect and cruelty to animals. Many Jamaicans do not or cannot pay for their services, and they cannot afford Kingston real estate prices. Can’t someone help – there is so much land around?
Shooting birds: And talking about cruelty to animals, our wild birds are not immune. The bird shooting season begins on August 24. I have just returned from a bird/conservation conference in Grenada, where I learnt from Cuban participants that bird shooting there was completely banned two years ago. Nuff said.
Some “big ups”:
President Barack Obama celebrated his 52nd birthday today. His hair has silvered somewhat, but he is still as handsome as ever to me. I was once within a few yards of him when he gave a press conference at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad some years ago. His second term has been particularly challenging so far, but I am still in his corner. For what it’s worth! I found a quote from the President on Twitter: “We don’t ask you to believe in our ability to bring change, rather, we ask you to believe in yours.” For a brilliant photo gallery by White House official photographer Pete Souza, see http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/photogallery/president-obama-turns-52
The National Health Fund has made a difference to the lives of many Jamaicans who, like me, take medications regularly that would otherwise cost far more. I think they do an excellent job and what is more, they are efficient in the way they go about things. Thanks to them, also, the dialysis unit at Montego Bay’s Cornwall Regional Hospital is getting a needed boost.
Claudia Gordon is Jamaican-born and has been appointed Public Engagement Advisor for the Disability Community at the White House. She is the first African American deaf female attorney in the United States, I understand. Wonderful.
To all those in the private sector, including the RJR Group, who are involved in the rehabilitation of the Annotto Bay Hospital in St. Mary, which was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy last year. St. Mary has many challenges. I am glad the parish hospital is getting support.
Mr. Eric Donaldson sang the patriotic-yet-chirpy song “This is the Land of My Birth” in 1978, and this week Jamaicans chose the song as winner of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s “All Time Best” Festival Song Competition. I did love his other, equally chirpy song “Cherry Oh Baby” which came seventh… Congratulations, Mr. Donaldson!
In memoriam: Here are some of the names I have gleaned, of those Jamaicans whose lives have been violently torn from them in the past two or three weeks. May they rest in peace, and may their grieving families and friends somehow find consolation:
Tashanique James, 11, Denham Town, Kingston
Antana Allen, Half Way Tree, Kingston
Unidentified man, downtown Kingston
Hector Wilson, 50, downtown Kingston
Mark South, Millsborough, Kingston
Lancelot Hall, 42, Hagley Park Road, Kingston
Father Charles Brown, Plantation Heights, St. Andrew
Chad Telfair, 28, Seven Miles/Bull Bay, St. Andrew
Mark McLarty, 29, Gordon Town, St. Andrew
Dwayne Jones, 17, Montego Bay, St. James
Kemar Murray, 23, Mount Salem, St. James
Paul Ricketts, 21, Mount Salem, St. James
Tyrone Murray, 28, Banbury, St. Catherine
Garth Parkes, 42, Banbury, St. Catherine
Omar Abrahams, 24, Newlands, St. Catherine
Keron Thompson, Spanish Town, St. Catherine
Stephen Stewart, 19, Lakes Pen, St. Catherine
Derrick Bailey, 47, Sligoville, St. Catherine
Lance McCarthy, 41, Portmore, St. Catherine
Ian Francis, 35, Bucks Common, Clarendon
Christopher Edmond, 45, Chapelton, Clarendon
“Frog Head,” Sanguinetti, Clarendon
Kevin Whyte, Negril, Westmoreland
Delroy Whyte, 41, Darliston, Westmoreland
Donovan Boothe, Prospect, St. Thomas
Damion Anderson, 22, Top Hill, Manchester
Collin Stephenson, 39, Ramble, Hanover
Ishmael Perez, 48, Lucea, Hanover
Lee McFarlane, 31, Lucea, Hanover
Killed by police:
Orlando Sammond, 43, Molynes Road, Kingston
Nicholas Gordon, 24, Spanish Town Road, Kingston
Omar Young, 38, McGregor Gully, Kingston
Unidentified man, Negril, Westmoreland
Unidentified man, De La Vega City, St. Catherine
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130804/cleisure/cleisure3.html Dressed for murder: Carolyn Cooper column/Sunday Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130804/cleisure/cleisure5.html From daggering to daggered: Daniel Thwaites column/Sunday Gleaner
http://www.jflag.org/2013/07/remembering-dwayne-jones-gully-queen/ Remembering Dwayne Jones, Gully Queen: J-FLAG website
http://www.jflag.org/2013/07/violence-against-lgbt-people-is-an-affront-to-democracy/ Violence against LGBT people is an affront to democracy: J-FLAG website
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/businessman-killed-in-downtown-kingston Businessman killed in downtown Kingston: RJR News
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Productivity-remains-Jamaica-s-main-problem_14800993 Productivity remains Jamaica’s main problem: Dennis Chung column/Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/For-our-own-good_14804163 For our own good: Jamaica Observer editorial
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130804/lead/lead21.html Oh, for an “ark”! Sunday Gleaner
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Project-to-make-children-safe_14716542 Project to make children safe: Sunday Observer
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/04/world/americas/as-cost-of-importing-food-soars-jamaica-turns-to-the-earth.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130804&_r=0 As cost of importing food soars, Jamaica turns to the earth: New York Times
http://www.nad.org/news/2013/7/nad-applauds-appointment-claudia-gordon-public-engagement-advisor-white-house National Association for the Deaf applauds appointment of Claudia Gordon as Public Engagement Advisor at the White House
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/08/30/meet-women-administration-claudia-gordon Meet the women of the Administration: Claudia Gordon: White House
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/-p-When-Emancipation-came–p—_14803216 When Emancipation came: Barbara Gloudon column/Jamaica Observer
http://theyoungadvocate.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/a-promise-is-comfort-to-a-fool-the-jamaican-governments-brutish-response-to-demand-for-the-protection-of-children-in-its-care/ A promise is a comfort to a fool: The Young Advocate
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130804/arts/arts1.html Creating marketable art: Sunday Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130804/ent/ent1.html ”This is the Land of my Birth”: Sunday Gleaner
Another week is flying past, breezy and rainless. And a storm is fluttering around.
