Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 UWI and others need to be serious about rainwater harvesting http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/UWI-and-others-need-to-be-serious-about-rainwater-harvesting_19226006 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> With the country facing one of the most serious droughts in the last 20 years, there is a need for renewed focus to be placed on the issue of rainwater harvesting to ensure that, when the heavens open, we make the most of the opportunity to store the precious resource.<br /> <br /> Rainwater harvesting should be an important activity for residents of the Corporate Area as the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew are located in the rain shadow of the Blue Mountains and thus these parishes receive less rainfall per year when compared to northern and eastern parishes.<br /> <br /> Furthermore, the increased unreliability of the National Water Commission and the escalating cost for trucked water from private enterprises should be reasons which push residents and companies to harvest rainwater.<br /> <br /> Policymakers, technocrats and residents of these parishes need to make greater efforts to collect and store rainwater for purposes such as flushing toilets, washing utensils, clothes items and for agricultural and industrial activities. As a part of the thrust for sustainable, climate conscious development, the Government should make greater efforts to encourage residents and private and public institutions to invest resources, time. and thought for a rapid expansion of the rainwater harvesting operations.<br /> <br /> Policymakers, technocrats and residents of these parishes need to make greater efforts to collect and store rainwater for purposes such as flushing toilets, washing utensils, clothes items and for agricultural and industrial activities. As a part of the thrust for sustainable, climate conscious development, the Government should make greater efforts to encourage residents and private and public institutions to invest resources, time. and thought for a rapid expansion of the rainwater harvesting operations.<br /> <br /> One of my major disappointments in this matter is the visionless and myopic thinking of the University of the West Indies' management committee with regard to rainwater harvesting. In the past three weeks, as the rain fell heavily for a time, a grand opportunity for rainwater harvesting was provided. This opportunity was however not grasped because there are, from my investigations, no facilities available for rainwater harvesting in any department or faculty on the campus. With just a few days for the commencement of the first semester of the 2015/2016 school year, students may be denied access to bathrooms in critical locations, chiefly because of the lack of water. I say the thinking is myopic because droughts and water shortages are not new to the university, but no serious step is being made to combat the repercussions of these events, which are mostly experienced by the student population.<br /> <br /> It is sad that as water runs freely from many roofs on campus, students are forced to tighten their bladder muscles or do the unsanitary thing. The university needs to do more in this regard or we will continue to suffer as climate change and its effects are felt yearly. I certainly hope that as a new hall is constructed on the campus, new policies are implemented for rainwater harvesting.<br /> <br /> Maurice Mills<br /> <br /> Dressikie PA<br /> <br /> UWI and others need to be serious about rainwater harvesting<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12143722/UWI-GATES_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, September 02, 2015 12:00 AM Why so PC, Minister? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Why-so-PC--Minister-_19226222 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I don't always agree with Minister Ronald Thwaites, but the comment he made recently that parents shouldn't send "leggo beast" children to school was taken way out of context.<br /> <br /> I see people commenting and reacting with the usual Bible verses and talking about 'suffer the little children', which must've really hit a nerve with the minister, who is also a Deacon, forcing him to apologise.<br /> <br /> We don't have to be so politically correct all the time; the truth hurt sometimes, and the minister spoke the truth! These unruly children are products of bad parenting, poverty and poor socialisation, they go to school and wreak havoc on the system and other children and eventually get expelled. They disrupt the entire learning process and make it difficult for others to learn. Expelling is one possibility, but can't be the long-term solution. Teachers already have their hands full, trying to impart knowledge with limited resources, they shouldn't be responsible for curbing violence in schools and trying to rehabilitate unruly children.<br /> <br /> Yes, they are still children and should not be excluded from the system entirely, as these are the same ones who will eventually grow up hopeless and worthless, becoming criminals, wreaking even more havoc on society. There should be special places or camps for these children to receive special remedial learning, where they can learn with special teaching methods and skill training. They have to develop self-esteem so they can eventually become useful, productive and normal citizens.<br /> <br /> The normal classroom is not they place for "leggo beasts", and I don't believe the minister has anything to apologise for.<br /> <br /> P Chin<br /> <br /> chin_p@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> Why so PC, Minister?<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124851/THWAITES-1_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, September 02, 2015 12:00 AM Sometimes we should 'follow fashion' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Sometimes-we-should--follow-fashion-_19226872 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Noel Mitchell letter to the editor, in the Monday, August 31, 2015 issue, is quite right that the Government seems to be promoting coal-fired power plants at JAMALCO and &mdash; although he didn't mention it &mdash; Goat Islands. They must be living in a cave in the Dark Ages to be so proud of such coal-power plants.<br /> <br /> The contribution to global warming of coal is huge, and the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is projecting a consequence of 1.2 metres (or about 4 feet) of sea level rise by 2100, which will obliterate and submerge Negril and much more.