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 Hail Sam Sharpe Teachers&rsquo; College at 41! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Hail-Sam-Sharpe-Teachers--College-at-41-_73964 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The citizens of western Jamaica, and Montego Bay in particular, must be very proud of having such a prestigious educational teacher-training institution like the Sam Sharpe Teachers&rsquo; College, which is celebrating its 41st anniversary this year.<br /> <br /> Since the inception of Sam Sharpe Teachers&rsquo; College in 1975, which was named after esteemed National Hero Samuel Sharpe, this institution has certainly helped to positively transform the educational landscape in western Jamaica and the country on a whole.<br /> <br /> So, with this milestone of its 41st anniversary celebration, many well-thinking Jamaicans are commending the management, staff, students (past and present), and others affiliated with this institution for blazing a trail in teacher training.<br /> <br /> Without a doubt, Dr Simon Clarke must be recognised for his outstanding contribution to education and the overall development of Sam Sharpe Teachers&rsquo; College.<br /> <br /> As the pioneer principal of that institution, Dr Clarke ensured that all who received training ascribed to its motto: Service, Commitment and Excellence.<br /> <br /> Western Jamaica&rsquo;s citizenry, on this specific occasion of your 41st anniversary, are delighted for Sam Sharpe Teachers&rsquo; College&rsquo;s accomplishments, and for being committed to the important task of training our invaluable teachers who have been instrumental in shaping the minds of our children who will become our leaders.<br /> <br /> Anyway, I am confident, like so many others, that this educational teacher-training institution will continue to maintain the highest standards of professionalism and academic excellence as it continues to train and develop the fraternity going forward.<br /> <br /> Definitely, this unique teacher-training college, situated on a hill in Granville, St James, should continue to shine like a beacon across the various communities of western Jamaica, and especially Montego Bay, during its 41st anniversary and beyond, with a mission of uplifting Jamaicans through education. <br /> <br /> Valentine Pearson<br /> <br /> Cornwall Court, Montego Bay<br /> <br /> valenempearson@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314719/231037_58113_repro_w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM The transformation of Andrew Holness: I am now convinced! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/The-transformation-of-Andrew-Holness--I-am-now-convinced-_75332 Dear Editor, <br /> <br /> P J Patterson told a recent gathering of Comrades that the Andrew Holness today is not the same Andrew from 2011, and it would serve them best not to underestimate the rising star of Jamaican politics.<br /> <br /> Like P J Patterson, the most successful politician in Jamaica in terms of election victories, I too have seen that Andrew Holness has transformed into a high-calibre orator, communicator and statesman worthy of the Office of Prime Minister.<br /> <br /> Not so long ago, I was one of the chief critics of Holness&rsquo;s early stewardship of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) coming out of a bruising leadership challenge. Some of his decisions had bothered me, seeing he had positioned himself as a transformational leader. So, unconvinced, I vented my anger, perhaps due to a bout of youthful exuberance on my part, publicly, through a letter to the editor of this newspaper printed under the title &lsquo;youthful exuberance&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> Today, I am happy to use this same medium to say to Jamaica and the world: I am now convinced!<br /> <br /> Andrew Michael Holness has revealed the qualities I considered necessary for any leader of my beloved JLP. The party leader and now prime minister has mended fences and reached out to some of his fiercest critics in and outside the party, demonstrating maturity and strength of character. The prime minister has demonstrated in the selection and leadership of his Cabinet his commitment to inclusivity and efficiency. Above all, the prime minister has demonstrated to the Jamaican people a level of quality leadership that has reawakened the Jamaican spirit; renewing hope and inspiring a belief that one day, I too, as a Jamaican, will also be able to live my dreams. <br /> <br /> Ozane Bell <br /> <br /> ozane_bell@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13196022/220754__w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM More policemen not enough in crime fight http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/More-policemen-not-enough-in-crime-fight_75328 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I think it is a misconception that an increase in the number of police and soldiers in St James will control murders. What it needs is just a few genuine, highly intelligent members of the force with good public relations; good public relations for information to flow to them.<br /> <br /> In this context, instructive is the saying that, &ldquo;It is not the size of the gun, but the effect of the bullet.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> I write as one who served the force for 11 years and two months, resigning as sub-officer in charge of crime for Manchester and by extension St Elizabeth and Clarendon after serving Cross Roads Criminal Investigation Department (CID), sent from there to reconstruct Clarendon CID Headquarters, and from there to Mandeville CID Divisional Headquarters; appointed detective without having to attend a detective training course, which was compulsory for others to be appointed detective.<br /> <br /> While at Cross Roads, I frequently communicated with then Detective Sergeant Brenton Joseph, sub-officer in charge of crime, Central, perhaps the most effective detective this country has ever seen. He told me he detected all the crime from his desk, never on patrol, and the record will show that it is after he retired crime began to escalate in Kingston.<br /> <br /> Incidentally, when in Manchester, he came from Kingston with sufficient information concerning authors of a murder and conspiracy to murder in Manchester. The information secured convictions. <br /> <br /> Owen S Crosbie<br /> <br /> Mandeville, Manchester<br /> <br /> oss@cwjamaica.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13306464/226089_57377_repro_w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM The JLP can&rsquo;t continue to fail at managing crime http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/The-JLP-can-t-continue-to-fail-at-managing-crime_75324 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> In previous Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) governments there was an attitude of pomposity and arrogance that they curbed crime and that was always their mantra. Unfortunately, the JLP cannot have that last laugh this time.<br /> <br /> Crime today, especially in western Jamaica, has catapulted to the highest level ever, and if we experienced this in the next few months we are destined to a Mexican-style anarchy, as is evident in the Mexican states where criminal activity, murder and mayhem are the order of the day.<br /> <br /> The prime minister appears to have no answer, neither the minister of national security and police high command. What is disturbing is that there is failure to acknowledge that the monster of crime is not only as a result of lotto scamming and gang rivalry, but also police corruption, politics and white collar crime.<br /> <br /> Much of what is damaging our society is latent, but hypocrisy and the connection of those who have an agenda to rise on the backs of decent law-abiding Jamaicans rules the day. That is why it is felt that many of the policemen in this country have a hand in crime indirectly and directly. We live in a society of silence, so those who know rarely speak.