Chantal brushing past… Our Meteorological Office decided that Tropical Storm Chantal was “not a threat” to Jamaica before she even arrived in the Caribbean Basin. A little premature, and indeed Chantal did not follow her projected course. For a while Jamaica was on Tropical Storm Watch, but happily the storm has weakened. Chantal may bring some rain in her wake, and we will be happy for that. Kingston’s reservoirs are getting low, again. Perhaps the Met Office could wait and see a little bit. We have been surprised in the past by storms, haven’t we… I am thankful for the National Hurricane Center and weather.com.
Oh, and Chantal has actually given our Prime Minister an opportunity to speak. She has told us to be cautious.
…but a bit of drama brewing: Was it poor judgment by the current National Security Minister Peter Bunting to participate in a Biography Channel documentary on the now-incarcerated Tivoli Gardens “don” Christopher “Dudus” Coke? The Jamaica Labour Party believes so, and is now busy “examining” the Minister’s statements. I missed the program, but I found the full episode von the channel’s website; however, a voice tells me, “This content is currently unavailable.” Rather odd. This seems to be another ingredient in the murky soup in which the upcoming Commission of Enquiry is swimming; the pot is bubbling and brewing. But I am still far from impressed by the JLP leader’s deeply opaque remarks on the Commission. Mr. Holness now says the party is not opposed to the Commission taking place, but… Oh, I dunno. Can we not just cool down a little and stop politicizing for just a minute or two? (Oh, the documentary is in a series called “Gangsters: America’s Most Evil.” A Jamaican tweep commented, “Oh, so Dudus is American now?” )
The Septuagenarian: Meanwhile, the JLP, founded by Sir Alexander Bustamante, celebrated its seventieth birthday on July 8. Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga made a speech (in which he spoke about the potentially liberating effect of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, among many other things). I have received a copy, but don’t know how to add it to this blog as I don’t have a link to it yet, only a document. Yes, I am (quite often) technologically challenged. Advice, anyone? I think it will soon be online and will post the link as soon as I get it.
That diaspora conference: Yes, like Senator Christopher Tufton, I do have some questions. It was all the rage in the media a few weeks ago. Now what? Follow-up, monitoring, evaluation, results? Too early for results, I guess – but what plans and what timelines? We would love to know. Plus, of course, the cost to taxpayers, if it hasn’t been divulged already.
Wondering where the tablets are? Hold your horses. The Government hasn’t actually sourced the 30,000 tablet computers it intends to distribute to 35 selected schools come the new academic year in September. They are inviting bids.
Hotel puzzle: After a fire back in March, the Wyndham Kingston Hotel (which was the Hilton until quite recently) closed for renovations. Now the Wyndham is leaving altogether. I realize that there is some legal dispute, but one wonders – will the hotel, a prominent landmark in New Kingston, reopen any time soon? Are there any other reasons why the Wyndham is leaving? We have already lost the Ritz Carlton in Montego Bay (and does anyone have an update on that?)
The plight of the homeless: In a way, the media histrionics (not all of the media) over homeless gay men may have helped to highlight the agonizing plight of what seems to be a growing number of homeless people of all ages and backgrounds. A woman has been living on a bench outside Kingston Public Hospital for the past three weeks, according to the report below, having been abandoned there by her family. The most painful part of the story is the final comment by a health official: “It has reached a stage where when they (families) no longer want to take care of them, they dump them on the hospital compound.” (But it seems the authorities were aware of this situation. And…? Did nothing?)
Petchary Appreciation Awards:
- All those Jamaican men who support women’s right to choose what they do with their bodies and their lives! I can mention a number of names…But you know who you are. And we do so appreciate you! Thank you.
- “Beyond the Headlines” - a consistently good current affairs program on Radio Jamaica, ably moderated by Dionne Jackson-Miller. This evening’s program with J-FLAG’s Dane Lewis and attorney-at-law Gordon Robinson diligently sought solutions to the complex and painful issue of the gay homeless men – an issue that has created much sensationalism in other parts of the media. Some steps forward were suggested – including that the criminal elements in this group (who are a minority) must be separated from the law-abiding ones, first. Listeners texted irritably about the gays getting special treatment, etc., and they wish they would go away, not our problem. But, as Dionne noted, ignoring a problem won’t make it go away. it will get worse, and come back to slap you in the face later. And as Dane Lewis pointed out, the root cause is discrimination. (But we are not very good at identifying root causes and addressing them, are we?)
- Broadcaster and Gleaner columnist George Davis, who always tries to be provocative. Sometimes his efforts fall flat, but this week’s was spot on (“Why are we lying to ourselves?” ) But George, you know Jamaicans have been busy sweeping problems under the carpet for donkeys’ years (if you will pardon that rather odd expression). And you must have an inkling of when the “rot set in”? As for the pot boiling over, I think a more apt metaphor would be that of the frogs in the pot of water. The Jamaican frogs have suddenly realized, too late, that the gently heating water is now too hot. It’s basically the same theme as Dionne’s discussion this evening - Oh, it’s not happening to US…Oh, ow, yes, it IS!
- Digicel Foundation and the Camara Jamaica Foundation, which recently donated computers and educational software to a high-performing school in deep rural St. Thomas (and yes, Arcadia really is rural!) I am sure the young students of Arcadia Primary School will make good use of them. And I hope that they are well secured and that the surrounding community will also ensure that no one preys on our educational institutions. I’m sorry, but this has happened with frightening regularity, and it’s heart-breaking when schools are robbed.
Three sets of brothers were killed – among nine (yes, nine) murders that have taken place since Sunday – plus an additional shooting victim who succumbed to injuries a few days ago. Anyway, that makes THREE per day. Additionally, two of the six brothers were killed by the police in Kingston, provoking the usual angry protests that prevented the Independent Commission of Investigation (INDECOM) from gaining access to the scene to investigate. This is utterly tragic.