<br /> <br /> Mitchell however, might be better off suggesting that we approach China, rather than Germany, to assist in building a major solar power plant, because the Chinese are busy building out the 25 square kilometers (six solar towers x 135MW = 810 MW) Delingha solar thermal power plant and the huge solar panel power plant in the Gobi desert, whose rapid growth can be seen in the NASA photos from orbit.<br /> <br /> We should go with the flow. Follow fashion, so to speak.<br /> <br /> Howard Chin, PE<br /> <br /> Member, Jamaica Institution of Engineers<br /> <br /> hmc14@cwjamaica.com<br /> <br /> Sometimes we should 'follow fashion'<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, September 02, 2015 12:00 AM Enforce punishment, harshly http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Enforce-punishment--harshly_19226800 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> With much concern about penalties for crimes affecting our nation, I propose that penalties for crimes be imposed speedily, and that defenders of criminals who employ delay tactics be regarded as accomplices after the fact and may be criminally charged.<br /> <br /> Execution should be carried out for those sentenced to death not by hanging, but by firing squad, electric chair, or lethal injection.<br /> <br /> For gun crime not causing death, the fingers that pulled the trigger should be amputated.<br /> <br /> In cases of rape, particularly against young women under the age of consent, elderly women, young boys, when convicted in court beyond the shadow of a doubt, the offenders should be whipped or castrated at their choice, whichever of the two they desire.<br /> <br /> White collar criminals should serve their sentence by cleaning drains and public parks, refurbishing public buildings, etc.<br /> <br /> Punishment should be carried out expeditiously, and not delayed by appeal and strategy.<br /> <br /> I appeal to authorities having to do with enforcement of penalties to swiftly take all necessary action so that penalties can truly be a deterrent to would-be offenders.<br /> <br /> Bancraft St E Anglin<br /> <br /> Ensom City,<br /> <br /> St Catherine<br /> <br /> Enforce punishment, harshly<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, September 02, 2015 12:00 AM Make Beijing 2015 more than a show http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Make-Beijing-2015-more-than-a-show_19226713 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> In watching the opening ceremony of the IAAF World Championships, I was awe-struck by the Chinese performance. Beijing was splendidly showcased and reflected, the many thousand man-hours poured into planning, designing, organising and executing same. Take a bow, Beijing, it was a fantastic display.<br /> <br /> The Jamaican athletes electrified the Championships. We had the scintillating Usain Bolt, the dynamo Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, and the meteorite Danielle Williams. The top performing and veteran co-captains Veronica Campbell- Brown and Asafa Powell motivated and held the team, resulting in three gold medals in the relays.<br /> <br /> All the athletes represented us with distinction and gave the Lord prominence in their interviews. However, mention must be made of the warrior spirit of Novlene Williams- Mills and the American Aries Merritt. May the Lord keep them going forward.<br /> <br /> Finally, God be praised and may we translate Beijing 2015 into every aspect of the Jamaican society.<br /> <br /> Andrea Dunk<br /> <br /> andrea.d7774@gmail.com<br /> <br /> Make Beijing 2015 more than a show<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, September 02, 2015 12:00 AM Pay cops fortnightly, reduce temptation http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Pay-cops-fortnightly--reduce-temptation_19226801 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> When will the Government find a solution to the police corruption problem? Are they even entertaining suggestions to solving the problem? If they are, then I have one.<br /> <br /> Why does the Government pay its civil servants once a month? Most employers in the United States pay their workers twice per month and those workers have a hard time stretching that money for two weeks. I can only imagine how hard it is to for Jamaican civil servants to stretch their meagre salary for a month. So, here you have a police officer working the streets, broke, and still has two weeks to go before he/she gets paid again. With most working people live from one pay cheque to the next, can you see how easy it is for them to get corrupted?<br /> <br /> The Government needs to find a way to ensure that at least those in law enforcement get paid twice a month. This will not make every crooked cop straight, but it will keep the honest ones honest.<br /> <br /> I hope this suggestion, like most from the Jamaican Diaspora, does not fall on deaf ears.<br /> <br /> Denzil Martin<br /> <br /> denvilmartin@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> Pay cops fortnightly, reduce temptation<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, September 02, 2015 12:00 AM Thank you, 'Money Talk Hackathon' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/-p-Thank-you---Money-Talk-Hackathon---p---_19226503 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> In appreciation of the Ministry of Youth and Culture's immense contribution to national development, unparalleled patriotism, loyalty to democratic ideals, and basic principles of good governance, we, the youth of St Thomas Parish Youth Council wish to state our gratitude for the hosting of the economic youth forum. The effort has given us hope of a rescue mission for Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Young people constitute a majority proportion of the population, commonly referred to as the 'youth bulge'. This demographic will result in the largest-ever cohort of young people transitioning into adulthood. All indicators point to the fact that, young people will be exposed to greater challenges, hence greater collaboration is important. It is based on these facts that it's essential our leaders consider young people as one of their most treasured assets to ensure future prosperity and growth.