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 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 Let education exchange work for us http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Let-education-exchange-work-for-us_19225339 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Over the years much praise has been bestowed upon Jamaica's education system and its standing in the global community. This fact has been highlighted by the numerous educational institutions that have recruited and continue to recruit Jamaican teachers.<br /> <br /> Many countries have instituted an exchange programme whereby teachers are given the opportunity to travel, and gain immeasurable experience over a specific time period. The time has come for us, as a society, to at least examine the possibility and probability for the education ministry to engage and consult with various agencies such as embassies and consulates based in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> We need to come to the realisation that such an exchange programme can bring much-needed benefits to Jamaica in the areas of technology transfer, best teaching practices, and cultural exchange. Jamaican students deserve the very best, especially in this digital and highly competitive community.<br /> <br /> We must explore every possibility that can be afforded to us to enhance the teaching and learning process.<br /> <br /> Wayne Campbell<br /> <br /> waykam@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> @WayneCamo<br /> <br /> Let education exchange work for us<br /> <br /> --> Letters to the Editor Wednesday, August 26, 2015 12:00 AM Isn't Shelly-Ann marvellous! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Isn-t-Shelly-Ann-marvellous-_19225712 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Did you hear Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce's comment when she was interviewed after she had won the 100m gold medal? Not even the Virgin Mary could have said it better. And more important, she gave the glory to God and expressed gratitude and thanks to all those who have helped, supported and encouraged her. Isn't that marvellous?<br /> <br /> Shelly is a real woman with a good heart. Congratulations to you, Shelly-Ann, on your remarkable victory. We thank you handsomely for meeting or for fulfilling our expectations of you. You have never let us down, especially when it comes to the big events. We love you truly.<br /> <br /> She is not only a 'Pocket Rocket'; she is a very steady unshakable blazer, a penetrative and smooth shooter, or a flying sailor, who has promoted herself superbly from a princess to a graceful and blessed queen.<br /> <br /> I also say 'big up' to all the radio commentators. We have enjoyed the radio commentary to the fullest. It is without a trace of bias. Ed Banes has always been giving us some nice, enjoyable cups of tea with brilliant commentary; keep up the good work.<br /> <br /> Likewise, president of the MVP Track Club Bruce James seems to have a 'computer brain' when it comes to track and field.<br /> <br /> May God continue to pour down some heavy showers of blessings on Jamaica and help our athletes to shine like the noonday sun.<br /> <br /> As the World Championships continues, let us keep our fingers crossed that all will go well for our athletes.<br /> <br /> Donald J McKoy<br /> <br /> donaldmckoy2010@<br /> <br /> hotmail.com<br /> <br /> Isn't Shelly-Ann marvellous!<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12117817/shelly-100-THREE_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, August 26, 2015 12:00 AM No more 'leggo beast' talk http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/No-more--leggo-beast--talk-_19225701 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> How can the leader of our educational system and a minister of religion refer to a child as a "leggo beast"?<br /> <br /> Please, Sir, affirm our children with positive references; do not demean or debase them.<br /> <br /> After all, we the adults have created a harsh, violent and socially dysfunctional society.<br /> <br /> Show them love as ordained by Christ and motivate them to achieve the best. Create an atmosphere in the classrooms to engender learning.<br /> <br /> And, Minister, please work to ensure that each child is afforded a hot meal daily at school. A hungry student will not learn and is highly irritable.<br /> <br /> No more "leggo beast" talk, but direct your time and resources to uplift the nation's children.<br /> <br /> Andrea Dunk.<br /> <br /> andrea.d7774@gmail.com<br /> <br /> Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, August 26, 2015 12:00 AM Suffer the little children, Deacon http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Suffer-the-little-children--Deacon_19225743 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Crude, rude, shameful, reckless, and irresponsible are just a few of the words I can use to mildly rebuke Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites for his characterisation of those he has been charged to educate and rehabilitate.<br /> <br /> Sir, you are leading by poor example. It is shameful that you have gone that low to characterise God's children as "leggo beast". With this you do not have the moral authority to tell teachers that they are out of line.