Norman Rowe, Rowlandsfield/Golden Grove, St. Thomas
Herman Rowe, Rowlandsfield/Golden Grove, St. Thomas
Kevin Reid, 22, Tucker Irwin, St. James
Oshane Ebanks, 18, Tucker Irwin, St. James
Damion Cousins, 30, Hart Hill, Portland
Erica Foster, 38, May Pen, Clarendon
Michael Williams, 56, Red Ground/Old Harbour, St. Catherine
Unidentified man, Bridgeport, St. Catherine
Wayne Williams, 42, Pike, Manchester
Leo McLaughlin, 18, Westmoreland
Killed by police:
Gary Cooke, 29, Red Hills Road, Kingston
Soyoga Cooke, 20, Red Hills Road, Kingston
Related links and websites (local blogs in purple):
http://digjamaica.com/imf IMF Special Report: diGJamaica.com
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Tufton-tables-questions-on-recent-diaspora-conference_14658091 Tufton tables questions on recent diaspora conference: Jamaica Observer
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130710/cleisure/cleisure2.html Why are we lying to ourselves? George Davis column/Gleaner
http://drtammyhaynes.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/connecting-the-dots-a-word-on-legalizing-abortion-in-jamaica/ Connecting the dots: A word on legalizing abortion in Jamaica: Dr. Tammy Haynes blog
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Buggery-law–Government-will-bow_14640324 Buggery law: Government will bow: Jamaica Observer
http://redforgender.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/the-double-injustice-of-buggery-laws/ The double injustice of buggery laws: Feminist Conversations on Caribbean Life
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130709/letters/letters2.html Turn off gaydar and rescue homeless: Letter to Gleaner from hotelier Josef Forstmayr
http://jamaica-star.com/thestar/20130710/news/news1.html Woman lives on hospital bench: Jamaica Star
http://www.caribbean-beat.com/issue-122/j-flag-respecting-difference J-FLAG: Respecting difference: CaribbeanBeat.com
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=46321 Police kill two brothers off Red Hills Road: Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130708/news/news1.html Perilous times: Parliament should urgently debate motions on natural disasters: The Gavel/Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130709/cleisure/cleisure1.html Graduating from what? Gleaner editorial
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130709/letters/letters5.html Have a glass of facts with your cake, Gary: Letter to the Gleaner
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Montague–JLP-has-lived-up-to-its-core-values_14652515 Montague: JLP has lived up to its core values: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/JLP-to-celebrate-70-over-next-12-months_14652883 JLP to celebrate 70 over next twelve months: Jamaica Observer
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130707/arts/arts1.html Art repurposed: an eclectic mix of creativity, technology: Sunday Gleaner
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAcCqVWFRFE&feature=youtu.be I support Jamaica because… Jamaica National Foundation video
http://jamaica-star.com/thestar/20130710/news/news5.html Digicel Foundation powers Arcadia Primary with ICT: Jamaica Star
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads/34513 Small island states must address climate change mitigation: Jamaica Information Service
http://repeatingislands.com/2013/07/08/top-jamaican-chef-brian-lumley-wins-taste-of-the-caribbean-chef-of-the-year-award/ Top Jamaican chef Brian Lumley wins Taste of the Caribbean Chef of the Year award: Repeating Islands
http://jablogz.com/2013/07/the-challenged-chronicles-four/ The Challenged Chronicles Four: article by Maia Chung on jablogz.com
Although I have skipped one of my newsy posts altogether, I have tried to catch up a bit here by commenting on some stories that just jumped out at me over the past week. Forgive me if this is but a cursory glance, and I have undoubtedly missed something of great importance. Also, please correct/clarify if I have got anything wrong. I confess that I have just not been focusing…
Postponed: The case brought by Javed Jaghai challenging Jamaica’s buggery laws was postponed this week until October 4, as changes need to be made to the affidavit. Mr. Jaghai is represented by gay Jamaican lawyer Maurice Tomlinson and wants the court to determine if the anti-sodomy law breaches rights guaranteed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. Jaghai contends that the Charter guarantees the right to privacy.
Very disturbing: The rantings of would-be politician and children’s advocate Betty Ann Blaine – who has been allowed to be one of the “interested parties” in the above-mentioned case - reached a near-hysterical pitch again this week. Ms. Blaine once asserted: “Jamaicans are not homophobic – we are a Christian country.” Not only a contradiction in terms, but incorrect on both counts, Ma’am. Ms. Blaine (who I think has a call-in radio program) wants the seven-year-old murder case of a high-profile public figure resurrected. Why? So that she can dig through an allegedly sensational video reportedly found at the murder scene, which she suspects may contain film of child abuse. This, of course, is in connection with the issue of proposed changes in the law against buggery. You know, I have often wondered if such a video ever even existed. Please, Ms. Blaine, I wish you hadn’t gone there…
What really is your position? I am very disappointed by the equivocation and confused mumblings of the Jamaica Labour Party over the pending Commission of Enquiry into the Tivoli Gardens massacre. It seems to me that they cannot refuse to participate in the enquiry, whether they believe it will be politically-charged or not. I would like all concerned to consider the best interests of the people of Tivoli Gardens, who have suffered terribly and continue to suffer from the trauma of May, 2010. The Opposition has not yet figured out what its position is – although the current Member of Parliament for the area and former Mayor Desmond McKenzie has been strident enough. He wants to pay off the victims’ families. But it’s not all about compensation, is it? My view, for what it’s worth: The former JLP administration should face the music. Let the truth come out. We owe it to the people of Tivoli Gardens and to the Jamaican people.
Final report? By the way, if the Public Defender‘s report on Tivoli Gardens was an interim one… Any news on when we can expect a final one? Or will that be the commissioners’ report? At a rough guess, then, I suspect we can wait at least another couple of years for that.
A new PS, but… Now there is a new Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of National Security. His name is Major General Stewart Saunders. Does that name sound familiar? Yes, he was the Chief of Defence Staff during the Tivoli “incursion” by security forces, including the soldiers he commanded, in May 2010. As the Gleaner noted in an editorial – and as Jamaicans for Justice has also pointed out with concern – as top civil servant in the Ministry Major General Saunders might have a hand in the planning of the Commission of Enquiry into Tivoli. But is this correct, or would it in fact be the Ministry of Justice that would be in charge? I wonder.