<br /> <br /> The two Coaster buses from St Thomas was a result of our enthusiastic appreciation for this forum; a forum that, indeed, gave us the opportunity to not only gain useful knowledge on the economic growth projection/strategy, but also an opportunity to ask "tough economic questions" that some would say are burning issues. Questions were asked, answers were provided, which further cement our appreciation.<br /> <br /> Minister Hanna noted in a previous interview that the forum is part of a series of initiatives being organised by the ministry to get young people to take up their role in moving the country forward, hence we look forward to similar sessions that will include members from the ministries of education, technology and science.<br /> <br /> The St Thomas Parish Youth Council reaffirms our youth leaders' commitment and willingness to contribute to the parish and national development through partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Culture and stakeholders to promote the advancement of young people for the sustainability and achievement of vision 2030.<br /> <br /> Parish Youth Council of St Thomas<br /> <br /> C/o National Centrd for Youth Development<br /> <br /> Youth Information Office - Paul Bogle High School<br /> <br /> Morant Bay, St Thomas<br /> <br /> St.Thomas_pyc@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> Thank you, 'Money Talk Hackathon'<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124849/LISA-HANNA-01_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, August 31, 2015 2:00 AM Open the gates to our Jamaican DNA... from Syria http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Open-the-gates-to-our-Jamaican-DNA----from-Syria_19226160 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Millions of Syrian citizens, including well-educated professionals, are now in a desperate state &mdash; homeless, shelterless, refugees frantically seeking a new life for themselves and their families. Their country has self-destructed and has fallen into an atrocious state due to the rise of terrorism. Human life means nothing, and even historic monuments, 4,000 years old, have been blown to smithereens.<br /> <br /> Greece, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and many other countries have taken in great numbers of these Syrian refugees among others -- but many are finding it difficult to cope.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Jamaica, whose proud motto is "Out of Many, One People" is far removed from the humanitarian crisis. In a sense, these Syrian people -- like people from some parts of West Africa, the British Isles, India and China -- share our Jamaican DNA.<br /> <br /> More than 100 years ago, after Jamaica staged a successful world fair, several people from Syria and Lebanon immigrated to Jamaica with the intention of making this their home. At that time, the cultural differences between the two countries was no doubt even greater than the cultural difference now.<br /> <br /> Over time these Jamaicans of Syrian descent have contributed to just about every sphere of Jamaican life.<br /> <br /> A sampling of famous Jamaicans of Syrian/Lebanese descent includes:<br /> <br /> In law - Chief Justice Edward Zacca<br /> <br /> In beauty - Lisa Hanna, a former Miss World<br /> <br /> In politics - Lisa Hanna again, but also former Prime Minster Edward Seaga, Richard Azan, and several others<br /> <br /> In aviation - Maria Zaidie, Air Jamaica's first woman pilot<br /> <br /> In the private sector - Chris Zacca was head of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, recently replaced by William Mahfood. Metry Seaga is current head of the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association<br /> <br /> In the security industry - John Azar of KingAlarm<br /> <br /> In charity - Ferdinand Mahfood of Food for the Poor<br /> <br /> In toursim - the extended Issa family, from Abe Issa of Myrtle Bank Hotel right up to Chris Issa of Spanish Court Hotel<br /> <br /> In retail - Gassan Azan of MegaMart, and several others<br /> <br /> In the arts - actor Munair Zacca<br /> <br /> In athletics - Usain Bolt (OK, maybe Usain is not a good example)<br /> <br /> In light of this, maybe it would be a good idea for Jamaica to welcome a new wave of Syrian immigrants to contribute to our nation-building.<br /> <br /> Many of these people share not only Jamaican DNA but also the same last names as several of our Jamaican citizens. To offer some of them hope in their time of desperate need would be like helping members of our own family.<br /> <br /> But given the great contribution that their distant and close relatives have made to Jamaica's progress, apart from being a great humanitarian gesture, it could also be a decision of great self-interest.<br /> <br /> Richard Browne<br /> <br /> St Andrew<br /> <br /> Open the gates to our Jamaican DNA... from Syria<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10246841/Munair-Zacca_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, August 31, 2015 2:00 AM Award OJ to Francis and Mills http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Award-OJ-to-Francis-and-Mills_19226553 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Coaching is the first step on the road to success.<br /> <br /> It is perfected by specialists like Glen Mills and Stephen Francis.<br /> <br /> Our athletes could not have perfected their skills without these specialists, who exercised patience while motivating, and were adept in the physical and mental preparation of the athletes.<br /> <br /> Raw talent alone would have taken our athletes only so far and no further.<br /> <br /> The athletes were like clay in the hands of a potter, being moulded and prepared for the international scene.<br /> <br /> Today, we salute our coaches Glen Mills and Stephen Francis for their service to the nation and for the monumental achievements that were on display for the entire world to see.<br /> <br /> As we approach National Heroes Day, it would be fitting for these men to be considered for nothing less than the Order of Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Webster Edwards<br /> <br /> Kingston 10<br /> <br /> ed@flowja.com<br /> <br /> Award OJ to Francis and Mills<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12138176/GLEN-MILLS-1_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, August 31, 2015 2:00 AM Let's resolve to unite around this greatness http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Let-s-resolve-to-unite-around-this-greatness_19226551 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I want to start by saying congratulations to the entire Jamaican athletics team and the coaching staff that went to Beijing, China, for the recent World Championships. What we saw taking place in Beijing is nothing short of splendid. It was an awesome week of our athletic prowess being paraded worldwide to hundreds sitting in the Bird's Nest and then being streamed to millions around the world.