<br /> <br /> When Jesus was blessing the children and his disciples were not too happy and were turning them away, Jesus rebuked them for their poor behaviour. Let us not condemn the children, please use your good ministry and your church to help educate and rehabilitate the children instead of labelling them "leggo beasts".<br /> <br /> Go back to the pages of the Bible Deacon Thwaites. Luke 18: 16-17 states: "But Jesus called for them, saying, 'Permit the children to come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these'."<br /> <br /> In Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Please heed the words of Jesus, "Suffer the little ones to come unto me and forbid them not for such is the kingdom of God."<br /> <br /> George Lawson<br /> <br /> Bronx, NY, USA<br /> <br /> mrgeelaws@yahoo.com <br /> <br /> Suffer the little children, Deacon<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12007024/Ronald-Thwaites--2-_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Wednesday, August 26, 2015 12:00 AM The authorities caused Mandeville square chaos http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/The-authorities-caused-Mandeville-square-chaos_19225487 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I was more than taken aback on reaching the Mandeville square this morning (yesterday) about 10 o'clock in the morning. The scene was that of pandemonium as a flurry of people converged in the square and the taxi stand all abuzz like bees. This was brought on by an impromptu strike by the taxi drivers using the Park Crescent taxi stand. They consisted of Broad Leaf, Tree Chains, Blue Mountain, Royal Flat, Comfort, New Green, Ingleside, Kendall, Grey Grounds, and Bellfields taxi drivers, among others.<br /> <br /> Their bone of their contention was the discomfort they are now faced with when exiting the taxi park. They reported that the use of the car park has been restructured by the parish council with a new format, whereby they have to exit from the corner as opposed to the preferred middle section. This, they say, is most inconvenient.<br /> <br /> The changes brought on now stipulate that they enter from the left side of the park and exit on the left. That arrangement, they argue, will then force them to park in the middle of the grounds and thereby impeding the outgoing taxis.<br /> <br /> To top it off, they also complained that they weren't consulted by the authorities. They point also to the fact that among the important improvements that have been ignored in the area is in need of a shed for patrons using the taxi service there.<br /> <br /> One irate taxi operator said that he was shocked to come at the park only to find out that the previous entrance had been blocked and the shelter removed.<br /> <br /> The perplexed situation persisted up to an hour after the strike was called without the presence of any one in authority who could address the grouses of the taxi operators. The police however, were out in force and kept a watchful presence on a situation that seemed on the verge of getting hostile. In the meantime, passengers gathered at the park wondering when normalcy would return.<br /> <br /> I wonder why the authorities and the taxi operators are always at odds. Why can't they work together for the good of the people? I imagine that a taxi stand could be constructed and run with the interest of the patrons and the taxi operators. It shouldn't be any less.<br /> <br /> Ras Roger Deacon<br /> <br /> rastadeacon@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> MandevilleTaxi2.pdf<br /> <br /> The scene in Mandeville square yesterday.<br /> <br /> The authorities caused Mandeville square chaos<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12117324/MandevilleTaxi2_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, August 25, 2015 2:00 AM MoBay needs a courthouse http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/MoBay-needs-a-courthouse_19225369 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Quite a number of prominent Montego Bay business leaders, including the former president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nathan Robb, and St James Central Member of Parliament Lloyd B Smith, have publicly called on the Government to erect an equipped, modern and new court building for the city of Montego Bay, and by extension western Jamaica. This would accommodate all the various divisions of the court system, including the resident magistrate's court, gun court, traffic court, supreme court, civil court, petty sessions court, and supreme court registry.<br /> <br /> The present Montego Bay court building has long outgrown its useful purpose in terms of size, and there is the need for the Minister of Justice Senator Mark Golding to take the requisite steps to build a court complex for the region. This new court complex would also accommodate offices for the residents magistrates, the clerk of the court and their deputies, and for the police. It should also have a well-equipped cell block for both males and female inmates. A fully functioning canteen would also be needed at the court complex. A law library would also be needed at such a court facility. It is prime time that the minister recognises the necessity of such a new court complex for Montego Bay and proceed expeditiously to have this accomplished.