OUR wherefore art thou? Sorry to maul Shakespeare like that, but why is the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) seemingly dithering around over the 360 mw energy project? They seem to be moving at the pace of a snail on tranquilizers. I agree 100% with Mr. Chris Zacca, President of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica: “The Government needs to treat our energy crisis as a national emergency. Construction of the new 360 mw generating plant needs to get started as soon as possible, as a first long overdue step,” he says. Instead, the OUR has decided it will now take the entire summer to evaluate the proposals. No sense of urgency, whatsoever. What say you, my dear (still favorite) Minister Paulwell?
Is downtown really safe at all? Just as the downtown business district was getting itself in gear on Monday morning, all hell broke loose in a market on Pechon Street. Two alleged gunmen and a woman vendor who was allegedly caught in crossfire lay dead. What a start to the working week. One wonders whether Digicel sometimes has twinges of regret at relocating its head office downtown? Because this certainly isn’t the first major daytime shootout in recent times.
At it again: The Jamaica Observer presumably enjoyed stirring up the anti-gay sentiments that remain bobbing on the surface of Jamaican society – like untreated sewage in the sea. It printed another provocative article (again with no byline – I wonder why) about Sunday’s Moral Indignation March in Montego Bay by a group of churches. In case you forgot, the churches have finally united on the issue of proposed amendments to the archaic anti-buggery laws. Anyway, among the dozens of comments at the end of the article, the outpourings of vitriol (along the lines of “Boom Bye Bye” ) laced with religious fervor are extremely unpleasant. As always. Oh, but I am told Jamaica is not as homophobic as it used to be…
Checking in on… our Reverend Education Minister Ronald Thwaites. He doesn’t seem to be faring too well after all these tussles with the teachers. I wouldn’t use the word “embattled” yet, but…
Lush green landscape, and skulduggery: How beautiful the district of Fontabel in Trelawny looked on television this evening – a quiet country road with tall green grasses on each side. But all kinds of madness happened there on Sunday, involving an abduction, a car-jacking, a dead District Constable and the inevitable trading of gunshots. Jamaica is becoming increasingly surreal.
Body language: Ministers Bunting, Pickersgill and Junior Minister Robinson certainly looked down in the mouth (literally) as they gave a press briefing following the People’s National Party’s National Executive Council meeting on the weekend – which was closed to the press. I wonder what the Prime Minister said? The orange ones seemed very downbeat.
Who benefits from this working visit? The First Lady of Burkina Faso is in Jamaica this week. She has had some photo-ops with Information Minister Sandrea Falconer and hopefully her visit will be more productive as it continues. Is this a result of the big group excursion to Africa, headed by our Prime Minister? Is it what they call a “fact-finding visit”?
Quick kudos to:
- Mr. Javed Jaghai, for his courage. As we say on Twitter: #thatisall.
- Dr. Kevin Harvey for his support of a review of Jamaica’s abortion laws. As Youth Minister Lisa Hanna noted, there has been much debate over Jamaica’s ban on abortion for many years. Time for some sensible voices to speak out.
- Women’s Media Watch for their ongoing series of interesting and very useful workshops for non-governmental organizations, with their dynamic trainer Ms. Georgia Love. The gender-focused NGO has been around for 25 years and is taking a leap forward. Its vision is “for a more peaceful, caring society that provides equal opportunities for all.” Tune in to their weekly program on Roots FM 96.1 (Thursdays, 5 – 6 p.m.) Tonight’s topic is “Women who Mean Business.” Interested in learning more? WMW is on Facebook and Twitter (@WMWJamaica) and at http://womensmediawatch.org. Tel: 926-0882/881-5177. WMW welcomes volunteers at this time!
- Gleaner columnist Dennie Quill for his column on the plight of the impoverished elderly. I have noticed, too, in the hustle of the city, elderly people who have fallen on hard times, who try to hold on to their dignity while asking for help with food. It is very painful, and their numbers seem to be increasing. Please, please see if you can help them when you see them.
- All those involved in the annual Kingston on the Edge (KOTE) arts festival – which is ongoing. It’s a vibrant and thought-provoking spread of art, film, music and everything else laid out for our delectation and delight. A great deal of work by a great many people, and proof that Kingston’s cultural scene is not to be ignored. In fact, it jumps up and demands to be seen – and heard! Well done and as a Kingston resident – grateful thanks for this stimulation of the senses! Look up the schedule here: http://www.kingstonontheedge.org
- All the winners in the Jamaica Environmental Action Awards organized by the Jamaica Environment Trust. Port Antonio High School took quite a haul. The awardees, and the amazing displays by schools participating in JET’s awesome Schools Environment Programme were very impressive. And it’s wonderful that they have great sponsors on board – especially their top sponsor, Total, who support the awards faithfully every year.
- All the kind blog followers, Facebook friends and tweeps who wished me luck for my DELF B-2 exam. I am slowly recovering from it this evening – it nearly drained the life out of me. But I did my best and hugely appreciated all the kind “bonne chance” messages!
Over the past week, the following Jamaican citizens have lost their lives to crime and violence, leaving grief and suffering behind. The “trend” of beheadings (ugh, sorry, yes, à la Taliban) continues, and is attributed to gang rivalries. To me, however, all lives lost – whether gangsters, their families or supporters – are equally tragic. Reporting a killing as “gang-related” doesn’t lessen the sadness and significance. Not to me, anyway.