<br /> <br /> Again our sportsmen and sportswomen proved to the world that, without the aid of any banned substance, we "likkle but we tallawah". Nine days of competition and we finished second on the medal table above the great United States of America. This is well worth celebrating.<br /> <br /> With that in mind, having watched a clip of the crowd that gathered in Half-Way-Tree, and following the hundreds of Facebook and Twitter social media updates, I am convinced that sports always, let me repeat, always, unites us as a people. There were people from all over Jamaica who had gathered to cheer on all our athletes in their various races -- win, lose or draw. When I look at this I have to marvel at how great a country we are and, despite our many challenges, despite our political persuasions, and despite our religious differences, that which unites us is greater than that which divides us.<br /> <br /> What we did in Beijing again shows that, although we have little resources, including finances, we can produce such greatness. Let us not treat this unity and coming together as a fleeting moment. Let us resolve as a nation that we can come together. Let us resolve as a nation to be in unison and stand against that which is eating away at the heart of our greatness. As I watch from the diaspora, I cannot but think that every Jamaican from Morant Bay to Negril Point and from Miami to the North Pole must feel proud to be a Jamaican.<br /> <br /> Ralston Chamberlain<br /> <br /> Toronto, Canada<br /> <br /> ralston.chamberlain@alum.utoronto.ca<br /> <br /> Let's resolve to unite around this greatness<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12138187/jtw_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, August 31, 2015 2:00 AM Make it the soundtack of our lives, NCB http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Make-it-the-soundtack-of-our-lives--NCB_19226552 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> As Jamaica continues to bask in the golden glow of triumph at the World Athletics Championships, so too should they be humming the lyrics to that #ExcellenceJA song which has been the soundtrack to the National Commercial Bank's (NCB) ad campaign in sponsorship of the local broadcast.<br /> <br /> I cannot identify the singer, neither do I know the writer of that inspiring song, (sic) however, I really believe that NCB should consider producing an extended version of it in the hope that as many radio and television stations will play it frequently and that our people will come to know it by heart.<br /> <br /> This song is truly fit to become the soundtrack to our lives. The soul-stirring voice of the singer will hearten and embolden almost any listener, and provide the kind of mental firmness we all need in a Jamaica where murders and medals reflect the story of an apathetic nation in search of and in need of sound leadership.<br /> <br /> Kudos to NCB for supporting prodigious athletes Elaine Thompson and Julian Forte who, as brand ambassadors, feature prominently in the inspirational ad.<br /> <br /> Let's now hear every line and verse.<br /> <br /> Over to you, NCB.<br /> <br /> Barry Broadwell<br /> <br /> broadwell.barry@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> Make it the soundtack of our lives, NCB<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12138187/jtw_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, August 31, 2015 2:00 AM Out of many one... but not on my plate! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Out-of-many-one----but-not-on-my-plate-_19226219 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Jamaica has been clearly established as a melting pot of cultural perspectives, customs and of course cuisine. Of all the cultural representations, food, by far, is the most significant aspect -- second only maybe to music that is -- of our daily lives that we share as a people.<br /> <br /> As a result of this fact, we engage in the consumption of many meals from our varied cultural pasts and because many of us either can't cook it or don't have the time to do it we depend on the representatives of the particular culture to serve us the meals we enjoy.<br /> <br /> Based on the trust we have in our restaurateurs, it is quite alarming that in recent months videos have surfaced showing chefs either preparing or slaughtering meats that are questionable. Everyone knows that the ever-faithful donkey is a family pet or workmate and is not consumed by the average Jamaican. Thus, it is unexpected that restaurateurs would be seen slaughtering the animal for consumption.<br /> <br /> Also to see a chef prepping meats for what is identified as "porridge" in a video is a slap in the face of consumers who dine out as a way of treating themselves in these harsh economic times. This cannot go on, as it breaches the consumers' trust and honestly is quite sickening to consider. Furthermore, the motto didn't sign us up for this type of exchange.<br /> <br /> While we appreciate cultural exchanges and understand that we live in a global village, we do not appreciate being fed "funny meats". I am all for our motto and appreciate the complexities of it, but its quite simple: don't feed me what I don't eat!<br /> <br /> Kirkton Bennett<br /> <br /> bennett_ kirkton@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> Out of many one... but not on my plate!<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11427675/donkey-farmer_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, August 31, 2015 2:00 AM What more evidence does the Gov't need? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/What-more-evidence-does-the-Gov-t-need_19223429 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Your recent editorial entitled 'America's clean power plan a good start to tackle climate change' should be directed at the Jamaican Government. There has been lot of talk about this subject globally. The president of the largest economy and most powerful country on Earth has addressed this issue repeatedly, along with the spiritual leader of billions of Catholics around the world, Pope Francis.