<br /> <br /> I wish to take this opportunity to unreservedly commend the hard-working resident magistrates assigned to the Montego Bay courts, and for performing consistently at the highest judicial levels, giving justice to all those who appear before them. They are very truly committed to their jobs and serve with the highest levels of integrity and character, and I salute their hard work.<br /> <br /> We, as a country, oftentimes take for granted the extremely hard work that judges perform throughout the court system, and they need our full support every step of the way. The St James justices of the peace also carry out important functions and responsibilities within the court system and are quite dedicated to their jobs in Montego Bay.<br /> <br /> Robert Dalley<br /> <br /> Montego Bay, St James<br /> <br /> robertdalley@outlook.com<br /> <br /> MoBay needs a courthouse<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, August 25, 2015 2:00 AM The fight for Garvey in schools http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/The-fight-for-Garvey-in-schools_19225489 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The famous Jamaican artist Ireko Baker and I, some years ago, got together and wrote a book titled Marcus Teaches Us. I reprinted it in 2013 which cost me a lot of foreign dollars as it is 33 pages of shiny colour.<br /> <br /> We wrote this book as the only one of its kind in the entire world, a book sharing Marcus Garvey's philosophy for pre-school children between four and eight years of age. It is at these ages that children's personalities, temperaments, and social attitudes are being formed. The book teaches children to love one another, love themselves, and try to be self-reliant.<br /> <br /> I taught Garvey in social issues in the 1990s on the UWI campus. Many undergraduates had no idea what Garvey taught, or the fight he had when he returned to his homeland, Jamaica. Is it that the fight is still continuing? I hope not. Garvey never taught hate, only love.<br /> <br /> It is important that the Ministry of Education act decisively to introduce Garvey's teachings in our schools. Since 2013, I have given a copy personally to the minster of education, shared copies with the ministry, spoken to key people in the ministry about my book, all to no avail. When it went on sale on Amazon.com it got some really good reviews from readers and reviewers. Since then I have used the book with some five-year-olds in two pre-schools in Jamaica and all the children love it.<br /> <br /> Can someone tell me why I have to be fighting so hard, with no apparent success, to have the book in the hands of pre-schoolers? What is it that I am not doing right?<br /> <br /> Eleanor Wint, PhD<br /> <br /> garveykids@eawpublications.com<br /> <br /> The fight for Garvey in schools<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, August 25, 2015 12:00 AM This is why I don't vote http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/This-is-why-I-don-t-vote_19225490 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> With the next general election coming soon, there is a charge to those of us who don't want to vote to get up and fulfil our civic responsibility and take part in the electoral process.<br /> <br /> Those who think that those of us who refuse to vote should not have a say in how our country is run, must stop talking rubbish. As long as we pay taxes, and in my case spend an eternity at the tax office to pay taxes, then we do have a say in how our tax dollars are spent.<br /> <br /> I must admit that, based on how we have been running this country, I have given up any hope of us ever becoming a great nation -- at least in my lifetime. For me, this alone is enough reason to not vote. We simply do not have the type of leaders who can transform this country into a great power.<br /> <br /> However, I don't want to appear unreasonable. Forget the powerful country and give me one that is average. Even this seems beyond our leaders. We do not have leaders who appear able to make this country into one that we can be reasonably proud of. So why vote?<br /> <br /> We have mediocre leaders who think it is an act of national pride when they try to fool the world into thinking that we are poorer than we are to get more aid. We have leaders who think we are great just because we have athletes who can win races and headlining entertainers. We even have leaders who are making great plans with the reparations money that they are planning on. Is this what I should vote for?<br /> <br /> We have one of the world's highest crime rates. We are almost bankrupt. There is no hope for school leavers. I have seen so many child-beggars these days. Yet, our leaders tell us that we should be thankful for our condition, as we are not as bad as Somalia, Liberia, The Congo, or one of those failed states. This is the disdain from our leaders and I am vote for them?<br /> <br /> If there was hope in the next generation of politicians, maybe I would vote, for their sake. Yet, this new generation of politicians seems just as worthless as the old-timers. Nothing different! They come with the same plotting, conniving and divide-and-rule game. As far as I can see, there is no good reason to vote out the monkey and replace it with a black dog!