Damion Atkinson, 22, Bonitto Meadows/Mandeville, Manchester
District Constable Jovan Lisle, 22, Wakefield, Trelawny
Donald Whyte, 36, Annotto Bay, St. Mary
Richard Williams, Mafoota, St. James
Hopeton Cunningham, 39, Church Pen, St. Catherine
Marlene Thompson, 37, Portmore, St. Catherine
Astley Forrester, Negril, Westmoreland
Killed by the police:
Oshane Bentley, 23, Pechon Street, downtown Kingston
Sonia Daley, Pechon Street, downtown Kingston
Jason Watt, 22, Pechon Street, downtown Kingston
Wayne Campbell, Knockpatrick, Manchester
Unidentified man, Claremont, St. Ann
Related links and articles (local blog posts in purple)
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Senate-ends-prematurely_14547650 Senate ends prematurely: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Civil-Society-Coalition-welcomes-Spalding-Market-update_14530351 Civil Society Coalition welcomes Spalding Market update: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads-117/34328 PM breaks ground for basic school in home community: Jamaica Information Service
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Keeping-up-with-the-Diaspora_14535442 Keeping up with the diaspora: Barbara Gloudon column/Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/The-JLS-s-Literacy-Intervention-programme_14523529 The Jamaica Library Service’s literacy intervention program: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Yallahs-High-School-brawl-leaves-two-students-hospitalised Yallahs High School brawl leaves two students hospitalized: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Hall-bats-for-flogging-in-schools_14535408 Hall bats for flogging in schools: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Abandoned-Seaview-building-to-house-technical-high-school Abandoned Seaview building to house technical high school: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads-1/34341 First Lady of Burkina Faso arrives for working visit: Jamaica Information Service
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/20-year-old-woman-accused-of-forcing-14-year-old-girl-into-prostitution_14536429 20-year-0ld woman accused of forcing 14-year-old girl into prostitution: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Gays-promise–hell-and-powder-house–Sunday_14524925 Gays promise “hell and powder house” on Sunday: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Christians-protest-Court-challenge-to-buggery-law Christians protest Court challenge to buggery law: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Buggery-law-challenge-hits-snag_14576825 Buggery law challenge hits snag: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Church-council-still-has-no-official-position-on-homosexuality Church council still has no official position on homosexuality: Jamaica Observer
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130624/lead/lead1.html Shame on Church: Clergyman charges Christians to focus on serious crimes: Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130626/cleisure/cleisure4.html Starving seniors: Dennie Quill column/Gleaner
http://www.caribjournal.com/2013/06/26/op-ed-how-to-contain-jamaican-crime/ How to contain Jamaican crime: Kent Gammon op-ed/Carib Journal
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130625/cleisure/cleisure1.html Reconsider General Saunders’ appointment: Gleaner editorial
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Doctor-supports-call-for-review-of-anti-abortion-law_14536657 Doctor supports call for review of anti-abortion law: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads-106/34366 Ban on smoking not intended to harass smokers: Jamaica Information Service
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/SolWind-looks-to-cut-those-energy-bills_14524673 SolWind looks to cut those energy bills: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Ja–US-team-up-on-climate-change–environmental-best-practices_14544982 Ja, U.S. team up on climate change, environmental best practices: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads-120/34362 Contribution to Sectoral Debate by Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change: Jamaica Information Service
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Region-falling-down-on-management-of-environment_14530310 Region falling down on management of the environment: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Jamaica-Air-Shuttle-shuts-down-airline_14521967 Jamaica Air Shuttle shuts down: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Playing-cricket-on-a-volleyball-court_14534177 Playing cricket on a volleyball court: Dennis Chung column/Jamaica Observer
http://corvedacosta.com/my-june/ My June: corvedacosta.com
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/The-king-is-here-_14547250 The king is here! Hope Zoo finally gets lion… Jamaica Observer
This week has been pretty intense so far. I feel like sitting down in a quiet corner for half a day, but it doesn’t seem possible. Too much going on.
If I hear the word “diaspora” one more time… The local media has swamped us with reports and live broadcasts from the Fifth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, which began on Sunday night with a prime ministerial speech and has now concluded. I think. There were, I am sure, many opportunities for networking, as there always are. Gallons of coffee and tons of Danish pastries consumed. I really, really do hope that some concrete projects and collaborations come out of this meeting. It’s been ten years since the first conference; now we need everyone to work together. I think the Jamaicans who come here from the United States, Canada and the UK are all well-meaning, want to “give back” - and want to make money. But they have been wooed by successive governments, only to face ridiculous red-tape hurdles when they make their move. Meanwhile, apart from the bureaucracy, the two major deterrents for investors from overseas are still A) crime and B) the perception of corruption. It has been that way for the past ten years…
Crime on their doorstep: Meanwhile, I hope none of the conference participants witnessed the murder of a tour bus operator, who was gunned down in front of the Pelican Restaurant on Montego Bay‘s so-called “hip strip” early this evening. I hope, too, that they did not hear about the fourteen-year-old student who stabbed a thirteen-year-old in front of their high school near the same city today.
A pretty online magazine: Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna made her presentation in the sectoral debate in Parliament this week. In case her words were missed, she produced her speech in the form of an online magazine, with the title “The Courage to do Things Differently: A Dialogue of Truth and Reconstruction in Youth and Culture.” You can find the link below. The cover features a photograph of – yes, you’ve guessed it, in an arty soft focus. The online document is sprinkled with some beautifully posed photographs featuring You Know Who, including one of her frowning prettily as she plays a game of dominoes with three young male constituents. I expect they let her win. As to the content, there are a lot of good intentions and little detail. Truth? Yes, let’s have some truth, and she did try to be honest about the failings of her government and previous ones. She is “committed” to improving the lot of our young people (which could hardly be more desperate) and so has commissioned the building of a “retrofitted” prison for the most desperate of them. There is much more that I could say – but another time.
Pro-choice: Ms. Hanna did, however, and to her great credit, voice her support for a review of abortion laws in her presentation, which made us all sit up. Some of us started applauding her remarks on the topic – which amounted to very little. Abortion has been on and off the table for discussion for decades; whenever it is on the table, it is quickly brushed off again. I will applaud when – if – Ms. Hanna translates these words into action.
Man’s (scary) best friend: There have been numerous incidents with stray dogs and dogs that their owners cannot or will not control. Now a security guard’s pit bull dog attacked a woman in busy Half Way Tree this week, biting her in the thigh. Pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans and the like are not always sweet and lovable. Pit bulls, in particular, are responsible for about half of all dog attacks in the United States. Trinidad‘s Parliament has just passed a Dangerous Dogs Bill, which proposes to issue licenses for pit bulls and a couple of other breeds. In the UK and elsewhere there are strict laws on owning pit bulls. There are enough dangers, walking on the Jamaican street; we don’t need crazy dogs that security guards cannot control properly.