<br /> <br /> President Obama has led by example in promoting renewable energy whenever he can, and is taking concrete steps in tackling climate change in his own country. But how could the Jamaican Government even talk about climate change when not too long ago they, in partnership with JAMALCO, proudly announced plans to build a US$500-million coal-fired plant in the country? This amounts to hypocrisy and doubletalk. It is well-documented that the burning of coal is the main cause of greenhouse gas with is directly associated with climate change.<br /> <br /> Over the years, many writers, including myself, have pointed out incessantly the dangers of burning coal. In addition, coal-fired plants in the US have attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in fines for thousands of plant violations. All across the US and Canada coal-fired plants are being phased out. Not too long ago, Wall Street investment firm Goldman Sachs bought about a dozen or so coal- fired plants for investment purposes and had to sell them at a loss.<br /> <br /> So how much more evidence does the Government of Jamaica really need that burning coal shouldn't be the way forward? It is quite obvious China is only interested in building coal-fired plants on the island; even though they're the world's largest producer of solar panels, and is also scaling down coal- fired plants in their own country in favour of renewable energy. So the Government should approach Germany the superpower of renewable energy and ask them to partner with a local business in building such a plant in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Noel Mitchell<br /> <br /> Westchester, New York<br /> <br /> nlmworld@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> What more evidence does the Gov't need?<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12047173/Power-Plant_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, August 31, 2015 2:00 AM Rest well, Julian Bond http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Rest-well--Julian-Bond_19224660 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Words cannot describe my personal feeling of loss on being advised of the death of my friend and great champion of civil rights in the USA. I refer to that great Atlanta legislator, Julian Bond.<br /> <br /> From the late 1960s, when we first met through my brother Dennis, we shared many visions and ideas, and I had the honour of bringing him to Jamaica during that period of turmoil and intense championing of the rights of negroes in the USA.<br /> <br /> How vividly I still recall his first visit, which opened up the blossoming of what I still call my Atlanta connection and experiences.<br /> <br /> How I witnessed first-hand, with my brother Dennis, the unfolding of the battle led by Dr Martin Luther King Jr, and all the later years of growth and development of the Atlanta outreach, much of which he continued in his chairmanship of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.<br /> <br /> Rest well, my friend, as I continue to cherish the memories of our time together, and hopefully the legacies yet to bloom in the black man's fight for equal rights and justice.<br /> <br /> Mike Henry, MP, CD<br /> <br /> Clarendon Central<br /> <br /> Rest well, Julian Bond<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12128297/julian-BOND_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, August 28, 2015 2:00 AM No plan to oust bus operators http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/No-plan-to-oust-bus-operators_19226106 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The Transport Authority uses this medium to respond to an article published in the Jamaica Observer of Tuesday, August 25, 2015, entitled 'Transport operators worried about possible eviction from Darling Street Bus Park', which refers to a planned relocation of rural bus operators from the KSAC Rural Bus Terminus to the Downtown Municipal Transport Centre, Water Lane, to facilitate the placement of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) at the aforementioned facility.<br /> <br /> The Transport Authority is mandated by law to monitor, regulate and enforce the Transport Authority and Road Traffic Acts and all relevant regulations to ensure efficient, safe and reliable public land transport operations. As part of this process, the Transport Authority is continually developing and improving the systems to ensure smooth flow of public land transportation and the safety of passengers.<br /> <br /> The Transport Authority refutes the claim by JATOO that "there is a plan to put them [JUTC] down Water Lane" as there has never been a plan (since the establishment of the Downtown Municipal Transport Centre) to place JUTC buses at the KSAC Rural Bus Terminus. People familiar with the KSAC Rural Bus Terminus will admit that the facility is too small to facilitate access and exit by the coaches operated by the JUTC.<br /> <br /> As it relates to the claim that there is a plan to "get rid of route taxis" in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR), the authority must underscore that there is no such plan by the Authority; however anyone found to be operating public transportation in breach of the laws and/or operating in contravention of the road licence will be sanctioned by the Authority in keeping with the legal framework.<br /> <br /> The Transport Authority anticipates that the provision of the facts relating to the plans for public transportation in the KMTR will help to ease the growing discontent of rural bus operators, and that this response will be given similar prominence as the article published in the newspaper.<br /> <br /> Donald Foster, JP<br /> <br /> Managing Director<br /> <br /> Transport Authority<br /> <br /> No plan to oust bus operators<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11301916/Donald-Foster_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, August 28, 2015 2:00 AM iCool ad too hot http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/iCool-ad-too-hot_19226003 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I have always been an admirer of Lasco because that company is always looking out for the forgotten. But this time they made a misstep.<br /> <br /> There have been lots of comments on social media about this issue.<br /> <br /> Why did they find it necessary to sexualise the iCool ads? I am sure we don't mind ads that show beautiful women, but I am a teacher and I am very concerned with how the media throws sex at the children and then wonder why they are so aroused all the time. It is one of the sources of this growing problem.