<br /> <br /> I will continue to say it: We have had leaders who have hijacked our independence. This is why I refuse to vote.<br /> <br /> Michael A Dingwall<br /> <br /> michael_a_dingwall@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> This is why I don't vote<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, August 25, 2015 2:00 AM JLP and PNP infighting suprising healthy http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/JLP-and-PNP-infighting-suprising-healthy_19225527 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> I'm here to save the day for people who are of the belief that being voiceless and timid, in just about any and every relationship in their lives, is worthy of a gold star or a pat on the back. I'll do this by positing the unknown dangers, that are often derived from the act of failing to confront differences in opinions.<br /> <br /> It may sound counterintuitive, but an avoidance of tension will shorten our lifespan as the suppressed stress level compromises the cortisol levels in our body, provoking increases in blood sugar and, by extension, appropriating a rise to immune system susceptibility.<br /> <br /> With that said, it's simply radical to expect an absence of bellicosity within the two major political parties. and to unjustly demonise those that zealously exhibit competitiveness, especially when such an impassioned vying spirit positively abets democracy.<br /> <br /> It's important to note, however, that there are right and wrong ways to combat.<br /> <br /> I may be assuming here, but our representatives are fully aware of the consequences associated with the choosing of sides and/or formally going to war. So let's encourage the challenges, but make a strong call for fairness, suitability of timing, and forgiveness.<br /> <br /> Shanique Dennis<br /> <br /> sdennis09@live.com<br /> <br /> JLP and PNP infighting suprising healthy<br /> <br /> --> Local Letters to the Editor Tuesday, August 25, 2015 2:00 AM INDECOM is necessary! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/INDECOM-is-necessary-_19225028 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> The recent rhetoric of Police Federation Chairman Sergeant Raymond Wilson at the funeral of a slain police woman, and MP Damion Crawford's blasting of the importance of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) has highlighted the short-sighted approach to crime-fighting by some in influential positions.<br /> <br /> The Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) record as it relates to human rights is dismal -- and that's being kind. The many allegations of police abuse and killings makes a body such as INDECOM very important for oversight purposes and to hold the JCF accountable. The activities of the best police forces in the world are scrutinised, and the JCF is nowhere near the best with its lack of resources and underpaid and demotivated members. Why should it be exempt from being investigated?<br /> <br /> Wilson seems to be in denial as it relates to the true state of the JCF, as, by all indications, there are members of the force whose acts are downright criminal. May I remind Sergeant Wilson that one of his colleagues was just recently shot while trying to rob a businessman? Or should I remind him of the numerous officers who have been charged with corruption, or where sting operations have been used to catch them in criminal behaviour.<br /> <br /> If Sergeant Wilson and Comrade Crawford need more proof that the JCF needs cleaning, and INDECOM is necessary, then I am worried for all citizens, as maybe we must all be brutalised before INDECOM's necessity is recognised.<br /> <br /> The police force cannot speak from two sides of its mouth. It cannot call for its members to abide by the guidelines of the force and the laws of the land, but yet criticise, in the most absurd way, INDECOM's role in ensuring that law and order is upheld by the force.<br /> <br /> I must say I am not surprised by Damion Crawford, as I guess his stance is a reflection, in some way, of his party, as they too have a problem with bodies set up to give oversight to important things; the efforts against the Office of the Contractor General come quickly to mind.<br /> <br /> Sensible citizens understand and support the role of INDECOM, even if we fall in the category of the "articulate minority".<br /> <br /> Javid Brown<br /> <br /> Ocho Rios, St Ann<br /> <br /> javidbrown@gmail.com<br /> <br /> INDECOM is necessary!<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12114477/Raymond-Wilson_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, August 24, 2015 1:00 AM Thwaites' 'leggo beast' comment truthful and well-intentioned http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Thwaites---leggo-beast--comment-truthful-and-well-intentioned_19225338 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Recently, the Education Minister Ronald Thwaites stated that parents should not send 'leggo beast' children to school and expect teachers to re-mould them.<br /> <br /> Many people have misinterpreted his comments and have lambasted him for his 'untamed metaphor'.<br /> <br /> A number of people believe that the minister is instructing parents to keep children of the foregoing ilk out of the school system. Thwaites is well-lettered, and he is quite au fait with the legal parameters of his purview. Therefore, he could not have proposed precluding disruptive or uncouth children from attending school. Certainly, such practice would run afoul of a child's universal right to education.