The end of an era: I have not mentioned yet that the Mutual Gallery will close down at the end of this month. Its director noted in an email, “We are very grateful to the owners of the building who have allowed us to remain in their premises free of cost for over ten years. Sadly this arrangement is now coming to an end.” She pointed out, “The Mutual Gallery has been in operation for 38 years. It was created in October 1975 by the Jamaica Mutual Life Assurance Society, whose corporate philosophy was to embrace activities that contributed to national development and were also profitable investments. The donation of the space was a philanthropic gesture from the Jamaica Mutual Life Assurance Society as a contribution to the development of the Arts in Jamaica. At that time it was called the Mutual Life Gallery. The commitment of the Jamaica Mutual Life Assurance Society went so far as to specifically create the beautiful gallery space we have called home for the past fifteen years. The operations of the Gallery continued under a new management committee after Jamaica Mutual Life Assurance Society folded in 2000 and The Mutual Gallery and Art Centre was incorporated on 23 October 2001. Since then we have benefited from the goodwill of AIC (Jamaica) Ltd who has supported the arts by continuing to provide the gallery space free of cost to the Mutual Gallery.” Well, it seems the goodwill has come to an end. The small building with the sturdy doors, near my old workplace in the former Mutual Life Building, is closing rather suddenly, it seems. It is truly sad. So many superb exhibitions showcasing Jamaica’s considerable creativity have taken place there. I remember also its earlier incarnations in the main building, before the purpose-built gallery was created. And in the rush, someone stole a small painting – see a picture of it here. How mean is that. I wonder what the building will be used for now, after only fifteen years of existence. Jamaica’s visual arts scene is a shadow of what it was when we first started living in Kingston, 25 years ago.
How are we doing on the Millennium Goals? Our neighbors in Guyana recently received special recognition from the United Nations for attaining the first Millennium Development Goal – that of halving the number of hungry people in the country. St. Vincent and the Grenadines have also achieved this goal. This is well ahead of the 2015 deadline. I wonder how Jamaica and other Caribbean Community members are doing on this and the other goals?
Getting tips from the Queen: No, not that Queen. National Security Minister Peter Bunting has apparently met with a reggae singer called Queen Ifrica, who recently sang a song called “Corrupt System.” Her Royal Highness sang that she had some advice for the Minister about how to fight crime and corruption in the police force; he has since sought an audience with her. A sign of desperation, or a good idea? At least he is listening, but I wonder if he will tell us what came out of their tête-à-tête.
Panic over? There have been various and to me slightly confusing reports on the positive drug test for Jamaica’s beloved athlete, Veronica Campbell Brown. It seems things might not be as bad as when the news first broke and a wave of #prayforVCB semi-hysteria swept through the Jamaican Twitterland. Let’s wait to hear more details. It’s a bit technical.
Boundless tiefing: Poor Jamaica Public Service Company! They seem determined to fight the plague of electricity theft which has been rampant in some communities for many years. Now they have discovered illegal wiring running for four miles in the community of Flanker, on the outskirts of Montego Bay. That’s a pretty long run…
A few bunches of Petchary flowers to be handed to:
The Ministry of Justice, who have opened a shelter for victims of human trafficking. This has been a long time coming, but better late than never. National Security Minister Peter Bunting announced just today that the U.S. State Department has moved Jamaica from a “Tier Two watch list” to a “Tier Two.” The police have been making great efforts and are to be applauded.
The Barita Education Foundation quietly does very good work, with a special program to get parents involved in the education of their children. The Foundation recently sponsored its fourth annual Parent-Teachers’ Association sports rally at the Dunrobin Community Centre and Sports Park in Kingston.
The American International School of Kingston - in particular, Ms. Ani Rubin and the children of the kindergarten class – who collected and donated lots of foodstuff to Eve for Life. Program Director Joy Crawford and Executive Director Pat Watson gratefully received the food, which will help sustain some of our most vulnerable young women and their children. The children discussed and asked questions about the issue of HIV/AIDS (so young!) with Joy and Pat while the food was loaded into the van. Thank you!
And on that note… To all my Jamaican readers – please support Eve for Life’s special benefit performance of Nomaddz “Breadfruit is The New Bread, Baby” at the Theatre Place, Haining Road, Kingston 6 this Sunday (June 23). Show starts at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are J$1,5oo. Thank you!
Please find below the names of those who have lost their lives to violence in the past three days – a total of nine, including those killed by the police. My heart goes out to the victims’ families and to all those who loved them:
Kwame Cunningham, East Street/Sutton Street, downtown Kingston
Milton Cunningham, 72, Rae Town, Kingston
Jamila Dawkins, 13, Anchovy High School, St. James
Nicolas Beckford, 35, Catherine Hall, St. James
Roy Reid, Gloucester Avenue/Montego Bay, St. James
Unidentified boy, 16, Pamphret, St. Thomas
Shaun Black, 27, Denbigh, Clarendon
Killed by police:
Mario Barrett, 33, Seaward Drive, Kingston
Jermaine Clarke, 30, Warsop, Trelawny
Related links and articles:
http://rjrnewsonline.com/sports/jaaa-to-handle-disciplinary-hearing-of-campbell-brown JAAA to handle disciplinary hearing of Campbell Brown: RJR News
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130619/lead/lead4.html Meet us halfway – overseas Jamaicans urge government to make it easier to do business: Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130618/letters/letters5.html Diaspora Congress is all hot air: Letter of the Day/Gleaner
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/-Oh-boy–here-we-go-again-_14518991 ”Oh boy, here we go again”: commentary on march against gays: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Pitbull-attacks-woman-in-Half-Way-Tree_14519289 Pitbull attacks woman in Half Way Tree: Jamaica Observer
http://issuu.com/moycja/docs/the_courage_to_do_things_differentl/26?e=8583348%2F3583586 The courage to do things differently – Youth & Culture Minister Lisa Hanna‘s presentation in the Sectoral Debate
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/hanna-wants-abortion-law-reviewed Hanna wants abortion law reviewed: RJR News
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Wires-run-four-miles-in-St-James-electricity-theft Wires run four miles in St. James electricity theft: Jamaica Observer
http://petchary.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=7340&action=edit GSAT results cause grave concern: Gleaner
http://jamaica-star.com/thestar/20130619/news/news2.html Minister Bunting to reveal details about meeting with Queen Ifrica: Jamaica Star
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Portmore-facing-flooding-danger–say-mayor–deputy_14517980 Portmore facing flooding danger says Mayor, Deputy: Jamaica Observer
http://hill60bump.com/2013/06/18/is-the-8th-wonder-of-the-world-caribbean/ Is the Eighth Wonder of the World Caribbean? Hill60bump.com
Around the Corner: Jamaica Diaspora Conference 2013 (repeatingislands.com)
Too hot for June: Midweek, June 13, 2013 (petchary.wordpress.com)
The work of self-taught painter and sculptor Everald Brown is best understood in the context of religious Rastafari and African-Jamaican spirituality. Like many other religious Rastafarians, Brother Brown was attracted to the teachings and ritual practices of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and in the early 1960s established the Assembly of the Living, a self-styled mission of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church which was located at 82 ½ Spanish Town Road.