<br /> <br /> The JLP Government will have to take drastic actions to dismantle the shackles of crime, which, if continued unabated, will in no time destroy our society and citizens.<br /> <br /> Now is Andrew Holness&rsquo;s time to prove himself. Even if our GDP flies upward overnight, the enemy of crime has to be defeated now!<br /> <br /> The country has no time for dilly-dallying with crime and criminals. The political leaders have to crack the whip now and get action. We are not looking for fancy speeches and irrelevant plans. We need to see drastic action.<br /> <br /> The Jamaican people deserve to live without looking over their backs. They deserve better than to wake up each morning seeing the traditional media saturated with stories of death, mayhem and bloodletting.<br /> <br /> The people have exercised their democratic right and had elected a government associated with curbing crime and keeping gangs in check. This time it has been a miserable failure.<br /> <br /> Prime Minister Holness, please act now, for God&rsquo;s sake, otherwise Montego Bay and all St James will be worse than the 19th century American wild west.<br /> <br /> Maurice Christie<br /> <br /> Aboukir , St. Ann<br /> <br /> christiemaurice@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13285346/Andrew-holness_w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM Ban lewd music http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Ban-lewd-music_74725 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I am kindly asking our prime minister and our Opposition leader to make a call to all the drivers and conductors who are still playing nasty music on the public transport to stop doing so.<br /> <br /> They should only play them in their bedrooms instead.<br /> <br /> Dirty music and Jamaica are not friends, it should have no place in our society.<br /> <br /> Why is this country so unmanageable? Why can&rsquo;t these drivers and conductors learn manners and respect? When will a government in Jamaica put an end to nasty music in public places? Will it become a reality?<br /> <br /> The government in Jamaica is not so powerless in banning lewd music in this society. It might have to ask the police to remove all the radios and videos from all the buses that are playing filthy songs.<br /> <br /> Are we afraid of the trouble-makers who are wrecking Jamaica with pure filth? If so be the case, might as well they stop calling upon the God of supernatural power, or boycott the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast that is always well attended.<br /> <br /> On the other hand, I am calling upon all the women and young girls who sit daily on these buses, listen to the rubbish and say nothing, to open their mouths and ask these buggers to stop polluting the place. It burns my heart to see big women sit in these buses enjoying the filth. Are they real? Do they have children?<br /> <br /> When we are travelling on public transport, they must not take it for granted that we all listen to garbage. We must, instead, pray to God for a safe journey.<br /> <br /> &lsquo;Wha sweet some a wi a guh sour wi.&rsquo; Mark my word.<br /> <br /> Donald J McKoy<br /> <br /> donaldmckoy2010@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10581138/Yellow-coaster_w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM Researchers studying bamboo&rsquo;s potential as building material of the future http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Researchers-studying-bamboo-s-potential-as-building-material-of-the-future_75266 PITTSBURGH, USA (AP) &mdash; Don&rsquo;t worry, pandas. They&rsquo;re not coming for your food.<br /> <br /> Homes and buildings around the world have been built out of bamboo for millennia, but researchers at the University of Pittsburgh&rsquo;s Swanson School of Engineering are working to make the grass the building material of the future in developing countries.<br /> <br /> Bamboo is stronger than timber, is more accessible in remote parts of the world and can perform better in earthquakes and other natural disasters, said Kent Harries, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Pitt who is studying bamboo.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a reason it has survived 2,000, 3,000, 4,000 years as a building material,&rdquo; Harries said. &ldquo;Because it works.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Harries will share a $300,000-grant from the National Science Foundation with researchers at Durham University and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez to study bamboo&rsquo;s potential as a building material. Harries believes this is first time the National Science Foundation has funded research into bamboo. The grant is the first of its kind between Pitt and the Puerto Rican university.<br /> <br /> The collaboration with Puerto Rico hopefully will give Harries and his team access to species of bamboo he has trouble obtaining in Pittsburgh.<br /> <br /> Pandas don&rsquo;t eat the type of bamboo Harries is interested in, which can have stalk walls nearly 2 inches thick and be as big around as coffee cups or small plates. Bamboo can grow almost anywhere in the world but is most commonly found between the tropics, Harries said. Some species could grow in Pittsburgh but would have trouble surviving an extremely harsh winter.<br /> <br /> Harries said there are about 1,200 species of bamboo, of which about 100 could potentially be used for building. Of those, about 30 are used, and only five to six species are commercially viable.<br /> <br /> Top bamboo researchers from 17 countries gathered in Pittsburgh in May for a Symposium on Bamboo in the Urban Environment. Their work resulted in the &lsquo;Pittsburgh Declaration&rsquo;, which seeks to tout the benefits of bamboo and better use it as a building material.<br /> <br /> The grant will fund work to develop standardised tests to assess the strength and other mechanical qualities of bamboo. Harries and his students are working on those tests in a basement lab at Swanson School of Engineering. Long stalks of bamboo are stacked like lumber ready to be bent and buckled.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The neat thing about bamboo is nature has optimised it,&rdquo; Harries said. There is a higher concentration of fibres at the outer edge of a bamboo stalk than the inner, putting more strength where it is needed, he said. A commercially usable piece of bamboo can be grown in two years. It can take 10 to 30 years to grow a similar piece of timber.<br /> <br /> But bamboo has an image problem. People think it is used only by poor communities that can&rsquo;t afford traditional building materials. Harries hopes his research eventually changes that.<br /> <br /> His work with bamboo has taken him around the world, from South America to Africa to the foothills of the Himalayas. In Darjeeling, India, Harries saw how bamboo structures withstood a 2006 earthquake better than others. He envisions rapidly deployable bamboo shelters to offer relief to areas such as Haiti in the aftermath of disasters. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13314580/230877__w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Tuesday, September 27, 2016 12:00 AM Student sabotage? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Student-sabotage_75221 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The issue at hand is of great concern to me, and I wonder what will become of Jamaica&rsquo;s future.<br /> <br /> In light of recent situations there is no other question to ask, but I will anyway: Why sabotage the students?<br /> <br /> There have been two incidents highlighted in the media of students being barred from attending classes and another allegation, which the Ministry of Education will investigate, of a school which has refused to give government-paid textbooks to students who did not pay school-related contributory fees.