<br /> <br /> He was essentially encouraging parents, and teachers alike, to dedicate sufficient time to the holistic grooming of their children. He wants to ameliorate the psycho-social environment of our schools so that seeds of excellence can flourish. Minister Thwaites understands that he cannot deny unruly children an education, but he can certainly encourage parents to properly train their children before and during their academic enrolment. The minister wants parents to stop expecting teachers to miraculously reform their children.<br /> <br /> The schools will accept the 'leggo beast', but parents must not expect that teachers will become surrogates and assume responsibilities beyond the already arduous task of tutelage. In fact, for the first time, the minister has apparently recognised the imposing strain on teachers who often have to deviate from academic instruction to address behavioural issues. His directive was, therefore, in protection of teachers and students whose progress is being threatened by children who are outwardly ill-intentioned and need meaningful at-home attention.<br /> <br /> Yes, Thwaites' language, though literary, was unmilled. However, his vernacular offers a fitting description of the behaviour displayed by many of our children who need to be trained and tempered with love.<br /> <br /> On another note, I wish to endorse the minister's position that teachers should strive to be exemplary parents and professionals. A teacher's deportment must consistently command esteem in and outside of the classroom. This is an inarguable expectation of a leader who is often emulated.<br /> <br /> Let us applaud Minister Thwaites' for his comments. I sense truth and empathy in them, not venom.<br /> <br /> Shawna Kay Williams<br /> <br /> Old Harbour, St Catherine<br /> <br /> shawna201@gmail.com<br /> <br /> Thwaites' 'leggo beast' comment truthful and well-intentioned<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12114464/Thwaites_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, August 24, 2015 1:00 AM Failed leadership, PM http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Failed-leadership--PM_19223533 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Until now, Madam Prime Minister, I believed you were capable of better leadership than what has been played.<br /> <br /> You have what I regard as a reasonably good team around you, providing you the critical support that you desperately need in the governing of this country. But, to have so many of your young promising members of parliament so disaffected that they have taken to the streets, as they have, suggests an obvious lack of ability, on your part, to guide and lead, resulting in this apparent high level of disillusionment in your camp.<br /> <br /> With so many senior members of parliament -- part of whose role should be to mentor and support the young people -- I am shocked and distressed at the drama and 'bangarang' being played out.<br /> <br /> Really? Are we supposed to take you people seriously? The stupidity is contemptuous of decent, intelligent and progressive citizens of our beloved country. How many more people are you all going to turn off from the political process?<br /> <br /> My God help us.<br /> <br /> Eileen Powell<br /> <br /> eileenpowell52@gmail.com<br /> <br /> Failed leadership, PM<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12106928/PORTIA-1_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, August 24, 2015 1:00 AM New test for pancreatic cancer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/New-test-for-pancreatic-cancer_19224969 Dear Editor,<br /> <br /> Cancer of the pancreas is always a heart-breaking diagnosis to make. Usually when we make this diagnosis, the cancer has already spread to other organs and there is little that we can offer the patient.<br /> <br /> Last week it was announced that they discovered a special urine test which can pinpoint this cancer in its early stages, and which can lead to early investigation and to better treatment.<br /> <br /> The researchers found that there was a triad of proteins secreted by the pancreatic cancer which is found in the urine. These three proteins are called LYVE-1, REG1A and TFF1. They are secreted only by the cancer in the pancreas and the test is 90 per cent positive.<br /> <br /> The problem with cancer of the pancreas is that this organ lies in the abdomen, behind the other organs like the stomach, etc, and very often there are no symptoms, or very vague symptoms, and these may be common to other organs, and by the time the diagnosis is made it is often too late.<br /> <br /> Patients who are special candidates for this test are those in a high-risk group, for example those whose relatives have had pancreatic cancer.<br /> <br /> In the field of cancer research this has to be one of the greatest breakthroughs.<br /> <br /> Dr Neil Persadsingh<br /> <br /> neilpersadsingh@yahoo.com<br /> <br /> New test for pancreatic cancer<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11798842/doctor-test_w300.jpg Local Letters to the Editor Monday, August 24, 2015 1:00 AM