My week got off to a great start with a donation to Eve for Life from the Optimist Club of Sunset, Liguanea on Monday morning. We are indeed tremendously grateful for the gifts donated, and it was a huge pleasure to welcome President Lavern Brown, three members of the Walker family and Patrick Prendergast, a Facebook friend I had never met before! There are indeed some good and kind people in the world. Pictures to follow…
Are they serious? The Bureau of Standards, whose mission is (presumably) to maintain standards for us poor ignorant consumers, has been busy testing more toilet tissue. Remember the #TissueIssue? And guess what? It has found five more brands that are contaminated. This makes…four plus five…nine brands that are on their “No-Wipe” list. Problem is, the Bureau in its wisdom will not reveal the names of this new batch of miscreants, either. It is concerned about lawsuits from the manufacturers. So let’s worry about the manufacturers then. We will just sit there like idiots, in the dark.
Won’t happen again: It is incredibly sad that a World War I cannon has been stolen from a resident of Gordon Town, who treasured this as a memory of old friends as well as for its historical/cultural value. But no, the vampires are at it again, tiefing everything in sight. Presumably this is the scrap metal trade at work again. And speaking of scrap metal, we have learnt that the Transport Authority, in its wisdom, sold hundreds of motor cars that it had impounded for many years, mostly for scrap, in 2008. It says it did not profit from this sale. A representative said that they will make sure in future to obey their own rules – to auction cars every six months. Which they clearly had not been doing.
Murders this month: According to the Gleaner’s intrepid and seasoned crime reporter Glenroy Sinclair, up to May 13 we have already had thirty murders, give or take one or two. What is happening? Some seem to be domestic matters, others gangs, many others robberies. Most of the time, the motive is not clear. One thing we do know is that most of the murders will not be “cleared up” - in other words, solved - although if an alleged murderer is shot dead by the police, I think they count it as a clear-up. February has been the bloodiest month this year so far, with 92.
Random: The violence seems to just leap out at you. A man kills his partner because of jealousy or some argument; a policeman allegedly attacks a schoolboy who was studying with his daughter at his house and caught “in a compromising position” with said daughter; a man is shot dead while trying to rescue his neighbors from their burning house. If you care to look, these random acts of violence and aggression continue, day after day. If not reported in the traditional media, you soon hear on the social media when one of these crimes gets too close to home for one of your online friends – like the discovery of a woman’s body next to the Marcus Garvey Youth Information Centre in St. Ann’s Bay where one of my young friends works. I have shared several links below to individual stories, so you get the picture. These incidents have all occurred in the last two or three days.
Jamaica Blog Day: Anniversaries are difficult times for us all when they are remembrances of things that should never have happened. The pain returns. So it is with two adjoining anniversaries next week: On May 22, 2009, fire broke out at the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Centre in St. Ann in the “Office Dormitory” – a space big enough for five people. At the Commission of Enquiry in 2010, Justice Paul Harrison castigated the then Commissioner of Corrections for taking the decision to house 23 girls in this space. On that night, the girls were locked in, because they had been misbehaving. A policeman who actually threw a tear gas canister in the window allegedly exacerbated the fire. Five girls were killed that night and eleven injured; two more girls died later in hospital. Then, on May 23, 2010, security forces invaded the community of Tivoli Gardens in West Kingston in search of Christopher “Dudus” Coke, for whom there was an extradition warrant. We know that at least 75 civilians were killed and many injured; many still bear the physical and psychological wounds. The interim report of the Public Defender into the matter has just been released, and the Simpson Miller administration has announced that it will establish a Commission of Enquiry. No date has yet been set and we do not yet know the parameters of the enquiry. Jamaican bloggers will be writing about police abuses on May 23rd. If you are a blogger, or would like to post an article on Facebook or elsewhere, please join us. We must never forget. We want to make an impact!
The wonderful world of Twitter: I spend some time every day (and sometimes rather late at night) in Twitterland. It is an extraordinary place. There can be flashes of illumination, surprises, much amusement, even shocks. One of my followers, the wonderful comedian, writer and all-round creative person Owen “Blakka” Ellis received a severe jolt when I retweeted an article recently. I am an inveterate retweeter and like to share provocative viewpoints as well as useful information. The tweet asserted,“Black men think that hypermasculinity, sports obsession, extreme homophobia, sexism and belittling women makes a man, a man”. Now, this damning, sweeping generalization struck poor Mr. Ellis to the core. He responded to the original tweeter, and got slapped down at least twice more. Ouch! And ouch again! This compelled Mr. Ellis to write the article below. For the record, I feel Mr. Ellis had a right to protest and was treated harshly. (Oh, you can follow me on @petchary).
Scrambling for jobs: Figures released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica this week show a 37 per cent unemployment rate among youth. The overall rate is 14.2 per cent. However, we know that these numbers are even higher in inner city communities and rural districts where jobs are extremely scarce. The large and profitable Jamaican firm GraceKennedy (GK) recently advertised ten internships, and received 780 applications. Yes, the job situation is desperate. As GK’s CEO Don Wehby says, local firms should offer more internships. At least, then, young people would have something on their resumé (how do you get work experience if there are no jobs?)