<br /> <br /> Then there was the incident of students at a particular high school receiving ungraded Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate results being of an administrative blunder. Plus, nursing students also recently faced problems.<br /> <br /> I ask, why sabotage the students when there is absolutely nothing to gain? It is our very own students who will represent us in court or be the judge in our case. It is ours students who will one day represent us in Parliament; it is the student who will fly us to our next destination, it is the student who will be our surgeon, doctor or the only nurse who was there when we needed someone the most. The very student who will be our counsellor, our upcoming prime minister, or the next great athlete. It is the very same student who can become the world&rsquo;s greatest and make history.<br /> <br /> There is no benefit in displacing a student. No student should fall victim to any educational system. Our students must be protected and their interests must be kept at heart at all times.<br /> <br /> No one wins whenever a student is sabotaged. They must be protected. I urge each person, each Jamaican to stand up, fight and protect our students. Our students are our investment into the future.<br /> <br /> S Dixon<br /> <br /> niecey-d@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13236605/224039_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, September 26, 2016 12:00 AM #prayforMoBay http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/-prayforMoBay_75201 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> My heart is truly saddened by the upsurge in crime and violence in the beautiful, fun-loving parish of St James. Jamaica&rsquo;s second city, the tourist capital of our picturesque island, has seemingly become the hotbed of many treacherous and perilous activities.<br /> <br /> There seems to be a huge, dark cloud hanging over the parish, with a storm on the horizon. I earnestly pray that the Lord will shine some light on our land and bring forth brighter days.<br /> <br /> Generally, our north coast settlement is known for its vibes, fun, beaches, and traveller lifestyle. The stunning parish is internationally revered for its luxurious hotels and being home to the world&rsquo;s greatest reggae concert, Reggae Sumfest. We are also recognised for producing household names such as Jimmy Cliff, Steve Bucknor, Theodore Whitmore, and National Hero Samuel Sharpe, to name a few national icons. We have done brilliantly well in developing and maintaining a global reputation of awesomeness; please, let us not allow crime to demolish decades of hard work.<br /> <br /> I implore all Montegonians to work diligently to return the city to its rightful status of an extremely fun, happy place. In a time when individuals elsewhere are facing grave injustice because of the colour of their skin, I urge us as brothers and sisters to show greater love and compassion to each other. Our forefathers did not survive the Middle Passage, toil through slavery, and fight for Independence for us to destroy each other.<br /> <br /> It is sad to see so many young, capable individuals dying or being incarcerated as a result of misguidance. I plead for the friends and family members of these individuals to show them a better way and to help preserve their lives. I beseech the security forces to do their best in protecting the citizens of the land, and to treat both the innocent and guilty with utmost respect. I ask those committing these heinous crimes to please put aside the weapons.<br /> <br /> Let us restore faith, pride and goodstanding in our communities before it becomes too late. Let us make MoBay nice again. Let us make &lsquo;Jamdung&rsquo; sweet again. #prayforMobay #prayforJamaica<br /> <br /> Concerned Jamaican<br /> <br /> upmoveJa@gmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13309031/Pearnel-Charles-Jr_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, September 26, 2016 12:00 AM Can&rsquo;t &lsquo;flow&rsquo; like this anymore http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Can-t--flow--like-this-anymore_75223 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> This is an open letter to FLOW:<br /> <br /> Like most relationships, ours started out perfectly, I could not ask for anything more from a service provider. The honeymoon phase is always awesome and went on for quite a while. I gave you my money and you reciprocated with service tenfold.<br /> <br /> However things have deteriorated gradually, and I think we have reached the conclusion of our relationship. The problems are now so many that I can&rsquo;t list them all, but I will do my best to highlight the main ones as I am of the belief that closure is important.<br /> <br /> Sometimes you meet people, things are so great and then they morph into someone else, but you play it off as simply growth. Well that is exactly what happened when you and LIME started hanging out; nothing has been the same. You were no longer here all the time, always in and out as you pleased. Sometimes your Internet service is gone for days and at no point did you ever feel the need to reimburse me to make up and make me happy again. I&rsquo;m tired of being miserable because of your behaviour and I have lost my peace of mind.<br /> <br /> Let&rsquo;s talk about the cable for just a minute. The rights to almost every good show on TV on local channels have been tied up without even discussing it; just totally blocking me out in the process. What exactly is the point of our relationship, then?<br /> <br /> When people proposed that I leave you for Digicel I didn&rsquo;t, but I have come to realise that I was the one fighting for you and not the other way around. Seems I was fighting to be taken for granted, fighting to be disappointed. Now I think I&rsquo;m at the point where I am just fighting to let go. When I complain to your friends at the call centre about you they respond hours or a whole day later and offer nothing but excuses or pointless advice.<br /> <br /> Last, but not least, every great partner knows not to come between a man and his football, but you dropped the ball there too. First it was the<br /> <br /> SportsMax package change which I was forced to accept as every other avenue was blocked out. So I went with the flow. But no, that wasn&rsquo;t enough. You decided to purchase the rights to the entire Barclays Premier League. If I am an avid football fan, I now have to pay an arm and leg to have access to all games and leagues as if I don&rsquo;t, the football channels that I currently have will be blocked out during games. There are too many stipulations and restrictions in this relationship and I need my freedom.<br /> <br /> I have become a victim of your ambitious quest to be the best. And while I admire your ambition, I do think as of now you will have to continue your journey without me. I cannot continue to pay for a service that rarely works and has so many stipulations and conditions. Even if we can&rsquo;t be together in the end, I&rsquo;m glad you were a part of my life. And I must thank you for the good times and the lessons learnt from the bad times, but I just cannot flow like this anymore.<br /> <br /> Raheem Morrison<br /> <br /> Independence City, St Catherine<br /> <br /> morrison27RS@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13102953/Flow-logo_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, September 26, 2016 12:00 AM Give 15% voice with constitutional change http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Give-15--voice-with-constitutional-change_74988 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> On October 27, 2016 Grenadians will vote on constitutional change on the question no allegiance to The Queen and a limitation on the time their prime minister spends in Parliament.