<br /> <br /> This is not the way to go. Big powerful companies need to lead the way in transformation. There might be some places where sex is highlighted and those who want to go there are free to do so, but if we are reaching the public with families and small children we must have boundaries.<br /> <br /> I notice that Women's Media Watch has not stepped up to comment, but I, and a number of Jamaicans, find this ad highly inappropriate.<br /> <br /> Keith Hanson<br /> <br /> Portmore, St Catherine<br /> <br /> bjoy636@gmail.com<br /> <br /> iCool ad too hot<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11098853/Lasco-1_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, August 28, 2015 2:00 AM The minister need not apologise http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/The-minister-need-not-apologise-_19226005 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> While I advocate more restrained, calculated, and measured language when our public officials speak, I do not disagree with the quintessence of the articulation by the Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites when he postulated that parents should not "send leggo beasts to our schools and expect us to make the difference".<br /> <br /> The education system is replete with children being fathered and mothered by lumpens, who have no business bringing children into this world. We continue to be persuaded by this delusional argument that the education process should lend credence to the theory that some children are afflicted with behavioural challenges, occasioned by their difficult antecedents. Well, mother and father who, through their lunacy, continuously bring children into a situation of generational poverty and misfortune cannot expect the State education process to transform them. Let the bleeding hearts go establish the transformational systems to address that problem. And while they are at it, they can educate the parents on the true meaning of family planning -- not birth control.<br /> <br /> The purpose of the formal education process is to equip its participants to think critically through the process of analysing concepts. This is the reason the argument for performance-based pay for teachers in Jamaica is redundant, ill-advised, and thoughtless. How do we expect educators to specialise in mathematics, English language and science, while using the majority of their time in the classroom undertaking remedial training with demented children, all while their misguided parents get let off the hook to create further madness?<br /> <br /> The Opposition spokesperson on education generally represents a refreshing hope for the future of the legislature and the executive -- notwithstanding, the characteristic delusional and thoughtless positions of the Opposition leader -- but her call for the minister to apologise smacks of expedient piffle. For, where were these calls a few weeks ago when a senior legislator, representing the Opposition, was abusing and disparaging media representatives and, in the process, debasing our legislature and governance apparatus?<br /> <br /> Mark A Hylton<br /> <br /> Montego Bay, St James<br /> <br /> markahylton@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> The minister need not apologise <br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124851/THWAITES-1_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, August 28, 2015 2:00 AM In defence of Lloyd B http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/In-defence-of-Lloyd-B_19225584 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Ray Ford, in his The Agenda column in the Sunday Observer dated August 23, 2015, headlined 'When leaders need leading', wrote in part that, "His (Lloyd B Smith) latest posit of what should be done with the proceeds of lotto scamming is repulsive, to say the least...Smith just does not yet get it, that knowingly tainted money cannot, with a good conscience, be put to any good use."<br /> <br /> Commissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams, some time ago, stated that the overseas lottery-scamming network is a billion-dollar extortion industry, with proceeds from those criminal acts being used here in Jamaica to purchase drugs and guns and supporting gangs throughout the country. The incontrovertible fact is that those wealthy scammers, some worth hundreds of millions of dollars, have huge, expensive and massive assets, both locally and internationally, and have amassed over time powerful indirect and direct connections with the business sector as they spend heavily on all forms of consumer assets.<br /> <br /> What has been devastating for the country is the fact that those wealthy scammers have been spending enormous sums of money on entertainment and purchasing assets of varying sorts with those scamming funds. However, what is deadly and cause for concern is the fact that they are getting involved into the criminal underworld, trading drugs and guns valued at millions of dollars.<br /> <br /> What Lloyd B Smith has eloquently and astutely posited is that those scammers with significant sums of raw cash should, instead, be using those funds to fund educational projects and programmes and assist poor and needy children to attend school in the communities to which they reside. They already have the cash in hand. That is the fact. The fund could now be used constructively. We have to be realistic here.<br /> <br /> I totally concur with Lloyd B Smith's recommendation in this regard. Even those scammers who have been caught and imprisoned still have huge sums of money hidden away, and some have been passed on to their immediate families for safe keeping. These funds could be spent on erecting educational and vocational centres in the communities in which they reside. That is what Smith has suggested and it is worthy of serious consideration.<br /> <br /> Quite frankly, it is preposterous for people such as Ray Ford to be lashing Lloyd B Smith for his suggestion; they should recognise the facts as they are and support the recommendation. 'Governor' Smith has not stated that he supports lottery scamming.<br /> <br /> Let me take this opportunity to commend Smith on being a hard-working, dedicated, devoted, sincere, and inherently professional MP who has accomplished many tangible achievements and continues to work to develop and equip the constituency. He has been a fine MP and is a major asset to the parish of St James and the Parliament. I wish him continued success.