Boundless patriotism: Meanwhile the great patriot Rev. Stanley Redwood, who just stepped down as President of the Senate, has responded to a very sarcastic article in the Gleaner regarding his pending migration to Canada. Reverend Redwood clearly does not have much faith in the Jamaican education system. He pleads, “Many Jamaicans have sought opportunities for their children overseas. I do not believe there is any shame in seeking the best for my talented children. I am sure you would have done no differently.” But then, it is a fact that most government ministers and members of Parliament do send their children to school overseas; and when they are sick, they go overseas for treatment. They have such touching faith in the Jamaican education and health systems. And in fact, in Jamaica itself. And yet, we must “unite and build…”
The Sufferer: On top of all that, during a speech this week our Prime Minister decided to take up the cross of suffering, pointing out that she is the most criticized person in Jamaica, upon whose head all “negativity” is heaped. This was part of a speech in which she was encouraging her audience to hold their heads up high in the face of adversity. Madam Prime Minister, this air of martyrdom does not become you. In fact, it is embarrassing and unnecessary. Almost as embarrassing and unnecessary as those sinister-looking sunglasses that she has been wearing for years now. Not a good look. Where are her advisors?
The Silent One: I have not seen or heard Minister of National Security Peter Bunting on any newscast recently. Is he OK?
Since Sunday the following murders have been reported. It is heart-breaking. My condolences to the families and friends.
Shelly-Ann Maxwell, 21, Bombay Stud Farm/Bernard Lodge, St. Catherine
Cordel Steer, 22, Bombay Stud Farm/Bernard Lodge, St. Catherine
Unidentified man, George Lane, Kingston
Garth Simpson, 39, Gayle, St. Mary
Janice Burrell, 38, Islington, St. Mary
Leroy Robinson, 54, Little London, Westmoreland
Adina Bell, 36, St. Ann’s Bay, St. Ann
Killed by police:
Desmond McCalla, Bull Bay, St. Andrew
http://jablogday.tumblr.com Jamaica Blog Day
http://www.solarbuzzjamaica.com/2013/05/removal-of-illegal-connections-to-sugar-factories-to-cost-govt-200m-no-more-free-light/ Removal of illegal connections to sugar factories to cost government $200 million. No more free light! solarbuzzjamaica.com
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/five-toilet-paper-brands-pulled-due-to-high-levels-of-bacteria Five toilet paper brands pulled due to high levels of bacteria: RJR News
http://delanoseiv.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/wanted-full-disclosure-in-ritz-carlton-affair/ Wanted: Full disclosure in Ritz-Carlton affair: delanoseiv.wordpress.com
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130513/lead/lead22.html Playa replaces Ritz with Park Hyatt: Gleaner
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/protest-action-escalates-at-complant Protest action escalates at COMPLANT: RJR News
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/-We-will-not-flinch-_142522042013-05-14T00-04-44 BITU head asserts commitment to workers’ rights: Jamaica Observer
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/new-law-paves-way-for-government-to-pass-imf-test New law paves way for government to pass IMF test: RJR News
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130515/news/news1.html Exploring logistics hubs: Gleaner
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/The-rightness-of-the-Tivoli-enquiry_14252198 The rightness of the Tivoli enquiry: Jamaica Observer editorial
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Let-us-have-a-Garrison-Enquiry_14251339 Let us have a garrison enquiry: Jean Lowrie-Chin column/Jamaica Observer
http://digjamaica.com/blog/2013/05/13/a-look-at-jamaicas-human-rights-situation/ A look at Jamaica‘s human rights situation: diGJamaica.com
http://jamaica-star.com/thestar/20130513/news/news12.html Wanted fugitive killed in shoot-out: Jamaica Star
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130514/lead/lead8.html Two persons killed per day: Gleaner
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Terror-in-Clifton_14268531 Gunmen invade community, fire-bomb five houses: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Murdered-for-good-deed_14271138 Gunman kills hotel worker trying to rescue neighbor: Jamaica Observer
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=43114 Policeman allegedly attacks schoolboy with pipe iron and gun: Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130515/lead/lead1.html Massive MoBay raid: Drugs, cash seized in 11-hour operation; Canadian held: Gleaner
http://speakmytruthwritemylife.blogspot.com/2012/11/let-he-that-is-without-sin-cast-first.html Let he that is without sin cast the first stone: speakmytruthwritemylife.blogspot.com
http://jamaica-star.com/thestar/20130513/news/news10.html Residents shocked by chopping death: Jamaica Star
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130514/letters/letters1.html Don’t push gay men into closet marriages: Letter of the Day/Gleaner
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Cars-sold-as-scrap-metal_14263174 Cars sold as scrap metal: Jamaica Observer
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130515/lead/lead93.html ”No profit made”: Transport Authority did not gain from sale of impounded motor vehicles: Gleaner
http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/mobay-mayor-lashes-out-at-detractors MoBay Mayor lashes out at detractors: RJR News
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130514/cleisure/cleisure1.html The Redwood factor: Gleaner editorial
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130515/letters/letters2.html I’m a patriot, but family comes first: Letter to the Editor from Rev. Stanley Redwood
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130513/news/news1.html Redwood’s resignation and Vision 2030/The Gavel: Gleaner
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads-117/33851 Prime Minister urges Jamaicans to assist the most vulnerable: Jamaica Information Service
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Prison-programme-providing-women-with-useful-skills_14260950 Prison program providing women with useful skills: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Amradale-report Brutal! Judge blames cop for starting deadly fire (February, 2010): Jamaica Observer
http://jamaica-star.com/thestar/20130515/features/features1.html Damning declaration about black men: Blakka Ellis column/Jamaica Star
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/The-cost-of-inaction_14223127 The cost of inaction on climate change: Jamaica Observer
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130514/lead/lead6.html World War I cannon stolen: Gleaner
http://cbcburke9.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/dancehall-mashing-up-hell-knows/ Dancehall mashing up hell knows: cbcburke9.wordpress.com
http://digjamaica.com/blog/2013/05/10/image-of-the-week-seaforths-artistic-excellence/ Image of the Week: Seaforth’s artistic excellence: diGJamaica.com