<br /> <br /> I believe this should be a pointer to the two political parties in Jamaica seeing that it has been a long time the two parties have been contemplating constitutional change but have failed to bring it to being.<br /> <br /> Over the years Brother Abuna Foxe of the International Ethiopian World Federation Incorporation has been writing articles on the question of constitutional change which he believes would give the 15 per cent of the people who are Rastafarians and grass roots people the chance of an independent senator in Parliament.<br /> <br /> Now that Grenada will be voting on constitutional change this should motivate our leaders to make Jamaica the second nation to make this change. If Jamaica is a democracy then this should be the choice it should make.<br /> <br /> While writing this article, the people of the Afro-Asia bloc are fighting armed struggle for the right to have a voice in their parliament. Jamaica needs a third-party voice which represents the Rastafarian and grass roots people, because when the business of Jamaica is discussed in Parliament there is no representation for that minority voice, although according to the Representation of the People Act there should be a voice if Jamaica is a democracy.<br /> <br /> The 15 per cent of the population who are Rastafarian and grass roots people are appealing to the party leaders to take a leaf with respect from Grenadians&rsquo; move on October 27, 2016 and have a serious debate on the subject of constitutional change.<br /> <br /> Give thanks.<br /> <br /> Tafari Makonnen<br /> <br /> himchurchny@\yahoo.com http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/4091093/parliament-2b_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, September 26, 2016 12:00 AM The love of father http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/The-love-of-father_74948 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You are not my father,&rdquo; the words I spoke in anger the first time we had an argument. As I reflect, I remember everything that has taken place over the years. It was not long ago that you were full of strength and vigour for a man your age. Now I see you on this hospital bed, your swollen feet, deteriorated figure and sunken face a harsh reminder you will not always be around.<br /> <br /> My thoughts are all over the place. What will I say to mom when she doesn&rsquo;t have you to talk to anymore? Will I be able to ease her pain? God knows I can&rsquo;t when my heart is bleeding and crying out, asking why. What will I say to my son when he asks me where is grandpa?<br /> <br /> You have been a true father to me when my own was not there. You helped me through some rough times and scolded me in love. Though I was not your child by blood at no point was it evident. Do you remember those nights when you use to come home late and I pretended to be asleep? I would hear you say, &ldquo;Foody, come man, mi lef fi yuh own.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> I try to be strong as you tell me thanks for visiting and how you&rsquo;re in pain. Tears filled my eyes as we prayed, but I don&rsquo;t let it show. A kiss on your cheek is all I can do as I say goodbye. Just so you know, I love you.<br /> <br /> Old man, please fight, nothing will be the same if you go. I know people say life goes on, but the truth is memories fade.<br /> <br /> To everyone who has not told your father you love him, make sure you do it today. He will not always be here.<br /> <br /> Kenroy Edwards<br /> <br /> kenroy.edwards1@gmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13313345/father_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, September 26, 2016 12:00 AM Clarifying the D&G pension surplus matter http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Clarifying-the-D-G-pension-surplus-matter Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I reference an article in another publication about the Desnoes & Geddes Limited and D&G Wines Pension Plan. <br /> <br /> I am privileged to be the chairman of the Board of Trustees for the plan and I write in that capacity. I believe it is important to clarify a number of matters in the article.<br /> <br /> Key roles of the Board of Trustees are to manage the affairs of the pension fund and to safeguard the assets. We are charged to act in the best interest of all stakeholders &mdash; all plan members and the company &mdash; in accordance with the trust deed, plan rules and regulations. <br /> <br /> The use of any surplus or the payment of any benefits that are not set out in the Plan Rules requires the approval of the company. In keeping with our role, the Board of Trustees was engaged by the company who shared the proposed pension plan restructuring with us. <br /> <br /> There was then a period of consideration, where we sought additional information and clarification of certain aspects of the proposal. We had the benefit of our own independent and expert legal and actuarial advice to assist in our deliberations and dialogue with the company. <br /> <br /> After our deliberations and negotiations with the company, the Board of Trustees unanimously agreed that the proposal was fair and attractive to all stakeholders, namely actives (current employees), pensioners, terminated members, and the company.<br /> <br /> As a consequence, the Board of Trustees agreed that the proposal should go forward to the members for their decision, supported by a recommendation from the Board of Trustees. A decision on the changes proposed is not the province of the trustees. <br /> <br /> A decision on the changes proposed is not the province of the company. A decision on the changes proposed is the exclusive province of the members who must come together in a democratic framework to vote yes or no. <br /> <br /> That process is now in motion, with consultative meetings being held with all groups. It is sad that deliberate misrepresentations are being allowed to be a basis to attack the trustees and to influence people to vote in a particular way.<br /> <br /> I pause to praise the eight trustees whom it is my privilege to lead. <br /> <br /> They are dedicated, hard-working, and highly intelligent, and have made every effort to do what, in their collective judgement, is the fair thing. <br /> <br /> The subject matter is complicated and has required many hours of work and reflection and analysis. One is free to disagree, but it is utterly uncalled for to attack them in a personal and disparaging way. <br /> <br /> The facts are as follows: <br /> <br /> 1. The plan has a surplus of approximately $3.6 billion. <br /> <br /> 2. That surplus is the result of a combination of factors over several years. <br /> <br /> 3. The legal and actuarial advice to the Board of Trustees is that no one stakeholder owns the surplus, and if it is to be used there needs to be a balancing of the interests of all stakeholders. The company is a stakeholder. <br /> <br /> 4. The proposal is to split the surplus 50/50. Advice, research and precedent show that a 50/50 split of the surplus is a common and equitable approach.<br /> <br /> 5. From its portion ($1.8 billion), the company will leave $900 million in the plan under the control of the trustees. The trustees will use those funds to pay the company&rsquo;s pension contributions for the next 20 years. This means that the payments by the company are 100 per cent guaranteed and there can be no risk of default or non-payment by the company.<br /> <br /> 6. The company will invest $900 million in its Jamaican operations for the improvement of working conditions and increased productive capacity. This amount represents less than 10 per cent of what the company has committed to invest over the next four years as part of its plans to boost growth, increase productivity, become more competitive, and ensure sustainability.