<br /> <br /> Robert Dalley<br /> <br /> robertdalley@outlook.com<br /> <br /> In defence of Lloyd B<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12079131/LLoyd-B-Smith_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, August 28, 2015 2:00 AM Thwaites issues mea culpa http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Thwaites-issues-mea-culpa_19225880 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> On reflection, and having listened to all the comments, I would like, even at this late stage, to withdraw my use of the term "leggo beast" to describe uncontrollable children spoken at last week's Jamaica Teachers' Association conference.<br /> <br /> The serious issue facing the society of weak parenting and inadequate community support to socialise so many schoolchildren is likely to be overlooked by controversy over the appropriations of a phrase I used. I regret speaking in the manner I did.<br /> <br /> Despite the difficulties, teachers must not label students and schools must take on special responsibility to make a positive difference in the lives of all our children.<br /> <br /> I have communicated with Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith to appreciate her insistence for this matter to be corrected. I trust we can all combine our efforts to curb the serious problems of indiscipline facing our teachers and students and cramping the outcome of an education system.<br /> <br /> Ronald Thwaites<br /> <br /> Minister of Education<br /> <br /> Heroes Circle<br /> <br /> Kingston<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Thwaites issues mea culpa <br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124851/THWAITES-1_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, August 27, 2015 2:00 AM Just escoveitched! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Just-escoveitched_19225906 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Real story. I went to buy lunch and saw sliced fish on the menu. I asked to see it. The server opens the pan and the following happens:<br /> <br /> Me: Is that snapper?<br /> <br /> Server: Not sure (then asks the cashier), wha kinda fish this?<br /> <br /> Cashier: Escoveitch.<br /> <br /> Server: No, mi mean is it snapper...?<br /> <br /> Cashier: No, escoveitch.<br /> <br /> Server: No man, me mean if a grunt, or doctor...?<br /> <br /> Cashier: It fry and den dem put on the things dem.<br /> <br /> Server: Go in the kitchen and ask the chef.<br /> <br /> (Cashier returns with a man who is not the chef)<br /> <br /> Me: You know a wha kinda fish?<br /> <br /> Man: Den she no tell you it fry<br /> <br /> Server: No (then names out a million types of fish)<br /> <br /> Cashier: Yeah, and then it escoveitch. Me no know how else fi tell you.<br /> <br /> Me: I'll have the chicken.<br /> <br /> DH<br /> <br /> St Catherine<br /> <br /> Just escoveitched!<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124853/fish_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, August 27, 2015 2:00 AM Employment not permitted http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Employment-not-permitted_19224637 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I read the article regarding three Jamaicans fined $450 for working without permit in T&T, and further noted that their passports were stamped "Employment not permitted".<br /> <br /> I am a Jamaican by birth and carry a Jamaican passport. I am a naturalised citizen of the USA. I have spent most of my life here in the USA.<br /> <br /> When I come to Jamaica, as I have done every year for more than four decades, I present my Jamaican passport to the immigration officer. My passport is stamped, "Employment not permitted".<br /> <br /> Why am I treated like an alien, as the Jamaicans in T&T were in the above case?<br /> <br /> While I do not want or seek employment, I feel that I am discriminated against in my own country.<br /> <br /> On every visit I spend tens of thousands of dollars providing work and income for at-home Jamaicans who turn up without tools, requesting "tea", and asking for cash payment before doing one minute of work.<br /> <br /> I am a Jamaican, and I am proud of being Jamaican. However, I cannot be proud of the work ethic I encounter in Jamaica, neither can I be proud of the stamp in my Jamaican passport "Employment not permitted".<br /> <br /> Louis A Hemans<br /> <br /> Hyattsville, Maryland<br /> <br /> Employment not permitted<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11454458/Jamaican-passport_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, August 27, 2015 2:00 AM Effectiveness rather than form http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Effectiveness-rather-than-form_19225879 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The popular Jamaican expression, "Don't watch the noise in the market; watch the sales", is one that underscores the value of substance and effectiveness rather than form.<br /> <br /> Traditionally, Jamaican politics has been characterised by rowdy, overly combative, and even violent exchanges between and among rivals. Unfortunately, this tends to be the case because many subscribe to the archaic view that one has to be loud, rowdy and pompous in order to effectively level criticism and political jabs, or get the opponent to act in the manner you prescribe. But, contrary to this classical, and I dare say antiquated approach, one can be effective and successful in the cut and thrust of the politics without resorting to rowdiness and other undesirable actions.<br /> <br /> To his credit, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness demonstrates this time and again. He has been able to deliver on the core obligations that fall to a parliamentary Opposition under the Westminster system; that is, engaging in oversight and critique of government policies and actions, but is doing so without mashing up the place, blocking roads, or burning tyres.<br /> <br /> Holness's strident advocacy, in respect of that infamous attempt by the Government to slap the taxpaying public with an ATM withdrawal tax, tax on textbooks, and massive increases in passport application fees at a moment's notice, are useful examples of how effective leadership and political stealth can be brought to bear in securing desired responses from a Government that is otherwise arrogant, callous and insensitive.