<br /> <br /> 7. The members will receive their $1.8 billion in a number of ways: <br /> <br /> a. A top-up of 25 per cent of their past service pension; <br /> <br /> b. A past service pension that will be linked 100 per cent to the change in the US dollar (US$ indexation) and protected by the purchase of annuities from a suitable provider;<br /> <br /> c. A bonus contribution from the company for future service; <br /> <br /> d. A top-up for all terminated employees based on their years of service; <br /> <br /> e. Pension benefits extended to a spouse in case of death of the member; <br /> <br /> f. These various benefits will collectively cost $1.8 billion; <br /> <br /> 8. The existing Defined Benefit Plan is not being wound up; <br /> <br /> 9. The proposed new Defined Contribution section is only applicable to current and future employees and not to terminated vested members and pensioners; <br /> <br /> 10. The trustees are of the view that the proposal will result in a competitive pension plan for current and future pensioners and employees, and on that basis it has been recommended to the members for their consideration. <br /> <br /> Based on all the above points, the trustees have wholeheartedly endorsed this proposal as we believe it is fair to all stakeholders. It is a proposal following a democratic process, where members have the opportunity to make a choice whether to accept or reject. <br /> <br /> On behalf of all the trustees, I encourage all members to attend their respective meetings to seek any clarification you require and then vote according to what you think is in your best interest. <br /> <br /> It is not for the trustees (or anyone else for that matter) to tell you how to vote. Our duty is to place the matter before you for the last say. <br /> <br /> The remaining pension meetings are listed below:<br /> <br /> Pensioners only (former employees who have retired and are currently receiving a monthly pension) September 26: Montego Bay, The Wexford Hotel, Gloucester Ave, Montego Bay &ndash; 9:30 am. <br /> <br /> Deferred vested members only (former employees who have a benefit remaining in the Pension Plan) September 26: Montego Bay, The Wexford Hotel, Gloucester Ave, Montego Bay &ndash; 2:30 pm September 27: Terra Nova All Suite Hotel, Spanish Court, 17 Waterloo Road, Kingston 10 &ndash; 9:30am <br /> <br /> September 27: Terra Nova All Suite Hotel, Spanish Court, 17 Waterloo Road, Kingston 10 &ndash; 4:00 pm The only voice that matters here is the voice of our members. <br /> <br /> Derek Jones <br /> <br /> Chairman <br /> <br /> Desnoes & Geddes Limited and D&G Wines Pension Plan http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13312010/ZZ332DB053_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Sunday, September 25, 2016 3:41 AM Detain rowdy schoolchildren at police station http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Detain-rowdy-schoolchildren-at-police-station_74951 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I happened to watch Prime Time News on September 20, 2016. It showed the minister of transport touring the transportation centre in Half-Way-Tree to scout for misbehaving children and those who loiter till dusk. But, apparently, none were there. <br /> <br /> It seems they smelled the rat.<br /> <br /> Camera systems are fine, but my simple suggestion will deter these rowdy students and those who loiter after school hours. Let me offer my suggestion for the clearance of students from this central meeting place at the transportation centre. I beckon to the police to apprehend all schoolchildren who seem to loiter and create mischief at the transportation hub in Half-Way-Tree by taking them to the Half-Way-Tree Police Station. They dear not leave the station until their parents or guardians are contacted.<br /> <br /> These students who wear two hats &mdash; at home the loving innocent child, and on the road a &ldquo;leggo beast&rdquo; &mdash; will indeed be a shocking surprise when the parents are called by their own kids. The students should be held as long as it takes at the station until parents/guardians arrive.<br /> <br /> I also understand that adult men also utilise the centre as a meeting place for under-age schoolgirls after school hours. Also, it is so disgraceful at the centre how many students carry on in their school uniforms. I take the bus frequently at the centre and witness the drama played out often.<br /> <br /> This after-school idling is not new. I was once employed downtown Kingston, near to the harbour, and some students would hang out until odd hours after school is dismissed everyday as well.<br /> <br /> The rigid means of keeping students at the Half-Way-Tree Police Station until their parents arrive will decrease and prevent them from gathering at the transportation centre, as the police will be on the alert to cart them away.<br /> <br /> More cameras can be installed, with the stringent policy of the police apprehending them, sending a clear warning. If students, especially males, resist on going to the station, the appropriate containment should apply.<br /> <br /> Delroy Lawrence<br /> <br /> fortis-forever@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12164831/Bus-terminus_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, September 23, 2016 2:00 AM RGD has been doing its best http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/RGD-has-been-doing-its-best-_74969 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I write in response to an article in the Jamaica Observer, dated September 17, 2016, titled &lsquo;Ministry to address concerns of foster parents&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> The Registrar General&rsquo;s Department (RGD) continues in its quest to ensure that all Jamaicans are registered and that we offer the best service to all our customers. To aid in these efforts, in the year 2012 the agency met with representatives from the Child Development Agency (CDA) to streamline procedures for assisting the wards of the State in obtaining birth certificates.<br /> <br /> All applications/requests received from the CDA are given priority, expedited and processed at the executive level, at a reduced cost of $800 for a birth certificate, and a search is done gratis.<br /> <br /> The criteria for all applications are processed accordingly:<br /> <br /> &bull; Search application &mdash; to ascertain whether an entry exists for a child. If an entry is not located, the process of late registration will be conducted.<br /> <br /> &bull; Birth application &mdash; If an entry number is provided or located from the search application, the application will be processed.<br /> <br /> Since the start of this year the RGD received 352 applications; 70 of which were for searches to be conducted. We have since processed a total of 225 certificates and delivered them to the representatives of the CDA.<br /> <br /> However, despite our efforts we continue to face challenges due to delays in receiving information or receiving information that is inconsistent with our records.<br /> <br /> The RGD team continues to work to satisfy all outstanding applications as we liaise with representatives from the CDA to ensure the needs for the nation&rsquo;s most vulnerable children are met.<br /> <br /> Deirdre English Gosse<br /> <br /> Chief Executive Office<br /> <br /> Registrar General and Deputy Keeper of the Records<br /> <br /> information@rgd.gov.jm<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13306580/222127__w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Friday, September 23, 2016 2:00 AM Roadwork backup http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Roadwork-backup_74980 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I commend the improvement works slated to be done on Mandela Highway. They&rsquo;re long overdue.<br /> <br /> Nonetheless, I am grieving for the trees that have been there for ages and are now being cut down and the marshes which may be be affected or lost. <br /> <br /> I am, however, concerned about the abrupt start of the roadwork on Mandela Highway since the contract was purported to have been signed in July. Sufficient notification was not given considering the magnitude of work to be done and measures should have been put in place before the start of the new school year, which contributes to the traffic pile-up as more people travel the roadway.<br /> <br /> This work should have started in August so that commuters could have got a better idea of what to expect and make provisions, if at all possible. What are the measures being put in place for the backup of traffic and delays now being experienced? Yes, we have the one-lane system for buses, but what else will be done to guide the smooth flow of traffic as we look forward to improvement in our roads. At present drivers are coming out earlier and seem to be gazing at the work being done, resulting in a tremendous backup in traffic; and the major work have not yet started.<br /> <br /> It is worth mentioning that taking the toll road in the mornings and/or evenings is extremely burdensome for our citizens, many of whom are facing financial challenges already. Those commuters who have to come from far distances to work and conduct businesses in Kingston are especially affected as the toll rates are exorbitant.<br /> <br /> It is not too early to start implementing measures to alleviate some of the hardships being experience or to be expected as we go through this next phase in the development of our country. A police/traffic warden&rsquo;s presence is greatly needed, especially early in the mornings and in the evenings during the peak hours.<br /> <br /> All things considered, it might have been more practical to have commenced the roadworks on Mandela Highway after the completion of the Marcus Garvey Road, rather than now as the alternate route for Portmore is Mandela Highway and vice versa.<br /> <br /> Concerned Citizen<br /> <br /> aleb2004@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> Local Letters to the Editor Friday, September 23, 2016 2:00 AM Unravelling prepaid data and voice charges http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Unravelling-prepaid-data-and-voice-charges_74784 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I would like to add my support to the letter writer on September 20, 2016 who has asked the Office of Utilities Regulation to have the telecommunications suppliers decouple the data and voice charges.<br /> <br /> Currently, there are separate General Consumption Tax (GCT) rates applicable to data and voice services; however, prepaid credit is sold with an addition of 25 per cent for GCT. Therefore, those who use this credit to add data services do not benefit from the lower taxes (16.5 per cent) on this service. Why can&rsquo;t an offer selling data and voice services separately be implemented in order that consumers can benefit from lower-cost data services, as the authorities intended?<br /> <br /> The cynic in me is concerned that the taxes charged may not be as intended by the authorities.<br /> <br /> Henoy Russell<br /> <br /> henoyr@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13204771/tinder_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, September 23, 2016 2:00 AM Has the JLP changed its mouth on Goat Islands? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Has-the-JLP-changed-its-mouth-on-Goat-Islands_74976 Dear Editor, <br /> <br /> It is without a doubt that whenever on the outside, looking in, the grass appears greener. Hypocritically so I presumed. <br /> <br /> While in Opposition, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) gained much traction and favourability while insisting that the protected environmental areas of Jamaica must be preserved and left untouched, as opined and vigorously debated by the Jamaica Environment Trust. Moving forward, the same JLP, this time with a huge smile and shiny dollar sign eyes, boldly declared that they are moving steadfast with the agreement of a logistics hub.<br /> <br /> The Government is now dismissing the fact that many conscious Jamaicans saw the construction of a logistics hub by the Chinese on Goat Islands as a shot in the foot of our sovereignty, and also a great threat to our environment. We have seen that the Chinese engineering, while magnificent, leaves little to be desired when it comes to environmental consciousness and safe-keeping.<br /> <br /> Do our politicians make promises and insightful reasonings only when in Opposition? Is this the same JLP that was vocal in the need to dialogue with and proceed with policies of great effects only with the approval of the populace? Where did the JLP go wrong after just a measly eight months in power? Where is the JLP that promised a voice to the &ldquo;articulate minority&rdquo;?<br /> <br /> Indeed, development is welcome, but at what cost? Arguments were raised by The National Environment and Planning Agency, the Diaspora, and yes, the then Opposition JLP.<br /> <br /> According to the United Nations Development Programme, Jamaica has suffered tremendous economic losses due to environmental factors such as climate change. Will this logistics hub be coal-powered?<br /> <br /> We must respect the laws and will of the Jamaican people. If needs be, do a referendum. No need for another venture which will likely protect the big corporations from taxations while sucking the life out of the common citizens and their natural resources and providing little to no real benefits to the common man.<br /> <br /> Zavier Simpson<br /> <br /> zavier_simpson@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12630875/184269_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Friday, September 23, 2016 2:00 AM Support for cyber laws needed! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Support-for-cyber-laws-needed-_74731 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> With the proliferation of information communication technologies as internationally renowned smartphone manufacturers, the likes of Samsung and Apple, continue their rivalry and dominance of the ICT industry, ordinary individuals are finding themselves swept up in the never-ending euphoria of &ldquo;smarter&rdquo; devices entering the market.<br /> <br /> While the fluidity and convenience which such improved technology no doubt brings to the fingertips of the ordinary individual is much cherished, it would be quite remiss for there not to be an equal appreciation of the dangers which also flow concommitantly with ICTs.<br /> <br /> More and more it is becoming quite evident that most of the &ldquo;ordinary&rdquo; individuals who have the world at their fingertips do not readily appreciate the dangers which accompany such comforts. These dangers, which range from hacking and theft of personal information and identities to the cruel act which is the participation in cyberbullying can have long-lasting if not life-shattering impacts on individuals.<br /> <br /> Take for instance the recent case in Italy where a 31-year-old woman committed suicide after a year of being cyberbullied after an explicit video of her went viral. Cases like these respect no geographic boundaries and can easily play out here in our island space &mdash; if this has not already been the case.<br /> <br /> It is with this in mind that all stakeholders &mdash; inclusive of Government, sector players and regular citizens &mdash; seek to play their respective parts in public education campaigns and supporting existing legislation while pushing for more stringent and comprehensive laws which would allow maximum redress to those who may be ensnared by the dark side of the Web.<br /> <br /> Noel Matherson<br /> <br /> noelmatherson@gmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10680193/SSL_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, September 22, 2016 12:00 AM PNP rejects renewal to its peril http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/PNP-rejects-renewal-to-its-peril_74730 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The People&rsquo;s National Party (PNP) delegates voted overwhelmingly last weekend in support of decades-old policies that have been tried, tested and failed. This is an obvious rejection of the proposed renewal of the party and can be interpreted as nothing else.