<br /> <br /> The education minister's withdrawal of that distasteful and reprehensible "leggo beast" comment, albeit after considerable delay and resistance, is the latest example of how Holness has been effective in securing desired outcomes without hostile confrontation or rowdiness.<br /> <br /> Marlon Morgan<br /> <br /> Aide to Opposition Leader Andrew Holness<br /> <br /> marlonandremorgan@gmail.com<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Effectiveness rather than form<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124852/Andrew-Holness001_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, August 27, 2015 2:00 AM Some of them are 'leggo beasts' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Some-of-them-are--leggo-beasts-_19225889 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I guess I should not be surprised at the amount of comment, vitriol, and upset generated by Minister Ronald Thwaites' use of the very apt Jamaican term "leggo beast".<br /> <br /> Apart from the fact that we, once again, take every opportunity to turn serious matters into political footballs, I think too many of us are missing the point of the minister's argument. Our children from all walks of life are in a serious crisis -- bullying; stabbings; fighting; disrespect of self, others and authority are the order of the day in many of our schools. Pick up any newspaper, talk with any stressed-out teacher, ride on public transportation, or take a walk by any of our public schools. The minister is asking for parents and guardians/other responsible adults to take responsibility for the way our children are behaving. This cannot be left up to the school and the peer group. Children do not raise themselves, even when too many of us leave them to raise themselves.<br /> <br /> We have a responsibility to bring up our children in ways that will help them to flourish and will redound to the flourishing of our larger society. This demands that we provide the requisite guidance and lovingly instil in our children discipline and respect. Sadly, too many of us continue to fall short and are letting loose on our society nothing short of "leggo beasts". There are numerous stories from across the globe of children being raised by wolves, cats, monkeys. These children grow up wild like their animal surrogate parents -- more wolf-like than human. It does lead me to wonder if our feral children, those behaving like "leggo beasts", may not simply be a reflection of those of us who raise them.<br /> <br /> Anna Kasafi Perkins<br /> <br /> drperks@gmail.com <br /> <br /> Some of them are 'leggo beasts'<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12124861/Ronald-Thwaites--speaks-_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, August 27, 2015 2:00 AM My disappointment with Usain http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/My-disappointment-with-Usain_19225581 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> What do Richard Dean "MacGyver" Anderson and Usain Bolt have in common? Okay, so I'm a bit dated, but you have to admit, they both perform with scripts that make them come out on top at the end of the show. Only, Bolt is not acting -- what you see is what you get. In athletics, he's the real deal. So why am I disappointed with his most recent success?<br /> <br /> I really had dreams of Bolt shattering his 9.58 record, but that, I guess, is not likely to be at this stage. He's getting older and doesn't seem as hungry. But being at the zenith of athletic prowess, there's no one else to beat -- but himself.<br /> <br /> Now, there's a concept for excellence; not merely doing better than others, but a state of doing better than your last best; becoming your best self. This is a concept that I believe our youth would do well to learn; that the true measure of success isn't to merely do better than others, but to becoming the best that one can be.<br /> <br /> In the Christian world, this is good stewardship; a commendable utilisation of the "talent" you've been given. I can only hope that, in all he does, he's being true to God who's made all this possible for him. Will He too say, "Well done"?<br /> <br /> Becoming your best self is a progressive phenomenon achieved over time. This is also the best path to excellence, because when, like Usain Bolt, you are better than everybody else, it doesn't mean that you're at your best.<br /> <br /> Is 9.58 the best that Usain can do? I'm really inclined to say no, but that's for him to answer on the track. Let's watch and see.<br /> <br /> All that said, congratulations, Usain: To the worl'!<br /> <br /> Charles Evans<br /> <br /> charles.evans@ncu.edu.jm<br /> <br /> My disappointment with Usain<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12117621/bolt-100-7_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, August 26, 2015 12:00 AM No, no, Minister Thwaites! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/No--no--Minister-Thwaites-_19225700 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> So sad to hear the comments made by Minister of Education about our nation's children.<br /> <br /> Jamaican parents do not produce "leggo beasts". Your comments are a slight against parents who have tried their darnest in providing support for their children through education.<br /> <br /> The educational system continues to be restructured socially and economically and, with these struggles, children bear the brunt of the teething pains that accompany these changes.<br /> <br /> The statement is indicative of how we think about our children with the use of demeaning and judgemental language. This language is counter-productive, especially coming from the ministerial level. A more positive and encouraging refrain, along with a supportive educational system, would help.<br /> <br /> Certainly our responsibility as members of the public is to provide mentorship to the young minds. Keeping students out of school does not help at all. We all know what happens with "idle hands". Education is a right not a privilege, therefore, let us engage with all parties in providing and enhancing a learning environment for students struggling with behavioural issues as they matter.<br /> <br /> Marva J Ferguson<br /> <br /> Calgary, Alberta, Canada<br /> <br /> marvajf@icloud.com<br /> <br /> No, no, Minister Thwaites!<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12114464/Thwaites_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, August 26, 2015 12:00 AM