<br /> <br /> The PNP is a political party in existence for 78 years, led by a 70-year-old, still seeking to flirt with the idea of socialism (or democratic socialism) in an era where power and control is cemented in the hands of capitalist, fiscal conservatives and multilateral agencies that are controlled by people who believe in capitalism and conservatism.<br /> <br /> As such, it is a little strange that the PNP has rejected renewal and given the dinosaurs a firm grip of power in a world where their ideological framework has lost relevance and multilateral agencies would not take them seriously.<br /> <br /> The party has once again rejected futuristic ideas in favour of career politicians with no vision, and have shunned the potential to grow richer, stronger or even more prosperous.<br /> <br /> While I am of the belief that the present Administration is doing well, it does not serve the country&rsquo;s interest to have a weak Opposition. <br /> <br /> Portia Simpson Miller can run up and down and even jump all she wants. That does not convince anyone that she is still fit for leadership in any capacity. The continued rejection of the young minds in her party by its executives, constituency leadership and delegates has not strengthened the organisation. All we have seen is the electorate is shown a set of policies from a group of names they have heard for decades but cannot pinpoint any significant revolutionary legislative changes and improvement in quality of life as result of this repeatedly reshuffled deck.<br /> <br /> Robert &ldquo;Bobby&rdquo; Pickersgill, the party&rsquo;s chairman, ought to also be challenged and replaced as he has done nothing to change the fortunes of the party. He also led the PNP&rsquo;s rejection of an articulate minority of a greater size, intellect, prowess, and influence than he can even imagine.<br /> <br /> Judah Granville<br /> <br /> @JudahGranville<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13063489/209532__w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, September 22, 2016 12:00 AM Let Dominic&rsquo;s passing inspire change http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Let-Dominic-s-passing-inspire-change_74779 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Tuesday&rsquo;s shock passing of St George&rsquo;s College&rsquo;s Manning Cup team Captain Dominic James has left me numb, as I am sure it has for many in the Jamaican communities at home and in the Diaspora. Death always does that to communities, and it is especially difficult when the deceased is young and in their prime.<br /> <br /> It must be even more difficult for his parents. My heart goes out to them and Dominic&rsquo;s extended family and teammates.<br /> <br /> Having said that, I must focus on the back-of-the-house aspects of Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) events. I ask that ISSA and the Ministry of Education review existing health and safety protocols, and where none exist to have these drawn up and implemented immediately. When one looks at the administrative and technical preparations for the delivery of &ldquo;Champs&rdquo; over the years, the football competitions are incredibly lacking in respect of basic protocols, and the public must demand that certain basic provisions be made. These must include on-the-spot medical personnel and equipment, maybe an ambulance. There must be a protocol for medical emergencies that should be well known and simulation-tested.<br /> <br /> While there is no guarantee that had more provisions been in place young Dominic would have survived, we must establish standards and protocols that at the very least will give the next potential victim a greater fighting chance of surviving a medical emergency. The loss of Dominic must be the catalyst for addressing these glaring deficiencies.<br /> <br /> To the competition&rsquo;s sponsors FLOW, and its owners ISSA, as well as other associate sponsors, you all need to take a long look at your programmes and include the greatest regard for health and safety.<br /> <br /> Richard Blackford<br /> <br /> richardhblackford@gmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13302728/domm22_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, September 22, 2016 12:00 AM Let&rsquo;s work to save our children http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Let-s-work-to-save-our-children_74728 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But Jesus said suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for such is the kingdom of heaven.&rdquo; (St Matthew 19:14)<br /> <br /> This country is plagued with untold violence being perpetrated against our young. No society can develop and achieve its maximum potential if it continues to kill its future.<br /> <br /> In the past weeks, I can recount with horror the slaying of a two-year-old, execution style, and the murder of a nine-month-old baby along with the mother. These dastardly acts continue. Gone are the days when women and children were protected and spared.<br /> <br /> The reality is that Jamaica&rsquo;s children are fast becoming endangered species. In short order, the potential stock of professional and skilled citizens will be seriously depleted. Coupled with this are the effect of the brain drain phenomenon.<br /> <br /> So I join in the call for a more cohesive and intelligence-driven form of policing, supported by the requisite legislation, namely the DNA Evidences Act, with provisions for a forensics database, which has been languishing on the desks of our Parliament.<br /> <br /> But with all of this, we need to bring back the love. Parents must love their children unconditionally and give them spiritual direction &mdash; take them to Sunday school. Teachers should also love the children and engage them in uniformed groups, like the cadet corps, to build character and engender discipline.<br /> <br /> Create more green spaces within communities. These will help individuals in the area of recreation and develop calmer dispositions, resulting in a more peaceful society.<br /> <br /> Andrea Dunk<br /> <br /> andrea.d7774@gmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12948117/9mm_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, September 22, 2016 12:00 AM Crime &mdash; someone, somewhere is making money from it http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Crime---someone--somewhere-is-making-money-from-it_74785 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Has anyone really considered that there are pockets in this society that do not mind the present state of criminality and wish it continues?<br /> <br /> Crime/criminality is not a stand-alone entity. It is so established and lucrative that no one hero or &lsquo;shero&rsquo; can conquer it. It will take the fortitude of all stakeholders to say &ldquo;enough is enough&rdquo; and tackle and dismember this dragon.<br /> <br /> While I do not intend to cast aspersions on anyone, it is reasonable to wonder and argue why no political, religious, social and business plan has been forged to suppress this happening. Seriously, no Ministry of National Security, no minister under whichever of the &lsquo;P&rsquo;s&rsquo; has been able to tame this. Divine intervention has not been enough; it will take that, plus the serious work of all.<br /> <br /> Nothing is simply face value. The drugs-for-guns trade is more than guns and drugs. The youth who continually &lsquo;nyam anada man food&rsquo; are more than just eating food; the owners of these &lsquo;hurry cum up&rsquo; funeral parlours are more than just sympathising with families and paying respects to the dead; the youths involved in scamming are not just pawns. Someone, somewhere is making money, and the coffers are getting fat.<br /> <br /> I guess until the philosophies of discipline, hard work, fairness and pure ambition are ingrained into the minds of this generation, then the business of treating our brothers and sisters with indignity will never cease.<br /> <br /> Crime will never become a lucrative business in a society when a country budgets suitably for education, when sustainable jobs are provided for its youths, when our people are not cheated by our leaders, and when the system is designed that hard work and only hard work pays off. In such a society crime will never be lucrative.<br /> <br /> Everton Tyndale, JP<br /> <br /> evat_78@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12744874/crime-scene_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Thursday, September 22, 2016 12:00 AM PNP delegates erred http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/PNP-delegates-erred_74560 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> After her successful vice-presidential campaign, Kingston Mayor Senator Dr Angela Brown Burke expressed that those lobbying for party renewal should channel this energy into other areas of the party, since the delegates had spoken and given the mandate to those in whom they believe will best serve the party.<br /> <br /> It seems to me that the People&rsquo;s National Party&rsquo;s (PNP) hierarchy is unable to agree on its way forward, as in contrast Member of Parliament for St Ann South Eastern Lisa Hanna unsuccessfully tried to gain the delegates&rsquo; support campaigning under the banner of &lsquo;renewal&rsquo; .<br /> <br /> Similarly, former Prime Minister P J Patterson echoed calls for party renewal during the recent annual conference. Without this renewal, I believe the current Opposition will continue to slide into the abyss of irrelevance and political extinction.<br /> <br /> I believe the echoes of &lsquo;renewal&rsquo; should be listened to. Whenever a modern political party failed in selling its manifesto to the electorates the party&rsquo;s leadership should then be dismantled and the way paved for others to fill the void and offer new insights and inspiration to the electorate.<br /> <br /> Therefore, I believe the delegates had erred in their decision to keep the same old lieutenants in charge, notably after a disappointing general election campaign in which their policies and leadership were rejected. The PNP has now lost, in my view, their opportunity of finding a political panacea. <br /> <br /> Zavier Simpson<br /> <br /> Netherlands Antilles<br /> <br /> zavier_simpson@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12618018/183411__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12886297/197200__w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Wednesday, September 21, 2016 12:00 AM Cowardice in politics; bring back principles http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Cowardice-in-politics--bring-back-principles_74701 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The elections within the People&rsquo;s National Party (PNP) on the weekend past is another example of cowardice in politics. People are afraid to partner with something new and different in order to reap the benefits of change.<br /> <br /> Lisa Hanna represented a change. She would have symbolised that within the PNP change is possible, practised and accommodated. Instead, we found that young people who she could have possibly paved the way for, launched and sustained a campaign against her in collusion with the establishment so that they themselves could be established within the system.<br /> <br /> Spirited speeches with undertones of hate and envy propelled hopefuls into the spotlight and darkened her shine. Although there is rejoicing, this not good for the party. Genuine young people should be in the leadership. The disappearance of personal principles cannot be continued by this generation of politicians. Politicians need to move beyond providing drink and ammunition for young men and using young women as sexual objects. It is distasteful and disrespectful to use a platform to make light of promiscuity, violence and abuse of power.<br /> <br /> The so-called rising stars being glorified are nothing more than power-hungry young people, only in politics to profit from the power and throwing words to distract from their misuse of power. That was not what the party was founded on.<br /> <br /> Lisa Hanna was courageous to break the silence and her campaign engaged young people, men and women, in a positive light. Women who worked in the campaign felt dignified that they were contributing to a process and not being exploited. The real campaign for principle was debunked by false prophets who are raping the system for their own game. <br /> <br /> I hope Lisa Hanna is still dedicated to speaking out against these so-called rising stars and we await the return of this rising daughter for another campaign for leadership.<br /> <br /> Lisa Monroe <br /> <br /> leadurway@outlook.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13271488/206920__w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, September 21, 2016 12:00 AM Developing the Supreme Mix for fixing our roads http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Developing-the-Supreme-Mix-for-fixing-our-roads_74711 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The people of Westmoreland are demanding the fixing of the roads which seem to always be in a poor condition. Too many times we see the meagre patchwork being done to fix potholes and cracks in the road, only to gradually witness the roads returning to their usual poor state.<br /> <br /> The approach of the politicians seem to be to send workmen out to simply patch the road in the exact same manner in which it was inadequately performed the last time. The politicians fail to realise that constantly approaching a problem with the same inadequate solution will lead to the same old results of a temporary redress which will eventually give way.<br /> <br /> As a progressive young politician and a resident of Westmoreland, I have devised a solution to the road problem that has been plaguing Westmoreland and Jamaica for the longest of time. <br /> <br /> What I suggest is that we develop a unique mixture of asphalt and other ingredients which can be both strong enough to withstand cars while being absorbent enough to withstand rain. The mixture must be intricately developed through rigorous scientific testing on different combinations of ingredients and materials in order to discover the perfect solution.<br /> <br /> The Government should develop a small scientific and advisory committee made up of the relevant scientific and technical experts, along with support from actual road repair workers, who may be able to give very valuable inputs into the developmental process. The committee needs an adequate budget and must be well-staffed to accomplish this mission.<br /> <br /> The aim is to combine the perfect mixture of pavement mix that will uniformly spread pressure throughout rather than to concentrate pressure at certain points which lead to cracks and eventual potholes. The mixture must also possess characteristics of shock-absorbency to withstand the constant tiny hammering of the raindrops and the wear and tear effects the water may cause when it settles on the pavement. Different percentages of asphalt, bitumen, sand, gravel, stone, and possibly clay, should be combined and tested under controlled circumstances to arrive at the right formula for pavement mix, which we may call Supreme Mix. <br /> <br /> This development will save Jamaica billions in the long run, and we may export this innovation to other developing countries such as our Cuban allies.<br /> <br /> Toraino Beckford <br /> <br /> Savanna-la-Mar Westmorelad<br /> <br /> torainobeckford@gmail.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/6573359/road27_w300.jpg Letters to the Editor Wednesday, September 21, 2016 12:00 AM